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BFS Publications / Spring 2012 Journal
« on: April 10, 2012, 04:15:37 pm »
Hi everyone,

We've had a couple of delays getting this out - a combination of circumstances and a printers' hiccup, which (to mix a lovely metaphor) ended up giving us all a bit of a headache. I know it's been a while coming, so thank you all very much for your patience. It's much appreciated!

However, here's the contents of the Spring 2012 Journal, which should be getting to you in the not-too-distant future.

Our cover artist this issue is Chris Roberts.
Journal design is by Cavan Scott.


Don't You Like The Bird Man? - Jonathan Oliver
The Call of Chavthulu - Neil Fulwood
Jenny Khan - Rhys Hughes
Mother's Boy - Grant Quimper
Listen - Marie O'Regan
Faerie Mails - Allen Ashley
The Fabulous Beast - Garry Kilworth


Why YA? - Tom Pollock
Worlds Which Never Were - Sarah Pinborough & Will Hill in conversation
A Glow Born of a Different Process - a cover artist spotlight on Chris Roberts
Laying the Foundations - Simon Bestwick
A History of THE SERVANTS - Michael Marshall Smith
BFS Masterclass #2: Writing for Children - F E Higgins
Enterprising Minds - Andrew Reid
Progressive + Inclusive = Popular? - Amanda Rutter
Anne McCaffrey: A Tribute


Morningmares - Zoe Elizabeth Barrett
Shadow Whisper at Black Hole Hotel - Kelda Crich
Doorways - David Glen Larson
The Wheel of Whumpus - John DesPlaines

Plus regular columns from Ramsey Campbell, Mark Morris, Sophia McDougall, and a special feature from Jared Shurin, interviewing Jane Rogers.

As always, our thanks go to all our contributors, and we very much hope you enjoy reading it!

BFS Publications / Prism reviews
« on: October 13, 2011, 12:47:53 pm »
As you'll most likely have seen from the latest update from Graham as Acting Chair, the decision has been taken to move all reviews from the Journal to the site going forward.

Obviously, having just stepped up as editor of Prism, I'd have liked to talk about this a little with all reviewers before we announced it - but things have been a little... rocky over the last week!

The first thing I'd like to do is reassure you that this is not because we believe the work the reviewing team does isn't important: quite the opposite. We believe that all our reviewers are doing a sterling job... and we want to make the reviews more widely available. With reviews going onto the site, they will be highly visible to publishers, authors and the genre community at large. Without having to factor in the admittedly long lead-times we have for production of the Journal, they can also be right up-to-date.

We hope to establish a dedicated reviews section online, which we will promote and encourage others to link to & share. It will put your reviews in front of a wider audience and highlight the very best of the BFS.

Obviously, there's a lot of changes happening at the moment, and we're still working on putting a reviews section together. For now, all I can ask is that you keep doing what you're doing, and we'll keep you updated with progress.

Hopefully you're as excited as we are about the possibilities ahead.


FantasyCon / Fantasycon: call for Con reports!
« on: September 27, 2011, 11:58:33 am »
Fantasycon is just around the corner, and we’re looking forward to welcoming BFS members and non-members alike for what promises to be an unforgettable weekend in Brighton. The programme grid has just gone live, and you can find details of everything that’ll be going on HERE

Perhaps you’re a seasoned convention-goer. Maybe this is your first Fantasycon – or even your very first con altogether! Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran, the BFS would like to hear from you.

We want to see your reports from Fantasycon: the panels, the readings, the signings, the parties… who you saw, who you missed: your highlights. Tell us what made Fantasycon special for you in 1,000 words or fewer and we’ll put our favourite three reports on the BFS website. The best of these will also be printed in the Winter issue of our newsletter, PRISM, which is mailed out to all BFS members.

All you have to do is send your FCon report saved in .rtf format to by 9 October 2011, along with a short bio. If you want to include photos, that’s fine with us, but please ensure you attach them individually (preferably as high-res JPEGs).

Unfortunately, as the BFS is a non-profit organisation, we can’t offer payment – but we will send a copy of the Journal to non-members whose report or photos are used.We’re looking forward to hearing from you…


General Discussion / World SF Travel Fund
« on: August 06, 2011, 08:27:28 pm »
I've seen this mentioned on Twitter & on Lavie Tidhar's blog, and thought it sounds like a worthwhile venture.

Just in case anyone's not read about it:

A combination of genre professionals and fans from the international scene and the United States have gathered together to create the World SF Travel Fund. The fund has been set up to enable one international person involved in science fiction, fantasy or horror to travel to a major genre event.

The first recipient of the fund is genre blogger and activist Charles Tan, from the Philippines. Charles is a tireless promoter of speculative fiction. Besides his own Bibliophile Stalker blog, he contributes to the Nebula Awards blog, the Shirley Jackson Award blog, SF Signal and The World SF Blog. He also edited two online anthologies of speculative fiction from the Philippines. Charles is highly regarded in the SF scene both in the USA and internationally. The Fund’s intention is to facilitate Charles’ travel to World Fantasy Con 2011 in San Diego, California.

Multiple award winning editor Ellen Datlow said: “Charles Tan has in a very short time, become a major force in science fiction and fantasy. Bringing Charles over to the United States for the World Fantasy Convention would be a boon the convention by adding a truly international voice to the mix and selfishly, it would allow many of Charles’s fans in the field to meet him personally.”

Living in the Philippines, where wages are far lower than in the West, Charles would be otherwise unable to ever attend a major convention. The Fund’s purpose is to make such a trip possible, for the benefit not only of the recipient but for creating and extending dialogue in the wider world of speculative fiction.

Author and editor Jeff VanderMeer said: “Charles Tan is tireless, talented, indefatigable, a great guy, and someone who has become indispensible to our sense of the genre community. He’s a wonderful choice for this initial effort.”

The Fund has set up a Peerbackers Project with the hope of raising $6000, enabling two years of running. The Board, tasked with selecting future candidates, is composed of Lauren Beukes, Aliette de Bodard, Ekaterina Sedia, Cheryl Morgan and Lavie Tidhar and reflects the truly international nature of the SF world today. For inquiries and further information please contact

If you're interested in donating, the website is here:

General Discussion / Genre for Japan
« on: March 28, 2011, 10:35:01 am »
Bidding has now opened on the Genre for Japan site, raising money for the BRC's Japan Tsunami appeal.

We've been overwhelmed by everyone's generosity and there's some incredible items on offer: the full item index is here, but just to give you an idea...

 - appearances in novels
 - signed books, ARCS and proofs
 - a year's supply of books from Tor, delivered straight to the winning bidder,
 - Vinny Chong prints & copies of his Subterranean covers
 - lifetime membership of the BSFA
 - editorial notes & critiques
 - Angry Robot books & e-books
 - Ray Harryhausen art books
 - rare copies of books from Paul Kane, Tim Lebbon & Conrad Williams
 - limited editions from PS (including the ultra-limited multi-volume Tim Powers bibliography, all 6 of the Stanza Press poetry collection and the limited edition "One for the Road" by Stephen King
... and the chance to be written into Pete Crowther's "Forever Twilight". Not just to have your name appear in the book - but to actually become part of the story!

The auction runs from today until Sunday night, so if you've not taken a look, please do and help us raise lots and lots of money for a very worthwhile cause.

Huge congratulations too, to Johnny Mains, who has raised over £800 through his own auction. :)

Johnny has also donated a proof copy of his Pan Book of Horror reissue to us, so if you fancy your chances, come and bid!  ;D

Announcements and Suggestions / BookCrossing
« on: August 20, 2010, 08:06:26 am »
A quick thought: do any BFS members do BookCrossing?

For anyone unfamiliar with it, it's the concept of releasing books "into the wild": leaving it on a train, for example, for someone else to find. That in itself isn't exactly a new idea - I'm sure lots of people here have done that - but the BookCrossing site makes it a bit more interesting. If you register the book on the site, you get a unique ID code for it, which you write inside the book along with a message. The person who finds the book can then go to the website and enter the code for the book, saying it's been found - and when they've read it, they release it... and so on.

It's become a bit of a game, too: you can turn it into a treasure hunt by announcing the release of a book, either giving a specific site: "the reception desk of the Britannia Hotel" or hiding it in a larger area - for example "in the Britannia Hotel", "on Brighton Pier".

It can be quite fun, as once a book has an ID it can be tracked indefinitely (as long as everyone who finds it logs it on the site) and it's surprising how far they can go.

I wondered whether anyone might be interested if we were to set up a BFS Bookcrossing account for members to use? It's an interesting way of clearing out books... with Fantasycon coming up, we could even have a bookcrossing event running through the weekend, as it's a good opportunity to essentially do some swapsies.

If you think it's a rubbish idea - not to worry! Just thought I'd put it out there in case.  :D

General Discussion / The 'Classics'.. with added monster
« on: September 20, 2009, 08:03:26 pm »
If you've been in one of the big bookshops this summer, you must have come across "Pride & Prejudice & Zombies": as the name implies, it's a reworking of Austen to include... errr, zombies. Lots of zombies. And ninjas (don't ask: I didn't). It's a strange little book, but it made me laugh, and it was cleverly done - to the point where I actually went back to my original copy to check whether a couple of passages were even remotely similar, bar the walking undead. Not to say that it's flawless, mind you, but on the whole it's well done. And given that it's sold over 700,000 copies I'm obviously not the only one to enjoy it.

Yesterday, though, I spotted "Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters" and my heart sank slightly. One of the things that appealed to me about "P&P&Z" was that it felt quirky and fresh, and to see a sequel written to exactly the same formula made me a little sad, although I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe it's because in your mind's eye you can already see the long line of literary re-workings, mash-ups and remixes being rushed out over the next few months, and it seems such a shame to see the freshness that appealed to me in the first book reduced to such a rigid formula. I know it's a part of the nature of publishing and bookselling, trying to catch trends, but still...

Anyway, it got me wondering: if you are going to turn it into a formula and say "classic literature" + [monster of choice] = surefire hit, what might work well? Any ideas? Would Dickens, for instance, benefit from an injection of horror? Is it about finding something that could fit into the story with the minimum of clunking it around, or is it about being as outrageous as possible? And, with zombies off the table, what more can we expect? Vampires, by the way, appear to have already been taken in the genre, thanks to some quick-thinking by the publishers of "Mr Darcy, Vampyre" and the soon-to-be-published "Vampire Darcy's Desire"

Personally, I'm going for "Middlemarch and Martians". I think it's a real winner....  ;)

Introductions / And if I press *this* button.....?
« on: August 27, 2009, 01:32:47 pm »
Hello all!  :)

I'm Lou, and although I've been a member for just over a year, I've only just managed to get round to registering on the forum. What can I say? I'm scatty. But I've stumbled across a couple of people from here on Twitter, so I thought it was probably time I pulled my finger out. Everyone I've come across thus far seems eminently sensible - they use words like "pub" and "bar" and "wine" - all of which work for me.

Mostly, I spend my days wrangling my little boy and trying to keep him & the cat apart (and have the scars to prove it) but I also write the occasional story, and recently started taking it a little more seriously: my first published story appeared in none other than New Horizons 2!

While I could talk about me for, well, ever, I'll keep it brief. Stuff I like includes Neil Gaiman, HP Lovecraft, Robert Bloch and Michael Marshall-with-or-without-the-Smith. Also moonlight walks, misty November evenings and fluffy kittens - although I couldn't eat a whole one. Probably.

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