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: March 21, 2018

Books and Writing:

When a writer sells international rights to a book, publishers frequently change covers. In the case of Barbara de Mariaffti’s book, the British publishers also changed the title. This is an interesting article about marketing and the state of fiction in Canada and Britain.

Mayan plaque, Courtesy of National Geographic

Over on Book View Café, Marie Brennan writes about body modification as adornment.

…and, the Feminist Story Bundle continue... Read More

WWWednesday; March 14, 2018

This week’s column will focus mostly on FOGCon, held in walnut Creek, California. I’ve included a few other tidbits first though.

Steampunk hats in the FOGCon dealers room.

Books and Writing:

Lit Hub and VanderMeer on writing tips.

Robert Jackson Bennett writes about the need to bring an analytical mind to the books, stories and movies you love. (Bennett commented on Twitter that he didn’t think Erik Killmonger in Black Panther was a well-developed villain, and I’m wondering if that statement and the resulting... Read More

WWWednesday: March 7, 2017

The Oscars:

The Shape of Water won Best Picture, and Jordan Peele's incisive social-commentary horror film Get Out won for best original screenplay. A good year for speculative fiction.

Genevieve Valentine gives critique of the Dresses of the Red Carpet.


Tomorrow, March 8, I’ll head down to Walnut Creek, California for FOGCon. Expect next week’s column to be the FOGCon edition.

Spotted tailed Quoll

Books and Writing:

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WWWednesday; February 28, 2018

This week’s word for Wednesday is the verb famigerate, which means to report news from abroad.

Books and Writing:

Inside Area X from Annihilation, Paramount Studios

Speculative memoir? Just what is that? Sofia Samatar hosts a discussion on memoir that contains aspects of speculative fiction. (h/t to File 770.)

National Geographic Kids book division is expanding into fiction. The new imprint... Read More

WWWednesday: February 21, 2018

"Don't make me come over there." Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia(Disney-Marvel Films)

I was out of town and away from computers for the early part of this week, so here is an abbreviated column, which, I’ll warn you now, is Black-Panther-centric.

Books and Writing:

Stanley Cushing was the curator of the Rare Books Collection at the Boston Athenaeum. After his retirement, Atlas Obscura interviewed him about his long career and some of his favorite books.

Mario of Super Mario Brothers is getting his own Super Encyclopedia, due to come out in October of this year.

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WWWednesday; February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day!

It’s February 14th, the day where we acknowledge the martyrdom of the early Christian (and possibly mythical) St Valentine by sending significant others cutouts of the Greek god of sexuality, buying diamonds and flowers, and eating chocolate. In honor of that last one, here is a brief history of chocolate, courtesy of the Smithsonian.

Books and Writing:

NK Jemisin asks that people wishing to nominate her 2017 book The Stone Sky for a Hugo nominate it in the Best Novel category and not Best Series. Read More

WWWednesday: February 7, 2018


Those of you who might be attending WorldCon 76, consider taking a tour of the Winchester House. New concessionaires have bought the place and they are taking a new tack. I hope it includes more about the real Sarah “Sallie” Winchester; successful businesswoman and inventor and less of the completely fictionalized “Ghosts! A Curse!” narrative. (H/T to Terry for this link.)


The Hugo nominating period is open. More details are here.

File 770 reported the finalists for this year’s Bran Stoker Awards.

Books and Writin... Read More

WWWednesday: January 31, 2018

Ursula K. Leguin:

Here is SFWA’s obituary of Ursula K. Le Guin.

Karen Joy Fowler shares ten things she learned from LeGuin.

LitHub talks about Le Guin's The Language of the Night.


An act of inclusion and generosity from John Picacio and John Scalzi, who between then funded memberships to WorldCon for four Mexicanx fans and/or creators. The deadline has passed, but it’s a great story and a great g... Read More

WWWednesday; January 24, 2018

Here is an obituary I've been dreading. We lost Ursula K. LeGuin this week. It is impossible for me to calculate what LeGuin gave to the speculative fiction field, to women and to the world. I know what she gave to me; hours of magic; models for strength and truth in the face of oppression and corruption, and often, plenty of laughter. Here is the New York Times obituary.


Wellington, New Zealand is preparing to bid for WorldCon 78 in 2020.Wellington is the capital and it looks pretty.  Layton, Utah is bi... Read More

WWWednesday; January 17, 2018

Not the comfy chair!

This week’s word for Wednesday comes, as it does nearly always, from word explorer Haggard Hawks. The verb “to lollock” means to loll about or lounge. The even cooler word is the noun, “lollockin” which means a really comfy chair. (Yes, I know, “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!”)


Stephen King will receive the PEN Literary Service award in May, 2018. The award is presented to authors whose work “embodies America’s mission to oppose repression in any form and champion the best of humanity.” I hope they included King’s twitter account in his body of work!

File 770 posted the short lists Read More

WWWednesday: January 10, 2018

Rest in peace, John Young. Image courtesy of NASA.


John Young, the country’s oldest astronaut, who walked on the moon, and flew Gemini, Apollo and shuttle missions, died of complications from pneumonia on January 5. He was 87 years old.


File 770 published the finalists in 2017’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off competition. Here they are.

Linda Addison is the first poet to win the Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement award.

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WWWednesday; January 3, 2018


The Parsec Awards for excellence in speculative fiction podcasts have been announced.


NewCon, a convention held in Portland, Oregon, has been cancelled.

Fireworks in Montreal, Yves Marcoux Getty

Books and Writing:

I don’t know if these articles always comfort new writers, or if it’s schadenfreude, but these articles always make me feel better.  Lit Hub reviews the most rejected famous books of all time.

It’s a new year, time to start planning all those fantasy trips I want to take. Here’s one: Read More

WWWednesday; December 20, 2017

This week’s word for Wednesday, (thanks again to Haggard Hawks) is the noun yuleshard, a person who still have gift buying or errands to run on Christmas Eve. You know who you are.

Any thoughts on how this is pronounced? I didn’t have much luck finding a pronunciation guide on the internet. At first I assumed it was “yule-shard,” as in a chip off Yule… but I can make an argument for “Yules-hard” too.


2018’s SmofCon, a convention for people who want to learn how to put on conventions, will be held in Santa Rosa California, beginning November 30, 2018. It will be held at the Flamingo Resort and Spa (the planners are lucky that is one of the hotels that was unaffected by the fires.) If you are more interested in SmofCon, here is a link.
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WWWednesday; December 13, 2017

Outdoor Christmas Tree in Istanbul, Turkey

This week’s word for Wednesday is Kirsmas-Glass, a noun meaning a drink made to toast a house or a family on Christmas day.


The Game Awards were presented on December 7, 2017, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Flash fiction? Microfic? Nanofic? The London Independent Story Prize wants to see your 300 word story. Yes. 300 words. When I first read it I thought it was 3,000. There is an entry fee, and the deadline is 1/10/18. Good luck!

Books and Writing:

John Scalzi and Netflix Read More

WWWednesday; December 6, 2017

This month’s words for Wednesday will all have a Yule or winter theme, and to start us off is the noun hogamadog, which means a big ball of snow made by rolling a smaller ball of snow around and around in the snow.


The James White Prize for non-professional writers is open now through April 27, 2018. The winner will have a story published in Interzone.

Books and Writing:

Why yes, women have always written space opera.

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WWWednesday: November 22, 2017

Fall leaves (c) Marion Deeds


For all our USA readers, I wish you a happy, fun and loving Thanksgiving with plenty of American football; for all readers outside the US, have a good Thursday tomorrow, and everybody have a good week.

Thanksgiving is beginning to get tarnished between the relentless drive to transmute it from a day with loved ones and friends to a shopping extravaganza and the historical ties to colonialism and genocide. For me, still, it is a holiday for seeing friends and loved ones, taking stock, and spending a moment to be consciously grateful for what I have in my life.

About six weeks ago, where I live, devastating wildland fires destroyed nearly 6,000 buildings, most of them homes. People died in the fires because they could not leave their homes quickly enough. I want to thank all the first responders, those from within the county, like the sher... Read More

WWWednesday; November 15, 2017


Mike Resnick won this year’s Galaxy Award, given in China, for favorite foreign author.

Jo Walton is using Kickstarter to fund an intimate convention in Montreal next year; Scintillation.

Books and Writing:

Danai Guria as OkoyeCR: Marvel Studios, Black Panther

Publishers Weekly gives its picks for the week. The Mannequin Makers s... Read More

WWWednesday; November 1, 2017

All Saints Day

In most western Christianity, today is All Saints’ Day, also called All Hallows’ Day… which explains why yesterday was All Hallows’ Eve, or “e’en.” Some historians believe that the British and Celtic societies took November 1 as this holy day, which commemorates those who have died and are in heaven, is because it coincided with Samhain (“Som-Vahn”) which was their ending of the old year and also a day when the spirits of the dead were believed to be closest to the living. Other historians refute this and point to Germanic tribal traditions of the source of the November 1 date, so pick your pleasure.

The Day of the Dead, which was originally celebrated in Mexico and has been coopted by North Americans, seems to have drifted around a bit. The day, originally meant to remember the souls of the dead, used to be November 2. Now, according to Wikipedia, it actually starts at midnight on October 31 ... Read More

WWWednesday; October 25, 2017


Julian May passed away earlier this month. She was best known the speculative fiction field for The Saga of the Pliocene Exile series, but May first published in 1951. She wrote nearly 300 novels in various genres under various pseudonyms. Locus has a nice obituary.

A seasonal black cat drawing.

Books and Writing:

Kirkus Reviews gave YA novel American Heart by Laura Moriarty a starred review. When commenters complained about the story, which tells the story of a Muslim refugee in America from the point of view of a white American teenager, senior editorial staff met with the reviewer, after which the reviewer changed her review and... Read More

WWWednesday: October 18, 2017

Cat Pumpkin

Word for Wednesday:

According to Haggard Hawks, the noun trollock is old English for a worn our coat or garment. This word has also been appropriated to refer to certain behavior on the internet, as in, “Save your trollocking for those who haven’t read it a million times.”


Northern coastal California is facing the most destructive set of wildfires in our history. In Sonoma County, where I live, 19% of the population has been displaced, at least temporarily, by the fires. The Red Cross (of course) will accept donations. If, like me, you prefer to donate to local groups when you can, the Redwood Empire Credit Union has a fund for victims of fires in Mendocin... Read More

WWWednesday; October 4, 2017

Our prayers and love are with the people of Las Vegas.


We all know what the candle is for. Every day, I try to use my words to persuade, to heal and to help, but in the face of so much violence I can’t find any words right now. I will let this image speak for my heart.

Books and Writing:

The British Fantasy Awards were announced last weekend. The Best Fantasy Novel was The Tiger and the Wolf by Adrian Tchaikowsky, Best Novella was “The Ballad of Black Tom” by Victor LaValle, Best non fiction “Geek Feminist Revolution” by Ka... Read More

WWWednesday; September 27, 2017


Nnedi Okorafor, Writer Guest of Honor,who is NOT George R.R. Martin, and who never takes a bad picture.

HawaiiCon was held on the big island of Hawai’i, September 14-18. The theme was “Slayer Wars,” which sounds odd, but it allowed the planning board to celebrate both the 50th year of Star Wars and the 20th anniversary of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Charisma Carpenter, Nicholas Brendon, Emma Caulfield and Amber Benson all attended to represent the BTVS contingent, while Daniel Logan (young Boba Fett) and Temeura Morrison (Jango Fett) were there from Star Wars. Your humble correspondent and our own Terry Weyna also participated, mostly on writing track panels. ... Read More

WWWednesday; September 13, 2017


Jerry Pournelle, probably best known for his collaborations with Larry Niven, passed away on September 8. In addition to well-known books with Niven, Pournelle wrote a few by himself, and collaborated with writers like Michael Flynn, Dean Ng and S.M. Stirling. In later years, Pournelle shone as an editor, with anthologies like There Will Be War. SFWA’s obituary column can be found here. Cata Rambo, SFW... Read More

WWWednesday; September 6, 2017

Today’s word for Wednesday is neocracy, a noun, meaning a government of amateurs.


The Dragon Awards were announced on Sunday, September 3, at DragonCon. Here are the winners. Congratulations to James S.A. Corey, Victor LaValle, Larry Corriea and John Ringo, Rick Riordan, Read More

WWWednesday; August 30, 2017

Reflections off Lake Tjornin, also called The Pond, in downtown Reykjavik.

This week’s word for Wednesday is Brennivin, an unsweetened Icelandic schnapps flavored with caraway that is considered the country’s signature beverage. It’s is marketed in the US as akavit. I’d like to say that after today there will be no more Icelandic words, but I can’t guarantee that. 


This may be outdated by the time the column is posted, but this site allows people to donate diapers to families affected by Hurricane Harvey. Diapers are not considered an emergency supply and generally not provided by government or non-profit emergency relief groups.

The Continental Rift, where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates are moving apart at the ra...

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