And here is our weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web, this time with yet more Hugo debate and way too many genre deaths.
Speculative fiction in general:
- Mark Sumner discusses fantasy, science fiction and the future of democracy.
- James Wallace Harris shares the most useful concepts he has learned from science fiction.
- Shaun Duke wondered whatever happened to short science fiction novels.
- Nerds of a Feather host a roundtable on Cyberpunk and the state of science fiction.
- Paul Levinson discusses the appeal of time travel.
- Book Riot discusses Chinese science fiction and reading internationally.
- Kyra Halland shares five fantasy novels that influenced her.
- Knit Me a Pony shares things they learned from Sir Terry Pratchett.
- Katherine Harbour talks about the gothic.
- Kristine Kathryn Rusch explains how changes in bookselling and distribution caused many genre classic to fall out of print and public awareness.
- AJ Steiger wonders why YA science fiction is a dark mirror reflecting our real lives.
- Club Jade share their appreciation for Mara Jade from the Expanded Universe Star Wars novels.
- Tim Stanley reappreciates Blake's Seven.
- Brett Buchanan discusses how Star Trek and Stargate paved the way for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Paul Weimer talks about Mad Max: Fury Road and the Apocalypse World RPG.
- Jason Koebler wonders what Mad Max, Ex Machina and Tomorrowland can tell us about society.
- Christopher Shultz discusses Ex Machina and the reinvention of the femme fatale.
- Sheri Linden reappreciates Total Recall and the other SFF movies of Paul Verhoeven.
- Josh Friedman wonders whether The Matrix ruined science fiction cinema, while Scott Beggs disagrees.
- Is Game of Thrones all about climate change?
- Sir Christopher Lee died aged 93.
- Bill Warren shares his appreciation for the late Sir Christopher Lee.
- German science fiction writer and editor Wolfgang Jeschke died aged 78. The link goes to a German obituary, because there is nothing in English yet.
- The winners of the 2014 Nebula Awards have been announced.
- The longlist for the 2015 Sunburst Awards has been announced.
- The winners of the 2014 AnLab and Asimov's Awards for the best works published in Asimov's or Analog have been announced.
- Baen Books is holding a contest to select the best military science fiction story of 2014. Voting is here.
- Nick Mamatas finds some surprising similarities between the Sad Puppies and Marxists.
- The Boston Progressive is tackling the accusation that WorldCon is making it difficult to find out how to vote for the Hugos and finds that it is unjustified.
- Jim C. Hines has assembled some statements from puppies in their own words.
- The Hugo debate has also led to a controversy about statements made by employees of Tor.
- Gavia Baker-Whitelaw has a summary of the Tor controversy and the reactions.
- Chris Meadows also has a summary of the Tor controversy.
- Kameron Hurley, Matt Wallace, Jessica L. Price, Harry Connolly, Dara Korra'ti, Angela Highland and Chuck Wendig weigh in on the Tor controversy.
- Martin Wisse views the Tor controversy in the larger context of the US-specific culture wars.
Writing, publishing and promotion:
- Neil Gaiman shares his eight rules of writing.
- Robert Dahlen encourages writers to tell the stories only they can tell.
- Michael Trinidad implores people not to be lazy writers.
- Alyssa Wong points out that short fiction is not too short for diversity.
- Josh Powell discusses the transition from traditional to self-publishing.
- Michael Patrick Hicks reviews The Pearl Diver by S. Elliot Brandis.
- Lis Carey reviews The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin.
- Rhiannon Thomas reviews Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie.
- Floyd Looney reviews Crash Wagon by Jason Eric Pryor.
- Floyd Looney also reviews The Synchronicity War by Dietmar Arthur Wehr.
- Judy Goodwin reviews The Talisman by Stephen King.
- Martin Lewis reviews the nominees for the best short story Hugo.
- The New York Times interviews Stephen King.
- USA Today interviews Donna S. Frelick and Laurie A. Green.
- Neil Gaiman interviews Kazuo Ishiguro.
- Paul Weimer interviews Beth Cato.
- The 2015 Clarion Write-a-Thon in support of the Clarion workshop starts soon.
- Michael J. Sullivan is looking for funding for his latest Riyria novel The Death of Dulgath.
- Monsters!, an anthology about - well - monsters, is looking for funding.
- Space 1889: The Secret of Phobos, a Victorian set science fiction movie, is looking for backers.
- Indie writer Craig Hansen could use some help, following a stroke.
- Marcia Minsky, former president of the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society and convention organiser, is about to lose her house and needs some help.
Science and technology:
- Pluto's relationship with its largest moon Charon has thrown its four smaller moons into chaos.
- What is it like to fly through a nebula?
- We might create alien life in a lab before we find it in space.
- Will pets be robotic in 2015?
- New York City's new anti-flood measures were inspired by Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy.
- The history and enduring appeal of the food pill.
- Watch astronaut Samatha Cristoforetti prepare chicken and rice in space.
Free online fiction:
- "Walkdog" by Sofia Samatar
- "What the Monster Saw" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
- "The Brutal Arena" by Floyd Looney.
- "Expenses" by Iain Ryan.
- "The Waters of Versailles" by Kelly Robson at Tor.com.
- Chapter 1 and chapter 2 of Lonely Space by Floyd Looney.
- "Snows and Star Nuns, But Mostly Snow", part 55 of Musketeer Space by Tansy Rayner Roberts.
- Chapter 4 of "Those Not Forgotten", part 86 of The Descendants by Landon Porter.
Odds and ends:
- Watch a promo clip for the upcoming film adaptation of Andy Weir's The Martian.
- Watch a trailer for The Martian, directed by Ridley Scott.
- Watch a trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.
- Check out this map of UFO sightings in the US.