Rebel Inc.

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Rebel Inc. is a revived once iconic Scots counter-culture publishing company and literary journal, founded by Kevin Williamson in 1992 with the upfront but accurate slogan of "F*** the Mainstream!". It adroitly managed to tap into the darker undercurrent of Scottish society in the post-Thatcher era, capturing its counter-cultural rejection of mainstream values in its ethos.

Rebel Inc Magazine ran to five issues between 1992 and 1994, publishing new work by writers such as Irvine Welsh, Alan Warner, Laura Hird, Toni Davidson and John King before any of them had books in print. Issue 4 featured an infamous 'Ecstasy Interview' - an unedited conversation between Kevin Williamson and Irvine Welsh whilst both editor and writer were under the influence of the psychoactive drug, MDMA.

In his blog of February 2008, Kevin Williamson wrote "I pulled a stunt on Radio Scotland which satisfied the Malcolm McLaren criteria of "establishing the name", as related to one of the finest exploitation movies of all time: The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle." [1]

In 1996, following the success of Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh, Rebel Inc. was incorporated into the Canongate Books stable of independent publishers. A steady stream of eclectic but edgy releases then ensued, with out-of-print editions by the likes of Alexander Trocchi and Sadegh Hedayat, themselves substantially influential on many of the recent darker Scots authors like Welsh and Alan Warner. It also brought on a new generation of foreign writers such as Henry Baum, Joel Rose and Ray Loriga, who shared its outlook nonetheless.

The Rebel Inc. imprint came to a premature end as a result of increasing friction between Williamson and Canongate over the creative and commercial direction of the imprint, which led to Williamson's resignation and departure from the company in January 2001.[2] The imprint ended abruptly at the very height of its success although Canongate would later claim this was due to financial restructuring. Many of Rebel Inc.'s titles and authors were subsequently transferred into the main Canongate itinerary.

In 2012 Williamson announced plans to revive Rebel Inc. on its 20th anniversary.[3]


  1. ^ Blog: Lesson Number 2: Establish The Name
  2. ^ "Dear Laura » 3:AM Magazine". 2006-11-14. Retrieved 2014-01-23. 
  3. ^ bellacaledonia (2012-05-02). "Rebel Inc: 20 Years On & Ready For More «". Retrieved 2014-01-23. 

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