Answering the question asked by innumerable readers of the author’s novel All the Birds in the Sky: what happened to Patricia’s cat?
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!
Series: Rereading Kage Baker
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.
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.
“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
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.
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.
Recently released from jail after a stint on drug charges, Chet Moran is determined to turn his life around, starting with reconciling with his pregnant girlfriend, Trish. Her father has forbidden their relationship, and when the couple make their hasty escape, Chet accidentally hits his high school nemesis, Coach, with his car. They find sanctuary on an island off the coast of South Carolina, his ancestral homeland now occupied by his grandmother, Lamia. Decades before, Lamia’s abusive husband, Gavin, murdered her two sons and tried to kill her. Afterward she lost custody of her daughter, Cynthia, Chet’s mother. Despite having not seen Lamia since he was a child, they have an arcane psychic connection to each other.
But hiding out with his doting grandmother proves too good to be true. The ghosts of hundreds of dead children haunt the island, led by two demon children with an ominous attachment to Lamia. Before he and Trish can flee, Chet is brutally murdered. A depressed angel named Senoy convinces Chet to descend into the underworld to recover a magic key that was stolen from him by Gavin. The key, Senoy insists, will allow him to summon angelic backup to kill Lamia once and for all, and if Chet works fast enough he just might spare the souls of Trish and their unborn child as well.
Happy book birthday to Kai Ashante Wilson’s A Taste of Honey, available now from Tor.com Publishing! We want to send you a copy of the book, which the Washington Post called one of the month’s best SFF books.
Long after the Towers left the world but before the dragons came to Daluça, the emperor brought his delegation of gods and diplomats to Olorum. As the royalty negotiates over trade routes and public services, the divinity seeks arcane assistance among the local gods.
Aqib bgm Sadiqi, fourth-cousin to the royal family and son of the Master of Beasts, has more mortal and pressing concerns. His heart has been captured for the first time by a handsome Daluçan soldier named Lucrio. In defiance of Saintly Canon, gossiping servants, and the furious disapproval of his father and brother, Aqib finds himself swept up in a whirlwind gay romance. But neither Aqib nor Lucrio know whether their love can survive all the hardships the world has to throw at them.
“A Taste of Honey is the future of fantasy,” says the B&N SciFi and Fantasy Blog.
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The vampire, perennial monster, has received somewhat of a makeover in recent years. For almost two decades it has become romantic hero and seducer, often aimed at younger consumers. Twilight as well as the Vampire Diaries series may be the most obvious exponents of this trend, but the seeds were already planted in shows like Buffy (remember Angel?), and the territory continues to be watered with numerous vampire men in the urban fantasy or romance section of the bookstore, who must invariably profess eternal love to a nubile woman.
Before this trend kicked into full gear, vampires were more likely to be rich counts out to bite pretty young lasses à la Christopher Lee or Bela Lugosi. Sexually magnetic, perhaps, but not boyfriend material.
Series: Five Books About…
George R. R. Martin has redefined epic fantasy for television audiences. Next up? Superheroes.
With Game of Thrones now filming its second-to-last season and HBO beginning the process of defining what a spin-off series could look like, Wild Cards has come to the fore as Martin’s next big television series.
Kai Ashante Wilson’s short novel A Taste of Honey is just as beautiful and peculiar and painful as his much-lauded The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps. A Taste of Honey is set elsewhere in the same world, and while it doesn’t share the same characters or themes, it touches—slantwise—on some of the same concerns.
Aqib bmg Sadiqi is a fourth cousin to the royal family of Great Olorum, younger son and chosen heir to the Master of Beasts. An embassy from Daluça has lately come to Great Olorum, and Aqib finds himself caught up in a scandalous—and dangerous, for in Great Olorum sexual relationships between men are forbidden, as against the Saintly Canon—whirlwind romance with a handsome Daluçan soldier called Lucrio. They have met only ten days before Lucrio will return home with the rest of his embassy: how can their romance possibly last?
Whoa. Could… could an episode of Black Mirror actually have an upbeat ending? Can technology be used for good and not as a way to highlight flaws of human nature? I have so many feels after “San Junipero,” and not enough time to say everything I want to about what’s now become one of my favorite episodes.
If you follow my Twitter feed, you might have noticed me talking about my mental health in the last while. Sometimes, things get bad. It can be sudden and unpredictable: one week I’m rolling along, perfectly all right, and the next I’m besieged by visions of walking into traffic.* (Or my throat closes up with panic, or I feel exhausted and worthless. Or I can’t make decisions, because everything is too much. Things like that.)
Series: Sleeps With Monsters
The Murry family is almost complete! One day after Black Mirror‘s Gugu Mbatha-Raw was announced as Dr. (Mrs.) Murry in Disney’s adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, the other Dr. (Mr.) Murry was revealed: Chris Pine! The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that the Star Trek Beyond star will be joining the multiracial Murry family (Storm Reid will play Meg) in Ava DuVernay’s film (from a screenplay by Frozen‘s Jennifer Lee), which starts shooting next week. Now to find Charles Wallace…
I’ve been sitting on this news for a little while, and I’m so happy to be able to finally announce that Tor.com Publishing has acquired two books in a new science fiction series—The Murderbot Diaries—from the brilliant Martha Wells.
All Systems Red is the first book in the series, and it follows a security droid assigned to protect a team of scientists on a new planetary expedition. But when a neighbouring expedition suddenly becomes silent it’s up to the newly self-aware droid and its distinctly unadventurous charges to investigate. But sometimes things are best left alone…
This novella came out of nowhere, when I was in the middle of writing the climax to my next fantasy novel. I thought, “I’ll just write down a few lines so I don’t forget this before I have time to come back to it,” and before I knew it I had five pages written. I went back to it the day after I finished the rough draft of the novel and fell into a new world. I’m thrilled and delighted that this novella and its sequel could find a home at Tor.com. I hope people enjoy reading about Murderbot as much as I enjoy writing it.
The books were acquired by Tor.com Publishing’s senior editor, Lee Harris, from Jennifer Jackson at the Donald Maass Literary Agency.
All Systems Red will be published in ebook and trade paperback in summer 2017.
Series: Editorially Speaking
Yes, Supergirl writer Derek Simon confirmed on Twitter, last night’s episode is named for Will Smith’s iconic line from Independence Day. So, while the plot of “Welcome to Earth” is about President Olivia Marsdin’s (Lynda Carter) visit to National City, it’s really about the Alien Amnesty Act she’s signing, which will invite aliens to step out of the shadows. But, considering the line’s origins, it may not be a warm welcome.