Saturday, September 20, 2008

Medieval technology

And thanks to Steve Augarde via Fidra for making me smile at the end of a truly horrible week.

Or there's this; not so funny but cheering all the same.

Catalysts and black holes

Is it coincidence that so many big banks have imploded all across the world since the switch-on of the big Atom-Smasher (or Large Hadron Collider) in Geneva? Or have they been sucked into big black holes?

I couldn't help wondering, as I've just finished a story inspired by this amazing idea. The story, A Teapot on Pluto, should appear soon on the Young Scottish Book Trust blog where Keith Gray is their first Online Writer in Residence. (Obviously I'll have to buy Keith a few beers for the nice things he said about me.) Meanwhile, you can read and download his story and others here and watch Keith's brilliant podcasts for budding writers here. I've been picking up a few tips.

In a few weeks I'm off to do a run of events for the Catalyst Book Award. ZENITH has been shortlisted, along with books by Berlie Doherty, Cathy MacPhail, Antony Macgowan and Tabitha Suzuma - fantastic writers all. It's a great shortlist and great to be there. Best of all, Catalyst gets teenagers reading and arguing over books.

In November, I'll be involved in an exciting launch with TV's 'Raven' for Our City for the OneCity Trust. It's a project close to my heart and I always wanted to rewrite the story of the Pied Piper - this gave me the perfect chance, with Edinburgh instead of Hamburg as the dramatic setting for a fairytale that haunted me as a child.

And I've just seen the stunning new cover of the US Zenith. More soon!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Pullman and Banksy fight the good fight

Philip Pullman debunks another false god - and Banksy (above) is on side.

"Worshipping the market....: by handing over vast amounts of money to Tesco’s, for example, in order to bring about a miracle – and sure, enough, the god responds: the book they nominate is labelled No. 1 at Tesco’s, and behold! They have a bestseller. In reality, success comes so unpredictably..." Read the rest here, along with Anne Fine.