BSFA 2017 Awards Finalists

The shortlist for the BSFA 2017 Awards was released February 15.

The Awards will be presented at Follycon, the 69th Eastercon, in Harrogate, being held from March 30-April 2.

BSFA members can vote online here. Those attending Eastercon can vote at the BSFA stand until noon on the day of the awards ceremony, Saturday, March 31 – Eastercon attendees do not need to be a member of the BSFA to vote onsite.

Best Novel

  • Nina Allan – The Rift (Titan Books)
  • Anne Charnock – Dreams Before the Start of Time (47North)
  • Mohsin Hamid – Exit West (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Ann Leckie – Provenance (Orbit)

Best Shorter Fiction

  • Anne Charnock – The Enclave (NewCon Press)
  • Elaine Cuyegkeng – These Constellations Will Be Yours (Strange Horizons)
  • Greg Egan – Uncanny Valley (
  • Geoff Nelder – Angular Size (in ‘SFerics 2017’ edited by Roz Clarke and Rosie Oliver, Createspace Independent Publishing Platform)
  • Tade Thompson – The Murders of Molly Southbourne (

Best Non-Fiction

  • Paul Kincaid – Iain M. Banks (University of Illinois Press)
  • Juliet E McKenna – The Myth of Meritocracy and the Reality of the Leaky Pipe and Other Obstacles in Science Fiction & Fantasy (in Gender Identity and Sexuality in Current Fantasy and Science Fiction edited by Francesca T Barbini, Luna Press)
  • Adam Roberts – Wells at the World’s End 2017 blog posts (Wells at the World’s End blog)
  • Shadow Clarke Award jurors – The 2017 Shadow Clarke Award blog (The Anglia Ruskin Centre for Science Fiction and Fantasy). The 2017 Shadow Clarke jurors are: Nina Allan, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Victoria Hoyle, Vajra Chandrasekera, Nick Hubble, Paul Kincaid, Jonathan McCalmont, Megan AM.
  • Vandana Singh – The Unthinkability of Climate Change: Thoughts on Amitav Ghosh’s The Great Derangement (Strange Horizons)

Best Artwork

  • Geneva Benton – Sundown Towns (cover for Fiyah Magazine #3)
  • Jim Burns – Cover for The Ion Raider by Ian Whates (NewCon Press)
  • Galen Dara – Illustration for ‘These Constellations Will Be Yours’ by Elaine Cuyegkeng (Strange Horizons)
  • Chris Moore – Cover for The Memoirist by Neil Williamson (NewCon Press)
  • Victo Ngai – Illustration for ‘Waiting on a Bright Moon’ by JY Yang (
  • Marcin Wolski – Cover for 2084 edited by George Sandison (Unsung Stories)

[Thanks to Mark Hepworth and Clare Boothby for the story.]

Second Round of BSFA Awards Nominations Begins

British Science Fiction Association members have until January 31 to help choose the BSFA Awards shortlist for works published in 2017.

In the first round of voting members nominated a longlist of 48 novels, 41 short stories, 20 items of nonfiction, and 28 artworks.

Once voters have determined the shortlist, BSFA members and members of the British national science fiction convention Eastercon will vote for the winners.

Best Novel nominees:

  • Nina Allen – The Rift (Titan Books)
  • Katherine Arden – The Bear and the Nightingale (Del Rey)
  • Andrew Bannister – Iron Gods (Bantam Press)
  • Nicola Barker – H(A)PPY (William Heinemann)
  • Chris Beckett – America City (Corvus)
  • Peter V Brett – The Core (Harper Voyager)
  • Chris Brookmyre – Places in the Darkness (Orbit)
  • Lisa Carey – The Stolen Child (Orion)
  • C Robert Cargill – Sea of Rust (Gollancz)
  • Anne Charnock – Dreams Before the Start of Time
  • Adam Christopher – Killing is My Business (Titan Books)
  • Paul Cornell – Chalk (Tor Books UK)
  • Nicholas Eames – Kings of the Wyld (Orbit)
  • Omar El Akkad – American War (Picador)
  • Daryl Gregory – Spoonbenders (riverrun)
  • Mohsin Hamid – Exit West (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Frances Hardinge – A Skinful of Shadows (Pan Macmillan)
  • Nick Harkaway – Gnomon (William Heinemann)
  • Jonathan L Howard – After the End of the World (Thomas Dunne Books)
  • Kameron Hurley – The Stars Are Legion (Angry Robot)
  • Jaroslav Kalfa? – Spaceman of Bohemia (Sceptre)
  • Mur Lafferty – Six Wakes (Orbit)
  • Anthony Laken – One Cog Turning (Luna Press)
  • Mark Lawrence – Red Sister (Harper Voyager)
  • Ann Leckie – Provenance (Orbit)
  • Yoon Ha Lee – Raven Stratagem (Solaris)
  • Ian R Macleod – Red Snow (PS Publishing)
  • Paul McAuley – Austral (Gollancz)
  • Ian McDonald – Luna: Wolf Moon (Gollancz)
  • Peter McLean – Damnation (Angry Robot)
  • Philip Miller – All the Galaxies (Freight Books)
  • Jeff Noon – A Man of Shadows (Angry Robot)
  • Ada Palmer – Seven Surrenders (Head of Zeus)
  • Ada Palmer – The Will to Battle (Head of Zeus)
  • Benjamin Percy – The Dark Net (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Adam Roberts – The Real-Town Murders (Gollancz)
  • Kim Stanley Robinson – New York 2140 (Orbit)
  • Justina Robson – The Switch (Gollancz)
  • John Scalzi – The Collapsing Empire (Pan Macmillan)
  • Gavin Smith – The Bastard Legion (Gollancz)
  • Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland – The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. (Borough Press)
  • Kenneth Steven – 2020 (Saraband)
  • Allen Stroud – The Forever Man (Luna Press)
  • Tricia Sullivan – Sweet Dreams (Gollancz)
  • Adrian Tchaikovsky – Dogs of War (Head of Zeus)
  • Karen Traviss – Black Run (Createspace Independent Publishing Platform)
  • Andy Weir – Artemis (Del Rey)
  • Jen Williams – The Ninth Rain (Headline)

Best Shorter Fiction nominees:

  • Julianna Baggott – Mental Diplopia ( –
  • Chris Butera – Independent, Superior (Fireside Fiction) –
  • Anne Charnock – The Enclave (NewCon Press)
  • Ian Creasey – After the Atrocity (Asimov’s, Mar-Apr 2017)
  • Elaine Cuyegkeng – These Constellations Will Be Yours (Strange Horizons) –
  • Suna Dasi – Unmade (in ‘Steampunk Writers Around the World, Volume I’, Luna Press)
  • Milton Davis – The Swarm (in ‘Steampunk Writers Around the World, Volume I’, Luna Press)
  • Malcolm Devlin – March, April, May (in ‘2084’ edited by George Sandison, Unsung Stories)
  • Cory Doctorow – Party Discipline ( –
  • Greg Egan – Uncanny Valley ( –
  • Rosie Garland – An Eye for An Eye (in ‘The Darkest Midnight in December’ edited by Storm Constantine, Immanion Press)
  • Peter Garrett – Final Diagnosis (Luna Press)
  • Kerstin Hall – Bombyx mori (Strange Horizons) –
  • Mike Hardwick – A Glitch in Humanity (in ‘SFerics’ edited by Roz Clarke, Createspace Independent Publishing Platform)
  • Erin Horáková – The Bacchae (Big Echo) –
  • Dave Hutchinson – Acadie ( –
  • Dave Hutchinson – Babylon (in ‘2084’ edited by George Sandison, Unsung Stories)
  • Gwyneth Jones – Proof of Concept ( –
  • Julia Keller – The Tablet of Scaptur ( –
  • Cassandra Khaw – A Song for Quiet ( –
  • Caitlin R Kiernan – Agents of Dreamland ( –
  • Carmen Maria Machado – The Resident (in ‘Her Body and Other Parties’, Graywolf Press)
  • Tim Maughan – Last Christmas (Motherboard) –
  • Laura Mauro – Looking for Laika (Interzone #273)
  • Simon Morden – At the Speed of Light (NewCon Press)
  • Geoff Nelder – Angular Size (in ‘SFerics’ edited by Roz Clarke, Createspace Independent Publishing Platform)
  • Emma Newman – Brother’s Ruin ( –
  • Nnedi Okorafor – Binti: Home ( –
  • Christopher Priest – Shooting an Episode (in ‘2084’ edited by George Sandison, Unsung Stories)
  • Josué Ramos (trans. Sue Burke) – The Story of Your Heart (in ‘Steampunk Writers Around the World, Volume I’, Luna Press)
  • Adam Roberts – The Edinburgh Masks (Wells at the World’s End blog) –
  • Allen Stroud – Fragments of Knowing (The Phoenix Archives) –
  • Philip A Suggars – London Calling (Strange Horizons) –
  • EJ Swift – The Endling Market (in ‘2084’ edited by George Sandison, Unsung Stories)
  • EJ Swift – Weather Girl (in ‘Infinity Wars’ edited by Jonathan Strahan, Solaris)
  • Bogi Takács – Some Remarks on the Reproductive Strategy of the Common Octopus (Clarkesworld) –
  • Natalia Theodoridou – The Nightingales in Plátres (Clarkesworld) –
  • Tade Thompson – The Murders of Molly Southbourne (St. Martins Press)
  • Lavie Tidhar – 2084 Satoshi AD (in ‘2084’ edited by George Sandison, Unsung Stories)
  • Lavie Tidhar – The Planet Woman, by M.V. Crawford (in ‘Extrasolar’ edited by Nick Gevers, PS Publishing)
  • Catherynne M Valente – Down and Out in R’lyeh (Uncanny Magazine) –
  • Jamie Wahls – Utopia, LOL? (Strange Horizons) –
  • Martha Wells – All Systems Red ( –
  • Neil Williamson – The Memoirist (NewCon Press)

Best Non-Fiction nominees:

  • Liz Bourke – Sleeps With Monsters column 2017 articles ( –
  • AJ Dalton – The Sub-genres of British Fantasy Literature (Luna Press)
  • Rick Edwards and Dr Michael Brooks – Science(ish): The Peculiar Science Behind the Movies (Atlantic Books)
  • Roy Grey – Interzone #271 Editorial (Interzone #271)
  • Grady Hendrix – Paperbacks from Hell: A History of Horror Fiction from the ’70s and ’80s (Quirk Books)
  • Melissa Hillman – “This is Not Going to Go the Way You Think”: The Last Jedi Is Subversive AF, and I Am Here for It (Bitter Gertrude blog) –
  • Erin Horáková – Freshly Remember’d: Kirk Drift (Strange Horizons) –
  • Paul Kincaid – Iain M. Banks (University of Illinois Press)
  • Kim Lakin-Smith – Doll Parts: Reflections of the Feminine Grotesque in Frances Hardinge’s Cuckoo Song and Neil Gaiman’s Coraline (in Gender Identity and Sexuality in Current Fantasy and Science Fiction, Luna Press)
  • Roger Luckhurst – Science Fiction: A Literary History (British Library Publishing)
  • Juliet E McKenna – The Myth of Meritocracy and the Reality of the Leaky Pipe and Other Obstacles in Science Fiction & Fantasy (in Gender Identity and Sexuality in Current Fantasy and Science Fiction, Luna Press)
  • Sinéad Murphy – Science Fiction and the Arab Spring: the critical dystopia in contemporary Egyptian fiction (Strange Horizons) –
  • John Rieder – Science Fiction and the Mass Cultural Genre System (Wesleyan)
  • Adam Roberts – Wells at the World’s End 2017 blog posts (Wells at the World’s End blog) –
  • Mazin Saleem – Alien: Covenant review (Strange Horizons) –
  • George Sandison – Introduction to 2084 (Unsung Stories)
  • Shadow Clarke Award jurors – The 2017 Shadow Clarke Award blog (The Anglia Ruskin Centre for Science Fiction and Fantasy) –
  • Vandana Singh – The Unthinkability of Climate Change: Thoughts on Amitav Ghosh’s The Great Derangement (Strange Horizons) –
  • Andrew Tate – Apocalyptic Fiction (Bloomsbury)
  • (currently unknown) – SF Caledonia column 2017 articles (Shoreline of Infinity)

Best Artwork nominees:

  • John Allison – Scary Go Round 20th Dec 2017 ( –
  • Geneva Benton – Cover for Fiyah Magazine #3 (Fiyah Magazine #3) –
  • Andy Bigwood – Cover for ‘SFerics’ edited by Roz Clarke (Createspace Independent Publishing Platform) –
  • Sishir Bommakanti – Illustration for ‘Terra Nullius’ by Hanuš Seiner (Strange Horizons) –
  • Jim Burns – Cover for ‘The Martian Job’ by Jaine Fenn (NewCon Press) –
  • Jim Burns – Cover for ‘The Ion Raider’ by Ian Whates (NewCon Press) –
  • Galen Darah – Illustration for ‘These Constellations Will Be Yours’ by Elaine Cuyegkeng (Strange Horizons) –
  • Christine Foltzer – Cover for ‘Agents of Dreamland’ by Caitlin R. Kiernan (Tor Books) –
  • Jay Johnstone – Cover for ‘The Girl from the Sky’ by FT Barbini (Luna Press) –
  • Jay Johnstone – Cover for ‘The Sub-Genres of British Fantasy Literature’ by AJ Dalton (Luna Press) –
  • Danielle Lainton – Cover for ‘The Lightbearer’ by Alan Richardson (Immanion Press) –
  • Greg Manchess – Above the Timberline (Simon & Schuster) –
  • Chris Moore – Cover for ‘The Memoirist’ by Neil Williamson (NewCon Press) –
  • Victo Ngai – Illustration for ‘Waiting on a Bright Moon’ by JY Yang ( –
  • Victo Ngai – Mixc World launch image (Mixc World shopping centre, Shenzhen) –
  • Stephen Pickering – The Rescue of Sister (cover of Shoreline of Infinity #8) (Shoreline of Infinity #8) –
  • Diogo Saito – Cover and interior art for ‘Guardians of the Whills’ by Greg Rucka (Lucasfilm Press) –
  • Vincent Sammy – Wraparound art for NewCon Press Novella set 2 (NewCon Press) –
  • Dave Senecal – 417h3r105 v4 (cover of Interzone #271) (Interzone #271) –
  • Yuko Shimizu – Cover for ‘The Changeling’ by Victor LaValle (Tor Books) –
  • Maz Smith – Cover for ‘Ironclads’ by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Solaris) –
  • Will Staehle – Cover for ‘The Night Ocean’ by Paul LaFarge (Penguin Press) –
  • Will Staehle – Cover for ‘Autonomous’ by Annalee Newitz (Tor Books) –
  • Will Staehle – Cover for ‘Walkaway’ by Cory Doctorow (Tor Books/Head of Zeus) –
  • Brian Stelfreeze – Cover for ‘Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Vol. 3’ (Marvel) –
  • Richard Wagner – Illustration for ‘The New Man’ by Malcolm Devlin (Interzone #270) –
  • Grim Wilkins – Cover for ‘Prophet: Earth War Vol. 5’ (Image Comics) –
  • Marcin Wolski – Cover for ‘2084’ edited by George Sandison (Unsung Stories) –

[Thanks to Mark Hepworth for the story.]

Pixel Scroll 11/26/17 I Can’t Believe I Pixeled In Front Of The Dean Of Science Fiction

(1) PRONOUNS AND ROCKET STACK RANK. Bogi Takács wrote a series of tweets criticizing Greg Hullender’s statements in reviews about the usage of pronouns for non-binary characters in stories reviewed at Rocket Stack Rank, adding many screenshots of examples. Takács also pointed out the reviews are given a certain implied authority because Rocket Stack Rank is linked from the official The Hugo Awards site as a “Third Party Recommendation Site.”

Get into the thread here:

The Hugo connection is illustrated here:

The comments on the Hugo linkage include one from Patrick Nielsen Hayden:

For those who are unfamiliar, here is Bogi Takács’ brief bio from Patreon:

I’m Bogi Takács, a Hungarian Jewish agender trans person (e/em/eir/emself or singular they pronouns) currently living in the US as a resident alien. I write speculative fiction and poetry – I have had work published in various professional venues like Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Apex and Strange Horizons.

Other comments on RSR, Hullender’s views, and their impact included —

(2) COCO CASHES IN. On opening weekend in the U.S., “Pixar’s ‘Coco’ feasts on ‘Justice League’ at box office”.

Pixar’s “Coco” sang its way to the fourth best Thanksgiving weekend ever with an estimated $71.2 million over the five-day weekend, a total that easily toppled Warner Bros.’ “Justice League.”

“Coco” rode strong reviews and an A-plus CinemaScore from audiences to the top spot at the domestic box office. According to studio estimates Sunday, it grossed $49 million from Friday to Sunday. Centered on the Mexican holiday Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), “Coco” has already set box office records in Mexico, where it has made $53.4 million in three weeks.

(3) BSFA AWARDS. The British Science Fiction Association invites members to “Nominate for the BSFA Awards” between now and December 31:

The BSFA awards are presented annually by the British Science Fiction Association, based on a vote of BSFA members and – in recent years – members of the British national science fiction convention Eastercon. They are fan awards that not only seek to honour the most worthy examples in each category, but to promote the genre of science fiction, and get people reading, talking about and enjoying all that contemporary science fiction has to offer.

…Nominations are open until 31st December. This will be the first round. Then from 1st January to 30th January the opportunity for members to vote for their shortlist from the collated suggestions will be provided. This will be the second round.

To nominate in the first round, fill in the form here:

or email your nominations to A form and process for the second round will be made available on this page after the first round has closed.

(4) FLORIDA EXPANDS RIGHT TO CHALLENGE TEXTBOOKS. The Associated Press has the story: “New Florida law expected to increase textbook challenges”.

A parent in Florida is citing profanity and violence in trying to get the local school to ban Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” — itself a cautionary tale on the banning of books. Another wants to remove Walter Dean Myers’ “Bad Boy” for using the word “penis” and a homophobic slur.

Elsewhere in Florida, some say global warming and evolution are a hoax and should not be taught in textbooks unopposed. Others say their local school’s textbooks shortchange Islam’s role in the world, while their opponents argue it’s the danger posed by Muslim terrorists that’s underexposed.

Under a bill passed by the Florida Legislature this year, any district resident — regardless of whether they have a child in school — can now challenge material as pornographic, biased, inaccurate or a violation of state law and get a hearing before an outside mediator.

The mediator advises the local school board, whose decision is final. Previously, challenges could only be made by parents to the school or district. There was also no mediator and fewer mandates. Districts must now also post online a list of all new books and material by grade level to make monitoring easier.

(5) THANKSGIVING AT THE ISS. A day like any other day, only turkey was there: “Happy Space Thanksgiving: How the Food-Stuffed Holiday Went Orbital”.

One Thanksgiving party will literally look down upon them all, as the crew of the International Space Station (ISS) continues its longstanding tradition of observing the festive harvest holiday from orbit. This year’s menu includes irradiated smoked turkey, rehydratable cornbread dressing, green beans and mushrooms, broccoli au gratin, mashed potatoes, candied yams, sweet tea, and thermostabilized cherry blueberry cobbler for dessert. says “Thanksgiving in Space Means Turkey, Work and Football for Astronauts”:

“They don’t actually have the day off on Thursday,” NASA spokesman Dan Huot told in an email, adding that the crew has “a lot of cargo-unloading tasks to complete” with the Cygnus spacecraft that arrived last Tuesday (Nov. 14). However, the astronauts will at least have Friday off, Huot said.

Along with over 7,700 lbs. (3,500 kilograms) of supplies and science equipment, the Cygnus cargo craft delivered the crew their Thanksgiving dinner and some other tasty treats, like pizza and ice cream. Holiday gifts and care packages from the astronauts’ families also shipped with Cygnus. With that trove of holiday goodies just waiting to be unpacked, the astronauts have plenty of incentives for working through the holiday

(6) AFTER THE STUFFING. Here’s how it looks from the Batcave:

(7) ANTHOLOGY APPEARANCE. Cora Buhlert highlights her recently-published story: “New science fiction anthology with a new “In Love and War” story available: The Guardian, edited by Alasdair Shaw”.

The Guardian includes eleven science fiction stories by international authors, all featuring guardians of some kind. My own story in the anthology, “Baptism of Fire” is a prequel story to my In Love and War space opera romance series, so all you fans of Anjali and Mikhail (come on, I know there are some of you out there) rejoice.

(8) ALAS, POOR ALANTIM. Motherboard invites you to “Watch a Robot Eulogize Its ‘Brother’ at Moscow’s New Cemetery for Dead Machines”; video at the link.

The sad news is that this Alantim could not be revived after the attack. But the silver lining is that its death inspired Olga Budnik, a spokesperson for the Muscovite tech hub Phystechpark, to create the world’s first dedicated robot cemetery.

“Alantim was a really good robot,” Budnik told me in an email. “It was supportive, always polite, always happy to see you. You know, like a pet. And [the cemetery] was an idea to bury it like a pet. Not disassemble or carry it to the trash. To say good-bye.”

On October 31, Alantim’s Earthly remains were placed at the Phystechpark cemetery site next to a box for collecting other dead robots. He was eulogized by another Alantim, who honored his dearly departed “brother” for being “very useful to your people and Russian science,” according to a Russian-to-English translation of the ceremony as seen at the top of this article.

(9) COURT IS IN SESSION. Lauren Davis briefs io9 readers about “Six Strange Cases of Science Fiction Trademarks”.

J.R.R. Tolkien
Ownership Claimed by: The J.R.R. Tolkien Estate

The J.R.R. Tolkien Estate owns numerous trademarks based on Tolkien’s works, as well as registered trademarks on Tolkien’s name. Last year, a fellow who sold buttons reading “While you were reading Tolkien, I was watching Evangelion” through Zazzle was contacted by Zazzle, who said that they were removing the buttons at the Tolkien Estate’s request. Later, Zazzle restored the buttons, saying that they had been removed erroneously due to a miscommunication, but it shined a light on the estate’s ownership of Tolkien’s name and left lots of folks wondering where the line was. When are you invoking Tolkien the brand and when are you referring to Tolkien the man?

The estate also owns the right to publicity for Tolkien’s name and image, which they used to challenge the publication of Steve Hillard’s historical fiction book, Mirkwood: A Novel About JRR Tolkien. Eventually Hillard and the estate settled, with Hillard agreeing to make some changes to the book’s appearance to make it look less like one of Tolkien’s novels. A Mirkwood movie is in the works.

Bonus Round: Like any other trademark holder, the Tolkien Estate has to be vigilant about enforcing their trademarks. But some are stranger than others. In 2004, the estate issued a cease and desist letter to the owner of the domain, claiming the estate owned the trademark on the word “shire.” The word “shire,” which means an administrative subdivision, such as a county, has been around since the 12th century.

(10) BOARDMAN OBIT. Perdita Boardman (1931-2017) died November 26 after a long illness. Mark Blackman writes:

Perdita was best-known in Northeast Fandom for hosting Lunarians meetings and running the Lunacon Con Suite for many years, and with her husband, John, hosting a monthly fannish gathering called First Saturday. For their long service, she and John were voted Honorary Members of the Lunarians.

Her younger daughter, Deirdre, shared the following on Facebook:

I wanted to share with family (& friends) about the passing of my mom this morning peacefully in her sleep.

Many know she has been suffering from severe dementia well over a decade now, but she became very sick about two weeks ago and moved to hospice care.

Born Dec 27, 1931 in Baxter Springs, KS she grew up outside of Detroit, bounced around a bit living in Chicago, San Francisco, Virginia and finally settling in New York City about 1960, first in Manhattan, then Park Slope and finally her well known home in Flatbush. She spent her final years in Frederick, MD to be closer to Karina & I.

She has loved science fiction & fantasy (as well as mysteries & regency romances) novels since the 50s and was an avid reader.

She was a talented artist, master seamstress and knitted the most amazing sweaters!

I could go on all.

One of her funny quotes from the other day after being annoyed by nurses prodding her was, “I am Perdita Ann Lilly Nelson Boardman and I am going to sleep”

Good night mom.

(11) LE GUIN AS CRITIC. Ursula K. Le Guin reviews You Should Come With Me Now by M John Harrison – stories “for the uncommon reader” in The Guardian:

One of these brilliantly told stories, “The Walls”, begins: “A man, let’s call him D, is seen digging his way out through the wall of his cell. To help in this project, D has only the thinnest and least reliable tools: two dessert spoons (one stainless steel, one electro-plated nickel silver); half of a pair of curved nail scissors; some domestic knives lacking handles; and so on. The cell wall, constructed from grey, squarish cinder blocks about a foot on a side has been carelessly mortared and laid without much attention to detail. But this lack of artifice makes no difference; none of the knives is long enough to reach the last half inch of mortar at the back of each block, and the more D uses them the shorter they get. Each block must, eventually, be loosened and removed by hand, a task which can take several months, and which leaves him exhausted.”

A close attention to detail characterises this story and contributes much to its effectiveness, and yet, like the careless mortaring of the cinder blocks, it makes no difference in the end. Why and how does D have two dessert spoons? What does he live on during these months (which become years)? Who brings it to his cell? We have nothing with which to fill in unstated facts, as we’re used to doing when reading fiction, because the story is consistent only in pulling the carpet out from under its own feet. It is a play of imagination in a void. Its power is that of a dream, in this case a bad one, the kind that keeps repeating itself with variations in an endless loop of frustration.

This holds for all the stories collected in You Should Come With Me Now. Some of them are surrealistic, some are spoofs, some are fables; many are funny, all are inventive; none entirely escapes the loop….

(12) 25 WAYS TO RUB YOUR LAMP. A Yahoo! Movies piece, “Disney’s ‘Aladdin’: 25 magical fun facts for 25th anniversary”, has lots of trivia about Aladdin, including how Patrick Stewart nearly played Jafar but couldn’t get out of his Star Trek: The Next Generation commitments and how there is a hidden Aladdin reference in Hamilton.

  1. The animators crafted the Genie around Williams’s rapid-fire improv. Co-director Ron Musker said Williams did 25 takes for the movie’s first scene, “and they were all different.” The entertainer would stick to the script for the first few takes, “then he would riff.” Musker said Williams recorded 16 hours’ worth of material, forcing the creative team to piece the character together “like a ransom note.”


  • Mike Kennedy quit groaning at the Tolkien pun long enough to send a link to today’s Brevity.

(14) HE’S DEAD ED. The Smithsonian covers nine theories about “The (Still) Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe” (2014 article.)

On September 27 [1849] —almost a week earlier—Poe had left Richmond, Virginia bound for Philadelphia to edit a collection of poems for Mrs. St. Leon Loud, a minor figure in American poetry at the time. When Walker found Poe in delirious disarray outside of the polling place, it was the first anyone had heard or seen of the poet since his departure from Richmond. Poe never made it to Philadelphia to attend to his editing business. Nor did he ever make it back to New York, where he had been living, to escort his aunt back to Richmond for his impending wedding. Poe was never to leave Baltimore, where he launched his career in the early 19th- century, again—and in the four days between Walker finding Poe outside the public house and Poe’s death on October 7, he never regained enough consciousness to explain how he had come to be found, in soiled clothes not his own, incoherent on the streets. Instead, Poe spent his final days wavering between fits of delirium, gripped by visual hallucinations. The night before his death, according to his attending physician Dr. John J. Moran, Poe repeatedly called out for “Reynolds”—a figure who, to this day, remains a mystery.

(15) MISSING FROM THE MARQUEE. The project loses some name cachet as “Adam Nimoy Steps Down From Directing Deep Space Nine Doc, Release Pushed Back” – story at

On Saturday there were two announcements from What We Left Behind, the upcoming crowd-funded Star Trek: Deep Space Nine documentary.  Adam Nimoy, while remaining involved, will no longer be directing, and the release date  is likely being pushed back.

Nimoy stepping back

In a statement posted on Facebook Saturday, Adam Nimoy revealed he was stepping down as director for What We left Behind, but he will continue to be a producer and advisor on the doc. The reason given for the change was that he needed more time to focus on other responsibilities. From the statement:

“The real creative force behind the DS9 documentary was well in place before I came along. I was happy to lend them support and guidance to push the project along so that it could be completed in time for the 25th anniversary of the show which is coming up in 2018. I wish the creative team all good things as they Boldly Go!”

(16) WINDOW ON THE UNIVERSE. Motherboard’s article about the “Casting of a Giant Mirror for the First Extremely Large Telescope” has a good infographic comparing the relative sizes of all the existing large telescopes, as well.

(17) HARD SF. Down these mean starlanes a man must go…. A Twitter conversation begins here:

(18) COMPLETE HORSESHOE. Here’s another statistic I never knew anyone kept – the record for world’s largest horseshoe sculpture: “Camberley artist’s dragon ‘could obliterate’ world record”.

Mr Poolman’s sculpture is described as “not just a dragon but a tableau”, telling the story of a village bringing a dragon from the sky with arrows and stones.

“It’s partly collapsed,” Mr Powell said, “brought to the ground, in its death throes.”

Tens of thousands of old horseshoes were provided by farriers in Hampshire – some of them were used whole and others cut into smaller pieces.

“A complete horseshoe is quite limiting in what it can be made into,” Mr Poolman said.

(19) NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. Brandon Sanderson isn’t just on the list, he’s #1 —

(20) UNDER THE TREE. We continue our cavalcade of holiday presents with –

(21) MULTITASKING. It’s a Jedi thing: “Elle UK Interviews Daisy Ridley While She Builds A Lego Millennium Falcon”.

She’s talented and beautiful and she plays Luke Skywalker’s new padawan, Rey, in one of the most anticipated “Star Wars” films of all time, but now comes the true test: Can Daisy Ridley build the Millennium Falcon with Legos?

Elle UK interviewed the “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” actress, asking her things like when was the last time she cried, what color her lightsaber would be, and if her father still prefers “Star Trek” (ouch) ? all while she’s tasked with building the Millennium Falcon out of Legos.

(22) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Happiness by Steve Cutts is a cartoon on Vimeo about rats trying to survive the rat race as commuters, consumers, and at work. I’m having trouble getting it to embed, so here’s the link —

[Thanks to JJ, John King Tarpinian, DMS, Carl Slaughter, Cat Eldridge, Martin Morse Wooster, Mark Blackman, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories, Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

2016 BSFA Awards Finalists

The shortlist for the BSFA 2016 Awards was released February 19.

The Awards will be presented at Innominate, the 68th Eastercon, in Birmingham over the April 14-17 weekend.

BSFA members and attending members of Eastercon can vote on the winners online now, and voting will continue at the convention up to midday on Saturday, April 15

Best Novel

  • Chris Beckett – Daughter of Eden (Gollancz)
  • Becky Chambers – A Closed and Common Orbit (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Dave Hutchinson – Europe in Winter (Solaris)
  • Tricia Sullivan – Occupy Me (Gollancz)
  • Nick Wood – Azanian Bridges (NewCon Press)

Best Short Fiction

  • Malcolm Devlin – The End of Hope Street (Interzone #266)
  • Jaine Fenn – Liberty Bird (Now We Are Ten, NewCon Press)
  • Una McCormack – Taking Flight (Crises and Conflicts, NewCon Press)
  • Helen Oyeyemi – Presence (What is Not Yours is Not Yours, Picador)
  • Tade Thompson – The Apologists (Interzone #266)
  • Aliya Whiteley – The Arrival of Missives (Unsung Stories)

Best Non-Fiction

Best Artwork

2015 BSFA Awards

The British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) Award winners were announced March 26 at Mancunicon, the British National Science Fiction Convention.

 Best Novel

  • Aliette de Bodard: The House of Shattered Wings, Gollancz

Best Short Story

  • Aliette de Bodard: “Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight”, Clarkesworld 100

Best Non-Fiction

  • Adam Roberts: Rave and Let Die: The SF and Fantasy of 2014, Steel Quill Books

Best Artwork

  • Jim Burns, Cover of Pelquin’s Comet, Newcon Press

Second Round of BSFA Awards Nominations Begins

British Science Fiction Association members have until January 31 to help choose the BSFA Awards shortlist for works published in 2015.

In the first round of voting members nominated a longlist of 56 novels, 41 short stories, 25 items of nonfiction, and 30 artworks.

Once voters have determined the shortlist, BSFA members and members of the British national science fiction convention Eastercon will vote for the winners.

 [Thanks to Brian Z. for the story.]

2014 BSFA Awards Announced

The British Science Fiction Association’s 2014 BSFA Awards were presented at Dysprosium, the British Eastercon, on April 5.

Best Novel

  • Ann Leckie, for Ancillary Sword (Orbit)

Best Short Fiction

  • Ruth E J Booth for “The Honey Trap”, published in La Femme, (Newcon Press)

Best Non-Fiction

  • Edward James, for Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers and the First World War

Best Artwork

  • Tessa Farmer for her sculpture The Wasp Factory, after Iain Banks.

2014 BSFA Awards Nominees

The British Science Fiction Association has announced the finalists for the 2014 BSFA Awards. BSFA also furnished links to the nominees which are available free online.

Best Artwork

  • Richard Anderson for the cover of Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley, published by Angry Robot Books.
  • Blacksheep for the cover of Bête by Adam Roberts, published by Gollancz
  • Tessa Farmer for her sculpture The Wasp Factory, after Iain Banks.
  • Jeffery Alan Love for the cover of Wolves by Simon Ings, published by Gollancz
  • Andy Potts for the cover of Mars Evacuees by Sophia McDougall, published by Egmont

Best Non-Fiction

Best Short Fiction

  • Ruth E J Booth for “The Honey Trap”, published in La Femme, Newcon Press
  • Octavia Cade for The Mussel Eater, published by The Book Smugglers
  • Benjanun Sriduangkaew for Scale Bright, published by Immersion Press


Best Novel

  • Nina Allan, for The Race, published by Newcon Press
  • Frances Hardinge, for Cuckoo Song, published by Macmillan
  • Dave Hutchinson, for Europe in Autumn, published by Solaris
  • Simon Ings, for Wolves, published by Gollancz
  • Ann Leckie, for Ancilliary Sword, published by Orbit
  • Claire North, for The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, published by Orbit
  • Nnedi Okorafor,  for Lagoon, published by Hodder
  • Neil Williamson, for The Moon King, published by Newcon Press

2014 BSFA Award Winners

The British Science Fiction Association announced the winners of the 2014 BSFA Awards at Eastercon in Glasgow on April 20.

Best Non-Fiction
Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer.

Best Art
Cover of Tony Ballantyne’s Dream London by Joey Hi-Fi.

Best Short Fiction
Spin by Nina Allan

Best Novel
(tie) Ack Ack Macaque by Gareth L. Powell
(tie) Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

The ceremony was hosted by Alice Lawson and Steve Lawson, with guest presenters Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Jim Burns, Andrew J. Wilson and Stephanie Saulter.

BSFA Awards Shortlist

The finalists for the 2013 British Science Fiction Awards have been released.

Best Novel

God’s War by Kameron Hurley (Del Rey)
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
Evening’s Empires by Paul McAuley (Gollancz)
Ack-Ack Macaque by Gareth L. Powell (Solaris)
The Adjacent by Christopher Priest (Gollancz)

Note: The Best Novel Award is only open to UK publications.

Best Short Fiction

Spin by Nina Allan (TTA Press)
“Selkie Stories are for Losers” by Sofia Samatar (Strange Horizons)
“Saga’s Children” by E. J. Swift (The Lowest Heaven, Pandemonium)
“Boat in the Shadows Crossing” by Tori Truslow (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

Best Artwork

Cover for Tony Ballantyne’s Dream London by Joey Hi-fi (Solaris)
Poster for Metropolis by Kevin Tong (
“The Angel at the Heart of the Rain” by Richard Wagner (Interzone #246)

Best Non-Fiction

Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer (Abrams Image)
“Going Forth by Night” by John J. Johnston (Unearthed, Jurassic)
“Sleeps with Monsters” by Liz Bourke (

The finalists for the BSFA Awards are nominated by the membership.

The winners will be announced at Satellite4 (Eastercon) on April 20.