And here is our weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web, this week with reactions to the latest incarnation of The Muppets Show and The Martian as well as discussion about superheroes and golden age science fiction.
Speculative fiction in general:
- Damien Walter points out that urban fantay is more than sex with were-leopards.
- Elizabeth Donald talks about the eroticism of the vampire.
- Samuel Sattin talks about monsters and how we process fear.
- Amal El-Mohtar discusses the differing queer responses to The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson.
- Stina Leicht talks about "message fiction" in science fiction and fantasy.
- S.L. Huang discusses the value of escapism.
- John H. Stevens attempts to define grimdark fantasy.
- Aidan Moher profiles Brandon Sanderson.
- Jenelle Riley profiles Guillermo del Toro.
- Sam McDonald celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan.
- Matt Staggs celebrates the twentieth anniversary of Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass.
- Mark Dery celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs.
- Andrew Liptak discusses the transformation of Astounding Science Fiction into Analog in the 1960s.
- Jamie Todd Rubin discusses Astounding Science Fiction's offerings in 1940.
- Chuck Wendig discusses the issue of canon in pop culture.
- Jeet Heer wonders whether Ta-Nehisi Coates can fix the race problem of superhero comics.
- Kim O'Connor reports about Marvel's quest for more diversity in superhero comics.
- Michael Walsh explains why The Dark Knight sets his personal standard for superhero movies.
- Timothy C. Ward believes that Heroes Reborn had a strong debut.
- Mick Joest shares his appreciation for season 2 of Gotham.
- Charlie Jane Anders offers her take on the portrayal of the Daleks in recent Doctor Who episodes.
- Joe Sommerlad takes a look at some B-movie monsters in need of love.
- James H. Burns remembers actor Kerwin Matthews who appeared in several fantasy films in the 1950s and 1960s.
Comments on The Muppets:
- A. Lee Martinez shares his thoughts on The Muppets.
- Alex Pappademas thinks The Muppets gets everything wrong about the Muppets.
Comments on The Martian:
- Mick La Salle finds The Martian a bit too long and too sluggish in the middle.
- Joey Paur thinks The Martian is Ridley Scott's best film in the past ten years.
- Jeffrey Kluger shares his thoughts about The Martian.
- Jeffrey Kluger also explains what The Martian gets wrong and right about science.
- Laura Hautalla reports how Silicon Valley geeks out over The Martian.
- The winners of the 2014 Coyotl Awards have been announced.
- The winners of the 2015 Harvey Awards have been announced.
- The winners of the 2015 Copper Cylinder Awards have been announced.
- The winners of the Gernsback Writing Contest have been announced.
- Lynn E. O'Connacht breaks down Hugo nominees by country of origin.
- Lady Business discusses gender bias in SFF awards.
Writing, publishing and promotion:
- Cornelia Funke explains why she decided to self-publish her next novel.
- Mackenzie Brown explains how to get ahead in self-publishing.
- Alma Alexander talks about her writing process.
- A.J. Goode asks writers to respect themselves and their work.
- Garrett Calcaterra talks about storytelling and finding your own voice.
- Nancy Fulda discusses the importance of humor.
- Ilana C. Myer talks about the key to characters.
- Cheryl Morgan shares some advice for writing better trans characters.
- Neel V. Patel shares the 11 most common scenes in action movies.
- Ben Haas explains how to write a pulp western.
- Alter S. Reiss shares some tips for getting the archaeology right in SFF.
- Walter Jon Williams explains what writers can learn from The Beatles.
- Damien Walter attempts to answer the question why a space opera might not sell.
- Jamie Todd Rubin talks about his favourite word processor.
- Randi Lee explains how social media images can increase book sales.
- Adam Rowe reviews The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher.
- Paul Weimer reviews Dragon Heart by Cecilia Holland.
- Paul Di Filippo reviews The Promise of the Child by Tom Toner.
- Paul Di Filippo also reviews Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie.
- Alexandra Alter reviews The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood.
- Ross Johnson reviews Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald.
- Ryan Britt reviews Lightless by C.A. Higgins.
- Adam Morgan reviews Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson.
- Amal El-Mohtar reviews The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson.
- Paul Weimer also reviews The Traitor Baru Cormorant.
- Ana Grilo reviews Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho.
- Mahvesh Murad reviews The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard.
- Michael Patrick Hicks reviews the anthology Seize the Night: New Tales of Vampiric Terror.
- Gary Westfahl review the movie version of Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.
- David Paul Hellings reviews Zardoz.
- Hannah Onifade interviews Nnedi Okorafor.
- Deutsche Welle interviews Kazuo Ishiguro.
- Suvudu interviews Margaret Atwood.
- Ryerson Folio interviews Robert J. Sawyer.
- The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction interviews David Gerrold.
- Sean Hutchinson interviews Andy Weir.
- Kristin Centorcelli interviews Cherie Priest.
- Jennifer McCartney interviews Victorine E. Lieske.
- Sean M. Thompson interviews Nicole Cushing.
- The Qwillery interviews Teresa Frohock.
- Jenni Hill interviews Angus Watson.
- Heather Massey interviews Diane Dooley.
- Liz Bourke interviews Ruth Frances Long.
- Amy Brabenec interviews Leigh Bardugo.
- Alyx Dellamonica interviews Leah Bobet.
- Drive-In Creature Feature, an anthology ediated by Eugene Johnson and Charles Day, is looking for funding.
- The Dark Reaches, a horror anthology comic, is looking for funding.
- Purge: Past Unspoken, a graphic novel by Roosevelt Pitt Jr., is looking for backers.
- The graphic novel Fisk: The S.U.B.S.T.I.T.U.T.E is looking for funding.
- Chroma, a graphic novel by Marcus Perry, Bob Schulze and Michael Yakutis, is looking for funding.
- Zombie Coven, an illustrated horror novel by Tom Baxa, is looking for funding.
- The Functional Nerds podcast is looking for patrons.
- SpaceVR is looking for funding to attach a virtual reality camera to the International Space Station.
- The first turn-based BattleTech PC game in over a decade is looking for funding.
- Sean P. Means reports about Salt Lake City Comic Con.
- Kari Kenner also reports about Salt Lake City Comic Con.
- Daniel Feit shares the best cosplay photos from the Tokyo Game Show.
- John Hertz remembers Millennium Philcon, the 2001 World Science Fiction Convention in Philadelphia.
Science and technology:
- NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has found evidence of liquid water on Mars.
- The quantum teleportation record has been broken.
- Chinese science fiction writer Du Hong has her brain cryogenically frozen.
- Cory Doctorow shares his thoughts about the place of humans in the internet of things.
Free online fiction:
- "Everywhere Is Now" by Paul di Filippo.
- "The Pyramid of Krakow" by Michael Swanwick at Tor.com.
- "The Meat Clock" by Kieran Shea at iO9.
- "Forestspirit, Forestspirit" by Bogi Takacs in Clarkesworld.
- "Find Me" by Isabel Yap in Apex Magazine.
- "Sea Change" by Kimberly Unger in Galaxy's Edge.
- "Myrmidon" by Alexandra Erin.
- "Hullaboo on Cora" by Floyd Looney in Aurora Wolf.
- Chapter 4, chapter 5 and chapter 6 of Second Front by Floyd Looney.
- Chapter 3 of "All That Glitters", part 89 of The Descendants by Landon Porter.
Odds and ends: