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.
Books and Writing
Was Hercules the first superhero? Tor.com discusses the myth.
Also at Tor.com, a column about J.K. Rowling’s “North 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.
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.
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.
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.