Bedlam & Other Stories

Posted by to The Blog on January 26th

Bedlam and Other Stories – Mark Fleming (you may have read his article in Issue 57: The double of my cousin from Fife) has a new book out. His debut novel ‘BrainBomb’ was published as a Chipmunka paperback in the summer of 2009, to rave reviews. Semi-autobiographical, it weaved a lurid diary of bipolar illness against a backdrop of historic fantasy and Edinburgh’s punk scene.

The short stories collected in Bedlam paint a broader picture. There are bipolar characters. There are others living with post-traumatic stress disorder, or post-natal depression. Most cope with the stresses and shocks life throws at them. Some don’t, resorting to drugs, even contemplating suicide. There is violence in these tales but it is not connected to any medical condition. It is there, in society, and the perpetrators are far more likely not to have a mental condition.

What all the characters have in common is that they are ordinary people in sometimes-extraordinary circumstances. If they have mental issues, there is nothing abnormal about them. It is simply because they are human.

More about Mark: In the 70’s he loved the Sex Pistols. In the 80’s he loved casual sex and binge drinking. But in 1987 his mind underwent a meltdown. He found himself in a secure psychiatric ward of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.

For more see Mark’s page at

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