About Martin McCallion

I've been the website administrator for the BSFA since around Easter 2012. In my day job I'm a programmer so I know my way around a computer and the web. I also do some writing.

BSFA 2016 AGM

Note the time correction: the BSFA AGM will be at 1:30pm, not noon.

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the British Science Fiction Association Ltd will be held at:

Lecture Theatre 1, Blackett Laboratory Building. Imperial College, London

on Saturday 25th June 2016 at 1:30pm for the following purposes:

  1. To approve the Minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting

  2. To approve the financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2015

  3. To receive and consider the Annual Review of the Year.

  4. Elections: The following Directors retire by rotation and offer themselves for re-election: S Baxter & I G Whates.

  5. Any Other Business

A proxy form is attached here for use if a member is unable to attend and wishes to appoint a proxy for voting purposes, and draft financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2015 for approval at the meeting.

Martin Potts
Treasurer

BSFA AWARDS Update: Have YOU Voted Yet?

Traditionally, we have a celebratory BSFA Awards Booklet appearing every year just before Eastercon (Mancunicon this year), but alas this year’s publication is not likely to reach your postbox ‘til week commencing 20th March, so in an effort to encourage all members of the BSFA (and Mancunicon attendees) to vote in the Awards, we’d like to encourage you to read as much of these as you can online…

We would also encourage you to vote online if possible, and the voting form can be found here: http://www.bsfa.co.uk/bsfa-2015-awards-voting-form/

A reminder of all short-listed nominees, and where to find them:

Best Novel

Mother of Eden by Chris Beckett (Corvus):
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mother-Eden-Dark-Book-ebook/dp/B00V2JSTW4/

The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard (Gollancz):
http://www.amazon.co.uk/House-Shattered-Wings-Aliette-Bodard/dp/1473212553/

Europe at Midnight by Dave Hutchinson (Solaris):
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Europe-Midnight-Fractured-Sequence-Book-ebook/dp/B015G5LCNC/

Luna by Ian McDonald (Gollancz):
www.amazon.co.uk/Luna-New-Moon-Ian-McDonald/dp/1473202248/

Glorious Angels by Justina Robson (Gollancz):
www.amazon.co.uk/Glorious-Angels-Justina-Robson-ebook/dp/B00NT7YOK8/

Best Short Story

“Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight” by Aliette de Bodard (Clarkesworld 100):
http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/debodard_01_15/

“Witches of Lychford” by Paul Cornell (Tor.com):
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Witches-Lychford-Paul-Cornell-ebook/dp/B00WDVSN5I
excerpt: http://www.tor.com/2015/07/29/excerpts-witches-of-lychford-paul-cornell/

“No Rez” by Jeff Noon (Interzone 260):
http://ttapress.com/1888/no-rez-by-jeff-noon/

“Binti” by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com):
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Binti-Nnedi-Okorafor-ebook/dp/B00Y7RWXHU/
excerpt: http://www.tor.com/2015/08/17/excerpts-binti-nnedi-okorafor/

“Ride the Blue Horse” by Gareth L. Powell (online Matter magazine):
https://medium.com/matter/ride-the-blue-horse-7c617871ed54#.10879i1fm

** the full text of all of the above stories will appear in the BSFA Awards Booklet **

Best Non-Fiction

“Time Pieces: Doctor Change or Doctor Die” by Nina Allan (Interzone 261):
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Interzone-Nov-Dec-Science-Fiction-Magazine-ebook/dp/B01861SOCA/

Letters to Tiptree by Alisa Krasnostein and Alexandra Pierce (Twelfth Planet Press):
www.amazon.co.uk/Letters-Tiptree-Alexandra-Pierce-ebook/dp/B014WF9Z86/

“What Price Your Critical Agency” by Jonathan McCalmont (Ruthless Culture blog):
http://ruthlessculture.com/2015/07/08/what-price-your-critical-agency/

Rave and Let Die: The SF and Fantasy of 2014 by Adam Roberts (Steel Quill Books):
http://ruthlessculture.com/2015/07/08/what-price-your-critical-agency/

“From Annihilation to Acceptance: A Writer’s Surreal Journey” by Jeff Vandermeer (The Atlantic, January 2015):
http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/01/from-annihilation-to-acceptance-a-writers-surreal-journey/384884/

** there are extended excerpts from Letters to Tiptree and Rave and Let Die in the BSFA Awards Booklet, alongside the full text of all of the articles mentioned above **

Best Artwork

Jim Burns for the cover of Pelquin’s Comet (Newcon Press):
http://www.ianwhates.co.uk/uncategorized/a-new-novel-pelquins-comet/

Vincent Sammy for the short story, “Songbird” in Interzone 257:
http://karbonk.deviantart.com/art/SONGBIRD-515008463

Sarah Anne Langton for the cover of Jews Versus Zombies (Jurassic London):
http://www.jurassic-london.com/jews-vs-zombies.html

Once again, we’d like to encourage you to vote sooner rather than later if you can. Thank you!

Arvon SF Writing Course

Arvon are putting on a Science Fiction writing course again, once more tutored by Simon Ings, and this year Geoff Ryman.

Here’s what they say about it:

Immerse yourself in a five days science fiction writing course with two leading sci-fi writers Simon Ings (founder of Arc and editor of The New Scientist magazine) and Geoff Ryman (winner of 15 awards including the Arthur C Clarke and the Nebula Awards). 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. 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?

The five days include morning workshops, one to one tutorials and lots of time to write away from distractions in a beautiful countryside setting in West Yorkshire.

Annual General Meeting 2015

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the British Science Fiction Association Ltd will be held at:

Lecture Theatre 1, Blackett Laboratory Building. Imperial College, London

 on Saturday 6th June 2015 at midday for the following purposes:

1.     To approve the Minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting

2.     To approve the financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2014

3.     To receive and consider the Annual Review of the Year.

4.     Elections: The following Directors retire by rotation and offer themselves for re-election: D R Langford, A Sawyer & M T Potts.

5.     Any Other Business

A proxy form is attached here for use if a member is unable to attend and wishes to appoint a proxy for voting purposes, along with a copy of the AGM 2014 minutes and draft financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2014 for approval at the meeting.
 
Martin Potts
Treasurer

News roundup

Here at BSFA Towers we get various items of news about forthcoming events sent to us; but we aren’t always too good about disseminating them.

When I say “we”, I mean “I”, of course. My fellow committee members and Towers-dwellers are lovely and excellent and would never sit for weeks on something that came in via the contact form.

Anyway, to make up for my tarditude (a new word I’ve just invented), here are four items of interest that have come in recently. My apologies to the various organisations for them all being in a collected post.

Cheltenham Literature Festival

Hanna Goldschmidt writes:

I am contacting you on behalf of The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, which takes place 3 – 12 October in the centre of town, as you may know. We have just announced our programme for 2014, and there are a number of events that would be of interest to your members, readers and visitors.

I would like to especially highlight our series of Science Fiction and Fantasy events. Celebrating Sci Fi and Fantasy, River of London author Ben Aaronovitch, Mitch Benn and Joe Abercrombie discuss their latest works. Another special event featuring Jem Roberts, Ed Victor and Terry Jones will pay tribute to Douglas Adams, best known for his iconic work The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature/whats-on/grid?genres=232

Please also visit our general programme for more information on the overall Festival schedule, including topics such as Fiction, Lifestyle, Current Affairs or Studio, Stage & Screen: http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature/whats-on/grid

English PEN

Rebekah from English PEN — who recently hosted Audrey Niffenegger’s excellent talk at Loncon 3 — says:

I’m writing to let you know about a science fiction/literary event taking place on Monday 6 October at Southbank Centre in London.

English PEN is the founding branch of an international writers’ organisation/free speech charity, of which HG Wells was an early president.

Science Fiction: Home of the Literary Activist‘ will take HG Wells as a starting point for a discussion on what it is about activism that engages the SF community. Often, especially on matters regarding freedom of expression, readers and writers of the science fiction genre are particularly active in English PEN’s campaigns.

The event will take the form of a panel discussion chaired by Sophie Mayer, featuring writers Nick Harkaway, James Smythe and Gwyneth Jones and editor Anne C. Perry.

De Montfort University call for papers

Peter Conde says;

Please find enclosed a call for papers for the De Montfort University Narratives of Cyber event taking place on 26th November

CALL FOR PAPERS: Prometheus, COLOSSUS, HAL … and Beyond:  The Narratives of ‘Cyber’

De Montfort University, The Curve Theatre, Leicester:  26th November 2014

When a nation is powerful it tells the world confident stories about the future. The stories can be enchanting or frightening. But they make sense of the world. But when that power begins to ebb, the stories fall apart. And all that is left are fragments, which haunt you like half-forgotten dreams.
(Adam Curtis)

This one-day conference seeks to draw together academics and practitioners from as many different fields as possible, to encourage debate and discussion around the complex, contentious and contested theme of ‘cyber’, information technology, and the relationship between Human and Machine.

Humanity structures its vision of the world through constructed narratives (cultural, religious, political…) which seek to explain and justify our reading of reality; what are the narratives which have shaped and are shaping our existence as individuals and groups in a realm mediated and ordered through technology? As Grant Morrison puts it. “We live in the stories we tell ourselves”; what are the stories we tell ourselves about our relationship with the computer?

We seek proposals (300 words maximum) for papers of 20 minutes duration approaching these issues from as wide a range of perspectives as possible. A non-exhaustive list of subject areas might include:

  • Literary and cinematic visions of the information age
  • Robotics, cyborgs and transhumanism
  • Cyber-dissidence and resistance
  • Technophila and technophobia
  • Definitions of ‘cyberculture’

and many more…

All proposals must be received by 30th September 2014. (Speakers will be informed of acceptance within 1 week of deadline.)

Please send your paper proposal, and any requests for further information, to:

Email: cybertalk@softbox.co.uk (email heading “Cybernarratives proposal”)

Tel: 01347 812100

Web: www.softbox.co.uk/cybertalk

Arvon residential Science Fiction writing course

From Emma Feasey we hear:

I am writing to let you know about a residential Science Fiction writing course we are running later this year. Our courses take place in beautiful countryside locations, with a mixture of workshops, individual tutorials and time and space to write.

SCIENCE FICTION: Dreams and visions 20th – 25th October 2014, Totleigh Barton, Devon

In a world hemmed in by clocks, schedules and ‘business as usual’, science fiction reminds us of the value of dreams, capturing our epic capacity for good and evil. Build imaginary worlds, join in philosophical games, crack wild and bitter jokes and conjure visions both alarming and alluring. For all prose writers keen to experiment, the week will introduce a genre spectacularly in tune with our times.

Tutors:

  • Simon Ings edits Arc, a literary quarterly from New Scientist. His books include The Eye, A History of Vision, and novels The Weight of Numbers and Dead Water. He is writing a history of Soviet science.
  • Liz Jensen is the author of eight novels spanning several genres, including science fiction, among them Ark Baby, The Rapture and The Uninvited. Her work has been nominated for several awards, developed for film, and translated into more than 20 languages.

Guest: M. John Harrison’s novel Climbers won the Boardman Tasker Prize in 1989. His most recent novel is Empty Space.
http://www.arvon.org/course/science-fiction/

TweetFiction Tweetstream during LonCon 3 – WorldCon 72: 2014

TweetFiction icon

TWEETFICTION TWEETSTREAM

DURING LONCON 3 – WORLDCON 72: 2014

The Tweetstream

  • is free to enter, of course

  • each author is allowed multiple entries

  • is open to writers of any age and nationality, including professional authors and BSFA Committee members.

Story Format Suggestions & Encouraged Behaviour

  • Stories can be in any language! But must fit entirely into a single tweet.

  • Submissions should be original — they should be the sole work of the author/s in whose name they are submitted

  • Stories can be Science Fiction or Fantasy — we encourage a broad definition of what those terms mean.

  • Stories should not feature characters, locations etc. that are part of other copyrighted works — i.e.nothing set in the universes of Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate, etc.

  • Please include the hashtag #tbsfa — which leaves 134 characters for creativity

  • Simply tweet your story (including the hashtag #TBSFA as stated above, we’ll pick it up)

  • Unless notified to the BSFA via tweetfiction@bsfa.co.uk the use of #tbsfa will be assumed to grant permission for the BSFA to reproduce at the awards ceremony or within future membership publications.

Administration

  • Of course entries could commence any time but we would encourage entries to coincide with Eastercon so we would suggest start posting from midnight Wednesday August 13th 2014.

  • We would suggest the closing date for submissions is midnight (BST) on Tuesday August 19th 2014.

  • If anything is unclear, or if you have any questions, please email tweetfiction@bsfa.co.uk

JOIN IN !

Gordon Rutter: Dr Who in An Exciting Adventure With Charles Fort

David V Barrett tells us:

Dr Who has graced our television screens for over fifty years now and the show has seen a myriad of adventures. Everyone knows the Daleks but there are a host of lesser known adversaries and story lines, some of which Charles Fort would surely have approved.

There are a wealth of Fortean themes and mysteries in the history of the world’s longest running science fiction TV show; come along to hear and explore some of them.

Gordon Rutter is a life-long Dr Who fan, author, regular contributor to the Fortean Times, regular speaker at the Fortean Times UnConvention, head of the Charles Fort Institute, runs the Edinburgh Fortean Society and probably still holds the world record for the greatest number of straws shoved into one human being’s mouth.

Venue: The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX

Date: Wednesday 16th July 2014

Time 19.45-22.45

Cost: £3/£2 concs

London Fortean Society regulars should note that for this event we’re back in our old venue.

More details at the Facebook page

He adds that it would be worth getting there by 7:30 to be sure of a seat.

The BSFA’s 2014 AGM

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the British Science Fiction Association Ltd will be held at:

The City of Westminster Archives Centre, 10 St Anne’s Street, London SW1P 2DE

on Saturday 7th June 2014 at midday for the following purposes:

  1. To approve the Minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting
  2. To approve the financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2013
  3. To receive and consider the Annual Review of the Year.
  4. Elections: The following Directors retire by rotation and offer themselves for re-election: SR Jeffrey, J Courtenay Grimwood, the following director appointed, D Bond, to have their appointment ratified.
  5. Any Other Business

NOTE: proxy forms to reach the Registered Office by 5th June 2014 (see link)

___________________________________________________________________________________

Once more, we are pleased to share our AGM day with that of Science Fiction Foundation, and we have arranged a full day packed with guests and panels to form a bijou mini-convention.

Here is the schedule for the day:

10 am Welcome

10:05 am SFF Jo Fletcher Panel

11 am Frances Hardinge Interviewed by Tom Pollock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12-12:45 SFF AGM

12:45-1:30 Lunch Break

1:30- 2:15 BSFA AGM

2:30 Jo Fletcher Interview

3:30 Frances Hardinge Panel

Frances Hardinge

4:25 Thank You

BSFA TweetFiction TweetStream 2014

TweetFiction icon

TWEETFICTION TWEETSTREAM

DURING SATELLITE 4 – EASTERCON 65: 2014

The Tweetstream

  • is free to enter, of course

  • each author is allowed multiple entries

  • is open to writers of any age and nationality, including professional authors and BSFA Committee members.

Story Format Suggestions & Encouraged Behaviour

  • Stories can be in any language! But must fit entirely into a single tweet.

  • Submissions should be original — they should be the sole work of the author/s in whose name they are submitted

  • Stories can be Science Fiction or Fantasy — we encourage a broad definition of what those terms mean.

  • Stories should not feature characters, locations etc. that are part of other copyrighted works — i.e.nothing set in the universes of Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate, etc.

  • Please include the hashtag #tbsfa — which leaves 134 characters for creativity

  • Simply tweet your story (including the hashtag #TBSFA as stated above, we’ll pick it up)

  • Unless notified to the BSFA via tweetfiction@bsfa.co.uk the use of #tbsfa will be assumed to grant permission for the BSFA to reproduce at the awards ceremony or within future membership publications.

Administration

  • Of course entries could commence any time but we would encourage entries to coincide with Eastercon so we would suggest start posting from midnight Wednesday 16th Aprilth 2014.

  • We would suggest the closing date for submissions is midnight (GMT) on Tuesday 22nd April 2014.

  • If anything is unclear, or if you have any questions, please email tweetfiction@bsfa.co.uk

JOIN IN !

48-hour film challenge

This came in via the contact form:

Wildseed Studios partners with SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival to offer 48hr Film Challenge winner £10,000 towards a micro-budget feature

Wildseed Studios, the next-generation content and talent incubator which supports grass roots talent with funding, creative mentorship and strategic advice, has partnered with SCI-FI-LONDON, The UK’s leading genre festival at London’s BFI Southbank to offer one of the shortlisted teams in the 48hr Film Challenge £10,000 cash plus additional production resources, creative mentorship and strategic advice sufficient to develop and produce a micro-budget feature film.

The 2014 SCI-FI-LONDON 48hr Film Challenge will take place between 12 -14 April and is a great opportunity for aspiring filmmakers to get their film funded and made. Taking part is easy: simply turn up on Saturday 12 April, make a film in a weekend then submit your film by Monday 14 April. Click here for more details, then register here.

The judging panel includes Danny Boyle, Professor Brian Cox and Catherine Bray. The winning film being screened at the festival and four additional teams will be selected by Wildseed Studios to go through a mentoring and development process. One of the projects will then be selected to receive the funding and support necessary to produce the project as a micro-budget feature.

Over the last five years the SCI-FI-LONDON 48hr Film Challenge has had over 800 films completed, many of which have gone on to other film festivals and been broadcast on TV. Gareth Edwards who won the 2008 SCI-FI-LONDON 48hr Film Challenge with his Factory Farmed short is currently directing a Hollywood film about a big lizard… the Godzilla reboot!

Gareth Edwards Factory Farmed (2008 winning entry).

Director of SCI-FI-LONDON Louis Savy said: “We are delighted to announce this partnership and be in a position where, thanks to Wildseed Studios, we can offer one of the shortlisted teams £10,000 cash toward a micro-budget feature! This is a really incredible opportunity for emerging filmmaking talent, so get ready for the challenge – we want to see your feature film in next year’s festival!”

Wildseed Studio’s co-founder Jesse Cleverly said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with the SCI-FI-LONDON Film Challenge to offer this sort of initiative which directly enables the next-generation of filmmakers. We’ve all seen what previous winners of the Sci-Fi London 48hr Film Challenge such as Gareth Edwards can go on to achieve, so we’re encouraging all aspiring filmmakers to register and be part of this exciting process.”

@wildseedstudios
facebook.com/wildseedstudios

SF-themed weddings

Chloë, our BBC friend from before, has a further request:

I’m the researcher on a new BBC landmark series about the history of
Science Fiction, the series will be shown this spring on BBC America and
later in the year in the UK on BBC2.

To accompany the UK series we are making an exclusive short film for the
BBC’s iPlayer – a 20 minute programme all about British SF fans. We are
looking to find a broad range of willing contributors all of whom
representing, in their own way, the full breadth of British SF fandom. We
are looking for people who can talk eloquently about the genre, but more
specifically about what SF means to them.

I am currently looking for contributors who have had, or plan to have, a
Science Fiction themed wedding. If this is you then please do get in
touch, I’d love to talk to you about your experience.

Many thanks and I look forward to hearing from you,

Chloë Penman, Researcher
History of Science Fiction, BBC Arts
chloe.penman@bbc.co.uk
BBC Bristol, Broadcasting House, Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2LR
Tel: +44 (0)117 974 6890
Mob/Cell: +44 (0)7879 552 340

Fans sought for BBC film

Chloë Penman of the BBC has contacted the BSFA with an interesting request. She writes:

I’m the researcher on a new BBC landmark series about the history of Science Fiction, the series will be shown this spring on BBC America and later in the year in the UK on BBC2.

To accompany the UK series we are making an exclusive short film for the BBC’s iPlayer – a 20 minute programme all about British SF fans.

We are looking to find a broad range of willing contributors all of whom representing, in their own way, the full breadth of British SF fandom. We are looking for people who can talk eloquently about the genre, but more specifically about what SF means to them. We would like people to tell us about why Science Fiction is so important in their lives, what doors it
has opened for them and why, as a genre, it inspires such a lively conversation with its audience.

I’m looking for people who can give me a personal take on their relationship with Science Fiction, real stories about the power of Science Fiction.

Many Thanks,

Chloë Penman, Researcher
History of Science Fiction, BBC Arts
chloe.penman@bbc.co.uk
BBC Bristol, Broadcasting House, Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2LR
Tel: +44 (0)117 974 6890

Registrations re-enabled, spammers blocked (with any luck)

Hi all. You may remember that I disabled self-registration on the site not long before Christmas. Well a few days ago I had three or four new members asking me how they could register on the site (welcome, new people). So I decided it was time to activate registrations again.

We got over two hundred registrations in the following three days. Two Hundred! I like to think that the BSFA has a popular site, but, come on.

So I researched WordPress plugins, and found that the plainly-named Stop Spammers plugin should be our friend. I’ve just installed it, and we’ll see how it goes.

Now, the plugin describes itself as “very aggressive”, so there’s always the danger of false positives. By which I mean, it might detect an IP address as a source of spam, when that address is in fact perfectly innocent.

So if you find the site behaves strangely; if you find you can’t log on; if you try to register and are stopped (and you’re not a spammer): please let me know.

You can email me via webadmin at bsfa.co.uk.