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; 11-18-15

For all those lost, or who lost loved ones and friends in last week's terror attacks.

I only posted one photo today and that’s of a candle. It’s for all the people lost in the terror attacks last week, their families, and their loved ones.


This week’s word for Wednesday is humdudgeon, a noun, meaning an imaginary or made-up illness (in Scotland, it means a loud complaint). The origin is believed to come from an old meaning of hum as “hoax” and dudgeon, meaning “ill humor.”

About Us

You’ve probably noticed that the site looks a bit different these days. We often have multiple reviews of the same book, and we are combining all those reviews into one thread, with the pictures of the reviewers at the top. This is a more efficient use of the database, and easier for readers, who won’t have to kee... Read More

WWWednesday: November 11, 2015

November 11 is the day we remember and honor all of those who have served in our armed forces. Woodrow Wilson declared the first “Armistice Day” in 1919, to commemorate the end of the Great War. In 1947 President Eisenhower expanded the acknowledgement to all veterans. Thank you, former armed forces members, for your service. We may not always agree with the reasons our leaders give for deploying American troops, but we always acknowledge your courage and your sacrifice.


Locus reports David Mitchell’s novel The Bone Clocks won the World Fantasy Award, presented at last weekend’s World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs, New York. Daryl Gregory won for Best Novella with his excellent “We Are All Complete... Read More

World Wide Wednesday; November 4, 2015

This week’s word for Wednesday is “seneschal”, a noun, that means steward or major domo. The term usually related to medieval manors, and comes from Middle English or Frankish; combining words for “senior” and “servant.”

Aubrey Beardsley The Search for the Grail


From Locus, the list of winners of the Canopus Award, which is given for works that have interstellar travel or planetary exploration as a prominent part of the story. The winners were announced on October 30 in Santa Clara, CA. Winners include InterstellarNet; Enigma by Ed Lerner and “The Waves” by Ken Liu.

The U.K. Guardian provided the short list for the... Read More

WWWednesday: October 28, 2015

This week's word for Wednesday is galumph, a verb. It means to move in a ponderous, clumsy or noisy manner. Lewis Carroll is credited with inventing the word in 1871 (it was first used in Through the Looking Glass), and scholars think it was a blending of "gallop" and "triumph." It's also a good example of onomatopoeia.

Kay Neilsen East of the Sun, West of the Moon


The British Fantasy Awards were announced; Lightspeed’s special edition Women Destroy Science Fiction won for best anthology. Frances Hardinge won Best Fantasy Novel for Cuckoo Song. The link takes you to a list of all the winners.


IO9 has ne... Read More

WWWednesday: October 21, 2015

Ursula K LeGuin was born on this date in 1929. Her father was an anthropologist and her mother was a writer. LeGuin got her bachelor’s degree from Radcliffe and a Master’s from Columbia, and received a Fulbright grant to study in France. She began writing science fiction stories when she was nine, to keep up with her brothers, she has side. She sent her first story out when she was eleven years old, to Astounding Science Fiction, but it was rejected. After that, though, things turned around, and she has won four Nebulas, two Hugos, five Locus awards, one World Fantasy Award and was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Contribution in American Letters by the National Book Foundation in 2014. A brilliant writer, a poet, a sharp scholar, LeGuin is also a vocal and passionate champion of the speculative fiction genre. Happy Birthday!

And, today is the date Marty McFly went... Read More

WWWednesday: October 14, 2015

This week's Word for Wednesday: "Scobberlotcher," a noun, means an idler, a slacker or lazy person. The first documented example of it in writing is in 1697, in one of historian John Aubrey's Brief Lives  books. Writing of a university dean, Aubrey said that many students at the university were scobberlotchers who drank and wandered about and "telling the numbers of trees."

I wonder if "scobberlotch" could be a verb.

Interior Illustration, Amazing Stories Quarterly, 1929, Frank R Paul.

Nobel Prize for Literature

Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize for Literature. She is best known for her book on Chernobyl, but her first book is titled War’s Unwomanly Face and records the experiences of some of the million-plus Soviet women ... Read More

WWWednesday: October 7, 2015

On this date in 1714, residents of the Netherlands city of Alkmaar took to the street in a full-blown riot. What caused their outrage? The city fathers had attempted to levy a tax on beer. Don’t mess with the beer, people.

Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John -- @ Palacco Vecchio, various attributions.


Sir Terry Pratchett’s estate announced a $1 million Australian endowment for the University of South Australia. The scholarship will be awarded every two years. It will pay two years’ worth of expenses for the student, and provides $100,000 to that student for an additional year of study at the UniSA or at ... Read More

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