Ever since.

Ever since.

I don’t remember what the next word was going to be. “Ever since you wrote ‘The Bridge’…”? “Ever since I moved to Edinburgh…”? I paused over the impropriety of using only his first name in the address.

I dithered. And now it is too late: I lost my chance to tell him how much his words meant to me.

In honour of Iain (M.) Banks, Illicit Ink will present a night of paradise-themed fiction at the Bongo Club on Sunday, 7 July at 20:00. The event is called “This Side of Paradise” and I feel lucky, grateful, and more than a little terrified to be a part of it.

It’s not quite a second chance. I’ll take it.