And here is our weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web, this week with a discussion of cozy fantasy, lots of con reports as well as reactions to Ridley Scott's The Martian and Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak.
Speculative fiction in general:
- Violette Malan talks about cozy fantasy.
- Rachel Neumeier responds to Violette Malan.
- Angela Slatter talks about worldbuilding in fairytales.
- Corinna Duyvis talks about diversity, truth and lies in speculative fiction.
- Gabrielle Bellot discusses casual othering in fantasy literature.
- Corrina Lawson shares 20 novels that offer a perfect blend of science fiction and romance.
- Damien Walter discusses SF novels set on Mars.
- Lela E. Buis wonders if hard science fiction is in danger of extinction.
- Fletcher Vredenburgh shares his appreciation for The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks.
- Andrew Liptak shares his appreciation of horror writer William Sloane.
- Jessica Mason reappreciates Xena: Warrior Princess for the show's 20th anniversary.
- Owlmoose points out that Skye/Daisy is the central character in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Joseph Baxter discusses Gotham's Joker twist.
- Alex Weiss explains why libraries are excellent hideouts in case of the zombie apocalypse.
- Alyssa Klein reports about the Nigerian superhero comics start-up Comic Republic.
- Godzilla will team up with King Kong in a new film trilogy.
- The winners of the 2015 Golden Blaster Awards have been announced.
- Ursula Vernon has won the 2015 WSFA Small Press Award for her story "Jackalope Wives".
- John Williams will receive an AFI Lifetime Achievement Award.
- The 2015 Faned winners have been announced.
- The nominations for the 2015 Cybils Awards are open.
- The nominees for the 2015 Geekie Awards have been announced.
- Greg Hullender analyses which magazines published Hugo nominated short fiction in the past fifteen years.
Comments about Crimson Peak:
- Amy Nicholson feels that Crimson Peak is a faithful homage to the often silly genre of gothic melodrama.
- Scott Collura believes that Crimson Peak puts a modern spin on the old gothic horror genre.
- Richard Lawson is somewhat disappointed by Crimson Peak, but singles out Jessica Chastain's performance for praise.
- Scott Mendelson find Crimson Peak so disappointing, it's scary.
Comments about The Martian:
- David Sims believes that The Martian and other movies set on Mars are basically space westerns.
- Paul Asay puts a religious spin on The Martian.
- Kim Newman shares his thoughts on The Martian.
- Natalie Fisher shares five awesome moments in the novel that the film adaptation of The Martian missed.
- Apparently it needs to be said that The Martian is not based on a true story.
Writing, publishing and promotion:
- Rachel Aaron a.k.a. Rachel Bach shares some tips for becoming a better writer.
- K.M. Carroll discusses how she writes.
- Howard Andrew Jones talks about inspiration.
- Mac Rogers shares some tips for writing SF for the stage.
- Alexis Ratcliff discusses how watching TV can make you a better writer.
- Kameron Hurley talks about writing distinctive characters.
- Brenda W. Clough talks about character names in science fiction and fantasy.
- Ferrett Steinmetz explains how to write an overweight character.
- Jennifer Brozek talks about portraying mental illness in fiction.
- Joyce Chng talks about the problems facing writers who are also mothers.
- Rochita Loenen-Ruiz talks about writing as art.
- Elena Linville explains why she loves NaNoWriMo.
- Chris Meadows wonders whether there is an e-book generation gap.
- Tommy Walker discusses social media marketing strategies.
- Steve Vernon shares some tips for promoting a Kindle freebie.
- Nathan Barnhart reviews Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie.
- Mieneke van der Salm reviews Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie.
- Anthony Vicino reviews The Red and The Trials by Linda Nagata.
- Paul Weimer reviews Against a Brightening Sky by Jaime Lee Moyer.
- Paul Weimer also reviews Silver on the Road by Laura Anne Gilman.
- Jason Sheehan also reviews Silver on the Road by Laura Anne Gilman.
- Rick Kleffel reviews The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood.
- Bookworm Blues also reviews The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood.
- Bookworm Blues also reviews The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson.
- Linda Nagata reviews The Flicker Man by Ted Kosmatka.
- Lela E. Buis reviews Off World by Jonah Bergen.
- Angela Blackwell reviews Of Sorrow and Such by Angela Slatter.
- Ricky L. Brown reviews The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss.
- Andrea Johnson reviews Binti by Nnedi Okorafor.
- Andrea Johnson also reviews The Annihilation Score by Charles Stross.
- Kristin Centorcelli reviews Led Astray: The Best of Kelley Armstrong.
- James Nicholl reviews The Best of Margaret St. Clair.
- Paul Levinson reviews "The Walking Herd", episode 6.1 of The Walking Dead.
- R.J. Carter interviews Harlan Ellison (video link).
- Joel Cunningham interviews Ann Leckie.
- Frannie Jackson interviews Jim Butcher.
- Mark Aplin interviews Zen Cho.
- Raymond Bolton interviews Nancy Kress.
- Bill Capossere and Terry Weyna interview Kameron Hurley.
- The Qwillery interviews Minerva Zimmermann.
- The Qwillery also interviews Rajan Khanna.
- The Civilian Reader interviews M.C. Plank.
- Tracee Gleichner interviews Sarah Remy.
- A.C. Wise interviews Carlie St. George.
- Jen Winters interviews Patricia Rose.
- Kyra Halland interviews Annie B. Matthews.
- Unlikely Story interviews Nicolette Barischoff.
- Sarah Olsen interviews David Barnett.
- The Phantom of the Earth series by Raeden Zen is looking for funding.
- Ghosts of War, a science fiction novel by Paul Robinson, is looking for funding.
- Science fiction writer R.P. Bird has cancer and needs some financial help.
- Toriko, the dog of indie writer Judy Goodwin, needs radiation therapy, which is quite expensive.
- Mark W. Tiedemann shares his experiences at Archon in Collinsville, Illinois.
- Rachel Neumeier also shares her experiences at Archon.
- C.E. Murphy shares her experiences at Octocon 2015 in Dublin, Ireland.
- John Scalzi shares his experiences at Nerdcon: Stories in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- Aaron Pound discusses his experiences at CapClave in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
- Lou Anders shares his experiences at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Tennessee.
- Rob H. Bedford shares his experiences at New York Comic-Con.
- Colin Archdeacon shares some cosplay footage from New York Comic-Con.
- John De Nardo shares some cosplay footage from Comic Con Russia.
Science and technology:
- Astronomers have spotted a strange mess of objects swirling around a distant star.
- Charles Stross worries whether orbital debris and other spce junk will eventually cut humanity off from orbit.
- Should humans land on Phobos before landing on Mars?
- Will you ever be able to upload your brain?
- The legal and ethical issues of assaulting robots.
Free online fiction:
- "Geometries of Belonging" by Rose Lemberg in Beyond Ceaseless Skies.
- "Glaciers Made You" by Gabby Reed in Strange Horizons.
- "Charaid Dreams" by Rati Mehrotra in Sub-Saharan Magazine.
- "Variations on an Apple" by Yoon Ha Lee at Tor.com
- "Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers" by Alyssa Wong in Nightmare Magazine.
- "Asymmetrical Warfare" by S.L. Algernon in Nature.
- "Standing Up for Grace" by Kristine Grayson.
- "Gray Tigers" by Floyd Looney.
- Chapter 10 of Second Front by Floyd Looney.
- Chapter 5 of "All that Glitters", part 89 of The Descendants by Landon Porter.
Odds and ends:
- Watch a trailer for the BBC's new Sherlock special.
- Watch a trailer for the new Gamera film.
- Watch a trailer for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
- Watch a trailer for Hail Caesar.
- Watch a trailer for The Good Dinosaur.
- Watch a trailer for The Shannara Chronicles.
- Take a tour of Guillermo del Toro's awesome house.