WorldCon begins Thursday, August 15, in Dublin, Ireland. You can follow it on Twitter.

Books and Writing:

Medium has a podcast with writer Neal Stephenson, talking about digital facial recognition, social media and space exploration.

Over at Crimereads, Via Mullholland makes the argument that William Gibson, Charles Stross and Neal Stephenson really wrote technothrillers. Why? Because over at Crimereads, they like technothrillers.

The Verge reviews JY Yang’s Tensorate series.

Tolkien 2019:

Our new guest reviewer, Michaela Hausmann, will be a presenter at the Tolkien Society event that begins today in Birmingham, England. I will let Michaela tell you about it in her own words. (Note: dates are in European format.)

JRR Tolkien.Image from the Bodelian

JRR Tolkien. Image from the Bodelian

Five days and 500 guests, talks, art shows, workshops, and plenty to drink and eat – the perfect ingredients for a long expected party of special magnificence. The Tolkien Society celebrates its fiftieth birthday from 7-11 August 2019 at the MacDonald Burlington Hotel in Birmingham. The Society has prepared an extraordinary programme including over 90 talks by international Tolkien scholars and art shows where international artists can display their Tolkien-themed works. In addition to this delicious food for thought, The Tolkien Society will also cater to the social appetites of their guests. The organizers have arranged a variety of evening activities with dramatic and musical performances, dancing and masquerades, and a banquet destined to make any hobbit jealous.

Among the guests of honour are distinguished Tolkien experts such as Tom Shippey, John Garth, Dimitra Fimi, Catherine MacIlwaine, Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull, the famous Tolkien illustrators Alan Lee and Ted Nasmith, and the author Brian Sibley. Apart from these big names, Tolkien scholars, academics and fans from all over the world will gather to celebrate everything Tolkien and the Tolkien Society’s dedication in promoting his works and legacy.

The talks will cover a broad range of Tolkien-related topics: biographical aspects, geographical and literary influences, the role of design and art, fan culture and adaptations. I have the great pleasure and honour to contribute to this conference with a talk about Tolkien’s use of the Ouroboros symbol in his works and in comparison to E. R. Eddison’s The Worm Ouroboros. If you are curious about the details, have a look at the conference or download the programme.

If you would like to be part of the party but cannot attend in person, follow #Tolkien2019 on Twitter. Stay tuned and don’t miss out on the fun.
~Michaela Hausmann


Green Romin is working to create a game based  on N.K. Jemisin’s BROKEN EARTH series.

The 100. Image from

The 100. Image from

TV and Movies:

The CW’s intriguing genre show The 100 will wrap up after next season, Season Seven.

Satanic Panic might not be a movie for everyone, but it may be for some of you, if snarky horror comedies about a pizza-delivery woman who is abducted by the a bunch of socialites and prepared for sacrifice to Baphomet is your thing.


Cloudflare has announced that effective midnight, PST on August 4, they would cut off 8Chan. The shooter in El Paso, Texas, posted a racist manifesto on 8Chan. This makes the third time that mass shooters have used 8Chan to amplify white supremacist messages before going on their killing rampages. (One of the others was the perpetrator of the mass shooting in New Zealand.) Matthew Prince, CEO of Cloudflare, was reluctant to hold the site accountable for its content, but finally stated that the site is a “lawless site and a danger to people.” He pointed out that 8Chan will find another host, probably with very little trouble. UPDATE: It appears that Cloudflare followed through.


The Roman baths of Emperor Caracalla will not be getting a McDonald’s next door


  • 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.

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