On this day in 1852, the first airship powered by (a steam) engine, created by Henri Giffard, traveled 17 miles from Paris to Trappes. And, on this day in 1990, astronomers noticed the Great White Spot (or Great White Oval), a giant storm on Saturn that is observable every 28.5 years.


Rivendell B&B Poster

Writing, Editing, and Publishing:

Apex Magazine has recently announced staff changes. Jason Sizemore, the publisher of Apex, will be taking over as editor-in-chief as Sigrid Ellis steps down; the new poetry editor will be Bianca Spriggs.

I recently ran across a new blog to follow, The Book Smugglers. Here Ana and Thea host a round-table with several SFF authors, including Marie Brennan, discussing mythical creatures from around the world. This is only the first installment—the second half will be out on Thursday. Enjoy learning about the nahual, the garudi, the tiktik, and various tree mythologies—I did!

Speaking of learning about mythology and folklore, this website for learning about fairy-tales, folktales, and mythology is a blend of the Aarne-Thompson classification system and TVTropes.com, providing a list of stories for each story “type,” and a tone of other helpful tools and resources, including links to online texts. I could swan dive gleefully down into that rabbit hole, never to return, so I’m going to steer carefully around it and move on to . . .

This excellent essay by Alex Dally Macfarlane, about gender in SF. It continues the ongoing conversation at Tor.com about post-binary gender and how SF uses (or neglects to use) its tools to promote new models for understanding gender. At the bottom are links to other essays in this series.

Finally, did you hear that Patrick Rothfuss will be doing the narration for his upcoming novella, “The Slow Regard of Silent Things,” featuring Auri from his KINGKILLER CHRONICLES? Well, now you have.

Venture Beyond The Wall

Venture Beyond The Wall

Movies and Television:

This beautiful short film, directed by Miguel de Olaso and Bruno Zacarías, is set in a futuristic Antarctica. NSFW, FYI.

This, however, is safe for work, because Buffy makes everyone safe. For work. (Buffy loves work. S6:E12, “Doublemeat Palace.”) An animated intro sequence by Stephen Byrne imagines what the never-realized animated series might have looked like. It is super fun and very different in tone from the video below, a clip from the pilot episode. Is it just me, or is everyone voicing their own character except for SMG? But I love Xander’s last line . . .

Finally, a gorgeous trailer for Princess Kaguya, the upcoming release from Studio Ghibli which tells the story of a tiny princess grown in a bamboo stalk. The beginning reminds me of Thumbelina, but it looks like this story is more awesome (and epic) than that one.

Internet Stuff:

This week Neil Gaiman blew our minds with this picture; all I can say is, that guy knows how (and with whom) to celebrate Banned Books/Comics Week.

Also, who knew Catherynne Valente was such a big fan of stand up? This blog post, detailing a hilariously horrific cab ride in London, has the details.

Have you seen this website, PaleoFuture? It provides lots of great articles and examples of what people from the past thought the future might be like.

Welcome to Diagon Alley

Welcome to Diagon Alley

Finally, enjoy this parody of “Under the Sea,” as Sebastian sings about all the terrifying creatures that can be found at the bottom of the ocean. I especially enjoyed the “eyes of the hatchetfish translucent and void of soul,” and when the jellyfish gives Sebastian the finger.

Artist Feature:

This print shop, known on Etsy as Green Dragon Inn or Dream Machine Prints, has been all over the Internet recently, gaining attention at Buzzfeed and the Daily Mail. Just in case you’ve missed the images, though, here they are: stunning prints in the style of vintage travel posters, but for exotic fantasy locations such as the Gondor Galleria, Winterfell, and the Hogwart’s Express.


  • 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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