It’s February 14th, the day where we acknowledge the martyrdom of the early Christian (and possibly mythical) St Valentine by sending significant others cutouts of the Greek god of sexuality, buying diamonds and flowers, and eating chocolate. In honor of that last one, here is a brief history of chocolate, courtesy of the Smithsonian.
Books and Writing:
NK Jemisin asks that people wishing to nominate her 2017 book The Stone Sky for a Hugo nominate it in the Best Novel category and not Best Series. She explains why here. Her reasons show confidence, humility and generosity. It also addresses some of the quirks, or issues, with the new category.
In this TED talk, Elizabeth Chaplin explains why fantasy matters.
Twenty-five trailers full of books each day! That’s how many books the Penguin Random House Fulfillment Center (formerly known as a warehouse) processes. Here’s a fascinating video. I mean, it’s just a warehouse, but it’s still fascinating.
The Verge has a cover reveal of The Consuming Fire, Book Two in John Scalzi’s Collapsing Empire series, and a brief interview with the author.
Alix Harrow used to review for us here. Recently, Apex Magazine published her wonderful short story, “A Witch’s Guide to Escape; a Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies.” Here it is. And here is a link to an interview with Alix.
We can learn from good books. We can learn from bad books. We can learn from books that are mixed. Diane Pharaoh Francis gives us an example at Book View Café. (H/t to File 770.)
On File 770, JJ points out that we need to do more than just get upset about bad behavior at and around conventions. This article points out how much progress has been made. Click on the link to Marissa Lindgren’s blog post; it’s very good.
About File 770; I link to it a lot. Are you reading it? If you are interested in the field, past and present, I recommend it. Here’s a link to their “About” page. As an added bonus, right now File 770 is running a pictorial series called “Cats Sleep on SFF” and it’s photos of… well, you can probably guess.
This has nothing to do with genre, but this house is available, and it defies description. There might be a genre tie-in, because you could certainly film a re-make of Logan’s Run in this place, pretty must as it is. I live in California; this is a bargain-basement price by my market standards. I invite you all to share my bemusement.
Blackbird, a “non-practicing entity” with a very vague and broad patent, has lost its suit against Cloudflare. The judge ruled that an abstract idea cannot be patented. Ars Technica has been covering this story. Blackbird was formed by two lawyers formerly from a large firm, and they have filed 107 patent suits since 2014, according to this article. Cloudflare made the decision to fight them in court and bring them out into the light, rather than paying off. There may be more to come.
TV and Movies:
Here is that video some more; Mirai Nagusu makes that historic triple axel.
Here is the Jurassic World; Fallen Kingdom trailer. It’s scheduled for June, 2018.
This Ars Technica article drills down into the numbers provided by satellite records to determine whether the rate of the rising ocean is linear or accelerating. (Spoiler alert…) There are links to some of the reports.
Photos of undersea (and marine) life from Antarctica.