January 25, 2019

January News

* Overheard in the Store:
"The Pope's never seen _my_ meat!"

* Local author Nick Mamatas is teaching a Fabulist Fiction course at WeWork Golden Gate, 25 Taylor St., San Francisco.  There are six sessions and it starts THIS Saturday, January 12th.  The cost is $395.  Details and sign up here: https://sfwriting.institute/portfolio/fabulist_fiction/

* A very interesting article on the way young Muslims are finding a sense of belonging in science fiction. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/12/28/young-muslims-find-meaning-and-inspiration-science-fiction-novels/2413653002/

* io9 has gotten together a list of the fictional people, shows and comics that we lost in 2018. R.I.P. https://io9.gizmodo.com/the-fictional-people-and-things-we-lost-in-2018-1831260333

* How many science fiction predictions for 2019 came true?  How many didn't?  (We will probably always be mad at the absence of flying cars and teleportation devices.) https://triblive.com/business/technology/14448704-74/science-fiction-predictions-right-and-wrong-about-2019

* A new science-fiction magazine, "Dreamforge", with a theme of optimism, survival and hope, will be coming out of Pittsburgh in 2019. https://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/news/2018/12/27/science-fiction-magazine-takes-off-in-pittsburgh.html

* Speaking of optimistic science fiction, check out the short story series "Better Worlds," -- ten stories, half turned into animation and the other half into audio stories.  The series will premiere on January 14th on The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/5/18055980/better-worlds-science-fiction-short-stories-video

* The Biology of Science Fiction is a class we wish we could have taken in college.  (Na'amen always complained that they weren't teaching him how to make mutants to obey his every whim, but Duke's class is a step in the right direction.) https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article223159485.html

* British science fiction author Robert Storey has been missing since the day after Xmas.  Anyone with any information is being asked to contact the police. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6532419/Fears-grow-vulnerable-science-fiction-author-42-Ancient-Origins-thriller-series.html

* io9 gives us a list of the ten best and the four worst TV shows of 2018. We feel vindicated about our reaction to the "Nightflyers" adaptation. https://io9.gizmodo.com/the-10-best-and-4-worst-tv-shows-of-2018-1831217984

* A list of the best future-focused science-fiction TV and film being released in 2019. https://newatlas.com/best-sci-fi-fantasy-coming-2019-tv-film/57791/

* For those who watched all of the DC series "The Titans", but missed the after-credits scene.  Two new characters were teased as joining in season 2.  One we expected, the other. . . . http://sciencefiction.com/2018/12/27/watch-titans-s1-post-credits-scene-meet-two-new-super-additions/

* Did you enjoy "The Titans" and wonder about all the shifts from the announcements of titles to the cut episode count?  Here are your answers: http://sciencefiction.com/2018/12/26/showrunner-explains-titans-went-12-episodes-11/

* NASA has released a study on the best way to go about possibly locating other intelligent species in the universe.  It even theorizes that Earth may hold some artifacts of non-human origin. https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1064164/nasa-announcement-news-alien-technology-discovery-space-extraterrestrial

* Coming after the tremendous success of "Get Out", the trailer for Jordan Peele's newest horror film, "Us" has been released -- and it definitely looks terrifying. http://sciencefiction.com/2018/12/28/jordan-peele-shares-directors-insight-trailer-us/

* Na'amen only cares about science that asks the really important questions, the ones that seem relevant to his life and interests, like when we will be able to speak to marine life. https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/aquaman-superpowers-talk-fish-science

* Fans of comic book adaptations know that not all adaptations of Marvel works exist within the same universe.  In fact there are currently four worlds - the main MCU, the X-men films, the Netflix Marvel series & the "Deadpool" movie universe.  Here are the odds on some of the characters from the latter three transferring into the big leagues of the main MCU.  http://sciencefiction.com/2018/12/26/characters-will-transition-mcu-odds/

* Former President Barack Obama has released his best-of lists for 2018, and two genre films made the list - "Annihilation" & "Black Panther".  For more detail go here: https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/barack-obama-black-panther-annihilation-best-of-list-2018

* The links between science fiction and philosophy, and how each can be used to illustrate and illuminate the other: https://www.thedailystar.net/shout/news/the-philosophy-science-fiction-1679149

* Do you like whiskey?  Do you like science fiction?  Then it seems like there's a company you should be checking out: https://thewhiskeywash.com/whiskey-styles/bourbon/science-fiction-whiskey-theme-continues-with-predator-bourbon/

* Vulture gives the list of their top ten science fiction and fantasy books, which we're glad we checked out, because there are a couple on this list we hadn't heard of, and sound great! https://www.vulture.com/article/best-sci-fi-books-2018.html

* A gentleman has managed to create and patent a quiet ion powered aircraft.  For now the focus is on using it for drones, but eventually the plan is to create one that can carry passengers. https://www.news5cleveland.com/an-oberlin-man-is-creating-a-flying-machine-straight-out-of-science-fiction

* Wired got eight speculative fiction authors to contribute stories about the future of work - including Charlie Jane Anders, Nisi Shawl, Ken Liu and Martha Wells.  Check them out here: https://www.wired.com/story/future-of-work-sci-fi-issue/

* Dyson Sphere! https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2018/12/this-video-explains-everything-you-need-to-know-about-my-favorite-science-fiction-superstructure/

* Did a transformer actually explode in Queens?  Or is it an MIB-style cover-up for an alien showdown in our backyard? https://www.forbes.com/sites/ericmack/2018/12/28/crazy-blue-light-over-new-york-wasnt-aliens-but-it-sure-looked-like-it/#4f2a19e356e5

* Speaking of MIB: the trailer for the new film "MIB International" is out, starring Chris Hemsworth & Tessa Thompson.  Thor & Valkyrie fighting aliens side by side?  We're there.

* Is it just a hunk of rock, or a derelict sun-powered alien craft?  (Let's be honest; it's most likely the former, but the latter sounds way cooler.) https://www.macleans.ca/society/science/oumuamua-hunk-of-interstellar-rock-or-sun-powered-alien-ufo/

* What is the connection between space and dead children: why are they so often paired together in science fiction tales? https://theweek.com/articles/809988/unfortunate-scifi-trope-dead-child-backstory

* Meet Rose Macaulay, a contemporary of Aldous Huxley, whose dystopian novel WHAT NOT has been out of print since it first appeared in 1919 and seems to have had considerable influence on BRAVE NEW WORLD.  It will reappear in print this coming March. https://qz.com/quartzy/1498891/the-pillars-of-science-fiction-are-two-writers-you-dont-know/

Award News

* The 2018 GoodReads Choice Winners have been announced after millions of votes. https://bookriot.com/2018/12/04/2018-goodreads-choice-winners-announced/

* The 2018 Parsec Awards, celebrating speculative podcasting, have been announced. http://www.parsecawards.com/2018-winners-finalists/

* The inaugural award for books focusing on STEAM have announced their shortlist. https://www.thebookseller.com/news/uclan-announces-shortlist-inaugural-steam-prize-917186

* The judges for the 2019 World Fantasy Award have been announced. http://file770.com/2019-world-fantasy-awards-judges/

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