NewCon Press to release ‘Legends’, celebrating the work of David Gemmell

Legends cover imageThis year sees the fifth running of the David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy, and to mark this special occasion a new anthology, 'Legends', will be released from NewCon Press. Newcon is one of the UK's most acclaimed independent presses, and will be releasing 'Legends' at the end of October.

'Legends' gathers together a collection of tales from modern fantasy authors paying homage to the work of one of the greatest fantasy writers of all time, David Gemmell. Gemmell passed away in 2006, and was the author of 30 novels, including his highly successful debut Legend and classics such as Waylander and Morningstar. The 'Legends' anthology features new stories from a host of the field's leading talent, including Joe Abercrombie, James Barclay, Storm Constantine, Tanith Lee, Juliet E McKenna, Anne Nicholls, Stan Nicholls, Jan Siegel, Adrian Tchaikovsky and many more.

'Legends' will be launched as part of the World Fantasy Convention at Brighton's Metropole hotel on the 31st. Many of the authors included within the anthology will be on hand to sign the book at the event, as well as cover artist Dominic Harman.

Ian Whates, Publisher and Editor at NewCon Press said: 'As a long-standing fan of David
Gemmell's work, I was thrilled when asked to compile and edit an anthology in his honour. The book was a pleasure to work on and the response from authors very gratifying; there are some great stories in here, as there would have to be to justify putting David Gemmell's name on the cover.'

Stan Nicholls, Chair for the Gemmell Awards said: 'The really gratifying thing about Legends is that some of the most accomplished writers in the fantasy field have so freely given their time and talent to the project. We’re immensely grateful to them, and genuinely excited by the prospect of publishing what we believe will be an outstanding anthology.'

For more information on 'Legends', visit www.newconpress.co.uk or for more on the Gemmell Awards for Fantasy, visit www.gemmellaward.com

Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements

Walidah Imarisha & Detroit-based organizer and writer Adrienne Maree Brown have teamed up to edit and create Octavia’s Brood, an anthology of science fiction and fantasy premised on the idea that those working to change the world are already speculative thinkers.

Whenever we try to envision a world without war, without violence, without prisons, without capitalism, we are engaging in an exercise of speculative fiction. Organizers and activists struggle tirelessly to create and envision another world, or many other worlds, just as science fiction does... so what better venue for organizers to explore their work than through writing original science fiction stories? Octavia's Brood is a way to uncover the truths buried in the fantastical – and to inject a healthy dose of the fantastical into our search for truth.

Many radical minds believe this field was evolved by late science fiction writer Octavia Butler, for whom this collection will be named. Butler explored the intersections of identity and imagination – exploring the gray areas of race, class, gender, sexuality, militarism, inequality, oppression, resistance and most importantly, hope.

After a successful Indiegogo campaign the anthology will be released in June 2014 (in honour of Octavia Bulter's birthday). Containing 25 short stories from the a number of authors, including the editors and the likes of Tananarive Due, and award-winning journalist and political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal (who writes about Star Wars and imperialism), this collection aims to add to the canon of fiction all about making change.

For more info check out: www.facebook.com/octaviasbrood

David Gemmell Awards For Fantasy – latest shortlist and new appointments

DGLA large imageCurrently in its fifth year, the David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy, one of fantasy fiction's most prestigious prizes, has announced its shortlist for 2013. Featuring some of the best-known and most talented names within the field, The Legend Award for Best Novel includes titles by author of the First Law Trilogy Joe Abercrombie, Australian debut novelist Jay Kristoff, up-and-coming fantasy star Mark Lawrence, the winner of last year's Morningstar debut award Helen Lowe and leading US fantasy author Brent Weeks.

The Morningstar Award is given for Best Debut, and sees Jay Kristoff's Stormdancer nominated a second time, plus nominations for acclaimed first novels by Saladin Ahmed, Mile Cameron, John Gwynne and Aidan Harte.

The Ravenheart Award for Best Cover Art is a unique award acknowledging and celebrating the superb work done by fantasy artists, and this year features a stellar set of nominees including Didier Graffet and David Senior, Dominic Harman, Clint Langley, Silas Manhood, Colin Thomas and Stephen Youll.

Stan Nicholls, Chair for the Gemmell Awards, said, 'Once again the award shortlists take in a stunning range of fiction and artwork, which is truly international in nature and features not only household names in fantasy but also some of the most exciting new talent around. Whoever takes home each of the three prizes, they will undoubtedly be worthy winners – in fact, given the wealth of superb releases in 2012, achieving a nomination is quite an accolade in itself.'

FULL SHORTLISTS:

Legend Award (Best novel)

Joe Abercrombie: The Red Country  (Gollancz)

Jay Kristoff: Stormdancer  (Pan Macmillan UK)

Mark Lawrence: King of Thorns  (HarperCollins/Voyager)

Helen Lowe: The Gathering of the Lost  (Orbit)

Brent Weeks: The Blinding Knife  (Orbit)

Morningstar Award (Best debut novel)

Saladin Ahmed: Throne of the Crescent Moon  (Gollancz and DAW)

Miles Cameron: The Red Knight  (Gollancz)

John Gwynne: Malice  (Pan Macmillan UK)

Aidan Harte: Irenicon  (Jo Fletcher Books)

Jay Kristoff: Stormdancer  (Pan Macmillan UK)

Ravenheart Award  (Best cover art)

Didier Graffet and Dave Senior, for The Red Country by Joe Abercrombie  (Gollancz)

Dominic Harman, for Legion of Shadow by Michael J. Ward  (Gollancz)

Clint Langley, for Besieged by Rowenna Cory Daniells  (Solaris)

Silas Manhood, for The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks  (Orbit)

Colin Thomas, for Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff  (Pan Macmillan UK)

Stephen Youll, for The Black Mausoleum by Stephen Deas  (Gollancz)

The David Gemmell Awards ceremony will take place at the Metropole Hotel in Brighton on the 31st October, the location of this year's World Fantasy Convention. For more information on the awards, simply visit http://gemmellaward.com/

With just three months to go until the awards, event, the Gemmells have welcomed in a new PR and communications officer, Alex Davis. Alex has been working actively in genre fiction for the last ten years, including in running events such as Alt.Fiction, EdgeLit and Futura, and in that time has worked with a host of leading names in the field.

Alex said 'It's a pleasure to be involved in one of the leading genre awards worldwide, and a role that excites me greatly. I'm looking forward to further raising the profile of the Gemmells – and in turn fantasy fiction on the whole – over the next few months.'

 

Not the Booker – Your Chance to Vote on the Shortlist

The longlist for The Guardian's annual 'Not the Booker' prize is out - and organiser Sam Jordisan is looking for genuine readers and lovers of fiction from the list to help draw up the shortlist.

With several works of speculative fiction on the list, who knows, maybe some of these will make the coveted shortlist...

Example works that may be of interest to BSFA members include:

Kate Atkinson - Life After Life
Brian Catling - The Vorrh
Andrew Crumey - The Secret Knowledge
Jonathan Grimwood - The Last Banquet
Christopher Priest - The Adjacent
Jess Richards - Cooking with Bones
James Smythe - The Machine
Marcel Theroux - Strange Bodies
Plus many more great books - see the website.
In order to vote, you must submit or have already submitted a review of the books to which you can link. You must vote for two books, and they must be from different publishers. Apart from that, it's up to you!
Votes must be submitted by midnight 11th August.

Andromeda One Convention – Here’s the Rhubarb!

A one-day genre convention can be a great way to see your favourite writers discussing their work, find out what’s hot in independent publishing, meet like-minded people – or old friends – who love reading genre as much as you do, or even pick up some writing and publishing tips from the pros.

Andromeda

Hot on the heels of one-day events from earlier this year, FUTURA and Edge-lit, comes Andromeda One on Saturday 21st September, featuring Guests of Honour Paul Cornell (author of London Falling; TV writer for Doctor Who and Merlin; Comic Writer for Wolverine and Saucer Country) and Jaine Fenn (author of Hidden Empire series), as well as many more writers and speakers.

Andromeda One is going to be taking place at the immensely hip Custard Factory in Birmingham, the former site of an actual custard factory – Birds Custard Factory, no less! The site was rescued from dereliction in 1988 and is now home to many creative enterprises and studios. As well as craft and vintage shops and cool cafes, you will find theatres, TV studios art galleries and the famous green man sculpture! The industrial past and digital future sit side by side here, making it the ideal place to hang out and talk about science fiction.

CF-entrance11-780x400

So what else can you expect from a one day convention? There will be panel talks, signings, book launches as well as the chance to take part in writing workshops and intimate kaffeeklatsch discussions with your favourite writers. There will also be a stream dedicated to workshops on gender parity and multiculturalism  and disabilities in the SFF/Horror community.

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But for a taster of what you can expect, I have gathered (with permission) some of the blog posts related to the Edge-Lit one-day convention from around the web…

First up, Adele from Fox Spirit Books. Fox Spirit is a fantastic independent publisher, which has created a special range of pocket anthologies for lovers of a good, quick read. Adele writes about the convention being the perfect place to launch their latest anthology, Noir Carnival:

Yesterday was Edge-Lit two and although I missed it last year I have enough experience of Alex Davis’s events that Fox Spirit booked a launch in full confidence that this was the right kind of event for us to bring the Carnival to.

The Fox Spirit Skulk

There were some twenty five or more of the skulk* in attendance on the day and in addition to being a fantastic event as can be expected from Alex, it was also incredible for me on a personal level to see so many of the writers and people involved in Fox Spirit (including our tireless copy editor Daz) in one place and to meet some of them face to face for the first time as well as catching up with old friends. I could not wish to work with a more fun, passionate and inspiring bunch of people. […] I spent the day talking, enjoying the sunshine and eating in fantastic company. All in all I’m not sure it could have been much more perfect.”

*Fox Spirit Books gang

 

Next up, writer Geraldine Clark Hellery (@gclarkhellery) who writes:

“I really enjoyed Edge-Lit but it was over all too soon (especially as we needed to do the long drive home). The panels were interesting and didn’t address some of the ‘staid’ issues which seem to be on repeat at other conferences. It was a small, intimate feeling con and all the staff were really approachable and friendly.”

So, all good… except Geraldine does have one little criticism…

 “Would I go again? I really enjoyed Edge-Lit but think there’s a little too much to do in one day (great panels, interesting people to talk to and meet) so organizers please take note, we want a two day event! Also, next time I’d need to stay for a second night to fully appreciate and enjoy this great con!”

James Everington is a writer from Nottingham who writes dark, strange fiction. His latest collection, Falling Over, is out now from Infinity Plus. He drinks Guinness, if anyone is offering. He writes:

“Here's some things I learnt from the day - as with going to university some of the real 'lessons' took place in the bar...

[…]

5. Holding a newly purchased book in one hand, a glass of wine in the other, and trying to eat a cupcake is not a skill I possess.

6. Any raffle that Sarah Pinborough hosts (ably assisted by Conrad Williams) is a thing of strange beauty and crude, crude jokes - so much so that not actually winning anything doesn't seem to matter that much.
[…]

10. That despite reaching my mid-thirties, I still get inordinately excited by a bag of free books.”

Shhh…I’m older, James, and I do, too! I also had the same problem with cake.

And finally, Victoria Hooper, a writer, blogger and freelance editor from Nottingham, had the following to say:

“Edge Lit is easily my favourite of the conventions I’ve been to so far. It’s small and intimate, and though all cons have been very friendly to me, this is even more so. And, despite the lack of air con, which may have just unluckily not been working on that day, it really is a great venue. It’s open, has a lovely cafe and patio area, two big cinema rooms that are good for panels and talks, and plenty of restaurants around. And I have a soft spot for Derby anyway, as I used to live there.

As always, it was lovely to see so many people again, and for the first time ever, I actually introduced some people to each other! Woohoo, I’m not the newbie anymore! I also met wonderful new people, and have added even more authors and books to my never-ending To Read shelf! On such a hot day, it was so nice to be able to relax with a drink with such a great group of people.

The panels I went to were all good, and I particularly enjoyed the discussion about Urban Fantasy and what makes it so popular. I also loved the raffle, which really has to be experienced! Well done to the raffle hosts, Sarah Pinborough and Conrad Williams, for making it so fun.

If you enjoyed Edge-Lit – or if you missed it and regret doing so (you should) – then Andromeda One may be thing that satisfies the yearning you have to indulge in your love of genre to the fullest – just for one day.

Single Tickets are £25 each; Group Tickets (for up to five people) are £100. Prices held until 9th August 2013.

Prices go up 10th August 2013 to £27.00 or Group ticket £110.00

Book your tickets now at http://terror-tree.co.uk/andromeda-one/

 

Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch

Broken Homes

 

A mutilated body in Crawley. Another killer on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil; an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man? Or just a common or garden serial killer?

Before PC Peter Grant can get his head round the case a town planner going under a tube train and a stolen grimoire are adding to his case-load.

So far so London.

But then Peter gets word of something very odd happening in Elephant and Castle, on an housing estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans and inhabited by the truly desperate.

Is there a connection?

And if there is, why oh why did it have to be South of the River?

Released today, Ben Aaronovitch's latest offering, Broken Homes, continues in the same rich vein of his brilliant supernatural crime series. Writing about his native London, Aaronovitch has crafted a novel that renders the city in a very different light.

 

Ragazine’s Speculative Fiction Competition

Ragazine, an on-line magazine of art, information and entertainment, are holding a speculative fiction competition with a first prize of $1000.00.

Edited by Sheree Renee Thomas, entries must be 6,000 words or less, in the genre of science fiction, fantasy or horror.

Check the link for more details and competition info - http://ragazine.cc/2013/06/contest/