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)




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.


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 macguffin.io. 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!

New SF&F Writers Group Starts in South London

A new Science Fiction and Fantasy writers group has been started in the South London Borough of Sutton. Writing on the groups front page the organiser Logan has this to say.

This group is only for writers of science fiction or fantasy. The aim of the group is an every two weeks meet up, where the participants take two chapters to read. When they meet again they give a critique on these chapters.

So the group is for anyone who is writing a novel or even has a completed manuscript.

One of the biggest problems facing writers is having proper assessments on chapters, from likeminded people. Having positive feedback and constructive criticism is one of the main tools every writer needs.

The first meeting is scheduled for Sunday 2nd August and the venue is To Be Confirmed.

Full details can be found at the groups meetup. http://www.meetup.com/Sci-Fi-and-fantasy-writers-group/

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, bsfa.london.meetings@gmail.com
Start Time: 19:00
Date: 2015-08-12

BSFA London Meeting 22nd July 2015 – Rebecca Levene – Interviewed by Leila Abu El Hawa

Location: Upstairs, The Artillery Arms, 102 Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8ND
On Wednesday 22nd June 2015, Rebecca Levene will be interviewed by Leila Abu Al Hawa. Rebecca has been a script writer for years and was once a story-editor for Emmerdale! We know her as the multi-faceted novelist who has produced some awesome titles for Abaddon, and whose epic fantasy series The Hollow Gods launched in July 2014 with Smiler’s Fair.


Leila Abu Al Hawa is the editor of the Post Apocalyptic Book Club.

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.

12th August – Peter Hamilton interviewed by Gareth L. Powell
Blackett Lecture Theatre 1, Blackett Laboratory Building, Imperial College London
Start Time: 19:00
Date: 2015-07-22


For further information about the London meetings, contact Andrea Dietrich, London Meetings Organiser, bsfa.london.meetings@gmail.com

Shoreline of Infinity – Scotlands newest SF magazine

July 2015 sees the publication of the UK’s newest SF magazine The Shoreline of Infinity (@shoreinf) which hails from Edinburgh in Scotland. Home of the brave.


Issue one features an interview & short work by Charles Stross plus contributions by the following authors; Noel Chidwick, Steve Green, Paul F Cockburn, David Perlmutter, Guy T Martland, Joseph L Kellogg, Richmond A Clements, Claire Simpson, John Buchan, Larry Ivkovich, Alex Barr, Colleen Anderson and M. Luke McDonell.

It’s available in Epub and PDF for £2.95 direct from the publisher and print editions are £4.95 from Amazon. Five issue subscriptions are also available.

Arvon SF Writing Course

Arvon are putting on a Science Fiction writing course again, once more tutored by Simon Ings, and this year Geoff Ryman.

Here’s what they say about it:

Immerse yourself in a five days science fiction writing course with two leading sci-fi writers Simon Ings (founder of Arc and editor of The New Scientist magazine) and Geoff Ryman (winner of 15 awards including the Arthur C Clarke and the Nebula Awards). 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. 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?

The five days include morning workshops, one to one tutorials and lots of time to write away from distractions in a beautiful countryside setting in West Yorkshire.

Celebrating British SF in the BEST OF BRITISH season

The ScienceFictionBookClub.org in London are holding a three month long season celebrating British SF called the Best of British. It will feature a selection of classic & contemporary SF over Sept, Oct & Nov 2015.

Celebrating British SF in the BEST OF BRITISH season

The September selection of books has already been announced & includes a work from this years BSFA Award short-list with Nina Allan’s The Race.


  • The pages for each individual book required a login.

The September 2015 Best of British selection

SFSF Social #3 – 27th June 2015

Title: SFSF Social #3 – 27th June 2015
Location: Upstairs, Eten Cafe 2-4 York Street, Sheffield, S1 2ER
Description: We’re back in the upstairs room at the excellent Eten Cafe on Saturday 27th June from 4pm for an event in association with the Sheffield Fantasy & Science Fiction Social Club, and we’re proud to announce that once again we will have readings and Q&A sessions with two brilliant authors!

Jacey Bedford



Jacey Bedford is a British writer with a three book deal from DAW. Empire of Dust, a Psi-tech novel came out in 2014. Crossways, its sequel, follows in August 2015 and Winterwood, a historical fantasy, in February 2016. Her short stories have been published on both sides of the Atlantic in anthologies and magazines.

Paul Kane


Paul Kane is the award-winning, bestselling author and editor of over fifty books – including the Arrowhead trilogy (gathered together in the sellout Hooded Man omnibus, revolving around a post-apocalyptic version of Robin Hood), The Butterfly Man and Other Stories, Hellbound Hearts and The Mammoth Book of Body Horror.

Start Time: 16:00
Date: 2015-06-27

BSFA London Meeting 24th June: Sarah Pinborough interviewed by James Barclay

Title: BSFA London Meeting 24th June: Sarah Pinborough interviewed by James Barclay
Location: Upstairs, The Artillery Arms, 102 Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8ND
Description: On Wednesday 24th JuneSarah-Pinborough-616x483 2015, Sarah Pinborough (author of Mayhem, Beauty, The Death House) will be interviewed by horror writer James Barclay.


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.


22nd July 2015- Rebecca Levene- Interviewed by Leila Abu El Hawa

Start Time: 19:00
Date: 2015

BSFA/SFF AGM Saturday June 6th 2015

Join us on Saturday, 6 June 2015!

brian-aldiss-portr_2354088b patc
The Science Fiction Foundation (SFF), the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA), and the Imperial College Science Fiction and Fantasy Society (ICSF) will be holding a joint 2015 mini-convention on Saturday, 6 June 2015.  10 am – 4:30 pm.

Our guests of honour will be Brian Aldiss and Pat Cadigan.  Join us for interviews, panels, and the BSFA and SFF AGMs!

The event is FREE, although membership in the BSFA and SFF are required to vote in their respective AGMs.  See bsfa.co.uk or www.sf-foundation.org/events/index.html for updates.

Location:  Lecture Theatre 1, Blackett Laboratory Building. Imperial College, London.
The entrance is on Prince Consort Road, on the south side near Queens Gate Road.

9:30 am      Doors Open
10:00 am  Welcome
10:05 am  “The Girl-Thing who went out for Sushi”: A Discussion
10:55 am – 11:05 am – Short break
11:05 am – 11:55 am – Brian Aldiss, interviewed by Scott Pack

[Lunch will be from Noon until 2:30 pm at the Imperial College Eastside Bar. It’s on the ground floor of Linstead Hall part of Eastside halls of residence in Prince’s Gardens. Princes Gardens, London SW7 1LY; anyone not involved in the AGMs is welcome to gather there while the AGMs are ongoing.  Cake will be done there, since it’s not allowed in the auditorium.]

Noon – 12:45 pm – BSFA AGM
12:45 pm – Lunch Break [Official venue: Eastside Bar]
1:10 pm – Cake! [Eastside Bar]
1:30 pm – 2:15 pm – SFF AGM
2:30 pm – 3:20 pm – Pat Cadigan, Interviewed by Tanya Brown
3:30 pm – 4:20 pm – Growing up with Aldiss’s Work (Panel)
4:30 pm – Finish

The event is FREE, although membership in the BSFA and SFF are required to vote in their respective AGMs.
See bsfa.co.uk or www.sf-foundation.org/events/index.html for updates.

New Season of Work at Stars or Mars Theatre

 Stars or Mars has three science fictionplays coming up this year:


On June 1st, 2015 at Hackney Attic


Who knew immortality would be such a hard sell? In this new world, uploading consciousnesses has become a game changer. Everything we believed about time, personality and character is now under threat. In Respawn, we follow a set of characters who are dealing with their multitude of pasts and futures, as well as prejudices from the present. When you can live forever, can you really escape your past and reputation?


from http://www.remotegoat.com/uk/event/201301/respawn-the-play/

Cuckoos and Chrysalides:
 August 14th – 16th at the London Welsh Centre

Set in the near future, we follow the struggles of Caitlin, a woman who has preserved her children’s consciousnesses to be downloaded at a time where she feels ready. As the virtual space becomes cramped and contested, she must fight the system with her mother.
On the other side of reality lies the consciousness of an astronaut who was killed in her mission. Will she ever find her team? Will she manage to be brought back to life – and if so, at what cost?

August 28th-30th at the Etcetera Theatre

Set in the far future, we follow the lives of six women who have become assimilated into the hivemind; changing the way we see birth, life, death and love. Who will benefit and who will suffer from this new technology? What would the reasons be for connecting and how far will the individual be compromised?

SUM the play is back, following a run at the Bread and Roses Theatre in Clapham last year. 

Booking Details coming soon

Annual General Meeting 2015

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the British Science Fiction Association Ltd will be held at:

Lecture Theatre 1, Blackett Laboratory Building. Imperial College, London

 on Saturday 6th June 2015 at midday for the following purposes:

1.     To approve the Minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting

2.     To approve the financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2014

3.     To receive and consider the Annual Review of the Year.

4.     Elections: The following Directors retire by rotation and offer themselves for re-election: D R Langford, A Sawyer & M T Potts.

5.     Any Other Business

A proxy form is attached here for use if a member is unable to attend and wishes to appoint a proxy for voting purposes, along with a copy of the AGM 2014 minutes and draft financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2014 for approval at the meeting.
Martin Potts

Sci-fi takes over Forum Shopping Centre on 2nd May

The Forum Shopping Centre in Sittingbourne will be hosting a Sci – Fi event on Saturday 2nd May from 10am – 5pm.

The event will include special meet and greet sessions and signing opportunities with actors such as Simon Fisher-Becker who played Dorium Maldovar and Matthew Dale who played Big John from Doctor Who as well as Chris Bunn, the original Stormtrooper from Star Wars.

There will also be treasure hunts, a face painter, a Fancy Dress Competition, Quizzes and activities by Luniac Designs, exhibitions featuring a life size TARDIS and a Dalek – arch nemesis of Dr Who and a selection of stalls offering sci-fi themed products.

All proceeds raised from the event will go towards The Alzheimer’s Society, the centre’s new charity of the year.

Rachel Jenman, Centre Manager of The Forum Shopping Centre, commented:

“We are really looking forward to our Sci-fi day. The event will offer shoppers a jam packed programme of fun activities with something to treat everyone who has an interest in science fiction, from a TARDIS and Storm Troopers to Daleks and lightsabers. I hope everyone who attends has a fantastic time.”

BSFA London Meeting May 2015- Edward James interviewed by Phil Dyson

Location: Upstairs, The Artillery Arms, 102 Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8ND
On Wednesday 27th May 2015, Edward James (winner of the BSFA 2014 Award for Non-Fiction for Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers in the Great War) will be interviewed by Phil Dyson.

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 June 2015-Sarah Pinborough interviewed by James Barclay

22nd July 2015- Rebecca Levene- Interviewed by Leila Abu El Hawa

Gemmell Awards Longlist – Voting Opens Today

Today, Friday April 10th, sees voting open for the 7th Gemmell Awards, the longlist for which was announced today.

The aims of the awards, named after legendary fantasy writer David Gemmell, are  to raise public awareness of the Fantasy genre, to celebrate the history and cultural importance of Fantasy literature and to appreciate and reward excellence in the field.

The longlists for the Legend Award – for the best novel of fantasy fiction, the Morningstar Award – for the best fantasy debut novel, and the Ravenheart Award – for the year’s best fantasy cover art – can all be seen on the newly designed website, launched for the occasion.

Awards Chair Stan Nicholls said: ‘The new website is a key part of our plan for the awards going forward, and will allow us to really expand our online output. Add to this the longlist announcement and voting beginning and we have some really exciting times ahead for the Gemmell Awards – I can’t wait to see what wonderful fantasy books the public have to choose from!’

The David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy began in 2009, with the aim of celebrating the best in fantasy fiction and commemorating the work of David Gemmell. Previous winners Andrezj Sapowski, Graham McNeill, Brandon Sanderson, Pierre Pevel, Patrick Rothfuss, Helen Lowe, Brent Weeks, John Gwynne, Brian McLellan and Mark Lawrence.

The longlists will be whittled down to a shortlist, whereupon voting will open again and fantasy fans and readers will have the chance to vote for their favourites again.

Voting on each of 2015’s longlists closes at midnight on Friday 15th May.

Voting on the shortlist opens on Monday 1st June and closes at midnight on Friday 17th July.

The presentation takes place at 8pm on Saturday 8th August at Nine Worlds Geekfest.