It amazing how quickly a full month of 2016 is gone. The good news about getting further along in the year is that we’re moving somewhat away from all of the year-end and year-beginning posts clogging up everyplace on the internet, and we’re starting to see more new content and real news taking its place.
That said, there’s still some year-beginning stuff worth reading–like this list at Kirkus of 150 sci-fi, fantasy, and horror books to look forward to in 2016: Part 1 (Feb-Apr), Part 2 (May-July), Part 3 (Aug-Dec).
For many of us readers, the final bit of 2015 retrospective will of course be the Hugo Awards, and nominations are now open. If you’d like to nominate and vote this year, there are still a little over twenty-four hours left to register for this year’s MidAmeriCon II or next year’s WorldCon in Helsinki.
nerds of a feather, flock together has the most comprehensive long list for the Hugos that I’ve seen so far, though I’m certain more will be forthcoming in the coming weeks.
- Part One – Fiction Categories
- Part Two – Visual Categories
- Part Three – Individual Categories
- Part Four – Nonfiction and Institutional Categories
Surprisingly enough, and I reserve the right to take this back if things degenerate into the mess we had last year, Sad Puppies 4 has a moderately interesting way of doing things this time around. So far there are no slates, and not even any recommended reading lists. It’s just a bunch of open threads for people to shout their Hugo recs into the void. Personally, I prefer a nice, organized list or wiki, but just looking through some of the threads it appears that there’s a pretty good mix of suggestions over there.
No word yet on Vox Day and the Rabid Puppies. Back on January 3, Vox said that Rabid Puppies was gearing up, but since then he seems to be very distracted by being a complete piece of trash about literally everything else he can have an opinion on. We’ll see.
Speaking of dirtbags, at least the Birth of Dirtbag Venus is funny.
Or, more realistically, a Lego minifig with a wheelchair.
You can already buy Barbie dolls with more diverse body types. They’re not perfect, but they’re definitely a step in the right direction for the venerable brand.
In less encouraging news for young girls, new research has found that even in the theoretically girl-powered Disney Princess films, women talk less than men. In an interesting counterpoint to the generally popular narrative that the films have gotten more progressive and better for girls over time, it even turns out the the newer movies are even worse than some of the classics.
On a tangentially related note, Geek Mom takes a look at some of the many problems with Supergirl‘s Cat Grant. Cat is often the show’s main mouthpiece for feminist speechifying, so it’s important to look at what the character’s portrayal actually says about the show’s purported feminism.
Meanwhile, at Tor.com, there’s a list of 9 female heroes of color who should get their own shows. I’m as happy as anyone about having Supergirl and Jessica Jones and Agent Carter, but more women of color, please.
At the Book Smugglers, Mahvesh Murad talks about what a tricky word diversity is in an essay reprinted from Volume IV of the Apex Book of World Sci-Fi.
Foz Meadows writes about the politics of presence.
Daniel José Older has a new Buzzfeed piece, 12 Fundamentals of Writing the Other.
At Women in Science Fiction, Toni Weisskopf has a guest blog.
At Literary Hub, Our Fairy Tales Ourselves: Storytelling from East to West.
Season 10 of the X-Files premiered this week, and Screen Rant has a complete guide to the show’s mythology that may or may not be useful.
Feminist Fiction wrote about why we have to stop debating Mary Sues. Spoiler alert: because it’s a shitty, sexist concept.
Last week I shared “Kara,” a short Star Wars fan film. SF Signal has collected two more to go with it.
J.K. Rowling has released the names of several new schools in her wizarding world.
Electric Literature shows off a new comic, Literary Witches, by Katy Horan and Taisia Kitaiskaia.
Matt Wallace’s second Sin du Jour novella, Lustlocked, came out this week from Tor.com. He wrote an excellent guest post over at SF Signal, and he was interviewed at My Bookish Ways. You can read my review of Lustlocked here.
The other exciting new release this week is Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky, which I’m currently reading and enjoying. Anders has a great piece up at io9 about what it means to be a science fiction writer in the 21st century, and she was interviewed at the Qwillery and Omnivoracious.
The only book I managed to review this week, between a very busy schedule of writing about new television, was Monstrous Little Voices: New Tales from Shakespeare’s Fantasy World. It’s a really wonderful collection, and Abaddon Books commissioning editor David Thomas Moore was interviewed this week by A Fantastical Librarian.
Finally, it’s been a pretty good week for short fiction on the internet. My favorites:
- At Apex Magazine, “Razorback” by Ursula Vernon (with accompanying interview with the author)
- At Tor.com, “Variations on an Apple” by Yoon Ha Lee
- Also at Tor.com, “The Maiden Thief” by Melissa Marr