Story at the Guardian, thanks to people in comments below. This is very sad news. He has been a wonderful and prolific writer, whose intelligence and considerable grasp of politics were often concealed by the lightness of his touch. I would have loved it had he written more in the experimental vein of some of his earlier fiction – Walking on Glass is just a lovely book – but am grateful for what he has written. He never got the reception in the US that he deserved – some CT readers may not know his work. Readers interested in his literary side should perhaps start with Walking on Glass or The Wasp Factory (“It is a sick, sick world when the confidence and investment of an astute firm of publishers is justified by a work of unparalleled depravity. There is no denying the bizarre fertility of the author’s imagination: his brilliant dialogue, his cruel humour, his repellent inventiveness. The majority of the literate public, however, will be relieved that only reviewers are obliged to look at any of it.” – The Irish Times), and those more interested in sf should begin with Consider Phlebas or perhaps The Use of Weapons. They’re all wonderful novels, in very different ways.