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 10, 2016

Update: On Day One, the kickstarter for the Ursula K LeGuin documentary exceeded its goal. I think this means we’ll be getting the movie!

This week’s word for Wednesday will be familiar to many. It’s legerdemain, a noun, meaning sleight of hand, trickery or any artful trick. The word is from Middle English, and meant, originally, “light of hand.” The earliest use can be traced to 1400-1450.

Vintage Vampire Valentine.

Awards

The International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts announced its 2016 winners. The Crawford award for outstanding work in a first novel went to The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashanti Wilson. Wilson h... Read More

WWWednesday; February 3, 2016

May (c) Redgoldsparks Press

This week’s word for Wednesday comes courtesy of Terry. It is nefilibata (Neh-FE-lee-BA-ta), from the Portuguese, meaning  “cloud walker;” someone who is a dreamer, living in a world of imagination. The Oxford Dictionary site defines it both as “dreamer; idealist,” and also as “an affected writer.” (Snort.) It’s a lovely word. Thanks, Terry!

Books and Writing

Locus published its 2015 Recommended Reading list, just in time to prepare for Hugo nominations. It is a comprehensive list that includes art books and non-fiction, which fit into categories of Best Related Works.

The  rediscovered Read More

WWWednesday; January 27, 2016

Fiammetta Singing; Maria Spartali Stillman; Delaware art Museum

This week’s word for Wednesday is the verb adumbrate; it means to outline or sketch lightly, to prefigure or foreshadow, or to overshadow. It is from the Latin word adumbratus (to shade), from the root of the word for shadow. Its earliest known use is around 1575. Since “to foreshadow” is a very different meaning from “overshadow,” this is a word that clearly draws its meaning from context.

Obituary
The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction described David Hartwell as “perhaps the single most influential book editor of the past forty years in the American SF publishing world.” He was affiliated with Tor, Signet and Pocket books and the imprint Timescape, which he created. He was justly famed as an ... Read More

WWWednesday; January 20, 2016

Obituary

Alan Rickman passed away last week, at the age of 69.

At Tor.com, Max Gladstone posted a moving essay about Rickman and what he meant to us.

We at Fantasy Literature were stunned and saddened at the loss. For millions of us, of course, Rickman brought to life the bitter, angry, adversarial and heroic Potions Master, Severus Snape from the HARRY POTTER series. He was so much more than that, though. Many of us think he was the best thing in the 1991 Kevin Costner movie, Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves; we admired him in Galaxy Quest. We didn’t forget his serious work, either, Sense and Sensibility and Truly Madly Deeply.

Kelly Lasiter summed it up best for me with... Read More

WWWednesday; January 13, 2016

From the Bayeaux Tapestry, Comet and King Harold, around 1080

While I was looking for this week’s word for Wednesday I came across two I really liked, so you’re getting both of them. Bardolotry is a noun, and means the excessive (usually humorously so) adoration of William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon. And for all you fantasy writers, Catoptromancy is the term for the use of mirrors in magic. This term probably came into use around 1610, according to dictionary.com, and comes from the Greek word for mirror, katoptron.


 Obituary

David Bowie died on Sunday, January 10 in New York. Bowie had been living with liver cancer, and released a new album just two days before his death. Although he is best known for his music, as a musician, singer, performer, composer, innovator and profound influence on other musi... Read More

WWWednesday: January 6, 2016

This week’s word for Wednesday is redintegrate, a verb, meaning to restore or make whole, to renew or return to a perfect state (if anything is ever in a perfect state). Redintegrate comes from the Latin redintegrare, to make whole again, and came into usage in the mid-1400s.

BB8 on Jakku. From Entertainment Weekly.

Awards
The Hugo nominating ballots are going out. Doesn’t it seem like we just did the Hugos? They did run on a bit last year. If you were a voting or attending member last year at Sasquan, you should already be included in the nomination process. If not, you can register as a voting member or an attending member at the MidAmeriCon II website here. Chaos Horizon has some predictions about Best Novel.... Read More

WWWednesday; December 30, 2015

This week’s word for Wednesday is pasquinade, a noun of Italian origin, meaning a lampoon, joke or satire, usually posted in public (like on the internet, maybe?) The term came into use in the 1580s, allegedly springing from a nickname given to a Roman statue. Local wags named the statue “Pasquino” and regularly plastered it with joke poetry.

Obituaries

Peter Dickinson passed away on December 16, 2015. The prolific writer was best known for his work in YA, alone and with his wife Robin McKinley. Here is our Peter Dickinson page. Dickinson will be missed, but his books and stories live on.

George Clayton Johnson, best known as the auth... Read More

WWWednesday; December 23, 2015

The Flight of the Muse (c) Paul Bond

This week’s world for Wednesday is wassail, a noun, meaning a salutation wishing health to another person, usually in the form of a toast; or also a spiced ale beverage drunk on winter holidays, most notably winter solstice, Christmas or Twelfth Night. The phrase entered the language in the 1100s from the phrase, “Be Hale.” Rather than go into detail about the spiced ale, I’m just going to link to a recipe. And here’s a non-alcoholic (and egg-free) recipe.

I hope your winter solstice was filled with light and the warmth of family and friends, and that the many millions of you who saw Star Wars; The Force Awakens enjoyed it. Variety shares Read More

WWWednesday; December 16, 2015

The Blue Marble, Courtesy of NASA

This week’s word for Wednesday is pecksniffian, an adjective meaning sanctimonious or hypocritical, or “unctuously affecting high moral principles.” “Pecksniffian” comes to us as a gift from Charles Dickens, based on the character of Seth Pecksniff in Martin Chuzzlewit. It came into use between 1850-1855. And there’s a related noun; pecksniffery!

Awards

Joe R Lansdale won the Raymond Chandler Award. (See, an award every week! What did I tell you?) Courtesy of Locus.

The PEN Longlist Read More

WWWednesday; December 9, 2015

Indignata (c) Molly Crabapple

Awards

Is there some award or other every single week of the year? It sure seems like it. Here are some results from the Goodreads Best Of 2015. Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman is Goodreads Best Fantasy of 2015. Golden Son by Pierce Brown is the best science fiction read, and Brian K. Vaughan’s SAGA won for best graphic novel.

Books and Writing

Kat mentioned that the audio-versio... Read More

WWWednesday; December 2, 2015

The Fool, from the Rider-Waite Tarot

This week’s word for Wednesday is Splendiferous, an adjective meaning wonderful, splendid or magnificent. It comes from the Old English word splendorifer, which means “bright-bearing.”

Awards

Orycon, held in Portland Oregon on November 20, 2015, gave the Endeavor Award to Jay Lake, who passed away in June, 2014. The endeavor Award is given to Pacific Northwest writers for a collection of work; Lake’s Last Plane to Heaven was honored with the award.

Books and Writing

Rarer than a unicorn is the fantasy standalone; but Stubby the Rocket gives us Read More

WWWednesday: November 25, 2015

Breatrix Potter; Peter Rabbit and Family

On this date in 1915, Albert Einstein presented the field equations of general relativity to the Prussian Academy of Sciences. On this date in 1952, Agatha Christie’s play The Mousetrap opened at the Ambassadors Theater in London, beginning what would be the longest continuous run of a play in history. 

Awards

The Kunkel Awards are new! The inaugural award will be given next year, recognizing excellence in video game journalism. Nominations must have been published in 2015, and they can be from any source, even a personal blog, as long as they are “ethical and excellent.” (Apparently for some it is about ethics in gaming journalism.) Categories include news reporting, feature writing, feature streaming and photography/illustrati... Read More

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.

Words

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.

Awards

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

Awards

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

Awards

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.

Conventions

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.

Legacies:

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 23, 2015

Not this day in history: On September 21, 1947, Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine. King’s father left the family when King was two, and his mother raised him and his older brother by herself. In 1973, while he was teaching at Hamden Academy in Maine, King sold a horror novel about a telekinetic high school girl who was a social outcast. The book was called Carrie. Since then, he has published 54 novels, nearly 200 short stories and six non-fiction works. He’s given us vampires, haunted hotels,  space aliens, plagues, demons, romantic heroes, terrifying Number One Fans and family dogs gone bad.

King’s use of vulgar language and brand names made his work controversial, but it also grounded them in a “real world” that made the horror that followed even more terrifying. His characters were people we could understand. We went... 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

Philanthropy:

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.

Conventions:

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

WWWednesday; September 9, 2015

Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots

On this date in 1839, Sir John Herschel took the first glass plate photograph. Herschel, a botanist and astronomer, also experimented with photography and is credited with inventing the cyanotype process that is now used in blue-printing. The British say that he also coined the phrase "photography," but the French dispute that.

Also on this date in 1543, Mary Stuart, who was nine months old, was crowned "Queen of Scots," in Stirling, Scotland. This was arguably the most successful moment in her career as a queen.

Fellowship:

The University of Oregon Center for the Study of Women in Society is offering the Ursula K LeGuin Fellowship. The application period ends October 1, 2015. The selected fellow gets funds to travel to Port... 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

Awards:

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

WWWednesday; August 26, 2015

We'll just get right to it today.

Zeppelin (c) Ken Berman 2015

Awards:

The Hugo Awards were announced Saturday, August 22, in Spokane Washington at WorldCon. David Gerrold and Tananarive Due were the hosts. The event started late and ran very long, making it a normal awards event (I watched the Sasquan livestream, which should be available next week). The full list of awards can be found here:

Best NovelThe Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu (See our Read More