World Wide Websday, May 21, 2014

Awards

The Nebula Award winners have been announced. Ann Leckie is cutting quite a swath with her first novel, Ancillary Justice, which has now won the Nebula, the British Science Fiction Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award. It’s also up for a Hugo.

The winners of the Spectrum Awards have been announced.

The finalists for the Ditmar Awards have been announced. The Ditmar Awards are given by the Australian National Science Fiction Convention for professional and fan works by Australians.

The Locus Award finalists have been announced.

The finalists for the John W. Campbell Award have been announced.

Baen Books has announced a new fantasy adventure award. The award is focused on short fiction, and it looks like anyone can enter. The inaugural award will be honored at this year’s Gen Con, to be held in August in Indiana.

Obituaries

Mary Stewart died last week. The iconic author, most notably of four Arthurian novels beginning with The Crystal Cave, will be sorely missed.

What to Read Next

My Bookish Ways lists June’s must-read science fiction and fantasy.

For the youngster in your house (or the young one still inside you): five books for the kid who loves Harry Potter.

Helen Lowe lists the best fairy tale retellings. There are a few of my favorites here, but also some that are entirely new to me. I guess the “to be read” pile just got a few books higher.

Another week, another list of the best science fiction and fantasy novels of all time. What, in your opinion, did they leave out this time?

Reddit’s fantasy group lists under-rated and under-read fantasies.

Writing, Editing, Publishing

Jonathan Strahan reveals how he chooses the best short stories of the year for his annual The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year. As I know from looking at a magazine or two most weeks, it’s a heck of a job to keep up with all the short fiction being published these days.

Strahan talks a little in his article about how much easier it’s getting to read diverse science fiction, instead of just a load of stories from straight white American males. Andrea Johnson expands upon this in discussing her recent reading. Even better, she provides links to some excellent short fiction to prove her point that diversity is good.

Science fiction might not have become an established genre but for twelve happy accidents.

I admit it: I’m a complete snob about franchise fiction. The only Star Trek novel I ever read was terrible, and I’ve never attempted another, much less a Star Wars novel or a novel based on a videogame. But Damien Walter says this snobbism is unwarranted — that, in fact, there is a lot of enjoyment to be had in these novels. What do you think? Tell me about your favorite franchise novel; convince me I should spend my time and money on it.

Damien Walter interviews Neal Stephenson.

Movies and Television

You haven’t heard them giving anyone Miranda warnings in Westeros. In fact, chances are much more likely that you’ll be subjected to bodily mutilation if you’re accused of committing a crime there, without benefit of counsel of any sort. Just how does justice work in George R.R. Martin’s world? Jennifer Vineyard has some answers. Careful, though; there are spoilers here. (If you have a further interest in how the law figures in to science fiction and fantasy, you might wish to consult this bibliography.)

Topless Robot tells us about nine fictional mothers we wish had eaten their young.

DC Comics hasn’t been nearly as big a presence on the silver screen as has Marvel, but DC isn’t throwing in the towel. To the contrary we should see some interesting stuff any time now.

Fun Stuff

Many of my favorite fantasies have endpapers with maps, or show maps in the first few pages — maps of places that never were, maps of the imagination. Casey N. Cep, writing in The New Yorker, talks about the allure of the map. It’s a delightful essay, the very stuff that creative nonfiction should be made of. Read it if only for the perfect final sentence.

Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku says that science fiction has a way of becoming science fact.

Pope Francis is open to baptizing aliens. So if a little green man shows up on your doorstep, you know what to do: head for Rome!

Maybe on your way home with your newly baptized friend, you can stop at Wonderland House in Brighton, England, an Alice-in-Wonderland-themed hotel.


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TERRY WEYNA is spending the second half of her life as a reviewer, critic, scholar and writer, after having spent the first half practicing law in a variety of states and settings. (She still does legal research and writing for a law firm in California). Terry lives in Northern California with her husband, professor and writer Fred White, the imperious Cordelia Louise Cat Weyna-White, and a personal library that exceeds 12,000 volumes.

View all posts by Terry Weyna

4 comments

  1. Ha! “Maybe on your way home with your newly baptized friend” … amazing. :) And RIP, Mary Stewart. She’s the one that got me into Arthuriana. What marvelous books …

  2. Sandy Ferber /

    Hey, great to hear that the Pope is on board with baptizing aliens from outer space! Now if we can only get him into the 21st century regarding contraception, gay rights, women in the priesthood, etc., etc….

  3. I took a look at the Locus Awards and I’m confused by “The Science of Herself” by Karen Joy Fowler. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but honestly, I thought it was an essay. Mary Annings is an historical person.

    Anyway. And thank you, Mary Stewart, for the wonderful stories you gave us.

  4. Brad Hawley /

    Franchise fiction. Hmmm. Perhaps I should read the one novel I own in that category (Star Wars something or other).

    And just when I thought reading comics, crime fiction, SFF, horror, and other genre fiction would be the end of my canonical snobbery . . .

    Thanks for a great column.

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