Exploding Star, Courtesy of NASA

Exploding Star, Courtesy of NASA

A word for Wednesday; from Dictionary.com, this noun, oillionaire, is Canadian slang for a millionaire who made their wealth in the petroleum industry.

This is last column of January. Federal employees will again get pay checks for their work (or return to work if they were furloughed) and should have their back pay starting tomorrow.

How’s your 2019 going so far?

Books and Writing:

“Comp titles” (or comparative titles) are one vital element in the underrepresentation of certain groups in literature, according to some work done by the LA Review of Books. The selection of comps goes a long way to ensuring that the publishing field stays white. This is an interesting and not surprising article.

It will come as no surprise to book lovers that we’ve been lugging around books for a long time. Here’s a neat article about a medieval book coffer.

Subterranean Press is offering three versions (super-pricey to slightly-less-pricey) of a Neal Stephenson novella, “Atmosphera Incognita.”

Nuesces River from space, 11/1/18 Courtesy of NASA

Nuesces River from space, 11/1/18 Courtesy of NASA

Britain’s Man Booker Prize may be losing its underwriter, the Man Group hedge fund. Wow, so much in that sentence reads like the set-up to a joke. Wait, it’s going to get worse; some observers speculate that the Man Group felt under-appreciated

by the prize foundation.

John Scalzi regularly opens up his blog The Whatever to writers with books coming out. It’s called The Big Idea. James Fell’s column on his nonfiction book took me completely by surprise. And it’s interesting… and non-genre.

Django Wexler talks about his new book, Ship of Smoke and Steel, on Mary Robinette Kowal’s blog.

Movies and TV:

The Screen Actors Guild Award were announced on January 27. The cast of Black Panther won for outstanding performance of a cast in a motion picture. (Thanks to File 770.)

The Chinese film The Wandering Earth will open in limited USA release in early February. The Verge provides some data on the movie, based on a Xixin Liu short story, and a trailer.

Season Four of Syfy’s The Magicians premiered last week. Den of Geek reviewed the opening episode. I don’t think it contains many spoilers – oh, wait, there’s one; the Library imprisoned Santa Claus! It’s important for you to know that. For viewers of the show, I have one question; is Alice a good person?

Because we needed more creepy movie kids, IO9 previewed Hole in the Ground for us.


Is Apple considering a subscription service for games, and developing its own games? Industry insiders say “Yes.”

Dunes in the Wirtz Crater on Mars. Image courtesy of NASA.

Dunes in the Wirtz Crater on Mars. Image courtesy of NASA.


Speaking of Apple, they had an embarrassing moment this week when people learned that a person with an iPhone could easily listen in on someone else’s FaceTime session. Apple says it has created a fix for the bug.


The Never-Ending Man is a documentary about Japan’s brilliant visionary animator, Hayao Miyazaki.


Two rescued otter kits decide whether a pug puppy will be a good playmate.