Highlights of Hebridean Book Festival: Faclan 2017
A Scottish islands festival this autumn is seeking out infinity – and beyond. The theme of the Hebridean Book Festival: Faclan 2017 is Ultima Thule, which was a term used in medieval times to refer to places beyond the borders of the known world.
At that time, map-makers thought the world was flat and there were worlds beyond the horizon.
Now this other worldly theme will be brought to the modern day as the theme for the popular annual book festival on the Isle of Lewis.
Faclan, from October 25 to 28 at An Lanntair, is celebrating its seventh year and includes a line up author talks, discussion, film, launches, exhibitions and workshops.
Here are six festival highlights for active and armchair adventurers alike. For tickets see Faclan 2017.
The Hard Road to Everest
Mountaineering legend Doug Scott will present Up and About: The Hard Road to Everest. It will following a Saturday afternoon showing of digitally restored The Epic of Everest (1924), telling the story of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine’s third attempt to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
Half a century later, in September 1975, Scott and Dougal Haston became the first Britons to reach the top of the world’s highest peak.
Doug went on to become one of Britain’s greatest ever mountaineers, pioneering new climbs in the remotest corners of the globe. He tells his story from his birth in Nottingham during the darkest days of war to the top of the world.
More exciting news: Doug will be revealing is newest book about The Ogre mountain. It offers a biography of the mountain, which is considered to be the world’s toughest high mountains to climb, and details about his epic climb with Chris Bonington and the near-tragic descent in the 1970s.
Dark Matter Thin Air
Michelle Paver is known as writer of dark tales for young readers and has now moved on to scaring the living daylights out of adult readers.
Her latest novel for adults, Thin Air, is set in 1935 on Kangchenjunga, the Himalayan mountain said to be more deadly than Everest.
Described as “a ghost story to chill and thrill…Like Touching the Void rewritten by Jack London,” Michelle will deliver a Royal Literary Fund talk with a ghostly theme.
Faclan in Lands of Ice and Fire
Fantasy, reality, myth and history collide on Friday night with a sensory walk through history. Authors Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough and Carolyne Larrington will reveal the ways in which people lived and loved in days of yore.
Eleanor has followed in the footsteps of the Vikings in her book Beyond the North Lands.
Meanwhile, Carolyne’s book, Winter is Coming, looks at how the medieval world has informed Game of Thrones.
In between, there is a special screening of the first episode of the global success story that is HBO drama, Game of Thrones.
Arrivals and Sailings
Scottish artist George Wyllie, who died in 2012, was best known for his giant “social sculptures”, The Paper Boat and The Straw Locomotive.
He was also fascinated by what lay beyond the boundaries of everyday lives. Journalist Jan Patience, who has co-written Arrivals and Sailings: The Making of George Wyllie with his elder daughter, Louise Wyllie, will discuss “The Making of George Wyllie”.
The Mountain Cafe, Aviemore, was voted Best Cafe in Scotland at the 2017 Scottish Food & Drink Awards. The owner-chef Kirsten Gilmour, who has written a book called The Mountain Cafe Cookbook – A Kiwi in the Cairngorms, will share her kitchen secrets and successes.
She will also be serving cake at a special free session in An Lanntair’s Harbour Room Restaurant.
HYPERBOREA: Lands of the North
An exhibition of photography of wild people and places features the work of three acclaimed photographers, Alex Boyd, Chris Friel and award-winning Icelandic photographer Ragnar Axelsson.
For more information about Faclan 2017 see lanntair.com/faclan
You can also read my Sunday Mail article.