On this day in 497 BC, the first Saturnalia festival was celebrated in ancient Rome. Happy Holidays!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Vintage cover of The Hobbit

Writing, Editing, and Publishing:

The winners of the Rhysling Award, an award for SF/F and horror poetry, have been announced. Check it out here!

Philip Pullman, author of HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy, has a new short story available online. He’s also hard at work on a fourth book in the series, called The Book of Dust. 

Ann Leckie, author of the IMPERIAL RADCH series, gives us an insider’s look at what makes her happy, meditating on the place of art and “making things” in her everyday life.

Also, The Other Side of the Rain looks at Leckie’s books and The Goblin Emporer by Katherine Addison side-by-side and finds some surprising similarities.

If you’re wondering how A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE will end, this article on WinterIsComing.net breaks down George R. R. Martin‘s debt to the genre of heroic fantasy, and the twists and surprises he has added along the way.

Steven Lyle Jordan writes this article for SciFiIdeas.com, defending the use of actual science in science-fiction, saying that not only does it create better writing, but also it makes us smarter.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Finnish cover for The Hobbit, by Tove Jansson

While on the fantasy side of the spectrum, Nicole Singer for Fantasy Faction argues that fantasy makes history cool, pointing out some of the myriad ways that writers work historical facts into their invented universes.

Nancy Fulda, writing for SFWA, gives SF/F writers some strategies if they find they’ve painted their character into a corner. Nobody puts Hrgzyzl in a corner!

Writing for the New Yorker, Joshua Rotham gives us a better way to think about the genre debate, using Emily St. John Mandel‘s Station Eleven as a case in point.

Movies and Television:

Alice and Quentin have been cast in the SyFy adaptation of Lev Grossman‘s MAGICIANS trilogy.

Check out this trailer for Ex Machina, a movie about artificial intelligence coming out in 2015, which looks a little bit like Weird Science meets Black Swan.


fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Russian cover of The Hobbit

Internet Stuff:

io9 covers 11 fan theories, from Doctor Who to HARRY POTTER, that are better than the original ending.

Also from io9, ancient Mars may have been more habitable than we thought. Combine this with the recent methane discovery, and there’s some good stuff coming out of Mars!

Some movie posters for imaginary remakes starring superheroes . . .

And finally, how many pictures of dragons did you want, again? Oh, 171? Sorry, I only have 170 pictures of dragons for you.

Featured Art:

Today I’m featuring art from or about The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, the final film of which was released today in the US.


  • 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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