Welcome to this week’s installment of World Wide Wednesday. This week we lost a few great luminaries. Josepha Sherman, who is as well known for her editing as her writing, passed away on August 24th. Her presence will be greatly missed.

Also, Neil Armstrong, the first human to walk on the moon, died on Saturday. Armstrong inspired a generation of scientists and science fiction writers and dreamers. The web has been inundated with memorials for this great man. I’m including here a link of my favorites.

Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) was not entirely human. He was the spiritual repository of our spacefaring dreams & ambitions. In death, a little bit of us all dies with him. Farewell my friend. And now, perhaps more than ever, I bid you godspeed. -Neil deGrasse Tyson

Hank Green was so moved by the man’s legacy that he did two memorials: one poetic and one about what a frickin bad@$$ he was.

And this memorial by Neftimiades contains a nice biography of the man’s amazing life as well as a eulogy.


And now on to the weird, wonderful things I saw on the web this week.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

by tagteamtopkins

Neftimiades also has an entertaining bucket list to determine how much of a science fiction fan you are. I’m doing pretty good with the movies. I just need to watch the original series of Star Trek t0 finish that part.  I need Star Trek Points at Things to do TOS. I have several of the items on the list done as well. I’ll let you guess which ones. (Hint: I believe this poster is true.)  He adds to the list here. Also, I just started watching Dr. Who this week. I finally gave in. I’ll have to figure out how to fit one more fangirl habit into my life.

I’m starting a new thing where I’ll be featuring book-themed art as graphics in some of my columns. For example, this lovely letterpress quote by Henry Ward Beecher is available for purchase. Just click on the image to be taken to the Etsy store of the artists. If you know of appropriate art to be featured in this column, send me a link to it and I’ll see what I can do. Contact information for the artist is also greatly appreciated, because I am not violating anyone’s copyright.

I will be the first to say that I have absolutely no idea why Patrick Rothfuss and Anton Stout are arch-nemeses for each other. But, they are. So imagine my surprise to read that Stout and Penguin publishers are donating money to Worldbuilders, Rothfuss’s charity that raises money for Heifer, one of my favorite charities, for each copy of Stout’s new book, Alchemystic, that is pre-ordered. You can get more details here. This is an interesting advertising campaign. Are you more likely to buy a book, or pre-order, which I think helps bump first week sales figures, if part of the purchase price goes to charity?

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsBBC put together an interactive doohickey (that’s a technical term) that lets you figure out how many intelligent alien civilizations exist. Based on Drake’s equation, this lets you mathematically determine how much science nerd rant you should be directing at hard sci-fi writers.

With The Hobbit, oops, sorry, wrong hobbits… With The Hobbit coming out in theaters December 14th, I encourage you to read it first!  (Also, how is Richard Armitage hot even as a dwarf?)

Check out these awesome photos of art made with images taken by the Mars Rover. I wonder how new photos of other planets are affecting science fiction writers. Which raises an interesting point: have we reached the point where science fiction is no longer fiction?

Since I have been reading Lois Lowry’s The Giver series over the last few weeks, I found this discussion about reading the book as an adult was very interesting.

I love libraries. They are awesome. This library has an interesting collection; they loan cake pans. Does your library have any special collections like this? Also, Ursula K. LeGuin, who many consider the Grand Mistress of speculative fiction, wrote a fascinating column on how publishers are dealing with the threat that e-books and libraries combined pose to their profit margins.

And finally, looking back, the 2012 Hugo awards get announced Sunday night, and they will be livestreamed so you can see your favorite authors looking fancy and giving acceptance speeches which, I am assuming, will be more interesting than those given at the Oscars. And looking forward, The Book Smugglers have announced their list of the top 10 SFF books they are anticipating for Fall and Winter 2012. What are you bouncing up and down waiting for? The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente definitely is at the top of my list.

So much good stuff! Tons of things to talk about in the comments. I’ll be looking forward to chatting with you, because I’m usually hanging around waiting to see if anyone likes me. Also, most importantly, its my sister Sarah’s birthday today! You’ve seen her around here. She’s written some guest reviews and comments regularly. So make sure you say happy birthday to her in the comments!

Hippo birdies, Sarah. Hippo birdies.


  • Ruth Arnell

    RUTH ARNELL (on FanLit's staff January 2009 — August 2013) earned a Ph.D. in political science and is a college professor in Idaho. From a young age she has maxed out her library card the way some people do credit cards. Ruth started reading fantasy with A Wrinkle in Time and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe — books that still occupy an honored spot on her bookshelf today. Ruth and her husband have a young son, but their house is actually presided over by a flame-point Siamese who answers, sometimes, to the name of Griffon.