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Out of the Woodwork 183. January 2012
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Welcome to our newsletter, it contains up to the minute news and gossip as well as awards details and items requiring help from the collective consciousness. If you wish to contribute please do so! .


Doctor Who's Amy and Rory to leave during next series - much gnashing and grinding of teeth here, I can tell you.
Powys fossils 'shed new light' on ocean community evolution
GM silk worms make Spider-Man web closer to reality - and there's no need to be bitten by a radioactive spider Peter Parker! and on a spidey theme:-
Spider-Man musical makes Broadway history - not in a negative way!
G.R.R.Martin. Named USA Today’s Author of the Year.
Roald Dahl stamps honour writer's most popular characters
So who has won this year's HWA Lifetime Achievement Awards? We have the answer
On a similar note who has won the very first Fuller award for lifetime achievement in literature? we also know
The 2011 Philip K. Dick Award nominees have been announced - we've the full nomination list
Roman Helmet from Hallaton unveiled after nine-year restoration, a thing of beauty indeed.
Star Trek-style 'tricorder' invention offered $10m prize - That's £6.5m in real money!
The stars gather to mark Douglas Adams' 60th birthday, we have the details.
Ian Rankin calls for tax break for new writers - can't see this Government respondiong positively to that idea!
SFWA Names Connie Willis Recipient of the 2011 Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award

Goodreads - our ongoing feature so you can see what's being read here at Fantastic HQ, and add to it if you wish by sending us your reviews. Or join us on Facebook and get lots of up to date news direct from Fantastic HQ. New stock updates a speciality!

One for the Collective consciousness. Another success, and another client very happy!!

Obituaries: Thomas J. Bassler, 79 who wrote SF as T.J. Bass, died December 13, 2011. Writer Russell Hoban, 86, died December 13, 2011 in London. Veteran actor Dan Frazer, best known for his role as Captain Frank McNeil on 1970s TV crime series Kojak, has died aged 90. Comic book artist Joe Simon, who co-created Captain America, has died aged 98. British cartoonist Ronald Searle, best known for creating the fictional girls' school St Trinian's, has died aged 91. Agent, editor, and publisher Glenn Lord, 80, died December 31, 2011 in Pasadena TX. The author of the Dalziel and Pascoe crime novels, Reginald Hill, has died at the age of 75.
Department of Smug Self Satisfaction - what our kind customers have to say about the fantastic experience!.
Silly Stuff. A clip from the BBC Dickensian spoof brodcast over Christmas. Also a clip from the BBC's Sherlock Holmes - a preview of the Hound of the Baskervilles. Oh yes and the Independent cryptic crossword had a Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy day. Can you get them?
Latest new arrivals - including, the latest Interzone 238, Reggie Oliver's "Mrs Midnight" in a limited signed edition from Tartarus Press, "Curfew and other Eerie Tales" by Lucy M Boston, limited edition, "The Bleeding Horse and other Ghost Stories" by Brian J Showers," Fearful Festivities" by Gary Fry and the latest Black Static 26... do we spoil you or what?

External Blinks:

Barnes & Noble best SF novels of the year.
The first preview of the Hobbit movie here.
The SFWA have an interview with Jack McDevitt
Guardian SF reviews
The David Gemmell Awards are open and you can vote here for the Legend Award and the Morningstar Award


You can also join our facebook blog to keep abreast of our news, including new stock updates. Fantastic Literature

Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill - who play Doctor Who companions Amy Pond and Rory - are to leave the show during the next series. Doctor Who boss Steven Moffat made the announcement at a screening of the Christmas episode at BBC TV Centre in London. "The final days of the Ponds are coming," Moffat said. "I'm not telling you when or how, but that story is going to come to a heartbreaking end." He said the Doctor, played by Matt Smith, was going to meet "a new friend". It is believed that role has not yet been cast. BBC Story

Scientists believe they have made a remarkable discovery of fossils said to be more than 450 million years old in a disused Powys quarry. They think they are of a kind never before discovered. The well-preserved organisms from the Ordovician period, which began about 495m years ago, lived in what is now the town of Llandrindod Wells, which was partially under water. Scientists believe they shed new light on how ocean communities have evolved. The fossils include a variety of creatures from sponges and worms to nautiloids, which are similar to a squid with a shell. They were found by palaeontologists Dr Joe Botting, Dr Lucy Muir and Talfan Barnie in 2004 and were revealed using X-ray scanning. BBC story

US researchers have created silkworms that are genetically modified to spin much stronger silk. Writing in the PNAS journal, scientists from the University of Wyoming say that their eventual aim is to produce silk from worms that has the toughness of spider silk. In weight-for-weight terms, spider silk is stronger than steel.n Comic book hero Spider-Man generated spider silk to snare bad guys and swing among the city's skyscrapers. Researchers have been trying to reproduce such silk for decades. BBC story

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, written by U2's Bono and The Edge, has taken the highest single-week takings of any show in Broadway history. The musical, which was plagued with problems from its inception, took $2.9m (£1.8m) over nine performances last week, according to The Broadway League. The Edge said it was a "proud day" for everyone who has been involved. The show, which cost $75m (£48m) to make, is the most expensive Broadway show to be produced. BBC story

George R.R. Martin has been named USA Today‘s 2011 Author of the Year. The honor comes, in no small part, thanks to the increase in popularity of his Song of Ice and Fire series after the HBO series Game of Thrones. The books, already hits, have skyrocketed to bestseller fame thanks to the HBO publicity; his latest installment, A Dance With Dragons, hit number one on the USA Today list (a first for Martin). USA Today

A series of stamps celebrating Roald Dahl's classic children's books have been released by the Royal Mail. They include illustrations of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Fantastic Mr Fox. The Cardiff-born author's other books featured on stamps are James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The Twits, The Witches and the BFG. Ophelia Dahl said her father, who died in 1990, would have been "thrilled" by the tribute. Each stamp features illustrations by Quentin Blake, whose drawings are synonymous with the children's classics. BBC story

Joe R. Lansdale and Rick Hautala will be awarded the Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Awards for 2011. The awards will be presented at the World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City UT on March 31, 2012. This convention also marks the 25th anniversary of the organization, which Lansdale helped found. You can see all our Joe R Lansdale titles by clicking here! HWA

The first Fuller Award for lifetime achievement in literature will be awarded to Gene Wolfe by the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame. The presentation will take place March 17, 2012 at an Evening to Honor Gene Wolfe, hosted by Gary K. Wolfe at the San Filippo Estate in Barrington Hills IL. Among those scheduled to pay tribute to Wolfe are Neil Gaiman, Michael Swanwick, Audrey Niffeneger, and others

The 2011 Philip K. Dick Award nominees have been announced:
•The Company Man, Robert Jackson Bennett (Orbit)
•Deadline, Mira Grant (Orbit)
•The Other, Matthew Hughes (Underland)
•A Soldier’s Duty, Jean Johnson (Ace)
•The Postmortal, Drew Magary (Penguin)
•After the Apocalypse, Maureen F. McHugh (Small Beer)
•The Samuel Petrovich Trilogy, Simon Morden (Orbit)
The awards are presented annually to a distinguished work of science fiction published in paperback original form in the United States.
The winner and any special citations will be announced April 6, 2012 at Norwescon 35 in SeaTac WA.

PKD Award

What has been hailed as one of the most significant recent UK Iron Age finds is going on display after a nine-year conservation project. The decorated Roman cavalry helmet was discovered at a site in Leicestershire. Experts said its date, close to the Roman invasion of 43 AD, meant it could be evidence of Celtic tribes serving with the Roman army. The artefact, which was found in fragments, has been restored by a team at the British Museum. BBC story

A $10m (£6.5m) prize is on offer to whoever can create a Star Trek-like medical "tricorder". The Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize has challenged researchers to build a tool capable of capturing "key health metrics and diagnosing a set of 15 diseases". It needs to be light enough for would-be Dr McCoys to carry - a maximum weight of 5lb (2.2kg). The prize was launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. BBC story

The 60th birthday of the late writer Douglas Adams, creator of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, is to be marked with a special show. Comedians, writers and scientists are coming together for the event at London's Hammersmith Apollo in March. Clive Anderson, Stephen Fry, Michael Palin and Professor Brian Cox are set to participate in the one-off event. Tickets for the show will go towards the Save the Rhino charity, which Adams supported. BBC story

Scots author Ian Rankin has called for tax incentives to support new writers, it has been reported. The Inspector Rebus author told The Guardian the UK should adopt a scheme similar to one employed in Ireland. Under the Irish scheme, the first 40,000 euros (£33,000) of annual income earned by writers, composers or visual artists from the sale of their work is exempt from tax. Rankin argued the tax break would help give new writers a start. BBC story

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America named Connie Willis the recipient of the 2011 Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award. Willis has written fifteen novels, many short stories, and has previously won seven Nebulas, eleven Hugos, and four Locus Awards, among others. Willis is also beloved in the field for her generosity and sense of humor.

The award, given for “lifetime achievement in science fiction and/or fantasy,” will be presented at the 47th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend in Arlington, VA, May 17-20, 2012. Previous recipients of the award include such luminaries as Ursula K. LeGuin, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Anne McCaffrey and Joe Haldeman

One for the collective consciousness:- some excellent respones

Looking for a book ?70's I am looking for a science fiction book I read years ago, and would love to read again. But I have forgotten its author and title. It is a story about a space journey using gates that are tarot like symbols that only the 'navigator' can decipher in order to pass through them. I think they find a lost book which has symbols that will lead back to an ancient 'lost'/mythological planet...Earth? Do you know the name and author of the book, or whom I could contact to help me. Thankyou. Jerry Haworth

Dear Science Fiction books

Thank you for your help with my book search. Philip Cohen was correct in identifying Melissa Scott's *Five-Twelfths of Heaven*, for me. I have now managed to obtain copies of the trilogy, and am having a really enjoyable read. Just as good as I remembered.

Thank you and Mr Cohen , as well as the others who made suggestions.
Thank you.
Jeremy Howision-Haworth (a pleasure as always)


Russell Hoban was a celebrated children’s author, best known for his series of books about Frances the Badger (beginning with Bedtime for Frances, 1960), and for his classic The Mouse and His Child (1967). He also did many adult works of SF interest, particularly post-holocaust novel Riddley Walker (1980), which was nominated for a Nebula and won a John W. Campbell Memorial Award and a Ditmar Award. Hoban’s first publication was his children’s book What Does It Do and How Does It Work (1959), which he also illustrated. He produced text and often art for more than 50 children’s books, in addition to around 20 books for adults. He also wrote poetry, plays, and an opera libretto. BBC

Thomas J. Bassler, 79 who wrote SF as T.J. Bass, died December 13, 2011. He began publishing as Bass with “Star Itch” in If (1968), and in addition to several stories, he wrote two novels nominated for Nebula Awards: fix-up Half Past Human (1970) and The Godwhale (1974). He ceased writing SF in the ’70s, though he did co-author a non-fiction book on exercise and nutrition in 1979. A medical doctor, Bassler was an early proponent of running to improve health.

Veteran actor Dan Frazer, best known for his role as Captain Frank McNeil on 1970s TV crime series Kojak, has died aged 90. His daughter, Susanna, said the actor died of cardiac arrest at his Manhattan home on Friday. Frazer began his career in the 1950s playing character roles in various TV series including The Phil Silvers Show. He played Captain McNeil during all five seasons of the Telly Savalas cop show, which ran from 1973 to 1978. BBC

Comic book artist Joe Simon, who co-created Captain America, has died aged 98, his family have confirmed. One of the most revered writers, artists and editors in the comic book industry, he worked alongside comic book legend Jack Kirby in the 1940s. Together they created popular characters such as Newsboy Legion, the Boy Commandos and Blue Bolt. BBC

British cartoonist Ronald Searle, best known for creating the fictional girls' school St Trinian's, has died aged 91. His daughter Kate Searle said in a statement that he "passed away peacefully in his sleep" in a hospital in France. Searle's spindly cartoons of the naughty schoolgirls first appeared in 1941, before the idea was adapted for film. The first movie version, The Belles of St Trinian's, was released in 1954. Joyce Grenfell and George Cole starred in the film, along with Alastair Sim, who appeared in drag as headmistress Millicent Fritton. BBC

Glenn Lord died at his home in Texas on 31 December 2011. Lord was an agent, editor, and publisher of the prose and poetry of Robert E. Howard (1906–1936), and the first and most important researcher and scholar of Howard’s life and writings. He became literary agent for Howard’s estate in 1965, and worked tirelessly to track down and publish most of Howard’s work.

The author of the Dalziel and Pascoe crime novels, Reginald Hill, has died at the age of 75. His agent said Hill died peacefully at home in Cumbria on Thursday after a year long battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Pat, and two brothers, David and Desmond. Ian Rankin, the author of the Rebus books, described Hill as a "fine writer and a great wit". BBC story

Department of Smug Self Satisfaction.

1. Hello Simon,

Happy New Year, and what a good day today has been - the Collector's Edition of Phil Rickman's "December"
arrived in the post this morning! Thank you! What a gorgeous book, it's fabulous and it came with a cd of "The Abbey Tapes", which I didn't know was included and am thrilled with! I am so delighted with this purchase from Fantastic Literature I can't thank you enough. Three cheers for your pre-order service too. Very best wishes to everyone at Fantastic Literature.

Cheers from Winnipeg, Canada


2. if i could give more stars i would. this seller should teach a master class on packaging and getting orders shipped in a lightning fast manner. what a great buying experience!! (Amazon US)

3. Ordered 5 January, delivered 9 January. Item exactly as described. Couldn't be more happy with the service - thank you! (Amazon UK)

4. Best book ever...perfect international transaction...thanks! (E-Bay)

5. Gebrauchte Bücher, aber wie neu, in sehr gutem Zustand erhalten. Sehr schnelle Lieferung. (Amazon de)

6. It arrived On December 20, 2011, a month early. Excellent (Amazon Ca)

7. Envoi dès réception de la commande. Livre convenablement emballé, état conforme à la déclaration faite par le vendeur. Une adresse à recommander ! (Amazon fr)

Silly stuff:

A clip from the BBC Dickensian spoof brodcast over Christmas: The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff - A lovely glass of poison port


A clip from the BBC's recent Sherlock Holmes adaptation of the Hound of the Baskervilles.

The Daily Mail sunk to new depths on Tuesday 3rd January when it berated the BBC for allowing pre watershed nudity in the first Sherlock Holmes. Irene Adler, the dominatrix, apeared nude but (sadly) tastefully covered up. The Daily Mail was so outraged that it published the pictures, on the dubious premise that children might be watching TV at 8.30 but not able to look at a newspaper over breakfast the following morning......

Great news: Sherlock will return for a third series, its creators have revealed after a dramatic conclusion to the second run of the BBC One drama. Ahead of series two, co-creator Steven Moffat told BBC News there was "no guarantee we'll be bringing him back". But on Sunday night, Moffat wrote on Twitter: "Of course there's going to be a third series - it was commissioned at the same time as the second. Gotcha!" BBC story

On January 10th the Independent Cryptic crossword had these clues:

16/12. Man's man, a mother's author (7,5)

13/21/28. Those left feeling thin served ET, eaten hot, fun novel by 16 12 (3,10,2,3,3,2,3,8)

27/24/11/9. Curious case of dolphin strolling oof with virtually all of hake shoal then, as in work of 16 12. (2,4,3,6,3,5,3,4)

New arrivals for your delectation:-

MRS MIDNIGHT and other tales byReggie Oliver (signed limited edition)
L TV reality show host helps to restore an East End music hall and uncovers the dreadful secret of Mrs Midnight and her Animal Comedians. . . . A historian travels to Switzerland to ghost the autobiography of an exiled Balkan king and encounters a sinister cult. . . . The Master of an Oxford college tries to introduce a dubious piece of modern sculpture into his college chapel with dire consequences. . . . A strange meeting takes place on a playing field between an officer on leave from the trenches and his former headmaster. . . .
For order information and price click on the image.

INTERZONE 238 edited by Andy Cox (TTA Press)

Interzone issue 238 is with us. The cover art is the first of six loosely connected images by Ben Baldwin (Ben writes about the concept in a guest editorial), and interior art is by Mark Pexton, Richard Wagner, and David Gentry. There are four long stories by Ray Cluley, Tyler Keevil, Carole Johnstone, and with her very first publication anywhere, E.J. Swift. n.
For order information and price click on the image.

CURFEW and other eerie tales by Lucy M Boston (signed limited edition)
Lucy M. Boston is best remembered today as the Carnegie Medal-winning author of a series of children's novels set in Green Knowe, an ancient, haunted house based on Hemingford Grey Manor near Huntingdon, Cambridge. She began writing these chilling tales when she was already in her sixties, but they were not her first attempts at fiction. A handful of supernatural tales dating from the early 1930s exist among her papers, and these are here published together for the first time, along with her only play, The Horned Man.
For order information and price click on the image.

THE BLEEDING HORSE and other ghost stories by Brian J Showers (signed)
In the spirit of Le Fanu's classic trio of tales, Brian J. Showers' The Bleeding Horse and Other Ghost Stories infests his own Dublin neighbourhood with an authentic population of ghosts, ghouls, and goblins. Showers has filled each story with fascinating regional history, local atmosphere, and architectural details that are clearly visible today.While this gives the stories a factual flavour, the supernatural elements are entirely fictional.
For order information and price click on the image.

FEARFUL FESTIVITIES by Gary Fry (signed limited edition)
Fearful Festivities is Gary Fry's heartfelt homage to the classic 'small town' horror novels of the 1980s: a diverse group of characters beset by a malevolent force creeping in a time of great vulnerability. By turns, it's creepy, shocking and darkly comic, with an ending that might just signal the end of the world.

Each copy SIGNED by the author and includes a unique spooky Christmas message
For order information and price click on the image.

Black Static 26 edited by Andy Cox.
I Have Heard the Mermaids Singing by Ray Cluley, illustrated by Ben Baldwin
The Demon Laplace by Mark Rigney, illustrated by Rik Rawling
Remains by Gary McMahon, illustrated by Mark Pexton
Dizzy Land by Andrew Hook, illustrated by Paul Milne
The Monster of Venice by Carole Johnstone.

And the usual superb features.
For order information and price click on the image.
We welcome your input, your views on genre books, films etc.
Recommend anything to our 8,000 readers or ask a question.
We are sure to be in touch with someone who can help.

We also buy books and travel around the country to purchase, we will pay a finders fee to anyone who puts us in touch with a collection we later purchase.

Instant ordering on our web site in small press, magazines
and special offers.
Good reading and watching - Simon & Laraine.
Fantastic Literature Limited
35 The Ramparts
Essex, SS6 8PY
United Kingdom
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