On this day in 1943, R.L. Stine, the author of the Goosebumps series, was born.

Russian LOTR illustrations

Russian LOTR illustrations

Writing, Editing, and Publishing:

Roger Sutton of The Horn Book wrote an open-letter to self-published authors this week, explaining why his publication does not review self-published children’s books. It will be interesting to see, in the next few years, if self-published children’s books follow the trend Sutton has noticed with self-published books for adults; nonetheless, as an editor, I really appreciated this statement: “An editor isn’t there to “fix mistakes.” His or her most important job is to understand what contribution your story makes–or doesn’t–to the big world of books and readers.” And here, Chuck Wendig adds to Sutton’s argument, urging self-published writers to spend their time working hard, investing in their passion rather than feeling martyred or indignant.

Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer just wrote a letter urging their fellow authors to come out in support of Indies First and spend a day hand-selling books at their favorite indie bookstore.

In this final post about Iain M. Bank‘s The Bridge here on the Guardian’s Reading Group, Ken MacLeod answers questions about his own work, and that of Banks, his good friend.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Russian LOTR illustrations

NPR wrote about the conflict surrounding H.P. Lovecraft’s legacy this week. His image is used for the World Fantasy Award but, given his racist personal views, more and more authors are uncomfortable with this. The article suggests some interesting ideas for a new award statuette; what would you like the World Fantasy Award to look like, if H.P. Lovecraft’s image were not used?

Movies and Television:

A new TV show follows James Gordon as he investigates the murder of the Waynes. Set in a very dark Gotham, it’s gritty and fun. Check out the trailer here.

Internet Stuff:

The Brothers Chaps made every 2003-era Internet-user’s dreams come true today as they put out a new Homestar Runner cartoon, featuring Strong Bad and Coach Z. I was startled with how quickly it all came back to me, including the instinct to wait for 5 minutes to see if Strong Bad had more to say. (He did not.)

Last week I posted a link to a trailer of a documentary about the space elevator. Here the Washington Post questions the feasibility of this invention. From the sounds of it, the space elevator could be the next Space Race.

Russian LOTR illustrations

Russian LOTR illustrations

Speaking of space, NASA is researching the possibility of putting a crew into a deep sleep for a mission to Mars, inducing a state of torpor using coolant. I can’t wait to learn more about this as it progresses.

Archaeologists this week found the dungeon where Vlad the Impaler–better known as Dracula–was kept by Ottoman Turks. It is beneath Tokat Castle, surrounded by a maze of secret tunnels.

Artist Feature:

These Russian illustrations for Lord of the Rings look like medieval illuminated texts. I love it!


  • 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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