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.
Weird Tales Radio Show
Welcome to Episode 16 of the Weird Tales Radio Show. This is our our Friday the Thirteenth, All you ever wanted to know about Aleister Crowley but were afraid to ask, Get out your Hagstones to fight the Evil Eye, is it a Bird, is it a Plane, no it’s the Monster Owl Witch Show. The Big Interview is with Ashley Cowie and we talk about the myth surrounding Aleister Crowley: psychologist? Misunderstood trickster? The godfather of modern witchcraft and wicca? Music by Ozzy Osbourne.
Follow this link to access all episodes of the Weird Tales Radio Show podcasts. The page also contains links to all our platforms. Click the player button below to hear latest show.
New on the Grievous Angel
This is a stunning new piece of flash fiction, a masterclass in how to encapsulate a good story, characterisation and emotion in just 750 words by Andrew W. Mccullough. You can read it HERE free
This is Urban Fantasist
Curated by former barrister and Reuters correspondent turned writer, award-winning tech journalist, best-selling non-fiction author, sometime werewolf hunter, and internet radio host Charles Christian – Urban Fantasist is here to inform and entertain you with news and comment on weird tales, geek stuff, tech, urban myths, and folklore.
Also includes the Grievous Angel webzine for free-to-read, sci-fi and fantasy poetry and flash fiction.
And the Weird Tales Radio Show podcast archive. Click on any of the buttons below to access the shows.
Plus links to Charles Christian's books including fiction, nonfiction, and all the latest reviews.
"Charles Christian defiantly makes my world a brighter, funnier place."
"The legendary Charles Christian at his eclectic best... his insight and humour alone make this a must-read blog."
"Charles Christian is my inner spirit animal, thank you for making me laugh."
"the funny, wonderful and slightly cantankerous Charles Christian"
"His tech journalism is always witty. He has a talent for pricking the overblown claims of suppliers."
"Charles Christian does awesome!"
The Urban Fantasist website is now averaging over 4750 page views daily and 140,000 page views a month plus over 5500 unique visitors each week.
Over 193 weeks in Amazon's writing reference books bestsellers Top 20.
Can I copy content from this site?
Yes... providing you properly credit it. Here's the technical bit: Urban Fantasist content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License which means it may be shared, remixed or used commercially as long as Urban Fantasist or Grievous Angel is cited as the source. If you have any questions, please email or use our contact form.
Green Tea Pot
Please drop a few PayPal coins into our Tip Jar to help us meet some of our running costs. Chocolate, green tea, flasks of wine, books of verse, the usual.
Copyright © Charles Christian
& WordsandVision Limited 2018
Grievous Angel ISSN 2059-6057
This site is fuelled entirely by green tea, dark chocolate and sarcasm.
Contact Address: Oak Lodge, Darrow Green Road, Denton, Harleston, Norfolk IP20 0AY, United Kingdom