WWWednesday: April 10, 2019

This week’s word for Wednesday, courtesy of Haggard Hawks: the noun babby-laker, meaning a person who engages in foolish speculation or ideas. Try to use it in a sentence sometime this week.

Books and Writing:

Shelf Awareness and Sarah Pinsker discuss favorite books.

Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer will judge the 2019 Neukom Awards. The Awards gives a $5,000 prize for excellence in a speculative fiction work that honors the imagination. (Thanks to Locus.)

The finalists for the Prometheus Awards, representing works that depict libertarian ideals, have been announced.

This list from Black Girl Nerds is a few months old (from January) but it’s a great reading list. Speaking of reading lists, check our New Releases page for works coming out in May.

Tor.com reviews Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles.

Trains from a locomotive graveyard in the Andean desert. Courtesy of Atlas Obscura.

Trains from a locomotive graveyard in the Andean desert. Courtesy of Atlas Obscura.

The FTC and the courts acted quickly to stop the predatory practices of one individual and two purported companies that engaged in unethical practices in the scientific fields. The court issued a summary judgement against Srinubabu Gedela and the two companies he owns (one publishes material in scientific-themed journals and one presents conferences.) The FTC provided evidence that, although the journal claims to peer-review articles it does not, and that is has used the names and logos of other agencies without permission. The fine is for $50 million.

At Tor.com, Vivian Shaw points out the merits of writing fanfic. (Thanks to Terry.)

Amazing Stories has been back in existence for one year. To celebrate and launch a second year, they have a crowdfunding initiative for a four-color, special edition available in the fall.

Awards:

Would they be the Hugos, really, without a controversy? This year’s seems to be a pretty small one. The website An Archive of One’s Own, devoted to fan fiction, is a finalist in the Best Related Work category, and some people dispute that. Specifically, they seem to dispute the website’s place in that particular category. Steve Davidson over at Amazing Stories wonders why it wasn’t nominated in the Best Fanzine category.

Cons:

Locus Magazine provided a summary of FogCon 9. There’s a nice photo of Laura Blackwell in it. I think I might have linked to Laura’s Pushcart-Prize-nominated short story “An Accidental Coven” in Syntax and Salt before, but, if so, here is the link again.

TV and Movies:

Syfy Fangrrls take a look at well-dressed deities in TV and movies. Marvel’s Loki is not included. He was robbed!

IO9 likes where the second season of Freeform’s Cloak and Dagger is going.

Tech:

Well, that didn’t go well. Google set up an eight-person board to address the ethics of AI, called the Advanced Technology External Advisory Council. Within two weeks it had dissolved, as calls mounted for one person to be replaced, and another resigned. Google states it will go back to the “drawing board.”

Graffiti on a traincar, image by Atlas Obscura.

Graffiti on a traincar, image by Atlas Obscura.

Internet:

No reason, it’s just interesting: In Britain, they’ve rebuilt Heath Robinson’s code-breaking machine from WWII. Robinson was to the Brits what Rube Goldberg was to the USA. It looks like Robinson’s machine really did decrypt.

I Like Scary Movies is a pop-up art installation that celebrates a number of current popular horror movies.

Space:

This article postulates that primordial black holes cannot be the source of dark matter in the universe. It’s pretty interesting, and certainly written so a layperson can understand it. The article about “lensing” is fascinating too.

Earth:

In the Andean desert is a locomotive and train graveyard. Images in today’s post came from this article.


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MARION DEEDS, with us since March 2011, is retired from a 35-year career with county government, where she met enough interesting characters and heard enough zany stories to inspire at least two trilogies’ worth of fantasy fiction. Currently she spends part of her time working at a local used bookstore. She is an aspiring writer herself and, in the 1990s, had short fiction published in small magazines like Night Terrors, Aberrations, and in the cross-genre anthology The Magic Within. On her blog Deeds & Words, she reviews many types of books and follows developments in food policy and other topics.

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