Medieval Matters: Game of Thrones and the Problem with Dragonstone

So “Dragonstone,” this season’s first episode of HBO’s enormously popular series Game of Thrones, was a welcome relief from too many months without our beloved characters. I enjoyed it, as I always do. Good times.

There’s one part, though, that was a bit of a shit show.

And no, I don’t mean Sam’s montage or Ed Sheeran’s cameo.

[SPOILERS Ahead!]

Series: Medieval Matters

The Spirit of the Rebel Alliance is Defined by Rogue One’s Jyn Erso and Bodhi Rook

Rogue One is possibly the most thematically chewy Star Wars movie so far. Whether you loved it, hated it, liked it but thought it needed fixing, or are simply pining for a prequel starring the best Gay Asian Space Uncles EVER, there’s a lot to digest. What I found most interesting, though, was the way that two characters can be seen as responsible for shaping not only the tactics of the Rebellion, but its entire character—as well as the price they paid for doing so.

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Imagination and Refinement: Creating Replica Movie Props

In this ongoing series, we ask SF/F authors to describe a specialty in their lives that has nothing (or very little) to do with writing. Join us as we discover what draws authors to their various hobbies, how they fit into their daily lives, and how and they inform the author’s literary identity!

When I’m not trying to put good words to the page, I channel my creativity into a peculiar hobby.

Most people will take in repeated viewings of their favorite movie to recapture specific emotions from a favored scene. For some of us, the screen experience isn’t enough. We seek a more tactile connection to the stories that have touched us in some way. From our ranks come the memorabilia aficionados, the figure collectors, and the cosplayers. Tangentially connected to these fan bases are movie prop collectors.

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The Firemen Start the Fires in the First Look at HBO’s Fahrenheit 451

HBO Films has shared the first official photo from Fahrenheit 451, its forthcoming adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s classic dystopian novel set in a future where reading is outlawed and books are burned. It’s, appropriately, an action shot of firefighter Guy Montag (Michael B. Jordan) letting the flames fly on some contraband reading, while his superior Beatty (Michael Shannon) looks on approvingly.

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Two Visions of Transformation: Riquet with the Tuft

For the most part, the French salon fairy tale writers all knew each other, at least casually, and all worked from more or less the same sources: oral tales heard in childhood, classical mythology, and collections of Italian fairy tales, in particular Giambattista Basile’s Il Pentameron and Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron. So it is not surprising that many of their tales end up sharing some, shall we say, strong similarities, and in some cases nearly identical plots—or even, as with Beauty and the Beast, abridgements of another author’s original tale. What can be surprising is how and why these tales differ—as a look at two French versions of “Riquet with the Tuft” show.

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A Song for Quiet

Deacon James is a rambling bluesman straight from Georgia, a black man with troubles that he can’t escape, and music that won’t let him go. On a train to Arkham, he meets trouble—visions of nightmares, gaping mouths and grasping tendrils, and a madman who calls himself John Persons. According to the stranger, Deacon is carrying a seed in his head, a thing that will destroy the world if he lets it hatch.

The mad ravings chase Deacon to his next gig. His saxophone doesn’t call up his audience from their seats, it calls up monstrosities from across dimensions. As Deacon flees, chased by horrors and cultists, he stumbles upon a runaway girl, who is trying to escape the destiny awaiting her. Like Deacon, she carries something deep inside her, something twisted and dangerous. Together, they seek to leave Arkham, only to find the Thousand Young lurking in the woods.

The song in Deacon’s head is growing stronger, and soon he won’t be able to ignore it any more.

Cassandra Khaw returns with A Song for Quiet, a new standalone Persons Non Grata novella from the world of Hammers on Bone—available August 29th from Tor.com Publishing.

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Warbreaker Reread: Chapters 52 and 53

Welcome back to the Warbreaker reread! Last week, Siri was taken captive, Lightsong withheld his vote on the war proposal, and Vasher was captured when he went to rescue Siri. This week, Vasher is tortured physically, and Lightsong psychologically. The Avalanche is at full steam now.

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!

[Funny. That was not at all how I imagined this going.]

How to Actually Make a Sword “Forged From the Blood of Your Enemies”

Tumblr did the math. And then it got weird.

Whenever big tough fantasy types want you to know how big and tough they are, you may come across the phrase “forged from the blood of mine enemies” where weaponry is concerned. But is that really a practical exercise for sword-making? Inquiring minds want to know.

Turns out, you can math that.

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