Category Archives: Weekend Links

State of the Blog and Weekend Links: August 20, 2017

So, let’s just say right up front that this wasn’t a great week for me. I’m depressed, which sucks, and last weekend saw literal fucking Nazi’s marching in the streets of America, which isn’t surprising but is nonetheless upsetting and disheartening. I’m having a hard time dealing with the fact that we’ve got more than three years of this shit to go. At least.

On the good news front, my daughter is back in school; she started 9th grade on Wednesday, which means I’ve got a good deal more theoretically productive alone time coming my way now. Tomorrow, we’re heading to Bowling Green, Kentucky to see the eclipse slightly better than we would see it here in Cincinnati, but after that it’s back to school for my daughter and back to work for me. As shitty as this past week has been, it’s managed to be kind of inexplicably restful as well, and I’ve got some stuff to work on this week that I’m excited about.

This week, my Game of Thrones post was very late (like, today late), but I hope to have it out either late tomorrow or sometime on Tuesday. After that, I’ve got a review post on recent magazine and short fiction reads in the works. I’m also hoping to get back on track this week with Let’s Read! Gormenghast. I haven’t forgotten about the project, though I have taken an extended break from it, and I’m determined to finish it. Right now, I’m not making any promises about what I’ll be publishing, but I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to get back to a two or three posts a week schedule now that I have more time to myself during the day. It’s a weird balance, this trying to be productive while also trying to be kind to myself (which in turn makes it easier to be productive than wallowing in self-loathing).

If you’re feeling fatalistic, I saw this neat piece the other day about how Earth’s final total solar eclipse is less than a billion years away.

Speaking of the apocalypse, N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season is being adapted for television.

Jemisin discussed the Broken Earth trilogy at the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog.

Jemisin was also interviewed for Playboy, where she disclosed that her next series will be based on her Tor.com short story, “The City Born Great,” and will take on the Lovecraftian Mythos.

Becky Chambers’ next Wayfarers book, Record of a Spaceborn Few, has a cover blurb. I am excited.

Chapter Two of Sarah Gailey’s new serial at Fireside, The Fisher of Bones, is out. Read Chapter One here.

The newest Book Smugglers novella, Temporary Duty Assignment by A.E. Ash, is out now. There’s five days left on the paperback giveaway,, and you can read about Ash’s inspirations and influences here.

The Wertzone’s Cities of Fantasy series continues with Golgotterath, from R. Scott Baker’s Second Apocalypse series.

Black Gate is signal boosting the Kickstarter for the first English translation of a Brazilian solarpunk anthology. Intriguing.

I am in love with these adorable PRONOUNS enamel pins.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia is crowdfunding a novella!

In new that should surprise no one, Joss Whedon’s ex-wife called him out today as a hypocritical faux-feminist. That does sound like him.

State of the Blog and Weekend Links: August 13, 2017

So, the big news of the week was the Hugo Awards. I didn’t make it to WorldCon this year; it turns out Helsinki is far away from Cincinnati and expensive to travel to when one is poor. However, I’ve been vicariously enjoying the Con for days, and I did tune in to find out if SF Bluestocking won the award for Best Fanzine. It did not, but Lady Business did, and I honestly don’t think I would be happier if I had won. The ladies at Lady Business are wonderful, and you should be reading their stuff. Hearty congratulations and well-wishes all around.

You can see the full list of winners and nominees at the Hugo Awards website.

If you’d like to geek out a little over the nominating and voting data, be sure to check out the Hugo Administrator’s Reports. I did. Math is fun.

Remember No Man’s Sky? It got a big update this week, with the long-promised multiplayer functionality. I know I’ll be giving the game another look.

Ava DuVernay is adapting Octavia E. Butler’s Dawn for television.

Meanwhile, you can read about Octavia E. Butler’s unfinished plans for her Earthseed series at Electric Literature.

I couldn’t properly articulate all of what I didn’t like about last week’s Game of Thrones, but fortunately Adrienne Keene at Native Appropriations could. She explains what was off about that Western-inspired loot train battle.

Princess General Leia was also a doctor.

Book Riot is giving away 10 copies of N.K. Jemisin’s The Stone Sky until August 17.

At Fantasy Literature, Theodora Goss has 4 Misconceptions About Victorian Women and a giveaway for her novel, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter.

At Queership, Ada Palmer wrapped up her series on gender in Terra Ignota. (Part 1 | Part 2)

When I read Fran Wilde’s The Jewel and Her Lapidary, my major complaint about it was that it needed to be a longer series or a proper novel. Wish granted: she’s got two novellas coming out next year from Tor.com.

The newest Cooking the Books at The Book Smugglers features Yoon Ha Lee.

A.E. Ash’s novella, Temporary Duty Assignment, is out Tuesday from The Book Smugglers, but you can read a prequel story right now.

Transcendent 2: The Year’s Best Transgender Speculative Fiction, edited by Bogi Takács, is available for pre-order.

At Electric Literature, Anna Sheffer breaks down the epilogue of The Handmaid’s Tale.

At Tor.com, Anise K. Strong makes the case for divorce in fantasy.

“Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience” by Rebecca Roanhorse will break your heart. The whole current issue of Apex MagazineA Celebration of Indigenous American Fantasists, is worth your time.

State of the Blog and Weekend Links: August 6, 2017

I’m slowly getting back to normal after a pretty nasty bout of depression, which is good. Last night, my WoW raid group finally dropped Kil’jaeden, and I’m getting close to finally collecting 250 mounts, which makes me a little sad that I still care so much about it, but, honestly, WoW is one of the few things I still consistently enjoy in a relatively uncomplicated fashion. Plus, I’m still kind of riding the high of finally getting that gorgeous fox mount last week that I’ve been wanting since before this expansion began. I’m pretty stoked about it.

This week I’ve  been slowly working my way through The Cooking Gene by Michael W. Twitty, which is an excellent but difficult read. There’s a weird lull in my TBR list this month, though, so if I’m going to read something challenging this is a good time to do it. Today, however, was less reading and WoW playing and more moving a bunch of things in my living room around so I could vacuum  and dust more properly than I normally feel up to. This was followed by cooking two meals worth of food–delicious chicken tacos and a chicken tortilla soup–so I don’t have to cook the next couple of days, with a bottle of Riesling and Game of Thrones as my “reward.”

I have high-ish hopes for this coming week in terms of productivity. After taking a longer-than-intended break from Titus Groan, I’m hoping to get back into that in the further hopes of finishing the trilogy by the end of the year so I’ll be reading to start The Book of the New Sun right off in January, but I’m not making any promises just yet. This is my daughter’s last full week of summer break, so I’ll be getting her ready for high school over the next few days, which will almost certainly take more time and impact my productivity more than I hope it will. One has to be realistic.

It’s the beginning of a new month, so Tor.com has got you covered for this months new releases:

If you’re as unenthused as I am about the new iteration of The Great British Bake-Off on Channel 4, you might be heartened to learn that Mary Berry is getting a cooking show of her own at BBC One.

Just in case you were feeling sad about how inferior the US is to the rest of the world, some dingbats in Norway hilariously mistook empty bus seats for women in burqas.

This piece on the politics of pockets is neat.

Jon Oliver is still being sued by that Bob Murray guy, and the amicus brief just filed in the case is a thing of beauty.

So is this look at our new reality of living in the land of large adult sons.

Beloved and influential editor Judith Jones has passed away.

I won’t be making it to Worldcon in Helsinki this year, but I will be watching the live coverage of the Hugo Awards Ceremony. You know, just in case.

The winners of the 2017 Mythopoeic Awards have been announced.

The shortlist for this year’s Dragon Awards was released, and it is definitely a list of things. Cora Buhlert takes a closer look at it.

Book Riot listed 100 Inclusive YA SFF Books. I haven’t been reading much YA in the last year or so, but there’s some great stuff on here if that’s your jam.

Yoon Ha Lee wrote about gender and sexuality in the Hexarchate setting (in which his novels Ninefox Gambit and Raven Stratagem take place) for Omnivoracious.

At Queership, Ada Palmer wrote about the way she uses gender in her brilliant, ambitious Terra Ignota series: Part 1 | Part 2. Part three should be forthcoming next week.

Book covers are important, and I liked this essay by Anna Solomon about the covers of women’s books in particular.

Skiffy and Fanty reviewed Moonshot Vol. 2, which reminded me that I need to hurry up and make time to read this. I loved the first volume, so it’s pretty unconscionable that it’s taken me so long to get around to reading the second.

Likewise, this Smart Bitches, Trashy Books review of that French Beauty and the Beast movie from a couple years ago reminded me that I love Vincent Cassel and European cinema and am garbage for not watching this yet.

Ta Nehisi Coates broke down some of what’s so fucked up about HBO’s Confederate series that’s currently in development.

Elsa Sjunneson-Henry wrote about building her own goddamn castle.

Jim C. Hines explains, more patiently than I ever could, why we can’t/shouldn’t all just write about whatever we want.

Mari Ness continued her series on fairy tales with a piece about “The Nightingale.”

Nisi Shawl’s Expanded Course in the History of Black History returned with a look at The Spook Who Sat By the Door by Sam Greenlee.

I have been telling pretty much everyone I know about J.Y. Yang’s Tensorate novellas, coming out September 26 from Tor.com, and now you can read excerpts from both of them online:

There’s a new story by Ashok K. Banker at Lightspeed: “Tongue.” With an author spotlight here.

Fireside Fiction published the first part of a new serialized story by Sarah Gailey this week.

Fireside also has released their new #BlackSpecFic Report, which I haven’t gotten all the way through yet, but is every bit as important and informative as last year’s.

Podcastle has new fiction from A. Merc Rustad: “What the Fires Burn.”

The second half of content from Issue Seventeen of Uncanny hit the web. My faves:

 

State of the Blog and Weekend Links: July 30, 2017

I wish I could say that this has been a week of recharging and plan-making and getting ready to turn over a new leaf, you know, productivity-wise. And it has been. A little bit. I’ve been trying to relax and plan and focus on happy things and stuff, but, honestly, the highlight of my week was finally getting the Nightfallen fox mount in World of Warcraft, and it feels pretty sad for anything about World of Warcraft to be a highlight of a week in 2017. So. You know. I wouldn’t say I’m doing great.

Drunken Game of Thrones watching went well tonight, though. I’ll have a post ready tomorrow once I sober up and put myself through that horror show again.

I didn’t read as much this week as I did last week, though I watched The Incredible Jessica James on Netflix (it was nice) and I just cracked open an ARC of the first of JY Yang’s Tensorate duology and I can already tell I’m going to love it.

HBO announced a new show in production from Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Confederate is an alternate history in which the Confederacy didn’t fail and where chattel slavery persists as the law of [some of] the land. It’s obviously going to be a fucking disaster. Roxane Gay perfectly explains why she doesn’t (and we shouldn’t) want to watch slavery fan fiction. And you can chase that with this piece “On ‘Confederate’ and the Limits of White Creativity.”

I have written some here about my love for FIYAH Literary Magazine, and part of that love is for its cover art. FIYAH cover artist Geneva Benton is Kickstarting and art book, and it looks beautiful.

The boy who plays Hot Pie in Game of Thrones has an IRL bakery. It’s adorable.

McSweeney’s literary would-you-rathers just about killed me with laughter.

The Millions reminded me that short books are a thing that is good in the world. I know I read a lot of novellas, but there are enough recs in this piece to make me feel like I definitely ought to branch out a little more, genre-wise.

In actually good TV series development news, AMC has announced that Victor LaValle’s The Ballad of Black Tom is in early production as a series.

Electric Literature looks at some of the history of the rise of dystopian fiction.

This talk with Tor’s Irene Gallo and artist Tommy Arnold about illustrating Fran Wilde’s Bone Universe is excellent.

This year’s World Fantasy Award nominees have been announced.

Read an excerpt from the introduction to Iraq + 100.

I definitely need to live to be at least 132 years old so I can read the Future Library. You know. If there’s still a future in ninety-eight-ish years.

Renay at Lady Business has some books you should add to your TBR.

Book Riot collects 100 Must-Read SFF Short Story Collections.

There’s a new Cassandra Khaw story at Tor.com, “These Deathless Bones.”

I haven’t drawn much in years, but I would love to illustrate this Hexarchate Tarot.

Uncanny Magazine‘s Year Four Kickstarter is live, and it includes a Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction issue. $25 gets you a subscription. Highly recommend.

State of the Blog and Weekend Links: July 23, 2017

If you’ve been following this blog for very long, you probably know that this year–especially the last couple months—I have struggled to keep up with, well, pretty much everything. A series of life setbacks and a serious bout of depression have caused me to shut down in a way that I’m not proud of, and my work here has definitely suffered. I’m hoping that this past week is the nadir of this shit, though I obviously can’t be certain. I’m feeling better right now, and my daughter is out of town this week so I should have plenty of time to try and rebuild some kind of routine, which will, ideally, stick long enough to snap me out of the funk I’ve been in.

That said, expect some changes here at SF Bluestocking. Something I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself to do (and that has been pretty much nothing but a source of guilt and shame for some time now) has been to write a lengthy review of everything I read. Inevitably, I end up with a backlog of stuff that I don’t have that much to say about but that I nonetheless feel awful for not writing anything about. From now on, long book reviews here will appear strictly as inspiration strikes. However, I will be replacing them with weekly (at least) posts with short takes on what I’ve been reading and what I’m excited about. I also expect to start doing more news posts. Soon, I hope to have posts on each week’s notable new book releases, movie trailers, new show buzz, and so on.

Mostly, though, I’m planning to focus more on things like the Gormenghast project. That kind of literary criticism and analysis is what I enjoy doing most, and trying to do too many other things has only hurt my productivity in that area. I’ll still be writing about Game of Thrones and about whatever books and movies and so on strike my fancy, but I will be focusing more, from here on out, on revisiting more classic and influential works. I’m also planning to spend more time writing more general essays on topics related to SFF, and I’m looking to get back into writing fiction, though that likely won’t appear here on the blog. In general, you can expect a somewhat less regimented but theoretically much more productive SF Bluestocking going forward. I think these are going to be good changes for me and for the blog, and I hope to be able to roll out even more changes later in (or at least before the end of) the year.

My favorite new release this week was Cassandra Khaw’s Book Smugglers novella, Bearly a Lady. It’s a delightfully sharp and funny bit of paranormal romance, and I highly recommend just buying it outright, but if you aren’t convinced you can read about Khaw’s Big Idea at Whatever and learn more about her inspirations and influences at the Book Smugglers.

Ken Liu joined Fran Wilde and Aliette de Bodard in a new episode of Cooking the Books.

I don’t know if you know this yet, but I love Ada Palmer, so I was thrilled to see this interview with her in the Sandusky Register.

The Prey of Gods author Nicky Drayden was interviewed at Read to Write Stories.

Kay Kenyon wrote about her Favorite Bit of At the Table of Wolves.

Alison Tam wrote about the queer utopia she’d like to live in over at Queership.

The Millions asked if historical fiction can be feminist.

The Manchester Review collected 21 stories of African speculative fiction that are free to read online.

Sarah Gailey’s is the only explanation of the 13th Doctor casting that anyone should need.

You want to read Mari Ness’s “The Witch in the Tower.”

I’m pretty excited about Atomic Blonde, but I CAN NOT WAIT to watch it as a double feature someday with Proud Mary:

I don’t know how historically accurate this is going to be, but I am moderately interested in Professor Marston & the Wonder Women:

I love Guillermo de Toro, and The Shape of Water looks gorgeous:

I haven’t been paying a TON of attention yet to the stuff being shown at SDCC, but I did watch the new Star Trek: Discovery trailer. I have a lot of questions about it, and I’m pretty apprehensive about just how much it doesn’t feel like Star Trek and instead feels like it’s influenced by more “prestige” programming, and not necessarily in a good way. Still, I’m cautiously optimistic about it.

 

State of the Blog and Weekend Links: July 16, 2017

I don’t know what I will ever do if I ever have a week that goes unequivocally well for me, with nothing bad happening in the world and no personal or financial crises in my own life. Obviously, of course, this week was not that week.

Things started off well, with a good writing day and a 2k word Gormenghast post on Monday, but by Tuesday my car was acting up again. I dropped it off at the auto shop Wednesday afternoon, and it is still there as of this writing. It’s either something probably moderately expensive to have fixed or it needs a whole new engine; hopefully I’ll get the final word on it tomorrow. Either way, I’m torn between being glad to be on the verge of finally getting to the bottom of months of car trouble and being furious that whatever this problem is wasn’t diagnosed at the beginning of this whole saga before we’d spent thousands of dollars on other car repairs.

As you might imagine, this made for a stressful week. My partner was working from home, which is a distraction. Fortunately, we live within walking distance of most necessities, but having to walk everywhere means simple things like grocery shopping take extra time. Being without a car also derailed later-in-the-week plans. I’d hoped to see a couple of movies this week (The Big SickValerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, maybe Wonder Woman) and I wanted to see a free outdoor performance of The Merry Wives of Windsor this weekend, but none of that was possible.  It’s been just a big, boring, financially stressful mess of a week, and that’s never a good way for me to stay on task and productive.

In the coming week, my number one goal is to find some better ways to not allow depression and anxiety to cause me to shut down quite so completely. Game of Thrones is back tonight, and I’ll be writing about that tomorrow. I’ve already read my next section of Titus Groan (Chapters 32-35), so that should be in the works for late tomorrow or sometime Tuesday. I’ve got outlines for a couple of essays I’d like to work on this week, and I’m thinking of trying a different, shorter sort of round-up style for book reviews for when I don’t have at least 500 or so words to write about things. I’ve been reading a lot lately, and I’d like to share more about what I’m reading and enjoying without the pressure of trying to write a full, lengthy, spoiler-free review.

Just when I needed it this week, Chuck Wendig shared this essay: “So, You’re Having a Bad Writing Day.” It helped.

I finished reading Issue 17 of Uncanny this week, and the first have of the issue’s content is already available online. My recommendations:

I love this Meghan Ball essay at Fireside: “The Importance of Being Monstrous”

Coming soon at Fireside: new serialized fiction by Sarah Gailey.

A series based on Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death is in early stages of production at HBO with George R.R. Martin executive producing:

There’s another new story at the Book Smugglers this week. Their Gods & Monsters series continues with Tonya Liburd’s “A Question of Faith.” You can also read about Liburd’s inspirations and influences.

There’s a new Darcie Little Badger story at Strange Horizons: “Owl VS. the Neighborhood Watch”

JY Yang’s Tensorate series is high on my to-read list for later this summer, and their new story, “Waiting on a Bright Moon,” only helped to whet my appetite.

Be sure to check out Michelle Ann King’s “15 Things You Should Know Before You Say Yes” at Daily Science Fiction.

I read all of Margaret Killjoy’s Tor.com novella, The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion, this week, and I am telling you right now that you want to pre-order this title. If you aren’t convinced, you can read the first chapter (and part of the second) right now.

Andrew Neil Gray and J.S. Herbison wrote about their favorite part of their novella, The Ghost Line.

Sarah Kuhn wrote about the Big Idea in her new novel, Heroine Worship.

Emma Newman has another novel coming out in 2018 that takes place in the same universe as Planetfall. Watch for Before Mars in April of next year.

The first trailer for Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time came out, and it’s wonderful. I wasn’t in love with the stills shared in the last week or two, but everything looks great in the trailer, and I’m glad to see that this production is embracing some of the weirdness of the book:

Christopher Brown wrote about “The Persistance of American Folklore in Fantastic Literature” at Tor.com.

Yoon Ha Lee talked about 6 Books at Nerds of a Feather.

This behind the scenes footage from the production of Star Wars Episode 8 has enough Carrie Fisher in it to break my heart. I am still not okay about her death.

George Romero passed away. And so did Martin Landau.

Finally, it doesn’t completely redeem this garbage week, but the BBC revealed the Thirteenth Doctor today, and it’s Jodie Whitaker.  Reader, I wept.

State of the Blog and Weekend Links: July 9, 2017

This week, the holiday took a lot more out of me than I expected it to, so I didn’t get as much writing done as I’d hoped to. However, I did read a great novel (An Oath of Dogs by Wendy N. Wagner), and after a few days of relative restfulness I’m feeling recharged and ready to make some real progress on some things in the coming week.

I finally got another Gormenghast post out the other night, covering Titus Groan Chapters 22-26, which was less than I’d hoped to get to this week. I’ve already finished reading for the next post in the series, though, which should be out tomorrow, and I’ve begun reading past that with the goal of getting back on track with two or three Gormenghast posts a week. I’ve got two more Gormenghast novels and a biography of Mervyn Peake to get through before I can move on to what is likely to be my next Let’s Read project: Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun. Realistically, I expect Gormenghast to take most of the rest of 2017 to finish, but I’m already slightly excited about what’s next.

ICYMI, I’m giving away a copy of The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis.

Next up on my reading list is Issue 17 of Uncanny Magazine. The first half of the issue content is free online already, but it’s never a bad time to just subscribe to the publication.

After that, I’ll be reading the new issue of FIYAH, built around the theme of “Sundown Towns.” Look at that gorgeous cover by the wonderful Geneva Benton, listen to the awesome Issue Three playlist, and don’t forget to buy the issue (and maybe a poster or mug or beach towel).

There’s change afoot at Fireside Magazine, where Brian J. White is stepping down. It’s still going to be awesome though, and for just $2/month, you can get a convenient monthly ebook of Fireside content.

The 2017 Chesley Award winners were announced.

Tor.com’s fall lineup is going to be amazing.

Also at Tor.com, all the book releases you should be looking for in July:

The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy blog has their own list of the best new releases coming out this month.

Also, also at Tor.com, a nostalgia rewatch of The Craft.

Junot Diaz interviewed Margaret Atwood about The Handmaid’s Tale.

Ava DuVernay is bringing the story of the Central Park Five to Netflix.

I laughed far too hard at “Indiana Jones and the Lobby of Hobby,” but we all, frankly, need every laugh we can get these days.

Wendy N. Wagner wrote about her Favorite Bit of An Oath of Dogs.

And Sarah Kuhn talked about her Favorite Bit of her second book, Heroine Worship.

At the Book Smugglers, Kuhn wrote some more about writing a sequel (with a giveaway).

The Book Smugglers also revealed the cover for the next installment in their Gods & Monsters line of short fiction: “A Question of Faith” by Tonya Liburd.

Sarah Gailey wrote about bread and circuses for B&N.

Fantasy Faction interviewed Auntie Fox (aka Adele Wearing) from Fox Spirit Books.

Of all the weird places to find compelling sci-fi, check out “17776” by Jon Bois at SBNation.