2016 World Fantasy Awards

Final Ballot and Life Achievement Award Winners for the 2016 World Fantasy Awards have been announced.


  • David G. Hartwell
  • Andrzej Sapkowski


  • Kazuo Ishiguro, The Buried Giant (Knopf/Faber & Faber)
  • N K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season (Orbit)
  • Naomi Novik, Uprooted (Del Rey Books/Macmillan UK)
  • K J. Parker, Savages (Subterranean Press)
  • Anna Smaill, The Chimes (Sceptre)
  • Paul Tremblay, A Head Full of Ghosts (William Morrow & Co.)


  • Kelly Barnhill, The Unlicensed Magician (PS Publishing)
  • Usman T. Malik, “The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn” (Tor.com, Apr. 22, 2015)
  • Kim Newman, “Guignol” (Horrorology, edited by Stephen Jones, Jo Fletcher Books)
  • Kelly Robson, “Waters of Versailles” (Tor.com, June 10, 2015)
  • Bud Webster, “Farewell Blues” (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Jan./Feb. 2015)

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The Death House reviewed

Death House 02

The Death House by Sarah Pinborough. Gollancz.

Reviewed by Peter Coleborn

I’ve been kicking myself (metaphorically of course) for not reading The Death House until now. It’s been sitting on my shelves waiting patiently for its pages to be turned, its words read.

Sarah Pinborough’s science fiction novel is set in a dystopian future/alternate world (it’s not obvious which and it’s not important), in a house that resembles an approved school on an isolated island somewhere far from civilisation. It’s a place where “Defective” children are housed until they die from the illness triggered by their defective genes, a place where there is only one way out – on a gurney, their existence then wiped away. It’s a bleak scenario and yet, despite the death that awaits the inmates, it is a coming-of-age story that bubbles with the promise of life.

Toby is the de facto head boy of Dorm 4. He whiles away the days in semi-boredom, avoiding the attention of Matron and her staff, living for the nights when he is alone, echoing the location’s isolation. The status quo is shattered when a new bunch of Defectives arrive, including the teenage girl Clara. At first he resents her, that she too has discovered the secret of the vitamin pills; soon, though, he becomes besotted. Together, they plan their escape (from a place that no-one, ever, has escaped from).

Sarah Pinborough readily gives away two of her inspirations for this novel: The Lord of the Flies and the Narnia books (there are hints of others). And yes, the children do form tribes, do develop friendships and hatreds. Unlike Lord of the Flies, however, they know their future; know that there is no ship on the horizon to release them from captivity. She is able to enter the heads of the boys with consummate ease, depicting their concerns expertly – no doubt lessons she learned as a teacher.

Neil Gaiman endorses the hardcover edition; Stephen King the paperback. Who am I to disagree with these two giants of the field? The Death House is a thoroughly engaging read (it’s a cliché but I really found it difficult to put the book down when I had to get on with life). Toby, Clara and the others are real people and if you don’t finish this novel with tears welling up then you are probably a robot. A tremendous book and one I have no hesitation in recommending.


New books

  • Neal Asher – Dark Intelligence – Pan £8.99
  • Tony Ballantyne – Dream Paris – Solaris £7.99
  • Christopher Fowler – The Sand Men – Solaris £7.99
  • Alexander Freed – Star Wars: Battlefront: Twilight Company – Century £19.99
  • Wayne G Hammond & Christina Scull — The Art of the Lord of the Rings — Harper Collins £25
  • Marcus Hearn – Thunderbirds: The Vault – Virgin £25
  • Dave Hutchinson – Europe at Midnight – Solaris £7.99
  • George RR Martin — A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms — Harper £20
  • Paul Meloy – The Night Clock – Solaris £7.99
  • Adam Nevill – Lost Girl – Pan £7.99
  • Stephen Nicholas & Mike Tucker – Doctor Who: Impossible Worlds – BBC £35
  • Terry Pratchett – The Shepherd’s Crown – Doubleday £20
  • Rob Redman (ed) – Long Grey Beard and Glittering Eye – Fiction Desk £9.99
  • Justin Richards – Doctor Who : The Time Lord Letters – BBC £20
  • Brandon Sanderson – Shadows of Self – Gollancz £18.99
  • Brandon Sanderson – Legion – Gollancz £8.99
  • Brandon Sanderson – Legion: Skin Deep – Gollancz £9.99
  • Yrsa Sigurdardottir – The Undesired – Hodder £14.99

Ghosts at the Gladstone

Renegade Writers (along with Penkhull Press and The Alchemy Press) is hosting an afternoon of ghost and spooky stories at the Gladstone Museum, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent on 31 October (from 1.00 pm to 4.00 pm). The event is free but you will need to reserve tickets.

Put it in your diary now!


New Books


  • Joe Abercrombie – Half a War – Harper £12.99
  • Trevor Baxendale – Doctor Who: Deep Time – BBC £6.99
  • Bradley Beaulieu – Twelve Kings – Gollancz £16.99
  • Jim Butcher – Skin Game – Orbit £8.99
  • Ernest Cline – Armada – Century £16.99
  • Joshua Gaylord – When We were Animals – Del Rey £12.99
  • Laurell K Hamilton – Dead Ice – Headline £ 19.99
  • Robin Hobb – Fool’s Assassin – Harper £8.99
  • Robin Hobb – Fool’s Quest – Harper £20
  • Mark Hodder – The Return of the Discontinued Man – Del Rey £8.99
  • Andrew Michael Hurley – The Loney – John Murray £14.99
  • Erika Johansen – The Invasion of the Tearling – Bantam £14.99
  • James Brogden — Evocations — The Alchemy Press £10.99
  • Jasper Kent – The Last Rite – Bantam £7.99
  • Dean Koontz – Saint Odd – Harper £7.99
  • Mark Lawrence – The Liar’s Key – Harper £14.99
  • Una McCormack – Doctor Who: Royal Blood – BBC £6.99
  • Alexander Maskill – The Hive Construct – Corgi £7.99
  • Weston Ochse – grunt Traitor – Solaris £7.99
  • Seth Patrick – Lost Souls – Pan Macmillan £7.99
  • Gary Russell – Doctor Who: Big Bang Generation – BBC £6.99
  • Yrsa Sigurdardottir – The Undesired – Hodder £14.99 (October)


World Fantasy Awards

The 2015 World Fantasy Awards Final Ballot and Life Achievement Award Winners have been announced. The Gahan Wilson‑designed trophies will be presented to the winners at the World Fantasy Convention, 5 November — 8 November 2015:


  • Ramsey Campbell
  • Sheri S. Tepper


  • Katherine Addison, The Goblin Emperor (Tor Books)
  • Robert Jackson Bennett, City of Stairs (Broadway Books/Jo Fletcher Books)
  • David Mitchell, The Bone Clocks (Random House/Sceptre UK)
  • Jeff VanderMeer, Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy (Farrar, Straus and Giroux Originals)
  • Jo Walton, My Real Children (Tor Books US/Corsair UK)

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Worlds of the Unknown

Spectre Press logo

Worlds of the UNKNOWN is a new magazine that endeavours to emulate the feel of three magazine now no longer with us: the pulp magazine Unknown / Unknown Worlds, the golden years of the digest magazine Fantastic, and the short-lived digest magazine Beyond Fantasy Fiction. So far Spectre Press has produced two Volumes of Worlds of the UNKNOWN.

Spectre Press UW1and2

Volume 1 contains stories by Adrian Cole, Andrew Darlington and Mike Chinn, with artwork by Bob Covington and Jim Pitts, Issue 1 also includes an essay by Mike Ashley about Unknown. The cover art is by Jim Pitts.

Volume 2 contains reprints of Theodore Sturgen‘s ‘IT’ from Unknown; Arthur Machen‘s ‘The Bowmen’ plus one other of his stories to mark 100 years since World War 1; many more original stories; and an article by Jon Harvey about Beyond Fantasy Fiction.  The cover is by Bob Covington who also provided a four-page comic called ‘The Angels of War’.

Both issues are available for £10 plus £1.50 each p&p in the UK. Copies can be obtained by Paypal, using the email jon.harvey @ talktalk.net, or a cheque made out to Jon Harvey, at 56 Mickle Hill, Sandhurst, Berkshire, GU47 8QU.

The publisher (Jon Harvey) is currently organising Volume 3, which contains stories by Andrew Darlington, Marion Pitman plus tales first published in Beyond Fantasy Fiction. Jon states:

 I am looking for more stories in the vein of the three magazines mentioned above.  I am also looking for artists to illustrate various stories and covers.  I have used artists such as Bob Covington, David Fletcher, Fergal Fitzgerald, Russ Nicholson and Jim Pitts in the first two volumes, but I need more artist to help ease the load.  Authors and artists, please contact me at jon.harvey @ talktalk.com.  All copyrights will remain with you, plus original artwork.

If you are interested in a catalogue of Spectre Press publications or you wish to discuss contributions to WOTU magazine, please contact the editor:

jon.harvey @ talktalk.com