The Shape of Water won Best Picture, and Jordan Peele’s incisive social-commentary horror film Get Out won for best original screenplay. A good year for speculative fiction.
Genevieve Valentine gives critique of the Dresses of the Red Carpet.
Tomorrow, March 8, I’ll head down to Walnut Creek, California for FOGCon. Expect next week’s column to be the FOGCon edition.
Books and Writing:
LitHub shares 20 adapted works whose authors loathed the adaptations.
Subterranean Press is offering a special on a very fancy set of Jeff VenderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy.
Changes at Tor Books, including the promotion of Patrick Neilsen Hayden to Vice President and Editor in Chief of Tor Books. Congratulations!
The ten best space ships of speculative fiction? Gareth L Powell gives us his choices.(h/t to File 770.)
Nicholas Whyte spent some time with Goodreads and Library Thing to determine who are the leading Hispanic voices in speculative fiction. It’s an interesting list. I’m confused why Junot Diaz is excluded if Ana Castillo isn’t, but maybe that’s just me.
If you are a Stephen King fan, like me, this may cause you physical pain. Gerald Winters and Sons Bookstore in Bangor, Maine, experienced flooding due to a burst pipe that damaged nearly 90% of the shops extensive Stephen King collection, including works in manuscript and first editions.
We often say things like, “The city is practically a character.” Over on Whatever, Alan Baxter writes about his latest book, where the city of Cleveport is a character. This sounds really interesting!
Oh, Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream! A new team assembles for the Sandman Universe comic, overseen by Neil Gaiman. That sound you hear is squeeing. Lots of it.
It’s March Madness! Unbound Worlds unleashes its 2018 cage match; Creature Feature. I’ll check back on the progress of our favorite monsters and critters throughout the month.
TV and Movies:
Freeform is pouring lots of energy into the marketing for its March 29 fantasy show Sirens, which features mermaids. Here is the latest trailer:
And here is the show’s website.
Last week’s Black Lightning, on the CW, exposed secrets and drilled deeply into the nature of family, especially the issues a family faces when one or more of them is super-powered. IO9 provides a thoughtful review. Warning: Spoilers.
Over at Nerds of a Feather, Chloe N. Clark gives us a review of a Netflix horror movie, The Ritual.
It looks like BBC Studios might be adapting Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books for television, creating a series called The Watch. I assume that means the Watch would be the category of books adapted; they aren’t my special favorites but many of them are fun.
Disney Studios picked a fun way to announce that Avengers; Infinity War will be opening one week earlier than originally scheduled. It now opens April 27, 2018 everywhere. They reported it as a Twitter exchange between the studio and Robert Downey, Jr.
Here’s the latest trailer:
Life imitates art imitating life, as director Steven Soderberg presents us with Unsane, a thriller shot entirely on Mr. Soderberg’s iPhone.
Brad Wardell explains how Stardock’s ambitious game Elemental foundered due to poor memory management.
Kotaku reviews Into the Breach.
Science and Tech:
Well, cloning didn’t go where I expected it to go… or maybe it went exactly where I expected it to go, with celebrities cloning beloved pets. Barbra Streisand states in an interview with Variety that she had her pet dog Samantha cloned and now has two second-generation Samanthas. Streisand’s comments – she’s waiting to see to see if the clones acquire Samantha’s memories –might show an imperfect understanding of cloning, but what do I know?
A relatively small radio telescope has picked up what might be the signature signal of the universe. The Cosmic Microwave Background may give us new information about dark matter.
No doubt you really need to waste some time on your computer now and then. Here’s the perfect tool, the Six Degrees of Wikipedia. This was startlingly addictive. (h/t to Lifehacker.)
And then there’s Vero, a social media app that is the center of a story that’s practically science fiction itself, or at least a techno thriller. With a shadowy billionaire CEO who has ties to the Russians, thousands of allegations of worker abuse at his earlier job, and an app that won’t let you delete it without “submitting a request…” I can see the movie trailer now.
One more weird, but inspiring, way to use books.
Another time waster, not as good as Six Degrees of Wikipedia, but pretty… on this site you can type in the details of a dream and they will create an attractive abstract representation of it. They will also analyze it, but the analysis is shallow. Don’t be alarmed by the “Boerg Industries” tag on the welcome-page; Bill Boerg is a fictional character from the show this site is based on; Falling Water on USA. (The site can be slow.)
Someone put a lifesized statue of Jason Voorhees of Friday the 13th fame in a lake in Minnesota—a lake that is very popular with divers. That would be a shock, wouldn’t it?
Does mismanagement and manipulation at Mississippi’s Kemper “clean coal” plant just mean a setback for clean coal, or is the very phrase a mirage? Read this article and decide for yourself.
Do not let it be said that you can’t learn anything on Twitter. A random tweet about quolls sent me on an internet search and I found this. They are a marsupial, a carnivore and a relative of the now extinct Tasmanian tiger. And because baby animals always make us melt, let’s end with a short video featuring a baby quoll.
“And because baby animals always make us melt, let’s end with a short video featuring a baby quoll.”
Things that make you go “Awww!”
And now I have a new Q word in my pocket for the next time I play Scrabble.
Just a few days ago I was briefly involved in an internet discussion about clones. I made my exit when it started getting heated over the assertion that clones always have the memories of the original organism. Interesting how fiction has inserted that concept into general perception so well!