“Mister Doctor?” “It’s Strange.” Watch the New Doctor Strange TV Spot!

“Maybe, who am I to judge?” Mads Mikkelsen’s fabulous-looking villain Kaecilius snarks at the end of this minute-long Doctor Strange teaser. It’s the first bit of humor—awkward, at that—we’ve seen from the movie, and perhaps a good sign that the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe won’t take itself too seriously.

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Rereading Kage Baker’s Company Series: Mendoza in Hollywood, Chapters 25-29

Welcome back to the Kage Baker Company Series Reread! Can you believe we’re already finishing up another novel this week? In today’s post, we’ll cover the final five chapters of Mendoza in Hollywood, so from the end of last week’s post to the end of the novel. I’m not going to separate the commentary by chapter this time because this section focuses exclusively on Mendoza and Edward, rather than skipping around between the different characters and subplots.

All previous posts in the reread can be found on our handy-dandy index page. Important: please be aware that the reread will contain spoilers for the entire series, so be careful if you haven’t finished reading all the books yet!

The soundtrack for this week’s post should really be Joy Division’s She’s Lost Control, but since that’s hardly period-appropriate I’ll go back to El Amor Brujo, which makes a second appearance in this set of chapters.

[Everything would begin again, except sorrow.]

Series: Rereading Kage Baker

Visit First Second at New York Comic-Con 2016!

First Second Books will be exhibiting at New York Comic-Con and BookCon October 6-9, 2016 at Booth #2239! But that’s not all—they also have a great group of authors, illustrators, and comics professionals appearing at panels on each day of NYCC and BookCon, discussing SFF worldbuilding and comics in real life, as well as celebrating First Second’s 10th anniversary! First Second will also be doing in-booth signings and giveaways.

Be sure to stop by and say hello, and check out all of their programming below. (And for more updates, follow along on First Second’s Tumblr.)

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Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Lights of Zetar”

“The Lights of Zetar”
Written by Jeremy Tarcher & Shari Lewis
Directed by Herb Kenwith
Season 3, Episode 18
Production episode 60043-73
Original air date: January 31, 1969
Stardate: 5725.3

Captain’s log. The Enterprise arrives at Memory Alpha, a planetoid completely converted to being a storage library for all information regarding members of the Federation. They are providing new storage equipment, which is being supplied by Lieutenant Mira Romaine, with whom Scotty is completely smitten. Memory Alpha is Romaine’s first deep-space assignment.

Sulu detects a swirly thing in their path. Spock reads it as a storm, but it’s moving at greater than warp two, so it can’t be a natural phenomenon. Kirk raises shields and the swirly thing collides with the Enterprise. As it does so, Kirk and Sulu both lose their voice, Chekov loses his sight, Uhura’s hands are paralyzed—and Romaine is practically hypnotized by the thing.

[Well, this is an Enterprise first: Dr. McCoy, Mr. Spock, and Engineer Scott find themselves in complete agreement. Can I stand the strain?!]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Fiction Affliction: October Releases in Fantasy

Fifty fantasy books fly onto the shelves this month, including a new entry in Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom; the 20th anniversary edition of A Game of Thrones; Ken Liu’s The Wall of Storms; and Kai Ashante Wilson’s A Taste of Honey. Sequels and series titles about, but there are stand-alones hidden in these lists, too—including new books from Keith Donohue and Daniel Polansky, and a gorgeous collection of Grimm-inspired art from Shaun Tan.

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Infomocracy: Chapter 7

Whether or not you watched last night’s presidential debate, you’ve probably noticed how much the set-up and tone have shifted over the past few decades since Nixon first squared off with Kennedy. Now we have instant fact checking, pundit commentary, and a constant stream of information (and misinformation) defining the parameters of our political reality, even as it unfolds on our TV screens. What might debates look like in the future, in a different kind of democracy, in a new, more globalized world?

Malka Older’s Infomocracy envisions a system of global micro-democracy where multiple parties, each with vastly different platforms, compete for votes among citizens scattered across the globe. These citizens vote in groups of one hundred thousand people called “centenals,” making elections in this near-future world a thrilling high-stakes race to connect with voters with different concerns, different languages, and different views of what government should be. Debates can involve dozens of parties, and they’re a crucial chance to put forth a message that resonates across this wide and complex scope.

See what debates of the future might look like by reading an excerpt from Infomocracy below!

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The Tick has Survived to Bring Us Mighty Blue Justice in a Whole Season on Amazon!

Are you prepared for an entire season of The Tick? After premiering pilots for The Tick, I Love Dick, and Jean-Claude Van Johnson, Amazon has decided to order a full series of all three shows! (But I’m mostly interested in the one that has fictional superheroes in it. Sorry, JCVD.) Peter Serafinowicz will play our mighty blue hero, Griffin Newman will be a new, even more neurotic Arthur, and Tick creator Ben Edlund will return as writer and producer.

I reviewed the pilot here, and while I found the idea of a “gritty” Tick reboot unsettling, I came around to it over the course of the show. The latest take on Arthur transforms him from a well-meaning but schlubby sidekick, into a traumatized conspiracy theorist (Whose theory is almost certainly correct) and while on paper I know that sounds terrible, it really worked for me. I also like the darker superheroic world that creator Ben Edlund seems to be developing, and I can’t wait to see which of his classic characters make it in to this new iteration.

We’ll let you know when the full series premiers on Amazon Prime; in the meantime you can watch the pilot here!

[via io9!]

Brent Weeks Gives Dates for Blood Mirror Book Tour!

Brent Weeks’s The Blood Mirror will be released on October 25th in the US! To welcome the fourth book of his Lightbringer series in style, Weeks will be on tour in late October and early November. Check the list below to see if he’ll be swinging by your neck of the woods!

Weeks is also looking for Blackguard Captains to be help out and the signings—they’ll be rewarded with front row seats and more, so check below for details….

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Everyone Loves Superman in the Supergirl Season 2 Trailer

In what I can only hope is a self-aware move, every character on Supergirl seems starstruck (superstruck?) by Kara Danvers’ cousin—both as Superman at the DEO and as Clark Kent at CatCo. I’m talking, falling over themselves like they’ve been hit with kryptonite. Tyler Hoechlin’s take on the Man of Steel must be just that charming, based on this new trailer tweeted by The CW.

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Every Heart a Doorway Prize Pack Sweepstakes!

Next year, Tor.com Publishing brings you Down Among the Sticks and Bones, the second of Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children books. Haven’t read the first book, Every Heart a Doorway, yet? Well, we want to send you a copy of it—along with a small poster featuring Rovina Cai’s gorgeous art!

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of things.

No matter the cost.

Comment in the post to enter!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States and D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec). To enter, comment on this post beginning at 10:30 AM Eastern Time (ET) on September 27th. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on October 2nd. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Tor.com, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

Colorful Heroes: The Origins of Marvel’s Iron Fist and Luke Cage

Remember the days when every comic book captured your imagination, and took you to new and exciting places? When you didn’t apologize for loving the comic books and creators that gave you bliss? In Comic Book Fever, George Khoury (author of The Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore and Kimota: The Miracleman Companion) presents a “love letter” to his personal golden age of comics, 1976-1986, covering all the things that made those comics great—the top artists, the coolest stories, and even the best ads!

Inside this full-color book are new articles, interviews, and images about the people, places, characters, titles, moments, and good times that inspired and thrilled us in the Bronze Age: Neal Adams, John Romita, George Pérez, Marv Wolfman, Alan Moore, Denny O’Neil, Jim Starlin, José Luis García-López, The Hernandez Brothers, The Buscema Brothers, Stan Lee, Jack Davis, Jack Kirby, Kevin Eastman, Chris Claremont, Gerry Conway, Frank Miller—and that’s just for starters. It covers the phenoms that delighted Baby Boomers, Generation X, and beyond: Uncanny X-Men, New Teen Titans, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Love and Rockets, Crisis On Infinite Earths, Superman vs. Spider-Man, Archie Comics, Harvey Comics, Kiss, Star Wars, Rom, Hostess Cake ads, Grit(!), and other milestones. So take a trip back in time to re-experience those epic stories, and feel the heat of Comic Book Fever once again! Comic Book Fever is available September 20th from TwoMorrows Publishing.

Below, read an excerpt from the book that delves into the creative history of superheroes like Iron Fist and Luke Cage.

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She’ll Kill You With Her Mind: Announcing Two Killing Gravity Novellas by Corey J. White

I’m proud to announce the acquisition of two novellas by debut author Corey J. White.

Killing Gravity and its sequel follow Mars Xi, an experimental psychic supersoldier who escaped the MEPHISTO labs and now lives on the run. Penned in by bounty hunters and MEPHISTO soldiers, Mars chases rumors of the friend who set her free and may have betrayed her. Killing Gravity was acquired through Tor.com’s unsolicited submissions program, and will be edited by assistant editor Carl Engle-Laird.

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Series: Editorially Speaking

Remembrance of Earth’s Past and Humanity’s Future: Reflections on the Three-Body Trilogy

Note: Some spoilers for the series.

I know, that’s a pretty ambitious title for this lil’ old essay, but Cixin Liu insists that we think seriously about such questions as humanity’s future in the universe and contact with intelligent alien species. In The Three-Body Problem, The Dark Forest, and Death’s End, he weaves a complicated web of physics, philosophy, and history that take us from China’s Cultural Revolution in the mid-20th century through to the end of the solar system and beyond. Add to that the grandeur of Liu’s prose, translated so deftly into English by Ken Liu and Joel Martinsen, and it becomes clear just what a masterpiece Remembrance of Earth’s Past really is.

Like Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past, Remembrance of Earth’s Past is a work of nostalgia tinged with regret. The latter is positioned as a look back at what, in reality, is one possibility for humanity’s future. Liu does this kind of thing throughout the series: he moves us readers back and forth in time and space (and dimensions), almost like he’s limbering up our brains as if they were brittle rubber bands.

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Artist Takes Tourists for a Ride with the Staten Island Ferry Octopus Disaster Memorial

It was close to 4am on the quiet morning of November 22, 1963 when the Steam Ferry Cornelius G. Kolff vanished without a trace. On its way with nearly 400 hundred people, mostly on their way to work, the disappearance of the Cornelius G. Kolff remains both one of New York’s most horrific maritime tragedies and perhaps its most intriguing mystery. Eye witness accounts describe “large tentacles” which “pulled” the ferry beneath the surface only a short distance from its destination at Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan. Nobody on board survived and only small pieces of wreckage have been found…strangely with large “suction cup-shaped” marks on them.

Gothamist discovered an important, overlooked piece of New York history today: the Staten Island Ferry Disaster, in which the fearsome seas around Manhattan unleashed the kraken on the unsuspecting steam ferry Cornelius G. Kolff. Thankfully, there’s now a proper memorial museum and statue to commemorate the tragedy… created by artist Joe Reginella and eaten up by gullible tourists.

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