Ambiguity Machines: An Examination April 29, 2015 Ambiguity Machines: An Examination Vandana Singh A test for Junior Navigators of Conceptual Machine-Space. The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn April 22, 2015 The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn Usman Malik He will inherit the Unseen. The Ways of Walls and Words April 15, 2015 The Ways of Walls and Words Sabrina Vourvoulias Can the spirit truly be imprisoned? Ballroom Blitz April 1, 2015 Ballroom Blitz Veronica Schanoes Can't stop drinking, can't stop dancing, can't stop smoking, can't even die.
From The Blog
April 30, 2015
The Folklore Origins of The Avengers
Caitlyn Paxson
April 28, 2015
Five Books Where Music is Practically a Character
Sabaa Tahir
April 27, 2015
Message Fiction: Politics in Sci-Fi and Fantasy Literature
The G
April 24, 2015
5 Extremely Accurate Predictions For Star Trek Beyond
Ryan Britt
April 22, 2015
Daredevil, Catholicism, and the Marvel Moral Universe
Leah Schnelbach
May 5 2015 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: May Releases in Science Fiction

new releases science fiction May

Thirty-one new releases break the dystopian science fiction shelves this month (no, that’s not a typo), with new series titles from, among others, Gini Koch (Katherine “Kitty” Katt), Ramez Naam (Nexus), A. Bertram Chandler (John Grimes), Taylor Anderson (Destroyermen), Jack Campbell (The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier), Ian Douglas (Star Carrier), and Mike Shepherd (Vicky Peterwald).

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.

[Read about this month’s releases.]

May 5 2015 4:30pm

Aurora Australis: Blue Quandongs and Magenta Cherries

Blue Quandong Fruit

Welcome back to Aurora Australis, a monthly round-up of publishing news and highlights from Australia and New Zealand! After a quiet-ish March, April has exploded everywhere. I’ve got anthologies and collections, novels and trilogies. I’ve got awards news. My hometown of Melbourne is diving headfirst into winter, and Sydney recently experienced a not-cyclone (annual rainfall in 24 hours!). Read on to hear about small presses and large presses and blue quandongs, and watch me take a pot-shot at George RR Martin fans.

[Read More]

May 5 2015 4:15pm

Watch the Trailer for Puppet Epic Yamasong: March of the Hollows

Yamasong: March of the Hollows trailer

Dark Dunes Productions has released the trailer/sizzle reel for Yamasong: March of the Hollows, an epic puppet adventure that’s equal parts The Dark Crystal and Princess Mononoke. It’s also the first major non-Muppet puppet film to be made in the U.S. since Team America. Sam Koji Hale is directing the film, written by Ekaterina Sedia, with Toby Froud (a.k.a. the baby from Labyrinth) and Heather Henson serving as executive producers,  Mallory O'Meara, recent Rocket Talk guest, is the producer.

[Watch the trailer]

May 5 2015 4:00pm

Hope Is For Losers: Gotham, “All Happy Families Are Alike”

Gotham All Happy Families Are Alike

Gotham showed up for its season finale with some fancy new haircuts, a few genuinely surprising moments, and a whole bunch of plot contrivances. Oh, and those last 3-minutes that change everything? They’re exactly the 3-minutes you expected to see at the end, that have been teased on every “Next week on Gotham…” trailer for the last 5 weeks.

[Read More]

May 5 2015 3:15pm

Lucasfilm Confirms a Fifth Indiana Jones Movie is in the Works

Indiana Jones 5 sequel confirmed Disney Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy

We’ve known for a while that Disney has plans to reboot the Indiana Jones franchise, with Robert Pattinson and Chris Pratt being thrown around as potential fedora’d frontrunners. But now Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has confirmed it that a fifth Indiana Jones film is in the works... eventually.

[Read more]

May 5 2015 3:00pm

The Book of Speculation

Erika Swyler

The Book of Speculation Erika Swyler Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone in a house that is slowly crumbling toward the Long Island Sound. His parents are long dead. His mother, a circus mermaid who made her living by holding her breath, drowned in the very water his house overlooks. His younger sister, Enola, ran off to join the circus six years ago.

One June day, an old book arrives on Simon’s doorstep. Fragile and water damaged, the book is a log from the owner of a traveling carnival in the 1700s, who reports strange and magical things-including the drowning death of a circus mermaid. Since then, generations of “mermaids” in Simon’s family have drowned—always on July 24, which is only weeks away. As his friend Alice looks on with alarm, Simon becomes increasingly worried about his sister. Could there be a curse on Simon’s family? What does it have to do with the book, and can he stop it in time to save Enola?

The Book of Speculation is Erika Swyler’s gorgeous and moving debut, a wondrous novel about the power of books, family, and magic—available June 23rd from St. Martin’s Press!

[Read an Excerpt]

May 5 2015 2:00pm

Space Badasses and Cranking Basslines: Nicole Kornher-Stace’s Pop Quiz Interview

Nicole Kornher-Stace

Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!

Today we’re joined by Nicole Kornher-Stace, author of Desideria, Demon Lovers and Other Difficulties, and The Winter Triptych. Her latest novel, Archivist Wasp, publishes May 5th from Small Beer Press—you can read an excerpt here! Find her on Twitter @wirewalking.

Join us to find out which future tech Nicole has valiantly offered to test drive for the sake of humanity!

[Read More]

May 5 2015 1:30pm

Afternoon Roundup: LANGUAGE!

Captain America I want you to watch your language poster Avengers: Age of Ultron

Cap will have none of your sailor’s mouth, you got it? This is a family-friendly Afternoon Roundup. Why, it’s filled with incest, missing limbs, and emotionally scarring childhood memories. And that’s just one link! (If any Avengers: Age of Ultron memes are going to live on beyond the movie, we’re glad it’s this one.)

Afternoon Roundup also learns about silkpunk, has the most cathartic LEGO playtime ever, and bonds with Wolverine over bacon pancakes.

[Read more]

May 5 2015 1:00pm

The Wheel of Time Reread Redux: The Eye of the World, Part 28

Happy Cinco de Mayo, mis amigos! Have a completely unrelated Wheel of Time Reread Redux post to celebrate! Today’s Redux post will cover Chapter 52 to the end of The Eye of the World, originally reread in this post.

All original posts are listed in The Wheel of Time Reread Index here, and all Redux posts will also be archived there as well. (The Wheel of Time Master Index, as always, is here, which has links to news, reviews, interviews, and all manner of information about the Wheel of Time in general on The Wheel of Time Reread is also available as an e-book series! Yay!

All Reread Redux posts will contain spoilers for the entire Wheel of Time series, so if you haven’t read, read at your own risk. And now, the post!

[“But there are no lions in the Scottish Highlands!”]

May 5 2015 12:00pm

The World’s Worst (or Maybe Best) Museum Exhibit: “Out of the Aeons”

Out of the Aeons

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s original stories.

Today we’re looking at “Out of the Aeons,” a collaboration between Lovecraft and Hazel Heald, first published in the April 1935 issue of Weird Tales. You can read it here.

Spoilers ahead.

[“No human creature had ever climbed Yaddith-Gho.”]

May 5 2015 10:00am

Devote May to the Undead with These 21 Zombified Classics!

Walking Dead zombie

Books about zombies are as tough and relentless as their shambling characters—just when you think every possible angle about the undead has been covered, a new author comes up with a fresh take and the whole genre is, if you’ll pardon the irony, revitalized!

From classic zombie tales to fresh interpretations, we’ve herded some of our favorite shambling corpses into the reinforced containment unit of a list post. Check out our picks below, and be sure to add your own in the comments!


May 5 2015 11:00am

Sleeps With Monsters: Older Women As Lead Characters In Urban Fantasy

Disturbed Earth E E RichardsonOlder women in urban fantasy. Where are they? I mean, seriously, where?

I know I've made this complaint before, about fantasy more generally. But it only just struck me that until recently, I had never read an urban fantasy set in the last decade or so where the main protagonist was a (human) woman over forty. This seems like a missed opportunity: urban fantasy sits at the intersection of fantasy qua fantasy with genre crime and genre romance, and crime, at least, is a genre replete with older protagonists: ageing detectives, DIs and DCIs in the middle of their careers, and the occasional more hard-boiled Miss Marple. But urban fantasy seems to be dominated by youthfulness and youthful thirty-somethings...

[Read More]

May 5 2015 9:30am

The Windup Girl Sweepstakes!

A new edition of Paolo Bacigalupi’s Nebula Award-winning novel, The Windup Girl, arrives from Night Shade today, and we want to send three winners a copy!

Included in this edition are two novelettes exploring the dystopian world of The Windup Girl: the Theodore Sturgeon Award-winning “The Calorie Man” and “Yellow Card Man.” Also included is an exclusive Q&A with the author describing his writing process, the political climate into which his debut novel was published, and the future of science fiction.

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 9:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on May 5. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on May 9. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor:, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

May 5 2015 9:00am

Global Powers: The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor

the book of phoenix nnedi okorafor

Phoenix is an “accelerated woman,” a genetic experiment who has grown to the form and capabilities of a near-forty-year-old woman by the technical age of two years old. She’s kept in Tower Seven, one of several bastions of scientific and technological research outside the realm of government oversight (but not outside the realm of its funding); these Towers are prisons for the altered humans and other biological experiments who live inside them. Phoenix, however, is destined for far more than captivity—instead, she will change the face of the world.

The Book of Phoenix stands as a prequel to Okorafor’s stunning Who Fears Death (2010), occurring before and during the technological apocalypse that makes up the extremely distant—and by that point, mythologized—past of the earlier novel. Both novels center on the tale of a powerful woman who is determined to make right the wrongs she has found in the world on both a small and grand scale. The Book of Phoenix, however, is more distinctly in a clear and wonderfully productive relation to the afrofuturist movement in the arts—its setting feels far more contemporary and is therefore more molded by contemporary class, race, and global cultural politics.

[A review.]

May 5 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: The Stormtroopers Never Find the Luggage They’re Looking For

Darth Vader at the luggage carousel

We approve of airports that celebrate our favorite holiday! The Denver International Airport got into May the 4th this year and posted some new photos to their Facebook page, including this one of Darth Vader picking up his luggage. This photo is startling in several ways. Why does Vader need so many stormtroopers to help pick up a couple of bags? And, maybe more important: why the hell would Darth Vader check luggage? We’re guessing that if he tells the flight attendant he wants extra carry-on bags, they don’t argue...

Morning Roundup brings you enough Age of Ultron reactions to fuel an entire internet! Plus a few last May the 4th moments, and an account of a Marvel movie marathon that left us both queasy, and really wanting to watch the movies again? Weird.

[Oh, and flaming bagpipes.]

May 4 2015 5:00pm

This is Why Obi-Wan Lied to Luke Skywalker About His Father

Star Wars, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan

The Star Wars films aren’t exactly complicated fare, particularly the original trilogy. (Not that there is anything wrong with that.) Luke Skywalker’s journey is pretty cut and dry, a solid line from farmboy to superbad in several short years. The Empire falls, the Rebels win, everyone is back on Endor in time for stormtrooper stew.

But how do you topple a galactic Empire, really? How do you get a boy who’s never known a life outside the sticks to become a galactic savior in the same amount of time that it usually takes to earn a bachelor’s degree?

The plan is likely less perfect than it appears.

[I’m coming with you to Alderaan. There’s nothing for me here now.]

May 4 2015 4:00pm

The Last Herald Mage: Sorrows

Magic's Price rereadWhen we left off last week, Kilchas had just fallen from the icy roof of his observatory. Vanyel and Yfandes were suspicious of the circumstances, but were distracted—Vanyel had just returned from a three-month diplomatic mission to Rethwellan and Stefen had a romantic evening planned. This distraction will prove tragic as chapter 15 opens with the “And then there were none” sequence.

Valdemar now has only three Herald Mages. Vanyel attempts to compensate through a combination of long-distance spell-casting and working through non-Herald Mages who have Mage potential. This may have fascinating implications for Valdemar’s national defense, and for the role Vanyel will play in it after his death. Can he work through Heralds with Mage Potential as a ghost? Can Companions use Heralds with Mage Potential this way? The forty-three words Lackey wrote about this leave a lot of room for speculation.

Trigger Warning for sexual violence.

[Which is fortunate, because it means you have something to think about until next week if you can’t deal with this section.]

May 4 2015 3:30pm

The Coode Street Podcast Episode 232: On Canon Formation

SF Canon

Welcome to The Coode Street Podcast, an informal weekly discussion about science fiction and fantasy featuring award-winning critics and editors Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe. The Coode Street Podcast debuted in 2010 and has been nominated for the Hugo, British Science Fiction, and Aurealis awards.

This week we return, without guests, to a topic with which we have annoyed listeners in podcasts for years—the idea of SF canon formation: who gets dropped from the canon, who gets added, and whether such things as Hugo nominations make any difference at all.

[Listen to Coode Street]

May 4 2015 3:30pm

Children’s Book Week Sweepstakes!

Children’s Book Week kicks off today, and we want to send you a prize pack of First Second books for kids of all ages to celebrate! One lucky winner will receive copies of: The Return of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke; Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity by Dave Roman; Anna Banana and the Chocolate Explosion by Alexis Dormal and Dominique Roques; The Zoo Box by Ariel Cohn and Aron Neis Steinke; This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki; Hidden by Loïc Dauvillier and Marc Lizano;  Sleepless Knight by James Sturm; Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff; Battling Boy and The Rise of Aurora West by Paul Pope; and American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang.

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 3:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on May 4. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on May 8. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor:, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

May 4 2015 3:15pm

Take a Peek at Concept Art from Tomorrowland!

Tomorrowland Stephan Martiniere concept art

Who’s excited about Tomorrowland? This fabulous piece of concept art showing the film’s futuristic city comes from Stephan Martinière. We’re digging the sleek, scuptural design of the architecture, and we’d love to know how all the floating bits work—are they stationary buildings, or perhaps large parts of the transport system? And the sphere above the center of the city—is that some sort of hi-tech CCTV? Check out the trailer for more glimpses of the city, including its unique greenspaces and walkways.

We’ve featured much of Martinière’s amazing work over the years, including the covers for Cixin Liu’s Three-Body trilogy. Check out the art for the final book in the series, Death’s End.