Books EVENTS COMIC
SUPERVILLAIN COMICS RICK REMENDER & TONY MOORE Venom (Marvel UK) ●●●●● ZEB WELLS & CLAYTON CRAIN Carnage (Marvel UK) ●●●●● A double dose of villains this month, reintroducing two of Spider-Man’s arch enemies to the Marvel Universe. Venom and Carnage are both symbiotes, a parasitic species that bonds with a human host bestowing them with immense power at a terrifying cost, as they must fight the alien lifeform’s murderous cravings.
Venom originally bonded with Peter Parker back in 1984 but since then he’s merged with various other hosts, most notably Eddie Brock, and is now deployed by the government for covert black ops missions with Flash Thompson (who is confined to a wheelchair while not combined with the symbiote). Carnage, the spawn of Venom, teamed up with serial killer Cletus Kasady transforming him into a psychotic mass murderer. Here, an industrialist rival of Tony Stark (Iron Man) attempts to exploit Carnage for a series of advanced technological patents. Of course, Carnage isn’t easy to control and soon Spider-Man and Iron Man are locked in yet another deadly battle with the twisted killer. Both comics offer some great action, wholesale destruction and plenty of cool imagery courtesy of Tony Moore and Clayton Crain. However, Venom just wins this supervillain showdown with a sympathetic new lead character and an interesting moral question involving the use of the injured Thompson as a host. (Henry Northmore)
ALSO PUBLISHED CHILDREN’S BOOKS
While the December market is traditionally slow for adult fiction, when it comes to kids’ books, it’s a ripe old time of year. This winter there are books from some familiar names and favourite characters which won’t look bad popping out of a woolly stocking come the end of December. Jacqueline Wilson hit paydirt with the hardback version of Lily Alone (Random House) and the festive timing of this paperback couldn’t be better. When her mum heads off on holiday with a new boyfriend, Lily is left to hold the fort, looking after her three younger siblings. Chaos ensues.
The world continues to go Gruffalo crazy and the knobbly creation of Julia Donaldson gets interactive with The Gruffalo’s Child Magnet Book (Macmillan) as puzzles, activities and 60 magnets make up a neat little package. Jeanette Winterson tries her hand at an alternative nativity story with The Lion, the Unicorn and Me (Scholastic) featuring a kingly lion, a proud unicorn and a humble donkey, while Francesca Simon also gets seasonal by letting her money-spinning rascal loose with Horrid Henry’s Christmas Play.
You can hardly blame Michael Morpurgo for cashing in on the upcoming Spielberg movie version of his moving War Horse (Egmont), while David Walliams tries to steer clear of the Daily Mail moral crusaders for a bit with Gangsta Granny (HarperCollins), in which a kindly old lady turns out to be an international jewel thief. (Brian Donaldson)
52 THE LIST 17 Nov–15 Dec 2011
Events are listed by date, then city. Submit listings at least 16 days before publication to email@example.com. Listings are compiled by Laura Ennor. ✽✽ Indicates Hitlist entry
Thursday 17 Glasgow FREE By the Book Bridgeton Library and Learning Centre, 23 Landressy Street, 554 0217. 2–4pm. Find out who selects the books on offer in the local library, and how they make their choices.
Livingston FREE John Robertson: Super Tramp – My Autobiography Waterstone’s, The Elements, 308 Almondvale, 01506 435893. 1.30pm. The former Celtic assistant manager and twice European Cup winner signs copies of his autobiography.
Glasgow FREE Graham Fulton: Full Scottish Breakfast Street Level Photo Works, Trongate 103, 552 2151. 7pm. Launch and signing of poet Fulton’s new collection. Edinburgh FREE Jules Verne l’Ecossais Institut Français d’Ecosse, 13 Randolph Crescent, 225 5366. 11am. Public readings in French of some of Verne’s texts, surrounded by the old books, maps and gravures of the French library. Nothing But the Poem: Don Paterson Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton’s Close, Canongate, 557 2876. 11am–12.30pm. £5 (£3). Poetry discussion forum with no preparation or previous knowledge required, this time focusing on the work of Don Paterson. See panel, page 53.
Edinburgh FREE Authors in the Adam Dome ScotlandsPeople Centre, New Register House, 3 West Register Street, 314 4300. 2–4pm. Alastair Buchan-Hepburn leads a discussion of his ancestor James Hepburn, fourth Earl of Bothwell. Booking essential. Part of Previously . . . Scotland’s History Festival. FREE Blackwell Book Group Blackwells, 53–59 South Bridge, 622 8222. 6pm. Discussing Sunnyside, a darkly comic and thrilling sweep across modern America, by Glen David Gold. FREE Getting Started at NLS National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, 623 3918. 6pm. Find out how to register and search for books, and peek inside the Reading Rooms. Booking essential.
Edinburgh FREE Discovering Family History at NLS National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, 623 3918. 6pm. Workshop on practical research techniques. Wednesday 23
Glasgow FREE Glasgow Poetry Book Group CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, 352 4900. 7.30pm. The group discusses John Burnside’s latest collection, Black Cat Bone, and Rachael Boast’s first collection, Sidereal. Now meeting at CCA Terrace Bar, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Edinburgh FREE Authors in the Adam Dome ScotlandsPeople Centre, New Register House, 3 West Register Street, 314 4300.
2–4pm. An introduction to the Edinburgh’s War project, a venture involving involving the University of Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh Libraries and The Scottish War Memorials Project, whose work so far is gathered at edinburghs-war.ed.ac.uk. Booking essential. Part of Previously . . . Scotland’s History Festival. Jules Verne’s Scotland: in Fact and Fiction Institut Français d’Ecosse, 13 Randolph Crescent, 225 5366. 6pm. £5 (members £3). Another chance to catch Ian Thompson’s Book Festival talk on his latest work. Poetry Association of Scotland: Mike Gonzalez Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton’s Close, Canongate, 557 2876. 6.30pm. £7 (£5; members free). Historian, critic and Professor of Latin American Studies at Glasgow University Gonzalez speaks on Pablo Neruda. Lucky Jack with Jack Martin & Michael Kerins Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43–45 High Street, 556 9579. 7.30pm. £6 (£4). Two great storytellers combine to tell tales of unlikely heroes. Thursday 24
Glasgow ✽✽ FREE Leela Soma: Bombay Baby CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, 352 4900. 7–8.30pm. The author of Twice Born launches her second, Bombay Baby, which deals with identity and the booming east/west medical tourism industry.
✽✽ FREE The Poetry Club The Glasgow Art Club, 185 Bath Street,
248 5210. 7pm. Glasgow’s new poetry night, with native Gaelic speaker Peter Mackay, Stirling-based poet William Letford, and Dundee-born jazzman, poet and OBE Don Paterson. See panel, page 53. Edinburgh FREE Sara Sheridan Central Library, George IV Bridge, 242 8100. 10.30– 11.30am. Edinburgh author Sheridan discusses the process of historical research for fiction writers. Booking essential. FREE Authors in the Adam Dome ScotlandsPeople Centre, New Register House, 3 West Register Street, 314 4300. 2–4pm. Syd House of the Forestry Commission Scotland and novelist Sara Sheridan (again) discuss legendary Scottish plant hunters David Douglas and Robert Fortune. Booking essential. Part of Previously . . . Scotland’s History Festival. Brandon Sanderson Waterstone’s West End, 128 Princes Street, 226 2666. 6pm. £2. The US fantasy author reads from his new book, The Alloy of Law. Ticket price redeemable against copies of the book purchased on the night. FREE Panda: Back from the Brink Blackwells, 53–59 South Bridge, 622 8222. 6.30pm. Preview of a new book of panda photography, plus a talk by Iain Valentine of Edinburgh Zoo about his involvement in the project to bring two of the furry evolutionary time-bombs to Edinburgh Zoo. Ticketed event. FREE Samarendra Das Word Power Bookshop, 43 West Nicolson Street, 662 9112. 6.30pm. Global activist and researcher Das speaks on his latest book, Out of This Earth: East India Adivasis and The Aluminium Cartel. Inside History: John Knox and Mary, Queen of Scots John Knox House, High Street, 556 2647. 7–8.15pm. £7 (£5). Poetry from Henry Marsh, who has published collections of poetry inspired by both John Knox and Mary, Queen of Scots. With Gaelic harp music from Simon Chadwick. Part of Previously . . . Scotland’s History Festival.
Edinburgh FREE Kamin Mohammadi Word Power Bookshop, 43 West Nicolson Street, 662 9112. 6.30pm. Iranian journalist Mohammadi reads from her latest book, The Cypress Tree.
✽✽ Neu! Reekie! Scottish Book Trust, Sandeman House Trunks Close 55 High Street, 524 0160. 7–10pm. £5 (£4).