* Overheard in the store:
"If being a woman means getting lipstick on everything, I'm going back to being non-binary."
"No, I won't be fine. . . I'm going to die."
"Yeah, great. I love the afterlife."
"Thanks so much, you're an angel! Well, the kind that kills people with a fiery gaze and sword."
[singing, to the tune of the song from "Annie"]:"The sun will go out/ to-mor-row/ eight minutes later/ we'll all diiiiiiieee/."
"By that logic, dear, groundhogs are a vegetable."
"I don't know if it's maturity or surrender."
* Over at Atlas Obscura, Jess Zimmerman dissects C.S. Lewis’ sneakiest trick; convincing American kids that Turkish Delight is amazing: http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/cs-lewis-greatest-fiction-convincing-american-kids-that-they-would-like-turkish-delight . (We actually like Turkish Delight, but your mileage may vary -- one of our customers commented, "I sure didn't think it would taste like roses!".)
* Neal Shusterman, longtime YA SF/F author, has won the National Book Award for his novel CHALLENGER DEEP, which includes illustrations from his son Brendan Shusterman. The novel is about a young boy navigating his schizophrenia at school and also about a journey to the bottom of the sea and a mutiny. Check out more info on the book here: http://www.nationalbook.org/nba2015_ypl_shusterman.html
* The design of the World Fantasy Award is changing, and the new design could be yours! Any artist is welcome to submit a new design for the trophy. The World Fantasy Awards Administration asks that it represent both fantasy and horror, and bear no resemblance to anyone, living or dead. Check out the full rules here: http://www.worldfantasy.org/index.html
* In other Awards design competition news, the competition for the next Hugo Award base is open now. Check out rules and deadlines here: http://midamericon2.org/hugo-base-contest/
* So you can watch the first episode of The Expanse -- Syfy’s new series based on James S.A. Corey’s best-selling book series -- on youtube for free. Initial reviews have been very positive. Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvZeQD1Vf2s&feature=youtu.be
* In science news, researchers in the U.K. have created some prototype bandages that will glow when they come in contact with bacteria. Besides being useful if you cut yourself on a rusty pipe before a rave, earlier detection of pathogens leads to earlier, more effective treatment. http://www.technologyreview.com/news/544166/smart-bandage-signals-infection-by-turning-fluorescent/
* The screenwriters of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy have weighed in on the Turkish case where a doctor is on trial for posting photos that juxtapose the Turkish president with Smeagol/Gollum. Though it may sound ridiculous to some, the man faces up to two years in prison. http://www.ew.com/article/2015/12/02/peter-jackson-turkish-court-case-gollum-president
* Now that the "Jessica Jones" series has arrived in full and gotten mostly positive reviews, we turn our sights to the next Marvel Netflix series in the line-up -- "Luke Cage". Here are the first photos from the set: http://www.vulture.com/2015/12/see-the-first-photos-from-the-luke-cage-set.html Here’s hoping it’s a little more "Jessica Jones" and a little less "Daredevil".
* In other Marvel news, with the release of the Marvel Phase 2 box set, more and more unseen gems are becoming available online. This time it’s Chris Pratt and Dave Bautista either auditioning or screen-testing for their roles as Star-Lord and Drax. http://comicbook.com/2015/12/04/cp/
* Hachette is expanding their SF/F imprint Orbit by 50%, which means they will now be publishing 90 titles a year. The reason for this expansion is a growing diverse audience for SF/F and the number of successes Orbit has been having lately. The full announcement in on their website here: http://www.orbitbooks.net/2015/11/13/orbit-us-announces-expansion/
* We mentioned last month that publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has announced a new SF/F line as well, with well-known science fiction and fantasy editor John Joseph Adams at the helm. The growing audience for SF/F is cited in their announcement as well. http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/68624-hmh-launches-new-sf-f-list.html
* There’s a new featurette for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" online. It looks great, as has most of the stuff coming out of the set. Hopefully this can start to replace our memories of Episodes 1, 2 & 3! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7xZV_26VYU
* Carrie Fisher is absolutely hilarious on "Good Morning, America": http://www.hitfix.com/news/carrie-fisher-just-scorched-good-morning-america-and-youre-not-worthy
* Outspoken Carrie Fisher also had some choice remarks for the father who complained about the gold-bikini Leia costume and as a side effect provided us with our new favorite nickname for Jabba the Hutt. Check it out over at io9: http://io9.com/carrie-fisher-has-the-best-response-to-the-slave-leia-m-1746298590
Also over at io9, Charlie Jane Anders posts about the lost 1929 science-fiction film that predicted WWII (or an alternate version) that was just found. It sounds campy and interesting but with some gender stereotypes, so just like "Guardians of the Galaxy", then? http://io9.com/the-long-lost-1929-science-fiction-movie-that-predicted-1746321534
* We are one step closer to medical 3D printing, with the creation of functional blood vessels. http://gizmodo.com/3d-printers-can-now-churn-out-living-blood-vessels-1746249526 (Soon I will be able to build my army of cat-monsters from home, excellent!)
* And finally, a trio of lists for your enjoyment!
From The Guardian: their list of the best SF/F books of 2015: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/dec/03/best-science-fiction-and-fantasy-books-of-2015
Bustle gives us their list of the 8 most badass women in SF/F, including classic characters like Lauren Olamina and Meg Murray and newer ones like Katniss Everdeen: http://www.bustle.com/articles/127525-the-8-most-badass-women-in-science-fiction-novels
And finally, io9 talks about the deadliest kisses in SF/F history: http://io9.com/the-deadliest-kisses-in-all-of-science-fiction-and-fant-1746237456
* The winners of of the GoodReads Choice Awards have been announced. Some of the sf/f winners include Neil Gaiman, Victoria Aveyard, Pierce Brown, and more. Check out the full list here: https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-books-2015
* The Ignotus Awards for SF/F published in Spain were announced at HispaCon. For more information check it out here: http://www.aefcft.com/ (website in Spanish)
* Continuing with our outside-the- U.S. awards theme, the Aurora Awards, which celebrate excellence by Canadians in SF/F were also announced this last month. Winners include the great Julie E. Czerneda, Charles de Lint and Karl Schroeder. Check out the full list here: http://www.prixaurorawards.ca/
* And finally the winners of the Prix Utopiales -- which are for works produced by Europeans and published in French -- were honored at the Nantes Utopiales Festival International de Science-Fiction. For the list of winners check out the website here: http://www.utopiales.org/fr/palmares-2015 (website in French)
* And finally the World Fantasy Award winners were announced in Saratoga, NY. Congratulations to all the winners! For the full list of winners and nominees check out the website: http://www.worldfantasy.org/awards/