And here is our weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web, this week with commentary on the new Netflix TV series Sense8 as well as plenty of reports and trailers from San Diego ComicCon.
Speculative fiction in general:
- Andrew Milner tackles the persistent issue of how to define science fiction as well as speculative fiction and scientific romance.
- Shiloh Walker shares the roots of her love for science fiction.
- Rhonda Mason shares six must-read space operas.
- Karin L. Cross talks about sex in science fiction.
- Damien Walter talks about the weird western subgenre.
- C.T. Phipps attempts to explain the appeal of grimdark.
- muchbooks explains why the popularity of dystopian YA and YA fantasy has been eclipsed by realistic YA.
- Nina Allan tackles the problematic canon of science fiction and how it often erases women.
- Natalie Luhrs points out the problem of popular white male authors recommending and supporting only other white male authors.
- Justin Howe tells people to broaden their reading horizons and read something other than just white men once in a while.
- Sherelle Jacobs discusses the weird worlds of African science fiction.
- James Bridle also talks about African science fiction.
- N.K. Jemisin discusses the unfortunate implications of many post-apocalyptic stories.
- Nicolette Barischoff talks about the portrayal of disability in SFF.
- Jason Sanford analyses the impact of the Tor boycott proposed by some sad puppy activists and finds that it has none.
- Gregory Benford takes a look at Pluto as portrayed in science fiction.
- Paolo Bacigalupi explains how science fiction can make people care about climate change.
- Jim Kakalios talsk about the physics behind Ant-Man.
- The Radio Times takes a look at the science behind Doctor Who.
- William Shatner attempts to explain why Star Trek has become so popular.
- Tai Weiland takes a look at upcoming space opera TV shows.
- Lauren Davis praises the new TV show The Expanse.
- Fade Manley praises Sense8.
- Joshua Rothman calls Sense8 "sympathetic science fiction".
- Foz Meadows talks about the portrayal of sex in Sense8.
- Carinah Townes explains why the diverse cast of Sense8 may help to boost Netflix's audience among demographics other than straight white men.
- Athena Andreadis discusses the feral orphans and chosen families of Mad Max: Fury Road.
- The meaning of life according to Joss Whedon.
- The head of F.W. Murnau, director of the legendary silent vampire film Nosferatu, was stolen from his grave. A possible motive is occultism.
- A spokesperson of the Welsh government responded in Klingon to a question about UFO sightings in Wales.
- The nominees for the 2015 Endeavour Awards have been announced.
- The winners of the 2014 Shirley Jackson Awards have been announced.
- The winners of the Prometheus Award for libertarian science fiction have been announced.
Writing, publishing and promotion:
- Rebecca Roland explains why she writes female SFF lead characters.
- N.P. Martin talks about morally grey characters.
- Chris Winkle explains why social justice is intrinsic to storytelling.
- Elena Linville talks about writing what hurts.
- Charles Stross talks about the unglamourous reality of being a professional writer.
- Juliet E. McKenna discusses the many pitfalls of the online life of authors.
- James R. Wells talks about finding your community as a self-published author.
- Victoria Hooper reviews Of Noble Family by Mary Robinette Kowal.
- Paul Weimer reviews the Morgaine Cycle by C.J. Cherryh.
- Paul Weimer also reviews Time Salvager by Wesley Chu.
- Elena Linville reviews Rubberman's Cage by Joseph Picard.
- Floyd Looney reviews Archer of Venus by James Palmer.
- Robin Shantz reviews Where by Kit Reed.
- Justin Howe reviews A Day in Deep Freeze by Lisa Shapter.
- Percival Constantine reviews 5000 Words per Hour by Chris Fox.
- Bradford Bates reviews the movie Ex Machina.
- Dust!, a post-apocalyptic graphic novel from France by Pymm and Shiru Deku, is looking for funding.
- Apex Publications is running a book sale with all proceeds going to Michelle Scalise, the wife of author Tom Piccirilli who recently died of cancer.
- Tor.com offers a summary of almost everything that happened at San Diego ComicCon.
- Regan Morris interviews female fans at San Diego ComicCon.
- CNET has a gallery of cosplay photos from San Diego ComicCon.
- io9 also has a gallery of cosplay photos from San Diego ComicCon.
- Chuck Wendig shares his experiences at San Diego ComicCon.
- Actor Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Lex Luthor in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, outraged fans by comparing ComicCon to genocide.
- Crystal Huff talks about the campaign to bring WorldCon 2017 to Helsinki.
Science and technology:
- See photos the New Horizons probe took of Pluto and its moon Charon.
- New Horizons offers many new insights into the natures of Pluto and Charon.
- Pluto is geologically active, though it's unknown why.
- Dennis Overbye points out that we will soon be entering an era where no human being alive has been to the moon.
Free online fiction:
- "Kindred Souls" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
- "STS Classified" and "Gills" by Floyd Looney.
- "Aurora" by H. Lynn Keith.
- "The Bottle" by A.S. Warwick.
- "The Dusty Hat" by China Miéville at Salvage.
- "In the Cave of Delicate Singers" by Lucy Taylor at Tor.com
- "The Space Pirates of World War III" by P.W. Singer and August Cole at Terraform.
- "A Multiverse Love Story" by Jacob Drud at AE SciFi.
- "Judge, Jury and Executioner", Part 60 of Musketeer Space by Tansy Rayner Roberts.
- Chapter 4 of "Descendants... in Space", part 87 of The Descendants by Landon Porter.
Odds and ends:
- Watch a trailer for series 9 of Doctor Who.
- Watch a trailer for Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
- Watch a feature about the making of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
- Watch a trailer for Air.
- Watch a trailer for season 6 of The Walking Dead.
- Watch a trailer for Suicide Squad.
- Watch a trailer for Fantastic Four.
- Watch a trailer for The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
- Watch a trailer for the TV series Ash versus the Evil Dead.
- Watch a trailer for the TV series The Shannara Chronicles, based on the novels by Terry Brooks.
- Watch a trailer for the new TV series The Expanse (only works in the US apparently).
- Watch a trailer for a fictional 1950s adaptation of Marvel's The Avengers, featuring Diana Rigg as Black Widow.