WWWednesday: 11-18-15

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

For all those lost, or who lost loved ones and friends in last week’s terror attacks.

I only posted one photo today and that’s of a candle. It’s for all the people lost in the terror attacks last week, their families, and their loved ones.

Words

This week’s word for Wednesday is humdudgeon, a noun, meaning an imaginary or made-up illness (in Scotland, it means a loud complaint). The origin is believed to come from an old meaning of hum as “hoax” and dudgeon, meaning “ill humor.”

About Us

You’ve probably noticed that the site looks a bit different these days. We often have multiple reviews of the same book, and we are combining all those reviews into one thread, with the pictures of the reviewers at the top. This is a more efficient use of the database, and easier for readers, who won’t have to keep clicking to find all the reviews of a particular book. We’ve kept our one-to-five star rating and moved the stars underneath the avatar of the reviewer. Let us know how this works for you. Thanks to Zane Cooper, Kat’s son, for his help on the project.

Books and Writing

Pamela Sargent and Suzy McKee Charnas visited with Jonathan Strahan on The Coode Street Podcast, at this year’s World Fantasy Convention. In an early part of the discussion they talk about the old Women of Wonder anthologies.

Whether you loved them or hated them, you can’t deny that Philip Pullman’s HIS DARK MATERIALS books were influential. On the 20th anniversary of The Golden Compass, Pullman talks with Slate Magazine about writing for young people, the classical influences, and lets us know that another book featuring Lyra, called Book of Dust, is forthcoming.

There was a lively discussion on the internet about bookstore author events and the size of the crowd. Does size matter? It’s an eternal question, isn’t it? Larry Corriea started off the discussion after someone jibed at him on Twitter, and then John Scalzi weighed in (here’s Corriea’s very funny post). Since I love author events and bookstores I read this with great interest. What was the largest book event you’ve attended? What was the smallest?

Chuck Wendig updates us on what’s happening with Miriam Black, good news and bad news.

IO9 offers us ten comic book villains whose origin stories make sense.

New York Magazine gave five up and coming novelists a photo-shoot, where they could dress as their favorite fictional character. Each writer gave a sound-bite about why. Emily St John Mandel as James Bond (and her reasoning) – priceless.

Movies and Television

What would you think of Matthew McConaughey as Walter Padick in Stephen King’s DARK TOWER? Apparently, he’s considering the role. (H/T to Ryan.)

Here are some posters for the costumes of the stars of Gods of Egypt. Is there any chance this could be good? Based solely on this, however, I’d like to see Thoth get his own TV series.

James MacAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe give an enthusiastic introduction to the trailer for Victor Frankenstein, which opens on November 25. Other than Young Frankenstein, I’ve never thought of this material as particularly humorous, but it looks like I’m wrong.

Screenrant provides us a little more information, including the observation that this is not “the most faithful adaptation” from the source material, (um, yeah, first clue, the dialogue, second clue, Igor) especially as it adds a trapeze artist love interest for Radcliffe’s character.

Over at Tor.com, Natalie Zutter shares (almost) every SFF project scheduled for adaptation. It’s a little heart-breaking to read that Richard K Morgan’s Altered Carbon may be “anguishing in development hell.” Of the KOVACS trilogy, I think that book is the most adaptable.

Science and Technology

Google’s driverless car is too cautious for California streets. This article talks about a traffic citation the car was given for going too slowly.  A Google spokesperson explained that the vehicles speed is capped at 25 mph for now. In another incident, a Google AV (short for Autonomous Vehicle) got rear-ended at a crosswalk because it waited for a pedestrian (pedestrians have the right-of-way in California). A courteous driverless car! Charming.

Here’s a brain-game for you. Follow the directions in the video and watch the black and white landscape turn to color, with no changes to the photo. This only worked partially for me, the foreground stayed in shades of gray. Did that happen for anyone else?

Space

This exquisite picture, which looks like the veins on a leaf, was taken from the International Space Station and shows the trails of water on sand. The photo is of an area of Oman and was taken by astronaut Kjell Lindgren.

Giveaways

The following are still active: Science of the Magical, our Ann Leckie interview, our Cixin Liu interview and Identify Those Covers.


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Marion Deeds, with us since March, 2011, is the author of the fantasy novella ALUMINUM LEAVES. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthologies BEYOND THE STARS, THE WAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, STRANGE CALIFORNIA, and in Podcastle, The Noyo River Review, Daily Science Fiction and Flash Fiction Online. She’s retired from 35 years in county government, and spends some of her free time volunteering at a second-hand bookstore in her home town. You can read her blog at deedsandwords.com, and follow her on Twitter: @mariond_d.

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10 comments

  1. The black and white landscape becomes colorful because it’s a negative afterimage of the bizarrely colored image they put on top of it. It’s the same thing as the green, yellow and black flag that many of us have seen before:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afterimage

  2. And if Larry Correia ever comes to Jacksonville Florida, I’m there.

    • I bet he’s a hoot at a live author event.

      • I thought Correia had an interesting perspective, particularly in regards to his appreciation for his fans, and I liked Scalzi’s response/commentary. Considering the Puppies debacle of this past year, both men seemed incredibly civil.

  3. I do not mention this often enough: I love these columns, Marion!

  4. I’ve been reading them! Great posts, Marion. And yes, the false-color image worked for me until the moment I shifted my gaze. I had to go back and do it one more time so I could appreciate it a little more. I’ve seen this sort of thing many times before, but not superimposed on a black and white picture, turning it into a color one. That was very cool.

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