Christopher Brookmyre

Happy Birthday, Christopher Brookmyre, born 6 September 1968

Five Quotes

  1. I tend to write best in office hours, really. I’m not much of a one for burning the midnight oil. I used to get a very good creative burst at some time around the hours of four and seven o’clock, but after my son came along that kind of buggered that up.
  2. I hate it when you read a novel that’s got a great idea, a great plot and a great scheme going on, but the way the character resolves it, it could have been anyone, you know, rather than something specific to that character. I think the character has to learn about themselves and change perhaps in the course of resolving the story.
  3. Stubborn perseverance. That’s what worked for me.
  4. Be honest with yourself in terms of what you’re writing. Is what you’re writing really what you want to write, or what you think a publisher wants to read, because that was the mistake I was making for a long time.
  5. Be prepared to improve or even have the patience to realise that it might take years to improve.

Brookmyre is a Scottish novelist who has been referred to as a Tartan Noir author. His novels include Quite Ugly One Morning, One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night, and All Fun and Games until Somebody Loses an Eye

Source for Image

by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

The National Health Service was an aberration, no other way to describe it. It was such an affront to Conservative values and ideology that he was sure Thatcher would have happily closed the whole thing and grudgingly paid for the humane putting down of anyone who got ill but couldn’t afford private healthcare. It had a terrifying, massive, insatiable appetite for public funds, chewing up and swallowing billions of pounds every year; but unlike other greedy mouths at the public tit - defence being a shining example - precious little of it found its way into the pockets of Party members and contributors. It was just one huge, amorphous, unanswerable entity, running its own ship, it’s spending dictated almost entirely by patients’ healthcare needs. No familiar faces at the top with the power to award hefty contracts; indeed, precious little in the way of external contracts at all. No six-figure executive posts with company Beamie.
The only way to score from it was perhaps to buy into one of the big drug firms, but anyone could do that, and as purchases were all in accordance with doctors’ prescriptive practices, there wasn’t even an easy way to manipulate the market. It just swallowed up public money and circulated it within itself until it needed more.
The basic fact of the matter was that if public spending could not be avoided, it should at least be spent in the private sector.
But then came the NHS reforms and the dawn of the Trusts, and the picture got suddenly and dramatically brighter.
—  Christopher Brookmyre, at his cynical best, in Quite Ugly One Morning.

To anyone who’s looking for new video games, I want to respectfully offer up Bedlam, which is currently available for Early Access play on Steam (it’s not finished, but you can access the first several levels and what theyre is looks good.)

The script for the game is written by Christopher Brookmyre, who’s a fantastic Glaswegian author, and it’s based around the premise that you are a young woman called Heather who finds herself sucked into “Starfire”, a fictional nineties video game that was a favourite of hers as a teenager. When she searches for a way to get back to the real world, she finds herself in a vast, interconnected realm made up of the world of dozens of video games. The first level looks and plays like a nineties FPS (primarily Doom), but as you travel through the game worlds you end up more or less travelling through the development of video games to the modern day through pastiches of various FPSes (in the novel the protagonist goes through hundreds of games of all genres, but for the sake of playability I think the game is entirely FPS.)

The game gets double points from me for the protagonist being female and Scottish alone (fully voiced by Kirsty Strain, btw), but the playable levels thus far are good fun and stuffed to bursting with referential humour for fans of the FPS genre and video games in general–and even if you’re not, being written by Christopher Brookmyre, the script is still sharp and hilarious. I’d say definitely check it out.

TTT: Authors

There aren’t too many authors I read just because—without knowing more about the book itself. My original list had about 13 names, and it wasn’t too hard to cut that down to 10. These authors are ten names that have me reading any book by without question.

Full post.


Okay, now Sagan’s going after Christopher Brookmyre. That is TOO FAR, Sagan!

Maybe if I got a kiddie pool and filled it with mass markets that would keep the cats happy? Now I really want to have a kiddie pool of books in my house, and if anyone ever came over I’d be all like “Oh, that? That’s just the cats’ bookpool. Doesn’t every house have one?”

‘Normally with terrorist groups, there’s so much factionalism and internal politicking that members eventually start turning dissident and selling out their former comrades. Again, this hasn’t applied to the Black Spirit. For one thing, there are no ideological tensions because there’s no ideology to argue about. Bout our anecdotal evidence suggests that there are two stronger reasons for the loyalty he has enjoyed. One is that his collaborators are handsomely remunerated. The other is that he has a long memory and nobody in their right mind wants to get on the wrong side of this bastard.’
No, of course not. All the fanatics, psychopaths and assassins around the globe, they all skip a beat at the mention of his name. He eats guns and shits bullets. He bathes in the blood and dines on body parts. Oh God, keep talkin’ baby, keep talkin’, ooh yeah baby. He’s the baddest of the bad. He’s a killing machine. Ooh you say it so good, you say it so nasty, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooooooh…
Fuck off.
Lexington had probably told Wells to ham it up in order to light a fire under everybody, but there had been no need for such priming. If the Black Spirit had walked in the door right then, the MI5 creep would have dropped to his knees and swallowed every inch.
He’s a whole new species. He’s audacious. He’s resourceful. He’s ingenious. He’s cool. He’s bad. He’s scary. He’s got a two-foot cock.
Aye, very good.
He’s a wanker, that’s what he is.
—  Angelique de Xavia, from A Big Boy Did It And Ran Away - Christopher Brookmyre
A banker, an asylum seeker & a Daily Mail reader get shipwrecked & end up floating on a raft with nothing but a 10-pack of Mars bars to sustain them. The banker announces that he is an expert in resource management & so for everyone’s good he should take charge of the food. He proceeds to open the pack & stuffs nine of them into his mouth. Once he’s swallowed the last he gives the remaining bar to the Daily Mail reader, saying: “I’d keep my eye on that asylum seeker, if I were you. He’ll be after your chocolate.”
—  Christopher Brookmyre, When the Devil Drives
’“We’re going to fuck you up the arse,” said the government, all the time. In his adolescence the collective response was: “Come ahead and try it, ya bass. See what you get.” These days they would just drop their trousers then drop some eckies so that their acquiescent complicity was a fun trippy experience.’
- christopher Brookmyre, Country Of The Blind

Christopher Brookmyre - Where the Bodies are Buried

Monday 6th June 2011, 6.00pm The Mitchell Library, Auditorium, £8/£6

Best-selling author Christopher Brookmyre launches his latest novel Where the Bodies are Buried:

Detective Catherine McLeod was always taught that in Glasgow, they don’t do whodunit. They do score-settling. They do vendettas. They do petty revenge. They do can’t-miss-whodunit. It’s a lesson that has served her well, but Glasgow is also a dangerous place to make assumptions. Either way she looks at it, she recognises that the discovery of a dead drug-dealer in a back alley is merely a portent of further deaths to come. Elsewhere in the city, aspiring actress Jasmine Sharp is reluctantly - and incompetently - earning a crust working for her uncle Jim’s private investigation business. When Jim goes missing, Jasmine has to take on the investigator mantle for real, and her only lead points to Glen Fallan, a gangland enforcer and professional assassin whose reputation is rendered only slightly less terrifying by having been dead for twenty years. Cautiously tracing an accomplished killer’s footsteps, Jasmine stumbles into a web of corruption and decades-hidden secrets that could tear apart an entire police force - if she can stay alive long enough to tell the tale.

My bookshelf :)

(The one between the Hannibal Lecter Omnibus and Heart-Shaped Box is The Rats by James Herbert)

Suburban Sad Cunts. This was the real reason for road rage. It wasn’t a symptom of growing traffic congestion (though it shared the single car-usage factor), it was that this was the closest they got to defiance, the last ghostly remnant of the will to assert some identity. It was the only time they got to express any sense of self: when they were behind that wheel, on their own, jostling for a position with the rest of the faceless. Overtake the guy in the bigger, newer, shinier car, and it made you forget all the other, truer ways in which he was leaving you to eat his dust. Someone gets in your way, holds you back, and you transfer all your frustrations to him because it reminds you of just how many obstacles there are between where you are now and where you want to be. The car in front is your lack of self-confidence, bequest of your over-protective mother. The car in front is your fear of confrontation, inherited from your cowed and broken father. The car in front is the school you didn’t go to, the golf club you didn’t join, the Lodge you don’t belong to. The car in front is your wife and kids and the risks you can’t take because you’ve got responsibilities.

But the most tragic part is that you need the car in front, you need the obstacle, because it prevents you from confronting the fact that you don’t know where you want to be. You’d be lost beyond the penal colony. It’s scary out there.

You wouldn’t fit in.

—  From “A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away” by Christopher Brookmyre