Not the comfy chair!

Not the comfy chair!

This week’s word for Wednesday comes, as it does nearly always, from word explorer Haggard Hawks. The verb “to lollock” means to loll about or lounge. The even cooler word is the noun, “lollockin” which means a really comfy chair. (Yes, I know, “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!”)


Stephen King will receive the PEN Literary Service award in May, 2018. The award is presented to authors whose work “embodies America’s mission to oppose repression in any form and champion the best of humanity.” I hope they included King’s twitter account in his body of work!

File 770 posted the short lists for the Annies, awards for animated features from the International Animated films society, and the BBC Audio Drama awards.

Books and Writing:

“Another silly American idea, you might be thinking, like compressing marshmallows into a jar and calling it sandwich spread, or teasing Kim Jong-un about his nuclear capability.The UK Guardian sums up this silly fashion trend; shelve your books spine-in for a neutral look. (This article did start me craving a peanut-butter-and-marshmallow sandwich.)

Publishers Weekly announces two book purchases in the SFF field; a dystopian novel purchased by Berkeley books and a memoir from J. Michael Straczynski by Harper Voyager.

I had not heard of this graphic novel, Blankets, and I’ll have to see if Brad has. It’s newly released in the UK and the Guardian reviews it here.

George R.R. Martin will fund a scholarship for a participant in the Taos Toolbox intensive writing workshop in New Mexico. Martin’s scholarship will be to bring an aspiring SFF writer from a non-English-speaking country to the workshop.

TV and Movies:

Continuing this week’s book-abuse theme, here is the teaser for HBO’s series, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.

This Youtube video discusses 10 TV series that changed their original premises. I like that they include British shows and a Danish show.

IO9 has a nice article on Netflix’s most recent adaptation, Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon. Of those three books, Altered Carbon seems the best suited for a television adaptation.


Over at Ars Technica, Thomas Wells writes about what he loves about gaming; that the right game can change the player. To be honest, I don’t know quite how I feel about this, given the issues with gamers on social media and the recent Swatting episode. It seems like, yes, games do change the gamers, and not in a good way. Wells’s essay takes a more positive approach and it is both thoughtful and thought provoking.


The French, championing linguistic purity officially since 1966, are attempting to quash the word “smartphone.”  Generally, the French government does not like “loanwords.” They might have success with their French name, “un mobile multifunction” because “mobile” is already in use for a cellular phone. Good luck, mes amies.

The Verge shares some Swedish suburban SF art with us. These images suppose that advanced technology was in use all around us. The barn with the hemispheric antenna thing rising out of its roof is my favorite.


The Gotland runestone: not just for tattoos anymore.

The Gotland runestone: not just for tattoos anymore.

“These are not the runes you are looking for.” Oh, wait, yes, they are. This Norse comb has the runic spelling of the noun comb and the verb “to comb” carved on it. Linguists and archeologists are delighted because this is in a runic form that superseded a previous form, and this find will shed some light on the ways the new form migrated.

This Washington Post article won’t make you want to go to Venezuela on a vacation, but, sad as it is, it provides good world-building information, and maybe a writing prompt or two. When a government collapses, this is what it’s like for the regular folks.