This week’s word for Wednesday is “seneschal”, a noun, that means steward or major domo. The term usually related to medieval manors, and comes from Middle English or Frankish; combining words for “senior” and “servant.”

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Aubrey Beardsley The Search for the Grail


From Locus, the list of winners of the Canopus Award, which is given for works that have interstellar travel or planetary exploration as a prominent part of the story. The winners were announced on October 30 in Santa Clara, CA. Winners include InterstellarNet; Enigma by Ed Lerner and “The Waves” by Ken Liu.

The U.K. Guardian provided the short list for the paper’s own prize in children’s books. Semifinalists include Frances Hardinge, a recent award winner, Kate Saunders, David Almond and Sally Nichols.

Television and Movies

Supergirl premiered last week. To me it seemed uneven but fun, coming up with more to like than dislike. IO9 raves about it here.

Neil Gaiman will get his own anthology series! It will be called Neil Gaiman’s Likely Stories. He has agreed to a deal with Sky Arts television, and will adapt some of Gaiman’s own stories.

Juliet Landau (Drucilla from Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel) is making a documentary about vampires. I was just saying that I’m experiencing vampire fatigue, but this sounds like it could be good.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Aubrey Beardsley Morgana la Fey and Sir Tristian

Books, Writing and Reading

Terry found a link to a fascinating source; Dick Cavett’s Horror Roundtable! In 1980, Cavett hosted Stephen King, Ira Levin, George R Romero and Peter Straub in an hour-long freewheeling discussion. Four masters of horror, talking with one of the premiere interviewers of the 20th century. That’s a find!

This Yale professor talks about how she uses the HARRY POTTER to books open up discussions on Christianity and Christian values. (H/t to Kat.)

Readers on Amazon or Goodreads can be harsh! Sometimes, the writers fight back. Some authors read their bad reviews aloud in this humorous video.

SF Signal offers a sneak-peak of the cover of Django Wexler’s newest, The Guns of Empire (and a giveaway).

The Globe and Mail offers an opening passage from Audrey Niffenegger’s new  short story collection Ghostly. (Thanks, Ryan.)

Alan Moore answers readers’ questions on Goodreads. Thoughtful stuff!

Cool History

Archeologists in Phylos, Greece, have uncovered an intact burial site of a Bronze Age male they are calling the Griffin Warrior because of the griffin etched on his sword. The artifacts are wonderful and light up the imagination but the best part is that the two scientists who found it had walked over the site, themselves, dozens of times, as had scores of others. The slide show highlights several of the awesome artifacts.I defy anyone to not start wondering about what kind of a story you could make about the Griffin Warrior’s life.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Aubrey Beardsley Seigfried

Weird Modern Tech

This is a strange thing to include, I know, so I’m blaming Neil Gaiman, who linked to it in his Twitter feed. First of all, the marketing writer is not happy with the artisans who created this, er, valuable artifact. But read on! The product… “uses venetian mirror, every perv’s best friend since the Renaissance.” How can you not love that? And they are quick to point out that you can also use this faux tissue box to hold… tissues.

Controversies New and Old

Apparently the Hashtag-Gamergate controversy still has hotspots that spit up magma from time to time, and now is one of those times. SXSW, a gaming convention, cancelled two proposed panels after receiving threats. (From File 770.)

After the outcry, SWSX has reconsidered, and added a daylong summit to discuss online harassment. It’s still controversial, however, because they seemed to be unsure how to address the safety need of one panelist, who has received rape and death threats.

The World Fantasy Convention ruffled some feathers too, with an anti-harassment policy many found inadequate. They were making changes to the policy up until the day before the event started. On her blog, writer and Science Fiction Writers of America President Cat Rambo provided a methodical walk-through of the SWFA policy.


We have several Giveaways still going on!  Check out our interview with Lindsay Francis Brambles, Thoughtful Thursday, the Expanded Universe and our interview with Bradley Beaulieu.

Aubrey Beardsley’s short life (he died at the age of 25 from tuberculosis), was filled with distinctive line drawings that looked like woodcuts. Born in 1872, Beardsley was part of the Aesthetic movement, and shocked Victorian society with his erotic and racy images. A lot of his work drew from mythology, folktales and fairy tales. These images are from


  • 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.