This week’s word for Wednesday is Agathism, a noun, a belief that all things tend toward good (even if they aren’t good just now). It came into common usage around the 1830s and is based on the Greek word agathos which means “good.”
The very first Dragon Awards were announced on Sunday, September 4, 2016. Here are some highlights:
John C Wright won Best Science Fiction novel for Some Wither.
Larry Corriea won Best Fantasy Novel for Son of the Black Sword.
Terry Pratchett won Best YA Novel for The Shepherd’s Crown.
Ms Marvel, written by G. Willow Wilson, won for Best Comic Book.
Sandman Overture, by Neil Gaiman, won for Best Graphic Novel.
View all results here.
The Parsec Award winners, for best podcast, can be found here.
And Twitter posted a compilation of cosplay photos from DragonCon. (There might be some repeated images here.)
Books and Writing:
Book Smugglers has a fine essay on the love triangle.
The publisher Hachette and Seth Grahame Smith are in a legal dispute over the final book Smith delivered to them well past the deadline. Hachette wants its advance back. The publisher claims that the material delivered appropriates “a 120-year old work in the public domain” and is not substantively similar to Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter or Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Isn’t Smith thing kind of like appropriating classic works or famous historical figures? Thanks to Locus.
Over at Tor, Grady Hendrix indulges in some nostalgia and reviews a classic of Jewish horror (which is thing. Who knew?) The Tribe, by Bari Wood. This book sounds better than it has any right to be.
On the Horizon:
I was browsing our New Releases page the other day and came across two or three upcoming books that looked interesting. I’ll try to pull highlights from the page once a month to share here, and you can check it out yourself any time you want.
For urban fantasy lovers, a new Kate Daniels book by Ilona Andrews, Magic Binds drops on September 20.
I see that my first choices are all fantasy and two are urban fantasy. I promise to provide more diverse titles in future segments.
Movies and TV:
You’ve been craving a new Godzilla movie, haven’t you? Not just any new Godzilla movie, though; a new old Godzilla movie. Well, your prayers have been answered and Shin Godzilla, also named Godzilla Resurgence, will have a limited run in the USA beginning October 11. The Japanese film was produced by Toho Studio who made the original Godzilla films
NBC has a new SFF show premiering in October. It’s called Timeless. Here’s a trailer. This seems very familiar to me, and a documentary on the Hindenberg gave me nightmares for three nights when I was nine, so I’m probably not going to watch it.
Variety has put together a few trailers from CW shows with speculative fiction themes; Frequency, inspired by the Dennis Quaid movie; No Tomorrow, a Pre-Apocalypse comedy and Supergirl. It also discusses Riverdale, a midseason show based on Archie Comics. Seriously.
In this Smithsonian article, an archeologist talks about the settlements found on an island in the Great Dismal swamp, and what it reveals of an erased history of escaped slaves who created their own community.
It’s a little early for Halloween, but enjoy this cute paper sculpture of Li’l Death. You’re welcome.
Say “Hi!” to Jupiter.
SpaceX is still exploring the cause of its explosion. This is the company’s second loss of a rocket in 15 months.
Oklahoma was the site of a 5.4 magnitude earthquake which was the strongest tremor they’ve had in ten years. Because of the nature of the fault lines in the Midwest, earthquakes are often felt at a longer distance than the east and west coasts.
This is a science fiction/horror story waiting to be written; Ars Technica writes about a society (I hesitate to call them a “colony”) of wood ants in an abandoned nuclear weapons bunker in Poland. The ant town is made of up worker ants from a colony above them who have fallen through a large hole in that colony’s floor. The ant town has no queen and no males, only non-reproductive females, but functions like a colony in all other respects except that its new members are made up only of the unlucky ones who fall through the floor. Seriously, didn’t Jay Lake write a story like this?
Ars Technica reviews the hybrid app-and-cardboard tabletop game Mansions of Madness, by Fantasy Flight. Initially skeptical of the app, the reviewer was won over.
We still have a few giveaways active. Check here.
Our moody, surreal art comes from Jungho Lee, courtesy of This is Colossal.
Next week’s column will be short because I am going to HawaiiCon. The week after will probably contain some HawaiiCon highlights (and some vacation pictures, naturally).