WWWednesday; May 17, 2017

On Sunday, in honor of Mother’s Day, Syfy Wire posted a list of the best moms from Star Trek. 

Awards:

Locus has published the finalists for the Locus Awards, which will be awarded at the Locus Weekend, June 23-25, 2017, in Seattle, Washington. Locus has more categories so more winners: best SF novel, best fantasy novel, best horror novel and best first novel as an example. Some of our favorites made the lists, including Malka Older’s Infomocracy in the Best First Novel category, Lavie Tidhar’s Central Station and Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad for Best SF novel (The Underground Railroad is a wonderful book, but SF? Not fantasy?); and John Langan’s The Fisherman and Cherie Priest’s The Family Plot in Best Horror Novel.

Self-Published Blog Off (SPFBO) director Mark Lawrence created an award for the winner; the SPFBO trophy is called a Selfie Stick! (See, because it’s self-pub… oh, never mind, I know you get it.) His brief blog post is hilarious. Thanks to File 770.

Conventions:

Eric Flint will not be attending BaltiCon this year, and Stephen Brust is taking his place. I’m happy to see Brust included, but the reason reveals some sad news about the creator and lead writer of the 1632 universe; he is living with cancer.

Books and Writing:

Maurice Broaddus appears on Chuck Wendig’s blog Terrible Minds to write about writer’s block.

Hogwarts was the place where brilliant young wizards came together to decide whether they wanted to live a life of good or evil; to have adventures, to face monsters. But was the actual education any good? SyfyWire ranks the teachers of Hogwarts.  Early in the article the writer explains why Dumbledore is not included.

California Bay Area bookstore Book Passage is the first bookstore to sue the state of California over last year’s law Assembly Bill 1570. The bill, which was originally meant to protect buyers of sports memorabilia from fraud, had serious unintended (or at least, less-intended) consequences for sellers of signed books. The requirements of “provenance” for a signed book are burdensome and basically impact second-hand booksellers the most, but Book Passage has a robust author event program. Personally, I’m rooting for the booksellers.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia is championing a cash award for Canadian Emerging Indigenous Voices award. This is her response to a controversy in Canada, where the editor of Write Magazine, the magazine of the Writers Union of Canada, wrote a strange and awkward editorial suggesting that white Euro-Canadian writers should try to write with more diversity, by suggesting a Cultural Appropriation Award. (The actual quote about the prize is, “I’d go so far as to say that there should even be an award for doing so – the Appropriation Prize for best book by an author who writes about people who aren’t even remotely like her or him.”) It seems that the editor was making a clumsy attempt to encourage white writers to expand their own worlds, but he didn’t do it well, and there was a backlash. Then there was a backlash to the backlash, and a group decided to “double-down” on the original and probably unintentional insult, and they began raising money for an actual award to give to white writers for Cultural Appropriation. You can read more here and here. Moreno-Garcia has turned her pain and dismay into an exciting, positive thing and I hope she gets lots of pledges. (Thanks to Whatever.Scalzi.com)

The Atlantic takes a look at Google’s ambitious vision of scanning every book in existence, the massive copyright infringement lawsuit that followed, and wonders if the end if the project wasn’t more of a tragedy than we originally thought. (Thanks to File 770.)

New Releases:

Our reviewers are pretty excited about some upcoming New Releases. Kevin says, “I recently went back and re-read the first two books in Brandon Sanderson’s STORMLIGHT ARCHIVE, so I’m quite excited for Oathbringer to come out this November. The worldbuilding and complexity of this series has me hooked!”

Kelly is looking forward to Elizabeth Gilligan’s newest, Sovereign Silk. “Cool, the third volume in ElizaBeth Gilligan‘s SILKEN MAGIC series, is coming out. I read the first two books probably ten or twelve years ago and remember liking them. I may have to reread them and refresh my memory of the plot.”

As for Ray, she says, “Since before putting Kiersten White‘s And I Darken down, I have been hankering for the sequel. Now I Rise will be released at the end of June and I can’t wait!

Check out New Releases for yourself and let us know what you’re looking forward to.

Science:

Solar panels are reducing their “carbon debt” per The Economist.

Scientists have discovered a Neptune-sized exoplanet with an atmosphere. It’s only about 430 light years away (of course the atmosphere is not breathable by humans.)

Tech/Internet:

The Guardian has a story on last week’s cyber attack that targeted hospitals and health centers, and which is believed to have affected 99 countries. (Update: New reports suggest it has affected 150 countries.)

Movies and TV:

The CW is planning a new superhero series; Black Lightning. This is a superhero coming out of retirement. That must say something about our economic recovery.

The Mary Sue has a roundtable of (negative) reviews of Guy Ritchie’s movie King Arthur; Legend of the Sword. It sounds like there might be spoilers. I think my first clue that it wasn’t going to be for me – well, after the trailers, I mean – was the inclusion of a character named Chinese George.

IO9 created a list of ten feminist works you should check out if you are watching The Handmaid’s Tale. Like any list, there is room for debate, but it’s good for starting discussion and there are a couple of intriguing items on here that I hadn’t heard of before.

Star Trek, or Star Wars? Forbes conducted a survey to find out and put up a neat infographic. 14% of the 4308 respondents loved them both; 14% asked what the difference was, 12% hated both equally. One important bit if information; Trekkies make more money than any other group.

A couple of articles have appeared about the possibility of Ursula K. LeGuin’s The Left Hand of Darkness being adapted for television. What do you think?

Games:

Ars Technica updates us on the legendary “Lost Board Game of Dune.” If, like me, you had not realized there was a legendary lost board game of Dune you might enjoy this article.

Space:

The Vatican hosted a conference on space, including discussions of black holes, gravitational waves and spacetime singularities. The Director of eh Vatican Observatory, Brother Guy Consolmagno, sees no conflict between the teachings of his church and the observations of science. (By the way, he has presented at Nebula Weekends and at WorldCons, and if you ever get the chance to hear him speak, take it. He’s wonderful.)


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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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8 comments

  1. sandy ferber /

    Syfy Wire left out my personal favorite “Star Trek” mother: the Horta! https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c5/STDevil_inTheDark.jpg

  2. I love your WWWednesday posts, Marion. They’re always so full of interesting links and other tidbits!

  3. Oh, and as to new releases I’m looking forward to: Strange Weather by Joe Hill is very, very, very high on my list.

  4. Yeah, I had the same reaction to Underground Railroad. Deserving of a nomination? Absolutely. But sci-fi?

    • Not really sci-fi, right? Fantasy or alt-history? It doesn’t matter; I’m just always curious about what ends up where.

      • I’d sure put it in fantasy; it really does stick out in that sci-fi listing of books. Though if it were in fantasy, it’d be in competition with more of the works I enjoyed, so maybe it’s all for the better :)

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