July BSFA London Meeting: Geoff Ryman interviewed by Graham Sleight

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

 

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On Wednesday 30th of July 2014, Geoff Ryman (science fiction, fantasy and slip-stream author of award winning novels-including BSFA Award winner Air) will be interviewed by Graham Sleight (Science Fiction critic).

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

The interview will start at 7 pm. We have the room from 6 pm (and if early, fans are in the ground floor bar from 5ish).

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

Map is here.

FUTURE EVENTS:

TENTATIVE, please look out for confirmed Time/Day/Place- 14th August, Canada Water Library, 6 p.m.- Ian MacDonald, interviewed by Tony Keen

24th September 2014- Sarah Maitland, interviewed by Farah Mendlesohn

22nd October 2014- David Bradley (SFX Magazine) interviewed by TBA

BSFA Lecture at Loncon 3

paula-jamesA special BSFA Lecture will be given at Loncon 3 by Dr Paula James (Open Unversity), and is entitled ‘Pygmalion’s Statue and her Synthetic Sisters: The Perfect Woman on Screen′. The lecture will be given at 20.00 on Saturday August 16th, the ExCel Centre, London Docklands. The lecture is open to any member of Loncon 3.

Paula James is a familiar face and voice to anyone who has studied the Open University’s Arts Foundation courses over the past fifteen years or so, or any of their courses in Classical Studies. Paula is Senior Lecturer in Classical Studies and Staff Tutor in Arts at the OU. She began her academic career after raising her family, and joined the Open University in the 1990s. She is an expert in Latin Literature, particularly the Metamorphoses of Ovid and Apuleius. She also writes on the reception of Latin texts in modern cinema. She has written an excellent introduction to Ancient Rome, Understand Roman Civilization, now in its second edition, and has jointly edited works on the imagery of Trade Union banners and the parrot in literature. Her most recent book is Ovid’s Myth of Pygmalion on Screen: In Pursuit of the Perfect Woman (2013), and it is from this work that her talk to us is derived.

The BSFA Lecture is intended as a companion to the George Hay Lecture, which is presented at the Eastercon by the Science Fiction Foundation. Where the Hay Lecture invites scientists, the BSFA Lecture invites academics from the arts and humanities, because we recognise that science fiction fans aren’t only interested in science. The lecturers are given a remit to speak “on a subject that is likely to be of interest to science fiction fans” – i.e. on whatever they want! This is a special lecture for Worldcon, and is the seventh BSFA Lecture.

June BSFA London Meeting: Stephanie Saulter Interviewed by Kate Keen

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

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On Wednesday 25th of June 2014, Stephanie Saulter  (author of Gemsigns and Binary, the first two books of the ®Evolution trilogy) will be interviewed by Kate Keen (SFF Trustee and Head of Fanfic at Nine Worlds)

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

The interview will start at 7 pm. We have the room from 6 pm (and if early, fans are in the ground floor bar from 5ish).

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

Map is here.

FUTURE EVENTS:

30th July 2014- Geoff Ryman, interviewed by Graham Sleight

Date and Location TBA August- Ian MacDonald, interviewed by Tony Keen

24th September 2014- Sarah Maitland, interviewed by Farah Mendlesohn

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

May BSFA London Meeting: Alex Dally MacFarlane and Tori Truslow Hosted by Tony Keen

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

 

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On Wednesday 28th of May 2014Alex Dally MacFarlane (writer; including a story in The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2014 and moreeditor and historian) and Tori Truslow (writer, editor, and the recipient of a special commendation from the James White Award) will be in discussion, hosted by Tony Keen.

 

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

The interview will start at 7 pm. We have the room from 6 pm (and if early, fans are in the ground floor bar from 5ish).

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

Map is here.

FUTURE EVENTS:

7th June 2014- BSFA/SFF AGM, BSFA Guest of Honour Frances Hardinge, interviewed by Tom Pollock

25th June 2014- Stephanie Saulter, interviewed by Kate Keen

30th July 2014- Geoff Ryman, interviewed by Graham Sleight

Date and Location TBA August- Ian MacDonald interviewed by Tony Keen

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 !

2014 BSFA Lecture

The 2014 BSFA Lecture at Eastercon will be given by Dr Sara-Patricia Wasson (Edinburgh Napier Unversity), and is entitled ‘Trade in flesh and tears: some science fictions of organ harvest′. The lecture will be given at 1.00 pm on Saturday April 19th, in Argyll 2 of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Glasgow. The lecture is open to any member of Eastercon.

Sara-Patricia Wasson is Senior Lecturer in Literature and Culture at Edinburgh Napier University.  She is author of Urban Gothic of the Second World War: Dark London (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), which won the Allan Lloyd Smith Memorial Prize of the International Gothic Association, and co-editor of Gothic Science Fiction 1980-2010 (Liverpool University Press, 2011).  She has a special interest in literary depictions of organ harvesting and tissue economies, and her talk to us is based on this work.

The BSFA Lecture is intended as a companion to the George Hay Lecture, which is presented at the Eastercon by the Science Fiction Foundation. Where the Hay Lecture invites scientists, the BSFA Lecture invites academics from the arts and humanities, because we recognise that science fiction fans aren’t only interested in science.  The lecturers are given a remit to speak “on a subject that is likely to be of interest to science fiction fans” – i.e. on whatever they want!  This is the sixth BSFA Lecture.

April BSFA London Meeting: Anne Perry Interviewed by Lizzie Barrett

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

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On Wednesday 30th* of April  2014Anne Perry (Editor at Hodder & Stoughton, founder of Pornokitsch.com and The Kitschies Awards) will be interviewed by Lizzie Barrett (SFF reader, fan and blogger).

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

The interview will start at 7 pm. We have the room from 6 pm (and if early, fans are in the ground floor bar from 5ish).

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

Map is here.

FUTURE EVENTS:

28th May 2014- Tori Truslow and Alex Dally MacFarlane, interviewed by Tony Keen

7th June 2014- BSFA/SFF AGM, BSFA Guest of Honour Francis Hardinge, interviewed by Tom Pollock

25th June 2014- Stephanie Saulter, interviewed by Kate Keen

30th July 2014- Geoff Ryman, interviewed by Graham Sleight

*Note-this is the 5th Wed. and NOT the date originally advertised.

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SFF Masterclass still accepting applications

The SFF are still accepting applications for the 2014 Science Fiction Foundation Masterclass, an enriching experience for anyone interested in improving their writing about Science Fiction and Fantasy. Please send a sample of writing and a one-page cv to farah.sf@gmail.com.

Please share this as widely as possible. Thanks.

Eighth SFF Criticism Masterclass 2014

The Eighth Science Fiction Foundation Masterclass in Science Fiction Criticism will be held from Monday 11 August 2014 to Wednesday 13 August, immediately before Loncon 3, the 2014 World Science Fiction Convention.

The SFF Masterclass involves three days studying texts supplied by three class leaders.  It is a great way to broaden your critical perspectives, sharpen some critical tools, and to make contacts with other people writing on SF and Fantasy.  The class leaders are drawn from professional writers, academics and fans, and this is a great opportunity to learn from people experienced in their craft.
Anyone interested in writing seriously about science fiction and/or fantasy, at whatever level they are in their careers, is welcome to attend.  This includes not just critics and reviewers, but historians and other scholars.  Those who have attended past Masterclasses are also welcome to apply.
Past students have found these events immensely beneficial, and often return.
We are pleased to announce that the venue will be the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, founded by Charles II in 1675, and the home of the Prime Meridian. This is across the Thames from the Excel site where Loncon3 will take place. Price: £200.
The tutors for 2014 will be:
Andy Duncan, Professor of English at Frostburg State University, Frostburg MD, winner of the Theodore Sturgeon Award and two World Fantasy Awards, and winner of the 2012 Nebula Award for Best Novelette.
Neil Easterbrook, Professor of English at the Texas Christian University, and a prolific reviewer and critic, whose monograph on China Miéville is due to be published in 2014.
K.V. Johansen, a Canadian writer of fantasy, science fiction, and children’s fiction, who has also published three books on the history of children’s fantasy. Her adult novel Blackdog was shortlisted for the Sunburst Award in 2012.
You can find some reports on previous Masterclasses on the Facebook page.
Please apply to farah.sf@gmail.com. Send a short piece of critical writing, and a one page cv. Deadline for Applications: February 28th 2014

February BSFA London Meeting: Tom Pollock interviewed by Emma Newman

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

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On Wednesday 26th of February  2014, Tom Pollock (author of The Skyscraper Throne Trilogy) will be interviewed by Emma Newman (author of the Split Worlds series, 20 Years Later).

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

The interview will start at 7 pm. We have the room from 6 pm (and if early, fans are in the ground floor bar from 5ish).

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

Map is here.

FUTURE EVENTS:

26th March 2014BSFA Awards Panel

23rd April 2014Anne Perry, interviewed by Lizzie Barrett

28th May 2014- TBC

January BSFA London Meeting: Adam Roberts Interviewed by Edward James

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

On Wednesday 22nd of January  2014, Adam Roberts (BSFA Award winning author of Jack Glass, Salt and more) will be interviewed by Edward James (Hugo Award winner and Chair of the Science Fiction Foundation).

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

The interview will start at 7 pm. We have the room from 6 pm (and if early, fans are in the ground floor bar from 5ish).

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

Map is here.

FUTURE EVENTS:

26th February 2014- Tom Pollock, interviewed by Emma Newman

26th March 2014- BSFA Awards Panel

23rd April 2014Anne Perry, interviewed by Lizzie Barrett

October BSFA London Meeting: Mary Robinette Kowal Interviewed by Virginia Preston

MRK � 2012 Rod Searcey.

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

 

On Wednesday 30th of October  2013*, Mary Robinette Kowal (puppeteer and Hugo-Award winning author) will be interviewed by Virginia Preston (Historian).

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

The interview will start at 7 pm. We have the room from 6 pm (and if early, fans are in the ground floor bar from 5ish).

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

Map is here.

FUTURE EVENTS:

27th November 2013- Dr. Who Magazine, interviewed by Graham Sleight

As is customary, there will be no event in December.

22nd January 2014- Adam Roberts, interviewed by Edward James

 

 

*Note that this is a month with five Wednesdays. The meeting will be on the last Wed. of the month.

 

Creating Suspense in Storytelling with Julie Myerson and Jonathan Myerson

DARK IMAGININGS: CREATING SUSPENSE IN STORYTELLING

A Weekend Course on High Tension Narratives:

The Less You Know, The Better The Story

Taught by Julie and Jonathan Myerson

A two-day creative writing workshop held at Hotel du Vin Edinburgh, 25th and 26th October 2013

Suspense in literature and film is the key ingredient that keeps readers reading and viewers watching.But how do writers create suspense?  How do they hook their audience and keep them hooked?

We’ve all read novels that made us jump out of our skin and we’ve all felt that creeping sense of dread which means we don’t really want to turn the page….even though we have to! We’ve all sat glued to the cinema screen, not wanting to watch but unable not to watch. The power of words (and all movies start as words on a page too) to invoke the suspenseful and the sinister can be extraordinary, but just how do authors generate these moments?

The Writers’ Academy from Random House, in association with Hammer Books and Films, is holding a creative writing workshop to teach the techniques that will allow writers to find those high-anxiety moments.  Over the course of two days, participants will look at the key structural essentials and tricks of the trade and, through a series of examples and exercises, they will learn how to generate suspense, tension and anxiety for readers or audiences.  Although writing requires planning, it also requires the writer to not know, and to understand how to share that unknowingness with the reader: the less you know, the better the story.

DARK IMAGININGS: CREATING SUSPENSE IN STORYTELLING will be taught by Julie Myerson, bestselling novelist and author of The Quickening and Something Might Happen, and Jonathan Myerson, Oscar-nominated screenwriter and Director of Creative Writing at City University London.

The course is aimed at both aspiring novelists and screenwriters, in any genre.  The exercises within the classes will develop into a piece of writing over the course of the two days. Up-to-date market information will also be highlighted, and advice given on the best next steps to progressing a screenplay or publishing a novel.

The course is being held in association with Hammer books and films.  The course will be held at Hotel du Vin Edinburgh, a former asylum.

Places on the course are limited to 15 and cost £375 each to include Hotel du Vin Bistro lunch and refreshments over the two days and a rewarding glass of wine!  Preferential rates at Hotel du Vin Edinburgh are offered for the dates of the course alongside the purchase of a place. Full details can be seen at www.thewritersacademy.co.uk

Andromeda One, Birmingham, 21st September

AndromedaThis Saturday sees the first running of Andromeda One, a one-day science fiction, fantasy and horror convention taking place at the Custard Factory in Birmingham.

Budding authors will have the opportunity to get the inside track on writing and publishing through a range of workshops and panels with industry experts, whilst readers and lovers of genre fiction will have the opportunity to meet their favourite authors at a host of launches, readings and kafeeklatsches (more intimate authors chats). The event will also be unique in offering a stream dedicated to workshops on gender parity, multiculturalism and disabilities within the genres of science fiction, fantasy and horror.

This year’s Guests of Honour are acclaimed novelist, comic book writer and screenwriter Paul Cornell (famed for his many contributions to the Dr Who TV series), science-fiction author Jaine Fenn, creator of the Hidden Empire series and Rog Peyton, local businessman renowned for his expert knowledge in the field and for being proprietor of the well-loved Andromeda bookshop. Among the many other authors and speakers taking part are million-selling fantasy author Stan Nicholls, acclaimed horror author Adam Nevill, plus science fiction stars Ian Whates. Adam Christopher and Janet Edwards.

Andromeda One runs this Saturday, 2st September from 11am-10pm, with the book sales room opening from 9am. To book your ticket, or for more information, visit http://terror-tree.co.uk/andromeda-one/

September BSFA London Meeting: Gareth L. Powell Interviewed by Jon Oliver

 

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

 

On Wednesday 25th of September 2013, Gareth L. Powell (author of The Recollection, Ack-Ack Macaque and Hive Monkey) will be interviewed by Jonathan Oliver (Editor-in-Chief of Solaris Books).

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

The interview will start at 7 pm. We have the room from 6 pm (and if early, fans are in the ground floor bar from 5ish).

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

Map is here.

FUTURE EVENTS:

30th October 2013- Mary Robinette Kowal , interviewed by Virginia Preston **

27th November 2013- Dr. Who Magazine, interviewed by Graham Sleight

As is customary, there will be no event in December.

*Please note that this is our second meeting at a NEW venue for London meetings! There was also some concern about the lack of vegetarian options at the pub, but there is the lovely Carnevale Mediterranean Vegetarian Restaurant nearby.

**Note that this is a month with five Wednesdays. The meeting will be on the last Wed. of the month.

 

August BSFA London Meeting: Ian Stewart Interviewed by Stephen Baxter

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

*Please note that this is a NEW venue for London meetings!

On Wednesday 28th of August 2013, Ian Stewart (Mathematician, author of The Science of Discworld Series and popular science books) will be interviewed by Stephen Baxter (author of Flood, The Time Ships, The Long Earth (with Terry Pratchett) etc.).

 

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

The interview will start at 7 pm. We have the room from 6 pm (and if early, fans are in the ground floor bar from 5ish).

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

Map is here.

FUTURE EVENTS:

25th September 2013- Gareth Powell, interviewed by Jon Oliver

30th October 2013- Mary Robinette Kowal , interviewed by Virginia Preston *

27th November 2013- Dr. Who Magazine, interviewed by Graham Sleight

*Note that this is a month with five Wednesdays. The meeting will be on the last Wed. of the month.

Andromeda One Convention – Here’s the Rhubarb!

A one-day genre convention can be a great way to see your favourite writers discussing their work, find out what’s hot in independent publishing, meet like-minded people – or old friends – who love reading genre as much as you do, or even pick up some writing and publishing tips from the pros.

Andromeda

Hot on the heels of one-day events from earlier this year, FUTURA and Edge-lit, comes Andromeda One on Saturday 21st September, featuring Guests of Honour Paul Cornell (author of London Falling; TV writer for Doctor Who and Merlin; Comic Writer for Wolverine and Saucer Country) and Jaine Fenn (author of Hidden Empire series), as well as many more writers and speakers.

Andromeda One is going to be taking place at the immensely hip Custard Factory in Birmingham, the former site of an actual custard factory – Birds Custard Factory, no less! The site was rescued from dereliction in 1988 and is now home to many creative enterprises and studios. As well as craft and vintage shops and cool cafes, you will find theatres, TV studios art galleries and the famous green man sculpture! The industrial past and digital future sit side by side here, making it the ideal place to hang out and talk about science fiction.

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So what else can you expect from a one day convention? There will be panel talks, signings, book launches as well as the chance to take part in writing workshops and intimate kaffeeklatsch discussions with your favourite writers. There will also be a stream dedicated to workshops on gender parity and multiculturalism  and disabilities in the SFF/Horror community.

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But for a taster of what you can expect, I have gathered (with permission) some of the blog posts related to the Edge-Lit one-day convention from around the web…

First up, Adele from Fox Spirit Books. Fox Spirit is a fantastic independent publisher, which has created a special range of pocket anthologies for lovers of a good, quick read. Adele writes about the convention being the perfect place to launch their latest anthology, Noir Carnival:

Yesterday was Edge-Lit two and although I missed it last year I have enough experience of Alex Davis’s events that Fox Spirit booked a launch in full confidence that this was the right kind of event for us to bring the Carnival to.

The Fox Spirit Skulk

There were some twenty five or more of the skulk* in attendance on the day and in addition to being a fantastic event as can be expected from Alex, it was also incredible for me on a personal level to see so many of the writers and people involved in Fox Spirit (including our tireless copy editor Daz) in one place and to meet some of them face to face for the first time as well as catching up with old friends. I could not wish to work with a more fun, passionate and inspiring bunch of people. […] I spent the day talking, enjoying the sunshine and eating in fantastic company. All in all I’m not sure it could have been much more perfect.”

*Fox Spirit Books gang

 

Next up, writer Geraldine Clark Hellery (@gclarkhellery) who writes:

“I really enjoyed Edge-Lit but it was over all too soon (especially as we needed to do the long drive home). The panels were interesting and didn’t address some of the ‘staid’ issues which seem to be on repeat at other conferences. It was a small, intimate feeling con and all the staff were really approachable and friendly.”

So, all good… except Geraldine does have one little criticism…

 “Would I go again? I really enjoyed Edge-Lit but think there’s a little too much to do in one day (great panels, interesting people to talk to and meet) so organizers please take note, we want a two day event! Also, next time I’d need to stay for a second night to fully appreciate and enjoy this great con!”

James Everington is a writer from Nottingham who writes dark, strange fiction. His latest collection, Falling Over, is out now from Infinity Plus. He drinks Guinness, if anyone is offering. He writes:

“Here’s some things I learnt from the day – as with going to university some of the real ‘lessons’ took place in the bar…

[…]

5. Holding a newly purchased book in one hand, a glass of wine in the other, and trying to eat a cupcake is not a skill I possess.

6. Any raffle that Sarah Pinborough hosts (ably assisted by Conrad Williams) is a thing of strange beauty and crude, crude jokes – so much so that not actually winning anything doesn’t seem to matter that much.
[…]

10. That despite reaching my mid-thirties, I still get inordinately excited by a bag of free books.”

Shhh…I’m older, James, and I do, too! I also had the same problem with cake.

And finally, Victoria Hooper, a writer, blogger and freelance editor from Nottingham, had the following to say:

“Edge Lit is easily my favourite of the conventions I’ve been to so far. It’s small and intimate, and though all cons have been very friendly to me, this is even more so. And, despite the lack of air con, which may have just unluckily not been working on that day, it really is a great venue. It’s open, has a lovely cafe and patio area, two big cinema rooms that are good for panels and talks, and plenty of restaurants around. And I have a soft spot for Derby anyway, as I used to live there.

As always, it was lovely to see so many people again, and for the first time ever, I actually introduced some people to each other! Woohoo, I’m not the newbie anymore! I also met wonderful new people, and have added even more authors and books to my never-ending To Read shelf! On such a hot day, it was so nice to be able to relax with a drink with such a great group of people.

The panels I went to were all good, and I particularly enjoyed the discussion about Urban Fantasy and what makes it so popular. I also loved the raffle, which really has to be experienced! Well done to the raffle hosts, Sarah Pinborough and Conrad Williams, for making it so fun.

If you enjoyed Edge-Lit – or if you missed it and regret doing so (you should) – then Andromeda One may be thing that satisfies the yearning you have to indulge in your love of genre to the fullest – just for one day.

Single Tickets are £25 each; Group Tickets (for up to five people) are £100. Prices held until 9th August 2013.

Prices go up 10th August 2013 to £27.00 or Group ticket £110.00

Book your tickets now at http://terror-tree.co.uk/andromeda-one/

 

July BSFA London Meeting: Cory Doctorow interviewed by Tom Hunter

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Location: The Cellar Bar, The Argyle Public House, 1 Greville Street (off Leather Lane), London EC1N 8PQ

On Wednesday 24th July 2013, Cory Doctorow (blogger, award winning author of Little Brother, Homeland, and more) will be interviewed by Tom Hunter (Award Director of the Arthur C. Clarke Award).

 

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

The interview will start at 7 pm. We have the room from 6 pm (and if early, fans are in the ground floor bar from 5ish).

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

Map is here. Nearest Tube: Chancery Lane (Central Line).

FUTURE EVENTS:

28th August 2013- Ian Stewart, interviewed by Stephen Baxter

25th September 2013- Gareth Powell, interviewed by Jon Oliver

30th October 2013- Mary Robinette Kowal , interviewed by Virginia Preston *

*Note that this is a month with five Wednesdays. The meeting will be on the last Wed. of the month.

FUTURA Competition Winner – Plus A Guide To Wonderful Wolverhampton!

Congratulations to BSFA member Nicholas Whyte who won two free tickets to FUTURA in our latest competition! Well done from all of us here at the BSFA.

With the FUTURA convention coming to Wolverhampton (my old stomping ground) in just under a fortnight’s time, just what can I tell con-goers about the place?

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Wolverhampton is now officially in the Black Country – although people have been arguing about that since the name came about. The most significant speculative fiction to be inspired by the region’s grimy history is easily Lord of the Rings. J. R. R. Tolkien spent his formative years in the pretty rural town of Sarehole before moving to Moseley, and was aware of the grim Black Country in the distance. Though the horrors of the World War I trenches were also influential, the link between “the land of shadow,” the home of “dark smithies” that he called Mordor (The Black Land in Elvish) and the Black Country is clearly made. And as Mordor has become the touchstone for every shadowy, grim place in fantastical literature derived from Tolkien, every bog of eternal stench, then the Black Country is surely the source of them all.

Out of Darkness Cometh Light

Wolverhampton’s motto is “Out of Darkness Cometh Light”, and since the millennium, a growing number of writing groups and initiatives have sprung up within the city, offering a supportive network for writers.

On the site of the old Chubb lock-making factory, Wolverhampton’s Light House has become a hub for the city’s creative sorts. Featuring an independent 2-screen cinema, gallery space and the Lock Works Café, it frequently hosts exhibitions, festivals, craft fairs and comedy and spoken word nights.

And now FUTURA comes to Wolverhampton; an absolute treat for enthusiasts of speculative fiction. And a not so small part of me hopes some post-industrial heritage-inspired writing comes out of the event to really put the place on the map in terms of science fiction.

One Ring-Road to Rule Them All!

Visitors to Wolverhampton these days will find a city combining pleasing Georgian architecture with a modern, busy pedestrianized shopping centre and a good old-fashioned market quarter. So if you’re coming to Wolverhampton for FUTURA, here’s my guide to places to go to make the most of your weekend.

Places to Visit

If you can nip out to visit Wolverhampton Art Gallery on Lichfield Street you will find all sorts from contemporary exhibitions to oil paintings, and there’s a gallery dedicated to Pop Art. The cake in the cafe is excellent, too. Open Monday – Saturday: 10am – 5pm, free admission. Linger outside on the hour to see the bizarre clock do its thing!

Over on Finchfield Road, you will find the beautiful Bantock House Museum – an Edwardian house surrounded by formal gardens and acres of parkland. Great for a picnic, but they also have a cafe run by the same people as the art gallery – so, yes, the cake is excellent. Open Tuesday – Sunday: 11am – 5pm, free admission.

St Peter’s Collegiate Church, just behind the art gallery, dates mainly from the 16th Century, though the chancel was completed in 1867. Some of the building has been there since 1425. The Anglo-Saxon cross base out in the churchyard is a must-see.

Slightly further afield, Wightwick Manor out on Wightwick Bank is a delightful Victorian arts and crafts house, built by the Mander family of philanthropic industrialists after being inspired by a lecture by Oscar Wilde on ‘the House Beautiful’.  Inside, you will find their collection of Pre-Raphaelite art and see furniture and decorations by William Morris. Prices £4.80 child, £9.50 adult with gift aid to see the whole house and garden. The garden and tea room is open from 11am on that weekend, and the house from noon, closing at 5pm.

Food and Drink

Venturing into town for a beer you might like to try The Posada on Lichfield Street, a proper old-fashioned real ale pub. Unfortunately it doesn’t offer food.

If rock, metal, Goth etc is your thing, then you have to go to The Giffard Arms on Victoria Street. Looks scary, actually pretty friendly. No food here either, though.

The Hogshead on Stafford Street on the other hand does do food, and also serves real ale. Gets very busy, though! Quite popular with students.

Close to the station on Corn Hill is Holdens pub The Great Western, with excellent guest ales and nice food. Recommended!

Travelling further out, try The Crooked House, 3.5 miles away in Gornal. A quirky building with fantastic beer and excellent locally sourced food.

Wolverhampton has an abundance of curry houses. A lot of people like the rough and ready cheapness of Jivans on Broad Street, but if eating off paper plates isn’t for you there are plenty of other places, particularly on Cleveland street; a good central one is The New Spice on School Street. Many good Indian restaurants are out of the town centre – you could also try Indigo on the Warstones Road, Shimla on Stafford Road, Fordhouses, or Penn Tandoori, Lower Penn.

If you just want a nice cup of tea and a cake try the gallery, or Madame Clarke’s on King Street.

Shopping

Wolverhampton has a brilliant market square and indoor market, where you can purchase faggots, scratchings and grey peas and bacon if you so wish! Below the market is an antiques centre where you can pick up vintage clothes and accessories, knick knacks, collector toys and memorabilia, vinyl records and second hand books. It’s open 8.30am – 4.30pm on Saturdays.

More second hand books can be found at The Old Bookshop on Bath Street, near the brewery.

There are also loads of alternative/vintage clothing stores. Look out for Penny Farthing, Nefaria, Rowfers, Trisha’s and Equinox.

I look forward to seeing you in Wolverhampton!

 

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