WWWednesday: August 5, 2015

On this date in 1924, the comic strip Little Orphan Annie first appeared, debuting in the New York Daily News. The strip, created by Harold Gay, was syndicated by the Tribune Media Services.

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Inquisitive (c) Elizabeth Leggett 2015

Space:

NASA provides a behind-the-scenes (or is it “above the scenes?”) look at the ISS astronauts prepping for a spacewalk.

The UK Mirror reports that Nichelle Nichols of Star Trek, TOS, will come the closest of any cast member to “the final frontier” when she rides on the space telescope SOFIA in September, 2015. Nichols, 82, suffered a stroke in June, but she is looking forward to riding in the telescope’s customized 747, which reaches an altitude of 50,000 ft.

Awards:

The Mythopoeic Awards were announced August 2 at Mythcon 46. (This item is courtesy of File 770.) The winner for Adult Literature was Tales from Rugosa Coven by Sarah Avery. I noted that in the comments, one person nicely defined mythopoeic and also gave the standards of the award. And here’s one more work that I’m going to have to track down and read!

Books, Writers and Writing:

Richard Kadrey discusses bad people who are the main characters at Tor.com. Kadrey knows something about this; Sandman Slim, the main character of his gritty urban fantasy series, isn’t exactly an Eagle Scout. Kadrey ranges outside of SF to include surreal works with characters who are definitely bad people but whose stories compel us to listen.

At Barnes and Noble.com, Nalo Hopkinson takes on six SF novels that are often mis-interpreted. In the

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Magic Portal Repair (c) Elizabeth Leggett 2015

case of the Handmaid’s Tale, she says that people don’t mis-interpret as much as fail to go deeper, to acknowledge that both sexes have bought into the repressive regime Atwood created.

IO9 knows us too well! We tried the book and couldn’t get into it, or it intimidated us from the beginning and we never ever cracked the cover, but we act like we’ve read it. The site lists ten books we really should read and tells us why. This article is worth reading just for the description of Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon.

One of Kat’s favorite writers is James P. Blaylock, and last month Boingboing had an essay from him on writing steampunk.

Open Road Media is having a contest to give away five Doctor Orient books, written by Frank Lauria. The contest runs from August 1 through August 31.

Connie Willis, who recently had eye surgery, posted a note on her blog saying she is doing well and healing.

TV and Movies:

Are we being Punk’d? Little Women as gritty and dystopian? I hope this is just a cruel practical joke, but according to Variety, Michael Weatherly, of NCIS fame, is developing a “stylized, gritty” version of Little Women, set in Philadelphia, for the CW. Yes, my head is doing exactly the same thing right now.

Variety compares the “hyper-stylized, gritty” adaptation to another CW show, The Red Queen, that template of historical accuracy reflecting the early life of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland.

Natalie Zutter, at Tor.com, has some feelings about this idea.

Two of Caitlin Kiernan’s best-known works have been optioned for movies. I thought The Red Tree was one of the most powerful works of psychological horror I’d ever read, but I do wonder how it will translate the the screen. It will depend on the director.

Syfy’s new space opera series Killjoys isn’t my usual kind of thing, but it won me over. It’s funny, sexy and tough as nails, with good female characters and a strong female lead. It turns out the show-runner is no stranger to strong female leads; Michelle Lovretta was also attached to the urban fantasy series Lost Girl. Lovretta sat down with Den of Geek to discuss the new show.

Science and Technology:

The World Health Organization reported good news about an Ebola vaccine. In one trial, the vaccine reduced new infections to 0 in one group. Experts cautiously say it is 75%-100% effective. The trail technique interested me; they vaccinated all the people around the infected person, creating an “immunity ring.” Results are still coming in, but this looks like good news.

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Nightmare (c) Elizabeth Leggett 2015

Internet:

SF Signal offers us this awesome automated series, Rotary Park. The story is wild (talk about grabbing you by the throat), but what is breath-taking is the animation. Look at those images!

Art this week is courtesy of 2015 Hugo-nominated Elizabeth Leggett. You’ve seem her work on the covers of Lightspeed Magazine, among other places. Elizabeth didn’t train formally (her degrees are in English and psychology with an advanced degree in education) but she learned everywhere. Artists like Andrew Wyeth, Klimt and contemporary artist/illustrator Donato Giancarlo all provided influences. You can see more of Elizabeth’s art here. We wish you good luck with the Hugos!

Next week I will be out of town, so Kate Lechler will be bringing you WWWednesday. Thanks, Kate! I’ll be back for the August 19 posting. Stay safe out there!


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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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6 comments

  1. A gritty and dystopian reboot of Little Women?? Ah, no thank you.

  2. I like Cryptonomicon. I read every word. I’m giving my copy (which weighs about 10 pounds) to my son when he’s home from college this weekend. He studies software engineering. I think he’ll like it, too.

    • I take it back. I just read my review of Cryptonomicon, which I wrote 3.5 years ago. It seems that I admitted skimming over a few of the longer infodump tangents… and my book weighs only 4 pounds, not 10.

      • Yes,there were a few infodumps. I remember getting about a chapter into it and thinking, “Oh, no, this is not for me,” and then loving it. All the way through, although I’m sure I skimmed a bit too, here and there.

  3. Marion, that first piece of art, the feathered lizard, is absolutely breath-taking.

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