The Hell of It February 25, 2015 The Hell of It Peter Orullian What will he wager? Schrödinger’s Gun February 18, 2015 Schrödinger’s Gun Ray Wood Maybe in some other timeline it would have gone smooth. Acrobatic Duality February 11, 2015 Acrobatic Duality Tamara Vardomskaya The two of her are perfectly synchronized. The Language of Knives February 4, 2015 The Language of Knives Haralambi Markov They share the rites of death, and grief.
From The Blog
February 26, 2015
Introducing the Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch
Keith DeCandido
February 23, 2015
Oh No, She Didn’t: The Strong Female Character, Deconstructed
Ilana C. Myer
February 20, 2015
Evil Eighties: The Paperback Horrors of Lisa Tuttle
Grady Hendrix
February 19, 2015
The Pinocchio Factor
Jen Williams
February 17, 2015
The Mummy was the Indiana Jones Successor that We Deserved
Emily Asher-Perrin
Mon
Mar 2 2015 10:00am

The Last Herald Mage: It Gets Better

Magic's PawnWhen we left our hero last week, he was slouching moodily towards Haven, hoping he would someday be a Bard. This week, we’re looking at chapters four through six (and a tiny sliver of chapter seven) of Magic’s Pawn.

Here, Vanyel meets his aunt Savil for the second time, and begins to settle in to his new life. At first, things look bleak, but Vanyel’s mood improves dramatically by the end of the section.

[There’s this weird smudge on the front lobe of my left side brain]

Mon
Mar 2 2015 9:00am

A Ranking of 1980s Fantasy That Would Please Crom Himself!

The Beastmaster

Long before Game of Thrones, there was a time in history when HBO stood for “Hey, Beastmaster’s on!” A time when, if you asked for a dragon, you got a puppet instead of CGI. A time when the words “fantasy hero” didn’t call to mind a pensive Viggo Mortenson or a bespectacled Daniel Radcliffe—nay, but a shirtless, bemuscled Arnold Schwarzenegger (or cheaper facsimile) dripping with oil.

I have travelled back to that time to bring forth the Ultimate 1980s Fantasy Epic Ranking List Post! And By Crom, I swear I’ve gotten… most of them. Join me below to celebrate the 1980s fantasy epic, in all of its loincloth-wearing, phallic-sword-waving, secret-wing-unfurling, spandex-bulging, camel-punching glory.

[By Crom!]

Mon
Mar 2 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: A Scar That Truly Looks Like a Lightning Bolt!

Oh, this is gorgeous. Tumblr has given us a more realistic take on Harry Potter’s lightning-shaped scar! It makes sense that something as devastating as the Avada Kedavra curse would leave this raised burn mark rather than the perfectly angled scar we’re used to...

Morning Roundup brings you thoughts on diversity in SFF, Ice-T improving our childhoods, and a look at the making of Chappie!

[Plus a perfectly-constructed, avant garde action figure!]

Sun
Mar 1 2015 10:00am

British Fiction Hitlist: Early March New Releases

new releases UK

March is a special month for me—my birthday month, as a matter of fact—but if you can’t count on cake, a bunch of new books will have to do. And when I say a bunch, I really do mean it, thanks in large part to a strong showing by Titan and the re-emergence of Angry Robot, beginning with The Buried Life by Carrie Patel.

Beyond that, there’s The Buried Giant—the first new novel by Kazuo Ishiguro since Never Let Me Go—and Persona by Genevieve Valentine, but The Mechanical by Ian Tregillis must be the book I’m most looking forward to in the fortnight forthcoming.

This (huge) edition of the Hitlist also features new books by Catherynne M. Valente, Dan Simmons, Ferrett Steinmetz, Kelly Link, T. C. Greene, Jo Walton, Sebastien de Castell, Michelle de Kretser, S. T. Joshi, George R. R. Martin & Gardner Dozis, Col Buchanan, Lauren DeStefano, Leigh Evans, Simon Kurt Unsworth, Rowena Cory Daniells, James Goss, Pat Kelleher, John Twelve Hawks, Luke Scull, Lauren Oliver, Marie Rutkoski, Jonathan Wood and George Mann.

[Read More]

Fri
Feb 27 2015 4:45pm

Goodbye, Mr. Nimoy — What Spock Meant to One Geeky 12-Year-Old Girl

Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, DeForrest Kelly

“Leonard Nimoy just died.”

You hear things like that in an office all the time, especially when everyone works on the internet. And normally hearing those words are sad, but you can bounce back from them. You are aware that public grief is a strange beast, made more strange by social media. Countless pieces get written on this phenomena, on participating in grief by sharing articles and ‘liking’ statuses, on whether it means anything. But at the moment, I just can’t be bothered with that kind of analysis. What we feel is real.

And Leonard Nimoy meant something to me.

[I long have, and forever shall be, your friend.]

Fri
Feb 27 2015 4:30pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: Seventh Season Overview

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season 7

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Seventh Season
Original air dates: September 1998 – June 1999
Executive Producer: Rick Berman
Executive Producer: Ira Steven Behr

Station log: Just as with TNG, DS9 went into its seventh season knowing it would be the last. Even more than the show it spun off of, though, DS9 went even further with it, knowing that they would have to end the war, and also with a much bigger cast of characters to deal with.

And one of those characters was new, as in addition to closing out the series, they had to introduce a new Dax, with Nicole de Boer joining the cast as Ezri, the newest host of the Dax symbiont, following Terry Farrell’s departure.

[A part of us, a very important part, will always remain here on Deep Space 9.]

Fri
Feb 27 2015 4:00pm

In Praise of Twin Peaks’ Sheriff Harry Truman

Dale Cooper Harry Truman Twin Peaks

With the news that Twin Peaks is returning after twenty-five years, I’ve been thinking about what, to me, made the show so great. It wasn’t the mysteries: like so many shows based around secrets, once they were revealed, they were kind of anticlimactic. But the characters embroiled in them never grow trite or dull, even after a quarter century.

FBI Agent Dale Cooper is our point man in Twin Peaks, the outsider through whose eyes we learn about this strange little town. He’s also his own kind of crazy, so it’s as much fun to watch them meet him as it is vice-versa. But he’s only half the story, and half the leading men. The other is Sheriff Harry S. Truman, played by Michael Ontkean.

[Read More]

Fri
Feb 27 2015 3:00pm

Fiction Affliction: March Releases in Paranormal Romance

new releases paranormal romance MarchThe Warden is in the house this month as JR Ward releases a new Black Dagger Brotherhood title among the twenty-two new paranormal romance titles hitting the shelves in March. In addition to Ward, look for series additions from, among others, Shannon K. Butcher (Sentinels Wars), Sara Humphreys (Dead in the City), Molly Harper (Half Moon Hollow), Jacquelyn Frank (Immortal Brothers), Christine Warren (Gargoyles), Donna Grant (Dark Kings), Dani Harper (Grim), and Rebecca Zanetti (Sin Brothers).

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.]

Fri
Feb 27 2015 2:00pm

Afternoon Roundup: The Dress That Launched a Civil War

Captain America Civil War meme the dress blue and black white and gold

Yesterday the runaway llamas united us, and then #TheDress tore us apart. We can think of no better way to represent this polarizing, reality-changing debate than the Captain America: Civil War meme. Your eyes are playing tricks on you, Tony! Read the Wired article all about it. But no, he won’t give Steve the satisfaction of agreeing with him. And so—superhero war!

Afternoon Roundup brings you more Blade Runner (woo!), more Robin Hood (meh), Katee Sackhoff’s feelings about Power/Rangers, and an argument for CGI in movies.

[Read more]

Fri
Feb 27 2015 1:30pm

Five Books That Are Also Labyrinths

Labyrinth

In his classic story of spies and crossed fates, “The Garden of Forking Paths,” Jorge Luis Borges imagines a labyrinthine manuscript, “a growing, dizzying web of divergent, convergent, and parallel times.” The fictional book of the story is unfinished, not only because its author is murdered before he can complete it, but also because its form is necessarily infinite, encompassing all timelines generated by every decision of every character: an inescapable maze.

Yet the structures of some real books resemble what Borges had in mind. Not only do these novels challenge our understanding of narrative linearity, they invite us to participate in the making of the story, to play along with each reading. And just as with a well-built maze, getting lost in each of these books can be a lot of fun.

[Read More]

Fri
Feb 27 2015 12:39pm

Leonard Nimoy, 1931-2015

Leonard Nimoy, 1931-2015We are saddened to learn that Leonard Nimoy has passed away.

Nimoy was something of a Renaissance Man: an actor, a poet, a musician, a director, a writer, and so much more. His love of acting began when he was just a boy of eight, and he worked in theater, television, and film for practically all of his life.

But he is a pop culture icon to most of the world (and genre fans especially) for his portrayal of Spock on Star Trek. That role—easily one of the most famous in science fiction—followed Nimoy throughout his life, and he was known for his kindness to fans and enthusiasts the world over.

Last year, Nimoy revealed that he had COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and he had been in and out of hospitals recently. He was taken to UCLA Medical Center on February 19th of this year, and passed away this morning at his home. He was 83 years old, and leaves behind a wife, two children (Julie and Adam Nimoy), one step-son, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Our condolences to his family, and to everyone who has been touched by his life.

Even in his final words to his audience, Nimoy was poetic and compassionate:

We'll miss you, Mr. Nimoy. We can never thank you enough for the impact you have made.

Fri
Feb 27 2015 12:00pm

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

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 Tor.com readers. In this article, we’ll cover chapter five 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]

Fri
Feb 27 2015 11:00am

Take Back The Night: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Genre is a funny thing. Take the vampire movie. It’s been around since the silent days of cinema. It’s been used as a conduit for horror, action, romance, and comedy. It’s been used for trash. It’s been used for art. And, yes, it’s been showing signs of wear lately. When Dracula Untold hit theaters last year promising a “new” look at the most rehashed vampire tale of them all, it had all the earmarks of a tired genre piece from a wheezing genre that had finally exhausted itself through countless repetitions.

The undead will always rise again, though, and here comes A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, the most interesting and original vampire movie to come along in…well, in a long time.

[Read More]

Fri
Feb 27 2015 10:52am

Announcing the 2014 Aurealis Awards Shortlist!

2014 Aurealis Awards shortlistThe Aurealis Awards—which recognize the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy, horror, young adult, and children’s fiction writers—have announced their 2014 shortlist! The finalists include Jonathan Strahan, Kathleen Jennings, Scott Westerfeld, Garth Nix, Deborah Biancotti, and more.

[Read more]

Fri
Feb 27 2015 10:00am

The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Prelude

Dragonlance Reread

Welcome to the very first week of our reread of the Dragonlance Chronicles by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis. The Chronicles—Dragons of Autumn Twilight (1984), Dragons of Winter Night (1985), Dragons of Spring Dawning (1985)—were originally published by TSR. They are tie-in fiction, but more than that—the Chronicles were written in parallel to, and by the same creative team as, a series of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons adventure modules. They’re not novelisations of the adventure as much as they are the world bible and underpinning and overarching story.

As well as (many) modules in (many) editions of Dungeons & Dragons, the Dragonlance setting grew to inspire computer games, board games, card games, and a movie that is better left unmentioned. And, of course, almost 200 novels, written by Weis, Hickman, and dozens of others. Not only is Dragonlance one of the most successful shared worlds in fantasy, it is also one of the most popular—influencing generations of fans and writers alike.

Over the next... counts on fingers... million weeks, we are going to poke and prod at these three fascinating, important, influential and really, really fun books, one chapter at a time. We’ll also take a few side-quests to talk about the history of these books, have chats with contemporary authors about Dragonlance, watch that terrible movie (argh) and maybe even play a game or two. Stick with us—Krynn won’t save itself!

[Onwards!]

Fri
Feb 27 2015 9:00am

Evil Eighties: The Nightrunners by Joe R. Lansdale

Joe Lansdale The Nightrunners

In this series, Grady Hendrix, author of Horrorstör, and Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction are back to uncover the best (and worst) horror paperbacks from the 1980s.

Everybody remembers their first Joe R. Lansdale story.

Mine was “Night They Missed the Horror Show,” which I read in the anthology Splatterpunks in 1991. To say I was unprepared for this black-hearted tale of racist hillbilly snuff-film purveyors and the high-school hellraisers who inadvertently stumble upon their doings is an understatement. Like a sucker punch to a soft belly or a club to the base of the skull, “Horror Show” leaves you stunned, out of breath, a hurt growing inside you that you know won’t be leaving any time soon. Hasn’t left me this quarter-century later. I know Lansdale would have it no other way.

[Read More]

Fri
Feb 27 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Science Dollars Make Us All Rich, Slightly Smarter

Science Currency

IFL Science shared the best idea we’ve seen in a long time! We love most of the Founding Fathers (plus Alexander Hamilton) but Travis Purrington has redesigned U.S. currency to honor SCIENCE! Look, look how pretty.

Morning Roundup brings you relationship suggestions from Orlando Jones, the palindromes that helped win the Second World War, and Michael Schur takes us back to Pawnee one last time!

[Plus, all work and no play make a Mythbuster a dull boy.]

Thu
Feb 26 2015 4:00pm

Fiction Affliction: March Releases in Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Fantasy, and Horror

new releases Urban Fantasy Horror MarchThirty-one new releases in these mega-genres roar in like a lion (well, a leonine shapeshifter) this month, including new series titles from, among others, Chloe Neill (Chicagoland Vampires), Patricia Briggs (Alpha & Omega), Devon Monk (House Immortal), Seanan McGuire (InCryptid), Leigh Evans (Mystwalker), Anne Bishop (The Others), Nancy Holzner (Deadtown), Dana Cameron (Fangborn), and Sherrilyn Kenyon (Chronicles of Nick).

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.]

Thu
Feb 26 2015 3:00pm

Telepaths Versus Evil Computers: The Dream Catcher

Monica Hughes The Dream CatcherIn Monica Hughes’ The Dream Catcher, fourteen year old Ruth lives in what many people would consider a utopia: ArkThree, a post-apocalyptic society of telepaths and healers who live in nearly perfect harmony, sharing work and joy alike, with almost no conflict.

If this sounds a bit, well, idealistic, or even questionable: no, it’s real. These are telepaths, who find that joining their minds together in a great Web brings them happiness and security—and that they can only merge their minds if they remain largely conflict free. Thus, a discipline of pacifism and of sharing the most unpleasant tasks, with even the leaders having to take a turn at cleaning out the latrines now and again. With plenty of leisure time.

But Ruth is unhappy.

[Just wait until she finds out about the evil computer.]

Thu
Feb 26 2015 2:00pm

Five Books About Indelible Cityscapes

New York in the film adaptation of A Winter's Tale

I have always loved cities, always been excited and frightened by them. I never wanted to go on a long journey towards Mordor—I don’t even really like to camp. In my dreams I wander through vast and teeming metropolises, through slums where misery is distilled and handed round like shots of liquor, past white towers and laughing lovers and skittering children, down alleyways that curl back on themselves where old women blind as worms peek out from half-shuttered windows and mutter in an unprepossessing fashion.

Those Above is, along with a lot of other things, a story about this essential cityscape, though of course I’m not the first writer to find himself inspired by the teeming hives of mankind. Here are five favorites of mine!

[Read More]