And here is our weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web, this week with discussion of The Martian and The Visit as well as a proposal for a new SFF award.
Speculative fiction in general:
- John DeNardo shares a quick history of serialized science fiction and fantasy.
- Michael Clune discusses five SFF books about imaginary religions.
- Violette Malan points out that speculative fiction has always been political.
- David Gerrold attempts to find the reason behind the conflicts currently erupting in the SFF world.
- Joshua Rothman is troubled by the anthology In the Shadow of the Towers: Speculative Fiction in a Post-9/11 World.
- Damien Walter talks about speculative fiction from beyond the US and UK.
- Aliette de Bodard, Zen Cho, Kate Elliott, Cindy Pon and Tade Thompson talk about culture and history in their fiction.
- Kameron Hurley talks about sacrifices and The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson.
- Seth Dickinson shares the truth about colonial empires in fiction and history.
- Locus profiles Daniel José Older.
- Justine Larbalastier discusses the history of the YA category and reminds us that YA is still intended for teens.
- Maria Ramos discusses the unaddressed issue in YA dystopian fiction.
- Mark Tapson explains why every child should read 1984 and Brave New World.
- Margaret Atwood shares her thoughts about Chocky by John Wyndham.
- James Davis Nicholl shares his thoughts about Downbelow Station by C.J. Cherryh.
- Jim Henley points out some things that conservative readers can enjoy about Ann Leckie's Imperial Radch trilogy.
- A man claims women can't write space opera. Women and men beg to disagree.
- Jonathan Jones has finally read Terry Pratchett and still isn't impressed.
- Matt Staggs shares his appreciation for Lord Dunsany.
- Mitchell Hogan explores the appeal of fantasy.
- Chris Lough wonders whether there is any room in epic fantasy for small stories.
- Foz Meadows shares her thoughts on fanfiction.
- Karin L. Kross explains how Mr. Robot reinvented Cyberpunk.
- Andrew Blair traces the complicated relationship of the Doctor and the Master in Doctor Who.
- Ryan Britt explains how Doctor Who has managed to remain fashionable for more than fifty years now.
- Sheryll Garratt profiles Andy Weir.
- John Schwartz claims that the upcoming film adaptation of Andy Weir's The Martian brings a nerd thriller into the mainstream.
- Paul Levinson talks about the return of 1950s style science fiction in the TV show Fringe.
- Gregory L. Reece takes a look at some of the science fiction novels which inspired the X-Men.
- Matthew Jackson is troubled by the fact that way too many directors of superhero movies neither seem to like nor understand superheroes.
- Gem Seddon explains what we know about the new Marvel series Jessica Jones so far.
- News of Terry Gilliam's death were thankfully exaggerated.
- The shortlist for the 2015 Booker Prize has been announced.
- The winners of the 2015 Forry Award have been announced.
- The winners of the 2014 Urania Mondadori Awards have been announced.
- Jay Maynard has a proposal for a new science fiction award.
- The commenters at File770 have some thoughts about this.
- Keffy M. Kehrli responds to Jay Maynard's proposal.
- P.Z. Meyers also responds to Jay Maynard's proposal.
- Terry Karney also responds to Jay Maynard's proposal.
- John Scalzi disagrees quite strongly with Jay Maynard's proposal.
- John Scalzi also has an award proposal of his own.
- Catherynne Valente also has a proposal for a new SFF award.
Writing, publishing and promotion:
- Ann Leckie talks about what "the reader" wants and why you cannot please everybody.
- Charlie Jane Anders shares ten writing rules she wishes more SFF authors would break.
- Khalil Sullins shares seven screenwriting tips.
- Fran Wilde talks about deciding whose story to tell and what to focus on.
- Cecilia Tan shares the secret of writing multi-genre fiction.
- Elizabeth Spann Craig talks about fast and slow writers.
- Joe Konrath shares some advice for writers.
- Nadine Matheson responds to someone who declared they would never pay more than 99 pence for an indie-published e-book.
- Juliet McKenna talks about the VAT threshold paradox in the EU and why action is needed now.
- Choire Sicha interviews Ursula K. Le Guin.
- Maddie Crum also interviews Ursula K. Le Guin.
- David Barnett interviews Zen Cho.
- SF Signal interviews Douglas Lain.
- The Qwillery interviews Cindy Dees.
- The Sun Daily interviews Kushairi Zuradi.
- The Civilian Reader interviews Fran Wilde.
- Permuted Press interviews Jennifer Brozek.
- Rochita Loenen-Ruiz interviews Tade Thompson.
- Anthony Vicino interviews Cherie Priest.
- Sofia Samatar interviews Sarah McCarry.
- Angela Blackwell reviews Earth 2788, Earth and Fire and Earth Flight by Janet Edwards.
- Rachel's Book Reviews reviews Rider by Joyce Chng.
- Floyd Looney reviews Alder's World, Part 1 by Joel Stottlemire and Better World by Autumn Kalquist.
- John Seavey reviews Dopplegangsters by Laura Resnick.
- Michael Patrick Hicks reviews Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig.
- Bookworm Blues reviews The Veil by Chloe Neill.
- Timothy C. Ward reviews The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison.
- Rob Hunter reviews M. Night Shyamalan's new film The Visit.
- Mike McCahill also reviews The Visit.
- Scott Mendelson also reviews The Visit.
- Tim Robey reviews the film adaptation of The Martian.
- Richard Lawson also reviews The Martian.
- Patrick Rothfuss is raising money to help Syrian refugees.
- The Long List Anthology of Hugo nominated short fiction, edited by David Steffen, is looking for funding.
- Deirdre Kitcher is planning to make a movie based on Star of the Guardians by Margaret Weis and is looking for funding.
- The non-fiction book Understanding Jim Crow: Using Racist Memorabilia to Teach Tolerance and Promote Social Justice by David Pilgrim is looking for funding.
- Strange Horizons has launched its 2015 fund drive.
- Jonathan Kay reports about his experiences at Fan Expo Canada in Toronto.
- Lou Anders shares his experiences at Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Decatur Book Festival.
- Aaron Sagers shares some cosplay photos from Dragon Con.
- Dave Rowe looks back at the very first Eurocon in Trieste, Italy, in 1972.
Science and technology:
- Ten ways robots will change our lives forever.
- Is sex with robots ethical?
- A Spanish hospital has replaced part of a patient's ribcage with 3D-printed titanium bones.
- Take a look inside Crew Dragon, a SpaceX craft designed to carry humans to the International Space Station.
- NASA's Cassini spaceprobe has found a global ocean underneath the icy crust of the Saturn moon Enceladus.
- NASA wants to learn more about asteroids by shooting at them.
- See a sunset on Pluto.
- A magnetic wormhole was created for the first time.
- Where in the galaxy are all the aliens?
Free online fiction:
- "Please Undo This Hurt" by Seth Dickinson at Tor.com.
- "Sinners, Saints, Dragons, and Haints, in the City Beneath the Still Waters" by N.K. Jemisin in Uncanny Magazine.
- "Road to Torik" and "False Dragon of Torik" by Floyd Looney.
- "Cat Guts" by Catherine Russell.
- "Geeks Bearing Gifts" by Kristine Grayson.
- Chapter 1 of "All That Glitters", part 89 of The Descendants by Landon Porter.
Odds and ends: