WWWednesday: March 16, 2016

This week’s word for Wednesday is digirati, a plural noun, and something which many of you are: people with expertise and/or professional involvement with information technology. This word came into use in the USA in the 1990s. Sadly, as much as I want it to, it does not rhyme with glitterati, which means glamorous or fashionable people usually in show business.

Bearing Robin on his Back, by Louis Rhead

Books and Writing

Was Hercules the first superhero? Tor.com discusses the myth.

Also at Tor.com, a column about J.K. Rowling’sNorth American History of Magic.” People are not happy with what they are seeing at Pottermore, specifically Rowling’s use of a specifically Navajo term (“skinwalker”) as a generic term for shape-shifters. I think this discussion is just getting started.

One more thing from Tor; you have a couple more days to enter Tor’s Vorkosigan Sweepstakes and win a couple of early books in the Lois McMaster Bujold’s MILES VORKOSIGAN series. The sweepstakes ends on March 18.

Back in February, N.K. Jemisin reviewed some books you might have missed for the New York Times.

Also from the New York Times, two writers defend books with “undeserved bad reputations.” Actually, they defend the writers; Susan Sontag and Rudyard Kipling.

On her website, Mary Robinette Kowal invites Elizabeth Bonesteel to share her favorite bit about her new book The Cold Between.

The Economist Magazine has reincarnated its lifestyle magazine, formerly called Intelligent Life, as 1843, and its first issue is available now. It does not look at all like The Economist, and resembles most lifestyle magazines, but the writing is as sharp as its parent publication.

Movies and Television

Variety likes Zootopia. At The Root, they delve a little deeper into the hidden meanings of the film (perhaps deeper than we wanted them to). And over at Vox, they analyze the messages (or messages) about racism in depth. Me, I’m just jazzed that somebody named a sheep after Connie Willis’s iconic novel.

10 Cloverfield Lane opened last weekend and Variety loves John Goodman’s performance in it. Vox.com also liked the movie, and gives us a thoughtful and spoiler-free review. I assumed it was a sequel to Cloverfield, but apparently you do not have to have seen Cloverfield to enjoy it.

Mark Hamill weighed in on Luke Skywalker’s sexuality last week. Despite the clickbait headline, the story is not “Of course Luke Skywalker is gay;” it’s “Of course Luke Skywalker is gay if you need him to be.” It’s a very positive, encouraging article. At first I rolled my eyes at this, like I did when J.K. Rowling announced years after the fact that Dumbledore was always gay in her mind, or something. Hamill is making a different point; Skywalker’s sexuality is never addressed in the original three movies.

Den of Geek helps you prepare for Batman vs Superman; Dawn of Justice with an article containing everything you need to know.


Maid Marian, by Louis Rhead

AlphaGo, the AI created by Google’s DeepMind project, won three out of five games of go against a human go champion. The three games were a sweep. I welcome our boardgame-playing AI overlords.(Via File770)

Over on Richard Kadrey’s Tumblr, he provided a link to each of the 50 states’ scariest urban legends. Here they are. Most are general, and some are pretty creepy. (Warning, for some of us, the quality of spelling and punctuation in each write-up will be an obstacle.)

Wired introduces us to the most vicious writing-block-busting tool ever. (H/T to Kate.)


We have a huge Pierce Brown giveaway happening now; 20 copies of Red Rising, Book One in the RED RISING trilogy.

Other giveaways are also still active: Thoughtful Thursday, Fantastic Quotes and our Jordana Max Brodsky interview.

He Hurled Meal In Their Faces, Robin and Marian, by Louis Rhead


Last weekend I participated in a panel at the literary SFF convention FOGCon, in Walnut Creek, CA. My panel was titled “Bad Heroes and Good Villains; the transformation of the “good guy/bad guy” trope in modern media.” In honor of a “sorta-bad hero” from the Olden Days, everyone’s favorite thief, I’ve included images of Robin Hood’s Merry Men (sic). One of them is a woman, obviously. These are from Old Book Illustrations.

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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. You can read her blog at deedsandwords.com, and follow her on Twitter: @mariond_d.

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  1. The public response to Rowling’s “North American History of Magic” has been interesting, and I hope she addresses the concerns and complaints raised by readers. Her approach in the essay/promotional piece for the upcoming movie leaves much to be desired, to say the least.

  2. That writing app gives me chills! I often stop to think for five seconds or longer — and still get 4000 word opinion letters out overnight. I can only imagine how much harder writing would get if I had to keep rewriting what I’d already written!

  3. Brandy /

    Thanks for the link to N. K. Jemisin’s round-up! It reminds me to put Samatar’s new novel on the TBB pile (To-Be-Bought instead of To-Be-Read), and it alerted me to the existence of Leena Krohn. I’d never heard of Krohn before, but she seems to be a member of the philosophical weird, and I detected echoes of Stanislaw Lem, Kafka, and Angela Carter as possible comparisons. The price is a bit steep, as befits a Collected Works, I suppose. Now that I know, I can keep an eye out for her.

    • I loved the Jemisin article. Always great to get introduced to new books and writers. (At least *you* have an employee discount!) :)

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