WWWednesday: April 25, 2018

Awards:

The David Gemmel Award finalists are announced.

The nominations for the World Fantasy Award are now open. Thanks to File770.

Cons:

Avengers; Infinity War, photograph from marvel.com

Avengers; Infinity War, photograph from marvel.com

Hopes for a shenanigan-free WorldCon in 2018 were dashed when a writer filed suit against the WorldCon76 Committee. He alleges that the con committee’s action in January, 2018 to limit his membership from attending to participating because of his stated intent to violate the Code of Conduct is an act of discrimination and violates his civil rights. File770’s link contains a PDF of the complaint which makes for interesting reading.

Universal FanCon, a Baltimore-based convention, has postponed its event until further notice. The Great Philadelphia Comic Con is offering to honor Universal FanCon tickets or provide discounts.

Contest Controversy:

The simmering controversy about the thirty-four-year-old Writers of the Future Contest is starting to bubble now. One quarterly finalist has withdrawn his story from consideration. (It’s Item 1 in the Pixel Scroll.)Some winners have been vocal on Twitter and on their blogs about discomfort with their achievements being used to burnish the profile of the Church of Scientology International. The contest itself is sponsored, directed and managed by an organization called Author Services, Inc, originally set up to manage and protect L. Ron Hubbard’s literary estate. Author Services, Inc is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Church of Spiritual Technology, which exists to archive and maintain the scriptural works of Hubbard that he created when he founded the Church of Scientology. Wikipedia says that the Church of Scientology describes the Church of Spiritual Technology as “an autonomous church within the Scientology religion.” Recent documentaries and series about the Church of Scientology have made many people less comfortable with its connection to Writers of the Future. Stay tuned.

Vacations:

World Wide Wednesday will be on hiatus for the weeks of May 9 and May 16, back on the 23rd, when I will probably bombard you with photos from my vacation to northeastern Florida. I’ll remind you next week too (of the dates, not the photo-bombardment).

Books and Writing:

Philip Pullman and Penguin Books have teamed up to offer independent bookstores in the UK two contests and change to win swag. One contest gives the winners an author visit from Pullman and cash to put on an author event; one gets a collection of Pullman titles.

David Mack writes about the pitfalls of writing alternate history and “secret history;” what he thinks cane be fudged, and what must be done with accuracy.

Las Vegas, Nevada, held its second annual Believer Literary Festival. I’m not sure I’m a believer. Las Vegas as a literary hub? Maybe my biases are showing.

Superman gets a hardcover tribute book for his 80th anniversary. Your 80th anniversary is supposed to be diamonds, but I guess Superman can make his own.

In the old-and-useful category, two years ago Eric Flint wrote a blog post with a suggested reading order for books in his 1632 universe. Helpful!

On Twitter, Charlie Jane Anders reintroduced this reassuring column on imposter syndrome and how to turn it into a superpower! I really like this sentence; “And the truth is, if you’re not having impostor syndrome, you’re probably not living up to your full potential.”

Movies and TV:

The Avengers Assemble... for The Infinity War. Photo by Cinema Blend.

The Avengers Assemble… for The Infinity War. Photo by Cinema Blend.

Gamespot provides a high-level recap of the Avenger movies in the run-up to Avenger 4; Infinity War. The video is quite helpful, especially if you’ve lost track of any of those pesky infinity stones like I had.

Back in March, Entertainment Weekly provided some photos from the film. I just found them.

The season opener of Legion three weeks ago had an amazing dance-off. IO9 talked to showrunner Noah Hawley about it, and the article includes several long clips of the number. What a treat!

Games:

Kotaku reviews Spy Party, which sounds fiercely competitive, highly stressful and pretty fun.

Science:

This article had me at “diamonds from space.” It’s much more interesting than that, though.

Ars Technica reminds us that krill are fascinating.

“If we can understand these interactions, then we can use those insights to fabricate dynamic structures and flexible robots which are designed to be self-aware, self-sensing and capable of adjusting their morphologies and properties in real time to adapt to a myriad of external and internal conditions,” Yes, next up is  your robotic squid, 3D-printed on the battlefield.

Nothing could possibly go wrong unless they get distracted by krill.


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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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