* R.I.P. William Peter Blatty, who had a long and varied career in literature, film and newspapers. His most successful creation was the novel The Exorcist.  http://www.avclub.com/article/rip-william-peter-blatty-author-exorcist-248396

* We're also sorry to report the passing of actor John Hurt.  Here, i09.com presents clips from some of his most memorable genre roles: http://io9.gizmodo.com/john-hurts-8-most-memorable-scifi-and-fantasy-movie-rol-1791735959

* Efforts to revise or repeal California's terrible autograph law AB5170 have resulted in AB228, a revised piece of legislation that is due to be voted on as soon as February 26th, 2017.  It's not how we would have re-written it, but it does have the positive effects of exempting most regular bookstores and booksellers from the law.  You can read the text of it here: https://legiscan.com/CA/text/AB228/2017 .  We'll keep you posted if it passes!

* Unfortunately, local San Francisco bookstore Adobe Books was broken into for the second time this year: https://missionlocal.org/2017/01/thieves-at-adobe-books-take-the-cash-and-leave-the-books/

* Locus Magazine has released their 2016 Recommended Reading List -- everything from novels to novellas to shorts.  Check out the full list here: http://www.locusmag.com/News/2017/01/2016-locus-recommended-reading-list/

* Strange Horizons has released their 2016 Readers Poll: http://strangehorizons.com/non-fiction/azimuth/editorials/the-2016-readers-poll/

* The first recipients of the Young Adult Write Now Endowment (endowed by the Horror Writers Association) have been announced. The five libraries will receive $500 each to help fund teen writing programs.  More details here: http://horrorscholarships.com/first-recipients-of-the-young-adult-write-now-endowment-announced

* Fantastic Stories of the Imagination will be shutting down after their special People of Color Take Over issue because of financial issues.  More details in the Publisher's letter: http://www.fantasticstoriesoftheimagination.com/message-from-the-publisher/

* In more sad news SFF.net, long a hub for SF writers, has announced that it will be closing by the end of March.  Their full statement is here: https://www.sff.net/closingnotice.asp

* You can help in naming the World Science Fiction Society?s new award for Best Young Adult Book by voting.  The name Worldcon seems kind of meh to us, but all of the others are pretty great.  Check out the options with small explanations on the choices here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdPJlnD7hXaVI7Q5vntFW3OpEp2PqF6QhqGu2VmP71JR3Fn9Q/viewform

* If you're feeling down, here's a list of some inspirational quotes from science fiction.  http://www.guidingtech.com/64248/top-science-fiction-quotes/

* An essay on how the use of allegory to represent oppression can actually erase the very people it's meant to be helping. http://www.denofgeek.com/us/movies/science-fiction/261921/how-allegory-in-sci-fi-can-narrow-representation

* YAY! The Expanse is back! We're still behind, but if you're caught up, check out this article on why it's so relevant to our current times. http://www.theverge.com/2017/2/1/14429646/expanse-season-2-syfy-relevant-science-fiction-show-television

* A great list that explores many of the ways that consuming science fiction can make the world a better place. https://qz.com/894823/science-fiction-films-and-novels-could-help-us-save-the-world/

* We can't wait for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.  More Rey!  More Poe!!  More Finn!!!  Here's a little article where the director reveals the three films that influence his ideas of the Star Wars universe.  http://sciencefiction.com/2017/01/30/what-three-films-influenced-rian-johnsons-take-on-star-wars-the-last-jedi/

* They've been talking about a Highlander reboot for years, but now we have a lot more information.  Check here if the cheesiness of Highlander was a huge part of your childhood.  http://sciencefiction.com/2017/01/31/can-there-be-only-one-chad-stahelski-talks-highlander-reboot

* Author Marlon James talks about his upcoming fantasy trilogy, cultural perspectives on what fantasy is, and goes more into more detail on what he's called an "African Game of Thrones". Read the whole interview here: http://www.mprnews.org/story/2017/01/26/books-marlon-james-dark-star-fantasy-trilogy

* Science fiction has created some of the most political shows in recent memory.  Here are five upcoming shows in 2017 that are ready to carry that torch forward.  https://www.inverse.com/article/26263-4-ways-shows-political-health-care-immigration

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Award News
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* The Horror Writers Association has released the preliminary ballot for the Bram Stoker Awards. Check out all the nominees here: http://horror.org/2016-bram-stoker-awards-preliminary-ballot-announced/

* The Philip K. Dick Award has announced their 2016 nominees!  For the list go here: http://www.norwescon.org/con/p-k-dick-award/

* The judges for the 2017 World Fantasy Award have been announced: http://wfc2017.org/wfc2017/awards/judges/

* The 2016 SF&F Hall of Fame Inductees have been announced, and not only have the rules of eligibility been expanded, but in honor of their 20th anniversary they inducted 20 extra creators and works into the Hall of Fame.  See the full list here: http://www.locusmag.com/News/2017/01/2016-sff-hall-of-fame-inductees/

* Mystery Writers of America announces the shortlist for the Edgar Award, and many of the nominees are of definite interest to speculative fiction fans.  The full list is here: http://mysterywriters.org/mwa-announces-the-2017-edgar-nominations/

* The nomination period for the Hugos is open.  http://www.locusmag.com/News/2017/01/2017-hugo-awards-nomination-period-open/