Category Archives: Blog News

State of the Blog and Weekend Links: March 19, 2017

Well, it’s been another week of being less productive than I’d like. It turns out that life is one of those things that just keeps happening. Last Sunday, my daughter came home and was sick, so she stayed home from school on Monday and Tuesday. Then the check engine light came on in my car on Thursday, and in a good news/bad news situation it’s not the same problem I already had it at the shop for like five times, but it is some other problem (a transmission code that I’m having fully diagnosed this coming week) that almost certainly isn’t under warranty. So, that’s fun. Add to that the ongoing saga of President Trump and the GOP’s maliciously cruel plans for the US and the realization that we’re still only a couple months in to this shit show, and I’m still, frankly, in a constant state of “on the edge of a major depressive episode.”

There was good stuff this week as well, though. I found out that the local Girl Scout troop selling cookies at my grocery store take credit cards, which is revolutionary. It’s also why I bought five boxes of Savannah Smiles on Friday. The Expanse got renewed for a third season. I read some good things, and my WoW raid group is making progress in Heroic Nighthold. There’s new episodes of Masterchef Junior to catch up on, and tonight is the start of season two of Into the Badlands, which everyone ought to be watching.

I don’t have a ton of links this week because I really have been trying to spend less time glued to the internet and more time doing productive stuff, but here’s what I read this week.

Fiyah published a report on their 2016 Black SFF Writer Survey.

nerds of a feather, flock together continued their Dystopian Visions series with Half-Life 2The Road, and The Dog Stars.

The Book Smugglers published a good round table discussion about short fiction with Kij Johnson, Elizabeth Bear, and Karen Tidbeck.

Mari Ness continued her series on fairy tales with a look at Giambattista Basile’s Il Pentameron.

Ada Palmer wrote about the world building in her Terra Ignota series at Tor.com and at the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog.

This collection of thirty years’ worth of covers for The Handmaid’s Tale is pretty neat.

State of the Blog and Weekend Links: February 26, 2017

The farther we get into 2017, the more I’m worried that I’m getting stuck in a new normal. When my productivity first tanked a few weeks ago, I thought that it would just be a temporary funk, but now it’s starting to feel like I’m slipping slowly into a full-blown depressive episode, which is worrisome (though not inevitable).

That said, there’s been some good news this week. I’ve got a couple of possibly upcoming projects that I’m excited and hopeful about, and the check engine light on my car turned out to be from a faulty part from the $1400 worth of repairs I had done a few weeks ago, so it was still under warranty. This coming week, I’ve got a couple of new ideas for how to restart my own mental systems–namely, quitting caffeine, taking yoga back up, and being sure to go to sleep at a reasonable hour–and hopefully head off the above-mentioned depressive episode. Also, I’m thinking of taking a short break from reading–a week or two, perhaps–until I get caught up on book reviews and other writing projects. I’ve been distracting myself a lot lately by just reading books, but it’s getting to the point that reading more is just adding to an intimidating backlog of stuff that I have opinions on.

So, that’s the goal for the upcoming week. Lots of writing. Some exercising. And, weather permitting, some time outdoors, though it’s supposed to rain most of the next few days.

Today, however, I’ve got links to share!

We’re getting into genre awards season, and several shortlists were announced this week:

At Tor.com, ten authors weighed in on the hard vs. soft sci-fi debate.

P. Djeli Clark and Troy L. Wiggins talked about the history and future of FIYAH.

Tor.com also announced the acquisition of a new novel–in verse!–by Jane Yolen. It’s about Baba Yaga, too, which makes it relevant to most of my interests.

Fantasy Literature’s Short Fiction Monday this week had links to some great free-to-read fiction by some of my favorite writers, including N.K. Jemisin, Elizabeth Bear, and Aliette de Bodard.

Ashok Banker has a new story in Lightspeed, “Six-Gun Vixen and the Dead Coon Trashgang” plus an Author Spotlight.

At Mary Robinette Kowal’s blog, Maurice Broaddus talks about his favorite bit of his new short fiction collection, Voices of Martyrs. I’m about a third of the way through the collection now, and it’s really excellent.

Paste Magazine has a good piece on how Dana Scully influenced a generation.

Kate Heartfield wrote about indigenous authors in science fiction in “Decolonizing the Future.”

V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic is going to be a movie, which reminds me that I really need to get around to reading the other two books in that trilogy.

This McSweeney’s piece on Five Beautiful Dead Bodies Every Aspiring Actress Dreams of Playing just about made me choke on my drink.

Finally, it’s been all over the news this week, but if you haven’t heard, NASA announced the discovery of SEVEN earthlike planets in the Trappist-1 system, about 40 light years away. There are some cool posters over at the Trappist-1 website.

 

State of the Blog and Weekend Links: February 19, 2017

This turned out to be a slightly more productive week than the last one was, but it still wasn’t great. I continue to struggle with staying on task and avoiding news, which also means I continue to struggle with all the feelings of anger, worry and frustration that comes along with even minimal knowledge of current events. That said, the biggest thing that impeded productivity this week was just plain old adulting stuff. Our upstairs neighbors had bed bugs, so we had to have our place treated as well (again, ugh), which is stressful and highly disruptive, requiring extra laundry and moving stuff and this time an unfortunately unavoidable trip to an Ikea store. There’s basically no way that any week containing a trip to Ikea is going to be a good one, even in the best of times.

bmp_nighthold1Still, it wasn’t all bad. I got my Six Wakes review out along with my unpopular opinions about the most recent episode of The Expanse. I read Miranda and Caliban, which was probably not the best choice for my first reading of something by Jacqueline Carey. I got an early copy of Seven Surrenders in the mail the other day, so I’ve been working through that and it’s amazing. I’ve taken a bunch of photos of my cat, Spot’s, adorable romance with the large stuffed dog my daughter keeps on her bed. I druid healed some stuff in World of Warcraft for the first time in basically ever, and it was weird but fun. Then cleared all of Nighthold except for Gul’dan, which was pretty rad. My alts are all shamefully neglected, but it turns out that after all these years I’m still a druid person.

As always, I’m not making any promises about post frequency this week, but I’m optimistic. I’m halfway done already with a couple of book reviews, I’ll always write about The Expanse, and I’ve still got a couple of other projects knocking around on my to-do list. I also just ordered the 1970s Ballantine mass market editions of the Gormenghast trilogy, which I think is going to be my classic SFF reading/blogging project for the year, though I haven’t decided how I want to do it yet. Right now I’m just excited to be feeding my 1970s paperback addiction.

Kameron Hurley wrote a great post over at Boing Boing this week: “What Will Sink Our Generation Ships? The Death of Wonder”

If you’re into long reads, The Wertzone has conveniently listed the longest SFF novels of all time.

nerds of a feather, flock together collected a Taster’s Guide to January’s Speculative Short Fiction that’s very worth a look, especially if you don’t have time to read all the publications they suggest stories from.

Lady Business published their excellent list of Hugo Nomination Rrecommendations, which I know added a couple things to my TBR list. Also, SF Bluestocking is on their for Best Fanzine, which completely made my week. (Thanks, Renay!)

Jacqueline Carey wrote both a Big Idea and My Favorite Bit pieces about her new novel, Miranda and Caliban.

A. Merc Rustad is probably my favorite new-to-me writer from 2016, and they have a new story in Lightspeed, “Later, Let’s Tear Up the Inner Sanctum.” They also just revealed the cover for their first collection, So You Want to Be a Robot and Other Stories, coming in May from Lethe Press. This is the most exciting single-author collection of the year so far, hands down.

You can preorder the book now.

Blog Update and [Multi-]Weekend Links: July 24, 2016

Well, it’s been another rough couple of weeks here, unfortunately, and my last burst of productivity before the most recent trip to Huntsville turned out to just not be sustainable. The trip itself was a mixed bag. We accomplished a lot of clearing out of my partner’s late mother’s house, and we retrieved the majority of stuff that he was interested in keeping. However, as much as we got done, it wasn’t enough, and there’s still a decent amount of work still to be done as some yet-to-be-decided point in the future–only next time without air conditioning. On the bright side, even though we were a little overly optimistic about our ability to clear things out in a single weekend, we have a better strategy (or at least some ideas for a better strategy) for the next weekend we head down that should make that our last visit to Huntsville for a long time. Also, I finally got to try Dreamland ribs, which I was almost too exhausted to really enjoy but were almost certainly worth the drive all on their own.

The worst part, this time around, has just been the sheer amount of time it’s taken me to recover fully from the trip. Usually I drag for a couple of days after getting home, but honestly this weekend has been the first one since that I’ve actually felt pretty normal. I’m still not completely back up to speed, and I’m horrendously behind on all kinds of things, but I am finally feeling physically and mentally well enough to really dig into getting caught up. I’ve seen Ghostbusters twice and Star Trek: Beyond once already, so there will be reviews of those coming out this week (spoiler alert: I loved them both). While I haven’t been writing the last couple of weeks, I have been reading, so I’ve got plenty of book reviews planned as well.

You may have noticed a change in the look of the blog, which I’m much happier with than what I had going on before even if it is still a work in progress. In addition to the change in looks, I’ve got some ideas for some new regular features here at SF Bluestocking. Most notably, I’m currently trying to work out some kind of system for reproducing something kind of sort of like SF Signal’s link posts. I haven’t completely figured out how to not spend ages on collecting links every day, and I have a feeling that part of the method is going to mean a reduction in scope and/or frequency from what the wonderful folks at SF Signal spoiled us with all these years, but it was such a valuable resource for the community and I’d love to be able to provide some version of that here. That said, I don’t have an exact timetable yet for when I’ll be rolling out this and other changes. My partner and I still have another trip to Huntsville to wrap up (for real and finally) the last bit of his mother’s last affairs, and I’ve still got some other things to do this summer before my daughter (and niece and nephew) head back to school in the fall. Right now, though, my plan is to just roll changes out as I accomplish them, and whatever I don’t finish this summer I expect to make real strides on during September and October.

In the meantime, I’m hoping that things are going to be more normal from here on out in terms of writing and posting. I didn’t get much done this week, but I did catch up on all my internet reading–except for all the news coming out of SDCC, which will merit its own post or two early this week once I get through it all. For right now, here’s about three weeks’ worth of weekend links:

Fandom Following has been posting plenty of postmortem stuff on season six of Game of Thrones, but the part I’ve been most interested in has been their series on Sexism and Season 6.

If you need a lolsob after that, I highly recommend checking out their Season 6 Carol Awards as well.

The David Gemmell Awards shortlist was announced, and voting is open until August 19, 2016.

There’s about a week left to vote for this year’s Hugo Awards, and Joe Sherry has finished reading all of this year’s nominated novellas and novelettes.

The table of contents for The Year’s Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories 2016 was released, and there’s some great stuff there.

Angry Robot Books turned seven, and publisher Marc Gascoigne stopped in at Fantasy Faction to talk about what he’s learned from founding an award-winning publishing house.

At Salon, Ann and Jeff VanderMeer talked about the value of diversity in science fiction.

Clayton Moore interviewed Ann and Jeff VanderMeer at Kirkus, where they talked about their most recent anthology–the wonderfully enormous Big Book of Science Fiction.

Also at Kirkus, a nice Andrew Liptak piece on The Absurd Kurt Vonnegut.

Meanwhile, at the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, T.W. O’Brien writes about Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle.

Also at the B&N blog, this nice interview with Faith writer Jody Houser. I loved the comic miniseries when I read it, and issue one of the ongoing book just came out this week.

The Book Smugglers’ Trope Anatomy series continued this month with a look at some of the most insidious and unpleasant narratives surrounding fatness.

It looks like Terry Pratchett’s Wee Free Men is going to be a movie, and penned by his daughter Rihanna.

Ghostbusters came out, and Kate McKinnon’s Jillian Holtzman is marvelously, joyously queer–as a salty parabola.

Gillian Anderson shared an amazing picture of young Kate McKinnon dressed as Scully from the X-Files.

Lethe Press now has a Patreon page where you can support their queer and speculative fiction.

The Learned Fangirl talked about The Never-Ending Debate Over Women in Comedy.

At Terrible Minds, S.L. Huang wrote on the subject of manpain.

Margaret Atwood was interviewed at LitHub, where she talked about Donald Trump, witches and flying cats.

Ursula K. LeGuin called on fantasy and sci-fi writers to envision alternatives to capitalism.

Speaking of Ursula LeGuin, Simon & Schuster’s Saga Press announced that they’ll be publishing an Earthsea omnibus in 2018 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the series.

Mithila Review has a great list of Asian science fiction and fantasy recommendations from some notable writers and editors.

Tor.com kicks off a series on 100 African Writers of SFF with a look at what’s going on in the genre in Nairobi.

At Mary Robinette Kowal’s blog, Sarah Kuhn talks about her favorite bit of her new novel, Heroine Complex.

Finally, Michi Trota also shows up there to talk about Uncanny Magazine‘s recently started Year Three Kickstarter.

If you back the project for just $25, you get a full year’s subscription to Uncanny, but there’s a ton of great rewards at all backer levels.