Here is our weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web:
Speculative fiction in general:
- At Amazing Stories, Steve Davidson steps into the ever thorny issue of genre classifications and definitions.
- Charlie Jane Anders wonders whether stories about space exploration and colonisation couldn't replace post-apocalyptic science fiction from its current height of popularity.
- Charles Stross wonders about the lack of cultural estrangement in far future science fiction.
- Andrew Webster argues that the best science fiction right now is happening in comics.
- At Uncanny Magazine, Tansy Rayner Roberts asks if sex makes science fiction "soft".
- Cora Buhlert talks about hard SF and messy emotions.
- Kristi Charish discusses the science of urban fantasy.
- A Dribble of Ink has a round table about science fiction books by women.
- Anjali Patel shares 19 must-read science fiction and fantasy novels by women of colour.
- At SF Signal, Catherine Lundoff talks about LGBT science fiction and fantasy.
- At The Guardian, Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown discuss how difficult it was for them to find an agent and publisher willing to take on young adult dystopia with a gay protagonist.
- At The Guardian, Daniel José Older talks about diversity in speculative fiction and the campaign to get the World Fantasy Award statuette changed to something other than the head of H.P. Lovecraft.
- G.W. Thomas discusses the history of short heroic fantasy in the 1960s and 1970s.
- Autostraddle profiles Pamela Colman-Smith, the artist who illustrated the Rider Waite Smith Tarot.
- At The Atlantic, Noah Berlatsky claims that the interest in new Star Wars sequels and superhero movies means that science fiction stopped caring about the future.
- Jason Concepcion wonders whether Kevin from Home Alone grew up to become Jigsaw, the serial killer from the Saw series of horror movies, and offers some compelling evidence.
- N.P. Martin shares his 13 favourite urban fantasy TV shows.
Writing, publishing and promotion:
- Tattooed Writer offers an impassioned defense of short stories and those who write them.
- M.C.A. Hogarth talks about life as an indie midlister.
- Patty Jansen explains why you should try writing contemporary romance, even if you'll never publish it.
- At the "Meet My Character" blog hop, Racheln Medhurst introduces her character Hope.
- The results of the November eight hour fiction challenge are in.
- Damien Walter shares 6 characteristic of a commercially successful novel.
- Damien Walter also shares some writing advice from Frank Herbert.
- Shane Berryhill discusses how it can be difficult for a professional writer to enjoy films or novels.
- At The Daily Dot, Simon Owens explains why zombie e-books are killing it on Kindle.
- Charles T. Franklin shares 25 ways to help self-published authors.
- Seanan McGuire discusses spam, self-promotion and the thin line inbetween.
- Sever Bronny shares marketing strategies for indie authors.
- Stuart J. Whitmore points out that purchasing expensive software to make book covers is not necessary. Free programs can work just as well, because a pixel is a pixel.
- Juliet McKenna explains why the new EU VAT legislation is bad for e-book readers and writers.
- Hannah Kate has more on the EU VAT mess.
- Nicky Peacock interviews Ed Kurtz.
- Judy Goodwin interviews Stacy Juba.
- The Guardian interviews Ann Leckie about what makes her happy.
- Elena Linville reviews Darwin's Elevator by Jason M. Hough.
- Paul Weimer reviews Nobody's Home by Tim Powers.
- Michael Patrick Hicks reviews A Shrill Keening by Ronald Malfi.
- Michael Patrick Hicks also reviews Oasis of the Damned by Greg F. Gifune.
- Phronk reviews A Billionaire Dinosaur Forced Me Gay (yes, really) by Hunter Fox.
- Chris Winkle reviews and compares five books on writing fantasy.
- Eric Brown reviews the BBC documentary Tomorrow’s Worlds: The Unearthly History of Science Fiction.
- Lifehacker, a graphic novel by Ovi Demetrian Jr. and Jen Hickman, is looking for funding.
- Tokyo Yakuza, a shared world short fiction anthology, is looking for backers.
- Disabled writer Julie Jones needs a new van after her old one gave up ghost after 25 years.
- Midwest FurFest, a furry convention in Chicago, was interrupted when a cloud of chlorine gas put 19 attendants in hospital. Even worse, the chlorine gas release seems to have been deliberate.
- New York Magazine interviews Keu, one of the attendants at Midwest FurFest.
- Meanwhile, the hosts of this news program were stunned to learn about the existence of furries.
- Dallas Nagata White reports about the Hoku Con Preview Day in Hawaii.
Science and technology:
- NASA's Orion capsule has successfully launched and returned to Earth.
- NASA is considering issuing a challenge to develop a stratospheric airship, which could serve as a platform for scientific and commercial use.
- Is the happy holiday feeling really due to amphetamine like compounds caused by nutmeg and other spices in gingerbread?
- DNA tests of the recently discovered remains of Richard III have shown that present day descendants of House Plantagenet, including the royal family, are not in fact related to Richard III.
Odds and ends:
- Watch the first trailer for Terminator Genisys.
- Here is a gallery of Steampunk takes on Iron Man.
- Enjoy this video of Marvel's Avengers (with special guest Groot) assembling to sing Christmas carols.
- Meanwhile, the crew of the starship Enterprise, starring Jean Luc Picard, offer their intepretation of "Let it Snow".