Karen Lord has been named as one of the judges for the Commonwealth Award in 2019.


A few more details on the cancellation of Steamposium. And a new Steampunk resource, (new to me, anyway,) the Steampunk Explorer.

Books and Writing:

Spooky castle, full moon, bats/

Happy Halloween!

Last week PBS unveiled America’s Favorite Book in the Great American Read; it was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The other top four were: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon; Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; Harry Potter (the series) by J.K. Rowling, and Lord of the Rings (series) by J.R.R. Tolkien. Four of the top five were written by women and seven of the ten favorites were written by women, for those of us who keep score. The full list of 100 includes beloved children’s books, YA novels, genre offerings, classics, literary works, absolute bafflers (50 Shades of Gray) and more than a few speculative fiction titles. Remember, these are “faves,” not “the best book,” or “most important book.” Part of the project’s purpose was to celebrate the joy of reading, and I think it did exactly that.

Bill reviewed this book here; on Whatever, editor Dan Koboldt talks about the impetus for his book Putting the Science in Fiction. He debunks the “they have my eyes, they must be my child!” trope, which is sad because that’s always been so convenient.

It’s over a month old, but still interesting; Brandon Sanderson ruminates on his latest series LEGION, and how the main character, who hallucinates other personalities, is very much like a writer.

File 770 has a column about three “classics” of the genre, with the good old “withstood the test of time” definition. Of these three, I wholeheartedly agree with A Canticle for Leibowitz.

London Review Bookshop has declared Ursula K LeGuin as its November Writer of the Month. (Thanks to File 770.)


How timely! This group wants to move Halloween from a fixed date (um, today) to “the last Saturday in October.” Their argument has some merit, and I’d be less skeptical if they weren’t mostly a group of businesses who sell costumes. What do you think? Parents… do you really want trick or treating to last until midnight? Not sarcasm, I’m really curious.

Graphic of smiling Jack o' Lanterns.Continuing the Halloween theme, I was not aware that this week was “Graveyard Week” but it makes sense, I suppose. Atlas Obscura offers up a buffet of cemetery-themed articles, including a look back to when Americans picnicked in graveyards.

This article gives us some tips on the Day of the Dead Festival in Oaxaca, Mexico. This site has some video.

Trick or Treat! Giveaway:

In honor of the aforementioned holiday, which is not on Saturday this year, I will give away an ARC and a final version of Laurence MacNaughton’s No Sleep Till Doomsday, respectively, to two commenters. The offer is for those with a USA mailing address.

Movies and TV:

IO9’s Morning Spoilers teases an upgrade in the role of Pepper Potts in Avengers 4, and also discusses a remake of one of my favorite movies from the 1980s, Night of the Comet!

Entertainment Weekly finds the remake of 1977’s Suspiria less stylish and less atmospheric than the Dario Argento original.

From last month, Screen Rant spends some time (maybe a little too much) explaining why Henry Cavill is the perfect casting to play Geralt in Netflix’s upcoming Witcher series.

Black Cat in autumn LeavesI’m including this link for those of you who watch the CW’s Arrow or the Flash. I’m not one of them. For me, this is like a science article where I vaguely understand that for some people it’s important, but I barely grasp the vocabulary. For those of you steeped in the DC Comic universe, enjoy.

Hollywood Reporter reviews the CW’s Legacies, a completely original program about supernaturally gifted students at an elite secret school that is nothing like Hogwarts or Professor Xavier’s place (or a half-dozen other “schools for the gifted”). The show is a spinoff of a spinoff and my favorite line in the review is, “And it’s hard to imagine a show more critic-irrelevant than The CW’s new drama Legacies, spawned from the long-running The Originals, itself sired by the longer-running The Vampire Diaries.”


Not every female character in a video game has to be a sarcastic quip-machine.” What do you think? Syfy Fangrrls thinks vid-game character tropes for women can be expanded.

Science and Tech: happens to be my ISP and I’d delighted with them, but this is nevertheless an interesting article about success in the USA.


Chocolate; it’s older than we thought. (And I cannot adequately express how pleased I am to be able to include an item about chocolate!)

This is a Dumbo octopus. My favorite part of the article is the journalist capturing the scientists fangirling-and-boying over it; “Dumbo!” “Cooool!”

Have a safe and fun All Hallows Eve.


  • 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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