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.
So Storyshop was awesome. Really enjoyed it. Managed to write a brand new story that had no swearing, sex or violence. I’d been reading about coastal erosion and had just watched (for the first time since I was a kid) that version of ‘Whistle and I will come to you’ starring Michael Hordern. I’d forgotten how awesome the adaptation was. So spooky and atmospheric. Well worth seeing if you haven’t already. And if you haven’t read the story either, do so, MR James is one of the finest ghost story writers Britain has ever produced. You won’t regret it. So the point of this is that I wrote a classic ghost story inspired by the above. Just need a home for it now.
I’m such a doofus! I killed my site the other week and had to get a pal to resurrect it for me. I’m all for things coming back from the dead, especially when it’s my website! Anyway, realise I’ve not posted for an age so expect some rapid updates in the next wee while.
Late October is traditionally the time of year when our ancestors huddled closer to the fireside, glancing fearfully now and then at the rattling door lest the storm outside was about to unleash some frightful creature of the night upon them.
Well, never mind all that bollocks. This is the 21st century, after all, and the thing to do at Halloween is huddle round your pint, as those creatures of the night Writers’ Bloc read tales of mayhem and immoderate threat in the Pleasance Cabaret Bar.
This outing does promise a more feminine — if not necessarily softer — side of Bloc than usual, with Morag Edward, Jane McKie and new comrade Kirsti Wishart all presenting new stories for your delectation.
All this plus the usual undead European white males. We can’t promise you the crème de la crème, but perhaps the crème de la slime …
Writers appearing at The Slime of Miss Jean Brodie will include: Stefan Pearson, Morag Edward, Jane McKie, Kirsti Wishart, Andrew C. Ferguson, Andrew J. Wilson and Gavin Inglis.
8pm, Thursday 29th October, Pleasance Cabaret Bar, 60 The Pleasance, Edinburgh. Admission £3 for the crème de la crème or £2 concessions.
I’ll be reading again at the fabulous Story Shop organised by Edinburgh City of Literature. I read there last year and had a blast, so I am delighted I’ve been invited back for a second year. Of course the challenge now is to find a short story of mine that doesn’t feature sex, bad language and/or violence (or any combination of those). Sure I’ll manage something. I can always do a radio 1 edit.
You can catch me at 4.00pm on Wednesday the 19th August in the Festivak Booshop tent. I will be sporting an author’s pass, a silly grin and a glass of wine.
My story D’ya know me? that I read recently at the Genomics Forum gig (see the previous post) has been published on the website of The Human Genre Project, something I’m particularly pleased about. Thanks to Ken Macleod for including it and conceiving and hosting such an exciting literary concept.
The Human Genre Project is a collection of new writing in very short forms — short stories, flash fictions, reflections, poems — inspired by genes and genomics.
Starting with just a few pieces at its launch in July 2009, the collection will grow and develop over time. Please check back regularly to see what has been added.
The project was conceived by Ken MacLeod, writer in residence at the Genomics Forum, who also edits the collection, and was inspired by Michael Swanwick’s Periodic Table of Science Fiction.
The Human Genre Project is an initiative of the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum, part of the ESRC Genomics Network, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and based at The University of Edinburgh.