On this day in 1903, Eric Arthur Blair, better known as George Orwell, was born. Orwell wrote Animal Farm and 1984, introducing the world to the terms “Big Brother,” and “doublethink.”

Feature art by Nolan Tredway

Feature art by Nolan Tredway

Writing, Editing, and Publishing:

Strange Chemistry, Angry Robot’s YA imprint, has shut its doors. This is sad, especially so for us because its editor, Amanda Rutter, used to be a FanLit reviewer.

The Atlantic wants readers to read weird fiction. Their Twitter bookclub, 1book140, is asking people to nominate their favorite “weird” authors by tweeting them.

The accomplished comic artist John Romita Jr. has just taken on the Man of Steel, and his first Superman issue hits stores today.

Riverfront Times published a great longform interview with Ann Leckie, author of Nebula- and Clarke-winning (and Hugo-nominated) Ancillary Justice.

io9 blogger Charlie Jane Anders gives some pretty good writing advice here, including some tips for cutting down your novel.

A new annual anthology of horror and ghost stories has just been announced by Spectral Press. More short fiction always makes my day.

If you like to plan your reading months in advance, Tor.com blogger Liz Bourke is here to help you out, with a list of great SFF books to look forward to from July-December. And, as always, you can check out our New Releases page.

Feature art by Nolan Tredway

Feature art by Nolan Tredway

Movies and Television:

A new movie based on a Philip K. Dick story has been made. Radio Free Albemuth opens this Friday and it sounds weird and great. Also, “you oughta know” that it stars Alanis Morrisette. Ha ha! A 90’s-music joke! Everyone wins.

The Internet lost its collective mind this past week when Stephen Sondheim indicated that the film version of Into the Woods might be quite different than the musical. Well, rest assured, “Any Moment” and the Prince’s dalliance have not been cut, so the film version of this anti-fairy-tale remains as ambiguous and challenging as ever.

Feature art by Nolan Tredway

Feature art by Nolan Tredway

Spoilers Ahead! Nathan Fillion teased a Guardians of the Galaxy cameo this past week, and now we know who he plays! The world just keeps getting better.

Internet Stuff:

This is so cool—a man moved his paralyzed hand with a chip, some electrodes, a computer, and HIS MIND.

Homemade Movies recreates the Battle of Hoth from Star Wars with cardboard.

Artist Feature:

In the summer of 2009, I was getting ready to leave Lincoln, Nebraska, to start grad school in the warmer, Spanish-moss-laden climes of Tallahassee, Florida, and (like you do when you’re about to leave a place forever) I was making lots of new friends.  One of those friends was Nolan Tredway, a native Nebraskan artist and the co-director of Lincoln’s Tugboat Gallery.

Feature art by Nolan Tredway

Feature art by Nolan Tredway

Nolan has been painting since he was 14 years old, when he first encountered the work of Salvador Dali. He said that he felt “that tension in my chest and realiz[ed] that I could make a world be however I wanted it to be. After that, I never had any doubts about wanting to be an artist, it was always just figuring out how to get to make more.”

He is an avid SFF reader, getting hooked at a young age on the DRAGON PRINCE and DRAGON STAR series by Melanie Rawn. Today, he says, “I tend to like stories that extrapolate current technologies and systems into horrible and beautiful ends like Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross or Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow.”

I loved his work from the moment I saw it, and it’s not just the surreal characters he creates. It’s also the stillness of the images, as if time has stopped and these figures have been frozen. There’s something compelling, too, about the color of the sky he paints—vaguely ominous, like a massive Nebraska tornado is on its way but right now, in this last moment before the chaos, the wind has died down.


  • 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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