The 2014 Desmond Elliott Prize

14th April 2014

The Desmond Elliott Prize, the “most prestigious award for first-time novelists” (Telegraph), has announced a diverse longlist of 10 “astonishing” novels, which showcase the excellence of new British and Irish writing.

Among the chosen ten is The Dynamite Room, an eerie, thrillingly exciting and piercingly sad début for actor and play-write, Jason Hewitt.

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In the Event of an Apocalypse, Read this Book...

31st March 2014

Lewis Dartnell’s survival guide for the end of the world, The Knowldege, has received some great coverage this weekend; The Times, The New York Times, Daily Mail and Esquire Magazine have all reviewed favourably. The Times said:

An extraordinary achievement. With lucidity and brevity, Dartnell explains the rudiments of a civilisation. It is a great read even if civilisation does not collapse. If it does, it will be the sacred text of the new world — Dartnell that world’s first great prophet.”

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More Prizes for Miller

27th March 2014

Derek B. Miller’s Norwegian by Night has been shortlisted for the ‘Adult Debut Fiction Book of the Year’ category of the ABA Indies Choice, as well as the Strand Mystery Magazine Critics Award for best novel of the year:

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The Unlikely Settler on BBC Radio Scotland

14th March 2014

BBC Radio Scotland will have a long interview on Sunday Morning with Lipika Pelham, author of The Unlikely Settler. Lipika will talk about her experience of living in Jerusalem, and play her favourite music.

Photograph: Karel Cudlin

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Photograph: Chris Christodoulou

50 years ago to the day...

5th March 2014

50 years ago to the day, a 20 year-old history, Arabic and medieval Spanish student at King’s College, Cambridge, lit a rocket under the musical establishment, and he’s spent the last half-century continuing to shock and awe, agitate and enlighten, entertain and energise audiences and performers all over the world - but mostly, and most importantly, in the UK ever since. It was on 5 March 1964 that John Eliot Gardiner conducted Monteverdi’s Vespers in the Chapel of King’s College, and musical culture has never been the same since…”

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Wellcome Book Prize 2014

26th February 2014

The shortlist for the Wellcome Book Prize 2014 has been announced by the chair of judges, poet Andrew Motion: Adam Rutherford, author of Creation: The Origin of Life/The Future of Life, will be competing against Elizabeth Gilbert, Emily Mayhew, Oliver Sacks, Andrew Solomon and Sarah Wise for this year’s Prize, which will be presented at a ceremony at Wellcome Collection on 29th April.

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Life on Mars

17th February 2014

Ever wondered what would happen to your body in Mars? In a recent article for Wired Magazine, Kevin Fong explores the strange, deadly effects a life on Mars would have on the human body:

Deprived of the need to work against the force of gravity, the body becomes deconditioned — taking athletes and turning them into couch potatoes.”

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Dostoevsky and the Chickens

11th February 2014

Tune in to BBC Radio 3, next Saturday 15th Feb, at 21:30, to hear novelist and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo’s radio drama, ‘Dostoevsky and the Chickens’, in which convicts read Dostoevsky and dream of life beyond the prison chicken plant.

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Alex Bellos on Radio 4

31st January 2014

Tune in to BBC Radio 4 next Wednesday at 21.00 to hear Alex Bellos take you on a mathematical learning journey from the first stages of number recognition, through to an understanding of how children solve sums and calculate answers. On the way he will look at the neuroscience of maths and how our mathematical brain develops. He will also investigate the scientific evidence behind teaching maths and compare how modern methods of teaching children differ from those taught to their parents, helping kids today go beyond basic numeracy to develop a passion for numbers.

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29th January 2014

Creation, Adam Rutherford’s extraordinary, flip-back book on the origins, and future, of life in genetics, has been picked as one of Nick Lezard’s Paperbacks of the Week, for the Guardian:

“ Dr Adam Rutherford (as he is at pains to point out, no relation to Ernest) is one of the best explicators of any science that I have read – in a field of good explicators, which is increasingly crowded. So even if you don’t have a thing for biology, you will still find this entertaining; you will also find it informative and perhaps, ultimately, scary.”

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