And here is our weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web:
Speculative fiction in general:
- Damien Walter declares 2014 the year science fiction woke up to diversity.
- Malinda Lo talks about diverse books that are too diverse for mainstream sensibilities.
- Michael R. Underwood shares his list of his most anticipated books of 2015 and calls for more diversity on such lists in general.
- The Book Smugglers look back on the bigger genre controversies of 2014.
- At io9, Charlie Jane Anders takes a look back at where publishers thought genre publishing was headed in 1991.
- At Nerds of a Feather, Maureen Kincaid-Speller, Jared Shurin and Jonathan McCalmont discuss the positive value of negative reviews.
- Brandon Sanderson explains why superhero books are so hard to get right.
- Alex Bledsoe tackles the problematic women in refrigerators trope in comics.
- Marina Finlayson wonders why there are so few mothers in urban fantasy.
- Claire Ryan critiques the dual swordwielding skills of Drizzt Do'Urden and analyses how realistic they are.
- Fantasy Fraction looks at the weird western subgenre.
- Kotaku lists the 15 strangest dystopias in gaming.
- TV Guide has the scoop on Marvel's new Agent Carter series starring Hayley Atwell.
- James Whitbrook shares the lesson he hoped comic book movies and TV shows have learned from 2014, namely "Don't forget to have fun."
- At Den of Geek, Andrew Younger remembers the Seventh Doctor's companion Ace and how she set the template for the new series companions.
- At Tor.com, Emily Asher-Perrin points out some disturbing implications of the Star Wars movies.
- IGN explains how Star Wars ruined Star Trek.
- At The Nerdist, Kyle Anderson remembers some of the obscure space opera movies that came out in the wake of Star Wars.
- Allison Flood wonders whether Isaac Asimov's Foundation novels are filmable, since Christopher Nolan's brother Jonathan, Interstellar screenwriter, seems to be interested.
Best of 2014 lists:
- Bookworm Blues share their favourite books of 2014.
- At Sci-Fi Fan Letter, Jessica Strider shares her favourite books of 2014.
- The staff of the Fantasy Book Café shares their favourite reads of 2014.
- Jodie of Lady Business shares her favourite reads of 2014.
- Sophia McDougall shares her favourite books of 2014.
- Rob Bedford shares his favourite books of 2014.
- Elena Linville shares the best books she read in 2014.
- Shaun Duke shares his favourite works of 2013 and 2014.
Writing, publishing and promotion:
- Damien Walter explains what is stopping people from being creative.
- Kristine Kathryn Rusch explains why writing fast and "churning out" a lot of books is a good thing.
- In his New Worlds of Publishing series, Dean Wesley Smith talks about what to do in case you get knocked off a goal.
- At Writer Unboxed, Julianna Baggot discusses writer's block and strategies to deal with it.
- Deanna Chase shares a simple trick to beat writer's block.
- INC lists 6 ways the pros beat writer's block.
- Writers Write has a checklist for testing whether your novel has enough conflict.
- Lisa J. Goldstein criticises the seven point plot outline.
- Harry Manners introduces his character Billy Peyton.
- At the USA Today's Happy Ever After blog, several SF and fantasy authors share their characters' new year's resolutions.
- Wayne Stinnett shares his method for self-editing.
- Jo Clendening discusses her process for designing the cover for Alice on the Rocks.
- Steve Vernon discusses his writing and publishing strategies for 2015.
- Joanna Penn discusses the importance of multiple income streams.
- Camille Laguire talks about the state of indie publishing in 2014 and offers some prognoses for 2015.
- Clare Josa shares some way indie writers and others can take action against the ill thought-out EU VAT legislation.
- Martyn V. Halm reviews the Hemingwrite, a new digital typewriter for distraction-free writing.
- At USA Today, Jessie Potts interviews Amanda Hocking.
- Andrea Johnson interviews Karen Lord.
- Urban Fantasy Investigations interviews Eden Ashley.
- The Maldon Standard interviews Anthony Hudson.
- Michael Brookes interviews Andrew Stanek.
- David Neth interviews Andrei Cherascu.
- Harry Manners interviews Justin Bilyk.
- Spectrum Books interviews Rich Amooi.
- Ethan Jones interviews Janet Evanovich.
- The SF Signal podcast interviews Rachel Aaron/Rachel Bach.
- Paul Levinson reviews #Berlin45 by Philip Gibson.
- Alasdair Stuart reviews White Rabbit by K.A. Laity.
- Elena Linville reviews Hotter than Helltown by S.M. Reine.
- Carly Fjeld reviews the movie Under the Skin.
- Lesley Smith is looking for backers for her novel A Star-Filled Sea.
- Goblin Fruit, a quarterly journal of speculative poetry, is looking for patrons.
- At Concatenation, Peter Tyers shares his impressions of the 2014 Eurocon in Dublin.
- At Nerd Reactor, Cory Vincent reports on the SacAnime con in Sacramento.
- The Sacramento Bee also shares some photos of the SacAnime con.
Science and technology:
- Elon Musk believes that we must put one million people on Mars, if humanity is to have a future.
- NASA has designed an ape-like robot for disaster response.
- Universe Today shares 10 space science stories to watch in 2015.
- Motherboard reports about the search for starivores, i.e. intelligent lifeforms that eat suns.
- In Iceland, a city is being built inside the Langjökull glacier.
- Check out Raybot, the autonomous solar-panel cleaning robot.
Odds and ends: