And here is our weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web, this time with yet more Hugo debate, a Game of Thrones controversy as well as plenty of discussion of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Mad Max: Fury Road.
Speculative fiction in general:
- Damien Walter declares that fantasy must shake off the tyranny of the mega-novel.
- Natasha Pully responds and points out that fantasy cannot establish sufficient worldbuilding in short fiction.
- James Aquilone shares his appreciation for Flash Gordon.
- Ezra Glinter profiles the Strugatsky brothers.
- Jason Heller discusses the popularity of dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction.
- Nicolette Stewart shares ten post-apocalyptic novels written by women.
- Robert Ito wonders what happened to the optimistic mid-century future seen in the movie Tomorrowland.
- Maria Farrer explains why teenagers often have to take enormous risks in YA fiction.
- Barbara J. Webb talks about secondary world urban fantasy.
- Deonna Anderson shares 6 black female SFF writers to read.
- Rochita Loenen-Ruiz discusses the uses of anger.
- Joyce Chng discusses Chinese werewolves.
- James Lamb claims that superhero diversity is impossible.
- Donovan Grant disagrees.
- Monica Byrne discusses her experiences trying to pitch a diverse pop culture column to Wired.
- Simon Pegg discusses the commercialisation of SFF nerd culture.
- Ryan Britt discusses five aspects of SFF that are far from childish.
- Ryan Britt also shares seven bizarre connections between Star Wars and James Bond.
- Cass R. Sunstein explains how Star Wars illuminates constitutional law. Really.
- Barnes & Noble recommends seven books sure to infuriate those who hate strong women in fiction.
- Lane Robbins talks about the lack of female action figures.
- The Mary Sue discusses Wonder Woman and the importance of the parental narrative in superhero comics.
- Natalia Mehlman Petrzela asks whether we need Wonder Woman.
- Noah Berlatsky weighs in on Wonder Woman.
- Dan Seitz explains why we should be optimisticabout the Supergirl TV show.
- Anthony McGlynn asks people to stop comparing the Supergirl trailer with the Black Widow Saturday Night Life skit.
- Cora Buhlert discusses Outlander, sex and the female gaze.
- Gilbert Colon has compiled all SFF references in seven seasons of Mad Men.
- Emily Asher-Perrin shares her appreciation for the 1985 film Real Genius.
- Cat Conway points out that the live-action adaptation of Jem and the Holograms completely seems to miss the point of the original story.
- The nominees for the 2015 eFestival of Words have been announced.
- The nominees for the 2015 Scribe Awards for tie-in fiction have been announced.
- The Hugo Voters Packet is available for download at the Sasquan website.
- The Wall Street Journal weighs in about the Hugo controversy.
- Eric Flint weighs in on the Hugo debate again and yet again.
- Natalie Luhrs responds to Eric Flint.
- Kevin J. Maroney weighs in one the Hugo debate here and here.
- Brianne Reeves shares her thoughts on the Hugo controversy.
- David Gerrold points out that the Hugos should be about merit rather than politics.
- Kristene Perron discusses how stories evolve over time, using Crocodile Dundee, Cinderella and the Hugo controversy as an example.
- Spacefaring Kitten disagrees with Brad Torgersen and disagrees with him some more.
- Alexandra Erin also disagrees with Brad Torgersen.
- Adam Troy-Castro talks about echo chambers and feedback loops in connection with the Hugos.
- Undulent Fever plays Hugo Mad Libs.
- Nicholas Whyte explains how he will be voting for the Hugos.
- Floris M. Kleijne explains how he will be voting for the Hugos.
- John Scalzi explains how he will be voting for the Hugos and points out that there is no right or wrong way to vote.
- Martin Wisse has a proposal for increasing participation in the Hugo nominations.
- Alis Franklin points out that the Hugos are irrelevant to many younger fans who are active on tumblr.
- Kevin Standalee compares fandom and Worldcon to a giant potluck dinner.
Game of Thrones controversy:
- Shaun Duke explains why he quit watching Game of Thrones.
- The staff of The Mary Sue explains why they will no longer be promoting Game of Thrones.
- K. Tempest Bradford discusses rape in fiction and film, using Game of Thrones as an example.
- Sonya Saraiya explains what Game of Thrones can learn from Mad Max: Fury Road.
- Sarah Mesle wonders just what sort of fantasies Game of Thrones is peddling.
- George R.R. Martin responds to the controversy surrounding the Game of Thrones TV show.
Discussion about Avengers: Age of Ultron:
- Drew McWeeny takes an indepth look at Avengers: Age of Ultron.
- Jim C. Hines shares his thoughts on Avengers: Age of Ultron.
- The Fangirl Happy Hour podcast discusses Avengers: Age of Ultron.
- Ashley Reed discusses the controversial Black Widow/Hulk scene from Age of Ultron.
- Daniel J. Dombrowski shares 5 things he didn't like about Avengers: Age of Ultron.
- Peter Watts is not at all happy about Avengers: Age of Ultron.
- Peter Berbegal discusses the rich history of The Vision, the android superhero from Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Discussion about Mad Max: Fury Road:
- Kim Newman shares his thoughts about Mad Max: Fury Road.
- Jill Pantozzi also shares her thoughts on Mad Max: Fury Road.
- Melinda Snodgrass shares her thoughts on Mad Max: Fury Road.
- Abigail Nussbaum shares her thoughts on Mad Max: Fury Road.
- Mandalit del Barco shares her thoughts on Mad Max: Fury Road.
- Adrian Tchaikovsky declares that Mad Max: Fury Road is his favourite film of the year so far.
- Leah Schnelbach calls Mad Max: Fury Road one of the best films of the year and explains why it's not just great but also important.
- Art Eater discusses the themes and imagery of Mad Max: Fury Road.
- Alissa Wilkinson attempts to explain what Mad Max: Fury Road says about religion.
- Ethan Gilsdorf looks at Mad Max then and now.
- Ben Wilkie views Mad Max: Fury Road as an example of Australian gothic.
- Jason Sanford predicts that Mad Max: Fury Road will not change Hollywood immediately, but will have a huge impact down the line.
- Sean O'Neal explains that some men are mad that Mad Max: Fury Road has female characters who are not just decoration.
- Donna Dickens explains how Mad Max: Fury Road sublimely subverts movie sexism.
- George Miller and Charlize Theron discuss the alleged feminist agenda of Mad Max: Fury Road.
- Silvia Moreno-Garcia explains why Mad Max: Fury Road is the feminist movie you didn't think you needed.
Writing, publishing and promotion:
- Ben Galley wonders whether the self-publishing stigma is fading.
- Elle Casey shares some tips for aspiring writers.
- William Dickerson explains how to please others but still be true to your work.
- Kristine Kathryn Rusch talks about predictability and writing by committee.
- Stina Leicht talks about the importance of writing at your own pace.
- Aaron Miles looks at point of view.
- Charlie Jane Anders discusses how to raise the stakes of your story without wrecking the characters.
- Brian Klems explains how to introduce your protagonist.
- Paula S. Jordan explains what happens when characters take control of the story.
- Caddy Rowland explains why it is important to include LGBT characters in all genres of fiction.
- Critical Shit discusses the taxonomy of fictional spaceships.
- Lindsay Buroker discusses how to increase sales on an old or flagging series.
- Joe Konrath and Rob Siders discuss book design.
- Write, Dream, Repeat discusses the five most common formatting mistakes in indie books.
- Michael R. Underwood discusses the many sides of bundling.
- Stephanie Leary discusses effective book marketing strategies from a reader POV.
- David Neth discusses the differences between indie and traditional publishing.
- Steve Davidson discusses the SFWA opening membership to indie authors with Cat Rambo and M.C.A. Hogarth.
- Juliet McKenna discusses the global consequences of the new EU VAT regulations.
- Gawker interviews Daniel José Older.
- Aidan Moher interviews Hugh Howey.
- The Skiffy and Fanty Show interviews Andrea Phillips (podcast link).
- S.C. Flynn interviews The G. of Nerds of a Feather.
- The Scottish Herald interviews Sam Heughan, star of Outlander.
- Kyra Halland reviews Out of Exile by Derek Alan Siddoway.
- The Cheap Reader reviews Gifted by H.S. Stone.
- Chewy, Julie Ann Dawson's dog, reviews New Sun Rising by Lindsay Edmunds.
- Salena Casha reviews Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.
- Emily Asher-Perrin reviews the first episode of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.
- The World SF Travel Fund needs some help to bring Bulgarian writer Haralambi Markov to World Fantasy Con.
- The Little Red Reviewer shares some photos of PenguiCon in Detroit.
- The Denver Post reports about Denver Comic Con and its epic growth.
- Kevin Standalee explains how Worldcon site selection works and how you can get involved.
Science and technology:
- Alastair Reynolds explains why humanity may yet reach the stars.
- There has been a leap forward in the hunt for Earth-like planets.
- NASA challenges designers to construct a 3D-printed deep space habitat.
- A Spanish company called Vortex Bladeless has developed wind turbines without blades.
Free online fiction:
- "Elephants and Corpses" by Kameron Hurley at Tor.com.
- "Ginga" by Daniel José Older at Tor.com.
- "By Degrees and Dilatory Time" by S.L. Huang in Strange Horizons.
- "Breaking the Spell" by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz in Lightspeed.
- "Five Days of Captivity", part 52 of Musketeer Space by Tansy Rayner Roberts.
- Chapter 11 of The Pirate's Grand Plan by K.S. Augustin.
- Chapter 1 of "Those Not Forgotten", part 86 of The Descendants by Landon Porter.
Odds and ends: