July 2007 Archives

July 31, 2007

Neal Asher on SF writers looking past the urban

Neal Asher has taken a break from ranting on his blog to publish some articles he wrote a while back. This one, Cities in Flight. is an interesting call to arms for SF writers to imagine beyond their current urban mundanity.

Flash! Ah ahhhH!

Neil Gaiman interviewed by Time and snogged by Jonathan Ross

Short Fiction dying because the pay isn't good enough?

Scalzi asks whether the "classic science fiction short story market is dying because in 2007, six cents a word is simply not enough to keep it alive".

I assume that no one expects to make a living out of short fiction these days? Most people seem to view it as a stepping stone to novels (and then return when they can afford to and big magazines want them). However if magazines payed loads of money, what would happen? Would the quality go up? I'm not convinced it would, but I bet the slush piles would get bigger.

Best Kylie/Doctor Who headline so far

July 30, 2007

Strange Horizons fund drive ends tomorrow

Strange Horizons 2007 Fund Drive. Everyone who donates will be added into a prize draw.

Fairyland reprint has a shiny, shiny cover

Fairlyland, one of my favourite books is getting a reprint and according to author Paul McAuley it's pretty.

July 27, 2007

Competition : Win signed copies of You Can Draw Star Wars

I have two copies of You Can Draw Star Wars to give away, courtesy of the very nice people at DK Books. One is signed by Matt Busch and Tom Hodges, the other by Matt Busch and Bonnie Barton.

To win all you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me about your first memory of Star Wars, whether it was in 1977 watching A New Hope, or in 2005 with Revenge Of The Sith. I'll pick the two stories that I like the most and they win. Easy.

Conditions : (1) You have to add a valid email address in the comment, because I'll email you to tell you that you've won. (2) I'm only going to ship to the UK, sorry. (3) closing date is the 27th August.

Alt.Fiction 2008 news

Alex has new s of Alt.Fiction 2008 . Firstly it's going to remain a one day event, which I'm happy about, because then there's more chance I can go.

Secondly some confirmed authors : Christopher Fowler, Mike Carey, Charlie Stross, Philip Palmer, Brian Ruckley, Eric Brown, Adam Roberts and Simon Spurrier.


BBC Heroes radio show

Ooh, interesting, the BBC have a 15 minute discussion show about Heroes on BBC7. (Via FPI blog). My licence fee well spent. You can also download the show after it's aired, presumably they'll have a podcast feed.

I watched the Heroes Unmasked show on Wednesday. It was rubbish. All the actors enthusing about how wonderful the show was. It was only worthwhile to laugh at what the actors were wearing and what their real accents were like.

The BBC Heroes site also seems to be acquiring new content every time I look, it now has a Heroes mobile site (with wallpapers etc)

No Prince Charles in Doctor Who

Apparently Prince Charles was offered a part in Doctor Who, but he said no. ?!?!

Cloverfield poster

The slow drip-feed of Cloverfield information continues. It now has a poster. So what do you need to show a post apocalyptic world? Yes, of course, a mangled Statue Of Liberty. Perhaps it's law or something. However, not sure I've ever seen it's head blown off!

July 26, 2007

You Can Draw Star Wars

When I was young I filled book after book with drawings of Tie Fighters attacking X-Wings and terrible drawings of R2D2. I imagine that there are still kids around the world doing this. There's something deeply cool about drawing your own space battle. Step into the breach You Can Draw Star Wars.

The title of this book implies it's just for kids, but in fact it's a cool guide on how to draw a Star Wars comic, and I really enjoyed it. It includes a mass of techniques and tips, from how to shade with pencil, how to draw people, hands, heads, droids, aliens, weapons, ships.... and so on. It gave me the urge to pick up a pencil and try some things out. There's a section on inking a colouring and a section on the larger aspects of creating a comic, from shots and angles to scripts to layout. There's also some tracing overlays to show how you can build up characters from stick drawings, and some speech bubble stencils (start drawing those witty comments now). And, of course, there's some very nice comic art inside

The only downside is that that it is ringbound, presumably to allow the book to lie flat when open, but I bet pages will be lost in the long run. Apart from that the presentation is groovy and fun, with a lot crammed into the 96 pages.

This book is like the art class I always wanted at school (because when has drawing flowers ever helped me?!).

1 Thing That Came True From Watching Star Wars

SciFiChick has 13 Things I Learned From Watching Star Wars. I'm afraid number 7 - Some hairstyles will never catch on [referring to Leia's buns] - is incorrect.

At school Natalie Butler turned up with hair like that so she could play Star Wars with us (us == the boys). And I have a feeling Ruth Evans did too. In fact years later Natalie Butler's mom complained to me that it took ages to do her hair like that.

The SF Writers School

This made me chuckle, Speculative Fiction Authors Considered As High School Students:

I have to admit being puzzled by Geoff Ryman and the other Mundane SF students. Rumor has it they own no rocketpants underwear, which is unusual among our students.


The other nearly empty table is for exchange students. Ms. Atwood, I see you are eating by yourself again, and that you chose the pizza for lunch.

No, I’ve never seen her speak to any of the other students, either.

[Via Tobias Buckell]

Together again: Spielberg, Luca, Ford

I love this image of the three amigos on the set of Indiana Jones. Can't think of a witty caption though.

The Ood will be back

IThe BBC struggle (and as far as this blog is concerned, succeed) to keep Doctor Who in the news by feeding the world dribs of information such as:The Ood will return in series 4. Oh. Well, I liked the episode that they were in before, but that was because they were possessed. How interesting can a mute slave race be? And why aren't they inventing new creatures instead of recycling old ones?

July 25, 2007

Blogging Tips Meme

Argh it's a meme. Run! SFSignal has tagged me with the Blogging Tips Meme. You have to get in early at the start of these things or else you feel like Billy-no-mates when you try and tag 10 people who haven't been tagged.

So, advice for blogging? Credentials please.

First post to this blog : April 17, 2004

First post to my first blog: Wednesday, May 29, 2002 (Those were the days, before Blogger (non-pro) had titles for posts).

I can't help feeling that I really shouldn't do this here, but oh well, I shall follow my own advice.

-Start Copy-

It's very simple. When this is passed on to you, copy the whole thing, skim the list and put a * star beside those that you like. (Check out especially the * starred ones.)

Add the next number (1. 2. 3. 4. 5., etc.) and write your own blogging tip for other bloggers. Try to make your tip general.

After that, tag 10 other people. Link love some friends!

Just think- if 10 people start this, the 10 people pass it onto another 10 people, you have 100 links already!

1. Look, read, and learn. ****

2. Be, EXCELLENT to each other. *****

3. Don't let money change ya! ***

4. Always reply to your comments. ***

5. Link liberally -- it keeps you and your friends afloat in the Sea of Technorati. **

6. Don't give up - persistance is fertile. *

7. Give link credit where credit is due.*

8. Follow your own path. Do anything you want to, it's your blog.

-End Copy-


Now, ten people to harass? Let's see, some people I know, some people I don't, some people who will probably do it, some people who will never know they're tagged and some people who have nothing to do with SF.

Bloggers in arms: Ariel, Joe, Shaun, Dave

Writers who give inspirational advice: Jay Lake, Neil Gaiman

There at the start: Danny (I miss your Sunday Times column),  Evan Williams (because it's all your fault), Mena (responsible for nice software). 

Family obligations: Jonathan 

Heroes starts tonight on BBC2

Heroes starts tonight on BBC2 at 9pm. This is good news for everyone who likes SF in the UK but doesn't have cable, satellite or bittorrent. (That will probably only be people who got here via Google).

The BBC is also showing a Heroes Unmasked, behind the scenes show after the main show. Tonight it's on at 10.20pm (because there's two episodes shown tonight). The website also has clips, trailers and games. And there's a very cool preview on The Red Button if you have digital tv.

Advice for new viewers. Stick with it. I originally gave up after 3 episodes, but it doesn't really kick in to episode 4 or 5.

Lou Anders likes DeathRay magazine

Lou Anders likes DeathRay Magazine, which I still haven't read. For some reason I seem to have not been in a WH Smiths recently (in which many people loiter in the magazine section reading stuff and waiting for shopping companions to come and find them). Must try harder.

Starship Sofa now has forums

StarShipSofa StarShipSofa now has forums as well as the regular podcast. The last released episode/show is part 2 of their Heinlein special.

July 24, 2007

Peter F Hamilton interview

Yatterings inteviews Peter F Hamilton:

What do you think of groups like Mundane Sf who call for believable science in Sf?

I hadn’t heard of them before, but wish them good luck on their voyage.


William Gibson signing at FP London in August

William Gibson will be signing copies of his new novel Spook Country at the Forbidden Planet Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, on Wednesday 29th August from 1.00 to 2.00 p.m

Via The UK SF Book News Network.

Oooh. A quick excusion to Google maps reveals that I could probably make it there from the office in London. Hmmmm.

Happy Birthday SF Signal

SF Signal is 4. Happy Birthday!

Big Dumb Object and the Harry Potter Book

Right, finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was full of infodumps, deus-ex-machina, unguessable plot twists, and large sections where nothing happened. And yet still managed to include some large set pieces which the film company will be drooling over. I'm left feeling underwhelmed. That's all the review you're getting.

Now I can return to a less intense reading schedule. Back to reading The Atrocity Archives, which I'm a third of the way through. Then Crystal Rain and Ragamuffin which Tobias Buckell has kindly sent me (and signed too, cool). After that it's not worth planning, I have an agile reading list.

Coming up, a couple of reviews, a competition, (the crowd goes "oooooh") and some good old fashioned blogging.

And of course I can return to the interweb. If anything important happened this weekend and has finished, I'm not going to know, because I'm just about to hit Mark All As Read on Google Reader.


July 21, 2007

PS Publishing News Room blog

PS Publishing have a new blog, the PS Publishing News Room which will contain all the news about PS Publishing. I've seen Pete Crowther, PS founder, talk at Alt.Fiction a few times and he's an entertaining guy, and PS are doing a great job as a UK small publisher. The new PS website was created by Ariel, who seems to have been working hard recently! [Via a nice looking PS press release email]

Blogging suspended due to Harry Potter

I'm not going near the interweb until I've finished.

July 20, 2007

Amazon William Gibson interview part 1

I can't get enough of William Gibson interviews, which is nice because he's promoting Spook Country at the moment. The latest interview is on Amazon Bookstore's Blog On Spook Country:
I guess it's a caper novel

July 19, 2007

Star Wars The Ultimate Visual Guide Special Edition

Star Wars The Ultimate Visual Guide Special Edition is one of those big hardback DK books that looks slick and very pretty. The Special Edition version has been released to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Star Wars, and has a few extras from the original edition. (I can't tell you exactly what because I only have the SE version, but the blurb says there's new stuff on comics, merchandise and Celebration). It's one of those books that you pick up, flick through and go "oooh", it has big colour pictures, lots of artwork, a shiny silvery dust jacket and that lovely new book smell. The presentation is really very nice and for a book like this that's a good chunk of the appeal.
Continue reading Star Wars The Ultimate Visual Guide Special Edition.

Analysis of the May Interzone slushpile

Jetse analyses the Interzone slushpile for May, saying what worked for him and what didn't. Interesting reading.

For the record, I sent a near furture post catastrophe quantum computer story, which Jetse said "...while "Reboot" is a very good story, it still did not stand out enough for me to lift it from the slushpile". Which actually makes me feel quite good (a rejection with praise is surely the best type of rejection!).

July 18, 2007

Be quick...or cough up

You've got to be quick in this modern day bloggywebnet.

The F&SF giveaway....

Dear Blogger:

I'm sorry to report that the giveaway promotion for our Sept. 2007 issue has ended and you will not be receiving one of the freebies from us.  We received approximately 250 requests for the 40 giveaway copies!
I'm surprised it was only 250. 
Oh well, an issue with a Ted Chiang story requires an ebook purchase I think.  


The Richard Morgan / Ian McDonald video chat

I finally got around to watching the chat between Richard Morgan and Ian McDonald that Orion Books have put up on YouTube. I liked Richard Morgan's response to Brasyl, "you b*st*rd, you've been there."

Via SFSignal and FPI.

I finished Brasyl yesterday. Review on the way....

The Sarah Jane Adventures confirmed for Autumn

Via Outpost Gallifrey, the BBC has confirmed that The Sarah Jane Adventures will be shown in Autumn.

Still not confirmed, Jason Donovan as The Doctor's half brother turning up to confuse Sarah Jane.

July 17, 2007

The Radio Times top 20 SF Shows (Excluding Doctor Who)

The Guardian Unlimited is moaning about the Radio Times top 20 SF shows list, because they decided to exclude Doctor Who. Which makes Red Dwarf number one, which is not so bad. BUT HOLD ON! Torchwood better than Babylon 5, The Prisoner and Battlestar Galactica? Ha ha. Now I know it's a joke.

1 Red Dwarf
2 The X Files
3 Lost
4 Life On Mars
5 Buffy The Vampire Slayer
6 Star Trek: The Next Generation
7 Stargate SG-1
8 Star Trek
9 The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy
10 Quantum Leap
11 Heroes
12 Blake's 7
13 Twin Peaks
14 V
15 Torchwood
16 Babylon 5
17 The Prisoner
18 Battlestar Galactica
19 Thunderbirds
20 Lost In Space

Jason Donovan wants to play The Doctor

July 16, 2007

The End Of Science Fiction (yet again)

Maybe I'm misremembering things, but I'm sure only a month ago there was a discussion in the blogosphere about whether SF would end because we can't imagine the future, and I was saying, didn't we talk about this month? And then I got lost in a recursive loop. Except I didn't because all time is now in many worlds and... something... 

Anyway, it's happening again.

The best response I've read so far is on SF Diplomat (and yes I'm taking a soundbite quote out of a few hundred words that you should read):

"There is no correct way to write SF and anyone who says "this isn't SF" is a dinosaur and a fool.  SF is anything you say it is."

Cory Doctorow on SF and the future

Cory Doctorow has an interesting article up on Locus, The Progressive Apocalypse and Other Futurismic Delights, talking about how Science Fiction has to be a literature of the present.
"The future is gnarlier than futurism."

Farscape webisodes commissioned

SCI FI Channel will revive its popular original show Farscape as a Web-based series of short films on SCIFI.COM's SCI FI Pulse broadband network. [Via Sci Fi Wire] Ten episodes have been ordered.

This could be good if they go easy on the muppets. 

Apparently I Like Slipstream

It appears that I like slipstream....
4. Magic for Beginners (coll 2005), Kelly Link
And I still have an unread copy of The Trial (Kafka) on my shelf too.

BSG Not A Geeky Little Show

Do people write stuff like this, The Right Time to Become a BSG Fan, just to provoke a reaction?

"When I first heard rumblings about a reimagined version of Battlestar Galactica on the Sci Fi Channel, I instantly dismissed it as not for me. I can stomach science fiction, but I'm not into "those" kinds of shows. I assumed it was another Star Trek rip-off or one of the endless stream of Stargate or Farscape clones. But I'm a serious TV watcher, and I enjoy genuine quality, not some geeky little show about robots and spaceships."


Torchwood promoted to BBC2

I seem to remember hearing about this before, but now the BBC has think confirmned it, Torchwood has broken out of the BBC3 ghetto and will be shown on the more mainstream BBC2. Don't know why.

Also confirmed, James Martsers makes a special guest appearance. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Also confirmed Alan Dale (yes, it's Jim Robinson from Neighbours) makes a star appearance. Oh how the slightly mighty have fallen.

Also not confirmed, Jason Donovan to appear in The Sarah Jane Mysteries. Oh.

July 13, 2007

Harry Enfield to play Dirk Gently

Harry Enfield is going to play Dirk Gently in a BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Douglas Adams' novel Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. The series will be six parts, starting in October and will also star Andrew "Manueeelll!" Sachs.

A Doctor Who Street Party

Via Bucks Free Press:

K9, daleks and timelords descended on a quiet High Wycombe street last week as residents went Doctor Who crazy.

They had a Doctor Who themed street party. Well, why not?

William Gibson talks Spook Country

It's always nice to read or he authors talking about their books, it's even better to see then talking about their books. William Gibson has a slick edited video imterview about Spook Country on his website.

I went to a William Gibson booksigning once, at Andromeda in Brum, I think it was Idoru, anyway after he signed my book I held out my hand to shake his. He hesitated, and looked at me in a sligthly distrustful way, as though maybe my skin had a rare nerve affecting poison that might infect him, then finally shook my hand.

July 12, 2007

Magic For Beginners by Kelly Link

This book is proof that giving away free stories sells books, if your stories are good. I read The Faery Handbag for free online, I read Magic For Beginners (the short story) online for free, I downloaded Stranger Things Happen for free and read it. Then, when the UK paperback edition came out, I bought the collection of short stories, Magic For Beginners.
Being a book of short stories it's quite hard to sum up the book without seeming a little vague. My best attempt is that I found most of the stories wonderful. Are you already reading between the lines?! He's a detailed breakdown of each story to explain further.

Continue reading Magic For Beginners by Kelly Link.

(Yet More) Reviewing in the Blogosphere

I finally got around to reading the post on Torque Control about the Readercon Panel "Reviewing in the Blogosphere".

It seems to boil down to the same old discussion: are reviews on blogs rubbish?

My answer: Some are, yes. But it's all subjective anyway, isn't it?

Kate Nepveu sums up my feelings almost exactly in the comment thread

Sci Fi Writers Have No Sense Of Scale

This article made me laugh, discussing how TV SF often gets science stuff wildly inaccurate...

"Most people can't get their minds around just how big the universe is. So it should come as no surprise that most Speculative Fiction writers can't either. This is chiefly true of creators of TV, film, and video game SF. Creators of written science fiction can be positively obsessive about accuracy."

My favourite example? 

"In Star Trek The Original Series, the Enterprise was frequently "the only ship in the quadrant", despite the fact that there are, by definition, only four quadrants in the entire galaxy. "

Rotten Tomatoes 100 Best Reviewed Sci-Fi Movies

Rotten Tomatoes, the film review site, has their 100 Best Reviewed Sci-Fi Movies. (Not sure how old this is because I stumbled upon it via delicious.) 

Their top 10 is as follows:

  1. ET
  2. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
  3. Metropolis
  4. Alien
  5. Minority Report
  6. The Empire Strikes Back
  7. Children Of Men
  8. The Host
  9. Star Wars (A New Hope)
  10. Aliens

 Wow. Erm. Interesting.

July 11, 2007

Kylie dresses as a French Maid in Doctor Who

Back to The Sun for more Doctor Who news. Keep calm...

"KYLIE Minogue will frill Doctor Who fans by dressing as a sexy French maid in this year’s Christmas Special.

The petite pop princess wears knee-high boots, sexy stockings and a lacy black and white costume to play gorgeous Astrid."

Almost lyrical the Sun's prose isn't it? Check out that alliteration. Better be careful or I'll be reading Heat before I know it.

Oh, and there's a picture.



The BBC site has a bigger version of that picture. And bizzarely the Sun (tries to) prevent you from downloading the picture when they blatantly got it from the BBC!

National Television Awards voting open

Voting for the National Television Awards is open and online. Vote for David Tennant! Vote for John Simm! Vote for Freema Agyeman! Vote for Hannah Spearritt! Listen to Trevor MacDonald say hello! Watch the Flash counter tick down in Lost Bunker style numbers!

Two actors revealed for Doctor Who Christmas special

The Sun says that Geoffrey Palmer and Clive Swift will appear in the 2007 Doctor Who Christmas Special.

As usual, don't believe everything The Sun says, but it seems at least plausible.

I reckon RTD will leave Doctor Who once he has exhausted the supply of well known Britishh actors to use.

Fanboys to be shown at Celebration Europe

Fanboys, the film which is (apparently):

<blockquote>"...an uproarious comedy that follows a group of young friends on a cross-country quest to break into Skywalker Ranch and see Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace before it is released."

Will be shown at Celebration Europe this weekend. Here's the details

Fanboys Rough Cut Premiere
Saturday, July 14, 2007
5:30 PM
Platinum Stage, Level 3
ExCeL Convention Center

SF on Facebook

I only got a Facebook account recently. I was trying to resist.

Initially I didn't see the point, and to be honest, it's not much different then all the other web communities out there. However it does get more interesting when you add more friends and join some groups.

There are a couple of SF groups I've joined (and probably loads more out there), UKSF and the BSFA group. If you have a Facebook account, check them out.

The Genre Files names seven recommended blogs

Arial at the Genre Files has names his seven highly-recommended genre aggregator blogs and it includes Big Dumb Object, which is very nice.

Other blogs:

Joe Gordon - The Forbidden Planet Blog Log

Niall Harrison - Torque Control

Iain Emsley - Yatterings

Paul Raven - Velcro-City Tourist Board

JP Frantz and John DeNardo - SF Signal

Andrew Wheeler - The Antick Musings of GBH Hornswoggler, Gent


...and yes, I read all of them except Yatterings and Anticks, to which I have just subscribed.

When I decided to start a SF blog it was because I couldn't find any that I wanted to read. As soon as I started I found SFSignal, and then the SF blogosphere has continued to become larger and more interesting. For anyone just dipping into SF blogs, there's a real community out (th)here now, plenty to keep you going if you love SF, so drop by and say hello.

July 10, 2007

Charles Stross on the BBC website

Charles Stross hits the high traffic big time of the BBC website with a version of his "lifeblogging, diamond storage" essay.

It's a fun read, and has a picture of Mr. Stross looking out a window. 

And a picture of a diamond. 

Flash Fiction Friday

Gareth Powell is going to publish a piece of Flash fiction every Friday. [Via Velcro City Tourist Board]

Funnily enough I've been contemplating doing something like this myself, mianly because I have loads of flash fiction pieces that I can't find anywhere to send. The general response to a 300 word story has been that it's too short. Maybe I haven't found the right market for micro flash SF stories yet?

However, I was going to do this after the big redesign. Oh yes, a redesign is itching in my mind, probably to coincide with the release of MT4.

Science Fiction is a base class

Over at Velcro City Tourist Board, Paul says that Science fiction is a floating point variable, not a binary.

I prefer to think of Science fiction as a base class and a book is a multi-inheritance capable derived class. ;-)

Or even: IScienceFiction, IFantasy, ICyberpunk. Although not sure what the base IScienceFiction interface would have as method. ContainsSpeculation() maybe?

Cloverfield is a Cthulhu film?

Cloverfield is the new project from JJ Abrams (the Lost geezer) and the trailer is online, along with assorted viral, ARG type websites and buzz inducing mechanisms. Dave informs me that the rumour is that the film is based on a story by some bloke called HP Lovercraft. That'll be a Cthulhu film then.

Strange Horizons providing some stories with Creative Commons licences

Jed Hartman has news that some of the stories published in Strange Horizons now have Creative Commons licences. So find one you like, with an appropriate licence and turn it into a Sudoku mash-up, or whatever people with time do with CC licenced stuff.

John W. Campbell Memorial Award winner announced

The winner of this years John W. Campbell Award has been announced. The shortlist included Nova Swing by M. John Harrison, Living Next-Door to the God of Love by Justina Robson, Glasshouse by Charles Stross, Farthing by Jo Walton, and Blindsight by Peter Watts. The winner was Titan by Ben Bova. I've only read Nova Swing and Glasshouse, Blindsight is in my to-read pile and has got interesting reviews, Next-Door to the God of Love is in my to-buy list and has got interesting reviews (and I liked Justina's first book Silver Screen). I believe Farthing got some good reviews too. I've never read anything by Ben Bova, let alone Titan. So I can't really comment, but Niall isn't happy, in fact he goes so far as to say:
"this result doesn’t look like a controversy; it looks like a joke."
Put your flak jacket on and watch the comment thread of that post.

July 9, 2007

Bookslut discusses What Is Science fiction?

Bookslut has an article by Paul Kincaid Does Anyone Even Know What Science Fiction Is Anymore?, discussing the Arthur C. Clarke Award and never ending "Is It SF?" debate.

Is Doctor Who scaring our kids?

One of The Times' blogs, Alpha Mummy, has a funny post about how Doctor Who has scared one of her kids, who now can't sleep. This made me laugh:
"The three year old, meanwhile, is as happy as Larry. Dr Who didn't scare her at all. Indeed, she tries to help out by shouting "I am a human Dalek, Dora!" from the adjoining room, at crucial moments."
Also some good comments:
"Children have to watch Dr Who, else what they would talk about in the playground?"
"Just don't let her watch any more Dr Who, same for the 6-year old." Are you MAD? That would definitely be derelict parenting

Guardian SF micro reviews

The Guardian has some SF book "reviews". Actually they're more like micro-reviews, with only enough word count to get the blurb out and a one sentence thought. Eric Brown did the reviews, bet it was a right pain getting them down to those few words. 

"You want them in how many words?!"

More Star Wars Celebration Europe details

The official Star Wars site has The Insider's Guide to Celebration Europe, which (finally) provides some more concrete details of what is happening at Star Wars Celebration Europe this coming weekend.

July 8, 2007

Issue 3 of Spacesuits And Sixguns is online

Issue 3 of Spacesuits And Sixguns is online, featuring fiction from Justin Howe, Andrew Nicolle, Daniel R. Robichaud and Eugie Foster.

July 6, 2007

Justina Robson interviewed by John Scalzi

Justina Robson, who gave me the best writing advice I've ever had - "don't give up", has been interviewed by John Scalzi on Ficlets. And a very interesting interview it is too.

"I’m one of those lifetime scribblers who started out filling legal pads with Star Wars fiction and stories about ponies and ended up writing for a living."

July 5, 2007

You Can Draw Star Wars author and illustrators signing at Celebration Europe

It's Star Wars Celebration Europe soon (13th-15th July at the Excel Centre in London), but the website doesn't really have a lot of detailed information about what is going on. However Dorling Kindersley Books have mailed me to say that on their stand they'll have signings by the author and the two illustrations of You Can Draw Star Wars who are Bonnie Burton, Tom Hodges and Matt Busch, plus there will be a competition to win exclusive signed artwork.

There's something about the Star Wars illustrations books that satifies the true Star Wars geek inside me. When I was kid I had to make a Death Star out of a cardboard box, now you can get a look at what's really inside (well, officially real in fiction terms, not real real, because really it was just a lump of plastic). The DK website also has a gallery of how they build up the illustrations, using Slave 1 as an example. Cool artwork.

Pictures of The Master

If you really like John Simm, the BBC has a whole gallery of pictures of him as The Master. Presumably the BBC must think that someone will want these on their desktop. Me, I'm waiting for more pictures of Kylie.

July 4, 2007

July Ansible online

Doctor Who Companion SPECIAL!

It's No Secret, the Doctor's new companion for 2008, in a drastic lack of imagination, is.... Catherine Tate.

Oh. Is it Better The Devil You Know?

Meanwhile Martha Jones will be in 3 episodes of Torchwood. If you care. They're all just Spinning Around.

In better news, Especially For You, Kylie will appear in the Christmas special, and I Wouldn't Change A Thing. David Tennant, ooh, I Should Be So Lucky. Kylie, I Can't Get You Out Of My Head. I mean, Put Yourself In My Place, go on, you can Confide In Me, now the Word Is Out, If You Were With Me Now, what would you say? And don't give me any of that Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi. I wonder what the Kids think? 


July 3, 2007

First third of Ragamuffin online

Tobias Buckell has now posted the first 1/3 of Ragamuffin, the first 22 chapters online. Also, link to the fact that he's posted those chapters online and he'll put you in a draw for a signed copy.

July 2, 2007

Brasyl trade paperback design, with photos

I finally got some pictures uploaded of the Brasyl trade paperback design. I have to share them because the book looks so cool.


The cover is that silver stuff that goes all rainbowy when you look at it at an angle (that's the technical Physics explanation). Notice Richard Morgan swearing on the front.



Underneath the front cover is an inner cover with cool artwork. Notice the cutout letters in the front cover.



The back is pretty too.



Doctor Who - Last Of The Time Lords

New Doctor Who finished its third series with an episode that didn't live up to the expectation.



Continue reading Doctor Who - Last Of The Time Lords.

July 1, 2007

Summer SF reads

Orbit Books points to the Times'Best summer reads: sci-fi, which are:
  • Where or When - Steven Utley (PS)
  • Dark Alchemy - edited by Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois (Bloomsbury)
  • Glasshouse - Charles Stross (Orbit)
  • Contract - Simon Spurrier (Headline or www.itsallaboutthemoney.co.uk)
  • Parasite Positive - Scott Westerfeld (Atom)
  • Twilight - Stephenie Meyer(Atom)
  • The Harlequin - Laurell K. Hamilton (Orbit)
...although some of those sound more Fantasy than SF to me. Also in today's Sunday Times is their definitive summer read list. The only SF book is The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Picador).