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. 

Jester and Horse, by Geoffrey Key

Jester and Horse, by Geoffrey Key


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?

The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society awarded Gregory Benford the Forrest Ackerman award.

Books and Writing: 

David Walton will be on Stanford Radio’s Philosophy Talk on October 9, at 10 am Pacific time, to discuss dark matter.  It should be interesting!

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.

Jester Playing Bowls by Eduardo Zamacious y Zabala (17th century)

Jester Playing Bowls by Eduardo Zamacious y Zabala (17th century)

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!

The UK Independent interviewed Mike Colter on his head role in Netflix’s new Marvel superhero show Luke Cage.


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.”

Polygon reviews the nostalgic and somewhat strange story game Virginia, here.

R2D2 French Coffee Press

R2D2 French Coffee Press


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.

Satellite Rosetta completed its mission, studying a comet, by executing a controlled collision onto the comet. Signals have stopped. Here’s a little more detail about Rosetta.

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.)


  • 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.