Thoughts from the SF Gateway

On This Day: E. C. Tubb (1919 – 2010)

15 October 2012

Another gem of SF did-you-know, courtesy of our friends at the Hugo Award-winning Encyclopedia of Science Fiction: on this day, in 1919, Edwin Charles Tubb was born.

Author of over 100 novels, including the 33-volume Dumarest Saga, E.C. Tubb was a stalwart of post-war British SF, a founder member of the British Science Fiction Association and the first editor of Vector,  the critical journal of the BSFA.

E. C. Tubb was among the very first authors signed by SF Gateway and we’re delighted to be able to make his work available once more.

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SF Gateway Friday Limerick

12 October 2012

As it’s Friday, the weekend is beckoning and the sun is even shining (at least it is at Gollancz Towers), we thought it was time to have a little fun. And what’s more fun than a limerick?

Therefore, in keeping with our focus on classic science fiction, SF Gateway offers up the following assessment of where yesterday’s future went wrong . . .

We once thought we’d have bases on Mars,
And then move on to conquer the stars,
With great dreams we were blessed,
But now we’re obsessed,
With big houses, smart phones and flash cars.

Our work here is finished.  Surely it’s now just a matter of waiting for the call from Stockholm offering us the Nobel Prize for Literature. Meanwhile, please feel free to leave your own SF limericks in the comments to this post or in the Forum page on the SF Gateway website – N.B. requires (free) log-in to post.

Happy Friday!


Posted in Commentary, Whimsy
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New SF Masterworks in Print and Digital

11 October 2012

Today is publication day for two new SF Masterworks: Frankenstein and The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe.


Widely regarded as the first true work of science fiction, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s 1818 classic, Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus, is quite simply one of the most famous novels in literary history. Filmed countless times, featuring countless actors – from Boris Karloff to Robert De Niro – it is a classic warning tale of the dangers of science run amok. The SF Masterworks edition (eBook)  contains a fascinating introduction and notes by acclaimed author and critic Adam Roberts.



The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe, as noted yesterday, is a modern classic of British SF and was filmed in 1980 as Death Watch, recently digitally remastered and re-released.  First published in 1974, D.G. Compton’s The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe tells of a different kind of horror – the voyeuristic intrusion of reality television into modern culture; a phenomenon Compton foresaw decades before the likes of The Truman Show.



Two very different books but alike in at least one respect: they’re both perfect reading for a dark and wet October day . . .

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Death Watch And The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe

10 October 2012


The 1980 film, Death Watch, directed by Bertrand Tavernier and starring, among others, a young Harvey Keitel,  was re-released in the UK in June this year, in a digitally restored print.  The re-release garnered many positive reviews from the likes of The Guardian, The Irish Times and Cine-Vue, with critics proclaiming it intriguing, compelling, prescient and ‘an oft-forgotten cult masterpiece’.

We draw your attention to this because Deathwatch is based on the seminal SF novel The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe (published in the US as The Unsleeping Eye) by D.G. Compton, which is published tomorrow as an SF Gateway eBook and an SF Masterworks paperback.


A few years in the future, medical science has advanced to the point where it is practically unheard of for people to die of any cause except old age. The few exceptions provide the fodder for a new kind of television show for avid audiences who lap up the experience of watching someone else’s dying weeks. So when Katherine Mortenhoe is told that she has about four weeks to live she knows it’s not just her life she’s about to lose, but her privacy as well.

D.G. Compton was nominated for the Nebula Award for his 1970 novel, The Steel Crocodile, and was awarded the Author Emeritus honour by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, in 2006. His books, out of print for too long, are now available again from the SF Gateway.


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Scheduled Downtime

6 October 2012

A final reminder that the SF Gateway and Encyclopedia of Science Fiction websites will be down tomorrow, Sunday 7th October, for essential server maintenance, between approximately 9:00am and 6:00 pm British Summer Time (that’s GMT+1).

We apologise for the inconvenience but remind you that this will not affect access to SF Gateway eBooks, which will still be available from all the usual retail outlets.

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Six Degrees of Separation: The Beatles to SF Gateway

5 October 2012

It comes to our attention that 50 years ago today, musical legends The Beatles released their first single, Love Me Do. Now, we at SF Gateway are as ardent fans of The Fab Four as the next sentient carbon-based lifeform, but it didn’t strike us as particularly relevant to classic science fiction – until we started thinking . . .

1. The youngest of The Beatles was George Harrison.

2. Harrison counts among his many achievements the founding of Handmade Films, in 1978.

3. Handmade Films produced many notable British movies, including Guy Ritchie’s BAFTA-nominated hit Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

4. In addition to having the dubious honour of marking the ‘acting’ debut of self-styled-football-hard-man-turned-thesp Vinnie Jones, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels also featured an appearance by singer/actor Sting.

5. Sting is no stranger to the fantastic, having appeared in Terry Gilliam’s The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, the BBC’s adaptation of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast books, served as the inspiration for John Constantine in Glenn Fabry’s wonderful Hellblazer covers, and – of course – played Feyd-Rautha of House Harkonnen in David Lynch’s 1984 film Dune.

6. And Frank Herbert’s Dune – as we finally get to the point – is, of course, both an SF Gateway eBook and an SF Masterworks hardback.









So there. The Beatles and classic SF – they’re virtually indistinguishable . . .


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Repent, Synners!

4 October 2012

We have been bad and we’re very sorry. Owing to what Sir Humphrey Appleby might refer to as ‘unforeseen administrative difficulties’, we were unable to publish the eBook of Pat Cadigan’s excellent Synners at the same time as we published the SF Masterworks edition. But I’m pleased to say that oversight has been rectified and the winner of the 1992 Arthur C. Clarke Award is now available in both print and digital editions.

Read it now or we can’t be held responsible for the consequences to your eternal soul . . .

Posted in Authors, Publishing
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Scheduled Downtime

2 October 2012

We’re sorry to report that the SF Gateway website is going to be offline for most of Sunday 7th October owing to scheduled server maintenance. We apologise for the inconvenience, but remind you all that you can still find all of our eBooks on your chosen retailer websites.

Downtime should begin around 9:00am GMT and continue for most of the day. The site should be back around 18:00 GMT.

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Happy Birthday, Doris Piserchia

1 October 2012

Thanks to our friends at The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, we see that today is the birthday of much admired author Doris Piserchia, who recently signed with SF Gateway, and whose novels will be made available over the coming months.

Among many others, October 1st is also the birthday of noted anthologist, editor and critic Mike Ashley, Métal Hurlant and Heavy Metal stalwart Richard Corben, and the late, great Donald A. Wollheim, noted fan, writer and legendary editor of Ace Books, and founder of DAW Books.

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Eon . . . Eternity . . . Legacy

26 September 2012

The redoubtable Richard Curtisliterary agent extraordinaire and eBook pioneer – has posted an appreciation of Greg Bear‘s epic ‘Eon’ trilogy, at his E-Reads site

Since Gollancz and SF Gateway are proud to publish Greg Bear in the UK & Commonwealth, and since Bear is one of our foremost hard SF writers and the son-in-law of the legendary Poul Anderson, we felt these were words worth drawing attention to. You can read Richard’s post here.

Greg Bear‘s ‘Eon’ trilogy is comprised of:
Eon (SF Masterwork | eBook)
Eternity (paperback | eBook)
Legacy (eBook

All of the above, as well as a considerable amount of Poul Anderson‘s work, are available on the SF Gateway.


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