WWWednesday; May 20, 2015

Giveaway News: As part of our Thoughtful Thursday column for May 28, we will give one lucky commenter a  complete set of the novels nominated for the Hugos and the Nebulas.That’s eight books!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

The Blue Closet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Books and Publishing:

Damien Walters’s essay in the Guardian discusses the multi-volume fantasy novel, which he terms a “mega-novel.” He questions whether every gifted writer can write one, and whether they should even try.

Here is an enjoyable six-minute Ted Talk by Alex Gendler, in which he explains the historical feud between the Yorks and the Lancasters. This is the multi-generational conflict that inspired George RR Martin’s SONG OF ICE AND FIRE.

We all love the familiar; we all crave something new. Over at Tor.com, Kathleen Baldwin discusses five books that broke tried-and-true writing rules, and succeeded. Not all of them are speculative fiction; there is a classic (Huckleberry Finn) and an atmospheric classic mystery (Jamaica Inn) on the list.

Movies and Television:

Critically acclaimed action movie Mad Max; Fury Road made $44 million its opening weekend. A vocal group of Men’s Right’s Advocates have called for a boycott, because they are shocked — shocked! — to discover that the movie has strong women characters. The Christian Scientist Monitor takes a look at the fracas. 

Meanwhile, Tor.com suggests that you really want to watch the original, 1980s-vintage Road Warrior trilogy. I don’t know if I agree, but they make some good arguments.

Science and Technology:

What? We’re running out of internet? Gizmodo has not one, but two speculative articles to help us get

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

La Bella Mano Dante Gabriel Rossetti

ready to panic (one is old, though). The first discusses IP addresses, which is apparently not so big a problem. The second article, about fiber-optic cable, sounds more serious, and I love the expression, “If you up the power beyond a certain point, the fibers becomes light-saturated and the signal degrades.” That describes my brain on caffeine.

Urooj Qureshi wrote this article for BBC News, about the excavation of an Ottoman Empire capital in the town of Timisoara, Romania. The city was a crucial crossroads in both geography and time.

You all knew that May is Zombie Awareness Month, didn’t you? You didn’t? Well, it’s a real thing… kinda. Even the Centers for Disease Control have taken the idea of zombie-awareness to create an emergency preparedness outreach site. Check it out.

Today’s art is courtesy of Dante Gabriel Rosssetti, brother of poet Christina Rossetti. Dante was a poet as well, but is best known as a founding member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of mid- 19th century painters who wanted a return the the lush colors and vivid detail of 14th century Italian painting. The PRB, as they called themselves, revolutionized English art, and starred in a number of personal scandals during their time.

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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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  1. A great bunch of links, Marion — such diversity and so much fun! I particularly liked the article about the new Mad Max movie, which I am definitely going to have to see. I loves me a powerful female character on the screen.

  2. The Mad Max thing is interesting!

  3. By the way, a hat-tip to Kat for the Alex Gendler clip.

  4. “and starred in a number of personal scandals”–hilarious! Love this, Marion. I really enjoyed the Damien Walter article.

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