So that’s my French Odyssey at an end. I’m back in Edinburgh and in my old flat. I have a new job. So all good. I’m writing again too. I’m on the last three chapters of my French opus, A Beer in Provence. I’ll post occasional snippets here as I go along. I attended my fist crit group the other week too and met some of our newer members, which was great. Very excited about having some new blood and new perspectives. I’ll no doubt be reading at some point soon as well – at the next Bloc show most likely. I’ll keep you posted.
Archive for the ‘writing’ Category
Some of you may not know, but I’ve upped ship and I now live in Provence. Aix-en-Provence to be precise. Of course this means I won’t be attending many bloc shows in the near future, but I do plan to get back over for guest slots every now and then. And of course, once I’m properly settled, I’ll get back to the writing, promise.
I’m going to be reading again at the wonderful Taste of the Fringe free night of stellar entertainment at The Banshee Labyrinth. The ever-dapper Gavin Inglis will also be reading. We are on from around 9.
We’re pure-mad excited over here at the Bloc Command Bunker. The next show is in the offing and it’s set to be the mutt’s proverbials. Planet of the Apps will be about all things techy, social media, webby, and with buttons that are just too small. Expect new stories about: next-generation Nigerian 409 scams; burlesque-themed alien abductions; stalkings via social media; park keepers dealing with digital debris; and a steamy extension to the Dewey Decimal System, all performed with our trademark energy and verve.
Planet of the Apps takes place at the Ghillie Dhu, 2-6 Rutland Place, Edinburgh EH1 2AD, on Wednesday 21st July from 8pm. Admission is an affordable £4 (£2 concessions).
We’re trying something new too! We plan to have a live twitter feed during the show and we want you to get involved. As well as your general Bloc chat, we want you to submit twitter short stories leading up to and even during the show. The best story will receive a prize (more about that soon) and we’ll publish our favourites on the Bloc site.
Even more fun than that, we’re handing creative control to you, our beloved audience. As you may know, the titles for Bloc shows are rigorously researched months in advance, and much care and deliberation goes into the choice of theme and title…… honest.
Anyway, we want you guys to submit your ideas for themes and or titles for the show following our signature Halloween show. We’ll let you vote on the night for the best title/theme and we’ll make that the focus of our post-Halloween show. You have been warned.
You can follow us on twitter as Writers_Bloc_UK and use the hashtag #blocshow for all your tweets.
‘App killed App! App killed App!’
Nick Cave, David Whitehouse and Jed Milroy are this month’s guests, hosted by Salena
For the culturally curious and lovers of after-hours good times, Canongate Books are
joining forces with the Edinburgh International Film Festival for a midsummer,
film-spiked installment of their unique literary club night, Irregular. Expect treats for
the ears and eyes with great writers, short films and the best in live music and DJs, all
savoured beneath the fabulous (deconsecrated) arches of one of Edinburgh?s most
breathtaking gothic spaces.
This month we are hugely excited to be joined by the legendary Nick Cave, who will be
reading from the newly published paperback of his bestselling novel The Death of Bunny
Munro, a brilliant, dark and provocative tale of one man?s road to ruin.
David Whitehouse will give a sneak preview of his debut novel Bed, published by Canongate
in 2011, an enchanting tale of two brothers and why one just won?t get out of bed. The
book tackles mortality, decay, obesity and depression, and yet it is life-affirming,
warm, moving and utterly unforgettable. David will also be showing his short film The
Archivist (Warp Films), which opened the BBC Electric Proms in 2008 and won accolades at
Berlin and Seattle Film Festivals.
Irregular will be the first to screen an exclusive interview with ?godfather of hip hop?
Gil Scot-Heron from Ridley Scott?s RSA Films. Canongate recently reissued his novels The
Vulture and The Nigger Factory, and poetry collection Now and Then, alongside his
critically-acclaimed new album I?m New Here, released earlier this year on XL Records.
Taking a break from touring with The Aliens, roving musician Jed Milroy will complete
this stellar line up with sweet melodies and finger-picking acoustic songs summoning wild
places and beautiful people.
The evening will be hosted by Salena Godden, one of the biggest names on the poetry scene
and The General of The Book Club Boutique, Soho’s hippest literary salon.
Ticket at Venue
Tickets £8/£6 on the door.
Advance tickets available from www.roxyarthouse.org.
Catch me at the Banshee Labyrinth (formerly Nichol Edwards) next Tuesday night. I’ll be reading something violent/strange/horrific/sweary and/or pornographic. Possibly all of the above. Times to be confirmed. A great night of free entertainment in the wee cinema room through the back.
The Library opens its doors after hours for this first evening of spoken word and performance. Gutter is Scotland’s new independent magazine of fiction and poetry. Under the eye of tonight’s master of ceremonies, Mr Alan Bissett, well known names and some new writers on the block will present their diverse, delicate and sometimes dangerous work. The bar will be open, so come and enjoy what Gutter has to offer.
NATIONAL LIBRARY OF SCOTLAND
George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EW
When it looked like Ken MacLeod’s next book, The Restoration Game, would be published in March rather than in July, Blackwell’s on South Bridge very kindly and cannily offered to host a launch party at (6:30 for) 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday 17 March at the nearby Pleasance Theatre. We’ll have to wait another four months to see the novel, but the event is still on — and you’re invited.
It will now consist of readings followed by discussion with Ken, and Writers’ Bloc personnel Charles Stross and Andrew J. Wilson. Ken’s own reading will be from The Restoration Game, and anyone pre-ordering at the event will get an early copy (signed, if you like). Charlie may well be reading from his novel-in-progress, Rule 34, and Andrew will offer a short story.
This event is ticketed, but all tickets are FREE. Tickets are available from the front desk at Blackwell Bookshop, 53-59 South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1YS. For more information or to reserve tickets, please contact Ann Landmann on 0131 622 8206 or
The Restoration Game has been briefly and favourably reviewed in The Guardian [www.guardian.co.uk]:
As ever, MacLeod’s grasp of political intrigue is first rate, and in Lucy he’s created a complex heroine forever in doubt as to the true nature of events.
Hope you can make it,
Bloc’s very own Andrew Ferguson and Morag Edward have both published new Bloc Press chapbooks. You can pick these up at our shows (naturally), direct from Writers Bloc, in Teansreal Fiction or Wordpower books.
The secret of Scottish Football
Fife has spawned many famous footballers: Celtic goalie John Thomson; Liverpool favourite Billy Liddell; and the legendary ‘Gentleman Jim’ Baxter. All grew up in tough, hard-drinking mining communities and cut their teeth in the local leagues.
Fife also has its share of the supernatural. Witches, wizards, bogles and fairies have traversed the ancient Kingdom, their stories grimmer than the half-time pies at Stark’s Park. These stories weave the two together in a blend of football magic, secret knowledge, and the native Fife patois.
“…all the energy and vigour of early Irvine Welsh, but with far more humour and nuance.” – Scotland on Sunday
Nil by mouth
Feeling hungry? Get your teeth into five twisted culinary tales accompanied by recipes that Delia would never dare to print.
In Pie for Tea, an elderly lady takes an uncompromising stance on vegetarianism. A betrayed lover cooks up a grisly revenge in Anniversary. And the Highland myth, Fluir na h’Alba reveals a plat that sinners should avoid.
Featuring ill-advised ingredients and macabre methods, Nil By Mouth lends new meaning to the phrase, “You are what you eat.” This collection comes with no Health and Safety guarantees.
Leading science fiction and fantasy novelists Richard Morgan, Ken MacLeod, Hal Duncan and Mike Cobley discuss the shape of things to come with editor and critic Andrew J. Wilson. Can things only get better or do we have to look over a mountain of rubble to see beyond the next fifty years? Scottish writers are leading a renaissance in British speculative fiction, but does our national identity have any future at all? Join the panel for a lively debate punctuated with short, sharp and shocking stories and some very special surprise guests.
You can buy tickets on the site here.