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; April 19, 2017

This week’s word for Wednesday is a noun, zounderkite, which you may have heard if you watched Penny Dreadful. It means a person who does very stupid things; “Chester, you zounderkite, I said ‘Don’t push the big red button!’” The word is believed to be Germanic in origin and was popular in Victorian times. It looks like it would be a good Scrabble word.

Rain Puddles on Mendocino Headlands



Awards:

Courtesy of File 770, here are the winners of the British Science Fiction Awards. The winner for Best Novel was Europe in Winter by David Hutchinson.

The finalists for the Eugie Foster Award for short fiction were announced and include work from Alyssa Wong, Read More

WWWednesday; April 5, 2017

This week’s word for Wednesday is the noun blether-head, which means a noisy fool. I think you can make it a modifier too, as in “blether-headed nonsense,” which might be redundant.

Awards:

The 2017 Hugo Awards shortlist is out. I am disappointed by one terrible oversight; City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett is not on the short list for novel. That is a crime. Otherwise, I think it’s a good list.



Here are the finalists for Best Novel:

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor) Read More

WWWednesday: March 29, 2017

Today’s word for Wednesday is the noun poltroon, meaning coward. Its origins appear to be Middle French and/or Middle Italian. It may be descended from a Middle French world for a foal or a baby animal (implying frailty and skittishness?) It first appeared about 1520. It is not to be confused to pontoon, which is a floating structure or part of a seaplane.

Awards:

This is from February: Charlie Jane Anders won the Crawford Award at this year’s International Conference for the Fantastical in the Arts (ICFA), for All the Birds in the Sky.

City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett



New Releases:

Here are some books we’re excited ... Read More

WWWednesday; March 22, 2017

According to Haggard Hawks, the same way a flock of crows is called a murder, the poetic term for a group of salamanders is a maelstrom. And you can find many more cool collective nouns for animal groups here.

Awards:

This year’s Tiptree Award went to Anna-Marie McLemore for When the Moon was Ours.

Independent horror publisher Word Horde had a very good day at the This is Horror awards. John Langan’s The Fisherman Read More

WWednesday; March 8, 2017

Happy International Women's Day.

This week’s word for Wednesday is panchreston, a noun that can mean an answer so vague, generalized and all-encompassing it provides no answer at all, or a panacea, something meant to “cure all ills.”

Books and Writing:

Today Tor.com is providing a collection of short fiction based on the theme “Nevertheless she persisted.” Politics-watchers, feminists and people on Twitter will recognize the now-famous words applied to Senator Elizabeth Warren. Thanks to Terry Weyna.

Unbound Worlds Cage Match 2017



Unbound Worlds has opened its annual Cage Match, a bracket contest featuring science fiction versus fantasy characters. Writer... Read More

WWWednesday; March 1, 2017

Awards:

The Bram Stoker short list is announced. I am jazzed to see that John Langan’s The Fisherman is on there, but as usual there are several fine books in the mix.

In case you missed the Academy Awards, here is this list of winners. Moonlight took Best Picture, even if another film literally walked off with their Oscar.

Cat. (c) 2017 by Tracy J. Butler



The Hugo nominations close at midnight March 17, 2017. You must be a WorldCon member, either full or associate, to nominate. If, like me, yo... Read More

WWednesday; February 22, 2017

Word for Wednesday. In The Accidental Dictionary, Paul Anthony Jones informs us that “naughty” used to mean “nothing.” It was a contraction of ne and aught, meaning “not anything.” In the 1400s the word began to take on an interpretation of “morally nothing,” and the word was used to mean bad or evil. By the Tudor era it specifically meant licentious or sexually inappropriate before gradually declining to have the  “misbehaving” meaning it generally has today.

Awards:

Robert J Sawyer won the Robert Heinlein Award for his novel Quantum Night. http://www.bsfs.org/bsfsheinlein.htm

This year’s Skylark Award, given to a person who “has contributed signifi... Read More

WWWednesday; February 15, 2017

Obituary:

Although Edward C Bryant is not well-known these days, he was a definite influence on the genre. Locus has his obituary. His short works were frequently on the Hugo and Nebula shortlist. In 2011, Ted Chiang wrote about what he learned from Bryant’s short story collection Particle Theory for Strange Horizons.

Edward C Bryant approaches the podium on his signature roller skates.



This is a personal memorial for me because my memories of Bryant are braided up with memories of a week-long writing workshop I took in the 1980s. He was one of the instructors. His humor, his honesty and his encouragement have stayed with me... Read More

WWWednesday; February 8, 2017

This week’s word for Wednesday is a noun, xenodochium. It means is a hostel or guest-house, or anywhere where strangers are made welcome.

Books and Writing

Lake Powell and the Grand Escalante from the International Space Station.



Sarah Beth Durst posted a little bit about the sequel to The Queen of Blood on her spiffy redesigned website. http://www.sarahbethdurst.com/ReluctantQueen.htm

Atlas Obscura introduces us to Marie Duval, a 19th century animator who was overlooked by history.  Thanks to File 770.

Read More

WWWednesday: February 1, 2017

This week’s word for Wednesday, again courtesy of Haggard Hawks, is kalokagathia, a noun of Greek origin that means goodness of character. I have to say, it doesn’t roll off the tongue. 

Conventions:

Lunar New Year Celebration, Year of the Rooster, in Singapore



Charles Stross announced on his blog that he will not be coming to FenCon in Texas in September, because, in light of the recent Executive Order signed by President Trump, Stross feels that more and harsher restrictions will be coming and that he belongs to groups that could be targeted; nor does he want to be seen to endorse the type of behavior the EO demonstrates. He is announcing it now to give F... Read More

WWWednesday; January 25, 2017

This week’s word for Wednesday is a verb; to slounge. It is old Scots and means to hang about in the hope of getting some food. It can also be a noun, someone who is slounging can be called “a slounge.” Now I have a word for the squirrels in my backyard. 

Books and Writing:

This article from Quartz looks at the prolific Isaac Asimov, who, it states, wrote 500 books in his lifetime, and tries to tease out writing lessons for all of us. Thanks to Ryan for this one.

Tor.com has this nice interview with Lois McMaster Bujold.

Locus Magazine Read More

WWWednesday; January 18, 2017

I don’t read Wil Wheaton’s blog very often, but the other day I did, and I found this. Philomena Cunk is too wonderful not to share.



Awards:

Yikes! Only two days left on this one; the James White Award is still open for entries, and winner are published in Interzone. The award is open to not-yet-professional writers and the word length is 6,000 words.

The winners of the Stabby Awards for 2017 were announced, and Pierce Brown won for best novel with Morningstar.

Books and Writing:

 

Friendly Robots



Winter is coming, maybe, someday. Read More

WWWednesday; January 11, 2017

Pampered Cat



Today’s word for Wednesday is pamperdom, a noun, (rare, archaic) for a state of luxury or a state of being pampered. Kind of obvious, I know, but kind of cute. In modern times, the use of this word is probably most frequently applied to cats.

Contests and Awards:

The Baen Fantasy Adventure contest opens on January 15, 2017, and will remain open until April 1, 2017. The limit for original fantasy adventure is 8,000 words. The winner gets their work published on the Baen website and a Baen shopping spree; second and third place get Baen shopping sprees plus bragging rights. The winners will be announced at GenCon in August of this year. Why not go for it?

Robert Stack provides a tabl... Read More

WWWednesday; December 28, 2016

This is not the usual column. After the loss of Carrie Fisher yesterday at the age of 60, I thought we needed something uplifting that gives us comfort and hope. I am providing a link to the Vanity Fair obituary for our princess, because it contains Carrie Fisher's signature humor.

I know for many younger readers Princess Leia was prologue. For me (I'm the same age she was) she was a role model. And as Carrie Fisher courageously shared parts of her life, even the not-so-good parts, with the world, Fisher herself became a role model for me, a model of how to be a funny, brave, honest woman.

I'll stop talking now.

This is what I wanted to share, courtesy of NASA. The camera is mounted on the European Space Agency's Module Columbus. I think this is quite long, but it provides a perspective. If possible, watch i... Read More

WWWednesday; December 21, 2016

Today’s word for Wednesday is myriagon, a noun, meaning a shape with 10,000 sides.

Tree and aurora borealis



Holiday Break:

I hope your winter holidays are filled with love, joy and magic for you and your families. The column will take a two-week break after today and be back on January 11, 2017.

Books and Writing:

Penguin Random House has terminated its collective bargaining agreement with two unions in the UK, fueling fears of layoff (the British term is “redundancy”). Penguin Random House is severing its relationship with these unions after a year where it saw 23% growth in profits. This is a scary sign for the US, especially in the upcoming political environment. Read More

WWWednesday; December 14, 2016

Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) get ready to lead a mission.



Only two more days until Rogue One; a Star Wars Story opens nationwide.

Giveaway: 

I will announce the winner of the Giveaway from last week’s column on Sunday, December 18, in the comments section of that column. Thanks to everyone for your suggestions! 

Awards:

You can vote here for the best digital comic of 2016. Thanks to File 770 for the link.

Stephen King thinks it’s just fine that Bob Dylan got the Nobel Priz... Read More

WWWednesday; December 7, 2016

Today’s word for Wednesday is the noun flummadiddle, which means something worthless or foolish, a bauble. It used to be the name of a bread-and-pork-fat based pudding with sweet spices like cinnamon and allspice (that doesn’t sound worthless). It might come from the word “flummery,” also a kind of dessert, which is believed to be of Welsh origin.

You will see this word again later in the column. 

Dreamer of Dreams by Edmund DuLac



Gift Recommendations and Giveaway:

I’m always amazed and impressed by the knowledge base of our readers, so I’m turning part of the column over to you today. Since it’s that time of year, please go to the comments and tell us all your best gift-book recommendation. If you are a writer, it might be your own book (if indie published, please provide the purchase details.) It does not have to have come out ... Read More

WWWednesday; November 30, 2016

This week’s word for Wednesday is a phrase. ‘To turn your tippet’ meant ‘to entirely change your behavior or course in life’ in 16th century English. Thanks, as always, to Haggard Hawks.

Awards:

Margaret Hamilton, a software engineer for NASA whose software guided the first lunar landing, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the USA’s highest civilian honor, this month.

The group called the Sad Puppies seem to be arguing among themselves over this year’s Hugo Awards. The Sad Puppies have always stated that they are different from the Rabid Puppies, and one blogger thinks that Katie Paulk did not do enough to champion the Sad Puppies group’s choices ... Read More

WWWednesday; November 23, 2016

Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein. Soon to be a TV series? Oh... my.



Awards:

Colson Whitehead won the National Book Award for The Underground Railroad. Read Bill’s 5-star review here. The graphic novel series March, written by John Lewis, who is also a congressional representative, won for best children’s literature.

John Lewis, author of March, talks in his acceptance speech about being turned away from a library becaus... Read More

WWWednesday; November 16, 2016

Language glyph from The Arrival Paramount, 2016



Today’s word for Wednesday is misosophy, a noun, meaning the hatred of wisdom or intelligence. It appears in writing first in the  mid-19th century by poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Books and Writing:

Intellectual Properties, ownership of content and copyright gets more complex daily, and this shake-up at the US Federal Copyright Office is one more example. It was a shock to me that Copyright resides with the Library of Congress not the Department of Commerce.

“I love the m-dash!” says Sarah Kuhn... Read More

WWWednesday; November 2, 2016

The Rich by Remedios Varo, 1958



Awards:

The World Fantasy Awards were announced on Sunday, October 30, 2016The Chimes, by Anna Smaill, won for best novel. The long fiction award went to “The Unlicensed Magician” by Kelly Barnhill, and the short fiction award went to “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” by Alyssa Wong.

Books and Writing:

Gemma Files talks with NPR about H.P. Lovecraft. She’s deeply bothered by his racism, but that isn’t the only thing she dislikes. On the other hand, she admires the cosmology he invented, and his deeply scary world. “Existential dread,... Read More

WWWednesday; October 26, 2016

This week’s word for Wednesday I lifted entirely from a Haggard Hawks tweet: SPREZZATURA is deliberate nonchalance, or the act of making something difficult look effortless.

Awards:

The Israeli Society for Fantasy and Science Fiction has announced its 2016 Geffen winners.

The Baen Memorial Contest is open for fiction about near-future space exploration. The deadline for submissions is February, 2017.

(Thanks to Locus Magazine for both items.)

Books and Writing:

This is sad news. Locus Magazine is reporting that Sheri Tepper Read More

WWWednesday; October 19, 2016

This week’s word for Wednesday is syzygy, a noun, meaning the alignment of three celestial objects (traditionally the sun, the earth and the earth’s moon). Syzygy is a good word to use if you play Hangman because of the three Ys. It is believed to be of Greek/early Latin origin.

Fortune's Favored (c) Julie Dillon, 2014



Awards:

Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

(Here is a link to an article.)

Books and Writing:

Open Road Media has launched The Portalist, an online community for fans of speculative fiction.  Carolyn Cox, formerly of the Mary Sue, and Betsy Miller who was E... Read More

WWWednesday; October 12, 2016

I hope all our readers in the Caribbean and on the US southeastern coast, and their families and loved ones, are safe in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

Awards:

Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead, is shortlisted for the National Book Award. (Bill’s five-star review is here.)

Ian MacDonald won the 2016 Gaylactic Spectrum Award for his book Luna; New Moon. The Gaylactic Spectrum Award is given to outstanding works of speculative fiction that explore the lives of LGBTI characters in a positive way. I didn’t even know this award existed.

Greenvi...

Read More

WWWednesday; October 5, 2016

This week’s word for Wednesday is fandangle, a noun, meaning a frivolous or useless item. How in the world did we let this great word go out of use?  Fandango, whose origins might be African although the word means a specific Spanish dance, is not related, but it seems like it should be. 

Jester and Horse, by Geoffrey Key



Awards:

WorldCon 75 is running a trial Hugo Award for “best series.” Tor has the details. I think this came from the attempt to give the WHEEL OF TIME series a Hugo a few years ago. Like any new thing, it looks like it has a few wrinkles to iron out. What do you think?

The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society awarded Greg... Read More