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 24, 2021

Thylacine image courtesy of Discovery Magazine



Writers, Writing, Reading, Books:

Marvel’s elite artist team created the Fine Arts covers for the final issues of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s run of Black Panther. Click through to see the mouth-watering covers themselves.

Wired provides a collection of interesting quotes from David Gerrold about worldbuilding and life on other planets.
Tonight, SymphonySpace is offering a live online event discussing the works of Oc... Read More

WWWednesday: February 17, 2021

James Herman Banning



James Herman Banning was a Black American aviator, part of the Bessie Coleman Aero Club in Los Angeles, and the first black pilot to fly across the continental United States. 

Contests:

Waukegan Public Library’s Ray Bradbury Writing Contest announced its winner: Orton Ortwein. Waukegan is Bradbury’s birthplace.

Writers, Writing, Reading, Books:

Scott Edelman offers hors-d’oeuvres with Mary Robinette Kowal in this episode ... Read More

WWWednesday: February 10, 2021

Matiline Berryman had degrees in mathematics, law and maritime affairs with a concentration in oceanography and sonar engineering. She taught courses on oceanic dynamics and underwater sound at the New Naval Oceanographic Office. Later, she taught at the University of District of Columbia and later served as Chair of the university’s Department of Environmental Services. 

Writers, Writing, Reading, Books:

Is this article on POV helpful?

I like this take on world-building, but of course I would because it’s how I introdu... Read More

WWWednesday: February 3, 2021

Alice Ball developed the first effective treatment for Hansen's Disease.



Awards:

The Infected by Art winners are announced. Some very nice stuff here! (Thanks to File770.)


Writers, Reading, Writing, Books:


Read Bill Capposere’s personal essay on the judgments we make, and the things we don’t know.

Paul Weimer, known as Prince Jvstin on Twitter, had his account deleted last week, ... Read More

WWWednesday: January 27, 2021

Amanda Gorman wowed a lot of us last Wednesday. PBS interviewed her earlier, and this video addressed her preparation for the inauguration.

Obituaries:

Mila Furlan, who starred on Babylon Five, passed away after a long illness. Her character Delenn’s comment, that “we are made of star-stuff,” seemed like a fitting observation for this hardworking actor.

The New York Times published a tribute to a pioneering Black speculative fiction writer, Read More

WWWednesday: January 20, 2021

The Ursula LeGuin postage stamp



In the USA a new administration takes office today. Yesterday, President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris held a service for the more than 400,000 people in the USA who have died of Covid. The service included lighting the lights around the reflecting pool at the Lincoln Memorial.

 

Writers, Writing, Reading, Books:

Locus published an obituary for Storm Constantine, who died last week. Constantine’s work embraced the weird. She was an expert in Tarot and the occult, and worked to amplif... Read More

WWWednesday: January 13, 2021

Distance, from the Urban Crow Oracle Deck



Awards:

The Endeavor Committee is suspending the 2021 Endeavor award for various reasons, many associated with Covid 19.

The Washington DC Science Fiction Committee is accepting submissions for its small press award.

The Critics Choice awards were announced on January 10.

The Speculative Literature Foundation announces its $1000 grant to a South Asian or South Asian diaspora writer.

Writers, Writing, Reading, Books:

From the Washington Post, Read More

WWWednesday: January 6, 2021

Wishing Tree in Portland, Oregon, from Atlas Obscura.



Happy 2021, everyone.  Congratulations on making it this far.

Conventions:

The Baltimore Science Fiction Society reported out on the findings of an investigation into the behavior of Eric Gasior, Vice Chair of the Virtual BaltiCon 54.

Giveaway:

One commenter will get the trade paperback version of Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House.

Tech and Fun:

From Boston Dynamics, the famous dancing robots.



Books and Writing: Read More

WWWednesday: December 30, 2020

 

Labyrinth at Dawn, Earthrise, Petaluma, CA. Image by Marion Deeds



2020 is nearly out the door. Vaccines are on their way, and positive change is in the air as the days grow (infinitesimally) longer. Wishing you all a joyous 2021 and a safe, healthy New Year’s Day to those who celebrate.

The city of Nashville experienced a shocking bombing on Christmas Day. Here is one site that helps direct donations to the residents of that city.

In 2020, people who never imagined they would need a food bank found themselves depending on one. The crisis is not over. If you are looking for a last-minute 2020 donation for your taxes, this site identifies food bank in the USA.

... Read More

WWWednesday: Lovecraft Country, Book and TV Show

Lovecraft Country, Original Cover



One commenter with a USA mailing address will get a trade paperback edition of Lovecraft Country.

I watched Season One of HBO’s adaptation of Lovecraft Country before I read Matt Ruff’s original novel-in-stories. I liked each of them, for different reasons. I will be comparing and contrasting here.

Ruff’s book came out in 2016. It embraces and honors the pulp era of speculative fiction, especially short fiction, especially the weird (the title is a clue). Ruff wanted one important difference from the weird fiction and comic books of the 1950s—he wanted Black main characters. Three linked families, the Berrys, the Turners and the Dandridges, encounter a centuries old coven of magical practitioners and weird magic, while navigating the “everyday” horror of a racist society. In the opening passage, Attic... Read More

WWWednesday: December 16, 2020

 

Menora. Image by Navah Wolfe



The story of Chanukah is that a small but dedicated group of Jewish fighters drove the Syrian Greeks from the Holy Temple, and rededicated it. They found only one small container of holy oil for the lamps that hadn't been contaminated by the invaders, but through their faith, they made it last for eight nights. The odds may be daunting, but have faith, and don't be afraid to shine a light in the darkness.

Books and Writing: 

Youtuber Morganeua carefully, thoroughly and cleverly examines Isaac Asimov’s use of -ly adverbs. (Thanks to File 770.)



Cat Rambo offers a 20-minute overview on Tips for Pantsers (writers who don’t outline your book in advance.)
... Read More

WWWednesday: December 9, 2020

Holiday Star, image from Cleanpubliddomain.com



Conventions:

DisCon III (next year’s Worldcon) is trying to decide whether to hold an online in August, 2021, or move their date to December of that year and try for an in-person event. They are polling the community. You do not have to be a WorldCon member to take the survey.

At this time, the Horror Writers of America still plans to hold their May, 2021 StokerCon as an in-person event. They are creating a contingency plan, though.

Books and Writing:

December is “best of” and “roundup” month, and LitHub honors the traditi... Read More

WWWednesday: December 2, 2020

David Prowse. Image by Starwars.Fandom.com



Obituary:

David Prowse, best known to me as the towering, menacing Darth Vader, passed away this week. He was 85.  I knew the man was tall; I didn’t know he was that tall.

Books and Writing:

After Fireside Fiction’s editor Pablo Defendini selected a white male reader as the voice talent for a nonfiction piece by a black woman, Brian J. White has stepped in as the interim editor. Defendini, who is the m... Read More

WWWednesday: November 25, 2020

Raven Story Postage Stamp



DisCon, slated for August of 2021, updated its membership counts.

Books and Writing:

A little inspiration for participants in NaNoWriMo: Seven published works that started off as WriMo projects.

George R.R. Martin provides his irregular, semi-annual update on The Winds of Winter, and no, he hasn’t finished it. (Thanks to File770.)

Publishers Weekly reports that Read More

WWWednesday: November 18, 2020

Paradox Bound by Peter Clines



Books and Writing:

Peter Clines offers some of his books as gifts to those who can’t afford to buy many gifts this year.

SFWA has collected a packet of information and sample documents for writers who need to protect their intellectual property in their trusts or wills.  Thanks to File 770 for this link.

Writers are unhappy with Audible because its Read More

WWWednesday: November 11, 2020

Veterans Day:

From 2010, then Vice-President Joe Biden honors veterans at Arlington National Cemetery.


Books and Writing:

C.C. Finlay is retiring from editing The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction to direct his energy toward his own writing. With the March/Apr, 2021 issue, Sheree Renee Thomas will take the reins.

To no one’s surprise, the Odyssey writers workshop will be online in 2021. It looks like they have some good offerings. The registration deadline is December 7, 2020 and cost varies depending on the workshop. (Thanks to File770.)

Read More

WWWednesday: October 28, 2020

Cover, Lovecraft Country, by Matt Ruff



Obituary:

He may not be known to many of you. Richard Lupoff, New Wave writer and later a comic writer, passed away earlier this week. Lupoff won a Hugo in 1963 and was a Nebula finalist in 1977. In the 2000s, he was best known for his work with his wife Pat Lupoff in the comics genre. He hosted a radio show on Berkeley, California’s KPFA. Personally, Lupoff was someone who had encouraging words for emerging writers and was a source of inspiration for many of us. Author Marta Randall calls him “one of the good ones.”

Books and Writing:

MacMillan is Read More

WWWednesday: October 21, 2020

Don't Move, byJames S. Murray and Darren Wearmouth



Security Breach:

Locus Online signal-boosted the Barnes and Nobel announcement that they were hacked on October 10, 2020.

Conventions:

Also from Locus: I didn’t know Iceland had a biannual SF convention, but it does. They are apparently hoping for an in-person conference in November, 2021.

Giveaway:

One commenter with a USA mailing address will get a copy of C.L. Polk’s new fantasy novel The Midnig... Read More

WWWednesday: October 14, 2020

Cover, Mask of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick



Conventions:

World Fantasy Con 2020 submitted a draft program that was riddled with problematic language and assumptions, to put it politely, and not for the first time. This is an increasingly troubled event with a history of sexual harassment, sexism, racism, other bigotry and accessibility errors. The conference is online this year, but the WFC is seeing a dramatic, public drop in participation.

While I was browsing some other material for the column, I stumbled over the Sirens Conference, being held next week. It’s online, free and it looks interesting.

 ... Read More

WWednesday: October 7, 2020

Lois McMaster Bujold. Image by Kyle Cassidy



Last week interesting enough for you all?

Books and Writing: 

Lois MacMaster Bujold fans, especially those who like the Penric stories, will be pleased by this announcement on Bujold’s Facebook page. (Thanks to File770.)

The Illinois Science Fiction in Chicago organization (ISFIC)  is holding its annual writing contest even though WindyCon has been postponed to 2021.

The Speculative Literature Foundation Read More

WWWednesday: September 23, 2020

Pink Begonias, Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden



Housekeeping:

Next week’s column will be single-item, probably a review of a series, and there might be a giveaway attached.

Pictures:

I was able to spend a couple of days at the seaside village of Mendocino, California, and the images used in the column are from that trip.

 

Books and Writing:

This is two years old but still interesting, as Crime Reads interviews Joe R. Lansale about Hap and Leonard.

Publishers Weekly has Read More

WWWednesday: September 16, 2020

Lesser Blue Heron, St. Augustine, Florida



Interesting words for Wednesday: Lapidify means to turn to stone. I also like the noun blatherskite, a person “given to voluble, empty talk.”

Books and Writing:


At Tor.com, Christina Orlando talks about reading books late. Lots of good recommendations here!

Kris Kathryn Rusch has, understandably, a strong indie-pub position, but this article is useful and interesting.  It’s about traditional publishing and how it’s faring in the pandemic (spoiler alert: not very well according to her.

File770 Read More

WWWednesday: September 9, 2020

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 02: (L-R) Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Rob Reiner, Chris Sarandon, Wallace Shawn, Carol Kane, and Billy Crystal.(Photo by Dave Kotinsky/WireImage)



Congratulations to John Scalzi (The Last Emperox), Erin Morgenstern (The Starless Sea) T. Kingfisher (The Twisted Ones), and all the other 2020 Dragon Award winners! It was a great ballot this year, with lots of discussion to com... Read More

WWWednesday: September 2, 2020

God of Jades and Shadows by Silvia Moreno Garcia



Obituary:

I literally went numb when I read that Chadwick Boseman, who played, among other roles, King T’Challah in Black Panther, passed away from cancer. Boseman’s courage, grace and generosity extended far beyond his screen roles to his day to day life. He will be greatly missed, but he left us a legacy of hope.

Natural Disasters, Where to Donate:

New Orleans city government posted a number of places to donate. By the way, World Kitchen Central does wonderful work. They have been here in California too,... Read More

WWWednesday: August 26, 2020

Books and Writing:

Lots of celebrations of Ray Bradbury’s birthday—he would have been 100 years August 22 of this year.  File770 had several articles, including one about various events. (Note, the readathon continues through Labor Day.) The American Writers Museum in Chicago celebrated by displaying his typewriter and inaugurating a series of podcasts.

Nina Allan discusses “the canon” through the perspective of a British reader. It’s a dense, thoughtful artic... Read More