Analyzing the classism of sci-fi protagonists | Boing Boing:

After a particularly obnoxious convention conversation where someone lamented the lack of stories about kindly rich men dealing with hardship, she decided to crunch some numbers, and see if she could figure out who’s actually the more under-represented group.

How a Book Is Made – The New York Times:

Here, we will show you how vats of ink and 800-pound rolls of paper become a printed book.

The title we will follow on its journey is “Moon Witch, Spider King,” a fantastical epic that draws on African mythology, the second book in a trilogy by Marlon James.

Let’s watch this book get born.

William Gibson’s Neuromancer: Does the Edge Still Bleed? |

Fiction, even science fiction, is not about the future: I think everybody knows that. So what is the “future” that Gibson describes here? It’s a future that in some ways looks remarkably like the present: the US hegemony is fading, the poor have gotten even poorer than they were in 1984, and the truly rich have power that the rest of us can’t even imagine. Although often described as glorifying computer programmers as a cohort of romantically wild console cowboys, Neuromancer pushes back at the idea that technical advance always results in progress. This book is still surprising, still relevant, and it still deals with unanswered questions.

Five Stories That Helped Me Understand My Anxiety |

Assembling a list of stories that openly discuss mental health inevitably proves difficult because of the wide-ranging spectrum of conditions and types of neurodiversity—any such list is bound to be subjective, to some degree. Everyone’s experience differs, and it’s important to understand how one individual’s truth can be valid even when it doesn’t align perfectly with yours.

In other words, everyone’s mental health journey is their own. Nobody walks the same path. Two people with anxiety can manifest it in completely different ways. Stories, however, can act as a unifying force among those of us with anxiety, depression, and the many types of neurodivergence. Across a number of narrative formats, creators are tackling the challenges presented by mental health and teaching us to better understand ourselves. These stories tell us we’re not alone.

A Bug in Early Creative Commons Licenses Has Enabled a New Breed of Superpredator | by Cory Doctorow | Jan, 2022 | Medium:

Here’s a supreme irony: the Creative Commons licenses were invented to enable a culture of legally safe sharing, spurred by the legal terror campaign waged by the entertainment industry, led by a literal criminal predator who is now in prison for sex crimes.
But because of a small oversight in old versions of the licenses created 12 years ago, a new generation of legal predator has emerged to wage a new campaign of legal terror.

Anne McCaffrey Books You’ll Remember Forever:

McCaffrey’s books frequently center around women with special abilities, talents, and gifts. Along with these protagonists, she often included unique species like dragons, unicorns, and aliens. She also collaborated with other authors on multiple books and series. These peers included authors Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Mercedes Lackey, and her own son Todd McCaffrey.

20 Years On, What I Learned From ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ Movie:

December 19th, 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of The Fellowship of the Ring—the film that introduced the majesty and mythos of Middle-earth to countless viewers worldwide, as well as to the fictional characters that now feel as familiar as old friends. Rewatching Jackson’s movie brings back fond memories of my teenage years and gives me a chance to re-evaluate the life lessons I learned from it.

Not Actually A Space Cowboy

December 20, 2021

Not Actually A Space Cowboy:

This is an excellent post to keep in mind when you see another recent post criticizing the current trend of dystopian sci-fi and going on about how sci-fi used to be about hope and wonder.

9 Thrilling Last Stands in Genre Fiction |

Angry Delenn is a force of nature:

“Only one human captain has ever survived battle with a Minbari fleet. He is behind me. You are in front of me. If you value your lives, be somewhere else.”

This is one of my favorite moments, in one of my favorite shows… But Babylon 5 actually has quite a few of my favorite moments of TV ever.

2001: A Space Odyssey Tried to Break Us Out of Our Comfort Zone |

But of all the genres, science fiction seems the most suited to the task. Straight drama, or comedy, or even musicals remain rooted in our earthly, observable realities; what can be glimpsed outside your window can also be up on the screen. SF—by dint of reaching beyond, by speculating on the possible, by asking, What if…?—can break through the simple equation of “what is seen is what is,” can prompt us to imagine alternatives, and can get us to question whether what we know about ourselves is as absolute as we believe.