News for 2011
As the end of the year fast approaches, it is time once again to look back over the past 12 months of reviews and select the one outstanding book to win the 2011 SFBook of the year.
The nominated books are drawn up from each one that managed to make "Book of the Month" in 2011 but the winner is chosen by you, the public.
You can vote for your favourite here: SFBook of the Year 2011.
This months book of the month is a gargantuan compendium of the weird.
Celebrating the best of the last 100 years and featuring no less than 110 short stories this mammoth volume is edited by the eminent experts in Weird Fiction Ann & Jeff Vandermeer.
Wishing you all a very Weird Christmas....
Those ever so Angry Robot's have unveiled their latest plans in the continued efforts for world domination with the creation of a brand new Young Adult imprint called Strange Chemistry. This new publishing arm will be run by fellow book reviewer and all round nice egg Amanda Rutter (congratulations Amanda!) and will realease 5 new YA books with a schedule of 1 book per month there-after, beginning in September 2012. There is a great interview with Amanda here, which explains somewhat the ideas behind the new imprint and some of Amanda's ideas - I love ...
Happy Birthday to us,
Happy Birthday to us,
Happy Birthday SFBook,
Happy Birthday to us!
As you may have just guessed SFBook.com is now 12 years old!, almost a teenager and only a little younger than that behemoth Google.
The website and the internet itself has changed incredibly over the last 12 years, when it was first launched the website was run by the very talented TC and looked very different indeed:
Over the years we have reviewed thousands of books, interviewed authors and strived to offer an insight into the very best novels out there. We always read the full novel before a review and try to gi...
Today marks the launch of Daylight on Iron Mountain, the 2nd volume in David Wingrove's re-imagined Chung Kuo series, an incredible future vision and one which promises to be an absolute epic, unmissable series.
I was lucky enough to be granted an interview with David Wingrove which gives a great insight into the series.
Ant: You originally started writing Chung Kuo way back in the 1980's and many of the ideas presented seem somewhat prophetic, where did you get these ideas from?
David: The original short story, "A Perfect Art" had nothing Chinese about it ...
The Open University has created six very interesting little videos that explain some of the most famous thought experiments.
Narrated by David Mitchell and animated in a friendly style, these 60 second videos are both fascinating and insightful.
From the 5th Century BC all the way up to the late 20th Century AD, these thought experiments have been devised by some of the greatest minds in history including German mathematician David Hilbert, French physicist Paul Langevin and of course the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger.
1.The Paradox of the Tortoise and Achilles, generally considered to have been first devised by the 5th century BC Greek philosopher Zeno of Elea.
The very talented comedian Tim Minchin performed the Doctor Who theme tune at the BBC Comedy Proms and it sounds fantastic:
While some publishers are bemoaning the drop in paper book sales, decrying the end of all things book related a few of the more forward thinking are embracing this shift in format and realise it for what it is - a simple change in the format of the book.
As I have said on a number of occasions I firmly believe there will always be a place for the paper version of the book but there is no doubt that e-books are here to stay and will undoubtedly become the largest medium for works of fiction. One of these leaders in this digital revolution also happens to be the oldest in Britain, Gollancz.
With a distinguished history and an insatiable appetite for all things scien...
This month was the hardest this year to choose a book of the month, I have read some absolutely incredible novels in September and most of those reviewed were worthy to be placed here.
In the end though there can be only 1 winner and Son of Heaven by David Wingrove just edged in over my other choice Perdido Street Station - both are incredible novels and worth being in anyones collection
Son of Heaven is the first volume in the re-imagined epic Chung Kuo series which is being expanded and re-written into 20 volumes.
Chung Kuo is primarily set 200 years in the future in mile-high, continent-spanning cities made of a super-plastic call...
Those forward thinking guys over at Solaris and Abaddon books are launching a massive campaign that aims to show people that given the huge availability of e-reading devices you can in fact Read Anything. It sounds fantastic and encompasses my feelings perfectly but I think they say it much better than I ever could so without further ado it's over to them:
Ever wanted to read something different but didn't want the world to judge you by the cover of the book?
Spaceships, wizards, hooded swordsman - we love them all. But it's not the cover, it's the insides that matter. So,...
Another difficult month to choose the Book of the Month but in the end it just had to be Ian McDonald's novel The Dervish House.
The novel is set in a future Istanbul and tells the tale of the complex lives of several characters that all reside in the titular abode.
It's an incredible novel of infinite depth and really does deserve to be a part of any science fiction fans collection. It's also been nominated for just about every major award and hasso far won the John W Campbell and the BSFA award....
For those who haven't yet heard, the 2011 Hugo Award winners were announced over the weekend at the Peppermill Hotel in Reno, Nevada and Connie Willis wins the best novel for her Blackout/All Clear double novel which has already won a number of other major awards including the Nebula and the Locus.
You can see a full list here:
Best Novel: Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis Best Novella:The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang Best Novelette: The Emperor of Mars by Allen M. Steele Best Short Story: For Want of a Nail by Mary Robinette Kowal Best Related Book: Chicks Dig Time Lords:...
Book of the month award for August 2011 goes to the incredible novel The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss.
The second novel in the Kingkiller Chronicles, the novel is an incredibly rich tale by one of the best fantasy writers of the 21st Century.
Any fan of fantasy fiction should enjoy this novel, and it's predecessor The Name of the Wind....
Those young, bright and yet still Angry Robot's have a number of nominations in this years World Fantasy Awards - due to be presented at the World Fantasy Convention in October of this year.
The Arthur C Clarke award winning novel Zoo City by Lauren Beukes is shortlisted for best novel while the artist who penned the US cover of said book (John Picacio) is nominated for Best Artist. Vincent Chong who created the artwork for the Matt Richter series and the upcoming Darkness Falling cover is also nominated for the same award.
As if that wasn't sufficient to stroke those mechanical ego's, Lavie Tidhar is nominated...
Book of the month award for July 2011 goes to John Scalzi's military science fiction novel Old Man's War.
The debut novel of this talented author, Old Man's War is an incredibly rich and rewarding tale of life as a genetically re-engineered human fighting for humanities survival against a host of alien creatures.
It's a highly entertaining read that should appeal to any fan of science fiction....
This years winners of the prestigious Locus awards have been announced over the weekend with China Miéville winning "best fantasy novel" for Kraken, Connie Willis wins "best science fiction novel for her Nebula winning Backout/allclear books and NK Jemisin wins "best first novel" for her novel The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.
Other winners include Paolo Bacigalupi for his young adult novel Ship Breaker, Ted Chiang for his novella The Lifecycle of Software Objects.
Neil Gaiman walks away with 2 awards!, one for "best novellete" with "The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains" and one for "b...
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, the first part of which has just been reviewed on the site has won the David Gemmell Legend award!
A well deserved win and brilliant start to a series that promises to be an epic journey.
The Warhammer novel Warrior Priest by Darius Hinks won the Morningstar award (best newcomer) while the Ravenheart (best artwork) was won by the Icelandic artist Olof Erla Einarsdottir for the cover of Power and Majesty....
Science Fiction and it's sister Fantasy has never been quite so prominent in our western culture than it is right now, no longer relagated to the side lines it is now not only becoming more accepted but recognised as a hugely popular genre.
But for those who are new to the genre it can be a very daunting prospect with thousands of books and many authors who are considered leaders of the genre. The UK's premier science fiction magazine ...
Book of the month award for June 2011 goes to the incredible steampunk style novel Anno Frankenstein by Jonathan Green and published by Abaddon Books.
The novel is the 9th in the Pax Britannia series and features the intrepid adventurer Ulysses Quicksilver.
The book has a hectic pace, excellent lively characters and a suitably dark and twisted plot, well written and easy to read I really couldn't recommend Anno Frankenstein highly enough....
In Denmark there is a thriving market for science fiction short stories. Since 2007, The Science Fiction Cirklen (Danish science fiction association) has been publishing an annual anthology of original science fiction short stories written by Danish authors.
For the very first time a selection of these short stories have been translated into English and compiled into an anthology. These short stories vary in style with philosophical parables, time travel tales, space yarns, alternate history as well as stories which in different ways come close to the literary mainstream.
A nonecommercial venture, the aim is to demonstrate that science fiction is...
There has been a number of breakthroughs recently in both our search for habitable exoplanets and our understanding of how planets may populate the universe in general.
The nearby solar system Gliese which is only 20 or so light years away (in Galactic terms a next door neighbour) is again find itself under close scrutiny after a recent study by the Cornell University have confirmed that Gliese 581d is the first confirmed "terrestial-mass" exoplanet within a habitable zone.
It is suggested that the planet is in theory a very good candidate to support life and could in theory have liquid water and a stable atmo...
The finalists for the 2011 Locus Awards have been announced and there looks to be quite a lineup for best science fiction novel with Iain M Banks, Lois McMaster Hujold, William Gibson, Ian McDonald and Connie Willis all nominated.
China Miéville, Guy Gavriel Kay and Charles Stross look to be favorites for the best fantasy novel award. The Winners will be announced at the Science Fiction Awards Weekend in Seattle between 24th and 26th June 2011. There will also be inductions to the Science Fiction Hall of Fame including Harlan Ellison, Gardner Dozois, Moebius, and Vincent Di Fate.
The Full List:
Science Fiction Novel
Marcin Jakubowski is a Polish American and a self-made industrial designer who has come up with a revolutionary idea to create a "Global Village Construction Set", a set of tools t...
Most people who grew up in the 80's will remember the name David Braben, he was the co-developer who created the incredibly popular computer game Elite and has since created Fronti...
Voices from the past is an Anthology containing 28 works of flash fiction (very short stories) written by some top names in science fiction and fantasy including Alasdair Reynold, George Mann, J Robert King, Jasper Fforde, Kaaron Warren, Lee Harris, Maurice Broaddus and Paul Cornell.
All the proceeds from the sale of this book are going straight to Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital and there really couldn't be any greater reason to pick up a copy.
All the authors have provided their work completely free of charge and there sounds like some really great stories, as soon as I get a chance to download and read on my Kindle I will post a review....
This years shortlist for the David Gemmell award's have now been finalised and voting is open to all members of the public to vote for the Legend award for Best Fantasy, the Morningstar award for Best Newcomer and the Ravenheart award for best artwork.
Voting is as easy as visiting the David Gemmell awards website and then selecting the award from the menu.
The winners will be announced on the 17th June 2011 at the Magic Circle in London, the award ceremony is open to the public and tickets are only £20 each (worth it just to get a look inside the magic circle)
As a reminder the Shortlist is...
Book of the month award this month goes to a novel that was originally published over 60 years ago. Sirius was written by Olaf Stapledon in 1944 and tells the tale of a dog with human level intelligence.
A very moving tale it really does deserve to be a part of anyones collection, it's part of the SF Masterworks list and published by Gollancz.
Olaf Stapledon was born in Britain two centuries ago in 1886 and become a philosopher and author of several influential works of science fiction. His work inspired and influenced many other authors who have since become influential thems...
Zoo City, written by Lauren Beukes and published by the irrepressible Angry Robot Books has won the 25th Arthur C Clarke award.
Zoo City triumphed despite fierce competition from such luminaries as Ian McDonald and his BSFA award winning Dervish House, Patrick Ness for his critically acclaimed Monsters of Men and Tim Powers with the novel Declare.
Congratulations on the well deserved victory go to Lauren Beukes and Angry Robot Books, well done guys!...
The Shortlist for the 2011 David Gemmell awards have been announced and it looks set to be a very fierce competition in all three categories. Great to see Jordan and Sanderson's Towers of Midnight making it through in the Legend category, along with Jemisin's The Hundred Thousand Kingdom's that I reviewed last month.
Voting opens Monday 2nd May 2011
Legend Award - Best Fantasy Novel
The Desert Spear - Peter V Brett
War of the Dwarves - Markus Heitz
Towers of Midnight - Robert Jord...
The nominations for this years Hugo awards and the John W Campbell award for best new writer have been announced and include Ian McDonald for his Dervish House novel (having just won the BSFA), Lois McMaster Bujold for Cryoburn, Mira Grant for Feed, NK Jemisin for The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (also nominated for this years Gemmell Award) and Angry Robot authors Lauren Beukes (for the Jown W Campbell) and Alliete de Bodard (Hugo best Novelette).
It's a suprising and very interesting mix this year, although Best Dramatic Presentation Long Form feels a bit of a one horse race - can your really compare "How to ...
The winner of the 2011 Philip K Dick award is the steampunk-esque novel "The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack" by Mark Hodder.
The novel tells the tale of Capt. Sir Richard Francis Burton as he pursues a legendary and violent Victorian creature known as Spring Heeled Jack - at the behest of the prime minister.
Set within a steampunk alternative history, The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack is Mark Hodder's debut full length novel....
The winners of the 2010 British Science Fiction Awards (BSFA) have been announced at this years Eastercon event and the winner of best novel has gone to Ian McDonald's "The Dervish House".
The third book in Ian's Thematic trilogy - following on from "River of Gods" and "Brasyl" which were also both winners of the BSFA in 2005 and 2008 respectively, The Dervish house focuses on the country of Turkey in 2025 and follows the 9 year old Istanbul resident "Can Durukan" who has a serious heart condition and dreams of becoming a detective - that is until his spy-bot witnesses the aftermath of a horrific suicide bombing.
Best Short Fiction was won by Aliette...
Embassy Town, the new novel from China Meiville is due out on the 28th April and to wet your appetite you can hear what the man himself has to say about the book in this interview below:
For the last few weeks I have been slaving away at creating a new look for the site, after feeling that the current design looked a bit flat and washed out and also to celebrate 12 years of SFBook.
The result of this hard work is now live and "should" be fairly error free (fingers crossed).
I will be tweaking a few things over the next few weeks and watch out for a mobile friendly version on it's way too, any issues then please do let me know via the usual channels, your feedback is also as ever appreciated....
Another very close call this month, for the Book of the Month with some really outstanding novels, I have personally read 22 novels in March which even for me is a lot, and a pace that I really couldn't keep up all year.
Choosing a book of the month was quite difficult, in the end though Dan Abnett's Embedded just scraped through, as close a call as it was last month.
Congratulations to Dan, and to Angry Robot Books for having the sense to publish such great works....
Yesterday I interviewed Sven Michael Davison about his new Dystopian vision "State of Mind" and during the interview I realised that he was in an almost unique position of being involved in the anti-piracy battle working for Fox and then seeing Piracy from the angel of a content creator after writing State of Mind, so I asked him another question, he was kind enough to provide a very insightful and detailed answer:
Ant: Piracy is a very emotive subject and something that I have written about on a number of occasions - as the emerging ebook market is experiencing...
Genre for Japan is now open for bidding, and up to to 12pm they had already raised nearly £2000, that's in just 3 hours of being open.
This isn't completely surprising though as the auctions on offer are truly irresistible and include a 12 book and 10 book collection from Gollancz, many signed hardback and paperback novels, a whole year of books direct from Tor UK! and an Angry Robot ebook collection worth £120.
Other gems include a Life Long Membership to the BSFA, authors time and critic (including Mike Shevdon) and custom artwork.
There are even chances to g...
The devastation caused by the Earthquake and resulting Tusami on the 11th March has created shock and horror around the world, the sheer force of this natural disaster, the loss of life and the resulting crisis this has caused for the good people of Japan cannot be adequately described.
That feeling of helplessness for me and many others has been keenly felt, however there is something we can do - Genre for Japan has been setup by those in the Book Reviewer community to raise much needed relief funds.
The Brainchild of Amanda Rutter of ...
Vintage Books are re-publishing 5 classic science fiction novels that have been given a new lease of life with brand new 3D covers. 3D glasses are included so you can appreciate the 3D awesomeness of these pictures.
These books include Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle, Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea and Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne, The Lost world by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and last but by no means least The Call of Cthulhu and other stories by HP Lovecraft. All 5 are released on the 5th May 2011....
The shortlist for this years Arthur C Clarke award has been announced, cut from the 54 novels that had been nominated by their publishers. Of those nominated I have only read Zoo City by Lauren Beukes but can tell you that it really does deserve to win.
In it's 25th year, the winner of the award will be announced during the SciFi London convention on the 27th April.
The 2011 Shortlist:
Zoo City by Lauren Beukes, published by Angry Robot
The Dervish House by Ian McDonald, published by Gollancz
Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness, published by Walker Books
Generosity by Richard Powers, published by Atlantic Books
This months book of the month has been on of the most difficult decisions I have faced for quite some time. Over the last month I have read and reviewed 16 novels and many of these have been incredible works of fiction.
There are a number of debates going on around the internet at the moment about the ebook market and how people's perceptions differ regarding the actual value of an ebook. In essence the actual media that a book resides on shouldn't effect it's true value, it's the actual content that matters, the slice of life that the author has invested in their creation. This is explained very well by Lee of Angry Robot Books.
There is however a general perception that electronic media is less valuable than it's physical counterpart and there are a number of good reasons for this.
The first, and probably the biggest r...
The Terminator 2 theme, played as a piano solo, I am in a small amount of awe when I see such talent, love the bit at the end too.
It's been a very tough call this month choosing the book of the month from the January reviews. Not only has there been 18 to choose from (20 if you count the 2 published from TC) but the level of quality has been outstanding.
A few days ago we mentioned that a UFO was caught on camera hovering over mount Zion in Jeruselem, well there was also another person taking footage of this from a different angle:
A round shaped UFO was filmed hovering over mount Zion in Jerusalem on friday 28th January, what's really interesting about this clip is the UFO drops right down to near ground level very fast and then a moment later shoots straight into the sky at an unbelievable speed, see for yourselves below:
It's been a closely fought and somewhat contentious contest during December, and we even had to close the competition a few days early for reasons we've already mentioned. We have finally re-counted all votes and the results are in.
And the winner is...
The Road to Bedlam by Mike Shevdon, published by Angry Robot Books.
Congratulations Mike on a well deserved win!
I would like to thank all those who voted and all the authors who took part, being a part of the 12 nominated books is an achievement in itself and means that the novel was one of the 12 best of the year. You can se...
I must have a prodigious amount of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes, to make it up
Book of the month
The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons
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