BSFA London meeting reminder

A quick reminder that tonight’s BSFA London meeting features as guest Sophia McDougall.

Upstairs room, Antelope Tavern, from 7.

Vector 267

Go away for a week, and all sorts of things happen! Vector 267 arrived while I was traveling. Most people seem to have received their copies on Saturday, although a fair minority of those were partially soaked from the ongoing rains.

This quarter’s mailing includes, in addition to Vector, a booklet of Maureen Kincaid Speller’s writings, edited by Jonathan McCalmont and laid out by Martin McGrath.

This issue contains a broad assortment of intriguing and (I hope) thought-provoking content, including a few pieces, including Sam Mardon’s elegant cover, in honour of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Arthur C Clarke Award.

Cover of Vector 267 by Sam MardonTable of Contents

Matrix: A Magazine out of Time, Ian Whates
Introducing The BSFA Review, Martin Lewis
Sci-Fi London in 2011 in REview, Alys Sterling
Against Utopia: Arthur C Clarke and the Heterotopian Impulse
Homer’s Odyssey: The World’s First Fantasy Novel?, Juliet E McKenna
An Interview with Samuel R Delany, Roz Kaveney
Avatar: The New Fantastic Horizons of Oneiric Justice, Roberto Quaglia, trans. Teo Popescu
Kincaid in Short, Paul Kincaid
Now and Then, Terry Martin
Resonances, Stephen Baxter
Foundation Favourites, Andy Sawyer

The BSFA Review, edited by Martin Lewis
Reviews

The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction, edited by Mark Bould, Andrew M. Butler, Adam Roberts and Sheryl Vint (Routledge, 2009) – Reviewed by Glyn Morgan
The Mervyn Stone Mysteries: Geek Tragedy, DVD Extras Include: Murder and Cursed Among Sequels by Nev Fountain (Big Finish, 2010) – Reviewed by Gary Dalkin
Sci-Fi London Film Festival: Dinoshark (2010), Sharktopus (2010), One Hundred Mornings (2009), Zenith (2010), Gantz (2011) and Super (2010) – Reviewed by Martin McGrath
Ignition City, written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Gianluca Pagliarani (Avatar, 2010) – Reviewed by James Bacon
Twin Spica: Volume 1 by Kou Yaginuma (Vertical, 2010) – Reviewed by Nick Honeywell
Mardock Scramble by Tow Ubukata, translated by Edwin Hawkes (Haikasoru, 2011) – Reviewed by Alan Fraser
Gantz (2011) – Reviewed by Lalith Vipulananthan
Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay (Harper Voyager, 2010) – Reviewed by Dan Hartland
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit, 2010) – Reviewed by Andy Sawyer
On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers (Corvus, 2011) – Reviewed by Paul Kincaid
The Broken Kingdoms by NK Jemisin (Orbit, 2010) – Reviewed by Sandra Unerman
The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham (Orbit, 2011) – Reviewed by Sue Thomason
The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie (Gollancz, 2011) – Reviewed by Maureen Kincaid Speller
The Scarab Path by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Tor, 2010) – Reviewed by Nic Clarke
The Wolf Age by James Enge (Pyr, 2010) – Reviewed by A.P. Canavan
Blood and Iron by Tony Ballantyne (Tor, 2010) – Reviewed by David Towsey
The Evolutionary Void by Peter F Hamilton (Pan MacMillan, 2010) – Reviewed by Martin Potts
Point by Thomas Blackthorne (Angry Robot, 2011) – Reviewed by Alan Fraser
Embedded by Dan Abnett (Angry Robot, 2011) – Reviewed by Stuart Carter

Vector welcomes letters of comment, or feedback on the forum.

July BSFA London Meeting: Sophia McDougall Interview – 27th July 2011 – Free entry

 On Wednesday 27th July 2011 from around 7pm:

SOPHIA McDOUGALL (author of the Romanitas trilogy) will be interviewed by Roz Kaveney (popular culture critic and author).

Venue:

Upstairs Room
The Antelope Tavern
22, Eaton Terrace
Belgravia
London
SW1W 8EZ

Nearest Tube: Sloane Square (District/Circle)
Map:here.
All welcome! (No entry fee or tickets. Non-members welcome.)
Interview will commence at 7.00 pm, but the room is open from 6.00 (and fans in the downstairs bar from 5).
There will be a raffle (£1 for five tickets), with a selection of sf novels as prizes.

FUTURE EVENTS:

24th August 2011* – KIM LAKIN-SMITH interviewed by Paul Skevington

28th September 2011 – JO FLETCHER interviewed by Tom Hunter

26th October 2011 – TANITH LEE interviewed by Nadia Van Der Westhuizen

* Note that this is a month with five Wednesdays. The meeting will be on the fourth, not the last, Wednesday of the month.

 

Text of this year’s BSFA Lecture now available

Gideon Nisbet has placed the text of this year’s BSFA lecture online. You can find the text here, and the PowerPoint presentation that accompanied the lecture is here

Best novels of 2011 so far

I knew it was halfway through the year when my thing-a-day calendar required flipping on the fourth of July. And halfway through means another quarter has passed and you have read more books.

Back in April, these were the books suggested for next year’s award nominations:

  • Lauren Beukes’s Zoo City (Published 2011 in the US)
  • Daniel Abraham’s The Dragon’s Path
  • James S.A. Corey’s Leviathan Wakes.
  • Joe Abercrombie’s The Heroes.
  • Jo Walton’s Among Others
  • Andrea Hairston’s Redwood & Wildfire
Are these still the best contenders for next year’s novel awards, or have new books trumped or added to them since? What would you nominate as of now?

July: City of Pearl

I exaggerated a little about 2003. It is pretty astonishing that three books out of the 11 best science fiction by women from the last decade were published then, but it was part of a larger lumping in the decade. Two more of the novels on the list came out in 2004, adding to my mild suspicions about how we mentally process novels, and how long it takes to pass judgement on a book’s staying power while still remembering that one has read it. It would be interesting to do similar surveys every five years and see how they evolve.

In any event, this month on Torque Control, we will be looking at Karen Traviss‘s novel, City of Pearl. Given how prolific Traviss has been since, it’s worth remembering that City of Pearl was her very first published novel, one of two which came out in 2004.  Also note that it has not been published in the UK, although used copies are certainly available here. Her Wess’har War series, which it begins, would have five more volumes by 2008.

Traviss will be at ComiCon in San Diego later this month. She was also part of a three-way interview on Women’s Hour of BBC4 in June, which Niall transcribed here.

And speaking of Niall, he’s the one who will be leading discussion of City of Pearl later in July. I hope you will be able to join us in reading and discussing it.

Maul – Recap

You can tell it’s summer. We’re busy, but not always in the ways we are the rest of the year.

In any event, June now comes to an end, having taken a bite out of July in the process. For June, we read Tricia Sullivan’s Maul, the last of the 2003 novels from chronological exploration of the best science fiction novels written by women in the previous decade which we are reading here at Torque Control over the course of this calendar year. 2003 really was astonishing, with the publication of, in addition to Maul, Natural History and The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Tony Keen, a new Torque Control contributor, examined the book over a series of posts, beginning with the vexed question of just what constitutes reality in the book; continuing with a consideration of feminism and violence in the novel;  and then discussing the central role which branding played in the writing and world-building of Maul.

My thanks to Tony for leading the discussion! And thank you to all who joined in – never to late to go back and do so! – in reading or re-reading Maul.

Discussion: Part 1 (What is reality?), Part 2 (“the new face of Feminist sf”), and Part 3 (Product placement)

Some other recent posts/reviews on Maul:
Martin Lewis on the first chapter of Maul.
He also notes that Maul is out of print, and Sullivan is out of contract only eight years later.
Val Guichon at Valunivers

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