Orange Fish Kite, courtesy of Go Valley

Orange Fish Kite, courtesy of Go Valley

It’s wonderful how many talented people out there are willing to educate us during these difficult times. In this video, Kay shows us that anyone can sew a simple facial covering. Stay with it, trust me.


The Tolkien Society Awards are announced for 2020.

The International Thriller Award finalists have been announced too.

The Bram Stoker Award winners were announced via livestream April 18, 2020.

San Diego ComiCon is cancelled, but the Eisner Awards will go forward.


The 2021 Horror Writers Association’s StokerCon has announced its Guests of Honor. There are several!


One commenter will get a copy of John Scalzi’s The Last Emperox, with Scalzi’s signature. (I don’t know if the book is signed, or if there’s a bookplate included.)

Books, Writing and Writers:

Maurice Sendak donated $100,000 to an association helping children’s writers during the business disruption of the coronavirus. And yes, it does appear you can donate.

We all remember that late 1890s horror novel The Beetle. Wait, we don’t? I’d never heard of it, but it outsold Dracula when it was released. Just a reminder that not all best-sellers have staying power.

Sari Feldman used to run a library in Ohio, but I had to scroll down and check that while I was reading this article. She’s really being Debbie Downer here. She presents all the challenges libraries face during the shelter in place orders and seems to ignore the fact that those same challenges face every single bookstore and, in fact, every publishing house. Still, she raises interesting questions. What will a community event look like when things eventually re-open? Will libraries recruit more volunteers to sanitize keyboards and monitors after each use? Will video-conferencing remain part of the library’s array of tools? Lots to think about.

This graphic novel reimagines Ursula K. LeGuin’s The Word for World is Forest.

Publishers Weekly really liked John Scalzi’s latest, The Last Emperox.

The Mary Sue posts the glorious cover of C.L. Polk’s new fantasy The Midnight Bargain.

Nerds of a Feather discuss six books with Tim Lebbon.

Here is a column about the dapper lesbian capybara pirate fantasy novel you’ve been waiting for.

Baen Books shares some upcoming releases. They are also still listing events, mostly in late May.

Thanks for File 770. It is always a gold mine. During the shelter in place interval, Mike Glyer and his team of volunteers continue to provide great columns and good info.

Kites, courtesy of

Kites, courtesy of


Alix E. Harrow’s husband is a part-time librarian, and in his job he has created a live children’s show on Facebook. It airs on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10AM (local time?) Check out the page.

Science and Tech (okay, yeah, a lot of it’s virus stuff):

Apple hasn’t exactly lowered the price on the new iPhone; they’ve held the price, which seems like a good marketing idea at time when about one third of people in the USA are not working. Here are the deets.

ICANN, which oversees the internet naming conventions, wants to sell the .org registry to a little-known private investor with the amusing (some might say ironic) name of Ethos Capital. Maybe we should find out just what its ethos is. The California Attorney General penned a stern letter of warning to ICANN (which is incorporated in CA) pointing out numerous problems with the proposed sale. He’s not the only one; the former founder of ICANN itself opposes the sale. It seems as if several key players in Ethos Capital are former ICANN folks. Hmm.

The University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), working with funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, is now offering all 58 California counties free testing for the novel coronavirus.

The town of Bolinas, Ca, population about 1600, has entered into a project with UCSF (see above) to have nearly the entire town tested. This project is paired with a similar testing in San Francisco’s busy, dense and urban Mission District. I’m eager to see what this project yields. (In northern coastal California, Bolinas’s desire for isolation is folkloric. Somewhat geographically isolated, the town got some notoriety in the 1960s for cutting down and carting off the state mileage signs that included its name.)


I’m a sucker for quest stories, and these scholars went on a quest for a certain shade of blue ink.

This 3.51 minute  animal video features 2 of my favorite varieties: goats and otters. Enjoy!



  • Marion Deeds

    Marion Deeds, with us since March, 2011, is the author of the fantasy novella ALUMINUM LEAVES. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthologies BEYOND THE STARS, THE WAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, STRANGE CALIFORNIA, and in Podcastle, The Noyo River Review, Daily Science Fiction and Flash Fiction Online. She’s retired from 35 years in county government, and spends some of her free time volunteering at a second-hand bookstore in her home town.