Thanks to the assistance of yet another layout volunteer, Vector 271, the last issue of 2012, will be coming out in January 2013, along with a guest-edited version of Focus. Vector 272 should follow a month or two later, along with the BSFA Award Booklet.

BSFA Awards Nominations

The deadline for the BSFA Awards Nominations is January 13, 2013. BSFA members should nominate early and often!  Works currently nominated are available to peruse here. Don’t take for granted that if your favourite sf book, short story, work of non-fiction, or artwork is on that list that it will receive enough nominations to make the shortlists. Equally, if a work worthy of nomination isn’t on that list, consider it your personal responsibility to nominate it so that it is.

Divine Endurance: Flowerdust Edition

Gwyneth Jones has revised her first sf novel, Divine Endurance, collating it with its companion novel Flowerdust. Divine Endurance was the first novel published under her own name, in 1984. The edited pair are available and, more specifically, available for free today on Amazon.co.uk!

Imagining London

I apologise for recent silence around here. On top of various bits of Life, I was thrown by the resignation of Martin McGrath.

If anyone could have been said to have been doing too much for the BSFA, it was he, inasmuch as he was single-handedly dealing with a good half of the organisation’s day-to-day business, from editing Focus, to storing any extra publication copies, to mailing out new member’s packs, to doing all design and layout for all of the BSFA’s publications and liaising with the printer. (And that’s not all.)  It’s far more than any one person should need to do for one organisation, and it’ll take at least three new committee members to replace him!

Insofar as Vector is concerned, his resignation meant that the publication schedule for the next issue (due out in June or early July) was put in doubt, as at least some of its contributors are aware.

The good news is that we now have a volunteer, as a one-off, to do layout for this next issue of Vector: so this issue definitely happening, and on schedule too at this rate! And I’m excited about the contents – this issue has articles from an exciting group of contributors! (To whom I still owe many edits – coming soon, now that the issue is back on track!) (This is no guarantee that the following issue of Vector will be coming out on time, however. That depends on one or more additional, as yet not-found, volunteers.)

However, as a caveat, it’s up to me, as features editor, and any other willing volunteers, to track down, volunteer, and recruit any and all images to be used in this issue, from the cover art to all the interiors. Without imagery, the issue can still go ahead – but it will look notably image-free!

The theme of this forthcoming issue is “London & SF”, as proposed by James Bacon, as a tie-in to the London in 2014 Worldcon bid.

The cover art will be in full colour, but otherwise, reproductions will be in black and white.  Do you have drawings, photographs, and paintings you’ve made yourself and can grant permission for their use in this one issue of Vector, whether in print or PDF?  Suggestions of artists who might be willing to contribute to this issue? Ideas of other legal and appropriate ways to illustrate this issue?

Can you help?

Looking ahead

We’ve gotten a bit behind with plans here at Torque Control. I’ve had a busy end-of-semester, and Niall and Tony both ended up over-committed, which is why you haven’t seen the end (or in one case, beginning) of discussions of Farthing and The Carhullan Army. I can’t tell you when those posts will be along, but I can tell you the following…

I have a special preview of the next Vector for you tomorrow. The issue itself was as waylaid as this blog, but you should still have it before the end of January. In the meantime, tomorrow I’ll be posting an article which will appear in the print issue when it comes out, but which you really need to read much sooner than that: Andrew Butler’s writeup of the John Martin: Apocalypse show which is currently at the Tate in London, but closes January 15th.

Next week, I’ll be posting on Lavinia.

Then, two weeks later, in January, I’ll post about Gwyneth Jones’ Spirit. Shortly after which, you should be receiving the next BSFA mailing, about which much more anon.

Five years of Torque Control

Five years and two days ago, Niall began Torque Control as the Vector editors’ blog.

1029 published posts (as of this one), 9208 comments, and 621 tags later, and it still is. Not much, perhaps, compared to Vector‘s 53 years, but by blog standards, it’s done very nicely indeed.

Thanks to all of you for five years of comments and community!

World Fantasy Award Winners

Aaannnd … we’re back. And how better to celebrate than with a set of award winners?

Novel: Ysabel, Guy Gavriel Kay (Viking Canada/Penguin Roc)
Novella: Illyria, Elizabeth Hand (PS Publishing)
Short Story: “Singing of Mount Abora”, Theodora Goss (Logorrhea, Bantam Spectra)
Anthology: Inferno: New Tales of Terror and the Supernatural, Ellen Datlow, Editor (Tor)
Collection: Tiny Deaths, Robert Shearman (Comma Press)
Artist: Edward Miller
Special Award, Professional: Peter Crowther for PS Publishing
Special Award, Non-Professional: Midori Snyder and Terri Windling for Endicott Studios Website

Congratulations to all, and now I really have to get around to reading my copies of Ysabel and Illyria.

In other news, the holiday was lovely. We were in this house and had many books to read, although most of my time was taken up by one huge book, namely A Suitable Boy. (I probably won’t get around to writing anything substantive about it, but you could do worse than check out Victoria’s review at Eve’s Alexandria.) There was also time for a side-trip to Hay-on-Wye, where I think we were remarkably restrained, and where Liz spotted a particularly good example of mis-shelving.

Coming later this week: other stuff.

The Gone Away Links

And now, to Wales!

Which is to say that having finished inflicting 12,000 words about various fantasy novels on you (and sent all the content for the next issue of Vector off to be laid out), I’m going to spend a week in a house near here with a bunch of friends, reading books, eating large meals, and going for the occasional walk. Liz is one of said friends, so it’s going to be pretty quiet around here for the next seven days. Hence: some links.

First, things that have been posted here recently, for ease of reference:

And now, things of interest elsewhere:

When I return: a review of The Knife of Never Letting Go, a discussion about The Ant King and Other Stories, and quite possibly some polls. Have a fun week, everyone!


In a week where one blog I read regularly shut up shop (for now? he said, impishly) and another expressed general boredom with the blogosphere, and given that I haven’t been posting much for the last few weeks, I figure it probably wouldn’t hurt to say: I aten’t dead, or bored, I’m just busy.

August was a sufficiently busy month that I managed to read a grand total of three books, and though I’ve done a bit better this month, that’s mostly because I’ve been the sort of busy that allows me to factor in reading time (i.e. train journeys). Between Vector (the next issue of which should be going to the printers in a week or two, which means hitting doormats in about a month) and SH reviews (which I’ve now been running for just over three years — where does the time go?) I’ve not had much time for writing of my own, although I do have a review of Anathem coming up at IROSF, and a review of Michael Chabon’s Maps and Legends in the next issue of Fruitless Recursion. I’m also behind on email, so please bear with me if you’re waiting for a response on something. I’ve not even had much time for TV — I haven’t seen Heroes yet, and though I’ve fallen in love with The Middleman I’ve only watched half a dozen episodes.

However, it looks like — famous last words — things might be quietening down a bit, and I’ve got a bunch of stuff in the pipeline for here. I’ve been running a discussion about Flood, which is just waiting for final contributions, and hope to get discussions about Karen Joy Fowler’s Wit’s End and Anathem done soonish. I’m working on a series of posts about Sword & Sorcery/Heroic Fantasy, inspired by the lovely reissues of some of the Gollancz Fantasy Masterworks earlier this year. So far I’ve got draft posts about The Broken Sword, Elric, Joanna Russ’s The Adventures of Alyx, and The Steel Remains, all of which need polishing, and some of which need me to do a bit more background reading. I’m also debating adding Lankhmar to the series, although that would delay posting it even longer. (I was originally planning to get them up at the end of August.) I also have a post about Gwyneth Jones’ late-eighties novel Kairos drafted, and posts about Benjamin Rosenbaum’s collection The Ant King and Other Stories and Ian R MacLeod’s new novel Song of Time gestating; the latter may end up combined with thoughts on the book I’m reading now, Paul McAuley’s The Quiet War, given that both have made me think about strategies for describing future history. Or, it may not. Other stuff I want to get to soon or soon-ish: the rest of the October/November F&SF; Blonde Roots by Bernadine Evaristo; and the recent Chris Beckett special issue of Interzone.

Of course, the thing that’s got lost in all this is the Baroque Cycle Reading Group. I have to admit, I don’t know when I’m going to get round to The Confusion; I was sufficiently unenthused by Quicksilver that it’s a matter of making time for it. Liz had nobly volunteered to write the post about it, but I gather she’s had computer woes and probably lost the draft she’d been working on. But if there’s still an appetite for discussion (it had seemed to be dropping off quite dramatically with each installment), I’ll bump it back up the reading stack. Thoughts?

A Panel I Would Like To Attend

As noted here, from the Wiscon schedule:

How Much Is Too Much?
“Unless we’re reading or writing about a utopia, the societies in our fantasy worlds are going to have problems. In fact, a culture without problems invariably comes off as shallow and unrealistic. Does this mean we need to include things like sexism and racism if we want to tell a believable story? And if so, are we, as authors, guilty of perpetuating whatever-ism in the real world?”
Monday, 8:30-9:45 A.M. (Assembly)
M: Sarah Monette, Catherynne M. Valente, Gregory Rihn, Elissa Malcohn, L. Timmel Duchamp

Alas, no Wiscon for me this year, so I’ll have to rely on panel reports from people keen enough to get up for an 8.30 am Monday panel. But it’s a topic I’ve been thinking about off and on since the question came up in the discussion of Martin’s review of Red Seas Under Red Skies last year, and thinking about it this week in particular having just finished Richard Morgan’s The Steel Remains, which takes a diametrically opposite position to Lynch.

In other news, I’ve gotten around to doing something I’ve been meaning to do for ages, which is to give Liz the ability to post here. Other additions may follow; this was always meant to be a Vector blog rather than just my blog, after all (Liz, as I’m sure I don’t need to point out for most of you, has been production editor for the last year or so).