February 07, 2018

February News

* Overheard in the Store:

"I'm going to make glitter prints with it.  How often do you get to make art with your internal organs?"

"Seriously surreal.  I'm inadvertently eavesdropping on these 4 Well-Heeled White Women of a Certain Age, & they're discussing their preferred CBD concentrations."

"I'm going to chop your head off! I love you!"

"If you're equally terrified of everything, you're kind of fearless."

* The world has lost of the best writers of the last century.  Acclaimed poet, essayist, translator and author Ursula K. Le Guin passed on January 22nd 2018 at the age of 88.

--An obituary from space.com: https://www.space.com/39470-ursula-k-le-guin-obituary.html

--5 Canadian speculative writers talk about their favorite Ursula K. Le Guin novel: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/01/23/580109007/ursula-le-guin-whose-novels-plucked-truth-from-high-fantasy-dies-at-88

-- Author Nisis Shawl remembers Ursula K. Le Guin: https://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/books/author-nisi-shawl-remembers-a-literary-hero-ursula-k-le-guin/

* Locus Magazine has released their annual recommended reading list.  Check out the whole thing here and see if you missed any gems in the past year: http://locusmag.com/2018/02/2017-locus-recommended-reading-list/

* Some people think science fiction is really taking over television. We would argue that we're finally getting the attention we deserve.  Either way, here's a essay asking what the new mainstream popularity will do to the genre: https://www.theringer.com/tv/2018/1/30/16950634/science-fiction-peak-tv-altered-carbon-star-trek-discovery

* Even the Oscars are finally seeing the worth of speculative fiction, but will the genre take home the big prize for the first time? http://www.newsweek.com/oscars-2018-star-wars-guardians-blade-runner-science-fiction-788433

* WhatCulture gives us a list of ten underrated science fiction movies you might not have seen yet.  The list covers both recent and older films, everything from "Zardoz" to "Colossal". http://whatculture.com/film/10-underrated-science-fiction-movies-you-must-see

* Den of Geek has its own movie list - The 12 Best Science Fiction movies on Hulu. Between this list and the one above you should be able to find _something_ to watch this weekend. http://www.denofgeek.com/us/movies/hulu/270219/best-science-fiction-movies-hulu-recommendation

* Netflix's new series "Altered Carbon", based on the first book in the Takeshi Kovacs series by Richard K. Morgan, is now out.  The showrunner talks about how women in science fiction shaped her life and career.

* Science fiction has always taken its inspiration from any number of places, but one constant source is real-life conflict; like the graphic novel "The Solar Grid" which was inspired by the Egyptian revolution. 

* Having read quite a few articles about Boots Riley's new film Sorry To Bother You, we still have no idea what the movie is about, but we're really desperate to see it! https://www.theroot.com/ambitious-thought-provoking-and-utterly-bizarre-boots-1822654591

* If you are anywhere near Massachusetts and are a fan of fantasy and science fiction, we assume you are already planning a trip to Harvard to check out their exhibition of over sixty maps from novels of speculative fiction: https://www.bustle.com/p/the-maps-from-your-favorite-fantasy-novels-are-on-display-now-at-this-special-exhibition-at-harvard-8098752

* A great article on the shift in "Black Mirror" between seasons 2 and 3, why it had to happen, and why it's been so polarizing to the fans. https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/31/16955308/black-mirror-happy-endings-debate-the-purpose-of-dystopian-fiction-charlie-booker-season-4

* "Does Science Fiction Create the Intellectual Space for Inventions?"  The answer seems like an obvious yes to us, but if you're on the fence or simply want to hear someone break it down you can listen to children's author Bruce Grant talk about it here: https://sputniknews.com/radio_brave_new_world/201801061060555121-does-science-fiction-create-the-intellectual-space-for-inventions/

* The Mary Sue points out that according to Rotten Tomatoes, "The Last Jedi" was the best reviewed science fiction & fantasy film of the year.  (We'd personally consider "Wonder Woman", "Coco", "Get Out" & "Logan" to be genre as well, but Rotten Tomatoes categorizes them differently.) https://www.themarysue.com/last-jedi-best-reviewed-sci-fi-2017/

* A list of the most important pets in science fiction & fantasy leaves us with one question: why do the wolves all end up dying? http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/space-the-nation-the-most-important-pets-of-fantasy-and-sci-fi

* JJ Abrams has sold another show to HBO, this one involving a scientist whose husband and daughter cross over into a world under attack when going through her research. http://www.firstpost.com/india/jj-abrams-science-fiction-drama-demimonde-picked-up-by-hbo-will-be-turned-into-a-series-4332525.html

* "Krypton" is a series that's set before Superman but -- it's not a prequel, it has time travel and sets up the science fiction universe, but seems unconnected to their popular Arrowverse or Supergirl.  Honestly it sounds like a bit of a mess but they're projecting a 7-8 year future, so only time will tell.  http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/syfys-krypton-a-gateway-into-the-dc-science-fiction-universe

* THE FEMME MAGNIFIQUE anthology is finally getting a softcover release in November of 2018. The comics anthology tells stories of women role models including the recently passed Ursula K. Le Guin. Check out more information here: https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2018/02/shelly-bonds-femme-magnifique-anthology-gets-a-sof.html

* Syfy lists some great books to read in February. We're most excited by the Vandana Singh short story collection, but there are a number of great books on the list. http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/9-sci-fi-and-fantasy-novels-to-read-in-february

* This article touching on time loops and time travel in fiction is interesting, but left out the classic MAN WHO FOLDED HIMSELF by David Gerrold -- one of the most underrated novels on the subject of time travel consequences. http://nationalpost.com/entertainment/movies/from-groundhog-day-to-looper-a-brief-history-of-cinematic-time-loops

* An interesting addition to any library of science fiction, "A Conversation Larger Than the Universe" is one expert's opinion on the history of fantastic literature and some its ignored gems. https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/this-essential-book-for-science-fiction-aficionados-takes-you-everywhere/2018/01/23/06d11c14-ffb9-11e7-9d31-d72cf78dbeee_story.html

Award News

* The nominees for the Philip K. Dick Award have been announced.  Congratulations to all the nominees and especially local author Meg Elison! http://www.philipkdickaward.org/

* Stephen King will receive the Pen America Literary Service Award this year.  His latest book will be released on the day of the award ceremony, May 22nd.  https://pen.org/2018-pen-america-literary-service-award-stephen-king/

* The two James Tiptree fellows for the coming year have been announced.  Congratulations to authors H. Pueyo and Ineke Chen-Meyer! https://tiptree.org/2018/01/fellowship-recipients-announced

* The Romantic Times Awards have announced their nominees, including many categories of interest to speculative readers: Fantasy Novel, Sci-Fi Novel, Fantasy Romance, Fantasy Adventure, Urban Fantasy Worldbuilding and more. Check out the full list here: https://www.rtbookreviews.com/rt-awards/nominees-and-winners?year=2017

* George R.R. Martin is starting a scholarship for the Clarion West Writing Workshop focused on worldbuilding. https://www.clarionwest.org/2018/01/27/george-r-r-martin-announces-new-worldbuilder-scholarship-for-clarion-west/

* The Darrell Awards, which celebrate speculative fiction written by those living in, or set in, the greater Memphis area, have announced their nominees and their Coger Hall of Fame inductee for this year. https://darrellawards.wordpress.com/

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