Friday Five: School Stories [Competition]
Underground Reading: Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones

The Weeks that Were

...and boy, were they.

We did manage to squeak in a review or two:

  • Rachel Aaron's The Spirit Thief (2010) (and why chatty heroes are a good thing)
  • Ethan Cross' The Shepherd (2012) (and why doingeverythingatonce doesn't always work so well)
  • Jon Courtenay Grimwood's Stamping Butterflies (2004) (and what we are trumping who we are) (a guest review by Tom Pollock)
  • James Maxey's Greatshadow (2012) (and why cosmic team-ups are such good fun)
  • Thomas Mullen's The Revisionists (2011) (and how history is out to get us)
  • Lavie Tidhar's Going to the Moon (2012) (and how to swear your way into a reader's heart)
  • Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's Darksword Adventures (1988) (and how dystopias keep the trains on time)
  • Walter Jon Williams' The Fourth Wall (2012) (and if a conspiracy falls in the forest and you're too self-absorbed to notice, does anyone care?)

What else?

We started off addressing the (rather delightful) news that we're finalists in the non-fiction category of the BSFA Awards. This is, of course, hilarious, as everything we write is a lie. Still, we appreciate the nomination very much, and look forward to annihilating the opposition. Democracy, shmedocracy, bring on the rollerball.

Plus, two competitions. Last week, lots of folks chimed with their favorite cyborg in a cyberbattle for Cyber Circus. This week, we invited you to pick your favorite fictional school, with the winner getting a signed copy of Scott Andrews' magnificent Children's Crusade. The competition is still going - be sure to chime in by Wednesday evening.

Lots of adventures out on the town these past weeks (our parole officers were snoozing). It began disastrously, but in a good way. We attended The Event and learned how to prepare ourselves for the apocalypse. Then we saw The Day the Earth Caught Fire (courtesy of the Royal Observatory) and learned that real reporters drink their way through it. We also attended the first Science Fiction Social at Waterstone's (hats off to the shop and the Arthur C. Clarke Award for organising). We're trying to plan ahead for the next few months, with predictably haphazard results.

Meanwhile, our other tentacles remain busy. The Gothic Evening, hosted by The Kitschies (that's us, dressed formally!) approaches (8 March). Jared kicked off the guest posts on Charing Cross Read with his introduction to the spooked semi-kinda-meta-genre. Over the next two weeks, loads of interesting people will be haunting the Blackwell's site, sharing their thoughts on all things fanged and fantastic.

Pre-orders for Stories of the Smoke have gone ridiculously (disturbingly) well, with over 2/3s gone. We'll put the brakes on orders soon, lest we not have any left for the launch. A good problem to have, honestly. 

Stick around - over the next two weeks we'll have previews of Smoke (wooooo), a stack of reviews (shaping up to be heavy on crime & fantasy) and other stuff (yeah, we don't know either).