Here is a special Good Friday edition of our weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web, this week with the TV show Colony, women in SFF, a scandal at Odyssey Con, Marvel Comics' alleged diversity problem, the Ardian Syaf controversy 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:
- Cassandra Rose Clarke discusses how she became a speculative fiction fan.
- Rebecca Mead profiles Margaret Atwood.
- Natalie Zutter takes a look at the legacy of The Handmaid's Tale.
- John Hertz shares his appreciation for Herland and With Her in Ourland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
- Gail Carriger shares her appreciation for Mercedes Lackey and particularly for her depiction of LGBT characters.
- Dan Koboldt declares that portal fantasy is not dead.
- Paul Weimer shares his appreciation for the Stormwrack novels of A.M. Dellamonica.
- Ruthanna Emrys shares her appreciation for the Shadow Unit series by Elizabeth Bear, Emma Bull and others.
- Danya discusses the protrayal of menstruation in fantasy novels.
- Neal Asher shares five books about achieving immortality.
- A time capsule associated with Jules Verne has been discovered in the French Pyrenees.
- Ruthanna Emrys finds surprising optimism in the works of H.P. Lovecraft of all things.
- Emily Asher Perrin discusses how horror movies draw on women's fear to be disbelieved.
- Dean E.S. Richard revisits Terry Gilliam's dystopian SF film Brazil.
- Tom Overton revisits the British nuclear war movie Threads.
- Leigh Butler rewatches Logan's Run.
- Erin Horokova explains that Captain Kirk as portrayed in the original Star Trek is quite diffrerent from the rash womanizer as which he is nowadays remembered.
- Kelsey Hershberger shares 15 lessons the Marvel cinematic universe can learn from the TV show Legion.
- Beth Elderkin reports about a controversy involving X-Men Gold artist Ardian Syaf hiding coded messages referring to a political conflict in Indonesia in an issue of the comic.
- Coconuts Jakarta has some ore background on Ardian Syaf's controversial drawings and subsequent problematic statements by the artist.
- G. Willow Wilson sheds some light on the religious background of the Ardian Syaf controversy.
- Alex Bhattarcharji reports about David Lynch's return to the world of Twin Peaks.
- Legendary cinematographer Michael Ballhaus died aged 81.
Marvel Comics and diversity:
- John B. Robinson IV discusses Marvel Comics' alleged diversity problem and its causes.
- James Hibberd also reports on Marvel's alleged diversity problem and the controversy the statements by Marvel vice president David Gabriel caused.
- George Gene Gustines declares that Marvel may be experiencing a sales slump, but that its diverse heroes and heroines are not to blame.
- Adam White declares that Marvel blaming its sales slump on diversity is a troubling example for the struggles facing stories centering characters from marginalised groups.
- Meanwhile, James Whitbrook reports that Marvel insists that Steve Rogers' recent turn towards fascism and storylines it inspired are totally not political.
Comments on season 2 of Colony:
- Alex Cranz explains what Colony gets right about living in the apocalypse.
- Paul Levinson reviews the season 2 finale of Colony.
- The winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize is The Underground Railroad, an alternate history novel by Colson Whitehead.
- The nominees for the 2017 Eugie Foster Memorial Award have been announced.
- The nominees for the 2017 Rita Awards have been announced.
- The final ballot for the 2017 Ditmar awards has been announced.
- The finalists for the 2017 Canopus Awards have been announced.
- The nominees for the 2017 Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire have been announced.
- The nominees for the 2017 Prix Imaginales have been announced.
- The nominees for the 2017 Premio Italia have been announced.
- The winners of the 2017 British Academy Games Awards have been announced.
- The redesigned World Fantasy Award trophy has been unveiled.
- Cora Buhlert offers a round-up of reactions to the 2017 Hugo Award finalists as well as a follow-up post with even more reactions.
- Sara Walter Ellwood reminds us that there is inspiration to be found everywhere, if we but look.
- Shaunta Grimes shares ten books that will make you a better writer.
- Chuck Wendig reminds us that you can write at any age.
- Georgina Bruce talks about her writing process.
- S. Jae Jones talks about writing, identity and the albatross around her neck.
- Aliette de Bodard talks about creating characters that move beyond tired clichés.
- Aliette de Bodard talks about likeable characters, interesting characters and terrible characters.
- Aliette de Bodard also talks about the fallacy of agency.
- Jeffrey Aaron Miller explains why moments of sadness and despair are important for good stories.
- DiAnn Mills shares five ways to create passion in your story.
- Steven Smith shares some tips for writing a fantasy battle scene.
- Yangsze Choo talks about researching and exploring the setting of her stories.
- Patty Jansen takes a look at the different definitions of writing success.
- Zat Rana shares how J.K. Rowling deals with failure.
- Lieze Neven explains how to write a great book blurb.
- Angela Haddon explains what size a book cover should be.
- Daniel Arenson shares some tips for promoting a series to keep readers hooked.
- Tobias Buckell shares six things he learned from his first month using Patreon.
- The Qwillery interviews Sara O. Thompson.
- The Qwillery also interviews Cat Sparks.
- Charles Payseur interviews A. Merc Rustad.
- Anne Charnock interviews E.J. Swift.
- Malcolm Surer interviews Hao Jingfang.
- Cristian Tamas interviews Johanna Sinisalo.
- StarWars.com interviews Timothy Zahn.
- Jason Heller interviews the Hugo nominated rap group Clipping.
- Ross Johnson reviews Avengers of the Moon by Allen Steele.
- John Bardinelli reviews Gauntlet by Holly Jennings.
- Sam Reader reviews Void Star by Zachary Mason.
- Niall Alexander reviews Waking Hell by Al Robertson.
- Michael Patrick Hicks reviews Beneath by Kristi DeMeester.
- Paul Weimer reviews The Weight of the World by Tom Toner.
- Anna Chapman reviews The House of Binding Thorns by Aliette de Bodard.
- Martin Cahill reviews Tender by Sofia Samatar.
- Sherry Fundin reviews Shade by Marilyn Peake.
- Shana DuBois reviews The Dragon's Legacy by Deborah Wolf.
- Aidan Moher reviews Take Us To Your Chief by Drew Hayden Taylor.
- Camestros Felapton reviews the Hugo nominatd album Splendor & Misery by Clipping.
- Mages of Mystralia, an adventure game written by the creator of Forgotten Realms, is looking for funding.
- Monica Valentinelli explains why she is withdrawing as a Guest of Honour from Odyssey Con in Madison, Wisconsin.
- Melissa F. Olson offers her take on the Odyssey Con controversy.
- Mary Robinette Kowal also weighs in on the Odyssey Con controversy.
- K. Tempest Bradford also weighs in on the Odyssey Con controversy.
- Natalie Luhrs also weighs in on the Odyssey Con controversy.
- Jim C. Hines also weighs in on the Odyssey Con controversy.
- Mike Glyer offers a summary of the Odyssey Con controversy.
- Tad Williams also withdraws as Guest of Honour from Odyssey Con.
- John King Tarpinian shares a report and some photos of the exhibition "The Art of Plasma" at the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale, California.
- E.T. Smith reports about a panel featuring Marc Miller, creator of the Traveller RPG, at Gary Con IX in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
- Lamar reports that Rocky Mountain Fur Con in Denver, Colorado, has been cancelled following a series of controversies.
Science and technology:
- China accelerates its moon program.
- Donald Trump has signed a bill authorizing NASA's budget for a manned Mars mission among other things.
- A Lockheed Martin official believes that there could be a Mars base by 2028.
- Where did the water on Mars go?
- Saturn's Moon Enceladus contains the basic ingredients for life.
- Hibernation systems for deep space travel are in development.
- Scientists have discovered that solar storms can both flood and strip our atmosphere of electrons.
- Why are entire galaxies dying off?
- The first pizza has been delivered by a drone in New Zealand.
- A start-up has developed a smartwatch that is charged by body heat.
- The rat lungworm, a rare parasite, is spreading due to climate change.
- The evolution of octopuses and squid is even weirder than previously imagined.
- Scientists have bred a chicken with the face of a dinosaur.
Free online fiction:
- "I Have Been Drowned in Rain" by Carried Vaughn in Beneath Ceaseless Skies.
- "And Then There Were (N-One)" by Sarah Pinsker in Uncanny Magazine.
- "If Lions Could Speak: Imagining the Alien" by Paul Park in Lightspeed.
- "Remote Presence" by Susan Palwick in Lightspeed.
- "Dark Warm Heart" by Rich Larson at Tor.com.
- "Mental Diplopia" by Julianna Baggott at Tor.com.
- "The Hulder's Husband Says Don't" by Kate Lechler in Fireside Fiction.
- "Lacuna" by Lane Robins in Strange Horizons.
- "The End of a Long Journey" by C.M. Harald.
Odds and ends: