I have been trying to track down updates on SF in Africa by Jaroslav Olsa Jr., who has worked as a Czech diplomat in a number of African countries, including Zimbabwe currently, I believe. I hope to update my SF in SA section with this information if I am able to contact Jaroslav and obtain his permission to use this material
Otherwise, with regard to reading, I have enjoyed two British short fiction SF magazines. One is a relative newcomer with four published editions. It is called PostScripts and is published by an excellent enterprise called PS Publishing, which also publishes some wonderful novellas and collections of short stories. The website is at: www.pspublishing.co.uk/postscripts.asp. I found the first volume of PostScripts mixed in quality but it has been on an upward curve in terms of the quality of its' fiction, with the latest edition (4) being the strongest in my opinion. There is a great lead-off story from Alistair Reynolds with Zima Blue, about an alien artist working on a cosmic scale. The stories that follow are strong and varied in tone and theme. Incidentally, the opening editorial by Nick Gevers was an exercise in nostalgia for me, as Nick mentions trawling the Cape Town bookshops in his youth for SF.
Interzone is the second magazine from the UK I keep up with. It has been going since the early 1980's and its' most recent edition is 200. It has recently changed editors after a long haul from David Pringle, being taken over from Andy Cox of TTA press. Interzone's web address is: www.ttapress.com/IZ.html. Interzone has been overhauled in terms of its presentation and layout, looking a snazzy colour upgrade. The fiction is a sound and enterprising mix of stories, but my longstanding non-fiction favourite has to be Nick Lowe's film reviews.
With regards to books, I must mention Richard Kunzmann's 'Bloody Harvests' has been deservedly nominated for the CWA Dagger Award for best first detective novel. www.thecwa.co.uk/awards/2005/creasey.html.
There is a recent review of my book 'The Stone Chameleon' on the Infinity Plus website at: www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/stonechameleon.htm.
Other than that, I will probably be in the process of moving back to the UK after a stint of clinical work in Aotearoa/New Zealand, sometime early in 2006.
Nick Wood, October/November 2005