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I Zeebrugge: A hero’s story Step en Homewood (Bloomsbury £3.50) A critical account of the disaster by one of the crew who is now sueing Townsend Thorenson. Despite the medal. he doesn‘t feel like a hero. but has written ‘as a tribute to the brave ofthat night‘.
on the subjects ‘God. Man & Mrs
Thatcher‘. ‘The Bankruptcy ofthe Left‘ and ‘A Passionate Defence of the Labour Party‘ respectively. Costing £2.99 each. these three will be followed by two more pamphlets every month by such luminaries and dignitaries as Neal Ascherson. Tessa
form. The first volume. ‘On The Streets: A Journey through London with the Young Homeless‘. is by journalist Michelle Beauchamp. Others available later in 1989 cover genetic engineering and inner cities. I THE SECOND EDITION of the'full Oxford English Dictionary is
(Rosemary Goring) Blackstone. Margaret Drabble. Paul published on 30 March. It‘s been five FOOL George Melly. Mary yearsin the makingand costsasnip Warnock. Marina Warner and at £1500 for the entire cupboardful. CO Glasgow man.“ many 9thers. With this I COLLINS have just announced the Welcome ICVWZ‘I Of an age-old latest mega-bucks literary awards. In
ON THE SOLES
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SERIOUSLY FUNNY NOVEL
I Dublin poet Sebastian Barry will read from his work at the Collins Gallery. Richmond Street on Friday 10 March. 1.15—2pm. Admission free.
I Katherine Gallagher and Amanda Eason (from Australia and New Zealand respectively) will read their poems at the Collins Gallery. Richmond Street on Tuesday 14 March. 1.15—2pm. Admission free. I Iain Banks will be signing copies of the new Futura edition of ‘The Bridge‘ at Forbidden Planet. 168 Buchanan Street Tuesday 14 March. 5—6pm.
I Scottish Writing Today This year‘s Book Trust Scotland exhibition opens on Wed 15 March. Around 81x1 books published recently by Scottish publishers or of Scottish interest will be on display until 28 March (Mon—Fri 10am—5pm at 15a Lynedoch Street. 041 331 2645).
I Alasdair Gray will read from his new book 01d Negatives at Hatchards. 50 Gordon Street. 221 0262. Thurs 16 March. 7pm for 7.30pm (wine will be served).
I Anne Fine will read from her new book Goggle Eyes at llatchards. 50 Gordon Street. 221 0262. Wed 22 March. 7.30pm for 8pm (wine will be served).
I Japanese poet Gozo Yosbimasu will be reading. accompanied by improvised music from Karen Wimhurst. at St Cecilia‘s Hall on 14 March at 7.30pm. Tickets on the door cost £5. which includes wine. Iain Banks will be signing copies of The Bridge‘ (see above) at the Science Fiction Bookshop. 17 West Crosscauseway on Wednesday 15 March. 5—6pm.
I A SHEHHATT & HUGHES is due to open in Edinburgh on 25 March at 13/14 Princes Street which will fan the ﬂames of the hitherto quiet bookshop front in the city. Unlike Glasgow‘s. the Edinburgh quota of bookshops has remained static for
publishing tradition. Chatto hope to stimulate debate. action. rage. and anything else a lethargiC/despairing public can manage.
I POLYGON have introduced a new series of books on Scottish culture and politics. ‘Determinations‘. in a similar polemical vein. ‘The Eclipse ofScottish Culturc‘. ‘Tories in Trouble‘ and ‘A Claim of Right for Scotland‘ are the shape of things to come (out in May and June).
I HAHHAP publish the first in their new series ‘Signals‘ in May. ‘Signals‘ will present ‘the burning issues of today‘ to the reading public in book
a scheme initiated by Ian St James. the best twelve short stories by writers aged 18 or over who have not had fiction previously published in Britain will win £1000 plus publication. From those twelve. a top three will be selected who will win £1 1 .000. £4000 and £1000 respectively. Entries should be in by 31 May 1989. winners will be announced on 24 September. Send for application form to: The Ian St James Awards. c/o Collins Publishers. 8 Grafton Street. London WIX 3LA.
Mab gtudes you through the comics jungle.
The independent sector is so thriving and diverse that grabbing a pot luck selection ofcomics from the rack without prior knowledge of their creators can be a risky and expensive gamble. It‘s all too easy to get lumbered with a pale imitation of a mainstream title. minus the professionalism. or 20 pages of ‘profound‘ gibberish. Often. though. the most pioneering comics 0n the stands are those produced on shoestring budgets by writer/artists who insist on complete control over every aspect of their work.
Chester Brown‘s Yummy Fur (Vortex) is the kind oftitle that either instantly repels or fascinates. Set in a surreal world that bends according to the whims of its creator.
‘weird‘. adult title with a straight adaptation of the Gospel of Mark. but Brown sees nothing strange in it. and much of Yummy Fur‘s letters page is taken up with theological debate. The dual nature of the comic. a reﬂection of its creator‘s obsessions. has generated a hard core of dedicated fans. who cherish the comic‘s individuality.
Doug Potter‘s Denizens ofDeep (‘in (Kitchen Sink) is a new title. again entirely self-produced. and his introductions tell you as much about it as I can. It‘s about ‘the inhabitants of a multi-layered labyrinth of concrete and steel. For the most part. their lives are nothing out ofthe ordinary. but sometimes circumstances beyond their control place them in the middle of the extraordinary.‘
Though not taxing or earth-shattering to read it‘s a good antidote to Yummy Fur. and shows the same kind of idiosyncratic disregard for commercial constraints. Nor does Potter seem overly concerned with marking plot lines well into the future. currently just setting up his characters and letting things happen as they happen.
‘At this rate the possibility exists that all of the characters introduced in the first issue could be eliminated within a very short time. but rest assured that it is not our aim to do
The only real danger I can see is the title falling prey to its incipient cuteness. Let’s hope Potter can avoid that.
And in the latest edition of the greatest comic book of our age. Love & Rockers (Fantagraphics), the peerless Hernandez Bros announce that next issue sees the reunion of Maggie and Hopey after an agonising two-year separation. Who needs TV soaps when there‘s stuff like this around?
some time. although rumours of a Waterstone‘s children‘s bookshop did stir up the coals briefly — only to be dampened because Waterstone’s were unable to get the property they wanted for the venture.
I LOOK OUT FOR Chatto and Windus‘s new series of polemical pamphlets ‘CounterBlasts‘. a publishing ‘platform for independent voices ofdissent‘. which come out in May. The first three will be by Jonathan Raban. Peter Fuller and John Lloyd, taking
several issues in one sitting can be a , profoundly disturbing trip. It‘s been i described as horror, and indeed vampires and the like have played a large part in previous issues. but the nagging distress that lingers is something much more primal and difficult to describe. It‘s frequently hilarious. but more often than not the laughter catches at the back of the throat.
No major company. and damn few ofthe independents. would take up
Your last chancelo die laughing
OUT NOW IN SPHERE PAPERBACK
more than half the page count of a
GOThe List 10— 23 March 1989