Last seen in ‘Exit Music’, published in 2007, the retired Inspector Rebus returns to his crime-solving best in this latest novel as he follows up leads in his new job with the cold-case unit in Edinburgh. His cantankerous manner and unique methods continue to bring him into conflict with his superiors, particularly this time with Malcolm Fox of the Edinburgh Police internal affairs unit, but they do bring results when everything else has failed.
When discussing the return of his hero of the 18 previous Rebus novels written over 20 years, Ian Rankin commented, “I felt there was unfinished business between the two of us. He had never really gone away but was working for Edinburgh’s cold case unit. And I knew I had a case that would be a perfect fit for him.”
Derek Landy, the Irish author of the Skulduggery Pleasant series of books has been on a whirlwind tour of New Zealand recently promoting his new book The Kingdom of the Wicked. He is one of many authors who have a blog and when he landed in New Zealand on the 10th August, he wrote, “New Zealand, eh? Lovely country, full of lunatics…” Perhaps this is because he describes his readers as being “on the weirder side of normal”.
Skulduggery Pleasant originally started out as a trilogy, but it now looks as if it is going to include nine books in total. If you have missed out so far then you can catch up on the books here. Derek describes them as being full of “ adventure, action, horror, fantasy, crime and humour…it’s the whole package”.
You may have seen his amusing interview on breakfast television whilst he was in New Zealand. To read more about Derek, and his writing, see this page where The Pulse talked to Derek about his characters, writing and his influences.
Via Flickr Commons [http://www.flickr.com/photos/pablosrios/3939567065/sizes/m/in/photostream/]
A Monster Calls is a story about Conor and a monster that “shows up after midnight. As they do.” The story is about fears and nightmares, love and loss and the pages are streaked with wild, dark illustrations to match.
Find the book on our bookshelves
For the second year running Patrick Ness has won the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway award. This year the award is for A Monster calls a novel by Patrick Ness from an original idea by Siobhan Dowd. Patrick Ness never met Siobhan Dowd but was asked whether he would turn her work into a book after her premature death from cancer prevented her from writing the book herself.
However, not only did Patrick Ness win an award but so too did Jim Kay, for his illustrations in the book, which won the Kate Greenaway medal. On the jacket of the book it says, ” Jim Kay studied illustration and worked in the archives of the Tate Gallery and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, two experiences that heavily influence his work. His images for A Monster Calls use everything from beetles to breadboards to create interesting marks and textures.”
Patrick Ness writes, “Stories don’t end with writers, however many started the race. Here’s what Siobhan and I came up with. So go. Run with it. make trouble.”
There was standing room only this morning as students packed into the library to see the final of the Olympic Games men’s 100 metres event. The race was won by Usain Bolt, from Jamaica, who set a new Olympic record time of 9.63 seconds beating his own 2008 record of 9.69 seconds.
The top three athletes in the men’s 100 metres race were:
Usain Bolt (Jamaica) 9.63 seconds
Yohan Blake (Jamaica) 9.75 seconds
Justin Gatlin (USA) 9.79 seconds
It is amazing to think that over a hundred years ago the men’s 100 metres was won in a time of 10.8 seconds; this was in 1908 by Reggie Walker from South Africa. It was Carl Lewis from the USA who first broke the Olympic record with a time under 10 seconds.
Yohan Blake (only 22 years of age), who was second, and Justin Gatlin (30 years of age) , who was third, both did extremely well to record personal best times in this exciting race. Usain Bolt’s gold medal will also be an early birthday present as he celebrates his 26th birthday on the 21st August.
It seems like only a very short time ago we were marveling at the opening ceremony and the fantastic designs of the Birds Nest stadium and the “water cube” swimming pool at the Beijing Olympics, and now here we are, fours years on, at the start of another Olympic Games in London.
I recently made a trip to England, and on my return, picked up what I thought was the Olympic mascot, only to discover that it was the Paralympic mascot called Mandeville.
Mandeville in all his glory
I was intrigued to discover that he is named after Stoke Mandeville Hospital which specialises in patients with spinal injuries. To coincide with the 1948 London Olympics , the hospital organised its own games for WWII veteran patients and these games are thought to have inspired the idea of a paralympic games.
Wenlock (the name of the red Olympic mascot) is named after Much Wenlock the place where the Wenlock Olympian Society Annual Games were held in the 1850s. Baron Pierre de Courbertin was inspired by these games to go on and establish the International Olympic Committee.
These mascots have their own website, their own official mascot song called “On a Rainbow” and a series of four short films from an original story written by Michael Morpurgo. Not a lot happens in the first two films, but the storyline starts to improve in film three, Rainbow Rescue (narrated by Stephen Fry) which features the rebuilding of a school library in a London bus after an accident with a tree.
Wenlock and Mandeville are rather strange looking creatures and I am not sure whether they are loveable, or just plain creepy. What do you think?