WWWednesday: April 29, 2020

California poppies. Photo by M Deeds, 2015

California poppies. Photo by M. Deeds, 2015

Word for Wednesday: Succedaeneum, a noun meaning a substitute. Pronounced “Suk-si-day-ne um.”

The Hummingbird Spot offers a live feed of a feeder cluster. It might brighten your day.


I didn’t know there was a Pulp Factory Award, but there is, and the winners were announced on April 20.

Books and Writing: 

John van Stry prevailed in his lawsuit against Travis McCrea, who is literally an international pirate, for copyright infringement. McCrea founded the Pirate Party of Canada and now states that he runs a church based in Kansas. McCrea has apologized to van Stry; you can read that Twitter  apology here. As File770 says, “Take it for what it’s worth.”

The Mary Sue used N.K. Jemisin’s clear Twitter thread about fanfic etiquette to create an informative story about these transformative works and why their writers should not send them to the creator of the original fandom.

Speaking of fanfic, Bob Bryne is writing a blog in the persona of Archie Goodwin, living with Nero Wolfe during  the pandemic. Very fun.

Tonight, EventBright will host a conversation between Stephen King and John Grisham. Donations and proceeds will benefit the Book Industry Charitable Foundation.

A well-meaning cleaner at a library in Suffolk, Great Britain deep-cleaned the books, and then re-shelved them in size order.

Cypress Tree. Photo by M. Deeds, 2015

Cypress Tree. Photo by M. Deeds, 2015

This South Carolina bookstore owner took advantage of that state’s relaxing of social distancing and safe at home restrictions to re-open her store. She and her husband, who own the store, are being diligent about social distancing and sanitizing, she says, but they aren’t wearing face coverings. What do you think about this story?

The Mary Sue interviews writer Lisa Marie Basile about her Magical Writing Grimoire.

The Mary Sue also offers a critique of the Joker’s new girlfriend, Punchline, who doesn’t sound all that special and convincing to me.

The Stone Weta cover text sounds like a scientific thriller, but author Octavia Cade’s column is a lucid and impatient critique of science denial – or I guess I should say denialism, since that seems to be a thing.

Tor.com hosted an interview with Murderbot and another character from the series, ART, in advance of the new MURDERBOT novel coming out in early May.

Vox.com thinks now is a good time to start reading British fantasist Frances Hardinge.

TV and Movies:

Dolly Parton was a silent producer of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I love this.

CNN and Sesame Street co-hosted a Kids’ Town Hall on Coronavirus on Saturday, April 25. There is a link to the show in the article.


Here is Animal Crossing explained by someone who has never played it.

Gizmodo offers you ten games to play while you’re stuck inside.


There might be archaeological evidence for the folkloric character of Mulan.


Comet Atlas fell apart but still provided a valuable viewing experience for scientists.


Tappy danced to Pharell Williams’s “Happy.”

From the state of Washington, 2 minutes of some pretty cool double dutch.

This two-minute video shows an ocelot hunting.

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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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  1. That hummingbird live feed is absolutely wonderful — as is this column! A very nice break from the everyday, from the tap dancing to the ocelot to a host of wonderful articles.

    And I absolutely agree that Frances Hardinge is well worth reading. My review of Deeplight should be ready soon!

    • I love the tap-dancing. The hummingbird live feed could become a serious time sink.

      I look forward to reading your review, Terry!

    • Paul Connelly /

      Not only has every Frances Hardinge book that I’ve read been excellent, but each one is different, not a rehash of the same type of setting and characters. She really deserves to be better known on this side of the pond.

      • I don’t think I’ve read her, but she’s on my list now.

        • Paul Connelly /

          I believe she is marketed as a writer of middle grade or young adult fiction, but her novels are free of the annoying cliches of YA (like the plucky young hero/heroine who does dumb, impulsive things to move the plot along; the insta-love that must be True; the mysterious older helper who imparts crucial information to the young lead in tiny dribbles as needed by the plot; etc.).

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