Tag Archives: SFF

Announcing a new SA Book Fair: BookEx!

Hey guys and girls, I’ve got some great news for those of you living in Pretoria or Jo’burg. 🙂 There’s a brand new book fair coming and it promises to be quite the kickass event!

Taken from the Book Ex website:

Gauteng is the economic powerhouse of the nation and Johannesburg its financial heart. Therefore it is only fitting that a sizeable book event should eventually find its home here. From November 2010 that home will be BookEx.

Initiated by Estoril Books, BookEx will be a book extravaganza where the public can find plenty of titles for sale under one roof and publishers can exhibit their ranges and parade their authors.

Here’s the full press release:

BookEx JHB 26-28 November
Powered by Estoril Books

‘It’s an initiative well worth supporting…see all you book lovers there!’ – Mandla Langa, 17 October 2010

Gauteng is the economic powerhouse of the nation and Johannesburg its financial heart. Therefore it is only fitting that a sizeable book event should eventually find its home here.

From November 2010 that home will be BookEx. Initiated by Estoril Books, BookEx will be a book extravaganza where the public can find plenty of titles for sale under one roof and publishers can exhibit their ranges and parade their authors.

Set to take place from 26 – 28 November at The Sandton Convention centre, BookEx will incorporate both a large sales to the public and exhibitions from large and small publishers. It will also feature special events such as the mini crime-writing festival, “CrimeWrite.”

BookEx is the brainchild of Mohan Kanjee of Estoril Books, who said that, “Our aim is to create a hub of book shopping ahead of the summer holidays and Christmas together with author participation. In addition we will be hosting a two day Crime Writer’s Fest “CrimeWrite” within BookEx that has been developed by Mike Nicol, Margie Orford and a number of other crime writers.”

Other specific platforms are also being developed to make this not just a glorified book sale but an all encompassing book event of epic proportions. There will be a large children’s section complete with child-minders and activities such as storytelling, face painting and colouring in etc.

There will also be a strong emphasis on local, independent authors and publishers to give them a huge opportunity to promote themselves alongside the big guns of the business.

While a central exhibition space will be open to the public (entrance is only R30.00 for adults), sales will take place in one place, upon exit. Special shopping trolleys will be available and qualified sales staff will be manning the sales points.

Mike Nicol – ‘BookEx Johannesburg is underway amid much excitement after a bad year for book sales. CrimeWrite – showcasing the best krimi writers we have on offer – will be part of the scene. See you there: November 26 – 28 at the Sandton Convention – 16 October 2010

This fair is looking to be one of the best events of its kind, with panels on practically all genres and subjects (see the full program here) – including Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.

That panel will have Louis Greenberg, Sarah Lotz and Lauren Beukes talking about SF/F/Horror, and I’ve been asked to chair the panel. 🙂 It’s the first time I’ll be chairing a panel on SFF/H and I’m really looking forward to it!

There will also be a Crime Writing workshop, the first-ever at an event of this kind; here are the details:

CrimeWrite At BookEx 2010

A very different and exciting component of BookEx 2010, powered by Estoril Books, will be the two day CrimeWrite festival developed by Mike Nicol, Margie Orford and other South African crime writers.

In a full two day programme of events, South Africa’s top crime writers will take their audience through how they do what they do, why they do it and the difference between their fiction and reality. In a series of shorter presentations, writers will also discuss smaller aspects of the genre and their own work.

BookEx attendees who register with CrimeWrite are then eligible to enter the CrimeWrite short story competition. Details will be given at the sessions. The grand prize includes books, a feature on Mike Nicol’s Crime Beat and the BookEx Website.

CrimeWrite takes place on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 November and includes live Skype interviews with South African authors abroad Deon Meyer, Roger Smith and Richard Kunzmann.

CrimeWrite is part of the inaugural BookEx event taking place at the Sandton Convention centre from 26-28 November 2010. BookEx is a book extravaganza where the public can find plenty of titles for sale under one roof and publishers can exhibit their ranges and parade their authors. Check out all the details at the BookEx site!

So scrap whatever plans you’ve made for Sunday the 28th, or for that entire weekend; if you’re a book-lover and are looking to spend the some well-spent time in the company of publishers and writers, come join us at BookEx.

Remember to check out the BookEx website for all the info you need (GPS co-ords included), and I hope to see you there!



Posted by on November 22, 2010 in Announcements


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SFF – The TV / Motion Picture Adaptations

This post was originally published over at Realms & Galaxies: Celebrating SFF on the 16th of October 2009

This subject has been at the back of mind since I started my first blog.

Not, you may ask, since the excellent trilogy of movies that made up the epic The Lord of the Rings? I hear you ask. Well, no. See, the thing is, I hadn’t even discovered blogs yet. There might not even have been many of them (we’re definitely spoiled for choice nowadays). And most of the discussion at that time took place in two groups – the one group being loyal followes of JRR Tolkien’s work who were discussing the path Peter jackson took in adapting the novels for the big screen, the other group being those who had never even read the books before (shame on you!) and proceeded to either “Wow!” the movies, “It was okay, just too damn long,” the movies, or not even watch it because “Faries and magic and crap like that isn’t real, so I don’t have time for it!” the movies. Now, I’m not saying there weren’t discussions about future adaptations of SFF taking place – I’m saying that it just didn’t seem to be anything particularly worth talking about. It was a coup, and most people thought it wouldn’t be repeated.

But times have changed. I take as my prime examples the impending Pilot-shoot of George RR Martin’s A Game of Thrones and the news that Peter V Brett’s debut, The Painted Man / The Warded Man, is now optioned to become a motion picture. There are many more examples (the practically forgotten news of Terry Brooks’ The Elfstones of Shannara movie, the -necessarily- dumbed-down The Legend of the Seeker. etc); practically every week new announcements are popping up, and there are a slew of projects busy taking shape as you read and a type this. My questions are the following:

1) What is the best medium for an adaptation – a TV series, done by those who know how (HBO?), or a movie done by a Hollywood studio?

2) If a motion picture is made, can the way these movies are made be changed to suit the material? For example, should SFF movies be longer, lets say 8 – 10 hours, with breaks in between? This would allow for proper character development, etc.

3) Which SFF novels (either stand-alone or in-series) do you think she be given an attempt?

4) Should we really take these movie- or TV-adaptions as seriously as we do? Author Steve Gould once said something to the effect of “The movie doesn’t change my book in any way. There it is on the shelf – exactly the same as the day it was published.”

For my part, in answer to the questions:

1) I vote for TV; TV offers not only the possibility of not having to change events so that the entire plot fits into 2, 2.5 hours on screen, but also allows for a more sustained (and therefore, more memorable) experience.

2) If movies have to be made, then I vote make them longer. It’s the only way.

3) Steven Erikson’s Malazan series and James Barclay’s Raven-series are at the top of my list of must-be-done. 🙂

4) Absolutely not. It’s excruciating having to wait for A Game of Thrones and The Eye of the World, and I’m positive that most of us will be disappointed to some degree, but like Steve Gould says, the books will never change. That’s were it began, that’s where it’ll end. 🙂

So, what do you all think?

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Posted by on January 1, 2010 in Musings


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On the Shelves: October 2009 – Penguin Books SA

Hey guys and girls, thought I’d do a post to let you know what’ll be on offer from Penguin Books SA this month. 🙂 There are plenty of great titles to look forward to! I’ve included the ISBN, so check it out and then go place your orders! 🙂

Alexandra Sokoloff – The Harrowing: 9780749941581
The Harowing

Amanda Downum – The Drowning City: 9781841498140
The Drowning City

Charlie Higson – The Enemy: 9780141325026
The Enemy

Christine Feehan – Dark Slayer: 9780749941642
Dark Slayer

Massive Book Of Best New SF 22 – Edited by Gardner Dozois: 9781845299309
MBO Best New SF 22

Iain Banks – Transition
9781405507264 – Audio Book
Transition Audio Book

Hardcover – 9780316731072
Trade Paperback – 9780316731089
Transition Hardcover

Ian Irvine – Curse of the Chosen (Book 2 of The Song of the Tears)
Curse of the Chosen

Ian Irvine – The Destiny of the Dead (Book 3 of The Song of the Tears) 9780143002512
The Destiny of the Dead

Kate Elliott – Traitors’ Gate (Book 3 of Crossroads) – 9781841498355
Traitors Gate 2

Kate Griffin – The Midnight Mayor (sequel to A Madness of Angels)
The Midnight Mayor

Kelly Armstrong – The Summoning – 9781841497105
The Summoning

KJ Parker – The Company – 9781841495101
The Company

Massive Book of Merlin – Edited by Mike Ashley – 9781849011112

Mike Carey – The Naming of the Beasts – 9781841496559
The Naming of the Beasts

Robert Buettner – Orphanage – 9781841497549

Robert Buettner – Orphan’s Destiny – 9781841497556

Robert Buettner – Orphan’s Journey – 9781841497532

Stephen Woodworth – With Red Hands – 9780749941321
With Red Hands

Terry Brooks – A Princess of Landover – Hardcover: 9781841495804
A Princess of Landover
Trade Paperback: 9781841495811

Ursula K. Le Guin – The Left Hand of Darkness – Hardcover: 9781841496061
The Left Hand of Darkness

Eoin Colfer – The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Book 6: And Another Thing… – 9780718155155
And Another Thing

That’s it from Penguin Books SA for this month! 🙂 You shouldn’t have any trouble tracking down the books you want, and some of them will already be in stores right now. 🙂


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Posted by on October 5, 2009 in Announcements


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