World Wide Websday: October 23, 2013

If you’re looking for something spooky to read for Halloween, John DeNardo has some suggestions. The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 24, edited by Stephen Jones, just landed in this house last week, so I’m all set.

It’s good news for Americans that Jo Fletcher Books is moving into the American market; I’ve been drooling over books put out by this publisher for some time now, and being able to get my hands on great British fiction makes me one happy reader. Jo Fletcher explains the publishing house’s decision in a great interview by io9. I’m especially looking forward to reading Mage’s Blood by David Hair. Which of the books Fletcher mentions appeals to you?

Brian Staveley has a terrific article on depicting the divine in science fiction and fantasy. It’s entertaining to read as a bit of popular criticism, but I suspect aspiring writers of genre fiction could find it useful as well.

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman has some thoughts on why reading, daydreaming, and libraries are critical to our future. Gaiman’s lecture was delivered to The Reading Agency, a charity that promotes reading, for its annual talk on libraries and reading, and was reprinted in The Guardian. In one passage that I particularly appreciated, Gaiman notes that reading and the use of the imagination are so linked to innovation and invention that China has removed its restrictions on the publishing of science fiction and fantasy:

I was in China in 2007, at the first party-approved science fiction and fantasy convention in Chinese history. And at one point I took a top official aside and asked him Why? SF had been disapproved of for a long time. What had changed?

It’s simple, he told me. The Chinese were brilliant at making things if other people brought them the plans. But they did not innovate and they did not invent. They did not imagine. So they sent a delegation to the US, to Apple, to Microsoft, to Google, and they asked the people there who were inventing the future about themselves. And they found that all of them had read science fiction when they were boys or girls.

Yes! That’s what I’ve been saying for years.

Firefly Season 2Season 2 of Firefly? Wow! Where do I sign up? I wish it were going to be an actual television show, but a comic book is definitely the next best thing. The Tor crew has its own ideas for episodes and themes, as the linked article shows. Got any scenarios you’d like to see come to life?

Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury suggests that making lists can be an excellent spur to the imagination. It’s a means of brain storming, though he does not call it that; just let your mind do some free association and see what you come up with. Care to give it a try? I think I will.

Time travel is impossible, right? Not so fast. It seems there is evidence all around us that time travel is happening. Okay, so there are mundane explanations for all of it. But wouldn’t you rather believe in time travel?

If you don’t have your Halloween costume picked out yet, this website has some fantastic ideas — especially if you’re tired of the only grown-up options for women being those that expose lots of skin.

And to leave you with an earworm: rickrolling in the original Klingon. It’s so bad it’s good.


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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.

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2 comments

  1. Rickrolling? Ack. Thank you very not much.

    I like Neil Gaiman for this type of thing even more than I like him for his stories. He is always the champion of reading, thinking, imagining and utilizing our brains for art of all sorts. I’m also glad the Chinese discovered that common link.

  2. Kat Hooper /

    Thanks, Terry. I’ll never get those 3 minutes and 23 seconds back. :/

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