This week’s word for Wednesday, again courtesy of Haggard Hawks, is kalokagathia, a noun of Greek origin that means goodness of character. I have to say, it doesn’t roll off the tongue. 


Lunar New Year Celebration, Year of the Rooster, in Singapore

Lunar New Year Celebration, Year of the Rooster, in Singapore

Charles Stross announced on his blog that he will not be coming to FenCon in Texas in September, because, in light of the recent Executive Order signed by President Trump, Stross feels that more and harsher restrictions will be coming and that he belongs to groups that could be targeted; nor does he want to be seen to endorse the type of behavior the EO demonstrates. He is announcing it now to give FenCon time to find another Guest of Honor. Regardless of whether you think Stross is doing the right thing, he is doing it the right way.

Books and Writing:

Andy Weir answers eight great questions. I loved his answer about what book he gives as a gift. He’s just so enthusiastic!

SWFA makes it clear that they aren’t fans of places that try to make writers pay for the use of their own work. Through submission or “reading” fees, or implying that support through systems like Patreon imply preference , many sites are trying to leverage money out of the people whose work they are using to generate profits.  (Thanks to File 770.)

The New York Times made several changes in its bestseller lists, with little or no notice to publishers, booksellers or readers. Some lists which seem to be eliminated; graphic novels and YA novels. This Publishers Weekly article shares opinions from several sources, including some who are outraged and some whose attitude is more, “Meh.” At least one person can’t resist pointing out that the Times never really understood graphic novels anyway, often referring to them as a “genre” rather than a medium or technique.

Make what you will of Locus’s two paragraph article on the genre bestsellers of last week.

Lion Dancers in New Year's parade in Cambodia

Lion Dancers in New Year’s parade in Cambodia

IO9 teases a bit of the third book in Chuck Wendig’s STAR WARS:AFTERMATH series, in which, among other things, a well-loved character from The Empire Strikes Back ponders a baby gift.

Courtesy of Writer’s Almanac, this is a poem by Marjorie Saiser. It has nothing to do with genre, but I like it and I hope you will too.


Still more on the Hugos and the various Puppy groups. File 770 offers this interesting article about a survey taken among international SFF fans about the Hugos and the effect of the Puppy groups. The writers acknowledge that one flaw in the survey is that they offered it only in English. It’s long, it’s got some nice tables, and it’s food for thought.

TV and Movies:

If you missed it in theaters the first time, Arrival is re-Arriving, thanks to its Oscar nod for Best Picture. For a Best Picture nomination, it’s surprising that the director, Denis Villaneuve, was not nominated for Best Director, or that Amy Adams, whose deep, understated performance delivered this movie, was not nominated for Best Actress. Longtime Oscar-watcher point to these clues as evidence that the film will not win, but I’m glad to see it nominated in the correct category. Now go see it.

Screen Crush takes a loving look at the 5 most blatant rip-offs of the original Star Wars movie.

The Magicians debuted its second season last week and Screen Rant has a review. Warning: May contain spoilers.

Yahoo interviewed the four leads and they talked about an important scene in the episode. I don’t think these count as spoilers.

The Expanse, Season Two, premieres tonight with limited commercial interruptions. Here is the most recent trailer.

The Atlantic profiles the animated film The Red Turtle. shares moving movie posters of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Thanks to File 770.)


“He takes his job seriously, but takes himself less seriously.” This new San Jose city councilman was sworn in while holding a Captain America shield. He describes himself as a “comics nerd,” which I’m sure will surprise you. The video is about 40 seconds long and segues right into another news item.

Lion Dancers in Kuala Lampur

Lion Dancers in Kuala Lampur

Charles Stross gets two mentions in today’s column. On January 25, File 770 provided a screen shot of Stross’s Twitter feed asking that his eligible work NOT be nominated in the new, trial “Best Series” Hugo category. (Item 5.) Stross says he will explain on his blog but has not so far. He had a book come out last week, and he’s changing travel plans, so he’s probably busy.

IO9 wants you to meet an artist with beautiful work and completely perfect titles.

Sometimes the simple things provide the most comfort. This essay from Ars Technica discusses the way board games build bridges for refugees.


Crab collector Harry Conley has named an elusive new species of crab after Severus Snape, mostly for Snape’s ability to successfully function as a double agent throughout the HARRY POTTER books. Conley first discovered harryplax severus in Guam about twenty years ago.

I don’t know how much longer this project will exist, but NASA is conducting a worldwide study of our ocean’s coral reefs. This is called the Coral Project.

And speaking of coral reefs, there is this one. (Sorry about the pop-up. You may need to refresh the screen after you click on Close.)


Happy year of the rooster! Images from and


  • 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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