BSFA Awards 2015 Shortlist announced

The British Science Fiction Association is extremely pleased and proud to announce the shortlist for the BSFA Awards 2015.

BSFA members will now be able to vote on the shortlist to decide the winners. The voting form for advance votes will be made available shortly after this announcement is made public.

Attending members of Eastercon will also be able to vote on the shortlist, and ballots will be made available at the convention at the BSFA desk. Voting at the convention will be allowed up to midday on Saturday 26th March.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony to be held on the evening of Saturday 26th March at the Hilton Deansgate, Manchester, during Mancunicon, the 67th British National Science Fiction Convention, otherwise known as Eastercon.

 

The shortlisted nominees are:

 Best Novel

Dave Hutchinson: Europe at Midnight, Solaris

Chris Beckett: Mother of Eden, Corvus

Aliette de Bodard: The House of Shattered Wings, Gollancz

Ian McDonald: Luna: New Moon, Gollancz

Justina Robson: Glorious Angels, Gollancz

 

Best Short Story

Aliette de Bodard: “Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight”. Clarkesworld 100

Paul Cornell: “Witches of Lychford”, Tor.com

Jeff Noon: “No Rez”, Interzone 260

Nnedi Okorafor, “Binti”, Tor.com

Gareth L. Powell: “Ride the Blue Horse”, Matter

 

Best Non-Fiction

Nina Allan: “Time Pieces: Doctor Change or Doctor Die”, Interzone 261

Alisa Krasnostein and Alexandra Pierce: Letters to Tiptree, Twelfth Planet Press

Jonathan McCalmont: “What Price Your Critical Agency”, Ruthless Culture.

Adam Roberts: Rave and Let Die: The SF and Fantasy of 2014, Steel Quill Books

Jeff Vandermeer: “From Annihilation to Acceptance: a writer’s surreal journey”,

The Atlantic, January 2015

 

Best Artwork

Jim Burns, Cover of Pelquin’s Comet, Newcon Press

Vincent Sammy: “Songbird”, Interzone 257

Sarah Anne Langton: Cover of Jews Versus Zombies, Jurassic London

 

BSFA London Meeting 24th February 2016: Gareth L. Powell interviewed by Peter F. Hamilton

Location: The Reliance, 336 Old Street, EC1V 9DR
MAP LINK: https://goo.gl/maps/cKQsbT9HDE12

Gareth L. Powell is the author of the novels Silversands, The Recollection, Ack-Ack Macaque (winner of 2013 BSFA Award for Best Novel), Hive Monkey and Macaque Attack.

 Peter F. Hamilton was born in Rutland in 1960 and he is the bestselling author of the Night’s Dawn Trilogy. He began writing in 1987, and sold his first short story to Fear magazine in 1988. He has also been published in Interzone and the In Dreams and New Worlds anthologies, and several small press publications. His first novel was Mindstar Rising, published in 1993, and he has been steadily productive since then. His story “The Suspect Genome” by Peter F. Hamilton (Interzone 156) won the BSFA Award for Best Short Fiction in 2000.

PeterFHamilton

Start Time: 19:00, room open from 6pm, fans gathering in the bar downstairs from 5pm onwards.

 

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

The interview will start at 7 pm.

There will be a raffle (£1 for five tickets), with a selection of sf novels as prizes.

For further information about the London meetings, contact Andrea Dietrich, London Meetings Organiser, bsfa.london.meetings@gmail.com
Start Time: 19:00
Date: 2016-02-24

 

UPDATE Jeff Noon Interview to be STREAMED LIVE and at a new BIGGER venue

On Wednesday 27th January 2016 we’ll be trying our best to stream January’s Jeff Noon interview, live online. Between now and then a public domain recording of The Planet’s by Gustav Holst will be playing and we’d like your feedback on it. Just open the link & let us know what you hear.

MP3 audio only
http://bit.ly/JeffNoonJan2016Interview

For the last few months Chad Dixon has been valiantly trying his best to broadcast BSFA interviews with Periscope, it’s a little error prone so if it doesn’t work we’ll just do the audio. Cheers Chad!

Audio and Video – on the night.
https://periscope.tv/BSFA

NEW LOCATION
Due to the popularity of this event we are moving to a new BIGGER venue which luckily is close by. Andrea has surpassed herself finding this venue :)

The Reliance, 336 Old Street, EC1V 9DR
MAP LINK: https://goo.gl/maps/cKQsbT9HDE12

Introducing the Aberdeen Science Fiction Book Club

The Aberdeen Science Fiction Book ClubComing up for it’s second birthday Aberdeen.ScienceFictionBookClub.org is starting 2016 in style by meeting to discuss the Iain M. banks classic “The Player of Games” on January 14th 2016.

The Aberdeen Science Fiction Book Club meets on the second Thursday of every month in central Aberdeen and is open to women and men interested in meeting like-minded people with an interest in science-fiction novels and short stories.

Every month they read a book from their reading list, set in advance by their undemocratically chosen Leaders, then meet up to discuss what they liked or disliked about it. Simple. And it’s free!

Location: The Belmont Cinema, 49 Belmont St, Aberdeen AB10 1JS [google maps]

5th York Pubmeet (2016) 30th January

Brigantes Bar & Brasserie – 114 Micklegate York, North York YO1 6JX GB
As always, we have another two guest readers and a selection of books to give away, and all of it is totally FREE!

It is also open to the public.

In association with the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) and British Fantasy Society (BFS) we are pleased to announce another open pubmeet event for the Yorkshire region. Our guest authors for the evening, reading from their own work and fielding questions about their careers and writing in general, are Marc Turner (author of The Chronicles of the Exile fantasy series) and Alison Littlewood (author of countless short storiesand a number of shortlisted novels).

You can find out more about Alison Littlewood here.

Alittlewood

And more about Marc Turner here.

mturner

Once again we’ll have a fabulous FREE raffle offering all attendees the chance to win a couple of new and old books (and book bundles) as well as signed copies of works from both guest authors, as well as plenty of opportunity to grab some quality food, drink and conversation — well, okay, we’re depending on you for some of the latter, but hey, the rest sounds good, doesn’t it? 😉

Do join us if you can, and if you haven’t been before, I assure you we are always (a) very welcoming, (b) very approachable, and (c) very pleased to have you along…

For those who enjoy a bite to eat, the Brigantes also has a great food menu.

Should be another great night, full to bursting with inspiration, but we do need your support and attendance, so please plan ahead!

For further info, updates and/or queries, please follow us on Twitter:

@mangozoid (organiser)

@YorkPubmeet

@BSFA

@BritFantasySoc

Start Time: 16:30
Date: 2016/01/30
End Time: 21:30

BSFA London Meeting January 27th: Jeff Noon interviewed by Gerard Earley

BSFA Jan 2016

Jeff Noon, playwright, short story writer and author of many novels including Vurt, Pollen, Automated Alice, Nymphomation, Pixel Juice, Needle in the Groove, Falling out of Cars will be discussing his twenty plus year career and works with Gerard Earley, organiser of the ScienceFictionBookClub.org

Location: Upstairs, The Reliance, 336 Old Street, EC1V 9DR
MAP LINK: https://goo.gl/maps/cKQsbT9HDE12

Start Time: 19:00, room open from 6pm, fans gathering in the bar downstairs from 5pm onwards.

Map is here .

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

The interview will start at 7 pm.

There will be a raffle (£1 for five tickets), with a selection of sf novels as prizes.

Future Meetings:

February 25th: Gareth L. Powell interviewed by Peter F. Hamilton.

For further information about the London meetings, contact Andrea Dietrich, London Meetings Organiser, bsfa.london.meetings@gmail.com

Funds for Rochita Loenen-Ruiz

We at the BSFA would like to bring the following campaign to the attention of our members.

Rochita Loenen-Ruiz is a Filipina writer of fantasy and science fiction  who lives in the Netherlands.  Her stories have been published in Interzone, Clarkesworld, the Philippine Speculative Fiction series and other venues, and she writes a non-fiction column for Strange Horizons, among many, many other activities.

She has recently lost her husband, and the community would like to help her as she and her children are faced with financial difficulty at this time.

As the campaign creator Aliette de Bodard says, “Rochita has always been very generous with her time and always seeking to help and support the community in whatever way she could, and we would love for the community to help her now–in whatever way you can afford, we know it’s not always easy!”

The GoFundMe page for this campaign is here.

Win 2 Tickets to Sledge Lit

Sledge Lit in Derby is Edge-Lit’s Christmas Vacation, and it’s coming to Derby quad on 21st November from 10am-6pm and tickets are just £25.

CONFIRMED GUESTS OF HONOUR:
Alison Moore, Man Booker shortlisted author of The Lighthouse and He Wants
Adam Roberts, acclaimed SF author of Bete, Yellow Blue Tibia and Jack Glass
Robert Shearman, award-winning short story author, scriptwriter and playwright
Charles Stross, multiple Hugo and Locus award winning SF, fantasy and horror author

– See more here.

We have two tickets to give away to this great event to a lucky BSFA member!

In order to be in a chance of winning simply send an email to chair@bsfa.co.uk with SLEDGE LIT COMP in the subject email, providing your name, contact details and BSFA membership number. You will find your BSFA membership number on the envelope of your recent mailing, if you still have it, but if you don’t, we can verify you in our database so long as we have your name and postcode.

The prize is two tickets to this event. In the event that the winner cannot use both tickets, we will be happy to offer the remaining single ticket to another member who has entered the competition. There is no cash or other alternative prize. The winner will be chosen by taking all entries and an independent party will select the winner at random.

The deadline is midnight, Monday 9th November.

Joyful and kind thoughts will be bestowed upon all who retweet and share this competition.

 

 

Arvon Course New worlds: exploring the possibilities and pitfalls 16-21 November

Arvon a running a science-fiction writing course at their Lumb Bank centre in West Yorkshire this month.

How does writing for a SF readership differ from literary writing and what qualities do they share? Is it possible to write science fiction that works with a literary audience and indeed can any writer control for whom they write?

Arguably, science fiction handles the contemporary world more effectively, wittily and playfully than any other kind of literature. We’ll look at the tools of science fiction to see what they offer writers in an age of technological revolution. We will also explore various pressing contemporary questions concerning genre.

Course Tutors:

Simon Ings is a novelist and science writer. He founded Arc, a magazine about the future, and edits the culture section of New Scientist magazine. His latest novel, Wolves, weaves together cutting-edge media theory and the collapse of complex civilisations.

simon ings

Geoff Ryman’s work has won 15 awards including the Arthur C Clarke and the Nebula Awards. Air was listed in the Guardian’s ‘1000 Novels You Must Read’. He teaches Creative Writing at the University of Manchester.

Geoff Ryman

Guest Joanna Kavenna is an author of fiction and non-fiction, and much that is both. She was named as one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists in 2013.
joanna kavenna a

Single room price: £ 725
Shared room price: £ 680

To book refer to the website here.

BEST OF BRITISH SF 2015 concludes with Alastair Reynolds, H.G. Wells and Stephen Baxter

The ScienceFictionBookClub.org conclude their 2015 Best of British Season in November with three books:

** Login required

Global Futures: On Science Fiction 7th November

A book launch and discussion takes place at the Book and Kitchen in London on Saturday 7th November from 7-9pm.

Science fiction authors, editors and publishers Bill Campbell, Zen Cho, Carmelo Rafala, Stephanie Saulter and Tade Thompson will discuss the ways in which Western ideals and narratives dominated the genre for decades, and how that is now being challenged.

They will delve into contemporary SF publishing’s obsession with Hollywood formulas and traditional Western tropes, and show how the micro-, small- and mid-sized presses are working to produce something different. The panel will look back at the challenge posed to SF by the New Wave of the mid 1960s to 1970s, much of it based in Ladbroke Grove. They will also offer ideas and solicit suggestions on how readers – and the genre – might be “retrained”.

About the Panel of Speakers

bill-campbellBill Campbell is the author of Sunshine Patriots, My Booty Novel, Pop Culture: Politics, Puns, “Poohbutt” from a Liberal Stay-at-Home Dad and Koontown Killing Kaper. Along with Edward Austin Hall, he co-edited the groundbreaking anthology, Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond. He is also the co-editor (along with Nisi Shawl) of Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany and teamed up with co-editors Jason Rodriguez and John Jennings for the charity comic book anthology, APB: Artists against Police Brutality. Campbell lives in Washington, DC, where he spends his time with his family, helps produce audio books for the blind, and helms Rosarium Publishing.

Zen-iDJ-Photography-Final-2Zen Cho was born and raised in Malaysia. She is the author of Crawford Award-winning short story collection Spirits Abroad, and editor of anthology Cyberpunk: Malaysia, both published by Buku Fixi.

Her debut novel is Sorcerer to the Crown, the first of a historical fantasy trilogy published by Ace/Roc Books (US) and Pan Macmillan (UK). She lives in London.

Carmelo RafalaCarmelo Rafala’s work has been published in various venues, including the following anthologies: Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany (Rosarium Publishing, July 2015), Submitted For Your Approval (Rod Serling Books, April, 2015), The World and the Stars (Chris Butler/Deborah Jay, April, 2015), the Anthology of European SF (Europa SF, 2013), The Fourth Science Fiction Megapack (Wildside Press, 2012), Rocket Science (Mutation Press, 2012), and The West Pier Gazette and Other Stories (Three Legged Fox Books, 2008).His work was also placed on the Highly Recommended list for the Nova Short Story Competition, hosted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy South Africa Association (2013). His work has recently been translated into Romanian. He also is Editor and Publisher of Immersion Press, a small UK press of award-nominated speculative fiction, and the co-editor (along with Amir Naaman) of the online international speculative fiction journal, Shattered Prism.

Stephanie SaulterStephanie Saulter writes what she likes to think is literary science fiction. Born in Jamaica, she went to university in the United States and spent many years there before moving to the United Kingdom in 2003. She’s the author of the ®Evolution trilogy: Gemsigns, Binary and Regeneration are set in a near-future London, and use the lens of an altered humanity to take a new look at the old issues of race, class, religious extremism and social conflict.

Stephanie lives in London, blogs unpredictably at stephaniesaulter.com and tweets only slightly more reliably as @scriptopus.

TadeThompsonTade Thompson’s roots are in Western Nigeria and South London. His short stories have been published in small press, webzines and anthologies. Most recently, his story “The Madwoman of Igbobi College” appeared in Interfictions Online. He lives and works in South England and has been known to haunt coffee shops, jazz bars, bookshops, and libraries. He is an occasional visual artist and tortures his family with his attempts to play the guitar. His debut novel, Making Wolf, debuts in September.

DonnaScottA stalwart of the British science fiction scene, Donna Bond, who writes and performs as Donna Scott, is Chair of the British Science Fiction Association as well as a copy-editor and proofreader, enjoying the coolness of working with some of the greats and hot new stars of sf. She is also co-editor of dark fantasy fanzine Visionary Tongue, which was established in 1995 by fantasy writer Storm Constantine to help bring new writing to the fore and features prose, poetry, interviews and insights into the weird and wonderful world of creativity.

Tickets are £5 and can be purchased here.

Sledge-Lit Saturday 21st November

SLEDGE-LIT, described as Edge-Lit’s Christmas Vacation takes place in Derby Quad on Saturday 21st November, from 10am-6pm
Tickets are £25 for access to all sessions on the day (including

workshops on the world of writing, detailed panels on a range of hot topics in books and publishing and in-depth sessions with the Guests of Honour) and a goodie bag.
CONFIRMED GUESTS OF HONOUR:
Alison Moore, Man Booker shortlisted author of The Lighthouse and He Wants
Adam Roberts, acclaimed SF author of Bete, Yellow Blue Tibia and Jack Glass
Robert Shearman, award-winning short story author, scriptwriter and playwright
Charles Stross, multiple Hugo and Locus award winning SF, fantasy and horror author
Also, many more authors will be in attendance!

Book online now or call the Box Office on 01332 290 606

BSFA London Meeting: Adam Christopher interviewed by Kim Curran 25th November

Location: Upstairs, The Artillery Arms, 102 Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8ND
Adam Christopher is a novelist and comic writer, and award-winning editor. The author of the forthcoming Made to Kill, volume 1 in The LA Trilogy, Adam is co-writer of The Shield for Dark Circle Comics and author of the official tie-in novels novels based on the hit CBS television show Elementary. Born in New Zealand, Adam has lived in Great Britain since 2006.

Adam

Kim Curran has been an advertising copywriter for nearly 20 years, specialising in youth marketing. She is also the author of novels for young adults, including the Shifter trilogy and Glaze. She was nominated for the Sydney J Bounds, Best Newcomer Award, 2012, and her short story, A Woman Out of Time, was selected for the Tiptree Award Honor List, 2014. Her greatest achievement was when Tom Baker said a script she wrote was funny. He was being paid.

Kim

Start Time: 19:00, room open from 6pm, fans gathering in the bar downstairs from 5pm onwards.

Map is here.

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

The interview will start at 7 pm.

There will be a raffle (£1 for five tickets), with a selection of sf novels as prizes.

For further information about the London meetings, contact Andrea Dietrich, London Meetings Organiser, bsfa.london.meetings@gmail.com
Start Time: 19:00
Date: 2015-11-25

Starship Engineer Workshops 24th and 25th November 2015

Initiative For Interstellar Studies

Have you given becoming a Starship Engineer serious thought? Then either or both of two key one day lectures could be for you.

Kelvin F. Long, who is a physicist and aerospace engineer, Chief Editor Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, author of the book “Deep Space Propulsion: A Roadmap to the Stars” and the Executive Director i4is is one of the lecturers who will be running these workshops as part of the Initiative for Interstellar Studies (i4is) in collaboration with the British Interplanetary Society.

Also a guest lecturer, Rob Swinney is a former RAF Squadron Leader aerosystems engineer and is a Deputy Director of i4is.

Both lecturers have been involved in the creation and running of the only two modern starship design projects, Project Icarus (fusion) and Project Dragonfly (laser-sails).

Tuesday 24 November: Starship Engineer

This course aims to give you a basic grounding in interstellar studies. We go from considering the essential requirements to giving you an overview of different spacecraft systems. We then take you on a journey through several actual starship design studies, and show you how to calculate and evolve an interstellar machine. We will give a broad set of examples from the literature, but focus on two specific case studies, that of fusion propulsion and laser-sail propulsion, as plausible ways by which we may someday reach the distant stars.

Wednesday 25 November: Science Fiction Starships

The works of science fiction literature have produced many fascinating starship concepts, but how realistic are they? In this one day course we will examine texts such as laser-sails in “The Mote in Gods Eye (Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle), Torch Ships in “Time for the Stars” (Robert Heinlein), Quantum Ramjets in “The Songs of Distant Earth” (Arthur C Clarke) and other inspirational examples of interstellar vessels. This course will teach you how to evaluate these ideas from the imagination and how to perform a physics and engineering assessment of their feasibility.

The courses are open to everyone and anyone is welcome to attend, but to participate in the design workshops it is recommended that you have some familiarity with basic mathematics and algebra.

Normal rate: £59 per day or £99 for the two days. Discounted rate: £49 per day or £79 for the two days; includes students and senior citizens. Lunch and coffee will be provided on the day for all attendees.

The venue is: The BIS HQ, 27/29 South Lambeth Road, Vauxhall, London, SW8 1SZ

To join any of the events contact the booking team at: info@i4is.org  or visit www.i4is.org for more details.

FREE TALK: What’s New About the Novum?: SF, History, Temporality.

Dr Caroline Edwards

Dr Caroline Edwards

Join Dr Caroline Edwards for the second seminar in the King’s Fantastic Talks Series, at which she will discuss “What’s New About the Novum?: SF, History, Temporality.”

Where: Room K2.40 Kings College London, Strand Campus
Strand, London WC2R 2LS, London
When: 6:30-8:00, Thursday 29th October 2015

Is her own words….

I’ve been invited this Autumn to deliver a lecture as part of a new series, “King’s Fantastic Talks,” organised by Dr Rhys Williams. My lecture will take place on 29th October at King’s College London’s campus and is titled “What’s New About the Novum? SF, History, Temporality.” The talk builds on my research into Ernst Bloch’s utopian philosophy, looking in particular at the concept of the Novum (literally, the New) which he developed as part of his model of anticipatory consciousness (Vorschein). The Novum was extended by Darko Suvin in his influential formalist study of science fiction, Metamorphoses of Science Fiction: On the Poetics and History of a Literary Genre (1979), where Suvin borrowed Bloch’s notion of multi-stranded temporal complexity in his examination of the structural ingreidents of science fiction as a genre. However, Suvin elided the explicitly Messianic framework in which Bloch’s Novum is grounded – derived from the Jewish tradition of redeeming the past, which is informed by complex messianic futurities germinative within the present time.

I will consider the temporal implications of the Blochian Novum (as well as its similarities with Suvin’s later reading) and what this means for our understanding of how the Novum functions in science fiction texts. Whether expressed by a new situation or secondary world, or a de-alienating socio-political perspective in which more egalitarian relations are articulated in a futuristic or fantastical landscape, the Novum should be understood as more than simply “new” narrative actants and settings. Rather, I shall argue, we need to pay attention to the layered temporal possibilities suggested in the structure of the Novum itself: at once anticipatory, utopian, reemptive, messianic, political and subjective.

There’ll be drinks afterwards at a watering hole of our choice.

Another (Titan) Graphic Novel Round-Up

by Alex Bardy (@mangozoid)

Way back when (nearly a year ago, embarrassingly), I had a look at some of the gorgeous graphic novels and adaptations coming from the Titan stable – the original article is here: Graphic Novel Round-Up. I’m really pleased to share with you this second glance at some other Titan graphic titles, with another round-up to follow relatively soon – rest assured I sincerely hope you won’t have to wait even three months for that one… 😉

WORLD WAR X  Vol. 1: HELIUS
Titan Comics, April 2015, £11.99 cover price (56pp)

(Writer: Jerry Frissen, Lead Artist: Peter Snejbjerg)wwx

This one’s a strange beast (no pun intended)… World War X Vol 1: Helius is really too short to serve as anything other than an introduction to the rest of the series but… In brief, aliens have been invading Earth for hundreds of years; they’re asleep in giant sarcophagi dotted all over the globe (with suitably esoteric hieroglyphic scrawlings on them); they’re slowly waking up and causing chaos, starting with the destruction of a lunar base; but the subsequent changes in time-zone and narrative clearly shows they’ve been doing this for many years…

Enter our heroes: a nigh-immortal warrior philanthropist (Helius) who has honed a team of fighters over the centuries, and an estranged couple – scientific researchers Tara and Adesh Khan – all of whom are clearly fighting a losing battle.

2

The art is clear, precise, and keeps an air of mystery for the most part as to just what these xenomorphic giants look like, and the story gives nothing away as to where they may’ve come from. The consequential havoc they wreak however, not just on the moon in the 21st century, but also in the French Middle Ages (13th century), Pombaline era Portugal (18th century), etc. maintains these clean and crisp lines throughout. The art is not necessarily memorable, but it is consistently tidy.

All told, it’s a promising start for a series, but also really short, and although it does whet the palate, in truth that’s about all it does at the moment. There are many other graphic novels (and series) competing for your moolah, and weighing up the pros and cons, I think this one could get lost in the shuffle all-too easily.

MASKED  Vol 1: ANOMALIES
Titan Comics, March 2015, £10.99 cover price (48pp)

(Writer: Serge Lehman, Lead Artist: Stephane Créty)

masked

Sgt Frank Braffort returns home from war to a changed Paris and is recruited shortly afterwards to help assure the safety of the city against a new species of smart robots, the so-called ‘Anomalies’ of the title – these devilish little things seem to spring up and ‘grow’ seemingly out of nowhere only to disappear just as fast…

It soon transpires that as well as having a few personal issues of his own to iron out, Braffort seems to be an important cog in the whole machine, and having already been head-hunted by the Special Prefect for Greater Paris for a very important, significant role in the current crisis, very soon finds himself deeply embroiled in a war that may have its roots decades in the past. Yup, of course there’s a twist, there always is with these things, but I’ll leave that one for you to investigate at your leisure…

masked 2

To say much more would be to give the game away somewhat, but this is a cracking start to a new series, with some fabulous artwork and a genuinely interesting premise holding it all together. Needless to say, I look forward to reading subsequent volumes, and sincerely hope they manage to keep the same artist(s) on board: Stephane Créty.

Also included, is a snazzy blog entry at the back (“A Night at the BPA”) from a Parisian socialite providing an eyewitness account of some of the happenings, and a fake news article detailing the history and technical specs of various Anomaly incarnations.

An impressive first volume, setting the quotient high both on standards and anticipation for the next one…

THE EVIL WITHIN
Titan Comics, May 2015, £14.99 cover price (108pp)

(Writer: Ian Edginto, Lead Artist: Alex Sanchez)

evil evil 2

One could be forgiven for expecting a graphic novel prequel to a computer video game to at least set the scene, if not get you excited for a game’s release, so with this in mind here is the official prequel to the video game of the same name, created by master horror writer, Shinji Mikami, and set in a similar world to Resident Evil, Silent Hill, etc…

First off, then, our main protagonists include Dana searching for her lost friend, Kate, and nurse Paul, who happens to be running away from an army of zombies when we first meet him… Kate comes into the heart of things a little later, but don’t worry about that for now. Herded into a mysterious abandoned building, we proceed to witness various bizarre manifestations of their biggest fears and individual regrets, and in typical Saw territory, they also encounter a load of traps and horrific devices designed to sap their sanity and of course, publicise a motley collection of monsters that I’m sure you’ll find in the main game (The Keeper, The Sadist, etc).

The art really whacks up the bloody horror and sick, twisted nightmare content, and for the large part is actually very good, but it’s also crazy, chaotic, occasionally nonsensical, and in places just very confusing.

skrieee

It’s hard to recommend this unless you’re a die-hard fan of the computer game or the world(s) it tries to depict, but it’s very expensive for what it is and I’m pretty sure you could sate your appetite for horror and blood-letting elsewhere without looking too hard. That said, if you can get a sneak peak at it before purchasing, do so and then make your own mind up…

A gallery of covers, images, and pinups at the back is a nice little bonus, but alas, probably not strong enough to carry the whole book.

ELRIC  Vol 2: STORMBRINGER
Titan Comics, May 2015, £10.99 cover price (64pp)

(Writers: Julien Blondel & Jean-Luc Cano, Lead Artists: Julien Telo, Robin Recht, and Didier Poli)

By far the best of this bunch, and arguably fast becoming the go-to flagship graphic novel series from Titan, Elric Vol 2: Swordbringer is another brutally violent, gorgeously illustrated portrayal of our tragic albino anti-hero from the original pen of Michael Moorcock… It helps a lot that the physical size (of the page) is bigger than the ‘usual’ graphic novel format.

Elric

Elric 2

Following the unfortunate end of the first volume, in which Elric’s lover, Cymoril, was kidnapped by his nefarious brother-in-law, Yyrkoon, this volume sees Elric in the depths of despair at not being able to find his beloved. With his empire crumbling around him, Elric is a physically weak, demented emperor who can’t get through daily life without support from dark magic, the blood of innocents, drugs, and Lord knows what else hidden deep within the towers and canyons of Imrryr…

Elric 3

Once again we find Elric turning to the chaotic, ancient gods of his empire for help, and with the longer-term consequences only hinted at (and assuredly, he probably hasn’t even considered), acquires the legendary Stormbringer demon-sword from Arioch, Duke of Swords, and forces a confrontation with Yyrkoon. Regardless, when all is said and done, Stormbringer needs to feed on the souls of the living, and that sets up the next volume just perfectly…

Elric 4

To say more would be to spoil things, but rest assured that this super-sized second instalment had a larger team than the first volume working on it, moves at a cracking pace, looks amazing, and also includes a great introduction by comics-meister Alan Moore; he and Moorcock himself (in the previous volume) are both bigging this series up as a superb adaptation of the original epic tales, and I’m certainly not going to disagree with them on that score… A great production, this, and well worth seeking out, but you might want to grab the first one …erm… first…

Talos: Science Fiction Theatre Festival of London

The Talos Science Fiction Theatre Festival will take place October 24-25 in Chelsea Theatre in London, UK. The festival features science fiction plays by contemporary writers from all over the world, including Greece and Australia.

Tickets are available here: https://www.chelseatheatre.org.uk/project/talos-science-fiction-theatre-festival/

Pregnant men and drones, apocalypse survivors and superheroes, emotional navigator systems, bodiless heads and more fantastical fictions are brought to life on stage in a unique showcase of new science fiction theatre.

Saturday, October 24th – Sunday, October 25th, 7.30PM

An Ordinary Man by Elizabeth Adlington
Lost Love by Jen McGregor
Crooked Fork by Jonathan Yukich
Drone by Tom Jensen
Two Heads on a First Date by Ron Burch
Superhero by Andreas Flourakis
The Other Roof by Susan Gray
Interface/Interface by Libby Emmons

Anyone wanting to come along with London’s ScienceFictionBookClub.org to the Saturday 24th performance is welcome along via their event. (Requires Login)

Tickets are available here: https://www.chelseatheatre.org.uk/project/talos-science-fiction-theatre-festival/

See our website for more information: http://www.talosfest.com/

SFSF Social 4 – David Barnett & Ask The Agent with Amanda Rutter October 17th, Sheffield

Location: Eten Cafe, 2-4 York Street, Sheffield, S1 2ER
Description: As part of Sheffield’s Off The Shelf Festival, in association with Sheffield Fantasy and Science Fiction Social Club, we present David Barnett and Amanda Rutter:

David Barnett is an award-winning journalist and author based in West Yorkshire. He was born in Wigan, Lancashire, in 1970 and has worked in regional newspapers since 1989. He is the author of the Gideon Smith alternate history series from Tor Books, beginning in 2013 with Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl. David is also the author of Hinterland (2005, reprinted 2008), Angelglass (2007) and The Janus House and Other Two-Faced Tales (2009), all published by Immanion Press, as well as popCULT!, published in 2011 from Pendragon Press. His work has been translated into Czech, Russian and German. He is represented by the literary agent John Jarrold. His latest novel, Gideon Smith and the Mask of the Ripper, will be released by Tor (US) and Snowbooks (UK) in October 2015.

David-Barnett-Author-Pic-300x300

After training and working as an accountant for over a decade, Amanda Rutter became an editor with Angry Robot, helping to sign books and authors for the Strange Chemistry imprint. Since leaving Angry Robot, she has been a freelance editor, through her own company AR Editorial Solutions, BubbleCow and Wise Ink. She also finds time to write blog posts for Tor.com. In her free time, she is a yarn fiend, knitting and crocheting a storm. Amanda is an associate agent at the Red Sofa Literary Agency, and will be hosting an Ask The Agent session at the Social.

Amanda

SFSF welcome you all, but have asked if it would be possible for attendees to send questions in advance to help the event run smoothly. Follow the link to contact them on their form. Alternatively, you can email Amanda at AskAmanda [at] kinsmeet.co.uk. All questions received will be forwarded on to Amanda. If you can’t attend the Social in person, we’ll post up answers to your question after the event.

This is a free and open event, but the organizers would be delighted if you could let them know in advance if you intend to attend via Eventbrite.
Start Time: 16:00
Date: 2015-10-17
End Time: 20:00