These days when she dreamed it was as if she were talking face to face with friends long dead, and when she woke she opened her eyes onto sepia tints inside a narrow frame, a dim imitation of her colourful … Continue reading →
I went to listen to Ken MacLeod, Nalo Hopkinson, Charles Stross and Ada Palmer last night at the Edinburgh Book Festival. I haven't yet read Palmer's fiction, but she spoke brilliantly - I especially appreciated her celebration of my favourite manga, Dr Tezuka's Astro Boy, as a utopian project desperately needed by Japan as it rebuilt itself after the Second World War (she argued convincingly that its influence is ubiquitous). This morning I found her Blog, and read the 'about' section, as one does. What came out of this was the impression that Palmer is almost intimidatingly multitalented, but the site also seemed to me to say something hugely important and interesting about the value of scholarly writing as a means of honing one's creative skills - and about the way creative writing can help one hone one's skills as a writer of scholarly arguments.
The whole 'About' section is worth reading as an exercise in fine prose, but do look at the part about how a scholarly argument should be carefully crafted and have an exciting plot. That's gold, I think.
In case anyone happens to be flying from JFK soon... ...
If you are in JFK terminal 4, concourse B, the Delta one, I stealth-signed every single copy of American Gods, in each of the Hudson News outlets, even the stickered 3 for 2 copies. Nobody noticed except for one young traveller, who said 'did you write that book?' and when I said yes, said 'who ARE you?' which seemed an odd question because it was on the front of the book, after all.
Okay, so today I can finally announce that we will definitely be holding a NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM event at the Hunterian Museum on 24 November, with the theme of FANTASY SCOTLAND.
The blurb runs something like this:
'The Hunterian Museum will come to life to celebrate Scotland’s histories and heritage reimagined in fantasy. From Peter Pan to Outlander, modern Scottish fantasy as portrayed in literature, art, film and TV provides the theme for this dazzling event. As well as seeing the museum bathed in atmospheric lighting, visitors can enjoy musical and literary performance, games, themed activity stations and a special guest appearance by The Hunterian’s Homo Habilis, who has been hidden from public view for decades. What real life creature inspired the Loch Ness Monster? What links the Egyptian mummy Lady Shep-en-hor to Scotland? Where in Scotland might you find evidence of the legends of King Arthur? Can you track down the University of Glasgow equivalent of the Sorting Hat at Hogwarts? Just some of the questions you may be able to answer if you join us.'
We'll need help in the shape of ideas, participants, costumes, actors, creative writers, researchers, artists, and boundless enthusiasm. If you're a fan of Outlander, Highlander, Brave, Doctor Who, Peter Pan, Harry Potter, Jekyll and Hyde, King Arthur, Brigadoon, Dog Soldiers, World War Z, Grant Morrison, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Alasdair Gray, the Loch Ness Monster, or anything else that links Scotland's heritage to fantasy, this is your chance to give your enthusiasm expression in the gorgeous surroundings of the University's most spectacular interior space!
Homo Habilis will be there (we hope!). Who can resist? ...