Books and Writing:
Mark Lawrence, who manages and hosts the annual Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off (SPFBO) also has a “cover contest.” So far, three covers are up, and they’re pretty good! (Thanks to File 770.)
Dark Matter zine shares late illustrator Ian Gunn’s “silly illos” of fiction clichés. This week is, “The villain, pursued by cops, climbs to the top of the highest building in the city, and then falls off.”
Ian Sales, who neither nominates nor votes for the Hugos although he is eligible to, reviews the Hugo shortlist in the Novella category. Consider this the Curmudgeon Opinion. He makes some good points and stops short of yelling, “You kids! Get off my lawn!”
Irene Gallo is now the Vice-President and Publisher of Tor.com. Congratulations to her on her promotion. Gallo was a co-founder of Tor.com.
Vulture interviewer Lila Shapiro spent three days interviewing Sherilyn Kenyon, a paranormal romance novelist who has accused her ex-husband and a former assistance of conspired to poison her. (I covered this story earlier in the year.) This is a long, well-written and ultimately heart-breaking article that sheds no light on how Kenyon got heavy metal poisoning, which is appears she did. That’s no fault of the interviewer. (Thanks to File 770.)
Writer Jim C. Hines is taking a hiatus while he and his wife work through her cancer treatments. His clear, unsentimental post walks us through the choices people have to make every single day. I wish them both all the best.
It’s no surprise that best-selling author John Scalzi gets a lot of ARCS. He regularly shares the stack on his blog. Here is his ARC pile for Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere.
TV and Movies:
A right-wing group sent a strongly-worded petition to Netflix, demanding that they cancel Good Omens because it, among other things, “normalized Satanism.” If you watched Good Omens, and you’re wondering what Netflix has to do with it, you are not alone… so is Netflix. The show is produced and streamed by Amazon. Netflix, playing along, promised to cancel the show immediately. Amazon, in return, promised to cancel Netflix’s Stranger Things. Dear Right-Wing Group, here are three steps to prevent this embarrassment in the future: 1) Open a search engine; 2) search on “Good Omens TV who produces,” and 3) write down the answer. You’re welcome.
Entertainment Weekly celebrated the 20th anniversary of the CW show Angel. What would we call it now? “Vampire noir?” Anyway, it’s a charming, sentimental article with a couple of videos, and it glosses over some things; the way the show was cancelled, and the storyline Joss Whedon punished Charisma Carpenter with in her final full season on the show. Other than that, though, a nice walk down memory lane.
What? DC is shutting down its Vertigo imprint. Just doesn’t seem right.
Many people came to the western frontier to live lives of other than their assigned gender, according to this article in Atlas Obscura. While some (especially women) may have chosen male attire solely for safety or financial reasons, it’s plain that many of these folks were choosing to live the gender in which they felt whole.
I didn’t know Uranus had rings, but there are pictures.
Three NASA stories:
The next lunar initiative will be named Artemis and requires more money in NASA’s budget (no surprise); about $1.6 billion more.
Lots of people in the USA would rather the agency focus on shooting down asteroids that might be on a collision course with our planet than going to Mars.
Women now hold key roles in the space agency’s science projects.
The Right to Repair movement continues slow steady growth. This may not seem like much when it’s about a phone. When it’s a $30,000 piece of farm equipment with “proprietary” software and the nearest company shop is 60 miles away, the ability to repair becomes more urgent than just a nice-to-have.
Friday, June 21 was Summer Solstice in the norther hemisphere. Revelers at Stonehenge welcomed summer. (File 770 again, thanks for this one.)
I made fun of a political group earlier in the column for their failure to do research, so in the interests of full disclosure I will reveal that I did the very same thing this week. Fortunately, my mistake had a positive outcome. Fantasy illustrator Melody Knighton will be doing the cover for an anthology I have a story in. When I looked her up, I found who I thought was Melody Knighton. It wasn’t. It was another artist of the fantastical, Monica Knighton. So, I thought I’d share a piece from each of them, just for fun. I think they both have work for sale on their sites.