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. The Thyme Fiend March 11, 2015 The Thyme Fiend Jeffrey Ford It's not all in his head.
From The Blog
March 31, 2015
The Legend of Korra Saved My Sanity
Liz Bourke
March 31, 2015
Creative Works Inspired by Your RPG Campaign
Caitlyn Paxson
March 30, 2015
The Stargate Rewatch: SG-1 Season One
Keith DeCandido
March 30, 2015
Pull List: Getting Emotional Over Bitch Planet
Alex Brown
March 24, 2015
Protecting What You Love: On the Difference Between Criticism, Rage, and Vilification
Emily Asher-Perrin
Tue
Mar 31 2015 12:00pm

Things Man Was Not Meant to Buy: Lovecraftiana Faves and Wish Lists

plush Cthulhu

Your hosts are feeling a bit overwhelmed with life stuff—medical appointments, colicky babies, the vast unknowability of an uncaring cosmos, that sort of thing. We’re therefore taking a break from story summaries to share our favorite bits of Lovecraftiana, and to send out a prayer to the gods of commerce and time travel for a few things we wish existed.

[Read on if you dare...]

Tue
Mar 31 2015 11:00am

Sleeps With Monsters: The Legend of Korra Saved My Sanity

Legend of Korra

It is possible that The Legend of Korra saved my sanity in March.

At the end of February, I finished writing a postgraduate thesis. As many former PhD candidates can attest, that’s the end of a process that can leave you worn out and broken, mentally—and sometimes physically, too. In my case, there were three weeks immediately afterwards where I couldn’t concentrate enough to read anything longer than a blog post. (And then a period of time where all I wanted to read were terrible queer romances.) But I needed something to keep my mind occupied.

[Read More]

Tue
Mar 31 2015 10:30am

The Coode Street Podcast Episode 227: Ken Liu and Joe Monti

Ken Liu The Grace of Kings

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 week Gary* is joined by award-winning author Ken Liu and Joe Monti, Executive Editor at Saga Press, to discuss Ken’s exciting debut novel The Grace of Kings, his forthcoming collection The Paper Menagerie, and much more.

[Listen to Coode Street]

Tue
Mar 31 2015 10:00am

A Time of Transformation: The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall

The Wolf Border Sarah Hall

Between land and sea, day and night, life and death and the like, there lie those borders that, much as we might try, we cannot deny. Equally, though, there are those we impose: make-believe borders drawn to defend against that which we fear, as well as to keep what we want for ourselves within.

Set in the pristine wilderness split down the middle by the border between Scotland and England—as powerful a haunt here as it’s ever been—in the run-up to and the aftermath of 2014’s hotly fought Independence Referendum, Sarah Hall’s fifth work of fiction is a sumptuous study of truth and trust some are sure to slight because it seems slow... but no. The Wolf Border takes longer than I’d like to find its feet, but before long it’s toddling confidently, then running rampant—not unlike the near-mythical infant its protagonist produces.

[Read More]

Tue
Mar 31 2015 9:30am

Creative Works Inspired by your RPG Campaign

Seventh Son

Recently, a movie called Seventh Son flopped its way through theatres. As soon as I saw the trailer, I remarked loudly that it looked like somebody turned their Dungeons and Dragons campaign into a screenplay. I said this with scorn, and I did not go to see the film. This seems to have worked in my favor, as one reviewer from the Chicago Reader called it “a loud, joyless mess.”

I read slush for a poetry quarterly called Goblin Fruit, and, being that our submission guidelines request poems of the fantastic, we get occasional submissions that smack slightly of D&D. These pieces often feel like they were written in-game by someone’s half-elf bard character, probably while drunk off his ass at Ye Olde Inn and Taverna.

[But I’m in no position to judge.]

Tue
Mar 31 2015 9:00am

Fiction Affliction: April Releases in Science Fiction

new releases scifi AprilSeventeen new releases join the dystopian science fiction shelves this month, with titles from, among others, Jonathan Maberry (Joe Ledger), David Walton, Wesley Chu (Tao), Robert Charles Wilson, John C. Wright (Count to a Trillion), and Adam Christopher (Spider Wars).

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
Mar 31 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Regramming Some Replicants

Blade Runner Reality Instagram account

The Instagram account Blade Runner Reality documents little moments in cityscapes (primarily New York City, it seems) that resemble moments from Blade Runner, bringing us closer and closer to that dystopia with each photo. It’s a bit of a trip. (Hat-tip to Complex for finding it!)

Morning Roundup defends your fiddlesticks right to free speech; gets scared about zombies all over again; and has only one question for you: A/S/L?

[Read more]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 4:00pm

A Dalek Goes Walkies in Seattle

Dalek in Seattle

Per-am-bu-late!

Come on, Dalek, we just took you for a walk and it’s cold out and we just took our shoes off and...fine. FINE.

Intrepid agent Ashley Reed forwarded us this picture from her adventures around Seattle’s Emerald City Comic Con this past weekend of this life-sized moving Dalek just kind of...strolling...around the streets of Seattle. (But not the bike lanes! Very considerate.)

Dalek: Caff-ein-ate!
Barista: I’m sorry, sir, we only have decaf at the moment.
Dalek: ...
Barista: We do have some Teavana if you like...
Dalek: You would make a good Dalek.

This is, of course, the kind of world we’ve always wanted to live in.

Mon
Mar 30 2015 3:00pm

The Stargate Rewatch: SG-1 Season One

Stargate SG-1

Stargate SG-1: Season 1
Executive producers: Jonathan Glassner & Brad Wright
Co-executive producers: Michael Greenburg, Jeffrey King
Original air dates: July 27, 1997 – March 6, 1998

Mission briefing: Picking up one year after Stargate, we learn that O’Neill, Kawalsky, and Ferretti reported that the nuke went off, destroying the entire settlement on Abydos, killing Jackson. O’Neill then retired, and the Stargate program was mothballed. Personnel have been slowly rotated out of the lower levels of Cheyenne Mountain—until one day, when five airmen (well, four airmen and one airwoman, Sergeant Carol Weterings) are playing poker in front of the gate, covered in cloth. The gate activates, and Apophis comes through with several of his Jaffa (including his First Prime, Teal’c). Weterings is kidnapped and taken back through the gate, and the other four airmen are killed in a firefight.

[I can help these people!]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 2:00pm

The Walking Dead, Season 5 Finale: “Conquer”

The Walking Dead season 5 finale Conquer

Season 5 has had a lot of ups, but even more downs. Where season 4 looked to be turning the ship in the right direction, now we’re right back where we started with repetitive main arcs, stalled subplots, cipher personalities, and unresolved questions. Between Father Gabriel and Sasha’s descents into madness, Michonne and Tyreese’s recovery from violence, Rick and Carol solidifying their brutal plans, Glenn and Maggie keeping everyone from killing everyone else, and Abraham, Eugene, Rosita, and Tara, um, existing, The Walking Dead keeps on keeping on. Like the rest of the series, “Conquer” looked great and effectively teased out tension, but ultimately the whole thing just sorta sat there.

[“We had to stop being out there.”]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 1:30pm

Afternoon Roundup: Flash Dance... What a Feeling

The Flash dance set photos Grant Gustin Tom Cavanagh

Well, isn’t this delightful: While shooting an episode of The Flash earlier this month, Grant Gustin and Tom Cavanagh (in-costume as The Flash and Reverse Flash) realized they had attracted an audience. What better reaction than to break into an impromptu waltz! Check out the whole gallery at ImageBam (via The Flash Spoilers).

Afternoon Roundup brings you a new Spock documentary; what happens when “the cloud” bursts; and the most badass deer to get caught in your headlights.

[Read more]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 1:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Mistress of the Empire, Part 3

Mistress of the EmpireWelcome back to the reread of Mistress of the Empire by Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts! This is the one where the Magicians decide to get their sticky fingers all over Mara’s war of vengeance.

Chapter 3: War

Summary: Mara has completely lost it. As she collapses in her grief, the men of her household gather around her to shield her from the curious and thoroughly judgy eyes of the Ruling Lords and associated hangers on.

As Lujan removes all edged weapons from his person before picking his mistress up, Lady Isashani of the Xacatecas comes forward to advise Hokanu in what to do next, and to volunteer her services in calming and protecting Mara.

[Read More]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 12:15pm

James Bond is a Kite Dancing in a Hurricane in the First Spectre Trailer

James Bond Spectre trailer Daniel Craig Christoph Waltz Blofeld

When Skyfall director Sam Mendes began talking about returning to the world of James Bond for the franchise’s 24th film—which we now know is Spectre—he said that it would act as a thematic, but not narrative, continuation of Skyfall. Judging from the first trailer, however, Spectre seems to have pulled a lot of its plot threads from the destruction of Skyfall itself.

[Watch the trailer]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 12:00pm

Shakespeare Adaptations That Best Speak to Teens

Romeo + Juliet

Later in our Shakespeare on Tor.com essay series, Emily Asher-Perrin will tell you about a high school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that was engineered to get teens excited about Shakespeare. It did not work. It also wasn’t the only scheme of its kind: There’s always some well-meaning drama teacher—or movie director—who wants to make Shakespeare speak to the youth of today. Whether that involves playing up the sex, drugs, and violence that characterize various works; dropping Shakespearean verse into a modern setting; or building something entirely new off the framework of a play—many have tried.

In the best of these adaptations, Shakespeare’s work serves as a jumping-off point for meditations on race, sexuality, and gender roles, with films that embrace diversity in more meaningful ways than just colorblind casting or genderswapping, and instead try to get to core truths about the human condition. (Often with outrageous musical numbers.)

[Read more]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 11:45am

No Joke — Adam West and Burt Ward Will Play Batman and Robin Again!

The New Adventures of Batman Adam West Burt Ward

Ben Affleck already has competition for the bat-cowl! In 2016, sometime around/before/after Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice premiers in theatres, another classic Batman will be returning. And this Batman isn’t dark and brooding, but he is really good at lecturing you about littering, germs, and his belief in criminal rehabilitation. That’s right! The most hyperbolic and deadpan Batman is back! Adam West and his faithful companion, Burt Ward, will play Batman and Robin again in a brand new animated film.

Over this past weekend, West and Ward announced the project at event called Mad Monster Party in Charlotte, NC. Holy unexpected treat! Few details are available, but the film will be a 90-minute length feature and will serve as a 50th anniversary special, commemorating 1966’s debut of Batman.

Never forget: West and Ward have done this before; back in 1977 there was brief cartoon called The New Adventures of Batman in which they also did the voices. No word yet on whether Bat-Mite will show up to “help” the dynamic duo in the new film.

[News via Consequence of Sound]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 11:15am

Maisie Williams to Give Peter Capaldi “Exactly the Right Sort of Hell” on Doctor Who

Maisie Williams guest star Doctor Who

We get double the Maisie Williams this year! In addition to new intrigues (and familiar Needle stabbing) as Arya Stark on the upcoming fifth season of Game of Thrones, Williams will also be guest starring on Doctor Who. The BBC tweeted the news over the weekend, including this great photo of Williams posing in the TARDIS.

[Read more]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 11:00am

The Last Herald Mage: Family

Mercedes Lackey Magic's PromiseWhen we left Vanyel last week, he was riding to Forst Reach for some R&R and an opportunity to catch up with his family. The last time we saw Vanyel’s family, Van was an emotionally intense teenager, and his family were agents of The Man, bent on destroying his dreams of becoming a rock star.

In chapters 4-6 of Magic’s Promise, Vanyel is a mature and rational 28-year-old, and we need to get to know his family as real people. Unfortunately for Vanyel, he’s getting reacquainted while recovering from the fatigue that is the result of his recent deployment to the Karsite border. He’s on a short fuse.

[All happy families are alike, but Vanyel’s family is unhappy about horses and sheep.]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 10:00am

Pull List: Getting Emotional Over Bitch Planet

Originally, this edition of Pull List was supposed to be all Kelly Sue DeConnick all the time as a co-review of Bitch Planet and Pretty Deadly. And then I read issue #3 and curled up in a cuddle puddle with my pet rat and cried for half an hour. I don’t even know how to explain everything, all the emotions that Penny’s history flooded up inside me, and even if I could it’s far more than this post could sustain. This review is rambling and wandering, but if you could manage to talk about a series like Bitch Planet and not get worked up emotionally then there is something terribly wrong with you.

[“...and you bastards ain’t never gonna break me.”]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 9:00am

Fiction Affliction: April Releases in Fantasy

new releases fantasy april 2015Twenty-three new fantasies unleash their swords on bookshelves in April, with another set of Clan of the Claw novellas plus series additions from, among others, Kelley Armstrong (Age of Legends), C.J. Cherryh (Foreigner), Angus Watson (Iron Age), Melanie Rawn (Glass Thorns), Gail Z. Martin (Ascendant Kingdoms), and Kelly McCullough (Fallen Blade).

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.]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Hello, I Am Baymax, Your Flight Attendant

Baymax flight attendant training China Air

Baymax wasn’t kidding when he said that flying makes him a better health care provider! Or maybe it’s that Baymax makes flying better. According to Kotaku, the Sichuan Southwest Vocational College of Aviation trains its aspiring flight attendants by stuffing them in Baymax suits and making them shimmy down the already-cramped aisle of a typical airplane. Does that mean your soda and pretzels come with free fist-bumps?

Morning Roundup ponders a Doctor Who/Outlander crossover, how dark Sherlock season 4 will get, and Will Ferrell’s lovely singing voice.

[Read more]