Category Archives: Blog News

State of the Blog and Weekend Links: April 8, 2018

Well, today has been a Day, and it comes at the end of a Week. Readers, I am worn out. I’m also disappointed that I didn’t get nearly as much accomplished this week as I’d hoped to, but mostly I’m just ready to go to bed, even though it’s only 9:30. Fortunately, this coming week finally sees my availability change go into effect at the day job, which means far fewer too-early nights and hopefully much more productive time in the afternoons and evenings.

did manage to read a couple of books this week–Justina Ireland’s Dread Nation (it’s great, and you should be reading it right now instead of this) and The Merry Spinster by Mallory Ortberg (also good)–and I watched Jesus Christ Superstar Live, which was excellent. I also managed to get out my Spring Reading List, and I’m doing some Gormenghast re-reading as well so that I can get back to work on that project this week. It was also my partner’s birthday on Thursday, as well as my day off work, so we had a nice day together and a good dinner at a good local pizza place. Mostly, though, I’ve been working and tired from work, which seems to be the story of my life so far this year, and even I’m getting bored of it.

That said, I’m stoked to be getting back to work on Gormenghast, and I’m cautiously optimistic that I’ll be able to write about The Expanse, season three of which starts this Wednesday, and Into the Badlands, which is back on in two weeks.

Speaking of Into the Badlands, I’m still kind of pissed about Veil being fridged at the end of season two, but season three looks pretty good:

And speaking of Gormenghast, it looks like it may be getting another television adaptation.

Meanwhile, Orientalism is Alive and Well in American Cinema.

Molly Ringwald looked back on the movies she made with John Hughes and how her feelings about them have changed in the era of #MeToo.

It makes sense that current criticisms of Ready Player One would be part of a cultural shift in response to Gamergate.

Tor.com is giving away the ebook of All Systems Red by Martha Wells for FREE through April 10. It’s fab, and you definitely want it if you don’t already have it.

Pre-orders are open for L.D. Lewis’s A Ruin of Shadows, a novella set in the same world as her 2017 novelette, “Chesirah.”

Check out this World Sci-Fi Storybundle. It’s fantastic.

Justina Ireland was profiled at Vulture.

Catherynne M. Valente shared her Favorite Bit of Space Opera.

Tor.com has lists of this month’s new releases:

Mythcreants points out 6 illogical genre aesthetics.

This is something I struggle with, to be honest, but it’s okay to give up on mediocre books (because we’re all going to die).

Mary Berry is going to be on a new cooking show on BBC One!

On the one hand, I don’t super care about Lost in Space, like, at all, but on the other hand, Parker Posey is playing a gender-swapped Dr. Smith:

I am very slowly starting to get hyped for this Han Solo movie, in spite of myself. Tonight, for the first time, I admitted to my partner that I want to go see it at the theater.

State of the Blog and Weekend Links: April 1, 2018

The big news this week, obviously, is that SF Bluestocking is now a TWO TIME Hugo Finalist in the Best Fanzine category. The novelty of typing those words has still not worn off yet, though from now on I’ll probably keep it to myself. Thanks so, so much to everyone who nominated me; you are all The Best, and I love you.

After a shaky start to this year, what with life things happening and so on, I’m finally starting to feel like I’m being somewhat productive. I’ve gotten together an ebook version of my 2017 Let’s Read! Gormenghast posts, so watch for that this week, with new Gormenghast content to come, if not this week as well, then next. I’m also putting the finishing touches on my Spring Reading List as well as a look at my favorite reads from the first three months of 2018. This week is my final week of 5-sh in the morning start times at my day job, so I’m not making any set-in-stone promises about content, but after this my schedule will be much more reasonable and conducive to sleeping and writing and having some work/life balance, so while I don’t think we’ll see a return to my days of covering three or four television shows (plus books and the occasional movie) each week, I am hopeful that I’ll be back to some kind of regular blogging schedule. I’m even tentatively planning to cover The Expanse and Into the Badlands when they start back up in the coming weeks; I think I can handle one Wednesday show and one Sunday show, even if my posts end up being later than I’d prefer.

My favorite thing this week has to be this absolutely perfect tweet:

My second favorite thing this week is that one of my favorite books of 2017, Tansy Rayner Roberts’ Girl Reporter, won TWO Aurealis Awards and a Ditmar Award.

R.J. Theodore shares her Favorite Bit of her steampunk first contact novel, Flotsam.

Theodore also wrote about five things she learned while writing Flotsam.

And here at SF Bluestocking, I’ve got a guest post from R.J. Theodore where we’re also giving away a copy of the book.

The Nerdist has an interesting guide to the film references and influences of The Last Jedi.

At McSweeney’s, “Excerpts from My Upcoming Novel, Ready Player Two: Girl Stuff.”

Good news: Matt Wallace is writing an epic fantasy trilogy! The bad news is that we won’t get the first book until Spring 2020.

Jane Yolen’s story in verse, Finding Baba Yaga, has a cover.

S.B. Divya’s novella, Runtime, has been optioned for film and television. Yes, please.

You owe it to yourself to listen to Christopher Walken reading “The Raven.”

Apparently Ursula K. LeGuin did a folk/electronica album.

The Fandomentals continue their indepth analysis of Game of Thrones season seven with a look at events in King’s Landing: Part 1 (Recap) | Part 2 (Analysis).

There are violent rabbits in the margins of some medieval manuscripts, and you can click this link to find out why.

“The Male Glance” is a must-read essay.

 

 

State of the Blog and Weekend Links: March 25, 2018

Well, this has been another week in the life. While I haven’t posted here, I did actually have a productive three days in a row off work (potentially the last such lucky even for a while to come) during which I have actually been writing some stuff and reorganizing my schedule and trying out a new reward/incentive program for myself in order to encourage productivity so that I can get back to writing and posting more soon.

While this new system of doing things hasn’t paid off in any big way just yet, I’m already feeling encouraged. If nothing else, my mood has immediately improved, and I’ve been steadily checking things off my to-do lists, which I’m now doing daily and limiting to just a handful of good, reasonably accomplishable tasks. I’m hoping that this is going to be the long term motivational time-management and accountability tool I’ve been so desperately in need of.

My first big project under the new system is actually the resurrection of an old project. Last year, I began a detailed read-along of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast books, but I only made it about halfway through Titus Groan before getting derailed by life stuff and a nasty bout of depression, but it’s actually the 2017 work that I’m most proud of and I think it’s worth returning to and finishing. Plus, I figure it will be good for me to work for a while on something that’s really not time-sensitive. The other most-rewarding work I do is television recaps and reviews, but I foresee it being a challenge to keep up with those while working full time.

That said, new seasons of both The Expanse and Into the Badlands are starting in April, so we’ll see how things go. In the meantime, however, GORMENGHAST. If you haven’t read my previous Gormenghast posts, I should have a convenient (and free) ebook of them out by the end of this week, and I’m hoping to have new posts starting next week.

Finally, be sure to check back here at SF Bluestocking tomorrow, where there will be a guest post by R.J. Theodore, author of the steampunk first contact novel Flotsam (out Tuesday from Parvus Press) as well as a giveaway of a copy of the book.

The finalists for this year’s Kitschies were announced.

Heroine’s Journey, the third book in Sarah Kuhn’s excellent superheroine series, has a cover, and it’s fab, but the somewhat bigger news is that there are going to be more books in the series: three more, to be precise, plus a novella.

L.D. Lewis revealed the cover for her upcoming short story, A Ruin of Shadows, set in the same world as her much-praised “Chesirah” (in the first issue of FIYAH Literary Magazine).

Margot Robbie is going to be producing a female-led Shakespearean drama series.

Last week, I shared a link to an Ada Palmer piece on Treating the Divine in Science Fiction, only to realize after posting it that I ought to have shared the other posts in that series as well because they are all interesting and worthwhile reads. Here they are:

And here’s a trailer for season three of Into the Badlands, which already looks fantastic:

State of the Blog and Weekend Links: March 18, 2018

I never did get around to writing up last week’s weekend links, though I did save the actual links to share this week. Working at 5:30 am on Sundays is really making it difficult for me to get these posts written, and I’m starting to think I ought to move them to Saturdays going forward (no doubt to find myself scheduled on Saturdays as soon as I settle into a new routine, because that’s how retail jobs work). In any case, the day job is still a major impediment to reading, writing, cooking, cleaning, and anything else fun that I might want to be spending my time doing. Booo.

That said, I’m hoping to have a more reasonable work schedule in another week or two, and I have some ideas for addressing my creative block and reorganizing my time to be more productive in the near future. Encouragingly, I think (fingers crossed) that I’m done being actually physically ill for a while, having recovered from the nasty cold I had the last two weeks, and that always bodes well for productivity.

If you’re looking for something to read in March, as always Tor.com has you covered, with comprehensive lists of this month’s new releases:

Virginia Bergen has won this year’s Tiptree Award, but there’s also a fantastic long list that’s been published for all of our edification.

A.C. Wise shares some non-binary authors to read in March.

If you want something to look forward to later in the year, be sure to check out the Book Smugglers’ announcement of their summer 2018 short fiction series: Awakenings.

If you want to support excellent short fiction, make sure you check out the Kickstarter for the next two years of The Dark Magazine:

Paolo Bacigalupi wrote about his Favorite Bit of The Tangled Lands, the new book he co-authored with Tobias S. Buckell.

Kelly Robson shares her Favorite Bit of her new Tor.com novella, Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach.

P. Djeli Clark’s upcoming Tor.com novella, The Black God’s Drum, is one of the books I’m most looking forward to this year, and it has a (gorgeous) cover.

Margaret Atwood’s Angel Catbird is now also an audio play.

Lady Business celebrated mothers in SFF.

There’s a proper trailer for season 3 of The Expanse:

Ada Palmer wrote about Treating the Divine in Science Fiction.

nerds of a feather’s Horror 101 series continued with a look at enclosed versus exposed horror.

Mythcreants opined on why the term “Mary Sue” should be retired.

The Fandomentals covered Redemption Arcs of many kinds.

The Wertzone took a look at some of the dogs of science fiction and fantasy.

Speaking of dogs:

State of the Blog and Weekend Links: March 4, 2018

So, last week there wasn’t much going on in terms of links OR interesting updates on my life, and I was absolutely worn out by the time Sunday rolled around, so I decided to just take a break from weekend links. I’d love to say that doing so let me accomplish a bunch of other stuff, but that’s not actually the case. I just went to bed really early, to be honest. The truth is, I am still struggling, heavily, with just how much of my time is now taken up by the day job, and it turns out that I SUCK at adapting to a new routine.

There’s no particular bright side here; I’m just still worn out, constantly, and even just reading is exhausting. I think things are still getting better, re: energy levels and so on, but I’m still resentful about having to go to bed so early in the evenings (I turn into a pumpkin at about 9:30 these days) and how much the early bedtime cuts into what has, historically, been productive time for me. I’ve made some minor changes to my availability that should help in the coming weeks, but that’s still like two weeks away. In the meantime, my goal for this week is to carve out at least an hour each day for dedicated writing time (I’ll be setting timers and everything to make sure I stay on task); I’m hoping that this will help me finish some of the many things I have started working on recently.

After years of being increasingly apathetic about Doctor Who, I have to admit I’m getting hyped for the new season with a new showrunner and a new Doctor:

Sad news: Pornokitsch is closing up shop at the end of March.

This year’s Nebula Awards finalists were announced last week.

Last week, Myke Cole shared the Big Idea of his new Tor.com novella, The Armored Saint.

This week, Tobias Buckell talked about the Big Idea of The Tangled Lands, his collaboration with Paolo Bacigalupi.

There’s a new interview with Fonda Lee over at Fantasy Faction.

Spencer Ellsworth popped in at Skiffy and Fanty with “That Thing You Love Doesn’t Always Love You Back.”

Lightspeed has an interview with Carmen Maria Machado.

This chat between Jeff VanderMeer and Alton Brown is interesting.

Weird Al and Lin Manuel Miranda are friends, and that makes me indescribably happy.

Speaking of indescribably happy, “The Hamilton Polka” dropped this week:

I preordered Catherynne M. Valente’s Space Opera this week, but if you’re still not sure if it’s a book for you, you can read the first chapter of it right now.

Tor.com’s Short History of South Asian Speculative Fiction has a Part II.

Emily Asher-Perrin says that all robot love stories are conversations about consent.

Mari Ness covers “Bearskin.”

As soon as I can find lamb shoulder at a reasonable price, I’ll be trying this delicious-sounding recipe for Wakandan Jeweled Vegetable Pilau with Berbere Braised Lamb.

The Expanse returns on April 11!

State of the Blog and Weekend Links: February 18, 2018

Not much change, unfortunately, on the finding-a-new-job-life-writing balance front this week, but my energy levels continue to improve (more or less, anyway, since I had a little cold mid-week that didn’t do my productivity any favors). I do have about eight blog posts halfway written, but half-written isn’t completely done, obviously. Still, it puts me in the way of being likely to finish at least a couple of things this week if I can manage my time a bit better than I have been (and avoid catching any more nasty germs from the day job).

I haven’t liked most of what I’ve been reading this week, but video media has been better than books for me while I’ve been sick and stuff. I’ve been working my way through the new Queer Eye on Netflix. It’s kind and funny and generally just delightful, and I never would have thought I’d have so many feelings about it. I also made it out to see Black Panther yesterday morning, and I have thoughts but all I’m going to say right now is BELIEVE THE HYPE. It’s every bit as good as 97% of critics and approximately all of Twitter say it is. I highly recommend putting it in your eyeballs as soon as possible.

Worldweaver Press revealed the table of contents for a new solarpunk anthology, Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers. Bonus! If you sign up for their newsletter, you’ll get updates on when the book will be available AND a 40% off coupon to use in the Worldweaver Press online store.

My friend Renay (who you may know from the Hugo Award-winning blog Lady Business and from the excellent Fangirl Happy Hour podcast) is going to a badass camp for learning progressive political activism skills, but she needs a little help getting there. This lady does so much rad stuff already, and I cannot wait to see what she’ll accomplish with a few new tricks up her sleeve.

John Kessel wrote about his Favorite Bit of his new Jane Austen/Frankenstein mash-up novel, Pride and Prometheus.

At Breaking the Glass Slipper, Jasmine Gower answered five questions about her new novel, Moonshine.

At LitHub, Sofia Samatar talked about Kafka, binge-writing and the search for monsters.

The results of Uncanny Magazine’s 2017 Favorite Fiction Reader Poll are in.

Skiffy and Fanty introduced a new podcast covering Speculative Fiction in Translation.

At Tor.com, Mari Ness covered the fairy tales of Henriette Julie de Murat.

Also at Tor.com, part two in a series of posts about women SF writers of the 1970s. Part one here.

State of the Blog and Weekend Links: February 11, 2018

Once again, I’ve overestimated the amount of time and energy I would have for blogging. However, this time it’s not a matter of being exhausted from the day job; I’ve actually started getting used to the schedule and the early mornings, and my energy level has been pretty high. Instead, I just had a plain busy week, much of it taken up with getting my kid to and from final rehearsals for her first ever high school musical (which was Curtains, and it was very good). It’s been a lot, but now it’s over, which is a relief.

I’m happy to be feeling more energetic–I’ve even been cooking more again, which is excellent, as I’ve been thoroughly tired of frozen pizzas and things I can microwave for dinner–but I still feel like I’m struggling a little with adjusting to this new normal. I’m often at my most productive in mid-to-late evenings (think around 9:00 pm til midnight or so), so I’m losing a lot of ordinarily fruitful writing time any day that I have to go to bed early in order to be up at 4:30-5:00 am. I’m certain that things will get sorted, but in the meantime I’m just feeling a bit off, in addition to just being very frustrated at what still feels like a major disruption to my regular schedule and working process. It’s gonna happen, though. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

Tor.com has all the new releases you should be looking forward to in February:

Asimov’s has made several Locus Award-nominated stories free-to-read online.

It’s time to vote in Clarkesworld’s Readers’ Poll (or just read the stories that have made the finalist list).

Lady Business has some great recs if you are nominating and voting for the Hugo Awards this year. (Full disclosure: Includes me, which is still never not a surreal thing to see.)

I just got my ARC of Flotsam by R.J. Theodore the other day and haven’t dug into it just yet, but I am pretty hyped for it. It had me at “steampunk first contact” and I am wild about that fabulous Julie Dillon cover art.

The Illustrated Page has an interview with Alex Wells.

At Minor Literatures, J. Moufawad-Paul writes about Benjanun Sriduangkaew’s Winterglass and Necropolitics.

Sue Burke wrote about the Big Idea in her debut novel, Semiosis.

Burke also shared her Favorite Bit of Semiosis. And popped over to the Tor/Forge blog to share some more thoughts on plants, sentient and otherwise.

Brooke Bolander shared five things she learned while writing The Only Harmless Great Thing.

Jasmine Gower’s Moonshine came out this week, and she wrote about her Big Idea over at Whatever.

Myke Cole was on Skiffy and Fanty to talk about his upcoming book from Tor.com, The Armored Saint.

S.L. Huang’s Zero Sum Game has a cover!

The Kickstarter is live for the hardcover edition of Sunspot Jungle, a two-volume anthology featuring over 100 speculative fiction writers from around the world.

At The Millions, a look at Carrie Fisher’s The Princess Diarist one year later.

At LitHub, some thoughts on the commercialization of dystopian fiction. I’m not sure I agree, but it’s something to think about.

Speculative Chic has a roundtable tribute to Ursula K. LeGuin, while four writers remember LeGuin and talk about what LeGuin meant to them over at LitHub.

io9 covered the history of supernatural pregnancies.

There’s finally a proper trailer for season two of Jessica Jones:

There’s also a trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story, which I’m not sure I care about at all. It’s fine, I guess, though I’m very confused by those wine glasses with the huge silver things around the stems. Whose awful idea was that?

am interested, however, in 365 Days of Star Wars Women.

Because we are living in the worst possible timeline, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are going to write and produce some Star Wars movies.

The second half of Uncanny Magazine #20 is available online now. Must-read pieces include:

There’s a new issue of Apex Magazine out as well, #105. I’m currently digging “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies” by Alix E. Harrow. There’s also an interview with the author.

New at Lightspeed this week: “Four Point Affective Calibration” by Bogi Takács (plus author spotlight).

Finally, I am in love with this “Judith and Holofernes” by Giorgio Vasari, which I’ve somehow managed to never see before. Those back muscles are gorgeous, and I adore the way Judith fills the whole frame. Amazing.