About Donna Scott

Chair of the BSFA since June 2013. Prior to this I was Awards Administrator, taking over that role from Claire Briarley in 2008. I am officially Donna Bond since getting married in May 2013, but continue to write and perform under my previous name, Donna Scott. My short fiction stories have been published in various anthologies and magazines, and I was winner of the inaugural Short Cuts at the MAC in 2005. As a comedian, I have performed all over the UK. Comedy has also given me the opportunity to perform alongside big names like Sarah Millican and Jasper Carrott! As a poet, I've also performed all over the place, including lots of science fiction conventions, and sometimes my poetry and comedy get kind of mixed up. I was the first official Bard of Northampton, it's true. I've got a tankard that says so... I love being a part of the BSFA - I've always been a devourer of books and being part of this association has enabled me to explore some great science fiction classics - and classics of the future, that I might otherwise have not heard about. I've met some lovely people with an enthusiasm for the genre, made firm friends, and got to meet some of my favourite writers, too! As a writer, I also have to say that FOCUS is the best magazine for writers I've ever come across - and as a member I get that for free. Who wouldn't want to be a part of this?

3rd 2017 York Pubmeet – The Mutable Body in Genre Film and Fiction 3rd June 2017

Link out: Click here

We have another York Pubmeet coming up next month, on Saturday 3rd June 2017, this time with genre horror fiction author Steve Toase and scriptwriter Maxine Gee…

In association with the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) and the British Fantasy Society (BFS) we are pleased to announce our third York Pubmeet event for 2017.

We’re also returning to the alarmingly spacious The New York Club, 22-26 Blossom Street, York — turn right out of York station, and right again at the traffic lights, and it’s about 200 yards down the road.

From Frankenstein’s monster in Mary Shelley’s classic, arguably the earliest Sci-Fi novel, to the Remade in China Mieville’s Bas-Lag series, or Ghost in the Shell’s Major Motoko Kusanagi, the body has been a central obsession of fantasy, science fiction and horror. What all these examples share is the imposition on the individual’s body by an outside authority, whether the scientist or the government. Does the individual have control over their own flesh? Do they get to decide what happens to their body, or what type of body their consciousness is placed in? Are they the same person when they occupy another body?

Both Max Gee and Steve Toase explore these themes in their work.

On the evening, Max will present a performance of her script, Virdian, an exploration of enhancement through DNA patches, and the role of the corporation.

Max Gee

Steve will read from his story ‘Not All The Coal That Is Dug Warms The World’, a body-horror story about how the government in the near future takes possession of the bodies those claiming disability benefits to make them ‘productive’.

Both writers’ work deals with real world concerns about government and corporate intrusion, and the individual’s right to self-determination.

Steve is a writer with over sixty published stories to his name, in Aurealis, Innsmouth Magazine, Cabinet des Fees, Not One of Us and Café Irreal amongst others. In 2014 his story Call Out was reprinted in Best Horror of the Year 6. Not All The Coal That Is Dug Warms The World was longlisted for Best Horror of the Year 8, and will soon be recorded for the podcast, Tales To Terrify. He is a regular reviewer for Fortean Times, and has a background in archaeology. He has an MA in Landscape Archaeology, studying embodied experiences of prehistoric landscapes. His blog can be found here: http://stevetoase.wordpress.com/

Max Gee is a freelance screenwriter and playwright who occasionally dabbles in prose. She has adapted Sherlock Holmes and The Speckled Band with Theatre Mill for site specific theatre in York, as well as writing original short science fiction plays (Kagome, Kagome, Off the Rock Productions). Max’s screen work includes Tales of Bacon, a medieval webseries, and Do Androids Dream of Electronic Cigarettes a science fiction inspired web advert. She was commissioned by York based One&Other magazine to write a speculative short story on a future York titled The Crash.

Max is in the final stages of a PhD by Creative Practice in Screenwriting focusing on posthuman noir in Anglo-American films and Japanese animation. Max has published on science fiction screenwriting for the BSFA’s FOCUS magazine and on posthuman noir in Cinema: Journal of Film and Philosophy.

Steve Toase

THIS EVENT IS FREE TO ATTEND BUT PLEASE DO BOOK A TICKET (FREE)

As always, this event is FREE TO ATTEND, just turn up (preferably before 5pm unless you want to risk some minor humiliation and additional attention… just saying, like).

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…

I’m confident that once again it’ll be another great evening, full to bursting with inspiration, but we do need your support and attendance, so please plan ahead and take the time to book a FREE ticket – this helps make organising things in advance that little bit easier.

We’re back at The New York Club, too — much larger than our usual haunts but with limited facilities, cheaper drinks, and well… any feedback would be appreciated afterwards. There’s no food again, but plenty of places nearby (and next door) should we end up decanting elsewhere.

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

@YorkPubmeet

@mangozoid (organiser)

@BSFA

@BritFantasySoc

Start Date: 2017-06-03
Start Time: 16:30
End Date: 20:00

HumberSFF#4 with Peter Crowther and Ramsey Campbell

Title: HumberSFF#4 with Peter Crowther and Ramsey Campbell
Location: Hull Central Library, Kingston upon Hull, HU1 3TE
Link out: Click here
Description: HumberSFF #4 Best In Class
HumberSFF is a regular FREE social for fans of the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror genres. Backed by the British Fantasy Society and the British Science Fiction Association, and with the help of Hull Central Library, Humber SFF provides the opportunity to meet others who love the fantasy and speculative fiction genres as well as an opportunity for aspiring writers and published authors to discover more about the industry both locally and nationally.
BEST IN CLASS
The City of Culture’s second season – Roots and Routes – is all about a city connected to the world beyond our port. Accordingly, our guest on Saturday May 27th will be Peter Crowther, and Ramsey Campbell.
Within their fields, both Peter and Ramsey are not simply award winning individuals but undisputed masters.

 


Peter Crowther is both an editor and author. His written work is available in several collections, and has been adapted for TV. You can read some of it on his site http://www.petercrowther.com/stories.php.
Many now know Peter for his work within PS Publishing. He and his wife Nicky have established PS Publishing as one of the most respected publishers of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror in the UK. PS Publishing is one of the few publishers also covering poetry, and though they are based right here in East Yorkshire their reach is global.


Ramsey Campbell writes horror. His bibliography runs from 1957 to present day, and his work has been winning awards since 1978. His work includes Cold Print, The Parasite, Ancient Images, The Long Lost, and The Chimney, but his catalogue is immense.
His horror novels and stories have earned him many accolades including the Grand Master Award at the World Horror Convention in 1999, in 2015 Ramsey received an Honorary Fellowship from John Moores University in his home town of Liverpool for “Outstanding Services to Literature”. He continues to lead the way in horror fiction today. Ramsey is also an exceptional editor, having worked on a number of short story collections that have – naturally – gone on to win awards.

Perhaps the most important aspect of both our guests is not the awards they’ve won or the volume of exceptional stories, novels and publications they have created, but the high regard they are held in by those who read and love their work.
Tickets & attendance are free. However, seats will be reserved on a first-come first-served basis.
As well as the chance to hear both Peter and Ramsey discuss their current works, there will be the chance to win free books in our raffle.
All guests are welcome to join us after the event at the Old English Gentlemen on Worship Street for (possibly free) sandwiches and (definitely not free) drinks!
Start Time: 13:00
Date: 2017-05-27

BSFA London Meeting Wednesday May 24th Anna Smith-Spark interviewed by RA Smith

Location: Artillery Arms (upstairs –private– bar) 102 Bunhill Row (corner of Dufferin St)  EC1Y 8ND
 BSFA Monthly London Meetings (all welcome- free : one does NOT have to be a BSFA member to attend)

When: usually the 4th Wed of each month (excl Dec).  Fans meet from 1800 in the main downstairs bar-prompt upstairs start at 1900 -though some regulars go upstairs earlier.

anna smith-spark author photo

This month’s guest is Queen of Grimdark, Anna Smith-Spark, whose debut novel The Court of Broken Knives was described by Clarke Award-winner Adrian Tchaikovsky as “Fierce, gripping fantasy, exquisitely written; bitter, funny and heart-rending by turns”. Anna has a BA in Classics, an MA in history and a PhD in English Literature. She has previously been published in the Fortean Times and the poetry website www.greatworks.org.

Photo R A Smith c/o https://projectshadowlondon.wordpress.com/

Anna is interviewed by Russell Smith (R. A. Smith) – is the author of Oblivion Storm and Primal Storm from The Grenshall Manor Chronicles series. He is a graduate of MMU where he studied for his BA in English and his MA in Creative Writing.

Where: Artillery Arms (upstairs –private– bar) 102 Bunhill Row (corner of Dufferin St)  EC1Y 8ND
Nearest Tube/NatRail: Old St-exit 3 (->Barbican).  Brewery: Fullers.  Hot food available.  SF Book raffle* (tickets 5 for £1)
Some attendees join the Speaker/Meeting Organisers later for an informal (usually Thai) meal. (though no obligation to partake).

June 17th – Mini convention and SFF/BSFA AGM
June 28 – TBA
July 26 – TBA
Start Time: 19:00

BAFTA at 70 – 2 for 1 ticket offer

BAFTA SFX Overnighter – Saturday 29 April

 Got no plans this bank holiday weekend? Come to BAFTA at for an all-night cult film extravaganza and enjoy a selection of BAFTA-nominated sci-fi + horror films back on the big screen!

As part of the BAFTA at 70 open weekend, celebrate the work of some of the earliest nominees of the BAFTA Awards for Special Effects. Revisit Poltergeist, E.T., Tron and Silent Running throughout the night on Saturday, with a specially curated food and beverage menu for guests whilst you watch.

 

Book your tickets here – for a limited period only, use the code BAFTA@70 to get a 2 for 1 ticket offer when booking!

BSFA/SFF AGM and Mini Covention

Location: Lecture theatre 1, Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, SW7 2AZ
Advance Notice!
BSFA/SFF AGM and Mini Convention
June 17th 2017
Lecture theatre 1, Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, SW7 2AZ

Times: 10:00am – 4:30pm (doors open from 09:30am)
BSFA AGM: noon
SFF AGM 1:30pm

Special Guest for BSFA: Anne Charnock


A Calculated Life, Anne’s debut novel, was a finalist for the 2013 Philip K. Dick and Kitschies Golden Tentacle Awards. Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind was one of The Guardian’s best SFF books of 2015. Dreams Before the Start of Time is one of Publishers Weekly’s most anticipated titles of Spring 2017.
Special Guest for SFF: Stephanie Saulter.


Stephanie Saulter is the author of the near-future science fiction @Evolution trilogy, including the novels Gemsigns, Binary and Regeneration. She is published by Jo Fletcher/Quercus.

Further guests to be announced.

The event is free and open to all for the panels and interviews, so non-members who wish to attend may wish to take advantage of the AGM times scheduled around lunch to mingle at a nearby venue (one will be suggested closer to the date).
Start Time: 10:00
Date: 2017-06-17
End Time: 16:30

BSFA Awards 2016 Winners Announced


The British Science Fiction Association is delighted to announce the winners of the BSFA Awards for works published in 2016.

Best Novel:
Winner: Dave Hutchinson – Europe in Winter (Solaris)

 


Shortlisted works were:

Chris Beckett – Daughter of Eden (Atlantic/Corvus)

Becky Chambers – A Closed and Common Orbit (Hodder & Stoughton)

Dave Hutchinson – Europe in Winter (Solaris)

Tricia Sullivan – Occupy Me (Gollancz)

Nick Wood – Azanian Bridges (NewCon Press)

 

Best Shorter Fiction:
 
Winner: Jaine Fenn – Liberty Bird (Now We Are Ten, NewCon Press)

Shortlisted works were:
Malcolm Devlin – The End of Hope Street (Interzone #266)

Jaine Fenn – Liberty Bird (Now We Are Ten, NewCon Press)

Una McCormack – Taking Flight (Crises and Conflicts, NewCon Press)

Helen Oyeyemi – Presence (What is Not Yours is Not Yours, Picador)

Tade Thompson – The Apologists (Interzone #266)

Aliya Whiteley – The Arrival of Missives (Unsung Stories)

 

Best Non-Fiction:
 
Winner: Geoff Ryman – 100 African Writers of SFF (Tor.com)
Shortlisted works were:

Rob Hansen – THEN: Science Fiction Fandom in the UK 1930-1980 (Ansible Editions)

Erin Horáková – Boucher, Backbone and Blake: The Legacy of Blakes Seven (Strange Horizons)

Anna McFarlane – Breaking the Cycle of the Golden Age: Jack Glass and Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy (Adam Roberts: Critical Essays, Gylphi)

Paul Graham Raven – New Model Authors? Authority, Authordom, Anarchism and the Atomized Text in a Networked World (Adam Roberts: Critical Essays, Gylphi)

Geoff Ryman – 100 African Writers of SFF (Tor.com)

Ann & Jeff VanderMeer – Introduction to The Big Book of Science Fiction (Vintage)

 

Best Artwork:
 
Winner: Sarah Anne Langton – Cover for Central Station by Lavie Tidhar (Tachyon Publications)


Shortlisted works were:
Juan Miguel Aguilera – Cover of The 1000 Year Reich by Ian Watson (NewCon Press)

Tara Bush – Transition (Cover of Black Static #53)

Suzanne Dean and Kai & Sunny – Cover of The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan (William Heinemann)

David A Hardy – Cover of Disturbed Universes by David L Clements (NewCon Press)

Sarah Anne Langton – Cover for Central Station by Lavie Tidhar (Tachyon Publications)

Chris Moore – Cover of The Iron Tactician by Alastair Reynolds (NewCon Press)


The BSFA Awards are presented annually by the British Science Fiction Association, based on a vote of BSFA members and – in recent years – members of the British national science fiction convention Eastercon. They are fan awards that not only seek to honour the most worthy examples in each category, but to promote the genre of science fiction, and get people reading, talking about and enjoying all that contemporary science fiction has to offer.

BSFA Lecture at Eastercon

We are delighted to announce the 2017 BSFA lecture.  Dr. Sarah Whitfield will speak on Who Tells Your Story?’ Revolutions|revelations in Hamilton : An American Musical”

Sarah Whitfield II

 

She writes, “Hamilton is a phenomenon. For many it is a revolution in musical theatre, crashing the sound of hip-hop into the Broadway sound and challenging the history of the U.S. as the property of a few great white men. Yet is it a revolution for musicals? Hamilton invites us to reassess musical theatre and understand how it has enacted a ‘struggle to dream intensely’ about radical racial inclusion and diversity for over a century.”

 

Dr Sarah Whitfield is a Senior Lecturer in Musical Theatre at University of Wolverhampton. She is a musical theatre researcher, practitioner and academic. She writes about theatre history with a particular focus in uncovering the work that women do in the arts. As a dramaturg she has collaborated and advised on a range of projects from site-specific immersive theatre to West End musicals. She tweets at @sarahinthepark
The talk will be at 11:30 am on Saturday, 15 April 2017 at Innominate, the 2017 Eastercon, which is being held at the Hilton NEC Metropole in Birmingham. Day memberships are currently available and will be available at the door as well. Details of the convention are available here: http://eastercon2017.uk/

BSFA London Meeting April 26th: Nik Abnett interviewed by Donna Scott

Location: Artillery Arms (upstairs –private– bar) 102 Bunhill Row (corner of Dufferin St)  EC1Y 8ND

Nik Abnett has been a prolific writer for many years, working in mediums as diverse as comics, training manuals, and ghost writing the odd novel or two. As Nik Vincent, she has significantly added to the Black Libraries’ Warhammer and Warhammer 40K canon, including many collaborative works written with her partner Dan Abnett. Savant is her first solo, independent full-length work of fiction. She is currently working on a computer game, and a companion novel to Savant.
https://twitter.com/N_VincentAbnett
Donna Scott is Chair of the British Science Fiction Association and a well-respected editor within genre, and has worked with Immanion, Angry Robot, Games Workshop and many independent presses. She has recently worked on Alan Moore’s Jerusalem and her current project is the Best of British Science Fiction 2016 anthology for Newcon Press. As a stand-up, she reached the semi-finals of Jongleurs Comedy Callback in 2009 and the semi-finals of Old Comedian  in 2016. She recently performed her first solo show The Pleasant Revolt about the history of social justice at Leicester Comedy Festival.
https://twitter.com/wishusdonna

The order of the evening usually goes like this:
6:00 pm People gather
7:00 pm Interview
8:00 pm Q & A
8:30pm Book raffle (win a selection of sf novels for just £1 for 5 tickets).

BSFA Monthly London Meetings (all welcome- free : one does NOT have to be a BSFA member to attend)

When: usually the 4th Wed of each month (excl Dec).  Fans meet from 1800 in the main downstairs bar-prompt upstairs start at 1900 -though some regulars go upstairs earlier.

Where: Artillery Arms (upstairs –private– bar) 102 Bunhill Row (corner of Dufferin St)  EC1Y 8ND
Nearest Tube/NatRail: Old St-exit 3 (->Barbican).  Brewery: Fullers.  Hot food available.  SF Book raffle* (tickets 5 for £1)
Some attendees join the Speaker/Meeting Organisers later for an informal (usually Thai) meal. (though no obligation to partake).
May 23 – TBA
June 28 – TBA

BSFA London Meeting March 22nd: Andrew Wallace interviewed by Faith Lee

This month’s guest is Andrew Wallace, author of the Diamond Roads series of novels, which follow the challenges facing Charity Freestone and her family in 24th Century Diamond City.

img_0274Following stage productions of his plays ‘Byron’ and ‘The Scissors Angel’ Andrew’s Radio 4 play, ‘Burn Your Phone’ was nominated for a Writer’s Guild Award and turned into a film on BBC2 starring and directed by Alan Cumming. He followed commissions for the feature-length script of acclaimed short ‘The Cutter’ and an adaptation of the novel ‘As Good As It Gets’ with the BBC7 show ‘Wonderworld’ and wrote regularly for Radio 4’s flagship comedy ‘Look Away Now’. He has produced three Edinburgh shows including ‘The Free Three’ and ‘Seething Is Believing’ and created the ‘Vengeance’ and ‘Bloody Mary’ shows for the London Dungeon.

Andrew will be interviewed by fantasy novelist F.D. Lee, author of the Pathways Tree series.

 

BSFA Monthly London Meetings (all welcome- free : one does NOT have to be a BSFA member to attend)

When: usually the 4th Wed of each month (excl Dec).  Fans meet from 1800 in the main downstairs bar-prompt upstairs start at 1900 -though some regulars go upstairs earlier.

Where: Artillery Arms (upstairs –private– bar) 102 Bunhill Row (corner of Dufferin St)  EC1Y 8ND
Nearest Tube/NatRail: Old St-exit 3 (->Barbican).  Brewery: Fullers.  Hot food available.  SF Book raffle* (tickets 5 for £1)
Some attendees join the Speaker/Meeting Organisers later for an informal (usually Thai) meal. (though no obligation to partake).

Apr 26-   Nik Abnett interviewed by Donna Scott
May 23 – TBA
Start Time: 19:00
Date: 2017-03-22

The BSFA Awards 2016 Shortlist

The Shortlist for the BSFA Awards 2016 was announced on 19th February 2017. The Awards will be presented at Innominate, the 68th Eastercon, which this year is taking place at Hilton Birmingham Metropole from 14th-17th April 2017.

The shortlisted works are:

Best Novel

Chris Beckett – Daughter of Eden (Atlantic/Corvus)

Becky Chambers – A Closed and Common Orbit (Hodder & Stoughton)

Dave Hutchinson – Europe in Winter (Solaris)

Tricia Sullivan – Occupy Me (Gollancz)

Nick Wood – Azanian Bridges (NewCon Press)

 

Best Short Fiction

Malcolm Devlin – The End of Hope Street (Interzone #266)

Jaine Fenn – Liberty Bird (Now We Are Ten, NewCon Press)

Una McCormack – Taking Flight (Crises and Conflicts, NewCon Press)

Helen Oyeyemi – Presence (What is Not Yours is Not Yours, Picador)

Tade Thompson – The Apologists (Interzone #266)

Aliya Whiteley – The Arrival of Missives (Unsung Stories)

 

Best Non-Fiction

Rob Hansen – THEN: Science Fiction Fandom in the UK 1930-1980 (Ansible Editions)

Erin Horáková – Boucher, Backbone and Blake: The Legacy of Blakes Seven (Strange Horizons)

Anna McFarlane – Breaking the Cycle of the Golden Age: Jack Glass and Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy (Adam Roberts: Critical Essays, Gylphi)

Paul Graham Raven – New Model Authors? Authority, Authordom, Anarchism and the Atomized Text in a Networked World (Adam Roberts: Critical Essays, Gylphi)

Geoff Ryman – 100 African Writers of SFF (Tor.com)

Ann & Jeff VanderMeer – Introduction to The Big Book of Science Fiction (Vintage)

 

Best Artwork

Juan Miguel Aguilera – Cover of The 1000 Year Reich by Ian Watson (NewCon Press)

Tara Bush – Transition (Cover of Black Static #53)

Suzanne Dean and Kai & Sunny – Cover of The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan (William Heinemann)

David A Hardy – Cover of Disturbed Universes by David L Clements (NewCon Press)

Sarah Anne Langton – Cover for Central Station by Lavie Tidhar (Tachyon Publications)

Chris Moore – Cover of The Iron Tactician by Alastair Reynolds (NewCon Press)

 

Details of how members can vote for the awards are here.

HumberSFF February 25th with Jim Hawkins, Steven Poore and Lee Harrison

Hull Central Library, Kingston upon Hull, HU1 3TE

Science Fiction Association Humber SFF provides the opportunity to meet others who love the fantasy and speculative fiction genres. Aspiring writers, published authors and the chance to discover more about the genre industry.
The second meetup of HumberSFF features Jim Hawkins, Steven Poore and Lee Harrison.

Jim Hawkins’ screenplay “Thank You Comrades,” earned him a BAFTA nomination. Many of his short stories have been published in Best of The Year anthologies. Fragments of Tomorrow is a… collection of his high quality short stories gathered from an enviable writing career. His work has regularly been published in the in the UK’s flagship science fiction magazine, Interzone. When not writing, Jim inspires new genre writers at Hull University. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jim-Hawkins/e/B01F1UR4BQ

Steven Poore’s epic fantasy Heir to the North saw him nominated for a British Fantasy Award in 2016. High King’s Vengeance is the sequel and continues with the theme that the North will rise again. Steven also writes science fiction. His short stories have been published in BFS Award-winning publisher Fox Spirit Books in their Fox Pockets range.
https://stevenpoore.wordpress.com/

Lee Harrison describes his debut epic fantasy novel, The Bastard Wonderland, as a kitchen sink epic and saw it make the long list for the Not the Booker Prize. He is currently a First Story Writer in residence at St Mary’s College in Hull.
https://thebastardwonderland.wordpress.com/

The event is free but please register your interest via Eventbrite.

Start Time: 13:00
End Time: 16:00

African Speculative Fiction Lectures

The Department of African Languages and Cultures, SOAS, University of London, is hosting a new lecture series from February 2017 focusing on speculative fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora. The series is open to all those who are passionate about speculative fictions from Africa, including university students at all levels of their academic development. The series will explore the genres of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and magic realism. Details are here, and also see the attached programme with details about the lectures.

programme spec series

22nd February 6-8pm Dr. Nicholas Wood: South African Speculative Fiction

 

1st March 5 – 6pm Dr. Polina Levontin: Scientists in Nigerian Science Fiction

 

1st March 6 – 8pm Miriam Pahl: Literature as a Lighthouse: African Science Fiction and Ecocritical Representations of War and Conflict

 

8th March 4- 5.30pm Sinéad Murphy: Predicting’ the Arab Spring: forces of genre and culture in Egyptian Science Fiction

 

8th March 6-8pm Geoff Ryman:  Title TBC

 

22nd March 6-8pm Dr. Christos Callow: Performing Afrofuturism: Science fiction theatre and the work of Andrea Hairston

BSFA London Meeting February 22nd: Adrian Tchaikovsky

BSFA Monthly London Meetings (all welcome- free : one does NOT have to be a BSFA member to attend)

This month our guest is Arthur C. Clarke Award winner Adrian Tchaikovsky.

Adrian Tchaikovsky is the author of the acclaimed Shadows of the Apt fantasy series, and he joins us as the second volume in his Echoes of the Fall series celebrates its publication date – that’s The Bear and the Serpent, the sequel to The Tiger and the Wolf. See the very pretty covers below…

Adrian of course had a great 2016 as his brilliant science fiction novel Spiderlight won the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and apparently he has lots more top SF in store for us this year. Come and find out what Adrian has been writing about…

… and joining us as interviewer for Adrian is Ian Whates!

Ian is the author of the City of a Hundred Rows fantasy series, and in science fiction The Noise series published by Solaris and The Dark Angels series published by Newcon, of which the much-anticipated second volume, The Ion Raider is being launched at Eastercon. Ian is also famous as the brains behind Newcon Press, and is a Director of the BSFA, having been the Chair before me…

When: usually the 4th Wed of each month (excl Dec).  Fand meet from 1800 in the main downstairs bar-prompt upstairs start at 1900 -though some regulars go upstairs earlier.

Where: Artillery Arms (upstairs –private– bar) 102 Bunhill Row (corner of Dufferin St)  EC1Y 8ND
Nearest Tube/NatRail: Old St-exit 3 (->Barbican).  Brewery: Fullers.  Hot food available.  SF Book raffle* (tickets 5 for £1)
Some attendees join the Speaker/Meeting Organisers later for an informal (usually Thai) meal. (though no obligation to partake).

Upcoming meetings:
Mar 22-   Andrew Wallace
Apr 26-   TBA

BSFA London Meeting 25th January, the science of Doctor Who, Leslie McMurty and Edward Gomez

Title: BSFA London Meeting, guests TBA
Location: The Artillery Arms 102 Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8ND

Leslie McMurty and Edward Gomez  will be our guests at the BSFA London meeting in January to discuss the science behind the long running BBC Sci-Fi series Doctor Who.

Lesley McMurtry photographed at the British Library, London.

Photograph: Karen Robinson/Observer
Leslie McMurtry encountered Doctor Who during her childhood in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She received her B.A. in English and French from the University of New Mexico and her M.A. in creative and media writing from Swansea University in Wales where she is currently a Ph.D. candidate in English. She edits The Terrible Zodin (http://doctorwhottz.blogspot.com), a quarterly Doctor Who e-zine. She has contributed ‘The Importance of Language Converted to Knowledge in the Arsenal of the Tenth Doctor’ to SFF’s The Unsilent Library: Adventures in new Doctor Who, edited by Simon Bradshaw, Graham Sleight, and Tony Keen, with a foreword by Robert Shearman, and Doctor Who and Race, edited by Lindy Orthia for Intellect Books, and a contributing author of The Mythological Dimensions of Doctor Who.
Dr. Edward Gomez presents the Science of Dr. Who.

Photo: http://www.devizesartsfestival.org.uk/events/2016-festival-archive/36-science-of-doctor-who
Dr Edward Gomez  is an astronomer and education director of Las Cumbres observatory and Cardiff University, who has worked as science script adviser on the programme.

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY
SCHEDULE
6pm Fans gather
7pm: start of interview.
8pm Q&A
8.15pm: book raffle (win a selection of sf novels for just £1 for 5 tickets).
Start Time: 19:00
Date: 2016-11-23

David Gemmell Awards announce ceremony date for 2017

We have received word from The David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy, that 2017’s awards will be presented as part of Derby’s Edge-Lit 6 in July.

Edge-Lit 6 runs on the 15th July 2017 at QUAD, Derby’s independent cinema and art space.

The awards have been presented since 2009 and have been given accolades to Brent Weeks, Patrick Rothfuss, Mark Lawrence, Brandon Sanderson and many others.

Stan Nicholls, Chair of the David Gemmell Awards For Fantasy, said: ‘Edge-Lit has established itself as one of the highlight events of the genre year, and the Gemmell Awards are thrilled to be part of 2017’s line-up. Devoted as they both are to championing the best of speculative fiction, the Gemmells and Edge-Lit are a perfect match. Roll on next July!’
The David Gemmell Awards For Fantasy were launched in 2009, in tribute to bestselling fantasy author David Gemmell, who passed away in 2006, and to honour the best fiction and artwork in the heroic fantasy field.  Recipients of the awards include authors Andrzei Sapkowski, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, Brent Weeks, John Gwynne, Mark Lawrence, Brian McClellan and Peter Newman; and artists including Didier Graffet, Raymond Swanland, Jason Chan and Sam Green.

The awards’ website page can be found at www.gemmellawards.com and its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/gemmellawards/

Competition time: win Aliens, edited by Jim Al-Khalili

We have two rather green and glittering copies of Aliens, science asks: is there anyone out there, published by Profile Books and edited by Jim Al-Khalili of Radio 4’s The Life Scientific to give away. The competition is open to BSFA members from anywhere in the universe, and we thought we’d be nice and extend this also to UK-based members of our Facebook discussion group.

aliens

You can read a sample chapter here on aliens in SF: aliens-ian-stewart-on-science-fiction

What’s it about? Jim has asked nineteen scientists to answer the question, is there anyone else out there?

Here’s Jim talking about it:

To enter the competition, please tell me which Arthur C. Clarke novel does Jim mention in the sample chapter? Send your answer, along with your name, address, BSFA membership number (if relevant) with ALIENS COMPETITION in the subject header to my chair email address. Competition closes midnight Wednesday 23rd November. We thought we’d make it then as we will also have a copy as a prize in the raffle for the BSFA London meeting with Ian Whates and Gerard Earley which takes place that night, so if you go to that, you never know, you might also get to win a copy there! And if you don’t, you can still enter when you get home.

 

BSFA London Meeting Wed 23rd November: Ian Whates

Location: The Artillery Arms, 102 Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8ND

Ian Whates is a tour de force in the realms of sff. Author of the City of a Hundred Rows books (City of Dreams and Nightmare, City of Hope and Despair, and City of Light and Shadow) published by Angry Robot and The Noise Within and The Noise Revealed published by Solaris, and the excellent Pelquin’s Comet from his ongoing Dark Angels series, Ian is also a prolific short story writer, and was shortlisted for the BSFA Best Short Fiction Award in 2007. As an editor, Ian has presided over the Solaris Rising series, and his own independent publishing house, the multi-award winning Newcon Press. He is also a former Chair of the BSFA, and one of it’s current Directors.

“Born story-teller Ian Whates takes us on a gripping, terrifying trip-of-a-lifetime, through the heights and depths of the exotically grim city of Thaiburley, in this excellent fantasy thriller.”
– World Fantasy Award-winning author, Tanith Lee

He is interviewed by Gerard Earley, who runs the Science Fiction Book Club in London.

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY
SCHEDULE
6pm Fans gather
7pm: start of interview.
8pm Q&A
8.15pm: book raffle (win a selection of sf novels for just £1 for 5 tickets).
Start Time: 19:00
Date: 2016-11-23

NB: there is no event in December. We’ll be back 25th January.

Science & Science Fiction: Bristol Festival of Literature 29 October 2016

Science Fiction writers and Scientists bring you near-future stories designed to provoke lively debate.The Human Brain Project Foresight Lab at King’s College London and SciFi authors Stephen Oram, Allen Ashley and Jule Owen have worked with leading scientists, including Professor Alan Winfield from Bristol Robotics Laboratory, to bring you three fictional versions of the future. Come along to hear their short stories and then use them as a springboard for what is bound to be a lively discussion between the authors, the scientists – and you.

Chaired by author and broadcaster Sarah LeFanu.

Tickets are available here for £5.50.

Arrive 1.45pm for 2pm start.

Location: Mercure Brigstow, Bristol BS1 4SP

science-and-science-fiction-flyer


Stranger than fiction? A Visit to Bristol Robotics Laboratory

By Stephen Oram – author in residence for Virtual Futures

 

What do slipstream, near-future and climate-fiction authors have in common with the European Human Brain Project and the Bristol Robotics Laboratory?

In this case, creating stories to provoke debate between the scientific community and the public as part of the Bristol Lit Fest.

I’m a science-fiction writer – a near-future type rather than a distant planets type – and for some time I’ve been interested in the power of fiction, especially short fiction, to provoke debate. This often happens in the media when a popular science-fiction film portrays an apocalyptic future, but it’s less common to find a live event with real authors and real scientists.

As the Author in Residence for Virtual Futures, an organisation once described as “the Glastonbury of cyberculture”, I’ve been creating specially written five-minute stories for the past twelve months for their Salon events. These Salons bring together artists, philosophers, cultural theorists, technologists and fiction writers to consider the future of humanity and technology. They have introduced me to the new and exciting worlds of neurostimulation, prosthetic envy and bio-art – to name a few.

So, it was with a high level of excitement that I accepted an invitation from SilverWood Books to participate in their Bristol Lit Fest event, Science and Science Fiction: Versions of the Future.

And that’s why I found myself standing on the concourse of Paddington station one sunny Friday morning with two other authors, Allen Ashley and Jule Owen, and two social scientists from the Human Brain Project Foresight Lab. We were off to spend the day with the roboticists, taking a rare opportunity to look behind the scenes of cutting-edge tech, and ask whatever we wanted in the privacy of a closed meeting room.

We soon moved on from the inevitable pleasant introductions and small talk to meanderings about the future of politics, technology, the singularity and beyond. We became so enthusiastic that a nearby passenger joined us to bring his own perspective and generally join in the debate.

The day was shaping up very nicely!

When we arrived at the lab, Professor Alan Winfield gave us a whistle-stop tour and for the first time that day we all fell silent(ish).

I was fascinated, almost overwhelmed, by the robots he showed us, including robots that eat dead flies and excrete their waste, and an experimental swarm of them modelling how nanobots might enter your body and fix diseased cells. We also met Jules, the robot that mimics facial expressions – a particularly high point for fellow author Jule.

After the tour we moved on to the main event of the day: meeting the scientists to quiz them relentlessly about their work, and drawing every drop of inspiration possible in the process. They were very obliging and answered with enthusiasm and a wealth of information.

We heard all about different aspects of the lab’s work, ranging from medical, rehabilitation and emergency rescue robots through to morphological computation and bioenergy robots. We also ended up in a lively debate about robot ethics and the extent to which science fiction should be technology-optimistic. This is one of the perennial issues for this type of sci-fi writing and we decided to aim for something more in keeping with TV’s Black Mirror than a robot apocalypse.

Listening to the conversations on the train back, I’d say we achieved exactly what we set out to. My head was certainly buzzing with all sorts of ideas and the difficult part has been to settle on “the one”!

And now the stories are taking shape, getting ready for the festival. If we’ve done a good job these three five-minute stories will entertain the audience and provoke an informed debate with the scientists.

I’m sure the event will be as mind-stretching and inspiring as our visit to the robotics lab. If you live near Bristol, you should come along and join in!


Sarah LeFanu is the author of two books on science fiction and fantasy, one of which, ‘In the Chinks of the World Machine: Feminism and Science Fiction’, won the prestigious MLA award. She was Senior Editor at The Women’s Press, responsible for their innovative and highly-regarded science fiction list.

 

Stephen Oram writes near-future fiction intended to provoke debate. As a teenager he was heavily influenced by the ethos of punk. He is the Author in Residence at Virtual Futures and has published two novels and several shorter pieces of work.

 

Allen Ashley is a British Fantasy Award winning editor, writer, poet, creative writing tutor and critical reader. He is sole judge for the British Fantasy Society Short Story Competition. As a tutor, he currently has five groups running across north London , including the advanced science fiction and fantasy group Clockhouse London Writers.

Jule Owen has spent many years working in online technology, including the video games industry.She is the author of The House Next Door trilogy, a YA time-travel series set in a dystopian future.

 

The Human Brain Project (HBP) is one of the Future and Emerging Technology Flagship initiatives funded by the European Commission. It is a ten-year initiative in medicine, neuroscience and computing which brings together scientists and institutions from 20 nations across Europe.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1813627788916796/
Part of Bristol Festival of Literature (http://unputdownable.org/)

Hosted as part of a writing day by SilverWood Books
(http://www.silverwoodbooks.co.uk/news/2016/aug/08/2016-silverwood-social)

Media links and pics from Jason Arnopp and Scott K. Andrews: BSFA Meeting, 26th October 2016

If you missed last night’s BSFA meeting in London, or just want to pretend you’re back there again because you enjoyed it so much, there is a video link of the proceedings over on Twitter here.

An audio only link is available here.

That’s an hour of awesomeness to you!

Once again, we have Chad Dixon to thank for providing these, and here he is with Jason and Scott in the pub last night. Ooh, indeed!

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Next month, our guest is Ian Whates!