Magical Words Link Roundup 7-27-2017

The World Fantasy Awards ballot for works published in 2016 has been announced.

Authors and publishers alike are finding that it’s hard to sell books in a political climate where truth is stranger than fiction.

Here are ten types of authors who can go jump in a lake. (Okay, the original quote had naughty words in it, so I replaced them to spare any delicate eyes.)

Urban fantasy brings in the real world alongside the supernatural vibes. We’re talking modern settings — usually in cities — where people deal with more crime and mystery elements. The books are always fast-paced, and tons of your favorite TV shows are based on them.

Character doesn’t need to be limited to those who walk and talk and have their adventures between the pages of your favourite novel. Some of the best books use setting as character — the place in which the action unfolds can be just as important as the people.

Down-to-earth fantasies tend to hinge the idea that humans can mess up a fantasy world just as badly as any real one, especially if they have access to magic.

Want to read the 80’s? Here’s a list of books to start with.

The FCC, led by Trump appointee Ajit Pai, is still on its crusade to roll back Obama-era net neutrality rules in the name of doing what’s best for the internet, but the FCC’s information policies haven’t been nearly as transparent as their lies.

Magical Words Link Roundup 7-26-2017

The Mary Sue ranks nine movie adaptations of the classic story of love, betrayal, and round tables, the King Arthur saga.

If you enjoyed Robert Jackson Bennett’s novel City of Stairs, check out this fabulous exploration of the city of Bulikov.

United Airlines decided to bully the geeks at ComiCon. And weirdly, the TSA came out on the right side.

As with all clichés, however, they become eye-roll-worthy when used en masse, i.e. when several standard tropes are all packed into the one artwork. If a book tries to cover too many bases, it can start to look a little silly.

The essence of a great science fiction or fantasy novel is the world.

There is a television show I love. The show frequently features brilliant, courageous, unstoppable women.

The Moon has more water than previously thought, and it’s deep below the lunar surface. A new study suggests that water is widespread beyond the poles, where it was already known to exist, although scientists don’t know exactly how much water is there. The discovery has consequences for future missions to the Moon.

Reading a familiar trope is like visiting an old friend. Or like going on your favorite roller coaster—one where you know all the loops and curves so well that you start shrieking before you even reach them.

Magical Words Link Roundup 7-25-2017

Kids born before 1990 dealt with an array of hazards that modern toymakers have mostly learned to avoid, from shattering glass balls to toxic fumes. (Editor’s note – I had most of these toys, and somehow didn’t die. Or lose a finger. So yay me!)

The Winds of Winter” is finally coming — probably.

A plan to build an ultrafast Hyperloop tube train has been given “verbal [government] approval” to connect large cities on the East Coast, tech entrepreneur Elon Musk says.

You’ve all seen those claw machines. The game is rigged, of course, but if your heart is set on winning the prize, you will pump WAY more cash into the machine than it would be worth to just go out and buy the damned thing. So what’s this got to do with the Hugos?

Want to learn how to fight like an elf? Here are five tips.

Decades after his death in 1989, painter Salvador Dalí is continuing to make art, or at the very least, something surreal.

Someone needs to make a movie about Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. It’d be a buddy fantasy for the ages.

In the summer of Wonder Woman, we haven’t heard much about Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind, the woman who could wrestle alligators, run faster than a wildcat, beat up all nine of her older brothers, and be so nice that the bears would let her hibernate with them and the hornets would let her wear their big nests as Sunday hats.

Magical Words Link Roundup 7-24-2017

The year is now 1816, and in a palatial mansion, a woman is about to die. Her name is Jane Lewson, but her death is interesting for several reasons.

WFC 2017 has released a partial list of draft program topics, and I’m crazy jealous of my friends who are going.

A recent spate of articles on self publishing dos and don’ts have made their way to my eyeballs; articles that go into great detail about what newbie self publishers must do if they want to be taken seriously/be successful/eradicate the heartbreak of psoriasis. It is, apparently, a long f$%#ing list.

Robots, man. You can’t live without them (unless you vacuum the old-fashioned way), and quite often, you can’t live with them—at least, not without massive, horrifying, oft-accidental repercussions.

Whenever big tough fantasy types want you to know how big and tough they are, you may come across the phrase “forged from the blood of mine enemies.” But is that really a practical exercise for sword-making? Inquiring minds want to know.

Let’s face it: Most of mankind’s plans, regardless of what they’re actually for, never go any father than begging for mercy. And that’s why we praise movie characters when they actually come up with a solid, convoluted plan that doesn’t end with sobbing. That said, sometimes they come up with way, way too elaborate plans that make things way longer and more difficult than they ever logically should be.

In online fanfiction, every single character was shipped with every single other character and there were love triangles for every possible combination of people.

When David Benioff and D.B. Weiss wrap up Game of Thrones’ upcoming final season, the pair’s focus will be on Confederate, a new series about an alternate history where the South successfully seceded, while a new Civil War looms in the present. I have an opinion on this, and it’s spelled N-O.

Magical Words Link Roundup 7-20-2017

It’s 50 days from Dragon Con 2017 – do you know where your hosts are?

Santino Hassell discusses badass queer characters from paranormal universes within books, comics, and TV.

It’s always fun to find out who other authors regard as the sexiest or hottest heroes in sci-fi romance and fantasy novels.

Theresa DeLucci says, “Some people look at the ocean and see a wonderland of surfing and swimming. But I know better. There, there be man-eating sharks and terrible Eldritch horrors waiting to loom up from a darkened trench. Too much sunshine causes skin cancer and sand gets into the most annoying places.”

Black women have always been perceived as strong, if not superhuman, and that has been as much a burden as anything else we’ve faced in Western society. Our strength has been used as justification for our base mistreatment, in fact, both historically and in contemporary times.

The Louisville, KY Fandom Fest is scheduled to take place pretty damned soon (July 28th-30th), and while the venue hadn’t ever been formally mentioned on the con’s official materials this year, it just wouldn’t make sense to announce a venue change now, right?

Brandon O’Brien says, “Writers of colour talk about voice a lot. You may not hear it often, and I’m inclined to say without a hint of admonition that if you haven’t heard it at all, that says even more about the landscape that we’re in.”

Hot fried chicken might not make sense as the perfect summer food, but science is here to make the argument that it is — provided it’s got that characteristic crunch as your jaws clamp down on a juicy bite.

We all know about the destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria … the vast storehouse of knowledge that became the wonder of the ancient world. These are the books Rachel Caine would’ve saved from being lost to history.

Magical Words Link Roundup 7-19-2017

Tor.com is looking to hire!

Space scientists are turning their attention from Mars to another possible haven for alien life – liquid oceans locked under miles of ice on some of our solar system’s moons.

Adam-Troy Castro says, “It’s like none of them were paying any attention at all.”

A security robot in Washington DC suffered a watery demise after falling into a fountain by an office building. (Was his name, by chance, Marvin?)

We’re all storytellers. We all use story in our daily lives. They’re the atoms of our social interactions.

Business leaders need to read more science fiction.

It is important to be able to improvise when running a tabletop roleplaying game, whether the genre is fantasy, sci-fi, or something altogether different. This is because players are, above all, mad creatures who do not listen to either reason or instructions.

Magical Words Link Roundup 7-18-2017

Congratulations AJ Hartley, the winner of the 2017 Manly Wade Wellman Award for North Carolina Science Fiction and Fantasy, announced at ConGregate on July 15!

You guys already heard about the new Doctor, yes?

From It Comes at Night to A Ghost Story, a new breed of horror is creeping into the multiplex, replacing jump-scares with existential dread.

Between Marvel, DC Comics, and lesser-known imprints, comic book stories have been fully embraced by the TV medium, translating onto the small screen the huge success comics have enjoyed in cinema.

On Friday, a book jumped to the #1 spot on Amazon, out of nowhere; it quickly became obvious that the author had used a clickfarm to gatecrash the charts.

Writing is not the same as publishing. That may seem obvious to most. But picture a young author with a lot to say – This person writes and writes, day after day. Amasses a seven-foot-tall stack of words on paper. This person then thinks everyone would love to read what they wrote. And the answers come back: Not a chance in H. E. double hockey sticks!

With ‘Game of Thrones’ returning on Sunday for its penultimate season, the man who started it all reveals his fantasy movie favorites, from ‘Ladyhawke’ to ‘Lord of the Rings.’

Inspired by neuroscience, a specially designed siren designed to capture attention is finding a smart and potentially life-saving use in Africa.