Cold Wind April 16, 2014 Cold Wind Nicola Griffith Old ways can outlast their usefulness. What Mario Scietto Says April 15, 2014 What Mario Scietto Says Emmy Laybourne An original Monument 14 story. Something Going Around April 9, 2014 Something Going Around Harry Turtledove A tale of love and parasites. The Devil in America April 2, 2014 The Devil in America Kai Ashante Wilson The gold in her pockets is burning a hole.
From The Blog
April 13, 2014
Game of Thrones, Season 4, Episode 2: “The Lion and the Rose”
Theresa DeLucci
April 11, 2014
This Week’s Game-Changing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Was Exactly The Problem With The Show
Thom Dunn
April 8, 2014
Let’s Completely Reimagine Battlestar Galactica! Again. This Time as A Movie!
Emily Asher-Perrin
April 4, 2014
The Age of Heroes is Here. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Chris Lough
April 3, 2014
A Spoonful of Music Makes the Nanny: Disney’s Mary Poppins
Mari Ness
Apr 17 2014 2:00pm

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's StoneThe Harry Potter Reread is like a locomotive that can’t be stopped! But a cool kind, with sleeper cars and a dining car, and passes through some really snazzy countryside. Always wanted to travel in one of those.

This week we’re going to make friends with Hermione and then win our first Quidditch match! Because wizard sports are way better than regular sports. On to chapters 10 and 11—Halloween and Quidditch.

Index to the reread can be located here! Other Harry Potter and Potter-related pieces can be found under their appropriate tag. And of course, since we know this is a reread, all posts might contain spoilers for the entire series. If you haven’t read all the Potter books, be warned.

[It’s Levi-o-sa...]

Apr 17 2014 1:00pm

George R R Martin Song of Ice and Fire A Feast for CrowsWelcome back to A Read of Ice and Fire! Please join me as I read and react, for the very first time, to George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.

Today’s entry is Part 11 of A Feast for Crows, in which we cover Chapter 15 (“Samwell”).

Previous entries are located in the Index. The only spoilers in the post itself will be for the actual chapters covered and for the chapters previous to them. As for the comments, please note that the Powers That Be have provided you a lovely spoiler thread here on Any spoileriffic discussion should go there, where I won’t see it. Non-spoiler comments go below, in the comments to the post itself.

And now, the post!

[Your pithy quote here]

Apr 17 2014 12:32pm

Aegon on his dragon Black Dread, art by J. Gonzalez from The World of Ice and Fire

George R.R. Martin has released a new sample from The World of Ice and Fire, the companion book detailing the history of the Seven Kingdoms from A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones, currently due out from Bantam on October 28, 2014.

The sample details Aegon’s slow conquest of the Seven Kingdoms:

The maesters of the Citadel who keep the histories of Westeros have used Aegon’s Conquest as their touchstone for the past three hundred years. Birth, deaths, battles, and other events are dated either AC (After the Conquest) or BC (Before the Conquest).

It’s a must-read for fans of the book and television series, as it details a period of Targaryen history that informs so much of the struggle in the current series and adds depth to Daenerys’ claim to the Iron Throne. (Also that painting of Black Dread is totally sick.) Check out the full sample and a larger version of the art here!

Apr 17 2014 12:10pm

Not that we would ever want to make Tom Hiddleston cry! It's just that now we know we can. The actor was asked to contribute to an anthology called Poems That Make Grown Men Cry, and he chose “Love After Love” by Derek Walcott as the work that turns him to mush. It's an excellent, unexpected choice—not simply a love poem, but a meditation on the difficulty of retaining a sense of self in the face of, well, life.

[click through for the poem!]

Apr 17 2014 12:00pm

Brandon Sanderson The Way of Kings reread Welcome back to The Way of Kings reread here on In the last chapter, Kaladin spoke “The Words” and changed the world, bringing back something that had been lost for ages.

This week we tackle the fallout from both that and Sadeas’s actions. Dalinar is stuck on the plateau, but Kaladin is coming for him come hell or Highstorm. And nothing stops Kaladin from his goals; once he sets his mind to something he gives it his all, even when confronted with the first Parshendi Shardbearer we see in action.

[Spin like the wind Kaladin!]

Apr 17 2014 11:00am

Star Wars X-Wing The Bacta War Michael A StackpoleThough he wanted to love it, an old friend of mine grew irritated with the N64 version of Rogue Squadron because after getting bombarded with unseen TIE Fighter missiles, he threw up his hands saying the game was “way too hard.” For him, a Nintendo Star Wars experience should be more like the films: fun, with action and adventure that’s easy to experience and quick to digest.

And because Rogue Squadron (the entity) exists in that 1996 video game and also in this 1997 novel, my friend’s frustration might be the most perfect metaphor for how to think about the X-Wing novels. They’re fun, and chocked full of great Star Wars stuff, but after a while, they start to seem like a lot of hard work.

[Read more]

Apr 17 2014 10:30am

Hello,! I’m back again. I’m sorry.

Because, JordanCon! Whoo!

As you may or may not have cared seen, I posted Part 1 of my JordanCon 6 Report earlier this week, and promised to come back with the rest of the ridiculousness ASAP. And lo, I totally have returned, with much more ridiculousness. Go me!

So without further ado, mind the excessive photo gap, and click on for the rest!

[Lemme take a selfie]

Apr 17 2014 10:25am

Brandon Sanderson Words of RadianceHot off the #1 New York Times best-seller list debut of Words of Radiance, Brandon Sanderson has now been profiled in the New York Times itself. The article tracks Sanderson's career path from a graveyard shift hotel clerk to a bestselling sensation, including material from interviews with Brandon and with his Tor editor Moshe Feder. You can read the full article here, and check out more information and articles about Words of Radiance here.

Apr 17 2014 10:00am

I remember when I first read Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey, years ago now. It was a rare treat, an immersive, compulsive treat of a book of the sort that comes along oh so rarely. It’s a lyrically written (and at times rather racy!) epic of intrigue and power-politics, set in a fantasy world with the feel of Renaissance Italy. I was therefore delighted to have the opportunity to brief fabulous new ebook covers for the trilogy, which you can see below.

Bearing in mind the beautifully written eroticism that permeates the book, I guess it’s pretty reductive to say that it conjurers up Game of Thrones with a hint of Fifty Shades of Grey! But whatever the comparisons, it’s a damn fine, beautifully imagined read.

[Read More]

Apr 17 2014 9:00am

Game of Thrones The Lion and the Rose Joffrey Margaery

The last drop of wine has long since been drunk, the joyousness of Sunday night’s celebrations linger no longer and the ghosts of Monday morning’s regretful headaches have dissipated. And so now there’s a bit of distance to talk about Everything Else that occurred in the second episode of Game of Thrones.

The hunts, the breakups, the visions, the pageantry, and of course the spoilers for show and book.

[Where do whores go?]

Apr 17 2014 8:00am

Girls Love Comics made our century with this heartwarming drawing of Agent Coulson as a little boy. Do you think Mama Coulson called him Philly? And we bet he and his friends used to play “Cap vs. Hydra” all the time after school, never dreaming that one day grown up Coulson would... well... that things would get so complicated.

Adulthood sucks.

Morning Roundup has a come-to-Kermit moment, Pharrell lends his songsmithing to a spider, and there is yet another rumor about Days of Future Past!

[Plus, the best second best use of wine glasses we’ve ever seen.]

Apr 17 2014 7:00am

New Releases British Genre Fiction April

From the fold of the British Genre Fiction Focus comes the British Genre Fiction Hitlist: your biweekly breakdown of the most notable new releases out of the United Kingdom’s thriving speculative fiction industry.

We had more new books than ever before in the last edition of the Hitlist, and late April, I’m afraid, simply can’t compete. At least, not in terms of quantity...

Quality is a whole other question, however, and the next two weeks certainly have their highlights, including the start of a stunning new historical fantasy saga by Mark Adler, a new Destiny Quest—yes!—the third part of Paradox by Rachel Bach, the latest from Lily Herne and the greatly anticipated conclusion of Laini’s Taylor Daughter of Smoke and Bone series.

[Read More]

Apr 16 2014 5:00pm

Mona Al Marzooqi, a photographer for The National, shared this image from the set of Star Wars Episode VII, which has begun filming without the benefit of a full cast. So, look closely at the image—what do you see? We see a large round pedestal rolling out of a tent... and some people are speculating that it’s the foot of an Imperial Walker! But the National itself is arguing that it’s “a giant, round, grey disc, which bears a striking resemblance to parts of an escape pod on which C3P0 and R2D2 crash-landed on Tatooine in the original, 1977 film.”


Apr 16 2014 4:00pm
Alyssa B Sheinmel

Alyssa B Sheinmel Second StarAlyssa B Sheinmel’s Second Star is a modern summer romance based on J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. It publishes May 13th from Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers.

Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward his nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she’s falling hard for Pete.

[Read an Excerpt]

Apr 16 2014 3:00pm

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., season 1, episode 18: Providence

“Providence,” this week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., is what it looks like to see a new show commit to itself. No more jumping-on point or one-off episodes for viewers this season. The rollercoaster is no longer boarding, you’re either familiar with the show or not.

This isn’t a bad thing for any show to do, and the embrace of serialization seems to be making Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. downright playful. (This might also be because the show doesn’t have to wait for Captain America: The Winter Soldier anymore. Thom Dunn expertly points out the crumminess about that.) And although we seem destined to bonk around in the Marvel Universe toy box until the end of the season, “Providence” provides hints that we may be seeing more of a transformation than a serialization.

(Spoilers ahead for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.)

[Read more]

Apr 16 2014 2:00pm

Swamp Thing Alan Moore DC ComicsAlan Moore likes sex. This makes him something of an anomaly in the world of comic book writers. I’m not saying that other scribes don’t enjoy the pleasures of the flesh in their off hours, but relatively few are interested enough in the erotic as a subject to make it a part of their writing.

Of course, there are all kinds of reasons for this prudishness—not the least of which is industry censorship—but the result is that comic books are largely a sex free zone. To the degree that sex does appear in comics, it mostly takes the form of suggestively drawn female characters. At best, that’s an adolescent way of dealing with sex, and at worst it’s something darker—with the sex drive either implicitly rejected or sublimated into violence.

[Alan Moore is the great exception.]

Apr 16 2014 1:00pm

Joe Abercrombie First Law Trilogy reread The Blade Itself And so we conclude Joe Abercrombie’s The Blade Itself. When I began this project in August, I had no idea it would take this long to get through the first book. Nor did I have any concept of how much I would enjoy the journey.

I wrote a review of Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radiance that described how impressed I was at his ability to maintain the reader’s interest in four people over such a massive span of words and scenes. The same is true here, but with a different twist. Sanderson has lots of events, constant action. Every chapter has some kind of reveal or nugget that urges the reader forward. He’s a master at it. Abercrombie, in The Blade Itself, is something of the opposite.

[Read More]

Apr 16 2014 12:00pm

Malazan Book of the Fallen reread Steven Erikson Dust of Dreams Welcome 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 eighteen of Dust of Dreams.

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 16 2014 11:00am

People always ask where the ideas for books come from, and it’s usually a hard question to answer. Books don’t have just one idea, and the process of writing is an iterative one in which ideas come and go and don’t work out the way you initially expect. But I can identify at least one of the starting places for the current book.

I was sitting up at night feeding a baby and trying to read, and in a vague and sleepless way I was kicking around a half-dozen ideas for a new book, something science-fictional, or possibly some sort of Magical London Fantasy, why not, something with dueling occultists, when (in Alexandra Owen’s magnificent history The Place of Enchantment: British Occultism and the Culture of the Modern, which I had picked up for research on the latter idea) I read this beautiful sentence: “In September 1898 two respectable Victorians met in a private house in London for the express purpose of traveling to the planets.”

[Well. Did they now.]

Apr 16 2014 10:00am

Rocket Talk podcast

In this episode of Rocket Talk, we take a break to present an original audio story by Mari Ness! “In the Greenwood” is a beautifully told tale of complicated and conflicted love, a look at the folklore of Robin Hood from Marian's point of view, as read by Emily Asher-Perrin.

The short story, acquired and edited by Liz Gorinsky, can be read online for free here.

[Listen to “In the Greenwood” by Mari Ness this week on Rocket Talk]