On this day in 1954, George Allen and Unwin, London publishers, published The Fellowship of the Ring, Volume One of The Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien.
Movies and Television:
Syfy announces plans to serialize Dan Simmons’s work Hyperion. (The Shrike! The Shrike!) The plans so far only include the first of the four books, but since that one ends on a cliffhanger, it seems likely they will want to continue production if the audience response is good. Simmons’s book, which echoes back to Canterbury Tales and John Keats’s poetry, is an ambitious undertaking. Some good people are attached to the project, though, like Bradley Cooper.
On Game of Thrones, Jon Snow is dead, dead, dead, his life’s blood oozing away into the snow… right? Or, maybe not so much. Or maybe, fans just can’t let the guy go. Or maybe somewhere, George RR Marin is cackling in unholy glee. This article explains why it’s obvious Jon Snow isn’t dead… or could still be alive, or be alive again. They have evidence!
The Fantastic Four isn’t even released yet, and already Brian Singer, of X-Men fame, is discussing a crossover project. I didn’t like either of the last two Fantastic Four movies, and I was prepared to dislike this one because it looked like it put special effects ahead of the family relationship but this trailer made me rethink that.
Syfy’s People’s Choice Award Winning reality show, Face Off, premiered Season 9 on Tuesday. Here’s a nostalgia hit; the judges share their 20 “top looks” from the long-running contest show.
The shortlist for the 2015 British Fantasy Awards has been announced. The candidates for best novel include Robert Jackson Bennett for City of Stairs; Edward Cox for The Relic Guild; K.T. Davies for Breed; Frances Hardinge for Cuckoo Song; Lavie Tidhar for A Man Lies Dreaming; Neil Williamson for The Moon King.
Best horror novel nominees are Emily St John Mandel for Station Eleven, which doesn’t seem like horror to me; Alison Littlewood for The Unquiet House; Rich Hawkins for The Last Plague; Gary McMahon for The End; M. R. Carey for The Girl With All The Gifts; Adam Neville for No One Gets Out Alive.
On Thursday, July 23, NASA announced that the Kepler telescope identified a planet that might be “Earth’s bigger, older cousin.” The exoplanet is the closest to earth-like that’s been identified. Won’t the locals be surprised in three hundred years (or whenever) when our generation ship shows up?
Books and Writing:
I can’t imagine anything much more awesome than discussing craft with Ursula K LeGuin, can you? Well, now we can do that. LeGuin is offering help “navigating the ocean of story” via Book View Cafe. Readers can submit a question to LeGuin who will address it in an upcoming post. Here is her first question; it’s a doozy.
Speaking of LeGuin, Portland Monthly Magazine profiled her. Here is that charming and thoughtful article.
There have been some big losses in the writing world recently. Last week, E.L. Doctorow passed away. The UK Guardian remembers him, here. On July 27, noted true crime writer Ann Rule died at the age of 83. Rule’s first book was a profile of Ted Bundy. Rule worked the same shift with Bundy at a suicide prevention hotline.
SF Signal has the first of a multi-part interview with Samuel R. Delaney posted this week.
Over at Suvudu, they offer us five fantasy series that are nearly complete, at least close enough that you could start reading them now and not end up stranded. SF Signal offers a synopsis of the fourth Miriam Black novel by Chuck Wendig, Thunderbird.
The UK Guardian also offers a nice interview with Stephen Baxter, who discusses what it was like to collaborate with Sir Terry Pratchett.
One more story from The Guardian, about a Dr. Seuss manuscript; What Pet Should I Get? It sounds… well, it doesn’t really sound fun.
Dr. Stephen Hawking is doing an AMA on Reddit. To accommodate Hawking, the site is using a different technique for its AMA. The concentration of the AMA is artificial intelligence. You can see the questions, and check back for Hawking’s responses, here.
Here’s an interesting article on gender, language, and the Turing test.
Our featured artist is Andy Kehoe. Andy studied at the Parson’s School of Design, but feels that having learned craft, he truly learned to make art after he left school. “The best way to learn how to paint, and to learn what style of painting suits you, is to just make a lot of paintings and learn from the successes, failures, and serendipitous discoveries of that work.” His work is influenced by fantasy, skateboarding, science fiction and comics, as well as countless artists he has worked with, or whose work he has seen over the years. He enjoys fantasy by writers like Joe Ambercrombie, Brandon Sanderson and Scott Lynch. You can see his work on his website, at his Etsy site and also in the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York City, NY, and Thinkspace in Culver City, Ca. When you go to his site, do take a moment to read his artist statement. It will make you laugh.
Really excellent art this week, Marion. :)
I like the direction Syfy is going with their upcoming television series–focusing on literary adaptations rather than so-bad-they-aren’t-funny original movies or throwing a fresh coat of paint on popular British shows. They’ve got a great opportunity to make tv AND expose people to books, so why not take it?
And they’re actually investing real money in these series. I’m hopeful.
I love the art! Thanks for introducing us to this artist!
I think Kate deserves the hat tip for Andy’s work, she sent me the link. I love his stuff.