Rest in peace, John Young. Image courtesy of NASA.

Rest in peace, John Young. Image courtesy of NASA.


John Young, the country’s oldest astronaut, who walked on the moon, and flew Gemini, Apollo and shuttle missions, died of complications from pneumonia on January 5. He was 87 years old.


File 770 published the finalists in 2017’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off competition. Here they are.

Linda Addison is the first poet to win the Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement award.

William Shatner was awarded the Officer of the Order of Canada award on January 2, 2018. I was trying to find a William-Shatner-delivery joke to put here, like “Canada. Must. Strive!” but none of them were any good.

The Cybil Award finalists for 2017 were announced. CYBIL is the Children’s and Young Adults Bloggers Literary Awards.


Our Giveaways are current through December 28, 2017. Check out our list. You may already be a winner!

Books and Writing:

Louise Erdrich’s new novel steps into speculative territory with a story that sounds more than a little like Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale  (and The Children of Men by P.D. James) but with Erdrich’s unique perspective. Here, the Guardian reviews The Future Home of the Living God.

Ice cave courtesy of the Calgary Herald.

Ice cave courtesy of the Calgary Herald.

Here’s something completely unrelated to genre, or even directly to fiction, but I have decided you all need it: the ten best birding books, courtesy of Signature Reads.

Lesbian Motif Podcast is open for submissions through January. They pay professional rates.

Cat Rambo, current President of Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) offers her personal goals for herself in that role for 2018.

The U.K. Guardian also has this lovely profile of novelist Katherine Rundell, which made me want to run out and order all of her books right now. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Nature Magazine reached out to six SFF writers including Aliette de Bodard and Ken Liu, and asked them what it’s like to write speculative fiction when “the future is now.” (H/t to Kat for this link.)

BookRiot offers a roundup of places online to read short science fiction. This is a nice resource!

LitHub contrasts  Rachel Ingalls’s novella “Mrs. Caliban” with The Shape of Water.

Henry Holt Publishing, the American Booksellers Association and the Authors Guild have all joined forces to protect Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury from attacks from the White House. Best marketing ploy ever!

TV and Movies:

BBC America has cancelled Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency after two seasons.

Did you watch the X-Files season premiere? Apparently, many people did not watch it on original release. I watched it later using On Demand. I don’t remember the original show being quite so dull, (monologue, monologue, monologue—car chase!  Monologue, monologue — let’s try to kill Scully!). Variety liked it though, and thinks it’s still relevant.

The young actor who plays Eleven on Stranger Things will star as Enola Holmes, Sherlock Holmes’s younger sister in a movie based on the YA novels by Nancy Springer.

Black women apparently will NOT be boycotting next month’s Marvel movie The Black Panther. That’s kind of a double-negative lead, but several groups took to the internet this week to set the record straight after a questionable Twitter account called for a boycott. This article makes a solid point about the film; it has the most Black female actors of any Marvel movie, so maybe it’s not about “supporting black men.” This rumor has not gotten a lot of traction, but I think it’s an illustration of how certain groups, even those from hostile countries, get a toehold and sow dissension. The movie opens on February 18.

The trailer is not new, but the TV spot at the beginning is. Enjoy.


The Verge has a long and intense article about the murder of the young man in Kansas who was “Swatted” as part of a gamer dispute from across the continent. This article provides more detail. The gamer who made the false report that sent armed police to a random person’s house has been arrested for felony false reporting.

In this follow up, the man who made the false report and sent police to a house where they believed an armed man had already killed one person and was holding hostages says it’s his personal belief that he didn’t cause anyone to die.

Frozen Niagra. Photo by Lindsay Dedario of Reuters News Service.

Frozen Niagra. Photo by Lindsay Dedario of Reuters News Service.

The Economist addresses brain-computer interface in an article that is fascinating and creepy.

Here’s a nice overview of the history of heating. Yes, heating. Everybody stay warm out there.


  • 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.

    View all posts