Wednesday, 24 June 2009

British Fantasy Awards shortlist announced

The BFA have announced their shortlist for this year's awards. Those up for the prizes include Neil Gaiman for The Graveyard Book (which I have just read and loved) and his journal site. Also, Battlestar Galactica is toe-to-toe with Dr Who in the TV category. Voting closes on August 1 and they will anounce the results in September at the FantasyCon in September.


  • Cone Zero (DF Lewis) Megazanthus Press
  • Myth-Understandings (Ian Whates) Newcon Press
  • Subtle Edens (Allen Ashley) Elastic Press
  • The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 19 (Stephen Jones) Constable & Robinson
  • The Second Humdrumming Book of Horror (Ian Alexander Martin) Humdrumming
  • We Fade To Grey (Gary McMahon) Pendragon Press


  • Memoirs of a Master Forger (William Heaney/Graham Joyce) Gollancz
  • Midnight Man (Simon Clark) Severn House
  • Rain Dogs (Gary McMahon) Humdrumming
  • The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman) Bloomsbury
  • The Victoria Vanishes (Christopher Fowler) Little Brown
  • Thieving Fear (Ramsey Campbell) PS Publishing


  • Elastic Press (Andrew Hook)
  • Newcon Press (Ian Whates)
  • Pendragon Press (Chris Teague)
  • Screaming Dreams (Steve Upham)
  • TTA Press (Andy Cox)


  • Bull Running for Girls (Allyson Bird) Screaming Dreams
  • Glyphotech (Mark Samuels) PS Publishing
  • How To Make Monsters (Gary McMahon) Morrigan Books
  • Islington Crocodiles (Paul Meloy) TTA Press
  • Just After Sunset (Stephen King) Hodder & Stoughton


  • Cold Stone Calling (Simon Clark) Tasmaniac Publications
  • Gunpowder (Joe Hill) PS Publishing
  • Heads (Gary McMahon) We Fade To Grey, Ed. Gary McMahon - Pendragon Press
  • The Narrows (Simon Bestwick) We Fade To Grey, Ed. Gary McMahon - Pendragon Press
  • The Reach of Children (Tim Lebbon) Humdrumming


  • All Mouth (Paul Meloy) Black Static 6, Ed. Andy Cox - TTA Press
  • Do You See (Sarah Pinborough) Myth-Understandings, Ed. Ian Whates – Newcon Press
  • N (Stephen King) Just After Sunset - Hodder & Stoughton
  • Pinholes in Black Muslin (Simon Strantzas) The Second Humdrumming Book of Horror, Ed. Ian Alexander Martin - Humdrumming
  • The Caul Bearer (Allyson Bird) Bull Running For Girls – Screaming Dreams
  • The Tobacconist’s Concession (John Travis) The Second Humdrumming Book of Horror, Ed. Ian Alexander Martin - Humdrumming
  • The Vague (Paul Meloy) Islington Crocodiles, TTA Press
  • Winter Journey (Joel Lane) Black Static 5, Ed. Andy Cox - TTA Press


  • 30 Days of Night: Beyond Barrow (Steve Niles/Bill Sienkiewicz) IDW Publishing
  • All-Star Superman (Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely) DC Comics
  • Buffy Season Eight Vol. 3: Wolves at the Gate (Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard/ Georges Jeanty) Dark Horse Comics
  • Comic Book Tattoo Tales Inspired by Tori Amos (Ed, Rantz A. Hoseley & Tori Amos/ Various) Image Comics
  • Hellblazer: Fear Machine (Jamie Delano) Vertigo
  • Hellblazer: The Laughing Magician (Andy Diggle/Leonardo Manco & Daniel Zezelj) Vertigo
  • Locke and Key (Joe Hill/Gabriel Rodriguez) IDW Publishing
  • The Girly Comic Book 1 (Ed, Selina Lock) Factor Fiction
  • The New Avengers: Illuminati (Brian Bendis & Brian Reed/Jim Cheung) Marvel Comics


  • Dave McKean (The Graveyard Book) Bloomsbury
  • Edward Miller (Vault of Deeds) PS Publishing
  • Lee Thompson (The Land at the End of the Working Day) Humdrumming
  • Les Edwards (Various)
  • Vincent Chong (Various)


  • Basil Copper: A Life in Books (Basil Copper, Ed, Stephen Jones) PS Publishing
  • Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale (Russell T. Davies and Benjamin Cook) BBC Books
  • (Neil Gaiman)
  • Mutant Popcorn (Nick Lowe) Interzone - TTA Press
  • What Is It We Do When We Read Science Fiction (Paul Kincaid) Beccon Publications


  • Black Static (Andy Cox) TTA Press
  • Interzone (Andy Cox et. al.) TTA Press
  • Midnight Street (Trevor Denyer)
  • Postscripts (Peter Crowther & Nick Gevers) PS Publishing
  • SFX (Dave Bradley) Future Publishing Limited


  • Battlestar Galactica (NBC)
  • Dead Set (Zeppotron/Channel 4)
  • Dexter (Clyde Phillips Productions)
  • Doctor Who (BBC Wales)
  • Supernatural (Warner Bros TV)


  • Cloverfield (Matt Reeves)
  • Iron Man (Jon Favreau)
  • The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan)
  • The Mist (Frank Darabont)
  • The Orphanage (Juan Antonio Bayona)

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Bookclub Archive update requested, well at least by someone, here is an up-to-date list of the books read


Frank Herbert

Spice gives long life; without Spice, space travel is nigh impossible; Spice is the most valuable substance in the universe, but can only be found on one planet. Dune, a planet without water and without mercy, where empires rise and fall. And on this God-forsaken land a new messiah is rising. Winner of the 1966 Hugo and Nebula awards


Isaac Asimov

The time is a future century, in the days of the Julactic Empire – a society of a million worlds throughout the Milky Way. The Old Empire is crumbling into barbarism and Hari Seldon and his band of psychologists see before them only the despair of thousands of years of anarchy, unless they can create a new force – the Foundation – dedicated to art, science and technology – the nucleus of a new empire…

Read the book club analysis of the Foundation series here

2001 a space odyssey;

Arthur C Clarke

On the ancient savannas of Africa, an alien black monolith sparks intelligence into a group of apes, leading to violence and the rise of humanity. Buried deep in the Luna regolith, a magnetic anomaly leads astronauts to discover a black monolith that reacts when exposed to sunlight. En-route to Jupiter to examine another monolith, artificial intelligence descends to madness and one crew member discovers just how far human evolution can go.

The Swarm;

Frank Schätzing

Something strange and terrible is happening deep in the oceans. Tides and currents are shifting, normally peaceful creatures are attacking, ships are sinking, fishermen drowning. The world ecology is in crisis… and this is just the beginning. Led by the claret-loving Norwegian Sigur Johanson and the Inuit whale expert Leon Anawak, a motley group of scientists find themselves in a race against time to prevent a global cataclysm – and to head of those who want to exploit it in their own pursuit of power.

Ender’s Game;

Orson Scott Card

Ender Wiggin is Battle School’s latest recruit. His teachers reckon he could become a great leader. And they need one. A vast alien force is heading for Earth, its mission: the annihilation of all human life. Ender could be our only hope. But first he has to survive the most brutal military training program in the galaxy… Winner of the Hugo (1986) and Nebula (1985) awards

Mortal Engines;

Philip Reeve

London is on the move again. The city has been lying low, skulking in the hills to avoid the bigger, faster, hungrier cities loose in the Great Hunting Ground. The town moves off after its quarry as events within the walls begin to take a sinister turn… Winner of the 2002 Nestle Smarties Book Prize Gold Award and Blue Peter Book of the Year 2003

American Gods;

Neil Gaiman

Days before his release from prison, Shadow’ wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America. Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break. Winner of the 2002 Hugo, Nebula, SFX Magazine and Bram Stoker Awards, and the 2004 Geffen Award

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy;

Douglas Adams

One Thursday lunchtime the Earth gets unexpected ly demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass. For Arthur Dent, who has only just had his house demolished that morning, this seams already more than he can cope with. Sadly, however, the weekend has only just begun, and the galaxy is a very strange and startling place.

Revelation Space;

Alastair Reynolds

Nine hundred thousand years ago, something wiped out the Amarantin. For the human colonists now settling the Amarantin homeworld Resurgam, it’s little more than academic interest, even after the discovery of a long-hidden, almost perfect Amarantin city and a colossal statue of a winged Amarantin. For brilliant but ruthless scientist Dan Sylveste, it’s more than merely intellectual curiosity and he will stop at nothing to get at the truth. Even if the truth costs him everything. But the Amarantin were wiped out for a reason. And that danger is closer and greater than even Sylveste imagines…


Stephen Baxter

Sisters matter more than daughters. Ignorance is strength. Listen to your sisters.
As the light of the Roman Empire gutters and fails one woman begins a remarkable quest to protect her family. It is a quest that will last 2000 years and threaten everything we know. In present-day England George Poole is looking for his long-lost sister. It is a search that will take him to Rome and into the heart of an ancient secret: a secret that holds a terrifying truth for all our futures.


Eric Brown

It takes an alien race to show us our humanity When a mysterious alien race known as the Kéthani make contact with the people of Earth they bring with them the dubious gift of eternal life. These enigmatic aliens will change the course of the human race forever but also touch people’s lives on a personal scale, not least in a small town in the English countryside. But do the Kéthani have a hidden agenda and will the human race choose the evolve or turn in on itself in the face of this momentous revelation?

Read the book club analysis here

The Road;

Cormac McCarthy

A father and his son walk alone through burned Ame rica, heading slowly for the coast. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save ash on the wind. They have nothing but a pistol to defend themselves against the men who stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food – and each other. Winner of the 2007 Pulitzer and 2006 James Tate Black Memorial prizes

Read the book club analysis of The Road here

Troll Fell

Katherine Langrish

Peer Ulfsson stood miserably at his father's funeral pyre, watching the sparks whirl up like millions of shining spirits streaking away into the dark. But someone else is also at the funeral. Peer's half-uncle, Baldur Grimsson. Peer watches helplessly as Uncle Baldur sells his father's property and pockets the money. Peer is then forced to move away from the world he knows in Hammerhaven, and live with his two half-uncles at their mill near Troll Fell. Peer hopes his other uncle will be more welcoming and less ferocious than Baldur, but Baldur is an identical twin, and Grim Grimsson is just as mean-spirited and greedy as his brother. Peer lives a life of servitude, with only the company of his faithful dog, Loki, until he meets spirited Hilde, whose family farm on Troll Fell, and Nis, his uncles' house spirit. Between them, they must foil a plot by the Grimsson brothers to sell one boy and one girl to the trolls who live on Troll Fell. But the Grimssons want riches, and they will do anything to get them. And as everyone knows, trolls are rich! but they are also cunning.

The Skylark of Space

E.E., "Doc" Smith

“the Skylark flew through the infinite reaches of interstellar space with an unthinkable, almost incalculable velocity – beside which the velocity of light was as that of a snail to that of a rifle bullet; a velocity augmented every second by a quantity almost double that of light itself.” Classic, and original, space opera from the 1920's. This is reputed to be the first interstellar story.

Read the book club analysis here


George Orwell

Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world he lives in, which demands absolute obedience and controls him through the all-seeing telescreens and the watchful eye of Big Brother, symbolic head of the Party. In his longing for truth and liberty, Smith begins a secret love affair with a fellow-worker Julia, but soon discovers the true price of freedom is betrayal.

The Player of Games (The Culture)

Iain M. Banks

The Culture - a human/machine symbiotic society - has thrown up many great Game Players, and one of the greatest of these is Gurgeh. Jernau Morat Gurgeh. The Player Of Games. Master of every board, computer and strategy. Bored with success, Gurgeh travels to the Empire of Azad, cruel and incredibly wealthy, to try their fabulous game... a game so complex, so like life itself, that the winner becomes emperor. Mocked, blackmailed, almost murdered, Gurgeh accepts the game, and with it the challenge of his life - and very possibly his death.

Star Trek Destiny: Gods of Night

David Mack

The Borg return -- with a vengeance! Blitzkrieg attacks by the single-minded aliens with their hive mentality and their mission to assimilate every intelligent being they encounter are leaving whole worlds aflame. No one knows how they are slipping past Starfleet's defences, so Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the Enterprise crew are detailed to find out -- and to put a stop to it if they can. Meanwhile, thousands of light years away, Captain Will Riker and the crew of the Titan follow bizarre energy pulses to a mysterious, hidden world. There they find a figure out of legend: a Starfleet captain long thought dead. And at the same time, over in the Gamma Quadrant, newly promoted Captain Dax and her crew investigate the wreck of the Earth starship Columbia NX-02, missing in action for more than two centuries.

Speed of Dark

Elizabeth Moon

Lou is different to 'normal' people. He interacts with the world in a way that they do not understand. He might see things that they see, but he also sees many things that they do not. Lou is autistic. One of his skills is an ability to find patterns in data: extraordinary, complex, beautiful patterns that not even the most powerful computers can comprehend. The company he works for has made considerable sums of money from Lou's work. but now they want Lou to change - to become 'normal' like themselves. And he must face the greatest challenge of his life. To understand the speed of dark.

Startide Rising (Uplift Trilogy)

David Brin

The Terran exploration vessel Streaker has crashed on the uncharted water world of Kithrup, bearing one of the most important discoveries in galactic history. Above, in space, armadas of alien races clash in a titanic struggle to claim her. Below, a handful of her human and dolphin crew battle armed rebellion and a hostile planet to safeguard her secret - the fate of the Progenitors, the fabled First Race who seeded wisdom throughout the stars.

The Many-coloured Land

Julian May

The 'Saga of Pliocene Exile' is a narrative surrounding the adventures of a group of late 21st and early 22nd century misfits/outcasts who travel through a one-way time-gate to Earth's Pliocene epoch, in the hopes of finding a simple utopia where they can finally fit in. However, the reality is far removed from the dream.