BSFA Nominees So Far: Best Non-Fiction

Slightly later than planned, here’s the current list of works which have received at least one nomination in the Best Non-Fiction category.

  • The The Wonderful Future That Never Was: Flying Cars, Mail Delivery by Parachute, and Other Predictions from the Past by Gregory Benford (Hearst)
  • Blogging the Hugos” parts 1-4 by Paul Kincaid (Big Other)
  • Review of With Both Feet in the Clouds: Fantasy in Hebrew Literature, edited by Hagar Yanai and Danielle Gurevitch, by Abigail Nussbaum
  • From Utopia to Apocalypse: Science Fiction and the Politics of Catastrophe by Peter Y Paik (University of Minnesota Press)
  • The Outer Alliance Podcast 1, Julia Rios
  • Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in Space by Mary Roach (Oneworld Publications)
  • Review of The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, by Adam Roberts (Punkadiddle)
  • Red Plenty by Francis Spufford (Faber)
  • The Notes From Coode Street podcast, by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K Wolfe
  • Chicks Dig Time Lords ed. Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O’Shea. (Mad Norwegian Press)

Some interesting nominations there, notably Red Plenty and the podcasts. Wonder if any of them will make the ballot? But also a relatively small selection compared to some previous years. What’s missing? There’s still time to send your nominations to

BSFA Nominees So Far: Best Artwork

With just a few days to go (midnight on Friday) until nominations close for this year’s BSFA Awards, the Awards Administrator Donna Scott has been diligently posting lists of the nominees so far on the BSFA forum. To provide an excuse to remind you all several times to email her with your nominations, I’m going to post one category per day here, starting with Best Artwork — for which you can find some additional suggestions here and here.

So, the list of all artworks that have received at least one nomination currently looks like this:

  • Cover of Conflicts, ed. Ian Whates (Newcon Press) by Andy Bigwood
  • Cover of A Capella Zoo 5 (“Acrobats”) by Martha Brouer
  • Cover of Silversands by Gareth L Powell (Pendragon Press) by Vincent Chong
  • Cover of Shine ed. Jetse de Vries (Solaris) by Vincent Chong
  • Illustration for “Flying in the Face of God” by Nina Allen (in Interzone)
  • Cover of Crossed Genres 21 (“A Deafened Plea for Peace”) by Ben Greene
  • Cover of Fun with Rainbows by Gareth Owens (Immersion Press), by Charlie Harbour
  • Cover of The Immersion Book of SF ed. Carmelo Rafala (Immersion Press), by Charlie Harbour
  • Cover of Engineman by Eric Brown (Solaris), by Dominic Harman
  • Cover of The Noise Within by Ian Whates (Solaris), by Dominic Harman
  • Cover of Cats Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut (Gollancz), by Dominic Harman
  • Cover of Zoo City by Lauren Beukes (Angry Robot), by Joey Hifi
  • Cover of Rigor Amortis (Absolute Xpress) by Robert Nixon
  • Cover of Elric: Swords and Roses by Michael Moorcock (Del Rey), by Jon Picacio
  • Cover of Clarkesworld 44, by Rodrigo Ramos
  • Cover of Go Mutants by Larry Doyle (HarperCollins), by Owen Smith
  • Cover of Crossed Genres 17 (“Our Hell”) by Tania Sousa Ribeiro
  • Cover of The Voyage of the Sable Keech by Neil Asher (Tor UK), by Jon Sullivan
  • Cover of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (Corvus), Unknown
  • Cover of The Holy Machine by Chris Beckett (Corvus), Unknown
  • Cover of Finch by Jeff VanderMeer (Corvus), Unknown
  • Cover of Lightborn by Tricia Sullivan (Orbit), Unknown
  • Cover of The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang (Subterranean), Christian Pearce
  • Cover of The Stories of Ibis by Hiroshi Yamamoto (Haikasoru), by Natsuki Lee
  • Cover of Music for Another World ed. Mark Harding (Mutation), Unknown
  • Cover of The Habitation of the Blessed by Catherynne M Valente (Night Shade Books), by Rebecca Guay, design by Cody Tilson.
  • Cover of Feed by Mira Grant (Orbit), Unknown
  • Cover of Version 43 by Philip Palmer, Unknown
  • Cover of Cthulhurotica (Dagon Books), by Oliver Wetter
  • Cover of The Future Fire 20, by Rebecca Whitaker
  • Cover of New Model Army by Adam Roberts (Gollancz), by Blacksheep

The Habitation of the Linked

For perhaps the final time, at least here (once again, I’m shifting over to the Strange Horizons blog):

BSFA/SFX Weekender Ticket Giveaway

The BSFA have secured some free tickets for members courtesy of the generous folk at SFX, who are giving us 20 sets of four tickets to the fabulous SFX Weekender to give away to BSFA Members.

Entry requirements:

Simply email with your name, BSFA membership number and telephone number quoting SFXBSFA in the message body to be in with a chance. Tickets are allocated on a first come first served basis, so be quick and fire off that email.

If you do not know your BSFA number or if you join the BSFA within the next 7 days then you can still apply and be in with a chance.

Winners will be notified in 7 days of this announcement.

About the tickets:

The weekend passes would be for four people per member, and give access to the event for the two main days (Friday and Saturday). They are worth £96 each (£384 in total) and can be seen at

Unlike many conventions/festivals there is also a residential option to stay on site at the event. These are not included in the competition tickets, but you may upgrade at cost price if you wish. Accommodation upgrades are available from £60 per person for the weekend.

Also available are signing passes for autographs, which winners get for £20, instead of £30.

About SFX Weekender:

An interview with Shana Worthen

As promised, here’s a short interview with Shana Worthen, Vector’s incoming Features Editor, whose first issue, to which I am very much looking forward, should be out shortly after my last. You can find her current online home here. And many thanks to her for taking the time to answer my questions.

How did you get involved with the BSFA?

I started with the London pub meetings. I moved back to London from Toronto in early July of 2005 and my first BSFA pub night was later that month. After a year of attending, I became a member. It was shareware logic: pay for something after I have already had my money’s worth — not that memberships actually subsidize the meetings. How I first heard of the pub nights, I don’t specifically know, but I had been looking for regular fannish meetings here before I moved over. My inbox tells me that I started following Ansible in that May, so that’s a possibility.

What are your interests within sf?

Novels, poetry, and criticism, primarily. i also really like tie-in reference books! I have a small but growing accumulation of science fictionally-related cookbooks, for example. Movies, occasionally. I am very much interested in science fiction-related artwork, especially landscapes and maps, but can’t say I follow it in any systematic way at this point.

I often read through self-imposed projects, whether an award-related list or a friend’s set of recommendations. For the last several years, I’ve been getting to know the subgenre of science fiction romance in particular. I’m currently reading a short list of books recommended by a friend as a way of getting to know some of the more recent American science fiction publications.

Although I have caught at least one episode per season of Doctor Who, I don’t usually remember to watch television series. I grew up without a television and still have poor televisual instincts. iPlayer is useful, but only if I’m reminded in time to catch something. I did have a long spell back in Toronto of watching lots of anime, but most of it had not been broadcast locally in the first place.

And what do you do outside sf?

Professionally, I’m a historian of medieval technology. It still seems improbable that my day job is teaching online for a university on the other side of the ocean, but it’s true.

Food is my major hobby. I love eating good things, and will cook if need be to have them. I love trying new restaurants, and reading food criticism and related essays and blogs. I mostly read cookbooks rather than cook from them. This also explains my science fiction cookbooks, many of which are only partially designed to be cooked with. I’ve been thinking a lot in the last year about why science fiction and fantasy tend to be so conservative in its use of food technologies. I’ve been dabbling in related academic work too: I have an article coming out next year on smoked foods in fantasy literature.

I like seeing new places, whether industrial tourism, museums, or countryside. I like theatrical musicals, drawing with watercolour pencils, and photographing reflections.

What plans do you have for Vector? What can we expect from your first issue?

My plan is to try to live up to the standard set in the last few years! I will be trying for clusters of related articles rather than the entire themed issues, however.

I’m starting off with the usual year-in-review issue, so the majority of the content will be looking back at 2010. I am happy to report that there will also be two new columns appearing in my first issue. Paul Kincaid is writing one which will revisit older short stories. Terry Martin began a column on graphic novels and comics for Matrix which will now be appearing regularly in Vector. Also, Anthony Nanson has an article on an Arthurian trilogy by Stephen Lawhead.

Are you looking for any sort of submission in particular?

Although Vector‘s focus will remain primarily on text, I would love to see interesting and varied submissions which look at science fiction more broadly. For example, I would love to read more critical work on science fiction drama and science fictional art exhibits. I’d be interested in seeing articles on the relationship between original texts and their adaptations, whether to film or graphic novel. I am actively looking for more articles on science fiction poetry.

Any submission I can learn something from is a good one.

How can people contact you?

I’ll be taking over the email address soon; is my usual email address.


Happy new year, everybody — hope you had a great break, and got plenty of reading done. I did, on both counts, although I haven’t yet read a single word of fiction this year, because I’ve been preoccupied with getting some things ready for Strange Horizons’ first issue of the year. There are some changes to our schedule and pay rates, detailed here, and we’re recruiting for a few positions, which you can find details of here.

But more importantly from the point of view of Torque Control, we’ve raised the Strange Horizons blog up to become a permanent part of the site. I’ll be blogging over there regularly from now on, and since my final issue of Vector is being prepared for printing at the moment, this seems as good a time as any to start phasing out my posting here. I’ll be around until the deadline passes for this year’s BSFA Award nominations — deadline midnight, on Friday 14th January — and possibly around intermittently after that, but I’ll be handing over to the incoming features editor, Shana Worthen, and the occasional post from Martin in his guise as reviews editor. We’ll kick things off tomorrow, with a post in which I interview Shana about her plans for the magazine.