Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off #6: Our Round One Winner

Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off #6

Our Round One Winner

Where Shadows Lie by Allegra Pescatore – SPFBO #6 Semi-Finals Review

Where Shadows Lie

SPFBO #6 Semi-Finals Review

Shadow of a Dead God by Patrick Samphire – SPFBO #6 Semi-Finals Review

Shadow of a Dead God

SPFBO #6 Semi-Finals Review


The SFF Weekly Web Round-Up- 27/12/2012

Welcome back to the Fantasy-Faction weekly round-up of all the best SFF news, fun and nonsense from around the web.
I guess the most obvious thing to say about this week is that Christmas has now been and gone and the only thing sighing louder than our aching bank balances are the turkeys who have made it through one more year.

So tell me, did you get that bike you’ve been talking about for weeks now?  No? …Oh, well I’m sorry to hear that.
In that case, I hope this article cheers you up. Today we have everything from Smauglock to Dr Who carols, from Galactus to AT-ATs and from Thunderbirds to Cumberbatch Otters. As an extra special treat you also get lots of terrible cracker jokes and even my very best puns about body parts.


Why did the fairy sit on the toadstool? … Because there wasn’t mush-room.

Books and Publishing and Stuff


Those guys at Orbit books gave us this incredible picture – Jetpack Santa. Who needs reindeer indeed… More at the link.

Sticking with Orbit books, they also gave us two fun articles this week. One detailing the top 5 monsters from SFF by James Long and one about the top 10 ‘Working Class Heroes’ in SFF by Jenny Hill.



And did the same as Orbit and gave us this Xmas themed picture. Merry Xmas From TOR! Let’s all give them a hand because this picture truly is head and shoulders above the… Ah I’m joking, I won’t start with the body part puns. They’re toe easy.

Julie Crisp – Editorial director of TOR UK give us this great round-up of all the TOR UK releases and Whats-Haps from the past year.


Finally with Tor for this week, they bring us the changing depictions of Santa Claus in SF magazines and comic book covers.


IO9 have a cheeky excerpt from Timothy Zahn’s new Star Wars novel, Scoundrels. This promises to be a tale about those naughty chaps and chappesses of the galaxy including Han and Chewy and a heist that goes wrong… Yeah it doesn’t sound like a new idea but hey, it’s got Han Solo, what’s not to love?


Harper Voyager recently closed the submission window for manuscripts. Well, they have now given an update on how they are getting on and announced that they will be responding to each and every submission. Just FYI and all that.


GRRM’s 3 favourites of the year – 2012 will be the year that a lot of people discovered genre fiction and for many of them this will be down to wanting to read those books what is based on Game Of Thrones off TV. But have you ever wondered what books George R. R. Martin himself loves? Well wonder no more… though you may be surprised. 



If you get bored you should read ‘I, Cthulu, or, What’s A Tentacle-Faced Thing Like Me Doing In A Sunken City Like This (Latitude 47° 9’ S, Longitude 126° 43’ W)?’ Yeah it’s not new and it’s always up on Gaiman’s site for you to view for free but I thought why not remind you it’s there, it is brilliant after all.

What are brown and creep around the house? … Mince spies.



Smauglock 3

I think I’m a little late to the party on this one but how damned cool is this for an idea? Take two roles that Benedict Cumberbatch is famous for (regardless of whether he’s played them yet) and mash ’em together. Creating… wait for it… SMAUGLOCK! Gettit? It’s like Smaug the dragon in The Hobbit mixed with Sherl… you get the idea. (Via Tumblr)

Yes it’s weird and you wonder what sorts of people sit and come up with such things but it certainly beats this…



Yeah, it’s a thang… More here. 

How do monkeys make toast? … Stick some bread under the gorilla.

The Nightmare Before Christmas Read By Christopher Lee

I know that I’ve ran this before but it’s just too brilliant not to re-post here at Xmas time. Now, forget you’ve seen it before and enjoy the sultry tones of Dracula himself reading Tim Burton’s original poem.

Merr-io Christmas

This comes via Technobob. Love it.


Soviet Space Race Xmas


Sandman Slim author Richard Kadrey pointed us in the direction of these monstrous beauties. If only there had been one that said something like, ‘In Soviet Russia, Christmas steals the Grinch,’ or ‘In Soviet Russia, angels put tree on you.’

How does Jack Frost get to work? … By icicle.

The World’s End


To mark the end of the world (or lack thereof) Simon Pegg tweeted the first official still from the forthcoming third film in the Cornetto Trilogy – The World’s End. For anyone who isn’t familiar with the forthcoming film from Mssrs Pegg, Frost and Wright then, this one is basically about Bilbo Baggins who has a hair cut, meets up with Scotty from the Enterprise who is at a fancy dress party and… No I have no idea about this film either as it’s all hush hush. Will be a blast tho’, fo’ sho’!

What does ghosts eat? … Spookgetti

Dr Who

Did you see the Dr Who Xmas special? I won’t give anything away if not but seriously, go find it out and be wow-ed. Anyway, as the credits rolled and we all sighed knowing that there are months until our next hit of Who, those buggers at the BBC gave us this cracking teaser for the 2013 episodes. I. Cannot. Wait.


If you have seen the Xmas special, The Snowmen or can’t be bothered but want to know what happens then here’s a cool review from those guys over at SFX magazine. 


DeviantArtist ElectroCereal has created this awesome visual summary of the latest Who series. There’s more over on his page.  

Rudolph the red nosed reindeer had a very shiny nose…
which proved to be a tactical disadvantage because it enabled me to punch him in the dark. 

Songtaran Christmas Carols… (via MTV)

One more WHO related video.
This chap, Greg, has created a DIY TARDIS that actually looks bigger on the inside. You’got to see it to understand but it’s a cracking idea that I’ve never seen applied to this kind of thing. Tres cool stuff.

What’s green and stands in the corner? … A naughty frog

Star Wars


AT-AT Cloud. I really hope that this is a real image and not some photoshopped bantha-pu-du. (Via JediNews)

What time is it when an AT-AT steps on your watch? … Time to get a new watch
(I’m so funny it hurts)


JJ Abrams has rejected an offer to direct the next installment in the Star Wars franchise – episode VII. He claims it’s down to loyalty for Star Trek but it’s got to make you wonder… is that really enough reason for a director THAT nerdy to turn down THAT opportunity? I’m not convinced. Anyway, more here at GeekTyrant. 

What’s black and white and noisy? … A zebra on a drum kit.

Marvel Christmas


Lots of different Marvel illustrators have created Xmas cards and GeekTyrant have collected them together for your viewing pleasure. The above is a snip from one of my favourites – Nutcracker Galactus. Bite those nuts big man.

Where does Santa go to recover after Xmas? … An elf farm.

Gerry Anderson


Gerry Anderson the creator of some truly incredible kids shows has died aged 83. I grew up watching everything from Thunderbirds to Stingray to Captain Scarlet and despite being far older than me, those shows define huge chunks of my childhood. And I’m not alone.

On my first day of primary school our teacher asked us to sing a song we knew. It was a team building kinda thing. The guy next to me stood up and started singing, ‘Stingraaaaaay, Stingraaaaay, d-d-duh-duh-d-duh.’

… Bastard stole my song.

The SFF world will always be a far greater place for having known him. More here at the BBC. 

Hurrah For Science

Two bits this week:


Ryan Sammy over at has created this nifty infographic showing the physics of Santa and just how the speed necessary to get to all the children on the globe in one night compares to other methods of movement. Awesome stuff.

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays spelt using actual galaxies… Fuck yeah.

(Via IFuckingLoveScience)

Catch you all in seven.


While you’re browsing the internet, if you spot anything that you think might fit in this weekly column then email it to or @PaulWiseall. If I use your link I’ll be sure to give you the kudos.


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