WWWednesday: October 3, 2018

Scarecrow, (c) Garry Gay

Scarecrow, (c) Garry Gay


The Commonwealth Prize is currently open for unpublished short stories between 2500-5000 words for writers from Commonwealth countries. You may know (or be) someone who qualifies. I’m not one, but I’d love to read a story collection of the finalists.

New York state has named Colson Whitehead as their State Writer. He is the twelfth Writer of the State.

The Ringo Awards – not John Ringo, Mike Wieringo – were presented last Saturday at the Baltimore Comic-Con.


We have quite a nice giveaway this week. The publishers of the epic fantasy series THE NEWIRTH MYTHOLGY TRILOGY, by Michael B. Koep, will give three random commenters each a set of the entire trilogy: The Invasion of the Heart, Leaves of Fire, and the newly released The Shape of Rain. Along with the trilogy comes a lovely swag packet.

The publisher is also offering many free copies of Book One,(UPDATE; 10/5) The Invasion of the Heart   The Invasion of Heaven (probably because they are psychically attuned to us and have heard us all complain about only finding Book Two or Book Three in a store). If you’re interested in a free copy of the first one, contact the publicist directly at her email, andrea.thatcher@smithpublicity.com.

Here is an except from the press release for The Shape of Rain:

Michael B. Koep, Author of The Shape of Rain

Michael B. Koep, Author of The Shape of Rain

“Mystery, mythology, murder, betrayal, and madness… welcome to the world of the NEWIRTH MYTHOLOGY TRILOGY. This epic fantasy with elements of a psychological thriller, character-driven storytelling, and sweeping adventure has readers clamoring for more.

And award-winning author Michael B. Koep is about to deliver more, with the third and final cinematic installment in THE NEWIRTH MYTHOLOGY TRILOGY, The Shape of Rain, launching in October, 2018, from Will Dreamly Arts.

Discredited mythology professor Astrid Finney believes gods and mortals once battled for a place in creation. When she is summoned to a secret archeological dig in northern Idaho to translate an ancient script, she uncovers an unthinkable nightmare; a woman buried alive for over a thousand years.

Meanwhile, titular psychologist Loche Newirth, author of prophetic writings that are changing the course of history, is in mortal — or perhaps immortal – danger. With his former mentor attempting to torture, command and control him, Newirth must face a new threat. He discovers that his son is also a target. To right all that has seemed to go wrong, he chooses a path that ultimately takes him back to a time when a venomous army of gods lay siege to the City of Immortals.”

If that sounds like it’s up your alley, make a comment below. If you aren’t selected and want to know how it all got started, contact Andrea directly.

Books and Writing:

File 770 flagged this blog post. S.T. Joshi has completed a large work of criticism of 21st Century horror. He titles his thirds section “The Pretenders,” which I assume means “heirs to the throne,” and not “posers.” I guess we’ll have to read the book to see.

Market: tight timeframe, virtually flashfic, but fun; IO9 wants stories under 2000 words about “The Future of Death.” Deadline is 10/25/18. (H/T to File770)

Isaac Marion, who wrote the WARM BODIES series, announced on his blog that he is leaving Seattle, where he’s lived for thirteen years, and moving to Orcas Island in Puget Sound. It’s an interesting post.

If you are always on the lookout for new books to read, check out SFWA’s Nebula reading list for 2018. This is not a ballot suggestion or anything; just a list of interesting 2018 works readers might want to consider. And read. (Thanks to Terry Weyna.)

Science and Tech:

We’re searching for technosignatures in space! What are technosignatures? Why, signatures of tech, of course!

“It’s a mind-blowing meta experience to read science fiction on board the space station.” This is a longish article from CNET about the intersection of science and science fiction at NASA.

TV and Movies:

The thirteenth regeneration of Doctor Who is only days away. Here is the most recent trailer. I can’t wait to see this series, and find out what “Let’s get shift on,” means.

The phrase “shippers” has been around for a while and it addresses fans who passionately believe in a relationship between certain characters in movies, TV and written media. Shippers can get vehement, especially on social media, and sometimes they cross boundaries, but Jessica Toomer of Syfy Fangirls points out that showrunners and writers don’t always play fair with the fans or with the characters, teasing and holding out the possibility of a relationship when they never plan to develop one. (I think there’s a barely-veiled reference to a specific non-existent “ship” on Supernatural).
Here’s a nice article about the forthcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens.

Cute Scarecrow courtesy of Google Images.

Cute Scarecrow courtesy of Google Images.


Could this be the origin of the demonic doll Chuckie?


Atlas Obscura has photos of an amazing cave complex in the Sierra foothills, California.


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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 /

    Love your site. I try to read it every day.

  2. Noneofyourbusiness /

    Ooh, I hadn’t read of the Newirth Mythology trilogy before, but the description of “The Invasion of Heaven” sounds very deep and intriguing!

  3. Lady Morar /

    I think the next series of Doctor Who is going to be good!

  4. Mary Henaghen /

    This is an awsome giveaway! Thanks.

  5. @Mary, I think this giveaway is wild. Terry Weyna got the “VIP” swag packet and said it’s delightful.

    @LadyMorar, I’m eager to see what they do with this season of DOCTOR WHO.

  6. The Distinguished Professor /

    Yesterday’s science fiction is tomorrow’s science fact.

  7. Interesting! Amazon thinks that the part one of Newirth Mythology is called The Invasion of Heaven.

    In any case, this is a wonderful giveaway.
    Thank you!

    • Yagiz, *thank* you! When I was putting the column together, I looked on Amazon and wrote the name of the book as The Invasion of Heaven. Then I looked on the publisher’s website and the name was The Invasion of the Heart. I thought I’d just read the Amazon page wrong. I’m going to let the publicist know because one of these titles is wrong, and they can probably fix it pretty easily.

  8. Sethia /

    Always wonderful reading you guy, such a wealth of information. This giveaway sounds awsome, sign me up!

  9. From Yoshi’s blog post of the table of contents to his new work, it certainly looks to me as if he’s asserting that “The Pretenders” are posers. And I even agree with some of his choices for that category, though it seems pretty harsh to call them out is such a way, even for a critic.

    • It does read that way. I wonder if he is one of those cranky self-styled horror critics who have narrow opinions of who is “good enough.” Based on his subtitle for Jeff VanderMeer, it’s possible he can’t understand VanderMeer’s work.

  10. UPDATE: The publicist and I are exploring why there might have been two names given. When I know for sure what the name of Book One is now, I’ll update the column.

    Book One (by whichever title) is still available if you contact the publicist directly, and our winners will get all three books. That hasn’t changed. As of now, THE INVASION OF HEAVEN is steadily pulling into the lead as the title.

    • Noneofyourbusiness /

      I contacted her the other day but haven’t heard back yet. I take it she’s just busy at the moment.

      • She may not reply to each email and may just have the book sent. She just told me she is getting many responses! And, I’ve updated the column to reflect that Book One is THE INVASION OF HEAVEN.

  11. TDP, Sethia and Yagiz, if you live in the USA, you win the VIP packet from THE NEWIRTH MYTHOLOGY TRILOGY.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your US address and I’ll have the book sent right away. Happy reading!

    NOTE: Usually I don’t include people who have won within the last 60 days (although sometimes people slip through). In this case, because we have multiple books and a small group of commenters, I included everyone except Terry and me.

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