World Wide Wednesday

Started by Amanda Rutter, in 2010, World Wide Wednesday is now hosted by Kate Lechler. On most Wednesdays, Kate 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 Kate.

WWWednesday; September 30, 2015

This week’s Word for Wednesday is sesquipedalian, an adjective used to describe a word with many syllables. The origin is Latin, from the word for “foot and a half.” “Sesquipedalian” appeared in usage in the early 1600s.  My Oxford English Dictionary gives the first written use of the word in 1625 if I am reading the tiny print correctly.

Crescent Moon by Sergey Tyukanov

Birthdays and Anniversaries:

A happy birthday to Mark Hamil, Shel Silverstien and Christopher Reeve who all share the same birthday, September 25.

The Planetary Society will have its 35th anniversary party on Saturday, October 24, in Pasadena. Guests will include Nichelle Nichols and Read More

WWWednesday: September 16, 2015

This week's word for Wednesday is "taradiddle," meaning a petty lie or a bunch of pretentious nonsense. According to the Oxford Dictionary, it came into use in the late 18th century.

Stormy Seas in Sagittarius (c) NASA


Patrick Rothfuss is opening up his Worldbuilders Foundation for donations to refugees from Syria. His wrote a moving blog post about it. You can donate here. The donations will be open through at least Friday, September 18.


DragonCon, Atlanta's annual convention, hit an... Read More

WWWednesday: September 2, 2015

Last week, August 26, was Katherine Johnson’s birthday. Johnson was born in 1918 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. She excelled at math from childhood, and eventually found a job with NASA. Johnson’s job was to calculate the routes for the USA’s manned space missions, including 1969’s lunar landing. In the 1950s, in her work at Langley Research Labs (which later became part of NASA), Johnson’s job title was actually “computer.” These short films show Johnson talking about her life in her own words.

(c) Lauren Dawson


Really, there's more? Yes. Locus Magazine devoted a paragraph or two to the Alfie Awards, created and awarded by Read More

WWWednesday; August 19, 2015

Germen Crew, Palmitas, Mexico, from Bored Panda

On this day in 1887, Russian chemist Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev, better known for outlining the original Periodic Table of Elements, ascended 11,500 feet in a hot air balloon, the better to study the solar eclipse that was happening. Once Mendeleev had observed and made his notes, he had to figure out how to descend, since he'd never flown a balloon before. Mendeleev is also known for setting a Russian standard that vodka had to be at least 40% alcohol. Cheers, Mr. Mendeleev!


The Baen Fantasy Adventure Awards were announced on August 1. Jeff Provine won the  Grand Award for his story “A Kiss From a Queen.” First runner-up was Katherine Monasterio for “Trappists” and “Shell Game,” by Joseph L. Kellogg was second runner-up. The award were given o... Read More

WWWednesday: August 12, 2015

Sue, the T-Rex

On this day in 1990, Sue, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton found to date, is discovered by Sue Hendrickson in South Dakota. Sue may be the coolest discovery ever to result from a flat tire.

Writing, Editing, and Publishing

Saga is reprinting Catherynne M. Valente's Six-Gun Snow White this November--exciting news!

One of Kat's favorite authors, Robin Hobb, did a Read More

WWWednesday: August 5, 2015

On this date in 1924, the comic strip Little Orphan Annie first appeared, debuting in the New York Daily News. The strip, created by Harold Gay, was syndicated by the Tribune Media Services.

Inquisitive (c) Elizabeth Leggett 2015


NASA provides a behind-the-scenes (or is it "above the scenes?") look at the ISS astronauts prepping for a spacewalk.

The UK Mirror reports that Nichelle Nichols of Star Trek, TOS, will come the closest of any cast member to "the final frontier" when she rides on the space telescope SOFIA in September, 2015. Nichols, 82, suffered a strok... Read More

WWWednesday; July 29, 2015

Transdimensional Emmisary (c) Andy Kehoe

On this day in 1954, George Allen and Unwin, London publishers, published The Fellowship of the Ring, Volume One of The Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien.

Movies and Television:

Syfy announces plans to serialize Dan Simmons's work Hyperion. (The Shrike! The Shrike!) The plans so far only include the first of the four books, but since that one ends on a cliffhanger,  it seems likely they will want to continue production if the audience res... Read More

WWWednesday; July 22, 2016

On this date in 1933 American pilot Wiley Post completed the first solo world-wide flight. Post flew 15,596 miles in 7 days, 18 hours and 49 minutes.

Solar System:

Pluto continues to surprise us. According to IO9, early data shows a world that is geologically active, implying an internal heat source. This is not what we were expecting! NASA provides a nice photo and article about the region they are calling Pluto's Heart, but which many people think resembles a famous Disney cartoon character. (Hint; it's not the mouse.)

Pluto's largest moon, or as I like to think of it, Pluto's Sidekick, Charon, is also ... Read More

WWWednesday: July 8, 2015

On this date in 1497, Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama left for his voyage from Lisbon, Portugal to Calicut, India. He is the first European who made it from Europe to India by sea. On July 8, 1776, a 2,000 pound bell forged of copper and tin was rung in Philadelphia to call people out to hear the reading of the Declaration of Independence. The bell was later named the Liberty Bell.

The Strickland Brooch from the Sutton Hoo Site; British Museum


Science Fiction Poetry Association has announced the Rhysling award winners for 2015. The award recognizes excellence in science fiction poetry. Winners this year include "Shutdown" by Marge Simmons (1st place for short poems) and "100 Reasons to have Sex With an Alien" by  F.J Bergman (first place for long poems). I think ... Read More

WWWednesday; July 1, 2015

Thanks to Kate for a great year of World Wide Wednesday. I hope I can meet the high standards she set for this column! As a going-away present for her, here are some location shots from the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World movies. These two links are overtly commercial, but they show the gorgeous Hawaiian locations, including those accordion-fold bluffs that provide the background for so many scenes.

Unicorn Defends Himself: The Metropolitan Museum of Art


The Locus Awards were announced on Saturday, in Seattle, Washington. Connie Willis acted as MC for the awards event. Congratulations to Read More

WWWednesday: June 24, 2015

This is my last WWWednesday column; from here on out, I'll be focusing on The Expanded Universe column and catching up on my many reviews I have yet to complete! (You know you're past your freshman year as a FanLit reviewer when you're at least 15 books behind, and reading more all the time.) Thanks for sticking with me this past year, and let's welcome Marion Deeds next week when she takes over the web round-up column!

Dragon in a Bestiary

Writing, Editing, and Publishing

SFWA has a pic of the Nebula Award Winners after receiving their awards.

The Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fa... Read More

WWWednesday: June 17, 2015

On this day in 1903, Ruth Graves Wakefield, owner of the Toll House Inn, created the chocolate chip cookie. Thank you, Ruth!

Angus McKie

Writing, Editing, and Publishing

The finalists for the Chesley Awards, given by the Association of Science Fiction & Fantasy Artists (ASFA), have been announced. I'm excited to see Todd Lockwood on the list, whose work we have featured before in WWW. Click through to check out the rest of the nominees.

The winners for the Campbell and the Sturgeon Awards have been chosen: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, by Claire North, and "The Man ... Read More

WWWednesday: June 10, 2015

On this day in 671 C.E., Emperor Tenji of Japan introduced a water clock called Rokoku. The instrument measured time and indicated hours and was placed in the capital of Ōtsu.


Writing, Editing, and Publishing:


Jeff VanderMeer won the Nebula Award for the best novel on Saturday. Here you can read the text of his acceptance speech, which calls for more diverse voices in SF/F.

The other Nebula winners were: Yesterday's Kin, by Nancy Kress (novella); "A Guide to the Fruits of Hawaii... Read More

WWWednesday: June 3, 2015

On this day in 1965, the Gemini 4 was launched. It was the first multi-day space mission by a NASA crew. Ed White, a crew member, performed the first American spacewalk.

The Doubtful Guest, by Edward Gorey

Writing, Editing, and Publishing

The shortlist for the Morningstar Award for best debut in fantasy fiction has been announced, along with plans to make a new trophy. So excited to see Kameron Hurley on the list!

And my FAVORITE award, the Mythopoeic Awards, have announced their shortlist as well: check it out, and stock up on the year's best myth-based fantasy and fabulism (and literar... Read More

WWWednesday: May 27, 2015

On this day in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge opened, connecting San Francisco to Marin County. At the time, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, at 4200 feet.

Wooly Mammoth on the range

Writing, Editing, and Publishing:

I am very sad to say goodbye to one of my favorite writers, the great Tanith Lee, whose fairy-tale adaptations largely made me the reader and writer of fairy tales that I am today. The link above is to her obituary in Locus, but the Guardian also posted a particularly good one.

We are a couple days late for Towel Day, an annual ... Read More

WWWednesday; May 20, 2015

Giveaway News: As part of our Thoughtful Thursday column for May 28, we will give one lucky commenter a  complete set of the novels nominated for the Hugos and the Nebulas.That's eight books!

The Blue Closet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Books and Publishing:

Damien Walters’s essay in the Guardian discusses the multi-volume fantasy novel, which he terms a “mega-novel.” He questions whether every gifted writer can write one, and whether they should even try.

Here is an enjoyable six-minute Ted Talk by Alex Gendler Read More

WWWednesday: May 13, 2015

On this day in 1373, Julian of Norwich was struck with a serious illness and, as she awaited death, she had 16 visions of the Passion of Christ and the Virgin Mary. In one of these visions, she saw the entire universe held in her hand, as small as a hazelnut.

The entrance to Hell being locked by an archangel

Writing, Editing, and Publishing:

There will be a Nebula Awards mass autographing in Chicago; check out all the great authors who will be in attendance!

The Shirley Jackson Awards nominees for "outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic" have been announced; they include some of our favorites, su... Read More

WWWednesday: May 6, 2015

On this date in 1840, Britain introduced the first adhesive postage stamp approved for a public postal service. The Penny Black was 3/4X7/8 of an inch, had a black background and a profile of Queen Victoria taken from a time when she had still been Princess. The words “One Penny” and “Postage” appeared on the stamp.

Daughter of No Nation (c)Cynthia Shepherd and Tor, 2015

Writing, Editing and Publishing:

The Locus Award shortlist is out. Here are the names I expected to see on other lists this year; William Gibson, Jeff VenderMeer and Robert Jackson Bennett among others.

The International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA) offers a cash prize for ... Read More

WWWednesday: April 29, 2015

On this day in 1997, U.S. astronaut Jerry M. Linenger and Russian cosmonaut Vasily Tsibliyev completed the first-ever Russo-American space walk, a five-hour excursion from the Russian space station Mir.

Carina Nebula

Writing, Editing, and Publishing:

The European Science Fiction Society award winners have been announced, with Brit China Mieville garnering an award for best author.

The Libertarian Futurist Society released the Prometheus award nominees, including Liu Cixin  and Terry Pratchett.

Seiun Awards finalists (the Japanese equivalent to the Hugo A... Read More

WWWednesday: April 22, 2015

On this day in 1889, at high noon, thousands rushed to claim land in the Land Rush of 1889. Within hours the cities of Oklahoma City and Guthrie were formed with populations of at least 10,000.

By Jensine Eckwall

Writing, Editing, and Publishing:

In what might be the most surprising news of the week, the identity of fantasy author K.J. Parker has been revealed as Tom Holt, another genre author. For a truly surreal moment, read this, in which Holt interviews Parker ... er... hi... Read More

WWWednesday: April 15, 2015

On this date in 1877, Milanese engineer Enrico's Forlanini's steam-powered helicopter hovered 40 feet in the air, for 20 seconds, from a vertical take-off. (Steam-powered!) On this same day in 1941, Igor Ivor Sikorsky took the first helicopter flight that lasted one hour. His was not steam powered.


It is award season.

Fantasy Literature's own Rebecca Fisher has won the 2014 Sir Julius Vogel Award for best fan writing in New Zealand. Julius Vogel was a New Zealand prime minster who also published science fiction.The award recognizes excellence in science fiction, fantasy, or horror works created by New Zealanders and New Zealand residents. It is awarded by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand. Congratulations, Rebecc... Read More

WWWednesday: April 8, 2015

I’ll be subbing this week and next, because Kate and her beau Wil are getting married! Congratulations, Kate and Wil!

The Meeting of Oberon and Titania, by Arthur Rackham, 1905


Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (AWFA) announced that Joanna Russ and Stanley Schmidt are the winners of the 2015 Solstice Award. The award, created in 2008, is given to “those individuals, living or dead… who had a significant impact on the science fiction or fantasy landscape.”

The Hugo Nominations were announced on Saturday. Take a look. Like last year's slate, this one is a tad controverisal. Charlie Jane Anders at IO9 Read More

WWWednesday: April 1, 2015

On this day in 1957, the BBC screened a film purporting to show Swiss farmers harvesting spaghetti from spaghetti plants.

Remedios Varo

Writing, Editing, and Publishing:

Horror Writers Association have announced some of the 2014 award recipients, including both Tanith Lee and Jack Ketchum for Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Part of a series on the psychology of inspirational female characters, this week Janina Scarlet talks about Katniss.

Are you an academic, writing a non-fiction project about speculative fiction? Check out this grant to help fund writers complete a project on popular ... Read More

WWWednesday: March 24, 2015

Last week, I didn't post a web-roundup because I was abducted by Martians and they wiped my brain. Sorry, everyone.

Library of the Ancients, by Te Hu

Writing, Editing, and Publishing:

Margaret Atwood has a new book coming out in September, set in the near-future world of her Positron short stories.

Cat Valente talks boy heroes vs. girl heroes as she discusses her upcoming book, The Bo... Read More

WWWednesday: March 11, 2015

On this day in 1932, Booming Ben, the last "heath hen," was seen for the last time. The species went extinct after his death, but the controversy surrounding it paved the way for conservation attempts for other species. (Also, it is Douglas Adams' birthday.)

Moon Catcher by Victo Ngai

Writing, Editing, and Publishing:

The Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction longlist has been announced, and it includes some lovely genre gems like Station Eleven by E... Read More