Earth with city lights

It’s Awards Season. Aliette de Bodard had a great run at the British Science Fiction Awards, winning in the Novel category for House of Shattered Wings and in the short story category for “Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight”.  She is an awesome writer, and there also ought to be some award for Best Titles, because she comes up with them.

Apex, by Namez Raam, took the Philip K Dick Award for best original science fiction paperback.

Books and Writing

This is what a rough draft of a Neil Gaiman book looks like, because he does write his books by hand first.

The Literacy Site’s blog identified 10 books that changed Western society’s thinking. Do you agree with their picks?

The lawsuit between American Stars Books and Victoria Strauss’s blog Writer Beware is settled. We don’t know a lot about the settlement and it looks like we won’t. This resolution is reassuring for those of us who blog about books, or who want to be published someday, because Writer Beware provides an important service.

Last week John Scalzi opened up his blog to reader questions, and he got a good question about pronouns. Here is the question, and Sclazi’s response.

Authors Publish shares some useful information for those of you with completed novels out there; Tor/Forge accepts unagented manuscripts and the column provides good basic information.

Book Smugglers Publishing is open to novella submissions through May 30, 2016.

Stephen Spielberg is boosting the Firstbook site. The initiative focuses on getting books into the hands of children from low-income families.

It’s hard to write an independent woman into an epic fantasy, some folks say, because it’s not “realistic.” Kate Ellliott disagrees in this strong essay at Tor.

Saaba Tahir talks about her influences… and procrastination. (House-cleaning! I can relate.) Courtesy of Penguin Random House.

Sofia Samatar shares a lovely and personal essay about fantasy, language and writing. (Courtesy of LitHub.)

Aurora Borealis

Movies and TV

“… you have not watched the movie it was intended to be.”  I stumbled across this while I was looking for something else. Kermode discusses the movie Exposed (ever heard of it? I had not) and the movie it was originally “meant to be;” Daughter of God. This piece shares a lot of information about how studios edit movies, and how drastically they are changed. And as you can see, savagely editing Exposed did not help it, at least not where the critics are concerned.

Critics are not loving Batman v Superman. Variety provided a roundup. But, no surprise to anyone, the audiences feel differently and it’s doing fine at the box office.

Jeff Nichols talks about his new movie, Midnight Special, with Blastr. He says his own parenthood informs the movie about a father on the run with his very special little boy, and talks about the originating image of the film.

BBC America announced at WonderCon that they would offer a half-hour aftershow of the best clone comedy-drama ever, Orphan Black, starting with Season Four. The show will be like The Talking Dead, I’m guessing.

Here are some interviews with the cast of FreeForm’s science fantasy show Stitchers.


From Kotaku:  an update on the lawsuit over Ark; Survival Evolved. Wildcard studios called the lawsuit “irrelevant, immaterial, impertinent, and scandalous.” I don’t know who is right, but Wildcard gets some style points for vocabulary.

NASA provides a gravity map of Mars. Scroll down for the accompanying article.


Earth as blue marble

From SFgate, unicorns were real! And they lived on earth the same time as humans! And they looked… like rhinoceroses! All of this from a newly discovered fossil that dates to a more recent era than previous fossils. Here’s the technical paper about it. Oooh! Let’s find some amber with unicorn DNA inside it, and clone some! Can we? Can we please?

Here, courtesy of The Writer’s Almanac, is a Poem by Faith Shearin called “Early Hominids Slept in Trees.” It starts at 2.45.


We have some active Giveaways on the site. Check them out, and leave a comment. You might win a book.


I am not becoming numb to the constant terror attacks, but I am running out of words. For the memories of those lost, most recently in Brussels and Lahore, and for those who have lost friends and loved ones, here is another candle. Let’s hope we can share the light of love, reason and hope. And our pictures are from the NASA Galleries page, of our beautiful, wonder earth, our home. We all live 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.