Where the Trains Turn November 19, 2014 Where the Trains Turn Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen His imagination runs wild. The Walk November 12, 2014 The Walk Dennis Etchison Creative differences can be brutal. Where the Lost Things Are November 5, 2014 Where the Lost Things Are Rudy Rucker and Terry Bisson Everything has to wind up somewhere. A Kiss with Teeth October 29, 2014 A Kiss with Teeth Max Gladstone Happy Halloween.
From The Blog
November 21, 2014
Never Wait for a Sequel Again: 17 Standalone Fantasy Novels
Stubby the Rocket
November 18, 2014
The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare’s Histories in the Age of Netflix
Ada Palmer
November 17, 2014
In Defense of Indiana Jones, Archaeologist
Max Gladstone
November 14, 2014
An Uncut and Non-Remastered List of Star Wars Editions!
Leah Schnelbach
November 13, 2014
Why Do We Reject Love as a Powerful Force in Interstellar?
Natalie Zutter
Wed
Nov 26 2014 2:00pm

Mira Grant Talks Tapeworms in a Lively Reddit AMA!

Mira Grant Symbiont AMA

Under the pen name Mira Grant, Seanan McGuire has honed her skills as a writer of science fiction horror novels. They would be frightening enough if they were simply rooted in bacteriological fact, but their incisive critique of today’s media saturated society takes them to a whole new level of terror.

Grant’s Newsflesh series charts the rise of two genetically engineered viruses (designed as treatments for unrelated ailments) that combine into an airborne pathogen—one that has the nasty side effect of raising the dead. But more than a simple zombie tale, the Newsflesh novels dig into the politics of a post-outbreak world as a team of bloggers covers a Presidential campaign.

Grant doubles down on the body horror in Parasite, the first book in the Parasitology series, as she takes us to a near future where tapeworm implants keep us healthy. Which is great, but what happens when the parasites decide they want lives of their own? To celebrate the release of its sequel, Symbiont, Mira Grant took to reddit to hold a lively AMA!

[Highlights from the AMA]

Wed
Nov 26 2014 1:33pm

Check Out This Micro-Teaser for Game of Thrones Season Five!

Holy crap new Game of Thrones teaser! This micro-trailer for Season Five focuses on Ary Stark, with a cameo by Melisandre's creeeeeeeepy voice. What do you think it all means? Is...is Arya Darth Vader? The teaser was posted on Twitter by the offical GoT account, and if you follow the links to the Three-Eyed Raven you can get more updates!

[Click through to watch the teaser trailer]

Wed
Nov 26 2014 1:00pm

Rereading Melanie Rawn: The Star Scroll, Chapter 3

Melanie Rawn Dragon Prince Star Scroll rereadWelcome to the weekly Wednesday reread of The Star Scroll! This week we’re reading one long chapter packed full of backstory and forestory and hints of what’s to come. And horses. Lots of horses.

Chapter 3

So This Happens: Pol remembers being appallingly seasick three years ago, when he sailed from Radzyn to Dorval. He also recalls his first meeting with Prince Lleyn, and his first arrival in Graypearl.

Now he and Meath are safe on land again, recovering in Radzyn, with Maarken (now twenty-six and adorned with six Sunrunner rings) there to take them to Tobin and Chay. On the way, Pol asks him about Andrade; it’s noted that Maarken and Meath are old friends. Maarken tells Pol he’ll meet Andrade at the Rialla. “It’ll be a real family reunion this year.”

[Read More]

Wed
Nov 26 2014 12:00pm

Learning Empathy From Robots: How MST3K Explained My Parents

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Thanksgiving marathon

This week marks a milestone for all of humanity—Sunday was the 25th anniversary of the first broadcast of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The first ever episode, “The Green Slime” was shown on a small Minneapolis cable-access channel called KTMA on November 24, 1988. This is also the 22nd anniversary of the Turkey Day Marathon, which aired annually on Comedy Central from 1991 until 1995, and which will be returning this year! Joel Hodgson is curating an online marathon that will be available this Thursday starting at noon Eastern Time.

[In the not-too-distant past]

Wed
Nov 26 2014 11:30am

Angry Robot Announces a New Gas-Lit Empire Novel, plus a Cover Reveal!

Angry RobotAngry Robot Books is delighted to announce the re-signing of Rod Duncan for a third book in the Gas-Lit Empire series, The Custodian of Marvels (April 2016), acquired from Ed Wilson of Johnson & Alcock.

The first in the series, The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter, was released in September 2014 and has won the Leicester Writers’ Norman King Award as well as receiving rave reviews from readers and reviewers alike. Unseemly Science, the much anticipated second in the series, will be published in May 2015.

We have your exclusive first look at the cover of Unseemly Science, plus more details about The Custodian of Marvels below!

[Read More]

Wed
Nov 26 2014 11:15am

MST3K Turkey Marathon Returns to Save Thanksgiving! (Or at Least Improve It.)

Mystery Science Theater 3000

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Joel Hodgson is once again hosting a live-streaming MST3K Turkey Day Marathon, which you’ll be able to watch here! The six-film marathon begins at 12:00 Eastern time, so theoretically you can go straight from Paradetimes to the dog show to hours of MST3K, so, as we said, the most wonderful time of the year. The episodes are a surprise, but we’ve heard rumors of special surprise guests, so…come onnnn, TV’s Frank! Or maybe even Mike? Guys, what if Mike shows up??? Oh, we need to lie down.

In other Mystery Science News, there will now be a non-Youtube place to stream episodes (the informatively named downloadmst3k.com), and Shout Factory is holding a huge Turkey Day sale in addition to the marathon, for those of you who want a physical manifestation of the Greatest Show of All Time. Finally, Joel did an AMA over on reddit, and tldr: he’s glad we’re freaking out about the marathon, and wants “2-3 more days of solid, good freaking out.” Done and done.

Wed
Nov 26 2014 11:05am

James Frain and Ksenia Solo Join Orphan Black Season 3

Orphan Black season 3

BBC America has announced three additions to the Orphan Black season 3 cast! Justin Chatwin (Shameless), James Frain (True Blood), and Ksenia Solo (Lost Girl) have joined the series as a trio of characters whose allegiances are so far unclear. With the next season promising more trouble for the clones from the Dyad Institute, these drug dealers, killers, and healers could be allies or enemies.

[Meet the new characters]

Wed
Nov 26 2014 11:00am

Rocket Talk Episode 36: Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin

Rocket Talk

In this episode of Rocket Talk, Justin is joined by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin to talk about their new podcasting ventures, Midnight in Karachi and One Comic. Eventually the trio delves into their favorite books of 2014, making recommendations like it's their job... which it is.

[Read More]

Wed
Nov 26 2014 10:00am

7 Things I Want to See Happen in Jurassic World

Jurassic World Chris Pratt

I was going to give Jurassic World a pass. I really was. But, you know, it’s one thing to imagine being able to deny the glory of a dinosaur and another to actually watch dinosaurs galloping across fields in that trailer. Suddenly I’m screaming “I want that!” and apologizing to all of my co-workers. (Again.) Dinosaurs are just cool and I can’t explain why and now suddenly here they are again. I want to go to Jurassic World, the park. I want to watch the big snappysaurus eat a shark while I marnch on a $14 raptor-shaped rice krispie treat. (IRONY.) I want to have an apatosaurus look at me dismissively for a moment before going back to slurping in the river. I want to yell “You shouldn’t be!” at a stegosaurus.

I’ll get what I want, probably. Judging from the trailer, Jurassic World the movie looks pretty capable of showing me the small and large wonders of Jurassic World, the park. But here’s what I want to see in Jurassic World, the movie. (Or as we laymen like to call it, Jurassic World: The Park: The Movie.)

[Read more]

Wed
Nov 26 2014 9:00am
Excerpt

The Providence of Fire: Chapter Two (Excerpt)

Brian Staveley

The Providence of Fire excerpt prologue Brian StaveleyThe Providence of Fire, the second volume in Brian Staveley’s Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, sees the heirs of the assassinated Emperor of Annur fighting one another as well as the forces that conspired against their father.

Adare has learned the identity of her father’s killer, but she has few allies to challenge the coup against her family. While she rallies the people—who believe her touched by Intarra, patron goddess of the empire—to help her retake the city, she must face her brother Valyn’s rebel forces. Having allied with nomad forces, he brings war to the Annurian Empire.

Caught in the middle is Adare and Valyn’s brother Kaden, rightful heir to the throne. He has infiltrated the capital with the help of two strange companions, who possess knowledge that may save Annur... or destroy it.

The Providence of Fire publishes January 13, 2015 from Tor Books. Read chapter two below, and check back every day this week for additional excerpts!

[Read Chapter Two]

Wed
Nov 26 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Ghibli and Gravy for Thanksgiving!

It’s almost time for those of us in the US to stuff ourselves with turkey, and/or its vegetarian/vegan equivalent! Oh, and also display gratitude or something. In the spirit of this season, we present you with something we’re profoundly grateful for: an homage to My Neighbor Totoro, courtesy of Bob’s Burgers. And if you’re still unsure what Thanksgiving’s all about, go listen to this song. You’ll thank us.

Morning Roundup brings you news of the latest addition to the Potter-verse! We take a look at diversity in Marvel comics, and give you some easily digestible facts about the upcoming X-Men nemesis.

[Plus, more Ghibli, cause there’s never too much Ghibli.]

Wed
Nov 26 2014 7:00am

Frederik Pohl Made Doing Literally Everything Look Easy

Frederik Pohl David A Johnson

Frederik Pohl was one of those people who seem to make up the constellations of science fiction, a man who seemed to live five or six different lives in the time most of us only live one.

He was born in 1919, and his family travelled constantly in his early childhood, before his family settled in Brooklyn. He co-founded The Futurians, and belonged to that group as well as the Young Communist League during the 1930s. He left the Communists in 1939, joined the Army in 1943, and remained a sci-fi fan throughout. After World War II he worked as a writer, editor, and SF literary agent. He was married five times and had four children. He did, almost literally, everything.

[Read More]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: December Releases in Science Fiction

new releases science fiction DecemberThirteen new releases appear on the science fiction shelves this month, with new adult titles from, among others, William C. Dietz, Mike Resnick, Catherine Asaro, Gini Koch and J. Barton Mitchell.

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.

[Read about this month’s releases.]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 4:00pm

The Farthest Star: Ultima by Stephen Baxter

Ultima Stephen Baxter review

Worlds and times collide in the concluding volume of the absorbing duology Proxima kicked off: “a story that encompasses everything that will be and everything that could have been,” just as Ultima’s flap copy claims, but fails, I’m afraid, to take in the little things—not least characters we care about—in much the same way as its intellectually thrilling yet emotionally ineffectual predecessor.

Ultima ultimately advances Stephen Baxter’s ambitious origin-of-everything from the nearest star to Earth at the inception of existence to the end of time on the absolute farthest, but first, the fiction insists on exploring, at length, what the galaxy would look like in terms of technology if the Roman Empire hadn’t fallen in the fifth century.

[Read More]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 3:24pm

Peter Pan and Hook Team Up to Save Neverland in the Pan Trailer

Pan trailer Joe Wright Hugh Jackman Garrett Hedlund Rooney Mara

While Peter Pan Live! is coming to us next week, it’s not the only Peter Pan adaptation coming up. Warner Bros has just released the trailer for Pan, Joe Wright’s (Atonement) take on the classic tale, which is more origin story than other versions.

[Watch the trailer]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “Shadows and Symbols”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Shadows and Symbols“Shadows and Symbols”
Written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Season 7, Episode 2
Production episode 40510-552
Original air date: October 7, 1998
Stardate: 52152.6

Station log: After a summary of “Tears of the Prophets” and “Image in the Sand,” we pick up with Ensign Ezri Dax entering the restaurant and babbling a mile a minute. She was on board the ship the Dax symbiont was being transported on and was forced to be implanted to save Dax’s life—but she wasn’t prepared for joining and she’s having trouble adjusting. She’s taken a leave of absence from her post as assistant counselor on the Destiny and came to Sisko’s hoping her old friend Benjamin can help out. So she joins the planned expedition to Tyree.

[But I haven’t finished my story yet. Captain Sisko has found the Orb of the Emissary, but he hasn’t opened it yet.]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 2:30pm

Deities in Brief: “Azathoth” and “Nyarlathotep”

The Complete Cthulhu Mythos Tales HP LovecraftWelcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s original stories.

Today we’re looking at “Azathoth” and “Nyarlathotep.” “Azathoth” was written in 1922 and published in Leaves in 1938; “Nyarlathotep” was written in 1920 and published in the November 1920 issue of The United Amateur. You can read both stories here. Spoilers ahead.

[“Never before had the screams of nightmare been such a public problem; now the wise men almost wished they could forbid sleep in the small hours, that the shrieks of cities might less horribly disturb the pale, pitying moon as it glimmered on green waters gliding under bridges, and old steeples crumbling against a sickly sky.”]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 2:00pm

Short Fiction Spotlight: Two Magazines, Two Stories

Lightspeed Welcome back to the Short Fiction Spotlight, a space for conversation about recent and not-so-recent short stories. Last time around we talked about the inaugural issue of Uncanny Magazine, a newcomer on the short fiction scene that’s being helmed by some familiar faces.

This time, I thought we’d range out a little to a couple of stories from other recent publications: “On the Government of the Living: A Parable” by Matthew Cheney (Interfictions #4, Nov. 2014) and “Instructions” by Roz Kaveney (Lightspeed #54, Nov. 2014; reprinted from Odyssey [1998]). These are two quite different sorts of stories—in fact, it feels a little like doing a reviewer’s grab-bag to put them both together. One is an original publication and one is a reprint; one is, as it says, a sort of parable, while the other is straight-up science fiction. The tonal resonances are also disparate. But: there is something to be said about the diversity of what sorts of stories are being published under the general “speculative fiction” header that these pieces demonstrate.

Plus, I liked them.

[Onward.]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 1:30pm

A Spectre Rises in NOLA: Constantine, “Danse Vaudou”

Constantine Danse Vaudou

Constantine gets its serial on with this week’s NOLA-centric episode, giving us a standard case-of-the-week that ties into several of the show’s overarching storylines simultaneously. The central caper involved several seemingly separate situations that all converged in a way that was somehow both anticlimactic and ultimately refreshing at the same time. More importantly, we got to see Chas finally do something! Oh, and there’s lots of fun team-up action including a certain glowy green vengeance spirit. Spoilers ahoy!

[Read More]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 1:10pm

Still from the Sherlock Christmas Special is Canonically Perfect

Sherlock special script

We’ve finally got some info on the Sherlock Christmas special, and it’s a real holiday treat.

Are they... cosplaying? Time traveling? We honestly have no idea. But whatever it is, we are on board for this rodeo.

[Take a look]