Awards Finalist Lists:

The Nebula short-list has been announced.


There will be no column next week, March 6, but expect some photos from FOGCon on March 13, and check the Twitter feed for tweets from Terry and me during the convention.

A Sahara Desert dune.

A Sahara Desert dune.


The writer and internet personality who sued the San Jose WorldCon Committee last year has had four of his five charges dismissed by a Santa Clara judge. Two failed as a matter of law because the plaintiff claimed he was discriminated against on the basis of is political opinions. Two failed on the basis of fact. One charge, defamation of character, is allowed to go forward.


Books and Writing:

A Brazilian-based internet personality (my phrase of week) who has put her name on several romance novels appears to have plagiarized prolific romance writer Courtney Milan (among many others). As targets of plagiarism go, Milan is very bad choice. Before she made writing her career she was an intellectual properties law professor, and she has clerked for the Supreme Court. If you read further in Milan’s blog you will see that she and about two dozen other writers are taking steps now to hold the copyright infringer accountable.

Of course I linked to this early review of Brian Fies’s A Fire Story, due out next month. Brian and Karen are my friends. Brian is a brilliant cartoonist and a fine journalist. From within hours of the news that their house had burned to the ground, he was formulating stories, which became this book.

Intergalactic Medicine Show, an online publication published by Orson Scott Card, will cease publication later this year. Has anyone read it? I read one issue and liked several stories, but not enough to subscribe.

The Washington Post reviewed Golden State, the new novel by Ben H. Winters. I completely missed this one. The description and the review make me a little wary.

TV and Movies:

Showtime plans to release a “sequel in spirit” to 2014’s Penny Dreadful with Penny Dreadful; City of Angels, set in Los Angeles. It looks like the show will draw less from popular fiction of the late 1930s period and more from folklore. If the first show is any indication, the acting and the dialogue will be great.

Nightflyers, Syfy’s surprisingly bad show, was not renewed.

Sand Dunes at Twilight

Sand Dunes at Twilight

Here’s an article that summarizes what we know about the upcoming Dune movie. I love the sub-heading. Two things are setting off, if not a red light for me, at least a flashing yellow; the involvement of Brian Herbert, and the fact that it’s Film One of a Series. That’s just me, though. And the cast looks great, doesn’t it?

Vulture singles out Aidan Gallagher for a profile. Gallagher stars in Netflix’s superhero show The Umbrella Academy.

Here is a fun article about the folklore associated with the Academy Awards.


SyfyWire’s Gamergrrl provides a nice round-up article of game-related news.


Okaaay, so, um, this is a livecam of the cat who plays Goose in Captain Marvel, filmed while being a cat. This will eat up a lot of your time if you let it, but I will say I found it very relaxing, meditative almost.

Here are five sitcom-style wacky lies that got out of control in real life. This is written for laughs, but the “my sister’s fiancé is a terrorist” hoax is not funny. It is frighteningly irresponsible, illegal, and it could get someone killed. I just had to say that.

Star Wars fans, IO9 brings you good news of great joy; Hasbro has updated its lightsaber toy so that you can learn how to swing one properly. Please, use this new power only for good.

Smithsonian Magazine has an article about the contributions of women to the field of genetics and how (and if) that contribution was acknowledged. On one hand, this is a “no real surprise” story; on the other, it does show that we have made progress. Bringing out the names and histories of the women scientists who were exploring population genetics in the early 20th century may inspire more young women to follow their dreams.

This is an old and thoughtful essay (2013), by N.K. Jemisin, about black history and black futures (before she released her latest book.)

Jade Tailor, who plays Kady on The Magicians, posted this photo shoot on her Instagram, honoring Hedy Lamarr who was not only a “pretty face” but a brilliant engineer who invented something the Allies used to defeat the Axis powers during World War II. Here’s a little more information on Lamarr’s Spread Spectrum Technology.


On March 2, NASA and SpaceX plan to launch Dragon, a space shuttle vehicle that is designed once again for a human crew. The demonstration flight will not have a human crew.

“… in the dim light of the Kuiper Belt, a billion miles beyond Pluto…” that is one hell of a description of New Horizons’s location as it photographed Ultima Thule. The Kuiper Belt object is apparently somewhat flatter than we first thought.

Despite the clickbait headline, the Cygnus cargo craft’s mission looks pretty routine. I am curious about the cubesats it deployed for “various commercial customers,” though.


You can thank this Chilean desert for that long-life battery in your phone.