Focus

The BSFA is looking for a new team member to work on Focus, especially handling the layout. Someone with experience of InDesign or Publisher would be ideal, but we can help you to learn the ropes. It’s a great opportunity to gain some entry level editorial experience, and to be part of a future-facing fan association, encouraging and promoting SF in all its forms. For more information, contact Donna at chair@bsfa.co.uk.

Space Age: Mapping’s Intelligent Agents

Navigational chart from the Marshall Islands, made of wood, sennit fiber, and cowrie shells. [Wikimedia/UC Berkeley]

With the stakes so high, we need to keep asking critical questions about how machines conceptualize and operationalize space. How do they render our world measurable, navigable, usable, conservable? […] In a coming age of robot warfare and policing, we could see designers specializing in the creation of robot-illegible worlds rather than machine-readable ones […]

Shannon Mattern: ‘Mapping’s Intelligent Agents’ at Places.

Sputnik Award: The Final

By Jo Lindsay Walton.

Some time in early 2016, I and a few others decided to set up an award for speculative fiction, the Sputnik Awards. The idea was to do things a little differently, and to spark thinking about what literary awards can and should be. Or, um, shouldn’t be. Because we are so very scrupulous in our awarding, we are only now ready … almost ready! … to announce the winner. So without any further ado, here is some further ado, giving the story so far:

And the winner is …

Elsewhere:

Trivia:

The Sputnik Award 2016 was primarily a popular award (voted for by about 200 fans, mostly courtesy of File 770’s signal boost) with just a tincture of a juried award (I chose the shortlist, mostly guided by the shortlists of other then-major awards).

The name Sputnik, by the way, came courtesy of Ian Sales, although he had something a bit different in mind and is blameless in this affair. The notion that the Sputniks could do this genre-jump for its final showdown, from dungeoncrawl to duel, came from Zali Krishna and Christina Scholz. Christina happens to be published here this week: check out her article, “Superhero_ines: Rebooted Comics and Trans* Identity.”

“Not everything I write is covered in bees”: Adrian Tchaikovsky interviewed by Ian Whates

Wasp - Transparent Background

The BSFA holds regular events in London, usually on the last Wednesday of the month, at the Artillery Arms near Old Street. These events are free, and open to members and non-members alike. Keep an eye on the BSFA website for news of future events. In February 2017, Ian Whates caught up with SF and fantasy novelist Adrian Tchaikovsky. Andrew Wallace chronicles the encounter …

Adrian Tchaikovsky is known for his ten-volume epic fantasy series, Shadows of the Apt, whose clashing civilisations are based around insect species. More recently, Adrian has been lauded for his science fiction, with his novel Children of Time winning the 2016 Clarke Award. Children of Time starts from the premise of a nano-virus sent across the stars to seed life on a distant world. Unexpectedly, it is the spiders and ants – species meant to play mere bit parts in the glorious epic of mammalian expansion – who get sped towards sentience, and the kind of richly detailed space-faring society that great SF does so well.

So the question we all want to ask Adrian Tchaikovsky is: what’s with the bugs?

Continue reading ““Not everything I write is covered in bees”: Adrian Tchaikovsky interviewed by Ian Whates”

Nominate for the BSFA Awards

Nominations for the BSFA Awards are now open! Members of the BSFA can nominate in four categories:

  • Best Novel
  • Best Short Fiction
  • Best Non-Fiction
  • Best Artwork

Read about the Awards on the BSFA site, then get nominating. You only get a limited number of nominations, but if you have a lot of love for SFF in 2017, you can always spill over into the informal suggestions spreadsheet. If you’re not yet a BSFA member, here’s where you can rectify that.

This is also a good moment to remember last year’s winners:

Cover art by Sarah Anne Langton