Outdoor Christmas Tree in Istanbul, Turkey

Outdoor Christmas Tree in Istanbul, Turkey

This week’s word for Wednesday is Kirsmas-Glass, a noun meaning a drink made to toast a house or a family on Christmas day.


The Game Awards were presented on December 7, 2017, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Flash fiction? Microfic? Nanofic? The London Independent Story Prize wants to see your 300 word story. Yes. 300 words. When I first read it I thought it was 3,000. There is an entry fee, and the deadline is 1/10/18. Good luck!

Books and Writing:

John Scalzi and Netflix have struck a deal to bring the OLD MAN’S WAR series to life as a film. Here’s what Scalzi himself has to say, which isn’t a lot more information.

This Mental Floss article is aimed at book collectors, not readers, but it’s still got some good tips in it.

James Nicoll offers up twenty speculative novels about religion that SF readers should read. These are his twenty. Your twenty may vary.

The Guadalajara Book Fair wrapped up last week. About 816,000 people attended.


Outdoor tree in snow.

Outdoor tree in snow.

Alex Brown gives us a Kwanzaa gift, a zawadi, in the form of a list of novels written by black Americans that demonstrate one the seven principles of Kwanzaa. He includes this link, which explains the holiday, and those principles in more detail.

Becky Chambers writes about how to develop aliens. That opening exercise with the You-Tube video is simply great, but I loved the whole essay about her family.

Charles Payseur reviews two very dark stories from The Dark magazine.

The Cool Weird:

Annalee Newitz participated in the creation of the Hermanautic Tarot, and she wrote the interpretation of the Public Chariot. Fun… and a little too real.

The Scary Weird:

This is very strange. American and Canadian diplomats, staff and family members in Cuba described strange sonic attacks back during the summer. And now the white matter of their brains has been changed.  One theory offered up originally was exposure to ultra sound. Now some doctors think that an infectious  or environmental factor created the impression of sounds, not that sound damaged the brain.

The Internet:

File 770 directed me to a nice piece of analysis about Patreon’s changes to its use fees and how/when it charges. As near as I can tell, nobody is happy about these change except maybe two or three people on Patreon’s board.

A jury found San Diego ComicCon’s arguments persuasive in the trademark lawsuit against the Salt Lake City ComicCon founders. Maybe the e-mails with the two Salt Lake City guys chortling about how they were going to “hijack” San Diego’s trademark had something to do with that decision. The Salt Lake City crew plan to appeal. The decision has implications for many other city with “ComicCon”-styled events, so this probably isn’t done yet.

Movies and TV:

Quentin Tarentino might direct a Star Trek movie? No. Please, no.

Here is the trailer for Ready Player One. “Help us save the Oasis!”

The Magicians is back on Syfy on January 10, and lots of teasers and trailers are showing up. Here’s one:

And the Doctor Who Christmas Special Trailer!

Whew! Lots of video.

The prop master and crew of BBC’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency answer some questions from fans. A later question goes into a lot of detail about making and creating, very good stuff.  But they never do say where one gets a scissor sword.


Do I need an excuse to provide articles about Iceland? I think that I do not. Here is an overview of Icelandic Christmas traditions.


  • 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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