The Weeks that Were
Sunday, April 22, 2012
...well, almost a month, actually. And boy, was it a doozy.
In some semblence of order: the reviews since our last roundup, some events (old & new), and finally a couple of announcements from the other tentacles of our empire - the Kitschies and Pandemonium.
First up, a few reviews (definitely not enough):
- Kristen Britain's Blackveil (2011) (and the perils of prom-porn)
- David Anthony Durham's Acacia: The War with the Mein (2007) (and subverting from within)
- Mark Lawrence's Prince of Thorns (2011) (and can you push a protagonist too far?)
- Walt Sheldon's The Blue Kimono Kill (1965) and world-building without leaving Earth)
- Jason Starr's The Pack (2012) (and furry masculinity)
Our Friday Five guests have included Paul Cornell talking obscure TV with Magnus Anderson and Rebecca Levene, treasures in London's museums with Bex and Pandemonium's Esther Saxey and a selection of great tentacular book covers with Orbit's Lauren Panepinto.
As you might spot from the reviews above, we're currently working our way through the David Gemmell Legend Award shortlists. 6 down, 4 to go. We'll be covering The Heir of Night and The Alloy of Law this week. We've ordered the books by Mr. Orullian and Mr. King, but they haven't shown up yet - but we'll get there.
Events (Old & New)
So much has been written about EasterCon and Alt.Fiction that we don't feel the need to add our two cents (already a rare occurance). As with all events of that magnitude, some stuff went really well - some stuff went not so well. We were particularly delighted to see folks like Jenni Hill, Tom Pollock and Magnus Anderson pop up on panels - they're not exactly new faces in the community, but getting them up on stage is long overdue.
Being a finalist for the BSFA Non-Fiction award was, of course, a great honor. The right folks won, but it was very cool just to hear our names read from the big stage. Plus, we got free drinks and a chance to play with the (really, really hard) puzzle in the Green Room. Celebrity, however fleeting, is pretty awesome. (As for the rest of the ceremony, again, enough has been written about that elsewhere.)
We got to hang out with Gail Carriger, Deadly Knitshade and Plarchie (three of our favorite people) at Foyles. On a miserable Monday night (the last night of a Bank Holiday weekend, no less), fifty-odd people still showed up to eat cake, applaud authors and show off their magnificent costumes. Every time we get the opportunity to work with Steampunk fans, we are increasingly delighted by their sheer vivaciousness. Anyway, top-hats-with-squid-embossing off to you, ladies and gentlemen. And thanks to Orbit for organising!
May brings a new event, The Worlds of Tomorrow, also at Foyles, and sponsored by the Society of Authors. Philip Reeve, Sarah McIntyre, Moira Young, Steve Cole and Kim Lakin-Smith all star in a discussion of science fiction and young adult literature. The event is on 22nd May and, although free, it is ticketed, so move quickly. To celebrate, we'll be spending a lot of time in May talking about kids' stuff - with some great guest posts and interviews and competitions and everything.
Hey! Two new books came out! Pandemonium: Stories of the Smoke and its companion chapbook, Fire, were launched in a properly Dickensian pub basement on 4 April. There are loads of photos and even some video (walrus duel!) - a good write-up here, too. The print run is completely sold out (woohoo!), but eBooks for both Smoke and Fire are available on Amazon.
They're both really good. And (thankfully) other people think so too - reviews are in from Stuff & Nonsense and A Fantastical Librarian. Huzzah!
Upcoming Pandemonium titles include Lost Souls (August) and A Town Called Pandemonium (November). We've also announced two new chapbooks: Crossroads and 1853. And, pending contracts and artists, we'll have more coming... (Don't forget, Pandemonium news goes out to the mailing list first.)
Finally, we've had to bid adieu to the 2011 Kitschies and get started on 2012. We're sad to say that Lauren Beukes will not be one of the judges for the literary categories this year. Stepping up to the plate, however, is Mr. Patrick Ness, the winner of the 2011 Red Tentacle for A Monster Calls. Ms. Beukes shared some advice for Mr. Ness - you can read it, and his response, here.
We also have a new panel of judges for the cover art category, who will be announced next month. We've relaxed the eligibility requirements for the Inky Tentacle somewhat, please see the website for details.
We begin accepting submissions on 1 June and stop taking them on 1 December. (This means we'll need slightly advance copies of any December 2012 titles.) Shortlists announced next January, winners in February. Criteria and details are all on the website, please read carefully and, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us. Viva la Tentacle.