SPECULATIVE BOOKS is Glasgow’s newest independent publishing house. The High Flight fanzine and The Speculative Bookshop, a literary fanzine and pop-up book shop respectively, have joined forces in order to bring about a shared vision: getting voices heard, particularly new talents who may get overlooked by larger and more traditional publishers.
Speaking to The Mumble about how the company got started, Speculative Books co-founder Dale McMullen explained: “The Speculative Bookshop started when my pal Jen had a drunken idea to run a second-hand bookstall, which sort of petered out. Instead, we decided to start our own book fair – inviting along guest speakers, poets and artists to the pub to share their work. We were actually surprised when people turned up – and enjoyed themselves too! Since then the events and team have grown, we legitimately have the most talented writers in Scotland along at our nights.”
“We met the guys from the High Flight quite early on and had a mutual love of making things. So we’ve teamed up to form Speculative Books – a brand new independent publisher here in Glasgow. So far we have released Sam Small’s debut collection “Pure Toilet” and are planning on releasing a novel in the near future.” When asked about what else the future had in store for Speculative Books, Dale added: “We’re going to keep making books. For as long as we can. We’ll keep a keen eye on keeping it fresh, interesting, exciting, and above all – a good read!”
The first for Speculative Books also marks another first, with Pure Toilet being the first time popular Glasgow poet Sam Small has had the bulk of his poetry collected in one volume. Pure Toilet is a warped collection of poems; in some places wickedly funny and in others poignant and reflective. Small has a talent for making us feel sympathy with strange and maligned figures, and his unshakeable voice in getting his opinions across in spoken word format transfers just as well onto the page. This collection is the perfect introduction to Sam Small’s work, and looks to be the first of many.
Telling us about the book in his own words, Sam said: “It’s everything,” he went on, “from stuff I wrote three years ago to poems I basically just finished yesterday. I never had anything to sell at gigs, so printing a collection seemed obvious. Having a book out is kind of like the next level. If enough people buy it, you’ll start getting on at gigs in other cities more, and then just take it from there. I want to help other people be able to do that, too. There’s a lot of shit hot writers in Glasgow without anything in print.”
Keep your eye on Speculative Books’ Facebook and Twitter pages for updates on what’s coming in the near future. It’s also worth noting for any budding writers out there that they should be opening their doors for submissions in the later half of 2018. You can buy Pure Toilet from the online store at: http://speculativebooks.bigcartel.com/
Reviewer : Mick Clocherty