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 iain talks in edinburgh
   From Andrew Cunningham on the culture@busstop.org Iain Banks mailing list:

Iain Banks will be giving a talk on sci-fi writing on March 26th in Edinburgh. It's at James Thin's branch on the South Bridge, and is part for the launch for Zeitguest, a new science review.

 a song of stone?
   From an interview in The Irish Times it appears that Feu de Joie has been renamed:

"Banks' next novel, a mainstream one, is provisionally titled A Song of Stone, and will be published in August."

 more feu de joie rumours
   Chris Fleming spoke with Iain in an interview:

...a small insight into what the next one is about. "It's a vague book, it's vaguely set in northern Europe, vaguely set in the latter half of the twentieth century, and that's about it. It's set post-war; not exactly post-apocalypse, but some heavy shit has gone down, man. Not nuclearshit, but it's not exactly a nice book. I do get a bit tired about writing happier endings, and after the comparative niceness of Whit I wanted to go back to something nasty again. There is a pretty high body-count and it all ends in tears."

 banks next novel - feu de joie
   Mary Branscombe spoke with Iain in an interview with SFX:

The provisional title for this next mainstream novel is Feu de Joie. It's a technical term for when people fire their guns into the air to celebrate - pretty dangerous thing I've always thought. Unusually for me, it's a bit timeless and place less - there's a castle and an artillery piece. basically, it's a three-hander: there's a very minor aristocrat and his sister and there's a greedy captain from a mercenary band. There's a lot of symbolism too: fire, earth, air, water - so it's a bit of a departure for me."

 future culture novels
   Extract from the SFX interview:

He doesn't feel the need to prove himself again though. "I'm not sure what to do next; I've just signed another four book contract and there's two SF novels included in that. One of them will certainly be a Culture novel, if not both."

 the status of M
   Extract from the SFX interview:

And what about the rumour that Banks might be dropping the M from his science fiction books? "I might - but almost certainly not. I've talked to my publishers and there's no problem about dropping the M, but I'm not really intending to do it. I've thought about it, but I can't be bothered." So it's just a rumour then? "There's some truth in it, but it's probably not going to happen."

 details of wasp factory litigation
   Iain in an interview with PC Format said :

"I'm in litigation at the moment over The Wasp Factory. Originally it was going to be made into a film by an American film company, but we didn't want it to become a typical American film, so we sold it to an Irish company. And then they got taken over by an American company. There was nothing they could do about it, of course, but there were lots of things we weren't very happy about - lots of technical stuff that I don't really understand. We told them we thought we should have the rights back because they had no intention of making the film: 'No, no, no, we have - honest!' So we're in litigation. Lots of money wasted... but it means, with a bit of luck, we'll get the rights back. To sell them on again. But I suspect the shelf life of The Wasp Factory is coming to an end - it was published in 1984, after all."

This ties in with the older snippet I had found.

 honorary degree for iain
   Neale Grant sends the following news:

Thought some of you people might be interested in this little snippet picked up from the Dundee Courier, reporting four honorary degrees being given out by St Andrews university:

"Iain Banks, whose work includes The Crow Road which was adapted for a highly successful BBC television series, will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters degree. A graduate of Stirling University, he has held a variety of jobs including working for British Steel at Nigg Bay, which helped inspire his first book The Wasp Factory.

"A film script of his 1993 book Complicity, a best seller in paperback, has recently been completed. BBC Scotland plans to adapt his latest book Whit."

 the wasp factory on stage
   Adapted and directed by Malcolm Sutherland.
   At the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, 18 April- 17 May 8pm.

   Mic Pool sends the following news:
This is a new expanded version of Malcolm Sutherland's adaptation which has previously been seen at The Glasgow Citizens Theatre and at Bagley's Warehouse London. This time it has a cast of seven. As well as performances in the theatre it is hoped a non linear version of the production will also be available on the WWW.
 iain narrates the bridge onto cd
   News from Andy Williams of Paradigm Productions Limited :
Iain has narrated The Bridge with musical accompaniment from Gary Lloyd.
I have put up images of the inlay card and some general information on the CD.
The ISBN on the CD is ISBN 1 899598 57 X.

I will add more when I get a little bit of time.
Codex can be contacted at
Codex Books & Tapes,
P.O. Box 148,
Hove BN3 3DQ,
UK
 the crow road mini-series
   From the BBC:
The Crow Road four hour mini-series is
distributed by Pavilion International
  45-49 Mortimer St,
London, W1N 7TD
Phone : +44 171 636 9421
Fax : +44 171 436 7426
 only one more culture novel?
   Gleaned from the Final Frontiers interview :

There is a new interview (May 30th, 1996) about Excession. Banks has signed a new four book deal for two Fiction and two Science Fiction. He also says that there will be one more Culture novel, probably the last....

 wasp factory film rights in litigation
   Production of The Wasp Factory? :

The Telegraph article below reports that the film rights to The Wasp Factory are in litigation but it appears someone is about to produce The Wasp Factory!

Russell Avis Productions
In Development: A film based on the novel The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks, will be directed by Meiert Avis.

 screenplays for banks
   News from The Telegraph :

Screenplays for Complicity and Player of Games are written and "are in the pipeline". According to an article in The Telegraph, a British Newspaper. It also reports that Banks is involved in litigation to reclaim the film rights to The Wasp Factory. Thanks to Matthew Stanfield for this article.

 some form of recognition
   Omni Magazine :

Omni magazine believes that this site has some merit and has given me this shiny new gif to play with. Thanks to Simon Walley, the original creator, and to everyone else who has contributed since.

OMNIVision

 wasp factory casting

Iain said in a recent interview that there had been some movement on the filming of The Wasp Factory. Apparantly Jodie Foster and Julian Lennon have been considered as potential a Frank Cauldhame.

 new culture novel
   Excession :

Excession - it's the new Banks Culture novel and it should be hitting UK bookstores on the 13th June! Thanks to Dave Mutton, information on it has been added to the bibliography section. It sounds pretty good... (like it was going to be bad :). Also of interest is the fact that Wired UK will be running a large 8000 extract from it in their June issue, so you can try before you buy.

 the crow road serialisation
   Here's some good news from the Culture list, courtesy of Michael Pymm:

I'm sitting here with a copy of the Glasgow Herald - on page 3 they say "BBC to back Scotland with 40 million quid" - and I quote "...but in drama terms, they will certainly include The Crow Road, a major four part serial for BBC2 based on the novel by Scottish cult novelist Iain Banks". Yippee!

Good news - a well-made TV drama of The Crow Road could be something pretty special.

 iain banks newsgroup

A new Iain Banks Usenet newsgroup has just popped up. As it is part of the alt.* hierachy, it might not be available at every site, but if you can get it, alt.books.iain-banks could be well worth checking out.

 iain banks mailing list

An email list about Iain [M] Banks has just been set up by Dan Polivy. It'll be a place for any questions, idle chat, hopeful rumours and general Banks glorification :) If you've ever read any of Iain's work and liked it, this could be the list for you... You can subscribe by emailing culture-request@busstop.org with the word 'subscribe' in the subject field. Once you have joined, send your questions and answers to culture@busstop.org. See you there!

 whit - iain's new fiction novel

Whit, Iain's newest work of fiction, has just been released in hardback in the UK. Briefly, the story concerns Isis, a young teenage girl who happens to be "elect of the gods" at a cult. However, her cousin (who is to be the cults guest of honour at their Festival of Love) refuses to attend and it is up to Isis to venture out into the 20th century and find her cousin.

The story has the same feel to it as The Crow Road - there are some screamingly funny bits in it (the hammock in the loft scene) as well as some touching moments too. However, compared to The Bridge or Use of Weapons, it seems a bit too simplistic and everything you expect Iain to write about religion and its use and abuse, are here. Still, if you enjoyed The Crow Road (and who didn't?), you'll enjoy this one. Iain's usual bodycount has dropped drastically in this one too...

 ken mcleod's star fraction

Long time friend of Iain is one Ken McLeod, who persuaded Iain to rewrite and publish Use of Weapons. Well, the UK has just recently seen Ken's debut into the world of writing with his book The Star Fraction. Here is what Ian Young (who kindly emailed me the news) reckons about it:

It's a sociopolitical cyberpunk. The computing details are rather less inept than the norm (which is understandable since he's a programmer), but I still felt they'd been tweaked a little for the benefit of people not in the know. In overall feel it reminded me more of the first half of Michael Marshall Smith's Only Forward than Banks. I enjoyed it, but I might need another reading to clarify my views.

 espedair lyrics

This is an intriguing piece of information; apparently the song lyrics that appeared in Espedair Street were parts of completed songs Iain has written. He is apparently composing and arranging them on his computer but hopes to get a vocalist later on in the project. The day might happen where we see a Banks novel in the top ten book sellers list along with a Banks penned pop tune in the top ten music charts - now that'd be something :-)



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