And here is our weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web, this week with commentary on The Man from U.N.C.L.E movie, tributes to Yvonne Craig, a lot of posts about women writing science fiction as well as the latest twists of the endless Hugo debate.
Speculative fiction in general:
- Gail Carriger shares her ten favourite space operas.
- Kate Elliott recommends five SFF stories with intact family relationships.
- Joyce Chng shares her thoughts about the much maligned genre of urban fantasy.
- R.S. Belcher discusses the darker side of urban fantasy.
- Liz Lutgendorff attempts to read NPR's 100 'best" science fiction and fantasy novels and is appalled by the casual sexism and racism found in many of those novels.
- Judith Tarr responds to the frequent claim that there are no women writing science fiction.
- Andrew Liptak remembers early female science fiction author Leslie F. Stone.
- Leah Schnelbach shares her appreciation for Diana Wynne-Jones.
- Ashley Mullins shares her appreciation for the fiction of Charlie Jane Anders.
- Tansy Rayner Roberts shares her appreciation for The Screwfly Solution by Raccoona Sheldon a.k.a. James Tiptree Jr. a.k.a. Alice B. Sheldon.
- Linda Stupart and Tom Dillon take a look at some feminist SF utopias.
- Nicola Griffith offers a gender breakdown of the authors and protagonists of Hugo Award winning novels.
- Mark Soderstrom points out that speculative fiction is an increasingly vocal critic of neoliberalism.
- Greg Hickey wonders about the popularity of dystopias.
- Michael Berry points out that the ecological lessons of Dune were far ahead of their time.
- The G. shares his appreciation for The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi.
- Steve Davidson remembers Eric Frank Russell.
- David Roberts shares his appreciation for the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander.
- Dotar Sojat discusses the importance of romance in the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
- Gaie Sebold talks about food in fantasy fiction.
- Laura Liddell Nolen explains why Superman remains relevant in the postmodern era.
- James H. Burns shares his appreciation for actress Julie Newmar.
- Actress Yvonne Craig, best known for playing Batgirl in the 1960s Batman TV series, has died aged 78.
- Gail Simone remembers Yvonne Craig.
- Peter Watts does not like the TV show Humans.
Remarks on The Man from U.N.C.L.E.:
- Derek Austin Johnson reviews The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
- Zohar Lazar explains why he prefers quirky period spy films like The Man from U.N.C.L.E to modern action espionage films like the Jason Bourne series or the Daniel Craig James Bond films.
- Katherine Trendacosta explains why the original Man from U.N.C.L.E TV show is still indispensable viewing.
Awards and Hugo debate:
- The winners of the 2015 eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards have been announced.
- The winners of the 2015 Sidewise Awards have been announced.
- The winner of the 2015 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award has been announced.
- The finalists for the 2015 Parsec Awards have been announced.
- The nominees for the 2015 Ignatz Awards have been announced.
- The nominees for the 2015 Munsey Awards have been announced.
- Miles Schneiderman offers a summary of the Hugo conflict.
- Carrie Sessarego explains why she cares about the Sad Puppy Hugo mess.
- Charlie Jane Anders explains how the Hugo Award saboteurs disproved their own main argument.
- Kelly Robson claims that the cause of the Hugo controversy is competing narratives.
- Shaun Duke responds to Brad Torgersen's latest outburst.
- Rachael Acks also responds to Brad Torgersen in somewhat stronger words.
- DisappearinJon also responds to Brad Torgersen.
- Brad Torgersen responds to the responses.
- Paul Weimer points out that all fiction is message fiction.
- George R.R. Martin points out that the results for the Campbell Award, traditionally announced first in the evening, may function as a compass regarding which way Hugo voting is likely to go.
- George R.R. Martin also handicaps the Hugos in a two part post.
- Jess Nevins continues his exploration of a potential Victorian Hugo Award with 1894.
Writing, publishing and promotion:
- Nancy Kress discusses inspiration and where stories come from.
- Kate Elliott talks about her inspirations and influences.
- Delilah S. Dawson talks about ideas and what to write next.
- Kelly Robson advises writers not to take the safe route.
- Amal El-Mohtar offers some advice for writers attempting to represent marginalised people in their works.
- Tom Doyle talks about the problems of writing a virgin hero.
- Mobi Wan Kenobi attempts to distill a formula for fantasy novels by dissecting The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.
- A.G. Wyatt shares some tips for writing good dialogue.
- Charlie Jane Anders explains what to do about placeholders, which somehow manage to become permanent.
- Zen Cho talks about revision.
- Barbara Baig explains why adverbs have their place.
- Hank Garner interviews Hugh Howey.
- Kristi Charish interviews Carrie Vaughn.
- Mihir Wachoo interviews Rachel Aaron.
- Charles Payseur interviews Ian Sales.
- Anthony Vicino interviews Michael Patrick Hicks.
- Rachel DiMaggio interviews Joyce Chng.
- John de Nardo interviews Andy Weir.
- Aaron Pound reviews The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison and Skin Game by Jim Butcher.
- Elizabeth Hand reviews Sisters of the Revolution, edited by Jeff and Ann Vandermeer.
- Paul Weimer reviews Court of Fives by Kate Elliott.
- Paul Weimer also reviews Zero World by Jason M. Hough.
- Paul Weimer also reviews The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard.
- Michael Patrick Hicks reviews The Dover Demon by Hunter Shea.
- The 2016 Young Explorers Adventure Guide, a science fiction anthology for middle grade readers, is looking for funding.
- A bunch of people planning to build a full-scale functioning replica of Minas Tirith from Lord of the Rings are looking for funding.
- The comic book series The Immortal by Daryl Knickrehm is looking for backers.
- James Heflin shares his experiences at Readercon in Burlington, Massachusetts.
- James Bacon compares his experiences at Readercon and San Diego Comic-Con.
- Madeline Ashby shares her Guest of Honor speech held at Swecon 2015 in Linköping, Sweden.
- Chris M. Barkley shares a Sasquan pre-convention report.
- Rachel Acks liveblogs the first Sasquan business meeting.
- Tiny Tickle remembers the very first science fiction convention which took place in Leeds in the UK in 1937.
Science and technology:
- A Canadian company has filed a patent for a space elevator.
- War in space may be closer than ever.
- NASA is planning to use inflatable doughnut-shaped spacecraft to land big payloads on Mars.
- You can vote to name exo-planets.
Free online fiction:
- "Catcall" by Delilah S. Dawson in Uncanny Magazine.
- "Given the Advantage of the Blade" by Genevieve Valentine in Lightspeed.
- "Adult Children of Alien Beings" by Dennis Danvers at Tor.com.
- "Saltwater Railroad, Part 1" by Andrea Hairston in Lightspeed.
- Part 5 of Oasis by Floyd Looney.
- Chapter 3 of "Tome of Battle", part 88 of The Descendants by Landon Porter.
Odds and ends: