WWWednesday; July 22, 2016

On this date in 1933 American pilot Wiley Post completed the first solo world-wide flight. Post flew 15,596 miles in 7 days, 18 hours and 49 minutes.

Solar System:

Pluto continues to surprise us. According to IO9, early data shows a world that is geologically active, implying an internal heat source. This is not what we were expecting! NASA provides a nice photo and article about the region they are calling Pluto’s Heart, but which many people think resembles a famous Disney cartoon character. (Hint; it’s not the mouse.)

Pluto’s largest moon, or as I like to think of it, Pluto’s Sidekick, Charon, is also getting some deserved attention from New Horizons.

Awards:

One side benefit to writing World Wide Wednesday is that I’m getting acquainted with the dozens of various awards out there. It’s an eye-opener. The Sideways Award, for example, has been around since 1995, and is awarded for the best use of alternate history (and my favorite new word of the week is “allohistorical”). File 770 posted the short list for this year’s award.

Baen announced the candidates for the Baen Books Fantasy Adventure Finalists. Baen’s page provides some information on the contest itself.

Books:

The Week asked Neal Stephenson to list his six favorite books, which he did. Several of them I have never heard of. I didn’t know, for instance, that Ian Fleming’s brother wrote. He sounds like a pretty interesting guy. And Suffrajitsu sounds wonderful.I have read two of these, though, so I’m trying to feel good about that.

Over at Tor.com, Liz Bourke writes about books that comfort her. I love the passage about fearing that she will memorize the books she loves to re-read, and that they will lose their potency. Which books do you re-read for comfort?

Marie Brennan and Mary Robinette Kowal wrote fan-fic in each other’s universes! This is just good gold-fashioned fun.

We already knew about the two Cuban SF works that are available here, but the New York Times weighs in with a profile and interview with Jose Miguel Sanchez, who wrote A Planet for Rent under the pseudonym Yoss. I love his quote “When people think you’re crazy, that’s the beginning of freedom.” the article ranges pretty widely, and there are some interesting remarks by other Cuban writers.

Kate Lechler introduced me to Ursula K Leguin’s blog. This post, from June, discusses books that influenced her. LeGuin makes an interesting detour to talk about a couple of books that didn’t influence her. It made me laugh.

The London Literature Festival, held in September, plans a mass live reading of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick Melville’s great-great-great grand-daughter will be one of the featured readers. The nearly-27-hour reading will be broken up over the four days of the festival. This may be brilliant, or it may be terrible, but it is definitely audacious.

Reddit went wild with SF writers last week. Ernest Cline inaugurated the Reddit Bookclub with an AMA, just in time for the release of his second book Armada. A lot of the questions, understandably, were about the movie adaptation of Ready Player One. Later in the week, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, whose secret identity is James S.A. Corey, also showed up to answer questions about THE EXPANSE, which is being adapted as a television show on Syfy.

Movies and Television:

Besides the adaptation covered in the previous paragraph, Syfy is also showing a mini-series based on Arthur C. Clarke‘s 1953 novel Childhood’s End. The three-part story begins in December, 2015. Here’s the trailer. I’d say no one can accuse them of playing “diversity bingo” with this case. It’s a shame they couldn’t update the characters just a little bit.

Some of you are thinking what I’m thinking: “Childhood’s End, The Expanse, Defiance… what has happened? Where is the quality programming we expect from Syfy?” Well, don’t worry, because Sharknado 3 premieres tonight. (“These sharks they have a scent… and it’s not a pretty one.”) Here’s the trailer. Trigger warning for… well, it’s Sharknado.

How’s Ant Man doing? Pretty well, I guess. It earned $58 million its opening weekend. The reviewer for Forbes Magazine, which is becoming a respected review source, liked it.

I liked the show Heroes, but after the 2008 writers strike it went into a downward spiral that it was never able to correct. Now NBC is trying again. Heroes Rebooted – oh, sorry, Heroes Reborn will air as a miniseries on Thursdays starting in late September. Here’s the trailer. There are some familiar faces, including Horn Rimmed Glasses!

Breaking news today: E.L. Doctorow has died at age 84.

No art this week. I am still figuring out what kinds of pictures to post here. If you have a suggestion, or want your speculative fiction work displayed here, please contact [email protected]


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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. April /

    Marion, I’d be happy to search out some art for you each week. Send me a theme and I’ll send you links.

  2. Hrm, re-reading for comfort…If I’m not feeling well, I find myself going back to books I liked when I was little: Nancy Drew mysteries, The Secret Garden or A Little Princess, and the Anne of Green Gables books. But that took some thought, because it’s not a choice I actively make–I just make tea, pile a bunch of books on my nightstand, and relax.

  3. I’ve never seen one of the “Sharknado” movies, but since you linked the trailer, I thought I’d see what the fuss is all about. And it looks utterly hilarious! Are they really able to maintain that level of “Oh Hell No” for the length of the movie?

    And Marion, you made me buy a bunch of books. I will grant you that that is not all that difficult to do, but you kind of went above and beyond. I WILL have my revenge.

    • I have no idea, because I’ve never actually seen one from start to finish. I admire their utter shamelessness, though.

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