On the seventh day of Christmas…

. . . It’s also New Year’s Eve, and the very last day of 2011! Cue fireworks, kissing your loved ones at midnight, Auld Lang Syne, parties and Jool’s Holland on TV. But all that happens at midnight – that’s hours away! So what to do until then . . . ? But is 2012 really so far away? We could, in fact, make a day of the celebrations! 2012 will arrive in New Zealand at about 11.00 in the morning today (Champagne!), in parts of Russia at 12.00, and cross Australia over lunch time. Japan will see the New…

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On the sixth day of Christmas…

The 30th of December. It’s somehow not quite Christmas any more, it’s not quite the New Year either, so it seems a marvellous day to look back at the year 2011 . . . and it’s been quite a year for Gollancz! So here are six of our highlights from the past twelve months . . . 1) Our 50th birthday party – it’s extraordinary to think that the Gollancz SF list is 50 years old! In that time the list has published some amazing authors, including Arthur C. Clarke, William Gibson, Terry Pratchett, Alastair Reynolds, George Orwell, Gene Wolfe…

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On the fifth day of Christmas…

. . it’s a great day to review the year that was 2011 – in covers! So, five of the best (in my opinion, anyway): First up has to be the amazing new cover look for Charlaine Harris and the Sookie Stackhouse novels. It’s so bright, especially on gloomy winter days, that it can’t help but make you smile. Thanks go to the wonderful Patrick Knowles for the cover designs, and to the fabulous Orion Art department! Next I have to tip my hat to the incredibly talented April Schumacher, the illustrator of our editions of Kristen Britain’s Green Rider…

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On the fourth day of Christmas…

I got an e-reader for Christmas and on it, I put . . . O wonder of wonders! An e-reader for Christmas – for indeed, the ebook revolution is upon us! But once you have the device, whatever to load on to it? Which title, from the many, many novels available, should be the first one you download. Which seminal novel to choose, to be the very first on this extraordinary science-fictional device? . . . of course it has to be a science-fiction novel! But now the genre decision is made, how to narrow it down even further? How…

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On the third day of Christmas…

We three kings of Orient are, One in a taxi, one in a car, One on a scooter, beeping his hooter, Smoking a fat cigar . . . Carol singing is such a Christmas tradition and – if you’re me, at least – so is standing at the back of the choir singing the alternative version as loudly as possible. It’s not a proper concert unless the audience can hear both sets of lyrics, and it’s a great deal more fun! Nor (as the BBC is proving again this year) is it a proper Christmas without a bit of Dickens…

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