David Gemmell Awards Shortlist Announced

2014 sees the sixth year of the David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy, one of fantasy fiction’s most prestigious prizes, with the superb trophies to be awarded at a stunning ceremony this June at London’s glamorous Magic Circle. With just a few months to go until this exciting event, the shortlists for each of the three prize categories were announced at this year’s Eastercon in Glasgow.


Stan Nicholls, Chair for the Gemmell Awards, said, ‘This year’s shortlist once again represents some of the very finest in fantasy fiction, with some incredible titles featured in all the categories. This year also represents a fascinating mixture not only of international names but also different aspects of the publishing world, showcasing the depth of quality in modern fantasy.’

DGLA large image



Legend Award

(Best novel)
The Daylight War by Peter V Brett (Harper Collins UK)
Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence (Harper Collins UK)
The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch (Gollancz)
A Memory of Light by Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan (Tor/Forge)
War Master’s Gate by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Tor UK)
Morningstar Award

(Best debut novel)
The Garden of Stones by Mark T Barnes (47 North)
Headtaker by David Guymer (Black Library)
Promise of Blood by Brian McLellan (Orbit)
The Path of Anger by Antoine Rouaud (Gollancz)
The Grim Company by Luke Scull (Head of Zeus)
Ravenheart Award

(Best cover art) 


Benjamin Carre for the cover of The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

Jason Chan for the cover of Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence (Harper

Collins UK)
Cheol Joo Lee for the cover of Skarsnik by Guy Haley (Black Library)
Gene Mollica and Michael  Frost for the cover of Promise of Blood by Brian

McClellan (Orbit)
Rhett Podersoo for the cover of She Who Waits by Daniel Polansky (Hodder)


The David Gemmell Awards ceremony will take place at London’s Magic Circle on the 13th June. For more information on the awards, visit http://gemmellaward.com/ or email dgla@live.co.uk

Brighton Exhibition of Bob Layzell Artwork in May

Renowned SF artist Bob Layzell is due to open a retrospective exhibition of his work at the Dynamite Gallery in Brighton in May.

Bob, who is now in his 70s , is renowned as an incredible cover artist. He produced classic cover art for many science fiction novels in the 1970s, including works by Harry Harrison, Barrington J. Bayley, Robert Silverberg, Isaac Asimov and J. G. Ballard.

This will be Bob Layzell’s first ever show, and will open with a private viewing on 2nd May at which attendees collect a free poster and meet the artist. The artist will also be available to sign those posters on two other dates to be confirmed. Originals and Limited Edition Prints will be on sale throughout the show, including a new piece created especially for this exhibition, to be auctioned off on the 10th May.

Those interested in attending the private viewing are encouraged to contact the gallery at the address given.


Getting Ready for Eastercon


With just a few days to go, the BSFA team are getting very excited about Satellite 4 in Glasgow. Quite a few members of the committee will be there at our desk in the Dealers Room, so you can pop by, say hello, refresh your membership in person, and grab some goodies (I am bound to have a stash of sweeties). A couple of appeals from us desk-bound types: if there are any members who would like to contribute an hour here or there to volunteer sitting at the BSFA desk, we would be very grateful. Please come and say hello and we will find a time for you. Also, if you would like to contribute book prizes for our fund-raising Lucky Dip, please do bring those along on Friday… and then we’ll be running the game over the rest of the weekend.

And of course, we are hosting some great events at the convention.

Saturday 19th April, 1pm. The BSFA Lecture. 

Dr Sara-Patricia Wasson (Edinburgh Napier University) presents her talk on ‘Trade in flesh and tears: some science fictions of organ harvest’.  Introduced by Tony Keen.

Sunday 20th April, 7pm. The BSFA Award Ceremony/James White Award Ceremony

The annual BSFA Awards as voted for by members of the BSFA and Eastercon for Best Non-Fiction; Best Art; Best Short Fiction and Best Novel. Also, the James White Award: results of the competition to find the best short story by a non-professional writer for 2013

BSFA presenters include: Andrew J. Wilson, Alice Lawson , Jim Burns, Steve Lawson, Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell , and Stephanie Saulter.

BSFA members will have received their copies of Vector and the BSFA Awards Booklet in the last few days. I would like to say thank you for all the feedback we have received from members. So many of you were so pleased to have received your publications, so thanks for all the tweets and shares on social media. We also had some very useful comments from some members that we will certainly use to inform future publications. As you may be aware, there has been a lot of discussion lately about fair representation for creators of science fiction in reviews and merchandising, and about what the industry can do to help eliminate reinforcement of unconscious bias. The BSFA is here to represent its membership – scrub that, the BSFA is  its membership – and we wouldn’t have a publication to put together without many of our members coming together to read, review, report, write, edit, design, typeset and organize the whole caboodle. We are grateful for this, and proud that in the last four issues, 35% of our reviews have been of female authors, which is well above industry average. But that’s our average; we have dipped well below this in the last issue. We would like 35% to be our bar for improvement. Publishers, we need your help with this – please submit more of your publications by female authors for review. And we also need more female reviewers! Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to give reviewing for the BSFA a try.

Our members will hopefully find the BSFA Awards Booklet a useful tool for deciding who to vote for in the BSFA Awards, but even if you’re not a member, you can still vote if you’re going to Eastercon. If you head over to Starship Sofa, they have recorded audio versions of the shortlisted stories for Best Short Fiction 2013. I am also reproducing the shortlisted nominations for Best Artwork 2013 below, with apologies to Richard Wagner whose artwork was unfortunately slightly cropped in the print version we sent out to members.

Dream London Art_JoeyHiFi(1)

Dream London – by Joey Hifi


Metropolis by Kevin Tong

Wagner Art

The Angel at the Heart of the Rain by Richard Wagner

There will be no e-newsletter now until after Satellite 4. If you are a member and have been missing out on the e-newsletter, please get in touch. We have a lot of dead emails on our lists so we may need to update your details. The next newsletter will include details of our member survey, exclusive author interviews and member competitions, so it’s going to be well worth getting. Thanks for reading, and see you at Eastercon!

Poetry Submissions Wanted

From our poetry editor, Charles Christian:


“Calling all Poets… I’m putting together the poetry section for the next issue of the British Science Fiction Association’s Focus magazine and am looking for submissions. Poetry with a Sci-fi, Fantasy, Horror, Ghost or Steampunk theme (or any mixture thereof) all qualify. You do NOT have to be a member of the BSFA – nor even British. However please note Focus is a print magazine published twice a year by a volunteer team so, for factors outside my control, publication deadlines can sometimes slip.


Please email your submissions with the entry either within the body of the email or attached as a Word or Pages document – directly to me at charles@charles-christian.com If you have any illustrations you want to add to the submission, can these be in either JPEG or PDF file format. And that’s it! The deadline is Friday 9th May – so you’ve got 5 weeks including 2 public holidays (at least in the UK) in which to create and submit your submissions. All poetry formats considered, including haiku (or scifaiku) and even Vogon Poetry!


Formal Stuff: poets retain the full copyright to their work – we only take a bare licence to reproduce the work in the magazine – and we do not insist on submissions being previously unpublished works nor do we exclude multiple-submissions.”

Birmingham Independent Book Fair Saturday 12th April

The Birmingham Independent Book Fair takes place this weekend at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham. This is a day-long event (doors open at 11.00 am) and features independent publishers from the West Midlands and beyond.
Alchemy Press have been in touch to tell us about the works they are showcasing there. Peter Coleborn says:

“Merry-Go-Round and Other Words is the definitive collection of work by the South Wales poet and writer Bryn Fortey. The book includes a warm introduction by Johnny Mains plus an afterword by Bryn, in which he discusses some of the stories included in the book. We are certain you will all want a copy of this collection gracing your shelves.

“We shall also have copies of Rod Rees’s book Invent-10n in both paperback and hard-cover, limited editions! If you missed the launch last December now is your chance to race down to Birmingham and grab a copy.

“In preparing for the book fair we “unearthed” a few copies of the late Joel Lane-edited anthology, Beneath the Ground. We’re pretty sure that these are all the remaining copies in Alchemy Towers. We also came across a handful of Shadows of Light and Dark by award-winning poet Jo Fletcher. This collection of poems includes an introduction by Neil Gaiman plus art and photography by Les Edwards and Seamus Ryan. The book is signed and numbered by all contributors (including the book’s designer Michael Marshall Smith).

Other Alchemy Press titles available include Astrologica: Stories of the Zodiac, The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes (volumes 1 and 2), The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic and Doors to Elsewhere.”

Other publishers set to appear at the festival include:

Twin Books www.twinbooks.co.uk/ 

Fringeworks www.fringeworks.co.uk/

Flarestack Poets www.flarestackpoets.co.uk 

William Gallagher http://williamgallagher.com/ 

Boo Books http://boobooks.net/ 

Pigeon Park Press www.pigeonparkpress.com 

Cinnamon Press www.cinnamonpress.com 

Silhouette Press www.silhouettepress.co.uk 

Cannon Poets www.cannonpoets.org.uk 

Shadow Publishing http://www.shadowpublishing.webeasysite.co.uk/index.html

TJB Press http://tombrysonwriter.wordpress.com 

Offa’s Press www.offaspress.co.uk 

Black Pear Press www.blackpear.net 

The Alchemy Press www.alchemypress.co.uk 

Ellie Stevenson http://elliestevenson.wordpress.com 

Nine Arches Press www.ninearches.press.com 

Gingernut Books www.gingernutbooks.co.uk/sophie-sparham.html 

Crowded Quarantine www.crowdedquarantine.com 

Foxwell Press www.facebook.com/FoxwellPress

Fair Acre Press www.fairacrepress.co.uk 

Five Seasons Press www.fiveseasonspress.com 

The Cassowary Press www.casspress.com

Location: The Ikon Gallery, Oozells Street, Brindley Place, Birmingham, B1 2HS

April 12 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm


Alchemy Press also took the opportunity to remind us they have a submissions window closing at the end of this month for their other 2014 anthologies: The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes 3, edited by Mike Chinn, and The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic 2, edited by Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber. So, get your stories polished up and send them in!

It Is Rocket Science – Back on the Airwaves

Helen Keen’s fantastic comedy series about all things Space is back on Radio 4 for a third series.

Episode 1 was aired at 11pm on Wednesday April 2nd.


series2014slideIs there life on Mars? Check out episode 1, which also features the vocal talents of Peter Serafinowicz (the voice of Space, as well as many other, erm, voices) and Suzy Kane. And check out this animation of sad little Curiosity’s first birthday party.

Helen Keen is next appearing at the Edinburgh Science Festival on Sunday April 13th at the National Museum of Scotland for a panel: Barbed Wire Between Cultures.

48-hour film challenge

This came in via the contact form:

Wildseed Studios partners with SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival to offer 48hr Film Challenge winner £10,000 towards a micro-budget feature

Wildseed Studios, the next-generation content and talent incubator which supports grass roots talent with funding, creative mentorship and strategic advice, has partnered with SCI-FI-LONDON, The UK’s leading genre festival at London’s BFI Southbank to offer one of the shortlisted teams in the 48hr Film Challenge £10,000 cash plus additional production resources, creative mentorship and strategic advice sufficient to develop and produce a micro-budget feature film.

The 2014 SCI-FI-LONDON 48hr Film Challenge will take place between 12 -14 April and is a great opportunity for aspiring filmmakers to get their film funded and made. Taking part is easy: simply turn up on Saturday 12 April, make a film in a weekend then submit your film by Monday 14 April. Click here for more details, then register here.

The judging panel includes Danny Boyle, Professor Brian Cox and Catherine Bray. The winning film being screened at the festival and four additional teams will be selected by Wildseed Studios to go through a mentoring and development process. One of the projects will then be selected to receive the funding and support necessary to produce the project as a micro-budget feature.

Over the last five years the SCI-FI-LONDON 48hr Film Challenge has had over 800 films completed, many of which have gone on to other film festivals and been broadcast on TV. Gareth Edwards who won the 2008 SCI-FI-LONDON 48hr Film Challenge with his Factory Farmed short is currently directing a Hollywood film about a big lizard… the Godzilla reboot!

Gareth Edwards Factory Farmed (2008 winning entry).

Director of SCI-FI-LONDON Louis Savy said: “We are delighted to announce this partnership and be in a position where, thanks to Wildseed Studios, we can offer one of the shortlisted teams £10,000 cash toward a micro-budget feature! This is a really incredible opportunity for emerging filmmaking talent, so get ready for the challenge – we want to see your feature film in next year’s festival!”

Wildseed Studio’s co-founder Jesse Cleverly said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with the SCI-FI-LONDON Film Challenge to offer this sort of initiative which directly enables the next-generation of filmmakers. We’ve all seen what previous winners of the Sci-Fi London 48hr Film Challenge such as Gareth Edwards can go on to achieve, so we’re encouraging all aspiring filmmakers to register and be part of this exciting process.”