WWWednesday: March 8, 2017

Happy International Women’s Day.

This week’s word for Wednesday is panchreston, a noun that can mean an answer so vague, generalized and all-encompassing it provides no answer at all, or a panacea, something meant to “cure all ills.”

Books and Writing:

Today Tor.com is providing a collection of short fiction based on the theme “Nevertheless she persisted.” Politics-watchers, feminists and people on Twitter will recognize the now-famous words applied to Senator Elizabeth Warren. Thanks to Terry Weyna.

Unbound Worlds Cage Match 2017

Unbound Worlds Cage Match 2017

Unbound Worlds has opened its annual Cage Match, a bracket contest featuring science fiction versus fantasy characters. Writers like Sarah Beth Durst and Chuck Wendig contributed the fights scenes, and you get to vote on the outcome. Fun! (If you haven’t encountered the Cage Match before, there is a nice FAQ page.)

Junot Diaz and Ursula K. LeGuin were named to the National Academy of Arts and Letters. Took them long enough with LeGuin. I’m glad she persisted.

The Write Life has a list of 2017 writers conferences for you or the writer in your life. I’d like to recommend the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference for anyone interested in visiting northern coastal California. Here is a list of their scholarships. I fund one, so I’m giving it a signal boost.

George Saunders, who wrote Lincoln in the Bardo, muses on the nature of writing. This is an accurate and hopeful essay.

Some of you will have read this passage from Stephen King before. I have, but I find the artwork deepens the experience a little bit. It doesn’t change the interpretation; it just brings it closer to home. Thanks to Ryan for this one.

Oh, good! There’s Hugo stuff. I was afraid there wouldn’t be gazillions of controversial posts this year, but Theodore Beale, who uses the handle Vox Day, has posted his Rabid Puppies recommendations for this year’s Hugos. (I keep typing “rapid” instead of “rabid.”) It looks like Day is making one or two recommendations in each category. That’s smart; it gives RP fans a chance to nominate stuff they liked and still support his choices. And a couple of his recs are hugely popular, like the movie Deadpool. It occurs to me that if you are a small publishing house with little or no publicity budget, getting your works placed on the Hugo ballot, where a lot of people will at least sample them, is a smart move. For the symbolists in the group, there’s a pretty Russian-folktale-castle-Christmas-card-with-dogs-and-guns logo thing you can study. It’s so cute!

In other Hugo news, File 700 is requesting not to be nominated in the Best Fanzine category. In related news, we’d be happy if you nominated us. Really.

Movies and TV:

Aurora Borealis in Iceland and a Neil Gaiman documentary. Wow.

Aurora Borealis in Iceland and a Neil Gaiman documentary. Wow.

Neil Gaiman journeyed to Iceland to film part of a documentary of the making of American Gods.

I’ve continued to watch Legion on FX, and it is a beautiful, well-acted show that is growing increasingly self-indulgent and frustrating. The Atlantic agrees with me; here’s their review. Deadline looked at Legion’s ratings and decided they weren’t great. Who’s watching it? What do you think?

On the other hand, in this same timeslot over at Syfy, The Expanse is on fire, just as good as Season One, or possibly better. Den of Geek gives a spoiler-free or at least spoiler-very-very-mild logline summary of the season’s episodes, so far, for those of you who haven’t seen it. For those of you who haven’t and are fans of Miller, you must watch the 90-minute premiere and the three subsequent episodes. You owe to yourself.

This is over a year old, but interesting, speaking of Miller and the actor who plays him, Thomas Jane.

We may not be renewed, but we dress better than you do. The cast of NBC's Emerald City, 2017

We may not be renewed, but we dress better than you do. The cast of NBC’s Emerald City, 2017

According to TVline, the Emerald City finale on NBC had an uptick in viewership. “NBC’s Emerald City wrapped its run on Friday night with 2.9 million total viewers and a 0.7 demo rating, rising 21 percent and a tenth to mark 7- and 6-week highs.”
Despite the cynical, annoying cliffhanger ending (yes, I do have feelings about it), there is a question about its renewal. Den of Geek provides a SPOILER HEAVY review (I’d call it a recap) of the finale, but they summed it up in an early sentence, “… that weird, wonderful NBC show that both is like nothing else on TV and is thoroughly mediocre.”

Ars Technica’s podcast addresses the most recent episode of The Expanse and includes an interview with Dominique Tipper who plays Naomi Nagata on the show. (Warning: Spoilers.)

IO9 teases a little bit of electric-cello heavy-metal theme-music for the upcoming Wonder Woman movie.

Speaking of women heroes, there is still controversy about Ghost in the Shell, which opens on March 29 (full distribution March 31). IO9 shares a short film by independent film-makers who are commenting on the impact of the choice of Scarlett Johannsen for the iconic Japanese character.


Elon Musk proposes to fly two people around the moon in one of his rockets. How cool would that be? (Thanks to Kat.)


Atlas Obscura introduces us to Marley, Illinois, a not-quite-ghost town. I don’t think towns like Marley are so unusual, but I like this acknowledgement of the human spirit.

This could have gone under “books and writing.” An illustrated Christian bible, believed to be the oldest one in existence, is in Ethiopia. This is a pretty interesting story!


There will be no column next week (3/15) and when I’m back on 3/22 I hope to have some tasty morsels from FOGCon. Stay safe out there.



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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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