The SFF Weekly Round-Up 19 July 2013

Welcome to the very first J For Jetpack weekly round-up of all the very best genre news, novelties and nonsense from around the web. This post is guaranteed to improve your day or you get your money back.

This week we have everything from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman to The Name Of The Wind, from the Gemmell Awards and the Ninja Turtle bras to the Velociraptor Kid and even a lady called Julie Crisp. Oh and this weeks Hurrah For Science features Harnessing Urine (or Horniness) Power and Blue Boobs! Enjoy.

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Biggest News!

I guess the biggest news is that Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has published a book called The Cuckoo’s Calling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. What can I say about this other than OMG, WTF and every other juvenile expression of amazement. It’s like soooo obviously a publicity stunt…!

Or was she doing a Stephen King when he wrote under the name Richard Bachman.  Perhaps?

If you want the very best opinion you’ll read on this subject then check out this blog post by author James Smythe where he talks candidly about the publishing world and in particular his own novels and their performance. Read it out HERE. 


Velociraptor Kid Now… Yikes!


You remember that annoying kid in Jurassic Park that refers to the velociraptor as looking like a giant turkey? Well, this week I learnt that karma came a’callin’ for this raptor hater. Click the link for more ‘then and now’ shots of the Jurassic Park stars.


There are two animated films I’m looking forward to this year. Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 (the first is one of my all time favourite films – honestly) and this one, the sequel to How To Train Your Dragon. Much more action-y and less instruction manually than it might sound.

Sandman Returns To Stalk Your Dreams

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It’s old news that Neil Gaiman has one last story to tell with The Sandman. In fact it’s arguably the very first story as this books is set to explain how Dream ended up as beaten and broken as he did in the opening of the original The Sandman. But new news is that Dave McKean has released his cover for said book. Click the picture above or this link at for a better view.

Ninja Turtles!


I swear I will propose to the first girl who wears this bra in front of me. Bonus points if she paints her belly green and tries to feed it pizza.  Via Geekologie

The Simpsons VS Family Guy!


Yes, the Simpsons and the Griffins are set to meet in 2014! Apparently, Peter and the rest of the Griffins will set out on a road trip and end up in Springfield where they cross paths with Homer and co, who graciously greet their new “albino” visitors. Just that use of albino alone has got me laughing. I didn’t think I was much of a Simpsons fan these days but this could suck me back in. More info at EW here. 


The first official teaser for Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is out.
Electrifying stuff! *chuckle*

Kvothe On The TellyBox

Name Of The Wind

It’s true, Fantasy stories are THE go to gogglebox filler of the moment. First it was Game of Thrones then came the announcement that Gaiman’s American Gods will be adapted and now we’re going to get The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Now’s the chance for Kvothe to say “I don’t know about the name of the wind but I can tell you the smell of the wind, just pull my finger.” Come on TV Execs, make it so!

Sexism in Genre Publishing


Some people think that the world of genre publishing is sexist because (amongst many arguments) there are more men published each year in SFF than women. Or are there? Allow Julie Crisp to tell you why this might be while backing it up with actual numbers.  

Julie-Crisp_avatar-180x180Who’s Julie Crisp you ask? Oh just Editorial Director of TOR UK and one of the greatest women in modern genre publishing (and that’s quite a statement because there are a LOT of great women in genre publishing). She’s great for a thousand reasons, one of which is that the likes of China Mieville and Mark Newton might not adorn your bookshelves if it wasn’t for her but also because she writes eloquent and sensible stuff like this.

How To Approach A Literary Agent

Juliet Mushens

Sticking with TOR UK, here’s literary agent extraordinaire Juliet Mushens explaining the Dos and Don’ts of how to approach an agent with your Oh-My-God-This-Is-The-Best-Thing-Ever manuscript.

Competitions galore


Fancy winning £100 worth of Forbidden Planet vouchers? Of course you do! Think of all the comics and fun you could purchase! To celebrate the release of Steelheart, the latest book from Fantasy juggernaut Brandon Sanderson, publisher Gollancz are giving you the chance to win by answering one easily Googled question. More info here.


In celebration of the release of The Glass Republic, the sequel to last years incredible debut The City’s Son, Jo Fletcher Books are giving you the chance to win a trip to the top of the tallest building in Western Europe, The Shard. All you’ve got to do is send them a cool picture of you posing with a copy of The City’s Son. The most inventive wins! I think I’m going to go to the top of the Shard to take mine, that’s sure to win! More details here. 

And while we’re on the point of Jo Fletcher Books, check out their truly impressive blog. So many juicy author guest posts here from the likes of Tom Pollock to David Hair to Peter Liney. It’s a great way to pass the afternoon.

Best Book I Read This Week!

The best book I read this week was The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd-Jones. Admittedly the name sounds too similar to The Vampire Diaries but this thing blew my mind with a shotgun blast of awesome! The most ‘One More Page’ book I’ve read in ages. Check out the trailer above.

The Gemmell Awards 2013 – Voting is Open!


Voting is now open for this years David Gemmell Awards. There are some truly great names in the list this year (much like last year and the year before for that matter) with names such as Joe Abercrombie, Terry Brooks, Daniel Abraham and Brent Weeks all going up against each other. Find out how you can vote for your favourite book by clicking here. (Via Orbit Books) 

X-Men Days Of Future Past

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Bleeding Cool have headshots of characters from the forthcoming and oh-man-I-can’t-wait-to-see-this-film X-Men Days Of Future Past directed by original X-Men helmer, Bryan Singer. That chap in the middle picture above looks an awful lot like my favourite time-travelling mutant to be named after a chess piece… More at the link. 


And they’ve been teased for a while but oh holy heck here’s an actual Sentinel head from the same movie! Man, that thing looks incredible. More images over at IO9.

Hurrah For Science!

I’m going to end these news round-ups with something I call Hurrah For Science where we celebrate some amazing thing or things that look like they belong in a sci-fi or fantasy book but are actually happening in the world around us. First off we have:

Pee Power!

Yes ladies and gents, researchers at Bristol University of the West of England have developed a battery that creates electrical charge from urine. PISS POWER! Now, if they could only harness the kinetic energy I generate when playing infuriating console games… Or in fact, they should harness horniness! Imagine that, Playboy would become a utility as the world gets powered by filthy thoughts. Crack one off to cook your dinner! …I’ll stop talking.

Blue Boobs!


Finally, this just made me laugh. There is a species of bird called the Blue-Footed booby that not only has bright blue feet with which to attract a mate but also they do a little dance to woo their booby of choice. If only getting boobies was so easy in human life. Via IF*ckingLoveScience


So there we have it ladies and gents. The best of the last week in SFF news.

If you spot anything that you think should be featured here then email me at along with your name and I’ll give props for whatever makes the cut.

Have a great weekend.

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4 Responses to The SFF Weekly Round-Up 19 July 2013

  1. Richard Ford says:

    I don’t think Juliet Mushens will like the fact you’ve posted a pic of author Laura Lam next to her mention.

  2. dougwbr says:

    Ugh. I had no idea about the Family Guy/Simpsons thing – I think I can hear Matt Groening hammering nails into a Homer-sized coffin. :-/

    Bishop and the Sentinel look…amazing.

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