This week’s word for Wednesday is spelaean, an adjective, meaning like a cave. That’s no real surprise since I’m sure it’s from the same root as the verb spelunk. 


It’s awards season! And you don’t need an antihistamine to enjoy it!

File 770 wins the award for Most Meta; a list of Best Awards! The Awards Award. No surprise that the Hugo and the Nebula top the list, but I was surprised to see the Shirley Jackson award so low.

Paul Tremblay won a Bram Stoker award for The Cabin at the End of the World. The other winners are included in the link.

Apologies if I’ve already posed this; The Dartmouth Neukom Institute awards finalist list is out, and includes Sam J. Miller’s Blackfish City.

The Robert E Howard Foundation Award short list is out, too. This looks interesting. I think the award is not for fictional works, but works about Robert E. Howard.

The 2019 Prism Awards nominees for excellence in a comic work depicting LGTIBQ issues  are announced here.


One commenter chosen at random (see, I finally learned to steer away from the “random commenter” construction!) will get a trade edition of the first series of the comic Abbott, written by Saladin Ahmed and drawn by Sami Kivela.

Books and Writing:

Laird Barron, best known for his horror writing, is now writing crime fiction. In this beautiful and thoughtful essay he talks about the impact of geography on fiction.

Guy Gavriel Kay discusses his new book, A Brightness Long Ago, with Barnes and Noble.

Meanwhile, Powell’s Books got an interview with one of the best short story writers in the world, Ted Chiang. (I loved the phrase, “tantalizingly unprolific.”) (Thanks to File 770.)

Medium has a handy chart, an offshoot of the “describe yourself the way a male writer would” on Twitter. Silly and fun. For instance, mine would be, “She had a rear end like a silken fish and I thirsted to mansplain to her” – which, if you think about it, isn’t that far from descriptions of women I’ve read in actual books.

I didn’t know what a beat sheet was when I came across it on Twitter, so I looked it up. Here’s an example.

Movies and TV:

I’m lifting the content embargo on The Avengers: Endgame, with this review round-up from Nerds of a Feather.

Entertainment Weekly has some nice photos and video from Game of Thrones.

The reviewer at Ars Technica likes Detective Pikachu.

Mmmm, yeah… as you probably already knew, HBO is adapting The Watchmen. Here’s an article and a trailer. I don’t know what I think about it.

AMC has adapted Joe Hill’s NOS4A2, and here’s the trailer.


10th century goldsmiths in Africa had a way of refining gold that rendered purer gold than their European counterparts could provide. Archeologists excavating the trade center of Tadmekka discovered a refining technique that involved gold and melted glass.

4014 Big Boy

4014 Big Boy

“Florida Man” (and sometimes, “Florida Woman”) are figures of fun on the internet. Florida’s laws allow journalists access to some police information and help create many bizarre and humorous stories from that state. Here is a heroic one, courtesy of the BBC.

The Big Boy 4014 steam locomotive is on tour, to the delight of train fans in the USA.

The National Cathedral in Washington, DC, is hosting a Lego-replica-project fundraiser for dollars to make needed post-earthquake repairs to the century-old church.

Jon del Arroz’s lawsuit against WorldCon 76, held in San Jose, CA last year, continues, even as it seems to dwindle. Del Arroz has dismissed 18 of the 19 defendants from the suit, which now has one remaining complaint. The 18 people who were dismissed from the suit were never adequately served, which might be part of the reason.


The Marsili family doesn’t experience pain the way the rest of us do. An injury gives them a jolt of pain, just like everyone else, but they do not experience chronic pain the same way. Scientists and geneticists are fascinated, and this may have implications for the treatment of chronic pain.

The UK power grid provided coal-free energy to the entire country for one week. Officials says these coal-free stretches will become longer and more frequents as the UK works towards its coal of being coal-free, zero-emission by 2025.

Life in the suburbs. Photo from Waterworld by Moviefone.

Life in the suburbs. Photo from Waterworld by Moviefone.


There is a “gold” theme this week. This article talks about collapsars as a source of gold.


Haven’t we seen this movie? Singapore is considering creating huge raft cities – well, raft suburbs, actually. I can’t wait to see what happens when/if they get started.


You can click here two read two passages from my story “Bellwethers Know Best,” which are on the The Wand that Rocks the Cradle Kickstarter site.


  • 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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