The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Dragons of Spring Dawning: Homecoming

Bad news, good news. Bad news: a super-short week, with a denouement and another (steel yourself) poem. Good news: it’s all Raistlin!

Join us for the last dying moments of the Dragonlance Chronicles. And, fair warning—next week, we’ll be doing our big rambling overview, so get ready to share your own favourite moments and monsters!

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Series: Dragonlance Reread

“MEESA BACK!” Rogue Binks is Even More Disturbing Than The Binks Awakens

Almost a year ago, we let the Jar-Jar in with the utterly WTF mashup trailer The Binks Awakens from the brilliant and twisted mind of YouTuber Michael Murdock. But Jar-Jar Binks isn’t the Force; he’s more like Samara from The Ring, as he’s no longer content with taking over just one Star Wars trailer. No—he had to return in Rogue Binks, in which he plays every role in the forthcoming Rogue One. And he’s not alone.

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Doctor Who: The Official Cookbook Sweepstakes!

We want to send you a copy of Joanna Farrow’s Doctor Who: The Official Cookbook: 40 Wibbly-Wobbly, Timey-Wimey Recipes, available August 30th from Harper Design!

Have your Doctor Who and eat it too with this out-of-this-world cookbook featuring fun, imaginative recipes for the whole family, based on the popular BBC series Doctor Who.

The perfect addition to every Doctor Who fan’s shelf, Doctor Who: The Official Cookbook features a cornucopia of delicious, easy-to-make recipes—from the simple, to the showstoppers—with an exciting Whovian twist. Enjoy the Doctor’s own favorite, fish fingers and custard, share some Cyberman Pie with friends, treat the family to Cassandra Pizza, or indulge your sweet tooth with a Supreme Dalek Cake.

Throwing a viewing party of your favorite episodes? Serve up some Ood Rolls, Salt and Pepper Sontarans, and Weeping Angel Food Cake. And don’t forget the centerpiece for every Whovian get-together, a Gingerbread TARDIS and, of course, 12 Cookie Doctors.

Illustrated with stills from the television show and seasoned with fun food ephemera and quotes from the Doctor’s universe, Doctor Who: The Official Cookbook has something weird, wacky, and tasty for every fan.

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 August 25th. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on August 29th. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Tor.com, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

Forcing a Theme: Disney’s Fun and Fancy Free

What diabolical plot is being hatched in the brain of this poor demented duck?

As the United States emerged from World War II, Walt Disney felt increasingly desperate—and removed from the animation that had previously been his heart and soul. The majority of his films had been box office bombs, and even the cartoon shorts that had helped build the company before Snow White were facing increasing competition, especially from a director/animator called Chuck Jones over at rival Warner Bros. The money earned from producing training films for the Defense Department was gone, and distributor RKO Films refused to let Disney release Snow White and Dumbo on a yearly basis. Walt faced a crisis: his studio still didn’t have enough money to put together a full length animated picture, but the collections of cartoon shorts weren’t doing all that well either, strongly suggesting that the studio needed to return to longer features in order to survive.

What Walt Disney did have was a cartoon loosely based on the fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk, featuring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy.

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Trollhunter: Fun with Found Footage!

One of the great things about being a professor of matters medieval is being able to enjoy how the Middle Ages pops into our popular culture in a variety of interesting ways. It’s an extra level of entertainment, and helps to explain the happy feeling I got when I watched the 2010 film Trollhunter, which I’ll be introducing to you today.

You may not have heard of this film, and honestly that’s a real shame. In my considered opinion, Trollhunter is, simply put, the finest “found footage” mockumentary about hunting trolls in modern Norway that has ever been made. Period.

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Series: Medieval Matters

This Week in Publishing: Pottermore Presents and Unbound Worlds

This week in science fiction/fantasy (and related subjects) publishing news… Beloved book universes, from J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world to M.R. Carey’s post-outbreak future from The Girl with All the Gifts, are expanding thanks to recently-announced sequels and prequels. New Neil Gaiman and John Scalzi covers abound, a young adult anthology will reimagine Asian mythology and folklore, and we look at what’s next for the Hugo Award fiction winners.

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Midnight in Karachi Episode 60: Malka Older

Welcome back to Midnight in Karachi, a weekly podcast about writers, publishers, editors, illustrators, their books and the worlds they create, hosted by Mahvesh Murad.

Malka Older joins the podcast this week to talk about her novel Infomacracy, experiencing new cultures, and the state of politics. Infomocracy is available now from Tor.com Publishing—get started with the first five chapters here on Tor.com.

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Series: Midnight in Karachi Podcast

Twitter Gives Us All the Feels Over Fictional Deaths

The conversation pops back up now and again on Twitter, and the results are always devastating–if you ever need a good cry, just type in the hashtag #fictionaldeathsillnevergetover.

It’s fair to say that your average fan has a lengthy list, but here are a few that seem to crop up over and over… along with a few personal asides. (Some spoilers below, obviously, but nothing recent! There will be no spoiling of season finales!)

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Creatures of the Deep: Why I’m Addicted to My Biggest Fear

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 was small, my first reaction to seeing the sea was to run straight into it, until my feet lost the bottom and my head went under.

The only way my parents could stop me was to tell me the ocean swarmed with monsters: blue sharks and makos, cruising in wait just yards from shore.

I became terrified of the sea, but obsessed with its leavings. The crab shells, the shrimps, the jellyfish. The dead cod that washed up one long August, and which I dragged aimlessly for a mile or so up the beach before burying in disgust.

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Television’s Greatest Hacker has been Hacked!

Rami Malek and his Mr. Robot character, Elliot Alderson, have one thing in common: they shy away from social media. During a conversation with Stephen Colbert, the actor confessed that while he had an Instagram account, he’d never actually posted anything. At this point, Colbert startled the actor by telling him he had about 100,000 followers, and then, eager to please a hungry audience, whipped out a selfie stick and hijacked Malek’s account.

Malek seems to be OK with it, though. You can become one of the thousands here! But maybe don’t expect too much activity.

[via Mary Sue!]

Abandon the Newspeak and Drink the Soma: Aldous Huxley’s Snarky Letter to George Orwell

When George Orwell finished his classic dystopia, Nineteen Eighty-Four, he eagerly had a copy sent off to his high school French teacher.

His high school French teacher, Aldous Huxley.

When the author of A Brave New World wrote back, he praised his former student’s book as “fine” and “profoundly important”—but he also seemingly couldn’t resist writing (at some length!) about how his own vision of the future was better (or at least more accurate in its predictions)…

[Read the full letter]

Pull List: The Vision

I absolutely adore this trend in comics of showing superheroes off duty and dealing with day-to-day issues, where it’s less about physical prowess and more about the ramifications of using their abilities. It’s more interesting to me to see the powerful confront their powers and the effect their powers have on the powerless. Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye is hard to beat, but Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s The Vision comes close. This isn’t a story about Vision kicking ass and taking names but a smaller scale tale of ethics versus morality, family versus friends, interlopers versus denizens.

[“Vision thought he could make a family. A happy, normal family.”]

The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years Sweepstakes!

The second volume of Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman’s oral history of Star Trek, The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years: From The Next Generation to J. J. Abrams: The Complete, Uncensored, and Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek, is available August 30th from Thomas Dunne Books—and we want to send you a copy!

This is the true story behind the making of a television legend. There have been many books written about Star Trek, but never with the unprecedented access, insight and candor of authors Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross. Having covered the franchise for over three decades, they’ve assembled the ultimate guide to a television classic.

The Fifty-Year Mission: Volume Two is an incisive, no-holds-barred oral history telling the story of post-Original Series Star Trek, told exclusively by the people who were there, in their own words—sharing the inside scoop they’ve never told before—unveiling the oftentimes shocking true story of the history of Star Trek and chronicling the trials, tribulations—and tribbles—that have remained deeply buried secrets… until now.

The Fifty-Year Mission: Volume Two includes the voices of hundreds television and film executives, programmers, writers, creators, and cast, who span from the beloved The Next Generation and subsequent films through its spin-offs: Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise, as well J.J. Abrams’ reimagined film series.

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 1:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on August 24th. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on August 28th. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Tor.com, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.