Book Review: The Seven Wonders of Scotland (Birlinn £9.99) Edited and introduced by Gerry Hassan, stories by Andrew Crumey, Michael Gardiner, Gavin Inglis, Billy Letford, Maggie Mellon, Caroline von Schmalensee and Kirsti Wishart.
THE SEVEN WONDERS of Scotland is a fictional flight of fancy or rather seven flights of fancy by some of Scotland's finest writers. Here they simply let their imagination run riot, by describing Scotland, not as we know it, but as a country of magical innovation. Each writer imagines a future Scotland in a distinctly individual way, describing mind-blowing changes in the traditional Scottish lifestyle.
This book is not of the full-on science fiction genre, it is more subtle, although it does demand a similar open minded approach by the reader. For example, can you imagine Glasgow purely as a garden city; a new and vast underground Scotland; a pleasure dome on Rannoch Moor? Well, our authors can and much more.
The individual authors write in very different styles on the general theme of the book, varying from the beautifully light and amusing touch of Andrew Crumey's "The Burrows" to the powerful punch of Gavin Inglis with "The Sectarium ", a dark tale of sectarianism in a Scotland of the future and the drastic measure to eradicate it.
Aspects of The Seven Wonders of Scotland will be recalled long after the last page has been turned. The book is so well crafted and is unusual enough to make people think and that, in itself, is no bad thing.