This week’s word for Wednesday is a noun, doucer (DOO-cer); meaning a bribe or an inducement, usually financial. It comes from the same French root as the word for sweet, which might explain the Americanism, “sweeten the deal.”

Jester (c) Diana Vick


The James Tiptree award winners were announced. The Tiptree award acknowledges work that explores or expands our idea of gender. The winners are “The New Mother” by Eugene Fischer (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine) and Lizard Radio by Pat Schmatz (Candlewick). This link also includes the honored works and the long list – some interesting stuff.

Last year, the World Fantasy Convention retired its controversial award design, which was a bust of H.P. Lovecraft. In its search for a new award design the committee has again courted controversy with its statement that it would not provide “monetary remuneration.” Since the initial announcement, that statement has been modified slightly too; the winning artist will get two free entries to the convention for ten years, a ticket to the banquet, and a discount on art space in the dealers’ area. It’s still a heated discussion.

Books and Writing:

File 770 shared a link to popular words that were created by writers. You will recognize many of these.

Bast (c) Diana Vick

The Hungarian language SF magazine Galactika is accused of translating the work of international writers and using them without payment or permission.

Will writing SF make you a better architect? Wired Magazine thinks the answer is “maybe it will.”

IO9 looks at a statistical analysis about Game of Thrones and validates what we’ve all thought right along. Of course, this isn’t exactly news, but the thing looks so cool.

Noah Berlatsky questions what truly cutting-edge speculative fiction is, and isn’t, over at The Establishment. (Courtesy of File 770.)

SF Signal asked writers to share what they read for light, escapist fun. People like Melissa Snodgrass give their recommendations. There are some great ones, like Seanan McGuire’s CRYPTID series and the television show Galavant.

I’m one of several people included in this week’s Mind Meld, which asked which book we would like to esperience again “for the first time.” Our own Kate Lechler is also mentioned in A.C. Wise’s column. Here’s a link, and here is a link to the story Wise cited. Enjoy!

How would you like to visit the Church of Type? This southern California space is part studio, part museum, part shop and all fascinating.

The Booksmugglers are going crazy with new initiatives, and I am thrilled about this one; a quarterly publication of original and reprint fiction!

One of my favorite writers talks about one of my favorite TV shows; Buffy the Vampire Slayer and storytelling by Charlie Jane Anders.

Charlie Jane Anders, Kim Stanley Robinson and John Scalzi will all be at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, April 9-10. (Scalzi is now a critic-at-large for the periodical.)

Atlas Obscura compiled a group of statistical papers answering the important question, “How long would it take vampires to annihilate humans?” The answer will surprise you. No, what really will surprise you is how many statistics students actually wrote papers on this topic! Plainly the field does not lack a sense of humor.

TV and Movies

From YouTube, here is the second trailer for Alice Through the Looking Glass, the Tim Burton sequel to the 2010 film.

Yes, I do rock this demon-killing outfit!

Syfy unveiled its new weird western, Wynona Earp. It has a few familiar things; zombie-like “revenants,” a magical gun called the Peacekeeper (fans of Supernatural raise their eyebrows knowingly); skin-tight fringe-and-leather outfits for the female lead. Collider liked it, while the AV Club is a little more demanding, but acknowledged the quality performance by Melanie Scrofano, who plays Wynona.

Entertainment Weekly introduced the cast for the Doctor Who spin-off Class this week. Katherine Kelly, who played in Mr. Selfridge and The Night Manager, plays a teacher at Coal Hill School (who is not Clara Oswald). Apparently all the Time-Lordian hijinks at the school have weakened the walls of time and space, and now there is something “pressing on the other side.”

Polygon provides an early look at Mads Mikkelsen as the villain in Marvel’s Doctor Strange movie. No one knows for sure yet which villain Mikkelsen will play.


Camels are the “ships of the desert.” We all know this, right? Why, then, would a paleontologist find fossilized camel bones in the arctic? This is an engaging TED talk by Latif Nasser of RadioLabs, complete with a surprise guest at the end.

From the New York Times, satellite imagery has helped archeologists locate a possible Viking settlement, 300 miles farther south than any other known site.


BBC News provides a beautifully backlit shot of Comet 67P, taken by spacecraft Rosetta.


We have a couple of active Giveaways right now. Check here.


Stormchaser (c) Diana Vick

Diana Vick has been involved in many facets of the creative world including animation, game card illustration and comics.  Vick started off in the steampunk universe. Her work has changed direction and her current endeavors combine her love of animals and costuming to form whimsical menagerie designs.  I love the Stormchaser, since it combines both steampunk and menagerie, but I’m a huge fan of blue, so maybe Bast is my favorite. You can find Vick’s work on t-shirts and giftware at Zazzle:  and books of her works are available at Blurb. Watch her Blurb Bookstore for coloring books coming in June!



  • Marion Deeds

    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.