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? 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."
From The Blog
April 22, 2015
Daredevil, Catholicism, and the Marvel Moral Universe
Leah Schnelbach
April 22, 2015
The Old Guy Action Comeback: I’m Getting Too Old for This Sh*t
Ryan Britt
April 20, 2015
The Net is the Meat: Bruce Holsinger’s Middle Ages
David Perry
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
Apr 22 2015 3:00pm

The Ogre is Groot: Gotham’s “Under the Knife”

Gotham Under the Knife

I suppose it makes sense that, for a show about Gotham City before the Batman, Bruce Wayne remains the most consistently engaging character. In fact, all of the subplots that moved forward in “Under the Knife” had their moments. But just as predicted, it was the Ogre / Don Juan Killer storyline that felt flat and padded out—probably because it was. Leave it to Gotham, a show which has dreadfully mishandled all of its female characters, to build up towards a “climactic finale” about a misogynistic serial killer—and make the audience actually wish that his latest victim would die and go away for good.

[Read More]

Apr 22 2015 2:46pm

2016’s Star Trek 3 Movie Has a Title

Star Trek Beyond

TrekMovie is reporting that Paramount Pictures have registered the title Star Trek Beyond with the Motion Picture Association of America for the forthcoming film, written by Simon Pegg, which hits theaters on July 8, 2016.

The Guardian reports that the film will see the crew exploring uncharted territory in an attempt to bring the reboot crew back into line with the spirit of the 1960s TV show. Above is our artist's conception at what that probably entails.

Spock unicorn art by Tim O'Brien

Apr 22 2015 2:00pm

What Does George R. R. Martin Have to do With Dinosaur Lords?

The Dinosaur Lords George R. R. Martin

The key thing to know is that New Mexico hosts a large and fairly tight-knit community of science fiction and fantasy writers. Some of us older ones have been friends for decades.

George R. R. Martin and I have been friends since he moved to Santa Fe in the late Seventies. Since the mid-Eighties I’ve also worked with him on the abidingly popular Wild Cards shared-world anthology series, along with several other players of the role-playing game campaign GRRM ran which became that series, including Melinda M. Snodgrass, John Jos Miller, and Walter Jon Williams.

[All of whom happened to be present at a party George threw in 2013]

Apr 22 2015 1:30pm

Afternoon Roundup: Awkward Skywalker Family Portait

Mark Hamill Carrie Fisher Darth Vader Skywalker family portrait

At Star Wars Celebration, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher took the opportunity to pose with dear ol’ Dad. And look! Luke even showed off his Force lightning skills. Vader is so proud. But shouldn’t there be another Skywalker in this family portrait...? (Nudge nudge, J.J. Abrams.)

Afternoon Roundup brings you Rick Astley and RPGs, dystopian fiction on reading and books, and Tatiana Maslany’s most daunting impression yet.

[Read more]

Apr 22 2015 1:00pm

Rereading Melanie Rawn: Sunrunner’s Fire, Chapters 10 and 11

Sunrunner's Fire rereadWelcome to the weekly Wednesday reread of Sunrunner’s Fire! This week the stakes get real. Important characters finally meet (and various kinds of sparks fly), a secret is discovered, and the Desert contingent suffers a grievous loss.

Chapter 10
Elktrap Manor: 5 Spring

So This Happens: Pol comes to Elktrap after a grueling ride, to be met by the beautiful Lady Ruala with a large goblet of wine. Pol pauses to admire the scenery, with a bit of small talk and chuckling.

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Apr 22 2015 12:30pm

Rocket Talk Episode 51: Sam Sykes and Delilah S. Dawson

Sam Sykes Delilah S Dawson

In this week’s podcast episode, Justin checks in with fantasy authors Sam Sykes and Delilah S. Dawson on feast scenes in epic fantasy, along with other things we leave out, or don’t leave out, of our favorite sprawling subgenre. Be warned: there is talk of bathroom activity.

[Listen now!]

Apr 22 2015 12:00pm

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

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 sixteen 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]

Apr 22 2015 11:00am

Daredevil, Catholicism, and the Marvel Moral Universe


One of the things reviewers have commented on is Daredevil’s unexpected grittiness. The violence is real, and the consequences of that violence are also real. When Matt Murdock snaps a man’s arm, the femur (ulna?) bone breaks through the skin. When Karen Page is choked with a sheet, the welt shows on her neck for several episodes afterwards. People make their choices, and then they face the consequences. This realism quickly made Daredevil one of my favorite elements of the MCU.

The other thing that I love is how the show’s brutal world is informed by the particularly Catholic morality of its hero. There have been a few conversations online about whether this show gives us an accurate portrayal of Matt’s religion, and I would argue not only that it does, but that by taking his religious beliefs seriously, and weaving Catholicism into the fabric of the show, Netflix has given us the deepest, most emotionally resonant version of Daredevil we’ve ever had.

Warning: this post comes with SPOILERS for the ENTIRE SEASON.

[Plus confession comes with a latte!]

Apr 22 2015 10:00am

The Old Guy Action Comeback: I’m Getting Too Old for This Sh*t

Indiana Jones

We’re all pretty excited now that Harrison Ford has actually reappeared as Han Solo in the latest Star Wars trailer. But this is hardly the first time an old-guy action hero has gotten back in the saddle only to declare in one form or another that he’s “getting too old for this sh*t.” Harrison Ford himself has made an action-comeback several times already (Hollywood Homicide, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) and we all know that the Die Hard franchise has turned out to be even harder to kill than John McClane.

So, what’s the deal? Is there a bizarre cultural obsession with old guy comebacks?

[Read more]

Apr 22 2015 9:00am
Original Story

The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn

“The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn” by Usman T. Malik is a fantasy novella about a disenchanted young Pakistani professor who grew up and lives in the United States, but is haunted by the magical, mystical tales his grandfather told him of a princess and a Jinn who lived in Lahore when the grandfather was a boy.

This novella was acquired and edited for by consulting editor Ellen Datlow.

[Read “The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn” by Usman T. Malik]

Apr 22 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: The Code That Launched at Least One Ship!

Boing Boing shared this shot of Margaret Hamilton standing next to her Apollo 11 code! Her handwritten Apollo 11 code. The code that got us to the moon. The code that opened the universe to humanity. We might cry… but we’re too busy being awe-inspired by this woman’s patience. We get frustrated when we forget the little slashy thing in our html and accidentally italicize too many words…

Morning Roundup brings you the parenting styles of Westeros, a definitive list of the wishes that have been made by the hearts of Disney princesses, and a comparison between different versions of the X-Men!

[Plus, a scepter fit for a Trickster God!]

Apr 21 2015 4:37pm

Galaxy Quest is Being Revived for Television!

Galaxy Quest TV show reboot

So many beloved genre TV series are being rebooted right now: Twin Peaks, The X-Files, and now Galaxy Quest! That is, the fictional TV show Galaxy Quest and the wonderfully meta 1999 movie about it, which spoofed Star Trek and fandom and revivals all over the place.

According to Variety, Paramount Television is working with Robert Gordon, who co-wrote the movie, and director Dean Parisot to bring Galaxy Quest in all of its layers to the small screen.

[Read more]

Apr 21 2015 4:00pm

Sherlock Rewrites Watson’s Stories in the Mr. Holmes Trailer

Mr. Holmes trailer Ian McKellen Sherlock Holmes

“I told Watson, if I ever write a story myself, it will be to correct the millions of misconceptions created by his imagination.”

This is the slightly grumpy mindset that spurs on a 93-year-old Sherlock Holmes to reopen his last case in the trailer for Mr. Holmes. Based on Mitch Cullin’s novel A Slight Trick of the Mind, the movie sees Ian McKellen as the Great Detective in self-imposed exile disguised as retirement, flirting with the past by occasionally revisiting 221B Baker Street, and ultimately turning to that notoriously unsolved mystery. If it hasn’t won you over yet, Mr. Holmes looks very intriguing.

[Read more]

Apr 21 2015 3:05pm

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “Charlie X”

Star Trek, Charlie X“Charlie X”
Written by Gene Roddenberry and D.C. Fontana
Directed by Lawrence Dobkin
Season 1, Episode 7
Production episode 6149-08
Original air date: September 15, 1966
Stardate: 1533.6

Captain’s log. The Enterprise rendezvouses with the Antares, a ship that rescued a teenager named Charlie Evans, the sole survivor of a crashed ship as a child of three, who only had a few tapes to tell him how to live over the subsequent fourteen years. The Antares crew seems almost eager to get rid of him, declining even Kirk’s offer of supplies, booze, entertainment tapes, or anything, just running away quickly. (They also don’t talk at all until Charlie’s eyes go white for a second, and then they babble a mile a minute.)

[Oh Charlie’s our new darling, our darling, our darling...]

Apr 21 2015 2:30pm

Get a Load of All the Crazy Gadgets in the New Tomorrowland Trailer

Tomorrowland trailer ray gun robot gadgets

After the most recent trailer for Disney’s Tomorrowland made it clearer why retired/exiled inventor George Clooney and tough kid Britt Robertson are teaming up, we haven’t gotten much more in the way of plot. And that’s good, as it implies that the movie itself (out May 22) will likely still have some plot surprises.

But in the meantime, there are still new trailers. And so, we get to see some of the gadgets and other technology that must have made Clooney’s character so celebrated-slash-dangerous.

[Read more]

Apr 21 2015 2:00pm

Afternoon Roundup: Pantone’s Despicable New Color Will Make You Very Happy

Pantone character branded color Minions

Not only has the Pantone Color Institute released its first new color in three years, but it’s also its first character-branded color: Minion Yellow! What if they did this every year, introducing a new pop culture/geek-inspired hue? Hawkeye Purple is an obvious one; Elmo Red is also the kind of color whose exact hue we need to match.

Afternoon Roundup marks our calendars for The Lego Batman Movie; gets our minds blown by StarTalk; and gets ready to take a side in the battle for linear vs. Internet television.

[Read more]

Apr 21 2015 1:00pm

The Best AUs are Pacific Rim AUs

Pacific Rim AU, Iron Man, bilcrist

It’s far too much fun imagining your favorite characters in another environment, especially when you plant them in a different fictional universe. This is one of the reasons why Harry Potter alternate universes (or AUs) are so prevalent; everyone wants to know what the Buffy the Vampire Slayer crew would be like at Hogwarts, what houses they would get sorted into.

But the Pacific Rim AU may have stolen my heart in this regard. You should see some of the gorgeous work that accompanies it.

[Why Pacific Rim, you ask?]

Apr 21 2015 12:00pm

The Dreadful Evil Guardian Seems Like an Awfully Nice Guy: “Through the Gates of the Silver Key”

through the gates of the silver key

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 “Through the Gates of the Silver Key,” written by Lovecraft and E. Hoffman Price between October 1932 and April 1933, and first published in the July 1934 issue of Weird Tales. You can read it here.

Spoilers ahead.

[“Spores of eternal life drifting from world to world, universe to universe, yet all equally himself.”]

Apr 21 2015 11:00am

Sleeps With Monsters: The Mystic Marriage by Heather Rose Jones

The Mystic Marriage Alchemy. Intrigue. Intellectual women. These are the major ingredients of Heather Rose Jones’ The Mystic Marriage.

Jones’ second novel follows in the footsteps of her debut, Daughter of Mystery, in being a historical fantasy set in the small Ruritanian nation of Alpennia—sandwiched somewhere between Italy, France and Austria—in the early part of the 19th century. The Mystic Marriage is a much more complex and ambitious work than Daughter of Mystery, and represents, too, a visible increase in Jones’ skill and confidence as a writer.

The Mystic Marriage, like Daughter of Mystery, is published as a romance, but it does not fit easily into romance as a category—though it does have romantic elements. It strikes me more as a complex, layered novel of friendships, family, relationships, and intellectual obsessions.

[Read More]

Apr 21 2015 10:45am

Gollancz Can’t Get Enough S.N.U.F.F.

SNUFF Victor Pelevin

Last week, Gollancz quite rightly delighted in announcing its acquisition of a pair of postmodern novels by “the leading Russian novelist of the new generation.” Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Little Booker Prize-winner Victor Pelevin: one of the precious few authors “who writes seriously about what is happening in contemporary Russia,” albeit through a speculative fiction filter.

It’s needful to note that his work has heretofore been translated—into fifteen languages, including English. Omon Ra, The Life of Insects, The Clay Machine-Gun, Babylon and The Sacred Book of the Werewolf and two collections of short stories by said have been published in the UK by Faber & Faber to great acclaim, not least from The Independent, who fell for the “unruly, suggestive energy” of Pelvin’s prose.

I’ll be honest: I’ve never read the fella. But now that Gollancz have got him—for not one but two new books—I’m going to.

[Read More]