Category Archives: Scottish

Night at the Museum: Fantasy Scotland. A Retrospective, Part 2

[This post contains material relating to the recent event at the University of Glasgow’s Hunterian Museum, which took place on 24 November 2017. It also contains the quiz, with all the answers!] The Quiz Visitors were asked to find the answers … Continue reading

Posted in Books, General, Scottish | Leave a comment

Night at the Museum: Fantasy Scotland. A Retrospective, Part 1

On Friday 24 November, between 7 and 10 pm, an event took place in The Hunterian Museum at the University of Glasgow. Night at the Museum: Fantasy Scotland was conceived as a celebration of the links between Scotland and the … Continue reading

Posted in Books, General, Scottish | 2 Comments

Celtic Fantasy and War: Patricia Lynch and William Croft Dickinson

[I started thinking about Celtic Fantasy in May, when Geraldine Parsons invited me to take part in a Round Table on the subject with herself and Thomas Clancy at the Centre for Scottish and Celtic Studies here in Glasgow. The event … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Children's Fiction, Irish, Scottish | 2 Comments

Inaugural Address for GIFCON 2017

[I gave a version of this address at the opening of GIFCON 2017 in March, and am publishing it here as a brief historical record of the activities that led up to that event. When I gave it I forgot to mention … Continue reading

Posted in General, Scottish | 1 Comment

W. W. Tarn, The Treasure of the Isle of Mist

Here’s a charming oddity: a children’s book published in 1919, written before the outbreak of the Great War by the celebrated classical scholar Sir William Woodthorpe Tarn for the entertainment of his only daughter. In later life his daughter became … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Children's Fiction, Scottish | 7 Comments

Julie Bertagna, the Exodus Trilogy

Not too surprisingly, literary fantasies of Glasgow are obsessed by the weather. Glasgow is a West Coast city which benefits from the warming influence of the Gulf Stream while enduring a high level of rainfall, as band after band of … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Children's Fiction, Scottish | Leave a comment

Wonders of the Northlands: Hamlet and Macbeth

Hamlet and Macbeth are the Shakespeare plays with the most northerly settings. Elsinore in Denmark, where Hamlet is set, lies pretty much on the same latitude as the Perthshire countryside where much of the action in Macbeth takes place, and … Continue reading

Posted in Early Modern, Scottish, Theatre | Leave a comment

Shakespeare, ‘Tam o’Shanter’, and the Theatrical Works of Robert Burns

This post doesn’t focus on fantasy – though it gets there in the end. I’m putting it up in honour of Burns Night, 25 January; and in response to this recent piece in The Times, which may have slightly over-sensationalised what I’ve been … Continue reading

Posted in Early Modern, Poetry, Scottish, Theatre | Leave a comment

Kirsty Logan, The Gracekeepers

Ursula K. le Guin created an archipelago – drew it first, then wrote about it – as a means of exploring what divides people from each other and how fractured parts can be made whole. Her wanderings through the map … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Scottish | Leave a comment

George MacDonald, The Princess and the Goblin

If ever there was a taproot text – in John Clute’s terms, a fantasy that branches out into a thousand other fantasies – this is it. From the moment when the Princess Irene runs off into the uninhabited regions of … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Children's Fiction, Nineteenth Century, Scottish | 2 Comments