WWWednesday: November 23, 2016

stranger-in-a-strange-land

Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein. Soon to be a TV series? Oh… my.

Awards:

Colson Whitehead won the National Book Award for The Underground Railroad. Read Bill’s 5-star review here. The graphic novel series March, written by John Lewis, who is also a congressional representative, won for best children’s literature.

John Lewis, author of March, talks in his acceptance speech about being turned away from a library because it was “for whites only.”

Conventions:

The co-chair of WorldCon 75 is stepping down from her position, although she will still be involved with the con. I don’t know what this will mean for the Helsinki convention. This is the second staff change announced so far.

Books and Writing:

Thanks to File 770 for this diverting trailer for Adam Christopher’s robot-noir novel, Made to Kill.

In the “life copying art, badly” category, Britain now has a Quidditch League. What, they can fly? Um, no… but they will race around the pitch with broomsticks between their legs, because that sounds like so much fun. Those British. So eccentric.

dragonblade_bk2-high-resMichael R. Miller is a contestant in this year’s Self-Publishing Blog Off, and his book, epic fantasy novel The Dragon’s Blade; Veiled Intentions, won the award for best cover art. You can see why here. I love its gothic elegance. I’ve included the cover of the first book so you can see that a theme is emerging.

Here is the introductory paragraph to the blurb for Michael’s book:

Rectar has always had his sights set on conquering the human lands. His demonic invasion of the west is gaining momentum – an unrelenting horde unhindered by food or sleep. Now, only the undermanned Splintering Isles lie between the demons and the human kingdom of Brevia. If the islands fall, the rest of Tenalp will soon follow.

And you can read more at his blog. (I think this includes a discount code if you sign up for Miller’s mailing list.)

Charles Stross hosts M. Harold Page on his blog, and Page writes about children – little kids — playing war. It’s interesting. It’s well-thought-out. I don’t know quite what I think of it, yet.

dragonblade_bk1-high-resBrandon Sanderson has added an FAQ page to his site and you can find it here. His assistant Karen, who took on the project, introduces it in an article. Karen did an amazing amount of work, and she’s obviously smart, but I think her assumption that Brandon Sanderson’s favorite pizza topping is not worthy of inclusion is just wrong. Inquiring minds want to know!

Movies and TV:

Stranger in a Strange Land as a series. This seems like a terrible idea. Heinlein’s once-visionary, now-dated book extended into ten or twelve episodes, with modern sensibilities? Shudder. And it’s on Syfy, so it’s a coin-toss whether it’ll be The Expanse or Aftermath. One bright side is that when it starts to falter they can throw in a shark tornado.

Nobody knows what her role will be yet, but Emilia Clarke will be in the new Han Solo movie. (Well, probably someone knows what her role will be. It just isn’t us.)

Here is the trailer for Disney’s live-action version of Beauty and the Beast.

Hannah Marks plays Amanda in BBC’s limited run show Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. Here she talks about her character and working with Elijah Wood.  Reviews of the show are good, even if reviewers are a bit baffled. In case you are a little bit baffled, or wondering why it isn’t how you remember the book, this article will help.

Internet:

From IO9; there is an art show devoted to Jamie and Alex from Mythbusters.

According to Ars Technica, the coolest Virtual Reality app ever is Google Earth. And I have to say, it sounds pretty cool.

Actual Earth:

Space debris is not just for movies anymore. This article discusses two pieces of debris that struck in inhabited areas.

We’re used to dogs using scent to find a plethora of objects, but in Africa and Asia, rats are being trained to sniff out and find pangolin, scaly anteaters that are endangered and frequently trafficked. Pangolin flesh is considered a delicacy in some cuisines and its scales are used in traditional Chinese medicine, so this rare creature is in demand. They are smuggled out of various ports in storage containers. It’s pouched rats to the rescue, (maybe), as a non-profit group teaches the rats to respond to the pungent pangolin odor. The project hasn’t started yet, so right now the young rats are getting socialized, AKA, “carried around and fed treats.” A good deal for the rats.

I might roll my eyes at the jocular, sexist language in this brief article… but then there’s the video of the huge, gorgeous wolf. Awww!

Thanksgiving:

Chef John from Food Wishes tells you how to make an easy and luscious pumpkin pie. Happy Thanksgiving for those of you who celebrate. I think a couple of steps in here are inconsistent, but he is just so darn fun!


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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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6 comments

  1. It’s truly amazing how useful rats can be — sniffing out land mines, potentially finding pangolins, determining whether a person has tuberculosis or not — and I’m glad to see they’re getting some acknowledgement!

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