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 Week In The World Of SFF – 20/12/12

Welcome back to the Fantasy-Faction weekly round-up of all the best SFF news, fun and nonsense from around the web. In case you didn’t know, those pesky pranksters the Mayans predicted that this Friday the 21 December 2012 is to be the end of the world. Yes, yes I appreciate that we’ve seen many other rapture dates come and go, all of which were the for realz end of the world  but seriously, this one, it’s like legitz and shit.

So, I figure that if the apocalypse truly is coming then we may as well go out with a bang… and that my friend means MEMES! It also means Space Marines, Watchmen and Game Of Thrones mash-ups. It means interviews, stories, Star Wars and Zelda Baubles. It means cricket bats, The Cake and a dig at Apple.



Books and Publishing


Games Workshop Vs the little guy: Games Workshop fill that part of my life which demands big blasters and ork guts. I love the torrent of imagination that they turn out faster than a chav’s pockets while he’s legging it from the cops. But I’m not too impressed that they’ve got a guy’s book pulled from Amazon for using the term Space Marine when it looks like they don’t own the trademark for fiction.


LOOK! Kelly Link, one of the finest short story tellers in the world has a story up on Lightspeed Magazine. This one is called Catskin. It’s long, has a shit load of magic and is aimed directly at the forehead of fantasy-loving adults. I read this in work yesterday and then read it again today. As I said, it’s long but B-E-A-utiful stuff.


Next year we will be hit by not one but at least two new works from Neil Gaiman, Frequent Gaiman collaborator Dave McKean has given a sneak look at some of the artwork for the forthcoming “The Ocean At The End Of The Lane.”


It began for our narrator forty years ago, when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed.

His only defense are three women on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

It’s out next June and I’ll be making it a pre-order.



Gareth L. Powell is one of the coolest guys I’ve met in a long time and he also happens to be the author of one of the coolest books to hit shelves in months. It’s called Ack-Ack- Macaque and features a cigar chomping, swear-filled, wartime monkey pilot. It’s out this month in the USA and next month in the UK. He’s interviewed over at


Do you ever get struck down by writer’s block? Well Warren Ellis is here to tell you that there’s no such thing, you’re just doing the whole writing thang wrong. So read his words and sort your self out.


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People like George Lucas have proven exactly why you shouldn’t go poking around with perfection but it seems like those suits in the board room of DC comics didn’t get the memo because it’s happening again… Yup, they are adding to Watchmen. Here’s a look at one of the forthcoming additions, this one following the pointy eared elf-like bastard. Before Watchmen: Moloch.


Following on with the Watchmen thing, there is a great look inside the head of Alan Moore, the WM scribe, here on the Guardian site.


Orbit books have many of the best SFF authors writing today and here they are in one place explaining what The Hobbit means to them. An interesting read.



Ever wondered what a book has to go through to go from being a manuscript to the hard thing your spill coffee on? No, nor have I but it’s actually pretty fascinating. take us through this very journey with the forthcoming A Memory Of Light.


Tor.Com are really spoiling us this week with Wheel of Time stuff and by spoiling us I mean it quite literally. Here’s a thread concerning the afore mentioned A Memory Of Light where each week new bits and pieces are revealed for us to discuss. Just to reiterate – SPOILER ALERT.

The End Of The World…

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Unless you’ve been living inside a whale or something for the past few months you are probably aware that those pesky Mayans have once again predicted the end of the world. Here’s an interesting fact, the Mayans were the precursors to what we now know today as scam artists or clairvoyants. I see a 19… No? A 188… No, not close? Wait, wait, I see a date it’s 20… 2012? Yes, 2012!

IO9 list 8 of the weirdest end of the world predictions including one from the prophet hen of Leeds! …Nope never heard of it either. Maybe the Mayans ate it and soaked up all the predictive goodness. 


If you are worried about the rapture then you should really give this a read. A real life scientist type explains why the end of the world prophecies are nonsense.


Stark: “Let me finish my beer.” 
Kasabian: “Of course. The end of the world can wait.” 
– From Kill The Dead by Richard Kadrey.


I’ve picked my way through this three times now. It is fucking hilarious and even more so for being in Russian when I don’t speak a word. Check out Gollum. Seriously, skip through and find Gollum. If you don’t burst out laughing then you are no longer allowed on the internet ever again. 


Gandalf… Playing the bag pipes… on a unicycle… Yeah.



May the dwarves be with you – Buzzfeed have put together this great collection of Hobbit and LOTR tshirts. 


Has anyone got a coupon for that hair and nails salon that’s just opened up on the corner? That guy who hangs around on the telly with the human dog has let himself go a bit…
Check out what Frodo would have looked like had he retained the One Ring.


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This is just cool. Every bat symbol from conception to now all on one wipe clean page.

Star Wars

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Did you know that there were Female fighetrpilots in Star Wars? No? Well neither did I until a few days ago. Tsk tsk Mr Lucas. Tsk Tsk. 


Walking Dead + Lightsabres = A big smile smeared across my face.


Jedi is officially the most popular alternative faith in the UK. 


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Looking at this image (larger on the link) comparing Star Wars then and now is just kind of shocking. Puppets and models all the way for me thanking you very much. 


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These nerdy takes on GoT banners by Deviant Artist Lokiable are brilliant. Check out his page for everything from LOTR to Mr Gaiman done in the GoT style.

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This is one awesome GIF. Words from Prince Of Thorns by Mark Lawrence set to images from Game Of Thrones. It fits perfectly. The full text goes:

“You can only win the game when you understand that it is a game. Let a man play chess, and tell him that every pawn is his friend. Let him think both bishops holy. Let him remember happy days in the shadows of his castles. Let him love his queen. Watch him lose them all.”


IO9 have a great and will reasoned run down of the best (and worst) SFF movies of 2012.


Pacific Rim

The Pacific Rim trailer has hit and it looks like whoever wrote it grew up wanting to be the Red Ranger. It’s about giant robots piloted by suited up people, fighting enormous monsters. Even the initials are identical so I guess this mash-up was inevitable. Now sing with me, ‘Mighty Morphin’ Pacific Rimmeeeeers!’

 cube and cake

It’ll be offering us cake next! Sticking with the Pacific Rim trailer. Did you notice that one of the voices sounded a little familiar. Yup that is the actual voice of Glados from Portal. Del Toro got the same actress, the same voice filter and everything.



These book sculptures by deviant artist WetCanvas are just damned cool.



This time next week Christmas will be done and dusted for another… what I mean to say is, assuming the Mayan meltdown doesn’t occur, Christmas will be over in a weeks time. But until then we’re in a Christmassy mood here at Fantasy Faction so here’s a Totoro Snowman to get you in the mood too. (Via TheMarySue)


Last week I posted the scientific formula for the perfect Xmas tree as created by actual for realz scientists BUT there is no way it can be correct because it didn’t feature these bad boys. Zelda baubles are the sure fire way to the best tree in town. Just watch out for kids in green hats trying to cut your tree down while looking for rupees.


Blastr have some excellent gift ideas for those of you who haven’t done your shopping ye… I mean… haven’t sent your wish list off to Santa yet. Phew, sorry kids, I almost let slip that —

Dr Who


It appears that the Doctor was a very good boy this year because Santa Claus is bringing him not only a new companion but also a complete redesign of the TARDIS interior. Gone are the bells, whistles and pinball machines and in comes something that Apple will likely be suing over – as apparently only then can make shiny, cool things.

Check out this preview of the upcoming Dr Who Xmas special, The Snowmen. Creepy stuff. There more info over on The Guardian. 



Craving some new studio Ghibili? You don’t have long to wait as they have just announced that they have TWO new films coming out next year.


I rarely buy superfluous DLC for computer games. If it doesn’t bring me more gameplay then it doesn’t see the inside of my wallet. That is except for Little Big Planet DLC of which I have bought all the Marvel packs so far. Turns out there’s more to come. You here that whimper? That’s my bank account crying. 

Hurrah For Science

The HURRAH for science this week comes in the form of an absolutely incredible movie from Red Giant. You know the gun in Portal? Well, think that except this weapon can alter velocities either speeding up or slowing down anything it blasts. For an amateur film the production value on this is fantastic and proves that you don’t need bullets or lasers to have a kick ass blaster. Hurrah for science.


And finally, in case you are still worried about the apocalypse, here is what you shall do:


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.



  1. Wow that Red Giant movie was awesome!

  2. No, the Maya didn’t predict the end of the world – that’s a modern interpretation. They just predicted the end of one cycle and the beginning of another. Still, having a pint or ten sounds like a good idea in any case – why wait for an excuse? Not a cold one, though – good beer’s served at room temperature.

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