Whilst our visits to the recent Edinburgh International Book Festival largely centred on kids’ authors, we managed to squeeze in one Sunday to see a handful of “grown-up” writers. One of these was Ken MacLeod about whom I’ve written before.
The session wasn’t the outright entertainment of Chris Brookmyre (although it’s interesting that both authors seem interested in and have written about similar issues in recent years) but it was an interesting and thoughtful hour.
Ken’s latest novel ‘The Night Sessions’ was picked up at the Festival and it’s another good one. A near future police procedural, Detective Adam Ferguson has to investigate a bombing of a priest in Edinburgh and decide whether or not the attack is religiously motivated. It deals with a number of issues including religion in a world which has rejected religion and robot rights. TNS is a novel that largely dodges your expectations not least in an ending which is far from neat.
I think all MacLeod’s books are worth reading not least for his glimpses into the future and ‘The Night Sessions’ is no exception. One thing that always slightly disappoints me is that he creates these worlds so well that it always seems a shame that the setting is used just once. Even his series have spanned different ages and I end up feeling that he’s only scratching at the surface of these settings . I think I’d love him to write one of these huge books in which you could immerse yourself for ages.
Buy ‘The Night Sessions’ here.
In terms of the music I’ve picked the following song because it’s got a line that sums up the current state of play with the blog. Lots of ideas but a decreasing amount of time to implement them. With a number of gigs coming up in the next few weeks, hopefully I’ll rediscover some momentum and post more regularly.
As for the tune, it’s one of two standout tracks from the Comsats’ third LP ‘Fiction’ which at the time was regarded as a disappointment. It’s probably a fair assessment but this is one of their best songs:
The Comsat Angels – ‘What Else!?’ (from ‘Fiction’) [Buy the CD]
Another book next, I think.