World Wide Websday: November 20, 2013

On this, my inaugural Websday address, I’m pleased to say that the interwebs have risen to the occasion and provided me with a veritable sea of links for you all. First, in prize-giving news, we’re now in the final round of Goodreads Reader’s Choice Award, which is primarily useful as a book-recommending tool. The SFWA is now accepting nominations for the Nebula Award, although it’s a members-only affair, and Analog’s Award Ballot is also up.  Finally, Tor.com offers some thoughts on the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and why the SFF community rarely gets within spitting distance of it.

My favorite of the week’s best-of lists is this list of the most literary sci-fi novels, because you can give them as Christmas gifts to people who look down their noses at the genre. It’s also a great list because it includes women authors and people of color, and manages not to trivialize them as token names (Octavia Butler, Ursula LeGuin, and Samuel Delany will totally remake your world. Like, just look at that beard). Another good list comes from the Kindle Daily Posts at Amazon, which provides a list of great books that have been overlooked by readers this year, and a more general best-of  list comes from Kirkus Reviews. Also, remember that Amazon is great but it’s also a mega-corporation which eats small bookstores for breakfast while cackling with glee. Here are some cool indie bookstores to support this season.

There have also been some really great SFF articles and conversations this week. The Nerds of Color give us an excellent article explaining why we need a Muslim superhero (the new Ms. Marvel is about a Muslim teen, and written by World Fantasy winning G. Willow Wilson). On a similar note, The Book Smugglers hosted an article by military SF writer Rachel Bach on writing female protagonists in her genre. And Stefan Raets, a retired and beloved FanLit reviewer, found himself in an admirable Twitter-battle with Ann Leckie, author of Ancillary Justice, about problematic definitions of agency in SF and how amazing Cherryh’s Foreigner really is. The results of their discussion may be found on Stefan’s blog, Far Beyond Reality. All of these articles are perhaps related to the changing face of science fiction, a topic discussed by award-winning authors in an article in Amazing Stories. As a dignity-free fangirl, DUDES, BUJOLD HAS SPOKEN.  

In other evidence that FanLit has excellent contributors, guest reviewer Thomas Wagner has launched a new channel and booktubing series called SFF180. He also has a website with over 700 book reviews, which can be found here. Keep an eye out for potential future YouTube collaborations!

Before you send your digital fanmail or accost your favorite author at a convention, take note of these 14 ways to tick off a writer. As evidence that these rules transcend genre and time, I submit to you Mark Twain’s snarky responses to fans. Also, io9 has kindly provided a guide to some new and confusing terms in the genre, to make sure your vocab is up to scratch.

And now, because I have no self-restraint when it comes to Pretty Stuff to Look at on the Internet, here are some notes of visual interest. First, I offer you these superheroes added into great works of Western art. And then there’s this collection of science fiction literature travel posters. And then there’s this photographic archive of cosplayers from the 1930s to the present, which is weirdly mesmerizing. And, finally, here’s a bunch of Pinterest-y reading nooks that you want and can’t afford.

On a last and much more serious note, award-winning SFF author Jay Lake has recently gotten some very serious news about his cancer.  Fantasy Literature extends our condolences and best wishes to him.


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ALIX HEINTZMAN recently got her MA in History at the University of Vermont, and has circled back to her Old Kentucky Home with her partner Nick Stiner. She spends her time desperately repairing their newly-purchased home, reading fantasy books, throwing a frisbee for their neurotic border collie, and trying to cook authentic Mexican food. She makes a hilariously small amount of money writing high school history curriculum. Alix is dipping her toes into the blogosphere at The Other Side of the Rain, in an attempt to sharpen her writing skills and also not-incidentally talk about the books she loves. Some of her favorite authors include Neil Gaiman, Ursula LeGuin, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Susanna Clarke.

View all posts by Alix Heintzman

9 comments

  1. Wow! That is one hell of a links column! The crown for Queen of Websday sits firmly atop your head, Alix.

  2. Awesome, Alix! I loved all the art!

    My only concern is that now you’ve set this extremely high standard and I’m wondering how you’re going to keep it up!!

    • You know, I had that thought myself…There might be some less-huge weeks. But it turns out I read a lot of this stuff, and now I have a place to stick all the links!

  3. Hélène /

    Such a great harvest! Thanks, Alix!

  4. Lots of good stuff there. My only request is to make all of the links open a new window or tab so that it is easy to get back to FanLit from each one.

    In a note of perfect serendipity (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) I just picked up a copy of Cherryh’s Foreinger that I had ILL’d at my local library. I’m finally getting around to checking out this series that everyone says is so good.

    Also, you have a link to the Bujold pager here at FanLit above but I’m not sure that is the link you wanted to put there or perhaps I’m just not getting it…

    • April, I’ve been collecting this series on audio for several months every time I see one on sale. They’ve just been produce by Audible Frontiers. I can’t wait to start, but I want to get a few more in my library before i get hooked, which I completely plan to do.

  5. *page (I do hope you don’t have a link to her pager too…)

    • Ah, just some clumsy wording on my part–we like to link within our site when we casually reference authors, so that you can easily click to figure out who we’re talking about, so I just stuck that link under Bujold’s name. But I was actually referring to the previous link about the changing face of sci-fi, where Bujold has some comments.

      Thanks for the tip about opening in new tabs!

  6. April V. /

    Ah, I see. Makes sense now. Duh. Sorry!

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