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Iain Banks spoke with Cardinal Cox of E. P. Magazine


SINCE THE APPEARANCE OF HIS FIRST NOVEL, THE WASP FACTORY, IAIN BANKS HAS BECOME THE NOVELIST TO WHOM STUDENTS NOW TURN INSTEAD OF KAFKA OR HESSE, AT THE WORLD SCIENCE FICTION CCONVENTION IN GLASGOW LAST AUGUST, SF EXPERT AND CARDINAL COX MANAGED TO TRACK HIM DOWN...

I heard a tale that you were in one of the Monty Python films. Explain!

Oh yes, Monty Python & The Holy Grail. When I was at Stirling University the film company advertised for extras and about 150 of us went up to Doune Castle. Good fun.

Is any of your own work likely to be adapted for the screen?

The Crow Road is being worked on to be a three-part mini-series. Have to wait and see, though, if it actually happens.

I gather you're still an enthusiastic amateur composer. Isn't quantization great?

Oh, it's brilliant. All the notes get played at the right time. Excellent stuff.

What equipment do you play on?

Oh, I've got a Fender Stratocaster and interface, Roland GR1, Korg X5, Protens FX, an Alesis DR10 drum machine, Zoom 9050 guitar FX processor, a Studio 5 interface all mixed down through an Apple PowerMac 6100 CD with 24Mb of RAM, using Notator Logic software.

You've admitted that you actually wrote all the songs which appear in the book Espedair Street. Do you secretly want to be a rock'n'roll hero?

No, I'm too old to die young.

So what do you see in your future?

What, personally? In the long term, optimistic. In the short term, pessimistic, while the greedy Tories are still in power. The current Labour Party may not be perfect, but at least they're not Conservatives... Look, Cardinal, make sure you write all this down... I'd be prepared to pay more tax to live in a better country than pay less and live in shit. I think we have to pay decent wages to teachers, nurses etc. rather than chairmen of companies we (the country) used to own.

What are you planning to do next?

I'm going to do another 'Culture' novel, an Iain M Banks book.

What's the 'M' for?

It's a motorway between London and Bristol.

Hmm... so you're not trying for a Booker Prize at the moment?

If anything, my writing is becoming more popular.

What's this book called then?

I haven't got a title for it at the moment, but it'll be set after the others I've done and it's going to be a biggy.



This was originally published in E. P. Magazine.


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