This week, two words for Wednesday; pahoehoe (Pah-Hoy-Hoy) and a’a (Ah-ah). These are two Hawaiian words for lava. Pahoehoe is the silken, ropy lava that looks like ribbons of fudge, and a’a is the word for clinker lava, smaller chucks riddled with air holes, the kind you see used in some landscaping. A’a must be named for the sound you make when you walked over it barefooted.
These Hawaiian nouns are used commonly by volcanologists all over the world.
Why, yes! Yes, I did go to Hawai’i on my vacation! And for you, the horror is just beginning, because the art this week will be… (Dun-dun dunnnn!) vacation pictures.
There are some great books on this list! I see several of our favorites, among them N.K. Jemisin, Noami Novik, Charles Gannon, Ken Liu and Lawrence M. Schoen. The novella list looks intriguing too. The Nebulas will be awarded at the SFWA Nebula weekend and annual meeting, in Chicago, May 12-15.
Books and Writing
C.J. Cherryh has been named a SFWA Grand Master. Cherryh has been publishing original, character-driven science fiction since 1975. Much of her work explores, in some way, first contact. Carolyn Janice Cherry decided to use her initials instead of her name because there was a fear science fiction with a woman’s name on the cover would not sell, and added the silent second “H” when Donald Wolheim worried that “Cherry” sounded too much like a romance writer. Cherryh will be honored at the Nebula weekend May 12-15. (Via Locus.)
Skybooks has launched a Kickstarter to fund the creation of a deluxe audiobook version of Harlan Ellison’s The City on the Edge of Forever (“Edith Keeler must die!”) This is the original, Writers-Guild-Award-winning teleplay, not the one that was eventually produced. The work will contain commentary by Ellison and various Star Trek luminaries. (H/T to Kat.)
Movies and Television
Deadpool sets a record in a category I didn’t know existed; highest grossing R rated movie in the US. People in countries with governments who exercise strict censorship are outraged at how much is “bleeped out” of Deadpool. One commenter quoted in the article says he can’t understand the film, so much has been bleeped.
Stubby the Rocket shares the preview of Disney’s Star Wars theme ride.
Steam has released a game for PC called Californium, based on the work of Philip K. Dick. The game immerses the player in the paranoid futuristic worlds of this brilliant and troubled writer; so much so that’s it’s almost like being in his head. Um… not sure this is a good thing…?
In the future, people who need prosthetic devices will make them works of art that reflect their personalities, or artist preferences. The future is now. Polygon shares a story about an amputee whose prosthetic limb was inspired by the videogame Metal Gear Solid V.
Gizmodo shares some insight into the report that showed up on the internet last week, about the mysterious alien music observed by Apollo Ten astronauts. The sound is funny, kind of a windy whistling. The astronauts seemed rather laid-back about it – if they really are our astronauts. They were out of radio contact for a while, after all.
In the past couple of weeks there has been a lot of excitement about gravitational waves. Scientific American’s Janna Levin explains why these waves are important to scientists (and us).
Scientists recently identified some fossils as belonging to the armadillo family – giant, pre-Ice Age armadillos. The critters are interesting; the scientific technique used is pretty fascinating too.
I don’t know which was more interesting; the giant armadillos, or the fact that there is a dwarf pink fairy armadillo. I know, right? And this concludes the armadillo section of our program for today.
Hawai’i is the youngest island of the subtropical archipelago that is our 50th state. It is the largest island in area and it is still growing, because of the active volcano Muana Loa. I was on the eastern, or “wet” side of the island, which features the kind of lush green vegetation most of us think of when we imagine jungles, but the east side also features sloping grasslands – it’s cow country –lava fields and sweeping vistas of feral sugarcane. Hilo, with a population of about 40,000, is the largest urban center on the island, nestled along the shallow crescent of the Waiakea Bay, now called Hilo Bay. When you visit, a trip to the Volcanos National Park and the Akaka Falls State Park, are definitely recommended.