Iain Menzies Banks was born in Fife, Scotland and was educated at The University of Sterling (BA, 1975), and later received honorary doctorates from several universities, including the University of Stirling. Banks worked as a nondestructive testing technician, Glasgow, 1977; as an expediter-analyzer, Greenock, Scotland; and as a solicitor's clerk, London, 1980-1984, before becoming a full-time writer in the mid-1980s.
He writes as Iain Banks for his non-SF works aimed at a more general audience. Only about half of his writing is SF, but even his mainstream work often had SF elements. His first SF publication was "A Gift from the Culture" in Interzone (Summer, 1987); his first SF novel was Consider Phlebas (1987); and his first SF collection was The State of the Art (1991).
His honors/awards include ESFS Award (Best Author), 1993; BSFA (Novel) for Feersum Endjinn, 1995, for Excession, 1997; Best International Novel Italia Award for Inversions, 2004; and many other awards and award nominations. In 1993 he was named one of the Best of Young British Writers. The asteroid (5099) Iainbanks was named after him shortly after his death.
- 1987 — Novacon 17
- 1990 — Eastcon
- 1991 — Finncon
- 1992 — Scone
- 1994 — Picocon 12
- 1995 — Novacon 25
- 2007 — Mecon 10
- 2010 — Novacon 40, Odyssey 2010
- 2017 — Ghost of Honor at FOGcon 7
For more on his career, see http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/banks_iain_m