Insects and Corporate Infighting: A Bug’s Life

In its initial release, A Bug’s Life had the dubious fortune of getting released in a year with not one, but two computer animated films about bugs, a deliberately created rivalry that did neither film any favors. Since then, A Bug’s Life has had the dubious honor of being perhaps the least remembered of the Pixar films, and perhaps the least regarded—depending upon how you feel about the various Cars films and, more recently, The Good Dinosaur—rarely if ever listed among the Pixar “greats.” At the time, however, it was proof that just maybe Pixar could be more than a one film wonder.

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Starz Reveals American Gods Poster and Premiere Date

We finally have a premiere date for Starz’s American Gods, the television adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel from showrunner Bryan Fuller! Entertainment Weekly announced today that American Gods will premiere on Sunday, April 30. Starz also released a cool new poster for us to feast our eyes on, featuring Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane), and a very significant buffalo.

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Announcing the 2016 Bram Stoker Awards Nominees

The Horror Writers Association are pleased to announce the 2016 Bram Stoker Awards Final Ballot. The presentation of the Bram Stoker Awards will take place during the second annual StokerCon, aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California on the evening of April 29, 2017. Tickets to the banquet and the convention can be purchased here, and there will also be a live-stream of the event.

The nominees are as follows:

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Five Amazing Women Warriors of the Middle Ages

So I watched Batman v Superman. You don’t need a medievalist wandering through your digital space just to pile on with the many things that went wrong with the film, so instead let me say this:

In a dark world of brooding boys, Wonder Woman’s every moment on screen was like the light of a sun threatening to break through the clouds. There were many reasons for this (number one: Gal Gadot is a terrific actress), but what struck me as I was watching the film was the fact that Wonder Woman seemed to be the only person on screen with a clear sense of purpose. No brooding and self-doubt and angst and what-not for her: Wonder Woman knows exactly who she is.

And who she is, obviously, is a woman who kicks ass.

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Series: Medieval Matters

The Collapsing Empire Sweepstakes!

We want to send you a galley copy of John Scalzi’s The Collapsing Empire, available March 21st from Tor Books! Read the first three chapters here.

Our universe is ruled by physics and faster than light travel is not possible—until the discovery of The Flow, an extra-dimensional field we can access at certain points in space-time that transport us to other worlds, around other stars.

Humanity flows away from Earth, into space, and in time forgets our home world and creates a new empire, the Interdependency, whose ethos requires that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It’s a hedge against interstellar war—and a system of control for the rulers of the empire.

The Flow is eternal—but it is not static. Just as a river changes course, The Flow changes as well, cutting off worlds from the rest of humanity. When it’s discovered that The Flow is moving, possibly cutting off all human worlds from faster than light travel forever, three individuals—a scientist, a starship captain and the Empress of the Interdependency—are in a race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse.

Comment in the post to enter!

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Warbreaker Reread: Chapter 19

Welcome back to the Warbreaker reread! Last week, Siri had everyone blushing with her new bedtime routine, while Lightsong tried unsuccessfully to call in sick. This week, Vivenna’s prejudices are on full display, even as her inexperience sets her up for further manipulation.

This reread will contain spoilers for all of Warbreaker and any other Cosmere book that becomes relevant to the discussion. This is particularly likely to include Words of Radiance, due to certain crossover characters. The index for this reread can be found here.

Click on through to join the discussion!

[Oh, Colors, not again!]

Series: Warbreaker Reread

Rereading The Handmaid’s Tale: Parts V-VI

The moon is full and it is time for the Ceremony. Or at least, the first part of the Ceremony, which is waiting on the Commander. While these sections take place entirely in the Commander’s household, we learn a lot about the women (and one man) who depend on this powerful man for their survival. While Serena Joy awaits the monthly ritual with dread and tears, Offred retreats inside herself, to recall a very different household: Luke and their daughter, as they attempted to flee the country.

The index to the Handmaid’s Tale reread can be found here! Remember that because this is a reread, there will be spoilers for the rest of the book, as well as speculation about the TV series.

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Series: Rereading The Handmaid’s Tale

A New Novel Written Entirely in Verse: Announcing Jane Yolen’s Finding Baba Yaga Publishing is proud to announce that we will be publishing Jane Yolen’s next book Finding Baba Yaga, a verse novel exploring the legacy of the great, iconic, Russian fairy tale witch who lives in a house in the woods that walks about on chicken feet. Finding Baba Yaga was acquired for Publishing by Senior Editor Susan Chang in a deal facilitated by Elizabeth Harding at Curtis Brown Ltd.

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Series: Editorially Speaking

From Vampires to Space Battles: Where to Start with Chuck Wendig

It seems like everyone’s talking about this Chuck Wendig dude. Everyone but you, that is. And that’s a damn shame because Chuck Wendig is ten shades of great. On one hand, as a guy who’s done self-publishing, traditional publishing, and digital publishing (not to mention scripts and video games), he’s written a ton of stuff so you have plenty of titles to choose from. On the other, where the hell do you even start? Ah, my friend, that’s where I come in. Sit back, relax, and let me introduce you to your new favorite author.

Chuck Wendig writes like a punch to the face. His words are visceral and pungent, his tales discomfiting and nonconforming. There’s a fevered, staccato-like quality to his text which gives a sense of urgency, both for the characters and the reader. He writes characters who reject the norm even when they secretly crave it and rage against the family and friends they need the most, all while remaining imminently relatable and recognizable. Every time it feels like things can’t get any worse, Wendig turns the screw once more. Some writers can write big action sequences that make you feel like you’re part of the chaos and some can craft moments of quiet reflection between characters that make you feel like a fly on the wall. Chuck Wendig is one of those lucky few who can do both.

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Neko Mads-sume!

Twitterer Ruben Ferdinand brought this epoch-defining moment to our attention “Hideo Kojima just retweeted photoshops of Mads Mikkelsen with cat ears.”

Yes we would like to collect all the photoshops of Mads Mikkelsen in cat-ears. That seems like the correct use of our time, and a game that should be created post-haste.

And can we please talk about that wiener dog shirt? And how weirdly natural it is to see the extra set of kitty ears hovering just above Mads’ regular, human-type ears? Like, that shouldn’t look so natural, should it? And yet, there it is. He looks, as always, perfect.

Reunion Tour: Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames

There’s nothing that lifts my soul quite like a night of rock and roll. But rock and roll, as I’m sure we can agree, just ain’t what it used to be.

Back in the day, bands weren’t manufactured—they just happened, like a strike of lightning. And while a litter of mewling kittens can be made to sound terrific with the tools producers have to play with today, in the past, each and every member of a musical group had to be a master of their particular instrument. They didn’t have to be attractive, either. They didn’t have to dance or mug or mime. And they didn’t need goddamn gimmicks. All they needed to do was rock your socks off.

In the world of Kings of the Wyld, the funniest and the finest fantasy debut in ages, bands like Saga—the legendary mercenaries at the heart of Nicholas Eames’ finely formed first novel—don’t make music… they make war. Their instruments are their weapons; their axes and swords and shields. Their arena? Why, the whole wide world! Where they’re needed most, though, is the Heartwyld: a vast and vicious forest between Grandual, where humanity has its home, and Endland, where the monsters of the Dominion lay in wait.

[But just what are they waiting for?]

Five Books About Trolls

As a youngster in the late seventies, I never would have guessed that 2017 would be a big year for trolls. Some of my earliest memories involve obsessing over the Moomins, cute trollish creatures from Scandinavia that looked like bipedal hippos. A couple years later my focus shifted to the book Gnomes, by Will Huygen, which depicts gnomes’ hidden struggles against monstrous trolls bent on capturing and eating them. These hirsute, grisly depictions of the enemy affected my dreams. Then, the Rankin & Bass illustrated edition of The Hobbit carried me deeper into fantasy; I wanted to be the characters in that world, fight against the same foes, or better yet, make friends with the trolls, goblins, and elves. I couldn’t get enough of Norse and Greek mythology, fascinated not as much by the famous exploits of the gods, but with the less defined stories of the giants, titans, and lesser monsters that had existed before the gods were even born.

What were these ancient elemental beings that were bound to the land only to fight and fall against the civilizing press of humanity? Why have they fascinated me, and so many others, since childhood and into adulthood? The world “troll” comes from Old Norse, and refers to an ill-defined class of supernatural beings from Norse and Scandinavian folklore. Some saw them as cognates of “giants” and “elves,” but over the centuries “trolls” have taken on an identity unto themselves—at times similar and/or related to both giants and elves, or perhaps even the result of shared blood between the two species.


Series: Five Books About…