(1) HUNDRED BEST. Unbound Worlds knows there’s nothing like a “best” list to get everyone riled up. To that end they present “The 100 Best Fantasy Novels of All Time”. I’ve read a solid 15 of these, which tells you I’m not a big fantasy fan, but even I know they should have picked a different Pratchett book.
It was daunting, but we did it: a list of the one hundred best fantasy books of all time. What was our criteria? Well, we loved these these books and thought they deserved to be on the list. That’s pretty much it. This list is totally subjective, and with a cut-off of one hundred books, we couldn’t include all of the amazing fantasy tales out there. We hope you look through this list and agree with a lot of our picks, and that you also find some new stories to pick up. If there’s anything we left out, please add it to the comments below — we’d love to see what books would be on your list!
So without further ado, here’s what makes our list of best fantasy books of all time (arranged alphabetically)! Fair warning: your TBR pile is about to get a lot bigger…
(2) NEW GROENING SERIES. The Verge’s Andrew Liptak reports “Matt Groening’s new animated fantasy show will premiere on Netflix in August”.
Matt Groening’s animated epic fantasy series has a release date: Netflix has revealed that Disenchantment will premiere on August 17th. The company also shared a handful of pictures that show off an art style that will be familiar to anyone who’s watched Futurama or The Simpsons.
Netflix officially announced the series last year. It’ll follow a “hard-drinking young princess” named Bean, an elf companion named Elfo, and her personal demon named Luci as they encounter all manner of fantasy creatures in a magical kingdom known as Dreamland. Netflix ordered 20 episodes of the show; the first 10 will premiere this year.
— Netflix US (@netflix) May 23, 2018
(3) HELP FRANKENSTEIN AUTHOR GET BUSTED. Sculptor Bryan Moore hopes to crowdfund the rest of the expenses of the Mary Shelley Bronze Bust Project. So far people have contributed $3,546 of the $16,000 goal.
To celebrate the 200th publication anniversary of the legendary novel “Frankenstein”, we’re donating a life size, bronze bust of Mary Shelley to the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, WA on August 30, 2018!!!!
While I’ve donated the last six months of my time sculpting Mary, I can’t get her across the finish line without your help to pay for the considerable costs at the bronze foundry to mold, cast, finish and fire the patina on the bust itself.
Mary Shelley is the second of three busts that MoPOP has graciously agreed to accept in my horror author bronze bust series; “Dracula” author Bram Stoker was unveiled in October, 2017, Mary Shelley will be installed on her birthday on August 30, 2018 and Rod Serling will be unveiled in 2019 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of “The Twilight Zone”. As you’ll see in the video, I’ve also sculpted and donated bronze busts of H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe.
(4) SEEMS LIKE FOREVER. It was another busy day at the Romance Writers of America.
We are aware of and in communication with attorneys about the new trademark filing for the word "forever."
— RWA (@romancewriters) May 23, 2018
The author and agent have reported the trademark filing is being withdrawn. We’re glad to see the issue resolved so quickly and appreciate the romance community’s alertness. Members affected by issues like this can always contact RWA for author relations assistance. https://t.co/FMbZlQewxw
— RWA (@romancewriters) May 23, 2018
(5) TODAY IN HISTORY
- May 23, 1969 — Destroy All Monsters premiered.
(6) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS
- Born May 23, 1933 — Joan Collins, who won genre fame as “City on the Edge of Forever’s” Edith Keeler.
- Born May 23, 1986 — Black Panther director Ryan Coogler
(7) COMICS SECTION.
- John King Tarpinian witnessed the first book tour at Non Sequitur.
- And Lio seems to have the wrong idea about The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.
(8) PERSISTENT BELIEVERS. Did you think this was a settled question? Oh, such a silly person you are… “Loch Ness Monster’s Existence Could Be Proven With eDNA”.
Is the Loch Ness real? We may soon have an answer.
A team of scientists have proposed using actual science to figure out if the mythical creature allegedly lurking in Scotland’s River Ness is actually real.
Their proposal? Using environmental DNA, or eDNA, a sampling method already used to track movements in marine life. When an animal moves through an environment, it leaves behind residual crumbs of its genetics by shedding skin or scales, leaving behind feathers or tufts of fur, perhaps some feces and urine.
Scientists think those residual clues left behind by a monster like that of the Loch Ness could be collected by eDNA and subsequently used to prove its existence.
“This DNA can be captured, sequenced and then used to identify that creature by comparing the sequence obtained to large databases of known genetic sequences from hundreds of thousands of different organisms,” team spokesman Professor Neil Gemmell of the University of Otago in New Zealand told Reuters.
It’s certainly not the first time that people, scientifically minded or not, have attempted to track the legendary monster’s existence. A sixth century document chronicles the tale of an Irish monk named St. Columba, who banished a “water beast” to the bottom of the River Ness.
(9) JDA WILL PROVE LOVE. Since his lawsuit won’t even get its first hearing til October, Jon Del Arroz came up with a new plan to make people pay attention to him: “Announcement: Rally For Freedom And Anti-Discrimination Demonstration At Worldcon 76 San Jose” [Internet Archive].
Civil rights activist Erin Sith, trans for Trump, and I talked about this briefly on our livestream last Thursday. As we are both minorities on the right, we’ve both had a lot of shared similar experiences where those of privilege on the left have treated us inhumanly because we left the proverbial slave plantation they set up for us. 2018 is the year we will let our message be heard, in unity, in love, and for tolerance and diversity.
We are planning a gathering outside Worldcon 76 in San Jose, on Saturday, August 18th, 2018. I’ve talked with the city of San Jose and the convention center and we are cleared to go on their end. We cannot allow these institutions to willfully discriminate and spew hatred just because someone is an outspoken political personality. With Worldcon’s actions emboldening ConCarolinas and Origins to similarly attempt to harm and discredit other popular conservative authors because of politics, enough is enough….
(10) ANTIMATTER. Gizmodo swears it happened in 2015: “A Recent Hurricane Shot a Bolt of Antimatter Toward Earth”.
The detector onboard the plane measured a phenomenon that scientists have been interested in for decades: terrestrial gamma-ray flashes. It’s unclear exactly how it happens, but lightning in storms seems to accelerate electrons to nearly light speed. These electrons collide with the particles in the atmosphere, resulting in high-energy x-rays and gamma rays that scientists have measured in satellites and on the ground. The rays could also result from collisions between electrons and their antimatter partners, positrons.
The team behind the newest paper had a tool called the Airborne Detector for Energetic Lightning Emissions (ADELE) on board a hurricane-hunting WP-3D plane, according to the paper published recently in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.
(11) UNDERGROUND. “New whisky distillery in Moray ‘like nothing else'”. It blends in with the landscape, but visits expected to double. Chip Hitchcock asks, “A side trip for next year’s Worldcon?”
The new distillery, on the Easter Elchies estate near Craigellachie in Moray, has been camouflaged under a vast turf roof, to blend in with the rolling hillside.
It is believed to be the most expensive in the country, going 40% over budget, with a total cost for the production facility and visitor centre of £140m.
The roof, with 10cm (4in) depth of turf and meadow flowers, covers 14,000 sq m.
Underneath are ventilation, vapour control, flexible waterproofing and irrigation systems.
Under those is a complex ceiling structure comprising 2,500 panels, few of them the same.
(12) HEAVY DEW. “GRACE mission launches to weigh Earth’s water” – BBC has the story. This is a replacement/upgrade for applauded 15-year-old satellites which will track icecaps, and sea/land exchanges.
A joint US-German mission has gone into orbit to weigh the water on Earth.
The Grace satellites are replacing a pair of highly successful spacecraft that stopped working last year.
Like their predecessors, the new duo will circle the globe and sense tiny variations in the pull of gravity that result from movements in mass.
These could be a signal of the land swelling after prolonged rains, or of ice draining from the poles as they melt in a warming climate.
The satellites were launched on Tuesday aboard a SpaceX rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force base in California.
(13) SUMMA WHAT? Bakers are more activist in some parts of the country: “US student’s ‘Summa cum laude’ graduation cake censored”.
The South Carolina student’s mother had asked a local grocery store to print the term “Summa Cum Laude” (with the highest distinction) on her son’s cake.
The store censored the term “cum” deeming it offensive and put three hyphens in its place.
(14) TODAY’S CLICKBAIT. Frog in a Well asks “Was Hirata Atsutane Japan’s first Science Fiction writer?”
Maybe. Well, sort of. It kind of depends on how you define things.
Hirata Atsutane (1776-1843) was one of the key thinkers and popularizers of Japanese Nativism. He was a prolific writer, and most of what he wrote was aimed at proving that Japan was the center of the universe. In particular, he argued against Chinese learning, which was pointless, and to the extent it was any good, the Japanese had done it first. He argued against Indian (Buddhist) learning, which was pointless, and to the extent it was any good, the Japanese had done it first. He argued against European (Dutch) learning, which was pointless, and to the extent it was any good, the Japanese had done it first. As you may guess, he was a bit polemical. He was also pretty important in the creation and popularization of a specifically Japanese identity.
One of his important works is Senkyo Ibun (Strange tidings from the realm of the Immortals), 1822. This is an account of his interviews with the teenage tengu Kozo Torakichi. Tengu are the trickster/mountain goblin figures of Japanese folklore. Torakichi claimed to have been raised by them, and to have learned all the secrets of true Japanese-ness in the process.
(15) PERSONAL 451. Mr. Sci-Fi delivers “Ray Bradbury & Fahrenheit 451 – The Untold Story.”
Sci-fi whiz Marc Zicree shares stories his dear friend and mentor Ray Bradbury told him about the genesis of Fahrenheit 451 and gives a history of the work that includes first editions, plays, radio versions and movies.
[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, Alan Baumler, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Kendall, Andrew Porter, and Carl Slaughter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Rev. Bob.]