Book reviewing, and a quick roundup

Helen Sedgwick, reviews editor of Gutter magazine, dropped off a couple of books today for me to review for the next issue. Gutter has a pseudonymous policy with regards to its book reviewing, no doubt the better to facilitate unfettered brutality against the titles sent in, so for the moment I’ll draw a veil over what they are. When the reviews are published, I’ll reveal all. One of the books is by a (Scottish) writer I very much respect, so I’m looking forward to reading it, and then probably selling it on Ebay for desperately-needed cash. I think the next Gutter is out in February – I submitted a story as well, so we’ll see if that gets accepted or if, mysteriously, it doesn’t.

After heroic, indeed Herculean, labour, I have finished writing the draft of the second part of my novel “In Borderlands”. It took me well over a year to get that part done, and the ideas are coming together nicely for the third and final part. I’ll have a short break over Christmas/New Year, perhaps take some notes and flesh out some ideas, and then get back into it in January. Reviewing those two books for Gutter will derail me from both the GFBA longlist project and the strange detour I’ve taken into critical theory, but I’l get back to them by the end of the year. Foucault and Derrida can just fucking wait, the pretentious bastards.

Our lit mag plan has taken a slight knock due to the outrageous cheek of someone already using the title we had come up with for their own magazine. Martin and I sat for hours, dutifully drinking ourselves into an inspirational frame of mind, flicking through novels and volumes of philosophy, thesauri and dictionaries, until we chanced upon a word we felt perfectly encapsulated our ideas. We have another possibility in mind now, so we’ll talk it over and come to a decision soon. Keep watching the skies.

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