April 11, 2016

April News

* Overheard in the store:
"Asking me for wedding planning advice is like asking Patrick Stewart for hair-styling tips."

* "Batman Vs. Superman" has raked in a massive amount of money and a massive amount of criticism.  Rob Bricken has returned with his alway- hilarious FAQ review series to make you laugh whether you are staying as far away as possible or loved it and saw it twice:  http://io9.gizmodo.com/batman-v-superman-spoiler-faq-of-justice-1767720335

* For the price of a latte, you can support Litquake for a month!  Donors receive special perks and help with Litquake's great work.  More info here: http://www.litquake.org/donate-litquake

* The competition for Oddest Book Title of 2016 has many competitors, from an academic study of anuses, to a study of the ancient Greek art of divining the gods’ will by using intestines, to a study of cult film.  Want to know the titles?  Click here: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/oddest-book-title-of-the-year-2016-cultural-history-of-the-anus-up-against-soviet-bus-stops-a6897221.html

* Uncanny Magazine is open to speculative poetry submissions until April 15th.  Write a SciFaiku or a villainous villanelle or Space Opera Sonnet and submit!  http://uncannymagazine.com/submissions/

* KILLER ROBOT ARMY ON ITS WAY! World leaders throw up their hands!  Billionaires and world leaders (which world leaders?  We'd like to see that attendee list!) met in January to discuss the fear of robots going to war.  http://www.albanydailystar.com/science/science-fiction-might-become-science-fact-killer-robot-army-fontana-daily-news-15706.html

* Sadly the Bay Area is losing another bookstore.  The Castro Books Inc. location, which hosted many wonderful events and has been a book-lover's haven, has lost their lease and will be closing in June.  https://www.hoodline.com/2016/03/castro-books-inc-loses-lease-will-close-in-mid-june

* In better Bay Area book news, Dog Eared Books is opening a Castro location where the much-beloved Different Light bookstore used to be.  http://hoodline.com/2016/03/dog-eared-books-to-open-castro-location-in-former-a-different-light-space

* Jeff Nichol’s new speculative film "Midnight Special", about a father, a son (who may not be what he seems), and friend escaping from a cult, is getting great reviews and good word of mouth from science-fiction fans.  http://substreammagazine.com/2016/04/midnight-special-review-2016/

* A list of the Top Ten Coolest Bookstores in San Francisco was released and we made the list!  Check out the other SF bookstores that are almost as cool as we are -- almost.  http://theculturetrip.com/north-america/usa/california/articles/san-francisco-s-10-coolest-bookstores-you-should-visit/

* Calvin & Hobbes and "The Force Awakens" mashup!  Stop what you are doing and go read!

* Luc Besson gave us the visually stunning science fiction classic "The Fifth Element", and in the nearly twenty years since its release he’s kept busy making films.  Arguably none of his films since "The Fifth Element" have had the same lasting cultural impact, but some are hoping his new science-fiction film will be a return to form.  (Those of us who remember "Columbiana" and "Lucy" might have some more skepticism than hope at this point.) http://www.hitfix.com/motion-captured/luc-bessons-new-science-fiction-film-looks-bananas-and-we-love-it

* Simon Moya-Smith over at "Indian Country" takes the recent J.K. Rowling controversy and places it within the Western context where all Native Americans are dead or else living stereotypes.  A great article that looks at the larger picture while not ignoring the individual instances of Native racism that we participate in everyday.  http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/03/09/moya-smith-jk-rowlings-got-nothing-us-history-textbook-fiction-163705

* So the first season of the television adaptation of "The Expanse" has come to an end, and NPR is ready to crown it the best science-fiction television in a decade.  Adam Frank, a fan of the book series, lays out exactly why and how the adaptation worked so well for so many people.  http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2016/03/10/469626620/the-expanse-best-science-fiction-show-in-a-decade

* Speaking of "The Expanse", Andrew Liptak over at io9 gives us twelve Easter eggs in the first season that you might have missed.  (We haven’t looked them over yet only because we're not done with the whole season yet.  We know, we know, we are ashamed.)  http://io9.gizmodo.com/heres-12-easter-eggs-from-the-expanse-you-might-have-mi-1756115458

* Jesse Bullington has announced that he’s actually Alex Marshall (and vice-versa , we would assume).  (And any of you who haven’t read the fantastic "A Crown For Cold Silver", you should jump on that!)  http://jessebullington.com/announcement/

* Charles Stross is contemplating writing far-future SF and in preparation has assembled a list of cliches in a variety of sub-sections of far-future stuff.  A great list to check out if you plan to write some far-future SF -- avoid tropes, embrace them, or break them into pieces, whichever you prefer!  http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2016/03/towards-a-taxonomy-of-cliches-.html

* Nisi Shawl has worked up a post to give newbies a crash course in Black Science Fiction: both authors and specific creations of theirs.  She states that this is not a comprehensive list, but it stretches from 1859 - 2015 and is sure to introduce readers to many new names and stories.  http://www.fantasticstoriesoftheimagination.com/a-crash-course-in-the-history-of-black-science-fiction/

* Science fiction author Jack McDevitt recently had an asteroid named after him.  This inspired one fan to go on a bit of a research binge for asteroids named after their favorite authors.  Check out the list and star maps here: http://visiblesuns.blogspot.com/2016/03/the-asteroids-of-science-fiction.html

* The lawsuit between Writer Beware and Publish America/America Star Books has been settled.  Details are not that forthcoming (probably because of conditions in the settlement,) but here is Writer Beware’s announcement of the news:  http://www.victoriastrauss.com/2016/03/23/publishamerica-america-star-books-lawsuit-against-writer-beware-settled/

* Artist Robert Altbauer makes amazing fantasy maps on his site, but it’s his other illustrations that are catching everyone’s attention now.  In the style of medieval art,  Altbauer takes you to an alternate world where Lovecraft’s creations are a very real threat!  http://io9.gizmodo.com/lovecrafts-creatures-would-have-made-excellent-opponent-1768666924

* Friend of the bookstore, sponsor and Tachyon publisher Jacob Weisman was profiled recently in JWeekly.  Click here to read the interview, which covers Jacob’s personal history and connections between science fiction and Jewish culture.  http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/77238/small-s.f.-publisher-nurtures-jewish-sci-fi-tradition/

* We're so sorry we missed this -- it's the ultimate anti-social social event; a silent reading party!  Hopefully we can attend the next one: http://www.newsweek.com/silent-reading-parties-san-francisco-444787

Award News
* One of the SF Awards we look forward to every year is the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, which celebrates speculative fiction that explores and expands our ideas of gender.  Their winners and honor list always provide a great and diverse reading list.  This year the winners are a short story and a YA novel, and the honors list contains everything from a comic anthology, to short story, to novel, to graphic novel, to cartoon.  Check out the whole list here: http://tiptree.org/award/2015-james-tiptree-jr-award

* The Kitschies, which celebrate progressive, intelligent, and entertaining speculative fiction have announced their winners!  http://www.thekitschies.com/margaret-atwood-tade-thompson-jet-purdie-square-enix-and-patrick-ness-take-home-tentacles-from-the-kitschies/

* The finalists for the 28th Lambda Literary Awards have been announced, and not only do they have an entire LGBT SF/F/H category, but books in plenty of the other categories have speculative elements as well.  Check out the full list here:  http://www.lambdaliterary.org/features/news/03/08/28th-annual-lambda-literary-award-finalists-announced/

* The winner and runners-up for the 2016 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest have been announced --we hopefully will be able to read the winning story on Baen.com soon.  Announcement of the 2016 winners and lists with links to previous winners here: http://www.baen.com/baenmemorialaward

* The winners of the 2015 Aurealis Awards, which celebrate speculative fiction in Australia, have announced their winners: https://aurealisawards.org/2016/03/25/the-winners-of-the-2015-aurealis-awards/
For the shortlist/full nominee list, go here: https://aurealisawards.org/2016/02/17/announcement-2015-aurealis-awards-shortlists/

* The British Science Fiction Awards have announced their winners and one of the editor's personal favorites,  Aliette de Bodard, became the first author to win both best novel and best short story in the same year.  Check out the full list of winners here: http://www.bsfa.co.uk/bsfa-awards/

* The 2016 Seiun Awards, which celebrate SF published in Japan and translated into Japanese, have announced their finalists.  Locus has the nominees for translated works on their website and a link to the full list of nominees if you happen to read Japanese: http://www.locusmag.com/News/2016/03/2016-seiun-awards-nominees/

* The 2016 Auroras, which celebrate speculative fiction by Canadians in 2015, have announced their finalist, and the list looks great.  So many more things to read!  http://www.prixaurorawards.ca/2016-aurora-award-ballot/

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