Here is our weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web, this week with the Hugo Awards, Ghost in the Shell, Marvel Comics' alleged diversity problem 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:
- N.K. Jemisin shares her favourite new science fiction and fantasy.
- John DeNardo shares some must-have books for the serious science fiction and fantasy reader.
- James Nicoll shares twenty core epic fantasies every SFF fan should read.
- Sarah Higbee talks about subgenre labels and her conflicted relationship with them.
- Cora Buhlert talks about the space opera resurgence.
- Alex Acks has some things to say about hollow female POV characters in science fiction.
- Renay Williams shares her appreciation for How To Suppress Women's Writing by Joanna Russ and explains why it remains relevant more than thirty years after it was first published.
- T. Frohock shares her appreciation for the works of Tanith Lee.
- T.W. O'Brien share their appreciation for the works of Samuel R. Delany on the event of his 75th birthday.
- Alan Brown shares his appreciation for Conan the Warrior by Robert E. Howard.
- Aliette de Bodard talks about her favourite dragons in fantasy.
- Judith Tarr answers the burning question how centaurs eat.
- Sarah Ash talks about grandmothers in fantasy.
- Becky Chambers makes the case for optimism in science fiction and fantasy.
- Cassandra Khaw talks about finding compassion in horror.
- Steven Barnes shares ten thoughts on whitewashing.
- Speculative fiction scholar Michael Levy has died aged 66.
- John Maher shares an obituary of Michael Levy.
Comments on Ghost in the Shell:
- Gary Westfahl calls Ghost in the Shell a return to retrofuturism.
- Dan Gvozden explains that the live action Ghost in the Shell remake feels less original than the anime version, because so many of its ideas have been copied by countless other movies in the meantime.
- Chris Hartwell explains why it is so hard for Hollywood to get adaptations of anime classics right.
- The Hollywood Reporter hosts a roundtable, where four Japanese actresses dissect Ghost in the Shell and address the whitewashing controversy.
- Evan Narcisse takes a look at how the future world of Ghost in the Shell was brought to life.
Marvel Comics and diversity:
- Beth Elderkin reports that Marvel Vice President of Sales David Gabriel blames the sales slump experienced by Marvel Comics since October 2016 on too many diverse characters.
- Sian Cain also reports on Marvel's alleged issues with diverse superheroes and links to various snarky Twitter reactions.
- Milton Griepp interviews David Gabriel.
- J.A. Micheline points out that Marvel superheroes aren't just for white men and that true diversity could boost sales.
- G. Willow Wilson, writer of Ms. Marvel, also weighs in on Marvel's supposed diversity problem.
- Alex Brown weighs in on Marvel Comics and the myth that diversity doesn't sell.
- Charles Paul Hoffman declares that it wasn't diversity that killed Marvel's sales, but too many crossovers and relaunches.
- Charles Pulliam-Moore points out that the Hugo nominations for Marvel titles featuring diverse heroes belie the claim that diversity doesn't sell.
- The finalists for the 2017 Hugo Awards have been announced.
- The shortlist for the 2017 Bailey's Women's Prize For Fiction has been announced and includes a science fiction novel, The Power by Naomi Alderman.
- The finalists for the 2017 Nommo Awards for African speculative fiction have been announced.
- The finalists for the 2017 Derringer Awards have been announced.
- The winners of the 2017 Writers and Illustrators of the Future Awards have been announced.
- The nominees for the 2017 Alliance Award have been announced.
- Cora Buhlert shares her views on the 2017 Hugo finalists and also shares a round-up of reactions from around the web.
- Joel Cunningham shares his views on the 2017 Hugo finalists.
- Ross Johnson offers a brief overview of the six nominees in the new best series category.
- Camestros Felapton discusses some strategies for evaluating the nominees in the new best series category.
Writing, publishing and promotion:
- Kaila Hale-Sterne shares the eleven most surprising habits of highly creative people.
- Shaunta Grimes shares some tips for doing a 1000 day do-it-yourself MFA program.
- Debra Purdy-Kong shares her issues with the common advice to write likeable characters.
- Lilith Saintcrow talks about writing short stories and what happens when those tales burst beyond the confines of the original short story.
- Alliah/Vic declares that art is our weapon.
- Rin Chupeco talks about writing believable female characters.
- Neal Asher talks about building the polity universe.
- My Life, My Books, My Escape interviews Jay Allan.
- Sarah Gailey interviews Max Gladstone.
- The Qwillery interviews Eleanor Wasserberg.
- The Qwillery also interviews Adrianna Strickland and Michael Miller.
- Andrea Johnson interviews Michael Wehunt.
- Geeks of Doom review Flames of Rebellion by Jay Allan.
- Ardi Alspach reviews Brimstone by Cherie Priest.
- Ana Grilo and Thea James review A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab.
- Victoria Hoyle reviews Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente.
- Paul Weimer reviews Brother's Ruin by Emma Newman.
- Camestros Felapton reviews Hunger Makes the Wolf by Alex Wells.
- Martin Cahill reviews The House of Binding Thorns by Aliette de Bodard.
- Rob Bedford reviews Cold Iron by Stina Leicht.
- Nick Hubble reviews The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.
- Ricky L. Brown reviews The Mars Run by Chris Gerrib.
- Michael Patrick Hicks reviews Bleed by Ed Kurtz.
- William Meikle reviews Revival by Stephen King.
- Bob Pastorella reviews The Endless Fall by Jeffrey Thomas.
- Niall Alexander reviews The End of the Day by Claire North.
- Andrea Johnson reviews Defenders by Will McIntosh.
- Shana DuBois reviews Red Sister by Mark Lawrence.
- The Civilian Reader reviews Roboute Guilliman - Lord of Ultramar by David Annandale.
- Free Fall 2, the sequel to the German indie film Free Fall a.k.a. Freier Fall, is looking for funding.
- Longtime SFF fan Lewis Murphy needs some help with his medical expenses.
- Laghlan B., a 17-year-old aspiring SFF writer, and his family also need help with his medical expenses.
- Gideon Marcus reports about WonderCon in Anaheim, California, and shares some photos.
- Trae Dorn reports about some problems regarding AnachroCon in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Milton Griepp reports about the Marvel Retailer Summit in New York City.
- Mark L. Blackman reports about a special edition of the New York Review of Science Fiction readings series in Brooklyn, New York, to celebrate the 75th birthday of Samuel R. Delany, featuring Terence Taylor as well as Samuel R. Delany himself.
- Joshua Skye remembers the Scienceers, one of the earliest science fiction clubs.
Science and technology:
- A massive explosion of unknown origin billions of lightyears away baffles astronomers.
- Astronomers may finally capture a picture of a black hole.
- Indian scientists have developed a new male contraceptive that is effective, safe, easy to use and reversible, but no drug companies are interested in marketing the product.
Free online fiction:
- "The Robot Who Liked to Tell Tall Tales" by Fei Dao, translated by Ken Liu, in Clarkesworld.
- "The Shark God's Child" by Jonathan Edelstein in Beneath Ceaseless Skies.
- "The Selkie Wives" by Kendra Fortmeyer in Apex Magazine.
- "And In Our Daughters, We Find a Voice" by Cassandra Khaw in The Dark.
- "When Stars Are Scattered" by Spancer Ellsworth at Tor.com.
Odds and ends: