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

Welcome back ladies and gents to the weekly round up of the very best genre news and nonsense from the wonderment that is the interwebs. Aiming to send some smiles your way today we have everything from superheroes with moustaches and Sci-Fi pick-up lines to Batman rapping and PROOF THAT UNICORNS ARE REAL… in North Korea. It’s by no means comprehensive but hopefully it will make you smile.

And so:


WIN – Christmas is coming and we’re all looking for some great gifts to give to our nearest and dearest without making your purse cry any more than it probably is already. The answer to this is competitions and luckily enough those great people over at Gollancz are running one! They are offering you the chance to win a copy of The Demonologist by Andre Pyper . 

As if that wasn’t enough, we here at Fantasy-Faction have teamed up with Gollancz to offer you the chance to win copies of the two DestinyQuest game books.
Click here and simply leave a comment in the comments section for your chance to win. Easy peasey.
Go on say it… we’re just far too good to you.

INTERVIEW – Tor Books give everyone’s favourite Dr Who and comic book scribe Paul Cornell the five question interview while also giving us fans an exclusive two chapter extract from his forthcoming book.

BARGAINS – Those fellas over at The Black Library are warming us up to Xmas with their own advent calendar where they will be releasing a new short story every day until December 25. All stories are 79p so whether you’re a long time fan or have never read anything set in the Warhammer worlds but always fancied it, this is something to take a look at.

Also worth noting for our friends over in Deutschland is that the Black Library are now open for business in your language. 

Solaris Books have four, yes FOUR authors featured in this months Mass Movement Magazine. It’s a free download so head over to the MMM website by clicking here to get that mag in your sticky digital hands.

COOL – Leading on from the announcement last week of the forthcoming tour for the final Wheel Of Time book that is coming our way next year, Orbit Books have revealed the official coutdown widget for you to add to your own website or blog to keep track of when this badboy’s coming. Time to get excited people.

Fantasy-Faction & The Anthology

Yup this week I’m giving us our very own section because we have not one but two fantastic pieces of news which we think are worthy of applause.

First of all, this week Fantasy-Faction turned the ripe ol’ age of two years old. It’s been a crazy and wonderful experience and I can’t even begin to describe how great it’s been to be part of it all. Fortunately for me I don’t have to because Overlord himself, Marc Aplin, has shared his thoughts on FF from conception to the present. In case you need another reason to check out his article then there may be a picture of me in it. You’re tempted now aren’t you…  Check it out here. 

The second piece of fantastic news is that we are very pleased to finally announce the six winners of our competition to win a place in the very first Fantasy-Faction Anthology. These six stories will appear alongside such names as Mark Lawrence, Adrian Tchaikovsky, James Barclay, Richard Ford and a whole horde of brilliant authors. Exciting stuff!
Our winners, in no particular order are:

The Unsung by Jessalyn Heaton
Misericordia by Rene Sears
Sharag’s Shank by Daniel Beazley
Oasis by Mark Dimig-Mathis
Overdue by John Yeo Jr
The Dealer by Miah Saunders

Congratulations guys and gals. For more information on the whole anthology thang we’re doing then head on over to our other site here.  

Goodreads Awards 2012

The winners for the Goodreads Choice Awards 2012 are out! You can check out the books that Goodreads users have voted as the very best of the year by clicking this link here but because I’m a kindly ol’ soul, here are the ones you, the SFF fan, are probably most interested in:

Best Fantasy – The Wind Through The Keyhole by Stephen King

Best Sci-Fi – The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

Best Horror – The Twelve by Justin Cronin

Best for Graphic Novels & Comics – The Walking Dead Vol.16

Best Young Adult SFF – Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Also, major props goes to Mr Mark Lawrence who came forth in the fantasy category for King Of Thorns. For what it’s worth, he got my vote each round and if you haven’t read KoT yet then please do and thank me later.

The Million Dollar Bookshop

Sticking with Mark Lawrence, the man himself has come up with one of the best charity ideas I’ve heard of in a long time. For those of you who don’t know, Mark is a man we all should envy. Most of us know him as one of the finest fantasy authors in the world today, some may also know that he’s a Phd wielding scientist but his most impressive side (in my opinion) is his tireless work for children’s charities.

Mark’s latest plan to raise cash for those in need is a whopper.
In exchange for you donating money to the children’s charity of your choice, Mark will give you pixel space on the to advertise your book or genre site.
Just look at the incredible authors who are already up there – Peter V. Brett, Myke Cole, Mazarkis Williams!
Check out the site by clicking here and hats off to Mr Lawrence for this. Whatta guy.


MOvember is done and dusted for another year and my upper lip is already suffering withdrawal symptoms from the bushy soup strainer I grew. But here in the world of the interwebs the Mo will never be relegated to just Novembers or the 1970s. Not while superheroes sport naked faces anyway.
Click here to check out more of these by an obviously very talented chap called Wes Montgomery.

Unicorns are real, like, for totally realz

Yup, you read that right guys. Unicorns are real because those peddlers of truth and honesty over in NORTH KOREA have said so. Seriously.

In their history books it is said that King Tongmyong rode a unicorn and North Korean archaeologists are reported to have discovered the lair of the very unicorn the king rode! Just, wow, can you believe it? How lucky are we to be living in this world during such a discovery.

In other NK news, Kim Jong Un was voted the sexiest man alive much to the confusion and jealousy of the rest of Asia.

Star Trek

The poster for the Star Trek sequel, Into Darkness has dropped and it looks like London is about to get annihilated. Look hard and you can see the Gherkin (pointed out by the subtle and conveniently placed arrow in the above image). More info over at The Londonist.
And if you’re wondering why that image above is possibly more than just a bit familiar, Slash Film have a few recent poster comparisons…

SF Pick-Up Lines

“You’re going to steal ME! No, you HAVE stolen me.
You ARE stealing me. Oh! Tenses ARE difficult, aren’t they?”
– Idris in Doctor Who, “The Doctor’s Wife”

“Hey doll, is this guy boring you? Come and talk to me. I’m from a different planet.”
— Zaphod Beeblebrox in Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

IO9 give us their top 16 famous Sci-Fi quotes that also make excellent pick-up lines.

These are all fantatsic but they didn’t use my favourite one. This was from a little known episode of Star Trek where Data accidentally knocked the horny virus in to Riker’s coffee. Riker then sauntered over to Beverly Crusher and said this little piece of genius:

“Someone must have shot you with phasers set to ‘stunning’. 

I don’t know why but the ladies really love that line. I must have used it a thousand times myself and it’s never failed…  Seriously, go out this weekend, use it and keep me posted on the mountains of success that will follow.

On a side note, Charlie Jane Anders, the author of the above article, never fails to deliver fun and entertaining articles so as a fan of SFF I try to catch everything she writes. I thoroughly recommend you do the same.


“I can’t believe they were hiding under a tree. I was there, right there and I got distracted by a bag of vegetables!”

So what exactly did the Ringwraiths get up to during the rest of The Fellowship Of The Ring? It turns out there was a lot of crying and arguing. This video is absolutely brilliant!

How To Measure A Hobbit

No great Hobbit news this week apart from the fact that early reviews are all pretty lukewarm (*sob* *cry* *sniff*). But what I do have for you is something that I learnt today. It’s a little factoid that you can wow your friends with and when I say wow I mean blow their minds and leave them muttering WTF over and over.
Here it is:

A ‘hobbit’ is also an old form of measurement in Wales.

True story. 

When GRR met JKR

Have you ever wondered what George RR Martin might think when reading the Harry Potter books? Well wonder no more because YouChooseBooks have given us the answer. And the answer is… well it’s pretty awkward. Check it out here. 

The House Of (Tony) Stark

If there’s one way to make Game Of Thrones even cooler it would be to discard Jon Snow like an old naan bread and bring in Tony Stark a.k.a Iron Man. Great illustration from lorainsammy over on Deviant art.

Thanks to Xiagan for pointing me in the direction of these great images.

Batman Vs Sherlock – Rap Battle Of The Detectives

If you’re not familiar with the Epic Rap Battles Of History series on Youtube then this is a great introduction. It really is what it sounds like. Batman and Sherlock Holmes in a rap battle, 8 Mile style. For other excellent ones check out Darth Vader Vs Hitler and Gandalf Vs Dumbledore.

Hooray for science!

I always like to end these weekly round-ups with something cool and sciencey. I just think it leaves things on a positive note that reminds us that after all the cool and crazy wonderment the world of SFF has to offer us, the world around us is still pretty awesome. As it’s Xmas I figured I’d bring you an advent calendar.

Yup, TheAtlantic are releasing a new picture from NASA’s Hubble telescope every day until Christmas days. Check back every day to be reminded just how small we are in this beautiful universe of ours.

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

Catch you in seven.


One Comment

  1. Avatar Larik says:


    I gotta ask people. Who’s the better detective? Batman or Holmes?

    And whether or not one or the other can beat the likes of Solomon Grundy (born on a Monday) does not apply to his detective skills.

    And no use of any conveniently named computers, either. : )

Leave a Comment