Saturday, 22 April 2017

World Book Night 2017: BOOK ISH NESS

With spring comes... World Book Night.

The theme this year was chosen by wild artist, king of the rubber stamp, and long-time Nessie aficionado Steven Fowler. He decreed that the United Artists, rather than reading and responding to a single work of fiction as in previous years, would research the history of publications around the Loch Ness monster, and contribute a new work to the genre. As plans began to take shape, the name BOOK ISH NESS (created by Linda Parr) was adopted for the project.

This year's programme was the most adventurous yet, surpassing previous research in the woodlands of Oxfordshire (The Secrets of Metahmeralism, after Donna Tartt's The Secret History) and the takeaways of Bristol (TOAST: A Night on Weevil Lake, after Douglas Copeland's The Gum Thief).

Sighting on Loch Ness, 12 March 2017

Primed with studies of cryptozoology and hazy evidence of 1970s monster-spotting technology, members of the public sent in evidence captured around the globe. The Loch Ness Investigation Bureau (officially formed in 1961 and closed in 1972) was Rebooted in response to this flurry of sightings. Thirteen members of the Bureau met at Fort Augustus on 10 March and spent five days carefully observing Loch Ness from different look-out points including the Nessieland attraction at Drumnadrochit, the turrets of Castle Urquhart, and the great locks at the end of the Caledonian Canal. This gruelling observation schedule, from dawn to midnight daily, led to many new and interesting discoveries. Sarah Bodman, the expedition's head chef, did an inspired job of feeding hungry LNIBR members at Morag's Lodge.

Even in the woods there were monsters

Beginning to map the monster

I began a ballad recounting our investigations, but - true to the spirit of Hunting The Snark which inspired it - it remains unfinished. Thankfully other Investigators have been more organised. You can see documentation of LNIBR preparations and excursions, records of sightings, and other results of the trip (both visual and verbal) and buy a copy of the BOOKISHNESS publication at the UWE Book Arts Website. And there's a movie too! 

containing contributions from many monster hunters

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