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Dr Matteo Farinella & Dr Hana Ros - Neurocomic

27 Aug 20134 stars

A Wellcome Trust-backed graphic guide to the brain

How does the brain work? And what exactly is a neurotransmitter, serotonin or a synapse? Not, perhaps, questions pondered every day but if you ever require a quick and (relatively) simple guide to what scientists have learned about the brain, this…

Elizabeth Laird - The Lure of the Honeybird

27 Aug 20134 stars

A fascinating collection of Ethiopian stories framed within a warm, empathetic travel memoir

‘Teret, teret, ye lam beret’ (once upon a time), there was a husband who turned a man into a donkey, a God who sat on a rock slitting his penis and a tyrannous king. While this roundup suggests that Elizabeth Laird has strayed into fairy-tale territory…

Interview: Gary Gibson, author of Marauder

27 Aug 2013

The writer discusses his influences and writing the Shoal Sequence

How would you describe your work? My work gets compared to writers like Neal Asher and Peter Hamilton but, in my head, I’m trying to write like Greg Bear and other American hard SF writers I grew up reading – but then, Neal and Peter probably read the…

Jo Nesbo, William McIlvanney and Lee Child lined up for Bloody Scotland 2013

27 Aug 2013

Co-founder and crime author Lin Anderson looks forward to this year's crime fiction fest

Bloody Scotland Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival returns in September after a hugely successful entrance into the festival fray in 2012 ‘It was a great idea waiting to happen’, says Lin Anderson, one of Bloody Scotland’s co-founding…

Literary magazine review: Gutter issue 9

27 Aug 20133 stars

The literary magazine has a high standard but lacks truly original new voices

Gutter’s clean cover design and minimalist layout reveals the disconnection between its intentions – the word ‘gutter’ conjuring a sense of Trainspotting grittiness – and what it actually delivers: proficient MLitt Creative Writing-type prose. The…

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Matt Bell - In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods

27 Aug 20133 stars

Like its title, Bell's dark fable is beautifully written but a bit too long

Much like its title, Matt Bell’s debut novel In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods is beautifully written but a bit too long. Bell successfully turns a tale of marriage in crisis into a dark fable, set in the mythical realm of…

Pedro Lenz - Naw Much of a Talker

27 Aug 20134 stars

Donal McLaughlin's Glaswegian translation of the original Swiss text is raw and poignant

Inspired by a six-month residency in Glasgow, Swiss writer Pedro Lenz wrote this short, sharp novel in his native language; now it arrives in a remarkable translation into Glaswegian dialect by Donal McLaughlin. As the title ironically implies, it’s all…

Sally Magnusson - Horace the Haggis and the Ghost Dog

27 Aug 20134 stars

Magnusson's follows up her children's book Horace and the Haggis Hunter with an enjoyable sequel

It’s just over a year since Sally Magnusson jumped from behind the news desk onto children’s book shelves with one graceful leap. The new role must suit her, because Magnusson’s likeable hero, Horace the Haggis, is back for an even more exciting…

Interview: Eoin Colfer set for 2013 Bloody Scotland book festival

23 Aug 2013

Author of Artemis Fowl and Daniel McEvoy books talks Watership Down, David Gilmore and marmalade-on-

First record you ever bought. K-Tel’s Music Explosion featuring ‘Love me Love my Dog’ by Peter Shelley. Last extravagant purchase you made. Convertible Lexus (in Ireland? Insane). First film you saw that really moved you Watership Down. Last lie you…

Authors Helen FitzGerald and Sophie McKenzie explore dark territory at EIBF 2013

22 Aug 2013

The most recent books by the writers (The Cry and Close My Eyes respectively) explore parental fears

Here are two writers taking steps out of their comfort zones into darker territory, as Australian-born, Glasgow-based writer Helen FitzGerald explains: ‘I’ve never started with an inciting incident as terrible and as overwhelming as this before. It set…

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Fairest 2: Hidden Kingdom reimagines Rapunzel as an anime heroine

22 Aug 2013

Author Lauren Beukes and artist Inaki Miranda will discuss the comic at EIBF 2013

Rapunzel lets down her hair in Hidden Kingdom, the latest storyline in the Fairest comics which spun off from popular reinvented-fairytales series Fables. This version of the character isn’t just a girl who couldn’t get a hairdresser’s appointment, but…

Filmmaker and conservationist Ceri Levy to appear at Edinburgh International Book Festival 2013

22 Aug 2013

Levy will be discussing Extinct Boids, her project with Hunter S Thompson illustrator Ralph Steadman

In 2010, Ceri Levy – filmmaker for Blur and Gorillaz, and latterly a conservationist – approached Ralph Steadman about the prospect of creating a piece for Levy’s Ghosts of Gone Birds exhibition in London. Steadman, whose Indian ink flourishes have…

Margaret Atwood set for Edinburgh International Book Festival 2013

22 Aug 2013

Discussion of The Blind Assassin and her newest work MaddAdda

Margaret Atwood makes a welcome return to the Book Festival with MaddAddam, the concluding book in her disturbingly credible dystopian trilogy, begun in 2003 with the Booker-shortlisted Oryx and Crake. This is the first time one of her novels has…

Pulitzer Prize-winner Paul Harding returns to the world of Tinker with Enon

22 Aug 2013

Harding will discuss the new adventures of Tinker's Charlie Crosby at the EIBF 2013

Paul Harding won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his debut novel Tinkers. This year he visits Edinburgh to discuss his latest book, Enon, which is narrated by Charlie Crosby, a relative of the dying protagonist in Tinkers. Charlie is also…

Top 5 literary heatwaves at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2013

22 Aug 2013

Margaret Atwood, Jonathan Jones and Chris Dolan deliver some of the hottest Book Fest events

Whether the sun is shining or it’s raining so much that yellow plastic ducks pop up in the puddles, things are getting damn steamy at Charlotte Square Gardens. Put extra ice in your drink and delve into these high-temperature books. Jonathan…

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US humourist David Sedaris entertains at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

22 Aug 2013

Author's events follow the publication of his essay collection, Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls

With over seven million book sales and a Grammy nomination for the Carnegie Hall recording of his droll essays, David Sedaris could be forgiven for resting on his laurels. But the American humorist and author is back on the road, returning to the…

Luke Wright: Essex Lion

22 Aug 20134 stars

Showcasing the poet's electric delivery and carefully sculpted craft

In case you missed last year's silly season scoop, Luke Wright's sweary titular poem recounts the tale of Essex natives losing their shit after spying a lion in a field. (Spoiler alert: was not a lion). Their impotently impassioned refrain, 'We fucking…

Scroobius Pip - Words

22 Aug 20134 stars

Spoken word mastery

A dark figure walks onto the stage to the boisterous cheers and applause of a packed crowd. With his black leather jacket, black slacks and long black beard, Scroobius Pip exudes an obscure aura and powerful charisma which instantly captures the…

Author and historian William Dalrymple sees history repeating itself in Afghanistan

20 Aug 2013

His book, The Return of a King, draws parallels between historic and modern conflicts in the country

Renowned Scottish historian and travel writer William Dalrymple invites us to consider the striking parallels between the current situation in Afghanistan and the first Anglo-Afghan War of 1839-42. His book on the subject, The Return of a King, earned…

An interview with award winning author Sue Peebles

18 Aug 2013

The Arbroath-born author talks about success, psychology and inspiration

Sue Peebles was born in Arbroath in 1955 and spent some of her childhood in Detroit before returning to Scotland, where she now lives. Since graduating in psychology, she has worked as a social worker and university lecturer. Her debut novel, The Death…

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Edinburgh International Book Fest 2013 puts feminism under the spotlight

16 Aug 2013

Fifty Shades of Feminism and Where Have all the Brave Girls Gone? are 2 shows unscared of the F word

Sometimes, as Tammy Wynette sang, it’s hard to be a woman. And when every week sees a new online controversy about a broadcaster’s sexist remarks, a rape victim being blamed or a politician’s attempts to enforce 1950s sexual mores, it can feel to many…

James Robertson remembers Lockerbie in The Professor of Truth

16 Aug 2013

The author will attend the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2013 to discuss his latest novel

It’s inevitable that Robertson’s latest novel, The Professor of Truth, about a man who loses his wife and child in a terrorist attack on a plane that crashes into the Scottish countryside, should make readers think about Lockerbie, and wonder if this is…

John Fardell, Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison among the highlights at Stripped 2013

16 Aug 2013

The Edinburgh International Book Festival's events series celebrates the medium of graphic novels

John Fardell Edinburgh cartoonist and writer John Fardell is a favourite with two very different audiences. Many know him for his work on adults only comic Viz where he draws The Modern Parents and The Critics amongst others, skewering the pomposity of…

Melvin Burgess & Jeremy Dyson

14 Aug 2013

Hauntings and hunger at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

One of the pleasures of EIBF’s many double-headers is the way they uncover connections between disparate writers. Melvin Burgess is best known for his award-winning YA social realist fiction, while Jeremy Dyson is the non-performing writer from The…

Salman Rushdie and John Freeman at the 2013 Edinburgh International Book Festival

13 Aug 2013

Conversation between authors on free speech and the clash between East and West

The conversation between Salman Rushdie and John Freeman, former editor of Granta at the Edinburgh International Book Festival played out to a packed audience interested to hear this man whose life and work reflects the massive culture clashes in our…