Saturday, 9 April 2011

bite me: the week in bite-sized chunks

Genre for Japan/ Floor to ceiling books: Amanda Rutter has been doing something amazing with the SFF genre in recent weeks – helping to raise money to assist relief efforts in Japan. She and a few other highly dedicated individuals have been requesting items to auction off from publishers, editors and authors. Together, they raised £11,203.36, which is, frankly, amazing. Some of my favourite donated items were signed copies of The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie, the Angry Robot e-book collection, a year of books by Tor UK, a signed and stamped edition of I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett, the chance for you to be in a novel by Jon Courtenay Grimwood, a signed proof of The Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman… This actually just turned into a list of what was on offer, because it was all phenomenal, so you might as well just have a look yourself.

Orbit: have launched a unique, visually stunning advertising campaign for Simon Morden’s Metrozone series, about a worldwide nuclear disaster with a Zombieland-esque lead character who has survived by adhering to his own strict rules and ‘equations of life’, and then breaking them. Throughout London graffiti artwork has been appearing, warning citizens of the arrival of the Metrozone, and the pending apocalypse. This is such a brilliant, creative way of advertising a Science Fiction (or any) book, rather than the usual picture of cover and standard ‘have you read this yet you should do’ line. More please.

Locus Awards: the tickets are on sale now for the Science Fiction Awards Weekend, taking place June 24-26 in Seattle. So if you happen to be in the area and want to pop on by (and who wouldn’t?), purchase your tickets now.

Gollancz: are celebrating 50 years of publishing Science Fiction and Fantasy and they’re giving you the opportunity to vote for your favourite Gollancz book. There’s quite a surprising mix on there, including William Heaney/Graham Joyce’s Memoirs of a Master Forger, which I had the pleasure of reading recently and completely fell in love with it. Such a beautiful, whimsical read and highly recommended. If you vote you’re also entered into a prize draw to win a subscription to SFX magazine and the top ten books in the charts this autumn. Worth it.

Tor UK: China Miéville in interview at Only the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy blog, with questions from Pornokitsch, Mithril Wisdom and Dauntingly eloquent, his verbose discussions include: losing his shit with excitement (who hasn’t?), being a lover of squid, Eygptian shabtis (right?), ‘Is urban the new fantasy’ (what?) and shenanigans. Choice quote: “(Do you mean) ‘The adjective "urban" is becoming increasingly disaggregated from what one might have thought its referent would be, and instead portending various fashionable aesthetic tropes actually contingent to metropolitan quiddity'?” End quote.

Voyager: is a review by me, so here it is again, as if I haven't flashed myself about enough with little regard for any of our dignity.

#lbf11: it’s the London Book Fair next week and I’m going down hellishly early tomorrow to set up the University of Central Lancashire stand in order to wax lyrical about the MA Publishing course and our Letters to Africa project. When I say wax lyrical, I of course mean babble incoherently. I will also be walking past the stands of major publishers attempting to pluck up the courage to see if anyone will speak to me.

A little list: Publishers I would like to see: Voyager, Tor, Gollancz, Orbit (although, they weren’t there last year, but Atom was)… and I think that seeing some independents would be just as exciting, particularly for my dissertation – Sparkling Books and Angry Robot in particular.

If you’re off to the fair, I’ll probably be hovering in the background somewhere near you on my 60th circuit.


  1. Hello. When I first heard of the 'graffiti thing', I thought it sounded like an excellent idea - but I was unprepared as to just how full of awesome they'd be. It is, empirically, the coolest thing ever done for a book.

    If Orbit do have a stall at LBF, go on over and say "I put the graffiti on my blog because it's both smart and cool". You might even be able to blag a copy of the book. Tell 'em Dr Morden sent you.

  2. Hi Simon - thank you for this very kind offer. I did try my best while I was at the fair, but unfortunately everyone was busy at the Little, Brown/Orbit stand. Although I would, of course, have mentioned that it was both smart and cool, if I'd had the chance. Obviously.

  3. Sorry - tried to post a comment here earlier, but my computer ate it.

    I read you LBF report. I admire your chutzpah, while cringing at the results. You have more front than Blackpool.

    If we ever end up at the same Con, do come and say hello. I can at least attempt to introduce you to some folk...

  4. Thank you, your admiration is appreciated. Equations of Life is now on order. I've never been to a convention, I'm thinking I should start.