WWWednesday: April 4, 2018

This week’s word for Wednesday: Is “willy-nilly” really a contraction of “Will I, Nill I,” old English for “Will I, Won’t I?”


The Hugo finalists are out! Congratulations to all of the finalists!

File 770 gives us the 2017 Aurealis Award winners.

Geese in flight, Photo by Photography U.K.

Geese in flight, Photo by Photography U.K.

 Books and Writing:

With a recently passed law meant to make it easier to stop and prosecute human trafficking, we may have once again wandered into the Land of Unintended Consequences, particularly for writers of erotica. This Digital Reader column addresses the removal of erotic/romance novels from the general Amazon rankings. The tone is editorial but the article is factual. It will be interesting to see what happens from here.

Another fun thing that I have to thank Twitter for; Electric Literature helps you defeat the dreaded writer’s block by providing a handy chart for your book’s elevator pitch. Most people have used their names to develop that punchy, all-inclusive one-sentence description. If you want to do that and share yours in the comments I’d love to see them.

Peter Cline talks about three familiar questions and the way you give your characters motivations over on his blog.

“Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination.” Here, for absolutely no reason, is Mary Oliver reading her poem “The Wild Geese.”

Amber Benson and Wil Wheaton discuss reading Head On, the second John Scalzi novel featuring his post-gender detective Chris. They talk about the assumptions readers make and the lens of gender. (H/T to Kat.)


Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders discuss how well SFF predicted the current propaganda environment on their new Podcast Our Opinions Are Correct. This runs about 40 minutes.

If you like to invent countries and continents, whether for games or your own fiction, sometimes a map generator can be helpful. Enjoy this one.

Canada Geese with goslings, photo by Photography UK

Canada Geese with goslings, photo by Photography UK

Garth Haslam’s website Anomalies takes a skeptical look at folklore of all kinds. Here, he explores a story of a famous stage actor’s coffin, which, buried in Galveston, was unearthed during a hurricane and floated all the way to his home in Nova Scotia! Only… maybe not.

Science (not):

Bangor University announced they successfully cloned the first Welsh Dragon in 500 years. Check the date and then enjoy this charming bit of whimsy. Nice double-shout-out to Jurassic Park.

This article about grimoires, written by Lawrence Berry for the Horror Writers Association newsletter is interesting and more than a little disturbing. Is there really a Master Grimoire held in the Secret Archives of the Vatican? And only the Pope can see it, after he’s been inaugurated as Pope? Where’s Dan Brown when we need him?

TV and Movies:

In the age-old thumbs up- thumbs-down contest, two NPR reviewers, Bob Mondello and Justin Chang, look at Ready Player One and have very different opinions. The box office doesn’t care what either of them thinks.

FreeForm premiered its mermaid fantasy Siren last week with a double episode. AV Club seems to kind of like it in spite of themselves. Warning, spoilers in this article, although nothing you wouldn’t have figured out for yourself.

Barnacle geese, Helsinki, Finland, photo by M. Deeds

Barnacle geese, Helsinki, Finland, photo by M. Deeds

AMC released its brooding, atmospheric complex adaptation of Dan Simmons’s The Terror with a double episode too. Overall, the reviewers loved it almost as much as the viewers did. Vox.com describes it as slow but worth it and bleak but worth it.


The geese are in honor of the Mary Oliver poem.

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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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