10 Famous Authors Who Made Unlikely Genre Jumps

Iain Banks

Scottish literary writer Iain Banks (The Wasp Factory) and Scottish science fiction writer Iain M. Banks (Consider Phlebas) and have sufficiently different bodies of work that people sometimes wonder if they’re the same person at all – perhaps the genre writer uses his middle initial to differentiate himself from the literary writer, much as John Ross Macdonald took to using his middle name to distinguish himself from his famous contemporary, John D. MacDonald?  Well, yes and no: the middle initial is for differentiation, but Iain and Iain M. are the same person, and he’s won raves on both sides of the genre/mainstream split.