WWWednesday: January 6, 2016

This week’s word for Wednesday is redintegrate, a verb, meaning to restore or make whole, to renew or return to a perfect state (if anything is ever in a perfect state). Redintegrate comes from the Latin redintegrare, to make whole again, and came into usage in the mid-1400s.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

BB8 on Jakku. From Entertainment Weekly.

Awards
The Hugo nominating ballots are going out. Doesn’t it seem like we just did the Hugos? They did run on a bit last year. If you were a voting or attending member last year at Sasquan, you should already be included in the nomination process. If not, you can register as a voting member or an attending member at the MidAmeriCon II website here. Chaos Horizon has some predictions about Best Novel. I didn’t think Best Novel was all that controversial last year, but the analysis here is interesting. We’ve been trying to keep people aware of high-quality short fiction this year (search under SFM) and these are other sites that have been raising the profile on quality works that were published in 2015; SCOFF, Ken Marable’s page (even though I notice he didn’t include us for best fanzine) and the Sad Puppies IV Page.

Books and Writing

Isaac Asimov’s birthday was on Jan 2, 1920. Or, maybe it wasn’t. Tor.com presents a nice article on the master from the golden age.

J.R.R. Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892, in South Africa. As an adult, he went on to write a trilogy you might have heard of.

While some of us in the northern hemisphere are shivering our way through this winter, others are experiencing unseasonably warm weather. Regardless of our outer environment, Stubby the Robot offers us 16 snowy winter SF reads.

For many of us, it seems, winter is not coming, at least (as NPR, who provided the link, notes) not anytime soon. Here’s a post from George RR Martin about the next SOIAF novel, The Winds of Winter. Sit down. Is there someone you can call to be with you? It’s not good news. And he’s not writing any episodes for the TV show either. (H/T to Kat.)

Kameron Hurley shares her 2016 resolutions. She says in the post that she only sets goals over which she has control. I find that interesting. No, “I’ll sell 12 stories this year,” kind of thing.

This is not genre related, but it’s funny, and it relates to New Year’s resolutions, so here, from the UK Guardian, are the secrets of moderately successful people.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

The Falcon leaves Jakku. From Entertainment Weekly.

Over on Book View Café, Sherwood Smith shared some old notes about panels that discussed the most common new writer errors. I see myself on there a few times. Several of the panelists disagreed with each other – which is what makes a panel interesting. Does each chapter have to end on a transition? Are sentence fragments okay? Courtesy of File 770.

Here’s an interesting essay on getting paid versus getting read and noticed. These two things aren’t the same but the can, and do, intersect. Writers like Neil Gaiman value fans as readers, and wants the word-of-mouth buzz; he encourages people borrowing from the library or buying from secondhand bookstores. Kristen Lamb wants to support only the streams that pay her directly.

TV and Movies

BBC America and PBS Masterpiece offered a “Sherlock special” on January 1. Some reviewers loved it. Some (coughVoxcough) hated it. Warning, the Vox review contains spoilers.

The UK telegraph doesn’t disagree with Vox on key points, but liked the special anyway. Again, warning, spoilers.

From FashionStyle (I know, right?) Emeraude Touba discusses Shadowhunters. The show is based on Cassandra Clare’s MORTAL INSTRUMENTS series, and apparently is a fairly faithful adaptation. Touba plays Isabelle, and she talks about fighting style and her fighting accessories. This link goes to the cast list on ABC Family’s website for the show, which premieres January 12, the same day ABC Family changes its name to Freeform.

Screenrant shares 10 2016 films they can’t wait to see. What do you think?

George Lucas is unhappy about the direction Star Wars; The Force Awakens took and told Charlie Rose about it at length. Later, he walked back some of those comments publicly. I didn’t like the “prequel” movies, and I don’t think story-telling is Lucas’s great strength, but what I get from this is the great emotional difficulty he is having releasing the world, and worldwide phenomenon, he created. It’s easy to say, “Oh, boo-hoo, $4.5 billion dollars,” but I think we are seeing a man who is experiencing loss. That tugs at my heartstrings, and at the same time, I’m delighted he had no involvement with the SW:TFA story. Color me conflicted.

BBC America has adapted the 1993 John LeCarre spy novel The Night Manager into a series, starring Hugh Laurie (who played House on House) and Tom Hiddleston (Loki in the The Avengers movies). LeCarre novels are moody enough and complicated enough that they do better as a series than as a movie, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this one plays.

Internet

We’ve been nominated for a Stabby! That’s Reddit’s “Best Of” award.We’re in the category of Best Fantasy Site. If you would like to vote for us, here is the site, and you can vote in the other categories too. You must have, or create, a Reddit account in order to vote.

PBS routinely shows short student films on their network and their Youtube channel. Steadfast Stanley may not be the best animated movie ever; it may not be the best dog movie ever; it may not be the best zombie movie ever, but it is definitely the best short-animated-zombie-movie-starring-a-dog that I have ever seen. Who’s a good boy? You are, Stanley.

The Us Postal Service honors NASA and space exploration with first class stamps. The Verge points out that with e-mail and private delivery businesses, postage stamps are nearly obsolete… but still.

Over at Deviant Art, Wonder Woman gives her Justice League colleagues a lesson in empathy; “If I don’t get pants, nobody gets pants.” I like Batman’s expression the best. Batman should never wear a cropped jacket.

Blogger, writer and interviewer S.C. Flynn has begun compiling his genre interviews up through 2015. Of the 200 he’s completed, he has made links to 102 of them. Take a look, there is some great stuff here.

Tech

Engineers at MIT have begun experimenting with using molten glass as a building material with 3D printers, using the mathematics of “dribbling fluids.” The shapes formed by the coils and loops of glass become the building blocks.

Space

On January 17, sky-watchers in the northern hemisphere should be able to see Comet Catalina aided only with binoculars. The comet has been visible since late December, but passes closest to earth (but not disaster-movie close) on the 17th. I’ll probably re-post this item closer to the date, but this way you can all get it into your phones.

NASA put together a pictorial alphabet from space.

Earth

Composer Peter Cowdry records birdsong and uses a spectrograph to slow it down, then translates it into instrumental passages. Listen long enough to hear his sister and the violin.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Derelict Ship on Jakku. From Entertainment Weekly.

Giveaways

The following Giveaways are still active: Thoughtful Thursday, Your Best Book of 2015, and Expanded Universe, the cross-genre work you’d like to see.

Art

Today’s spoiler-free stills from Star Wars; the Force Awakens are courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.


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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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5 comments

  1. That alphabet from space is amazing!

  2. Great round-up, Marion, as always! I loved the Sherlock reviews. :) I was more on the “love it” side, but still, good to read different points of view.

    And *cough cough* nice subtle reminder that we are in fact *cough cough* Hugo eligible.

    ….*cough cough*

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