Science fiction author Iain Banks, who has written some amazing novels including The Business and The Wasp Factory, posted a very sad announcement this morning:

I have cancer. It started in my gall bladder, has infected both lobes of my liver and probably also my pancreas and some lymph nodes, plus one tumour is massed around a group of major blood vessels in the same volume, effectively ruling out any chance of surgery to remove the tumours either in the short or long term.

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

If you've loved any of Banks's novels—and if you're a sci-fi geek who hasn't read Banks, you absolutely should consider this to be your marching orders—tell him so. There's a guest book on his site for fans to thank him and tell their favorite Banks stories. Often, when I write about the passing of an author, commenters lament not being able to tell that author how much their stories have mean to them. Here's your chance.