WWWednesday: January 24, 2018

Here is an obituary I’ve been dreading. We lost Ursula K. LeGuin this week. It is impossible for me to calculate what LeGuin gave to the speculative fiction field, to women and to the world. I know what she gave to me; hours of magic; models for strength and truth in the face of oppression and corruption, and often, plenty of laughter. Here is the New York Times obituary.

Conventions:

Wellington, New Zealand is preparing to bid for WorldCon 78 in 2020.Wellington is the capital and it looks pretty.  Layton, Utah is bidding for the North American SF convention that is held every year when WorldCon is not in the USA.

Charlie Jane Anders, V.E. Schwab and Seth Dickinson will all participate in New York’s BookCon 2018 this year, along with many mystery and thriller authors.

Youngblood (c) Image Comics. Technically not an Image original, but their first-seller.

Youngblood (c) Image Comics. Technically not an Image original, but their first-seller.

Books and Writing:

Peter Beagle has been named the latest Damon Knight Grand Master.

In response to last week’s Twitter fluff about “apolitical SF” Camestros Felapton creates a truly non-political SF story for your enjoyment.

The Paris Review blog has this nice article about the evolution of girl, and women, main characters in speculative YA fiction. (h/t to File 770.)

Good news from Eric Flint. It appears his cancer has not recurred. I wish him continued, improving health.

From a few weeks, ago, the UK Guardian provides a lists of favorite children’s books from 2017.

This coffee table book shows the history of the Star Wars franchise via New York Times articles.

Syfy Wire shares an oral history of the beginning of Image Comics. Some NSFW language. If I understood it right, one powerful thing this group did was change the ownership of intellectual properties in the comics field. That’s pretty heroic.

TV and Movies:

Starz unveiled its alternative-timeline story Counterpart on Sunday.

Savage Dragon, (c) Image Comics.

Savage Dragon, (c) Image Comics.

The CW offers another dark-tinged caped and masked hero series with Black Lightning, which premiered last week. Collider, along with several other sites, really liked this complicated family-centered superhero drama whose hero, Black Lightning, is probably closing in on fifty and just wants to do his day job and raise his daughters.

In the wake of the revelations of sexual harassment and assault, the Producer’s Guild of America has formulated guidelines for the industry, and Wonder Woman 2 will be the first film made under those guidelines. I guess you couldn’t really get a better enforcer than Diana, princess of the Amazons.

While Sunday’s SAG awards largely snubbed the speculative fiction offerings, the Razzies are not so narrow-minded! The Razzies, whose finalists are announced the day before the Oscar finalists are, present awards for the worst in film for the year. 2017 includes plenty of speculative fare. Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean; Dead Men Tell no Tales headline nearly every category. I didn’t even know another Pirates movie had come out.  (h/t to File 770.)

The Verge reviews Netflix’s Altered Carbon.
Penguin Random House provides this fun, retro video describing the main character in Ready Player One.

They also included a timelapse moving image of 130 years’ worth of National Geographic covers. I liked it.

Internet:

The lengths people will go for a plot twist… Both the plaintiff (San Diego Comic-Con) and the defendants (Salt Lake City Comic-Com) have filed motions for a new trial following the judgment issued on the intellectual properties infringement case. The jury found for SDCC, but awarded a token amount in damages, finding no willful infringement. SDCC asked for $12 million. Meanwhile, SLCC thinks that there is law that makes the verdict invalid. Stay tuned for the next thrilling twist and/or turn.

If you’ve got $162,000 lying around and you don’t know what to do with it, why not get a Tesla?  Ars Technica reviews the latest. No, I didn’t make up that price tag.

Did you know there were knights in Seattle? Here they are! Apparently, they take very good care of their horses, who are fully trained, so no animals are harmed in their jousts except perhaps the occasional human.

Earth:

Help! Giant birds are attacking—oh, no, it’s just a curious crow photobombing  a weather camera.

I took a look at this because the title was intriguing. The tone and the music of this video seems really… weird. And some of the rhetorical questions are just… really? “It is also necessary to think, is it necessary to solve them?” Um, what?

And another story about crows building tools, because crows are awesome.

Images:

These are covers from Image Comics original creations. They aren’t the covers of the first Image issue or anything, just ones I liked.


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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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3 comments

  1. Crows ARE awesome. Someday they’ll supplant us as the dominant species, and that will be a very fine day. ;-)

  2. They are pretty amazing birds.

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