Category Archives: fiction

The ‘fake geek girl’ is back, and no one is impressed

College Humor is not making many friends in the comics blogosphere, lately. The ad at right has appeared on the back page of several DC Comics books, and… Well. Take it away:

WonderAli: That Joke isn’t Funny Anymore. “College Humor, and DC by association, are perpetuating the message that comics simply cannot possibly be enjoyed by girls. They are for BOYS ONLY–mouth-breathing, women-hating boys at that. Sorry, intelligent woman who is enjoying the hell out of Wonder Woman, this book is not for you!”

The Mary Sue’s Susana Polo: So, The Back Cover Ad on Batman This Month Is a “Fake Geek Girl” Joke. “I just can’t decide which is more depressing to imagine: someone in marketing at College Humor (whose work I generally enjoy) pitching this specific example from their series of real life comic book “villains” to DC for an ad… or someone on DC’s marketing team saying “These ‘villains’ you came up with are all super funny, but you know… Some of our readers might feel targeted by the “guy who gets angry on forums” joke or the implications that they’re not good at personal interaction. And we probably shouldn’t use the one about executives… seeing as how we’re employed by them. So we’ll use the one that’s a girl. Girls don’t read comics anyway.””

iFanboy’s Jim Mroczkowski: Real Geeks Only, Ladies. “Funny how people who were bullied throughout their childhoods will become the most hateful bullies themselves at the first whiff of a victim. Hang on: when I typed “funny,” I misspelled “unimaginably depressing.” A round of applause for human nature, everybody.”

Are we seriously not past this crap, yet? UPDATE: Becky Allen says the same, only much better than I.

Here are all the ‘supervillains,’ if you’re really curious. Or, simply skip straight to restore your faith in humanity.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back of fan bases?

Or is it Attack of the Clones? Well, I suppose that depends on your certain point of view…

Earlier this week, Vulture posted a massive list of what they’re calling the most influential fan bases, and Star Wars came in number 2 – pretty good, all things considered. Occupying the #1 spot is Game of Thrones, which I can’t really be all that bitter about seeing as they’re peaking right now. (And, well, I’m a fan, if not technically in the fandom.)

It’s an interesting series, but one major qualm with the Star Wars listing: Warsies? Dude, no one with an actual clue uses that term. It’s not even a Trekker/Trekkie situation: No one uses it.

The Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Star Trek, Joss Whedon and Lord of the Rings fandoms also made the list. It’s all part of a week-long series, which also covers things like naming your fandom (don’t,) psychology and the crazy shit fans buy.

They’ve also profiled several influential fans, including the Leaky Cauldron’s Melissa Anelli, The One Ring’s Erica Challis and TFN’s Dustin Roberts.

What has 50 Shades wrought? 16-year-old gets book deal for boy band fan fiction.

Sure, we winced when ex-Twilight story 50 Shades of Grey became the giant bestseller of 2012. But for the world of fanfic, what’s worse than watching badly-written BDSM shoot up the bestseller lists?

Could it be… Boy band fan fiction? Penguin has picked up a story called Loving the Band, written by a 16-year-old “One Direction super-fan”. Maybe the cash will help take the sting out of the embarrassment she’ll feel about the thing in 5 to 10 years – assuming it proves even a fraction as sucessful as 50 Shades, anyway.

J.K. Rowling’s next book will be for kids

At the Cheltenham Literature Festival, J.K. Rowling said that she’ll be returning to the children’s section for her next book.

“I think probably the next thing I write, or the next thing I publish, will be for children.” she said.

She told fans that she had a “number of ideas on my laptop”, but wouldn’t reveal the details about what she has been working on.

The award winner also said that the book would be for “younger children than the Harry Potter series.”

The sales numbers for The Casual Vacancy, Rowling’s first novel since the Harry Potter finale in 2007, have been ‘respectable.’

Discussion: What have you been reading?

What’s the last book you read? What’s the last book you read that you’d recommend, and why?

Also, what upcoming books are you looking forward to? What are the latest editions to your to-read pile

(No, none of these have to be Star Wars – in fact, please don’t, particularly those of you with advance copies of certain gigantic reference tomes – since we know all about those.)

Other worlds: Rowling returns with The Casual Vacancy

J.K. Rowling. The author’s first non-Harry Potter book, The Casual Vacancy, is coming out on tomorrow. ‘Cozy village mystery’ is not a genre we’d cover if Rowling wasn’t writing it, but there is an interesting profile in The New Yorker for the occasion. Naturally, the part that went viral was the quote about sex and unicorns, but if you’re in the mood for a 10-page profile on Jo Rowling, well. Meanwhile, she told The Guardian that she promised her editor she wouldn’t read Fifty Shades of Grey. If we don’t ask every woman in publishing about the ex-fanfic smut, does the ex-fanfic smut win?

It’s (almost) the end of a Big Fat Fantasy era. The final book of the Wheel of Time series, A Memory of Light, will be released in January. Dragonmount’s Jason Denzel read the book, and shares some (spoiler-free) reaction and memories. meanwhile, fans can grab the book’s prologue on Amazon, while Tor offers the first chapter.

Adaptions. The latest YA book on the hoping-to-be-the-next-Twilight-franchise assembly line, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s Beautiful Creatures, debuted its first trailer last week, and it looks, well, like a gender-swapped Twilight. (She’s a witch; he’s normal.) I did read the book a while back, and was distinctly unimpressed. The movie features Viola Davis, Emma Thompson, Jeremy Irons and Emmy Rossum in supporting roles. Meanwhile, Dreamworks has optioned Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone. It will be produced by Harry Potter’s David Heyman.

All the powerful ladies. Tor’s Liz Bourke presents an argument against copping out on women in historical fantasy.

Do not want. Robin Hobb is quietly working on a new Fitz novel, a prospect which fills me with dread. Her breakthrough Farseer Trilogy is all well and good, but the second set of Fitz books were probably about 90% chaff and whining. (Despite that, I think parts of the ending – not Fitz – did actually make me cry. YMMV.) Is the character going to be Hobb’s Lestat? Speaking of, Anne Rice is asking her fans why they want Lestat to come back. Dear lord, no. I could write whole essays for her second question.

Also: Terry Brook’s Shannara series optioned for TV; Naomi Novik talks writing and fan fiction; A visual history of the Hugo’s Best Professional Artist winners.

Other worlds: Walton, Gaiman win Hugos

Awards. The Hugo Award winners were announced at Worldcon this past weekend. Taking Best Novel was Jo Walton’s Among Others, beating out George R. R. Martin’s A Dance With Dragons and works by China Miéville, James S. A. Corey and Mira Grant. (Walton also won the Nebula for the book.) Other writing prizes went to Kij Johnson, Charlie Jane Anders, Ken Liu and more.

The dramatic presentation awards went to Game of Thrones S1 and Neil Gaiman for his Doctor Who episode ‘The Doctor’s Wife.’ (Gaiman took the opportunity to announce he’s writing another episode for the show.) Also noteworthy to us, SF Signal winning for Best Fanzine!


Tolkien. With Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit adaption now being three films, the second has been retitled The Desolation of Smaug, with There and Back Again now being the third installment. I fully expect it to contain at least an hour of various slow-motion endings. But seriously, it looks like there was a lot of hints dropped at DragonCon.


A Song of Ice And Fire. A hilarious Storm of Swords ‘It Gets Better’ PSA. Yes, of course there are spoilers. Or, you can read what GRRM has revealed of the Targaryen conquest of Westeros from the upcoming The World of Ice and Fire.


Lists. io9 picks fall’s must-read SF/F books and explores the mermaid trend in YA.


Records. The Hunger Games series has outsold Harry Potter – at least on Amazon.


Also: Ray Bradbury’s FBI file / Lev Grossman interviews Terry Brooks / Ursula Le Guin’s Noble Prize odds / Dark Tower adaption not so dead after all?

Mary Poppins to face Voldemort at the Olympics?

A British newspaper is reporting that a 40-foot He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and Mary Poppins – among other noted characters of British literature – will be featured in the Opening Ceremonies of the London Olympics on Friday. The Sunday Times writes:

About 30 actors each depicting Mary Poppins, the magical English nanny played by Julie Andrews in the 1964 Disney film, will descend from the roof of the stadium on wires and “float” to the ground with their opened umbrellas. The nightmare will be banished and happiness restored. “It’s a jaw-dropping sequence,” said one source.

If this is true, it’s going to be completely batshit. I hope it’s true.

In other news, I hear they’ve reached out for some rather unorthodox help in other areas.