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Iain M. Banks Gets Asteroid Named After Him

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the singing-a-song-of-stone dept.

Space 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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30 comments

evangelical athiest (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 10 months ago | (#44194641)

Is an oxymoron until you get to the 5th definition

Re:evangelical athiest (1)

Empiric (675968) | about 10 months ago | (#44194817)

"So, anything else you don't believe in?"

-- Steve Fox / Robert Downey Jr., The Soloist

Re:evangelical athiest (1)

Titus Groan (2834723) | about 10 months ago | (#44197305)

evangelical is from the greek Îá½Î±ÎÎÎÎÎÎν (via latin the latin, evangelium) which means "good news" good news is there is no god, get off your knees and enjoy life. No oxymoron, just morons that think so.

Hehe (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44194677)

Fear not Citizen! Glorious Leader Obummer is protecting us from Eastasia who we have always been at war with.

Whisky not Whiskey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44194697)

Whisky is the fine stuff made in Scotland, Whiskey is that weird tasting stuff made in foreign parts.

Re:Whisky not Whiskey (1)

Edward Coffin (256305) | about 10 months ago | (#44194775)

Strangely, the quoted text was apparently not cut-and-pasted, since both the linked article and the IAU page correctly use the word whisky. The incorrect whiskey only appears here.

Re:Whisky not Whiskey (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 10 months ago | (#44194831)

Strangely, the quoted text was apparently not cut-and-pasted, since both the linked article and the IAU page correctly use the word whisky. The incorrect whiskey only appears here.

It was also correct in the submission text. Soulskill edited it when posting. Once again displaying how incompetent the staff is.

Re:Whisky not Whiskey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44195133)

Strangely, the quoted text was apparently not cut-and-pasted, since both the linked article and the IAU page correctly use the word whisky. The incorrect whiskey only appears here.

It was also correct in the submission text. Soulskill edited it when posting. Once again displaying how incompetent the staff is.

As an American I apologize both for the spelling in the summary, and for whiskey.

Re:Whisky not Whiskey (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 10 months ago | (#44194837)

Whisky is the fine stuff made in Scotland, Whiskey is that weird tasting stuff made in foreign parts.

You mean those foreign parts where people can't spell Uisge?

Minor corrections... (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about 10 months ago | (#44194719)

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 Scottish writer best known for the Culture series of science fiction novels

Re:Minor corrections... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44194755)

If you haven't done so already, you should check out Walking on Glass. It's not his best writing, but it's my favourite story

Re:Minor corrections... (1)

Quantum gravity (2576857) | about 10 months ago | (#44195447)

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.

As a tribute to Mr. Banks (2)

Minwee (522556) | about 10 months ago | (#44194863)

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.

Re:As a tribute to Mr. Banks (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 10 months ago | (#44198517)

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?

Re:As a tribute to Mr. Banks (1)

Minwee (522556) | about 10 months ago | (#44217231)

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"?

Re:As a tribute to Mr. Banks (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 10 months ago | (#44217409)

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.

Re:As a tribute to Mr. Banks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44198711)

At least it is "Against a dark background".

posthumous (1)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 10 months ago | (#44194875)

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

Re:posthumous (4, Interesting)

MeepMeep (111932) | about 10 months ago | (#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 http://friends.banksophilia.com/guestbook [banksophilia.com] :

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:

http://minorplanetcenter.net/blog/sci-fi-author-iain-m-banks-gets-asteroid-named-after-him/ [minorplanetcenter.net]

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.

Yours,

—JL Galache
Astronomer
Minor Planet Center

"and enjoyed writing music" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44196129)

That's total news to me. I'd love to perform something of his for my congregation in his honor. Does anyone know if anything is available for purchase?

Asteroid naming (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44196213)

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 knowledge the process involves rejection of duplicate names or those which may be considered obscene, vulgar or potentially offensive. There are minor planets named for fictional characters (2309 Mr. Spock), movie stars (19578 Kirkdouglas), rock bands (19383 Rolling Stones) and even pets, although the latter is discouraged. The availability of digital imaging technology combined with computerized plate inspection in the past few decades increased the number of known asteroids tremendously. Many people involved in survey work developed queues of objects to name, and if you happened to be friends with one of them, there was a good chance yours might be submitted.

http://www.iau.org/public/themes/naming/#minorplanets

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