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
Mon
Apr 20 2015 1:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Mistress of the Empire, Part 6

Mistress of the EmpireWelcome back to the reread of Mistress of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts! This is another sad chapter of sadness.

Potential trigger warning: this one covers a traumatic childbirth event with a sad outcome. Take care of yourself accordingly.

Chapter 6: Gambits

SUMMARY: Chumaka has also been having a very frustrating two years, work-wise. He has had agents lying in wait for the Nameless Spy Master of the Tuscai (aka Arakasi) for years, hoping they would reopen the corner of the network that he knows about—but he has been outsmarted.

[This time jump is messing with everyone’s heads.]

Mon
Apr 20 2015 12:46pm

Final Jurassic World Trailer Highlights the Downside of Genetically Engineered Dinosaurs

Jurassic World trailer, Chris Pratt

Sure, there’s Chris Pratt’s raptor gang, and he brings plenty of snark (and the tight henleys) here, but the global Jurassic World trailer is more concerned with explaining exactly why we should be concerned about attending a dinosaur theme park.

[You bred genetically enhanced raptors?]

Mon
Apr 20 2015 12:00pm

The Net is the Meat: Bruce Holsinger’s Middle Ages

Crusader Bible

At the end of The Invention of Fire, the second John Gower mystery by Bruce Holsinger, the aging poet ponders possible outcomes for a pair of fugitives making their way across England. He muses that his friend, Geoffrey Chaucer, would no doubt come up with some cheerful ending in which they live happily ever after, but not Gower, who likes darker tales.

Gower says, “A poet should not be some sweet-singing bird in a trap, feasting on the meat while blind to the net. The net is the meat, all those entanglements and snares and iron claws that hobble us and prevent our escape from the limits of our weak and fallen flesh.”

Holsinger’s novels are about the net.

[On historical fiction, popular culture, and the meaning of “medieval”...]

Mon
Apr 20 2015 11:45am

Star Wars: Rogue One Will Be About Stealing the Death Star Plans

Star Wars standalone film Rogue One Death Star plans

While the release of the new The Force Awakens trailer dominated Star Wars Celebration, it wasn’t the only news to come out of the annual fan festival. Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy and Rogue One director Gareth Edwards took to the stage to tease details about the first upcoming Star Wars standalone film.

Kennedy explained that these “anthology” films—another will be directed by Fantastic Four’s Josh Trank—are meant to explore what’s happening in the rest of the Star Wars universe while the main players for good and evil are fighting in the old and new trilogies. To that end, Rogue One will center on a raid to steal the original Death Star plans.

[Read more]

Mon
Apr 20 2015 11:30am

Half a War and Beyond

Half a War Joe Abercrombie

Is it just me, or has someone been fast-forwarding 2015?

Case in point: it can’t possibly have been more than a week or three since I blogged about Half the World by Joe Abercrombie, and yet the next volume—“the third and (for the time being) final book” of the aforementioned author’s Shattered Sea series—is almost upon us. Half a War is so very nearly here that we’ve got copy and the cover coming up, in addition to an overview of what Abercrombie is turning his attention to now that his work on the trilogy is pretty much finished.

But before we get ahead of ourselves again—as if that’s even feasible this year—behold the blurb. Slight spoilers ahead if you aren’t yet up to speed on the series so far!

[Read More]

Mon
Apr 20 2015 11:00am

The Last Herald Mage: Haven

Magic's Price Valdemar rereadI will forever be grateful to have escaped Magic’s Promise without major trauma, despite losing Jaysen to a moment of distraction and a swarm of piranha bats. This week, we begin Magic’s Price, a book which will leave us with far more devastating losses. Since there is no way to defend ourselves from the impending catastrophe, the best course of action is to enjoy the pleasures the book offers while we can.

One of those pleasures is the cover. Like medieval saints, Heralds are depicted with attributes, so we can tell which of them the artist had in mind. As on the covers of the first two books in the trilogy, Vanyel is pictured with his cape. This cover shows him near the moment of his martyrdom, so he is sporting the Shredded Sleeves of Doom. As ever, his famously silver eyes are not silver, I presume because of the limitations of paperback book cover printing technology. The back covers of these novels have all presented evil creatures that played a role in the plot—Magic’s Pawn featured wyrsa, which are basically hell-whippets, and Magic’s Promise had the aforementioned piranha bats. Magic’s Price features soldiers on horseback.

[Hell is other people.]

Mon
Apr 20 2015 10:42am

Meet Doctor Doom in the New Fantastic Four Trailer

Fantastic Four trailer Doctor Doom

The second Fantastic Four trailer is here! And it fills in some of the gaps from the first trailer, showing us how Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm wind up traveling to an alternate dimension, getting zapped with body-changing powers, and opening a door they don’t know how to close. Plus, we get our first glimpse of the fledgling team’s nemesis, Doctor Doom.

[Read more]

Mon
Apr 20 2015 10:30am

Superposition Sweepstakes!

David Walton’s Superposition (excerpt here) is out now from Pyr, and we want to send you one of our three copies!

Jacob Kelley’s family is turned upside down when an old friend turns up, waving a gun and babbling about an alien quantum intelligence. The mystery deepens when the friend is found dead in an underground bunker…apparently murdered the night he appeared at Jacob’s house. Jacob is arrested for the murder and put on trial.  

As the details of the crime slowly come to light, the weave of reality becomes ever more tangled, twisted by a miraculous new technology and a quantum creature unconstrained by the normal limits of space and matter. With the help of his daughter, Alessandra, Jacob must find the true murderer before the creature destroys his family and everything he loves.

Comment in the post to enter!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States and D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec). To enter, comment on this post beginning at 10:30 AM Eastern Time (ET) on April 20. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on April 24. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Tor.com, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

Mon
Apr 20 2015 10:00am

Game of Thrones Season 5, Episode 2 “The House of Black and White”

After last week’s pity party premiere, Game of Thrones is back for a second episode filled with people ready to take some action—especially with the pointy end of a sword.

Now that we’ve watched Arya say something extremely dark and awesome for a young child, Game of Thrones is officially back. And with some welcome surprises.

Spoilers for the episode ahead. Spoilers from George R. R. Martin’s published novels are also discussed in the review and fair game in the comments. Please don’t post open spoilers from any leaked episodes or preview chapters of The Winds of Winter. Tread carefully and play nice.

[“Hiss.”]

Mon
Apr 20 2015 9:00am

Tribes For The Twenty-First Century: The Affinities by Robert Charles Wilson

The Affinities Robert Charles WilsonIn Robert Charles Wilson’s new novel The Affinities, as in many of his other novels, the world as we know it is about to be remade. The difference with many of Wilson’s previous works is that, this time, the change seems relatively mild—or at least, at first it does. There are no aliens. There are no disappearing continents or mysterious artifacts from the future or impermeable spheres surrounding the entire planet.

Instead, the big change arrives gradually, brought on by very human advances in social teleodynamics. New technologies, algorithms and testing methods allow a company known as InterAlia (“Finding Yourself Among Others”) to sort people who pay a modest testing fee into twenty-two Affinities. The members of each affinity are supposed to be hyper-compatible: they are more likely to cooperate with each other in all areas of life, from the personal to the professional.

[Read more...]

Mon
Apr 20 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: HND>JFK>DGB

Star Wars airplane

Among the many fabulous premieres at Star Wars Celebration 2015, All Nippon Airways found a way to stand out. Who cares about a new toy when you can fly somewhere in R2-D2? This new Boeing 787 Dreamliner is part of a whole fleet of Star Wars-themed planes designed to bring ANA to a larger audience. We’re assuming that their next one will be a real-live working Millennium Falcon, ’cause we need that to exist.

Morning Roundup has found the freakier side of Disney, and discovers that it’s the best side. Plus we delve into the mind of Ada Lovelace and share some newly-discovered moments from a classic work of sci-fi!

[Plus Vin Diesel.]

Sat
Apr 18 2015 10:30am

The Blondes Sweepstakes!

Emily Schultz’s The Blondes hits shelves from St. Martin’s Press next Tuesday, and we want to send you one of our three galleys now!

Hazel Hayes is a grad student living in New York City who learns she is pregnant (from an affair with her married professor) at an apocalyptically bad time: random but deadly attacks on passers-by, all by blonde women, are terrorizing New Yorkers. Soon it becomes clear that the attacks are symptoms of a strange illness that is transforming blondes—whether CEOs, flight attendants, students or accountants—into rabid killers.

Comment in the post to enter!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States and D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec). To enter, comment on this post beginning at 10:30 AM Eastern Time (ET) on April 18. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on April 22. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Tor.com, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

Sat
Apr 18 2015 8:33am

Check Out the First Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Trailer

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer

The first Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is here, in glorious HD! And in case you were wondering why “Batman” comes first in that title, it’s because everyone hates Superman.

[Watch the Trailer!]

Fri
Apr 17 2015 3:00pm

The Stargate Rewatch: SG-1 Season Four

Stargate, season 4

Stargate SG-1 Season 4
Executive producers: Brad Wright, Michael Greenburg, Richard Dean Anderson
Executive consultant: Jonathan Glassner
Original air dates: June 30, 2000 – February 23, 2001

Mission briefing. O’Neill, Carter, and Teal’c are rescued with the second gate being installed in the SGC. However, the primary gate goes down with the Biliskner, the Asgard ship that was overrun by Replicators. While Carter helps the Asgard deal with the Replicators in their home galaxy, O’Neill and Teal’c have to deal with a new set of Replicators in the Pacific thanks to a Russian submarine that tries to salvage the Biliskner.

[“Wait a minute, you’re actually saying that you need someone dumber than you are?” “You may have come to the right place.”]

Fri
Apr 17 2015 2:00pm

Afternoon Roundup: Hodor Joins Up with the X-Men

Professor X Hodor pop culture mashup artist Marco D'Alfonso

Professor X has upgraded from his wheelchair to the kind of transportation that not only gets you places, but deals with nastiness along the way, and responds to your sage advice with only one word. This Professor X/Hodor match made in heaven is just one of many pop culture mashups by Marco D’Alfsonso (collected on Imgur and his deviantART page).

Afternoon Roundup brings you Wonder Woman in South Africa; your dream library; and the one thing you never noticed about Star Trek.

[Read more]

Fri
Apr 17 2015 1:00pm

Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, Last Argument of Kings: “Picked Up a Shadow” and “Questions”

Joe Abercrombie reread The Last Argument of KingsWelcome back to our reread of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy!

This week, Ferro beats someone up in both chapters! Meanwhile, Glokta learns more about the challenges ahead.

[Read more...]

Fri
Apr 17 2015 12:00pm

Spring 2015 Anime Preview: The Hellish Life of a Pizza Delivery Boy

Spring is in the air and we all know what that means…that’s right, new cartoons! In addition to the return of a few favorites—Fate/stay night UBW begins its second half and cynical school comedy My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU is back, among others—this season brings a slew of anticipated adaptations. From the ultra-stylish Blood Blockade Battlefront to the sweeping historical landscapes of The Heroic Legend of Arslan and the genuine and sweet Ore Monogatari, there’s something for everyone this season. And with simulcasts of basically everything airing in Japan, there’s no reason to wait. The sunshine outside might tempt you to go out, but here are six new shows that are worth staying in for!

[Read More]

Fri
Apr 17 2015 11:15am

We Could Get a Doctor Who Movie in the Next Eight Years

Doctor Who movie news Sony email leak

With the entirety of the leaked Sony emails getting uploaded to Wikileaks, we now know that the BBC wants to make another Doctor Who movie. An email exchange from January 2014 between Andrew Wong (president of International Production for Sony) and Sony chief executive Michael Lynton details how BBC Worldwide wants to capitalize on the brand’s resurgence in popularity, but the showrunners are worried about it being done badly.

[Read more]

Fri
Apr 17 2015 11:00am

Evil Eighties: The Killer Kids of Somebody Come and Play

Clare McNally Somebody Come and Play

Kids: you can’t live with ‘em, you can’t kill ‘em. Whether it’s an unhappy baby that keeps you awake for days until your mind snaps, a demented infant that seems determined to drown you in its own poop, or a toddler who screeches a high-pitched wail until your face explodes, children are the ultimate evil.

In the 70’s and 80’s creepy kids became a mainstay of horror fiction, with one stepback cover of an evil child blurring into another on the racks. John Saul swung between putting kids in peril and making them evil, Ruby Jean Jensen was a one-woman evil baby machine, and Andrew Niederman gave us Brainchild, Child’s Play, Playmates, Teacher’s Pet, and Sister, Sister. Slogging it out down there in the trenches with them was Clare McNally, who wrote about 13 books between 1980 and 1997. Killer kids were an industry because, as Alain Robbe-Grillet once said, “What do little girls dream about? Knives and blood.”

[Read More]

Fri
Apr 17 2015 10:53am

Ryan Gosling May Join the Blade Runner Sequel!

Ryan Gosling joins Blade Runner

The Blade Runner sequel seems to be on track! According to Variety, Ryan Gosling is negotiating to join the film, and according to People, this will make the film “even sexier.” Because, while thoughtful meditations on corporate soullessness and the relentless march of mortality are always super-hot, the addition of Ryan Gosling to a project adds at least 20% more sexiness. Harrison Ford, who is currently making us all weep tears of joy in the new Star Wars trailer, has already signed on to reprise his role as Rick Deckard. But since he's become America's irascible grandpa, he can no longer be relied upon to provide enough pure, uninhibited smolder to films that encourage us to stare into the void of our own existence. It was good of Gosling to answer the call.

[So...which sexy character will Ryan Gosling add even more sexiness to?]