Thursday, June 28, 2012

I'm Dreaming Of The Edinburgh International Book Festival

In just a few hours, tickets go on sale for THE book festival to end all book festivals.
No one here in the States ever seems to tweet or blog about it.  Fools Uh, uninformed people who don't know what they're missing.
I haven't been able to attend it for the last four years, and with my health in its current state, I have no freakin' clue when I'll manage to get another chance, but I can still dream.
I just wasted spent the last 30 minutes going through the THIRTY-SIX pages of EIGHT HUNDRED or so authors and choosing the events I'd attend if I could.  Here are my choices:
Jeanette Winterson - as I had to write papers on some of her bizarrely beautiful stuff, and I think it would be awesome to hear her in person.
Darren Shan -- because -- DUDE, VAMPIRES!!! vampires that don't sparkle!  Cool vampires!  And now he's doing zombies.  What's not to like???
Margaret Ryan -- okay, I've met her before.  But now she's doing Celtic legends updated for MG fiction.  Awesome.
Philip Reeve. Philip Reeve, people!  As in Fever Crumb and Here Lies Arthur.  Yeah, that guy!  He's at the festival.  So cool.
Ian Rankin -- who never, ever disappoints.  I've seen him over and over.  He's charming and brilliant.  And he created John Rebus.  Rankin is the absolute ruler of Tartan Noir.  We bow before him.  Always.
Garth Nix.  Somehow I've just never gotten around to reading his stuff.  I think it's about time I did.  Don't you?
Patrick Ness.  I'd never heard of him before tonight, but now I want to go find and read all his stuff.
Nicola Morgan -- I've read a couple of her YA books, and she's teaching a workshop.  Awesome.
Alistair Moffat -- I read one of his books on DNA in Scotland.  It was pretty interesting, and I'd like to hear him speak about it.
Val McDermid -- somehow I've managed never to read her stuff.  It's time to start.
Alexander McCall Smith -- because he's hilarious.  And because I've never seen him in Scotland before, only in Utah.  But that's a tale for a whole different post.
Robyn Marsack -- she's not an author; she's the head of the Scottish Poetry Library.  I worked under her direction for months as I did the initial research and cataloguing for the library's Edwin Morgan Collection.  I'd love to hear her speak on war poetry.  Sounds fascinating.
(Oh, you didn't know I'd catalogued a whole collection for a library, eh?  Yup.  Five months of volunteer work.  Maybe I'll post about that sometime, too.  I'm not just about vampires, you know.)
Fraser MacLean -- the history of animation.  Cool as heck.  (Hey, Richard, are you reading this???)
Liz Lochhead -- current Scottish Makar.  She is AWESOME.  And to hear her read her poetry is wonderful.  I've met her before and wouldn't hesitate a second to see her again.
(Yeah, I've met both the first Scottish Makar and the second in person.  Interesting, that.)
(Note: a makar is a national poet.  The first one was Edwin Morgan, now deceased.)
A. L. Kennedy -- I actually don't even like her writing, but SHE is wonderful!  I've actually had classes from her before, and I would love to see her again in person.
Barry Hutchinson -- I'd never heard of him before tonight, but now I want to find and read his MG novel.
Seamus Heaney -- because, well, yeah, he's SEAMUS HEANEY, people -- the most famous Irish writer since Oscar Wilde.  Seriously.
Alasdair Gray -- having slogged through Lanark twice for two different classes on post-modernism, I would love to have a look into the brain of the man that created that bizarre piece of torture (although I really love the index at the end with Monty Python references and footnotes to books that don't exist).
Neil Gaiman.  I met Neil Gaiman when Coraline was new.  He drew me a rat while he answered my questions about post-modernism.  And now he's speaking on the 10th anniversary of Coraline.  Oh, to be there!
Barry Cunningham -- He's the publisher who made JK Rowling, Philip Reeve, and Stuart Hill famous. I've met him before, but I'd pay to see him again.
Eoin Colfer -- I've seen him twice before, on two different continents.  He's hilarious.  Not to be missed.

Have I tempted you yet?  If not, click here and have a look through the hundreds of authors.  Whom would you choose?  There must be someone you'd love to see.  Do tell me.


  1. Great list - I'd be picking quite a few of those people. I can't believe you've never read Garth Nix - I've just ordered his new book. Eoin Colfer - ✔. Patrick Ness - ✔✔ - he's brilliant. Neil Gaiman - superb - oh to meet him! Alzander McCall Smith - so clever. He actually came to New Zealand this year, but I couldn't get to see him... ☹
    Ian Rankin - the master. ✔✔✔✔✔
    Well, we can dream.

  2. You catalogued a library? You gotta post about that.

    1. I catalogued a whole COLLECTION for the SPL, not the whole library. :) It was a lot, though. It took five months.

    2. Soon, I suppose. I've GOT to make myself work on my WIP. I'm so far behind as it is.

  3. Anna posted this comment on my Goodreads blogflow:

    Patrick Ness is an awesome speaker and author-just great, but I get the feeling he is much better known this side of the pond. I'd love for him to come to my school, but I suspect he's way out of our league and price bracket now. You definately need to read Garth Nix: start with the Sabriel, Lireal, Abhorsen series. His 'younger' books aren't as good.
    I'd love to see Jeanette Winterson: have loved her books since 'Oranges' came out 20+ years ago. Is Derek Landy on there - he's great fun to listen to. Very tempting but my kids would kill me if I went on my own and that triples the cost even though we could visit a friend at the same time!
    Will have to make do with hoping we get tickets to see Malorie Blackman at the Phillipa Pearce lecture in Cambridge in September...and then wait for the Oxford Literary festival next year...sigh.