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; 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


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.


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.


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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


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

WWWednesday; September 28, 2016

This week’s word for Wednesday is anfractuous, an adjective, meaning winding or circuitous. The 16th century word comes from the Latin noun anfractus, meaning a bending.


The MacArthur Foundation Fellowships were announced this week, and 23 Fellows were named. The group includes a civil rights lawyer, historians, art historians, linguists, poets, microbiologists, video artists and writers. Of the 23, ten are women. (Thanks to File 770.) lists the British Fantasy Award winners here.

Books and Writing:

Ruth Franklin has published a new book about Shirley Jackson, and she shares eleven facts you might not have known about one of America’s premiere writers. ... Read More

A report from HawaiiCon! (WWWednesday: September 21, 2016)

Sunset on the Kohala Coast

Words for Wednesday; aloha means “hello,” “hi,” and “goodbye.” Mahalo means “thank you,” and slippah is a noun for a soft-soled foot-covering that might be worn indoors except nobody wears shoes indoors. E Komo Mai means “welcome.”

Books and Writing:

Over at Tor, Sarah Gailey discusses the function of Hermione Granger in the HARRY POTTER books. She’s not exactly a sidekick, because she has her own motives and her own story. (Thanks to File 770.)

Kelly Lassiter sent us this link to a discussion about book reviewing and the difficulties of using a rating system. In their case it’s letter grades. I think ... Read More

WWWednesday, September 14, 2016

This week’s word for Wednesday is the noun mizmaze; which can mean a state of confusion or a dazed state (“she was in a mizmaze”); it is also the name for a specific kind of turf labyrinth once common in Britain. There are only three mizmazes known to be left in existence.

It’s  a short column this week, but we have some fine artwork from the studio of an historic artist and illustrator.

Farewell to Eden (c) Jon Arfstrom


The Aurora Awards, Canadian awards for excellence, were announced last week at When Worlds Collide.

A.M. Dellamonica won the Best English Novel award for Daughter of No Nation.

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WWWednesday: September 7, 2016

This week’s word for Wednesday is Agathism, a noun, a belief that all things tend toward good (even if they aren’t good just now). It came into common usage around the 1830s and is based on the Greek word agathos which means “good.”

(c) 2016 Jungho Lee


The very first Dragon Awards were announced on Sunday, September 4, 2016. Here are some highlights:

John C Wright won Best Science Fiction novel for Some Wither.

Larry Corriea won Best Fantasy Novel for Son of the Black Sword.

Terry Pratchett won Best YA ... Read More

WWWednesday; August 31, 2016


The Arthur C. Clarke Awards, Campbell Awards and the Theodore Sturgeon Awards were announced at WorldCon in Kansas City, Mo.

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky won the Arthur C Clarke Award for best novel. Find the complete list here.

Radiomen by Eleanor Lerman took with John W Campbell award for best science fiction novel published in 2015, While Kelly Link’s short story “A Game of Smash and Recovery” won the Theodore Sturgeon Award for best short fiction. Find the co... Read More

WWWednesday: August 24, 2016

This is the World Con edition of World Wide Wednesday.

In the Pat Cadigan Theater

First of all, the Hugos! N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season won for Best Novel; Nnedi Okorafor won for Best Novella with “Binti;” Hao JingFang took home the Best Novelette statue for “Folding Beijing,” and Naomi Kritzer won for Best Short Story with “Cat Pictures Please.”

There were two categories where the voters awarded no Hugo: Best Fancast and Best Related Work.  Go here for a detailed list of all the winners.

On a personal note, Pat Cadigan, who hosted, was hilarious. Part of the time she shared the podium ... Read More

WWWednesday: July 27, 2016

This week is pretty much the San Diego Comic Con edition. However, once again Haggard Hawks shares a priceless gem: Helluo librorum is a noun meaning “book glutton.”

2016 Logo

San Diego Comic-Con:

Comic-Con attendees were the first to see the first trailer of the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

From Kat, SFGate put together a Comic-Con cosplay photo album. (Be aware, there are ... Read More

WWWednesday; July 20, 2016

This week’s word for Wednesday is pestiferous, an adjective, which the OED dates from about 1542. It means bringing or producing a pest or plague; dangerous to health, in the nature of a pest.


The Prometheus Awards (Libertarian) were announced Seveneves by Neil Stephenson won the award for best novel. Courtship Rites by Donald Kingsbury won the Hall of Fame award. Click here for the full list.

Books and Writing:

Cat Rambo discusses the difference b... Read More

WWWednesday: July 6, 2016

Today’s word for Wednesday is gambrinous, an adjective, meaning “being full of beer.” I don’t know why I picked that one. Seriously, I don’t. 


Books, Writing and Emoji:

The LA times Critics at Large made their choices for the Great American Novel. Because John Scalzi is one of their number, he linked to this post on his blog. It’s a fascinating list, and I am charmed by this opinionated group.

UPDATE: In Greenville, California,  the “Just One Book” campaign, spearheaded by Margaret Garcia, succeeded beyond her im... Read More

WWWednesday; June 29, 2017

There is a bird theme in this week’s column and our word for Wednesday goes with it. Killy-wimple, a noun, is an archaic Scots word for the undulating flight of a bird, or a musical trill in singing.

Red Kite in Flight


Ann Leckie won the Locus Reader Award for best science fiction novel (Ancillary Mercy), while Naomi Novik won for Best Fantasy Novel (Uprooted).

Jeff Bezos was awarded the Heinlein Prize, which acknowledges progress in commercial space travel activities, with a goal of advancing the Heinleins’ dream of humans moving into space. Bezos, the Amazon CEO is also the hea... Read More

WWWednesday; June 22, 2016


Joe Zeija summarizes five books he hasn’t read, based on their covers. A couple of his summaries have real potential as stories… just not the stories of these books.

Helen Oyeyemi shares her thoughts on fairy tales and writing with Book Forum. A lot of us here at the site like retold fairy tales. Oyeyemi has some interesting thoughts on the topic.

Fantasy Book Café offers a guest column by Brenda Cooper, about her new book Spear of Light.

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WWWednesday; June 15, 2016

I’m going to be out of town most of the week, so it is a skimpy World Wide Wednesday today.


Our thoughts and prayers are with the people who lost loved ones and friends in Orlando, Florida, and those who are hospitalized and recovering.

From Locus, the British Fantasy Awards finalists are listed. Best Fantasy Novel finalists include Naomi Novik for Uprooted, Joe Abercrombie for Half a WarZen Cho for Sorcerer to the Crown Read More

WWWednesday; June 8, 2016

This week’s word for Wednesday comes, once again, courtesy of Haggard Hawks. It is anacronym, a noun, a word that is an “anachronistic acronym;” a word that started as an acronym but has been in use for so long that many people don’t remember its origins. One example is scuba in scuba-diving; “scuba” stands for “self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.” A really interesting one is “Care package.” I thought that literally mean a package you brought someone to show you cared (or who needed care) but CARE is the acronym for the non-governmental humanitarian aid group Co-Operative for American Remittances in Europe, founded in 1945. I didn’t make that up.

Giantess by Leonora Carrington. (c) Leonora Carrington

If you haven’t visited the You-Tube channel of Haggard Hawks, or the blog, Read More

WWWednesday; June 1, 2016

This week’s word for Wednesday is gesellschaft; a noun, meaning an association of people who come together for a business, entertainment, cultural or social reasons. The word is German but has been adopted into American usage. This was a word that one of the two National Spelling Bee winners (it was a tie) spelled correctly last week.

Books and Writing:

Carina Nebula. Photo by Peter Ward

N.K. Jemisin is quitting her day job to prioritize her fiction career. She is relying on Patreon to do it. The flavor of patronage is different when you have a collective investing in you, rather than one or two wealthy people in power. It’s an interesting discussion.

Theresa Preston, at Book Riot, Read More

WWWednesday; May 25, 2016

Today’s word for Wednesday is a noun, enantiomorph, which means mirror image. The original meaning came from the words for “opposite shape.” Thanks again to HaggardHawks.

Saturday May 21 was Owl Saturday. Baby owl after a bath, courtesy of Ellen Datlow.


File 770 reports that the Eugie Foster award will be given out at DragonCon. Foster, who wrote the beautiful, elegiac short story “When it Ends, He Catches Her,” died in 2014. The award will be given to shorter works that are “irreplaceable, that inspire, that entertain.”

Books and Writing:

Damien Walter talks about the various sub-sub-genres in SFF. Oh, oo... Read More

WWWednesday: May 18, 2016

It looks like it's IO9 day today; many if not most of my links came from their site. Lots of awards and comics news this week.


Buckaroo Banzai Movie Poster

John Hodgeson played MC at the Nebula Awards Banquet on Saturday, May 14. He was clever and funny. The Nebula Weekend took place in Chicago this year.

C.J. Cherryh’s Grandmaster acceptance speech contained this inspiring line, “I am far from finished!” Cherryh was also given a Grandmaster trading card; that was pretty cool.

The Nebula winners are:

Best Novel: Uprooted, by Naomi Novik (Reviews... Read More

WWWednesday; May 11, 2016

Shasta Daisy Developed by Luther Burbank

This week’s word for Wednesday is burbank, a verb, to improve by selecting good features or adding features. The word, drawn from horticulturalist Luther Burbank, made it into the dictionary for about two years in the 1940s. Later, due to paper reductions, some words were removed and “burbank” was one of them.


Joe Sherry takes a look at the Locus Award finalists in some depth. Locus’s categories allow it to bes... Read More

WWWednesday; May 4, 2016

Today’s word for Wednesday is egrimony, meaning intense sadness or sorrow. From the Latin, this noun was first listed in a lexicon or dictionary in 1626 according to the OED. It is obsolete now, but has real potential as a character name; you know, like “Egrimony Jones, Steampunk Detective.”


The Locus Award finalists were announced yesterday. This is a pretty competitive list. Aliette de Bodard manages to make both Best Fantasy Novel and best Short Story. Ann Leckie, Neal Stephenson and some other familiar names show up as well. First Novel looks like an intriguing category with Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Kai Ashanti Wilson.

The finalists for the Arthur C Clarke Award have been announced.
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WWWednesday; April 27, 2016

In Memoriam

I’m not going to write another obituary. I’m just not. Instead, I’m going to link to this essay by Charlie Jane Anders, about a comic book that starred Prince as a superhero. And what was his super-power? Music.


The Hugo short list has been announced, to much discussion.

Best Novel Finalists are: Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie; The Cinder Spires (The Aeronaut’s Windlass) by Jim Butler; The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin, Read More

WWWednesday, April 20, 2016

I was introduced to Haggard Hawks on Twitter, and rather than do a word for Wednesday (I really, really, reeeeeelly wanted to do “trumpery” but I do attempt to avoid political commentary here) I thought I would introduce you to the blog, which is a wonder. Here is a link to some words from Samuel Johnson’s time. If you follow Hawks on Twitter you get a cool word daily. For me, that’s like getting a piece of really good chocolate every single day.

The movie poster for Marvel's Doctor Strange.


The Pulitzer Prize was announced this week. For fiction... Read More

WWWednesday: April 13, 2016

This week’s word for Wednesday come courtesy of horror writer Laura Blackwell and it’s dwaal (dwah-l), a noun, meaning a dreamy or dazed state. The word originated in Afrikaans, which derives from Dutch.


The short list for the Theodore Sturgeon Awards was announced at Locus. The semi-finalists include Brooke Bolander for “You Shall Know Her by the Trail of the Dead,” (Lightspeed), Greg Egan, “The Four Thousand, the Eight Hundred” (Asimov’s) and Hao Jingfang for “Folding Beijing” (Uncanny Magazine). The award will be presented at MidAmeriCon during the Ca... Read More

WWWednesday; April 6, 2016

Readers’ average rating:

This week’s word for Wednesday is a noun, doucer (DOO-cer); meaning a bribe or an inducement, usually financial. It comes from the same French root as the word for sweet, which might explain the Americanism, “sweeten the deal.”

Jester (c) Diana Vick


The James Tiptree award winners were announced. The Tiptree award acknowledges work that explores or expands our idea of gender. The winners are “The New Mother” by Eugene Fischer (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine) and Lizard Radio by Pat Schmatz (Candlewick). This link also includes the honored works and the long list – some interesting stuff.

Last year, the World Fantasy Convention retired its controversial award design, which was... Read More