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


BSFA Jan 2016

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

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

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

Map is here .

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

The interview will start at 7 pm.

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

Future Meetings:

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

For further information about the London meetings, contact Andrea Dietrich, London Meetings Organiser,

Funds for Rochita Loenen-Ruiz

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

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

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

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

The GoFundMe page for this campaign is here.

Win 2 Tickets to Sledge Lit

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

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

– See more here.

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

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

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

The deadline is midnight, Monday 9th November.

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



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

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

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

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

Course Tutors:

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

simon ings

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

Geoff Ryman

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

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

To book refer to the website here.

Global Futures: On Science Fiction 7th November

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

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

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

About the Panel of Speakers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tickets are £5 and can be purchased here.

Sledge-Lit Saturday 21st November

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

Map is here.

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

The interview will start at 7 pm.

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

For further information about the London meetings, contact Andrea Dietrich, London Meetings Organiser,
Start Time: 19:00
Date: 2015-11-25

Starship Engineer Workshops 24th and 25th November 2015

Initiative For Interstellar Studies

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

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

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

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

Tuesday 24 November: Starship Engineer

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

Wednesday 25 November: Science Fiction Starships

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

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

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

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

To join any of the events contact the booking team at:  or visit for more details.

Another (Titan) Graphic Novel Round-Up

by Alex Bardy (@mangozoid)

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

Titan Comics, April 2015, £11.99 cover price (56pp)

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

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

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


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

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

Titan Comics, March 2015, £10.99 cover price (48pp)

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


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

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

masked 2

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

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

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

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

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

evil evil 2

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

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

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


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

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

Titan Comics, May 2015, £10.99 cover price (64pp)

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

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


Elric 2

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

Elric 3

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

Elric 4

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

BSFA London Meeting: Emma Newman interviewed by Edward Cox 28th October 2015

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

Emma Newman writes dark short stories and science fiction and urban fantasy novels. ‘Between Two Thorns’, the first book in Emma’s Split Worlds urban fantasy series, was shortlisted for the BFS Best Novel and Best Newcomer awards. Emma’s next book, Planetfall, will be a standalone science fiction novel published by Ace/Roc in November. Emma is a professional audiobook narrator and also co-writes and hosts the twice Hugo-nominated podcast ‘Tea and Jeopardy’ which involves tea, cake, mild peril and singing chickens. Her hobbies include dressmaking and playing RPGs. She blogs at

EmmaEdward Cox is the author of THE RELIC GUILD and THE CATHEDRAL OF KNOWN THINGS, published by Gollancz. Represented by John Berlyne of the Zeno Agency.

During the 2000’s, Edward published a host of short stories, earned a BA and MA in creative writing, and went on to lecture in the same subject. He now resides in the Essex countryside with his fabulous wife and daughter, where they’re surrounded by fine greenery and spiders the size of your hand.Edward

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

Map is here .

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

The interview will start at 7 pm.

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

For further information about the London meetings, contact Andrea Dietrich, London Meetings Organiser,
Start Time: 19:00
Date: 2015-10-28

Nine Worlds 2015: a con-goer’s view

by Allen Stroud

This was my second visit to the London Geekfest convention in the Radisson Hotel near Heathrow. Nine Worlds 2014 had been held on the weekend before Worldcon (Loncon 3) last year, so it remained to be seen if the same numbers would hold up for this year’s convention.

It turned out that there wasn’t a noticeable drop and that is a testimony to the identity of Nine Worlds. It is a very inclusive event, made so by its participants who alternate between organising and bringing content to being the audience. There is little hierarchy between panellists, speakers and the audience, particularly when the social spaces of the hotel provide opportunities to mingle between sessions. The tracking system allows participants to pick and choose what they want to attend and by blocking the times, you can easily switch themes as you want.

This year did seem overly dominated by the reading/writing related tracks and there were some occasions when panellists didn’t seem to know why they’d been put on a panel to discuss a topic their work wasn’t connected to, but as always the audience made the most of the opportunity to talk with creative people and listen to their ideas. This is a particular strength of the convention as it embraces creative content from all sources and the opportunity to discover new stories in any medium is constant. The best discussions who also read, watch and listen widely as this always helps with responding to questions from a position of informed authority.

The variety of activities other than the panels was somewhat less impressive than 2014. The trader area did appear less occupied prior to the pop-up market on Sunday, but the opportunity to play the boardgames provided by Forbidden Planet made sure the hall was consistently used by lots of people making new friends over counters, dice, cards and game tiles. This is part of the convention’s identity, providing a space for people to make their own fun and meet new friends. The lobby, café and restaurant were also constant hubs of chatter and socialising.

The evening events such as book launches form Ian Whates and Newcon Press, the Gemmell Awards, Knightmare Live and Nate Crowley’s rendition of ‘Daniel Barker’s Birthday’ were all excellent fun. Eve if you weren’t part of the group who were chatting about something, you never felt excluded and were only a moment away from being dragged into the spectacle.

To me, Norse references aside, Nine Worlds always feels like an arbitrary title for this convention. There are so  many more than nine worlds in evidence. The communities the convention fosters and provides a platform for are incredibly important to the inclusive and progressive journey Science Fiction and Fantasy in all is aspects has embarked on. It also wraps together creativity from all levels of the genres and beyond. You’ll always find something appealing here and you’ll always come back having discovered something new.

No doubt ideas are already being dreamed up for Nine Worlds 2016. I’ll be there and hopefully you will too.


About the writer:

Allen Stroud is the extremely talented author of Elite Revolution and the Wismir Tales, as well as being a lead tutor at Buckinghamshire New University for the BA (Hons) in Creative Writing for Publication and course leader for the BA (Hons) in Film and TV Production, and presenter of Lave Radio. As well as this he manages to find time to be a music composer and write reviews for the BFS and SFBook.

Jeff Noon’s Vurt: The Tabletop Roleplaying Game on Kickstarter

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.

Virt’s Kickstarter page

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.

New Play King Chaos at the Camden Fringe

Bad Bat Productions have written to let us know about their new production “King Chaos” a new science-fiction comedy play about morality, power and corruption in space, written and directed by Steve Jordan, and successor to the critically-acclaimed Future Boys stage adventures, “‘Pilgrim Shadow” and “Dead Static”.

The show runs at the Tristan Bates Theatre in Covent Garden as part of this year’s Camden Fringe Festival, from Monday 10th August to Saturday 15th August 2015, 7.45pm. This will be our fifth Camden Fringe festival as contributors. Tickets are £12 (£10 concessions) and can be bought via or via the box office on 0207 240 6283.

King Jeffrey, compassion-vacuum and ruler of a evil galactic empire known as ‘the Syndicate’, commands the universe with an iron fist of idiocy and self-obsession. For years the Syndicate have hunted Tyler and Gary, two petty criminals turned freedom fighters. Having discovered their fortune and rallied an army to their cause, they embark on an audacious mission to capture the Syndicate throne and end Jeffrey’s reign of terror and incompetence. They succeed, but… what are they supposed to do now? Will Tyler and Gary put their differences aside to make the universe a better place, or will their egos make things infinitely, impossibly worse? Just who are the good guys anyway? Power corrupts, and there is only room on the throne for one…


‘Any time spent with these characters is a joy.’ – Views from the Gods, reviewing Pilgrim Shadow (★★★★), 2013. ‘Exciting and hilarious science fiction…’ – Remote Goat, reviewing Pilgrim Shadow (★★★★), 2013. ‘Splendidly thoughtful and hilarious…’ – Forbidden Planet International, reviewing Dead Static, 2012. ‘The makings of a classic series.’ – Snipe London, reviewing Dead Static, 2012.

4th York Pubmeet – 19th September 2015

Title: 4th York Pubmeet
Location: The Ackhorne Pub, 9 St. Martins Lane, York YO1 6LR
Description: Our next York Pubmeet will be taking place on Saturday 19th September at The Ackhorne pub in St Martins Lane, York — this is 2 minutes further down the road and off to the right from our usual Brigantes haunt, so should be easy enough to find (a little further down the hill towards town)…

For those who have attended previous events, please note that the new location doesn’t serve food, but you’re more than welcome to bring your own — for those who would like to grab a bite to eat afterwards (usu. around 730/8pm-ish), the Brigantes is 2-3 minutes away, and the rest of York town centre only a short 5-10min walk… Friends recommend that there’s a nice Indian restaurant not too far away…

As always, this is a FREE event, and we’ll have another selection of super guests and books to give away on the day, and yes, all of it FREE! We ask you to ‘book tickets’ here only so we can get a vague idea of numbers for the benefit of the landlord — there is no need to bring them along.

This event is in association with the British Fantasy Society (BFS). We love running events in Yorkshire!

Start Time: 16:30 – on till late!

Our special guests are author Marie O’Regan and author/publisher (Boo Books) Alex Davis. Our guest authors for the evening will be reading from their own work and fielding questions about their careers and writing in general. Both are also well-respected, acknowledged editors too, so can answer your editorial questions too! Books editor and publisher Alex Davis will present a workshop at Fleet Arts in Belper tomorrow.

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

@mangozoid (organiser)




NESFA Writing Competition: Prize – Entry to Boskone

The New England Science Fiction Association (NESFA) have been in touch to tell us to tell you about their writing competition.

Prizes include free books, and the grand prize of a free membership to Boskone*. Free critiques of your work are also on offer.

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, September 30, 2015 at 11:59PM EDT. All submissions must be made via email to in flat text, rich text, or any format readable by MS Word or Open Office. Please include your submission as an attachment rather than in the body of the email. Story pages should be numbered, with the page number and the title of the story at the top of each page.

A qualifying story must have strong science fiction or fantasy elements and must be shorter than 7,500 words. Stories must be original works of fiction, submitted by their authors. No reprints, fan fiction, or poetry.

Click here to find out more about the competition.

Boskone 53 takes place from 19th – 21st February 2016 at the Boston Westin Waterfront, in the USA. Guests of Honour include:

Garth Nix: Guest of Honor
Richard Anderson: Official Artist
Arnie & Cathy Fenner: Special Guests
Vixy & Tony: Featured Filkers
Bob Eggleton: NESFA Press Guest

*That will just be entry to the con. :)


The New MacGuffin

Comma Press, an independent publisher based in Manchester, specialising in short fiction, have built a digital literature platform called MacGuffin, which hosts short stories and poetry in text and audio form.

Jim Hinks, Comma Press’s Digital Editor says: “Anyone can upload a poem or short story, so long as they also upload a reading. This doesn’t have to be professionally recorded – we want to encourage writers to follow the lead of amateur podcasters, who in recent years have shown that technical barriers to entry have fallen away.”

MacGuffin has a tagging system, to help readers their curate content. Anyone can add tags to anyone else’s poem to describe it, or add it to a reading list. This enables users to search for content based on themes and create their own playlists.

Jim says: “We hope it’ll be a useful resource for authors who want to promote their short story collection. You can upload a sample story (we don’t ask for exclusivity) and link it back to point-of-sale, where readers can buy the book.”


The website can be found at Android and iOS Apps will follow.

‘Science Fiction and the Medical Humanities’ Writing Competition

Science Fiction and the Medical Humanities is a Wellcome-Trust funded project headed by Dr Gavin Miller, Director of the Medical Humanities Research Centre in the School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow.

They invite science-fiction short stories of up to 3000 words that address themes of medicine, health, and illness for publication in a forthcoming anthology.

The top three entries, and up to seventeen runners-up, will be published in the competition anthology.

First Prize: £300
Second Prize: £200
Third Prize: £150
Runners-up: £50

Entry is free of charge and open to anyone over 18. Please see here for more details.

Ernest Cline – Armada

The following article reproduced below is the work of book reviewer and blogger, Matt Freeman. Why not check out his site, The Bookbeard’s Blog?
Ernest Cline may well be one of the leaders of the latest cultural zeitgeist: rejuvenating many of the tropes and feelings that the 1980s were so enamoured with. His debut novel, Ready Player One, successfully merged a stunning futuristic dystopia full of pop-culture references to video games, music and movies of the 80s whilst imbuing the novel with the unique essence of that same era. In Armada he has done it again, this time with the volume turned up to eleven.
The book’s protagonist, a teenage Zack Lightman, has the kind of back-story you might expect from a John Hughes movie (think The Breakfast Club). He’s a gamer nerd at heart with a small but tight unit of friends. However, there’s tragedy as well because he lost his father as a baby which is the root of his wicked temper – and doesn’t the school bully know it. This is the heart of the story: a boy, about to reach manhood, yearning for the father he never knew all the while wondering what it is he feels he is meant for.
Thankfully, for Zack, an imminent alien invasion helps to clear all that up. While the teen ponders his father’s death and the man’s slightly unhinged diary entries, the action begins. Zack thinks his Dad was bonkers and that he is heading down the same road but that odd hallucination of an alien fighter craft he has at school was actually real. The government has been hiding the truth for decades about any number of things from technology to extraterrestrial life, and video games are not only propaganda  but training simulations for Earth’s defense league.
It’s a lot to take in, especially for Zack and the other elite players of the game Armada. Suddenly, everything they thought they knew is blown out of the sky and replaced with the virtual reality of the game they’ve been playing for the last few years. Moon bases, aliens from Jupiter’s moon Europa, space battles and lots of other crazy mechanoid stuff are all real. Just as quickly these gamers are asked to put there skills to the test, piloting remote space battle drones to defend Earth from the invasion.
But, some things don’t sit right with Zack. There’s too many unanswered questions, too many odd occurrences  that just don’t add up. Cue Xavier Lightman stage right and an emotionally fraught reunion between father and son. The conspiracy runs deeper and the duo soon realise that the ‘war’ they are fighting is actually something else entirely.
Ernest Cline has managed to create a meta-80s masterpiece. It’s all the things that made movies like The Last Starfighter great whilst remaining self aware and reflexive. Tropes are acknowledged and unpacked and though Armada references them it never becomes parody. Instead it uses them to great effect, producing a story that is both fresh but also, for those old enough, reminiscent of so many classics.
Much like Ready Player One, Cline’s cast of characters and dialogue in Armada is superb. It’s action packed and the pace is relentless making for a fast read. Whilst some critics have mentioned that the ending lacks a little, that is debatable. Yes, it’s a fairly Hollywood blockbuster finish (movie rights have been optioned) and, yes, the big questions go unanswered. However,  it seems the author has left a nice opening for a sequel. What is undeniable is that Armada is heaps of fun and well worth the trip down memory lane.
This review comes from Matt Freeman of The Bookbeard’s Blog: check out more from him here!

BSFA London Meeting 12th August 2015 – Peter Hamilton – Interviewed by Gareth L. Powell

Peter F Hamilton - Interviewed by Gareth L. Powell

Our August London event will feature a VERY special guest. Peter Hamilton will be our guest on 12th August (please note this is the 2nd Wednesday of the month rather than the 3rd). We will confirm the venue shortly. And of course, the fabulous Gareth L. Powell, writer of the Ack Ack Macaque series of novels, and BSFA Best Novel Award winner.

Location: Blackett Lecture Theatre 1, Blackett Laboratory Building, Imperial College London. Map is here.

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

The interview will start at 7 pm.

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

For further information about the London meetings, contact Andrea Dietrich, London Meetings Organiser,
Start Time: 19:00
Date: 2015-08-12