Here's an update on 2018 the SCI-FI-London 48 Hour Flash Fiction Challenge which is sponsored by Urban Fantasist – that's us! The entries are all in – and we have a shortlist of six, which is now in the hands of our judges.
Not only that but we also have a date and time for announcing the winner: The location is the Stratford Picturehouse in East London on Wednesday 2 May where, following a drinks reception from 7.00pm, the awards ceremony will start at 8.45pm.
Here is the Shortlist (in alphabetical order)...
All My Blood - Simon Bennett
My Electric Friend - Michael Adam Robson
Survival Mechanism - Natalie Dixon
The Charm - Bethan James
Timeless Classic - Mark Huntley-James
Windmills Turn - Sean Mason
And here is a short video about the SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival this year...
Earlier this week Blue Origin (that's the spaceflight business started by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos) launched its New Shepard rocket for the seventh time from its West Texas launch site. The mission – known Mission 7 (M7) – featured the next-generation booster and the first flight of Crew Capsule 2.0, which has extra large windows for maximum visibility. The pilot was Mannequin Skywalker (geddit?) and the capsule reached an apogee of 322,405 feet / 98.27 kilometres / 61 miles in its 11 minute flight. The video (taken from onboard cameras) is just over 11 minutes in length.
"I'm not entirely convinced scientists have their latest developments under control. You know genetic engineering, nuclear weaponry and computers. Whatever trouble we fall into you can be sure of one thing: it'll be of our own making..." Terry Nation quoted in the Radio Times in 1977. We can all feel grateful it is so different now and scientists are definitely not developing technologies that may grow out of control!
The late Terry Nation was a Welsh television writer and novelist, working on many of the most popular British TV series of the 1960s and 1970s. He made a significant contribution to Doctor Who from its outset, creating the villainous Daleks, and was also the creator of two series for the BBC: Survivors and the cult Blake's 7.
And "yes" we all wore those strange scarf/cravat things in the early 1970s.
OK, so Blade Runner 2049 is now out and getting rave reviews but what other influential science fiction and dystopian future movies are out there? We have links to three selections...
Unbound Worlds (www.unboundworlds.com), the Penguin Random House online destination dedicated to the literary worlds of science fiction and fantasy, has just announced A Long Time Ago, an original content series that shares new essays from 20 authors on how the Star Wars franchise has influenced their lives. A Long Time Ago celebrates Star Wars Reads month in October and features acclaimed science fiction and fantasy authors from Penguin Random House as well as other publishers. Participants include Jim Hines, Beth Cato, Blake Crouch, Gini Koch, and Peter Clines.
Each weekday in October, Unbound Worlds will present readers with essays from different authors who examine how Star Wars has shaped who they are and how they write. Essays touch on personal themes such as discovering strong female characters in Princess Leia to harnessing the magic of Star Wars to cope with depression, and much more. Readers will enjoy perspectives that span multiple generations from authors who grew up with Star Wars in the 1970s and 80s, and others who first experienced the force as millennials.
Emily Hughes, Unbound Worlds editor, says, “Star Wars means so many different things to so many people, so we decided to celebrate Star Wars Reads by inviting authors to share personal stories of how the Force has shaped their lives. We hope our readers will be as excited as we are to revisit the Star Wars universe and share their own stories.”
Highlights from A Long Time Ago include:
• Stephen Graham Jones, who draws parallels between the struggles of the rebels against the evil Empire to the plight of Native Americans, and thanks Star Wars for giving him “Indian role models and Indian heroes” during his formative years.
• Regular Grievous Angel contributor Beth Cato, who attributes Star Wars to the strong bond she shares with her family and for serving as the foundation for her writing. “Those movies literally provided me with my first words as an infant. From them, I absorbed lessons of character development, pacing, tension, and action scenes.”
• Ed McDonald, who recalls grappling with questions of morality and redemption as a college student while playing Knights of the Old Republic video game, which put him through all of the struggles experienced in the Star Wars films.
• Blake Crouch, who attributes Star Wars to leading him on the path to becoming a writer, and shares pages from an unfinished Star Wars novel that he wrote as a tween in the 1980s.
• Martha Wells, author of Star Wars: Razor’s Edge, who credits Star Wars films and books for helping her find a community of like-minded individuals through fandom, after being told that it was weird and bad for girls to like science fiction and fantasy.
Fun & Strangeness
Urban Fantasist is here to inform and entertain you with tales of pop culture, geek, folklore, urban myths, and the weird. "Fun and strangeness" is how one reader describes it.
Hosted by Reuters correspondent and barrister turned writer, podcaster, radio DJ, award-winning tech journalist and werewolf hunter Charles Christian. The site also has links to Charles Christian's books including fiction, nonfiction and latest reviews, as well as his Weird Tales and Smart Radio shows.
The Latest Podcast
In Episode 68 of the Weird Tales Radio Show: we learn the significance of Litha/Midsummer to Wiccans & Pagans from Naomi of Inanna’s in Norwich; before heading to the Great Yarmouth Comic Con to talk to members of the cast of some of the hottest fantasy & sci-fi TV and movie franchises of recent years including Clive Russell (Game of Thrones), Chris Rankin (Harry Potter) & Ross Mullan (GoT & Doctor Who); and we end with the cryptozoologist who believes the Loch Ness Monster and Sasquatch don’t exist – because if they did, someone would have photographed them by now.
Click the player button below to hear the latest show. Follow this page link Weird Tales Radio Show to access the podcast episodes archive, which also contains links to all our podcast platforms – you can find us wherever you listen to podcasts.
Listen to Charles Christian on Smart Radio GY music radio:
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Listen to Charles Christian on Paranormal UK Radio Network talk radio:
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