Science Fiction and Fantasy Literary Map of the UK


Jack was thrilled to bits when a writer friend of his sent him a link to this literary map of British Science Fiction and Fantasy writers, made up of all their names, inscribed on the part of Britain that they are living or were born in.

Admittedly it’s a few years since he has got round to writing anything, what with pressure of work and then moving house and such. It is about time I gave him a swift kick up the bahookie (bum/ass) in the hopes of galvanising him into action again. He has only had one novel published but has had quite a few short stories appearing in anthologies.

Anyway, there he is, Jack Deighton up on the west coast of Scotland, sandwiched in between Naomi Mitchison and Edwin Morgan amongst others. It’s an interesting and pretty map I think.

Edwin Morgan – poet

“Finally, to Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s South Bank, where the toast is Edwin Morgan, Scotland’s first national poet, who died in August aged 90. A great Scot, a great man of letters. A man with a very sweet tooth. So it seemed a fine idea from the Poetry Society to mark the occasion by distributing Tunnock’s Snowballs – individually wrapped marshmallows covered in chocolate and coconut flakes – to the audience. The sweets were brought from Glasgow and each carried the message: “A treat from Glasgow.” Alas, they could not easily be given away, because when managers at the Queen Elizabeth Hall realised that the sweets had not been risk-assessed, they banned them from official circulation. Still, it mattered not, for word spread and, oblivious to the dangers, members of the audience helped themselves to the confectionery. Poetry and silliness. Edwin would have pronounced it a fine night.”

The above is an extract from The Guardian Diary of 5/11/10 by Hugh Muir (last item here).

I know that we Scots are well known for having a sweet tooth and a general love for all things bad for you, but really, how daft can you get.

Why would anybody think that a Tunnock’s Snowball would have to be ‘risk assessed’? I’ve been told that Tunnock’s biscuits and Teacakes are very popular in Canada and Newfoundland but apparently they haven’t heard of them in London. Why something that is obviously commercially made and wrapped in cellophane would be deemed to be unsafe for consumption is beyond me.

I think Edwin Morgan would have laughed. I’m glad that I wasn’t one of the people who had to clean the hall afterwards though, Snowballs are incredibly messy and sticky, bits of coconut flakes would have been all over the place.

If anyone comes around to visit me, the kettle gets put on immediately and it’s a fair bet that Tunnock’s Snowballs will be amongst the delights on offer.