Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Book club short story vote

As you may have seen, the Hugo nominations for 2011 have been released (list on

As the four nominated short stories are all available online, I thought that it might be a good idea if we had our own vote (using AV in the best Tory (and Hugo) tradition). If you are interested, would you like to read the following and place them in order of preference, “1” for first place, “2” for second and so on. If you dislike a story then don't give it a vote. I will use the Hugo methods on for the sums.

Get me your votes by May 14th and I will announce the winners on the 16th. It will be interesting to see how they compare to the “real” vote announced in August.

Monday, 25 April 2011

2011 Hugo Award Nominees Announced

The nominations are out for this year's Hugo Awards:

Best Novel

Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis

Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold

The Dervish House by Ian McDonald

Feed by Mira Grant

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

The Difference Engine

Our next reading is The Difference Engine by Bruce Stirling and William Gibson.

Fresh from their successes in creating the cyberpunk genre, they turn the clock back and imagine what might have been had Charles Babbage created his mechanical computer, initiating the information revolution 100 years early.

While they did not create the genre, The Difference Engine made it mainstream reading. Steampunk is possibly the major SF genre of the present day, spilling out into popular culture, film, and fashion. This is where it came of age.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Sarah Jane’s Awfully Big Adventure

Elisabeth Sladen, known to millions as Sarah Jane Smith, died today aged 63 following a battle with cancer.

She first appeared in Doctor Who in the 1973 episode The Time Warrior as Sarah Jane as the investigative journalist swept up into the Doctor’s work with UNIT, in this case dealing with the first appearance of a Sontaran. She travelled with both Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker for four series, returned in 2005 with David Tennant in School Reunion, and was given her own show, The Sarah Jane Adventures in 2007.