Seven Commentaries on an Imperfect Land August 20, 2014 Seven Commentaries on an Imperfect Land Ruthanna Emrys Stories of Tikanu. Hero of the Five Points August 19, 2014 Hero of the Five Points Alan Gratz A League of Seven story. La Signora August 13, 2014 La Signora Bruce McAllister If love is not enough, then maybe death... Sleeper August 12, 2014 Sleeper Jo Walton It is best to embrace subjectivity.
From The Blog
August 21, 2014
John Scalzi (Part Two)
August 15, 2014
“Perhaps It Was Only an Echo”: The Giver
Natalie Zutter
August 15, 2014
We’re Holding Out for a (New) Hero: How Heroes and Villains are Evolving
Leah Schnelbach
August 14, 2014
Doctor Who: “Deep Breath” (Non-spoiler Review)
Chris Lough
August 13, 2014
Eight Essential Science Fiction Detective Mash-Ups
David Cranmer
Aug 21 2014 2:00pm

When Even Magic isn’t Enough: A Stranger at Green Knowe

A Stranger at Green Knowe does, I must say, start out on a strange note for a Green Knowe book, given that it starts not at that old and magical house, but rather deep in the African jungle with a family of gorillas.

A few jumps, roars, mildly questionable if well meaning descriptions of human African natives, and enthralled descriptions of the African jungles later, and poor little Hanno the Gorilla finds himself captured by a white hunter and taken to the London Zoo. His little sister gorilla doesn’t make it.

[It only gets slightly more cheerful from here.]

Aug 21 2014 1:30pm

Brandon Sanderson Takes the Ice Bucket Challenge!

Brandon Sanderson has taken the Ice Bucket Challenge! But he won’t let a few ice cubes get in the way of editing. And like Vin Diesel, who used his Ice Bucket Challenge to suggest that people also Plant a Tree for Groot, Sanderson is promoting another charity along with the ALSA: he’s donating additional money to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, in Sir Terry Pratchett’s name. Check out the video below! 


Aug 21 2014 1:20pm

In an Alternate Universe, Pierce Brosnan Was Tim Burton’s Batman

Pierce Brosnan almost Batman Tim Burton Reddit AMA

You think Pierce Brosnan, you think 1990s-to-early-2000s Bond, James Bond. But did you know that he almost helmed a very different franchise with a B-named character?

[Read more]

Aug 21 2014 1:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Feast for Crows, Part 27

Song of Ice and Fire A Feast For CrowsWelcome back to A Read of Ice and Fire! Please join me as I read and react, for the very first time, to George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.

Today’s entry is Part 27 of A Feast for Crows, in which we cover Chapter 37 (“Brienne”) and Chapter 38 (“Jaime”).

Previous entries are located in the Index. The only spoilers in the post itself will be for the actual chapters covered and for the chapters previous to them. As for the comments, please note that the Powers That Be have provided you a lovely spoiler thread here on Any spoileriffic discussion should go there, where I won’t see it. Non-spoiler comments go below, in the comments to the post itself.

And now, the post!

[“Best thing for him, really. His therapy was going nowhere.”]

Aug 21 2014 12:00pm

Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 10

Welcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on! Last week Kaladin returned to the chasms to initiate new bridgemen and find out something about his own powers. While he was exploring himself, I was experiencing London during this year’s Worldcon. That was a fantastic experience, and contained a lot of triumph for, but it means that I only got back to the states yesterday and haven’t had a lot of time for the reread. Luckily, this week’s chapter is extremely short.

This reread will contain spoilers for The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and any other Cosmere books that become relevant. Be ye aware. This post only spoils the later parts of this book, but who knows what might appear in the comments section?

[Read More]

Aug 21 2014 11:00am

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: John Scalzi (Part Two)

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!

We’re joined once again by John Scalzi, one of the most popular and acclaimed SF authors to emerge in the last decade. His massively successful debut Old Man’s War won him science fiction’s John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and Redshirts won 2013’s Hugo Award for Best Novel. Material from his widely read blog The Whatever has also earned him two other Hugo Awards.

Scalzi’s new science fiction thriller, Lock In, is available August 26th from Tor Books! Read the first five chapters here on for free, and listen to audiobook excerpts narrated by Amber Benson and Wil Wheaton!

Check out the first part of Scalzi’s pop quiz, then read on!

[Read More]

Aug 21 2014 10:00am

The Harry Potter Reread: The Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapters 3 and 4

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban coverThe Harry Potter reread is thinking about infusing some liquor to make firewhiskey a reality—but what would it taste like? (Don’t say Fireball, that is wrong.) Does infusing whiskey with Adobo peppers sound like a good idea? With cinnamon or without? How much fun were American wizard speakeasies back during Prohibition?

The plot is thickening in a mysterious manner on the reread! We’re about to take tea with the Minister of Magic and get a peek and the newly minted Firebolt broom line! It’s Chapters 3 and 4 of The Prisoner of Azkaban—The Knight Bus and The Leaky Cauldron.

Index to the reread can be located here! Other Harry Potter and Potter-related pieces can be found under their appropriate tag. And of course, since we know this is a reread, all posts might contain spoilers for the entire series. If you haven’t read all the Potter books, be warned.

[Read more]

Aug 21 2014 9:30am

Thirty Years On: Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman and the Legacy of Mortality

Dragons of Winter Night Margaret Weis Tracy Hickman The best thing Sturm Brightblade ever did was die.

I did not discover literature of any kind until I was about eleven, or ten. I was, without a sliver of a doubt, a no good, lazy slacker of a child, and after I discovered literature, I was totally and utterly a no good, lazy slacker of a child who read books. A lot of books, good and bad, but my favourite—the books I read and reread in my teens—were by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. Specifically, I had a deep and complete love for the Dragonlance Chronicles. First published in 1984 when I was nothing more than sticks of bone at seven, Dragons of Autumn Twilight began what would be one of the icons of my grunge stained disenchanted childhood. I know it all, back and front, left and right and, thirty years after the first book began the series, I still remember the scenes at the end of Dragons of Winter Night, where Sturm Brightblade slowly and surely, walked to the top of a tower to fight a dragon with little more than the sword his father left him.

[He died, of course.]

Aug 21 2014 9:00am

Highlights from a Conversation Between George R.R. Martin and Robin Hobb

George R R Martin Robin Hobb

George R.R. Martin and Robin Hobb appeared earlier this week at an event hosted by HarperVoyager UK, discussing how they build their fictional universes, create their characters and balance fantasy and reality; about their influences and inspirations, their struggles and successes. Jane Johnson, the editor for both Robin Hobb and George R. R. Martin, hosted the conversation.

From a trio of gilded thrones at the front of Freemason’s Hall in London, Martin, Hobb, and Johnson imparted wisdom to a packed crowd. Johnson started the event with some thrilling news: Game of Thrones had recently won a Hugo Award for the “Rains of Castamere” episode, and Hobb’s latest novel Fool’s Assassin will debut on the bestseller list at #4!

[Highlights from the evening]

Aug 21 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Jean Grey Knows We’re Miserable Now

Poor Cyclops

We know, we know. It’s serious.

Morning Roundup barrels toward you in a double-decker bus full of links! Every day is Arbor Day if you’re Groot, the burly Rocket is just kinda weird, and Margaret Atwood talks about Maddaddam!


Aug 20 2014 5:00pm

Short and to the Point: We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory

We Are All Completely Fine Daryl Gregory review We Are All Completely Fine, recently released by Tachyon Publications, is a fresh novella from Daryl Gregory—clocking in at under two-hundred pages, it’s more or less an afternoon’s reading. The conceit of the piece is that the characters are all part of a therapy group for the “last survivor” (read: Final Girl, Final Boy) of supernatural catastrophe or violence; it’s a fairly metafictional mashup between a Lovecraftian universe and the more staid/predictable world of horror film.

I’m generally pleased to see presses—generally independent or small, like Tachyon—tackling the work of publishing stand-alone novellas; it’s an interesting length and form that doesn’t get as much show-room as it could use. So, while I’m perhaps outside of the general audience for much straight-up horror fiction, I thought I’d give this one a look; the story’s self-referential slyness and Gregory’s talented prose were also motivating factors.

[A review.]

Aug 20 2014 4:30pm

Mortal Gods Sweepstakes!

Win a galley of Mortal Gods by Kendare Blake, out from Tor Books on October 14th!

Cassandra Weaver is a weapon of fate. The girl who kills gods. But all she wants is for the god she loved and lost to return to life. If she can’t have that, then the other gods will burn, starting with his murderer, Aphrodite.

The ensuing war takes her and her uncertain ally, the goddess Athena, across the globe, searching for lost gods, old enemies, and Achilles, the greatest warrior the world has ever seen. As the struggle escalates, Athena and Cassandra must find a way to work together. Because if they can’t, fates far worse than death await.

 Check for the rules below! 

[Read more]

Aug 20 2014 4:00pm

City of Stairs (Excerpt)

Robert Jackson Bennett

Robert Jackson Bennett City of Stairs excerptThe city of Bulikov once wielded the powers of the gods to conquer the world, enslaving and brutalizing millions—until its divine protectors were killed. Now Bulikov has become just another colonial outpost of the world’s new geopolitical power, but the surreal landscape of the city itself—first shaped, now shattered, by the thousands of miracles its guardians once worked upon it—stands as a constant, haunting reminder of its former supremacy.

Into this broken city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the unassuming young woman is just another junior diplomat sent by Bulikov’s oppressors. Unofficially, she is one of her country’s most accomplished spies, dispatched to catch a murderer. But as Shara pursues the killer, she starts to suspect that the beings who ruled this terrible place may not be as dead as they seem—and that Bulikov’s cruel reign may not yet be over.

An atmospheric and intrigue-filled novel of dead gods, buried histories, and a mysterious, protean city—Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Stairs is available September 9th from Crown Publishing.

[Read an excerpt]

Aug 20 2014 3:00pm

Second Sight: Visions by Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong Visions reviewOlivia Taylor-Jones is back and just as kick-ass as ever in Visions, Kelley Armstrong’s bewitching second entry in her Cainsville series. When we first met Liv, her whole life was shattered with the revelation that her wealthy parents had adopted her after her bio parents were sent to jail as notorious serial killers. Her mundane world got a helluva lot more magical once she realized her weird little superstitions were really omens and portents of death and despair. Suddenly, the former socialite found herself at the center of an epic, timeless battle between Team Fate and Team Free Will.

After the deadly events of Omens, Liv, formerly Eden Larsen, takes a part time gig as an investigator with Gabriel Walsh, her hulking defense attorney. Ostensibly they’re looking into her parents’ convictions - the Larsens maintain their innocence, the courts say otherwise, and the evidence is circumstantial and ambiguous - but it wouldn’t be Cainsville if there weren’t a million plays and counter plays roiling around under the surface.

[“There’s a dead woman in my car.”]

Aug 20 2014 2:00pm

Under the Dome: “Awakening”

Under the Dome Awakening

That darn Dome has been over Chester’s Mill for two weeks, and in just 14 days it has been magnetized, rained acid blood, gotten clogged with dust, been infested with butterflies, Barbie has almost been hung, Big Jim has almost been hung, Sheriff DJ Phil has been shot, Wendell has been shot, Sheriff Linda has been crushed, Angie has been chopped, a dead girl has come back to life, a plane has hit the Dome, a fire station has exploded, a locker has exploded, a pig virus has been viraled, a food shortage has shorted, a lite genocide has been planned (then canceled), and a windmill has been milled.

To better wrap your brain around these events, redditor u/Wadam1230 has edited every “previously on Under the Dome” recap into a single supercut of madness. But as Big Jim has taught us, people can change, and this week we can Under the Dome.

[Read More]

Aug 20 2014 1:00pm

Rereading Melanie Rawn: Dragon Prince, Chapter 9

Welcome to the weekly Wednesday reread of Melanie Rawn’s Dragon Prince! This week, we’re reading the last chapter of Part I, and wrapping up the section. Rohan and Sioned continue to negotiate the ups and downs of their budding relationship. We learn more about dragons, and about Rohan’s feelings toward them. Our protagonists discover a spy in their midst—and Sioned takes action.

Chapter 9

So this happens: Rohan is still in a snit over the fact that Sioned has sexual experience, but his plan to match it is not proving successful. He isn’t attracted to the pretty girls, and he can’t bring himself to look at the plain ones. The only one he wants is Sioned.

Then the female dragons begin to fly, and Rohan has another preoccupation: the Hatching Hunt.

[Read More]

Aug 20 2014 12:10pm

“Nicolas Cage as Everyone” Meme Replaces All Your Favorite Genre Characters

Nicolas Cage as everyone Picard

Whenever we’re feeling tired or blue we can always rely on the Nicolas Cage as Everyone meme to cheer us up. To our delight this time around, a bunch of new genre mash-ups had been added, including the above of Captain Nicholas Cage Picard. “Make it so...maaaan!” You just know Cage would order his whiskey “earl grey. hot” and probably ride the consoles like a cowboy from time to time. Also he would totally be into Lwaxana.

We need more Cage in our lives.

[Click through to see just how many canvases this face fits onto]

Aug 20 2014 12:00pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: The Crippled God, Chapter Twelve

Welcome 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 (with Amanda, new to the series, going first), and finally comments from readers. In this article, we’ll cover chapter twelve of The Crippled God.

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.

[Read More]

Aug 20 2014 11:30am

The Welcome Return of the Impatient and Cantankerous Doctor Who

Doctor Who Peter Capaldi

“From the doctor’s own point of view, from his fictional point of view, he’s just the same man and he’s rearranged himself a bit. But he’s the same person looking out of those eyes.”

Those words from Stephen Moffat, lead writer and executive producer of Doctor Who, in a promo interview for the new season of the hit BBC series have me psyched for this latest incarnation of the Doctor—though he’s always “the same man,” we’ll get to see a different slice of his inimitable personality. Now, double that with the actor’s conversation via Metro about what to expect of the Time Lord in the upcoming season:

[Read more]

Aug 20 2014 11:18am

Hush Now, This is an Alternate Harry Potter Future Where Fred Weasley Lives and You Can’t Convince Us Otherwise

Fred George Weasley twin actors James Oliver Phelps Wizarding World of Harry Potter photo Zonko's jokes shop fanfiction real life photo

You’re looking at the winner for best picture taken at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The rest of the Potter cast can rest easy, knowing that no matter how many cute photo ops they do at the new Diagon Alley extension, nothing will be as perfect as this. Daniel Radcliffe and Ralph Fiennes could stage a wizard duel in the middle of the park, and it still wouldn’t bowl us over as much as when James and Oliver Phelps visited Zonko’s Joke Shop in 2011. (Look, we just discovered this photo and we love it, so hush.)

It’s like fanfiction, come to life. (AU, of course. *sniffle*) Just look at those mischief-making grins and the piles of jokes and tricks they’ve loaded up with. Who will they prank first? And why is George/Oliver rocking a fez? We can only imagine the possibilities.

Photo: Harry Potter Fans