Science fiction and fantasy                                            


News and events

Symphony of War Declared
The second novel in the Kaddon Keys series is available in ebook.

WFC 2013
Impressions from the World Fantasy Convention held in Brighton in 2013.

Threat Of Massive Closures To Lincolnshire Libraries
Lincolnshire County Council plan to shut down two thirds of Lincolnshire libraries, and to slash mobile library services. They must be stopped.

The BFS Award Nominations, And A Hiatus
This is possibly the best kind of jury duty there is.

FantasyCon 2012
The annual convention of the BFS at Brighton was the first convention to feature a dance-off between Joe Abercrombie and Tom Pollock. It may not be the last.

The In-Between Musical
A new fantasy musical concept album launches, but will Laura Tisdall get to put it on the stage?

SFF Imprints Launching
Berkley UK will debut, and Elsewhen Press is to expand into print.

Novacon 41
The 41st Novacon convention, held in Nottingham, featured John Meaney as Guest of Honour.

Eastercon 2011
Pictures from the 62nd Illustrious Eastercon at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham.

Genre for Japan
The science fiction, fantasy and horror community is rallying in support of the people of Japan hit by the devastating earthquake and tsunami and its aftermath.

An Interview With John Beachem
John riffs on zombies, trilogies and his plans for The Lorradda Stone, and the Dumbledore and Gandalf deathmatch in this interview.

British Fantasy Awards 2010
Pictures and results from the award ceremony of the British Fantasy Society.

The Heady Heights of Book Reviewing
Take a peek into the Headline offices, where bloggers were let loose on defenceless authors for the Headline Meets Online do on the 24th March.

Lincoln Book Festival 2011

14th May 2011

Lincoln Drill Hall  

Lincoln Drill Hall

Claire Kinton and R. H. Stewart  

Claire Kinton and R. H. Stewart

Claire Kinton  

Claire Kinton

G. L. Twynham

G. L. Twynham

Cathy Brett 

Cathy Brett

The Drill Hall

Saturday May 14th was Children's Festival Day at the eighth Lincoln Book Festival, and I was privileged to meet a lot of fascinating people writing YA and children's fiction. The event took place at the Lincoln Drill Hall, although there was a bit of a snafu about this. Originally it was billed for The Lawns. When I arrived there with my family we weren't the only ones wandering around bewildered and lost, wondering why the venue was closed and there were no signposts or notices explaining what was going on.

One trek down Steep Hill later and we found the right place. We knew it was right because it was like wandering into a fancy dress party, which is how all children's book fairs should be. Authors, publicists and wandering drama groups had gone to a great deal of effort to put on a show.

Claire Kinton dressed as an angel to represent her characters in the fantasy Dead Game, whilst R. H. Stewart donned his top hat to illustrate his historical fantasies, which mix action from a diverse range of eras.


Total E-Bound swag

  Richard Denning  

Richard Denning

Richard Denning has written a number of historical fantasies and time travel adventures for children. His military uniform reminded me of the upsurge in interest in steampunk-style books. There were other authors in good costumes as well, but I didn't get a chance to snap them all.

The Green Blue Room

Although the Drill Hall was host to the children's festival, the atmosphere in the Green Room was distinctly adults-only. This was where Total E-Bound were hiding out. They sell romance, with a slant towards explicit and paranormal tales. Most of their releases are in ebooks, but they do produce paperbacks as well.

I had a chat with Claire Siemaszkiewicz, the director of this Lincoln-based publishing enterprise. She was very positive about the prospects for e-publishing in the future, noting the rise and rise of ebooks in the bestseller lists. Hard to argue with that.

Total E-Bound certainly had an enormous amount of tasty promotional swag on offer: USB lockets, bath bombs, pens, free ebooks and a tower of cupcakes. If cupcakes were any measure of literary success, then they've got it made.

Out in Waterstones G. L. Twynham was signing copies of her books, The Turncoats and The Thirteenth. Georgia told me she's a very visual writer, preferring to view her books almost as movies in her head.

The Importance of Visuals

Later in the day I met Cathy Brett, who was signing copies of her Scarlett Dedd books at the Drill Hall in the afternoon. Like G. L. Twynham she's another very visual writer, and we had a discussion about the importance of using images to get kids involved in books. One of the great things about the Scarlett Dedd books is how richly illustrated they are, almost crossing the line into graphic novels. They also come with book trailers. I'm convinced that trailers are essential for getting children hooked on books, because the audiovisual element makes the stories much more immediately accessible. I hope their use will spread to become the norm in YA publishing.

© Ros Jackson