WWWednesday; June 28, 2017

Today’s word for Wednesday is the noun doggindales, which means the patches of mist on a hillside. Once again we have the Scots to thank for this lovely evocative word. It appears to have come into use around 1866.

Her Domain, (c) Jeff Sturgeon

Her Domain, (c) Jeff Sturgeon

Awards:

The Locus Awards were announced last weekend. Winners include Death’s End by Cixin Liu (Best SF Novel); All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders (best fantasy novel) and The Fireman by Joe Hill (best horror novel. Here is the full list. The Locus Weekend was held in Seattle, Washington. The Locus Awards are chosen by attending or participating members. Participating membership costs $27 and attending costs $60, and each membership includes a six-month subscription to Locus.

The Dragon Award nominations are open until July 24, 2017. What’s neat about the Dragon Awards is that there are so many categories for novels that many writers can win one. I like that. There is no cost to nominate for the Dragon Awards.

Colson Whitehead received the Carnagie Medal for his novel Underground Railroad.

Conventions:

Aliette de Bodard will be a Special Guest at World Fantasy Convention in Baltimore in 2018.

Giveaways (Ours):

Check out our Giveaways. On Sunday, we announced winners for our 10th birthday bash, the Robert Jackson Bennett interview and the Bradley W. Schenck interview.

Books and Writing:

Callisto (c) Jeff Sturgeon

Callisto (c) Jeff Sturgeon

“Generally speaking, middle-aged women are not considered to be cool main characters of the sort that commonly inhabit techno-thrillers.” Linda Nagata contemplates this as she discusses the protagonist of her new techno-thriller – a middle-aged, retired-army-woman – in her post about The Last Good Man over at Whatever.

Philip Pullman’s shed has been shortlisted for House Beautiful’s Shed of the Year. No, I am not making that up.

Nicola Griffith successfully defended her thesis and is now officially Dr. Nicola Griffith. From Twitter:

How many of these have you done? You’re all story-lovers so I’m guessing you’ve done many of them. It’s a fun list of bookish things (other than read) that book and story-lovers can do.

Monday was the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. The Independent looked back at early reviews of that book. You know how at some parties, that really good friend of yours has to show that picture of you when you were twelve and dressed up in 80s-glam for Halloween? The headband? The hair? This article is kind of like that.

Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer perform Leonard Cohen’s spoken word song “Democracy,” as a PEN fundraiser.

Here is the trailer for a new comic by Eric Heisserer. It comes out today.

Movies and TV:
Rumor is that Ron Howard will take over directing the Han Solo prequel movie. Here is the story of the previous two directors leaving. I think Variety’s attitude about women in the power end movie business is pretty clear, but while you’re reading this, notice the tone of the observations directed toward Kathleen Kennedy.

The Daily Beast provides a review of Transformers; The Last Knight that is probably better than the movie. A couple of lines stand out. “…turned evil by a wicked Cybertron goddess,” is one.

Here is the trailer for I am Dragon, which I had never heard of. It looks pretty. It also looks… familiar. Have we seen this story before?

Internet:

For those of you who tweet, Charles Stross’s cat has a Twitter account.

Jericho Moon (c) Jeff Sturgeon

Jericho Moon (c) Jeff Sturgeon

Google says it is dropping a controversial process of scanning every email in its email product gmail with an eye to personalizing ads. This “feature” has been unpopular for quite a while and Google says they will stop doing it by the end of the year.

I thought the audacity of this particular scammer, who made over 96 million spoofed calls in a three month period was kind of amusing until I read further and found that the sheer volume of this calls interfered with a paging service used by hospitals and clinics. Then it didn’t seem so funny. There is also the matter of the people he scammed out of money. Interesting, though.

What do you think about this, the impact of testosterone on judgment? This should start some interesting discussions.

And… you guys, packhorse librarians. Packhorse librarians! They brought books to isolated Kentuckians by horseback during the Great Depression.

Earth:

This clock is just… scroll down and watch the three-minute video. If you like steam-punk, you will love this. If you admire clockwork or just like elaborate, weird things, you will love this too. It is an amazing feat of engineering, and it says a lot about how nineteenth century Americans viewed themselves, and maybe how we still do.

Ocean:

I’ll admit it. I love just about everything about this story. I love how human that fish (a sheepshead wrasse) looks.  I love the depiction of this relationship as a friendship, and I love that the diver, Hiroyuki Arakawa, tends a submerged Shinto shrine. And I can’t help thinking that the video contains some excellent writing prompts. Then I found this about the sheepshead wrasse, which makes the fish even more mysterious. And, even though the correspondences are tenuous, when I was writing this item Alyssa Wong’s story “The Fisher Queen” popped into my head, so here’s a link.

Art:

Artwork today is from Jeff Sturgeon. You can see his work and his contact information here (the website is a work in progress). Sturgeon works on canvas, aluminum and in digital. After a long career as a game designer, art director, concept artist, lead artist and illustrator in the gaming industry, he has decided to focus on his own work, which is beautiful.


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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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4 comments

  1. Molly Emmons /

    Nice column!

  2. Arcanist Lupus /

    I am Dragon reminds me a lot of Phantom of the Opera. But with dragons.

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