SFSF Social – June Report

The third SFSF Social went off with a bang last night – if you weren’t there, here’s a taster of what you missed (and some advance details of the next Social too).

Back at Eten Cafe, where we had the first Social at the start of the year, authors Jacey Bedford and Paul Kane joined an audience of over 30 (including the chap on the bar, who was working the evening because he’s an SF fan), for readings, questions, and general conversations. There was the small matter of a few books to give away too…

Jacey Bedford

Jacey Bedford

Introduced by Darren Johnson-Smith, who bears a rather striking resemblance to that noted teller of spooky Sheffield tales Mr P Dreadful, Jacey kicked off proceedings with a reading from Empire of Dust, a space opera set roughly five hundred years in the future. In answering the questions that followed, Jacey dealt with the history of the book itself, which was originally intended to stand on its own, and the dangers of accidentally committing trilogy.

We also heard an excerpt from her forthcoming historical fantasy Winterwood, which isn’t due for release until next year. Featuring a privateer heroine and witchcraft in Napoleonic times, it has already gone onto my TBR list…

Paul Kane

Paul Kane

Paul Kane gave us an excerpt from his Arrowhead series – a post-apocalyptic Robin Hood story, pitting bows and arrows against Challenger tanks. He told us more about the series, about picking up old characters years later, and his new story collection Monsters. And, speaking of Monsters, Paul also read from one of the stories in that collection, the award-winning A Chaos Demon Is For Life. If you’re going to Edge-Lit on 11th July, you’ll be able to hear more from Monsters at the books official launch event there.

There were books to give away too, including copies of Monsters and The Hooded Man (with thanks to Alchemy Press and Paul himself) and Empire of Dust (and thanks to DAW Books) – and much, much more, as you can see below (more thanks to Richard Webb and Phil Lunt, the drinks are on us)! So many in fact, that we still have some for next time!

One for the covetous bibliophiles!

One for the covetous bibliophiles!

Speaking of which, SFSF #4 will be taking place during Sheffield’s Off The Shelf Festival in October – specifically, Saturday 17th October, so that it won’t clash with FantasyCon in Nottingham the following weekend. We’ll be putting up the page on Eventbrite shortly, but mark the date in your diary now, and spread the word! If there’s a York Pubmeet in the meantime, we’ll let you know about that too. And going forward, we do intend to carry on into 2016 – if you know of a writer you’d like to see as one of our guests, please do let us know…

So, thank you very much to Jacey and Paul for being our guests, and thank you to everybody who came along and made the afternoon a success; we couldn’t do this without you!

And, by way of thanks to Eten Cafe, if you enjoyed their hospitality, why not vote for them in the 2015 EatSheffield Awards? The link to the voting form is here, and Eten is in the Licensed Cafes & Bars category.

SFSF Social #3 – 27th June 2015

We’re back in the upstairs room at the excellent Eten Cafe on Saturday 27th June from 4pm, and we’re proud to announce that once again we will have readings and Q&A sessions with two brilliant authors!

Jacey Bedford

Jacey Bedford is a British writer with a three book deal from DAW. Empire of Dust, a Psi-tech novel came out in 2014. Crossways, its sequel, follows in August 2015 and Winterwood, a historical fantasy, in February 2016. Her short stories have been published on both sides of the Atlantic in anthologies and magazines. She lives on the edge of the Pennine Hills, south of Huddersfield, with her songwriter husband and a long-haired, black German Shepherd (a dog not an actual shepherd from Germany). She used to have children, now she has adults. She’s been a librarian, a postmistress, a rag-doll maker and a folk singer with the vocal harmony trio, Artisan. Her claim to fame is that she once sang live on BBC Radio 4 accompanied by the Doctor (Who?) playing spoons. www.jaceybedford.co.uk

Paul Kane

Paul Kane is the award-winning, bestselling author and editor of over fifty books – including the Arrowhead trilogy (gathered together in the sellout Hooded Man omnibus, revolving around a post-apocalyptic version of Robin Hood), The Butterfly Man and Other Stories, Hellbound Hearts and The Mammoth Book of Body Horror. His non-fiction books include The Hellraiser Films and Their Legacy and Voices in the Dark, and his genre journalism has appeared in the likes of SFX, Rue Morgue and DeathRay. He has been a Guest at Alt.Fiction five times, was a Guest at the first SFX Weekender, at Thought Bubble in 2011, Derbyshire Literary Festival and Off the Shelf in 2012, Monster Mash and Event Horizon in 2013, and Edge-Lit in 2014, as well as being a panellist at FantasyCon and the World Fantasy Convention. His work has been optioned and adapted for the big and small screen, including for network US television, plus his latest novels are Lunar (set to be turned into a feature film) and the Y.A. story The Rainbow Man (as P.B. Kane). Forthcoming from him are the collection Monsters and the sequel to RED: Blood RED. He lives in Derbyshire, UK, with his wife Marie O’Regan, his family and a black cat called Mina. Find out more at his site www.shadow-writer.co.uk which has featured Guest Writers such as Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Charlaine Harris, Dean Koontz and Guillermo del Toro.

There will, once more, be giveaway prizes to be had, and of course a great opportunity to enjoy the company of fellow fans. Please do use the Eventbrite listing to let us know you’re coming, and spread the word to anyone who might be interested! We hope to see you there!

Dana Fredsti in Conversation!

At the Social last weekend, Dana Fredsti read from both Plague Town and Plague World (both available from Titan Books, folks!) and also did a Q&A session with Peter Ray Allison. Pete not only recorded the session but was also kind enough to share it with us. There’s some background noise from the bar downstairs, but otherwise, this is a brilliant session with both Dana and Pete – we hope you enjoy it as much as we did on the night!

Soundcloud – Dana Fredsti at SFSF Social #2

SFSF Social #1 – In the Aftermath

Hello everyone!

This is my first post on the SFSF Social Blog, which is rather exciting! For those who were there, I was the quiet hobbly one (not to be confused with Hobbity, as I am the tallest of the three of us behind yesterday’s (Okay, I started this the next day…. but things happened) and future events!) For those who weren’t, I’m Sara, and I do lots of stuff, and one of them is helping with this!!

SFSF Organisers

Your Hosts here at SFSF

As you’ll know, yesterday (Okay.. yes it’s a couple of weeks now… ) was the first SFSF Social (huzzah!) And from what I can see, we all loved it. All in all we had over 30 people from not just Sheffield, but as far as York and Stafford and other places too, gathering at Eten Cafe to get together, chat, network, and listen to our guests of honour for the day, Adrian Tchaikovsky and Jo Thomas.

After a bit of time for people to arrive, get a drink and have a perusal of the surroundings we kicked off with introductions. I will admit happily this was the hardest part for me, as I’ve not really done anything social in a few months since injuring my leg so the idea of having to address a room of people absolutely terrified me, and I *nearly* managed to get out of it, had it not been for Jo sneakily realising!

 

SFSF Social #1 Introductions

Introductions!

 

After introductions, Steve then gave a brief introduction to the event, and we all gathered round for Jo’s reading. Jo (for those who don’t know) has written a book called 25 Ways to Kill a Werewolf, which is published by FoxSpirit, and we were treated to a portion describing one such method; namely the Nailgun. Written as part instruction manual, part diary and very down to earth, the book talks us through the main character Elkie’s repeated dealings with werewolves. After finishing and a hearty round of applause, we moved onto a Q&A session which was enjoyed by everyone.

 

SFSF Social #1 Jo Thomas reading 25 ways to kill a Werewolf

“everybody laughed in the right places” – Jo Thomas

SFSF Social #1 Jo Thomas reading 25 ways to kill a Werewolf

SFSF Social #1 Jo Thomas reading 25 ways to kill a Werewolf

Jo Reading her chapter on Nailguns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a break for refills and a stretch, we gathered back for Adrian’s reading. Known for his series Shadows of the Apt, we were both surprised and excited to hear that he was reading from his new stand-alone book Guns of the Dawn. Pseudo-historically set (Napoleonic age), we heard the story of the female protagonists first kill on the battlefield. I’m not going to say much more on that, as I really think that you should read it yourself! Then followed another Q&A session where there were a lot of interesting questions!

SFSF Social #1 Adrian Tchaikovski close up

SFSF Social #1 Adrian Tchaikovski close up

On paper no less!

Then we moved onto the raffle. We had some generous donations sent in, including a full set of Adrian’s Shadows of the Apt series (which we split into three) so lots of bundles of books to be won! I hadn’t really looked too hard at everything on there, as it’s rare I win things when I’m in person, but I was lucky enough to walk away with the “nazi flying saucer” book, as it was aptly described, along with another one. I think everyone enjoyed this part, and the banter was flying thick and fast.

SFSF Social #1 Raffle prizes

A few of the prizes..

And that was that! People then quite happily went and talked to one another, made new connections, and friends, caught up with old ones, had another pint and generally had fun, and whilst I had to nip off to another event (that frankly was a waste of my time) I know that come 8pm, the location had changed as Eten was shutting it’s doors, but other places were explored!

The final moment of the evening for Steve and I though, was the last pint in what is to be our next venue, The Old Queen’s Head.

I’d given up on The Waste Of My Time ™ and come back into town, as Steve had wished the last person goodbye from Cavell’s and we wandered down to the familiar setting of the Writer’s group, and had a pint which took us to midnight and talked about the day, and how we’d definitely be organizing another… which we are!!

Sara

SFSF Social #1 Organisers and Authors Steven Poore Darren Johnson-Smith Sara Smith  Jo Thomas Adrian Tchaikovski

The Authors and organisers

 

All photographs (C) Sara Smith 2015

SFSF Social #2

Sunday, 1st March 2015, The Old Queen’s Head, Sheffield, 4pm-8pm

Hello folks! We’re back, with a different venue and two new readers!

Because we’re running on a Sunday this time, we’ve had to move down the road to the Old Queen’s Head, behind the bus station on Pond Street. It’s Sheffield’s oldest pub, and is apparently haunted too. We hope the ghosts enjoy the stories as much as you will! We’ve also moved a little further back into the afternoon, so that all those of us unlucky enough to be working early Monday morning don’t have too long an evening…

Our readers will be none other than Sheffield’s own, award-winning Ian Sales, and – all the way from San Francisco! – author and theatrical swordfighter Dana Fredsti.

Ian SalesIan Sales has published three volumes of his hard science fiction/alt-history Apollo Quartet through his own Whippleshield Books; the first volume, Adrift on the Sea of Rains, won a BSFA award in 2012 and was called “one of the most outstanding self-published books of the year” by the Guardian. The final volume in the series, All That Outer Space Allows, will be published this year – as will the first book in his new space opera trilogy, A Prospect of War, which will come from Tickety Boo Press.

Dana FredstiAs a theatrical swordfighter, Dana Fredsti‘s film credits include Army of Darkness. Her Ashley Parker novels, Plague Town, Plague Nation, and Plague World, all published by Titan Books, has been described by The Book Smugglers as “A diverting, entertaining zombie siege novel complete with all the delicious, bone-crunching, blood-gushing awesomeness a zombie lover could ever want.”

There will, once more, be giveaway prizes to be had, and once the upstairs readings and talks are done, we’ll be sticking around for a good old chat in the bar too. Please do use the Eventbrite listing to let us know you’re coming, and spread the word to anyone who might be interested! We hope to see you there!

SFSF Social #1: Update Time!

Hi folks! We’ve been quiet, but we’re still here – and we’ve got (hopefully) all the details you need in advance of the first Social on the 24th.

If you haven’t already registered at Eventbrite (free) can we please ask you to do so, so we can give the venue a good indication of numbers? (see the panel to the right, or go here)

If you’re travelling into Sheffield by car, we apologise for the inner ring road in advance. There are several car parks near the venue – including two NCPs in the Cathedral Quarter (S1 2EF and S1 2EL), ’round the back of the city centre. There’s also a Q-Park (S1 2NJ, known affectionately as the Cheese Grater – you can’t mistake it) just outside the Peace Gardens, which is only a five minute or so walk away up Fargate.

If you’re coming in by train, the easiest option is to grab a tram connection from the station and get off at the Cathedral stop – Eten Cafe is a literal stone’s throw from the tram stop.

Eten serves food, as does the Blue Moon Cafe (vegetarian & vegan specialists), on the other side of the Cathedral square, and there will be a bar in the upstairs room at Eten from 4pm.

The event is scheduled from 4pm, but we’ll be a bit relaxed about that to give everybody a chance to turn up. 🙂

Our timetable looks a bit like this:

  • 4.30pm     Introductions all-round SRFC-stylee
  • 5.00pm     First Reading by Jo from 25 Ways to Kill a Werewolf, followed by a Q&A.
  • brief pause/break for refreshments
  • 5.45pm     Second Readings by Adrian from Guns of the Dawn, followed by a Q&A
  • 6.30pm     Free raffle for various goodies/book bundles
  • 7.00pm     General chat & social

We look forward to seeing you there! (I’ll be the one hiding under a cardboard box….)

–And a quick note in advance: while we’re looking to host a second event around the end of April this year, there may be one or two readings – mini-SFSFs?! – popping up inbetween. Keep an eye of the site and our Twitter feed for more details…

We Are SFSF Social

Hi. We are the Sheffield Fantasy & Science Fiction Social Club. It’s nice to meet you.

Earlier this year we went to the York Pubmeet – held, obviously, in a pub in York – inspired by London’s own Super Relaxed Fantasy Club. Authors David Tallerman and Janine Ashbless wowed a packed room with readings of their work, the BSFA’s Alex Bardy gave away lots of books, and everybody had a damned good time with drinks and a lot of constructive conversation.

And we thought: why isn’t there anything like this in Sheffield?

So now there is.

Adrian Tchaikovsky

Adrian Tchaikovsky

On 24th January 2015, at 4pm, you can join us upstairs at Eten on York Street in Sheffield for the very first SFSF Social. Our guests will be the following wonderfully talented authors and swordfighters:

Jo Thomas

Jo Thomas

As well as readings, there will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions, and to win some goodies – and, of course, to have a good old chinwag, in relaxed surroundings, about anything SFnal.

We’ll have more details over the course of the coming weeks, but if you need to get in touch sooner, pop over to the Contact page, or ping us on Twitter – @SFSFSocial.

You can also find SFSF Social on Eventbrite – it’s a good way for us to gauge how many people we’ll need to cater for, so please do register (free!) if you will be popping down!