Since October 2015 London has a new genera writers group entitled “Spectrum: The London Science Fiction & Fantasy Writer’s Group“. It has actually been meeting for a number of years but recently moved to a new online home where it seems to be going fron strength to strength and now has close to 100 members. Continue reading
The ScienceFictionBookClub.org conclude their 2015 Best of British Season in November with three books:
- House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds on November 9th**
- The Time Machine by H.G. Wells on November 23rd**
- The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter on November 30th**
** Login required
The ScienceFictionBookClub.org continue their 2015 Best of British Season in October with:
- Ack-Ack Macaque by Gareth L. Powell on October 12th**
- The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North on October 26th**
** Login required
QUAD in Derby hosts two new special events for writers in October and November.
On the 21st October, Derby Writers Day will offer guidance, advice and inspiration for aspiring authors sure to give any writing career a boost.
Confirmed speakers and guests for the event include Booker-nominated novelist Alison Moore, East Midlands Book Award winner Alison McQueen, bestselling crime author Stephen Booth, leading historical authors Elizabeth Chadwick and James Wilde, acclaimed romantic comedy author Tracy Bloom plus Mark Chadbourn, Clare Harvey, Jim Hinks, Steven Dunne, Sian Hoyle, Kim Lakin-Smith, Eve Makis, Nicola Monaghan, Sue Moorcroft and Stan Nicholls.
Attendees will be able to choose from sessions on a wide range of writing subjects, including historical fiction, crime and thrillers, promotion and publicity, self-publishing, contemporary women’s fiction, scriptwriting, making a living as a writer, writing in the East Midlands and the small and independent press.
Derby Writers Day runs in QUAD on the 21st October from 10:00am until 4:00pm (doors will be open from 9:00am), and tickets are £35 including access to all sessions and event goodie bag.
In November, Edge-Lit, the annual event for science-fiction, fantasy and horror writing returns as the festively named ‘Sledge-Lit’. With a range of panel discussions, workshops, readings, and guests of honour, Sledge-Lit brings the festive cheer with a day of workshops offering a fantastic insight into the world of genre writing. There will be panel discussions on a range of hot topics in books and publishing plus in-depth sessions with Guests of Honour, including Alison Moore, Man Booker shortlisted author of The Lighthouse and He Wants; Adam Roberts, acclaimed SF author of Bete, Yellow Blue Tibia and Black Glass; Robert Shearman, award-winning short story author, scriptwriter and playwright; Charles Stross, multiple Hugo and Locus award winning SF, fantasy and horror author plus more authors to be confirmed. Sledge-Lit takes place in QUAD on Saturday 21st November, from 10:00am to 6:00pm. Tickets are £25 and include access to all sessions on the day and a special goodie bag.
To book places for either event, please call QUAD Box Office on 01332 290606 or visit http://www.derbyquad.co.uk/special-event/derby-writers-day. or http://www.derbyquad.co.uk/special-event/sledge-lit-edge-lits-christmas-vacation
For further enquiries, please contact Alex Davis at email@example.com
British SF stalwart Jeff Noon is working with Ravendesk Games to bring you a RPG based on his popular book Vert and it’s all being organised on Kickstarter.
Vurt: The Tabletop Roleplaying Game is an RPG based on the visionary and hallucinatory science fiction of author Jeff Noon (who won the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Vurt in 1994). Amid the glass-strewn streets of the lethal and anarchic Manchester England of the near future, players ingest slender Vurt feathers to travel to parallel worlds as vivid, unique, and unpredictable as our wildest dreams. But they’re no mere fantasies. These worlds – and all the wonders and horrors they contain – are as a real, and every bit as dangerous, as the one you were born in.
The shortlist for 2nd annual Novella Award has been announced. Launched in 2014, The Novella Award is awarded to a previously unpublished work of fiction, between 20,000-40,000 words in length. This year, the list includes Nina Allan, whose novel The Race was shortlisted for the BSFA Best Novel Award this year.
The full shortlist is here:
The Harlequin by Nina Allan
Motherland by Alix Christie
The Year of the Horse by Zoë Ranson
Mistakes by the Lake by Brian Petkash
When It Was Raining by Kevin Parry
Esp by Michael Wyndham Thomas
In Wolf Village by Penny Simpson
The venture is a partnership between the Screen School of Liverpool John Moores University and Manchester Metropolitan University’s Department of Contemporary Arts, who originally established The Novella Award. Sandstone Press, Time to Read, and NAWE are all partners of the award and work alongside it to encourage the publication of new writing. judges are Alison Moore, award winning author of The Lighthouse and He Wants, Nicholas Royle, editor of Salt Publishing’s influential Best British Short Stories anthologies and Robert Graham, Director of the Novella Award.
The winning novella will receive a £1,000 cash prize and publication by award-winning Scottish independent publisher Sandstone Press. The runner-up is awarded £500 and a reader’s report. The winner will be announced on 7th October.
Issue one features an interview & short work by Charles Stross plus contributions by the following authors; Noel Chidwick, Steve Green, Paul F Cockburn, David Perlmutter, Guy T Martland, Joseph L Kellogg, Richmond A Clements, Claire Simpson, John Buchan, Larry Ivkovich, Alex Barr, Colleen Anderson and M. Luke McDonell.
It’s available in Epub and PDF for £2.95 direct from the publisher and print editions are £4.95 from Amazon. Five issue subscriptions are also available.
The Forum Shopping Centre in Sittingbourne will be hosting a Sci – Fi event on Saturday 2nd May from 10am – 5pm.
The event will include special meet and greet sessions and signing opportunities with actors such as Simon Fisher-Becker who played Dorium Maldovar and Matthew Dale who played Big John from Doctor Who as well as Chris Bunn, the original Stormtrooper from Star Wars.
There will also be treasure hunts, a face painter, a Fancy Dress Competition, Quizzes and activities by Luniac Designs, exhibitions featuring a life size TARDIS and a Dalek – arch nemesis of Dr Who and a selection of stalls offering sci-fi themed products.
All proceeds raised from the event will go towards The Alzheimer’s Society, the centre’s new charity of the year.
Rachel Jenman, Centre Manager of The Forum Shopping Centre, commented:
“We are really looking forward to our Sci-fi day. The event will offer shoppers a jam packed programme of fun activities with something to treat everyone who has an interest in science fiction, from a TARDIS and Storm Troopers to Daleks and lightsabers. I hope everyone who attends has a fantastic time.”
Today, Friday April 10th, sees voting open for the 7th Gemmell Awards, the longlist for which was announced today.
The aims of the awards, named after legendary fantasy writer David Gemmell, are to raise public awareness of the Fantasy genre, to celebrate the history and cultural importance of Fantasy literature and to appreciate and reward excellence in the field.
The longlists for the Legend Award – for the best novel of fantasy fiction, the Morningstar Award – for the best fantasy debut novel, and the Ravenheart Award – for the year’s best fantasy cover art – can all be seen on the newly designed website, launched for the occasion.
Awards Chair Stan Nicholls said: ‘The new website is a key part of our plan for the awards going forward, and will allow us to really expand our online output. Add to this the longlist announcement and voting beginning and we have some really exciting times ahead for the Gemmell Awards – I can’t wait to see what wonderful fantasy books the public have to choose from!’
The David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy began in 2009, with the aim of celebrating the best in fantasy fiction and commemorating the work of David Gemmell. Previous winners Andrezj Sapowski, Graham McNeill, Brandon Sanderson, Pierre Pevel, Patrick Rothfuss, Helen Lowe, Brent Weeks, John Gwynne, Brian McLellan and Mark Lawrence.
The longlists will be whittled down to a shortlist, whereupon voting will open again and fantasy fans and readers will have the chance to vote for their favourites again.
Voting on each of 2015’s longlists closes at midnight on Friday 15th May.
Voting on the shortlist opens on Monday 1st June and closes at midnight on Friday 17th July.
The presentation takes place at 8pm on Saturday 8th August at Nine Worlds Geekfest.
Hot on the heels of the BSFA Award Winners and the Hugo shortlist comes the Clarke Awards, as we affectionately know ’em. The six shortlisted books for the Arthur C. Clarke Award for best science fiction novel of the year published in 2014 are:
The Girl With All The Gifts – M.R. Carey (Orbit)
The Book Of Strange New Things – Michel Faber (Canongate)
Europe In Autumn – Dave Hutchinson (Solaris)
Memory Of Water – Emmi Itäranta (HarperVoyager)
The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August – Claire North (Orbit)
Station Eleven – Emily St John Mandel (Picador)
The 6 shortlisted titles were selected from a list of 107 individual eligible submissions, put forward by 36 different publishing houses and imprints.
None of the authors above have been listed for this award before, and what a fantastically broad and diverse mix of science fiction books they represent. We also note that two of our own shortlist for the BSFA Awards have made this list – Dave Hutchinson’s Europe in Autumn and Claire North’s the First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, so that’s yet another ringing endorsement for these two books.
Award Director Tom Hunter said, “This is a quintessentially Clarke Award kind of a shortlist of exactly the sort that we’ve become known for over the years and always love to celebrate. Congratulations to all of our shortlisted authors, their publishing teams and, of course, a big thank you to everyone on our judging panel this year […] A good shortlist isn’t a statement about what you should like, it’s an invitation to go beyond the limits of what you already know so you can experience and enjoy something new. Why limit an appreciation of a literature that’s built on the power of human imagination?“
We would also like the thank the judges here at the BSFA. It’s not so easy to get through 107 books! You’ve done us proud.
The judging panel for the Arthur C. Clarke Award 2015 are:
Duncan Lawie, British Science Fiction Association
- Nicholas Whyte, British Science Fiction Association
- Sarah Brown, Science Fiction Foundation
- Lesley Hall, Science Fiction Foundation
- Leila Abu El Hawa, SCI-FI-LONDON film festival
Andrew M. Butler represents the Arthur C. Clarke Award in a non-voting role as the Chair of the Judges.
The winner will be announced on Wednesday 6th May at an exclusive award ceremony held at Foyles Bookshop, London, and taking place as part of the activities leading up to the SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival.
The winner will be presented with a cheque for £2015.00 and the award itself, a commemorative engraved bookend.
The ceremony for the David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy – the award which recognises the very best in fantasy fiction and artwork each year – is now confirmed to take place at Nine Worlds Geekfest, and will be taking place at 8pm on Saturday 8th August.
The ceremony will see the three 2015 awards presented, with the Legend Award for Best Fantasy Novel, Morningstar Award for Best Fantasy Debut and Ravenheart Award for Best Fantasy Cover Art. Attracting a wide host of writers and publishing professionals, the glitzy ceremony is always a highlight of the fantasy fiction calendar.
Stan Nicholls, Chair for the Gemmell Awards, said: ‘I couldn’t think of a better event for us to partner with than Nine Worlds, and we look forward to bringing another superb awards ceremony not only to our regular attendees but a whole new audience on 8th August.’
Nine Worlds Geekfest runs from the 7th-9th August at Heathrow.
Tuesday 14th October is Ada Lovelace Day – an International Celebration of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Ada Lovelace was born in 1815 and grew up to be the world’s first computer programmer, working with Charles Babbage’s plans for the Analytical Engine.
Ada Lovelace Day aims to raise the profiles of STEM women, to inspire others and to create new role models for young and old alike.
In celebration of this day, The Royal Institution in Mayfair, London, is holding a special event – Ada Lovelace Day Live – on Tuesday 14th October at 7pm (tickets still available as I write).
The following performers and artists will be appearing:
Roma Agrawal is a civil engineer from the team that built The Shard, bringing stories of bridges and a few jelly babies too. More about her work can be found on the Ri Blog.
Caro C is an electronic musician and sound engineer and one of the founders of Delia Derbyshire Day. Her performance is inspired by Delia’s fascinating archive and pioneering work including the realisation of the original Doctor Who theme in 1963.
Dr Hannah Fry is a UCL lecturer in the Mathematics of Cities, whose TEDx talk has been viewed over half a million times. She’ll show how maths can be used to predict the future.
Konnie Huq is a television presenter, writer, mathematics enthusiast, and at one time the longest-serving female presenter of Blue Peter after studying economics at Cambridge University.
Naomi Kashiwagi is an award winning artist and performer. The Royal Institution let her loose in their prep room and archives, where she’s developed her own unique take on Ada Lovelace.
Dr Turi King is the geneticist who led the DNA analysis that located the remains of Richard III in Leicester, and explores how genetics combined with history, archeology, anthropology and forensics can shed light on our past and future.
Steph Troeth is a user experience researcher and designer, who will share her obsession with finding ways to improve technology by understanding what people do (and don’t do) in the real world.
Dr Helen Czerski is a physicist and oceanographer at University College London. When she’s not in the lab or on a boat (or doing both at the same time) she presents science programmes for the BBC.
Event host Helen Arney is a self-professed geek songstress, who writes maths and science-inspired comedy songs and performs across the UK.
Tickets are £12/8, £6 for Ri Associates, and free to Ri members and fellows.
Find out more at www.findingada.com
BBC broadcaster, Samira Ahmed, chairs a stellar panel of visionary thinkers who offer new perspectives on whether nurturing creativity through science fiction could be more crucial to our global progress than we might realise.
What is the link between technological innovation and artistic imagination? Science fiction is often thought to be the ultimate bridge between science and the arts. Could exploring this symbiotic relationship enable the next generation to envision an alternative future of the Middle East? Can inventive forms of art, film and literature help to inspire new waves of scientific development in the Arab world today and beyond?
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
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org (email heading “Cybernarratives proposal”)
Tel: 01347 812100
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.
- 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.
Jo Fletcher Books have sent us word that Tom Pollock (The Glass Republic; The City’s Son) is launching his new novel Our Lady of the Streets this Thursday 7th August at London’s Forbidden Planet. Tom will be doing a reading, and has promised to bring brownies as well – bonus! the reading will be followed by a reception at the Hercules Pillars on Great Queen Street.
To RSVP, please click on the Facebook link here.
‘Vivid, inventive – and truly weird.’ Daily Mail
Ever since Beth Bradley found her way into a hidden London, the presence of its ruthless goddess, Mater Viae, has lurked in the background. Now Mater Viae has returned with deadly consequences.
The streets are wracked by convulsions as muscles of wire and pipe go into spasm, bunching the city into a crippled new geography; pavements flare to thousand-degree fevers, incinerating pedestrians; and towers fall, their foundations decayed. As the city sickens, so does Beth – her essence now part of this secret London. But when it is revealed that Mater Viae’s plans for dominion stretch far beyond the borders of the city, Beth must make a choice: flee, or sacrifice her city in order to save it.
Ritual Crime Unit: Under the Skin is the first in a new series of urban fantasy police procedurals marking not only the beginning of a new series for Abaddon Books but also a different way of publishing. Mainly available in e-book format, Under The Skin is available in limited numbers as a physical edition.
A tough, hard-nosed career officer in the male-dominated world of British policing, DCI Claire Pierce of North Yorkshire Police heads Northern England’s underfunded and understaffed Ritual Crime Unit. Ignored by the traditional police, struggling with an out-sized caseload, Pierce is about to tackle her most shocking case so far.
Described as a ‘Weird West Tale’ that mixes an alternate Wild West with magic and steampunk, Mike Resnick has blended history and fantasy into a thoroughly entertaining novel.
The time is April, 1885. Doc Holliday lies in bed in a sanitarium in Leadville, Colorado, expecting never to leave his room again. But the medicine man and great chief Geronimo needs him for one last adventure. Renegade Comanche medicine men object to the newly-signed treaty with Theodore Roosevelt. They are venting their displeasure on two white men who are desecrating tribal territory in Wyoming. Geronimo must protect the men or renege on his agreement with Roosevelt. He offers Doc one year of restored health in exchange for taking on this mission.
Welcome to the birth of American paleontology, spearheaded by two brilliant men, Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh, two men whose genius is only exceeded by their hatred for each other’s guts.
Now, with the aid of Theodore Roosevelt, Cole Younger, and Buffalo Bill Cody, Doc Holliday must save Cope and Marsh not only from the Comanches, not only from living, breathing dinosaurs, but from each other. And that won’t be easy.
Hugely popular in his native Germany, Frank Schatzing’s Limit is a serious, heavyweight tome of a sci-fi novel. Praised for his brilliant characters and expansive, epic storytelling, Schatzing’s work asks questions about the nature of humankind’s future.
In 2025, entrepreneur Julian Orley opens the first-ever hotel on the moon. But Orley Enterprises deals in more than space tourism—it also operates the world’s only space elevator, which in addition to allowing the very wealthy to play tennis on the lunar surface connects Earth with the moon and enables the transportation of helium-3, the fuel of the future, back to the planet. Julian has invited twenty-one of the world’s richest and most powerful individuals to sample his brand-new lunar accommodation, hoping to secure the finances for a second elevator.
On Earth, meanwhile, cybercop Owen Jericho is sent to Shanghai to find a young female hacker known as Yoyo, who’s been on the run since acquiring access to information that someone seems quite determined to keep quiet. As Jericho closes in on the girl and the conspiracy swirling around her, he finds mounting evidence that connects her to Julian Orley as well as to the entrepreneur’s many competitors and enemies. Soon, the detective realizes that the lunar junket to Orley’s hotel is in real and immediate danger.
A British Sci-Fi master, Alastair Reynolds has produced another awe-inspiring epic tale. Loosely connected to the author’s earlier Poseidon’s Children, his latest work reads as a stand-alone novel. On The Steel Breeze intertwines two stories, set light years apart and is crafted with consummate skill, resulting in a brilliant hard sci-fi novel.
An epic vision of our journey into deep space.
Hundreds of years from now mankind will finally inherit the stars. A fleet of holoships is heading towards the nearest habitable planet at 15% the speed of light. In massive asteroids turned into ships, tens of millions of people are heading towards a new home. A home that bears signs of an ancient alien civilisation.
No-one knows what they will find when they get there in 90 years. But the main problem is that the ships will have to break the laws of physics to be able to stop. And the research into ways to stop risk the ships themselves. Has mankind squandered the utopia of years past?
This year sees the fifth ever David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy, and appropriately the winner will be announced on Thursday 31st October at World Fantasycon at the Brighton Metropole hotel.
The David Gemmell Awards honour the life of one of fantasy fiction’s most acclaimed authors and seek to recognize the very best of modern literature in the field.
Three awards will be presented during the ceremony: the Legend Award for best novel, the Morningstar Award for best debut and the Ravenheart Award for best cover art. As well as these presentations, the ceremony features the Gemmell Awards auction, with some incredible lots to be bid for, including a full year’s worth of Tor UK books, a manuscript assessment from renowned editor Jo Fletcher, and art prints from leading artists Anne Sudworth and Dominic Harman.
The ceremony will also include the official launch of ‘Legends’, a collection of new short stories written in honour of David Gemmell. Published by NewCon Press, the anthology features a fantastic line-up of contributors including Joe Abercrombie, James Barclay, Tanith Lee, Juliet E McKenna, Stan Nicholls, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Ian Whates and many others.
Proceedings begins at 8pm, and close around 9:30pm. Entry to the event is free, and no ticket is required – anyone interested in attending can simply turn up on the night itself. Please note that while the event is affiliated with the World Fantasy Convention, also running at the Brighton Metropole Hotel, attending the ceremony does not also allow entry to the convention.
Shortlist for the Legend Awards:
Shortlist for Morningstar Award:
Shortlist for Ravenheart Award:
For more information, contact email@example.com