28 June 2011

BFS awards shortlist

So then, the BFS awards shortlist has now been published here. Which is nice. Bit of an odd mix this year and first impressions are: um, hello, can we have some more women on the shortlist sometime soon? Ta. Also, good grief, look at all that horror. Wasn't there some fantasy and SF on the long list? I'm sure there was somewhere. (Alas, can not find a link to it to check as the only link I could find led to the longlist voting form - which has, of course, been taken down...)

::headdesks:: at the amount of horror. Not that there's anything wrong with horror but this being the British *Fantasy* Society you'd think there'd be enough members voting for fantasy stuff to get at least one or two more things up there...

Whinging aside - very pleased to see that Strange Horizons made the shortlist in Best Magazine. And m'friend Jan E. has made it to the Best Short Story shortlist (she was stunned and amazed and is currently incoherent!)

So women visibility count - (which I'm fairly certain Juliet McKenna has also mentioned somewhere...)

Best Novel: 5 noms, Sam Stone (for Demon Dance) is the only female author
Best Novella: 5 noms, no women
Best Short Story: 5 noms, 2 female authors (Jan Edwards with Otterburn, Sam Stone with Fool's Gold)
Best Collection: 5 noms, no women
Best Anthology: 5 noms, 1 women co-editor (Allyson Bird with Never Again)
Best Non-Fiction: 5 noms, no women
Best Artist: 5 noms, no women
Best Small Press: 5 noms, no female editors/publishers
Best Magazine: 5 noms, 1 female editor! (Susan Marie Groppi for Strange Horizons. Woohoo!)
Best Graphic Novel: 5 noms, no women as primary creators

::headdesks again::

Having said that, though, the list for Best Newcomer is happily nice and diverse. Without naming names, as we apparently don't do that... noms from the BFS/Fcon membership = 14 authors. Of which, 7 are female! (I swear I'm not making this up!) We also have an interesting balance between fantasy, SF & horror (F: 8, SF: 2, H: 4) covering both small press (2) and big press (12), with both adult (10) & YA (4) books. 4 authors are PoC. Now m'fellow judges just have to finish reading them all... ;-P

(For comparison, last year there were 5 noms for Best Newcomer, of which: 3 female authors/2 male authors; 2 fantasy, 2 SF, 1 horror; 4 big press, 1 small press; all adult; 1 PoC)

25 June 2011


Ooh, hey, and my proper review of Mira Grant's Deadline is up on the BFS website. Awesome-cakes!

24 June 2011

30 Days of Genre - Day 20

Day 20 – Favourite genre.

Definitely urban fantasy, no question. Though I'm not so keen on the ones with too many romantical bits (mushy stuff, ick!) I've a definite fondness for the genre, uh, generally.

Mostly, I like that UFs have myths and magic bleeding into the contemporary world, bonus points if the characters are dropping pop culture references while they kick naughty spook ass. (Why yes, I'm a Buffy/Supernatural fan. How did you guess! ;-P)

I mean, secondary world fantasies are fun and all, but an UF makes you feel like the cool weird stuff is hiding just out of sight in the world we actually live in. I like that. (And when the borders between worlds open up and let loose the freaky creatures, the UF fans will be completely prepared! ;-P)

And I love the high proportion of dynamic female protags to be found in UFs. Not just the obvious ass-kickers that you get from folks like Lilith Saintcrow, Patricia Briggs or Jennifer Rardin; but also, for example, Charles de Lint heroines who come from all walks of life with a whole range of different personalities and non-combat skill sets and still manage to rise above whatever plot related shenanigans are happening.

23 June 2011

30 Days of Genre - Day 19

Day 19 – World/setting you wish you lived in.

Well now, here's the thing... while there are many cool fantasy-lands, I have to confess to a liking for decent indoor plumbing and the internet - and I prefer my magic out in the contemporary world - it's more fun that way. So, first pick would have to be one of the urban fantasy ones. Maybe Charles De Lint's Newford, or Seanan McGuire's Toby Daye 'verse or Kate Griffin's Matthew Swift 'verse...

Though having said that... there is something very appealing about a SF-nal 'verse. Something with space ships with FTL or similar drives, plus teeny tiny human-computer interfaces. Maybe the Elizabeth Moon Serrano/Vatta book-verses. Or the Marianne de Pierres Sentients of Orion 'verse.

22 June 2011

Mammoth Dracula!

Why, hello there, I appear to have committed review!

Mammoth Book of Dracula, on the BFS site right here!

Plus my review of M.D. Lachlan's Wolfsangel will be appearing in the Summer BFS Journal, due out in the next week or two...

30 Days of Genre - Day 18

Day 18 – Favourite protagonist.

Ooh, this is a tricky one. No one character immediately jumps out as absolute favourite so... contenders:

Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden. He has a talking skull for a friend, he animated a dinosaur skeleton and rode it into battle, he has an army of pizza loving faeries at his command and despite being surrounded by powerful enemies always manages to cludge together something to save the day. Except the leching over the nubile apprentice gets a tad squicky... so not a runaway win there.

Kate Elliott's Marit, from Shadow Gate (book 2 of the Crossroads trilogy)
Because being assassinated hasn't stopped her getting up and kicking ass. (Erm, does that count as a spoiler?)

Mirabel Stonefist from Elizabeth Moon's stories of the Ladies Aid & Armor Society (as found in assorted Chicks anthologies) - because she's a fun warrior lady.

Terry Pratchett's Granny Weatherwax (for all the reasons mentioned in the Favourite Character post)

Stephen Hunt's Amelia Harsh - a tomb raider done steampunk style! So soooo awesome!

16 June 2011

30 Days of Genre - Day 17

Annnnd, we're back again...

So - Day 17 - Favourite antagonist

Gotta be Pratchett's Lord Havelock Vetinari, whose machinations shape an entire city.

Although, I'm not sure he technically counts as an antagonist, because, yes, he constantly challenges assorted protagonists and he is considered the primary threat in Ankh Morpork, but, ultimately, his deeds stablise the city and give positive opportunities to assorted characters.

Nevertheless, this is a man so terrifying that the mere sight of him was enough to make a previous patrician die of fright and, let's face it, the guy's a sneaky genius, and, just, well, quite cool!

15 June 2011

30 Days of Genre - Day 16

Oops, that was a bit of a break... where were we then...?

Day 16! Genre novel with the most intriguing plot.

Well it's deffo going to have to be Mira Grant but will it be Feed or Deadline? Oh, definitely Deadline.

Great mother of pumpkins, people, Deadline! And I can't even tell you why it's an intriguing plot without giving away the jawdropping revelations that pop up.

So, generally speaking, what you have is a glorious post-zombie-apocalypse world where your average peeps are co-existing with the shambling undead. Who, as I recall, get smarter the more of them in a swarm. (The undead, that is, not the average peeps, who one might imagine go the other way when in crowds...) There's plenty of mad science and even madder scientists. There's blogger and other online writer types as the heroes who have to navigate their way through increasing peril and crazed conspiracies. There's the persistent threat of the mutating virus that has more to it than previously thought, there's the dodgy genetic engineering and the clones and...and... mad science, people, mad science!

And dear god that ending. It is lethal. Lethal, I tell you. And reading the preview of the next book is even worse because it's going to be soooooo long until it's out in May 2012.