If they found and destroyed the Scroll they would bring down all civilisation. Would the sacrifice of one man’s life save humanity?
Five years after the Great Fire of Lundun, ex-dragoon Laqua is lured into helping the Keepers of the Light, a secret band that fight the equally clandestine Cult of the Death of Hope. The Cult would bring down the empire of the Moors and, indeed, all civilisation. An empire that has conquered most of Europe, where now the language is Arabic and the flag of the falcate moon flies; where alcohol is banned and hashish is legal; where prison is unknown and punishment is by whip, knife or hook. A world in which steam engines chug, the Industrial Revolution is well advanced, and the Norse have settled the New World. In Lundun, the capital of the Tin Isles, the largest mosque towers over St Paul’s Cathedral and Samuel Peppin has given up his diaries and writes bawdy poetry instead.
The key to defeating the Cult is an ancient secret Scroll, the final chapter of the Sacred Script, its authenticity assured by the same Seal. While the Cult would destroy it, the Keepers intend to publish it for all to read, but they do not yet have the means to achieve that goal and so Laqua is charged with helping to keep the Scroll safe until they do. He falls in with a dour, castrated functionary from the Court of the Amir in Qurtuba, and a perfidious, possibly drug-addled, theologian. And what part might a libidinous Norsewoman play? Ahead of him lie spying, fighting, loving, torture and tragedy... and the discovery of a dreadful truth.
As Ants to the Gods is an alternate history adventure that challenges some of the orthodoxies and assumptions of Western culture. For adults only, certainly not for the faint-hearted or easily shocked, it is a ribald and irreverent exploration of a world that could have been.
Arthur C. Clarke has died on 19 of March in Sri Lanka, where the English author had been living for 50 years. He was 90. Clarke had post-polio syndrome and the cause of death was cardio-respiratory attack.
He is the author of over 100 books, both fiction and non-fiction, most famous being 2001: A Space Odyssey. He is also credited with idea of communications satellites.
The works that have made it to the preliminary ballot for the 2007 Nebula awards have been announced. You can read many of the novellas online, links can be found from the Nebula site.
BSFA 2007 Awards Shortlists were announced on 21 January 2008.
BSFA is The British Science Fiction Association. BSFA was created 1958, when a group of leading authors, publishers, booksellers and fans decided that Britain needed an organisation to encourage science fiction in every form. Today BSFA unites members from Australia, Russia, Europe, USA, Canada and Argentina.
The World Fantasy Convention is an annual gathering (almost a reunion) of professionals, collectors, and others interested in the field of Light and Dark Fantasy art and literature. This year the gathering was at Saratoga, New York. The main features of the convention are the World Fantasy Awards.
The winners at this year are:
Some Finncon 2009 Guest of Honours have already been announced! And they're really exciting names:
More info to be announced at 2009.finncon.org