writing Scottish literature back into history The increasing vigour of Scottish literature since the 1980s has led not only to a revival in literary fiction, but also to a growing diversification into other narrative genres. The detective story – in the form of so-called “tartan noir ” – has been the most obvious popular genre to undergo revival, but science fi ction has also blossomed in the work of authors such as Alasdair Gray, Iain (M.) Banks, and Ken MacLeod. In this article, I trace something of the problematic history of Scottish science fiction, and argue for a particular thesis concerning its later development. The history of Scottish science fiction is problematic because of the peculiar condition of the Scottish literary tradition. As Cairns Craig argues, Scottish narrative fi ction did not develop along the same lines as English or American literature. Despite the work of Enlightenment historians, and the pre-eminence of Walter Scott and John Galt in the historical novel, Scottish literary culture’s interest in historical progres
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