Cartoon. Scarlet Witch, in a red cowl, cape and red catsuit, projects balls of pink light from her outstretched hands. Her fingers form a witchcraft sigil.File 770 regularly prints a column by Melanie Stormm, about a writer who is the victim of misdirected email by a wannabe writer. I haven’t been following these, but this week’s installment had me at the patent-pending “Conflict Drops,” guaranteed to add conflict to any work you’re writing.

Also from File 770, an update on Wanda Maximoff, also called the Scarlet Witch.

Over at Nerds of a Feather, the gloves are off! Joe and Adri are reading the Hugo Best Novel candidates, and they are not happy campers.

It seems like a good time of month to remind people of the important made-up holiday (yes, I do know that essentially all holidays are made up) All Hallows Read. Invented by Neil Gaiman, this holiday—the same date as Halloween—encourages you to give a scary book to a friend on that date. I do that. I also give away books along with candy on the night in question. The site has not been updated but the video is still fun. This Pinterest board features some great books to give for the occasion.

Keeping spooky season going, this column from last month shares books where mortals team up with ghosts.

Our curiosity about cephalopods may lead to protections for them in the realm of animal experimentation.

Pulsars aren’t merely zombie stars. They are cannibal zombie stars. For your reading enjoyment.

Wild to Mild; as flu season approaches in the northern hemisphere, the CDC has adjusted its message for the flu vaccine. You should get vaccinated, but a flu shot may not completely prevent the flu. It will reduce the severity of symptoms. Unlike some other diseases where vaccines stop infections completely, influenza is a family of viruses that mutate rapidly. The new campaign uses cute animals to deliver its message.

The Creator is playing to mixed review (one reviewer called it “deeply shallow”) but Vulture liked it a lot.

This surprised me: ancient DNA can reveal volumes about prehistoric cultures.

The Pioneer Woman is offering more “quick and easy” Halloween dinner recipes than you can shake a magic wand at. Some look pretty good, like that pumpkin mac and cheese…


  • 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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