Friday 10 December 2010

Ruts, Egg-Cups and Post-Apocalyptic Dustbins

Hello, Dear Reader. How do you fancy a free book? A while ago I posted about my excitement at receiving a copy of RUT, by the wonderful Scott Phillips. I've been a big fan since reading THE ICE HARVEST, and his historical novel COTTONWOOD (which is like Little Whore House On The Prairie) is one of my very favourite books of all time. I was not let down by RUT.

It's almost impossible to describe RUT and still sound sane. So here goes. Take some crystal meth. Now drink a bottle of tequila. And now imagine a post-apocalyptic novel but without the apocalypse. See what I mean? It's set in a dystopian* near-future where wine is traded on the black market, religious fundamentalism is a must, toxic waste hasn't had a positive effect on the wildlife and Big Brother is most definitely watching. RUT is quirky, witty and funny but also thought-provoking and slightly unsettling.

*spellcheck wanted to change that to dustbins.

And here's the book giveaway bit. RUT is published by the Concord Free Press - a revolution in publishing. They give books away for free. Yep, totally free. All they ask is that you make a donation to charity of some description (and record it at their website) and, once you've finished it, you give the book to someone else. Hopefully, that person will also make a donation to something or someone of their choosing. Each book is numbered and can be tracked at their website. A totally brilliant idea.

So, if you would like a copy of RUT, please leave me a comment, or send me an e-mail telling me the one thing you would do if you knew the apocalypse was coming. We'll take all the "kiss my family" stuff as read (because I know, of course, that many of you would travel miles and miles to kiss my family). Basically, I want to know your apocalyptic bucket list. Although you only get to do one, so it's more like your apocalyptic egg-cup list.

And now, Scottish crime fiction news...

Bluecat Books with a reviewlet of Denise Mina's A SICKNESS IN THE FAMILY. And a longer one from The Comics Journal. I'm not really into graphic novels, but I think I really do need to get hold of this one.

The Book Nut reviews M C Beaton's DEATH OF A TRAVELLING MAN.

Irvine Welsh to have a cameo role in Ecstacy.

Edinburgh is crowned Scotland's one and only creative hotspot. Harrruuummmppppphhhh.

And the wonderful Tony Black helps Edinburgh's young writers. Good on ya, Tony.

Ian Rankin in video for Edinburgh Eaterie Illegal Jack's.

The Metro's Top 10 crime fiction books of 2010.

And I don't know how she does it but Margot Kinberg always comes up with posts which are jam-packed with interesting stuff. Here's one on Healthy Reading for 2011.


  1. I've got my copy of Rut and, having read that review, it's just moved closer to the top of the pile. It has a brilliant cover - odd, unusual and eye-catching.
    I saw in an earlier post from this week that you're relapsing. Maybe you should go somewhere warm for a while, set a novel in Greece or something and go do some research (while keeping us all posted on the ups and downs of hot climates). Stay well.

  2. Donna - *Blush* (Which looks very odd on a ginger like me!) Thank you so much for the kind words about my blog! Glad you enjoyed.

  3. I'm now feeling like a failure 'cos I can't think of what might be on my egg cup list. Apart from the "too" obvious. And spelling that out would only make me blush. And Margot, a blush on a bald man is not a good look. Spreads all over the scalp.

    BTW, our Donna - has reviews of Karen Campbell and Caro Ramsay this month.

  4. That is a tough one! I think it would depend on what type of apocalyptic event was going to happen since I'd already be doing the obvious mushy stuff. For instance, if a giant meteor was heading for earth, I'd want to get as close to where it was going to strike so as to get a better view. On the other hand, if the world was going to flood, I'd try to get as many rubber rafts tied together as possible since I don't like swimming! If aliens were going to disintegrate the earth, I suppose I would want to read one last Scottish Crime Novel before they fired! :)

    Thanks for yet another mention to one of my reviews! I very much enjoy reading your posts! :)

  5. Nigel - cheers! I have been good all week and not been out or doing anything strenuous. Got lots of writing done though.

    Margot - you're welcome!

    Michael - I think you need to spell it out, mate - I have no idea what you mean ;o) And the Crimesquad reviews will be up in my Sunday post - cheers :o)

    Andy - so, with a meteor about to hit the earth, you want to get closer, with a flood, you want to survive. And you're welcome, and thank you :o)

  6. A few years ago I was given a bottle of Very Special bottle of wine. I know it is Very Special because the wine boffin who gave it to me spent quite a long time explaining what a good vintage that year was and how it's not a bottle for quaffing at the end of a tough day/week/few minutes like I normally do but a bottle to save for a Very Special occasion. The problem is, every time I think I might be about to have (or am in the moment of) a Very Special occasion I get worried that the occasion is not quite special enough to warrant the consumption of a $300 bottle of wine and I end up drinking the same old plonk as usual and leaving the Very Special bottle of wine it the rack. But I am almost positive that the imminent end of the world would constitute a Very Special occasion worth of the name and the wine so I'd finally open the bugger and drink it.

    If I had time after that I'd hop on a plane and a train and whatever else is necessary to come kiss your family :)

  7. It's like this: I figure if a meteor is going to destroy the earth then there would be no escaping it. So I'd get as close as possible so as to see the awesome sight but also to be obliterated immediately instead of taking the chance of suffering for a while as the earth slowly crumbles away around me.

    With a flood, maybe I could survive that if I planned ahead enough. Noah did it so why can't I? Of course Noah had 100 years to plan so I might not stand as good of a chance! :)

  8. Oh, gosh, I'd eat all of the chocolate I wanted, especially good chocolate cake, drink fine tea and read my brains out.
    Also, call friends and family, get together for an Apocalypse last dinner and say farewells.

  9. Bernadette - I think you ought to invent a special occasion just to have that wine. And my family looks forward to your visit. Especially my Dad.

    Andy - I see you have been giving this some serious thought :o)

    Kathy - chocolate - what a good idea...

    Dad - what are you OMGing about?

  10. Donna,
    Once again, you are my favorite Scotswoman, and a strong candidate for favorite gal, period.

  11. Scott - you are most welcome - I loved it. Now, when's the next one out?