Alternative Stuff to do this Week in London – 30th May – 5th June!

Carabas This Weeks Event Recommends...

For our full months event recommendations see our London Events page and Regular Events page also – if we’re missing something (your own event or someone else’s) let us know!

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Carabas June 2016 New Book Recommends!

Carabas - New Book Recommends CB - C - Jun - Six of Crows CB - Jun - The Many Selves of Katherine North CB - Jun - The Long Cosmos CG - DH - Jun - Neil Gaiman's How to Talk to Girls at Parties CB - NF - Jun - I Swear I Was There


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Artist Profile – Vinnikiniki – Alien Street Art

CP - Vinnikiniki CP - Vinnikiniki - logo
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Artist from London, obsessed with Alien Life, Graffiti & UV Art murals


From the artist’s website: I have exhibited internationally and like to create art on my travels, I look forward to meeting other artists and people to talk about ideas and collaborations.

As most artists, I try to create art that is original and unique. I aim to constantly push and evolve my practice as an artist and enjoy collaborating with other artists and learning new art techniques.

I mostly work on large street art pieces but do knock out the occasional canvas, I use a variety of mediums; spray paint, markers, paint, ink but I also create purely digital pieces. Black light reactive graffiti art murals being a speciality, I’m also very partial to painting aliens and spray cans amongst other twisted and odd looking characters.


Check out our selection of Vinnikiniki’s pieces from London, Bangkok and elswhere with some choice videos as well…

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The Music behind the Relic Guild – by its author Edward Cox

CB - Jul - The Relic Guild PB Last year I wrote a piece for the Gollancz blog about how important music is to me and my writing process. This year the Grim Reaper seems to be working overtime to claim so many of our musical heroes and influences. In light of this, the piece that I wrote for Gollancz seems more pertinent because the music that touches us doesn’t die with its creators. It’s important that we continue to celebrate the work they leave behind, and also cherish the artists who are still with us and continue to inspire.
(NB. If you’d like to get more background before going on you can check out our profile of Ed here, more on his first book The Relic Guild and sequel The Cathedral of Known Things and other Gollancz titles via those links, and even read an extract from The Relic Guild here!)

Music has always been an important part of my life. I used to make my own – probably not very well, but then I wanted to be a writer, so who cares! – and if not for time constraints, I’d still be making it now. It was a lot of fun, and I remember the lifetime of hours I spent noodling around in my little studio setup very fondly. But the one thing I’ll never give up on is the passion I have for the music that I listened to. It is integral to who I am.

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The Origins of The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia by Mary Talbot

CG - JC - May - The Red Virgin reduced When we happened to meet Mary and Bryan Talbot just before Christmas, Mary told us just what they had coming next: The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia, a graphic biography of Louise Michel, the revolutionary feminist dubbed ‘The Red Virgin of Montmartre’, which is publishing in May from Jonathan Cape.
Graphic novel – check. Social importance – check. Heavens, even some relevance to science fiction – check! A worthy and very Carabas title in other words. So we asked Mary if she wouldn’t mind dropping us a few lines on how she came to write – and Bryan to draw – The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia…

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Rogues Can Suck It – Or My Review of Tom Clancy’s The Division by John Simpson

CA - The Division The Division is the latest Tom Clancy offering from Ubisoft, a third person shooter with a bio-catastrophe plot line wherein a virus is released in the heart of New York and it gets sealed off to slow the spread. You are part of the second wave of sleeper cells placed by the government to re-establish order should a catastrophe such as this take place and order needs to be established.

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A Coffee with Abaddon & Solaris at the London Book Fair…

CPP - Rebellion Publishing Jonathan Oliver was brought into Rebellion to help found the Abaddon Book imprint and also work on 2000 AD’s range of graphic novels. When Rebellion purchased Solaris from BL Publishing he became Editor-in-Chief of both, running them with editors David Moore and Jenni Hill (now of Orbit Books). Jonathan and David, along with Rob Power (Marketing / PR) were good enough to spare some time for a coffee at the London Book Fair so I could dig a little more into what they’re about and what’s in the pipeline…

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A Coffee with Hodder Editor Anne Perry at The London Book Fair!

Logo Hodderscape In the interests of openness I should probably note that this is more of ‘An absence of Coffee with’ Anne Perry: it being the afternoon of the third day of the London Books Fair we’re both already highly caffeinated and we decide to coast on what we’ve already imbibed rather than risk any top-ups. Apologies if anyone feels cheated by this (or that that’s cheating) 😉

Anyway the London Book Fair is a lot of different things to a lot of different editors. For some it’s selling international rights and translations of their titles. Anne Perry is no less busy, though she’s more on the other side and on the lookout for acquisitions; but for her the LBF offers a rare opportunity to connect with colleagues from across the Atlantic. It makes all the difference being able to connect face-to-face with those people you know more by e-mail in this or any other industry, so I’m grateful she has a bit of time to talk. Read the rest of this entry »

Retailer Recommends at LSCC 2016!

LSCC 2016 V Logo So you’re visiting London’s main pure comic convention. Yes there’s creators to meet, new indie projects to discover and panels to see and hear. Gosh Logo
But where and when better to get a bevy of expert tips on those titles – graphic novel / collections and in comic form – you may or may not be aware of to share? Forbidden Planet logo

So we thought we’d do everyone a favour and catch up with staff of Gosh!, Forbidden Planet and Raygun (East) and get some on spec on location staff picks!

You’re very welcome 🙂

Raygun Comics logo

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A Chat with Rachael Smith at the London Super Comic Con

LSCC - Rachael Smith - Twitter I remembered Rachael’s name from her The Rabbit launch at Gosh!, then on Doctor Who credits for Titan Comics – also from the first releases from Jessica Kingsley Publishing’s Singing Dragon imprint! So it’s all go for Rachael then – I thought I’d pop by her table at LSCC and find out what she’s up to now and in the near future… LE - Sep - The Rabbit

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London Super Comic Con 2016!

LSCC 2016 V Logo We arrive, fashionably late, to the Excel Centre for 2016’s London Super Comic Con. First priority? Coffee. Second priority: get photo of Brit Cit Judge having a fag. Third priority: make note to bring camera-to-laptop cable tomorrow.
All is in full flow and a busy day ahead. Got a good few creators to catch up with, mostly artists, and panels to see (can’t miss Mark Buckingham and John Totleben’s MIRACLEMAN: KIMOTA! panel for one!) and then there’s the parties and general pub meets after.
Yep that extra hour in bed was probably a good idea!

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Carabas February 2016 New Book Recommends!

Carabas - New Book Recommends CB - C - Rebel of the Sands CB - Feb - We Are Pirates CBP - Thor V1 Goddess CG - Jul - Armada CB - NF - I'm Buffy and You're History


Every so often, when we’ve collated the most exciting, imaginative and thought-provoking books from Fiction, Non-Fiction, Graphic Novels and Children’s / YA Books, we’re looking at a list as jaw-dropping in its content as its length; February 2016 is one of those times. However much we might want to save ourselves the work, and after serious edits already, the titles awaiting your discovery below simply demand inclusion.

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Extract / Preview: Crashing Heaven by Al Robertson

CBP Jun - Crashing Heaven Chapter 1
[Look out of the window, Fist,] said Jack, speaking inside his mind so only the little puppet could hear him. [Snowflakes.]
As their shuttle wheeled around, the sun snatched at the snow- flakes’ great ice bodies and made them  blaze,  leaving  even Hugo Fist with nothing to say. There were a dozen of them hanging in the cold, empty space before Station. The smaller ones sparkled with reflected light. Maybe five hundred metres across, they revolved in the void, bodies shimmering gently. The larger ones were majestic crystal shapes, dense with fractal complexity. They glowed partly with the sun’s fire, partly with their own inborn light. The abandoned Earth roiled behind them, its toxic cloudscapes an insult to their  cold perfection.
[A Totality battle formation – here?] whispered Fist. [We really did lose the war, Jackie  boy!]

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Extract / Preview: The Summoner by Taran Matharu

CBP - May - The Novice


It was now or never. If Fletcher didn’t make this kill, he would go hungry tonight.  Dusk  was fast approaching and  he was already running late. He needed to make his way back to the village soon, or the gates would close. If that happened, he would either have to bribe the guards with money he didn’t have or take his chances in the woods overnight.
The young elk had just finished rubbing its antlers against a tall pine, scraping the soft velvet that coated them to leave the sharp tines beneath. From its small size and stature, Fletcher could tell it was a juvenile, sporting its first set of antlers. It was a fine specimen, with glossy fur and bright, intelligent eyes.
Fletcher felt almost ashamed to hunt such a majestic creature, yet he was already adding up its value in his head. The thick coat would do well when the fur traders came by, especially as it was now winter. It would probably make at least five shillings. The antlers were in good condition, if a little small, they might fetch four shillings if he was lucky. It was the meat he craved the most, gamy red venison that would drip sizzling fat into his cooking fire.

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The Greatest Creations of Fantastical Fiction Part 2

(In which we look at warrior bears, the most secret of secret bases, a wizard that makes Gandalf look like a lightweight, an anthropomorphized aspect of nightmare, and quite possibly the most awesome adversaries of all time…)

If you haven’t already you can read Part 1 here.


Panserbjorn – Armoured Bears

Type: Race * From: His Dark Materials * Creator: Philip Pullman

The notion of armoured bears is probably enough to warrant inclusion in its own right, but what Philip Pullman does with his creation ensures they’re in without question.

So you’ve created an alternate world which you can populate with exciting creations. No holds barred. Anything goes as long as it’s cool. Anthropomorphised animals were hardly new of course: the Ninja Turtles were well established in the public consciousness by then, and talking animals of varying degrees of humanization are a staple of stories for younger children. But it had never been done like this.

This was a fantastical world that was inherently linked to our own, an alternate reality where physical evolution took non-hominid species on their own journey to consciousness (evolution and consciousness being essential themes of the series), bipedal locomotion, and manual dexterity. Anyway, thematic rationale in place, Pullman goes to town on it. Panserbjorn

Bears – warrior bears. Sounds good. Bears have claws and teeth and are damn strong – but these guys ought to have something more. Okay so they have their own craft expertise, that of metalwork. So let’s give them armour.

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Gig Review: Lola Colt, supported by Bleech (at Oslo, Hackney – 04/06/14)

Review by Alison Gray

(Pictures – Mark Kelly)

As soon as they came on-stage Bleech owned it.

Sisters Jen and Katherine were brimming with attitude and full of energy as they moved around the stage, and the band played with confident ease (bassist Katherine doing so barefoot). ‘Here I Am’, reminiscent of 90’s Grunge, sounded awesome; ‘Not Like You’ with its highly infectious chorus was more upbeat, verging on Britpop. I also particularly enjoyed ‘Mondays’ – but the favourite of the night had to be the low tone ‘Easy Ride.’

 Bleech 1  Bleech 3 Bleech 2

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