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These Islands We Sing, edited by Kevin MacNeil, Polygon £9.99

October 5, 2012

In the introduction to These Islands We Sing editor Kevin MacNeil lays out the brief for this anthology: — a remit wide enough to bring in writing from any Scottish island, but distinct enough not to include Highland or other mainland work. And this brings in a useful reminder right from the start....

It’s aboot the labour: William Letford’s ‘Bevel’

September 26, 2012

After William Letford’s Edinburgh International Book Festival reading, which he shared with Cape poet Sean Borodale, one poem dominated the Q&A. ‘The light and dark of Adeona’ describes an encounter between a young man and his somewhat younger – “young for her age,” the poem notes –...

EIBF: Jane Rogers – Dystopian Visions of the Near Future (25/08/12)

August 26, 2012

Jane Rogers’s eighth novel, The Testament of Jessie Lamb, won the 2011 Arthur C. Clarke Award and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Set in a dystopian near future where pregnancy kills, a teenage girl is pulled into a sinister world of martyrdom. Rogers opened with a reading, demonstrating...

EIBF: Stefan Collini – What is the Point of Universities? (24/08/12)

August 25, 2012

Stefan Collini, a professor of English Literature and Intellectual History at the University of Cambridge, wants to know what universities are for – or at least, the title of his latest book suggests as much. It seemed prudent to assume this was rhetorical, but chair James Loxley, a professor from...

EIBF: The Epigenetic Evolution – Rethinking Society through Science (18/08/12)

August 22, 2012

Epigenetics is an emerging scientific field, shedding light on the interactions between nature and nurture. Hosted by Richard Holloway, Nessa Carey, author of The Epigenetic Revolution partook in discussion with Paul Shiels from Glasgow University, and Steven Yearley, director of the ESRC Genomics Policy...

EIBF: Ben Marcus and Charles Fernyhough – Fact and Fiction on Course to the Future (11/08/12)

August 12, 2012

Science and literature aren’t that different – both attempt to elucidate the intricacies of ourselves and our universe. This event saw a union of two very different authors, raising questions on the connections between fact and fiction. The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus presents a world where the...

Edinburgh Reads: Janice Galloway (5/7/12)

July 5, 2012

It’s by no means the first time that Janice Galloway has spoken in front of a literary Edinburgh audience, but beneath the dome of the Central Library’s Reference Library, walls of books all around her, must surely be among the most refined locations on offer in the Scottish capital. Not that Galloway...

Illicit Ink: Invisible Ink (Bongo Club, 1/7/12)

July 2, 2012

Espionage, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is “the practice of spying or of using spies, typically by governments to obtain political and military information.” Within our popular culture, this has been crystalised into either the macho braggadocio of Ian Fleming’s James Bond, or the...

Chris Beckett @ Pulp Fiction Books, with STFU

June 22, 2012

Clichés, it’s often said, should be avoided like the Plague. At the very least they display a lack of freshness, and their usage tends to be considered a badge of inexperience and unoriginality.  Take, for example, the “shaggy god story”, a term coined by the author and critic Brian W Aldiss...

International Short Story Day (20/06/12)

June 20, 2012

When better to celebrate the oft-overlooked short story form than on the shortest night of the year? That was the thinking behind Manchester-based indie short story publisher http://www.commapress.co.uk/ when they set up http://www.internationalshortstoryday.org/, with spoken word events set up in Manchester,...