And here is our weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web, this week with reactions to the Doctor Who season premiere, the latest incarnation of The Muppets Show and the TV version of Minority Report as well as a lot of discussion of evil empires and dystopias.
Speculative fiction in general:
- Aliette de Bodard talks about colonialism, evil empires and oppressive systems in SFF and history.
- Natalie Zutter explains how the evil empires of Ann Leckie's Imperial Radsch trilogy and Seth Dickinson's novel The Traitor Baru Cormorant use conditioning and force to create ideal model citizens.
- Seth Dickinson talks about building a better evil overlord.
- George Dvorsky wonders whether Brave New World is no longer the frightening dystopia it used to be.
- James Dacre wonders whether we are already living in the dystopian future of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.
- Margaret Atwood wonders whether we are double-plus unfree.
- Joseph Cain tackles some of the complaints about alleged "forced" diversity and why they're wrong.
- The contributors of the SF Signal Mind Meld share translated books that they love.
- Ann Gimpel talks about worldbuilding in urban fantasy.
- Ian McDonald explains why the rookie character is a great worldbuilding tool.
- Rebecca Alexander talks about the role of science in fantasy writing.
- Matt Mitrovich discusses the difficult relationship between Steampunk and alternate history.
- Theresa DeLucci offers a weird west primer.
- Emily Asher-Perrin talks about journeys in SFF.
- John Scalzi explains how and when he became a fan.
- The G. asks what's next for John Scalzi's Old Man's War universe.
- Brian Merchant profiles Joe Haldeman.
- Christie Meierz shares her appreciation for C.J. Cherryh's Foreigner series.
- Jeff Somers shares his appreciation for the Guardians of the Flame series by Joel Rosenberg.
- Leah Schnelbach points out that H.G. Wells invented not just several subgenres of science fiction, but also roleplaying games.
- Ashley Blackwell takes a look at the origins of the trope that black characters die first in SFF and horror films.
- In China, people have gone to prison for alien, zombie and monster social media hoaxes.
Comments on Doctor Who:
- Dan Martin reviews "The Magician's Apprentice", episode 1 of series 9 of Doctor Who.
- Robert Lloyd also reviews "The Magician's Apprentice".
- Emily Asher-Perrin also reviews "The Magician's Apprentice".
- Simon Brew wonders whether Doctor Who is no longer event television.
Comments on The Muppets:
- Mike Ayers wonders whether the new Muppets Show is too dark.
- Charlie Jane Anders wonders how the hell anybody could screw up The Muppets so badly.
- Stuart Heritage believes that The Muppets reboot may leave fans heartbroken.
Comments on Minority Report:
- Josh Bell reviews the TV version of Minority Report.
- Ryan Britt also reviews Minority Report.
- Alyssa Rosenberg explains how the Philip K. Dick inspired shows Minority Report and The Man in the High Castle build worlds.
- Mick Joest says that viewers shouldn't bother with Minority Report or any SFF show on the Fox network, because the network will only cancel it anyway.
- The winners have the 2015 Emmy Awards have been announced and Game of Thrones won a record-breaking 12 Emmys, including "Best drama series".
- The winners of the 2015 Ignatz Awards have also been announced and they're all women.
- The winners of the 2015 Dwarf Star Awards have been announced.
- The winners of the 2015 Elgin Awards have been announced.
- The finalists of the 2015 Canopus Award have been announced.
- Vivienne Raper wonders if the Hugos have a short fiction problem.
Writing, publishing and promotion:
- N.P. Martin wonders whether there is any value in writing down one's ideas.
- Elena Linville advises authors to let their ideas rest.
- Elena Linville also rants about authors who don't read.
- C.E. Murphy shares some tips for getting back into the writing groove after taking some time off.
- Yoon Ha Lee shares her method for outlining a novel.
- John Scalzi attempts to answer the question how many books you should write in a year.
- John Scalzi also discusses e-book sales and author incomes.
- Aliette de Bodard talks about deadlines, layered writing and breathing space.
- Kameron Hurley shares some cold publishing equations.
- Kameron Hurley also tells writers that their work matters.
- Kristine Kathryn Rusch talks about overwhelmed writers.
- Jennifer Brozek explains how to ask for a blurb.
- Harry Manners talks about supercharging your book reviews.
- Kristi Charish shares some tips for dealing with negative reviews.
- Adam-Troy Castro shares the longterm benefits for writers of not being a jerk.
- Scott Timberg interviews Ursula K. Le Guin.
- Angela Slatter interviews Kim Newman and Lisa Tuttle.
- The Qwillery interviews Seth Dickinson.
- Marianne de Pierres interviews Jason Hough.
- Vanessa Rose Phin interviews Chelsea Quinn Yarbro.
- Paul Weimer interviews Ilana C. Myer.
- A.M. Dellamonica interviews Maria Alexander.
- David Barr Kirtley interviews Ken Liu.
- Horror After Dark interviews William Meikle.
- John DeNardo interviews Nancy Kilpatrick and Caro Soles.
- Nathan Hall interviews Lesley Conner.
- Hal Bichel interviews T.A. Wardrope.
- Ron Charles reviews The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood.
- Zhaoyun reviews season 1 of Yesterday's Gone by Sean Platt and David Wright.
- Paul Weimer reviews Last Song Before Night by Ilana C. Myer.
- C. Lee Brant reviews Binti by Nnedi Okorafor.
- Angela Blackwell also reviews Binti by Nnedi Okorafor.
- Mahvesh Murad also reviews Binti by Nnedi Okorafor.
- Just a Guy That Likes to Read reviews Aurora: Eden by Amanda Bridgeman.
- My Empty Nest reviews The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard.
- Gautam Bathia reviews Hard To Be a God by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.
- Michael Patrick Hicks reviews Brother by Ania Ahlborn.
- Niall Alexander reviews Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald.
- John Scalzi reviews Neil Gaiman's biography about Duran Duran.
- The SEA Is Ours, an anthology of Southeast Asian Steampunk edited by Joyce Chng and Jaymee Goh, is looking for funding.
- The European Comics Journal is looking for backers.
- The graphic novel All My Ghosts by Jeremy Massie is looking for funding.
- Focus Shift, a science fiction comic by Lee Milewski, is loooking for funding.
- Let Go, a science fiction graphic novel by Jonathan Perry, is looking for funding.
- The English language edition of Keepers of the Moon and Sun, a graphic novels by Bulgarian artist/writer Rafailla Raikova, is looking for funding.
- Bookseller Larry Smith needs some help to recover from an accident on the way home from Dragon Con.
- Jamison Stone is running a book sale to support military families.
- Ana Grilo shares her experiences at the Reykjavik Literary Festival in Iceland.
- Jef Rouner reports about some problems with the Anime Maturi convention in Houston, Texas.
- Jonathan Lee reports about an panel of the SFWA Southeast Reading Series in Durham, North Carolina.
- Lou Anders discusses his experience at various school visits in Texas.
- Salt Lake City Comic Con is involved in a trademark dispute.
- Lyndy Nickerson has some ideas about how to tackle the issue of harrassment at conventions.
Science and technology:
- NASA has released Mars Trek, a Google Earth like app for Mars.
- A French 3D printing company has a proposal for 3D printed Mars habitats.
- Do the mega-rich merely invest in spacecraft, because they want to escape the planet they polluted?
- The US Marine Corps tests Google's new robot dog.
- Is the Automat of the early 20th century the future of fast food?
Free online fiction:
- "Chrysalis" by Becky Chambers at Pornokitsch.
- "Killing Time" by Jennifer Moore at Pornokitsch.
- "Everything Old" by Andrew Wilmot at The Singularity.
- "Child, Funeral, Thief, Death" by Tade Thompson in Apex Magazine.
- "Werewolf Loves Mermaid" by Heather Lindsley in Lightspeed.
- "Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World" by Caroline M. Yoachim in Lightspeed.
- "Kingmaker" by Lindsay Smith at Tor.com.
- "Spark" by Rabia Gale.
- "Pair Production" by Jeff Tanyard.
- Prologue, chapter 1 and chapter 2 of Second Front by Floyd Looney.
- Chapter 2 of "All That Glitters", part 89 of The Descendants by Landon Porter.
Odds and ends: