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 Round-Up – 10/01/13

Welcome back to the Fantasy-Faction weekly round-up of all the best SFF news, fun and nonsense from around the web.
We’ve successfully made it in to the second week of 2013! The week when we all forget our resolutions and return to binging, swearing and running in to crowds of pigeons so that they go nuts, fly in every direction and shit on everything. 2013 is the year when, having escaped from New York, Snake Pliskin went to L.A to escape there too. Harry Houdini, he ain’t.
Today I bring, for your perusal, Scams and Sad Cthulu and Gollum Tea Cup Rides, Grayskull and Tesla WHO and fat Spider-Man, Gaiman and Bowie and even the Kraken!

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ORWELL – Penguin Books are releasing new editions of Orwell novels one of which is this genius cover for 1984. It’s a ballsy move but as we all know from David Attenborough documentaries, penguins have gigantic balls.
Did I tell you I once played a penguin in a school play once? …Perfect casting. Via CreativeReview. 

Mazarkis Williams has a very interesting piece on gender and sexuality called ‘Male. Female. Or Otherwise’ over on A Dribble Of Ink. It’s beautifully and powerfully written which is something I’ve come to expect from MW.

Richard Ford – who in my opinion, is one of THE authors to watch this year – has just signed a major Spanish deal for his forthcoming and fu*king brilliant (because I’ve read the first novel before you *sneer* *sneer*) SteelHaven series from Headline.


The cover for Brandon Sanderson’s  Forthcoming Steelheart cover has been revealed! Click the link for a full synopsis too. This sounds exactly like the kind of thing I love to read. A little bit comic booky but all Sanderson. (via EW)


More Sanderson – and now we also have an excerpt from The Rithmatist which is about a world where chalk lines on the floor come alive and can be manipulated. Yeah I don’t it justice but it sounds like the Sanderson does. Check the link for more. (Via

RantingDragon list their top 20 best speculative fiction novels of 2012!

Orbit books have collected together loads of their books on ‘Best Of’ lists from around the web. Guess what sexy site got a mention on the front page of their blog…

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Oh Yeah… We did!

And also, very importantly this week, Gollancz publishing gave £13,000 to ensure a Kickstarter to reboot of the classic 80s game ELITE happened. I love you Gollancz.

GRRM & Winds Of Winter Excerpt & Crappy Websites, Hurrah!

rrmartinThat lovable scamp Mr George R. R. Martin has given us this excerpt from The Winds Of Winter which is out this year.

Is it just me or does someone need to remind GRRM that websites no longer need to look like they were made on Geocities…

On that point. Has anyone seen Ian McKellen’s website? Yuck. Can bend metal, fight a balrog, creates a shitty website. *sigh*



Ipad9 tablet. Very cheap! Great Deals! No Spam!

Hey there friend. Forgive me to introduce myself. Do you want best deal on Ipads and this £145,000,000 million million dollars that must be transferred to you by today!

Author John Scalzi this week pointed out a new scam that’s doing the rounds targeting authors and inviting them to come be guest speakers. In many ways it’s desperate and hilarious but it’s also scary so be aware people, because there are some dodgy buggers out there.

On a related point: anyone wanna buy a ipad 9? Shares in African gold?

What about a £1 Fish?

Yeah this is real…


Lonely Cthulu



First official photo from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.


I’ve got really good at feigning interest in The Hunger Games. The same goes for Twilight.  If ever I go on a date (it does happen occasionally) and girls ask what I do, I tell them that amongst other things, I write on the side for this Fantasy literature site. At that point they always get excited and tell me about Edward Cullen or Katniss Everdene.
I have got the ‘Oh wow, how interesting’ nod perfected.

For the record, I abhor The Hunger Games.
It’s like Battle Royal with leprosy.
Unless you’re really hot and then I love anything that sparkles in the sunlight. (Via


Neil Gaiman’s The Price movie!


You absolutely MUST watch this! A couple years ago a film crew approached Gaiman about adapting his brilliant short story, The Price. Now they’ve released the original cinematic pitch and it has monsters and cats  AND it’s narrated by Neil Gaiman! Apparently it’s only online for a short time so watch it watch it watch it!

Loads more info here at the movie website including production pictures like the ones below. Simply Awesome.





We humans bloody love theme parks don’t we? Back in my day it was a swing and a slide and maybe 30 seconds on the see-saw if I was lucky but now it’s Disney this, Universal that. Seems like Middle Earth is getting in on the themed love. If they have a real working Mount Doom I’ll be happy but otherwise I’ll just sit in the Prancing Pony all day while the kids enjoy Bilbo’s Tea Cups ride or Gollum’s Merry go-round. (via /film. Image via Filmdrunk)

Also, Happy Birthday J R R Tolkien. 120 years young this week!

The best LOTR rap you’ve heard this week.

The Power Of GraySkull


A Real Fantasy NewsPaper! (Kind Of)

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A bunch of fantasy fans including our very own Victoria Hooper and the ever-excellent Anne Mhairi-Simpson, to name just a couple, have started a project to build their very own newspaper style site dedicated to bringing you the very best in fabricated fantasy news. It’s called The Fantasyland Herald and it’s a lot of fun. All the things they’ve come up with are brilliant and it’s definitely one to check regularly for your hit of fantasy and entertainment. After you’ve checked my weekly article, obviously…

Dr Who

Tesla was the Doctor… it all makes sense now.

Tesla Who

Via IF*ckinglovescience on Facebook

NEIL GAIMAN – Does the man ever sleep? Seriously, Mr Gaiman is working on another project and not just any ‘another’ project, this one sounds like it’s another Dr Who thing. Could it be for the proposed collection of short Who stories? We can only hope.


AND AND AND  it’s rumoured that J.K.Rowling herself might be writing one too?



This made me laugh. It is here for no other reason. Via GerryCanavan.wordpress

IO9 have listed their top comic book events that will make 2013 brilliant. Can anyone say SANDMAN!


And switching from EVENTS to actual COMICS, list the 13 comic books they’re most excited to read this year and I’ve gotta admit I’m with them on this. 2013 is going to be incredible for comics.

Still don’t believe me that 2013 will be amazing for comics? Then check out this that dropped in my Inbox this week.


Sci-Fi Gadgets Quiz

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If you’re bored, have a nifty little quiz about all things sci-fi. I did well at first and then started to do worse and worse… Stupid quiz. Didn’t want to do it anyway.



Finally the Marvel universe is getting the Lego treatment and I for one am excited! The Lego games are always a blast and I loved the Batman/DC ones despite being a Marvel boy through and through. And look at the details, over 100 Marvel characters! Not that I care about that, I’m only going to play as Spidey and Deadpool. Thwip Thwip! Bang Bang! BangBangBangBangBang!



Superman. And Helichoppers. And Tanks. Yay! (via

I love the Guardian. It’s highbrow, free online and has no problem delving in to the world of comic books such as this article on why Superman is so popular. A pretty quick and interesting read.

There’s a Star Man!

I will tenuously link this video to SFF by saying that some people genuinely used to believe that David Bowie was from Mars.
Got that? Good. Right, he turned 66 years of age this week and out of no where he gave us this awesome song. I love it. Like, really, really.

Now everyone sing with me, There’s A Star Man, Sitting In A Tin Can, Eating From A Can Of Spam, Star Man.

Authors Are Nerds Too


It’s Myke Cole, Peter V. Brett, Pat Rothfuss and co. playing D&D. Pictures don’t get much more cool than this people. (Via Peter V. Brett’s Twitter.)

Hurrah for science!

Pac-Man Moon – Wacka Wacka Wacka


LOOK! Pac-Man has been found living in a moon! Okay, so it’s to do with heat and stuff but how cool is that?

Futuristic Roads – Cooler than it sounds!

Release The Kraken!

Japanese film crews have finally captured footage of the illusive giant squid. Seriously, look at that thing. Eyes the size of dinner plates and suckers that would put the old pro on the street corner to shame. I often go for sciencey stuff to remind us that SFF is just  a human imagination of what’s out there but this… this squid… this is on Earth!

Catch you in seven.


Also, 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. Avatar Phil Norris says:

    Whoa, hold up there a cotton picking minute.

    “That lovable scamp Mr George R. R. Martin has given us this excerpt from The Winds Of Winter which is out this year”

    Out this year????!!!

  2. Avatar Paul Wiseall says:

    Ah. Yes. Y’see, this sentence got chopped around a lot and it seems that ultimately I still messed it up.
    I meant to say that there’s another excerpt of TWOW due in the Dance Of Dragons rerelease ‘which is out this year’. March to be exact.
    I’m a big tease. Apologies.

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