A Shaggy Frog Story: Neil Gaiman’s “Shoggoth’s Old Peculiar”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

Today we’re looking at Neil Gaiman’s “Shoggoth’s Old Peculiar,” first published in Mike Ashley’s 1998 anthology, The Mammoth Book of Comic Fantasy. Spoilers ahead.

[“Well, it’s not exactly a common name, is it? Nyarlathotep.”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

9 Horrifying Books That Aren’t Shelved as Horror

October is the perfect month for horror! But what if you’ve grown tired of everything the horror shelves have to offer?

To satisfy even the most jaded of appetites, we’ve rounded up a list of 9 sci-fi, literary fiction, and even non-fiction titles that will still leave you chilled. Let us know if we forgot any of your favorite non-horror horror in the comments!

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Malazan Reread of the Fallen: Assail Chapter Four

Welcome back to the Malazan Reread of the Fallen! Every post will start off with a summary of events, followed by reaction and commentary by your hosts Bill and Amanda, and finally comments from Tor.com readers. Today we’re continuing Ian Cameron Esslemont’s Assail, covering chapter four.

A fair warning before we get started: We’ll be discussing both novel and whole-series themes, narrative arcs that run across the entire series, and foreshadowing. Note: The summary of events will be free of major spoilers and we’re going to try keeping the reader comments the same. A spoiler thread has been set up for outright Malazan spoiler discussion.

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Series: Malazan Reread of the Fallen

When the Minister of Magic Narrates Your Audiobook

On November 8, Audible will be releasing A.J. Hartley’s Steeplejack in audiobook form, with Noma Dumezweni narrating. Hartley’s YA debut set in a 19th century South African fantasy world, centers on 17-year-old Anglet Sutonga, who works as a steeplejack (repairing chimneys and spires throughout the city) in Bar-Selehm. Caught up in a web of unexplained deaths and the sudden theft of one of the city’s most valued historic icons, Ang must discover what links these events together before chaos breaks out.

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Get Inspired for NaNoWriMo with Advice from Your Favorite SFF Authors!

Less than a week from today, on November 1, National Novel Writing Month begins! You have 30 days to write 50,000 (or more!) words without fear of outside readers or your own second-guessing. You get to throw all the writing rules out the window, except for the one where you sit down every day to write. Which is not to say that NaNoWriMo lacks structure—in fact, it’s all about support systems, from the forums to the pep talks from dozens of published authors, some of whom have attempted NaNoWriMo themselves. (And, in the case of some like Patrick Rothfuss, lost.) Because if you’re staring at the blank page on Day 1, or desperately sobbing your way through what seems like an irreparable plot mistake on Day 20, you’re going to need the moral support.

[You might enjoy these pep talks from…]

Kubo and the Two Strings Screenwriter to Adapt Kelly Barnhill’s The Girl Who Drank the Moon

Marc Haimes, who co-wrote Laika and Focus Features’ Kubo and the Two Strings, is adapting Kelly Barnhill’s coming-of-age story The Girl Who Drank the Moon for Fox Animation. The book, about a girl accidentally fed moonlight and then raised by a witch, a swamp monster, and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, will be a live-action/animation hybrid.

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This Morning in Publishing: October 26th 2016

The Sydney Writers’ Festival has unveiled the new design of Russ the Story Bus! Russ the Bus is “a creative space where children can browse a library full of the latest children’s books, choose a book to take home, listen to a story or hear authors and illustrators talk about their craft” and this year the bus will feature artwork from Shaun Tan. Russ will be hitting the Australian streets in November, you can find a full tour schedule here! Now click through to dive into a vast sea of publishing news.

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Fahrenheit 451 Reading Assignment Elicits Perfect Response

Daniel Radosh, senior writer for The Daily Show, had the greatest possible response when his child brought home a permission slip and asked for approval to read Fahrenheit 451.

You read that right – all the kids needed to obtain permission to read Ray Bradbury’s classic work about censorship and the insidious brain-melting qualities of television, and presumably if they were told no they wouldn’t be allowed to read it? Radosh had the perfect thought-provoking response, which you can check out below.

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Rereading Kage Baker’s Company Series: The Graveyard Game, Part 3

The Temporal Concordance for October 25, 2016 tells us that a new post in the Kage Baker Company Series Reread should appear on Tor.com today, and we all know history cannot be changed so… Here we go! In today’s post, we’ll go back to The Graveyard Game, covering the chapters set in 2142 and 2143, so from the end of last week’s post and ending on the chapter set in Regent’s Park.

As always, you can find the previous posts in the reread on our lovely index page. Also as always, please be aware that this reread contains spoilers for the entire series, so be careful if you haven’t read all the books yet!

[Easily and Best Forgotten]

Series: Rereading Kage Baker

Pull List: Gather ‘Round for Some Spooky Tales from the Darkside

I first heard about Joe Hill’s new miniseries, a comic book adaptation of his scripts for the smothered-in-its-cradle Tales from the Darkside reboot he was doing for the CW, during his book tour for The Fireman. Needless to say, everyone in the audience gasped and squeed in excitement and anticipation. As I was sitting with several people from the local comic shop I frequent, I of course leaned over and asked the owner to put it on my pull list right then and there.

A few months later and the series has wrapped (or has it?!) and all I can think is how cool the TV show would’ve been. Granted, I’m still in mourning for his other DOA TV show, Locke & Key, but how awesome would a horror anthology be right now? There’s nothing like it on the schedule and the premise is chockablock with potential. Good thing, then, that the adaptation very nearly lives up to the high expectations.

[“No…this can’t be real.”]

The Face of the Enemy: Black Mirror, “Men Against Fire”

As The Atlantic pointed out in its review, part of the fun of Black Mirror season 3 has been in the narrative freedom of going outside of our homes or even outside of London. To wit, “Men Against Fire” might be the most wide-ranging—in terms of physical location, anyway—story, taking place on the battlefield in the aftermath of some future war. You might have been surprised, as I was, to learn that the war wasn’t caused by the singularity or some other classic Black Mirror dystopic technology; we actually don’t learn much of the background, so that we know about as much as the soldiers we follow through refugee villages as they hunt monsters called “roaches.” Rather, this is a story about the military tech that aids these brave troops: MASS, or optical and aural implants that allow them to visualize blueprints and diagrams while out in the field, and which connect them to drones for better spotting of roaches.

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Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Savage Curtain”

“The Savage Curtain”
Written by Gene Roddenberry and Arthur Heinemann
Directed by Herschel Daughtery
Season 3, Episode 22
Production episode 60043-77
Original air date: March 7, 1969
Stardate: 5906.4

Captain’s log. The Enterprise is in orbit of a planet that is covered in molten lava and cannot support life—yet sensor readings are giving indications of life and a high level of civilization, which matches some legends about the world. But they can’t beam down to investigate further due to the conditions on the planet, so Kirk says that they’re moving on to their next assignment. (Why it never occurs to anyone to go down in a shuttlecraft to investigate is left as an exercise for the viewer.)

Just as they’re about to break orbit, the Enterprise is scanned so thoroughly it makes the lights dim, and then Abraham Lincoln appears on the viewer.

[There is nothing good in war except its ending.]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Peter Jackson Will Write and Produce a Film Adaption of Dystopian YA Novel Mortal Engines

Peter Jackson has announced his next film project over on Facebook! While Jackson himself isn’t directing, his protégé Christian Rivers will be adapting Philip Reeve’s book Mortal Engines, with a script from Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens.

Mortal Engines is the first book in a quartet set in a distant future called the Traction Era. A catastrophic Sixty-Minute War laid waste to Earth, and obliterated national boundaries. People rebuilt society by focusing on “Traction Cities” – that is, mobile city-states that are mounted on tracks and can attack each other for resources as part of a system known as “Municipal Darwinism.” Jackson is a longtime fan of the books, saying, “The moment we read these novels, we knew what exciting movies they’d make. I literally can’t wait to see them!”

The movie will be financed by MRC and Universal, and will begin film in New Zealand next March. Jackson didn’t announce any casting decisions yet, but did note that Weta Workshop and Weta Digital will be working on the film.

Head over to Peter Jackson’s Facebook page  and The Hollywood Reporter for more information about the project! In the meantime: what do you think about the news? Who do you see as Tom and Hester?