SpikeCon, scheduled for July 4-7, 2019, will be held in Utah. This year’s convention will be a blend of NASFIC and WesterCon. NASFIC is the North American convention that is held in any years that WorldCon is not held in the USA.
The finalists for the Shirley Jackson Awards have been announced.
I did not know there was a Woman’s Award, but there is, and Madeline Miller’s Circe made the finalist list, along with Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss. The Women’s Prize celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women throughout the world. The list of finalists is here.
Books and Writing:
This is self-promotion; an anthology featuring stories about families and magic has a Kickstarter campaign. It is 75% funded already. I will have a story in the book.The author interviews are interesting and fun, and I’m this week’s interviewee.
After writer Ian McEwan made remarks disparaging SFF in a recent interview, fans reacted with indignation. Now, in this interview, he says he feels misunderstood and cites many SF writers he has read. I’m not convinced. (Thanks to File 770.)
The extensive Locus archive is now a special collection at the library of Duke University. Charles Brown, founder of Locus, not only collected entire runs of pulp magazines and first editions, but maintained correspondence with many writers of the golden age and the new wave. The collection is comprehensive and well-curated.
Jeopardy! watchers are spellbound by the latest winner, James Holtzhauer. In this brief interview with Publishers’ Weekly, Holtzhauer shares one prong of his strategy: using children’s books as a way to gather information.
Last week held Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be with you). In its honor Tor.com provided a list of Star Wars books you can’t miss.
At IO9, Charles Pulliam-Moore unpacks what happens when mutants stand in for under-represented groups solely as metaphors, using recent events in Uncanny Ex-Men as an example.
TV and Movies:
I am embargoing discussion of Avengers: Endgame until next week, except to talk about the box office; it is now the second-highest grossing movie, behind Avatar.
Benedict Cumberbatch waived his fee (of several million pounds) to do some work on a documentary film about the great-grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien, who lived with neurone disease.
Michael Livingston, a medieval history professor, offers a critique of the Game of Thrones Battle of Winterfell as strategy… and then as riveting television.
Science and Tech:
I chose the U.K. Guardian story about the conditioned beluga whale who may be a Russian spy because its title is the funniest. The best graphic, however, must be the one from The Economist, which tips its hat to the classic James Bond film openings. This is more spy-novel than SF, but seems to fit in the column anyway.
Why yes, I did bombard you with vacation pictures (except for the whale). For those of you planning a trip to northern coastal California, consider adding the village of Mendocino to your visit, and check out the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden.