Fresh off its successful launch of stand-up turned historical novelist Rob Newman’s The Trade Secret, indie publishing house Cargo has announced a few of its acquisitions for 2013 and 2014, with the promise of more forthcoming along with the soon to be released details of the first leg of its Margins Book and Music Festival to venture outside of Glasgow. It’s a typically eclectic mix, both in terms of subject matter and in pedigree of author.
Most immediately prestigious is the news that it will be finally be bringing Mark Z. Danielewski’s The Fifty Year Sword to UK shores, following its publication in the USA last October and eight years after its initial publication in the Netherlands. The novella – a ghost story which Danielewski has also performed live with voice actors and shadowplay – will be accompanied by a handful of UK tour dates from the cult author, still fervently adored for his 2000 debut novel House of Leaves. His follow-up to that book, 2006’s Only Revolutions, saw him both nominated for a National Book Award and inspiring the Biffy Clyro album of the same name that would ultimately prove to be responsible for Matt Cardle’s one hit, so next time you’re playing Six Degrees of Simon Cowell, there’s your link.
Staying with established names but moving from the international to the domestic, Cargo will also be publishing non-fiction from a couple of well-known Scottish media personalities. Consumer advice man and sometime BBC correspondent Fergus Muirhead has travelled the world speaking to a wealth of international talent about the real love of his life:
dog fighting the bagpipes. A Piper’s Tale finds Muirhead garnering a night in the pub’s worth of stories from the likes of Finlay MacDonald, Terry Tully and John Wilson. Political journalist Iain Macwhirter, meanwhile, has written a tie-in book accompanying his forthcoming three-part documentary series for STV, Road to Referendum, about dog fighting the various social, economic, political and historical factors that have led to the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence.
Also announced: what sounds like a departure for tartan noir author Tony Black, who leaves his home at Random House for The Last Tiger, described as a ‘beautiful, heartbreaking’ and mesmerising tale of a young immigrant in Tasmania, and the debut novel from Juliet Conlin, thriller The Fractured Man, about which the publishing company seems to be very excited. Given their track record, that should be endorsement enough.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.