And here is our weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web:
Speculative fiction in general:
- At the Guardian, Damien Walter remembers Frank Herbert's Dune on the occasion of its 50th anniversary.
- At Kirkus, Andrew Liptak continues his series about changes in the publishing industry and their impact on speculative fiction.
- Ben Bova attempts to explain what hard science fiction is.
- Troy L. Wiggins talks about the importance of the immigrant experience in genre fiction.
- A. Lee Martinez explains why diversity matters.
- At The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates discusses the broad, inclusive canvas of superhero comics.
- Marie Brennan talks about the absence of women in Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind.
- Elizabeth Bear discusses the depiction of prostitutes in speculative fiction.
- On Mark Lawrence's blog, several authors discuss the alleged "death of grimdark".
- At This is Horror, Simon Marshall Jones asks what makes a monster.
- Ray Bradbury discusses becoming an accidental architect in this essay published posthumously at the Paris Review.
- The Oyster Review talks about Harry Potter studies and interviews several Potter scholars.
- The Rolling Stone ranks the 50 best science fiction movies of the 1970s. Judging by some of the choices, it seems they had trouble finding 50 movies to rank.
- The New York Times talks to directors Andy and Lana Wachowski about the inspiration behind Jupiter Ascending.
- At The Vulture, Abraham Riesman asks "What is wrong with Jupiter Ascending?"
- At Topless Robot, Luke Thompson discusses why so many longtime comic fans are wary about the upcoming Fantastic Four movie and how the casting choices are only part of the issue.
- James Whitbrook discusses the real reason why US remakes of British TV shows so often fail.
- Even Neil Gaiman himself is not very happy with the way his Doctor Who episode "Nightmare in Silver" turned out.
Writing, publishing and promotion:
- The SFWA is planning to allow self-published and small press authors to join.
- At Nerds of a Feather, Dean Smith Richards calls for SFF writers to write better stories and rely less on twist endings.
- Steve Vernon talks about being a hack writer.
- Travis Heermann explains where stories come from.
- Nerine Dorman talks about loss of hope and why she will continue to write what she loves.
- Nicolette Stewart explains how to write a sexist character without looking like a sexist author.
- Elle Chambers introduces her character Mimi St. Laurent.
- David Farland talks about using setting to its fullest advantage.
- At The Book Smugglers, Kate Elliott talks about self-rejection and the courage to say yes.
- At Amazing Stories, Keith West wonders when we will start seeing indie-published books on awards ballots.
- Tess Gerritsen discusses her failed lawsuit against the producers of Gravity and how this affects every writer selling to Hollywood.
- At David Gaughran's blog, Nick Stephenson and Matt Iden talk about influencing Amazon's algorithms.
- Patty Jansen attempts to answer the question, "Do self-published books need ISBN numbers?"
- David Faulds of Dulwich Books offers indie authors some tips on how to get their books onto bookstore shelves.
- The New York Times interviews Kelly Link.
- Sherwood Smith interviews Judith Tarr.
- Ken Liu interviews Tang Fei.
- Deborah Stanish interviews Ann Leckie.
- Buddy Gott interviews Bonnie R. Paulson.
- At BoingBoing, Jason Weisberger reviews Young Moon by H.S. St. Ours.
- Heroines of Fantasy reviews Half Life by S.L. Huang.
- Paul Weimer reviews Random by Alma Alexander.
- James Nicoll reviews The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers.
- Cheryl Morgan reviews The Galaxy Game by Karen Lord.
- Elena Linville reviews Twiceborn by Marina Finlayson.
- Michael Patrick Hicks reviews The Lurking Season by Kristopher Rufty.
- Tony Rabig reviews The Top of the Volcano: The Award Winning Stories of Harlan Ellison.
- Patty Jansen reviews Secret's of the World's Bestselling Writer, a non-fiction book about the storytelling techniques of Earle Stanley Gardner.
- Den of Geek reviews Jupiter Ascending.
- Paul Levinson reviews episode 2.3 of Helix.
- Shaun Duke reviews the 2010 movie The Sorcerer's Apprentice.
- Kwame Opam reviews the 1997 flop Batman and Robin.
- Save the Sci Fi: The Next Generation, a project to make out of print vintage science fiction novels available again in e-book format, is looking for funding.
- The reboot of Jill Trent, Science Sleuth, a 1940s comic book, is looking for backers.
- The comic anthology Satellites Volume 1 is looking for funding.
- Travis Herman is looking for funding for his novel Spirit of the Ronin, part 3 of his Ronin trilogy.
- Readercon, a popular convention in the Boston area, needs a new sound system.
- Harry Connolly shares some tips about running a successful Kickstarter campaign.
- The Little Red Reviewer shares their experiences at Confusion in Dearborn, Michigan.
- Jason Sanford also reports about Confusion.
Science and technology:
- At io9, George Dvorsky lists 11 ways the future might turn out differently than expected.
- Wired discusses the evolution of artificial intelligence.
- Bill Gates is worried about artificial intelligence.
- A speck of interstellar dust obscures a glimpse at the big bang.
- Space.com has some great photos of NASA launching rockets into the Northern lights.
Free online fiction:
- "Gene Wars" by Paul McAuley.
- "Little Lost Robot" by Paul McAuley.
- "Hearts" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
- "Sadness" by V.A. Jeffrey.
- "The Language of Knives" by Haralambi Markov at Tor.com.
- Chapter 7 of The Dragon of Ankoll Keep by K.S. Augustin.
- "The Yellow Parlor", Chapter 4 of Room by Jodi Ralston.
- Chapter 18 of Dragon Physician by Joyce Chng.
- "Concerning the Questionable Life Choices of Dana D'Artagnan", part 37 of Musketeer Space by Tansy Rayner Roberts.
- Chapter 5 of "Avalon Rises", part 83 of The Descendants by Landon Porter.
Odds and ends:
- Watch the TV trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron.
- Watch the TV trailer for Terminator: Genesys.
- Watch the TV trailer for Insurgent.
- Watch the trailer for Marvel's upcoming Daredevil series.
- Enjoy these photos of Kermit and Miss Piggy visiting Yoda and Mark Hamill on the set of The Empire Strikes Back.
- Check out this gallery of Mexican pulp fiction cover art.