WWWednesday: March 23, 2022

CFarscape Cast. Hannah black is thrird from the right.laudia Lee Black is an Australian actress who came to science fiction fame playing Aeryn Sun in the series Farscape. Black started her acting career in an Australian soap opera City Life, and was introduced to audiences in the USA with the role of Shazza in Pitch Black. After Farscape she worked in two Stargate series. Black has done voice work for animation and video games. Most recently she appeared as Stripe in the HBO series The Nevers.

Thanks to Paul Connelly for this update from last week! George R.R. Martin announced a new “Game of Thrones” book (not the next book in the series though).

Two new Captain America stories are coming out!

Libraries are cursed with flat funding for the next fiscal year. With inflation, flat funding is functionally a decrease.

Crime Reads ran an essay by… me! It’s about why we love heists.

The Nerd Daily interviewed me for the launch of Comeuppance Served Cold.

The Boston Review interviewed Marlon James. (Thanks to File 770.)

Over at Tor.com, James Davis Nicoll suggests five unscientific, unsystematic ways to pick your next read from your TBR list (or a bookstore). I laughed out loud at the “next in the alphabet to the last name of an author I like” approach. (There may be an ad for Comeuppance Served Cold in this article. I swear I didn’t plan that.)

Annie Londonderry rode a bicycle around the world in 15 months, in a feat worthy of a Masterpiece adaptation.

The SMART Copyright Act, introduced by one Republican and one Democratic senator, tries to put some teeth into an anti-piracy law passed nearly twenty years ago. The Author Guild supports it. The senators have released a one-page explainer and a “Myths and Facts” page about the bill. (Thanks to File 770.)

Moon Knight shows us how to do horror-humor in this clip.

When the Russian cosmonauts came on board the ISS last week, by a strange coincidence they were wearing yellow suits with touches of blue. The official statement from them is that it was their turn to choose the colors and they happened “to have a lot of yellow material.” Based on the angry response from their ground control supervisor, the real reason is clear. I had stayed clear of articles about the invasion and the politics surrounding it, but I couldn’t overlook this brave gesture of solidarity.

Look closely at the final image, from the National Geographic. This is not an image of black or brown horses. It’s an image of a group of zebras, shot from directly above, and their shadows on the rippling grass.

Apparently 8 black horses, this is really eight zebras, photographed from directly overhead, and their shadows.

Image courtesy of National Geographic

Next week’s column will be single issue.

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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. Paul Connelly /

    Marion, for some reason Locus lists your 192 page novel as a “novella”, which I have always thought meant something in the 50-110 page range. They must be supersizing their definitions the same way fast food restaurants have supersized healthful meal portions of extruded fat-sugar-salt preparations. Apparently in the age of 900 page fat fantasy novels we are not allowed to have what were formerly normal novel sizes anymore. I would not consider The Crying of Lot 49, Heart of Darkness or Animal Farm to be novellas, and all of those are shorter than Comeuppance Served Cold. Maybe the quaint but perfectly descriptive term “short novel” needs to make a comeback.

    • I had some discussion about this with my editor, and word count was a factor. At about 36,000 words, it’s just below the “novel” threshold of 40K. (And of course, there is a business/$$ factor–the amount of an advance for a novella is less.)

      I think reclaiming the term “short novel” is an excellent idea.

      • Paul Connelly /

        Yes, the business factor sounds relevant. 36,000 words is still longer than Siddhartha, which I have always considered a novel. Maybe they did something creative with fonts or whitespace to get 192 pages out of 36,000 words? At any rate, I have it on order from our interlibrary loan system and am looking forward to reading it.

  2. Katharine Ott /

    I read your CrimeReads essay yesterday and then heard a nice shout-out for your new book on “All the Books.” Congratulations!

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