Big Issue Book Reviews

In the last four months I’ve reviewed these books in The Big Issue magazine:
Kem Nunn, Tapping the Source (No Exit)
Ambrose Parry, The Way of All Flesh (Canongate)
Cixin Liu, Ball Lightning (Head of Zeus)
S.J. Morden, One Way (Gollancz)
Sayaka Murata, Convenience Store Woman (Portobello)
Spencer Wise, The Emperor of Shoes (No Exit)
Megan Abbott, Give Me Your Hand (Picador)
Michael Redhill, Bellevue Square (No Exit)
Martyn Waites, The Old Religion (Bonnier Zaffre)
Steve Cavanagh, Thirteen (Orion)
Nick Drnaso, Sabrina (Granta)
Tim Winton, The Shepherd’s Hut (Picador)
Malachy Tallack, The Valley at the Centre of the World (Canongate)
Amanda Jennings, The Cliff House (HQ)
Margo Jefferson, On Michael Jackson (Granta)
Michael Chabon, Pops (4th Estate)
Sadly, due to their website’s idiosyncrasies, many of the reviews aren’t up there. Anyhow, here’s one, for Sayaka Murata’s Convenience Store Woman, which is astonishing and weird and unique. (p.s. I’m aware there are many more male writers than female in this list, but my reviews are gender balanced over the year.)
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Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers on the Radio

In all the stushie around festival time, I forgot to post this. The Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers appeared on The Afternoon Show on Radio Scotland, playing tunes and chatting to Janice Forsyth and Grant Stott. You can listen here. We play ‘Psycho Killer’ at the start, then pop up at 1hr 42mins for a blether, then close the show with ‘Down in the Tube Station at Midnight’. Sounds not to shabby, I reckon.

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Art Walk Porty

Hey, I did a wee bit of radio journalism yesterday on The Afternoon Show on Radio Scotland, interviewing Rosy Naylor about Art Walk Porty, which she has organised. 27 mins in.

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Victorious Festival This Weekend


I’m stepping out from behind the drum kit this weekend, performing at the Victorious Festival in Portsmouth. I’ll be reading and playing some tunes at 6pm on Saturday on the Literacy Live stage, which means you can just squeeze me in between Gaz Coombes and The Cribs. Looking forward to explaining my black eye over and over again some more.

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Writers Who Inspire Me

Here’s a thing I recorded for the Royal Literary Fund about writers who inspire me, in which I talk about the amazing Iain Banks and James Sallis. Enjoy!

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Lots of Edinburgh Festival Action!


Doug will be behind the drums again when the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers return to the scene of our first ever show, at the Edinburgh Book Festival TONIGHT, 9pm. It’s FREE to get in, but get there early, it will be rammed. We’re also appearing on The Afternoon Show on Radio Scotland TODAY at 2pm, and Doug and Val from the band are appearing on Loose Ends on Radio Four this Saturday at 6.15pm. Fun, eh?

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NEW SCOTLAND, NEW TROUBLE – I think that’s what Edinburgh Book Festival have called my event there this year. Anyhoo, it’s me and Malcolm Mackay talking about our speculative crime fiction novels set in alternate Scotlands. Just finished Malcolm’s book, the excellently titled IN THE CAGE WHERE YOUR SAVIOURS HIDE, and it’s terrific. Much to blether about. It’s this Saturday, 7pm in Charlotte Square – do come!

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