Sunday, 13 January 2008
But n Ben a Go Go by Matthew Fitt
This was a strange book for me to read. It's a SF novel written entirely in Scots dialect - I don't generally read SF and I don't speak Scots! Nevertheless I enjoyed this story, set in 2090 Scotland which has been mostly flooded due to climate change, with ordinary Scots and refugee Danes living in floating city communities, while only the Highlands are still above ground, inhabited by the very rich; mutant wild animals (Kelpies) and rebel American tourists. Its a very inventive novel, it has to be commended for grappling with ideas about where climate change and other contemporary issues could lead. I enjoyed the linguistic playfulness of the novel, a mix of standard lowland and highland Scots with some invented futuristic Scots words. I'm not sure how much of an audience there is for a book like this though, outside of Scotland and the very north of England.