This week’s word for Wednesday is a phrase. ‘To turn your tippet’ meant ‘to entirely change your behavior or course in life’ in 16th century English. Thanks, as always, to Haggard Hawks.


Margaret Hamilton, a software engineer for NASA whose software guided the first lunar landing, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the USA’s highest civilian honor, this month.

The group called the Sad Puppies seem to be arguing among themselves over this year’s Hugo Awards. The Sad Puppies have always stated that they are different from the Rabid Puppies, and one blogger thinks that Katie Paulk did not do enough to champion the Sad Puppies group’s choices this year. Over on Mad Genius Club, Amanda Green disagrees.

And, there will be a Sad Puppies 5. I’m surprised they are even having this discussion. Aren’t the Hugos dead, according to them? So why not just focus their attention on the new Dragon Awards? But they’re helping keep interest on the Hugos through the “slump” part of the year, so that’s nice of them.  (Thanks to File 770 for all the links.)

Books and Writing:

Amazon has put out its list of best 2016 SF and Fantasy, and Kirkus Reviews has opinions on the best middle grade SF and Fantasy in 2016.

Maya Kaathryn Bonhoff discusses wardrobe malfunctions on covers, over at Book Café Press.

The Strand will be publishing a newly-discovered ghost story by H.G. Wells. “The Haunted Ceiling” was apparently written about the time of Well’s better-known creepy story “The Red Room” but there is no record of it having ever been published.

Mary Robinette Kowal will have a new series based on “The Lady Astronaut of Mars.”

Stubby the Rocket talks about gifts that changed their worlds. You can add yours to the comments.

John Scalzi kicks off his annual Gift Guide on his blog Whatever with traditionally published books. They are listed in the comments. There is a lot of variety — so check it out! Watch his blog this entire week for gift suggestions.

Movies and Television:

Peter Capaldi discusses the appeal of Doctor Who and the challenges in writing it.

If you’re looking for an interesting, different zombie movie with social commentary (I’m not, but you might be) here’s one to check out, The Train to Busan, courtesy of Carl Slaughter at File 770.

MovieBob reviews the latest Disney “princess” movie, Moana.

Here’s one of the songs from the movie, performed at the UK premiere. Sorry about those annoying pop-ups.

IO9 offers to perk up your home viewing with ten films you might not have seen in the theater. Swiss Army Man sounded, from the capsule description, a lot like Weekend at Bernie’s, but then I read the Wikipedia page, and… it’s not anything like that film. Or like… anything I’ve ever seen. And, still, I think I’ll pass.

Ars Technica reviews Planet Coaster and gives it a thumbs-up.


Is this real? The EMDrive should, by all known rules of physics, provide no thrust… but it appears to. This article goes into more detail of the peer review and now we begin to see the caveats. For those of you who actually understand this stuff, (unlike me) here is the abstract of the peer review. Or, you can, um, enjoy this oral presentation, which is about 15 minutes long.


In our haiku column, Kat included a poem inspired by the latest theories about Pluto. Pluto, who was demoted from planet-status not so long ago, is having quite the celebrity comeback. Here is Vox’s explanation of why Pluto might be “turning away” from its moon, Charon, and just what it might be hiding (spoiler alert, it’s a slushy sea!).   Nature has the original paper, which has a less romantic title. (BTW, this can take several seconds to load.)


“Mabel Stark used to be a trained nurse. That was a long time ago, and she had a nervous breakdown… so she took to training tigers. It’s much simpler and easier, thinks Miss Stark.” (New York Times, 1922.) Atlas Obscura shares an article on a famous woman tiger-tamer, feminist and suffragist.

Two and a half minutes of goat kids jumping, because why not?


The dumbo octopus is named that because of the flippers above its eyes, giving it a resemblance to the flying elephant of Disney fame. Nautilus Live caught a dumbo octopus on film for a long time, and you get a good look at this fascinating animal.


  • 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.