WWWednesday: January 11, 2023

Stand of leafless trees in calm, snowy field.Caroline Herschel was the sister of 18th-century astronomer William Herschel. An accomplished singer herself, Caroline helped her brother chart the heavens, and identified nebulae. Philip Henry and Hannah Martin wrote and performed this song about her back in 2005.

LitHub compiled some exceptionally vicious book reviews from 2022. Several of these read like reviewers who saw a chance to practice their writing skills, and several cross over into ad hominem comments… but a lot of them are funny.

The Washington Post explores why it took 43 years to get Octavia Butler’s Kindred to the small screen. (Thanks to File770.)

My husband stumbled across a news item about smart toilets at the Consumer Electronics Expo in Las Vegas last weekend. He heard that you could flush it from your phone or direct it to play music for you. The big draw, it turns out, is that it will analyze your urine—or the urine of anyone who uses that toilet?– and provide a health report to your phone. Exciting and disturbing.

Nerds of a Feather provides a capsule review of Hamlet, Prince of Robots, by Darusha Wehm.

Joyce Meskis was the owner of The Tattered Cover independent bookstore in Colorado, which even I have heard of. She passed away in December, 2022, and she is celebrated in the Publishers Weekly article.

Nancy Kress is one of my favorite Big Idea novelists, and in her newest novel, Observer, she tackles the biggest idea of all. On Whatever, she discusses the genesis of the book, and the challenges—among them, writing collaboratively.

Virgin Orbit’s attempt to launch a rocket from a base in the U.K. ended in failure, apparently a somewhat confusing failure according to this article.

To make fully electric vehicles viable, the USA needs a lot more chargers. How many do we need? How many will we be getting as part of the infrastructure bill? Ars Technica takes a shot at answering those question.

Tor.com shares a list of the fantasy books coming out this month.

The second trailer for Amazon’s Carnival Row shows that bigotry hasn’t gone away, and the Fae are barreling toward rebellion.

It looks like Disney/Marvel diligently scrubbed everything I loved from the Antman franchise. Here is the trailer for Antman and the Wasp; Quantumania, in which some guy uses the protocolecule—oh, wait, sorry—blue light and a helmet to be mean to Scott and everybody. I do like Hope’s new haircut, though. Enjoy.


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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. You can read her blog at deedsandwords.com, and follow her on Twitter: @mariond_d.

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2 comments

  1. Paul Connelly /

    I don’t have the exact link for it, but there is a GoFundMe for the award-winning horror author Laird Barron going on this week. Barron is quite ill and in the hospital, but has no insurance, so this is to cover his medical expenses, including any medications if he can make it back home. The link can be found on any of a number of the horror and fantasy subreddits. While Barron is recognized as one of the top authors in the genres of cosmic horror and dark fantasy, he’s not a best-seller by any stretch.

    Apparently the “affordable” in the name of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is more notional than exact, as there are still people whose income is too low to make purchasing insurance through the privatized “exchanges” doable yet too high to let them qualify for Medicaid. And no doubt our latest Congress will be trying to expand that segment of the population, so more funds can be devoted to the military-industrial complex and tax breaks for millionaires.

  2. Paul, thanks for posting about that. According to John Langhan, they have moved Barron to another hospital (this is a good thing). I also think it’s closer to his home.

    https://www.gofundme.com/f/laird-barron-hospital-costs-medication-costs

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