Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Vaxevanis trial

The trial of Greek journalist, Kostas Vaxevanis, is scheduled for tomorrow, 1/11/2012, at 9am. Building 2, Evelpidon, Athens.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Kostas Vaxevanis - a voice in the Greek wilderness

The arrest of Greek investigative journalist, Kostas Vaxevanis, has made headlines all over the world. However, there is one country where his arrest has remained a non-story - Greece. The Greek media, especially television news, have given scant coverage to the topic. Why is that, I wonder? Where are all the journalists in Greece when one of their own is picked up by the police hours after publishing information which has been 'lost' for such a long time? For many, Vaxevanis is a hero. For many others, however, he is a threat, a bigmouth who can't be allowed to let the cat out of the bag. There have been others like Vaxevanis in the past who have published information about corruption in Greece. There has rarely, if ever, been any legal follow up. I know there are many journalists like Vaxevanis in Greece, journalists who want to get to the truth. So who is stopping their voices being heard?

You can follow Kostas Vaxevanis @KostasVaxevanis

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Complement by Andrew McCallum Crawford - published on McStorytellers

Complement by Andrew McCallum Crawford

Johnson ladled soup into the bowl and placed it on the flat part of the paddle, which was balanced on the lip of the hatch. Morris took the weight of the shaft and pushed the food carefully into the cell.

Smith, the prisoner, lifted the bowl.

‘Stop!’ said Morris. ‘You touched the paddle!’

This story is part of a series I've been writing about authority figures, and how we react to them. The complete story can be read here on Brendan Gisby's excellent Scottish Fiction site, McStorytellers.

Friday, 12 October 2012

A Man's Hands - Memory and Muses

For the Greeks, Mnemosyne was the goddess of memory. She had nine daughters - Calliope, Clio, Euterpe, Erato, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia and Urania - who came to be known as the Muses. They inherited their mother's skill at remembering things. When Ancient Greek writers called to the Muse at the beginning of their work, they were asking for a story to be recalled from memory.

The characters - my characters - in this collection have issues with the past. Some of them want to remember while others would rather forget. But they manage to get by. They manage to cope.

Coming soon.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Jock Ma Ceilidh - from Drive!

The Scotch On de Rocks festival was being sponsored by McNab’s Beers, so there was plenty of lager sloshing around backstage for the performers. Terry was in no mood for any of it. He wanted to keep a clear head. He spent his time in a corner, checking out the inflated egos of the fledgling pop stars. Drive! were on after a folk rock outfit called Jock Ma Ceilidh, who had been described in RockPress as Falkirk’s Next Big Thing. He had got talking to the drummer, a teenager called Grant. The conversation soon got round to band personnel, and Grant started slagging off their latest bass player, a big, lanky guy in full highland dress who played the bass like Nick Heyward played the guitar, high and fast.
‘Ae’s intae fusion,’ he grimaced. ‘Andy Stewart meets Haircut 100.’
‘So why don’t you give him the shove?’ said Terry.
Grant’s expression was serious. ‘Ae’s dad says ae can get us oan Wogan,’ he said.
They were approached by a John Cooper Clark clone wearing a frock coat. He had a single dreadlock sticking out of the front of his head, between the freckles. He cadged a fag off Grant, then returned to a group of wee lassies dressed in mini skirts and Doc Marten boots. One of them had shiny Elastoplast all over her knees; probably a recent fall off her tricycle.
‘I’ve got him down as a wanker straight away,’ said Terry. ‘Who is he?’
‘Ma brother,’ said Grant. ‘He’s the singer.’
Jock Ma Ceilidh were booed on. Half way through their first number a hailstorm of disposable lighters descended on the stage, some of the cheaper ones exploding with a crack off the front of the singer’s guitar.
Then he took a direct hit to the face.
‘Fuckin’ blood claaahhhht, ya bastards!’ he wailed into the mike, in an accent that was pure Rastafarian Falkirk.
Grant had already left the stage. The bass player had to be dragged off.

This is an excerpt from the novel, Drive!, which is available here.

Friday, 5 October 2012

'Norwood Junction' by Andrew McCallum Crawford - in the International Literary Quarterly

Norwood Junction

They were in a pub south of the river. Well south. Almost Croydon. Danny was staying at his sister’s for Christmas. A family reunion. What a joke. He brought over two pints of Guinness and sat down.


'Norwood Junction', which you can read in the International Literary Quarterly (Interlitq), also appears in my first collection, The Next Stop Is Croy and other stories.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

The McFestival Dozen

The brainchild of Brendan Gisby, editor at McStorytellers, this newly-published collection features the twelve stories showcased at this year's inaugural Edinburgh e-book Festival. Read work by Pat Black, Gavin Broom, Alan Brough, Angus Shoor Caan, Andrew McCallum Crawford, Brendan Gisby, Bill Kirton, Kevin McCallum, John McGroarty, Alasdair McPherson, Cally Phillips and Stewart Wright.

In the UK, the book can be purchased here (paperback) and here (Kindle).

In the US and elsewhere, the book is available at these links: paperback and Kindle.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

From our Athens correspondent

As I watch, the boy turns and raises a hand to his ear. Is it a sudden breeze he feels? Or is it hindsight whispering garbled words of comfort from an undreamt-of middle age? Another language, almost. Words from a foreign land. Not Scotland. Not now.