And here is our weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web, this time with yet more Hugo debate as well as plenty of discussion of Avengers: Age of Ultron:
Speculative fiction in general:
- Buzzfeed shares ten reasons why everyone should read Samuel Delany.
- Black Gate profiles James Tiptree Jr. a.k.a. Alice Sheldon.
- Edward M. Lerner talks about technology that is indistinguishable from magic and how to make it work in science fiction.
- Shaoyan Hu discusses the beginnings of Chinese science fiction.
- Mark Hay discusses African science fiction.
- Sofia Samatar shares an anecdote about Kurt Vonnegut, Ralph Ellison and phonyness.
- Aaron Kashtan discusses how many of the current controversies in SFF, gaming and comics are reactions to the increasing presence of women and minorities of what was perceived to be male dominated spaces.
- Stephanie Zvan points out that women have always been in SFF, gaming, computer programming and other spaces perceived as dominated by men.
- Landon Porter complains about DC's problematic treatment of both female characters and female audiences.
- Jerome Winter discusses the popularity of apocalyptic SF movies.
- Todd VanDerWerff, Zack Beauchamp and Andrew Prokop discuss how Game of Thrones is like Star Wars.
- Emily Asher Perrin explains why Obi Wan and Yoda lied to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars.
- Chris Osterndorf explains how the Internet made May 4th a.k.a. Star Wars Day bigger than ever.
- Takeo Rivera complains about the stereotypical portrayal of Asian characters in Daredevil.
- Philip Sandifer writes an essay in defence of Sucker Punch.
- Grace Lee Whitney, best known for playing Yeoman Janice Rand in the original Star Trek, has died aged 85.
- The winner of the 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award is Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.
- The finalists for the 2015 Locus Awards have been announed.
- The winners of the 2014 Ursa Major Awards have been announced.
- Mike Glyer discusses the history of the Hugos and gives an overview over the current controversy at Uncanny Magazine.
- Abigail Nussbaum shares some thoughts as Hugo voting opens.
- George R.R. Martin shares some more thoughts on the Hugos.
- David Gerrold weighs in on the Hugo debate yet again.
- At Bustle, Celia Darrough has a summary of the Hugo controversy.
- Rich Horton weighs in on the Hugo debate.
- Heroines of Fantasy also weighs in on the Hugo debate.
- Megan Leigh views the Hugo controversy as an example why literary awards in general are problematic.
- Jane Frank discusses the Hugo debate from the perspective of a non-winning former nominee in the artist category.
- Paul St. John Mackintosh compares the finalists of the Hugo and Locus Awards and draws some conclusions.
- Steve Davidson offers a satirical take on the Hugo and Locus Awards finalists.
- Steve Davidson discusses the usage of "No award" and also shares his thoughts on the Hugo voter packet.
- Juliette Wade who was initially on the so-called Sad Puppy Hugo slate reports about her withdrawal during the nomination phase.
- Juliette Wade's experience also gives rise to a new word, "puppysplaining".
- Mary Robinette Kowal talks about manners, being reasonable and being angry.
- John Scalzi points out in response to Brad Torgersen that "gay" is not an insult and that he'd rather be gay than a sad puppy.
- Myke Cole posts an open letter to Brad Torgersen.
- Dave O'Neill has some statistics about Hugo nominations.
- Rachel Acks attempts to explain why only so few of the eligible Worldcon members nominate for the Hugo Awards.
- Jason Sanford and John Scalzi refute John Ringo's assertion that all SFF publishers except for Baen are losing sales and readers due to publishing too many books with social justice themes.
- Alexandra Erin attempts to analyse the mindset behind this year's Hugo controversy.
- Alexandra Erin also attempts to analyse how people judge books.
- Finally, Alexandra Erin also tracks some changes in the Sad Puppy stance.
- Jaye Em Edgecliff points up some inconsistencies in the Sad Puppy campaign.
- Noli Irritare Leones discusses politics in SFF and when they become "boring message fiction".
- Font Folly discusses how he feels that the Hugo debate is also intended to remove LGBT people from the SFF genre.
- Anna Kashina has some suggestions about how to save the Hugos.
- Laura J. Mixon, nominee for the best fanwriter Hugo, talks about her nomination and the criticisms thereof.
- Vonda McIntyre and Voss Foster offer to walk with and support those afraid of attending Worldcon this year.
- Kevin Standalee shares the schedule for the 2015 WSFS business meeting.
Discussion about Avengers: Age of Ultron:
- Alex Abad Santos shares his experiences of a 29-hour marathon of all Marvel Cinematic Universe movies to date.
- David Christopher Bell points out that the Marvel Cinematic Universe seems to be a pretty awful place, based on the movies.
- Joss Whedon and Kevin Feige explains why superhero movies are not ruining Hollywood.
- At The Dissolve, Kate Erbland explains why Avengers: Age of Ultron is a response to DC's Man of Steel movie.
- Adam B. Wary discusses Hawkeye's big secret in Age of Ultron.
- Entertainment Weekly tackles the Black Widow conundrum.
- Meredith Woerner and Katherine Trendacosta discuss the problematic portrayal of Black Widow in Age of Ultron.
- Krystal Clark and Tara Bennett explain how Age of Ultron dropped the ball regarding Black Widow.
- Rachel Acks explains why Age of Ultron has made Black Widow her favourite Avenger.
- Sarah Doran explains why superheroines don't need to be sexualised.
- Feministing discusses a controversial line in Age of Ultron.
- Leah Schnelbach explains why Joss Whedon seems to have issues with female sexuality, using Black Widow as an example.
- Jacob Hall explains why Age of Ultron is the ultimate Joss Whedon movie.
- Stephanie Zacharek explains why she still prefers Buffy to the Avengers with regard to Joss Whedon's oevre.
- Salon explains the dream sequences in Age of Ultron.
- Comicbook.com explains the Age of Ultron easter eggs.
- Access Hollywood explains the Age of Ultron mid credits scene.
- Andrew O'Hehir wonders whether Age of Ultron means that superhero movies have reached a cultural plateau.
- Todd VanDerWerff considers Age of Ultron the most thoughtful movie Marvel ever made.
- Devin Faraci discusses how legacies and consequences are the true themes of Age of Ultron.
- Carol Pinchefsky explains why Tony Stark is the real villain in Age of Ultron.
- Elena Linville talks about the importance of laughter in dire situations, taking Avengers: Age of Ultron as an example.
- Daniel Giudice explains how Ultron could have been more menacing.
- Ryan Lambie discusses Ultron and the meaning of artificial intelligence in modern science fiction movies.
- Discover Magazine uses Age of Ultron as an incentive to discuss the potential dangers of artificial intelligence.
- Innovators Peak also decides to discuss the dangers of artificial intelligence based on Age of Ultron.
- The Globe and Mail wonders why artificial intelligence is the new supervillain in science fiction movies.
- Charles Flemming is very impressed by the electric Harley-Davidson motorbike Black Widow rides in Age of Ultron.
Writing, publishing and promotion:
- Chuck Wendig shares some points as well as a blueprint for what makes a pretty good story.
- Andrew Warwick explains why he writes short fiction.
- Louis Shalako discusses the internal logic of a series.
- Michael Patrick Hicks shares what he learned writing Emergence.
- Kelly Robson explains why she wrote a rape scene.
- Anthony Vicino points out why ratings and reviews don't really matter anymore.
- David Neth discusses using videos for promotion.
- Alexis Radcliff has an idea for how to make searching for fantasy books easier.
- Fausga Designs explains why Facebook pages can never take the place of an author website.
- Pamela Kay Noble Brown shares some tax tips for writers.
- Pamela Kay Noble Brown also shares some Facebook tips for writers.
- Ted Cross interviews Harriet Goodchild.
- Rob H. Bedford interviews Aidan Moher.
- The Qwillery interviews Joanne Harris.
- SFFWorld interviews C.D. Verhoff.
- Maureen Kincaid Speller reviews The Apollo Quartet by Ian Sales.
- James Davis Nicholl reviews Martian Quest by Leigh Brackett.
- Renay reviews The Expanse series by James S.A. Corey.
- Elena Linville reviews Johnny Shipwreck by Shane and Tristan Lindsay.
- Paul Levinson reviews episode 1.13 of Outlander.
- David Steffen is looking for backers for his Hugo Awards longlist anthology comprised of stories that were nominated by several Hugo voters and yet never made the shortlist.
- Writer Rachel Pollack has been diagnosed with lymphoma and could use some help.
- Danny Gorny reports about AFK Con 2015 in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
- Tobias Buckell reports on the Bocas Lit Fest 2015 in Trinidad.
Science and technology:
- The centre of our galaxy might be full of dying vampire stars.
- The New Horizons spaceprobe has broadcast images from Pluto's surface.
- Astronauts travelling to Mars will probably suffer significant brain damage on the way there.
- David Warmflash discusses artificial wombs.
Free online fiction:
- "It's about Ethics in Revolution" by Kameron Hurley in Terraform.
- "Looking for Miriam" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
- "The Two Weddings of Bronwyn Hyatt" by Alex Bledsoe at Tor.com
- "Sunrise at the Siege of Truth", part 50 of Musketeer Space by Tansy Rayner Roberts.
- Chapter 10 of The Pirate's Grand Plan by K.S. Augustin.
- Chapter 4 of "The Ballad of the Bad Lass", part 85 of The Descendants by Landon Porter.
Odds and ends: