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 Web Round-Up 03/01/2013

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

So what else is there to say about this week other than, IT’S 2013!
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never thought upon; the flames of love extinguished and all that kind of stuff. La la la, Auld Lang Syne. Yup we’ve survived another year so that means that it’s time to celebrate so we are going to do that with the fun and stupidity you’ve come to expect from the interwebs coupled with the usual inane comments par moi. This week we have everything from Adventure Time Pac-Man and Steampunk Star Wars to Dr Who Stickables and dirty Hobbit names to Batman bookshelves and Space Cats and a chilled out Yoda.

Welcome to the Xmas and New Year Internets!


Books and Publishing

Book Sales Boom
Sales of print books in the UK have hit their strongest since Xmas 2009. It’s being hailed as a fightback against the digital world. Unfortunately I would guess that  it’s more likely attributed to that ‘Oh shit I haven’t gotten my parents anything for Xmas’ moment. But still, it’s gotta be a good thing if it keeps our book shops open.

Neil Gaiman


Check out this very cool interview with Adam Rex  who is the illustrator on Neil Gaiman’s forthcoming children’s book Chu’s Day.

Locus Greatest stories Poll


Locus Magazine recently polled it’s readers about the best SFF novels and short stories of the C20 and C21 and here are the results. It’s great to see mentions for everyone from Ray Bradbury and Alistair Reynolds to Charles Stross and China Mieville.



As it is the end of the year, io9 have posted this great piece compiling all of their very best articles from the last year. This will keep you entertained for aaaaaaages. Promise.

io9 have also listed their top ten book series that they say are so addictive you never want them to end. I can’t deny that I completely agree with them, for the most part anyway.


George RR Martin

Sticking with io9 – I do trawl other sites honest, io9 are just damned good – they have pulled together all the very best writing advice from the man himself, Mr Game-of-Thrones R.R Martin.

The Tor Future

Those ladies and gents over at Tor Books UK are looking to the coming year and have each detailed the books they are most looking forward to. There are some really interesting picks and as always, it’s great to see some love for Paul Cornell.

Dr Who

Back To The Future Meets…

This is one of the best mash-ups I think I have ever seen. Dr Who with Back To the Future. Bellissima.

Dr Who Interview

There’s a rather interesting interview with Jenna-Louise Coleman over on

How is Clara and the Doctor’s relationship different from his relationship with Amy?

Well, I think Clara is definitely a match for him. They are both as stubborn as each other and they challenge each other. It’s almost more of a reluctant friendship. They are totally bemused by each other but are drawn together like magnets – they can’t help liking each other but are constantly trying to work the other out.

There’s more on the link here (scroll down on the page)

Who on Stamps


Over the years, Royal Mail have produced stamps ranging from things like Judge Dredd to Olympic Athletes and now the Doctor himself is getting the sticky-backed treatment. I hear that to make things extra authentic Royal Mail made the backs of the stamps actually taste like the hair of the respective Doctor. Apparently it really adds to the experience.

There are also Ood, Cybermen, Dalek and Weeping Angel 2nd class stamps coming soon.

Now this is proof that stamps, like stetsons and bowties, are cool.

The Who Alphabet Of Death

This is a really rather excellent piece by Deviant Artist Eat Toast who has depicted Dr Who deaths in alphabet form.


Dr Who – Game of Time Tshirt 


As a rule I abhor ostentatious or lame t-shirt designs. You know the ones. They are the ones that my brother likes to wear with with dumb puns like ‘Give Peas A Chance’. I hate ’em, but but but, I would wear this WHO shirt with pride.
Someone make this a real game! Please please please. Then give us Firefly Snakes and Ladders and Pop Up Chewbacca. (via Geektyrant)

Tardis Book shelf


This 18 year-old has made himself a TARDIS bookshelf complete with moveable parts. Some might say he has too much time on his hands but I might say he’s too much cool. And what I say goes. Y’hear? More here on his blog. 

Batman Bookshelf


Okay, so this bookshelf is no longer available via Etsy but how fucking cool is it? Seriously. If ever a petition was ever needed for anything, it was for these to be made widely available for all nerds everywhere.

Space Cats


Yeah, this is pretty much just pictures of cats in space suits. Is there anything more wonderful? …What? No, not dogs in sailor outfits, that’s just mental. More at the link. (via Retronaut)



If you’re bored for ten minutes there’s a cool little article over on about, amongst other things, why hobbits are required for Middle-Earth to survive.

What’s your Hobbit name?


My dirty hobbit name would be Bigred Crabrash. What’s yours? 

Avengers/GOT Mash-Up


I love this Avengers/GoT mash-up available as a t-shirt from Ript Apparel. (Via Comic Book resources.)

Geeks Vs Nerds


Have you ever wondered whether you are a geek or a nerd? Wonder no more with this cracking infographic.

Star Wars



It’s kind of obvious I guess but are reporting that it’s likely Disney won’t renew their contracts with Dark Horse comics for the Star Wars licence. Y’know, what with Disney now owning a big comic company and all that.

Steampunk Star Wars Helmets

 Screen shot 2012-12-16 at 5.19.42 PM

How do you make Star Wars cool again? SteamPunk the shit out of it. Oh yeah. More helmets at the link. (via Geektyrant)



There’s a short but cool article over on IO9 with links to blu print images of Star Wars vehicles including this one of the Millenium Falcon. Sexy, sexy stuff.


So you may have seen the latest trailer for Snyder and Nolan’s new Superman/Man of Steel movie. But have you seen it Sweded?

GOT Cake


Getting married to your sibling? Need a suitable wedding cake?

Pac-Man Mods


What can I say except that I love these! (Via WeHeartIt.)

Cool Sciencey Movie

This short film, The Black Hole, has been around for a while but I thought I would share it with you because it is awesome. Although, if I could create a black hole that would let me reach into anything I would like to think that I would get a little more inventive than this guy. Banks vaults and safes? Pfft! Bank vaults are filled with money, everyone knows that, but what’s inside a rhino? That’s what I want to know.

Incidentally I’m never allowed back to the city zoo…

Hurrah For Science

When I saw this there was no way anything else could fill the Hurrah For Science slot.
It’s Superman flying!
Yeah okay, so it’s only an RC plane trussed up with pants on the outside but who cares, it still looks far more real than the CGI on that Brandon Routh drivel from years ago.


And that, my friends, is it. So I leave you for this week with this parting gift of wisdom from the one and only Yoda in the style of those annoying WW2-era signs that are all the rage in the UK right now.


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.



  1. Avatar Johnny V. says:

    Hey, guys. It’s 2013 now.

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