From Haggard Hawks, “to meet the Skerrymen” is to keep as a secret the identity of someone with whom you had a meeting.


San Diego Comic-Con kicked off last Thursday. Syfy Wire has some nice cosplay stills here.

WorldCon 75 Mascot in Space

WorldCon 75 Mascot in Space

You know who didn’t like Comic-Con? United Airlines, that’s who. They restricted the packing of comic books in checked luggage.  United assured passengers, via Twitter, that this was a TSA requirement. TSA did not agree with this statement.

WorldCon 75 has posted the draft schedule for WorldCon, which will be held in Helsinki, Finland. (On Thursday, there is a panel called “Cats in Popular Culture.”)

Books and Writing:

Excellent news for Nnedi Okorafor and for us! HBO has optioned Who Fears Death for a TV adaptation. George RR Martin is an executive producer. I don’t know if that’s good or not but the idea that this book will be a show is great news!

Paul Kincaid took part in the Arthur C. Clarke shadow jury this year. He is unhappy with the Clarke jury’s choices, and states that it has caused him to question the meaning of the award at all. He spends some time here trying to define “best…” and then savaging some of the books he doesn’t like, admittedly in a polished and academic manner. What do you think?


The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet Book Cover

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet

I loved this book when I was a kid, but I could never remember the name of it, which is odd because the name is The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet, and it’s about a flight to a mushroom planet, but anyway. Here is a review of it, about sixty years after it came out. Thank you for joining me on this stroll down memory lane.

Movies and TV:

Elizabeth Mitchell joins the cast of The Expanse, playing… hmm, could it be Pastor Anna?

Lucifer has been renewed for a third season and adds a bonus of 4 additional episodes which will open the season.

San Diego Comic-Con previewed the trailer for the movie of Ready Player One. Thanks to Kat for this link.

And… SDCC also released the trailer for the Doctor Who Christmas special, complete with some familiar faces.

Salon takes a look at podcasts that focus on history.

Still more on the new Doctor Who, this time from Brandwatch. And this is Sarah Gailey’s take on the new Doctor.

Er, Space?

California has become a state better-known for food fads and selfishness than the fun wackiness of the old days, but when we decide to go back to whacky, we dig deep. Here, a southern California Congressional Representative questions a NASA scientist about a possible civilization on Mars thousands of years ago. Those of you who follow political news might recognized Representative Dana Rohrabacher’s name from a different context. Perhaps the Representative is writing a secret science fiction novel, in which a plucky US Congressional Rep joins forces with a Russian oligarch, and they build a ship, fly to Mars and rescue the children of Earth. The people of Coronado, CA, must be so proud.

And Space:

NASA hopes you enjoy this breath-taking image of the sun.


Jane Austen will be featured on the new British ten-pound note. (This is cool, GB, but it doesn’t get you off the hook for Brexit. I’m just saying.) Thanks to File 770 for this link.


Are robots how we defeat terrorism? I started this article to see how the all-girl team from Afghanistan did in the international robotics competition. Apparently their robot made a respectable showing, and although they did not win they were awarded a medal for courageous achievement. As I read on, though, I discovered that American kids helped the Iranian team, because the Iranian youth could not get the parts they needed due to sanctions. The article is even more heart-warming that I expected. Maybe walls come down and fears fall away when we let kids get together and build robots.

Eagle versus Drone:

I'm thinking, drone for dinner tonight. Eagle in flight.

I’m thinking drone for dinner tonight.

The story is better than the video, sadly, but Ars Technica provides uplifting video of a boat sailing through Dutch Harbor… right up until an eagle attacks and kills the camera drone. Wildlife at its best! (The attack happens in the last few seconds.)

Earth (aka Another Weird Abandoned Place):

Spreepark, in Berlin, is an abandoned theme park. It might seem familiar to anyone who saw the movie Hanna because the climax was filmed there. In fact in the movie we see the mammoth, and we watch Hanna climb over those abandoned swan boats.


  • 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.