Category Archives: Weekend Links

State of the Blog and Weekend Links: December 17, 2017

This week was mostly eaten up by holiday baking and finishing up my last bits of Christmas shopping. I’m relieved to be finished (although I’m still waiting on one ordered item and a replacement for a book that arrived from Amazon with a creased cover). Still, I’m done! I’m DONE. I might, if I feel like it this week, hit the pet store to get some cat treats or something for the cat, but honestly I’ve even worked hard to plan meals for the week and do grocery shopping so I should barely need to leave the house at all unless I want to between now and Christmas. Which is good, because this week is going to be filled with candy-making and even more baking.

I had intended to read a lot more this week, while waiting for oven timers to go off and stuff, but after racing through Tansy Rayner Roberts’ excellent new novella, Girl Reporter (out 12/19 from The Book Smugglers: pre-order here), I’ve been moving a little more slowly through Ada Palmer’s newest Terra Ignota novel, The Will to Battle (also out 12/19, from Tor). Girl Reporter is a delight, cover-to-cover, and the perfect way for the Book Smugglers to end their first year of novella-publishing. I’ve loved Ada Palmer’s series since the beginning, but I have to admit it’s a very dense, heavy read for this time of year, so I’m only about a quarter of the way through. I’m hoping to finish it and have a review out by Tuesday, but we’ll see.

Also, I got to see The Last Jedi yesterday. It was everything I wanted it to be. I didn’t cry nearly as much as I expected, but I am nevertheless full of feelings about it. I’ve got enough to do this week already that I’m not going to commit to writing about this movie, but if I do, expect ALL the feels and ALL the spoilers. Also, porgs are great. Don’t @ me.

I really enjoyed Jeannette Ng’s Under the Pendulum Sun when I read it a few weeks ago. This week she was on The Skiffy and Fanty Show to talk about the book.

The Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog has the cover reveal for European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, the sequel to Theodora Goss’s excellent 2017 novel, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter.

There’s a new story by A. Merc Rustad at Lightspeed: “The House at the End of the Lane is Dreaming”–plus an Author Spotlight.

I highly recommend “Maiden, Mother, Crone” by Ann Leckie and Rachel Swirsky on this week’s Podcastle.

And “Haunted” by Sarah Gailey at Pseudopod. I read this story last year in Up and Coming, and found it really memorable. You can read the text of “Haunted” over at Fireside Fiction.

Uncanny Magazine has posted the guidelines for submissions to their special dinosaur-themed issue.

At Lady Business, forestofglory takes a look at The State of “The State of Short SFF.”

Electric Literature has a list of 9 Essayists of Color You Should Know About. There were a couple of new-to-me names on here.

There’s going to be a new She-Ra: Princess of Power on Netflix!

The Book Smugglers’ Smugglivus celebration continues apace:

And, finally, there’s a full-length trailer (at last!) for the adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation:

State of the Blog and Weekend Links: December 10, 2017

I’m very close to changing the title of these posts to “Depression Blogging and Things I’ve Read On the Internet Lately,” since that’s what they mostly consist of, week after week. Mental health-wise, things always feel like they’re getting better, which beats the alternative, I suppose, but at this point there’s no telling when that feeling of better is going to manifest as actually being better, in terms of productivity. This time of year, it’s not helped much by the fact that I have actual things to do. This week was a bit of the calm before the storm, and I still felt busy. The week to come is going to be filled with holiday baking and candy-making and the last of my Christmas shopping and planning Christmas dinner and seeing the new Star Wars movie and crying about Carrie Fisher.

I’d like to say I’m still hopeful that I’ll be able to get some writing work during the next couple of weeks, but at this point, I think I’ll mostly be wrapping up some end-of-the-year last-minute reading before I move along to reading 2018 work. I will have some end of the year “Best of” lists, and I’d like to publish some book reviews, but I’m trying to end 2017 by being kind to myself. It’s been a rough year, and I’ve been beating myself up for months over falling so far behind on so many things I wanted to accomplish. I think I’m ready to quit that now and start making plans for how to do better and be happier about it next year, so that’s what I’ll be doing. Also, waiting for Black Mirror Season 4 to show up on Netflix (December 29!):

This week, I took a break from longer books to read a pair of novellas. Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s crowdfunded Prime Meridian was not at all what I expected at first, but it’s a story that grows in the telling and I was well and truly in love with it by the end. It’s only available to Indiegogo backers so far, but it will be getting a broader release on July 10, 2018, and it’s not too early to pre-order it. I also read Winterglass by Benjanun Sriduangkaew, a dark fairy tale that borrows some motifs from Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen to tell a story of three women engaged in a war with each other. It’s utterly gorgeous and full of Sriduangkaew’s characteristically lovely prose and sharp wit. There’s also a great interview with Sriduangkaew over at The Future Fire this week.

There’s a new collection of essays out from Ursula K. Le Guin, No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters. You can read excerpts from it in several places:

Today, I cracked open the next book in Ada Palmer’s Terra Ignota series, The Will to Battle, which hits shelves December 19. This week, at the Tor/Forge blog, Palmer wrote about “Other Story Ingredients Beyond World, Characters and Plot.”

Fonda Lee’s Jade City is (still) one of my favorite books of 2017, and it’s ALSO still on sale for $2.99. This week, Lee talked about 6 Books at Nerds of a Feather.

There’s an interview with The Odyssey translater Emily Wilson over at Book Riot.

Literary Hub has a two-part interview with Samuel R. Delany:
Part One | Part Two

Prism Stalker is officially the first new comic of 2018 that I’m super excited for.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones has a Season Two release date (March 8, 2018) and a trailer:

This year’s Bad Sex in Fiction Award was announced, but it’s sadly ho-hum compared to some previous years.

The Fandomentals’ Carol Awards for Game of Thrones Season 7, however, is a wild ride.

Tor.com has you covered for this month’s new releases:

I keep thinking of checking out The Orville, but every time I start getting close, I see something like this list of 6 Misogynist Messages From The Orville, and it reminds me of why I don’t like much of anything that Seth McFarlane does.

This list of 50 Free Printable Bookmarks makes me wish I used bookmarks more often instead of index cards and receipts.

Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year is Ultra Violet:

This was the first full week of Smugglivus, and it was full of great guest posts over at the Book Smugglers:

I loved this piece at Tor.com about The Witches of Winter.

Apex Magazine is now available in print!

The second half of Uncanny Magazine #19 is available online. My favorites from this issue:

I’ve been wild about Vina Jie-Min Prasad since I read “Fandom for Robots,” but this week I learned about a couple more stories she’s published in 2017:

Rachael K. Jones’ “The Greatest One-Star Restaurant in the Whole Quadrant” is my favorite short read of the week. As the author says, “we don’t have enough deranged cannibal she-cyborgs running the food trucks in our fiction.”

State of the Blog and Weekend Links: December 3, 2017

I think I’m going to give up on optimism about productivity for the foreseeable future, as I believe the reality is that the combination of ongoing struggles with depression, holidays, and US political garbage is just not very conducive to doing anything but baking, eating too much, and trying to chill the heck out (with mixed-to-poor success, frankly).

It hasn’t been an all-bad week, though. I’ve read a lot. Finished A War in Crimson Embers by Alex Marshall on Monday, then knocked out Spencer Ellsworth’s second Starfire book, Shadow Sun Seven, over the next couple of days. And this morning, I finished the most recent issues of both Uncanny and FIYAH, so I’m caught up on the magazines I read regularly. I even took the time earlier this week to watch that awful new Christmas movie on Netflix, though I still haven’t gotten around to watching Godless.

This coming week, I’m reading some novellas–Benjanun Sriduagkaew’s Winterglass, Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Prime Meridian, and Girl Reporter by Tansy Rayner Roberts (coming soon from Book Smugglers Publishing)–and probably getting around to Godless while also getting super excited about getting to see a new Star Wars soon. Also getting hyped about: Black Mirror season four, which Netflix needs to at least give us a release date for before I burst from anticipation.

I am kind of into strange holiday traditions. Last year I learned about Yule Cats (see image at top of post) and Caganers. This year, I found out about the Mari Lwyd, and you should, too, because it involves a festively decorated horse skull, singing, and bothering one’s neighbors.

Jade City author Fonda Lee did a reddit AMA, and it was great. Buy her book.

Shadow Sun Seven author Spencer Ellsworth was interviewed by Paul Semel.

Ellsworth also popped over to Terribleminds to share 5 things he learned while writing Shadow Sun Seven.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia started a Twitter thread that amassed over 200 recommendations for SFF books by writers of color.

The Wertzone’s Cities of Fantasy series went to Asshai.

The Book Smugglers just published a collection of Octavia Cade’s essays on Food and Horror. There’s even a giveaway that’s going on for 5 more days.

Catherynne M. Valente’s next book–Space Opera–has a cover!

When asked to “name a badder bitch than Taylor Swift,” Twitter delivered.

There are some gorgeous character posters for Hello, Rain, the short film adaptation of Nnedi Okorafor’s short story, “Hello, Moto.” Here’s one, but be sure to visit the link for more:

I may have cackled–a lot–at “20 Authors I Don’t Have to Read Because I’ve Dated Men for 16 Years.”

You can now read Ursula Vernon’s 2017 Hugo acceptance speech online. You can also download it for free and have a permanent copy of this beautiful whale fall illustration on your reading device in addition to the lovely speech.

Speaking of somewhat strange and macabre trivia, since that seems to be my theme of the week, Mental Floss has a pretty comprehensive history of rat kings up this week. You’re welcome.

I loved Vina Jin-Mae Prasad’s recent story in Uncanny, “Fandom for Robots,” but her new story at Fireside, “Portrait of Skull With Man,” just shot her to the top of my list of new writers to nominate for next year’s Campbell Award.

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

So, I’ve basically given up altogether on meeting my writing goals for the month, though I haven’t been entirely unproductive. This week, with the holiday and all, I’ve been mostly taking it easy, catching up on some reading and working on a few book reviews. The final two episodes of season two of The Shannara Chronicles aired Wednesday night, but I of course didn’t get to write about them on Thursday. At that point, I figured I might as well just wait til Monday to do it, so that’s what i’ll be working on tomorrow. Later in the week, watch for the aforementioned book reviews as well as coverage of the new Netflix series, Godless, which I plan to start watching an episode of each week between now and about the first week of January. I may even make some time to check out The Orville or Alias Grace or Hulu’s new Runaways series.

Today was all about holiday stuff, pretty much. I reorganized ALL my book shelves, which took a few hours but had a well-worth-it payoff: I no longer have stacks of books on the floor! In fact, I no longer have any books on the floor, for the first time in several months. I mean, I still have to figure out what I’m going to do next time I run out of shelf space, but it’s certainly an improvement in the short term. Mostly, it had to be done in order to make room for the Christmas tree, which was my other project of the day. I’m happy to be done with all of this so I can get back to writing (in much more comfort, what with not being walled in by books anymore) and, over the next couple of weeks, planning for this year’s holiday candy-making and baking.

I love that celebrating indigenous writers and artists has become something of a Thanksgiving tradition in recent years, at least in the online circles I tend to run in, so here are my (belated) recs:

Molly Tanzer wrote about the Big Idea in her new novel, Creatures of Will and Temper, which is a riff off of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Tanzer was also interviewed about the book in Lightspeed Magazine.

Fonda Lee shared her favorite bit of Jade City.

At Tor.com, there’s a handy list of all the known portal worlds in Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series.

Yoon Ha Lee’s Revenant Gun has a cover, and he answered some questions about it over at the Barnes & Noble Sci-fi and Fantasy Blog.

At Ana Mardoll’s Ramblings, Benjanun Sriduangkaew wrote about retelling The Snow Queen in her upcoming book, Winterglass.

There’s a new Charlie Jane Anders story at Lightspeed, “Cake Baby (A Kango and Sharon Adventure).”  It’s a companion to her story in the John Joseph Adams-edited Cosmic Powers anthology that came out earlier this year. There’s even an author spotlight to go with it.

Book Riot has a list of 50 bookish articles from Atlas Obscura if you’re in need of procrastination material that you can convince yourself is educational.

Black Gate pieces on Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword and Sorceress anthologies and on Michael Moorcock’s Elric books were good for a nice bit of nostalgia this week. The Sword and Sorceress anthologies, in particular, were a lifeline for me as a little girl hungry for more stories about girls and women.

This week, I discovered #FolkloreThursday (“Public Folklore in Action”!), which I didn’t know existed til now, though I’m sure I will be spending a lot of time reading there in the future.

Ursula Vernon at Tor.com: “The Sausage Princess, or, Reshaping the Bizarre Structure of Fairy Tales”

Finally, there are just 4 days left to back Sword and Sonnet on Kickstarter. With a table of contents including Alex Acks, C. S. E. Cooney, Malon Edwards, Spencer Ellsworth, Samantha Henderson, S. L. Huang, Cassandra Khaw, Margo Lanagan, Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali, Tony Pi, A. Merc Rustad and A. C. Wise and at just AU$14 (about $11 USD) for the digital book, it’s an easy choice to support it.

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

Well, this week was an absolute nightmare hellscape of a time for me, mostly because of parenting stuff. Teenagers are hard, y’all.

Basically:

At least this week it, was. And the coming week doesn’t promise to be much better. I’m far behind on writing about, well, everything I want to be writing about these days, and I’ve pretty much given up on meeting any NaNoWriMo goals. Tomorrow, I’ll be wrapping up my post on this past week’s episodes of The Shannara Chronicles, and the next couple days will be–hopefully!–some book reviews and maybe a themed list or two. I don’t think I’m doing any major cooking this week, and with Star Trek: Discovery on hiatus, I’ve got some extra time on my hands, or at least some time that ought to be extra if I wasn’t so behind on things.

Wednesday, Godless comes out on Netflix, and I’m thinking of writing about that between now and January 7 when Star Trek: Discovery returns. I haven’t read much about the show, but the trailer looks promising;

Between the description of it in this Book Riot list of 6 Native American Cookbooks and this excellent interview with chef/author Sean ShermanThe Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen has jumped to the top of my list of things I need for my kitchen.

If watching the news isn’t enough for you, LitHub listed 30 Dystopian Novels By and About Women.

Martha Wells’ speech from the World Fantasy Awards is a must-read.

So is Fonda Lee on non-medieval epic fantasy.

At the Book Smugglers, 5 Things You Need to Know About Fisher of Bones by Sarah Gailey.

I’m finishing up Molly Tanzer’s Creatures of Will and Temper tonight, and it’s wonderful. You should read it, but also be sure to read her essay on mining her Victorian setting for a new, fresh story over at Terribleminds.

Jim C. Hines shared his favorite bit of his new novel, Terminal Alliance.

Every interview with Ursula K. LeGuin is a delight, and there’s a new one at the LA Review of Books.

Apex Magazine has an interview with S.B. Divya.

Tor.com has helpfully collected links to all their 2017 short fiction in one place.

Finally, there’s a great new trailer for A Wrinkle in Time, as if I wasn’t already anxious for spring to arrive:

State of the Blog and Weekend Links: November 12, 2017

Well, this has been a week. I’ve been cutting back on caffeine, which has left me tired for a lot of the time, and it’s been further exhausting to see the ongoing, steady stream of sexual harassment, abuse and rape accusations coming out of, seemingly, everywhere. It’s important and valuable and I truly hope that some real. lasting, sustainable change comes from all this public sharing of stories, but it’s still depressing. Too much of the public outrage is hypocritical and feels performative, and it’s not enough to oust a handful of badly behaved men; institutional reform is necessary, and proposals for that are thin on the ground.

We’ll see. I haven’t lost hope yet. I’m just running low on energy.

I didn’t write nearly as much as I’d hoped this week, though I’m not unhappy with what I did accomplish. It took longer than expected to write about last week’s Star Trek: Discovery, and the double episode of The Shannara Chronicles ended up taking an extra day as well. I’m currently most of the way through a post reviewing October’s Tor.com novellas, though, so expect that tomorrow or Tuesday.

Speaking of Star Trek, Popular Mechanics asked 8 sci-fi writers what Trek show they would write if they had the chance.

Dark Matter Zine is building a list of SFF books with disability representation.

It looks like we’re getting another Star Wars trilogy and a live-action television show. I kind of hate how excited I am about this, but also I am still not going to pay for Disney’s streaming service.

The Wertzone has the scoop on all the SFF projects currently in development for film and television.

Tor.com has collected some of their best non-fiction posts of the year.

In other Tor.com news, we’re getting two novellas by P. Djeli Clark!

I talk so much about The Shannara Chronicles that KJ at Lady Business watched it.

There’s a fantastic profile of Ken Liu in the South China Morning Post.

There’s a new Ashok K. Banker story over at Lightspeed: “A Vortal in Midtown.” And an Author Spotlight.

Fonda Lee wrote about the Big Idea in her new novel Jade City.

Lee also wrote about worldbuilding at the B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog.

If you’re in the mood to be mad, check out how the Amazons’ costumes have changed between Wonder Woman and Justice League.

If you want to be happy, just keep scrolling down for the first look at the 13th Doctor in costume. I’m not sure about those pants, but I do like the homages to previous Doctors in this style.

 

State of the Blog and Weekend Links: November 5, 2017

This was actually a pretty great week until yesterday, when I had to spend half the afternoon dealing with Spectrum, as I finally decided to switch my grandfathered-in Time Warner internet plan to one of the newer ones, which meant new hardware that had to be hooked up and activated. It’s all supposed to be automated and as simple as calling a number and saying “activate,” but that turned out not to be the case. The tech support guy I dealt with was very nice and did finally get things sorted, but over an hour on the phone with anyone is usually enough to fry my nerves for the rest of the day. An hour on the phone with a tech support guy stumbling through settings to find out why things aren’t working the way they’re supposed to is basically torture. Honestly, I’m still feeling frazzled and resentful about the whole experience a day later.

Halloween was on Tuesday, and we kept it low key here. It was the first Halloween my daughter chose not to go trick-or-treating, which was kind of sad. She went to her grandparents’ house to help hand out candy instead, so we were left to our own devices. We don’t get trick-or-treaters at the apartment, so I ended up just staying up far past my normal bedtime to finish a post about Star Trek: Discovery. Let’s just say there was a lot to unpack in the most recent episode.

Wednesday marked the start of NaNoWriMo, which I’m kinda doing this year. I’m not writing a novel, but I am treating the whole month as a sort of productivity exercise in the hopes that it will help me get back on track to where I’d like to be in terms of writing content for the blog, which will in turn (ideally, anyway) put me in a better position, come the first of the year, to work on a couple of ambitious project ideas I’ve been sitting on for a while. Right now, I’m all about instituting more structure in my day-to-day life and building a routine that will allow me to accomplish big goals in the future. So far, it’s gone okay, even if yesterday turned out to be a total loss, what with dealing with the cable company and all. This coming week should be even better.

Every year for Halloween, the Book Smugglers publish a short horror story. This year’s is “Nini” by Yukimi Ogawa.

This video of Wayne Brady doing a 1930s-style cover of “Thriller” is the last Halloween-ish thing I’m sharing this year:

If you’re looking for something to read this month and my Fall Reading List isn’t good enough for you, be sure to check out Tor.com’s lists of November releases:

The cover and table of contents for Issue 19 of Uncanny has been revealed, and it looks fabulous.

The new issue of Strange Horizons celebrates SFF from the Arab League community.

Congrats to the winners of this year’s World Fantasy Awards!

If you, too, are participating in NaNoWriMo, Tor.com has a nice collection of advice and pep talks from popular SFF writers.

It looks like there might be a new Red Sonja movie, and I am here for it.

The AV Club covered Victor Lavalle’s Destroyer in Friday’s Big Issues column.

Charles Payseur is still mapping short SFF at Nerds of a Feather. This week: Fun Short SFF.

At Queership, Elizabeth Bear (The Stone in the Skull) wrote about identifying with the monsters in stories.

Benjanun Sriduangkaew, whose novella Winterglass is out in December from Apex Publishing, wrote about writing queer stories without queer tragedy.

R.E. Stearns shared her Favorite Bit of her debut novel, Barbary Station.

Singapore’s The Straits Times profiled Ken Liu, JY Yang, Aliette de Bodard, and Marjorie Liu.

At the Powell’s Book Blog, editors Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe asked several of the contributors to their fantastic anthology, The Starlit Wood, to share their thoughts and perspective on retelling fairy tales.

At Terrible Minds, author Fonda Lee offers her new novel, Jade City (out November 7), as an anti-NaNoWriMo case study.

Lee was also interviewed about Jade City over at The Illustrated Page.

Also, I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of Jade City and just finished it last night. I’ll be writing a longer review, but it’s incredible and you should order it right now.

It’s been a week full of people having all kinds of terrible, poorly informed opinions about the Civil War. If you are one of the people who has those opinions, or if you aren’t sure you’re not, Ta-Nehisi Coates has a handy list of 5 Books to Make You Less Stupid About the Civil War over at The Atlantic.

The Oral History of 1997’s Cinderella is one of the best things you could read this week.

You also owe it to yourself to read the NYT profile of classicist Emily Wilson, the first woman to translate The Odyssey into English.

Finally, I’m still processing all the news that came out of Blizzcon this weekend, but look at this cinematic trailer for the next World of Warcraft expansion, Battle for Azeroth. Sylvanas looks a-MAZING: