The Ways of Walls and Words April 15, 2015 The Ways of Walls and Words Sabrina Vourvoulias Can the spirit truly be imprisoned? Ballroom Blitz April 1, 2015 Ballroom Blitz Veronica Schanoes Can't stop drinking, can't stop dancing, can't stop smoking, can't even die. Dog March 25, 2015 Dog Bruce McAllister "Watch the dogs when you're down there, David." The Museum and the Music Box March 18, 2015 The Museum and the Music Box Noah Keller History is rotting away, just like the museum.
From The Blog
April 17, 2015
Spring 2015 Anime Preview: The Hellish Life of a Pizza Delivery Boy
Kelly Quinn
April 16, 2015
The Disney Read-Watch: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Mari Ness
April 15, 2015
Recasting The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Stubby the Rocket
April 15, 2015
The 10 Strangest Transports in Non-Driving Games
N. Ho Sang and Peter Tieryas
April 14, 2015
An Open Letter to HBO from House Greyjoy
Theresa DeLucci
Apr 14 2015 1:45pm

The Avengers: Age of Ultron Cast Played Avengers Family Feud Basically In-Character

Avengers Family Feud video

With Avengers: Age of Ultron almost in theaters (May 1!), the cast is officially doing their press tour. Which means there are plenty of cute moments to come, like when they played Avengers Family Feud on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

No surprise, Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. were their respective team captains, with The Americas facing off against The Mans. What followed was a lot of button-mashing, incredulous commentary from Chris Evans, team huddles, and general losing and/or throwing of nametags.

[Watch the video]

Apr 14 2015 1:30pm

Afternoon Roundup: It’s a Marvel Extravagwenza!

Gwen Stacy Marvel June variant covers Incredible Hulk Doctor Strange

Did you love Spider-Gwen? Well, gird your loins, because the month of June will see the repopularized Gwen Stacy starring on twenty Marvel variant covers! And they’re getting in on the puns before anyone else can, as this quote proves: “Gwenom? The InGwenible Hulk? The Mighty AGwengers? What about G.W.E.N.D.O.K.?” Marvel has already released the preview covers for The Incredible Hulk, Doctor Strange, and Wolverine; June will also bring us Deadpool, Groot, and Thor variants. What a wonderful world we live in.

Afternoon Roundup takes a hologram to Mars; ponders what Merlin’s seven words of advice would be; and hopes those Captain Marvel rumors are true.

[Read more]

Apr 14 2015 1:00pm

The Wheel of Time Reread Redux: The Eye of the World, Part 26

Live, from my laptop, it’s the Wheel of Time Reread Redux! APPLAUSE KTHXBI. Today’s Redux post will cover Chapters 48 and 49 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!

[“Men are from Earth, and women are from Earth. Deal with it.” –George Carlin]

Apr 14 2015 12:00pm

The Weight of History and Also Cannibalism: “The Rats in the Walls”

Lovecraft The Rats in the Walls M Fersner

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 “The Rats in the Walls,” written in August-September 1923, and first published in the March 1924 issue of Weird Tales. You can read it here.

Spoilers ahead.

[“These rats […] must be burrowing and sliding in Roman walls I had thought to be of solid limestone blocks”]

Apr 14 2015 11:00am

Sleeps With Monsters: More Lesbian SFF Romance

Sleeps With Monsters

For the third year in a row, Sleeps With Monsters brings you a post dedicated to lesbian science fiction and fantasy romance. Mostly because this is what I’ve been reading lately—sometimes a person just wants a book that’s guaranteed to be filled with women having significant interactions with other women, with the promise of happy outcomes.

Unfortunately, more often than not, I find myself unhappy with the quality of those romance novels I do read. I could wish for smoother prose, or a narrative that integrates its romantic and action elements more cohesively. (When I do find one that works for me on all levels, like Courtney Milan’s The Duchess War or Heather Rose Jones’ Daughter of Mystery, I cling to it in delight.)

[Let me talk about the ones featuring queer ladies I’ve enjoyed.]

Apr 14 2015 10:00am

An Open Letter to HBO from House Greyjoy

Spoiler warning: Swim into these spoiler-infested waters at your peril. This post discusses events on Game of Thrones through season 4 and in A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons.

Dear Lords Benioff and Weiss of House HBO, Kings of the Five Premium Cable Channel Realms:

It has come to our attention that there have been no ravens announcing the casting of a certain kingsmoot for the fifth season of your charming little program, Game of Thrones. And while people may bemoan the absence of the rapidly-aging Bran Stark—will he grow a full beard by the time season six production starts?—and his method of transport, Hodor, no one sings songs for squids.

[“What worth is an Iron Throne without an ironborn trying to claim it?”]

Apr 14 2015 9:00am

The Coode Street Podcast Episode 229: On Books, History, Awards and Such

Coode Street Jonathan Strahan Gary K. Wolfe

Welcome to The Coode Street Podcast, an informal weekly discussion about science fiction and fantasy featuring award-winning critics and editors Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe. The Coode Street Podcast debuted in 2010 and has been nominated for the Hugo, British Science Fiction, and Aurealis awards.

This has been a busy year for the Coode Street Podcast, talking to interesting guests, covering a wide-range of issues, and being syndicated by our friends at For a bit of change, Gary and Jonathan decided to sit down together and record an old-fashioned Coode Street Podcast, just two guys rambling about science fiction. Topics included awards (of course), politics, the anniversary of SF classics, what makes a a work entertaining, and more.

[Listen to Coode Street]

Apr 14 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: The Most Oxymoronic of All Was the Unicorn

realistic unicorn needlepoint

There may be cats and rats and elephants, but as sure as you’re born, none of them have needlepoint as quirky as this one. Props to hitRECord contributor sinnamin for this home furnishing we all need now.

Morning Roundup mourns the Miles Morales movie that could have been; sings Monty Python with Stephen Hawking; and resists the urge to make the easiest joke about screaming and space.

[Read more]

Apr 13 2015 4:00pm

Ken Liu Talks Silkpunk, Old Poems, and Contemporary Chinese SFF in His Reddit AMA

The Grace of Kings book cover Ken LiuIn his first novel The Grace of Kings, Ken Liu “remembers the future” by using nostalgia to reveal modernity; and in doing so, changes the way that epic fantasy stories are structured. Liu addressed questions about fantasy clichés and contemporary Chinese sci-fi and fantasy in his recent Reddit AMA, sharing both his influences and hinting at arcs he’s set up in this book and its sequels to come.

Liu also talked about translating Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem, including the surprising ease of translating science from Chinese to English, and why info dumps are the best part of hard sci-fi.

Check out the highlights from his AMA below!

[Read more]

Apr 13 2015 3:00pm

The Last Herald Mage: Hearth Fires

Magic's PromiseWe’re in the last three chapters of Magic’s Promise. There’s a mystery to be solved, and, if you’re reading along, a rapidly dwindling number of pages in your right hand. There simply isn’t room left in the novel for the mystery to take a lot of twists and turns. Who did it? The piranha bats on the book cover seem an obvious suspect. Who brought in the bats? Hmm, does anyone here have scheming relatives? Tashir does!

According to the treaty that Elspeth the Peacemaker brokered between Baires and Lineas, if either ruling family dies out through pestilence or misadventure (rather than through assassination), the other inherits their throne. So all the royal family of Baires has to do is make sure Tashir gets blamed for his family being torn into hand-sized pieces, and they double their lands.

[This mystery is a plot device, but it is not the plot.]

Apr 13 2015 2:00pm

Five Books About Backwoods Horror

Harrow County Tyler Crook

It’s nearly impossible for me to choose five favorite horror novels. I simply can’t name a favorite (except in one case, as you’ll see below). But I can narrow it down a little and compartmentalize my preferences. In that way, even though I’m certain I’m forgetting something, the slight won’t seem too terribly egregious.

I grew up in rural North Carolina, amidst tobacco fields and scuppernong grape orchards, and the Missouri Ozarks, amidst scorpions and tarantula herds. Living in those areas, I developed an appreciation for the folktales and ghost stories that run rampant among country folk. That upbringing has wormed its way into many of my own stories. With books like Harrow County, coming from Dark Horse Comics, I’m able to revisit some of my old haunts, if you’ll pardon the pun.

[Read More]

Apr 13 2015 1:30pm

Afternoon Roundup: The Avengers Take a Knee for Iron Man

MTV Movie Awards Robert Downey Jr Generation Award

One of the highlights of last night’s MTV Movie Awards was seeing Robert Downey Jr. honored with the Generation Award. Even better was when his Avengers: Age of Ultron castmates joined him onstage and then took a knee to their boss (or, if not boss, the guy who pays for everything, designs everything, makes everyone look cooler). And then RDJ tweeted a sweet thank-you and it was all just awww.

Afternoon Roundup ponders how to make Dark Empire canon again, the resemblance between Maisie Williams and Jenna Coleman, and our favorite scary movie.

[Read more]

Apr 13 2015 1:00pm

Should you be watching Marvel’s Daredevil?

Daredevil Netflix Matt Murdock

Should you watch Daredevil? You likely will (our already have) if you’re a Marvel Cinematic Universe completist, or you have a love for the character. But if you’re unsure, here are some thoughts on the first three episodes to help you make up your mind.

[The Man Without Fear, eh?]

Apr 13 2015 12:45pm

Announcing the 2014 Aurealis Awards Winners!

2014 Aurealis Awards winnersThe winners of Australia’s 2014 Aurealis Awards—which recognize the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy, horror, young adult, and children’s fiction writers—were announced on April 11 at the University House, Canberra. Also announced was the 2014 recipient of The Convenors’ Award for Excellence, which recognizes a particular achievement in speculative fiction or related areas that is not otherwise eligible for an Aurealis Award.

The full list of winners is below. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!

[Read more]

Apr 13 2015 12:30pm

Where Sweepstakes!

Kit Reed’s Where is out from Tor Books on May 12th, and we want to send you a galley now!

In a coastal town on the Outer Carolina Banks, David Ribault and Merrill Poulnot are trying to revive their stale relationship and commit to marriage, and a slick developer claiming to be related to a historic town hero, Rawson Steele, has come to town and is buying up property. Steele makes a romantic advance on Merrill and an unusual 5 a.m appointment outside of town with David. But Steele is a no-show, and at the time of the appointment everyone in the town disappears, removed entirely from our space and time to a featureless isolated village—including Merrill and her young son. David searches desperately but all seems lost for Steele is in the other village with Merrill.

Check below for the rules!

[Read more]

Apr 13 2015 12:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Mistress of the Empire, Part 5

Mistress of the EmpireWelcome back to the reread of Mistress of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts. In this one, Arakasi’s reputation is going to the dogs, because time jumps aren’t good for everybody...

Chapter 5: Machinations

SUMMARY: Two years have passed. Hokanu guesses correctly that Mara is pregnant, and is delighted at the possibility of another child in their family—his first by blood.

Mara has a troubling request, though. She is concerned about the risks of pregnancy, knowing that if she and her baby don’t survive the birth, House Acoma will be lost forever. The Shinzawai are in a far less precarious position, with all manner of stray cousins and nephews who could replace Hokanu.

And although Hokanu keeps oh-so-helpfully offering, she really doesn’t think it’s okay or good enough to blend the Acoma with the Shinzawai. A girl’s got to have standards.

[Read More]

Apr 13 2015 11:50am

New Terminator: Genisys Trailer Heard You Like Terminators So It Put Some Terminators in Your Terminator

new Terminator: Genisys trailer John Connor human machine hybrid

The producers of Terminator: Genisys know what keeps audiences coming back for more: tying the timestream in Gordian knots, and more Terminators. It wouldn’t be enough for Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) and Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) to flee just the new T-1000 (the one that can turn into molten level and shift its appendages into weapons) and the CGI young-Arnold T-800. No—the newest Terminator must be the person they least expect. It must be... John Connor?!

[Read more]

Apr 13 2015 11:00am

Game of Thrones Season 5, Episode 1 “The Wars to Come”

The nights have been dark and full of terror these long, cold months without Game of Thrones. Today was the first truly sunny day of spring here in the Northeastern kingdoms and millions of people were still eager to run home to their TVs or brand new HBO Now subscriptions. Or they had already downloaded the first four episodes in this weekend’s big screener leak and were out enjoying some well-earned fresh air. Either way, we are back in the world of hungry dragons, old prophecies, drunken Imps and Stannis being Stannis (i.e. colder than a wight’s arse.)

Spoilers for the episode ahead. Spoilers for George R. R. Martin’s published novels are fair game in the article and the comments, so read at your own peril. Please avoid or white out references to advance chapters from The Winds of Winter, however, for those who aren't reading ahead!

[“Can I drink myself to death on the road to Meereen?” Yes, but you maybe shouldn’t, Tyrion.]

Apr 13 2015 10:40am

New Ant-Man Trailer Finally Shows Off Ant-Man’s Powers

Ant-Man trailer

What with its hard-to-take-seriously premise (a man can shrink down to the size of an ant to fight crime) and troubled production schedule, Marvel’s Ant-Man hasn’t looked too encouraging. But at least the latest trailer actually shows us what thief-turned-superhero Scott Lang can do once he is gifted with Hank Pym’s shrinking technology.

Through visuals we probably would have been better off seeing in the first trailer, Ant-Man shrinks down to the size of his namesakes, but shares their superhuman strength against people hundreds of times his size. This leads to scenes like Ant-Man facing off against Yellowjacket during a high-stakes train chase scene... which we realize is actually on a child’s Thomas the Tank Engine set.

[Read more]

Apr 13 2015 10:00am

King Lear: The Syntax and Scansion of Insanity

King Lear by William Dyce

Maybe it’s because I have this facial recognition problem that makes it tough for me to tell the difference between Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, but I don’t think fictional character is a question of faces. Or bodies. Or clothes. Or even actions, actually. Those things are important, but I’ve become pretty convinced that the hot beating heart of character is language. If you know how a character talks, you know how she thinks, and if you know how she thinks, you know how she acts.

This isn’t my idea. It’s the whole premise of theater. A play’s script is a record of spoken language. The task of those producing the play is to translate that language into character and scene. Sometimes there are stage directions, but stage directions are secondary. You can imagine performing a play stripped of its stage directions, but cut out the dialogue and you’ve got nothing.

Nowhere is this more evident than in Shakespeare, who was sparing with his stage directions and brilliant with his language. We can take, as one of the innumerable examples, the case of King Lear. We can look at how this horrible, tragic figure is built up from a series of syllables set on the page, one after the other.

[Read More]