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Sky Dance

Fighting for the wild in the Scottish HIghlands

Hardback (416pp)
  • Hardback £24.00
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'Bring back the lynx? Over my dead body!'

A mutter passed through the crowd of environmental protestors, and Rory stepped forward. 'Your hunting has destroyed our hills and left them treeless wastes, devoid of wildlife. It’s time that changed.'

Lord Purdey’s lip curled in a sneer. 'Listen, you lentil-eating cat lover, Scotland is owned by me and men like me. If we want to kill anything that moves and bulldoze your beloved hills flat, we will.'

Someone from the group hurled a turnip. It struck Purdey a glancing blow and he crumpled slowly to the ground, just as the archaic class system he represented must eventually fall. Or so Rory hoped …

In his first two bestselling books, The Last Hillwalker and Bothy Tales, John D. Burns invited readers to join him in the hills and wild places of Scotland. In Sky Dance, he returns to that world to ask fundamental questions about how we relate to this northern landscape – while raising a laugh or two along the way. Anyone who has stood and gazed at the majesty of the Scottish mountains will know this place and want to return to it. Now, as wild land is threatened like never before, it’s time we asked ourselves what kind of future we want for the Highlands.

*We will publish 250 signed and numbered special edition hardback copies of Sky Dance in September 2019. These will be printed on Enso Creamy 70gsm Volume 20 FSC-certified paper with Wibalin natural green 552 endpapers. They will be bound in black Wicotex cloth over 2250 micron boards and feature silver foil blocking on the spine, plus head and tail bands and a ribbon marker. The dust jacket will be printed on 120gsm sealed edixion paper with no laminate. 

These special editions will be signed by John and numbered, and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis for £24 inc. UK P&P. The first 100 pre-orders will also receive a free copy of the Sky Dance trade edition paperback (RRP £9.99). This special offer will go live on our website on Friday 19 July. The general release/trade edition of Sky Dance will be paperback with an RRP of £9.99. This will also be published in September 2019.


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John D. Burns is a bestselling and award-winning mountain writer who has spent over forty years exploring Britain’s mountains. Originally from Merseyside, he moved to Inverness over thirty years ago to follow his passion for the hills. He is a past member of the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team and has walked and climbed in the American and Canadian Rockies, Kenya, the Alps and the Pyrenees. John began writing more than fifteen years ago, and at first found an outlet for his creativity as a performance poet. He has taken one-man plays to the Edinburgh Fringe and toured them widely around theatres and mountain festivals in the UK. It is the combination of John’s love of the outdoors with his passion for writing and performance that makes him a uniquely powerful storyteller. His first two books, The Last Hillwalker and Bothy Tales, were both shortlisted for TGO Magazine’s Outdoor Book of the Year. His third book, Sky Dance, is published in 2019. He continues to develop his career as a writer, blogger and outdoor storyteller while exploring the wild places he loves.

  • Title: Sky Dance
  • Subtitle: Fighting for the wild in the Scottish Highlands 
  • Author: John D. Burns
  • Imprint: Vertebrate Publishing
  • ISBN: 978-1-912560-26-4
  • Rights: World
  • Publication date: 5 September 2019
  • Edition: First
  • Size: 198mm x 129mm
  • Extent: 416 pages
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Weight: 400g
  • Retail price: £9.99

Also available as an ebook:

  • Imprint: Vertebrate Publishing
  • ISBN: 978-1-912560-27-1
  • Publication Date: 5 September 2019
  • Price: £9.99

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