Jack O' Lantern sun

NASA: Active regions on the sun give it the appearance of a jack-o’-lantern.


The 2019 Nommo Awards were announced. These awards are given to African speculative fiction writers. Thanks to File 770.

Books and Writing:

Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) weighed in on the recent issue of Fireside cancelling book scheduled to be published, with very little notice and no compensation. The Contracts Committee reviewed the contract in question. They note that this was a non-advance contract and there was no compensation if the publisher could not fulfill their obligations. This puts all the risk on the writer – in this case, it left five writers who had completed work in good faith with no way to market their work for at least a year, and with zero compensation. (I had no idea these were no-advance contracts. Yikes!)

Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, Kathy Nijimi in Disney's 1993 Hocus Pocus

Cast of Hocus Pocus, Disney, 1993

James Davis Driscoll spends some time examining galactic and inter-galactic rulers.

For a BBC interview, J.K Rowling warned young people against volunteering or visiting orphanages in eastern Europe and other places. Rowling states that the residents of these institutions are often not orphaned, having at least one living parent, and that institutionalization for children is a bad outcome. She highlights her charity Lumos as a way to prevent institutionalization.

Who knew? National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has a spin-off event, NaNoGenMo, for coders who will spend the month writing, um, writing programs. Programs, some of them say, for AI who will eventually write best-selling novels, so you see? It all comes around.

I did not know that Amar El-Mohtar, who among other things co-authored This is How You Lose the Time War, had a blog, but she does!

I love pop-ups, so I love this video about a new Star Wars pop-up book, even though it is a commercial.

Okay, it is a little late to read all 16 of these scary novels before Halloween, but not too late to start reading them.

Check out new releases!

The cast of The Craft, Columbia, 1996

The cast of The Craft, 1996, Columbia.

Movies and TV:

The CW has given Batwoman a full season, and this means 22 episodes.

And… really? Tor.com discusses the theory that there will be yet another Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

What does the Joker in Joker look like dancing to other songs in that made-famous-by-the-trailer scene? We don’t have to imagine; people have helped us out. (Personally, the dance moves line up best in Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing,” and the “Succession” theme to me.)


NASA releases some spooky space photos for Halloween. The fiery jack-o-lantern at the top of this post is from “Oct. 8, 2014, when active regions on the sun gave it the appearance of a jack-o’-lantern. This image is a blend of 171 and 193 angstrom light as captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory.”

As all you cat lovers knew, your cat really does love you.(Except for you who think the cat that lives with you hates you. You’re probably right too.) Now there is science.

Star Trek: Voyager’s fictional Captain Janeway was – or will be — born in Bloomington, Indiana. Fans are collecting funds to raise a statue to the fictional hero in that city. Finally, a less controversial monument?

If $5,000 is in your costume price-range, look what you can buy! Superhero and caped-hero-costumed body armor!

BenDavid Grabinski talks about the essential difference between kids’ horror, even when it’s terrifying, and adult horror. You probably already figured out what it is.

Maleficent, Disney, 2014

Maleficent, Disney, 2014


American whiskey leaves a “whiskey web” when it evaporates; whisky doesn’t. Is the reason the kind of barrels the respective liquors are aged in? This breakthrough is not only kind of trippy; it might help law enforcement identify counterfeit booze.


This is less an examination of the “spooklights” of Cogdell, Georgia, than an essay about the town. Nice article, though.



For tomorrow’s holiday, I chose movie images of well-known witches. I didn’t think Maleficent was a witch (I thought she was a bad fairy.)  I asked the people I’m staying with what they thought. I was informed that she is the second-best-known witch in USA fairy tales, beaten out only by the Wicked Witch of the West, who has the job title in her name.


  • 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.