In honor of the first day of spring, here is a video of spring thaw in Yosemite, CA. (Some may find the guitar music annoying.) It’s more of a photo album of the park and the valley, but still. Happy spring for those of us in the northern hemisphere. southern hemisphere folks, happy autumn. (Is that right?)


Of course there is an award for best vampire fiction; did you ever doubt it? The Lord Ruthven Awards for 2019 were announced, with Theodora Goss’s European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman winning for best work of long fiction. A work by Amy J Ransome, I Am Legend as American Myth, won for best nonfiction.


File 770 announced that comics artist Sana Takeda, who draws Monstress, will be attending 2019’s Worldcon, held in Dublin, along with Irish playwright Rosaleen McDonagh.

SyFy shares highlights from last weekend’s Emerald City ComicCon, held in Seattle, Washington.


For no particular reason, we will send a copy of V.E. Schwab’s Vicious to one random commenter with a USA or Canadian mailing address.

Books and Writing:

As a writer I’m always looking for ways to kickstart creativity. This column by Phil Parker about using signs of the western zodiac as a starting point for characterization, is a fun option.

The Speculative Literature Foundation is offering two $500 grants to eligible writers over the age of 50. If you are one or know one, check this out.

Cat Rambo gave a signal boost to this grant for an emerging woman writer of color, from Sisters in Crime. It’s $2000.

We talk about bias and exclusivity in the writing field in lots of different ways. The UK Guardian shares the results of a survey done in Britain that showed that career women writers have their work reviewed and discussed far less in broadsheet media. Also (irritating, but no surprise to women) women’s ages are mentioned for more often in reviews and interviews, when they are done, as opposed to men.

The article compares a book of Neil Gaiman’s to a book released by Joanne Harris around the same time. The article gives the wrong Harris book. Gaiman took to Twitter to link to the article, give the correct title of Harris’s book and link to Harris. That’s good work.

The New York Times published an essay by Namwali Serpell, discussing what happens when “science fiction comes true.”

Thanks to Syfy Fangrrls for introducing me to Gertrude Barrows Bennett, one of the first women SFF writers in the USA. Her sex was masked by her male pseudonym, Francis Stevens. (Has Sandy reviewed her yet?) Her dark-tinged work was inspired by events she experienced during World War I.

Movies and TV:

What do fans want to see in the Game of Thrones finale? SyFy asked, and got a wide range of theories.


In the morbid yet practical department, this Swiss cemetery installed a vending machine that dispenses tissues and rosary beads for mourners who may need them. Some feel this is irreverent; some find it thoughtful. I come down on the “thoughtful and practical” side, even though I think sharing your packet of tissues at a memorial service can be a bonding moment.

Crew member characters who we’ve never seen before, who wear red shirts and appear in the teaser scene before the credits really do die more than other characters. We all knew this, but now there’s a graph, and everything’s more fun when it’s a graph.

This is a nice article about Margaret Hamilton, whose software enabled the first human-crewed moon landing.

Take a look at the world’s oldest astrolabe.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned Hedy Lamarr here. PBS is featuring her on American Masters this week. Check your local listings.


I did not know such a think as a cog-railroad existed. This is an educational article. (And somehow I suspect that “Old Peppersass” was not really the nickname of the locomotive. I think somebody added the first “s.”)


  • 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.

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