What we do for one another is a mystery.
There are few things we love as much as re-imagined Disney artwork, and the latest art show from Mondo Gallery does not disappoint. Never Grow Up: A Disney Art Show, is being presented by Mondo in association with Cyclops Print Works, and will feature new limited-edition posters celebrating the entire history of Disney. We honestly couldn’t pick a favorite, so we’ve rounded up a few highlights below.
The fifth and final book in Marie Brennan’s Memoirs of Lady Trent series, Within the Sanctuary of Wings, is available now from Tor Books! And to celebrate, we want to send you a hardcover set of all five books in the series.
After nearly five decades (and, indeed, the same number of volumes), one might think they were well-acquainted with the Lady Isabella Trent—dragon naturalist, scandalous explorer, and perhaps as infamous for her company and feats of daring as she is famous for her discoveries and additions to the scientific field.
And yet–after her initial adventure in the mountains of Vystrana, and her exploits in the depths of war-torn Eriga, to the high seas aboard The Basilisk, and then to the inhospitable deserts of Akhia–the Lady Trent has captivated hearts along with fierce minds. This concluding volume will finally reveal the truths behind her most notorious adventure–scaling the tallest peak in the world, buried behind the territory of Scirland’s enemies–and what she discovered there, within the Sanctuary of Wings.
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Let’s talk about doors for a moment, you and I.
Let’s talk about the power of something closed, whether or not it’s been forbidden; the mystery of the trapdoor that leads up into the attic, the powerful draw of the locked hatch that leads down into the cellar, the irresistible temptation of someone else’s fridge or medicine cabinet. We want to know what’s on the other side—and I don’t mean we want to be told. We want to see. We want to look with our own eyes, and know that no one can take that looking away from us. People are curious. It’s one of our defining characteristics. We want to know.
Maurice Broaddus’ utterly fantastic PoC steampunk Buffalo Soldier opens with Desmond Coke on the run with his young charge, Lij Tafari. Having absconded with the boy from Jamaica to Albion to the Free Republic of Tejas, their next step is to cross through the strongly defended territory of the Assembly of the First Nations and thence to sanctuary and liberty in Canada.
When they hole up in a Tejas town called Abandon, Desmond’s plan goes pear shaped. He may be a former servant-turned-spy, but he and Lij’s dark skin and Jamaican accents puts them in the crosshairs of Albion industrialist Garrison Hearst, gun-toting Tejan Cayt Siringo, Niyabingi rebels, Maroon Rastafarians, and the technologically advanced Seminole. Everyone wants to capture Lij and use him for their own nefarious purposes. Desmond swore to protect Lij at all costs, but that may not be an oath he’s able to keep. With his cane-sword in one hand Lij in the other, Desmond will have to fight for Lij’s survival like he’s never fought before. Only the boy matters, now.
In Brian Staveley’s recent Reddit r/fantasy AMA for Skullsworn, the standalone prequel set in the world of The Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, a question about writing different characters’ perspectives led into conversation about possible standalone novels. Skullsworn stars Pyrre, the assassin who played a pivotal role in The Providence of Fire (the second book in the series), as she earns her stripes within her religious order by killing ten people in a month. (Or, as Staveley described it when revealing the cover, “a romance novel—some kissing, some heartache, some sex—but with monsters, murder, and buckets and buckets of blood.”) But there’s at least one other side character who Staveley would be interested in exploring down the line.
The Star Trek franchise is a little horse-lite. For those of you new to the series, it’s a bunch of shows (and movies) that take place in space, a place where horses mostly don’t live. I have not yet seen a precise analysis of the challenges inherent in transporting horses into space, but I am unwilling to believe that those challenges are trivial. This explains why the most common reason for the appearance of a horse in an episode of Star Trek is that someone is having some kind of telepathically-induced hallucination. Star Trek characters like horses just fine—Chris Pike rode a little; Jim Kirk rode a little; Picard was passionate enough about it to travel the galaxy with his own saddle, in case he got the chance to ride and found a horse whose back and withers fit his tack. (I know some of you are dying to know—I asked Melinda Snodgrass, and she said it was a dressage saddle. She does not know the maker.) There’s a longstanding historic relationship between military command and horsemanship, and it’s nice to see that Starfleet has officers who maintain the tradition.
It won’t matter much in the end. In the Star Trek universe, real horses are doomed.
Aliette de Bodard’s The House of Binding Thorns and Michelle Sagara’s Cast in Flight don’t, on the surface, have much in common. One is a gothic, atmospheric novel of treachery and politics set in a decaying Paris, deeply interested in the politics of family and community and colonialism; while the other is a second-world urban fantasy novel starring a beat cop whose fun, light voice conceals some deeper thematic concerns with class and privilege, growing up and belonging.
What they do have in common is (a) dragons and (b) themes about family.
Series: Sleeps With Monsters
At least, American Gods is now my favorite show. Like a lot of Gaiman fans, I read American Gods back in 2001 and loved it. I was already studying American religion, and I thought Gaiman’s book was the best representation of American faith, culture, and diversity I’d ever read. I’ve seen the first four episodes of Bryan Fuller and Michael Green’s adaptation—premiering on Starz this Sunday—and if anything it’s even more representative of the country we’re living in right now. I’ll talk about a few of the highlights below, but I’ll avoid plot points and anything remotely spoilery, because ruining anything for those of you who haven’t watched it would be, well, a sin.
The Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists (ASFA) has announced the nominees for the 2017 Chesley Awards. The Chesley, named for the great astronomical artist Chesley Bonestell, started in 1985 as a means for the science fiction and fantasy art community to recognize individual works and achievements in a given year. This year’s awards are for works and achievements in the period from January 1 to December 31, 2016.
The Chesley Awards will be given out at NorthAmeriCon 17 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, July 6-9. Click through for the complete list of nominees.
This June, Seanan McGuire returns to her rich multiverse of fantasy worlds with Down Among the Sticks and Bones, the second book in the beloved Wayward Children series. Tor.com Publishing wants to give you a chance to read the book that started it all before Down Among the Sticks and Bones comes out: Every Heart a Doorway, the transformative book that won the 2017 Alex Award and was named to the 2016 Tiptree Honor List, is currently nominated for the 2016 Nebula Award for Best Novella, and that NPR called a “mini-masterpiece of portal fantasy — a jewel of a book that deserves to be shelved with Lewis Carroll’s and C. S. Lewis’ classics.”
For two days only, sign up for the Tor.com Publishing’s monthly newsletter and they’ll send you the link to download the ebook edition of Every Heart a Doorway for free!
Orlando Jones and Crispin Glover turned out to be an inspired pairing for the American Gods press event. Jones is a lively extrovert, laughing and joking with his interviewers, until he turns on a dime to give serious explanations about the true nature of Mr. Nancy. Crispin Glover, on the other hand, is quiet and reserved—until he turns on a dime to decry the increasing influence of corporate thinking on American life. The two men are also huge fans of each other, with Jones comparing Glover’s thoughtfulness to his friend, Laurence Fishburne, and Glover praising Jones for being a great spokesperson for their show.
Dell Duval has been living on the street since his accident. He can’t remember who he was or where he came from. All he has is a tattered note in his pocket with an address for the Ellis house, a sprawling, ancient residence in Jacksonville. He doesn’t know why he’s been sent here.
In the house, Lane and her son Theo have returned to the ancient family home—their last resort. The old house is ruled by an equally ancient trio of tyrannical aunts, who want to preserve everything. Nothing should ever leave the house, including Lane.
Something about the house isn’t right. Things happen to the men and boys living there. There are forces at work one of which visits Theo each night—Mormama, one mama too many.
A riveting supernatural, southern gothic tale from Kit Reed, Mormama is available May 30th from Tor Books.
Glen Cook’s epic series The Black Company may be the next fantasy adaptation to make the jump to the television screens—Deadline is reporting that the series is in development with IM Global Television, who are working with Eliza Dushku’s Boston Diva Productions along with David Goyer’s Phantom Four. Dushku, known for her work in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dollhouse, will star as The Lady, a dark sorceress who hires the mercenary Black Company.
The Black Company begin their series as a tough, cynical unit who sell their skills to the highest bidder. However, when they learn that an ancient prophecy may be coming true, they have to reevaluate their choices, and most importantly, decide whether to forsake old loyalties. The Lady, who rules the Northern Empire, hires the Black Company for her own ends.
Goyer will be an executive producer for the show, along with Dushku, Nate Dushku, and Ami Lourie of Boston Diva. Dushku spoke of the series’ scope in her statement, saying, “The Black Company is vast in scope yet remains fundamentally relevant through the morally ambiguous choices it presents at every turn.”
Dushku’s production company has optioned the ten-book epic fantasy series, as well a forthcoming book titled Port of Shadows, tentatively scheduled for release in 2018 from Tor Books, which chronicles the events surrounding Croker and his cohort right after the first three Black Company books. You can learn more about the series in Graeme Flory’s Reread of The Black Company, and as always we’re eager to hear your casting ideas in the comments.
Last week on Kline Station, Elli Quinn, Terrence Cee, and Ethan sat down to talk about Terrence’s problems, which are many. Terrence is on the run from the Cetagandans, who want to exploit his psychic powers for their intelligence operations. I assume that these operations are nefarious in nature, because, well, that’s an assumption I feel pretty comfortable making about government and corporate intelligence operations. Terrence confirms. Score one for my assumptions, which are thick on the ground in this week’s blog post.
This reread has an index, which you can consult at will, should you feel the urge. We’re covering books in reading order, so Ethan is the seventh book, rather than the third. Spoilers are welcome in the comments if they are relevant to the discussion at hand. Comments that question the value and dignity of individuals, or that deny anyone’s right to exist, are emphatically NOT welcome. Please take note.
Series: Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga
Within the Sanctuary of Wings is the fifth and final novel in Marie Brennan’s acclaimed Memoirs of Lady Trent series, following last year’s Labyrinth of Drakes. And if you thought Labyrinth of Drakes was good, Within the Sanctuary of Wings is a pure treat: I think I can say that at least as far as I’m concerned, Brennan definitely saved the best till last.
This review will of necessity contain spoilers for the series—if you haven’t tried the first book yet, what’s keeping you?—and for Within the Sanctuary of Wings itself. A striking revelation takes place in the middle of the narrative, and since it is central to the story, I’ll be talking about it. With that caveat, onwards!