Arisia 2020 went forward and File 770 provides some fun photos here. 

Books and Writing:

Via File 770, the Heinlein Scholarships program is open until April 1, 2020.

LitHub shares genuine pulp covers of classic literary works—at least they say they are genuine and, like Fox Mulder, I want to believe. I nearly fell over when I saw the Wuthering Heights cover, and then I got to Heart of Darkness.

Missouri has introduced legislation to create small groups of parents to police libraries and remove work they deem inappropriate from the Children’s and YA sections. The proposal explicitly excludes librarians, even if they are members of the community, from being on these boards, and allows for fines and jail sentences for librarians found guilty of breaking this law. (This press release is from PEN, via File 770.) Missouri, can we talk?

The blog Armed with a Book features a guest post from Betsy Miller, who discusses collaboration and cowriting. (By the way, Betsy introduces an interesting-looking blog called the Quiet Pond—check it out.)

Iorek Byrnson from His Dark Materials, image from HBO/BBC

Iorek from His Dark Materials. Image from HBO/BBC

TV and Movies:

HBO finished airing Season One of the BBC adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. Here, from October, 2019, is a profile and interview with Dafne Keen who plays Lyra.

Here’s a little bit more about the show, from November.

NPR did not like the movie Dolittle and wants you to heed its warning. AV Club didn’t like it much better.

AV Club also voices some skepticism over Season Five of The Magicians.

Showtime shares a trailer of Penny Dreadful: City of Angels.

To no one’s great surprise, Disney’s legal arm is coming down hard on purveyors of unlicensed “Baby Yoda” merchandise.

The South Korean horror thriller Parasite was the first foreign-language film to win the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award for best cast, according to IndieWire.

Black Girl Nerds shares a bit about Jordan Peele’s new Amazon Series Hunters, about Nazi-hunters in the 1970s.

Image from Popular Mechanics, but we all know Disney owns it.

Don’t you dare copy me! Image from Popular Mechanics, but we all know who owns it.

Science and Tech:

Ars Technica has updated its smartwatch roundup of two years ago to review the best smartwatches of 2020.


Legos now offers a Legos Space Station.


Astronomers at the Zwicky Transient Facility at the Palomar Observatory have identified a rare asteroid whose orbit it between the earth and the sun. The article explains why this is rare, as asteroids are affected by the orbits of other planets and, as one scientist puts it, “Getting past the orbit of Venus must have been challenging.”


Firefighters in Australia have so far managed to save the one small remaining grove of Wollemi pines, a tree that dates unchanged from prehistoric times.


At first glance, today’s images seem to have a lot in common, but maybe not as much as you think. Iorik Brynison from His Dark Materials was mostly CGI-created, while The Child, fondly known as “Baby Yoda”) is a puppet.


  • 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.

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