The Helix Nebula

The Helix Nebula


Once again, it’s awards season, and the short lists for the World Fantasy Awards are out. File 770 has the entire list, but here are some highlights:

Novel: The Buried Giant, Kazuo Ishiguro; The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin; Uprooted, Noami Novik; Savages, K.J. Parker; The Chimes, Anna Smaill; Head Full of Ghosts, Paul Tremblay.

Lifetime Achievement: David G Hartwell, Andrzej Sapkowski.

The awards will be announced at the World Fantasy Convention in October, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio. 

Books and Writing:

From last month, a roundup of reviews of “How to Talk to Girls at Parties,” by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba.

In western literature books fall into basically six stories, maybe. I like this article but I think these categories are quite broad.

Maverick bookseller Daunt has revitalized Waterstones in Britain by doing everything the common wisdom said not to. (But can he survive Brexit?)

The image of a writer sitting in a café or coffee house writing is an indelible one, and Juan Villoro discusses cafes in Mexico City. “Grottos of the initiates” indeed!

The South China Morning Post has an interview with Hao Jingfang about her Hugo-nominated novelette “Folding Beijing.” Hao talks about classism and equality, and her writing process. She really hopes she’ll get to meet Stephen King when she attends WorldCon in August. I really hope someone makes that happen!

Mystery and Imagination was one of Ray Bradbury’s favorite bookstores. Sadly, it is closing its doors. (Thanks to File 770.)

Art by Schuiten

Art by Schuiten


The new Iron Man will be a woman, and black. Miri Williams is a brilliant young student at MIT who is whipping up Iron-Man-like armor in her dorm room when Tony Stark becomes aware of her.

Why, yes, SAGA fans, you can get Saga action figures.

These images are somewhere beyond beautiful. 


Movies and TV:

In the new STAR TREK movie, we learn that a familiar character is in a same-sex relationship and has kids! IO9 posts a statement from Simon Pegg, who addresses why they chose to make an existing character LGBT+ rather than create a new character. George Takei, on the other hand, is skeptical.

The Legend of Tarzan opened last Thursday. The title of this review caught my eye… that the movie “stretches the limits of logic.” Yes, unlike the books. It’s an interesting review, though, discussing the way the movie tries to incorporate real history into the story. That was probably a mistake, but kudos for trying.

Over on Syfy, Killjoys and Dark Matter are both back for Season Two. Aaron Ashmore talked about his Killjoys character Johnny and what’s in store for the team in the second season. Parade offers a synopsis and a teaser of the network’s Dark Matter.

Having smashed to smithereens one of the best TV partnerships ever, after writing out one of the strongest, quippiest women characters in genre television at the end of last season, Sleepy Hollow is now casting about for a tough, skeptical female “Dana Scully-like” character who will create “conflicts with Crane.” She is tentatively named Anna, which is an amazing creative leap since it is so different from the name Abbie. I wish them luck. I won’t be watching Season Four to have an opinion.

From last month, the steampunk documentary Vintage Tomorrows has been acquired by Samuel Goldwyn and will be released next week, according to Variety.

Children Tightrope walk above a city, by Ray Gonsales

Art by Ray Gonsales


Canadian artist Rob Gonsales creates beautiful, whimsical, Escher-like works.


Through the use of augmented reality, Pokemon Go is helping people find out more about their neighborhoods… and discover corpses. The rippling wave of Pokemon crime, though, is a hoax.


From You Tube, a porcupine finds an autumn feast. I know we tend to anthropomorphize, and I know the brain seeks patterns where there really aren’t any, but geez! Doesn’t it sound like he’s speaking?



  • 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.