Magical Words Link Roundup 8-14-2017

Tim Miller, director of Deadpool, will be helming a new adaptation of Neuromancer, the classic cyberpunk novel by William Gibson. Can I put in a vote for Maisie Williams to play Molly? Pleeeeease?

Writing a book is a difficult process. It is a process though that should not be interrupted by outside influence, especially when one’s lifetime achievement is involved.

Gods make for terrible characters. How do you present someone more than human making them relateable without diminishing what ought to make them alien?

There may be a “ghost” hanging around Winterfell, and we’re not talking about Jon Snow’s direwolf.

Another author, N K Jemisen, has withdrawn from the Dragon Awards. I understand why, even support the decision, but I’m still disappointed, because I voted for her. Oddly enough, the first withdrawal, John Scalzi, has changed his mind and left his book in the running. It’s all very exciting.

This stunning gallery on Blavity showcases eight up-and-coming visual artists influenced by Afrofuturism, science fiction that explores the experiences and culture of people of color.

We’ve all been there – goodbyes have been said, bags have been packed. The con is over, and you’ve got a case of post-con depression.

Magical Words Link Roundup 8-10-2017

Matt Goldman says, “My slow-learning writer’s guide to writing applies to all mediums and genres. The ideas are simple and have nothing to do with structure. Maybe one day I’ll flesh these out into a book or class or overpriced two-day seminar. In the meantime, I’ll dip a toe in 3 of the at least 4 things I know.”

Le Guin’s story “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” asks as much about ethics as it does about how we — and even the author herself — may instinctually define certain works.

Facebook was forced to shut down a pair of chatbots in the social network’s artificial intelligence division after discovering that they had created a secret language all on their own.

When will the powers that be finally rip the Bandaid off? When will humanity finally die out?

Francesca Barbini says, “Conventions are a big part of an author’s life. I cannot imagine being where I am today without my con experience.”

John Scalzi and Allison Littlewood have withdrawn their books from the Dragon Award ballot.

The recent announcement for a position that NASA has had since the 1960s – Planetary Protection Officer caught the attention of one self-proclaimed “Guardian of the Galaxy” — an inspired fourth grader from New Jersey who reached out to NASA in a letter to express his interest in the job.

Magical Words Link Roundup 8-9-2017

Steve Wetherell says, “I’ll never say the n-word. Well, not in any official capacity. I might sing along to an Anderson Paak song, and my usual tactic of replacing it with ‘fella’ doesn’t always scan well.”

It’s no secret that television shows and movies struggle to realistically explore the lives of people of color, but in dystopian fiction, it’s an especially glaring problem.

Fantasy tropes can be great—that’s why they become tropes. But sometimes you want to read something you feel like you’ve never read before.

Zazie Beetz as the mutant Domino in Deadpool 2 looks incredible: confident, ready to kick ass, beautiful and deadly. But of course, this being the Internet, criticisms started to pour in.

Horrorfreak News explores cults, secret societies, and the appearances of cults in horror cinema.

Few authors are as prolific and compulsively readable as Stephen King. That doesn’t mean his books translate easily to the big screen.

Sometimes, NASA gets to have a bit of fun with asteroids. This fall, the agency will have a grand ol’ time with one such object.

Stephen Petranek thinks we should have gone to Mars years ago — decades even.

Sony has named a showrunner for their upcoming Dark Tower television series.

Magical Words Link Roundup 8-8-2017

Voting is open for the 2017 Dragon Awards. We have some fantastic choices this year, including Faith Hunter, A J Hartley, James S A Corey, John Scalzi, N K Jemisin and many more! Take a minute and vote, please! You don’t have to be a registered DragonCon attendee to do it. Here’s the link – http://bit.ly/2b43wH0

Witness the power of Chuck Wendig‘s fully armed and operational writing shed!

Many newbie writers would screech in horror and say no one can write that fast, while most MFA snobs would turn up their noses and say it’s impossible to write anything of worth at that rate, that writing must be an agonizing process of constant revision and polishing.

Those who are familiar with Frank Herbert’s famous novel Dune will notice his analogy for the spice, and the surrounding struggle for it, with the crude oil of the Middle East.

Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology revealed Monday that the planet Uranus’s magnetosphere flips on and off like a light switch — every single day.

For publishers, especially those who support the work of emerging authors, disempowered authors or authors whose voices aren’t in chorus with the mainstream, Amazon‘s data-based approach to bookselling is disconcerting.

It’s hard to be unhappy when surrounded by dinosaurs. But then the screaming starts.

The Tough Guide offers information on various kinds of fantasy strongholds. For example, you might be looking for castles, complete with ‘frowning battlements, slit windows and multiple defensible spiral stairways inside’ and which ‘occasionally adorn the heights for pictorial effect’.

What do you totally lie about having read or watched?

Magical Words Link Roundup 8-7-2017

Writers are asked all the time to explain where those ideas of theirs come from. Most of us smile and say, “It just came to me.” But that’s not quite accurate. The ideas come from passing thoughts, intriguing headlines, unfinished conversations. It’s all about the ‘what if’. So I wanted to share a few links that might lead to some exciting ‘what if’ moments for you. Take a look.

When exorcists need help, they call this man.

A Colorado man is feared dead after searching for a treasure worth $2 million.

Imagine that you didn’t understand what an eclipse was and the sun disappeared.

In the world of cybersecurity, a hacker taking down a city’s electrical grid is a classic nightmare scenario. Indeed, it’s already happened.

The prince of Denmark looks set to launch an eternal protest after announcing he does not wish to be buried next to his wife, the queen.

A Swiss couple who disappeared from their farm in the Alps during World War II have finally been found, 75 years later, mummified in a glacier.

Can you believe people listened to disco? Who thought acid-washed jeans were a good idea? What’s with the big hair, was it all full of secrets?

I had a ‘what if’ moment with all of the links above, which is why I shared them. But here’s the interesting part…every single one of those links was on today’s CNN page. In other words, the ‘what if’ is all around you. Just let your imagination run free!

Magical Words Link Roundup 8-3-2017

Everybody is getting hung up on SF definitions, usually ending up by arguing over sub-genres. In order to rectify the situation, a selection of definitions for popular sub genres of science fiction are herein offered.

Another alternate history drama series, which has been in the works at Amazon for over a year, also paints a reality where southern states have left the Union but takes a very different approach.

When was the first time you saw yourself represented in media? Depending on your racial background and gender identity, this might be an emotional topic for you.

When the Worldcon presented its first awards back in 1953, they were more prosaically called the “Science Fiction Achievement Awards”.

When your spouse goes missing or business partner turns up dead, you call a private eye, but when you’ve got zombies at the door, or a demon on your trail, you’ve better call an occult detective.

The British film Lady Macbeth, directed by William Oldroyd, immediately shrouds the female protagonist with a murderous and anti-hero air.

The Anachronistic Society discusses how science fiction inspired real science.

Magical Words Link Roundup 8-2-2017

This month will see the release of the film adaptation of The Dark Tower as well as the TV show Mr. Mercedes, so now’s as good a time as any to do a deep dive into the world of Stephen King. If you’re looking to do some fun (and scary) homework, here’s a quick primer to bring you up to speed.

We desperately need more American history on television and in our popular culture. The more such shows produced, the more genuinely and deeply we can begin to have collective conversations about our shared and complex histories.

We’ve got to talk about Tolkien’s map of Middle-earth. The man might have made up some beautiful languages and written stories that generations of writers have responded to in ways ranging from homage to bad photocopy, but I’m going to guess he was no connoisseur of geography.

Everyone who loves to read books and follows their favorite authors has heard those authors at some point say, “The character took control.” This is extremely common.

Variety has a story detailing the issues that The Dark Tower movie has run into. It’s an interesting read, but the detail that sticks out the most is that three separate entities apparently had some form of veto power over the film.

In publishing there are outliers who release a book straight to the top of the charts, but they are few and far between. Happily, you don’t need this to happen to be able to make a full time living from writing.

They’re fairies, mutants, or the survivors of a long-lost civilization. They dwell in the shadows, sewers, or caves not found on any spelunker’s map. Whatever they really are, these devolved monsters fear and hate modern humans, and if you’re not careful, they’ll steal you away for dinner.

Hundreds of golden civilizations have risen across history, juggernauts who conquered nature and other nations—but never defeated the passing of time.

Obviously FandomFest is no Gen Con and never will be, but still.