On this day in 1932, Disney released Flowers and Trees, their first cartoon short to use Technicolor and the first animated short to win an Academy Award. It’s about dancing flowers and trees—pretty much what you’d expect. Also, today is author Cherie Priest’s birthday!

Art by Beatrix Potter

Art by Beatrix Potter

Writing, Editing, and Publishing:

On her blog, Terri Windling writes “In Praise of Re-Reading,” a fascinating piece on how, as we change, our perceptions of our favorite books change with us.

Maybe you guys knew about this already. I’m kinda slow. However, when I saw that these graphic novelizations of the WHEEL OF TIME series existed, I thought, “What the heck? Maybe one of our FanLit readers doesn’t know about these already, so I’ll go ahead and post it.” I’m excited about these because adding drawings reduces the “need” for Robert Jordan’s long-winded descriptions of clothing and furniture, which can only make the series better, IMHO. I will purchase this immediately.

As you probably know from Internet, San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) happened this past week. A ton of our favorite authors were there. The “Rulers of the Realm” panel included Patrick Rothfuss, Lev Grossman, George R. R. Martin, Diana Gabaldon, and Joe Abercrombie, while the Putting the Epic in Epic Fantasy session included Robin Hobb, Raymond E. Feist, Django Wexler, and others.

Also in con-news, Nine Worlds is happening in London this year right before World Con, including panelists such as Elizabeth Bear, Scott Lynch, and Kate Griffin. I include this so that everyone can be as jealous as I am that they aren’t going.

Art by Beatrix Potter

Art by Beatrix Potter

Finally, using this neat platform called Genius (whose goal is to “annotate the world”), you can view some of Lev Grossman’s comments on The Magicians.

Movies and Television:

Descriptions and clips of the SDCC panel on the third Hobbit movie, The Hobbit 3: The Battle of the Five Armies won the Internet this week. Chaired by Stephen Colbert in his Laketown Spy costume and including Benedict Cumberbatch saying “Button Lady” in his Smaug voice, it was pretty fabulous. And you can watch the entire thing here on YouTube.

Internet Stuff:

Also winning the Internet: Kristen Bell’s “Minimum Wage Mary Poppins” video is a snarkily cheerful (or cheerily snarkful?) plea to raise the federal minimum wage.

A new Twitter feed has been forged, a Twitter feed to rule them all: Riker Googling. (I can’t help mixing my fandoms.) Oh, Riker, we say, hands on our hips, and then he gives us that famous grin and we just can’t help falling for him again in all his bearded glory . . . I mean, it’s kinda funny. Whatever. Look at it. Or don’t.

Also, in more Star Trek goodness, check out this blog, Fashion It So, co-created by my friend Charlie Beckerman and his friend Anna Marquardt. Charlie and Anna are hilarious; enjoy their fashion-centric TNG recaps.

Art by Beatrix Potter

Art by Beatrix Potter

Artist Feature:

Sometimes you just need to look at cute anthropomorphized animals. But Beatrix Potter had this down before any of your LOLcat or doge memes were invented. She cultivated a love of nature during her childhood in the Lake District of England. Before she wrote and illustrated her immensely successful children’s series, she published scientific illustrations in the fields of botany and mycology (the study of fungi). She developed such an interest in mycology that she researched how fungal spores germinate and developed her own theory for fungal reproduction.

However, she is best known for her books following the adventures of characters like Peter Rabbit, Squirrel Nutkin, Jemima Puddleduck, and my favorite, Mrs. Tiggy-winkle, a hedgehog. These animals live in various locations: cottages, the walls of tailor shops, in the forest. Some of them wear clothing, some do not. But they all have personality and spirit. Her illustrations imbue these animals with real English charm; you can see the face of a washerwoman look out at you from Mrs. Tiggy-winkle’s eyes.


  • 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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