The Two Weddings of Bronwyn Hyatt May 6, 2015 The Two Weddings of Bronwyn Hyatt Alex Bledsoe A Tufa double wedding. 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?
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 6 2015 12:30pm

Rocket Talk Episode 53: Renee Williams and Shaun Duke

Speculative Fiction 2014

In this week’s podcast episode, Justin talks with Renee Williams and Shaun Duke, editors of Speculative Fiction 2014. Available now from Book Smugglers Publishing, SpecFic ’14 is a survey of the years best online reviews, essays, and commentary. The conversation covers the contents of the anthology, the year’s themes, and the mechanics of identifying what makes a piece of non-fiction “the best.”

[Listen now!]

May 6 2015 12:00pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: Orb Sceptre Throne, Chapter Twenty

Ian C Esslemont Orb Sceptre Throne Malazan rereadWelcome back 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 twenty of Ian Cameron Esslemont’s Orb Sceptre Throne.

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]

May 6 2015 11:00am

Historical Fiction for Genre Lovers: Burial Rites

historical fiction burial rites

I make no apologies for liking my books with a dash of dragons or a whiff of ghosts. Ever since I discovered there was such a thing as a fantasy section at the library, I have been a faithful devotee of the genre. But every now and then, I like to venture a little further afield, and when I do, I often land in the historical fiction section.

My latest foray into a historical novel was a book that straddles the line between fiction and creative non-fiction. One part mystery did-she-do-it and one part psychological study, Burial Rites by Hannah Kent is a lyrical foray into nineteenth-century Iceland that imagines the events surrounding the life and death of Agnes Magnusdottir, a real woman who was charged with the brutal murder of her employer. After being convicted of the crime, Agnes is sent to await her execution at a remote farmstead. At first the farm family and the priest charged with saving her soul are repelled by the mysterious murderess in their midst, but soon the routine and hardship of life in such a harsh landscape brings them together and allows them to look back upon Agnes’ life and the series of decisions that brought them all together.

[Read More]

May 6 2015 10:00am

Cover Reveal for Marie Brennan’s In The Labyrinth of Drakes

Even those who take no interest in the field of dragon naturalism (and who are you?!?) have heard of Lady Trent’s expedition to the inhospitable deserts of Akhia. Her discoveries there are the stuff of romantic legend, catapulting her from scholarly obscurity to worldwide fame. The details of her personal life during that time are hardly less private, having provided fodder for gossips in several countries.

As is so often the case in the career of this illustrious woman, the public story is far from complete. In The Labyrinth of Drakes, the fourth volume of her memoirs, Lady Trent relates how she acquired her position with the Royal Scirling Army; how foreign saboteurs imperiled both her work and her well-being; and how her determined pursuit of knowledge took her into the deepest reaches of the Labyrinth of Drakes, where the chance action of a dragon set the stage for her greatest achievement yet.

[Take a look at the cover for In The Labyrinth of Drakes]

May 6 2015 9:00am
Original Story

The Two Weddings of Bronwyn Hyatt

Remember, never accept a gift without knowing the consequences. Set in the Tufa universe.

This short story was acquired and edited for by associate editor Diana Pho.

[Read “The Two Weddings of Bronwyn Hyatt” by Alex Bledsoe]

May 6 2015 8:30am

Dune Sweepstakes!

The 50th anniversary edition of Frank Herbert’s Dune has arrived from the Folio Society, and we want to send you a copy autographed by illustrator Sam Weber! Check out some of Weber's incredible illustrations here.

Two lucky winners will receive a copy of this new edition with a foreword by Michael Dirda and an afterword by Brian Herbert, plus a limited edition poster featuring Sam Weber’s illustration of Paul Atreides from the binding design!

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 8:30 AM Eastern Time (ET) on May 6. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on May 10. 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 6 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Shouldn’t Cats be the Natural Enemy of Chain Chomps?

Chomp Chain Cate Bed

Do you have a cat? Does it like to sleep? Odds are, its favorite perches are either the nearest empty box, or some portion of your face, but perhaps you can interest it in this Chomp Chain Bed! This is the brainchild of Catastrophicreations, who have also gifted the feline universe with a Super Mario-themed cat playground, which is truly the perfect gift for any cat that also loves classic NES games. Learn how to make your own Chomp Chain here!

Morning Roundup brings you the latest steps of a Hobbit, a potentially punishing future, and the secret plot behind all of James T. Kirk’s decisions.

[read more]

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.