Swords and Spaceships

Swords and Spaceships August 23

Hello, shipmates, from the black depths of my post-WorldCon concrash. It’s Alex, back in Denver with a mountain of laundry to do and two extremely clingy cats to fend off while they get this newsletter put together!

News and Views

A really cool look at how fashion embraces our genre.

In this week’s SFF Yeah! Sharifah discusses favorite animal characters. has a great interview with Lauren Shippen about her upcoming podcast-turned-book The Infinite Noise.

And io9 has an interesting interview with the creators of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.

I’d say about 95% of current, non-political social media drama in our circles is about Sony taking Spider-Man back.

There’s going to be a Matrix 4, with both Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, though solo directed by Lana Wachowski.

Here’s 12 YA books if you’re a fan of the Marauders in Harry Potter. Related: Which Ravenclaw character are you?

Tom Felton and Emma Thompson have a cute reunion.

George R.R. Martin gave out a couple of Alfie Awards at the Hugo Losers’ Party this year.

I am definitely curious about Kirsten Stewart’s upcoming movie, Underwater.

The last time Earth’s magnetic poles flipped, it might have taken 22,000 years to complete.

I found this surprisingly relevant from a writing/worldbuilding perspective: Altruism Still Fuels the Web. Businesses Love to Exploit It.

Free Association Friday

The Hugos are still very much on my mind, so hopefully you’ll forgive me if we noodle on them a bit more. On Tuesday, I gave you the quick rundown of winners for the most relevant categories to us. But I want to dive a little deeper because this was another year where the Hugos were absolutely dominated by women–and a lot of them had extremely relevant things to say.

I already mentioned Jeannette Ng’s acceptance speech, which you can read here, or hear in part on this tweet–including the loud cheering she received for her opinion about John W. Campbell. Due to the tut-tutting and pearl-clutching now being aimed at her because of her speech, here’s another barn burner of a thread from Jeannette–with a reminder that one thing Campbell did was defend the Kent State shooting. (Jeannette wrote Under the Pendulum Sun and has a short story in Not So Stories.)

Carrie Cuin also has a great Twitter thread regarding Campbell apologists. Justine Larbalestier also has a good chunk about Campbell in her excellent historical work The Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction, and unsurprisingly she is in total agreement with Jeannette.

Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning) was the presenter for the Campbell and has posted the text of her speech in full so we can enjoy it without the text-to-speech captioning SNAFU that had a lot of us inappropriately laughing. (Honestly, at first it was impossible to tell if the captions were borked or if this was some sort of intentional joke.)

Rivers Solomon (author of An Unkindness of Ghosts) did not win the Campbell, but she shared the text of the speech she would have given, and it’s well worth reading.

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen ChoI want everyone in the world to see this adorable photo of award-winners Zen Cho and Jeannette Ng. If you want to see pure joy, she’s gathered a thread of her fellow Malaysians reacting to her Hugo win. (Zen Cho also wrote Sorcerer to the Crown.)

Elsa Sjunneson-Henry became the first deaf-blind woman to win a Hugo as part of the editorial team for Uncanny Magazine; she was on the special Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction issue. She hasn’t had a chance to release the text of her speech yet due to travel, but here’s a twitter thread of hers you should read.

Mary Robinette Kowal’s Hugo acceptance speech for The Calculating Stars is also well worth your time. She focuses on women who have too long been made invisible and it made me want to stand up and cheer.

You should also read Likhain’s speech. She won the Hugo for Best Fan Artist and gave a speech that had me in tears–and also became the first person to speak Tagalog on the Hugo stage.

spinning silverI’m still having a ton of feelings about Archive of Our Own winning the Hugo for Best Related Work. The Mary Sue has a good round-up post about reactions. Naomi Novik, who has never been shy about writing fanfiction, gave the speech when the award was accepted, and you can read it here. (In addition to fanfic, Naomi Novik most recently wrote Spinning Silver.) has a great “what’s next for the winners” roundup that you might want to check out.

And last, for pure fun, here’s a Hugos “red carpet” Twitter thread.

See you, space pirates. You can find all of the books recommended in this newsletter on a handy Goodreads shelf. If you’d like to know more about my secret plans to dominate the seas and skies, you can catch me over at my personal site.