Author Iain Banks dies aged 59
Tributes have been paid to best-selling author Iain Banks, who has died aged 59.
Banks, best known for his cult novel The Wasp Factory, announced in April that he had been diagnosed with gall bladder cancer and had just months to live.
A statement from his publisher Little, Brown said: "Banks has been one of the country's best-loved novelists for both his mainstream and science fiction books since the publication of his first novel, The Wasp Factory.
"Just three weeks ago he was presented with finished copies of his last novel, The Quarry, and enjoyed celebration parties with old friends and fans across the publishing world.
"Iain Banks's ability to combine the most fertile of imaginations with his own highly distinctive brand of gothic humour made him unique. He is an irreplaceable part of the literary world."
A message on a website set up to provide updates to family, friends and fans, quoted his wife Adele saying: "Iain died in the early hours this morning (Sunday). His death was calm and without pain."
Following his diagnosis, Banks withdrew from all planned public engagements and married his long-term partner. He announced in a statement on April 3 that The Quarry would be his last novel.
Banks published his debut The Wasp Factory in 1984 and his first sci-fi title, Consider Phlebas, came three years later.
His novel The Crow Road, which opens with the memorable line "It was the day my grandmother exploded", was adapted for a popular television series in 1996.
In 2008, Banks was named one of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945 in a list compiled by The Times.