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Richard HawkinsAbout Scifi UK ReviewRichard Hawkins / Ever since reading a short story by Philip K Dick entitled The Electric Ant back in the school library, he has been hooked on speculative fiction, and scifi and fantasy in general.

The distinct possibilities outlined in SF are fascinating. Since then he has read innumerable novels ranging from Christopher Priest to H.G. Wells. He is an avid reader and subscriber of Interzone, the British speculative fiction and science fiction periodical.

He particularly enjoys perusing second hand bookshops for old and out of print novels and magazines. He can’t help but compare original novels to their movie adaptations; be it recent movies or older movies against their 21st Century remakes. He has the bad habit of buying books based on their cover designs! He also enjoys reading and watching psychological, weird films which make you re-think the whole story and need to re-read/ re-watch it.

He resides close to where H.G. Wells‘ martians originally landed. And if he happens to pass a second hand bookshop, or a comic store like Forbidden Planet - well, he’s straight in there!

Peter Smith / Pete reads as much SF as he can. and particularly likes hardcore SF like Greg Egan (most definitely hardcore, brain straining SF) and Iain M Banks (imaginative space opera).

One of his favourite recently viewed films is Donnie Darko. Being into Quantum Physics from the theoretical and philosophical standpoints he is rather good at interesting talk around a beer loaded table. His thoughts meander one way and then another, from one subject to the other, but always on track, and always interesting.

Pete is working on an idea for a home made SF movie, complete with script, scenery and actors. He has already gone on a scouting excercise in his local Sheffield for Blade Runner looking buildings as backdrops.

Gareth D Jones / Gareth is a science fiction writer from England, with stories published both on line and in print and translated into Hebrew, Greek and Spanish. He also writes reviews of UK SF magazines and drinks lots of tea.

You can keep an eye on what he’s up to at:

Marcello Nicolini / Born on 8th December 1976 in Palermo, Italy, he started to write fourteen years ago. During the last few years, he has written many short stories of different genres: a western trilogy, stories of general fiction and a short novel with roots among the sword and sorcery genre. Now he is working on stories of dystopian and science fiction. He lives in Monza, Italy, but travels a lot to seek inspirations for his writings.

Simon Hope / A freelance journalist with a passion for reviewing and reporting the sci-fi genre (amongst others areas).

In General / Even though we’re a SciFi UK based site, we aren’t focusing the content on only UK tv, novels, magazines or movies, as SciFi itself is multicultural and interlinked across the world; it could even be construed as intergalactic and multi dimensional too.

We hope you enjoy your stay, and take something useful from our opinions, rants, reviews and discussions. In particular, we hope our essays encourage you to think sideways.

To contact the editors, please use the contact form.

What is SF?

Before I started to write this article, I had a look around the internet and some books I have, trying to find out how other people define Science Fiction/Sci-Fi/SF. And you know what? I don’t think people can agree. There seems to be so many definitions - even ‘official’ ones seem to differ with each other. There doesn’t seem to be any definitive definitions.

Science Fiction, apparently, is in the majority of cases: A literary or cinematic genre in which fantasy, typically based on speculative scientific discoveries or developments, environmental changes, space travel, or life on other planets, forms part of the plot or background.

Sci-Fi is an abbreviated version which is mostly frowned upon by Science Fiction fans, as an almost derisory term.

Another abbreviation is SF, which is more accepted by hardcore fans. Also, SF can mean Speculative Fiction.

To me, Science Fiction is not anything to do with space ships, lasers or technology as a whole, it is to do with ideas. It is the exploration of the human mind in an arena which quite possibly will include androids or rockets or alien planets. Because it contains androids or rockets or alien planets does not make it Science Fiction, it is the idea, the strangeness, the environment in which the author does his or her ‘What if…?’.

Philip K Dick once said that you could make a story appear to be Science Fiction by chucking in one word in one sentence (”Darling, where are the anti-grav boots?”. “In the cupboard where they always are.”). This on the face of it will make it Science Fiction because of the unknown science aspect, but doesn’t alter the story at all, it makes it obviously Science Fiction. So therefore it still would be Science Fiction without the anti-grav sentence.

I’ve also come to the conclusion that because the realms of Science Fiction is so fluid, the rules are being rewritten all the time, so that is probably why the definition of Science Fiction is so elusive. The market and readers (and the publishers/editors to some extent) dictate (albeit possibly unconsciously) what Science Fiction is.

Personally, I prefer the term SF (meaning Speculative Fiction), although I do let slip with Sci-Fi or Science Fiction during conversations sometimes.

Whatever the boundaries of Science Fiction are, one thing is for sure, it is always interesting, and you just know when it’s an SF story (either written or in a film).

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Black Static Issue 3

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Black Static Issue 3

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Black Static’s Dark Place
(Number 3 Out Feb 2007).

Matthew Holness AKA Gareth Marenghi of the eponymous cult TV show has a story in Black Static 3, which has just gone to the printer and will be out, early, in February.

The Toad and I” by Matthew Holness. The author is a “A real life TV star, most famous for his Gareth Marenghi character (absolutely brilliant — hope you’ve seen it)” and he won the 2001 Perrier Comedy Award, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival’s top prize.

Also two debut stories, The Morning After, is Carole Johnstone’s first author credit anywhere. Carole is a Scot now living in Essex.

Seth Skorkowsky’s The Mist of Lichthafen is his first story sale but he’s since sold other stories and they saw the light of publication before there was space for him in BS 3.
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Ebook Interzone Mobile Download Fictionwise, Crimewave: Amazon Kindle: Sony Reader

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interzone cover artwork issue 212 weird artwork cover science fiction scifi fantasy art artwork magazine coverInterzone : Now Available From Fictionwise.

Creative writing is not immune to information technology. The literary equivalent to music’s Ipod is the ebook reader and there are many portable devices into readers can download an electronic version of a novel or magazine. Alternatives to specific ebooks are PDAs, laptops and some mobile phones.

Fictionwise ( is a US website which formats books and magazines for web distribution to e book readers such as the ‘Amazon Kindle’ or ‘Sony Reader’. They take a file from the publisher and convert it to the multitude of formats needed to ensure all E book readers and many ‘mobile’ devices can display the text.

Fictionwise sell the files through their website though publishers can also do it themselves via their own, or retailer, sites.

‘MultiFormat’ ebooks are not encrypted and paying for one type of download format allows free access to other formats of that ebook. So customers who update to a new e reader or mobile device do not lose access to their library.
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The Fix: Short Fiction Review Magazine

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Short Fiction Review Magazine, The Fix, Relaunches Online

TTA Press, publisher of renowned short fiction showcases Interzone, Black Static, and Crimewave, also published The Fix. The latter in its print incarnation, provided critical analyses and reviews of an extensive range of short fiction.

Now, The Fix has relaunched in a new, online format, once again providing a venue for critical coverage of speculative short fiction across the full spectrum of magazines, webzines, anthologies, and single-author collections.

Publisher Andy Cox predicts that The Fix will grow into the hub for aficionados and practitioners of short fiction to visit for news and commentary relevant to the community.

Managing Editor Eugie Foster, arriving to helm The Fix fresh from a distinguished career as managing editor of Tangent Online, plans to spotlight short fiction in all its myriad mediums: print, online, audio, and film.
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Gareth Lyn Powell Interview: Interzone, Elastic Press, Silverstrands, Pendragon Press

gareth lynn powell interzone british scifi science fiction authorAn Interview with Gareth L Powell: 4 September 2007

Gareth L Powell is a speculative fiction writer from the UK. Critics have likened his work to Richard Morgan and Charles Stross. Recently, he has been published in America, Europe and the Middle East, and his work translated into Polish, Greek, Hebrew, Spanish and Portuguese. Earlier this year, his short story The Last Reef made the long lists for both the BSFA and BFS awards for Best Short Story, and placed highly in the 2006 Interzone Reader’s Poll.

Gareth keeps a blog at:, with links to online examples of his work.

Well Gareth, it seems like it’s been a very busy year for you since we last spoke. Could you tell us about the books you’ve signed deals for?

Since we last spoke, I’ve been fortunate enough to sign deals with two very cool independent presses, Elastic Press and Pendragon Press. Elastic Press are going to publish my debut short story collection, The Last Reef and Other Stories, in August 2008. This collects together many of the stories I’ve had published in print and online magazines over the last four years, including the two stories that have appeared in Interzone.

Then in 2009, Pendragon Press are going to publish my first novel, Silversands - a breathless cyberpunk yarn, shot through with planetary politics, espionage and subterfuge. I’ve also just released a collection of poetry, entitled: Los Muertos. This is my second poetry collection. It includes around forty poems, new and old, and can be ordered via my website.

I understand you’ve also been busy academically?

That’s right. Somehow I found time to take the Institute of Direct Marketing’s Certificate in Direct and Interactive Marketing, and pass with credit – an achievement I’m still very proud of.

Has that experience helped shape the way you write your fiction?
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