WWWednesday; September 27, 2017

Conventions:

Nnedi Okorafor, Writer Guest of Honor,who is NOT George R.R. Martin, and who never takes a bad picture.

Nnedi Okorafor, Writer Guest of Honor,who is NOT George R.R. Martin, and who never takes a bad picture.

HawaiiCon was held on the big island of Hawai’i, September 14-18. The theme was “Slayer Wars,” which sounds odd, but it allowed the planning board to celebrate both the 50th year of Star Wars and the 20th anniversary of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Charisma Carpenter, Nicholas Brendon, Emma Caulfield and Amber Benson all attended to represent the BTVS contingent, while Daniel Logan (young Boba Fett) and Temeura Morrison (Jango Fett) were there from Star Wars. Your humble correspondent and our own Terry Weyna also participated, mostly on writing track panels. Nnedi Okorafor, the Writer Guest of Honor, debated the purpose of sub-genre categories, specifically “science fantasy,” on Terry’s panel.

In her solo interview with Marqueeda LaStar of Black Girl Nerds, Okorafor spoke about her path to writing success, the prospect of working with HBO for the adaptation of Who Fears Death; about not being George R.R. Martin or even the next George R.R. Martin. (The AVClub has since changed its article headline and apologized.)

Terry’s comments: HawaiiCon was a blast! I was impressed by the large number of enthusiastic scientists who attended, eager to share everything they’ve learned about new planets, stars, and galaxies. I moderated a panel entitled, “Science Fantasy, Real or Not?” that soon turned into a massive discussion between panelists, including the Guest of Honor, Nnedi Okorafor, and a fired-up audience about exactly what “science fantasy” is. I also served on a panel about reviewing and another entitled “Language! Does Style Matter?” Both had the same sort of eager audience that turned each session into a flurry of brainstorming ideas. I also particularly enjoyed a session in which Nnedi Okorafor was interviewed, telling us how she became a writer, what she’s working on now, and what she hopes her future will bring. And a session in which we

(L-R) Elisabeth Waters, Jeanette Adams, Terry Weyma (m), Nnedi Okorafor: The "Science Fantasy" panel.

(L-R) Elisabeth Waters, Jeanette Adams, Terry Weyma (m), Nnedi Okorafor: The “Science Fantasy” panel.

watched — and sang along with! — the Buffy episode entitled “Once More with Feeling” was the cherry on the sundae. I can’t wait to go back next year.

Obituary:

Kit Reed passed away on September 24, 2017. She began publishing in the late 1950s, and her work was known for its dystopias and its strong feminist themes. She was nominated for the James Tiptree Jr Award several times, and her young adult novel Thinner Than Thou won an ALA award. She was 85.

Where to Donate:

You can skip the first two paragraphs of this HuffPo article if you want, and get right to the links that give places to donate aid to those people struggling in Puerto Rico. If anyone has a link to aid agencies assisting in the US Virgin Islands, please include it in Comments. And I’m again providing the link to Tobias Buckell’s excellent blog post.

This LA times article includes links to agencies assisting in Mexico, after the earthquakes.

Books and Writing:

It’s Banned Books Week. For all of you who love lists and challenges, here’s a group of 75 banned books that are considered speculative fiction. How many have you read?

Turtle. Because I am determined to get a picture of a green sea turtle in here.

Because I am determined to get a picture of a green sea turtle in here.

Here’s another cool list; books that feature psionic powers. You probably knew I was going to post this, and you can probably recite the list without clicking on the link.

Merriam-Webster Dictionaries provide a nice infographic on how words finally make it into the dictionary.

Locus has the National Book Award longlist, which contains some genre works.

I need a new category; “Archeology of the Hugos,” as shocking new information was unearthed recently that shows that the Hugo shortlist used to be (gasp!) juried! Either that, or diabolical Social Justice Warriors traveled back in time to the late 1950s, and changed history just to further their agenda. Seriously, this story is not that exciting, but it is interesting and sheds more light on the evolution of the field’s best-known award.

Judith Tarr writes an absolutely delightful comparison of Shadowfax, Gandalf’s magical stallion, and Bill the Pony. This is awesome, and so is Bill the Pony.

Movies and TV:

Syfy has convened a “league of nerds” to help them with visioning for their next (I guess) 25 years. Good for them! There are some fine names here. I certainly could complain about the percentage of women (two out of ten) but I love that the two women are who they are. I can dream that they had included Charlie Jane Anders, Annalee Newitz, story-creator Fiona Staples or their own Michelle Lovretta, but Star Wars writer and editor Bonnie Burton, and Black Girl Nerds founder Jamie Broadnax are a good start.

Here is the trailer for the Kingsmen: the Golden Circle, a sequel to last year’s film.

Nalo Hopkinson’s Brown Girl in the Ring has been adapted as a movie, and SyfyWire interviews the female director who brought the film in to being.

Tech and Science:

Nicholas Brendon of BTVS, introduces the "Once More With Feeling" singalong.

Nicholas Brendon of BTVS introduces the “Once More With Feeling” singalong.

NASA officially opened its Katherine Johnson Computational Research Facility. Katherine Johnson, who is now 99 years old, and some of her fellow “computers” were present for the ceremony. We’ve had a lot of issues with naming and monuments lately; here is a fitting piece of history.

Is this a tech-news story, or a writing prompt? You tell me. Estonia, which bills itself as the first “borderless digital nation,” proposes a national cryptocurrency, the “estcoin.”

In related news, are you perhaps living in a simulation? This article provides some quick-and-easy checklist questions. I’m lying; they aren’t quick and early and they aren’t questions, they’re assumptions, but the presentation is funny and cute.

Cory Doctorow also talks about simulations, in a very different way. He is looking at applications that change their behavior when they think an evaluator is looking at them. Volkswagen and Dieselgate were only the beginning.

Cute Animals:

Why are other animals so attracted to capybaras? Well, this article doesn’t know the answer to that either, but it is an excuse to look at more cute capybara pictures, so enjoy.

Photos:

Yep. That’s right. More vacation photos. Just think of me as that neighbor of your parents, who used to invite people over, set up the projector and carousel, and click through thousands of vacation slides. That’s me.


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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. Nnedi O. is so adorable.

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