2020 BSFA Awards

Locus Magazine, Science Fiction Fantasy

The winners for the 2020 British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) Awards have been announced.

Best Novel

see the full list of winners and nominees at Locus: the 2020 BSFA winners

Fugitive Telemetry: April 27th

No, I didn’t kill the dead human. If I had, I wouldn’t dump the body in the station mall.

When Murderbot discovers a dead body on Preservation Station, it knows it is going to have to assist station security to determine who the body is (was), how they were killed (that should be relatively straightforward, at least), and why (because apparently that matters to a lot of people—who knew?)

Yes, the unthinkable is about to happen: Murderbot must voluntarily speak to humans!


Nova Mob April 7th: Jane Routley

It’s with considerable delight that our speaker this Wednesday is Jane Routley, who will discuss her latest and just-launched fantasy novel “Shadow in the Empire of Light”. That meeting is a mere 48 hours away as I type this and Jane will be bringing copies along for the actual in-person signing thereof. More important is actually… getting… published…., and that it’s a good book (It’s a good book). Come along and hear Jane talk about the story of the novel, and the story of the writer. 

Jane will be speaking face to face at the Kensington Town Hall only.  There won’t be a zoom option for this Nova Mob event, more on this below. 

Jane is also known as Rebecca Locksley.

Jane Routley – After the launch:
“Shadow in the Empire of Light”

Wednesday April 7th

8.00pm – 9.30 pm or so, Melbourne time

Only at the first floor Conference Room,  

Kensington Town Hall

30 – 34 Bellair St

Kensington VIC 3031

Please don’t attend the physical meeting if you are feeling ill. At the Conference Room the sign-in obligations are as light as practicable – you’ll simply be asked for a contact phone number. Please do read the Nova Mob’s Safety Plan if you haven’t already. The Kensington Town Hall operators have locked the kitchen so please bring your own coffee. Nibbles will be provided as usual. 

Take a look here for the book launch:


I first announced the April meeting as being an acknowledgement of the late Yvonne Rousseau. That acknowledgement is in preparation and will take place at a future Nova Mob.

Zoom meetings are seeing more people attend remotely than for the physical meetings at Kensington Town Hall and a good thing too because there’s a pandemic on. Change is likely: With vaccination under way, some of the previous habits will return. At this stage I’m wondering how it would work if we went entirely Zoom for remote external guest speakers, and entirely in-person Mob meetings when the speaker is speaking face to face at the Kensington Town Hall. Your thoughts please; it’s obviously something to discuss.

💥 💥 💥 

SF COMMENTARY March 2021 has landed in the letterbox from Bruce Gillespie and it’s up to the usual handsome standard. The 80 pages include a conclave-cum-conversation about the late John Bangsund; a lettercol of interest, and a deep dive into current science fiction novels and criticism from the ANU’s Colin Steele, thirty pages of reviews among which I note Susanna Clarke; Cory Doctorow; Naomi Novik; Terry Pratchett; Don DeLillo; Alex Pheby; Paul McAuley. From efanzines.comor the editor: gandc001@bigpond.com

Murray, from the Nova Mob newsletter

Attack the Block!


The movie takes place in a fictional neighborhood. The main council block in the film is called Wyndham Tower in honor of John Wyndham, the English science fiction writer famous for novels such as The Day of the Triffids (1951) and The Midwich Cuckoos (1957). Other locations include Huxley Court (Aldous Huxley), Wells Court (H.G. Wells), Moore Court (Alan Moore), Ballard Street (J.G. Ballard), and Adams Street (Douglas Adams). Just after the movie title appears, the camera pans across a map of the area, showing the various names.

from File770, item (15) in Pixel scroll, 27 Feb, taken from Mental Floss

Crit Mass Mar 17th: A novel approach to climate change

Kate Treloar will discuss cli-fi through the lens of two Kim Stanley Robinson offerings written almost 20 years apart. The Ministry for the Future (2020) is set in the very near-future with climate change impacts increasing in severity. The novel follows the titular international organisation as it advocates for future generations.

KSR has been at this for a while and back in 2004 he published the first of the “Science in the Capital” series. This Trilogy also focuses on looming climate change, with numerous perspectives including scientists, bureaucrats, political advisors, sea-rise refugees and flood victims. Kate will discuss the first novel in the trilogy, Forty Signs of Rain (which she also briefly reviewed at the recent virtual mini-con).

The first of the “Science in the Capital” trilogy

Robinson is perhaps best known for his “Mars” Trilogy – Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars – chronicling the settlement of Mars.
But he also wrote other cli-fi novels including 2312 and New York 2140. It would be interesting to hear comments from anybody in the group who has read these.

This month’s Critical Mass will happen at Kappy’s from 6:45pm.
Please take standard COVID precautions: you will be required to sign in; please do not attend if you are feeling unwell.
You can join the meeting via zoom:
Time: Mar 17, 2021 7pm Adelaide, 7:30 Melbourne
Doors open at 6:45pm

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 842 1809 7771
Passcode: 852519

Nova Mob, Wed March 3rd

Murray writes
Hi all Nova Mob participants and friends
Our guest this coming Wednesday is best-selling science fiction author and commentator John Birmingham. With thanks to the Mob members who asked for some military SF on the Nova Mob program. John is Australia’s biggest-selling and finest exponent of the timeslip military SF alternate history monster apocalypse great powers airport thriller genre.

John won the 2005 Locus Award for best first novel for his “Weapons of Choice”, the first in his Axis of Time trilogy of alternative history novels based on a modern fleet of warships going back in time to World War Two. A later trilogy, Stalin’s Hammer, addresses the legacy of the fall of the Axis of Time as Stalin’s USSR seeks to reshape the world. The James Kipper series asks, “what would happen if the USA just suddenly disappeared?” and the Dave Hooper series is a monster apocalypse thriller gorefest. Of course, John first came to fame with He Died with a Felafel in his Hand and is known for his commentary on modern Australia politics. 

John reports, “By happy coincidence I’ll have two new(ish) titles out that week. The ebook of Zero Day Code and the audio of American Kill Switch (which closes out the series)”. Those are from the End of Days series, a very plausible scenario for bringing down the American civilisation.  


As Penguin put it: “John Birmingham has written for Rolling StonePlayboyLong Bay Prison News, Quarterly Essay and The Monthly. His published works include He Died With A Falafel In His Hand and Leviathan: The unauthorised biography of Sydney. He started writing airport novels because they were more fun.”

John Birmingham – Reality? What price our reality?
Wednesday March 3rd
8.00pm – 9.30 pm or so, Melbourne time, 7:30 — 9pm Adelaide By Zoom:

Nova Mob 3 March 8.00pm 
login after 7.50 PM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney (7:20pm Adelaide)

Join Zoom Meeting for Nova Mob
Meeting ID: 417 758 3193
Passcode: nova

About John – 


To read some of John’s work: free download!

[Deeply regrettably, not SF]

Expansive Futures Bundle

The Expansive Futures Sci-Fi Bundle, curated by Amy DuBoff and the SFWA:

Since the early days of science fiction, authors have explored the future of humanity and what other life might be out there among the stars. From cybernetics to spaceships to alien contact, future-focused sci-fi lets us explore complex issues while escaping from everyday life. Eighteen diverse visions of Expansive Futures have been gathered in a special collection curated by SFWA members, now available in a limited-time bundle.

SFWA is an organization dedicated to promoting and supporting science fiction and fantasy writers in the United States and worldwide. Featuring award-winning authors and fresh new voices, the Expansive Futures StoryBundle is sure to please fans of futuristic sci-fi and space opera. Note that the bonus includes Eugen Bacon’s Claiming T-Mo.
The bundle is available for the next 9 days at https://storybundle.com/scifi

A farewell to Yvonne Rousseau

By Bruce Gillespie

With great sorrow we learn that Yvonne Rousseau died on Saturday, 13 February, in the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, Melbourne, from Parkinson’s disease. She had suffered from Parkinson’s from before she returned to Melbourne from Adelaide four years ago, after her husband John Foyster died there in 2003, but had entered hospital only two months ago.

She leaves behind her daughter Vida Weiss (who has kept us all informed over recent months), her sisters Val and Glenda, and her brother Linton, and their families; sister-in-law Jo; and former husband Mick Weiss, as well as the friends who enabled her to move back to Melbourne (Kathy and Ian, and Jane and Richard). Her brother George died several years ago.

She had a great ability to make and keep close personal friends, including those in the worldwide science fiction community and the Australian literary and editing world.

She was a Life Member of the Victorian Society of Editors, and was the author of The Murders at Hanging Rock, several published short stories (the best known being “The Importance of Being Oscar”), and many penetrating critical and personal articles.

She was a member of the Collective who published Australian Science Fiction Review, Second Series, and contributor to ASFR, SF Commentary, and many other publications. We feel keenly the loss of Yvonne’s generous and modest personality and her fine mind.