WWWednesday: October 24, 2018

Awards: 

N.K. Jemisin

The British Fantasy Awards were announced and winners include  Victor LaValle, N.K. Jemisin, Joe Hill, Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda among others. 

Books and Writing:

This is one of the most thoughtful, compassionate and helpful essays I’ve read in quite a while.

PEN America is preparing to sue President Donald Trump for his actions against journalists and media organizations.

Publishers Weekly has an article about the graphic novel business in the USA. (And Europe.) If I’m reading this right, the readership (or more accurately, market) has shifted to the perfect-bound trade editions, especially in the area where the panel discusses new market demographics. I don’t know what this means for monthly comic books.

Damien Walters lists some writers whose characters harness the power of bureaucracy for… magic! Some of our favorites (Terry Pratchett and Charles Stross) are on this list.

Over on the SFWA blog, Athena Andreadis points out twelve volumes of “hard” SF works that are at least 20 years old (they “withstood the test of time”) and are not written by white males.

What happens to our brains when we read about a character who is different from us, who has different experiences, lives in a different place, maybe even has different values? Maryanne Wolf shares an excerpt from her latest book, about that very topic, on LitHub. (Thanks to Bill for this link.)

Your annual reminder; All Hallows Read is next week.

TV and Movies:

Puppeteer Caroll Spinney has retired. You may think you don’t know him, but you know his work. For nearly 50 years, Spinney portrayed both Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street. (What range!) It’s a testament to his performance and the enduring quality of the show that I know who he is, and those characters, and I have no kids. Happy trails, and thank you, Mr. Spinney!

Luke Cage has also been cancelled by Netflix. It looks like a failure to come to terms with Marvel may be at the heart of it. Parent company Disney’s plan to launch its own streaming service is clearly a factor.  Irmonline is holding out hope that this means there will be a Heroes for Hire spinoff created with the characters and actors from Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Mike Colter, the show’s star, tweeted a professional and unrevealing tweet earlier this week.

Internet:

This Lit Hub article tells us about the pet ravens of Charles Dickens.

John Scalzi makes a living writing, but his hobby is photography. When his phone died on his book tour last week, he bought a Pixel 3. I’m linking to this post on Whatever because Scalzi basically reviews the Pixel 3 as a camera, and it’s a good review.

A fossil piranha! Oh, come on, you know this is just what you needed for your Wednesday morning to be perfect.

Ellie Kemper thinks LOL should be retired in favor of AHAHAHAHAHA! She makes her case here.

Earth:

Paleontologists still aren’t certain what environmental conditions created the nearly perfectly preserved fossils in this area of northern China.

Paging Jeff VanderMeer. Paging David Walton. Researchers from Canada and The USA conducted new tests on the large fungus in Crystal Creek, Michigan and determined that they grossly underestimated the fungus’s age and size when they originally discovered it in the 1980s. The growth is now believed to be over 1,000 years old and is slightly smaller than Vatican City. And it’s not the largest or oldest; that fungus is believed to be in Oregon.


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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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One comment

  1. Excellent column, Marion, with lots of good reading to be found in those links!

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