Here is a special April Fools Day edition of our weekly round-up of interesting (and 100% joke free) links about speculative fiction from around the web, this week with Iron Fist, Life, Logan, Ghost in the Shell, Power Rangers, speculative fiction in translation, more whitewashing controversies and a whole lot of movie trailers as well as the usual mix of awards news, writing advice, interviews, reviews, awards news, con reports, crowdfunding projects, science articles and free online fiction.
Speculative fiction in general:
- The participants of the latest Mind Meld share the unlikable characters they love.
- James Nicoll shares twenty core space operas every SFF fan should have on their shelves.
- Charlie Jane Anders takes a look at the current space opera resurgence.
- John Scalzi shares five books that inspired The Collapsing Empire.
- Pat Doyle and Chris Weuve explain in great detail why Manticore won the war with the People's Republic of Haven in David Weber's Honor Harrington series.
- Librarian Shipwreck declares that it is not a good sign when real life emulates dystopian science fiction.
- Sunny Moraine talks about resistance through speculative fiction.
- Naomi Alderman discusses how feminist science fiction predicted the future.
- Rachel Cordasco talks about speculative fiction in translation.
- Julie Novakova shares an overview of Czech science fiction available in English.
- Debbie Urbanski talks about slow-paced genre realism.
- Chris Howard shares five SFF books about fictional drugs.
- Corrina Lawson discusses when it's okay to read a series out of order.
- Elise Ringo declares that Tolkien's Middle Earth is a world permanently on the edge.
- Jeff Somers shares seven science fiction books set in specific years.
- Tadiana Jones shares her appreciation for The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov.
- Walt Hickey explains why we seem to like stories about Mars.
- Daniel W. Drezner shares his appreciation for The Expanse.
- Camestros Felapton revisits the 1987 movie Running Man.
- Ross Johnson shares his appreciation for Seabury Quinn and his Jules de Grandin stories.
- Seanan McGuire declares that a good horror story hinges on sincerity.
- Wendy Syfret explains how horror became cinema's smartest genre.
- Cheryl Eddy shares ten banned and censored horror and SFF movies that became cult classics.
- Leah Schnelbach shares her appreciation for Nausicaä and the Valley of the Wind.
- Joel Cunningham shares his favourite images from Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples.
- Adam Rogers diagnoses a PR problem affecting Luc Besson's upcoming space opera epic Valerian and the City of the Thousand Stars.
- Linda Ge and Reid Nakamura report about another case of whitewashed casting in the proposed science fiction TV series Mission Control, based on a script by Andy Weir.
- Vanessa Thorpe profiles Scarlett Johansson as the queen of science fiction.
- Jeremy D. Goodwin reports that composer Toshi Reagon is adapting Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower into an opera.
- The Doctor's new companion Bill will be the first full-time gay companion (since Captain Jack Harkness was only in a few episodes) in the history of Doctor Who.
Comments on Iron Fist:
- Keith DeCandido calls Iron Fist an action hero without action or heroism.
- Katharine Trendacosta explains why casting an Asian-American actor as Danny Rand in Iron Fist would have made the character much more interesting.
- James Whitbrook declares that Colleen Wing is the true star of Iron Fist.
- Jamie Lovett reports that in spite of the negative criticisms, Iron Fist had the second biggest premiere of all Marvel shows on Netflix, beating both Daredevil and Jessica Jones.
Comments on Life:
- David Sims calls Life a fun and scary creature feature in space.
- Gary Westfahl calls Life a conventional and sometimes silly horror film that just happens to be set in space.
- Rae Paoletta explains why the alien from Life is so scary.
- Germain Lussier discusses the shocking ending of Life (with spoilers, obviously).
- Jonathan Hatfull interviews Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, writers of Life.
Comments on Ghost in the Shell:
- Mick LaSalle calls Ghost in the Shell a serious look at a future tech nightmare.
- Evan Narcisse, Katharine Trendacosta, Beth Elderkin and James Whitbrook discuss how Ghost in the Shell fumbles race and identity.
- Evan Narcisse calls Ghost in the Shell a beautiful, but ultimately empty adaptation of an anime classic.
- Valerie Complex calls Ghost in the Shell visually stunning, but boring.
- Manohla Dargis calls Ghost in the Shell a thrill-free science fiction thriller.
- Kevin Nguyen and Joshua Rivera call Ghost in the Shell an all around bad movie.
- On the other hand, Nicholas Barber thoroughly enjoyed Ghost in the Shell and prefers it to the anime original.
- Meanwhile, Alasdair Stuart explains why the original Ghost in the Shell remains a cyberpunk classic for the ages.
Comments on Logan:
- Liz Bourke talks about gender roles in Logan.
- Alexa Grave shares her thoughts on Logan.
- Steve Vernon shares his thoughts on Logan.
- Camestros Felapton and Timothy the Talking Cat share their thoughts on Logan.
Comments on Power Rangers:
- Scott Tobias calls Power Rangers "Transformers meets The Breakfast Club".
- The Geekiary calls Power Rangers a win for representation.
- The winners of the 2017 IAFA Awards have been announced.
- The finalists for the 2017 Prometheus Award have been announced.
- The nominees for the 2017 Tolkien Society Awards have been announced.
- The longlist for the 2017 Robert E. Howard Foundation Awards has been announced.
- The nominees for the 2017 Deutscher Science Fiction Preis have been announced.
- The longlist for the 2017 Deutscher Phantastik Preis has been announced.
- Mike Resnick has been named the recipient of the L. Ron Hubbard Lifetime Achievement Award.
Writing, publishing and promotion:
- Tripwire shares Ray Bradbury's twelve rules for writers.
- John Scalzi shares seven tips for writing a bestselling science fiction novel.
- Chuck Wendig shares some considerations for those who want to become professional writers.
- Chuck Wendig also discusses the caveats of work-for-hire novel gigs.
- James Van Pelt talks about marketing and publishing short stories.
- Aliette de Bodard talks about the inspirations for her fantasy world.
- Thomas Oppong implores all creatives to be so prolific that they cannot ignore you.
- Rachel Connor interviews Tim Powers.
- Christian A. Coleman interviews Nnedi Okorafor.
- Noah Berlatsky also interviews Nnedi Okorafor.
- Martin Cahill interviews Chuck Wendig.
- Shiri Sondheimer interviews Myke Cole.
- Lee Billings interviews Kim Stanley Robinson.
- Jake Swearingen also interviews Kim Stanley Robinson.
- Andrea Johnson interviews Lee Thompson.
- Michal Schick interviews Laini Taylor.
- Dianna L. Gunn interviews Shira Glassman.
- James Nicoll reviews The House of Binding Thorns by Aliette de Bodard.
- Chris Meadows also reviews The House of Binding Thorns by Aliette de Bodard.
- Liz Bourke reviews The House of Binding Thorns by Aliette de Bodard.
- Paul Weimer reviews Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys.
- Michael Patrick Hicks reviews Hunger Makes the Wolf by Alex Wells.
- Ursula K. Le Guin reviews Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.
- Adrienne Martini reviews Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn.
- Ross Johnson reviews Luna: Wolf Moon by Ian McDonald.
- Shana DuBois reviews The Moon and the Other by John Kessel.
- The Fantasy Café reviews The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman.
- Paul di Filippo reviews Dear Sweet Filthy World by Caitlin R. Kiernan.
- Rob Bedford reviews A Conjuring of Light by VE. Schwab.
- Rob Bedford reviews The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi.
- Liz Bourke reviews Convergence by C.J. Cherryh.
- Shana DuBois reviews Orbital Cloud by Taiyo Fujii.
- Hari Kunzru reviews Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar.
- Nick Hubble reviews The Power by Naomi Alderman.
- N.N. Light reviews The Wolf Mirror by Caroline Healy.
- Stephen Theaker posts a not entirely serious and complately fake review of There Will Be Walrus, First Volume V by Timothy T. Cat and Camestros Felapton.
- 2084, an anthology of dyystopian science fiction inspired by George Orwell's 1984, is looking for funding.
- Apex Magazine is running its annual subscription drive with plenty of new reward tiers to unlock.
- Artist James A. Owen is looking for funding to produce an Inklings art print set.
- Martin Morse Wooster reports about the Washington Stage Guild's performance of George Bernard Shaw's science fictional play Back to Methuselah in Washington DC.
- Ashley R. Pollard shares the history of Eastercon, the UK national convention.
Science and technology:
- SpaceX has launched a reused rocket into space for the first time.
- Elon Musk has also founded a company that wants to connect brains with computers via electrodes.
- A design firm has come up with the plan to build a floating, upside down skyscraper hanging from an asteroid positioned in geosynchronous Earth orbit.
Free online fiction:
- "The Scholast in the Low Waters Kingdom" by Max Gladstone at Tor.com.
- "Luminaria" by John Hornor Jacobs in Apex Magazine.
- "Terra Nullius" by Hanus Seiner, translated by Julie Novakova, in Strange Horizons.
- "Wither and Blossom" by Suvi Kauppila in Samovar.
- "Faces and Thoughts" by Abdul Waki Sulamal in Samovar.
- "Sofer Pete" by Tom Easton and Michael A. Burstein in Nature.
Odds and ends:
- Watch a trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming.
- Watch a TV trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.
- Watch a trailer for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.
- Watch a trailer for Justice League.
- Watch a trailer for It.
- Watch a trailer for season 7 of Game of Thrones.
- Watch a trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
- Watch a trailer for War for the Planet of the Apes.
- Watch a trailer for Atomica.
- Watch a trailer for The Beyond.
- Watch a trailer for A Dark Song.
- Watch a featurette about The Defenders.
- Watch the intro to the German children's show Die Sendung mit der Maus in Klingon.
- Watch a 15 minute sequel to Love, Actually to benefit the Red Nose Day charity event.
- Watch a cute video of a little girl hugging a water heater she mistook for a robot.
- Make your own generic space opera cover with this not entirely serious cover creator.