WWWednesday: March 20, 2019

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.”)

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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. You can read her blog at deedsandwords.com, and follow her on Twitter: @mariond_d.

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  1. Bobby Berry /

    I love all the link to great stuff. Thank you. Keep up the great work.

  2. Sandy Ferber /

    Oh…so disappointed! I thought you meant “the Wicked Witch of the West” Margaret Hamilton…. :(

  3. Noneofyourbusiness /

    A random commenter with a US address is me!

  4. Mike Voss /

    I’ve seen tarot used to develop characters, but using the Zodiac is new to me!

  5. The Distinguished Professor /

    I’d like to read “Vicious” (it has to be better than the British TV series of the same name).

  6. Margo /

    You are a talented aggregator! Thanks for an informative collection of links. I’m most impressed that Neil stood up for Joanne.

  7. Lady Morar /

    Neil is very classy. He once replied to me that he remembered me and my son from a convention and that my son was amazingly bright.

  8. Hi! I’m a random visitor from Canada *waves* I’ve heard amazing things about Vicious and I would absolutely love to have a copy! Thank you for the interesting links, especially the oldest astrolabe; Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors, and I agree that he is a class act :)

  9. Erin Patton /

    I’m randomly commenting because I’ve been wanting to read Vicious for A LONG TIME. Also I just discovered this site and I’m liking it.

  10. And another random commenter.

  11. Another Canadian here!

    The Lord Ruthven Awards caught my eye. A local historic site is Ruthven House. Stately enough for a vampire residence, I think.


  12. SandyG /

    I like that Neil Gaiman did that.

  13. Sethia /

    Love it when people live up to the hype about them, go Neil!

  14. John Smith /

    I have yet to read the “Monstress” graphic novels–I know they’ll be good when I some day get to them!

  15. Bobby Berry, if you live in the USA, you win a copy of VICIOUS!
    Pleeasecontact me (Marion) with your US address and I’ll have the book sent right away. Happy reading!

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