Ada Lovelace Day October 14th

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 



Arab Science Fiction: From Imagination to Innovation

Arab Science Fiction: From Imagination to Innovation
Science Museum IMAX theatre

Samira Ahmed

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?

Adults: £10 (£8 early booking rate offer until 25 October – call 0870 870 4868 and quote EB8)
Concs: £8 (£6 early booking rate offer until 25 October – call 0870 870 4868and quote EB6)

5-9 people: 10% off total amount (Call 0870 870 4868 and quote SINDBAD10)
10+ people: 20% off total amount (Call 0870 870 4868 and quote SINDBAD20)

Here’s how to get to the Science Theatre.

October BSFA London Meeting: Dave Bradley Interviewed by Scott K. Andrews

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

Dave Bradley Official SFX Editor Picture


On Wednesday 29th of October 2014, Dave Bradley (Group Editor-in-Chief of SFX and Total Film) will be interviewed by Scott K. Andrews (YA author responsible for Abaddon’s School’s Out trilogy and the new Timebomb series from Hodder & Stoughton)

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

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

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

Map is here.


*24th November 2014- Claire Corbett interviewed by Colin Harvey

December- No meeting as usual.

28th January 2015-Anne Charnock interviewed by TBC


*Please note the Non-Wed. Date!

Astro Camp, August 2015

James Bacon has been in touch to tell us about a new venture, which I thought would be of inspirational interest to BSFA members – as Professor Brian Cox might say, it sounds “Amaaazing.”

We will be holding our first astronomy camp on the second weekend of August (that’s August 7th-9th) 2015. We hope it will be a great success, and become a yearly event.We hope to host other educational events at Huntley Wood, under the .CAMPhw umbrella, exploring topics such as ecology and bushcraft. The Astro Camp date has been picked because the second weekend in August often falls close to the peak of the Perseid meteor shower, one of the best and brightest meteor showers in the Northern Hemisphere, which is visible throughout late July and early August and peaks each year between August 9th and 14th.It is hoped that the Perseids will add an extra dimension, and extra excitement, to the star gazing aspect of the event.

We have named the event astro.CAMPhw, the “hw” standing for our venue, Huntley Wood. In future we hope to host other educational camping events at Huntley Wood, under the same “CAMPhw” umbrella, but we’ll see how the astronomy one goes first….We now have a website up and running, at:

There you can see the beginning of our exciting programme for the weekend, which already includes bestselling popular science author Simon Singh giving a talk about his book “Big Bang”, as well as talks from Prof Paul Roche from the Faulkes telescope project and Dr Ed Trollope from Things We Don’t Know (.com), and a number of workshops by Emma Wride of AstroCymru, plus an under cover 3D Celestia and Stellarium, just in case the weather turns bad! Much, much more will be added over the coming months, and we hope to develop a really packed weekend, with talks, discussions and workshops from a range of experts, as well as fun activities suitable for children.To be kept up to date on what’s going on you can follow us on facebook ( or twitter (, where we will be posting all our news and updates.Tickets are already on sale on the website – and the earlier people sign up the easier it is for us to plan the best possible weekend. Because of this we are offering an early booking discount, £20 off an adult ticket and £10 off a child ticket before 1 February 2010. See the website for full details.

Thanks, James!

Rachel New Short Story Challenge

Birmingham Literature Festival writer in residence, Rachel New, is attempting to better the challenge she set herself last year as part of Birmingham Literature Festival. Last year she incarcerated herself in the Library of Birmingham for her ’10 Day Sentence’ and wrote 30,000 words in 10 days. This year she has pledged to write 10 short stories (500 words or less) every day of the Festival (2 – 11th October). Depending on what is suggested to her, some of these could well be genre! It’s up to you!

She will be relying on support and encouragement from you, the public. You can tweet her your story ideas @Rachel_New or post on the ‘One Page Wonders’ Facebook page HERE. Or you could visit her in person at the Library of Birmingham on the 2nd floor Book Rotunda.

News roundup

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

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

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

Cheltenham Literature Festival

Hanna Goldschmidt writes:

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

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

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:

English PEN

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

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

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

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

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

De Montfort University call for papers

Peter Conde says;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and many more…

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

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

Email: (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.

Call for Star Wars Cosplayers

We heard from the press office for the upcoming tour of One Man Star Wars, and One Man Lord of the Rings – and they need your help!

Charlie Ross (who is touring the UK with his One Man Lord of the Rings and One Man Star Wars Trilogy shows this autumn from 26 September until 17 October) is inviting Lord of the Rings and Star Wars fans to dress up and join him in costume for a fun news photo call to celebrate the start of the tour!

Charlie Ross

Come to the shows’ London venue, Leicester Square Theatre, on Sunday 28 September at 12.45pm for 1.00pm photographs with Charlie. The shoot will finish by 1.30pm at latest. Nearest changing facilities are the public toilets in Leicester Square (or a nearby cafe/pub).

Please note travel expenses cannot be covered, however everyone who attends will receive a special promotional code for discounted tickets to see the show on tour.

The Art of Greg Spalenka: Visions of the Mind’s Eye – A Preview by Alex Bardy

Titan Books (2014), 160pp h/back, £24.99

Due for official release on Friday 26th September, 2014


I am not as familiar with Greg Spalenka’s work as I am with several other artists, but I know of it from his celebrated Sandman work (with Neil Gaiman — The Absolute Sandman volumes and The Absolute Death), the earlier Books of Magic comics, as well as numerous Magic The Gathering images. And now I know a whole lot more after reading about his remarkable career working with art colleges, doing digital designs for World of Warcraft, and early concept work on a whole host of hit family movies including The Golden Compass and Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.


Spalenka’s distinct Pre-Raphaelite style and varied career has also seen him doing work for theatre and ballet companies, for various US art colleges and for a variety of populist US magazines like Time, Sports Illustrated, New York Times Magazine, LA Weekly, Psychology Today and many more —oh yes, and NFL Trading Cards.

GS2It’s clear this isn’t his only style, as can be attested so evidently by his work for children’s movies Escape From Planet Earth and The Ant Bully, many images from which also appear here.


In Visions From The Mind’s Eye, Greg Spalenka talks about some of his inspiration as a child, his early subscription to the Science Fiction Book Club where he discovered Edgar Rice Burroughs and an appetite for those Frank Frazetta covers that were classics of their time, and some of his very early memories as a student. Later, he talks about his experimentation with art materials, his discovery of Krylon Crystal Clear (look it up), his love of plain sketching with a pencil, his adoption of photographic techniques and the use of computers, and his early adventures with the classic Polaroid SX-70 (the one that printed instant photos —or approximations thereof— on small slides) which gave rise to what Spalenka cheerily terms “happy accident” technology.


Herein is an amazing selection and exploration of Spalenka’s work, covering many years and so many of his projects, recent and old. There are early sketches, photographic references and so much luscious art goodness that it’s difficult to categorise anything in here at all.

This is certainly a hugely visual book, 160+ pages of stunning imagery, beautiful artwork — some of it more haunting than others — and includes a very helpful index at the back which features all 82 spreads in miniature, with accompanying information about where and what the images are, who it was for, where you may have seen it, and what art materials he used to create them.

My only gripe (as a fantasy/horror/SF fan) is that I would have liked to see and read a lot more about his work on Sandman, his other stuff for DC and Vertigo Comics, his work for genre book publishers, and at least something about his work on the Magic The Gathering cards. Alas, while it’s clear this forms a very small part of his overall output, I don’t know what the score is with regards to copyrights and so forth, and maybe this could form the basis of another book entirely sometime in the next few years.

Regardless, this is a hefty book, a gorgeous piece of work, and something that will sit comfortably alongside anyone’s collection of large format coffee table books. Failing that, it’ll be a good place to start if you’re interested in building a collection of this style of art book.











Science Fiction at the Tottenham Palestine Literature Festival September 20th

Middle Eastern SF and Fantasy will be under discussion as part of the Tottenham Palestine Literature Festival on Saturday September 20th.

There are literary events all day, but our attention has been drawn to a talk at 11.30am featuring Naomi Foyle – author of Seoul Survivors, Ruqayyah Kareem – Africana Resources Librarian/Curator at Texas A & M University,  and Yasmin Khan – producer of Sindbad Sci-Fi.

Ruqayyah Kareem


September BSFA London Meeting: Sara Maitland Interviewed by Farah Mendlesohn

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



On Wednesday 24th of September 2014, Sara Maitland (author of Gossip From the Forest, other fiction and non-fiction) will be interviewed by Farah Mendlesohn (Professor of Literary History at Anglia Ruskin University).

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

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

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

Map is here.


*29th October 2014- David Bradley (SFX Magazine) interviewed by Scott K. Andrews

*19th November 2014- Claire Corbett interviewed by Colin Harvey

December- No meeting as usual.

*Please note these are the fifth and third Wednesdays respectively.



Holdfast Magazine Fundraising Campaign for New Print Anthology

If you’ve not had chance to check out the Holdfast magazine site yet, go and take a look. It’s full of great articles and fiction. Now, the creators are bringing out a print anthology of new writing –  both fiction and non-fiction – and they need your help.

Holdfast is a free online speculative fiction magazine  that celebrates and examines these amazing genres. For those supporting the Indiegogo campaign, they have sought out some great prizes including signed books by Frances Hardinge, Emma Newman and Stephanie Salter, Holdfast logo tote bags, and much more.

HoldfastIf you would also like your work to be considered for the online version of Issue#4 Diverse Reflections: Seeing Yourself in Speculative Fiction, it’s not too late. Holdfast says on their submissions page “In this issue we will look at people who aren’t represented in speculative fiction as much as they should be. For example, people of colour, lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, and people with disabilities. Everyone should be able to see themselves reflected in their world, including SFF fans. It seems, however, that much like other media, this just isn’t the case.” Submissions deadline is September 21st.




Big Sky: SF Masterworks

Pete Young has informed us that issues #3 and #4 of BIG SKY, about the first and second series of the Gollancz SF MASTERWORKS series, are available for free download as PDFs.

The whole project contains around 250 reviews and commentaries on every title in the series, in order of appearance. A few of the articles appeared n the BSFA’s journal Vector. Pete told us, “It’s certainly been a labour of love: I’ve been working on these two issues on average for 2-3 hours, often more, almost every day since January… I’d also just like to add what a pleasure it has been doing this project, and encountering such enthusiasm for it, and generosity, from everyone who wrote new reviews or granted permission to reproduce old ones.”

He hopes that these fanzines will be added to the Internet Speculative Fiction Database very soon, and is looking into the possibility of a combined print edition some time in the near future.

TweetFiction Tweetstream during LonCon 3 – WorldCon 72: 2014

TweetFiction icon



The Tweetstream

  • is free to enter, of course

  • each author is allowed multiple entries

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

Story Format Suggestions & Encouraged Behaviour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

  • If anything is unclear, or if you have any questions, please email




Foreword by Joe Haldeman

Titan Books (2014), 160pp h/back, £24.99


An exclusive preview by Alex Bardy



My relationship with the art of Jim Burns goes back a very long way, over 30 years now. At the time I had just discovered a world of fantasy and science fiction through our school librarian, and still remember rushing home on a London bus having just picked up Raymond E Feist’s Magician and the first two volumes of David Eddings’ Belgariad books from a cramped treasure chest called Forbidden Planet in Denmark Street, my mind full to bursting with all the amazing covers and artwork I’d just been exposed to while dawdling around in a zombified state of blissful ignorance and wondrous abandonment. Shortly thereafter I also came across an insignificant library book called The Majipoor Chronicles and subsequently discovered a whole world of roleplaying games, Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, and a boxed boardgame called Battle Cars by a company called Games Workshop… And that’s when I became smitten, so much so that I bought my first ever art book when I next visited that shop, the book was called Lightship and featured some of the most amazing images I’d hitherto ever seen — the stunning artwork therein subsequently forming the basis of so many home-brew roleplaying scenarios, story ideas, and yes, more than a handful of crazy boyhood dreams, too (Jim’s aliens were always sexy!). The rest as they say, is history…


Roll on a few years later and the fanboy in me attended Conspiracy ’87 in Brighton, knowing full well that Jim Burns was the artist guest of honour, and bursting with confidence that interviewing the great man himself would simply be the ‘best thing evah’… I still recall trudging upstairs every day with my Philips tape-recorder in tow —just a bit bigger than the Wii game console is today— to the gob-smackingly massive art gallery where Jim’s work dominated fully half the floor, and still remember all too clearly that whenever I tried to nab even five minutes with this awesome artist hero of mine, he was either too busy or just about to head off to a panel, or had to be somewhere else, or half a dozen other things were going on at the time just to spite my efforts. All of which meant I never did get that damned interview, and the friends I went along with spent most of the weekend mocking me because they knew I’d wasted most of it chasing a ghost while they’d been doing all sorts of mega-exciting fun things like meeting authors and listening to panel discussions, etc. A conspiracy, indeed, then…

Jim_Burns_The Reality Dysfuntion

Fast forward to the present and imagine my delight when Titan offered me the chance to preview a new and altogether staggeringly gorgeous Jim Burns art book almost thirty years since that young dreamer first found himself agape in that shoebox paradise shop in Denmark Street…


Due for release on Thurs 14th August at LonCON, one of the biggest World Science Fiction Conventions ever to hit the UK, and covering the man’s earliest memories of scribbling what he callS “identifiable ‘somethings’”, The Art of Jim Burns: Hyperluminal talks about his childhood love of machines (the look of them rather than how they work), his discovery of great comic artists, and too Frank Hampson’s Dan Dare, a character that can probably be said to have defined the artist’s future even way back then.

Karl and the Ogre

With thoughts of Dan Dare fresh in his head, Jim Burns joined the RAF and trained as a pilot because he believed he’d get a chance to fly spaceships when Britain eventually made it into the big black void… this apparently never happened. Nowadays it’s too easy to point and laugh at the folly of this, moreso when we learn that he dropped out of the RAF the same time Britain dropped out of ‘The Space Race’, opting to go to Art College instead… But of course, Jim Burns has been flying through the universe ever since, visiting different worlds, introduced to alien cultures, exploring new vistas of dimensional space and discovering weird and ancient artefacts along the way. What’s more, he’s documented and recorded it all for the rest of us, and in such painstakingly drop-dead gorgeous detail that we really cannot complain — if a picture’s worth a thousand words, Jim’s are worth at least twice as much — and on that basis he’s already written several million volumes, and given the world a body of work that is frankly, mind-blowing.

The Reality Dysfunction (Night's Dawn 1)

Being taken on by the Young Artists agency in his last year of college, Jim Burns found paid work from the get-go, and has been lost in the joys of creativity ever since. Reading between the lines as the highly acclaimed artist recounts his life and work and the many commissions he’s had (both private and commercial), it’s clear that he’s grateful every day to be where he is, having turned an obsessional hobby into a life-long career and feels both incredibly fortunate and very humbled by where it’s brought him today: multiple awards, high acclaim, and a much sought after collector’s market for his art.

Other Edens 3

As for the book itself and the images therein, it’s a large format hardback and features a stunning collection of 300+ carefully chosen and iconic works from Jim’s vast array of book covers, concept sketches, and many never-before published personal commissions. There’s a foreword by Joe Haldeman, but the rest is all Jim Burns, and other than the occasional lapse and regret that his fantasy output isn’t quite as much as his science-fiction work, it’s clear that the boundaries have become somewhat blurred over the years and Jim seems all the happier for it.

The Naked God (Night's Dawn 3)

In conclusion, my only quibble is the lack of an Index, especially since every piece of work is named and dated by year. This proved a tad frustrating when both Joe and Jim referenced work within the book that I then had to fish around for, but this decision was no doubt made in order to feature a few more pages of art instead, and that is after all, why one purchases such a beautiful art book in the first place… And it’s a wonderful collection, make no bones about it — if you recognise the value of a good book cover, or just love your art without pretension, you will pore over every one of these and dream of faraway lands and exotic worlds, and you’ll be thankful that Jim Burns has done all that travelling just for you…


Jim Burns will be signing his new book at the gala opening of the Art Show  at Loncon3, this Thursday 14th August at 4.30pm, sponsored by Titan Books. 


Tom Pollock – Launch of Our Lady of the Streets 7th August at Forbidden Planet

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.


Tom Pollock

Tom Pollock

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.

Special August London Meeting: Ian McDonald Interviewed by Tony Keen

** Location: Canada Water Library, Learning Rooms 2 and 3, 21 Surrey Quays Rd, London SE16 7AR (Directly above Canada Water Station, building is accessible to all)

Ian McD

On Thursday* 14th of August, 2014, Ian McDonald (author of BSFA award winning The Dervish House, Brasyl, River of Gods, etc.) will be interviewed by Tony Keen (former meetings organiser for the BSFA).

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

The interview will start promptly at 6 p.m.

*** Please note the different time, date and place for this meeting. This is due to the Loncon3 Convention being held at the Excel Centre. Canada Water is an easy 20 minutes from the venue, as well as being convenient to central London.Canada Water Library and Culture Space is situated directly above Canada Water station (Jubilee line and London overground). Exit the station towards Surrey Quays Shopping Centre.

Map is Here


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

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

26th November 2014- TBC

July BSFA London Meeting: Geoff Ryman interviewed by Graham Sleight

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



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

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

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

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

Map is here.


14th August 2014, Canada Water Library, 6 p.m.- Ian MacDonald, interviewed by Tony Keen

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

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

BSFA Lecture at Loncon 3

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

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

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

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

David V Barrett tells us:

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

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

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

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

Date: Wednesday 16th July 2014

Time 19.45-22.45

Cost: £3/£2 concs

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

More details at the Facebook page

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