Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Remembering Vicky Stock

January 18, 2017 - 3:10 pm 3 Comments

Vicky Stock, Membership Secretary of BSFG (Birmingham SF Group) passed away quietly on Wed 11th January 2017. For years, she had fought the battle against cancer, and ‘fought’ is the right word, because Vicky was a fighter. Despite bad days, illness and exhaustion, Vicky took time to support many important fundraisers for Breast Cancer research, gave me advice during a difficult time and my own scare, and volunteered at St Mary’s Hospice. At the same time she worked for the BSFG continuing her role and sharing news and creating events on Facebook and Twitter. Vicky was relentless, but so much more than that; funny, warm, generous, committed, and probably not known by many, a talented writer.

A couple of of years ago I released a book to fundraise for Breast Cancer Campaign, a charity Vicky and I both agreed on. Written in her own words, here is the foreword that Vicky wrote for HER DARK VOICE.

Picture courtesy of Birmingham Mail

Foreword: Vicky Stock
The human body is an amazing thing. It can do the most amazingly brilliant stuff which you never imagined it could achieve. Childbirth, for instance. Or the way our brains work. The way everything interconnects. Our DNA…But what happens if, again rather miraculously, a cell gets an idea in its head that it wants to be immortal: it starts reproducing, again and again and again. Starts to take over the cells and tissue next to it. First we know about it is a lump or change or pain…miraculous, in a somewhat darker way with a much darker outcome. For that immortality will eventually take over our mortal body and kill it…

…Cancer. The darkest time of my short life so far. Plunged at the tender age of 30 into a battle with breast cancer, involving several surgeries removing and reconstructing, chemo- and radio-therapy, 12 months of the wonder-drug Herceptin, anticipating several years of a hormone drug…and then 18 months after diagnosis, plunged into that world all over again when I was diagnosed with my second breast cancer.

Like a lot of other cancer patients I have felt the strong urge to give something back, to get something positive out of this horrendous time, and for me this meant volunteering and fundraising. I started this just after diagnosis and my initial surgeries; and once my treatment finished in 2012 bar the ongoing hormone drugs and reconstructive work, I continued my work with charity fundraising. I have also been trained in delivering breast awareness sessions and have started a support group for younger people going through cancer, linking up with a national charity with the same aims.

There is a lot of need for support and someone to talk to at all stages of the treatment journey but particularly the point at the end of treatment is when quite often people seek out others who have experienced what they have gone through. A willing, empathetic ear to listen, understand at that time when everyone assumes you are ok and back to ‘normal’ – whatever that is. The various charities out there offer this to our starving souls desperate to recover but not knowing quite how. People feel themselves drawn to different charities. Some offer a helpline with professionals/peer support from people who have experienced the same cancer; or ‘buddies’ who will phone or visit to offer practical/emotional support; or online forums where you can vent your frustrations with others in a safe, monitored, anonymous arena.

Other survivors find themselves drawn to charities focusing on the treatments, research, science to try and find that miraculous cure, or stop it happening in the first place. Cancer can often be beaten back, putting the patient ‘in remission’ or as near cured as possible, but over you will always hang the threat of metastases. The word no cancer patient ever wants to hear. This means the initially mapped out careplan hasn’t worked. The speedy referrals, the mastectomy, the months of awful treatment and side effects, even the wonder drugs – it has none of it actually worked. The cancer has spread. Suddenly it is all very different. Now it is a case of how long can they keep you alive. A lot of current research is trying to find a ‘cure’ for this currently incurable spread which once started, can never be permanently halted. At the moment. But who knows in the future what these amazing scientists will discover?

Vicky Stock

 

Please consider Vicky’s words, remember her, and help with the various cancer charities that are out there. Or visit a patient, or spread the word. Knowledge is power.

 

Vicky, you will be greatly missed.

Theresa X

The Space between The Stars

February 11, 2016 - 3:17 pm No Comments

PAN MACMILLAN BUYS BEAUTIFULLY POIGNANT TALE OF SURVIVAL AMONGST THE STARS
Pan Macmillan is delighted to announce a new deal – the acquisition of The Space between the Stars by debut novelist Anne Corlett. Senior Commissioning editor Bella Pagan bought World Rights from Lisa Eveleigh at the Richford Becklow Literary Agency.

The Space between the Stars is an enthralling novel of love, loss and second chances. It’s also a dramatic road-trip across the stars, as a woman journeys across a plague-ravaged universe to the place she once called home, and the man she once loved. After a virus wipes out most of humanity, Jamie heads for Earth. She must reach the Northumberland coast, to see if Daniel is still alive. She’ll struggle to survive, while wrestling with loss and heartache, to gain one last chance at happiness. We’d compare this wonderful novel to Emily St John Mandel’s Station Eleven and The Book of Strange New Things by Michael Faber.
During her MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa, Anne was mentored by Maggie Gee who says ‘Anne Corlett is a natural writer, full of stories. It’s wonderful to hear she has the deal she deserves with a great publisher – now she will fly!’ Fay Weldon also tutored Anne and called her ‘an original thinker and a very, very effective writer.’
Anne Corlett commented: ‘I’m really looking forward to working with Bella and the rest of the Pan Macmillan team. I’ve been blown away by the warmth and enthusiasm that has been apparent throughout the acquisitions process.’

Pagan enthused: ‘I was utterly captivated by Jamie’s plight and her incredible journey – which is one of self-discovery as well as a hazardous push for home. Anne has an incredible talent and I can’t wait for others to discover it too.’
Anne Corlett has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University and has won a number of awards for her short stories, including the H E Bates Award. She works as a criminal solicitor and freelance writer, and lives with her partner and two young boys in Somerset. Pan Macmillan will be publishing The Space between the Stars in late spring 2017.

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ABOUT PAN MACMILLAN
Pan Macmillan is the UK general book publishing arm of the Macmillan Group, which operates in over 70 countries. Its imprints include Macmillan, Mantle, Pan, Picador, Bluebird, Boxtree, Sidgwick & Jackson, Bello, Tor, Macmillan Children’s Books, Campbell Books, Macmillan New Writing and Macmillan Digital Audio. Pan Macmillan was named Publisher of the Year at The Bookseller Industry Awards in May 2015. www.panmacmillan.com

The Hatching

January 28, 2016 - 7:38 pm No Comments

I am blogging to share the news that Gollancz have acquired the rights to the relentless, attention-grabbing thriller The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone (published July 2016).

With engaging characters and non-stop action, the TV and film rights to The Hatching have already been acquired by Joel Silver (producer of The Matrix) at auction before the book has even been published. The rights to the book have been sold in nine territories and seven languages: USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Brazil, Italy, Latin American and North American Spanish, and Japan.

Best compared to Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park and Max Brooks’s World War Z, Ezekiel Boone’s The Hatching is a brilliantly addictive novel following a cast of diverse characters from around the globe who are pulled together into a desperate fight against an ancient species.

Newcon Press Merry Christmas

December 11, 2015 - 5:26 am No Comments

Dear All

A message from NewCon Press this Silly Season.

Weaver of Wondrous Words.

I’d just like to draw your attention to the fact that, ahem… NewCon Press has a brand new website:

www.newconpress.co.uk

To celebrate the site’s launch, I’m unveiling special offers on a whole raft of titles. Since this is Christmas, a fantastic time of year, the more fantasy-orientated of NewCon’s titles are being discounted for a limited time only — from now until December 20th… Sort of NewCon’s very own 12 Days of Christmas. There are heavy discounts on some older titles, but several of the latest releases are also included, in the spirit of the season.

(If you click on ‘Books’ at the top of the site, you’ll see a ‘Special Offers’ option, where all titles that feature in the offer are.

Thank you, and for those I don’t see in the meantime…

Merry Christmas!! (in a purely non-faith specific have a fabulous time sort of way…)

Best,

Ian.

War of the Worlds is back

December 2, 2015 - 12:05 pm No Comments

Gollancz are delighted to share the news that they’re publishing a sequel to one of the most famous and influential SF books ever – The War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells. Massacre of Mankind is written by the multi-award-winning co-author of The Long Earth novels with Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter.

scifi-books-war-of-the-worlds-hg-wells

First published in 1897,The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells has been both popular (having never gone out of print) and influential, spawning half a dozen feature films, radio dramas, a record album, various comic book adaptations, and a television series.

In Stephen Baxter’s terrifying sequel, set in late 1920s London, the Martians return, and the war begins again. But the aliens do not repeat the mistakes of their last invasion. They know how they lost last time. They target Britain first, since we resisted them last time. The massacre of mankind has begun.

Steve Baxter said: “HG Wells is the daddy of modern SF. He drew on deep traditions, for instance of scientific horror dating back to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and fantastic voyages such as Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726). And he had important near-contemporaries such as Jules Verne. But Wells did more than any other writer to shape the form and themes of modern science fiction, and indeed through his wider work exerted a profound influence on the history of the twentieth century. Now it’s an honour for me to celebrate his enduring imaginative legacy, more than a hundred and fifty years after his birth.”

The Massacre of Mankind will be published in hardback, £20, and eBook, £19.99, on the 19th January 2017.

Please find more information attached. It would be excellent if you could help us share the news on your blogs and social media channels.

All the best,

Sophie

Sophie Calder
Publicity Manager
Gollancz
The Orion Publishing Group