Stories matter: the recurring narrative of radical Islamic terror in America (a statistical outlier) makes it nearly impossible to avoid equating "terrorist" with "jihadi suicide bomber" -- but the real domestic terror threat is white people
, the Dominionists, ethno-nationalists, white separatists, white supremacists and sovereign citizens who target (or infiltrate
) cops and blow up buildings. That's what makes Brian Wood's first Briggs Land collection so timely
: a gripping story of far-right terror that is empathic but never sympathetic.
The Science Fiction Writers of America have announced the 2017 Nebula Award winners, including two of my favorite books of 2016: Charlie Jane Anders's wonderful debut All the Birds in the Sky and Seanan McGuire's outstanding novella, Every Heart a Doorway.
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I was approached by The Folio Society last year to see if I would be up for working on some illustrations for their planned collection of stories from H.P. Lovecraft, 'The Call of Cthulhu & Other Weird Stories', and after a bit of figuring out whether I'd be able to do it justice, due to having preparations for a solo show on the boil at the same time, I jumped right in and ended up having a large hand in its overall design too.
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In Soupy Leaves Home
, writer Cecil Castellucci and artist Jose Pimienta expand the borders of young adult graphic novels, telling a moving, inspiring tale of Depression-era hobos, identity, gender, suspicion, solidarity, and the complicated business of being true to yourself while living up to your obligations to others.
We live in a golden age of Star Wars merch, but even by those hopeful standards, the Luke Skywalker flight suit tee is pretty fine. The matching Chewbacca tee is also worth a look. (via Canopy)
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Jesse Brown is a pioneering podcaster whose Search Engine
produced some of the best commentary on the intersection of the internet, pop culture and politics; when he struck out on his own to create a new podcasting empire, Canadaland (previously
), he hit on a winning formula: analysing and critiquing Canadian politics by analysing and critiquing the Canadian press, with wit, irreverence and a sharp nose for bullshit -- all of which combine to excellent effect in the brand new Canadaland Guide to Canada (Published in America)
, co-written with Vicky Mochama and Nick Zarzycki.
In Spill Zone
, YA superstar Scott "Uglies
" Westerfeld and artist Alex Puvilland tell the spooky, action-packed tale of Addison, one of the few survivors of the mysterious events that destroyed Poughkeepsie, New York, turning it into a spooky, Night-Vale-ish place where mutant animals, floating living corpses, and people trapped in two-dimensional planes live amid strange permanent winds that create funnels of old electronics and medical waste.
Red Lava Toys is a Detroit-based startup that make super cool, low-cost custom Minecraft figs at a local makerspace: they CNC-milled their own injection molds for the body and joints, and have precision die-cut vinyl stickers that they print to order with long-lasting ink and cover with a clear adhesive coat, then place them on the body of the toy.
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Regular Boing Boing readers need no introduction to John Scalzi, whose smartass, snappy, funny, action-packed science fiction novels are a treat to read; but new fans and old hands alike will find much to love in The Collapsing Empire
, the first volume in a new, epic space-opera series.
Life is a continuing cycle of newness, then growth, and then gone: then birth and growth again. I started thinking about that theme of new life and new beginnings several years ago, and WAKE UP!
, published by Candlewick Press, is the result. Working with my collaborator, poet Helen Frost, our book is about opening eyes—our own, first—and pointing to the world that’s right here, containing us all. Helen and I are both based in the US Midwest, so we started there, with a world that we didn’t need to travel far to explore, only wake up enough to actually see.
Etsy seller Tcustom is a carver who casts their small creations to make beautiful, detailed articulated keychains and pendants, the best of which use contrasting materials. Some of my favorites: Anatomical Human Head; Salamander Life Cycle; Mitochondria and Trilobite.
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Briggs Land is a complex, intelligent crime drama that is so American at its core, but a slice of America we rarely get to see. It would be topical at any time, but in our current political climate, it's frighteningly relevant.
Saga is Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples' magnificent, visually stunning, adventurous, funny, raunchy, complex and provocative graphic novel; the first six volumes of collected comics moved from strength to strength, fleshing out a universe that was simultaneously surreal and deadly serious, where cute characters could have deadly-serious lives: now, with volume 7
, Staples and Vaughan continue their unbroken streak of brilliance.
Seletti's Hybrid Collection "reflects on the historical production of Chinese and European Bone China and its influences between Western and Eastern aesthetics" -- they're made in Italy and they ain't cheap, but they really tickle my aesthetic sense.
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Jonathan Coulton is known for a myriad of distinct accomplishments. The tech professional-turned-musician once conducted a Thing a Week experiment, in which he recorded and published a new song every Friday for a year, produced a cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back
" infamously adopted by the Fox series Glee, regularly contributes to the NPR quiz show "Ask Me Another" as its very own one-man band, and runs his own fan cruise aptly called the JoCo Cruise
In 2014, IKEA, the Swedish-based global furniture company, sent a cease-and-desist letter to a blogger by the name of Jules Yap. Yap ran the extremely popular website IKEAhackers.net, which helped people “hack” IKEA furniture into new, creative, and unexpected designs. The site was already almost a decade old when IKEA’s lawyers demanded that Yap hand over the URL. What follows is a case study from Superfandom: How Our Obsessions are Changing What We Buy and Who We Are
In 2012, Kim Stanley Robinson published 2312
, imagining how the world and its neighbors might look in 300 years, loosely coupled with the seminal Red Mars
books, a futuristically pastoral novel about the way that technology can celebrate the glories of nature; in 2015, Robinson followed it up with Aurora
, the best book I read that year, which used 2312's futures to demolish the idea that we can treat space colonization (and other muscular technological projects) as Plan B for climate change -- a belief that is very comforting to those who don't or can't imagine transforming capitalism into a political system that doesn't demolish the planet. Now, with New York 2140
, Robinson starts to connect the dots between these different futures with a bold, exhilarating story of life in a permanent climate crisis, where most people come together in adversity, but where a small rump of greedy, powerful people get in their way.