Category Archives: Weekend Links

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

It’s been another largely uneventful but mostly productive week in the SF Bluestocking household. My daughter turned fourteen, which is bananas. The Expanse ended its second season with a solid finale. I finished reading an ARC of Ellen Klages’ new short fiction collection, Wicked Wonders, and I’m hoping to finish the new John Joseph Adams-edited anthology, Cosmic Powers, tonight. I didn’t write as much as I’d like, but I never write as much as I’d like. I continue to be unsuccessful at avoiding political news and at sticking to a healthy exercise regime.

This coming week, I’ll continue with my regular television coverage–Into the BadlandsiZombie, and Doctor Who–and I’m hoping to do at least two book reviews this week, since I’ve got a backlog and some extra time on my hands without having any more of The Expanse to cover until 2018. Also starting this week is Hulu’s adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale and American Gods on Starz, both of which I may have some thoughts on.

I’m also, this week, working on putting together a sort of “Best of 2016” collection of posts for inclusion in this year’s Hugo Voter’s Packet. I would LOVE to get some recommendations from readers. If you have a favorite post on SF Bluestocking or if you think some of my book or television coverage is particularly good, let me know at sfbluestocking(at)gmail(dot)com. Once I get things together and properly epub’ed, mobi’d and pdf’d, I’ll be sure to make it available here on the site as well as to Hugo voters.

News broke a couple of days ago that The X-Files will be returning for yet another season. It’s going to be a 10-episode event series, and I can’t wait, because I’m X-files trash and will follow Dana Scully anywhere.

Michael B. Jordan is set to star in an HBO adaptation of Fahrenheit 451. I’m not a huge fan of classic sci-fi these days, and I’d rather see an adaptation of The Martian Chronicles if folks really have their heart set on Bradbury, but this could be decent.

We’re already starting to have 80-plus degree days here in Cincinnati, and I wish I hadn’t just bought a bathing suit recently because I would definitely where these Star Trek swim suits from Think Geek.

Fantastic Stories shared the table of contents for their People of Color Take Over issue.

The 2017 David Gemmell Awards short lists were announced. Ho hum.

A.C. Wise interviewed Sarah Gailey.

Sarah Gailey, in turn, wrote a fun piece for the Barnes and Noble Sci-fi & Fantasy Blog about the ecology of alternate history and her upcoming book, River of Teeth.

If you’ve ever been confused by the world of Yoon Ha Lee’s Hexarchate books, there’s now a guide for that. I’m getting ready to dig into an ARC of Raven Stratagem in the next week or so, and I feel like this will definitely come in handy.

Kameron Hurley rolled out the first installment of a monthly podcast about the business of writing.

Speaking of Fahrenheit 451, Nerds of a Feather’s Dystopian Visions series continued this week with that and a roundtable on writing dystopias.

The third week of Fantasy Cafe’s Women in SFF Month had posts by:

The Week 4 schedule is up, and you can look for my post at Fantasy Cafe on Friday.

Neither of the two things I read this week that I consider required reading are particularly SFF-related, but they’re both well worth your time:

 

 

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

Happy Passover and happy Easter for those who are celebrating this week! I’m almost too bloated on deviled eggs and mini-cheesecakes and ham to write tonight, but I’m working through it.

It’s been an uneventful and moderately productive week for me, both in writing and otherwise. This coming week, my goal is to finish several book reviews, as I’ve finished a few things lately that I really enjoyed. After about a week-long reading slump (mostly due to getting stuck on a title I didn’t like but that had a concept too good for me to quit it right away), I just started an ARC of Wicked Wonders by Ellen Klages (out May 2 from Tachyon Publications). I’ve only read the first story, but I’m already really excited about the rest. I’ll probably be reading that in tandem with the new John Joseph Adams edited anthology, Cosmic Powers, which has my favorite table of contents of the year so far and is out this Tuesday, April 18, from Saga Press.

The finalists for this year’s Eugie Award have been announced.

The new and improved World Fantasy Award.

The World Fantasy Awards Administration unveiled the new award statuette that will be replacing the bust of old, gross racist H.P. Lovecraft. It’s gorgeous, and finally addressing the Lovecraft problem built up a lot of good will. Which was then swiftly squandered when everyone learned that they’re keeping Lovecraft on as a pin for all award nominees. Apparently there’s a bunch of pins left over from previous years and they want to use them til they’re gone, which is thrifty, but still ill-advised considering how much people don’t want to look at some nasty old racist’s ugly face anymore. Still, that new stature really is lovely.

Word is that Piers Anthony’s Xanth novels are being adapted for film and television, and I’m full of mixed feelings about it. I read and loved the shit out of those books when I was in middle school, but I realize as an adult that Xanth is best enjoyed when you’re just old enough to appreciate puns but still young enough that Piers Anthony’s creepily unfortunate gender politics is all going to go right over your head.

It turns out that I’m still not okay about Carrie Fisher. This tribute video made me cry. A lot.

I felt slightly better on reading the announcement of a new Star Wars anthology. Coming October 3, From a Certain Point of View will consist of 40 new stories told from the perspectives of background characters from A New Hope. While there’s no table of contents yet, there’s already an impressive list of authors donating work to the collection, from which all proceeds will go to benefit First Book, a non-profit that provides books and other learning materials to educators and organizations helping children in need.

Fantasy Book Cafe’s Women in SFF Month continued this week:

Dianna Gunn’s novella, Keeper of the Dawn, is out on April 18 from Book Smugglers Publishing, and this week she talked about her inspirations and influences for the book.

Aliette de Bodard wrote a guest post over at Skiffy and Fanty about writing vibrant, unexpected characters.

Margaret Atwood was profiled in The New Yorker.

Nerds of a Feather, Flock Together is still pumping out their Dystopian Visions series, which I am still loving. It’s a great mix of posts on stuff I know well and things I’m less familiar with. This week, they covered:

At Strange Horizons, Erin Horakova wrote an amazing essay on what she calls “Kirk Drift”–the disconnect between the popular imagination of James T. Kirk and the actual, textual reality of the character.

Aidan Moher kicked off a new blog series at Tor.com, The Art of SFF, with a post about Richard Anderson.

My favorite free-online short fiction of the week was Kate Lechler’s “The Hulder’s Husband Says Don’t” over at Fireside.

I loved Ana Lily Amanpour’s first feature-length film, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (on Netflix if you haven’t seen it!), so I’m pretty stoked about her new movie, The Bad Batch, which is being described as “a horror-romance (with cannibals).”

I’m fairly certain that Atomic Blonde is going to be a problematic mess, but I am really excited for it. There’s a new trailer, and it looks AMAZING:

 

 

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

So, the big news of this week, for me, is that SF Bluestocking is a Hugo Finalist for Best Fanzine, and I cannot even begin to express the depth of my gratitude for everyone who thought well enough of this blog to nominate it for the honor. I’m honestly still just blown away that this is a thing that has happened in the world, and I’m beyond thrilled to be in such fine company in the Best Fanzine category. Thank you, truly and with many superlatives, to those who nominated me, and welcome to new readers, which I know there are a few of this week. I’m glad you’re here.

Even better news: last year’s rules tweaks seem to have led most of the various Rabid and Sad Puppies to change their tactics and/or just lose interest in griefing the awards altogether. There’s still a smidgen of puppy influence, but it’s little enough that I feel pretty confident saying that this year’s finalist list is, overall, the strongest and most diverse one in the years that I’ve been following the awards.

If you want to get a head start on reading for the awards, File 770 has already collected links to where you can read this year’s finalists online for free.

io9 talked with Stix Hiscock, the pseudonymous author of this year’s Rabid Puppy troll pick, the Best Novelette finalist “Alien Stripper Boned From Behind By the T-Rex,” and she seems nice.

For the first time since 1971, a music album has been nominated for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form. It’s an experimental hip hop album by clipping., Splendor & Misery, and it’s brilliant. Pitchfork has the scoop on why this nomination is important.

This year’s finalist list for the Nommo Awards, given by the African Speculative Fiction Society to celebrate work by African authors, was also released this week.

Tor.com shared their lists of all (or at least a lot) of the releases to look for in April:

Fantasy Cafe’s annual Women in SF&F Month began:

You can read the schedule for week two here.

Predictably, the Ghost in the Shell movie starring Scarlett Johansson is flopping, big time and largely because of the white-washing of the lead role. The best thing I’ve read about it yet is this round table discussion about it with Keiko Agena, Tracy Kato-Kiriyama, Atsuko Okatsuka and Ai Yoshihara at The Hollywood Reporter.

Troy L. Wiggins wrote about why black characters in fantasy need backstories.

A. Merc Rustad’s So You Want to Be a Robot and Other Stories is at the top of my must-read list for this spring, so I was pleased to see them interviewed at Quick Sip Reviews.

It’s been a cool five years since Kristin Cashore’s last novel, but there’s finally a title, cover and excerpt for her next one, Jane, Unlimited.

George Takei is writing a graphic novel to be published sometime next year.

Sarah Gailey and Max Gladstone chatted about Gladstone’s now Hugo-nominated Craft Sequence. Also, you can now get the first five books in a digital omnibus edition for just $12.

Ruthanna Emrys (Winter Tide) wrote about the optimism of H.P. Lovecraft.

P. Djeli Clark’s review of Andre M. Carrington’s Speculative Blackness: The Future of Race in Science Fiction is a reminder that I literally have a copy of the book three feet away from me and I haven’t started it yet but definitely ought to, ASAP.

Mari Ness continued her fairy tale blog series at Tor.com with a post about one of my favorite fairy tales, The Goose Girl.

The first title in the Book Smugglers’ new Novella Initiative has a title, cover and release date: Keeper of the Dawn by Dianna Gunn will be out on April 18th.

Black Girl Nerds posted on why Doctor Who‘s black gay character matters.

Nerds of a Feather, Flock Together’s Dystopian Visions series is still going strong:

Aliette de Bodard’s newest novel, House of Binding Thorns, was out on Tuesday, and she’s been making the rounds promoting it:

The second half of Uncanny #15 is now available online, and you should definitely drop everything you’re doing and go read Sarah Pinsker’s wonderful short novella “And Then There Were (N-One).” It’s the first novella ever published in Uncanny, it starts with a convention for Sarahs from thousands of alternate universes, and it’s my early favorite for best novella of 2017. Truly superb and a very fun read.

Finally, Fireside Fiction has added a new $20 tier to their Patreon. $5/month will go to support the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union, and you also get a rad Antifascist Fiction Club pin.

State of the Blog and Weekend Links: April 2, 2017

I almost skipped this post this week because I’m worn out. My partner spent all week home sick, my kid was on spring break (and nothing is more tiresome than a “bored” teenager), the foot I broke almost two years ago has been swelling up and painful again (Thanks, changing seasons!), there’s a new WoW patch with new stuff to do, and I wrote quite a lot trying to wrap up some things from the last few months. I’m also trying to do some spring cleaning type things around the apartment, and I’m still trying to figure out how to make myself stick to some kind of reasonable food and exercise regimen for healthier living since I’m not getting any younger. And, honestly, I think I might be getting sick with whatever my partner had, which isn’t great since I’ve got tons of stuff I want to do this coming week.

I did accomplish some things this week, however. I hung up the hummingbird feeder I finally bought (though I haven’t seen any birds yet) and shopped around for some flowers for the balcony (though I haven’t found any I liked well enough to look at all spring and summer yet). I didn’t read much, but I wrote a decent amount, publishing a book review, two television episode reviews, a wrap-up post of my last three months’ reading and my Spring Reading List.

This coming week, in addition to Into the Badlands and The Expanse, I’ll also be reviewing the third season of iZombie, which comes back on Tuesday. You can catch up on my last two seasons of reviews here if you’re so inclined. There’s also a spiffy new trailer for the new season:

It’s the beginning of a new month, and that means Patreon rewards. If you aren’t supporting Kameron Hurley, you should be. $1 a month gets you a new short story. Catherynne M. Valente just joined Patreon as well, and she’s wonderful. $5 gets you recipes and essays and as much access as you could want to Valente’s general delightfulness since she’s a frequent updater. Finally, think about supporting Fireside Fiction on Patreon. For just $2, you can get an ebook version of all the fiction they publish each month, plus the satisfaction of keeping them around and publishing great stories.

There’s a new issue of Fiyah Literary Magazine available. This quarter’s theme is “Sipping Tea” and just look at that gorgeous cover art. It’s also got seven new stories for your reading pleasure as well as an excerpt from the YA fantasy novel, Coal by Constance Burris.

There’s a new Aimee Mann albumMental Illness, and I can’t stop listening to it.

Aliette de Bodard’s sequel to her 2015 novel, The House of Shattered Wings, is out this Tuesday. This week, she promoted The House of Binding Thorns and talked about her myriad influences at the B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog.

The Book Smuggler’s shared a Becky Chambers essay, “The Case for Optimism” from their third Quarterly Almanac.

Jezebel took the time to remind us that Beauty and the Beast is just one in a long line of stories about women hooking up with animals. The more you know.

New Doctor Who Companion Bill (Pearl Mackie) is gay. She’ll be the first full-time openly gay Companion in the show’s history. The new series starts on April 15, and I have to admit it looks good after a couple of lackluster years:

Nnedi Okorafor is interviewed in Issue 82 of Lightspeed.

The new Ann Leckie novel has a title, Provenance, realease date, October 3, and now a cover, as revealed at Book Riot on Monday. Though it’s obviously designed to be visually compatible with the Imperial Radch covers, I think this one is an altogether sharper look with the high contrast between the dark moon, the bright red of the ship, and the blue of the vaguely Star Trek-ish font of the title. I am excite.

The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis is one of the more interesting-looking debut novels coming out this spring, and her Q&A about the book at the Tor/Forge Blog is encouraging.

Fantasy Cafe posted the schedule for week one of their 6th (!) Annual Women in SF&F Month.

At nerds of a feather, flock together, their Dystopian Visions series continued with Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler, 12 Monkeys, and “Get Out/Speak Out: Dystopia, Violence, and Writing as Action.”

Also at nerds of a feather, 6 Books with Matt Wallace, whose Sin du Jour series of novellas should be on everyone’s reading list.

I’m currently reading Lilith Saintcrow’s short story-turned-novella, She-Wolf and Cub, published by Fireside Books on March 28. Saintcrow talked about the genesis and writing process of the book over at terribleminds. So far, I’m loving the book, but also look at this gorgeous cover art by Galen Dara:

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

This week was a productive one for me in spite of everyone in my household getting sick (my kid has seriously caught every single bug that’s gone around her junior high this year) and getting the stressful news that my car’s transmission is about shot (after we’ve recently spent quite a lot on other repairs instead of buying something new). On the bright side, however, the AHCA didn’t even make it to a vote, which means 24 million people aren’t going to lose their insurance soon, Beauty and the Beast was better than I thought it’d be, and there’s finally a trailer for season three of iZombie. Also, while I was hoping to find a funny picture of a zombie with some flowers or something by googling “springtime zombie” for a header image, I instead found this adorable springtime zombie video that I’m so happy to know is a thing that exists in the world:

This coming week, I’ll be continuing with coverage of Into the Badlands and The Expanse; I’ve read several books that I’m planning to review; and I will be releasing my spring reading list, which will have my rough plan of what I’ll be reading and writing about over the next three months.

Sadly, due to life stuff, this has been another somewhat light week for links.

I did love this Genevieve Valentine piece at Vice on how Disney actually made Beauty and the Beast darker than the original fairy tale.

There were a couple of interesting Big Idea posts this week:

There’s a full trailer now for Hulu’s adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale. It looks good, but I’m honestly not certain I’ll watch it. We’ll see.

Speaking of dystopias, nerds of a feather, flock together continued their Dystopian Visions series this week:

The Book Smugglers announced their Summer 2017 season of short fiction around the theme “Gods and Monsters.” I am excite.

Sarah Gailey continued her series on iconic SFF costumes with The Woman in White.

Angry Robot is offering a 12-month subscription plan for ebooks of their new releases. At £100 (about $125) for like thirty-five titles, it’s a great deal.

It’s also not too late to pre-order She-Wolf and Cub by Lilith Saintcrow, coming out this Tuesday from Fireside.

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: March 12, 2017

This week hasn’t been as productive as I’d have liked (no week ever is anymore), but it’s been reasonably good. It’s been sunshine-y (albeit chilly), and the check engine light in my car has remained off. While I didn’t write as much as I hoped to, what I did write was (I think) good, and I’ve read a good amount.  I’ve even managed to spend a minimal amount of time this week dealing with politics-induced rage (although there are more reasons than ever to be furious). It’s not been bad, even if my hardcover of The Stars Are Legion STILL hasn’t shown up yet (grrr).

In the coming week, I’ll be covering The Expanse as usual, writing about a couple of recent reads that I loved and maybe talking some about the Hugo Awards since nomination ballots are due by Friday. Other than that, I’ll probably spend the week wrapped up in a blanket with a book because it’s forecast to be probably the longest stretch of cold(-ish) weather we’ve had in Cincinnati all winter.

If you’re looking for March releases (for reading purposes or for feeling-sad-about-not-having-time-to-read-them-all purposes), Tor.com has most of them listed, in fantasy and science fiction.

This week saw the release of Ada Palmer’s Seven Surrenders, and she wrote an interesting piece over at the Tor/Forge blog where speculates on what the future will call our current era.

Also out this week is Alex Wells’ excellent Hunger Makes the Wolf. Wells is interviewed over at Shimmer Magazine.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia wrote a good piece at Book Riot on the women in science we don’t write about.

Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin have an anthology, The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories, coming out on Tuesday, so they (and some of the authors in the book) popped in at Terrible Minds to share some writing advice.

At Ars Technica, Annalee Newitz is spreading the good news of Fireside Fiction’s existence. You can (and should) support Fireside on Patreon.

If you’re a lover of short fiction, be sure to take advantage of Lightspeed’s current offer of a free three-month subscription to try out the magazine.

At the Wertzone, Adam Whitehead’s first proper entry in his Cities of Fantasy was all about Sigil, which reminded me that it’s been far too long since I played Planescape: Torment.

Mari Ness continued her blog series on fairy tales with a breakdown of how “King Thrushbeard” is all about gaslighting.

nerds of a feather, flock together continued their Dystopian Visions series with posts on Brave New World and The Player of Games, along with an excellent guest post by Paul Kincaid on the history of utopias and dystopias.

With Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale adaptation just a few weeks away, Margaret Atwood has started making the rounds to promote the project and talk about her novel. She did an AMA on Reddit, from which Lit Hub collected the highlights. She also wrote a piece of her own at the New York Times, where she talked about her writing process and how she hopes the book is read.

Probably the most exciting thing of the week, however, was Tor.com’s Nevertheless, She Persisted story collection, which featured short fiction by several of my favorite authors:

It’s not as great as all these stories by awesome women, but these photos of the cars from Mad Max: Fury Road all clean and shiny are pretty gorgeous.