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

Hey there Hobbits and Ents. Welcome back to the weekly round up of the very best genre news and nonsense from the wonderment that is the interwebs. Did you know that actually the Mayans weren’t counting down to the end of days? Nope, they were actually counting down to the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. And to celebrate their ever-so-accurate predictions I thought the news this week should have a bit of a Hobbit theme.

So who out there is Glóin to Bofir seeing The Hobbit tonight? They recently replayed all the Lord Of The Rings films back to back in my local picturehouse so I took my Swedish friend Thorin to the cinema as he had never watched them Bifur. By the end of Return Of The King he couldn’t stop Balin his eyes out… The jokes don’t get much better.





Books and Authors

Exclusive Daylight War Cover Reveal (and Cover-Off)


Oh yeah, that’s right! This week Fantasy-Faction brought you the official reveal of the UK cover for the ‘Ohh my dear aunt Gladys, I want it!’ book of 2013, The Daylight War. So we had us a ye ol’ fashunned cover-off between the US and UK covers and the comments went wild. Which do you prefer?


Shadows Of The Apt – Author Adrian Tchaikovsky showed off some very sexy looking new covers to his brilliant Shadows Of The Apt series. Check out more pictures, art work and info here.

Independent newspaper SFF of the year –  The Independant has released their list of top SFF books for 2012 and it’s pretty hard to disagree with them.


Fantasy-Faction Most Anticipated of 2013 – Back to us at Fantasy-Faction again. This week we announced the books that we’re most looking forward to in 2013 as voted for by our readers. I think you’ll agree that there’s damned good reason to be excited for what’s coming next year. 

SpecHorizons on The Hobbit – Hands up who remembers the genre website SpecHorizons? *Oooh, oooh, I do, I do!* That’s because it was a brilliant site that covered everything I loved in genre fiction and was written with what is known in the showbiz world as Pazazzz! Well James (@SpecHorizons) closed the site when he took a job with Orbit books (the selfish bugger) and the whole world cried, until Fantasy-Faction took the throne of course. Anyway, James has an excellent article on the Orbit Books blog about The Hobbit and the enduring appeal of High Fantasy. Check it out here. 

The Soddit! – Gollancz have treated us this week to not one but two whole chapters from A.R.R.R.Roberts’s spoof on the book of what some movie is like based on this week or summit. Chapter one here and the rest via the site itself. 

Top 25 Fantasy Books – Author Mark Lawrence pointed us via Twitter at this well put together article arguing the 25 best fantasy books ever including suggestions around winners. It’s a brilliant read especially if you’re wondering what to pick up next.

The Explorer – HarperVoyager are joining in on this free-stuff malarkey by giving us an extract from the brilliant ‘The Explorer’ by James Smythe. And when I say brilliant, I mean it as I have already read and absolutely loved this book. Check it out here. 

Scott Lynch! The gentleman bastard himself made a bit of a storm in the SFF world this week (and even the main stream with mentions in national newspapers) by responding to a rather narrow minded critique on one of his characters from Red Seas Under Red Skies, namely Zamira Drakasha a black woman pirate. It’s really rather excellent. 

Sexism in fantasy – Sticking with the themes in the Scott Lynch article, this one via Dutch author Paul Evanby (@evanby) is also a fascinating and eye-opening article on sexism in historical fantasy. Worth a read.


BANE Redubbed

“And what did you eat? A Frownie biscuit?”

Ever wanted Bane’s opinion on strawberries and fibre? Ever wondered what Batman listened to while piloting The Bat? What does Bane make of Steve’s order for the annual villain meal?

“Wait, I have something to tell you. Stop hitting yourself.”

The chap who does the Bane voice (digitally manipulated as it is) is spot on too.



gingerbread serenity

It seems as if the witch from Hansel and Gretel is also a fan of Sci-Fi westerns. Gone are the days of building houses, this witch has gone all Weyland on us and built a spaceship but not just any spaceship, she built Serenity! Check out more pics at the guy’s Facebook page here. 


The Hobbit

Apparently last night I woke my wife up by mumbling ‘Hobbit, Hobbit, Hobbit’. I must have been Tolkien in my sleep.

And so begins the Hobbit news and jokes… awful, awful jokes like the one above which comes courtesy of John Wordsworth, the Lord of SFF over at Headline Publishing UK.


“Oh we like goblinses, batses and fishes but we hasn’t tried a hobbitses before.”

I thought I was excited for the film, but man, this scene turned me up to 11.


Bard and Lego

Look! It’s the first look at the shoot for the third Hobbit movie with Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman alongside the guy who lost all his construction toys… Lego-less. What? You don’t like that joke? I could have said, the elf who can’t hold his beer… Leg-less. No again? Sigh. (Via Slashfilm)



We knew the Goblin King was going to be a big bugger but look at the size of him! Even Gandalf, the pointy hatted conjuror of cheap tricks who fills the room in chez Baggins, only has line of sight with the the King’s nipples. Amazing stuff from EW (via Comingsoon



And another picture. Here we have The Desolation of Smaug and it is the best glimpse we’ve been given inside the great dragon’s cave of wonders.
What do you reckon it is that Bilbo’s spotted? A magic lamp perhaps? Who am I kidding? Aladdin’s cave has nothing on this badboy. Nor does Midas or Scrooge McDuck. (via SuperHeroHype)


This is a pretty cool video with Jackson, Serkis and Freeman ‘unscripted’ and answering questions like, ‘If someone gave you the one ring and told you where to hide it where would you put it?’



Here’s the great big bastard of a question for anyone who has seen the trailers for The Hobbit. How do you tell the dwarves apart? Well this chap over at LOTRproject has made a cracking flow chart that makes it easy to work out who’s who. You must see this, it’s brilliant (and his blurb inspired my pun filled opener)


West-Oram Hobbit

Okay so it’s a halfling not a hobbit but I follow this chap’s blog and thought you guys would love it. Every day, Jack produces a new sketch which makes it great fun to follow – I think of it like a non-fattening advent calendar. Sometimes they are quick flicks of a pencil and other days they are absolute crackers of full panels. You should definitely check out his Spaceman and his Yoda! Awesome stuff.



Finally. IO9 have just put up this interview with Bilbo himself, Mr Martin Freeman where he talks dwarves, Gollum and er… Leonard Nimoy.

 The Hawkeye Initiative


You see that my friends? That there is Hawkeye, an archer-extraordinaire, a member of the Avengers and now also a campaigner for better representation of women in the comic book industry. All over the interwebs, people are replicating pictures of sexed-up female characters with a sexed-up Hawkeye. Here’s a link to KnowYourMeme for more.


 The Perfect Xmas Tree


I’m of the opinion that as long as no one puts tinsel on the tree then it can be considered a success but those ladies and gents over at Sheffield University have gone a bit further than me and have worked out the formula for a perfectly decorated Xmas tree.

Improve your brain with storytelling!


You know when you’re a kid and your parents would tell you to stop telling stories? ‘Stop making things up Paul, we all know you didn’t just punch a shark.’ That kind of thing? Well, it turns out that story telling is actually the most powerful way to activate your brain and get that pink slime firing on all globular cylinders. Now go and tell your mum that you out-ran a bus. Full article at Lifehacker.


And now we get on to my favourite science story of the week.

North Korea have managed to get a satellite in to space, thus allowing the entire North Korean people full access to over 200 channels ranging from news and sport to…

Only joking.

My favourite science moment of the week was this:

Terminator parrot

It’s a parrot on what is effectively a tank! This is the start of the end my friends. Once the parrots and robots decide to work together we’re all doomed, they will merge to create a superpower called… SkyNest. They will send back massive metal budgies to kill John Connor and not even a shiny, shiny mirror will save us.


Patrick Moore

patrick moore

This week we said goodbye to Patrick Moore. Astronomer, television broadcaster and Lord of the A,A,Back,Back cheat codes as the Games Master. I tuned in to watch this guy every week and I was truly sad to hear of his passing. If I was a religious guy though then I guess there would be a sweet line to be drawn between his astronomy and now being up in the stars.


fly you fools

And catch you 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.


One Comment

  1. Avatar Cara(Eli) says:

    Absolutely loved this post. So full of WIN. Thank you!

Leave a Comment