This week’s word for Wednesday is fandangle, a noun, meaning a frivolous or useless item. How in the world did we let this great word go out of use? Fandango, whose origins might be African although the word means a specific Spanish dance, is not related, but it seems like it should be.
WorldCon 75 is running a trial Hugo Award for “best series.” Tor has the details. I think this came from the attempt to give the WHEEL OF TIME series a Hugo a few years ago. Like any new thing, it looks like it has a few wrinkles to iron out. What do you think?
Books and Writing:
A well-meaning effort by California legislators has crashed headfirst into Unintended Consequences, potentially obstructing booksellers in their ability to sell books signed by the author, and potentially hampering book owners from selling signed volumes to bookstores.
The New Republic has an article on a YA novel with a fat protagonist who is happily in love and not pathological. Eleanor and Park is one of the most frequently banned or challenged YA books, and this article addresses that too. It’s not genre, but it’s an interesting discussion of what it takes to make a book “subversive.”
File 770 provided some space for the Strange California kickstarter. This California-mythos-themed anthology will have stories by Seanan McGuire, Nick Mamatas, and Juliette Wade. [Full disclosure; I also have a story in the anthology.]
This is a bit of nuts-and-bolts, as Publishers Weekly charts the sales of various types of books. YA is going strong, e-books continue their slump, and downloadable audio books are surging.
A list of October releases, courtesy of The Verge. A new Wesley Chu, with a new lead character; that sounds fun. And I can’t wait to see what Margaret Atwood does with her Tempest-inspired novel. Lots of tasty stuff!
Movies and TV:
Here’s a shocker; Firefly really is the most-beloved short-run, cancelled-too-soon TV show, proven by statistics!
Ars Technica shares this clever and sweet memoir of a boy’s first Nintendo 64. Seriously, though, planted in this charming article are some of the seeds of the societal change information technology brought about… for instance, the local daily paper’s desire for a “teenaged game critic.”
Later this month, expect to see lots of Harley Quinns and Jokers! They are two of the most popular Halloween costumes this year.
For the highly caffeinated Star Wars fan in your life, how about an R2D2 French Press? Think Geek will begin offering these in November, 2016. Thanks to Mental Floss.
Most of us are familiar with blue moons, but what about black moons? I certainly wasn’t. While apparently last week’s was something on a non-event, the explanation is interesting.
Elon Musk painted an inspiring word picture of humans on Mars, but is it feasible? Ars Technica talked to someone else who painted an inspiring word picture of humans on Mars, or one human anyway; Andy Weir who wrote The Martian. Weir discusses Musk’s ideas.
This week’s art explores the theme of jesters (except for the coffee press. That’s just cool.)