News for 2010

Article

SFBook Competition Closes

The Book of the year competition is now closed, thank you to all who voted and took part and of course to each of the authors who have written such incredible works of fiction over the last 12 months.

The winner of the Book of the year will be announced soon on this site, so please watch out for it. I would also like to point out that a few people have attempted to spoil this for everyone (as so often is the case) and SFBook is being falsely accused of a number of libellous comments. This has not only damaged a perfectly innocent and fun competition, but also caused upset and distress to all concerned at SFBook.

A person who at this point will remain anonymous (incidentally none of the authors, each of them are real Gent's) decided at some point in the recent past to ema...

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written by Ant on Wednesday 29th December 2010
Article

Story of (robot) Evolution

This video tells the story of robot evolution all packed into just 1 minute.

...

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written by Ant on Wednesday 22nd December 2010
Article

Angry Robot open to unrepresented novelists

angry robot books

The most innovative publishers around at the moment are without a doubt those at Angry Robot Books, and continuing on their tireless quest to provide us with the best in science fiction and fantasy they have announced that for one month only in March 2011 they will open their doors to all unrepresented authors anywhere.

With a dedicated team of readers, any author is open to submit their work during the month and the best of these will be considered for publication.

If successful they will also consider further "open door months" in the future.

Angry Robot's Editor, Lee Harris, said, "We're delighted to be able to offer this opportunity to unpublish...

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written by Ant on Tuesday 21st December 2010
Article

New Non-profit digital publisher

New Non-profit digital publisher

Brand new digital non-profit publisher H&H Books has been created by the team of Scott Harrison and the Angry Robot editor Lee Harris. All the titles will not only be available through the normal ebook retailers but 100% of the revenue will go directly to specific charitable causes.

If that wasn't enough to excite your charitable literary taste buds, the titles are also going to be really low cost, as exemplified by the first announced publication "Voices from the Past", which is an anthology of "flash fiction" from some of the worlds best writers.

The authors contributing are an impressive bunch, including Maurice Broaddus, Paul Cornell,...

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written by Ant on Friday 17th December 2010
Article

Are we about to get NASA disclosure?

Will Our Prime Minister uncover the truth about Aliens?

NASA has announced that it has scheduled a News Conference for Thursday 2nd December at 2pm EST (7pm GMT) to discuss an "astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life".

The News Conference will be held at the NASA headquarters in Washington and will be broadcast live on NASA Television and streamed to the NASA website.

There is an Embargo on any specific details until the conference takes place and no further details are available with the exception of the participants which include the Director of the Astrobiology program Mary Voytek, astrobiologists Feli...

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written by Ant on Tuesday 30th November 2010
Article

Lego Star Wars video

Lego Star Wars video, very funny but isn't going to gain any new Jar Jar Binks fans (if there are any).

...

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written by Ant on Friday 26th November 2010
Article

Cassini finds Oxygen atmosphere on Saturn Moon

Cassini finds Oxygen atmosphere on Saturn Moon

It would appear that an Oxygen atmosphere is more common than some people have thought, scientists have already found Oxygen on Europa and Ganymede and now with the recent discovery that Saturn's icy moon Rhea contains an Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide atmosphere, it would appear that the gas is much more common than first thought (reported by the leading journal Science).

Rhea is an icy body of low density, suggesting the composition of 25% Rock to 75% ice water, it's also the 9th largest moon in our solar system. A heavily cratered surface with two very large impa...

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written by Ant on Friday 26th November 2010
Article

Get your name in Peter F Hamilton's next book

Get your name in Peter F Hamilton's next book

Science in the service of Autism, known as Autistica are the UK's largest charity raising funds for medical research that will improve diagnosis, advance new treatments and discover the causes of autism.

In an effort to raise funds for this very worth while cause, a number of very well known authors have agreed to include real people's names as Characters in their next books. This is being done as auctions on Ebay and authors taking part include Peter F Hamilton, Ken Follett, David Mitchell, Darren Shan and Allan Warner (amongst others).

A very worthy cause, if you have always fancied your name i...

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written by Ant on Friday 19th November 2010
Article

Dirk Gently for BBC 4

Dirk Gently for BBC 4

Yes, it's confirmed that the new BBC adaption of Douglas Adams Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency will be shown on BBC 4 this winter. Filming has begun in Bristol and will feature Stephen Mangan of "Green Wing" and "I'm Alan Partridge" fame as the intrepid detective.

The series has already been adapted for the BBC4 Radio back in 2007 and featured Harry Enfield as Dirk, there is no confirmed air date as of yet.

Dirk Gently only features in two full length novels, "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" and "the Long Dark Teatime of the Soul" but as a creation of Adams, those 2 novels are absolute gold...

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written by Ant on Wednesday 17th November 2010
Article

Evidence of Life in the Kuiper Belt?

There seems to be growing evidence of the possiblity of life existing outside of our planet every where you look at the moment, with water everywhere, earth size planets in goldilock zones and the distinct possibility of past or present life on Mars.

Now Astronomers are suggesting that there could be organic matter in the kuiper asteroid belt that lies beyond Jupiter. The Kuiper belt was originally considered to be made up of rock and ice however Astonomers have detected lot's of different colours on display in the belt including reds, whites, and blues. Thanks to a new computer model, scientists now have a pretty good idea what's creating all the reds: there are organic molecules in the Kuiper Belt, buried just beneath the surface of the various objects.

NASA physicist ...

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written by Ant on Tuesday 2nd November 2010
Article

Happy NaNoWriMo!

Writing a novel

Today marks NaNoWriMo month, or (inter)national Novel Writing Month, where thousands of people attempt to write a 175 page (50,000 word) novel in just 1 month (deadline midnight 30th November).

Created by American Author Chris Baty in July 1999, the competition is open to everyone who has ever thought of writing a novel. Due to the limited time, it is expected that the result will be of a low quality, it's all about the output with the idea being that it is a great excersise in learning to write.

In 2009 there were over 165,000 entrants, over 30,000 managed to create something over 50,000 by the deadline.

For more information you can visit the ...

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written by Ant on Monday 1st November 2010
Article

China Miéville wins World Fantasy Award

This years winners of the World Fantasy Award have just been announced and the winner of the best novel goes to China Miéville for his incredible novel "The City & The City". The novel has already won the 2010 Hugo Award (tied with Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl), the 2010 British Science Fiction Award, the 2010 Arthur C Clarke Award and this years John W Campbell Award.

The seminal authors Sir Terry Pratchett, Brian Lumley and Peter Straub all receive lifetime achievement awards.

List of Winners by Category:

Best Novel: The City & The City - China Miéville

Best Novelella: Sea-Hearts - Margo Lanagan

Best Short Story: The Pelican Bar - Kare...

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written by Ant on Sunday 31st October 2010
Article

Test to see if the Universe is a Hologram

Experiment test if the Universe is a Hologram

Way back in January 2009, we reported on a theory that the Universe is just a hologram, which explained that for the last seven years German scientists had been conducting an experiment (called the GEO600) to look for gravitational waves - ripples in space-time thrown off by super-dense astronomical objects such as neutron stars and black holes.

What they found instead was inexplicable noise plaguing their giant detector, after a huge amount of time and effort trying to figure out what this noise was a physicist at the Fermilab parti...

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written by Ant on Thursday 28th October 2010
Article

Time Traveller caught on film in 1928?

An Irish independant film maker has gone public with what he says could be a time traveller appearing in extra footage from the DVD of the 1928 Charlie Chaplin film "The Circus".

The scene can be found in the extra's menu of the DVD and features a "woman" walking along and appearing to talk into an object she is holding up to her ear, the size and shape of a modern mobile phone. Don't forget this is footage filmed in 1928, before anyone even thought about mobile communication devices in this way.

The "woman" in the film appears more like a man in drag, the way he/she walks and is clearly talking to something in her/his hand. Now back in 1928, australians were testing two way portable radios but these were very big bulky objects and her hands would have to have been the ...

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written by Ant on Wednesday 27th October 2010
Article

Happy Birthday! SFBook is 11 years old!

Happy Birthday! SFBook is 11 years old!

Happy Birthday to us Happy Birthday to us Happy Birthday SFBook, Happy Birthday to us. As you may have just guessed SFBook is 11 years old!, which in internet terms is positively ancient and only a year younger than the colossus Google.

Over the last 11 years SFBook has strived to offer the best reviews in the science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction and even horror genres and I hope that this will continue for at least another 11 years.

We've recently undergone a bit of an overhaul and have merged 2 sites into one, as you can imagine this is quite an undertaking - especially as it's had to have been done by hand. Since the end of August t...

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written by Ant on Tuesday 26th October 2010
Article

SFBooks Top 5 Reads for Halloween

Here at SFBook we are very careful about the horror books we read, you won't find many on the site and there isn't even a seperate section for the genre (yet). We do however know when a good horror book comes along, as the festival of Samhain draws near what better way to celebrate than a really good book, or 5.

So here for your viewing pleasure is the non horror readers guide to the best horror novels for halloween:

The Top 5:

1. Pretty Little Dead Things by Gary McMahon.

...

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written by Ant on Friday 22nd October 2010
Article

Have scientists found an alien city?

Have scientists found an alien city?

A huge alien planet 44 light years from earth in the constellation Andromeda is baffling scientist with a very strange "hot spot" on it's side.

The planet in question, known as "Upsilon Andromedae b" (catchy eh!) is a large gas giant like our own Jupiter and is "tidally locked" meaning that it doesn't spin as orbits it's star, one side remains facing the fierce glare at all times. You would therefore expect the hotest part of the planet to this side, but it isn't...

A "spot" on the other side of the planet is much hotter and no one has any good idea why, unless perhaps it's the heat signature of an Alien City?

You can see an in d...

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written by Ant on Thursday 21st October 2010
Article

The Scale of the Universe

The Scale of the Universe

Some very clever people by the name of Cary Huang and Michael Huang have created a model showing the scale of the whole universe, from the "Quantum foam" of Einstein's space-time theory - the length of 1 plank, or the smallest possible length in the Universe, right up to the estimated size of the Universe itself.

It's quite a sobering experience and does put things into perspective, check it out: The Scale of the Universe.

...

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written by Ant on Saturday 16th October 2010
Article

Peter Hamilton special guest at MCM Expo

Peter Hamilton special guest at MCM Expo

One of Britain's finest science fiction authors, kind enough to be interviewed on sfbook twice, Peter F Hamilton will be appearing as a special guest at this years MCM Expo (London's Comic con) which runs from the 29th to the 31st of October at the Royal Victoria Dock in London.

Peter Hamilton will be hosting a panel to discuss his work and answer audience questions, he will also be signing books for his fans. Hamilton's latest novel, The Evolutionary Void, concludes the highly-acclaimed Void Trilogy that has unfolded in the top 10 bestselling ...

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written by Ant on Monday 11th October 2010
Article

A book reviewers review of the Kindle

A book reviewers review of the Kindle

SFBook has finally got it's hands on an e-reader, more specifically the new version of Amazon's Kindle and as this is a review site I thought it a good idea to offer a review.

Firstly I confess that although I work in the IT sector, I am somewhat of a traditionalist when it comes to books. I love the whole tactile and multi-sensory experience that you get when you read a physical book. In addition I collect books themselves and have become quite attached to my modest but ever expanding collection. I do however also see the advantage to the e-readers, especially as a book reviewer.

Not only is it quicker and easier for a publisher or author to send...

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written by Ant on Sunday 10th October 2010
Article

UFO closes airport in China

Will Our Prime Minister uncover the truth about Aliens?

For the third rime this year alone, a UFO has forced Baotou airport in China to close in order to prevent any aeroplanes crashing into the object. Three flights from Shanghai and Beijing were forced to circle the airport until the UFO dissapeared while two other flights were diverted to other airports.

This marks the eighth reported UFO sighting in China since the end of June, although two of those sightings are expected to have been military tests.

This comes a week after the press conference in Washington DC, USA where seven former military officers told reporters that Aliens had been disabling the US Nuclear missile silos. They ...

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written by Ant on Thursday 7th October 2010
Article

UFO Press Conference

Those prolific bloggers over at IO9 have mentioned that yesterday morning in Washington DC several former US military officers have confirmed in a press conference that they have personally witenessed UFO's tampering with nuclear missile control sites, rendering them inactive.

Below are the video excerpts that have been recorded on YouTube, if you factor in the recent appointment to extraterrestrials ambassador at the United Nations then you can't help but wonder if we are going to get some official information about UFO's and extra terrestrials.

...

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written by Ant on Tuesday 28th September 2010
Article

Star Wars & John Williams Tribute

For any fan of Star Wars, or John Williams, there is an excellent 4 part cappella musical tribute on YouTube - created by Corey Vidal and Moosebutter:

...

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written by Ant on Tuesday 14th September 2010
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Fan Made Star Wars Short

Star Wars fan Dave Smith has created an excellent Star Wars short film in 3D. The Solo Adventures was sponsored by Lucas Film and won this years Star Wars Fan movie challange.

...

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written by Ant on Wednesday 8th September 2010
Article

2010 Ditmar award winners

The 2010 Ditmar awards have been announced at the Australian National Science Fiction Convention, NatCon-Dudcon III. The Winners include Angry Robot Books author Kaaron Warren for Slights (Best Novel), Paul Haines for Wives (Best Novella) and also Slice of Life (Best collected work).

You can see the full list here:

Best Novel - Slights - Kaaron Warren

Best Novella or Novelette - Wives - Paul Haines

Best Short Story - Seventeen - Cat Sparks

Best Collected Work - Slice Of Life - Paul Haines

Best Artwork - Cover art, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #42 - Lewis Morley

...

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written by Ant on Monday 6th September 2010
Article

2010 Hugo award winners

The 2010 Hugo award winners have been announced at this years Aussiecon, with the eminent toast master Garth Nix. This year sees a Tie for Best novel, with China Miéville's The City and the City and Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl.

Other highlights include Doctor Who winning "Best Dramatic Presentation, Short form" and Frederik Pohl winning "best fan writer".

You can see a full list here:

Best Novel: TIE: The City & The City - China Miéville, The Windup Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi Best Novella: Palimpsest - Charles Stross Best Novelette: The Island - Peter Watts Best Short Story: Bridesicle - Will McIntosh Best Related Bo...

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written by Ant on Monday 6th September 2010
Article

Is the World about to End?

Is the World about to End?

??Is the World about to End?

There has been a story sweeping across America that claims that the recent BP Gulf disaster could have triggered a mass extinction event on a scale the world hasn't seen in 251 million years.

Around that time there was a mass extinction event, killing of 96% of all the life on the Earth, known as the Permian extinction event it is generally considered to be the greatest mass extinction in the history of the world, there are a few theories about the cause (no one's actually old enough to know for sure) and one of these is that there was a massive release of methane and other toxic gases release...

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written by Ant on Friday 27th August 2010
Article

Science fiction and fantasy has a new address!

We would like all our valuable readers to know that Science Fiction and Fantasy has now merged with the established and most excellent website sfbook. Don't worry though, the website is still owned and run by the same person but we now have a nice short web address and will eventually merge the excellent content created by the previous owner of sfbook.

Science Fiction and Fantasy's new domain name is http://sfbook.com.

You can still use the old name www.sciencefictionandfantasy.co.uk and this will automatically take you to the new address.

We hope that this merger will result in even more great reviews and news stories as content from sfbook gets added on a regular basis.

...

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written by Ant on Sunday 15th August 2010
Article

The Darker Side of Oz

Today is the 71st Anniversary of that magical tale The Wizard of Oz, and scott stanford has recently released his version of this classic tale.

The Darker Side of Oz is a deeper, more character driven and very dark interpretation of Baum's work and describes a more "realistic" vision through an epic journey.

Available now through all major booksellers, including Amazon, Waterstones, and Fastprint, with limited

signed editions and prints available through the novel's official website: www.darkersideofoz.com

Synopsis:

As Dorothy awakes in Oz there's no sunshine in ...

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written by Ant on Thursday 12th August 2010
Article

Free Scifi game online

Free Scifi game online

Those generous people over at channel 4 have created a free science fiction adventure game you can play online. Set in the year 2027, Britain is controlled by a Nanny State and curfews are in force throughout the country and civil liberties are ignored.

There are a number of different characters to play through and each one have their own story to tell. Playing like an intereact episode of a TV show, the production is excellent and it's really worth a look if you have a spare 5 minutes 2 hours.

You can play the game free online here.

...

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written by Ant on Monday 2nd August 2010
Article

Amazon finally gets serious about the UK Kindle

Amazon finally gets serious about the UK Kindle

After years of pretty much ignoring the United Kingdom e-book market and then the half-hearted attempt with "allowing" UK shoppers to buy a Kindle in the UK, Amazon is now finally taking things seriously with 2 revamped versions of the Kindle for the UK market.

Offering a complete make-over, 21% smaller and 15% lighter, the new UK Kindle offers double the storage and 20% faster page turns and 50% better screen contrast with more atractive price points of £149 for the 3G version and £109 for the wifi only version.  For the 3G versions, "Free" wireless 3G will be supplied by Vodafone.

I Can't help but wondering if a little ...

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written by Ant on Thursday 29th July 2010
Article

US Amazon e-book sales exceed hardback

The inevitable march of the e-book continues apace with the news this week that in the US on Amazon.com, sales for e-books have outpaced those of hardback novels and the growth of e-book sales is increasing.

In a statement Amazon US said:

"over the past three months, for every 100 hardcover books Amazon.com has sold, it has sold 143 Kindle books."

At first glance this sounds pretty impressive but this is just marked against hardback books, which are in some cases considerably more expensive than the e-book equivent and the paperback format. I believe that part of this success is due to the increasing reccomended retail price of the average hardback book. When combined with a reduction in the cost to...

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written by Ant on Monday 26th July 2010
Article

South Arfrica's greatest export to visit UK

South Africa's greatest export (in our opinion) Lauren Beukes, hit the literary scene last year with the an ultra-smart urban science fiction novel Moxyland which showed a grim vision of a near future Cape-town. Moxyland recieved critical acclaim when first launched by Angry Robot Books in July 2009 and has been nominated for a number of awards.

This year sees the launch of her second novel, again published by the hotest newly independant publisher of scifi and fantasy - Angry Robot Books. Zoo City is released on the 1st September 2010 and Lauren Beukes is making a special trip to London in good old blighty as a very special guest of the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) on this next Wednesday evening (28th July 2010) , she will be performing a short reading, followed b...

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written by Ant on Saturday 24th July 2010
Article

Titan Books site Launch

Titan Books site Launch

The 19th July 2010 marks the launch of the new website Titan Books by the distinguished publisher of Books specialises in high quality film, TV and music tie-ins, illustrated books, fiction and graphic novels.

The new site has been created by one of the UK's principal digital agencies - Zone (Penguin, Film Four and The Economist).

Featuring up to the minute news on Titan's much loved brands including The Simpsons, Supernatural, Batman, Kick-Ass and Star Wars, the site promises to be that little bit special.

Other features include exlusive interviews with artists and authors, (including...

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written by Ant on Friday 16th July 2010
Article

The Search for ET continues

We are all Aliens...

This Tuesday (6th July) was the 63rd anniversary of the Roswell UFO incident and even those with no interest or knowledge of UFO's or aliens have heard of Roswell, 6th July 1947. The story goes that a UFO crashed in the desert around Roswell and that the American military recovered parts of the spaceship and also alien bodies, which they performed autopsies on.

The military later called a press conference where they released photo's of a few officers holding onto what appears to be silver foil and wood, parts of a crashed military balloon. Many believe that this was a cover-up and most witness accounts tell a very different story. This controversy has continued...

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written by Ant on Friday 9th July 2010
Article

Tom Tom signs up Yoda

Back in May we mentioned that Tom Tom has signed up the evil Sith lord Darth Vader to voice their in car GPS systems. This month it's the turn of the 900 year old Jedi Master Yoda. Again the recording video is seriously funny stuff, check it out:

...

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written by Ant on Thursday 8th July 2010
Article

Ira Nayman wins the 2010 Swift Satire Competition

Ira Nayman wins the 2010 Swift Satire Competition

Ira Nayman, the Canadian author and journalist has won first place in the 2010 Swift Satire Competition. The winning entry was a poem set in images called "Love Amid the Construction" and featured a couple who can only find sexual satisfaction on construction sites. Can their love survive a slow-down in construction brought on by the economic downturn?

"Love Amid the Construction" will shortly be posted to the Swift Sati...

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written by Ant on Sunday 4th July 2010
Article

Angry Robots first signing as an independent

angry robot books

Angry Robot Books, formally an imprint of Harper Collins have signed their first new author since going independent.

Justin Gustainis has joined the robot horde with his range of urban fantasy novels to be published in spring 2011.

Angry Robot had this to say:

We are delighted to announce our latest signing, bringing a stunning series of books set in the harassed police department of a city full of vampires and werewolves.

Angry Robot has signed urban fantasy author Justin Gustainis for a new series set in Scranton, Philadelphia, in a world where supernatural beings are part of everyday life. Stan Markowski is a Detective Sergeant on the Scra...

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written by Ant on Friday 25th June 2010
Article

Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter Join forces

Terry Pratchet

One of my very favorite authors of all time and also one of the most popular authors ever with more than 55 million novels sold, Sir Terry Pratchett is teaming up with one of my most respected authors of all time, hard scifi writer Stephen Baxter - creator of Space, Evolution, flux and Arc (to name a few) - to create a science fiction story called "The Long Earth".

The Long Earth is a story of a chain of parallel worlds lying side by side in a higher space of possibilities, each differing in some way from its neighbours, creating an infinite landscape of infinite possibilities. And you can just step from one world to the next.

...

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written by Ant on Thursday 17th June 2010
Article

Will Our Prime Minister uncover the truth about Aliens?

Will Our Prime Minister uncover the truth about Aliens?

Back in January 2009, David Cameron was speaking at one of his Cameron Direct meetings where he answered the public's questions, and the question was raised about aliens visiting the earth while he held a meeting at Tynemouth on Tyneside.

A member of the audience asked:

"In July last year the respected scientist and astronaut Dr Edgar Mitchell, who was the sixth man to walk on the moon, spoke on a British radio station.

He said the American government had had contact with extra terrestrials on multiple occasions and that these were ongoing.

He spoke about the Roswell event in 1947 where wreckage...

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written by Ant on Thursday 17th June 2010
Article

Nasa warns of mass devastation in 2013

Nasa warns of mass devastation in 2013

Nasa has warned that some parts of the world (including the UK) could face mass power blackouts, loss of communication, air travel and severe distruption to electrical items in 2013 as they predict a massive rise in solar flares when the sun awakes from it's (relative) slumber in a once in a lifetime occurrence.

Unless precautions are taken the UK could be left without emergency services, security and any form of basic health care with damage to everything from emergency systems, hospital equipment, banking systems and air traffic control devices, through to "everyday" items such as computers, Televisions, iPods and Sat Navs.

Due to ou...

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written by Ant on Wednesday 16th June 2010
Article

More evidence for past life on Mars

Carbonate Mineral Rocks

Huge Seas covered Mars

New evidence has recently been revealed that strengthens the theory that life once existed on the red planet. Earlier this week it was reported by NASA that the Mars Exploration Robot "Spirit" has found martian rocks rich in carbonate minerals, which suggests there was much more water in Mars past than previously thought.

The original find was way back in 2005 but dust had stopped one of the instruments from functioning and so they have had to calibrate to remove the effect of dust. While small amounts of carbonate minerals have been found on the Red Planet previously this is the first time the mineral has been disc...

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written by Ant on Tuesday 8th June 2010
Article

Evidence grows for Life on Titan

Evidence grows for Life on Titan

The Evidence of life on Titan (the largest of Saturns moons) has grown recently thanks to the Cassini spacecraft. Titan is a very different place than Earth, in size it's about 50% bigger than Earth's moon and is the second biggest moon in the solar system (Jupiter's moon Ganymede being the largest).

It is a rocky place, the only known natural satellite that has a dense atmosphere and the only object other than Earth that is known to have clear stable bodies of liquid on the surface.

As Titan's surface temperature is a very chilly ?179 °C (?290 °F) these liquid lakes are not water but methane and ethane with an atmosphere compo...

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written by Ant on Sunday 6th June 2010
Article

Sony Predicts ebooks to outsell Print within 5 years

Sony Predicts ebooks to outsell Print within 5 years

Sony has predicted that sales of e-books will overtake those of printed books within the next 5 years. This was announced by the President of Sony's "digital reading division" - Steve Haber who has gone on to say:

"Three years ago, I said within ten years but I realised that was wrong - it's within five"

Haber claims that the online e-book market is moving in the same way that the music market did when that became digitised. It is a claim that sounds quite plausible, with the release of first the e-readers, then the smarter smart phones like the Iphone and Google's Android based phones and then the net-books and n...

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written by Ant on Friday 4th June 2010
Article

Astronauts begin mission to Mars simulation

This week marks the beginning of a very important event in the 21st century space race as 6 volunteers start a simulated voyage to Mars.

These 6 mock astronauts will live for 520 days in a vacuum sealed mock spaceship which has been built in a warehouse in one of Moscow's suburbs. While not as glamorous as the real thing, this is non the less a very important step in the eventual human mission to the red planet.

Organised by the European Space Agency and Russia's Institute of Biomedical Problems the researchers hope that the experiment will offer insights into just how a real mission would function and how the Astronauts would cope physically, emotionally and psychologically.

These volunteers will be monitored 24 hours a day while they split their time up worki...

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written by Ant on Friday 4th June 2010
Article

Neal Stephenson creates book experiment

Neal Stephenson creates book experiment

Neal Stephenson, the American author of Anathem, and the Cryptonomicon (amongst others) has begun to create a collaborative experiment in 21st century publishing with renowned author Greg Bear, Nicole Galland, Mark Teppo and others.

This experiment, titled "The Mongoliad" is a serialised story that is going to be available via custom reader applications on the iPad, iPhone, Android and Kindle and is being designed to be as interactive as possible.

The novel itself is based around the fears over the invasion of the Mongols as they threaten Western Europe in 1241 AD. Stephenson's ideas behind the novel are...

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written by Ant on Wednesday 26th May 2010
Article

Artificial Life Created!

Artificial Life Created!

A truly historic achievement, for the first time in history Artificial life has been created by man. Researchers led by Dr Craig Venter of the J Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) in Maryland and California have managed to construct a bacterium's "genetic software" (called Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0) and transplanted it into a host cell.

The resulting microbe behaved and looked identical to the species dictated by the completely synthetic DNA.

The researchers hope that they will eventually be able to design and create bacteria which will perform useful functions such as absorbing greenhouse gases, acting as a fuel or even a medicine. Dr Venter bel...

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written by Ant on Thursday 20th May 2010
Article

Is Voyager 2 sending us Alien Messages

Is Voyager 2 sending us Alien Messages

33 years ago (August 20, 1977), NASA launched Voyager 2 out into space, the probe was intended as both a time capsule and an attempt to contact Alien intelligence. To this end Voyager 2 carried a Golden Record that contained a voice message in 55 languages welcoming any Alien it may encounter in the vastness of space. Also on the record were sounds from nature and a selection of classical music from all over the world along with 115 images encoded in analog form.

Written on the exterior of the craft was a message from the US President of the time Jimmy Carter:

We cast this message into the cosmos? Of the 200 billion stars in the Milky Way ...

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written by Ant on Thursday 13th May 2010
Article

Angry Robots break away from human masters!

Angry Robots break away from human masters!

Angry Robots break away from human masters!, you heard it right, those ever so angry robots have split from their human masters over at HarperCollins UK and are now independent Robots, backed by experts Osprey Publishing.

They will continue to plot and scheme from their Nottingham lair and will still be controlled by Head Robot Marc Gascoigne and his henchman Lee Harris and will still both work tirelessly to publish top notch books.

This change has meant that the novels scheduled to be released in April/May will now be set back to September. All the current titles / authors will remain with the exception of the Kylie Chan Dark Heaven t...

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written by Ant on Tuesday 11th May 2010
Article

Google to enter e-book market

Google Books

Google has gone one step closer to it's monetizing plans for all those millions of books the company has so far digitized. "Google Editions" will be non-platform specific and will enable customers to download to a variety of devices.

It must be said that Google does have a vast library of literature at it's disposal, over 12 million books at last count (both in print and out of print) which is much greater than Amazon or indeed Apple. There is however a dark legal cloud still hanging above Google's head after a consortium of publishers, authors and book-sellers have tried to block Google's right to distribute these works by forming the Open Book Alliance. The New York court ...

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written by Ant on Saturday 8th May 2010
Article

Outstanding Scifi Concept Art

Beyond Cylons and Warp Drive: Phenomenal Sci-Fi Concept Art

There is a great post over at the photoshop tutorials website PSD TUTS which showcases 40 outstanding Scifi concept artworks.

Featuring some breath-taking images by some very talented artists, it's well worth a look:

Beyond Cylons and Warp Drive: Phenomenal Sci-Fi Concept Art

...

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written by Ant on Friday 7th May 2010
Article

Philip K Dick's Exegesis to be published

Philip K Dick's Exegesis to be published

It has been announced that the late Philip K Dick's memoirs are finally to be published in two full volumes. The Exegesis is essentially a collection of Philip's hand written notes which include his infamous visions, his ideas on religion and what the visions could have meant along with comments about his writing and autobiographical information.

In 1974, while receiving a delivery of pain medication for recently removed wisdom teeth, Philip K Dick experienced a vision, that he believed was religious in nature and thought to be triggered by the delivery person's necklace (an early christian symbol). Since that time Philip received a...

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written by Ant on Thursday 6th May 2010
Article

Ringturn wins the April People's Book Prize

Rinturn wins the April People's Book Prize

Ringturn, the science fiction novel of off-world human colonisation by the talented writer John C Mawson has won the April 2010 People's Book Prize.

The People's Book Prize is a national competition that aims to discover talented authors and is voted for entirely by members of the public.

The Competition runs 3 categories, Fiction, non-fiction and children's books and each month a novel with the most votes is awarded the winner for that month and goes forward as a finalist in the annual People's book prize Awards. The annual award is presented this year on the 21st July 2010 at "The Stationers' & Newsp...

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written by Ant on Thursday 6th May 2010
Article

Philip K Dick Award Winner

Philip K Dick Award Winner

This years winner of the esteemed Phillip K Dick Award is for the novel "Bitter Angels" by the novelist "Sarah Zettel" who first burst onto the literary scene with the 1996 novel "Reclamation". Since then she has seen a number of novels published with 2 complete series (Isavalta and Camelot) along with a number of single volume novels.

Between 2006 and 2009 Sarah had a rough time getting her novels sold, which is believed to be one reason why she has written her latest novel (and the winner of the award) under the pseudonym of C L Anderson.

Sarah was unaware that the novel had even been nominated and is both honoured and humbled by the award. she was quoted...

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written by Ant on Thursday 6th May 2010
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Tom Tom signs up Darth Vader

Darth Vader, the ex Jedi knight / Sith Lord and father of Luke and Leia Skywalker is amongst Star Wars characters who have signed up with the GPS manufacturer Tom Tom to provide their voice for the in car GPS systems. Other characters to take part include Han Solo, C3PO and Yoda.

You can see a video of Darth record his voice for the part here, and believe me it's hilarious:

...

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written by Ant on Thursday 6th May 2010
Article

Winner of the Arthur C Clarke Award 2010

The winner of the Arthur C Clarke award for 2010 is... China Miéville for his book "The City & the City", breaking a record by becoming the first ever author to win the award 3 times!, having won the 2001 award for "Perdido Street Station" and the 2005 award for "Iron Council".

Miéville fought off some really strong competition, including heavyweights Kim Stanley Robinson for the rather special Galileo's Dream, Iain Banks for Transition and Neal Asher for Shadow of the Scorpion and Orbus.

Chair of Judges Paul Billinger said,

"It was particularly difficult for judges to pick a winner this year, China eventually won because of the intricacy of the book and the way the whole of the concept expands from the initial pr...

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written by Ant on Friday 30th April 2010
Article

The Short Scifi film Hollywood is fighting over

Commercial director Carl Erik Rinsch was originally planning on making his directorial debut with the ridley scott "Alien" prequel however as this fell through he took part in electronic giant Phillips' short-film experiment, which allowed five filmmakers to make their own movie using the same piece of dialogue.

Rinsch's short movie is called "The Gift" and is a futuristic story set in Moscow and seemlessly combines robotic and human elements with a Bournes style chase sequence and police who bear a remarkable resemblence to those found in half-life 2 (even down to the noises they make with their masks on)

This short film is quite simply breaktaking and I for one would pay good money to see a feature film made from this.

When the short film was rele...

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written by Ant on Friday 30th April 2010
Article

Are Universes contained within Black Holes?

Are Universes contained within Black Holes?

According to Nikodem Poplawski - physicist at the Indiana University in the US, our universe may actually sit inside a black hole that is in itself part of a larger universe. According to this new, quite outlandish and crazy sounding theory which has been published in the journal "Physics Letters B", a black hole is actually a tunnel between other universes and all the black holes in our universe could be doorways to alternative realities.

Poplawski's new mathamatical...

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written by Ant on Friday 23rd April 2010
Article

2010 Hugo Award Nominations

The nominations for the 2010 Hugo awards have been announced at Aussiecon 4, the 68th World Science Fiction Convention. The convention itself will take place between the 2nd and 6th of September 2010 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Guests of honour include Kim Stanley Robinson, the award winning artist Shaun Tan and dedicated fan Robin Johnson. Programs will include discussion panels, lectures, science demonstrations, readings, autographs and films.

Aussiecon 4 is so called as it's the 4th Worldcon to be held in Melbourne - Australia.

The full list of nominees are:

Best Novel Boneshaker - ...

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written by Ant on Wednesday 7th April 2010
Article

Shortlist announced for the David Gemmell Awards

David Gemmell Award Winner

The shortlist for the 2010 David Gemmell awards have been announced over the Easter period and there are some interesting choices - with Brandon Sanderson being nominated twice (for Warbreaker and The Gathering Storm), along with Pierre Pevel (for best fantasy novel and Best newcomer).

The complete shortlists can be found below:

The Legend Award (Best Fantasy novel)

Brandon Sanderson - Warbreaker Pierre Pevel - The Cardinal's Blades ...

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written by Ant on Tuesday 6th April 2010
Article

Soul Stealers Film

Soul Stealers is the sequel to the 5 star winning novel Kell's Legend, written by Andy Remic and featuring a quote from our humble site on the cover.

Due out on the 29th April 2010, Andy Remic has created a short film to wet the appetite...

...

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written by Ant on Friday 2nd April 2010
Article

Ringturn nominated for People's Book Prize

...

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written by Ant on Wednesday 31st March 2010
Article

Vampireology - True history of vampires

Vampireology_Book_Jacket

Vampireology is the true history of vampires, and the 9th book in the "Ology" series, having sold over 16 million copies worldwide.

Originally written in 1900 by Archibold Brooks, the world's foremost protector. Archibold is brutally murdered in 1920 and the book falls into the hands of the detective Joshua Kraik.

Soon after Brooks' death, Kraik is contacted by a woman called Magdalena who claims to have been a former lover of the deceased. She explains that she is looking for a book that she suspects is in Kraik's possession. Although he is fascinated byher beauty and poetic ...

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written by Ant on Friday 19th March 2010
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Entangled - Sneak Peak and Intro

Entangled - Sneak Peak and Intro!

Entangled is the new epic fantasy novel from the bestselling fantasy author Graham Hancock who's previous novels include the non-fiction books "The Sign and the Seal", "Fingerprints of the Gods" and "Heaven's Mirror".

His books have so far sold over 5 million volumes in 27 languages and his reputation has been further established by his public lectures and TV broadcasts (including two series for Channel 4).

"Fingerprints of the Gods" has been credited as an inspiration for Roland Emmerich's epic blockbuster 2012.

Entangled follows the story of Leoni, a troubled teen living in modern day Los Angeles who has a near-death experience following a dru...

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written by Ant on Wednesday 17th March 2010
Article

Flying hover car

Yes this is a flying hover car, not only does it work, it can take passengers too:

...

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written by Ant on Friday 12th March 2010
Article

Playing with yourself...and others

Ok so I am struggling to find what this has to do with books, science fiction or even fantasy really but this video is just too funny to miss:

...

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written by Ant on Friday 5th March 2010
Article

Is the MOD burying it's head in the sand?

We are all Aliens...

With the recent release to the public of the MOD's files on UFO encounters, it appears they have now decided that they are no longer going to keep files on Unidentified Flying Objects, destroying any reports after 30 days and insist that UFOs are not a military threat.

This announcement on the one hand could be seen as cutting costs to save on an over-stretched budget, (they have also turned off the number to call and report a sighting) but by many it will be seen as a misguided act.

The UFO sightings are not just going to go away, in fact they are...

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written by Ant on Wednesday 3rd March 2010
Article

World Book Day 4th April 2010

World book day is almost here, on the 4th April 2010 and there are many activities this year including 11 £1 book stories which will be read by the Authors or Actors online on the day while there is also a "Buy one Give one" promotion running now in conjunction with The Times, The Sun and News of the World.

Buy one Give One means you buy a paperback and get a second book free to donate to charity, vouchers are available in the participating newspapers and you then take the vouchers to a participating retailer (WH Smith, Waterstones or a participating Independant), buy 2 paperbacks for£9.99 or less and get the lower priced one free. Childrens books, reference, travel and academic books are excluded from the offer.

Vouchers will run from 4-7 March 2010 and can be redeem...

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written by Ant on Tuesday 2nd March 2010
Article

Free Nekropolis Short Story!

Free Nekropolis Short Story!

In the run up to the launch of the next episode in the most excellent Nekropolis tale - Mean Streets (which is out next week) those ever so Angry Robots have allowed us mere mortals a free short story set in the same universe.

Titled "The Midnight Watch", the short story is set after the events in Nekropolis and features the irrepressible undead detective Matt Richter along with his squeeze Devona.

You can read the whole story here: The Midnight Watch.

...

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written by Ant on Friday 26th February 2010
Article

New Doctor Who Series Details

It has been revealed that the first episode in the new series of Doctor Who which features the 11th Doctor (played by Matt Smith) will be a full 60 minutes long and has been called "The Eleventh Hour".

In news of the series, the Doctor and his new companion (Amy Pond, played by Karen Gillan) will explore 16th century Venice, France around 1890 and best of all a far future UK, now floating in outer space. The Daleks are set to make a return and there is a "silent menace" that follows the Doctor and Amy everywhere they go (series long story arc maybe?).

The Weeping Angels are also returning, first seen in the rather excellent episode "blink" which has earned Steve Moffat the 2008 BAFTA craft and BAFTA Cymru awards for Best Writer and which itself won the Hugo Award for B...

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written by Ant on Monday 15th February 2010
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New Lord of the Rings Fan Film

A new Fan made Lord of the Rings film has been released on the internet and is already causing quite a stir among fans, with over 500 000 views on you tube. Created on a budget of just £25 000, Born of Hope is set long before the events in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and tells the story of Aragorns parents, Arathorn and Gilraen and the birth of Aragorn himself.

The brain child of Kate Madison, who even put her whole savings into the costs, Born of Hope is an incredible creation on a miniscule budget, with a large cast, intricate costumes and special effects and even a computer generated Hill Troll.

In another first the film even borrows some Orcs from the first Lord of the Rings Fan made film, the rather excellent ...

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written by Ant on Friday 12th February 2010
Article

We are all Aliens

We are all Aliens...

The theory that we are all aliens from outer space has been once again thrust into the media spotlight by the british Scientist Prof Chandra Wickramasinghe of Cardiff University. He claims that the evidence that life started outside our solar system is quite "overwhelming".

The first seeds of life are thought to have been deposited on earth 3800 million years ago from outer space by an asteroid or comet. These microbes were then thought to have "multiplied and seeded" to eventually form human life (and politicians).

His paper showing this evidence is published in Cambridge University's International Journal of Astrobiology. He has been quoted as saying:

...

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written by Ant on Monday 8th February 2010
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A New approach to telling stories

A New approach to telling stories

Harper Collins new Imprint Angry Robot Books is moving from strength to strength and really pushing the boundries with new ideas and intelligent fiction.

Not content with this, they have found a approach of telling a story that will allow adult and child to both enjoy the same novel. Kaaron Warren is the author of the soon to be released novel Walking the Tree, and she had an idea while writing that it would be great if her son and herself could enjoy the same book at the same time and so she wrote a 20000 word novella called Morace's Story, a child's point of view of Walking the Tree.

In Kaaron's words:...

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written by Ant on Thursday 4th February 2010
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Amazon bows to publisher pressure

Amazon bows to publisher pressure

Last week Amazon was forced to remove thousands of e-books from it's US site after one of the 6 biggest book publishers in the world, Macmillan announced that they wanted the ebook prices to be significantly raised from the current standard of $9.99

This week Amazon has caved into the pressure from Macmillan and has now re-instated the ebooks at these inflated prices, between $12.99 and $14.99 for most hardback releases. According to this new agreement the publisher will be able to set the final retail price between the $12.99 and $14.99 figure. In addition the revenue share has been changed to a 70:30 share in favour of the publishers.

This is a comp...

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written by Ant on Tuesday 2nd February 2010
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2009 BSFA Award shortlist

2009 BSFA Award shortlist

The shortlist for the 2009 British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) Awards have been announced and include Ursula Le Guin for new novel Lavinia and Adam Roberts for the acclaimed novel "Yellow Blue Tibia" which according to Kim Stanley Robinson, should have won the Booker Prize.

Adam Roberts debut novel, Salt was nominated for the Arthur C Clarke Award and then again in 2007 with Gradisil. Ursula Le Guin is no stranger to awards having managed so far 5 Hugo Awards, 5 Nebula Awards, a National Book Award the Kafka Award, a Pushcart Prize, and the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters not to mention hundreds of nominations.

...

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written by Ant on Monday 1st February 2010
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Trudi Canavan wins 2009 Aurealis Award

Trudi Canavan wins 2009 Aurealis Award

Trudi Canavan, australian author of the Black Magician Trilogy and the Age of the Five series, has won the 2009 Best Fantasy Aurealis Award for her new novel "Magicians Apprentice".

Her previous novels have all been nominated for both Aurealis and Ditmar awards and have entered the Australian SF bestsellers list.

Other 2009 Aurealis award winners include Andrew McGahan winning best science fiction novel for "Wonders of a Godless World" and Honey Brown winning best Horror novel for her book "Red Queen".

You can see a full list of the winners here:

Peter Mcnamara convenors' award...

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written by Ant on Sunday 31st January 2010
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Free SF limericks from Peter Salisbury

Free SF limericks from Peter Salisbury

The author of the rather excellent novel Passengers to Sentience has written some very amusing Scifi and Robot rich family friendly Limericks, all contained in a collection called the "Completely Electronic Robot and Science Fiction Limerick Book" available completely free as an ebook from Smashwords.

Peter Salisbury has also confirmed he is busy 5 new stories although it is not currently known if any of these are set in the same universe as passengers.

...

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written by Ant on Saturday 30th January 2010
Article

2009 Philip K Dick Award nominations

2009 Philip K Dick Award nominations

The final nominations for the 2009 Philip K Dick awards have been announced. The nominations include established author Ian MacDonald for his latest novel Cyberbad Days, along with some previously unkown (to us anyway) authors.

The winner will be announced on Friday 2nd April 2010 at The "Pacific Northwest's Premier Science Fiction and Fantasy ConventionSeaTac" (Norwescon) which is held at the Doubletree Seattle Airport Hotel, SeaTac in Washington, USA.

The nominations are:

Cyberabad Days by Ian Mcdonald Bitter Angels...

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written by Ant on Monday 25th January 2010
Article

Exclusive! Rob Grant to write new novels

incompetence

Science fiction and fantasy can exclusively reveal that the acclaimed British comedy author, scriptwriter, producer and stand up comedian, Rob Grant has confirmed that new novels are on the horizon.

Revealed to a trusted source privately on the social networking site Twitter, he confirmed that he has been busy doing stand up comedy, which all series Red Dwarfers would already be ware of, since he announced that on the official Red Dwarf website back in September 09.

His most recent novel was the hilarious "Fat" which was released in 2007. Rob has confirmed that he is writing a sequel to the ex...

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written by Ant on Friday 22nd January 2010
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Knighttime, new online audio book website

Knighttime is a new website featuring a serial fantasy story published in audio format. Based in the Kingdom of Udenland which is populated by strange creatures and "unique" characters, the protagonists are the adventurous Knights "Sir Cottington" and "Sir Bratwurst".

Knighttime

Created by a group called "the Hazardous Players", every other week a new audio episode is uploaded and continues the story of the 2 knights as they travel the kingdom and stumble their way through various quests. The website also features guides to the series, original artwork and lots of useful background information about the Kingdom.

...

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written by Ant on Tuesday 19th January 2010
Article

2009 Aurealis award finalists

British Fantasy awards 2009

The finalists of the 2009 Aurealis awards have been announced. The Aurealis awards were created in 1995 to recognise the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers.

Designed to compliment the Australian annual science fiction convention Ditmar awards and the Australian Children's book council awards, neither of which distinguish between the different categories of speculative fiction.

The Winners will be announced on Saturday 23rd January 2010 at the Judith Wright centre for contemporary Arts in Brisbane.

The Finalists

Best Science Fiction Novel

...

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written by Ant on Thursday 14th January 2010