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Cora's Geek News: 27 March 2017

27 March 2017

SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, AND MORE . . .

FANTASY

1) March 25: Tolkien Reading Day “Beyond J.R.R. Tolkien (video)”

“J.R.R. Tolkien is a towering figure in fantasy literature. The world and characters he created in “The Lord of the Rings” have inspired generations of fans. Tolkien Reading Day (observed on March 25 to commemorate the fall of the evil Sauron!) celebrates his books by encouraging people to read them. But what if you already have? Well, good news: Tolkien wasn’t the only writer of his era to conjure up a deep and vivid fantasy world. Today we also celebrate the legacies of six other 20th-century fantasy authors who shared the magic of their imaginations with us.”

2) “New Spider-Man: Homecoming Footage Teases a Major Change to the Spidey Suit” by James Witbrook

“Released ahead of a new trailer coming tomorrow, the short snippet reveals that one of the design hallmarks of the Spider-Suit—the actual spider-emblem itself—is actually a Stark-ian bit of kit. It can jump off Peter’s chest and operate as its own little Spider-Drone.”

3) Okay, nothing profound here, but I found this breakdown very amusing. “How Many Times Does Braid-Tugging and Skirt-Smoothing Happen in The Wheel of Time?” by Stubby the Rocket

“Lots of authors have idiosyncratic phrases and character actions that get repeated in their work, either consciously or subconsciously. In a multi-volume epic like The Wheel of Time those idiosyncrasies over time become charming; an indication of authenticity, an in-joke that you share between yourself, the author, and the fiction.”

SCIENCE FICTION

4) Life’s Scary Space Creature Is a Great New Science-Fiction Monster” by Evan Narcisse

“The xeno-organism at the center of the new space thriller Life starts off microscopically small. By the time the movie’s over, it will probably generate some giant-sized nightmares.”

5) This is the best science fiction series on TV. I’m still bitter over FireFly’s cancelation. I’m hoping that The Expanse doesn’t get axed. In my humble opinion, SyFy’s scheduling has a lot to do with the rating. They let too much time pass between seasons. “Only You Can Stop The Expanse From Becoming the Next Canceled Sci-Fi Classic”

“But while the show is widely praised in many corners, it has yet to attract a wider audience. John J. Joex, who tracks the ratings of various shows over at Cancelled Sci Fi, says that The Expanse looks like a show headed for cancellation.”

6) “Dystopian dreams: how feminist science fiction predicted the future” by Naomi Alderman

“Of course, not every author of feminist science fiction was taught how to make a fire in the wilderness by her (or his) parents. But what interests me, and what links these stories, I think, is the sense of young people having been exposed early on to the idea that there are other ways of living which are equally valid, equally worthy of respect, equally troubling and equally beautiful. That other cultures and modes of existence make sense on their own terms. That however you’ve grown up, it would always be possible to do things differently. And having seen that, one can’t help reflecting on what the world would be like if we did decide to do things radically differently. Feminist – or let’s say gender-questioning – science fiction asks insistently, through careful construction of different societies, how much of what we think now, today, in generic western culture about men and women is innate in the human species and how much is just invented. And if we’ve invented it then could we, for better or worse, invent it differently?”

7) For John Scalzi fans: “Sci-fi author John Scalzi on the future of publishing: ‘I aspire to be a cockroach’” by Andrew Liptak

“Scalzi’s career to date has been a mixture of experimentation and practical market assessment. He wasn’t able to sell his first novel, a science fiction / humor book called Agent to the Stars, so in 1999, he published it on his website, asking readers to donate a dollar if they liked it. He earned around $4,000 before he closed donations. (Tor published it in 2005.) In 2002, he began serializing his next novel online: Old Man’s War, which attracted the attention of his current editor, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and helped launch his career.”

Here’s a bizarre article related to Scalzi’s new cover: “Amazon Pulls Castalia House Book for Ripping Off John Scalzi Cover [Updated]” by Beth Elderkin

GAMES, BOOKS, COMICS, AWARDS, ETC

8) “Jessica Jones Is Teaming Up With Kate Bishop For a New Hawkeye Adventure” by James Witbrook

“With Hawkeye Investigations established and one case under her belt, Kate is already well used to life in the city of angels by the time her investigative idol Jessica turns up on the trail of her own case in Hawkeye #5. Will Kate be able to show off everything she’s learned to Marvel’s own master of Personal Investigation, and help Jessica crack her case?’

9) “DC’s Greatest Heroes Come Together in this Trailer for The Justice League!” by Stubby the Rocket

“Batman and Wonder Woman are calling the Justice League together! Aquaman (Jason Momoa) The Flash (Ezra Miller), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) all get a few moments to shine in the trailer, and we also get tantalizing teases of Amy Adam’s Lois Lane and J.K. Simmons’ Commissioner Gordon.”

10) “Final Fantasy: The 15 Worst Games In The Series” by Scott Baird

“The Final Fantasy series is home to some of the greatest video games of all time. As the years went by, more and more games would enter the series, as either mainline entries, or as spinoffs. It was inevitable that some of them were going to bad. You can’t have a series made of over fifty games (and counting) without some of them being clunkers. There are many reasons for this; they could be technically inept, they might be frustratingly difficult to complete, or they might just have horrible gameplay. As time went on, it has become obvious that the people at Square Enix have been falling asleep at the wheel.”

11) I love that I got this article from Popular Machanics! “The 11 Best Sci-Fi Novels From the 21st Century You Likely Missed” by Tiffany Kelly

“People tend to look to decades past for examples of great science fiction—the works Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke. But the 21st century is living in its own golden age of sci-fi. Along with film and TV adaptations, novels like Cloud Atlas, The Road, The Martian, and Never Let Me Go are becoming more mainstream, and in some cases, even Oscar-worthy.

“But what about the books that aren’t blessed by Hollywood’s cinematic touch? We rounded up 16 novels from this century with a mix of sci-fi, satire, dystopian fiction and cyberpunk—all offering compelling commentary of our increasingly sci-fi-like lives.”

12) Book Reviews: “The Best of New Sci-Fi and Fantasy, From an Intergalactic Love Story to New York City Under Water” by N.K. Jemisin

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