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1
News / J.J. Abrams Talks Star Wars Episode VII.
« on: March 24, 2013, 02:13:28 PM »
Mention the name JJ Abrams and there’s one question that immediately barges all others aside: what’s the plan for Episode VII? While he was able to approach Star Trek with a detached objectivity, how will he, as a huge Star Wars fan approach Star Wars' bold new era? Empire put that question to the man himself when we recently sat down with him at his Bad Robot offices in LA.
 
http://www.empireonline.com/news/story.asp?NID=36884

2
Bean is to play a hero called Stinger, a Han Solo-like character written. He joins Eddie Redmayne, Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis in the science fiction film, Jupiter Ascending.

http://www.deadline.com/2013/02/sean-bean-joins-lana-and-andy-wachowskis-jupiter-ascending-at-warners/

3
Press Releases / Walking Dead 'Starved for Help'.
« on: June 29, 2012, 07:43:42 AM »
Telltale Games and Robert Kirkman, the Eisner Award-winning creator and writer of The Walking Dead, announced today that, 'Starved for Help', the second episode of the game series based on the comic book series, The Walking Dead, is now available for download.

In this game, players get the chance to see how their story continues based on the decisions that they made in episode one, 'A New Day.'

Episode 2 – Starved for Help is now available to download on Xbox LIVE® Arcade for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, followed on Friday, June 29th on PlayStation®Network for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system (*North America. Other territories coming soon).  The PC and Mac versions of the episode will also be available to download on June 29 from the in-game menu.

'Starved for Help', met with critical praise at the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), winning GameSpy's Best Adventure Game award. IGN.com nominated 'Starved for Help' for Best Xbox 360 Game, Best PC Game, Best PS3 Game, Biggest Surprise, and Overall Best Game of Show, saying "…'gut-wrenching' doesn't even begin to describe Episode 2". Official Xbox Magazine said that Episode Two is "…promising even more intensity than its nerve-jangling predecessor."

The Walking Dead is set in the world of Robert Kirkman's award-winning comic book series.  Lee Everett, a man convicted of a crime of passion, has been given the chance for redemption in a world devastated by the undead. Players experience life changing events, meet new characters and familiar ones from the original comic, and also visit locations that foreshadow the story of Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes. The Walking Dead offers a tailored game experience - player actions, choices, and decisions affect how the story plays out across the entire series.

The Walking Dead: Episode Two - Starved for Help is the second in a series of five episodes. Each episode is available for 400 Microsoft®Points on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace for Xbox 360® and for $4.99 per episode or as a $19.99 season pass on PlayStation®Network. The Walking Dead is also available as a $24.99 five-episode season pass on PC and Mac from the Telltale Online Store and other digital outlets.

The Walking Dead: Episode Two - Starved for Help is rated 'M' (Mature) for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, and Strong Language by the ESRB.

For more information on the game, visit the official website, Facebook, and follow Telltale Games on Twitter. For more information on The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman, and all of his titles, visit www.Skybound.com.

4
Transworld editorial director Simon Taylor bought UK and Commonwealth rights to The City, described as "a fantasy on an epic scale", plus a sequel, from Howard Morhaim of the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. The City will be published in spring 2013.

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/transworld-publish-solo-novel-stella-gemmell.html

5
News / Eastercon memberships now closed - no sales on the door.
« on: March 27, 2012, 11:42:56 PM »
This year’s British National Science Fiction Convention is full! Congratulations to the team on its popularity. “We have reached maximum number of members for the convention,” explains the announcement on the Eastercon website. “Booking for convention memberships is now closed. We’re sorry if you wanted to join and haven’t been able to, but we hope you will understand why – for both the convention’s and the fans’ sake – we have had to take this decision.” Memberships will not be available on the door.

http://www.sfx.co.uk/2012/03/28/eastercon-memberships-now-closed/

6
Press Releases / Harry Potter books now on Kindle
« on: March 27, 2012, 10:58:31 AM »
J.K. Rowling’s fans have been waiting for her series to be available as Kindle books and today, Amazon.com, Inc. announced that the English-language versions of all seven Harry Potter books are now available worldwide to read all Kindle devices and the free Kindle apps, through a distribution agreement with J.K. Rowling’s new website and eBook shop Pottermore.

Customers will be able to search and find books in the Harry Potter series in the Kindle Store. They can visit the detail pages for the books and will be directed to the Pottermore Shop where they will have the option to purchase the titles and seamlessly push them to their Kindle Library, and to every Kindle device and Kindle app a customer has.

“For years our customers have loved reading Harry Potter books in print, and have made them the best-selling print book series on Amazon.com,” said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content. “We’re excited that Harry Potter fans worldwide are now able to read J.K. Rowling’s fantastic books on their Kindles and free Kindle reading apps.”

Foreign-language versions of the books will be available for customers through Kindle Stores worldwide in the coming weeks. To start shopping for books in the Harry Potter series, customers can visit the Kindle Store (www.amazon.com/kindlestore or www.amazon.com/pottermore).

7
News / Wrath Of The Titans: 5 new clips.
« on: March 27, 2012, 06:16:34 AM »
A decade after his heroic defeat of the monstrous Kraken, Perseus is attempting to live a quieter life as a village fisherman and the sole parent to his 10-year-old son, Helius. Meanwhile, a struggle for supremacy rages between the gods and the Titans.

http://www.sfx.co.uk/2012/03/27/wrath-of-the-titans-5-clips/

8
News / Netflix Rescue Bid For Terra Nova Fails.
« on: March 27, 2012, 03:46:12 AM »
Sorry to say we told you so, but we told you so. Prehistoric drama Terra Nova now looks as dead as a dino, as a tentative rescue plan by Internet streaming service Netflix has come to nothing, reports TV Guide.

http://www.sfx.co.uk/2012/03/27/netflix-rescue-bid-for-terra-nova-fails/

9
From the Village Voice... "Frederick read our March 12 story about the troubling connections between Scientology's alleged abuses and an administrator of the contest, which the church owns. He announced in our comments section some stunning news: "After reading Tony's article and the comments, I decided to sever my Writers of the Future ties and forgo the free trip/vacation in L.A."

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2012/03/scientology_contest_loses_carl_frederick.php

10
I see what you mean. Let's hope if this asteroid is an ELE that NASA have got Bruce Willis ready to go!

11
Press Releases / NASA study suggests watery Martian underground
« on: November 02, 2011, 02:00:00 PM »
A new NASA study suggests if life ever existed on Mars, the longest lasting habitats were most likely below the Red Planet's surface.

A new interpretation of years of mineral-mapping data, from more than 350 sites on Mars examined by European and NASA orbiters, suggests Martian environments with abundant liquid water on the surface existed only during short episodes. These episodes occurred toward the end of hundreds of millions of years during which warm water interacted with subsurface rocks. This has implications about whether life existed on Mars and how its atmosphere has changed.

"The types of clay minerals that formed in the shallow subsurface are all over Mars," said John Mustard, professor at Brown University in Providence, R.I. Mustard is a co-author of the study in the journal Nature. "The types that formed on the surface are found at very limited locations and are quite rare."

Discovery of clay minerals on Mars in 2005 indicated the planet once hosted warm, wet conditions. If those conditions existed on the surface for a long era, the planet would have needed a much thicker atmosphere than it has now to keep the water from evaporating or freezing. Researchers have sought evidence of processes that could cause a thick atmosphere to be lost over time.

This new study supports an alternative hypothesis that persistent warm water was confined to the subsurface and many erosional features were carved during brief periods when liquid water was stable at the surface.

"If surface habitats were short-term, that doesn't mean we should be glum about prospects for life on Mars, but it says something about what type of environment we might want to look in," said the report's lead author, Bethany Ehlmann, assistant professor at the California Institute of Technology and scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. "The most stable Mars habitats over long durations appear to have been in the subsurface. On Earth, underground geothermal environments have active ecosystems."

The discovery of clay minerals by the OMEGA spectrometer on the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter added to earlier evidence of liquid Martian water. Clays form from the interaction of water with rock. Different types of clay minerals result from different types of wet conditions.

During the past five years, researchers used OMEGA and NASA's Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer, or CRISM, instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to identify clay minerals at thousands of locations on Mars. Clay minerals that form where the ratio of water interacting with rock is small generally retain the same chemical elements as the original volcanic rocks later altered by the water.

The study interprets this to be the case for most terrains on Mars with iron and magnesium clays. In contrast, surface environments with higher ratios of water to rock can alter rocks further. Soluble elements are carried off by water, and different aluminum-rich clays form.

Another clue is detection of a mineral called prehnite. It forms at temperatures above about 400 degrees Fahrenheit (about 200 degrees Celsius). These temperatures are typical of underground hydrothermal environments rather than surface waters.

"Our interpretation is a shift from thinking that the warm, wet environment was mostly at the surface to thinking it was mostly in the subsurface, with limited exceptions," said Scott Murchie of Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., a co-author of the report and principal investigator for CRISM.

One of the exceptions may be Gale Crater, the site targeted by NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission. Launching this year, the Curiosity rover will land and investigate layers that contain clay and sulfate minerals.

NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission, or MAVEN, in development for a 2013 launch, may provide evidence for or against this new interpretation of the Red Planet's environmental history. The report predicts MAVEN findings consistent with the atmosphere not having been thick enough to provide warm, wet surface conditions for a prolonged period.

12
Apex welcomes new editor-in-chief Lynne M. Thomas (a 2010 Hugo Award-winner for the nonfiction anthology Chicks Dig Timelords). This issue contains 30k of content, including new short stories by Elizabeth Bear and Catherynne M. Valente. Subscriptions to the magazine can be bought for $19.95 (12 issues) or single copies are $2.99. More information at http://apex-magazine.com.

Full table of contents below:

Fiction:
"The Leavings of the Wolf" by Elizabeth Bear
"The Bread We Eat in Dreams" by Catherynne M. Valente

Classic Revisited:
 "This Creeping Thing" by Robert Shearman

Poetry:
"Lion Heart" by Tim Pratt
"Swallowing the Moon" by Bryan Thao Worra
"Wight" by Bryan Thao Worra

Nonfiction:
"Editorial: Blood on Vellum" by Lynne M. Thomas
"Editorial: Good-bye" by Catherynne M. Valente
"The Australian Dark Weird" by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Interviews:
Lynne M. Thomas
Scott Murphy
Elizabeth Bear

http://www.apexbookcompany.com

13
An Extraordinary General Meeting of the Society has been scheduled to take place at 6:30pm on Friday 9 December 2011.
 
The venue is The Mug House near London Bridge.
 
Directions to the venue can be found online at the BFS website.
 
The meeting will seek to elect new officers to the Committee of the BFS and will consider a proposal to reorganise the BFS awards.
 
I currently have nominations for all Committee places with the exception of the post of Secretary. If you are interested in standing for any of the positions available please let me have your nomination accompanied by the names of at least two supporting members, together with a manifesto of your aims.
 
Send nominations to [email protected] by Friday 18 November.
 
Regarding the proposal for reforming the awards, you are encouraged to take part in the online survey. We will use the data returned to propose a new formulation. That formulation will then be put to the EGM on 9 December.
 
Members unable to attend the EGM in person will be able to vote electronically.
 
As promised by Graham Joyce in his last announcement. We are running a survey to collect thoughts and opinions from BFS members and Fantasycon attendees to help us define the future of the British Fantasy Awards.
 
The survey is now available on-line
 
The survey is open to all BFS members and registered attendees of Fantasycon for the years of 2010, 2011 and 2012.
 
Please note: The EGM is only open to BFS members, however non-BFS memebers are welcome and encourage to join us for the Open Night from 7.30pm onwards.
 
Onwards and upwards...Graham Joyce

14
Conventions and events / OKTOBERFEST - Got your tickets?
« on: October 05, 2011, 09:40:54 AM »
Only 3 days to go until we land in Camden Town! Going, going, gone...

First off, if you wanted to come to our Cabaret night at the Camden Head, it has sold out! Seems like we put together a stellar line-up, so watch out for us doing this again!

Secondly, if you want to see Angels & Airwaves, LOVE - there are only 15 tickets left, so book ASAP!

There are tickets still available for the all-nighters and other screenings including ANOTHER EARTH and THE DIVIDE, but don’t risk missing these either! Tickets available online at http://www.odeon.co.uk/fanatic/film_times/s75/Camden/
Foreign Affairs...

Mexico, Argentina and Japan offer us three very different takes on a dystopian future at Oktoberfest, here are the details:


HELLDRIVER is crazy swords and zombie madness in a post-apocalyptic future. This movie is an assault on your senses and one hell-of-a-ride, from the team that brought us TOKYO GORE POLICE.

Trailer and full details at www.sci-fi-london.com


BY DAY AND BY NIGHT is a Mexican take on the stylish cerebral SF movie. With nods to Logan's Run and THX1138, the film takes us to a strange time when people live by day or by night.

It was first seen in the UK at Edinburgh Festival and we are delighted to be showing it in London.


PHASE 7 is fast becoming a cult movie and draws much inspiration from cult-master John Carpenter. Set in Buenos Aires, it has a deadly virus, over-zealous troops and a very heavily armed next-door neighbour.

It has won several awards and been a festival hit, see it at Oktoberfest!
Free stuff at Oktoberfest...

As well as the movies we have some fun stuffed planned for Saturday and Sunday at the Camden Cyber Hall.

Bring the kids (or not) to our free Fairy workshop (Elves and Wizards welcome too) being delivered by the queen of recycled wings, Twisted Twinkle.

We also have a superhero drawing competition with leading comic producers, Hayena Studios. There is even a Tekken tournament before the Anime Allnighter.

And the man who helped Funky Fish and Cyber Dog strut their stuff, Camden’s Original Cyber Artist; will be exhibiting his ‘ FUTURISTIC Artifacts' Check our http://www.VinceJo-Nes.Com

Full details on the weekend programme on our website.
Aftermath...

If you simply cannot make it along to Oktoberfest, or want more brain food, here are mentions of a few things to do:

The BFI IMAX are screening REAL STEEL on their glorious screen from October 14. We have 3 pairs of tickets to give away and one lucky attendee will get a goody bag full of RS stuff... nice!
To win some tickets, email us and we will draw 3 names at random. Send your email to [email protected]

Also, don't forget the SFX WEEKENDER 2012. Those lovely people at SFX have given some more detail on deals for the weekend - and it is a cracker!

They have confirmed that the Doctor’s wife, the first daughter of Amy and Rory Pond, and the sweetest lady in science fiction, Alex Kingston will be joining in the fun at the SFX Weekender 3 at Prestatyn holiday camp in North Wales on Friday 3 February and Saturday 4 February 2012, with a pre-party on Thursday 2 February for the early birds.

We have an exclusive 10% discount on Silver and Gold tickets*

JUST CALL THE TICKET HOTLINE NOW QUOTING SFXSL (UK national rate number) TICKET HOTLINE: 08700 110034. *Offer valid until 31 October 2011.

Visit their website to www.sfxweekender.com more information and the full terms and conditions –
Other star guests confirmed include:


Eve Myles – Torchwood's Gwen Cooper

Sylvester McCoy – The seventh Doctor & star of The Hobbit

Robert Rankin – The author returns to host the SFX Awards

Bryan Blessed - Prince Vultan in Flash Gordon

Craig Charles – The Red Dwarf star returns to the decks
Read on...

Regular contributor to the SFL website and all-round great guy, Charles Christian has a new book coming very soon. Details are sketchy at the moment but we wanted to big him up early.

Full details will appear here soon http://proximabooks.wordpress.com/this-is-the-quickest-way-down-by-charl...


Many moons ago, SFL were involved in a project that celebrated the legendary Polish author, Stansilaw Lem. Finally, the book is out. LEMISTRY is published by Comma Press and is available here. We have three copies to give away and, as usual, all you have to do is email us to be in the draw. Send your details to [email protected]

Canongate Books have given us five copies of their latest release The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan, along with some of their best sellers; The Radleys (Matt Haig), Little Hands Clapping (Dan Rhodes) and David Eagleman’s Sum - Forty Stories of the Afterlife (check out the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS9eLDkTJmE&feature=related ).

Visit their site www.canongate.tv to find out more about these great titles. We will be giving these books out to lucky people attending screenings at this weekend’s Oktoberfest.
And finally...

For your ears
Take a listen to I’M READY FOR MY CLOSE-UP, Friday 21 October, 5-5:30pm on Resonance 104.4 FM
Virginie Sélavy talks to Louis Savy, director of SCI-FI-LONDON, and Strange Attractor Press publisher Mark Pilkington about environmentally-concerned science fiction films, including Silent Running, Phase IV and The Last Winter.
Full details here http://www.electricsheepmagazine.co.uk/events/2011/10/eco-sci-fi/

For your eyes
We are delighted to share our brand new webTV show called THE PULSE.

A regular new feature to the site, The Pulse will become a news round-up and magazine web show, bringing you some great stuff... check out Episode 1 here http://www.sci-fi-london.com/pulse

If you didn’t download the SFL app during our main festival in May, we have a new version in for approval with Apple, which will hopefully be ready by the weekend, to keep you up to date with what’s happening at the festival.

We have added some new features including classic sci-fi radio shows, such as Dimension X, and THE PULSE.
http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/sci-fi-london10/id432216511?mt=8 .
An updated Android version is in the works.

That's it for now, see you at the weekend!

The SFL Team.

15
Press Releases / Independent bookseller picks on Tor.com
« on: October 05, 2011, 07:39:06 AM »
Tor.com is pleased to announce “Independent Bookseller Picks”, celebrating the best independent bookstores and their recommended reading list of great genre fiction. The careful hand selection of titles that has always distinguished independent bookstores is available online as Tor.com begins a new series which will, every month, highlight a bookstore and share a list of the genre titles they are excited about. 

When the bestseller list just doesn’t have quite what you are looking for, or when you can’t seem to find the book for you through the forest of what is available, home-grown bookstores and the dedicated bookies therein are here to save the day. Each month we’ll get to meet a new store, both in the US and abroad, and receive a guided tour of what they are excited to have on their shelves—no longer will the sage advice from these dutiful curators of fiction be limited to the walls of their shops!

"Independent bookstores are valuable because they are so much a part of the communities they live in, readers get to know and trust their opinions based on relationships over time,” says Irene Gallo of  Tor.com.  “Now that our sense of community can easily span the globe, we are excited to help smaller shops extend their sphere of influence by introducing them to as broad an audience we can—inviting readers to interact with stores regardless of where they live. And we hope that our readers join in and talk about their own favorite local bookstores.”

Join us in the coming months as we travel far and wide for the best Indies in the business:

Borderlands , San Francisco, CA 
Book People, Austin, TX
Forbidden Planet, London, UK
Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, CA
University Press, WA
Bakka Books, Toronto, Canada
Powells, Portland, Oregon

The introduction will be posted on Wednesday, October 5th at 9am EST with posts following each month. 

Kicking thinks off will be recommendations from Alan Beatts of  Borderlands, San Francisco's home for science fiction, fantasy, and horror books. "We're thrilled to have the opportunity to share with the readership of Tor.com the books that excite our staff and customers as well as being appreciative of the privilege of being associated with such a great site."

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