This week’s word for Wednesday is pestiferous, an adjective, which the OED dates from about 1542. It means bringing or producing a pest or plague; dangerous to health, in the nature of a pest.
The Prometheus Awards (Libertarian) were announced Seveneves by Neil Stephenson won the award for best novel. Courtship Rites by Donald Kingsbury won the Hall of Fame award. Click here for the full list.
Books and Writing:
Cat Rambo discusses the difference between an organization and a person, and turns this essay into an analysis of the Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers of America organization. This is very long, but I was surprised at how much SWFA is doing!
Wil Wheaton gave an address to the 2016 MENSA Annual Gathering and File770 excerpted it. I include it because the opening excerpt is about libraries and librarians. (And you know how we here at FanLit feel about libraries.)
Speaking of librarians, the Library of Congress, after a loooong delay, has a new one.
And the Library of Congress plans to acknowledge Stephen King. (Thanks to File 770 again.)
Judith Merril was honored for the Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award, given to someone whose work in fantasy or science fiction “displays unusual originality, embodies the spirit of Cordwainer Smith’s fiction,” and is deserving of rediscovery. Merril, who left the US in 1968 and became a Canadian citizen, was a writer, but her largest influence was as an editor and co-founder of the Milford Workshop. Her short fiction and her novels are definitely worth a new look. (Thanks to File 770 and Locus.)
Movies and TV:
Entertainment Weekly gives us a first—and a last look—at the Technical Boy from Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. It’s our “last look” because Technical Boy will never look the same way twice. The article describes him as “more like a GIF than a JPEG.” I’m intrigued!
It looks like Ghostbusters made about $47 million its opening weekend; not a super-duper blockbuster, not a bust. The reviewer at Variety didn’t like it very much because it borrowed too heavily from the original, although he does admit that it is “both funnier and scarier than Ivan Reitman’s 1984 original.” Reviewers, man, they’re never satisfied. What can you do with them?
Suicide Squad debuts next month, and one thing is clear – whatever happens with the film, the cast had a great time and really bonded. This large group of A-listers apparently worked extraordinarily well together. We’ll see how that translates to the screen.
IO9 unveils the first poster for Rogue One; A Star Wars Story, showing a battle in a tropical setting. We haven’t seen too many tropical islands in that franchise.
IO9 also reveals the new Han Solo for the Star Wars Solo prequel.
This article explains the purpose of Tesla’s so-called “auto-pilot” and generally discusses driver assist versus self-driving, or “Don’t watch a movie while you are driving your vehicle.” I thought this was obvious, but apparently not.
What can you do when the tech giant hosting your blog decides you have violated the terms of service, and deletes your blog? What recourse do you have? Dennis Cooper seems to have none as he battles with Google. The PEN Foundation has written a statement of support for Cooper. I don’t question Google’s right to delete or block content they find offensive or non-compliant with their terms of service, but in this case, based on what we know, it seems that Google has not provided anywhere near enough information or notice to the user. I’m wondering if there will be more to this story, or if it will somehow just fade away.
In this TED talk, Adam Savage riffs on imagination, play, costuming, cosplay and community. It’s wonderful. Thanks, Kat!
Conservation Officer Luke Hunter has published a book about felines, complete with some beautiful photos. There are varieties of wild cat here that I didn’t even know about.
Also from National Geographic, take a photo tour of Iceland’s biggest glacier.