And here is our weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web:
Speculative fiction in general:
- Ian Sales shares his top ten space operas beyond the usual suspects.
- Heather Massey explains why she loves the variety of science fiction romance.
- Vajra Chandrasekera explains how as a science fiction reader from Sri Lanka, Robert A. Heinlein was never on his radar.
- The Seattle New Tribune explains why the Pacific Northwest is a hotbed of science fiction.
- At The Atlantic, Sophie Gilbert remembers the 1990 film adaptation of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.
- Margaret Atwood explains why she loves Game of Thrones.
- At the New York Review of Science Fiction, Stephen Donaldson discusses epic fantasy.
- At BoingBoing, Tanya D. wonders why so many fantasy worlds adhere to an overwhelmingly white image of medieval Europe that's not even all that historically accurate.
- Neil Gaiman replies to the challenge not to read straight white cismale authors.
- Garden of Words wonders if Terry Pratchett was a feminist.
- io9 explains why Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan is awesome.
- Seth Skorkowsky explains why people still love pulp heroes.
- At the Guardian, Joe Queenan wonders why dystopian films are so popular.
- Sarah Hentges points out that YA dystopias empower young women.
- Genevieve Valentine explains how the vampire became film's most feminist monster.
- Mike Albo discusses the rise of zombies as highbrow monsters.
- T. Ellery Hodges talks about the derivativeness of Hollywood and offers some alternatives.
- White Noise remembers the TV series The Wild Wild West and how it helped to create the Steampunk genre.
- At Topless Robot, Witney Seibold discusses the struggle between canon and reboots.
- Kristine Kathryn Rusch takes on the current controversies in the SFF field and offers some history.
- At Tor.com, Emily Asher-Perrin discusses what happens when angry criticism becomes toxic.
- io9 takes a look at what happens when fans take over the franchises they love.
- Forbes discusses the rise of female action heroes in movies like The Hunger Games series or Divergent.
- The nominees for the 2015 Rita Awards have been announced by the RWA.
- The shortlist for the 2015 Norma K. Hemming Award has been announced.
Writing, publishing and promotion:
- Hugh Howey responds to claims that self-publishing is "chump change for chumps", because most indie writers make comparatively little money.
- Elena Linville talks about writing what you love.
- Debra Purdy Kong talks about knowing yourself as a writer.
- Robyn Paterson explains what Akira Kurosawa can teach us about writing.
- Damien Walter discusses experimenting with style and finding your own as a writer.
- Damien Walter also explains why literary cliques often mean creative death.
- Charles C. Bailey discusses why he values consistency over greatness.
- Rachelle Ayala shares what she has learned in four years of indie publishing.
- Lindsay Buroker discusses marketing a series.
- Rocking Book Covers shares tips on how to brand the covers of a series.
- Jake Kerr explains why authors shouldn't worry about piracy.
- Writer Beware warns of a rights grab by Omni Reboot magazine.
Thoughts on the Clean Reader app:
- The Guardian reports about Clean Reader, a new app that automatically removes words considered offensive from e-books and replaces them with terms considered less offensive.
- The Telegraph reports about angry author reactions to Clean Reader.
- Jennifer Porter tests the Clean Reader app on various romance novels and gives some examples of the substitutions.
- Joanne Harris calls Clean Reader censorship and points out that writers use words for a reason.
- Clean Reader responds to Joanne Harris' criticisms in an e-mail.
- Chuck Wendig tells Clean Reader to go to hell, because authorial intent matters.
- Michael Patrick Hicks tells Clean Reader where to stick their app in terms they would certainly not condone.
- Cory Doctorow dislikes Clean Reader but feels that the reader should have the right to decide what and how to read.
- Charles Stross points out that Clean Reader violates the author's moral rights and might well be illegal for that reason and that's it's really easy to subvert via using equally offensive but less common words.
- Mark Coker of Smashwords had requested that all books published through Smashwords be removed from the Clean Reader app.
- Tracy Marchini interviews Robert Dahlen.
- Robert Dahlen interviews Sarah Dalton.
- Michael Brookes interviews Mercedes Guy.
- Sarah Hendrix interviews Bryan Thomas Schmidt.
- Florida Today interviews Hugh Howey.
- arte follows George R.R. Martin and Sibel Kekilli (Shae in Game of Thrones) through Santa Fe. (video link)
- Elena Linville reviews The Secret Dead by S.W. Fairbrother.
- Michael Patrick Hicks reviews Monster by Keith Ferrario.
- Michael Parick Hicks also reviews Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn.
- William Meikle reviews The Dead Zone by Stephen King.
- Paul Levinson reviews episode 1.10 of Twelve Monkeys.
- Tansy Rayner Roberts reviews issue 1 of the new Jem and the Holograms comic.
- Nocturnall, a coda to the River of Souls trilogy by Beth Bernobich, is looking for funding.
- The pulp adventure comic Doc Unknown: The War for Gate City is looking for backers.
- Kristin Centorcelli reports about the Dallas ComicCon Fan Days.
- Listen to a podcast of a panel at All-Con in Dallas, Texas.
Science and technology:
- The next generation of household robots will do much more than just vacuum.
- Cloud software could make robots smarter and less expensive.
- Boeing has patented a science fiction style forcefield.
- A newly discovered catfish species was named after Greedo of Star Wars fame.
- Did Thomas Pynchon predict parallel universes in Gravity's Rainbow back in 1973?
- The nine weirdest implications of the multiple worlds theory.
Free online fiction:
- "The Author, the Archer, and the King of Magpies" by Robert Dahlen.
- "Dog" by Bruce McAllister at Tor.com.
- "The Boys from Auster", chapter 45 of Musketeer Space by Tansy Rayner Roberts.
- Chapter 7 of "Darkness Falling", part 84 of The Descendants by Landon Porter.
Odds and ends: