“That Seriously Obnoxious Time I Was Stuck at Witch Rimelda’s One Hundredth Birthday Party” is a seriously funny story set in the world of Seriously Wicked, a young adult fantasy novel by the acclaimed author of Ironskin. Get ready to embrace your angsty inner witch at a pool party teeming with krakens, hexes, and cursed banana bread.
I hate flashbacks.
See? That’s what you do when you want to make a point. You state it, then move on and get to the rest of whatever it is you’re doing.
Case in point, I like to do projects around the house, like carpentry or gardening. Occasionally I’ll have to ask someone for help (because, you know, objects can be heavy, and sometimes there’s stuff I don’t know). All I want is help. Muscle or info. That’s all.
Then whoever is lifting/explaining has to go all wavy-screened Scooby-Doo on me (picture the wavy lines) and say, “I remember this one time…”
During last night’s MTV Video Music Awards, the network released the latest trailer for its adaptation of Terry Brooks’ The Shannara Chronicles! They pack a lot into a minute or so: sweeping shots of ruins and buildings alike, battles of magic and runes and collapsible swords, burning leaves, creatures of dream and nightmare, all set to a pounding EDM beat.
When you need a memory to be wiped, call me.
Transferring unwanted memories to my own mind is the only form of magic I’ve ever mastered. But now, I’m holding so many memories I’m not always sure which ones are actually mine, any more. Some of them are sensitive; all of them are private. And there are those who are willing to kill to access the secrets I’m trying to bury…
The Last Witness is a classic K.J. Parker tale with a strong supporting cast of princes, courtiers, merchants, academics, and generally unsavory people. Available in paperback, ebook, and audio format October 6th from Tor.com!
If science fiction is a genre that asks “what if?”, then the authors of these five books have really outdone themselves. These are novels that go beyond the ordinary to ideas so outlandish that lesser authors might have rejected them as too insane. But these books aren’t comedies. These aren’t the kind of oddball concepts that just devolve into nonsense. Instead, these books take their audacious premises seriously, and bit by bit, explore the consequences to the characters and to humanity at large.
Series: Five Books About…
Benjamin Linus is a talented rabbit. In addition to starring in his own calendar last year, he is now tackling some of the most iconic roles in pop culture through a series of cute cosplays. We couldn’t resist his Walter White homage, but he makes an equally irresistible Doctor, and a striking Daenarys! Check out all of his new looks here!
Morning Roundup brings you Star Wars, now in order! News of the apes! A Ghostbusters reboot we never wanted to see! And some tips on role playing, for all you playas out there.
The 10 1/2 year anniversary edition of Brian Froud’s Goblins arrives from Abrams on September 1st, and we want to send you one of our three copies now!
Renowned artist Brian Froud and scholar Ari Berk have continued their exploration of the goblin realm. (For the uninformed, goblins are those maleficent creatures who cause all manner of havoc in the human realm.) Now, thanks largely to Froud’s and Berk’s continuing carelessness, the viscid and largely nonsensical NEW volume has been unleashed on an unsuspecting public. Among its pages are new letters of apologies and disclaimers complete with new art; a list of Gargle’s new titles, grants, entitlements, and responsibilities; and, sadly, much more! Also included is an envelope containing a new talisman that is guaranteed to ward off goblins.
Comment in the post to enter!
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Only fifteen new paranormal romance books heat up the shelves in September (note that due to space limitations, this list does not include all of the small-press and self-pubbed paranormal romances for the month). Look for series additions from, among others, Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter), Christine Feehan (Dark Saga), Kait Ballenger (Execution Underground), Eve Langlais (A Lion’s Pride), Alexandry Ivy and Carrie Ann Ryan (Branded Packs), Lynsay Sands (Argeneau Vampires), and Jan DeLima (Celtic Wolves).
Stargate Universe Season 1
Executive producers: Robert C. Cooper, Brad Wright
Original air dates: October 2, 2009 – June 11, 2010
Mission briefing. The Atlantis database includes a nine-chevron address (well, eight chevrons, plus whatever the point of origin is). It’s believed that there should be a way to dial an even greater distance than between galaxies with nine chevrons. Dr. Nicholas Rush is recruited (by Jackson) to work on it, and he spends two years trying to solve the problem—in that time, his wife dies of a never-specified illness.
The Air Force embeds the problem in a videogame on the off-chance that someone will solve it. That someone turns out to be a young slacker named Eli Wallace, who is beamed to the General George Hammond and brought to Icarus base. Icarus is a top-secret SGC installation that is on a planet full of naquadria, so it has enough energy to power a nine-chevron wormhole.
Series: Stargate Rewatch
Tumblr user curtvilescomic pointed to a truly excellent homage in the comics world, where Len Wein and Walter Simonson paid tribute to Charles Schultz’s Snoopy and his valiant authorial efforts. It’s a great example of how an homage–when done well–can be an artform all to itself.
Hi. Remember me? It’s been two months since my last post. There’s reasons for that, most of which I won’t go into except to say two straight years of writing about Joe Abercrombie every week is harder than it looks. Not that there’s any shortage of things to say, of course, but two years of writing on a subject is the equivalent of running a marathon. I needed to take a knee for a few weeks to replenish my batteries. Apologies to my (er… Abercrombie’s?) fans.
During my hibernation, there’s been some significant Abercrombie news. First, his new book Half a War came out. I reviewed it. Let me tell you something, there’s nothing “not Abercrombie” about this new series. It’s just as dynamic and gut wrenching and authentic as any of his previous work. Combine that with a slightly different aesthetic and you’ve got one of the finest epic fantasy series I’ve read. Again. Check it out. [Read more]
This whole time, we thought that Harry Potter went straight from the Battle of Hogwarts to Auror training, but judging from this gem an Imgurian found at Gamestop, he took up a second job along the way. This pun is also funny timing, seeing as the Harry Potter Reread just concluded The Order of the Phoenix. (via Nerd Approved)
Afternoon Roundup brings you the creepy downsides of psychic gifts, the secret to Tarantino’s success, and Darth Schwarzenegger!
The Sleeping King by Cindy Dees and Bill Flippin hits shelves from Tor Books on September 8th, and we want to send you a galley now!
Bestselling author Dees brings her love of fantasy and gaming to The Sleeping King, the first in an epic fantasy series featuring near immortal imperial overlords, a prophecy of a sleeping elven king who’s said to be the savior of the races, and two young people who are set on a path to save the day.
Check for the rules below!
It’s no secret that my Magic University series was inspired by Harry Potter. I went through a slump in my writing career in the mid-00’s and ended up delving into the world of Harry Potter fanfic. Writing fanfic truly revitalized my writing. Not only did I find a space where I could experiment with prose and storytelling styles I was energized by the community, the support, and the feedback. An integral part of fan writing communities, though, is constant questioning of the source material. J.K. Rowling’s world is vast and complex, full of contradictions, hints, and things not explained. To write a story set in that world, as a writer I had to interpret ambiguities in the source material or even extend it by answering questions that were left unanswered in Rowling’s canon.
In a new feature for the Tor UK blog, authors share their favorite scenes from film, TV, and books. The wonderful Brian Staveley, author of the David Gemmell Morningstar Award winner The Emperor’s Blades and its sequel The Providence of Fire, explains why one little drink in Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven leads to so much trouble…
I was a sophomore in high school when I first saw Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven. I hated it.
I’d been raised on HS&GS—Horse Shit and Gun Smoke, my dad’s acronym for Westerns—and I’d come to expect a few things out of a movie starring Eastwood. I expected him to grimace. I expected him to slouch indifferently in his saddle as he rode into town. And, more than anything, I expected him to kick ass.
In the opening scenes of Unforgiven, however, Eastwood’s character—William Munny—can’t shoot a can off a post at twenty paces. He’s a tired, over-the-hill gunslinger, a man who’s lost his will, nerve, and savagery, an outlaw turned pig farmer who falls in the mud whenever he tries to catch a pig. There are hints and intimations that he used to be dangerous, deadly, terrifying—especially when he was drunk, which used to be all the time—but by the time the movie starts, he’s sworn off both violence and whisky. He’s desperate for money—needs to take care of his two kids—and so he reluctantly accepts One Last Job. It seems unlikely that he’ll succeed at it. In fact, he doesn’t seem likely to succeed at anything. For the first four-fifths of the movie he looks, moves, and talks like a busted up old man. As a high school sophomore, I wanted nothing more than for him to get over it, to get his act together and start shooting people. That’s what I was there for!
When fantasy readers talk about how we got our start, the same names tend to crop up again and again—J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander, L. Frank Baum. But while these might be a common denominator for most of us, I can think of many other books that ignited what would become my lifelong love of fantasy. Surprisingly, not all of them are fantasy, but carry that seed of mystery and the unknown that is the essence of magic. I am sure each person has an individual road map of their path to magic—here is mine.
This fan video created by Vernon Wilmer won an award from Creation Entertainment in 2012, and it’s not difficult to see why. In fact, after discovering this in the office, we’ve been having impromptu dance parties all week. We thought we should share the love, so everyone could have their own office dance parties.
Again with the geek parents! The fabulous Munros didn’t want to settle for a mere Optimus Prime-shaped cake, so they did what any sensible birthday party hosts would do: they created an actual transforming Transformer cake. This is so much better than anything Michael Bay has ever done with the franchise. Check it out in action below!
Part of the joy of rereading Dragonlance is realising how influential and far-reaching they are. Everyone’s read Dragonlance—and, if not, isn’t now the perfect time to start? It is no wonder this series is so influential; it had its sticky claws in all of our childhoods. To demonstrate this, and to give us the occasional week off, we’ve asked some authors and artists and general figures of the fantastic to chime in with guest posts. They’ll take the reins for a post, and talk through what Dragonlance means to them.
Before we start on the second book in the Dragonlance Chronicles, here is Guest Highlord Jason Heller, on why Raistlin is so great.
Caution: unlike our normal reread posts, this contains spoilers for the rest of the Chronicles. But you probably would’ve gathered that from the title.
Gaze into this subterranean library! Artist Susanna Hesselberg contributed a wonderful work of art to Aarhus’ biannual Sculpture by the Sea festival. The piece titled “When My Father Died It Was Like a Whole Library Had Burned Down,” is made up of books with increasingly dark covers (so as a viewer peers down into the hole, the titles slowly disappear into blackness), and references experimental musician and artist Laurie Anderson. We agree with Mental Floss, however, that there’s a heavy Alice in Wonderland feeling as well, which adds a note of whimsy to an otherwise dark piece.
Morning Roundup looks at Tolkien’s origin story, the changing demographics of the gaming community, and the future of Afrofuturism!
There’s one thing I’ve learned from researching our founding SFF authors: writers used to be a hell of a lot cooler. Not to insult any of our modern masters—far from it! They’re doing their best with the era they were dealt. But skim over the history of Harlan Ellison. Take a look at Robert Heinlein’s life, or Kurt Vonnegut’s, or Frank Herbert’s or Philip K. Dick’s. You’ll find stories of street brawls, epic rivalries, tumultuous love lives, hallucinations.
And then you get to Jack Vance, and the more you read the more you expect to learn that the man wrestled tigers for fun.