World Wide Wednesday

World Wide Wednesday is hosted by Marion Deeds. On most Wednesdays, Marion will take you around the internet, letting you in on some interesting news from the SFF community. If you’ve got a tidbit to share, please comment on the latest post, or contact Marion.

WWWednesday: February 12, 2020

Bessie Coleman, African American pilot who got her license in 1921. She was flying before Amelia Earhart was.



Science:

A scientist at Stanford has turned jellyfish bionic, with plans to turn them into living information-gathering devices. 

Awards:

File 770 shares the British Science Fiction Association shortlist.

Books and Writing:

In the New York Times, Brit Marling talks about Read More

WWWednesday: February 5, 2020

The Gwen Ifill Forever Stamp is unveiled.



Inspiration:

Gwen Ifill is now on a first-class postage stamp. Since she was first-class, this is inspiring. PBS New Hours has video of the event.

Giveaway:

One commenter will get a paperback copy of Mark Lawrence’s novella One Word Kill.

Books and Writing:

At Polygon, Read More

WWWednesday: January 29, 2020

White lion dancer costume for Lunar New Year.



Books and writing:

Imaginary Papers launched its first issue here.

Publishers Weekly gives a capsule review of N.K. Jemisin’s latest, The City We Became.

Cat Rambo hosted Jasmine’s Arch’s post on creating an online haven for writers.

Read More

WWWednesday: January 22, 2020

Cons: 

Arisia 2020 went forward and File 770 provides some fun photos here. 

Books and Writing:

Via File 770, the Heinlein Scholarships program is open until April 1, 2020.

LitHub shares genuine pulp covers of classic literary works—at least they say they are genuine and, like Fox Mulder, I want to believe. I nearly fell over when I saw the Wuthering Heights cover, and then I got to Heart of Darkness.

Missouri has introduced legislation to create small groups of parents to Read More

WWWednesday: January 15, 2020

Passing:

Mike Resnick passed away at the age of 77. His best-known book was probably Kirinyaga, but Wikipedia lists 69 books for him, including tie-ins and some mysteries. He won the Hugo and the Nebula in 1995 for his story “Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge” and a Hugo in 1991 for his novelette “The Monamouki.” Recently he edited Galaxy’s Edge. On Twitter, Tobias Buckell acknowledged Resnick as one of his Clarion teachers, a mentor and an inspiration.

File770 has an obituary.

Neil Peart, extraordinary drummer and the lyricist for Rush, passed away. John Scalzi added a Rush video to his blog in memoriam. Read More

An interesting word for Wednesday is the noun hibernaculum (hi-ber-nak-yoo-lum), meaning winter quarters or the den of a hibernating animal. I think I’ve used this word before, and probably right around this time of year.

Cons:

SWFA has put out a sampler of its programming examples for its Nebula Weekend, scheduled for May 28-31, 2020, in Los Angeles.

Is this a hibernaculum? (Image from Funny Cats.)



Books and Writing:

Right around Christmas, the Romance Writers Association (RWA) had a kerfuffle that escalated into a full meltdown. They tried to sanction a member, highly successful romance writer and former RWA board member for using Twitter to comment harshly on the stereotypical portra... Read More

WWWednesday: December 25, 2019

A joyous Hanukkah and a Merry Christmas to those who observe.

To those of you who don’t, have a very good week!

I’m posting a handful of videos. Four are musical and one is of fluffy arctic foxes.

The column will be on hiatus next week (January 1) but I will be back on January 8.

Happy New Year!

First up: Alison Krauss and Yo Yo Ma play The Wexford Carol.



Julie Geller performs a contemporary version of the classic Hanukkah hymn Al Hanisim.



From 2010, a flash mob performs the Halleluiah Chorus.



Itzhak Perlman plays Raisins and Almonds. This is slightly longer than five minutes.



Arctic foxes in the snow. Read More

WWWednesday: December 18, 2019

Snowflake image by Udemy.



There is a word for the thing in fiction that I always called “The Twist.” It’s Peripeteia (Peri- peh-TAY-uh,) and it means a sudden change or also, a sudden fall.

Housekeeping:
There will be a brief column next week, December 25, and no column on January 1. The column will return on January 8, 2020.

Books and Writing:

Here is a quiz; match the lesser-known sequel to the famous book. I’m not going to tell you how very badly I did on this. (Spoiler alert: abysmally.)

Like many other small press endeavors, Fiyah Litmag is having trouble staying solvent. Fiyah is a great source of new fiction, especially new voices and writers of color... Read More

WWWednesday: December 4, 2019

An interesting word for Wednesday is horologium (hor-oh-LOGE-ee-yum) a noun meaning a time-keeping apparatus like a clock, sundial, etc, or a structure that supports a time-keeping piece.

Giveaway:

One commenter will get a copy of Annalee Newitz’s The Future of Another Timeline.

John Hartness (l) and Melissa McArthur of Falstaff Books. And a shameless plug for Aluminum Leaves.



Conventions:

Last week I spent three days at AtomaCon in Charleston, South Carolina. This was a small convention, which I enjoy. I had a wonderful time! I’m going to plug some people. I tried a VR experience for the first time (undersea images) and I a... Read More

WWWednesday: Evil on CBS

Next week the links will be back! This is my reaction to the early episodes of CBS's new supernatural thriller Evil.

Cast of Evil. (c) CBS 2019



Evil
10:00 pm Thursday
CBS

I didn’t think I was going to watch Evil until I saw that it starred not only Mike Colter (Luke Cage, The Defenders) but Michael Emerson (Person of Interest, Lost). That casting made me think I’d give it a try. It’s not my favorite kind of story, and it’s on a network that tends to produce mainstream programming that is predictably black-and-white, with a lot of protagonist-centered morality (if our heroes want to do it, then it must be okay). Blue Bloods and a... Read More

WWWednesday: Emergence, on ABC

This is the first of two WWWednesday columns that will be single-subject instead of a links roundup. Next week, November 27, I'll give my reactions to the network TV show Evil.

Emergence



Emergence
ABC, Tuesdays, 10:00 pm
Science Fiction

I watched the first two episodes of ABC’s Emergence wondering exactly what kind of show it was, and I wasn’t alone in that. Twitter filled up with people tweeting, “It’s just like Stranger Things,” “Is it Fringe?” and so on. By Episode Three of the new series, the show revealed its true colors. It is not a Gifted Child in Jeopardy show, it’s not solely a Conspiracy show, and it’s not merely a family drama. It is actual science fiction.

 

This column will contain some spoilers – although it’s hard to say how spoilerish they are, when the show re... Read More

WWWednesday: November 13, 2019

This might be gallimaufry. Or it might be lamb stew, who knows?



Cool word for a Wednesday: gallimaufry (gall-uh-MAW-free); a noun meaning a jumble, a medley or a hodgepodge, or a spicy meat hash. (Isn’t that the planet Doctor Who came from?)

Housekeeping:

There will be no links columns on November 20 or November 27 because I will be out of town both weeks, but I will post a single-subject column on those dates.

Awards:

File 770 reported that the Sunburst Society, a Canadian society for the appreciation of science fiction, has suspended its Copper Cylinder award in 2019. They aren’t giving a reason at the moment.

Read More

WWWednesday: November 6, 2019

You know what’s not fun? Throwing your go-bag into the trunk of your car at 4:00 in the morning, while law enforcement drives through your neighborhood with sirens and bullhorns, advising you that “This area is under an evacuation order; leave now.” We were in a town that got put under a precautionary evacuation order as CalFire fought the Kincade Fire, which has burned about 78,000 acres in my home county in California. In spite of the stress and anxiety caused by fleeing my house in a windy, smoke-filled morning, I am glad officials took the approach they did. This massive evacuation probably saved lives, and let firefighters focus their attention on the flames, not the citizens.  A heartfelt "Thanks!" to good friends, and to emergency responders everywhere. We had firefighters from Washington state, Oregon, Utah and Colorado assisting with the blaze, and, to date, we have had zero fatal... Read More

WWWednesday: October 30, 2019

NASA: Active regions on the sun give it the appearance of a jack-o'-lantern.



Awards:

The 2019 Nommo Awards were announced. These awards are given to African speculative fiction writers. Thanks to File 770.

Books and Writing:

Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) weighed in on the recent issue of Fireside cancelling book scheduled to be published, with very little notice and no compensation. The Contracts Committee reviewed the contract in question. They note that this was a non-advance contract and there was no compensation if the publisher could not fulfill their obligations.... Read More

WWWednesday: October 23, 2019

Image courtesy of Rover.com



Awards:

File 770 shares the British Fantasy Award winners; Jen Williams took the award for Best Fantasy for The Bitter Twins; Little Eve won Catriona Ward the Best Horror Novel awards, and Aliette de Bodard took Best Novella for The Tea Master and The Detective.

Books and Writing:

For anyone who has a bucket list, here’s something to add: Stephen and Tabitha King... Read More

WWWednesday: October 16, 2019

Olga Tokarczuk. Image from Wikipedia



Nobel Prize for Literature:

The Nobel Prize for Literature Committee awarded two prizes, one for 2018 and one for 2019. Olga Tokarszuk and Peter Handke are the awardees for 2018 and 2019 respectively. Here is more information from the BBC.

Olga Tokarczuk’s work sounds like something I would like to read; it has elements of magical realism and the fantastical. Her most recent novel, Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, was published in 2009. She has won many honors throughout Europe including the Man Booker Prize.

Peter Hand... Read More

WWWednesday: October 9, 2019

Yom Kippur is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. It started a few minutes before sunset yesterday.

Octopus Dreaming:

PBS’s Nature ran a show on the octopus. A scientist studies Heidi, the octopus who lives in an aquarium in his living room. He captured this eerie, beautiful footage of Heidi changing color while she was apparently asleep. These colors manifest in the octopus while it is hunting or eating, so the scientist “narrates” Heidi’s dream.



Nobel Prizes:

The Nobel prize in physics was awarded to a Canadian scientist and two Swiss scientists Read More

WWWednesday: October 2, 2019

Happy Fall! Autumn Leaves



Conventions:

Tad Daley shared some more WorldCon pictures on File 770.

Some self-promotion; I’ll be attending AtomaCon in November. It’s a cozy South Carolina convention. I’m not a guest, just a participant, but look forward to meeting any FanLit fans who might attend.

Awards:

Gollancz and Ben Aaronovitch are sponsoring a fiction contest open to Black, Asian and minority ethnic writers in Britain. (The ... Read More

WWWednesday: September 25, 2019

Deaths and Memorials:

Margaret Atwood’s longtime partner, writer and conservationist Graeme Gibson, died last week. He was 85.

Aaron Eisenberg, who played Nog on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, died last week at the age of fifty.

vectorstock Image



Books and Writing:

Heather Demetrios wrote an article last week that got a lot of attention. Taking a “learn from my m... Read More

WWWednesday: September 18, 2019

Poveglia Island, photo by Atlas Obscura



Awards:

I can’t believe people have to do this, but apparently they do… Archive of One’s Own issued a statement explaining that their Hugo win was for the concept of the archive itself, and the achievement of creating a space and a community for fanfiction, not for anything written or produced on the archive. AO3 is a community of people who write fanfiction, which means they are using worlds, concepts and characters developed by someone else. No writer on the site “won” a Hugo for their fanfiction.

It turns out that some of the people who apparently needed th... Read More

WWWednesday: September 11, 2019

Begonia, Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden



Awards:

File 770 posted this year’s Dragon Award winners. Brad R. Torgerson won best SF novel for A Star-Wheeled Sky, and Larry Correia won best fantasy novel for House of Assassins.

Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu won the Barry Ronge award in South Africa for her book The Theory of Flight. The award honors writers whose works “enthrall with their imagined worlds.”

Books and Writing:

BookExpo Read More

WWWednesday: September 4, 2019

I hope those of you in the USA enjoyed your Labor Day weekend. 

Obituary:

Jim C. Hines, who had reported that his wife Amy was living with cancer and cancer treatments,  let people know via Twitter and his blog that Amy has passed away. Our condolences to the Hines family.

Contests:

Interzone’s James White award for unpublished stories announced its short list.

WorldCon:

File 770 highlighted this Read More

WWWednesday: August 28, 2019

After the Hugos:

There are, as always, a few controversies in the wake of this year’s WorldCon. One is about a possible WorldCon being held in China. Chengdu has a bid for the 2023 WorldCon, along with Nice, France. Cheryl Morgan discusses some pros and cons about Chengdu and Nice. (There is apparently a large group of fans who have a fixation with it being in the USA, which I don’t get, since the Con’s name is WorldCon. On the other hand, we call a national sporting event the World Series, so maybe it is consistent.)

Nicholas Whyte, this year’s Hugo Administrator, delved deeply into the Hugo nominations and final votes. Enjoy the details. He also discusses the apparent dissatisfaction with the Best Fanzine category, which had more No Award... Read More

WWWednesday: August 21, 2019

Mary Robinette Kowal and other 2019 Hugo winners. Photo by John Scalzi



Hugos:

The Hugos were announced in Dublin, Ireland on Sunday evening. Winners include:

Best Novel: Mary Robinette Kowal for The Calculating Stars
Best Novella: Martha Wells for “ Read More

WWWednesday: August 14, 2019

Perseid Meteor Shower. Image from Illinois Science.



Cons:

WorldCon 77 starts Thursday in Dublin, and many of our favorite writers and artists are already there. Two Guests of Honor put together a Dublin eating and drinking guide. (Thanks to File770.)

GenCon was held earlier this month in Indianapolis, Indiana. It’s billed as “more games than you could ever play in your lifetime.” I’m not a game person, but the Parks game grabbed my attention!

Arisia faces another setback, with an arbitration decisio... Read More