There is a bird theme in this week’s column and our word for Wednesday goes with it. Killy-wimple, a noun, is an archaic Scots word for the undulating flight of a bird, or a musical trill in singing.

Red Kite Bird in Flight

Red Kite in Flight


Ann Leckie won the Locus Reader Award for best science fiction novel (Ancillary Mercy), while Naomi Novik won for Best Fantasy Novel (Uprooted).

Jeff Bezos was awarded the Heinlein Prize, which acknowledges progress in commercial space travel activities, with a goal of advancing the Heinleins’ dream of humans moving into space. Bezos, the Amazon CEO is also the head of Blue Origin. Blue Origin has pioneered many technological advances in space fight including fuel innovations and a vertical land and take-off rocket that has successfully landed several times.

File 770 provides some twitter-grabs and photos from the Locus Awards weekend. It’s Item 1 in the roundup.


Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation is being made into a movie, directed by Alex Garland, who directed Ex Machina. It’s got a pretty powerful cast. Certainly VanderMeer’s prose is strikingly visual, but that book was so interior that I’m wondering just how well it will translate. When this movie comes out I think I want to see it with someone who hadn’t read the book, so that we can compare our experiences.

Peter David talks about the impact of the Axanar lawsuit and what it means to Star Trek fans and moviemakers in the future.

Locus reviews Independence Day, Resurgence with a review titled “The Fogeys of July,” which did make me laugh. It’s an interesting review by a reviewer who liked it more than he expected to. What made it different for him? Among other things, the old people!

The BFG Portrait Little Girl and Giant


The New York Daily News interviewed Steven Spielberg about his new movie “The BFG, based on a Roald Dahl book. Spielberg said the story was close to his heart because it’s one of the first books he read to his children. He talks about the loss of Melissa Mathison, a name closely connected to Spielberg’s for many years, who died of cancer earlier this year.

Amazing Stories lets us know what’s coming up this summer in the world of anime.

Books and writing:

Ann Leckie talks about character, the roll of themes and the used of sufficiently advanced technology.

From Kameron Hurley’s blog, several weeks back, a look at the waves on innovation in SFF and the inevitable pushback.

Here is an excerpt from Locus’s interview with Terry Windling and Ellen Datlow. The two are justly famous for their anthologies of retold fairy tales, and they talk here about the anthology process and falling in love with a story.

Mark Millar says that the next comic book incarnation of his superhero Kick-Ass will be a black woman, because “comics are not short of white males aged around thirty. That demographic seems pretty well catered for in popular culture.”

Neil Gaiman tweeted a hint about a new book. Then he tweeted that it was already up at Amazon! Norse Mythology is due out in 2017.

Flavorwire offers up their take on the ten best speculative fiction books so far this year. Jonathan Sturgeon’s tone when discussing fantasy is  condescending but it’s a good list.


Occulus was fighting a losing battle to keep people from playing Vive games on the Rift, so they have quietly removed the software that tried to block Revive. Both BBC News and Ars Technica covered this story but Ars Technica, understandably, had more detail.


The solar-powered plane Impulse crossed the Atlantic and landed in Seville, Spain last week. The plan is to fly the “no-fuel” plane across the globe, a multi-stage process that began in March of 2015.


Give me the Socks. Close up of red kite.

Give me the socks.

In the wake of the Brexit vote things have gotten so desperate in the UK that birds are stealing underwear just to keep warm! Okay, not really. These red kites, in Scotland, have developed an attraction to the socks and undies of people who come to skinny-dip in a particular glen. It’s a cute story, but these birds shocked me with their beauty. And they were endangered, but they are making a comeback. Isn’t that worth a sock?


Artist Rob Loukotka has drawn a poster that contains every single item that was on NASA’s Apollo 11. Apollo 11 is the spacecraft that took people to the moon and back for the first time. This poster is amazing, and so is Loukotka’s process. (Thanks to IO9.)

Jupiter and Uranus will entertain us in the night sky later this week.


We still have some active giveaways. Check here.


  • 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.

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