Is one of your reading goals for 2017 to read more short fiction, but you’re stymied as to where to start? The Monthly Round has just what you need! This recurring feature from the group blog nerds of a feather, flock together has been running since 2014, each month offering up a “tasting flight” of speculative short story/novella/novelette recommendations. Like the content they recommend, these tastes are short and sweet—and they take the theme seriously, giving real thought to the “notes” and “pairings” (with real-life drinks) of each.
Communicating with an alien species, reteaching concepts like the meaning of “I” and “you,” making a friend—there are countless selfish and selfless motivations for overcoming a language barrier. But in the five examples below, from a Shakespeare retelling to an interstellar war story that’s equal parts sci-fi and fantasy, these characters discover that building common ground through language creates its own surprising intimacy.
Binti: Home author Nnedi Okorafor recently shared some exciting news via Facebook: Her science-meets-witchcraft short story “Hello, Moto” has been optioned by Fiery Film, a Nigerian film/TV company/studio based in Lagos and Owerri. The 2011 tale, about a woman who discovers that there is a witchcraft in science and a science in witchcraft when she creates wigs for her friends that gives them incredible powers, is the next project for filmmaker C.J. “Fiery” Obasi, known for the horror/thriller film OJUJU and the gangster thriller O-Town. Obasi recently completed the shoot for his new short film Bruja.
This beautiful caffeinated illustration is part of a project by Mahmoud El Sayed, who has been manipulating Arabic words into illustrations of their meanings. As it is morning, we thought the picture of coffee suited us rather well, but there are many more over on Bored Panda, including koalas and watermelons!
Today we’re talking about Marvel’s “Generations,” fictional novelists, and musicals made from books!
The Salam Award for Imaginative Fiction, announced this week, seeks to encourage the pursuit of science fiction and imaginative writing in Pakistan. Organized by Pakistani speculative fiction authors Tehseen Baweja and Usman T. Malik (The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn), the award is named for Pakistan’s only Nobel Prize winner, theoretical physicist Dr. Abdus Salam; it will be given to aspiring speculative fiction writers of Pakistani origin, regardless of sexual orientation, creed, or caste.
Next week marks the annual Geek Week at Housing Works Bookstore and Cafe in New York, and in addition to deals on their SFF, vinyl, and comics inventory, you’ll also find a sweet lineup of events to attend!
It all kicks off Monday, February 20th at 7pm with a panel on speculative literature and political unrest titled Beyond Orwell. Five authors discuss the role of speculative literature in times of political unrest, past, present, and future. The panel will feature Daniel José Older (Shadowshaper), N. K. Jemisin (The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate), Justina Ireland (Promise of Shadows), Helen Phillips (The Beautiful Bureaucrat, Some Possible Solutions), and Berit Anderson (Scout.ai). Drinks will be available for purchase and all proceeds go toward Housing Works’ charitable mission.
You can RSVP at their Facebook event!
The city of South Pasadena, CA, has declared March 2 to be Ray Bradbury Day! According to File 770, there will be a ceremony held at the fire station, plus a reading from the play adaptation of Fahrenheit 451 and a screening of the movie, as well as a dedication of a mural in honor of the author.
If this morning’s publishing roundup were a bookmobile, it would include on its shelves quite the humble bundle, conversations between SF and STEM, and more!
We all agree that Mad Max: Fury Road is the greatest movie ever made, right? Well it turns out that even perfection can be improved, because Paul Savage, internet genius, has taken the cars of Fury Road and given them the eyes from some of Pixar’s Cars vehicles, and the results are extraordinary.
We join the rest of the internet in demanding a full-length version of this mashup.
An important U.S. civics lesson: Your voice matters. It’s why Americans don’t eat hippos.
Author and Tor.com contributor Sarah Gailey took to Twitter today on National Hippo Day (*cannot contain excitement that this is a real thing*) to explain to us why the United States almost became a purveyor of fine hippo meats back at the start of the 20th century. Observe how the great national dream goes up in smoke:
For reasons unbeknownst to anyone, this video from 2015 began recirculating over the weekend, of David Tennant receiving the National Television Awards’ Special Recognition for his impressive body of work. Well, we can think of one reason—his reaction of slow-dawning realization and utter surprise that this honor is for him, and then every face he makes throughout the heartfelt tribute from Russell T. Davies, Billie Piper, Catherine Tate, and everyone else.
Are you still looking for the perfect way to tell your loved ones that they mean all Seven Kingdoms to you? Well, you are in luck: Winter is Coming shared these hilarious Valentine’s Day cards! The HBO Shop took some of their favorite Game of Thrones merchandise and created cards that range from adorable to, frankly, disturbing. Check them out below!
Are you going to be in New York tonight? N.K. Jemisin, the Hugo Award-winning author of The Fifth Season and The Inheritance Trilogy, will be headlining at the latest iteration of the Franklin Park Reading Series in Brooklyn. The series is held on the second Monday of each month in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and tends to focus more on the literary fiction side of the writing world, but since they’re showcasing “socially engaged authors who address the urgent themes of racial injustice, oppression, income inequality, and self-determination,” Jemisin’s dark, thoughtful fantasy should be a perfect fit. The reading will also feature Kaitlyn Greenidge (We Love You, Charlie Freeman), Marcy Dermansky (Bad Marie), Jonathan Lee (High Dive), and Tony Iantosca (Shut Up, Leaves).
You can check the reading out at Franklin Park in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, at 8:00pm! Admission is free, and the hosts will hold a free-to-enter raffle for the authors’ books. Find out more about the series here.
On Valentine’s Day, 1938, the Chrysler Building got tired of waiting on the corner of Forty-second and Lex for a certain edifice to notice her, and steps off her foundation and sashays across town. At least, that’s how it happened in Maria Dahvana Headley’s “The Tallest Doll in New York City,” a short story about what might happen if two of New York’s greatest creations met on a day built for romance:
Turn your grey heart red with A Darker Shade of Magic valentines! V.E. Schwab posted these lovely cards (I would cross worlds for you :melt:) from Tor Books, with more to come.
If the morning publishing roundup were Sweethearts candies, what would they say? The Perfect Question; March; and a whole box more!
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