SFSF Awards 2018

Roll up, roll up, set fire to the curtains and smash the lights! No wait, that’s Brexit. Anyway, apologies once again for the lack of communications this last year, we’ve felt like Schrodinger’s Cat, trying to keep the box closed so we don’t have to face the outside world for much of it.

But we did manage to get SPFBO award winner Rob Hayes and double British Fantasy Award nominee Anna Smith Spark to speak at The Grimdark SFSF, and the crowd was suitably entertained by a truly banging body count. You can rest assured too that 2019 will feature more SFSF events, especially in light of the excellent news that Sheffield will host Fantasycon in 2020. Surely not even Off The Shelf Festival will be able to ignore that.

Right, time to put the snark away, because this is the legendary annual awards post, administered by a shadowy, unelected cabal of immoral and merciless sociopaths under the control of an authoritarian foreign power!

No, wait, that’s Brexit again.

Anyway, these are the brilliant books we wholeheartedly and enthusiastically recommend to you all. With pictures of cats, of course. And there are multiple winners because that’s the rules, folks!

Best Collection/Anthology

N K Jemisin, How Long ’til Black Future Month (Orbit)

Image may contain: cat

Skadi eyes up the winners

Best Novel (the Skadi Award)

The Tower of Living & Dying, by Anna Smith Spark (Harper)
The Bitter Twins, by Jen Williams (Headline)
The Synapse Sequence, by Dan Godfrey (Titan Books)
Darksoul, by Anna Stephens (Orbit)
Rosewater, by Tade Thompson (Orbit)
Children of Artifice, by Danie Ware (Fox Spirit)

Mycroft contemplates completion

The Mycroft Award for Best Completed Series

The Wounded Kingdom, by RJ Barker (Orbit)
The Murderbot Diaries, by Martha Wells (Tor.com)
The Ben Garston trilogy, by James Bennett (Orbit)

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SFSF Six – RJ Barker and Sarah Mussi

SFSF Six happens on Saturday June 24th, at the Rutland Arms, on Brown Street in Sheffield! (It’s just up the road from the Showroom Cinema and the Hallam Uni Students’ Union!)

And our guests? One of this year’s big debut authors from Orbit Books, RJ Barker, and an author already established in the field of YA fiction, whose latest novels Here Be Dragons and Here Be Witches are published by Sheffield-based Vertebrate Publishing – Sarah Mussi.

25767772Here Be Dragons was released in 2015 and follows Ellie Morgan as she finds secrets and danger up in the mists of Snowdonia. Here Be Witches, the second in the series, came out in March this year and now the stakes are even higher as Ellie and her friends must battle against a White Dragon and the prospect of an eternal winter…

Sarah’s publishers, Vertebrate Publishing, have a passion for the outdoors and are best known for a great range of books on mountain biking, hillwalking, and climbing guidebooks and autobiographies. But they also have an expanding line of fiction tied in to these sports, and Sarah’s Snowdonia Chronicles books will appeal to anybody who also loves the great outdoors. SFSF is also happy to support a local publisher – long live Indie presses!

Sarah MussiSarah Mussi was born in Gloucestershire. After her education at a girl’s school in Cheltenham, she completed a post graduate degree at the Royal College of Art before leaving the UK for West Africa. She lived in Ghana, West Africa for over eighteen years, marrying a Ghanaian and teaching in Accra. Sarah now lives in Brixton and teaches in Lewisham, splitting her holidays between England and Ghana. She’s on Twitter over here!

And RJ Barker – what can we tell you about RJ and the Age of Assassins? Set in a world ravaged by magic and the ambition of noblemen, this debut epic fantasy features a cast of assassins, knights and fools which will delight any fan of Brent Weeks, Robin Hobb or Assassin’s Creed.

32719024Girton Club-foot, apprentice to the land’s best assassin, still has much to learn about the art of taking lives. But their latest mission tasks him and his master with a far more difficult challenge: to save a life. Someone, or many someones, is trying to kill the heir to the throne, and it is up to Girton and his master to uncover the traitor and prevent the prince’s murder. In a kingdom on the brink of civil war and a castle thick with lies Girton finds friends he never expected, responsibilities he never wanted, and a conspiracy that could destroy an entire land. AGE OF ASSASSINS is coming to Orbit this August.

RJ Barker lives in Leeds, with big hair and a family. They are slowly coming to terms with being owned by a cat. You can find RJ on Facebook here and Twitter there.

As usual, we’ll have a stash of books to give away, we’ll be asking questions and hearing readings from both authors, and we hope to see you there!

Click THIS LINK to get to the Eventbrite page for full details and to join the event mailing lists. (We do appreciate knowing numbers in advance, and booking is free!) You can also find us on Facebook, and on Twitter, and one day we might even figure out Instagram.