Vector 270, Focus 58 and BSFA Awards booklet 2011…oh my

It is official. The BSFA’s March mailing has hit the printers. The magazines will be dropping through letter boxes around the world very soon. Here is a quick insight into what you will find in our latest offering: Free to all members. Join now and don’t miss out.




Featuring all the shortlisted short stories…

  • The Silver Wind by Nina Allan
  • The Copenhagen Interpretation by Paul Cornell
  • Afterbirth by Kameron Hurley
  • Covehithe by China Miéville
  • Of Dawn by Al Robertso


All the science you don’t need to know
Think writing hard sf is difficult? Just get the basics right, says Alastair Reynolds

Fighting for words
Dev Agarwal explains why a good fight scene is about more than choreography.

Masterclass 9: What I know
In the last of his regular articles, ChrisPriest offers sage advice.

One vial or two
C John Arthur on doing biochemistry for real. It’s not much like CSI 

Writing The Other

Clarke Award-winning author Lauren Beukes says that if you want to write the other convincingly, you need to ask questions. 

Over the wall

Gary Budgen wonders why class isn’t a more important issue for writers. 

To plug or not to plug?  

Should authors promote their own works. Juliet E McKenna says it is good for readers and good for business. 

Learning to love learning

Paul Graham Raven returns with the latest update from his Masters adventure. 

Poetry in a SF magazine?

The new Focus poetry editor, Charles Christian, discusses sf poetry.



BSFA Reviewers’ Poll – The Best of 2011
Edited by Martin Lewis

2011 in Pictures
Jonathan McCalmont

From Outcasts to Black Mirror: British SF Television 2011
Alison Page

Gaia Beware: Infertility in Science Fiction due to Bioterrorism, Pollution and Accidental Iatrogenic Events
Victor Grech with Clare Thake-Vassallo and Ivan Callus

Modern Marvels: The Fairy Tales of Victorian Science and Technology
Melanie Keene


Kincaid in Short: Paul Kincaid

Picture This: Terry Martin

Resonances: Stephen Baxter

Foundation Favourites: Andy Sawyer


In this issue Adam Roberts reviews The Weird, Shaun Green looks at small press novellas, Maureen Kincaid Spellar considers Danish SF, Dan Hartland reads a book of essays on Stanislaw Lem, Paul Kincaid discusses Kim Lakin-Smith’s debut novel and much more…


UPDATE: see the latest news on this competition.

… Good SF and Fantasy written in less than 140 characters?

Impossible! – Or is it?

Take the challenge, take part in the @BSFA’s



And get your tweet considered for reading out at the BSFA Awards and inclusion in future BSFA publications!

Follow the FICTION search on #TBSFA

during the Con!

The Tweetstream

  • is free to enter
  • each author is allowed multiple entries
  • is open to writers of any age and nationality, including professional authors and BSFA Committee members.

Your Story

  • Stories must be in English and must be less than 140 characters in length..
  • Submissions must be original – they should be the sole work of the author/s in whose name they are submitted – and should not have previously appeared in any publication – in any language or format.
  • Stories can be Science Fiction or Fantasy (and we will take a broad definition of what those terms mean).
  • Stories may not feature characters/locations/ etc. that are part of other copyrighted works – i.e. nothing set in the universes of Star WarsStar TrekStargate, etc.
  • Your name should only appear in tweet form e.g. @joebloggs
  • 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) or email to or place a hard copy into the box available at Eastercon.
  • At the end of the entry window, all entries, however delivered (tweet, email, or in the box) will be treated as granting permission to the BSFA to include in future publications.


  • Entries may commence at midnight Wednesday April 4th 2012
  • The closing date for submissions is midnight (GMT) on Tuesday April 10th 2012.
  • The administrators reserve the right to refuse to accept or disqualify any submission:
  • the administrators may, at their discretion, offer the opportunity for the author to re-submit
  • The administrators will not enter into correspondence on stories. They cannot offer critiques or advice on how to get published.
  • One worthy tweet will be announced as “winner” (BSFA committee members excluded) on the website after the closing date and the decisions of the administrators is final.
  • If anything is unclear, or if you have any questions, please email


Good Luck & JOIN IN !

Please help us spread the word. You can download a PDF of this page to share with all your friends and colleagues.

tweetfiction rules

BSFA Event Nov 23rd: STEPHEN BAXTER interviewed by Paul Cornell

On Wednesday 23rd November 2011* from around 7pm:

STEPHEN BAXTER (President, British Science Fiction Association)

will be interviewed by Paul Cornell (Writer of books, tv, comics, etc.)

Upstairs Room, The Antelope Tavern
22 Eaton Terrace, Belgravia
London, United Kingdom


View Larger Map
Nearest Tube: Sloane Square (District/Circle)

All welcome! (No entry fee or tickets. Non-members welcome.)
Interview will commence at 7.00 pm, but the room is open from 6.00 (and fans in the downstairs bar from 5).
There will be a raffle (£1 for five tickets), with a selection of sf novels as prizes.


(No meeting in December.)

25th January 2012 – CHRISTOPHER PRIEST interviewed by Paul Kincaid

22nd February 2012* – LIZ WILLIAMS interviewed by Ian Whates

28th March 2012 – BSFA Awards Meeting

(Please note that future events will not take place in the Antelope.  A new venue will be announced soon.)

* Note that this is a month with five Wednesdays.  The meeting will be on the fourth, not the last, Wednesday of the month.

Vector 268 – Diana Wynne Jones special.

Table of contents:


2011 BSFA Awards

Donna Scott

An Excerpt from a Conversation With Diana Wynne Jones

Charlie Butler

Translating Diana Wynne Jones

Gili Bar-Hillel Semo

The Mistress of Magic

Meredit MacArdle

On Scree: Two Filmed Versions of Books by Diana Wynne Jones

Gill Othen

Diana Wynne Jones: A BSFA Discussion

Farah Mendelson & Charlie Butler, transcribed by Shana Worthen

Infertility in Science Fiction as a Consequence of Warfare

Victor Grech with Clare Thake-Vassallo & Ivan Callus


Stephen Baxter

Kincaid on Short: The Heat Death of the Universe

Paul Kincaid

Foundation Favourites: Forbidden Planet

Andy Sawyer

Now and Then: Invisible Words

Terry Martin

The BSFA Review

Edited by Martin Lewis

Vector is free to all BSFA members. To join simply click here

SFX 3 Ticket Giveaway

SFX Weekender 3 promises the ultimate sci-fi experience, packed with activities for fans: big-name guests, interviews, Q&A sessions, comic workshops, videogaming, music, book readings and plenty more at one of the UK’s best-loved holiday camps. It’s all about bringing like-minded people together for a weekend structured around four huge pillar events: the enchanting Imaginarium show, the sweeping Maskerade party, the fiendish Blastermind quiz and the epic SFX Sci-Fi Awards Show 2012, where we’ll be handing out the coveted Golden Rayguns to the universe’s best and brightest.

SFX3 Weekender attendees will get the chance to fully immerse themselves in the sci-fi culture which has made SFX Europe’s bestselling genre magazine and leading website. Fans can get themselves written into a comic strip, get into discussion with their favourite author, chill out at the anime café, get digital art tips, or be amongst the first to see exclusive screenings of films and TV shows.

It takes place at Prestatyn Sands holiday camp in North Wales in the UK on Friday 3rd February and Saturday 4th February 2012, with a Pre Party on Thursday 2nd February.

The event organisers have kindly given us 20 sets of 4 weekend passes* to giveaway – worth £384 per set

All you have to do is email your phone number, quoting “SFXBSFA” to, and if you’re one of the first 20 entrants, you will be contacted with the good news.

*These are strictly on a first come first served basis. Tickets do not include transport, expenses, or accommodation.