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Space Sci-Fi

Iain M. Banks Gets Asteroid Named After Him 30

Charliemopps writes "On June 23rd, 2013, asteroid (5099) was officially named Iainbanks by the IAU, and will be referred to as such for as long as Earth Culture may endure. The official citation reads, 'Iain M. Banks (1954-2013) was a Scottish writer best known for the Culture series of science fiction novels; he also wrote fiction as Iain Banks. An evangelical atheist and lover of whiskey, he scorned social media and enjoyed writing music. He was an extra in Monty Python & The Holy Grail.'"
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Iain M. Banks Gets Asteroid Named After Him

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  • Is an oxymoron until you get to the 5th definition
  • A great sci-fi author that should be on high school and college reading lists.
  • Iain Banks (sadly, RIP) was a lover of whisky, whiskey not so much. There's a difference.

    Iain M. Banks (1954-2013) was a Scottish writer best known for the Culture series of science fiction novels

    Perhaps best known in this particular forum, but the intelligent reader will be doing himself a disservice if he neglects his non-SF work written under his name without the "M." in the middle. IMO, some of these are by far his best work. My personal favourites are The Crow Road and Complicity. His latest (and last) book, The Quarry, which I've just started reading, seems pretty good too.ain M. Banks (1954-2013) was a Sc

    • The Crow Road was also made into a fine short TV series by the BBC. And don't miss The Bridge, a somewhat odd, but excellent novel.
  • by Minwee ( 522556 ) <> on Friday July 05, 2013 @11:17AM (#44194863) Homepage

    The asteroid should have been named AIMB, with no explanation of what the letters stood for. Real asteroid watchers will either guess what it means from the context or remember that it was once explained in passing three books ago.

    If that doesn't make sense, please report to your local library and check out just about anything by Iain-with-an-M Banks. Even if it doesn't help you get the joke at least you will have read something amazing.

    • I have most books of Ian M Banks.
      But I don't get for what the A in AIMB should stand.
      So I guess in a fe dozen years no one at the age of 18, who likely never read anything of banks, k ows more than I.
      So: did you typo, or does the A have a meaning?

      • by Minwee ( 522556 )

        What's that word that starts with an 'A' and means "A small rocky body orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter, one of which was recently named after Iain Banks"?

        • Ah, lol, could have guessed that. But who calls an asteroid with the name "asteroid ian banks"? The name should not contain the definition ... it is as wron as HIV virus :)
          I remember you wanted it named AIMB? What is wrong with IMB? But I personally like the long name better.

  • It would be nice if these homages were conceded while the person were alive.

    • Re:posthumous (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MeepMeep ( 111932 ) on Friday July 05, 2013 @12:29PM (#44195627)
      Apparently, Mr. Galache tried to get it through as fast as possible but unfortunately Mr. Banks passed away too soon.

      I hope Mr. Galache does not mind my reposting of his post from [] :

      J.L. Galache on July 2, 2013 at 2:06 am said:
      Dear Iain,

      We never met, and never will, but your words will remain with me forever. Well, until it’s my turn to turn the lights off. And let me be clear that it’s the Sci-Fi words I’ll keep, not the mainstream ones you used to subsidize them. I admit to not having read all your Sci-Fi novels, but I do have a day job, you know?

      Speaking of which, my job as an astronomer at the Minor Planet Center allowed me the opportunity to propose that the International Astronomical Union name an asteroid after you. I really did try hard to get it through the bureaucracy as fast as possible, but alas the naming came a fortnight too late. As I say in my article, I’d like to think you would have been amused by this: []

      Dear Adele,

      I hope you can accept this humble gift on Iain’s behalf. Even if he is ever forgotten (and he won’t be), his name will remain as that of asteroid Iainbanks, a 6.1 km hunk of rock orbiting our Sun between Mars and Jupiter every 3.94 years.

      May it orbit forever.


      —JL Galache
      Minor Planet Center
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Having an asteroid (technically, minor planet) named for you is more of a "who you know" or "who your fans are" situation than an honor held in reserve for the great people of the world. I personally know more than a dozen people who have minor planets named for them, and while most are avid amateur astronomers, only a couple have ever contributed published scientific data. Naming privileges belong to the discoverer of a minor planet, and while they must be reviewed and approved by the IAU, to my knowledg

  • They should name a couple of the asteroids after Culture ships...

    Dramatic Exit, Or, Thank you And Goodnight
    Just Another Victim Of The Ambient Morality
    Synchronize Your Dogmas
    Quietly Confident ...etc...

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