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Writer Iain Banks: I have less than a year to live

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
updated 11:05 AM EDT, Wed April 3, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Scottish author says he has late-stage cancer and is expected to live only months
  • Iain Banks rose to prominence with his first novel, "The Wasp Factory," in 1984
  • Fans talk of what his work means to them in posts on an online tribute page

London (CNN) -- "I am officially Very Poorly." That's how Scottish novelist Iain Banks opened a statement Wednesday in which he told a legion of fans that he has terminal cancer and is expected to live only months.

The author, perhaps best known for his novels "The Wasp Factory," "The Crow Road" and "Complicity," explained that the cancer has spread from his gall bladder to other organs and cannot be operated on.

"The bottom line, now, I'm afraid, is that as a late stage gall bladder cancer patient, I'm expected to live for 'several months' and it's extremely unlikely I'll live beyond a year," he wrote in the statement, posted on his own website and that of his UK publisher, Little, Brown Book Group.

"So it looks like my latest novel, The Quarry, will be my last."

After his diagnosis, Banks said, he canceled all public engagements and proposed to his partner, Adele, asking her "if she will do me the honour of becoming my widow."

Ghoulish humor is helping the couple, he said, adding, "By the time this goes out we'll be married and on a short honeymoon."

His publishers are working to bring forward publication of "The Quarry" by four months, he said, "to give me a better chance of being around when it hits the shelves."

"The Wasp Factory," Banks' first novel, published in 1984, brought him "widespread and controversial public notice," his publisher states.

"He has since gained enormous popular and critical acclaim for both his mainstream and his science fiction novels."

The science fiction works have been published under the name Iain M. Banks.

Dozens of people have posted tributes to the author on a website set up for his friends and fans.

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