Should have used sunscreen. Dark Phoenix, image from The Verge.

Should have used sunscreen. (Dark Phoenix, image from The Verge.)

June 8 is the birthday of SF editor John W. Campbell, who is often credited with creating (or at least helping create) SF’s Golden Age; most notably through Astounding Science Fiction. While Campbell’s racism and other political views are problematic now, he helped shape the field as it is today.

In word-related news, I did not know that stymie could be a noun. I was certainly familiar with it as a verb, (to block or obstruct), but as a noun it is a golfing term that means the same thing; when your ball lies between your opponent’s ball and the cup, that’s a stymie.


George R.R. Martin received the Carl Sandburg Literary Award.

Books and Writing:

I had never heard of Femzine, a 1950s zine edited by Joan Carr. The zine provided a sounding board for women writers of speculative fiction… only Joan Carr was a pseudonym, a made-up persona designed to fool a group of conventioneers, and behind her was a man. It’s a nice plot twist. This site has links to the original zine for the historically minded. Thanks to File 770. released the cover for John Scalzi’s The Last Emperox.

The publishing business plans to make an argument excluding books from the China tariffs, partially on the basis that books facilitate the free flow of information and knowledge. (Considering that one of our issues with China is how often that stuff flows to them from us to them without acknowledgment or licensing, I’m not sure that’s a great argument.) I was surprised, although I shouldn’t have been, to learn that many bibles and other religious books are printed in China.

Heather Rose Jones writes a thoughtful journal post about getting rid of stuff, and why we cling to the things we do.

Fallout continues for Linda Fairstein, a former prosecutor turned author. Fairstein and her office prosecuted the five young men wrongfully convicted of raping a woman in Central Park in 1989. Legal experts and advocates criticized the prosecution at the time, both for matters of fact and because it seemed racially motivated. The five men have been exonerated. Dutton has ended its publishing contract with Fairstein. She has also stepped down from several boards on which she sat.

The Guardian weighs in with a round up of best science fiction books so far this year.

Click on this link to hear an audio version of Chapter One of the new Robin Hood retelling, Nottingham by Nathan Markaryk. It’s about 20 minutes long.

he Dark Phoenix comic cover. (Image  from Heritage Auction.)

The Dark Phoenix comic cover. (Image from Heritage Auction.)

TV and Movies:

NPR… yes, NPR reviewed the film adaptation of Dark Phoenix, and didn’t hate it. The expression “damning with faint praise,” sprang to mind while I read this. I continued reading though because the review is just so fun.

Where have I been? Apparently, the fourth film in the rebooted Star Trek franchise was cancelled earlier this year. This old article discusses a number of reasons.

I watch Wynonna Earp, and I thought it was her sister Waverly who took the flight of stairs to nowhere and got trapped in a limbo-world—not the whole damn show! Although Season 4 was apparently greenlit, financial difficulties makes it seem like there will be no season in 2019… and that’s usually not a good sign.

Keith R.A. DeCandido rewatches a 2010 movie based on a comic. I don’t even remember this film being announced. What a cast, though.


A population of ladybugs created a swarm so large they showed up on weather satellites. Hmm, which apocalypse does this presage? I have to admit, of all the “swarm” horror tropes, “Oh, God, the ladybugs, the ladybugs!” just doesn’t seem that scary.

Mark Zuckerberg and his fortune are entangled in a strange but interesting property dispute in Hawaii. Ownership, sovereignty and colonialism make this otherwise-ordinary family squabble (Zuckerberg may be bankrolling one of the family members) out of garden-variety and into drama.


This 12,000 year old stone carving is cool.


  • 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.