Specifically, I recently heard the story of Ed Gein, and how it influenced the movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I'm wondering if either inspired the story of the Chairmaker. Are there any citations of these, or other works, as influences?
Actually, it appears that short story "The Form of the Sword" by Jorge Luis Borges may be a direct inspiration for the background plot of the "Use of weapons". Now, I have no way to prove or disprove this, but we know for sure that Banks was quite fond of Borges' work.