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.

BEST OF BRITISH SF 2015 concludes with Alastair Reynolds, H.G. Wells and Stephen Baxter

The ScienceFictionBookClub.org conclude their 2015 Best of British Season in November with three books:

** Login required

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. Continue reading

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.
CONFIRMED GUESTS OF HONOUR:
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.

Adam

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.

Kim

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, bsfa.london.meetings@gmail.com
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. Continue reading

FREE TALK: What’s New About the Novum?: SF, History, Temporality.

Dr Caroline Edwards

Dr Caroline Edwards

Join Dr Caroline Edwards for the second seminar in the King’s Fantastic Talks Series, at which she will discuss “What’s New About the Novum?: SF, History, Temporality.”

Where: Room K2.40 Kings College London, Strand Campus
Strand, London WC2R 2LS, London
When: 6:30-8:00, Thursday 29th October 2015

Is her own words….

I’ve been invited this Autumn to deliver a lecture as part of a new series, “King’s Fantastic Talks,” organised by Dr Rhys Williams. My lecture will take place on 29th October at King’s College London’s campus and is titled “What’s New About the Novum? SF, History, Temporality.” The talk builds on my research into Ernst Bloch’s utopian philosophy, looking in particular at the concept of the Novum (literally, the New) which he developed as part of his model of anticipatory consciousness (Vorschein). The Novum was extended by Darko Suvin in his influential formalist study of science fiction, Metamorphoses of Science Fiction: On the Poetics and History of a Literary Genre (1979), where Suvin borrowed Bloch’s notion of multi-stranded temporal complexity in his examination of the structural ingreidents of science fiction as a genre. However, Suvin elided the explicitly Messianic framework in which Bloch’s Novum is grounded – derived from the Jewish tradition of redeeming the past, which is informed by complex messianic futurities germinative within the present time.

I will consider the temporal implications of the Blochian Novum (as well as its similarities with Suvin’s later reading) and what this means for our understanding of how the Novum functions in science fiction texts. Whether expressed by a new situation or secondary world, or a de-alienating socio-political perspective in which more egalitarian relations are articulated in a futuristic or fantastical landscape, the Novum should be understood as more than simply “new” narrative actants and settings. Rather, I shall argue, we need to pay attention to the layered temporal possibilities suggested in the structure of the Novum itself: at once anticipatory, utopian, reemptive, messianic, political and subjective.

There’ll be drinks afterwards at a watering hole of our choice.

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… 😉 Continue reading

Talos: Science Fiction Theatre Festival of London

The Talos Science Fiction Theatre Festival will take place October 24-25 in Chelsea Theatre in London, UK. The festival features science fiction plays by contemporary writers from all over the world, including Greece and Australia.

Tickets are available here: https://www.chelseatheatre.org.uk/project/talos-science-fiction-theatre-festival/

Pregnant men and drones, apocalypse survivors and superheroes, emotional navigator systems, bodiless heads and more fantastical fictions are brought to life on stage in a unique showcase of new science fiction theatre.

Saturday, October 24th – Sunday, October 25th, 7.30PM

An Ordinary Man by Elizabeth Adlington
Lost Love by Jen McGregor
Crooked Fork by Jonathan Yukich
Drone by Tom Jensen
Two Heads on a First Date by Ron Burch
Superhero by Andreas Flourakis
The Other Roof by Susan Gray
Interface/Interface by Libby Emmons

Anyone wanting to come along with London’s ScienceFictionBookClub.org to the Saturday 24th performance is welcome along via their event. (Requires Login)

Tickets are available here: https://www.chelseatheatre.org.uk/project/talos-science-fiction-theatre-festival/

See our website for more information: http://www.talosfest.com/

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.

David-Barnett-Author-Pic-300x300

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 Tor.com. 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.

Amanda

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] kinsmeet.co.uk. 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 www.enewman.co.uk.

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, bsfa.london.meetings@gmail.com
Start Time: 19:00
Date: 2015-10-28

Autumn Writing Events at the Quad, Derby

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 alexdavisevents@hotmail.co.uk

BSFA London Meeting 23rd September 2015 – Simon Guerrier – Interviewed by Edward James

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

 Interview with Simon Guerrier. co-author of The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who. Writer of Cleaning Up starring Mark Gatiss and Louise Jameson, The Plotters, Wizard starring David Warner, and Modern Man, and the creator of the science-fiction series Graceless. He has also written books, comics and audio plays based on Doctor Who, Blake’s 7, Being Human, Primeval, and Robin Hood.

Simon will be interviewed by esteemed BSFA-Award-winning critic, Edward James.

 

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, bsfa.london.meetings@gmail.com

Start Time: 19:00
Date: 2015-09-23

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 www.tristanbatestheatre.co.uk 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!

 

https://a3-images.myspacecdn.com/images03/29/e0689bf42a734f7cb2f0996d3180335c/300x300.jpgBoo 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)

@BSFA

@BritFantasySoc

 

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 storycontest@boskone.org 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 Novella Award Shortlist Announced

FULL Novella Award Shortlist Press Release (embargoed until 0100am, Friday 17th July)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.