I’m going to be out of town most of the week, so it is a skimpy World Wide Wednesday today.
From Locus, the British Fantasy Awards finalists are listed. Best Fantasy Novel finalists include Naomi Novik for Uprooted, Joe Abercrombie for Half a War, Zen Cho for Sorcerer to the Crown, Silvia Moreno-Garcia for Signal to Noise, Adrian Tchaikovsky for Guns of the Dawn, and Jen Williams for The Iron Ghost. The awards will be announced September 25, 2016.
Books and Writing
As we all know, academia can be a savage, bloody place, and there is nothing more frightening than an indignant academic who’s not afraid of Twitter. Shakespearean scholar Holgar Syme, of the University of Toronto shredded The One King Lear by Sir Brian Vickers in a 500-tweet live-tweet reading of the book. Is Vickers right that it isn’t fair to react to a scholarly work page-by-page in 140 characters? Is Syme right that Vickers’s conclusions about King Lear are balderdash? Has live-tweeting has finally mainstreamed? That’s my conclusion.
LitHub is trying out the Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic idea, and averaging the rating of works that have at least three national reviews. (They’re using A-F report-card rating.) LitHub’s focus is not on genre, but they are open to genre books, and they will be guided to some extent by the reviewers they’ve chosen. I have always had issues with the average idea, and my reason is places like Amazon, where a savvy writer can marshal a platoon of friendly readers who will give the book five stars, or a rival can do the same to give a book one star. LitHub apparently isn’t too worried about that. And, they have a spot for commenters to rate a book, but I think we scooped them on this one.
Can you spare one book? This plea from a small town trying to revitalize its school library is eloquent. I know I’ll be sending something, and I’m happy to give this a signal boost. Update, they have an Amazon wishlist.
Tor.com covers a book launch event for Malka Older’s debut novel Informacracy. Her brother, Daniel Jose Older, showed up to provide support.
Stage Plays (Only one, really):
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opened in London’s West End last week –actually, I believe this is a preview performance since the play’s official opening is July 30. Twitter really liked it, according to Yahoo. The creative team will be making some changes, including discontinuing the use of live owls in the production. During the preview performance, Sprocket, a barn owl cast in the play, hit her mark and then flew over the audience and into the rafters. It took the handlers awhile to get her back. You’ll never work in the West End again, Sprocket.
Okay, and maybe Hamilton too, which walked away with eleven Tony awards, including Best Musical.
Movies and TV
Person of Interest, CBS’s dystopian AI-and-shadowy-government-evildoers-police-procedural drama is coming to an end. If you have not seen recent episodes, do not read this, because it contains spoilers. Seriously, do not even click on it.TVLine interviewed Amy Acker, who plays Root, the Machine’s acolyte, about the series, her character, and a particularly acrobatic sex scene.
Speaking of AIs, an AI wrote a screenplay, and these film folks filmed it. Ars Technica called it “strangely moving.” I wasn’t moved watching these young actors struggle to wrench meaning out of the random dialogue, but I was entertained, so… success? I still can’t figure out “I’m a little bit of a boy on the floor.”
The sequel to Independence Day is due out June 24. Resurgence brings back some familiar faces; Jeff Goldblum, Vivica Fox and Judd Hirsch, and introduces some new ones. Coming Soon previews the actors and the characters. And it’s no spoiler that the movie almost didn’t happen at all, when they couldn’t get Will Smith to reprise the role of Steven Hiller.
Suvudu has a post that says that Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves will become a movie. I haven’t heard anything, and so far there is only a director attached to the project, but for fans of the book, I hope it’s true.
The reshoots of Rogue One; A Star Wars Story created such an uproar that even Stephen Colbert weighed in. Colbert teased a new character that will be part of the Star Wars film; Whooping Willie.
David Brin walks us through the webcomics he believes are the best. (Thanks to File770.)
Kotaku takes a look at BioWare’s Mass Effect, and likes it.
Here are some of the highest-resolution photos of Pluto, sent back by New Horizons.
Interesting new archeological discoveries were made in Cambodia, using lasers.
Those surprisingly regular geometric shapes found underwater by snorkelers are not part of a submerged city, Scientific American reports, but rather naturally occurring shapes created by bacteria.
Our ninth birthday giveaway is still active! And we’ve got a couple others that are still alive. Check here.
Thank you for the link to the amazon wish list of that small town library. Books are so important!
Melanie, I was very glad to see they have a wishlist. Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) has highlighted this project too, so I think they are going to get a lot of books!
It is a sad comment on the state of our education system that a rural school couldn’t get money to buy books or pay even a part-time librarian.