x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Scottish setting for this sci-fi novel doesn't include heather

Crime novelist Christopher Brookmyre turns his hand to science-fiction in Bedlam, a Tron for adults set in Scotland.

Bedlam
Christopher Brookmyre
Orbit

The entertaining Christopher Brookmyre has made a name for himself as a writer of crime novels set in his native Scotland.

Like fellow Scots Ian Rankin and Val McDermid, he eschews the tourist board's view of glens and heather for a grittier landscape - post-industrial Scotland with its sink housing estates (schemes in the local parlance) and mad criminals. It is all laced with plenty of humour and his trademark sledgehammer wit.

The titles are cracking too: Quite Ugly One Morning, Boiling A Frog and A Big Boy Did it and Ran Away. Now Brookmyre has decided to dip into science-fiction with Bedlam and it's a pretty fair stab too. Set in the world of video games, its plot is basically a Tron for adults. The protagonist wakes up to find himself trapped in a game.

He has to try to get himself out while dodging the evil Gralaks. Of course, with Brookmyre it's not that straightforward. Our hero has to deal with the interference of people who start playing the video game and hamper his plans.