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: January 19; Agents of SHIELD, Season Four

No links today.

The Fourth Season Takes Us in Different Directions

(Warning, spoilers for Season Four and previous seasons.)

When Agents of SHIELD’s fourth season opens, the team has defeated their fungal villain Hive, but at great cost. Phil Coulson is no longer the director. He’s an agent again, working with Mac, monitoring Inhumans. Daisy, heart-broken by the death of her boyfriend Lincoln, has left the team to track down and stop the hate group militia called the Watchdogs. (Technically, if you include double-agent Grant Ward, Daisy lost two boyfriends to Hive, so, ouch.) Daisy’s angst is heightened by her guilt for the things she did while possessed by Hive herself.

Daisy, or Quake, has been declared a public enemy by the goverment. Jemma Simmons has been promoted, reporting to the new director. This position requires frequent lie-detector tests, so Agent May, Coulson and Mac have to keep her out of the loo... Read More

WWWednesday: January 12, 2022

Filippo Bernardini was arrested last week on charges of wire fraud. The Simon and Schuster employee may have impersonated agents, members of award juries and even famous authors to get his hands on pre-published manuscripts. I want to know what he planned to do with those manuscripts.

The Con Committee chair of ConFusion provides a long, blunt article about why ConFusion 2022 is going forward in-person. She provides two paragraphs on the precautions they are taking. This is a worthwhile read, letting us see how groups are grappling with the physical and fiscal realities of the pandemic. (Thanks to File 770.)

Glen S. ... Read More

WWWednesday: January 5, 2022

Hogmanay is the Scottish New Year’s Eve celebration. Here are a few of the enduring traditions.

Tomorrow, January 6, is Epiphany, Three Kings Day or Twelfth Night, and has its own set of traditions. To wrap things up, I tracked down Mary Berry’s King’s Cake recipe on Pinterest. (It’s a super-deluxe fruit cake, but so much more British than ours.)

File770 highlighted the problems some authors are having with Amazon Kindle direct Publishing (KDP). Lexi Ostrow gives a blow-by-blow of Read More

WWWednesday: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

In 2012’s The Avengers, Agent Phil Coulson was murdered by Loki. This didn’t stop him from coming back and having a seven-season run on his own TV show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, even if he did die at least one more time during that show’s run.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. aired on ABC from 2013 to 2020. I recently started rewatching it. It brought back memories, good and bad, of my original watch of the series. I’m going to discuss my thoughts and reactions to the first three seasons which cover generally (these are my names), Welcome to S.H.I.E.L.D, Hydra Emerges, The Rise of the Inhumans, and the Arrival of Hive.

Back in 2013, I got impatient with the show because of its close ties to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Looking back, I’ve changed my opinion. The task of telling original stories that must dovetail in time and pacing with a series of films, and keeping things coherent, is a massive logistic achievement wh... Read More

WWWednesday: December 22, 2021

Network Effect

I said this week’s column would be a single-issue one, and it is, but that issue is the Hugo winners. WorldCon 79 was held last weekend in Washington D.C. and the winners were announced on December 18.

This will be short. Find all the winning works here.

Best Novel:


Network Effect by Martha Wells

Best Novella:

The Empress of Salt And Fortune by Read More

WWWednesday: December 15, 2021

Anne Rice, who helped the vampire genre rise again with Interview With the Vampire, died on December 12 at age 80. Here is her obituary in the New York Times. The New Orleans website also has a tribute.

“It was a mess, but a fun mess.” Camestros Felapton shares their reaction to Doctor Who: Flux. I didn’t think it was a mess, personally, even if I didn’t understand pieces of it.

Nichelle Nichols made an ... Read More

WWwednesday: December 8, 2021

Conventions go on, or try to, at least. File770 posts some information about bids for future WorldCons. And then, speaking of conventions, here’s what happens when a new variant emerges. It looks like people were quick to get tested and notify each other.

Itzak Perlman is featured in this instrumental version of Abraham Goldfaden’s lullaby ... Read More

WWWednesday: December 1, 2021

A single topic column today, and a book review at that. I’m not using our review format, but this was a four-star book for me.

Home Before Dark (2020) is a haunted house story written by Riley Sager, a pseudonym of a Princeton, New Jersey writer. If you like atmospheric, unsettling haunted-house stories and strong female protagonists, you’ll probably enjoy this. I did.

Maggie has grown up with the ugly effects of fame—or infamy—her whole life. Her father’s book House of Horrors, a supposedly true story of twenty days spent with her parents in a haunted house, Baneberry Hall, culminating in them fleeing with only the clothes on their backs, continues to be a best-seller twenty-five years later. Little Maggie, five years old, was the star of the book in many ways, even though adult Maggie remembers none of it.

With her father’s death, she discovers to her shock that he never sold Baneberry Hall, a... Read More

WWWednesday: November 24, 2021

This Guardian UK story follows the process of restoring an ancient book of psalms.

Articles about the Dragon Awards always draw me in, because the Dragon Award is fairly new and it’s a chance to watch an award evolve in the wild. That said, the title of this one baffled me for several paragraphs, but rest assured, Goodreads does make an appearance!

The Huntington Museum is offering an exhibition of graphics demonstrating how authors have “mapped” their fictional works.  (Thanks to File 770.)

Read More

WWWednesday: November 17, 2021

From two months ago, the British Fantasy Award winners (better late than never). Some of our favorites, like Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Alix E. Harrow, are on here!

How about an anthology of Christmas stories edited by SFWA Grandmaster Connie Willis? 

Comeuppance Served Cold got a starred review  (or, as my husband called i... Read More

WWWednesday: November 10, 2021

The Word Fantasy awards were announced last weekend. Trouble the Saints, by Alaya Dawn Johnson, won for Best Novel. Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi took the award for Best Novella, and Celeste Rita Baker’s “The Glass Bottle Dancer” took home the best short story award.

In his newsletter, Max Gladstone announced that CRAFT Sequence merchandise is now available. Yes, you too can now have a Red King Consolidated T-shirt.

If you’re a Hugo voter this year, John Scalzi reminds you that the deadline is looming.

File 770 writes about Read More

WWWednesday: November 3, 2021

Facebook has changed its name to Meta, with a sort-infinity-sign logo. That was close enough to Neil Stephenson’s “metaverse” that Axios interviewed the writer about it.

World FantasyCon (this month in Montreal) is offering day memberships. This is a hybrid con, part online and part in-person. (Thanks to File 770.)

George R.R Martin hosts a Wild Cards-themed event at th... Read More

WWWednesday: October 27, 2021

Saint Heron has opened a unique free library featuring material from Black and Brown writers and poets.

Public Service Announcement: Dune the movie does not cover the complete novel, a fact that will not shock many of you. It opened last week, and reviews are in. CNBC quotes a couple of early reviews here. Richard Brody of the New Yorker  wants you to know that he really liked the David Lynch version. At Ars Technica, Read More

WWWednesday: October 20, 2021

(Single issue column today.)

A Discovery of Witches, the TV show, is the product of a collaboration between AMC and BBC. It airs on AMC and is available to stream from AMC+. The series is based on the Deborah Harkness ALL SOULS trilogy and features witches, demons and vampires in the modern (and very upper-crust!) world. Here are our reviews of the first book.

Since this story travels globally and through time, the cast is large. I’ll give a truncated cast list at the end.

I haven’t read any of the books. This gave me a perspective on the show that I don’t usually get with adaptations; I was coming to it fresh, with no idea what was going on.

Sadly, by the end of the second season, I still had no idea what was going on.

On the plus side, the show is beautifully ... Read More

WWWednesday: October 13, 2021

New York City’s Comic-Con resumed in-person events last weekend. The organizers followed through on their promise of reduced capacity, and required masking and other safety protocols, including proof of vaccination.

John Scalzi announced that the Tor Essentials edition of his comic novel Redshirts is available now.

Publishers Weekly also reported that book club favorites for this Read More

WWWednesday: October 6, 2021 (Giveaway!)

On Monday, Facebook and its associated applications went offline for six hours, leaving businesses cut off, people unable to easily contact family members, and some folks unable to control the thermostat or laundry settings in their homes. Mark Zuckerberg offered a terse apology on his platform. The Verge discusses the probable reason,  a coding error released in an automatic upgrade.

The shortlist for the National Book Award is out now.

The Deep Cuts in a Lovecraft Vein blog takes a look at Read More

WWWednesday: September 29, 2021

And now… travelogue.

Mono Lake, Ca.

The calcium carbonate towers, with their knobs and twists, that decorate the water and the shores of Mono Lake in eastern California were (and are) formed by the interaction of freshwater springs below the lake’s surface and the highly mineralized lake water. They’re called tufa. Mono Lake’s salinity is much higher than any ocean; the only things that live in it are brine shrimp and alkaline fly larvae, both of which provide a banquet for many varieties of birds. The lake is currently 65 square miles in area, but it used to be much larger. The Owens Valley project diverted water from the lake to be used by Los Angeles for decades until it was finally stopped only a few years ago. Many... Read More

WWWednesday: September 22, 2021

It will be a very short column this week.

At Lit Hub, Joe R. Lansdale thinks back about the Hap and Leonard series and how Leonard came into being. He updates the column with memories of Michael K. Williams, who played Leonard in the series.

Maria Dahvana Headley’s translation of Beowulf took the Harold Morton Landon translation award.

FIYAHCon 2021 has made some of its panels available at no cost... Read More

WWWednesday: September 15, 2021

File 770 provides part one the Emmy Creative Arts award.

You are probably already wondering what to get your children for Christmas, right? Of course  you are. How about a robot unicorn, suitable for riding? Child sizes only, sorry.

The UK Guardian provides a long story about three techbros, their vision of a libertarian utopia, crypto-currency and a decommissioned cruise ship. What could possibly go wrong? (Spoiler alert…) (Genuine spoiler alert—I knew libertarianism was out the window as soon as they started talking about pets.)
Read More

WWWednesday: September 8, 2021

Dragon Awards were announced Sunday. Andy Weir won for Best Science Fiction novel (Project Hail Mary); Jim Butcher won for Best Fantasy novel (Battle Ground). T. Kingfisher walked away with two Dragons; one for best YA and one for best horror novel. Congratulations to all the winners. The Baen Fantasy Adventure Award was also announced.

The Sideways Awards, celebrating ex... Read More

WWWednesday: September 1, 2021

Clarion West offers online classes. (Thanks to File 770.)

On Mary Robinette Kowal’s blog, R.W.W. Greene talks about celebrity names and other things from her new dystopian novel Twenty Five to Life.

On his blog, John Scalzi notes that adaptations from his work Love, Death and Rob... Read More

WWWednesday: August 25, 2021

File 770 shared the announcement of the nomination period for the Sara Douglass Book Series Award. I think the idea of an award strictly for series is great.

A new C.L.Polk book! A novella, due out next fall.

Giveaway: one commenter chosen at random, with a USA or Canadian address, will get a copy of C.M. Waggoner’s The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Winzardry.

At LitHub, Heather Cass White examines the primal sin of literacy in Read More

WWWednesday: August 18, 2021

CONvergence is reporting that someone who attended has notified the Con Committee that they now have Covid. (Thanks to File 770.) If you attended the in person events you may want to get tested.

The Dragon Award finalists have been announced.

DragonCon is requiring proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test done no more than 72 hours before admittance to the Con.

Jon del Arroz has been permanently suspended from the Twitter platform.

From File... Read More

WWWednesday: August 11, 2021

Debris premiered on NBC in 2021. The network canceled it after one season. (You can find it On Demand if you really want to.) I’m not surprised they canceled it. The show never gained traction with the audience, and this was because it never found its footing as a story.

There are several good things about the show, which I will list. You can decide if they are enough to make you watch.

The pluses include:

Excellent special effects
Some good performances
John Noble (plus and minus)
Beautiful and strange “Debris” pieces—kudos to the props department
Great use of ending credits to advance the story (plus and minus).

The story seems to be set in this reality in the present day. Finola Jones and Bryan Beneventi are intelligence agents, she from MI6, he from… the CIA (maybe?)... Read More

WWWednesday: August 4, 2021

I said this would be a single-issue column, but it will be a short links column instead.

Tordotcom Books has revealed the beautiful cover of Comeuppance Served Cold, here! And you can preorder it. You’re thinking, “She’s going to get obnoxious about this,” and you’re right.

Randall Plunket, Baron of Dunsany, descendent of the Lord Dunsany, Read More