WWWednesday: May 24, 2017

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Manchester, Greater Manchester, England.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Manchester, Greater Manchester, England.

There is still time to donate to JustGiving who is raising money for families affected by the horrible attack at a concert in Manchester, Greater Manchester,England, Monday night. Here is a link.

Zora ONeill shares ten English words that make more sense when you know their Arabic roots.
Stranger Than Fiction:

It’s just awkward when real-life news outstrips the imagination and weirdness of a dedicated speculative fiction/fantasy/horror writer and reader like myself, like it did last week. The real world insisted on delivering political-thriller and conspiracy-thriller level stories and it just would not stop. Vox.com tried to put together a summary. Bear in mind this only runs through Wednesday, May 17, (before the glowing orb and the sinkhole in front of a luxury hotel.) This whole “what is going on?” week is crammed with nuggets you can use when you are writing your own conspiracy novel or space opera with political-thriller undertones.

Foxes on the side of a house.

Foxes on the side of a house.


The Nebula Awards were announced on Saturday, May 20th. All The Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders, won Best Novel and “Every Heart a Doorway” by Seanan McGuire won for best novella. Congratulations to the winners and all the finalists!

File 770 announced that the Hugo voters packet was released this week.

Books and Writing:

David J. Peterson writes in some technical detail about creating fantasy names and fantasy languages, for Unbound Worlds.
Consumer crusader and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader has written a fantasy novel (I guess?) called Animal Envy: A Fable. This isn’t even the third weirdest thing the Washington post reported last week.

88CupsofTea podcast interviews V.E. Schwab. This is a one and a half hour, rambling conversation. Host Yin Chang is very energetic and positive. V.E. Schwab comes in at minute 5:16. She talks about her lifestyle (interesting); her cats; shared workspace; writing, query letters… and she pronounces Edinburgh, Scotland, correctly. They talk a lot about dating apps and the challenges of dating when you’re a lesbian. And I did not know that the name of people who attend the creative/alternative festival Burning Man is “burner.” Writing talk starts at minute 38:27.

The 18th Century wants you to know that reading in bed is not okay. This thought-provoking, entertaining article from The Atlantic covers the risks of that particular pleasure.

An economist nit-picks the economy in THE EXPANSE series, because, as the author says, “Why should scientists have all the fun?”

The Last Mechanical Monster, by my friend (full disclosure) and Eisner-award-winning comics author Brian Fies is available online on Go Comics.

TV and Movies:

TNT plans to release a series based on the career of William Shakespeare, (loosely based, I’m thinking). The show, Will, features modern music and a lot of cannons, riots and uptight religious people, portraying Elizabethan London with a sexy, punk flair. What do you think?

Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff will be an HBO series, produced by Jordan Peele, whose movie Get Out was a breakout horror hit this spring.

Vanity Fair has a long interview with Neil Gaiman, which highlights American Gods; specifically, Episode 4, which departs from the book and shines a light on Shadow’s faithless wife Laura. Warning: Spoilers if you haven’t seen the series.


Fox mother and kit.

Fox mother and kit.

Florida Man, Florida Woman and occasionally, Florida Couple are archetypes for a certain kind of crazy news story. I do not usually make fun of Florida People (in this column at least) because I have friends who live there who do none of the whacky things that end up in the news. This is the mission and risk of stereotypes. The man (from Florida) who got bitten on the tongue by a rattlesnake because he was trying to kiss it is too good weird to ignore, though.

Aaannd… the King of the Netherlands secretly co-piloted a commercial airplane for decades! Who knew the Netherlands still had a king?


Remember Paolo Bacigalupi’s book The Wind-Up Girl? Remember how it was fiction? Maybe not so much. At first I thought, “Here’s life imitating art in a scary way.” On the other hand, according to Popular Science, the flow of water into the entrance of the seed vault is not a big deal, nor is it new.

Here is a little more about the seed vault itself. The video is pretty but I don’t understand Norwegian.

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan always wants to know where the closest library or bookstore is. Curious about why this British library was housed in a former asylum, she uncovered a touching history of this particular place. The image of the only “bomb shelter library” haunts me.

I Am a Fox and You Are Not (c)kentet/Tess Garman

I Am a Fox and You Are Not (c)kentet/Tess Garman


Boingboing.net hosts this imaginative short film created by Christian and Wolfgang Stangl, by stitching together photos taken by the Apollo astronauts. This runs about seven and a half minutes. I didn’t know there was an Apollo archive on Flickr!


Robert Jackson Bennett is collaborating with fan artist Chahn Quach on a series of images from his THE DIVINE CITIES trilogy . Any chance these will become trading cards or a calendar?

Why foxes? Because they interest me. At kenket.deviantart.com you can see more of Tess Garman’s work.

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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. April /

    1. The Manchester bombing is both terribly sad and maddening because I want to go hug some people but I also want be a little less civil to some people.
    2. I love foxes too.
    3. I live in Florida and while I can’t say the stereotype is true, it is most certainly based on facts. There are some weird people down here doing weird stuff all the time. However, my favorite news stereotyping is the ‘middle name Wayne’ one where people who have the middle name of Wayne tend to find themselves in situations that are either silly or stupid or both. I was so glad when my mom changed her middle name from Wayne to her maiden name ;-)

    • I think Florida Man/Woman etc caught on partially because of how it sounds. I live in California, which is a large, lovely, expensive glass house from which I will throw no stones when it comes to whacky behavior, but honestly, “California Man,” just doesn’t roll off the tongue in quite the same way.

      It’s funny how certain names take on those stereotypes.

  2. April /

    It is in our evolutionary makeup to see patterns, but I kind of wish we also had in our makeup the warning “Just because you see a pattern does not mean there actually IS one.” I mean, I commute an hour to work and an hour home from work each weekday and I firmly believe that everyone that drives a certain type of car is a jerk, just because nine times out of ten when I get cut off or someone does something jerky during my commute, they are driving that brand of car. I know in my head that statistically they can’t ALL be jerks but every time I see one cut me off it reinforces the idea. We’re just squishy machines.

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