In a post on the author’s website he said that doctors had discovered he was suffering from cancer of the gall bladder.

“I have cancer. It started in my gall bladder, has infected both lobes of my liver and probably also my pancreas and some lymph nodes,” wrote Banks.

“The bottom line, now, I’m afraid, is that as a late stage gall bladder cancer patient, I’m expected to live for ‘several months’ and it’s extremely unlikely I’ll live beyond a year.”

Banks, 59, who has had more than 25 books published, revealed that he is set to marry his longterm partner, Adele Hartley, founder of the Dead by Dawn film festival.

“I’ve asked my partner Adele if she will do me the honour of becoming my widow,” read the author’s statement.

Banks revealed that the publication of his latest novel The Quarry will be brought forward, ti “give me a better chance of being around when it hits the shelves”.

Banks went on to praise, in glowing terms, the quality of the NHS service he received which he said was “deeply impressive”.

Banks came to prominence with the publication of his novel The Wasp Factory and has maintained two parallel careers in literary faction and sci-fi.

Image via CC: Chris Boland