Gutter 09

Book Review by Galen O'Hanlon | 26 Aug 2013
  • gutter 09
Book title: Gutter 09
Author: Various

The latest crop of new Scottish writing is a bumper one, with an abundance of excellent poems and prose. In the last issue the magazine called for entries in Gaelic, so here we have impressive tri-lingual and bi-lingual poems, while Helen MacKinven’s Fae Davaar tae Valhalla, in Scots, is both farcical and touching. Harry Giles makes a sharp and witty Gutter debut with a series of poems about a drone, in one of which the unmanned aircraft gets a cat, and they purr together. There’s work too from established poet Jen Hadfield, who finds a kind of rural bliss in the 'eruption of spirit' of a pig being hosed in the heat.

The contributions from Elizabeth Reeder and Andrew Crumey are proof of their skills as novelists, and the latter’s latest book also gets a favourable piece in the Gutter reviews. The final story, a good one to end on, is a perfectly handled piece of realist science-fiction by Jane Alexander, Now Here. The narrator has a GPS chip installed in her brain, and is at once transformed from having no sense of direction to having a hypersense of it. What follows is the madness of a TomTom takeover in the mind. [Galen O'Hanlon]

Out Now, published by Freight, RRP £6.99 http://www.guttermag.co.uk