Snowflakes. Image by Udemy

Snowflake image by Udemy.

There is a word for the thing in fiction that I always called “The Twist.” It’s Peripeteia (Peri- peh-TAY-uh,) and it means a sudden change or also, a sudden fall.


There will be a brief column next week, December 25, and no column on January 1. The column will return on January 8, 2020.

Books and Writing:

Here is a quiz; match the lesser-known sequel to the famous book. I’m not going to tell you how very badly I did on this. (Spoiler alert: abysmally.)

Like many other small press endeavors, Fiyah Litmag is having trouble staying solvent. Fiyah is a great source of new fiction, especially new voices and writers of color. You can subscribe or donate here.

To observe Emily Dickinson’s birthday  earlier this week, here is an article from 2015, picking her 10 “best” poems.

In “My Favorite Bit” Derek Kunsken discusses his new book The Quantum Garden.

Here are the literary origins of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Menorah image by Getty images

Close up of a Hanukkah menorah with candles

TV and Movies:

The Daily Dot offers its thoughts on the ten best SF movies of the decade. Let the controversy begin.

Fortnight players got a surprise preview of The Rise of Skywalker at a local group gaming site. The movie opens tomorrow.

Winter Holiday Stuff:

Here is an article about amazing gingerbread creations. My take-away from this is that there is an annual gingerbread competition. This old People Magazine article has a few more.

From a few years back, Better Homes and Gardens has a nice primer on Hanukkah.

Here’s a little bit about solstice; in the northern hemisphere we celebrate winter solstice, the longest night of the year, while in the southern hemisphere it’s summer.

Enjoy this slightly-more-than-a-minute long video on reindeer.

Here’s an article on how to make snowflakes.


Ars Technica has a list of tech gifts for the true nerd in your life. I love that I live in a time when a “competitive gaming mouse” is a thing.


Antarctica will shrink your brain. Actually, it’s probably not the continent. It’s the monotony. How can we correct for that?

This article on the linguistic richness of North Carolina is a holiday present all in itself, if you’re someone who likes, or is curious about, language.


The menorah image is from Getty Images, while is the source of the snowflake. Happy solstice and joyous Hanukkah to those who observe it.



  • 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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