All the fun of the fair

Publishers set out their wares at the annual London Book Fair this week.

In a vast warehouse in Earl’s Court thousands of people jostle past the brightly lit stands of the industry giants, with frosty receptionists barring the way to those without appointments. In the dimmer recesses are tiny one-person outfits displaying East European classics awaiting translation. No place for booksellers.

Dominic Carney launched his new book Swamplands at One Tree Books this week. A good number gathered to celebrate publication and to hear him tell us a bit about it. He describes it as Cli-Fi, a relatively new genre about climate change. It’s a fracking thriller about Big Energy and geo-politics, illegal rendition, and murder. In his spare time he is a librarian at Mill Chase school in Bordon (out now £7.99).

This week I finished Chris Radmann’s The Crack. Like Held Up, his first novel, it is another powerful look at Apartheid South Africa. Set in 1976 in the months leading up to the Soweto Uprising, he explores issues of family and psychological frailty as well as the brutality of the system. It is shocking and compelling.

Chris teaches English at Lord Wandsworth College near Odiham.

(Published on 1st May at £12.99

I also read a strange little book by Cornelius Medvei called The Making of         Mr. Bolsover. He has had two highly acclaimed novels published already, one about a baboon and the second about a chess-playing donkey, so I was not expecting a straightforward boy meets girl kind of novel. In fact, despite a walk-on role for a badger, this is not that weird though it is funny and takes place mainly on the South Downs. It comes out in June at £10.