May has started off much better than April ended, not that that’s any great feat. Still, it’s nice. There are leaves on the trees, I’ve been able to keep the windows open most days, I’m over (fingers crossed) the worst of my seasonal allergy nonsense for the year, and I’m really getting into my Dune readalong project. I’m also coming off of a slight reading slump in general, which is good because there’s so much I want to get through this month before we really get into summer releases.
In somewhat sad news, two blogs that I have followed for some years are closing down: SF Signal, which has been a fixture in the SFF online community for well over a decade, and My Bookish Ways. They will be missed.
Somewhat in response to the SF Signal announcement is Adam Whitehead’s post on Blogging in the Age of Austerity, which outlines some of the challenges facing fan writers and critics.
I’m also a little sad to see the end of this year’s Women in SF&F Month at Fantasy Book Cafe, but it’s not too late to head over and read through it if you haven’t yet.
The 2016 Hugo Awards finalist list has been updated to reflect the withdrawals of a couple of slated picks. “Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer gives us one non-slate option in the Best Short Story category, and the withdrawal of Black Gate made room for Lady Business on the Best Fanzine list.
Though there was already a post at Black Gate about their decision to withdraw from consideration, Rich Horton’s post about the Hugos is worth a read.
Meanwhile, at Kirkus, Andrew Liptak writes about that time Scientologists tried to game the Hugos for L. Ron Hubbard.
If you’re totally fed up with the Hugo Awards stuff, nerds of a feather, flock together has the scoop on other genre awards.
Peter Tieryas did an AMA in /r/sciencefiction to promote his novel, The United States of Japan, which I swear I’m going to get to read soon.
Fran Wilde did an AMA in /r/Fantasy, where she talked about her new Tor.com novella, The Jewel and Her Lapidary, which I’m hoping to get to this coming week, actually.
The new issue of Uncanny Magazine is out, and I haven’t gotten through the whole thing yet, but Foz Meadows’ piece on diversity is a must-read.
Vice has a good piece on the upcoming documentary Invisible Universe: A History of Blackness in Speculative Fiction. The filmmakers are currently raising money for post-production, and you can contribute at the film’s website.
Even though I quit watching Sleepy Hollow ages ago, I was kind of devastated to hear about Abbie’s death in the season finale. Sadly, she’s not the only woman of color to get shafted on television this year. The Village Voice takes a look at how genre television systematically lets black women down.
Supergirl is still waiting for the final word on whether they’re getting a second season or not. Screen Rant makes the case for why the show deserves another season.
Also at Book Riot, 100 Must-Read Sci-Fi and Fantasy Novels by Women Authors.
This Mary Sue piece, On Robots as a Metaphor for Marginalization: The Stories We’re Not Telling, is one of the most genuinely interesting things I read this week, with lots of food for thought about how we write about robots.
Fandom Following’s piece on Game of Thrones and the idea of “balanced criticism” is the thing I read this week that was most applicable to me personally as a heavy critic of the series.
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day here in the US, and the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog has a list of the 10 Fiercest Mothers in SFF.
Finally, Radiohead has a new album coming out, and I’ve already been digging the first song they released from it on YouTube:
A second song was released today, and the full album should be out tomorrow.