19 September 2009

Iain Banks enjoys the finer things

Iain Banks - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

At the beginning of 2006 Banks captained a team of writers to victory in a special series of University Challenge on BBC2, beating a team of actors 185-105 (1 January 2006), and then the 'news' team 190-45 in the final (2 January 2006).
A fellow quiz show jockey? I knew I liked Banks.

It gets better:
He also won an edition of Celebrity Mastermind, taking 'Malt whisky & the distilleries of Scotland' as his specialist subject on BBC1 on 2 January 2006.
Excellent intellectual priorities! He also consider publishing his Science Fiction under the pen name John B. Macallan, after his favorite whiskies: Johnny Walker Black and The Macallan.

If you don't know Iain Banks, I recommend starting with The Player of Games. I like Excession more, but it has a pretty convoluted structure, so PoG is easier to cut your teeth on. Both are set in the same universe along with five other novels, though they aren't really a series and are meant to stand alone. If you want a completely independent Banks book to start with, try The Algebraist.

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