This week’s word for Wednesday is a noun, xenodochium. It means is a hostel or guest-house, or anywhere where strangers are made welcome.

Books and Writing

Lake Powell and the Grand Escalante from the International Space Station.

Lake Powell and the Grand Escalante from the International Space Station.

Sarah Beth Durst posted a little bit about the sequel to The Queen of Blood on her spiffy redesigned website.

Atlas Obscura introduces us to Marie Duval, a 19th century animator who was overlooked by history.  Thanks to File 770.

BBC Radio 4 introduces a series of 15-minute radio stories based on Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot.

The Portland-based Oregonian is Oregon’s largest daily newspaper. After the paper published this citizen’s careless theory that “alternative facts” are just like science fiction, another Oregonian citizen took exception and wrote a rebuttal. That citizen’s name is Ursula Le Guin.

The Calabash Nebula as seen from the Hubble Telescope.

The Calabash Nebula as seen from the Hubble Telescope.

LitHub gives us an essay about an Icelandic version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula that sounds fascinating – and it isn’t new.

The name of this series stopped me in my tracks. Bookburners? And I’m supposed to like it? And then I saw who collaborated on it (MaxGladstone and Mur Lafferty to name two), and read this fun column on Mary Robinette Kowal’s blog. Now I’m rethinking my immediate reaction.

Just because your To-Be-Read list towers so high it is probably a safety hazard, and your e-reader is groaning and bulging at its virtual seams, doesn’t mean that you don’t want another list of reading recommendations, right? Of course you do! And Locus has one for you.

The UK Guardian provides a nice profile and interview of Neil Gaiman. He talks about writing, mythology, TV shows, Brexit, the US election and being British. Right in the middle of is a beautiful illustration from The Graveyard Book. Enjoy.

The War of the Roses is one thing, but this historian sees more parallels between George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series and the British war of succession between Matilda, daughter of King Henry the 1st, and her cousin Stephen of Blois. By the way, if you read mysteries, the Brother Cadfael series is set during this conflict.

Movies and TV:

The Verge has a review of The Expanse. Polygon does too, but I didn’t link to it because it is filled with spoilers if you haven’t seen the season premiere.

Are they making a show of Marvel’s RUNAWAYS? Are they? Color me excited!

Here’s a nice profile of the comics publisher Image, probably best known for The Walking Dead. They also publish The Fuse, a police procedural in space that I am enjoying right now. (HT to Ryan.)

Sherlock fans might have wondered exactly where the infamous high-tech prison Sherrinford, used in the “Final Problem” episode, was filmed. Its identity has been revealed; St Catherine’s Rock, off Tenby. Unfortunately, it is now closed to the public.

Peter Capaldi is leaving Doctor Who the end of 2017. So is Steven Moffat. Did the internet and the twitterverse go crazy with suggestions for the next Doctor? Yes, they did. Here is a partial list.

I thought this article was slightly more interesting than the photos, which mostly look like paparazzi walk-bys. Screen Rant discusses the partnership between Netflix and Marvel, and takes a look at the upcoming season. It’s promising.

If you’re looking for a creepy horror movie, IO9 may have found it for you. The Blackcoat’s Daughter mines a beloved vein of horror; the boarding school story, but it looks scary, and good. (Warning, the trailer has very brief female nudity and may not be safe for work. Not to mention not safe to watch home alone at night.)


“You have found your tribe/ A vast alliance of cosmic tribes.” At last year’s Nebula event, this group of SWFA, er, performers, unveiled “Radio SFWA.” For your viewing pleasure:

Benjamin Kinney writes about neuroscience and the tools of neuroscience in this article for File 770. It’s interesting in its own right and a nice resource for anyone working on fiction or world-building that will involve changes to the brain.

What did you think of that 84 Lumber ad during the Superbowl? Have you seen the entire thing? Here is is. It’s a little over 5 minutes long.


Kotaku continues its under-the-microscope examination of GameStop, particularly its selling system called “Circle of Life.” (Queue the Lion King soundtrack.) This column focuses on responses from GameStop employees. Wow. This doesn’t sound good for customers or employees.


NASA is studying phytoplankton in the Pacific Ocean.

This team of scientists is using advanced aerial imaging to measure the functional diversity of forests.

This megamaser emits microwaves rather than visible light.

This megamaser emits microwaves rather than visible light.


Today’s images are all from the NASA image gallery.



  • 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.