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 31/01/2013

Welcome back to the Fantasy-Faction weekly round-up of all the best SFF news, fun and nonsense from around the web.

To brighten your day this week we have everything from The Daylight War, geek coins and Star Trek & The City to Gremlin gargoyles, Yoda’s image problem and Game Of Thrones done Minecraft-style. Oh and make sure you check out the short video ‘Cool Unicorn Bruv’ where a guy tries to sell a unicorn, it made me laugh a lot.

Biggest News This Week

This week the biggest news has to be that J.J Abrams has been announced as the director of the next Star Wars film, Episode VII due out in 2015. I’m guessing that some people won’t be happy about this news while others will be elated. The way I figure it, this film is going to happen no matter how much we whine so at least we’ve got a director who is an unabashed nerd and who was probably as annoyed with Jar Jar Binks as the rest of us. These are good things.

So to start us off, here is 10 WHOLE HOURS of the Star Wars theme tune. Now click the play button, turn up the amp and get your own back on those annoying neighbours upstairs who won’t stop stamping.


Books and Publishing



Harper Voyager are teasing us with talk of a trailer for what is set to be one of the hottest books this year, The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett. But until that trailer arrives they have given us these cool sketches depicting Arlen and Jadir.

Voyager have also brought us an interview with the man himself, Mr Peter V. Brett who talks characters, writing and inspiration.

So what’s next for the great Joe Abercrombie? Well, let him tell you himself as he has written a guest blog for the Gollancz site.


This week Gollancz have also announced that the gorgeous US covers to The Heroes and Best Served Cold are to be released in the UK.


Charles Stross will be releasing a new trilogy of novels set in the Merchant Princes universe. To celebrate, TOR UK will be reissuing the first Merchant Princes books in omnibus size.


This is pretty cool. The prolific Brandon Sanderson has released a video of him writing in real time. He also chats along, discussing future videos and such.


Do you have a novel you’re looking to submit to a publisher but not sure how to go about it? Perhaps you want to write something tailored exactly to what the illusive publishers are looking for. Well, Julie Crisp of TOR UK takes you through everything they look for in a submission. Definitely worth a read. 

Sticking with TOR, they asked their authors for what their top writing tips would be and the list is pretty interesting. I think my favourite one comes from Paul Cornell:

“Your aim is to seek out harsh criticism of your work and to then change in reaction to it.”


IO9 is one of the coolest websites out there (after Fantasy-Faction of course…) and it has just turned the ripe old age of five. To celebrate, the io9 team have collected together all their best and favourite articles. There’s certainly enough to keep your brain whirring.

Orbit Books are spoiling us with free samples this week. Here is the first chapter from Francis Knight’s soon to be released Fade To Black (which is excellent) and here is a sample from Kate Locke’s The Queen Is Dead.

Okay so it’s not SFF but Hilary Mantel, author of Bring Up The Bodies, has won pretty much every literary prize going so her top rules for writers are probably worth a cheeky look.

Star Wars

As I said, J.J ‘LOST, ALIAS, STAR TREK’ Abrams has been named as the helmer of Star Wars Episode VII. There are a whole load of Star Wars/Trek mash-ups going around but the image below by  Jack West-Oram is my favourite.




This is rather interesting. The Mary Sue reports that not only is it likely that Episode VII will be released later than the proposed 2015 but also that there’s a damned good chance that the protagonist will be female. This is excellent for many, many reasons. Not only is it increasingly more unlikely that the film will follow an old Luke (please make him cameo only) but also a big franchise gets a strong female lead which Sci-Fi is kinda missing. Hurrahs all round.

Star Wars video + Star Trek editing = Mash-up…


Screen shot 2013-01-23 at 22.23.39

Ever wondered how Yoda secretly pictures himself?  Via Slashfilm. 


Star Wars + Cats = Why the hell not… Yes it’s possibly the lamest Star Wars themed video I’ve ever seen but it’s an internet cat video PLUS Star Wars, what’s not to love.


Star Trek And The City

Screen shot 2013-01-31 at 01.12.45

Follow Ensign Carrie as she navigates star ships and schmokin’ hotties. Yeah it’s a mash-up of Sex and the City and Trek. It’s sure to get tired quickly but for the moment it’s certainly worth a look. (Twitter via Fantasy-Faction reader Jay Wo)


Knight Of Badassdom Trailer

Some LARPing friends accidentally summon a demon succubus from Hell.  Plus it features Tyrion Lannister, Abed from Community and the weird guy from It’s Always Sunny. Yes!


Geek Coins


New Zealand are releasing limited edition nerd coins! Yup, you can get Dr Who and Transformer commemorative coins. The only way to make these things cooled is if they make a Mario-like bing noise when you pick them up.Each coin has the face value of $2 and will only set you back a cool $155 and $280 respectively. Yikes. Via Geektyrant


The Ultimate Geek Gargoyles.

Chapelle Gremlins

I have no idea what sparked these but they are incredible. The Chapelle De Bethleem in France has the coolest gargoyles in the world. They range from Gremlins to Aliens. Via Neatorama.


Cool  Unicorn Bruv

“Can it fly and shit?”

“Nah man, that’s Pegasus. This one’s still pretty good though. It can fire rainbows out it’s horn.”

Dr Who

DWCover Ten Little Aliens

BBC Books has this week announced a special reissue of eleven Dr Who books (one for each incarnation of the Doctor) with cool, classic covers. (Via SFSignal)


The Doctor has a shiny new website to mark his 50th year of leading geek culture. As the months go on it seems like more and more information will be released. It’s early days but it’s looking rather sexy to me.


Filch with a Screwdriver?


David Bradley who played Filch in Harry Potter is coming back to Doctor Who (he was in the dinosaurs on a spaceship episode) but this time to play the Doctor or more specifically, William Hartnell in a drama exploring the beginnings of Doctor Who. Interesting… (via The BBC)

Finally… The Doctor is back!


Yup, he’s coming back to the tellybox this March (via DigitalSpy)


Game Of Thrones


Ho-Lee Sheeeet these guys have created the entire city of Kings Landing on Minecraft. This thing is a thing of beauty! Think of all those people who must have spent months creating it. I’m guessing none of them have girlfriends or boyfriends but that’s okay because they have the pride of creating this city to keep them warm at night. Via



A bucket-load/shit-tonne of Series 3 images have been released including a decent look at Paul Kaye as Thoros Of Myr. Via Geektyrant. 

Sticking with GeekTyrant, this is a pretty cool, short and sweet article arguing why A Song Of Ice And Fire is better than Lord Of The Rings.


Awesome Short.

This short film is simply stunning. It’s a graduation film from Denmark’s The Animation workshop. It has no dialogue and is all the better for it. Simply wow.
Via io9.


Comics (Marvel… it’s pretty much all Marvel)


Bryan Singer has confirmed via Twitter that the original Rogue (Anna Paquin), IceMan (Shawn Ashmore) and Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) will all be returning for the next X-Men film, Days Of Future Past. I just keep getting more and more excited for this one. (via SlashFilm.


A couple of weeks ago I ran the teaser for the forthcoming Marvel Lego game. If that wasn’t enough then here’s some gameplay too.



Awesome Batman & Robin Vs The Riddler art from a chap called Thomas Perkins. (via Geektyrant)


Ant-Man and Doctor Strange have been confirmed to be a part of Marvel’s ‘Phase Three’ of movies. Man, I love what Kevin Feige and Co are doing with the Marvel U. I’m glad they’re using their supervillain plotting skills for good. (via ScreenRant)

Hurrah for Science.

Skynet Brains.

Soooo, scientists have started a $1.6 billions project that will aim to artificially simulate the human brain
Now, I’ll just be taking your clothes your boots and your motorcycle.

Sneeze a storm.

A group of science-types have discovered microbes that live 30,000 feet above the earth could be affecting the weather and also the spread of disease around the planet. I bet there are mad scientists out there already rubbing their hands at the prospects this news throws up. Gulp.

The War On Germs

Scientists from IBM and Singapore have found a new synthetic nano particle that they believe can target those pesky bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics. Just let that sink in a moment and realise how incredible brilliant that is. Just as we are standing on the precipice of a major issue with resistance to antibiotics, scientists may have an answer. This could potentially save all of humanity. (via Fantasy-Faction reader Luke Henter.)



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 Jo says:

    I like the US Joe Abercrombie cover, but the map covers for the UK editions are some of my absolute favourite covers of the last few years.

  2. Avatar Khaldun says:

    Loved the Vimeo staff picks and the interviews. Thanks for the links Paul!

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