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Attack of the Polly Olivers

To help celebrate the forthcoming release of Guns of the Dawn - an action-packed pseudo-historical fiction novel (Out 12th February in ebook and hardback), Adrian Tchaikovsky has kindly agreed to write a few words.

So Guns of the Dawn is the story of a woman who joins the army, in a fantasy world that has a fair amount to do with the Regency/Napoleonic period (1), and that means it comes with a definite pedigree.

'Sweet Polly Oliver' is a folk song from a bit after the period, and it sets the standard axioms: Polly Oliver runs away to the war after her true love, disguised as a (male) soldier, does well enough for herself, and finds and saves her lover (whereupon she presumably gives up on all this cross dressing malarkey and settles down to have children, though to its credit the song doesn’t actually say that.)

Women going to war is…

Posted by Antony on Jan 27, 2015

SFBook Book of the Year 2014

At the start of every year, we - like many websites - look back at the year that has passed swiftly by and consider what books we enjoyed.

Usually SFBook just chooses one "Book of the Year" however this time our reviewers have also thought about the book that they most enjoyed reading in 2014.

Cleggy Chose:

DL Denham Chose:

Vanessa Chose:

Posted by Antony on Jan 23, 2015

Five Things About My Works In Progress

Five Things About My Works In Progress

To co-incide with the paperback release of the quite excellent novel by Gavin Smith The Age of Scorpio, the author has kindly agreed to provide SFBook with his thoughts on "five things about your work in progress".

So this five things about your work in progress meme thing has been doing the rounds, and I’ve never seen a band wagon that I didn’t want to jump on (that’s not entirely true) except…I don’t really discuss works in progress any more than I absolutely have to. Not even my editors. Though my agent keeps on asking me pointed questions. He uses words like "commercially viable", apparently this is different from commercially successful. He also uses words like "not just fucking insane". I cling to words like "just".

I am not really sure why I don’t like talking about my works in progress. Perhaps I have…

Posted by Antony on Oct 13, 2014

Warp Drive Space Ship continues development

Some time ago we reported that NASA was working on a real live Warp Drive space ship, based on the principles of Alcubierre drive which is designed to bend the very fabric of space-time for propulsion. The project is being headed by NASA ace Dr Harold White.

Not content with just providing the theory, NASA continue to look at building a practical spaceship that could prove this theory. To help with this digital artist Mark Rademaker - who has worked with Star Trek projects - was asked to help Star Trek graphic designer Matt Jefferies and Dr White in designing a concept of the ship - IXS-100 Enterprise.

The result is nothing short of stunning.

You can see the rest of the concept artwork on Mark…

Posted by Antony on Jun 13, 2014

Interview with Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris's brand new book Midnight Crossroad, the first in a brand new series, is released at Midnight tonight (7th May 2014).

To celebrate, along with a review of the book itself SFBook are part of the official blog tour and had chance to ask the author a few questions:

Ant: For those familiar with your previous novels, despite being a fresh new series Midnight Crossroads a wonderfully familiar feeling with a few old characters popping up. Do you plan on expanding this almost "shared universe" feeling?

Charlaine Expanding . . . I don’t know about that. But I do enjoy the feeling that despite the fact these people came from very different places in my writing history, they’re all meeting…

Posted by Antony on May 07, 2014

Interview with Chris Beckett

The Arthur C Clarke award winning novel Dark Eden has just been released in the USA (published by those good fellows at Crown Publishing) and to celebrate the launch of such an excellent novel the author agreed to let me ask him a few questions:

Ant: Dark Eden manages to create a true sense of an alien world, not least with the inclusion of Geothermal "lantern" Trees. Where did you get inspiration for such an alien world?

Chris: Eden is a sort of inverted world. Here on the surface of the Earth natural objects do not, generally speaking, give off light, but are illuminated by light from the sky. On Eden, the sky is always dark because there is no sun, but trees, plants and even some animals give off light of their own. As I’ve said before, I am fairly certain that I got the original idea for this (which I first used in a story published…

Posted by Antony on Apr 14, 2014

Interview with Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson's Blog Tour

To celebrate the launch of Words of Radiance - the much anticipated second novel in the Stormlight Archive series, SFBook got chance to ask Brandon a few questions as part of his UK Blog Tour.

Ant: Where did you get the idea of a world ravaged by fierce storms?

Brandon: The original seed of an idea was the storm of Jupiter, this massive persistent storm. Of course, that’s a gas giant. The physics are very different. But I remember one day staring at a picture of Jupiter and thinking about a storm that circled the world that was massively powerful. That was one of those seeds that stuck in my brain. This sort of thing happened over months and years until that seed grew and developed and mixed with other things I was thinking of, and the result was Roshar.

Ant:The…

Posted by Antony on Mar 19, 2014

Collaborating With Myself by Paul McAuley

Collaborating With Myself by Paul McAuley

The Confluence series by Paul McAuley is vastly under-rated and deserves to be enjoyed by many more readers. The good folks over at Gollancz are thankfully providing a second chance of enjoying this powerful series. The author has re-edited the series into one glorious volume and to celebrate the launch of the Confluence novel we have been lucky enough to feature an article by the author himself:

I'm not one of those writers who can produce a detailed plan of a novel and then fill it out, chapter by chapter. I usually know the beginning and the end of a novel before I begin, and a few places along the way that contain crucial turns of plot, but it's mostly a process of discovery. I know where I'm going but I don't know how I'm going to get there until I set out; as I learn more about my characters, they refuse many of the clever bits of plotting…

Posted by Antony on Feb 20, 2014

Further evidence we are all just a Hologram

Further evidence we are all just a Hologram

Back in January 2009 we reported that German scientists had stumbled upon a strange problem that suggests that the univere is a holographic projection - a crazy theory I admit. Forward to October 2010 and physicist Craig Hogan has been busy building a holographic interferometer, or "Holometer" (which sounds like it came straight out of Star Trek) to test this theory and attempt to find hard evidence (The Holometer is still under construction at Fermilab in the USA at present) of our holo-existance.

Fast forward again to December 2013 and further independant evidence from other Physicists has come to light that re-enforces the theory that we may all in fact be holograms projected from a external source.

In…

Posted by Antony on Jan 20, 2014

The Émigré Saga Serialisation - Part 6

The Émigré Saga Serialisation - Part 6

The Emigre Saga is a slightly tongue-in-cheek fantasy written by TS Koomar that follows the (mis)adventures of the larger than life pawnbroker Morley as he attempts a daring heist from the Royal Academy Library in order to pay of his fearsome loan sharks.

SFBook is proud to be serialising the novel over the next few months, this time it's Part 6, you can read the previous chapters first if you missed out on Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5

I: In Which…

Posted by Antony on Jan 06, 2014