StarShipSofa No 332 Sofia Samatar and Nina Allan (BSFA Awards Special Part 2)

April 9, 2014 by acpracht

StarShipSofa is proud to present all four nominees in the “Best Short Fiction” category of the British Science Fiction Association! You can vote for the BSFA awards here by Monday, April 14.


Main Fiction 3: “Selkie Stories are for Losers” by Sofia Samatar 02:00

I hate selkie stories. They’re always about how you went up to the attic to look for a book, and you found a disgusting old coat and brought it downstairs between finger and thumb and said “What’s this?”, and you never saw your mom again.


Sofia is the author of the novel A Stranger in Olondria (Small Beer Press, April 2013). She edits nonfiction and poetry for Interfictions: A Journal of Interstitial Arts. She generally feels torn between two things she loves in equal measure: clean diction/ornate prose; bleakness/romance; fiction/nonfiction; lyric/epic; reading/writing; solitude/society; here/elsewhere; orange/gray.


Main Fiction 4: “Spin” by Nina Allan 22:40

Her father was not there to say goodbye. It was not unusual for him to get up early and take the boat out, but Layla knew that today it was deliberate, that he didn’t want to see her leave.


Nina was born in Whitechapel, London, grew up in the Midlands and West Sussex, and studied Russian literature at the University of Exeter and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. She wrote her first short story at the age of six. Recurring obsessions include old clocks and rare insects, forgotten manuscripts and abandoned houses.

Her stories have appeared regularly in premier British speculative fiction magazines Interzone, Black Static and Crimewave, and have featured in the anthologies Best Horror of the Year #2, The Year’s Best SF #28 and The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2012 and 2013.  Her story ‘Angelus’ won the Aeon Award in 2007, and her short fiction has shown up on BFS and BSFA shortlists on several occasions.

A first collection of her short fiction, A Thread of Truth, was published by Eibonvale Press in 2007, followed by her story cycle The Silver Wind in 2011. Her most recent books are the story collection Microcosmos (NewCon Press March 2013) the novella Spin (TTA Press 2013) and Stardust: The Ruby Castle Stories (PS Publishing April 2013). Her first novel, The Race, set in an alternate and near-future version of southeast England, will be published in summer 2014 by NewCon Press.

Narrators: Juli Carter and Barbra Dillon

Juli Carter has been or is a linguist, legal secretary, namer, English teacher, medical transcriptionist, potter, telephone operator, singer, San Francisco Giants fan and proud aunt.  (She multitasked attending Sofacon and a Giants game and has the photos to prove it.)

She got her start in voice acting as a Popo Puppeteer at the Iowa City Public Library and has been a volunteer narrator and proof listener for You can reach her at  julicarter (at)


Barbra Dillon is an editor, producer, and actress. Barbra is the managing editor and co-founder of Fanboy Comics, an online conglomerate of geek media and independent comic book publisher. During her time with Fanboy Comics, she has served as the editor/producer of the graphic novels “Something Animal,” “Identity Thief,” and “The Arcs.” In addition to her work with Fanboy Comics, Barbra can be heard as the voice of Katniss Everdeen in “The Katniss Chronicles,” an unofficial and unauthorized audio drama based on “The Hunger Games,” as well as the voice of Clara in Pendant Audio’s production of “Phantom Canyon.”


  1. Just wanted to leave a word saying how much I loved Sofia Samatar’s story, Selkie Stories are for Losers. As I narrated, I re-read and re-read and kept finding new details and layers. What a beautifully crafted story! Sofia, all good luck with the awards!
    And if anyone wants to see the SofaCon at the Ballpark pictures, here’s the link:

  2. I found Nina Allan’s story Spin gorgeously compelling. I was deeply involved in the characters and got carried away, wondering how it was going to end. If that’s the kind of story the BSFA regularly honors, I need to be paying more attention to them!

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  1. […] Spin by Nina Allan (available in audio in this episode of StarShipSofa) […]