Where the Trains Turn November 19, 2014 Where the Trains Turn Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen His imagination runs wild. The Walk November 12, 2014 The Walk Dennis Etchison Creative differences can be brutal. Where the Lost Things Are November 5, 2014 Where the Lost Things Are Rudy Rucker and Terry Bisson Everything has to wind up somewhere. A Kiss with Teeth October 29, 2014 A Kiss with Teeth Max Gladstone Happy Halloween.
From The Blog
November 21, 2014
Never Wait for a Sequel Again: 17 Standalone Fantasy Novels
Stubby the Rocket
November 18, 2014
The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare’s Histories in the Age of Netflix
Ada Palmer
November 17, 2014
In Defense of Indiana Jones, Archaeologist
Max Gladstone
November 14, 2014
An Uncut and Non-Remastered List of Star Wars Editions!
Leah Schnelbach
November 13, 2014
Why Do We Reject Love as a Powerful Force in Interstellar?
Natalie Zutter
Wed
Nov 26 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Ghibli and Gravy for Thanksgiving!

It’s almost time for those of us in the US to stuff ourselves with turkey, and/or its vegetarian/vegan equivalent! Oh, and also display gratitude or something. In the spirit of this season, we present you with something we’re profoundly grateful for: an homage to My Neighbor Totoro, courtesy of Bob’s Burgers. And if you’re still unsure what Thanksgiving’s all about, go listen to this song. You’ll thank us.

Morning Roundup brings you news of the latest addition to the Potter-verse! We take a look at diversity in Marvel comics, and give you some easily digestible facts about the upcoming X-Men nemesis.

[Plus, more Ghibli, cause there’s never too much Ghibli.]

Wed
Nov 26 2014 7:00am

Frederik Pohl Made Doing Literally Everything Look Easy

Frederik Pohl David A Johnson

Frederik Pohl was one of those people who seem to make up the constellations of science fiction, a man who seemed to live five or six different lives in the time most of us only live one.

He was born in 1919, and his family travelled constantly in his early childhood, before his family settled in Brooklyn. He co-founded The Futurians, and belonged to that group as well as the Young Communist League during the 1930s. He left the Communists in 1939, joined the Army in 1943, and remained a sci-fi fan throughout. After World War II he worked as a writer, editor, and SF literary agent. He was married five times and had four children. He did, almost literally, everything.

[Read More]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: December Releases in Science Fiction

new releases science fiction DecemberThirteen new releases appear on the science fiction shelves this month, with new adult titles from, among others, William C. Dietz, Mike Resnick, Catherine Asaro, Gini Koch and J. Barton Mitchell.

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.]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 4:00pm

The Farthest Star: Ultima by Stephen Baxter

Ultima Stephen Baxter review

Worlds and times collide in the concluding volume of the absorbing duology Proxima kicked off: “a story that encompasses everything that will be and everything that could have been,” just as Ultima’s flap copy claims, but fails, I’m afraid, to take in the little things—not least characters we care about—in much the same way as its intellectually thrilling yet emotionally ineffectual predecessor.

Ultima ultimately advances Stephen Baxter’s ambitious origin-of-everything from the nearest star to Earth at the inception of existence to the end of time on the absolute farthest, but first, the fiction insists on exploring, at length, what the galaxy would look like in terms of technology if the Roman Empire hadn’t fallen in the fifth century.

[Read More]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 3:24pm

Peter Pan and Hook Team Up to Save Neverland in the Pan Trailer

Pan trailer Joe Wright Hugh Jackman Garrett Hedlund Rooney Mara

While Peter Pan Live! is coming to us next week, it’s not the only Peter Pan adaptation coming up. Warner Bros has just released the trailer for Pan, Joe Wright’s (Atonement) take on the classic tale, which is more origin story than other versions.

[Watch the trailer]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “Shadows and Symbols”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Shadows and Symbols“Shadows and Symbols”
Written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Season 7, Episode 2
Production episode 40510-552
Original air date: October 7, 1998
Stardate: 52152.6

Station log: After a summary of “Tears of the Prophets” and “Image in the Sand,” we pick up with Ensign Ezri Dax entering the restaurant and babbling a mile a minute. She was on board the ship the Dax symbiont was being transported on and was forced to be implanted to save Dax’s life—but she wasn’t prepared for joining and she’s having trouble adjusting. She’s taken a leave of absence from her post as assistant counselor on the Destiny and came to Sisko’s hoping her old friend Benjamin can help out. So she joins the planned expedition to Tyree.

[But I haven’t finished my story yet. Captain Sisko has found the Orb of the Emissary, but he hasn’t opened it yet.]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 2:30pm

Deities in Brief: “Azathoth” and “Nyarlathotep”

The Complete Cthulhu Mythos Tales HP LovecraftWelcome 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 “Azathoth” and “Nyarlathotep.” “Azathoth” was written in 1922 and published in Leaves in 1938; “Nyarlathotep” was written in 1920 and published in the November 1920 issue of The United Amateur. You can read both stories here. Spoilers ahead.

[“Never before had the screams of nightmare been such a public problem; now the wise men almost wished they could forbid sleep in the small hours, that the shrieks of cities might less horribly disturb the pale, pitying moon as it glimmered on green waters gliding under bridges, and old steeples crumbling against a sickly sky.”]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 2:00pm

Short Fiction Spotlight: Two Magazines, Two Stories

Lightspeed Welcome back to the Short Fiction Spotlight, a space for conversation about recent and not-so-recent short stories. Last time around we talked about the inaugural issue of Uncanny Magazine, a newcomer on the short fiction scene that’s being helmed by some familiar faces.

This time, I thought we’d range out a little to a couple of stories from other recent publications: “On the Government of the Living: A Parable” by Matthew Cheney (Interfictions #4, Nov. 2014) and “Instructions” by Roz Kaveney (Lightspeed #54, Nov. 2014; reprinted from Odyssey [1998]). These are two quite different sorts of stories—in fact, it feels a little like doing a reviewer’s grab-bag to put them both together. One is an original publication and one is a reprint; one is, as it says, a sort of parable, while the other is straight-up science fiction. The tonal resonances are also disparate. But: there is something to be said about the diversity of what sorts of stories are being published under the general “speculative fiction” header that these pieces demonstrate.

Plus, I liked them.

[Onward.]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 1:30pm

A Spectre Rises in NOLA: Constantine, “Danse Vaudou”

Constantine Danse Vaudou

Constantine gets its serial on with this week’s NOLA-centric episode, giving us a standard case-of-the-week that ties into several of the show’s overarching storylines simultaneously. The central caper involved several seemingly separate situations that all converged in a way that was somehow both anticlimactic and ultimately refreshing at the same time. More importantly, we got to see Chas finally do something! Oh, and there’s lots of fun team-up action including a certain glowy green vengeance spirit. Spoilers ahoy!

[Read More]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 1:10pm

Still from the Sherlock Christmas Special is Canonically Perfect

Sherlock special script

We’ve finally got some info on the Sherlock Christmas special, and it’s a real holiday treat.

Are they... cosplaying? Time traveling? We honestly have no idea. But whatever it is, we are on board for this rodeo.

[Take a look]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 1:00pm

The Artist: Leo and Diane Dillon

Leo and Diane Dillon

“We’re like the mockingbird that can sing in many voices.”
—Diane Dillon

I have to admit that I’m a skeptic when it comes to the subject of fate. I roll my eyes at the idea of predestination and astral alignment; kismet, divine will, providence, whatever you want to call it, I simply don’t buy it. That is, with one exception:

The Dillons.

When it comes to Leo and Diane my skepticism falls by the wayside and I can’t help but believe their meeting, their marriage, and their career was somehow preordained and inevitable.

[Read More]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 12:32pm

Watch the First Full Jurassic World Trailer

Jurassic World trailer

DINOSAURS. EVERYWHERE. If only Hammond could see what his corporate madness has wrought. New theory: Bryce Dallas Howard's character is the granddaughter of the guy who narrated the tour guide “baby dinosahr” film from the first Jurassic Park. Discuss.

Also what you are talking about Chris Pratt, dinosaurs are the best idea. Did you even watch your own trailer?

[Watch the first full Jurassic World trailer]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 12:15pm

I’ll Be Your Mirror. Sleepy Hollow: “Magnum Opus”

Sleepy Hollow Magnum Opus

So, I was going to begin this piece with an apology for the disjointedness to follow. But, you know what? No. My writing is disjointed because while I was watching one of the most racially diverse shows on TV, a show that puts a black family in the center of a battle between good and evil, the Ferguson indictment reports came in.

[Pop culture as mirror]

Mon
Jun 23 2014 9:26am
Original Comic

The Imitation Game

Jim Ottaviani and Leland Purvis

The Imitation Game by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Purvis

Today, Alan Turing is considered the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. The mathematician, born on June 23, 1912, was a brilliant World War II codebreaker and parlayed that insight into theorizing and creating the first stored-memory computers. Unfortunately, this Officer of the British Empire was persecuted by the British government of the time for his homosexuality and suffered through chemical castration before ending his life.

The Imitation Game by Feynman author Jim Ottaviani and Resistance illustrator Leland Purvis chronicles the life of Turing in a full-size graphic novel. Check back every day this week as Tor.com releases the entire graphic novel in four parts.

[The Imitation Game by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Purvis]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 11:30am

Bullets & Butlers: Gotham, “Lovecraft”

Gotham Lovecraft

Once upon a time there was a TV show called Gotham , which was intended as a dramatic telling of the early days of James Gordon’s police career in Gotham City in the days before the Batman. It was a decent outing, though it wasn’t particularly remarkable, unsure if it wanted to be Batman ’66 or Batman Begins . If you wanted to apply Newton’s Third Law to dramatic narrative, you could have probably used Gotham as an example: for every compelling story beat about a Good Cop railing against a corrupt system, you had an equal and opposite beat about, oh, I don’t know, a Balloon Vigilante.

So instead of airing the planned mid-season finale, the network made the surprising choice to air a pilot of new show in its place. Tentatively titled Bullets & Butlers , this new show had all the promise of Gotham but without the unbearable cheese and terribly written female characters and annoying winks-and-nods to established Bat-continuity and general lack of subtlety.

I’m being facetious, of course. But that’s the only way I am can process the utter excitement that I felt while watching Gotham ’s mid-season finale, “Lovecraft.”

[Read More]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 11:00am

Sleeps With Monsters: What I Did On My Holidays — INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair

Chandra Rooney introducing Maggie Stiefvater at INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair

My impression of Toronto is a whirl of chilly weather, excellent people, amazing food, and books. So many books, so many of them my kind of books.

Admittedly, my view of Toronto as a city of books might just have a little to do with the fact I was there to attend the first INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair (hereafter referred to as the TIBF, because I distrust names in all caps with exclamation marks). The TIBF, in concert with Tourism Toronto, flew in seven bloggers to cover the event, leading some people to conclude the organisers had more money than sense: the amazing Book Smugglers, Jane of Dear Author, Kelly of Book Riot, a Canadian mother and daughter blogging team called Chapter By Chapter, and your humble correspondent.

[Read more]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 10:25am

Michelle MacLaren Confirmed to Direct Wonder Woman

Michelle MacLaren confirmed female director Wonder Woman

As rumored, Warner Bros has signed on a female director to helm its 2017 Wonder Woman film, starring Gal Gadot. The Hollywood Reporter announced that Michelle MacLaren—nominated by many outlets for her work on Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad—has signed on to direct the studio’s first standalone female superhero movie.

[Read more]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 10:00am

The Science of The Three-Body Problem and How it Ties Into Self-Worth

Three-Body Problem art by Stephan Martiniere

A covert military project. A secret war revealed as the worst fight that humanity has ever faced. Baffling mysteries. A series of ultra-science weapons, each more powerful and fantastic than the last, including one technology described as more important than nuclear bombs. Aliens that may be saviors, or invaders, or both. All this and more feature in Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem, the first book in a science fiction trilogy that is wildly popular in China (read a firsthand account of the series’ fame) and is now finally making its way into English.

Let’s take a look at the science that the story is built upon. Spoilers ahead for those haven’t yet read The Three-Body Problem.

[Read more]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 9:50am

Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch Join True Detective Season 2

Rachel McAdams Taylor Kitsch cast True Detective season 2

Perpetual time traveler’s girlfriend Rachel McAdams and Battleship’s Taylor Kitsch have joined what’s becoming an ensemble cast in season 2 of True Detective. HBO confirmed the casting, revealing tidbits about each of the four characters in the new season, as well as what to expect when Nic Pizzolatto’s mystery series returns.

[Read more]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 9:30am

A Magic Synergy: The Cover Art of Kathleen Jennings

When a new book is sold, the first question (after “When is it coming out?” and “Will there be a movie?”) is, “What’s the cover going to be?”

The easy answer is “Beautiful,” because, like babies, all book covers should be beautiful in the eyes of their doting authors. The truth is, some book covers are more beautiful (and true to the book) than others. Some cover art originates with stock the publisher already owns, or marketing departments’ notions of what sells, or the current fashion in best sellers—a thousand things that have nothing to do with art or the book or the magic synergy that marries two disparate art forms into a single object. In most instances, the first a writer (or at least this writer) sees of their covers is a finished mockup of art and type accompanied by a note containing some variation of “Isn’t this beautiful? We’re so pleased with it; hope you are, too!”

[Read More]