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Photo by Murdo MacLeod on The Guardian

Iain Banks


Simon and Schuster




Simon and Schuster




Iain Banks



What makes Iain Banks a Global Shaker?

It has become apparent that the ideas that authors have had within their novels have become reality years after they were originally conceived. George Orwell’s foresight into the proliferation of government surveillance in 1984 is among an array of other technological advances in his story that appear more eerily accurate with every coming day. William Gibson predicted the rise of cyberspace and computer hackers in Neuromancer, while HG Wells predicted the atomic bomb in The World Set Free.

All of these ideas became came to fruition decades after these writers brought the topics to light. Similarly, Iain Banks created the concept of a neural lace in his fictional universe in The Culture.

Banks’ conceptualisation inspired Elon Musk to try and create a brain-machine interface that would allow users to control computers just by thinking. Musk’s company Neuralink aims to make this kind of interface a reality by using such technology to treat brain diseases and eventually strive for human enhancement.

It seems like technology is catching up with the imagination of writers.

Last updated: April 10, 2019