BRIAN Ferguson rounds up this year’s highlights from the Edinburgh International Book Festival, including appearances from Game of Thrones creator George RR Martin and novelist Martin Amis
George RR Martin, 11 & 12 August: A rare chance to hear the creator of Game of Thrones in person, as the fantasy, horror and science fiction icon makes his festival debut.
Aidan Moffat, 10 August: The former Arab Strap frontman, who won the Scottish Album of the Year award for his acclaimed collaboration with Bill Wells, launches a debut children’s novel, The Lavender Blue Dress.
Richard Bacon, 14 August: The BBC broadcaster, who was famously axed from his job at Blue Peter over a drug-taking scandal, recounts the ups and downs of his career.
Julian Cope, 15 August: One of Britain’s most revered and influential songwriters unveils his new novel - about a 1980s musical burn-out who heads to Sardinia with trouble on his mind for the 1990 World Cup.
Sid Lowe, 16 August: The Spanish soccer expert lifts the lid on the history of one of world football’s most explosive encounters, the El Classico, between Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Diana Gabaldon, 18 August: Expectation is already sky-high for the TV adaptation of the American writer’s first Outlander novel, currently being filmed in Scotland and due to launch in the US before her festival appearance.
Kate Adie, 19 & 20 August: The veteran war correspondent discusses her remarkable career and ponders the women who made a heroic contribution to the First World War.
Haruki Murakami, 23 & 24 August: The multi-million selling Japanese author discusses his classic novel The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and launches his latest book, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.
Martin Amis, 24 August: The acclaimed English novelist visits the festival for the first time, at the age of 64, to launch his latest book, The Zone of Interest, set in a Nazi concentration camp.