News of TTA alumni or alumnae
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Author:  Ray [ Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:21 pm ]
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You'll want 10th Jan, starting at 1 hour 43 mins ish. Delightful to listen to, and a truly wonderful success story. Well done again, Ali!

Author:  Roy [ Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:38 pm ]
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Sorry I intended to add that detail, thanks Ray.

Author:  Pete [ Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:42 pm ]
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As I commented to the lady herself, I don't think I've heard a woman sounding that excited since...

Well, ever really.

Author:  Ali_L [ Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:17 pm ]
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Oh thank you for this - ha ha ha, I guess I should have a listen myself, but can't quite gear myself up for that one yet!! :lol:

Author:  Roy [ Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:43 pm ]
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You only have 4 days to listen now.

Author:  Ray [ Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:45 pm ]
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Just seen the cover designs for the PS Publishing version of A Cold Season. Very very nice...

Author:  Ray [ Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:33 pm ]
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Oh, and loving the new website as well, very swish.

Author:  Ali_L [ Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:15 pm ]
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Thanks Ray - my webby pal Wayne did me proud.

I saw those illustrations in the PS newsletter too - they look lurvely. Looking forward to seeing more! :D

Author:  Roy [ Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:23 pm ]
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For any Liverpool, North Wales, Wirral East Lancashire and Cheshire dwelling readers. Chris Beckett, one of Interzone's top contributors and winner of the Edge Hill Prize, will be reading from his latest novel, Dark Eden.

Interzone 218 was the Chris Beckett special issue.

Waterstone's Liverpool One.
Friday, March 2, 2012
6:00pm until 7:30pm

Author:  Roy [ Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:43 am ]
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Good news for Paul Meloy as Charlie Williams; ex Crimewave, ex Third Alternative and author of the Mangel series, recommended Paul's collection Islington Crocodiles on Radio 4's Open Book last Sunday and repeated today at 15:30.
Listen again link and Charlie starts ~9 minutes in and Paul gets a mention 10 seconds b4 the 20 minute mark. Unfortunately Charlie never mentioned the title or named the publisher but that may be a good thing as we are sold out. Despite that lack of information we had one enquiry so well done that Mangel fan. Thanks Peter Coleborn for noticing that 10 seconds.

Author:  Roy [ Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:30 am ]
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The Alison Littlewood publicity campaign was taken to new heights by the Quercus team with appearances on Richard and Judy and in her local print media. ... geNumber=1 and go to page 17 ... 1_4130536#
with 2/3 of a broadsheet page on p15 Jan 12 dated.

Its hard to get a mention for Black Static though.

Author:  Roy [ Thu May 03, 2012 9:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: News of TTA alumni or alumnae

Mark Garlick was the cover artist for IZ 203 and that cover was reused by Analog a year or two later. Mark is an astronomical artist who does work for unversities and scientists. Near the end are links to some of his recent work for a paper describing dirty work by a Red Giant and its alta ego White Dwarf.
Royal Astronomical Society press release (forwarded from the University of Warwick) RAS PR 12/38 3 May 2012

Four white dwarf stars caught in the act of consuming ‘earth-like’ exoplanets (RAS PR 12/38)

University of Warwick astrophysicists have pinpointed four white dwarf stars surrounded by dust from shattered planetary bodies which once bore striking similarities to the composition of the Earth. The scientists publish their results in a paper in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

White dwarfs are the final stage of life of stars like our Sun, the residual core of material left behind after the available fuel for nuclear reactions has been exhausted. Using the Hubble Space Telescope to carry out the biggest survey to date of the chemical composition of the atmospheres of white dwarf stars, the researchers found that the most frequently occurring elements in the dust around these four white dwarfs were oxygen, magnesium, iron and silicon – the four elements that make up roughly 93 per cent of the Earth.

However an even more significant observation was that this material also contained an extremely low proportion of carbon, which matched very closely that of the Earth and the other rocky planets orbiting closest to our own Sun.
This is the first time that such low proportions of carbon have been measured in the atmospheres of white dwarf stars polluted by debris. Not only is this clear evidence that these stars once had at least one rocky exoplanet which they have now destroyed, the observations must also pinpoint the last phase of the death of these worlds.
The atmosphere of a white dwarf is made up of hydrogen and/or helium, so any heavy elements that come into their atmosphere are dragged downwards to their core and out of sight within a matter of days by the dwarf’s high gravity. Given this, the astronomers must literally be observing the final phase of the death of these worlds as the material rains down on the stars at rates of up to 1 million kilograms every second.
Not only is this clear evidence that these stars once had rocky exoplanetary bodies which have now been destroyed, the observations of one particular white dwarf, PG0843+516, may also tell the story of the destruction of these worlds.
This star stood out from the rest owing to the relative overabundance of the elements iron, nickel and sulphur in the dust found in its atmosphere. Iron and nickel are found in the cores of terrestrial planets, as they sink to the centre owing to the pull of gravity during planetary formation, and so does sulphur thanks to its chemical affinity to iron.
Therefore, researchers believe they are observing White Dwarf PG0843+516 in the very act of swallowing up material from the core of a rocky planet that was large enough to undergo differentiation, similar to the process that separated the core and the mantle of the Earth.

Professor Boris Gänsicke of the Department of Physics at the University of Warwick, who led the study, said the destructive process which caused the discs of dust around these distant white dwarfs is likely to one day play out in our own solar system. “What we are seeing today in these white dwarfs several hundred light years away could well be a snapshot of the very distant future of the Earth. As stars like our Sun reach the end of their life, they expand to become red giants when the nuclear fuel in their cores is depleted.
‘When this happens in our own solar system, billions of years from now, the Sun will engulf the inner planets Mercury and Venus. It’s unclear whether the Earth will also be swallowed up by the Sun in its red giant phase - but even if it survives, its surface will be roasted.
‘During the transformation of the Sun into a white dwarf, it will lose a large amount of mass, and all the planets will move further out. This may destabilise the orbits and lead to collisions between planetary bodies as happened in the unstable early days of our solar systems.
‘This may even shatter entire terrestrial planets, forming large amounts of asteroids, some of which will have chemical compositions similar to those of the planetary core. In our solar system, Jupiter will survive the late evolution of the Sun unscathed, and scatter asteroids, new or old, towards the white dwarf.
‘It is entirely feasible that in PG0843+516 we see the accretion of such fragments made from the core material of what was once a terrestrial exoplanet.”

The University of Warwick led team surveyed more than 80 white dwarfs within a few hundred light years of the Sun, using the Cosmic Origin Spectrograph onboard the Hubble Space Telescope.

Images and captions

The following high resolution artist impressions are available. They were all created for the University of Warwick by the space artist Mark A. Garlick and are free for use by media or the University but are otherwise copyright as follows: “© Mark A. Garlick / / University of Warwick”

First Artist’s impression by Mark A. Garlick
The inner region of an exo-planetary system where four terrestrial planets orbit a solar-like star.
Second artist’s impression by Mark A. Garlick
The host star is running out of hydrogen in the core, swells up, and its surface becomes cooler. It is also losing mass, which causes the planets to move further out. The perturbation of the orbits may lead to collisions that will generate large amounts of rocky debris.
Third artist’s impression by Mark A. Garlick
This depicts what the researchers are now observing. A white dwarf sits in the centre of the remnant of a planetary system. Asteroid sized debris is scattered inwards by interaction with the remaining planets and is tidally disrupted as it approaches the white dwarf forming a disc of dust some of which is raining down onto the star. The researchers have found that the composition of the debris that has just fallen onto the four white dwarfs matches the composition of Earth-like rocky worlds.

Image that brings together all three artist’s impressions by Mark A. Garlick together in one sequence

The new work is published in “The chemical diversity of exo-terrestrial planetary debris around white dwarfs”, B. T. Gänsicke, D. Koester, J. Farihi, J. Girven, S.G.Parsons, E. Breedt, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, in press. A preprint of the paper is available at

Follow the RAS on Twitter via @royalastrosoc

Author:  Roy [ Mon May 07, 2012 11:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: News of TTA alumni or alumnae

Andrew Marr looks into the digital future with Nick Harkaway, Charles Arthur, Simon Ings and Anab Jain. Simon started out in IZ and now edits Arc, the New Scientist SF Magazine. There is a podcast of the show here. Normally I wouldn't recommend an A Marr show but this is more interesting for the guests than for Marr.

Author:  Roy [ Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: News of TTA alumni or alumnae

2012's nominees for the Sidewise Award for Alternate History have been announced. The winners will be announced at Chicon 7, this year's Worldcon, in Chicago, Illinois during the weekend of August 30. The Sidewise Awards have been presented annually since 1995 to recognize excellence in alternate historical fiction. This year's panel of judges was made up of Stephen Baxter, Evelyn Leeper, Jim Rittenhouse, Stu Shiffman, Kurt Sidaway, and Steven H Silver. At least 4 of the authors have appeared - maybe even started in - in IZ, as has/did one of the judges.

Short Form

* Michael F. Flynn, The Iron Shirts (
* Lisa Goldstein, Paradise Is a Walled Garden (Asimov’s, 8/11)
* Jason Stoddard, Orion Rising (Panverse 3, edited by Dario Ciriello, Panverse Publishing)
* Harry Turtledove, Lee at the Alamo (

Long Form

* Robert Conroy, Castro's Bomb (Kindle)
* Robert Conroy, Himmler's War (Baen Books)
* Jeff Greenfield, Then Everything Changed (Putnam)
* Ian R MacLeod, Wake Up and Dream (PS Publishing)
* Ian McDonald, Planesrunner (Pyr)
* Ekaterina Sedia, Heart of Iron (Prime)
* Lavie Tidhar, Camera Obscura (Angry Robot)

Author:  Roy [ Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: News of TTA alumni or alumnae

...and Liz Williams has a new, and different, book out about her (and Trevor Jones') adventures in the witchcraft trade, "Diary of a Witchcraft Shop". Liz is still one of Interzone's top female contributors in both quality and quantity plus she had a stint as an associate editor. Liz runs 2 two witchcraft shops in Glastonbury and often takes her trade to SF/F conventions and other suitable gatherings.

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