Fugitive Bullets, you can tell from the cover, is out for fun. 

This you spot from the fact that the writers are together described as electrophalluciphysicians, (one of the few search terms on the internet that throws up no less than zero results) and may refer to the fact that aside from their other commonalities, the writers here published are all experimentally or underground Scots blokes.

A Zoo in my Luggage (1960) by Gerald Durrell might be the Durrell volume that will oblige you conclude that they are all the same. 

This happened to me and I bought Birds, Beasts and Relatives shortly after wards, but chickened out of reading it for ages.

What is clear about A Zoo in my Luggage is that in its composition Durrell was writing about a part of himself that he didn’t like. It would be stretching it to say that this is his existential novel, yes.  But if anything it is his animal cruelty novel, and in that much it really does the business.

How does someone after all become a naturalist? Given that Durrel is travelling and the zoo is so essential to him, he refers to his animals as his stuff, and in doing so stuffs them into all sorts of confined spaces to port them about the globe.

colin donati ancient and now

by Colin Donati, Red Squirrel Press

This is the exercise every poet may once attempt: translate Lewis Carrol’s Jabberwocky into your own dialect. Or in Colin Donati’s case, a precision Scots that is as reminiscent of Henryson as it is of the contemporary Scots we hear each day. 

Tags?  Spirituality; history; language; nature.  Zen sits well with Scots poetry too, sometimes in the traditional forms of haiku, and sometimes in the classical Zen ‘surprise’; as perfected in the poetry of Ancient and Now. I have never noticed before the / brambles which hang over the drop / to the single railway track.


“Bobby is a 30 something Glaswegian who plays pool for money. 


He finds himself waking up in an Edinburgh hospital and tries to piece his life back together. 


In doing so he uncovers the underbelly of post-industrial Scotland.”


I have long accepted that Capella’s Golden Eyes by Christopher Evans was the novel that started it all off for me, and I have consulted with other buffs over the years, and it appears that I am not alone and that it is all in the opening.

I won’t spoil it for you, but the first paragraph of this novel has ensnared many a young teenage boy. I must have been 14 years old when I read them in a bookshop in Inverness, and bought the book a few minutes later.

After that I was hooked on sci-fi, hooked on books, and probably hooked on writing and publishing too. What a fate!

This is a book about alien sex; and about marriage rites and emotions. Perhaps it’s just a basic allegory of the ill-fated lovers type; but it seems to offer more.  I’d hate to cast general aspersions on the genre as a whole, but Strangers feels far too sensitive a read to be true science fiction. There is some pretty predictable ‘colony of earthlings’ stuff, in which regular character types appear and perform, but the real meat of the book is the extended them of alien sex; the emotions, the pros and cons, and the damned unusual consequences of falling for an alien.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers is one of those epics that is hard to resist.  Classic book, classic film, and the rest is  pure enjoyment.   Note first that Jack Finney’s book was called The Body Snatchers, and not Invasion of the Body Snatchers but since movies rule the cultural roost, it’s not been possible to reprint it without the extended title coming into play.