And here is our weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web, this week with best SFF of 2015 lists, lots of Star Wars discussion, a debate about the continued relevance of Star Trek, rememberances of Leigh Brackett for her 100th birthday and comments on the streaming video show Jessica Jones.
Speculative fiction in general:
- Steve Davidson has some thoughts on how to create a top 100 list for science fiction.
- Charles Stross offers a list of science fiction tropes that annoy him.
- Eleanor Arnason talks about the dominance of white American pop culture and influences from elsewhere.
- Paul di Filippo takes a look at the overlooked science fiction of the late 1950s and early 1960s.
- Talk Star Wars To Me explains why we need geeky chick lit.
- Jean Johnson talks about combining science fiction and romance.
- Sarah Laskow chronicles the depiction of Mars and its inhabitants in science fiction.
- Sherwood Smith talks about Arthurian fiction.
- Katie Rogers that the question whether Gollum is good or evil might decide a trial for "insulting the president" in Turkey.
- Dejan Ognjanovic attempts to answer the question why H.P. Lovecraft is still relevant.
- John Parker shares his appreciation for Neil Gaiman's Sandman.
- Cindi May attempts to tackle the problem with female superheroes.
- Oren Ashkenazi shares five uses of real science in the TV show The Expanse.
- M.J. Moores explains why she believes that Star Trek won't make it to the twenty-third century.
- Matthew Buscemi responds to M.J. Moores.
- Marc Haefele shares his thoughts on The Man in the High Castle.
- Matthew Chernov remembers Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands on its 25th anniversary.
Best of 2015 lists:
- Tor.com readers share their favourite SFF books of 2015.
- Bookworm Blues shares its best SFF books of 2015 list.
- Adam Morgan shares his best SFF books of 2015.
- Adrian Ling shares her favourite SFF books of 2015.
- Stephanie Burgis shares her favourite fantasy novels from 2015.
- Jeff Somers shares seven unjustly overlooked 2015 SFF books.
- Michael R. Underwood shares five books that surprised him in 2015.
- A.C. Wise shares her favourite SFF short fiction of 2015.
Comments on Star Wars:
- Emily Asher-Perrin believes that the true reason why everybody loves The Empire Strikes Back is that Han rather than Luke is the hero of the film.
- Emily Asher-Perrin also shares her appreciation for Return of the Jedi.
- Darren Slade remembers how Star Wars charmed Britain on its first release.
- Pamela McClintock remembers that no theatre wanted to show Star Wars back in 1977.
- Michael J. Martinez continues his Star Wars rewatch with the original Star Wars a.k.a. A New Hope.
- Cora Buhlert reports on the Star Wars fever that seems to have gripped the world.
- Zachary Feinstein analyses the financial repercussions of the destruction of two Death Stars within a four year period for the galactic economy.
- Andrew Liptak remembers Alan Dean Foster's Star Wars novelisations.
- Damien Walter discusses the science fiction novels that inspired Star Wars.
- Josh Rottenberg interviews Star Wars and Indiana Jones screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan.
- Kyle Buchanan reveals that Captain Phasma, a new villain from The Force Awakens played by Gwendoline Christie, was originally intended to be played by a man.
- Benjamin Lee reports that legendary Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune turned down both the roles of Obi Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader.
- New York Magazine has posted a video of all the lines said by women not named Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy. It is not very long.
Comments on Jessica Jones:
- Liz Shannon Miller explains what makes Jessica Jones so important.
- Dan Van Winkle shares six things that bugged him about Jessica Jones.
- Maddy Myers attempts to analyse the fandom that has sprung up around Kilgrave, the mind-controlling villain of Jessica Jones.
- Liz Shannon Miller interviews Jessica Jones showrunner Melissa Rosenberg, stars Krysten Ritter and Carrie Ann Moss and screenwriter Jane Espenson.
Remembering Leigh Brackett on her 100th birthday:
- Tansy Rayner Roberts shares her appreciation for Leigh Brackett.
- Keith West remembers Leigh Brackett on the 100th anniversary of her birth.
- Keith West also shares his appreciation for "Lorelei of the Red Mists", the lone collaboration between Leigh Brackett and Ray Bradbury.
- Howard Andrew Jones and Bill Ward discuss Leigh Brackett's story "The Moon That Vanished".
- The nominees for the 43rd Annie Awards for animated films have been announced.
- The National Board of Review has named Mad Max: Fury Road the best film of 2015.
- Joe R. Lansdale is the winner of the 2015 Raymond Chandler Award.
- The 2016 Sunburst Awards have issues a call for submissions.
- The 2015 Hugo Awards controversy inspired a question on Jeopardy!
Writing, publishing and promotion:
- Melissa Gilbert talks about reading like a writer.
- Tobias Buckell offers twenty-eight tips for finding focus when writing.
- Kameron Hurley talks about writing, anxiety, burnout and taking care of yourself.
- Dean Wesley Smith offers an introduction to Heinlein's rules of writing.
- Max Florschutz explains that writers should always keep learning.
- Veronica Sicoe shares some tips and templates for organising your writing with Excel.
- Jeffrey Aaron Miller discusses the joy of chapter titles.
- Sonia Halbach shares some tips for writing historical fantasy.
- Adam Korenman talks about dramatising space battles in fiction and film.
- Alexander Gordon Smith explains how horror saved his life and why writing horror is good for the soul.
- David Messick explains how to use Lovecraftian horrors in your fiction.
- Susan Dennard talks about crafting an ending that sings.
- Lieu Pham shares twenty book covers that make an impact.
- Matthew Stott shares some awesome indie book covers.
- David Neth shares some tips on how to build your mailing list.
- The results of the 2015 Smashwords survey are in.
- Mercia McMahon comments on the UK edition of the Author Earnings report.
- Sandra Odell interviews Hugh Howey.
- Liz Bourke interviews S.L. Huang.
- Veronica Scott interviews Ruby Lionsdrake.
- E.P. Beaumont interviews Kate Elliott.
- John DeNardo interviews Holly Messinger.
- Tobias Carroll interviews Catherynne M. Valente.
- Liz Argall interviews Rachel Swirsky.
- Rachel Cordasco interviews Jaymee Goh and Joyce Chng.
- A.C. Wise interviews A.M. Dellamonica.
- Matthew Stott interviews Jenny Colgan.
- Andrew Liptak interviews Jeff VanderMeer.
- Andrea Johnson interviews Jonathan Strahan.
- Katharine Eliska Kimbriel interviews Kristine Smith.
- Mieneke van der Salm interviews J.M. Frey.
- Fantasy Fraction interviews Peter McLean.
- Kyra Halland interviews Linda Andrews.
- Bibliotropic reviews The Labyrinth of Flame by Courtney Schafer.
- Bookworm Blues reviews Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente.
- James Nicoll reviews Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson.
- Aidan Moher reviews Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey.
- Jason Heller reviews Your Brother's Blood by David Towsey.
- Michael Patrick Hicks reviews the audiobook version of The Acolyte by Nick Cutter.
- Justin Hickey reviews On the Origins of Superheroes by Chris Gavaler.
- Samsara, a science fiction graphic novel by Adam Dante and Shawn Daley, is looking for funding.
- Ann Totusek, long time science fiction fan and convention organiser, needs some help for herself and her family.
- Mike Chen offers a survival guide for baby's first con.
- Jeffrey Smith shares his experiences of the James Tiptree Jr. Symposium at the University of Oregon.
- Nirmala George reports about Delhi Comic Con in New Delhi, India.
- Kevin Standlee shares his experiences at SMOFCon 33 in Fort Worth, Texas, in a three part post. Part 2 and part 3 are here.
- The Walking Dead actor Norman Reedus was bitten by a disturbed fan at Walker Stalker Con in Secaucus, New Jersey.
- Mark L. Blackman reports about the New York Review of Science Fiction Readings series featuring Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman.
- Gail Carriger reports about a Steampunk tea party at Borderlands Books in San Francisco to raise funds for the Locua Foundation.
Science and technology:
- Space radiation is quietly stopping us from sending humans to Mars.
- NASA releases the highest resolution images ever taken of Pluto.
- New evidence suggests that Stonehenge was first erected in Wales.
- Fourteen futuristic skyscrapers for vertical cities.
Free online fiction:
- "Tomorrow When We See the Sun" by A. Merc Rustad in Lightspeed.
- "Monkey King, Faerie Queen" by Zen Co in Kaleidotrope.
- "The Log Goblin" by Brian Stavely at Tor.com.
- "Oral Argument" by Kim Stanley Robinson at Tor.com.
- "Bucket List Found in the Locker of Maddie Price, Age 14, Written Two Weeks Before the Great Uplifting of All Mankind" by Erica L. Satifka in Lightspeed.
- "The Time-Travelling Mystery-Solving Teens in... Murder on Dinosaur Island!" by Benjamin Blattberg in Pornokitsch.
- "Black Friday" by Patrick Tomlinson.
- "The New Tradition" by Matt Hill.
- "Following the Shimmer" by James A. Moore.
- "The Fight Before Christmas" by Megan O'Keefe.
- "A Buy Day Miracle" by Adam Rakunas.
- "Midnight Trains" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
- "Note From An Average Devil" by Floyd Looney.
- "Vamoose" by Floyd Looney.
- Chapter 3 of Vagabond Fleet by Floyd Looney.
- Chapter 2 of "Rock and Roll Lifestyle", part 91 of The Descendants by Landon Porter.
Odds and ends:
- Watch a trailer for The BFG.
- Watch a trailer for The Legend of Tarzan.
- Watch a trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2.
- Watch a teaser for season 6 of Game of Thrones.
- Watch a teaser for the revival of The X-Files.
- A recipe for spice-filled Sandworm bread inspired by Dune.
- The latest edition of xkcd explains why Isaac Asimov ordered the Three Laws of Robotics the way he did.