Books and Writing:

When a writer sells international rights to a book, publishers frequently change covers. In the case of Barbara de Mariaffti’s book, the British publishers also changed the title. This is an interesting article about marketing and the state of fiction in Canada and Britain.

Mayan plaque, Courtesy of National Geographic

Mayan plaque, Courtesy of National Geographic

Over on Book View Café, Marie Brennan writes about body modification as adornment.

…and, the Feminist Story Bundle continues.

At The Guardian, David Barnett looks back at one of the most troubling of the Batman stories; Frank Moore’s The Killing Joke. This thirty-year old story was disowned by Moore himself as overly violent and sexualized.

Rhianna Pratchett writes about her family’s love for Tove Jannson’s iconic children’s book creation the Moomins.

This article from 2009 says that reading, even as little as six minutes, lowers stress responses. It’s interesting (and I’m acknowledging in advance the complete lack of proofreading in this article.)

Nick Douglas, from Lifehacker, thinks you should write for free. John Scalzi disagrees.

My friend Elizabeth Forest has launched Book One of her Crow Magic Series with The Third Kind of Magic. She is publishing independently and her book is available through Amazon. As a rule we don’t review independently published books, but I enjoyed this middle-grade story with its magical system based on Scandinavian and European folk magic, its shape-shifted wise women and of course the crows. Suli, the hero, is a realistic young woman with a good heart and a lot to learn. Stop by her blog to see if the book would be something a young reader in your life would like.

Over at Unbound Worlds, Round Three in the Creature Feature Bracket has opened. Here’s the play-by-play of Drogon versus Lioish, for example. Enjoy and don’t forget to vote.

Locus Magazine reports that Amazon is laying off numbers of people in the “low hundreds” at their Seattle headquarters. Most of the layoffs are in the retail section.

TV and Movies:

Mayan carving in Palenque, courtesy of National Geographic

Mayan carving in Palenque, courtesy of National Geographic

With the word out that Ava DuVernay, director of A Wrinkle in Time, was tapped to helm the next DC superhero film, Syfy Fangrrls fan-cast the role of Big Barda, the leader of the Darkseid Furies. This is fun. Given DC’s abysmal track record with superhero movies, I hope DuVernay gets well paid and this doesn’t harm her career too much. (After all, DC did okay with Wonder Woman.)

Lewis Gordon and Gregory Doukas delve into the mythic and socio-political meanings of Black Panther in this far-ranging and complex interview. (h/t to File770.)

Thanks to Kat for this link to the Fantastic Beasts; The Crimes of Grindelwald.


I’m just putting this out here. This is yet another article in the “yes, you really are special and rare” category, but it was interesting, and it pulled together some interesting bits of info. Life on this planet truly is more complex than I always thought.


A unit in Norway’s national media organization came up with a way to limit trolling of comment sections without stifling genuine discussion; a quiz. To comment, you must show that you’ve actually read the article. How refreshing!

I watched an episode of Ancient Astronauts on the History Channel last week. It was several years old. I was neither impressed nor convinced but I was curious about the Maya King Pakal and his elaborate sarcophagus, so I went looking and I found this article, written so a layperson like me can understand it.


Ars Technica reviews the new Samsung Galaxy 9 and 9+.


National Geographic sets the record straight on that exciting story about astronaut Scott Kelly, whose DNA changed from that of his identical twin! Only, no, it didn’t. Scott is not 7% different genetically different from his brother Mark. What NASA found was that levels of gene expression (which genes were “turned on and off”) were altered during his year in space and have not yet returned to pre-launch levels. While this is still really interesting, it’s not quite ready to be the basis of an X-Files episode.


Fossils of pterosaurs that had 30-foot wingspans!

Have you ever been homesick for a place you’ve never been? The name for that is fernweh. Atlas Obscura asked readers to send in the places they experience this “farsickess” for, and here are the beautiful answers.