Welcome to WWWednesday! On this day in 1783, the Montgolfier brothers demonstrated their new invention — the montgolfiere, or, as we know it, the hot air balloon. 

Today's art is by Leona Carrington

Today’s art is by Leonora Carrington

Writing, editing, publishing:

It just came out this week that George R.R. Martin may be considering stretching the “Song of Ice and Fire” series to eight books instead of the planned seven. I’m with blogger Netw3rk . . . it may be time to start skipping the detailed clothing-and-horse descriptions. 

However, if Martin’s work isn’t long enough for you and you frequently find yourself in bookstores screaming “MOAR EPIC FANTASY, PLZ,” check out these authors who are not GRRM and who, in fact, ARE women

My dream job just opened up. Tor is starting a new digital imprint for novella-length fiction and hiring editors and publicity managers. If you are qualified, apply! If not, support by reading! Let’s bring back the novella like it’s 1899.

Finally, if you like classic German science fiction or are just looking to broaden your cultural horizons, check out this Indiegogo campaign to crowdfund some English translations of works by Robert Heymann, Bernard Kellerman, and others. 

Movies and Television:

Maleficent came out on Friday. I saw it and really liked it (after the first fifteen minutes or so). Jezebel’s Lindy West wrote a hilarious feminist critique of the movie, and Emily Asher-Perrin reviews it here for Tor.

X-Men: Days of Future Past and Godzilla both came out a couple of weeks ago and have been getting some good reviews. Rudie Obias discusses X-Men’s portrayal of Quicksilver and wonders if Joss Whedon will be able to top it in his upcoming film, The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

If you saw any of these films, what did you think? Comment below.

While I’m not a huge Star Wars fan, I AM a fan of this detailed linguistic analysis of Star Wars! (I am a very specific kind of nerd.)


fantasy and science fiction book reviews

Today’s art is by Leonora Carrington

Fun stuff:

Who doesn’t sometimes wish that human teleportation technology, ala Star Trek, existed? Whether you’re across the globe from your sweetie or just across the room from a piece of delicious pizza, it would be awfully handy if we could teleport ourselves. George Takei tweeted this article about how scientific breakthroughs with teleportation may someday lead to human teleportation.

Of course, then this article dismissed that outcome as a probability, dashing the hopes of everyone everywhere. (I did, however, appreciate the also-intriguing suggestion at the end that this technology could be used for intelligence operations. Imagine, spies who can teleport their information! That novel is just waiting to be written.)

If you’re like me, you stay away from horror. Far away. Out in the shiny, happy lands of sparkly fairies, where no one’s hair drips blood and the words “red rum” refer to a festive beverage. But blogger Greg Ruth has some reasons you might want to add some horror to your reading diet, and especially to the reading of your kids.

Damien Walter at the Guardian discusses diversity in science fiction and the controversial bloc voting at the Hugos.

And finally, Ben Zimmer of the Wall Street Journal discusses the etymology of really good villain names like Maleficent, Voldemort, and Smaug.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews

Today’s art is by Leonora Carrington

Artist Feature:

I love art. Don’t know a whole bunch about it, but I love it. And I’ve started a Pinterest board specifically for writing inspiration, where I collect art that contains the wonder and weirdness with I hope to infuse my own stories. So, every week I’m going to feature an artist whose work incorporates fantastical, surreal, or horrific elements. 

Today’s artist is Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington. She was British-born but lived most of her life in Mexico City, painting in the company of other famous Surrealists such as Bridget Bate Tichenor, Remedios Varo, and Frida Kahlo, who Andre Breton declared to be an “innate” Surrealist painter.

I first heard of Carrington when I saw her work in the Tate Modern. Her style is creepy, atmospheric, and ethereal. I love it.


  • Kate Lechler

    KATE LECHLER, on our staff from May 2014 to January 2017, resides in Oxford, MS, where she divides her time between teaching early British literature at the University of Mississippi, writing fiction, and throwing the tennis ball for her insatiable terrier, Sam. She loves speculative fiction because of what it tells us about our past, present, and future. She particularly enjoys re-imagined fairy tales and myths, fabulism, magical realism, urban fantasy, and the New Weird. Just as in real life, she has no time for melodramatic protagonists with no sense of humor. The movie she quotes most often is Jurassic Park, and the TV show she obsessively re-watches (much to the chagrin of her husband) is Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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