I hope everybody had - as we say here in Germany - a good slide into the new year. Some things have changed, including here at the Speculative Fiction Showcase. However, also in 2015 we will continue to bring our weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web:
Speculative fiction in general:
- The New Yorker profiles Michael Moorcock.
- At Wired, Naomi Klein wonders whether the popularity of dystopian fiction isn't a warning sign that many people now consider environmental collapse inevitable.
- At io9, Anne Leonard explains why the best fantasy stories include mundane everyday elements.
- Jim C. Hines responds to certain people upset by two women holding hands in a romantic way in the final episode of Legends of Korra.
- K.S. Augustin writes about emotions, science fiction and science fiction romance.
- Christina Vasilevski explains how science fiction and fantasy authors made her a better feminist.
- At the Guardian, Nirpal Dhaliwal explain how science fiction movies embraced Hinduism without even noticing.
- Max Gladstone explains why Die Hard is a fairy tale.
- Rachel Cordasco looks at literary moments in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- Claire Ryan talks about the swordplay in the Lord of the Rings movies.
- Claire Ryan also praises the swordfights in The Princess Bride.
- Gene Bathurst remembers Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth, a post-apocalyptic Jack Kirby comic from the 1970s.
- Jo Walton explains how getting an e-reader changed her reading habits.
Best of 2014 lists:
- The staff of SciFi365 choose their best science fiction books of 2014.
- Ana Grilo and Thea James of The Book Smugglers share their favourite 2014 books.
- At the SF Signal Mind Meld, several writers, readers and fans share their favourite genre works of 2014.
- The staff of io9 share their favourite science fiction and fantasy books of 2014.
- The Qwillery chose their best books of 2014.
- blastr shares 14 groundbreaking 2014 moments for women in SF.
- At The Book Smugglers, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz discusses movements in the speculative fiction world in the year 2014.
- Harry Manners shares his favourite reads of 2014.
- S. Lee Benedict shares his favourite books of 2014.
Writing, publishing and promotion:
- In his New Worlds of Publishing series, Dean Wesley Smith talks about how failure must be an option.
- Dean Wesley Smith also talks about setting goals you can control.
- Charles Stross explains what short stories are good for.
- Nancy Fulda shares some tips for getting your characters out of difficult situations.
- Patty Jansen introduces her character Cory Wilson.
- Mark Edwards shares the 11 ingredients of a sizzling book description.
- Jake Kerr discusses Kindle Unlimited.
- C.N. Crawford interviews Sever Bronny.
- Nicky Peacock interviews Margaret Skea.
- Reedsy interviews the author collective Triskele Books.
- Redditors interviewed Margaret Atwood. Some highlights are here.
- Michael Patrick Hicks reviews Extinction Horizon by Nicholas Sansbury Smith.
- Judy Goodwin reviews Soul Meaning by A.D. Starrling.
- Paul Weimer reviews Hot Lead, Cold Iron by Ari Marmell.
- C.P.D. Harris reviews The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
- John O.E. Stevens shares a philippic, not a review about The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
- Stella Wilkinson shares her appreciation for the Constantine TV series.
- Charlie Jane Anders reviews the 2014 Doctor Who Christmas Special.
- Cora Buhlert shares her thoughts about the 2012 movie Snow White and The Huntsman.
Science and technology:
- More on NASA's plans to establish a floating colony on Venus.
- Discovery takes a look at the science behind Interstellar.
- Wired wonders how many Gs the Millennium Falcon pulled in those daring maneouvres during the asteroid chase in The Empire Strikes Back.
- At io9, George Dvorsky explains how humanity could conquer space without rockets.
- A long overlooked dwarf galaxy had finally been discovered.
- 13 of the most amazing things discovered in space this year.
- ESA shares some stunning timelapse videos of Earth taken by German astronaut Alexander Gerst aboard the International Space Station.
- At Singularity Hub, Jason Dunn wonders about the possibility of the 3D-printed moonbase.
- Singularity Hub also explains how technology brought us closer to the future in 2014.
- Chinese researchers have developed a smart window that tints and powers itself.
- The first bike lane paved with solar cells was unveiled in the Netherlands.
- The hacker organisation Chaos Computer Club have managed to copy the fingerprint of German secretary of defense Ursula von der Leyen using only a photo.
Odds and ends: