Here is our weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web, this time in a special Boxing Day edition:
Speculative fiction in general:
- At Kirkus, Andrew Liptak remembers the late Iain M. Banks.
- Feminist Fiction points out that a lack of female characters is always a choice, in response to fantasy writer Mark Lawrence responding to his critics.
- E.P. Beaumont talks about love in the time of starships.
- Heather Massey talks about the appeal of good guy heroes in science fiction romance.
- At The Verge, Adi Robertson revisits Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.
- At The Book Smugglers, Justin Landon has some reading tips for dudebros.
- C.P.D. Harris talks about torture in modern fantasy.
- A. Lee Martinez argues that Darth Vader's redemption at the end of Return of the Jedi was unearned.
- Cora Buhlert finds that many popular holiday films are basically updated takes on Victorian morality plays.
- Listverse shares 10 great animated films the world inexplicably forgot.
Writing, publishing and promotion:
- The Atlantic shares a year's worth of writing advice from David Mitchell, William Gibson, Ley Grossman, Yiyun Li, Stuart Dybek, Mona Simpson, Leslie Jamison, Edan Lepucki, Jane Smiley, Jim Harrison and many others.
- Landon Porter discusses the structure of serials and the challenges of writing them. Part 2 is here.
- M.J. Bush shares 25 plotting tips from top authors and editors.
- Charlie Jane Anders shares ten tips for turning your real life experiences into science fiction.
- Writer Unboxed has some tips for writing through the holiday season.
- Amelia Smith introduces her character Darna.
- At the Book View Café, Katherine Eliska Kimbriel talks about creating characters.
- Kristine Kathryn Rusch discusses what indie publishers learned in 2014.
- Ruth Nestvold shares some places to promote 99 cent sales.
- Noah K. Mullette-Gillman interviews Paul Levinson, Nicholas Andrews and Steve LeBel.
- Book Goodies also interviews Paul Levinson.
- Monica Byrne interviews Rudy Rucker.
- IGN interviews Joss Whedon.
- Paul Weimer reviews Rise of the Spider Goddess by Jim C. Hines.
- Elena Linville reviews Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews.
- Michael Patrick Hicks reviews Facial by Jeff Strand.
- Anthony Vicino reviews Convergence by Michael Patrick Hicks and The Immortality Game by Ted Cross.
- Joe Howley, Johannah King-Slutzky and Dave Klion revisit Dune by Frank Herbert.
- How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens, an anthology of short fiction about the immigrant experience edited by Joanne Merriam is looking for backers.
- Fantasy writer Katherine Kerr needs help to care for her husband Howard, who is suffering from Alzheimer's.
Science and technology:
- Superintelligent robots are probably the dominant lifeform in the cosmos.
- TechCrunch talks about NASA's planetary data system.
- SpaceX has completed the first milestone of their program to transport crews to the International Space Station.
- Motherboard wonders if the Star of Bethlehem was even a star at all.
- Anouk Wipprecht has designed a dress that defends itself and its wearer.
Odds and ends:
- Watch the trailer for Jeff 1000, a new web serial starring Summer Glau and a giant robot.
- The Radio Times presents the Doctor Who universe rendered as an interactive tube map.
- Ten speculative fiction writers share the ideal Christmas presents for their characters.
- Here's a great tutorial for making a Menorah from toy dinasaurs.
- For more DIY Menorahs, check out this Star Wars Lego glowstick Menorah.
- Finally, here is the USS Enterprise - made entirely out of gingerbread.
- For more amazing bakery skills, check out this Gollum cake.