fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Breatrix Potter; Peter Rabbit and Family

On this date in 1915, Albert Einstein presented the field equations of general relativity to the Prussian Academy of Sciences. On this date in 1952, Agatha Christie’s play The Mousetrap opened at the Ambassadors Theater in London, beginning what would be the longest continuous run of a play in history. 


The Kunkel Awards are new! The inaugural award will be given next year, recognizing excellence in video game journalism. Nominations must have been published in 2015, and they can be from any source, even a personal blog, as long as they are “ethical and excellent.” (Apparently for some it is about ethics in gaming journalism.) Categories include news reporting, feature writing, feature streaming and photography/illustration, among others.

While Bill Kunkel (not to be confused with the baseball Kunkel) is known to many fans as an illustrator for DC Comics, in the 1980s he became the Executive Editor of Electronic Games, and published the “Game Doctor” column for many years. He taught game design at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He was also a wrestling journalist in the 1970s. (Interesting guy!)

Nominations are open until February 14, 2016. (Thanks to File 770.)

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Nature Study by Beatrix Potter

Books and Writing

Our own Kate Lechler has a story in this anthology, which is now available from Amazon.  I’m putting it first in the section because I am excited! Kate’s story is hilarious.

PBS aired an episode of “Overheard with Evan Smith” featuring Margaret Atwood. Atwood revealed that there will be a graphic novel version of The Handmaid’s Tale due out in 2017, and talked about the Hogarth Shakespeare Project. Atwood’s assignment, in the project, was to develop a prose story based on The Tempest. Jo Nesbo is doing Hamlet. Both those books are due out in 2016. Two others are already out; Jeanette Winterson’s The Gap of Time, based on A Winter’s Tale, is reviewed here.

This is my introduction to the concept of ecotones; points where two different environments meet, often with conflict. SFF World asked Ken Liu, Tobias Buckell and Lauren Beukes to comment on ecotones in their lives. They talk about other things as well; it’s a great interview.

Over on his blog, Robert Jackson Bennett ponders the nature of risk in the wake of the terror attacks, and the USA’s response to the refugee crisis. (Via Pretty-terrible)

At the Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver, Brandon Sanderson spoke, took questions, and then read for a bit, all captured in this podcast.
Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle, as a limited run television show?  That would be cool. (Thanks to Ryan.)

On Youtube, Katniss Everdeen and Hermione Granger throw down in an epic Princess Rap Battle.

Movies and Television

In case Star Wars Madness hasn’t reached a high enough peak in your home, Cover Girl wants to help with Light Side/ Dark Side cosmetics! I think you can’t go wrong with Dark Side mascara. (Thanks to Kat for this one!)
Cast and Crew of Xena, Warrior Princess look back on their successful show, and speculate about a reboot. (H/T to Ryan.)

Agent Carter returns in January, and this time the fearless operative is taking on Hollywood. My favorite line in the trailer is, “I could do with a hobby.”

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Study for Hedgehog by Beatrix Potter

And as we head into the holiday season and various festivals of lights, let’s spend a little time with… Lucifer! Fox’s new show, based on Neil Gaiman’s interpretation of the Head Honcho of Fallen Angels, airs in January, and they are plastering Youtube with (great) trailer videos. Here’s a short one that highlights the show’s style, and this is a longer one, teasing some of the relationships, including one of my favorite actors, D.B. Woodside, as an angel who might have some anger issues. And that is not Halle Berry, but an actor named Leslie-Ann Brandt, who bears a strong resemblance to the Oscar winner.

George R.R. Martin talks about the Dramatic Short Form Hugo category, with a plea to nominate something other than Doctor Who.


The Czech Republic has converted its largest bomb shelter into a full-scale luxury “getaway” for when the zombie apocalypse happens, or for your weekend place. Treehugger checks it out for us. Has anyone thought of bidding to have a WorldCon here? That would be unique.  (via File 770).

Thermal imaging has revealed thermal anomalies in the pyramids at Giza, and in this article from, various experts speculate about the reasons. The most common theory is that the temperature difference indicates open space behind the warmer stones, indicating a passage or a previously undiscovered tomb.


The Cassini spacecraft has identified a large ice cloud on the surface of Saturn’s moon, Titan.


The following Giveaways are still going on: The Science of the Magical; our Cixin Liu interview and our Haiku contest.

I’ve probably used Beatrix Potter’s work here before, and I probably will again. Best known for her children’s stories like Peter Rabbit, Potter, during her lifetime, was the go-to artists for many mycologists for her detailed studies of fungi. Potter was a self-sufficient farmer who bought up several neighboring farms to save them from development and to preserve the Lancashire hill country. She won prizes for her Herdwick sheep. And, she drew charming, whimsical fantasy animals.


For those of you who celebrate it, enjoy a loving, delightful and delicious Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow; for those of you who don’t, take a moment to enjoy tomorrow’s full moon!


  • Marion Deeds

    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.

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