On this day in 1932, Booming Ben, the last “heath hen,” was seen for the last time. The species went extinct after his death, but the controversy surrounding it paved the way for conservation attempts for other species. (Also, it is Douglas Adams’ birthday.)
fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Moon Catcher by Victo Ngai

Writing, Editing, and Publishing:

The Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist has been announced, and it includes some lovely genre gems like Station Eleven by Emily St. John MandelThe Bees by Laline Paull, and The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman. Also, Station Eleven is up for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Finally, the longlist for the Lambda Awards, celebrating excellence in LGBT fiction, was announced and it includes lots of excellent genre fiction like Child of a Hidden Sea by A.M. Dellamonica, and Afterparty by Daryl Gregory.
At SF Signal, Raven Oak discusses disabled characters in SF/F worlds and how her own struggle with her disability has inflected her writing.
I was really into generic Celtic fantasy when I was growing up; I loved me some Marion Zimmer Bradley, etc. This article, posted at Tor.com, deconstructs the term “Celtic fantasy,” and reminds us that the term “Celtic” encompasses several different cultures and a vast swath of time.
The Joint Quantum Institute in Maryland is holding a 3-day workshop, “The Schrodinger Sessions: Science for Science Fiction,” a crash course in quantum physics for sci-fi authors. This sounds incredible!
fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Meeting of the Minds, by Victo Ngai

Barnes and Noble posted a short history of SF pen names, including some pretty weird ones like Eando Binder.

Walidah Marisha writes here about a new anthology she is co-editing with adrienne maree brown, entitled Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements. She argues that science fiction is one of the most natural places for activism to occur, because within its boundaries, we can imagine new worlds.
The incomparable Mallory Ortberg reimagines “Beauty and the Beast” for The Toast in a chilling rendition.


Film and Television:

You guys know how much I love Jurassic Park. I am very excited about Steven Spielberg’s new project with Colin Trevorrow, the director of Jurassic World. They are working on a new SF film called Intelligent Life about first contact between humanity and alien intelligence.

Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk have teamed back up for a show called Con Man, about a struggling actor who lives in a SF convention world. Check out this hilarious interview with the two actors. 

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

A Cup of Salted Tears, by Victo Ngai

Internet Stuff:

A new, large and fast-growing black hole has been discovered. Read about your newest nightmare here!

io9 features some beautiful futuristic churches by various architects and designers.

Featured Artist:

I discovered Victo Ngai’s work through last week’s link to the Spectrum nominees. She is an illustrator from Hong Kong, now based in New York. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, and in 2014 was named one of Forbes’s 30 Under 30 in the field of art and style. Victo’s accolades includes 6 Gold medals and 5 Silver Medals from organizations such as Society of Illustrators NY, Greater China Illustration Award, The Society for News Design, Spectrum.etc. Her client list includes The New Yorker, The New York Times, WSJ, The Washington Post, Boston Globe, IMAX, General Electric, Lufthansa Airline.etc. Check out her tumblr here, or her website and portfolio here. Thanks, Victo, for letting us feature your work!


  • 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.