Daughter of Necessity October 1, 2014 Daughter of Necessity Marie Brennan Tell me, O Muse, of that ingenious heroine... Midway Relics and Dying Breeds September 24, 2014 Midway Relics and Dying Breeds Seanan McGuire Between the roots and the sky. The Golden Apple of Shangri-La September 23, 2014 The Golden Apple of Shangri-La David Barnett A Gideon Smith story. Selfies September 17, 2014 Selfies Lavie Tidhar Smile for the camera.
From The Blog
September 25, 2014
After Paris: Meta, Irony, Narrative, Frames, and The Princess Bride
Jo Walton
September 23, 2014
It’s All About the Benjamins in Sleepy Hollow: “This is War”
Leah Schnelbach
September 23, 2014
The Death of Adulthood in American Culture: Nerd Culture Edition
Lindsay Ellis
September 22, 2014
Five Brilliant Things About Doctor Who “Time Heist”
Paul Cornell
September 19, 2014
“WCKD is Good,” But The Maze Runner is Bad
Natalie Zutter
Mon
Aug 25 2014 1:00pm

The Legend of Korra Season Finale: “Enter the Void” and “Venom of the Red Lotus”

Avatar The Legend of Korra

So you want a big, two-part, smash ’em up finale? The Legend of Korra delivers and still leaves enough room for a bittersweet not-with-a-bang-but-with-a-whimper capstone. I’m left thoughtful in the wake of everything that happens; in a lot of ways, this feels like the spiritual sequel to the end of Book Two in Avatar: the Last Airbender, and the preponderance of crystal and gurus makes me think that’s quite intentional. As the same time, these episodes intensely channel the series finale of “Sozin’s Comet,” but with the clever conceit of a role reversal. Here the nimble, evasive airbender is the villain, and the one soaring around on jets of flame is the Avatar.

Book Three of The Legend of Korra has been great, not just in comparison to the first two seasons but on its own, and it concludes here. It’ll all end in tears, but what kind of tears?

[Read More]

Mon
Aug 18 2014 3:00pm

Is The Legend of Korra’s “The Ultimatum” the End of the Line?

Avatar Legend of Korra Ultimatum

Let’s not everyone freak out at once. Just last episode we talked about the knife edge of doubt that an “all-ages” show like The Legend of Korra has been able to walk when it comes to violence. The Earth Queen’s demise could have been the Earth Queen’s defeat until the burden of context clues pushed it over. Heck, this episode we see a number of seemingly fatal falls turn out to be misdirection, on all sides, so I guess my point is: all we can do is speculate about the ultimate fate of one of our favorite characters.

One thing I’ve said this entire season is that the stakes and the tension are high; it feels like anything can happen. I’m hoping the fallout from this recent turn of events is more of a melancholy sad, with more of an “Appa’s Lost Days” feel to the consequences than what the worst case scenario could be. Enough of all of this vague spoiler-free mummery; let’s talk brass tacks, below the cut.

[Read More]

Tue
Aug 12 2014 4:00pm

No Kings, No Masters in The Legend of Korra’s “Long Live the Queen”

Avatar Legend of Korra Long Live the Queen

Well, The Legend of Korra continues to be amazing. Like, old-school, top of its game, Avatar the Last Airbender good, that’s what I’m talking about. Zaheer...ah, I’ll sing his praises as this season’s villain enough later on in the post, no need to start now. Asami, sure, I’ve been asking for more Asami and now I’ve got it. Basically at this point I’m starting to get a little cocky—can I just ask for anything and get it? Stock in Cabbage Corporation? I never got that Koh the Face-Stealer cameo I was hoping for from the Book of Air with Amon or from the Book of Spirits’...well, spirits. Maybe I’ll be in luck next week; at this point, anything seems possible. I’m very excited about this show right now, and I really hope the “digital transition” is going well. If there was ever a time to proselytize a show to show the number-crunchers and bean-counters what’s what, it’s now.

[Read More]

Mon
Aug 4 2014 2:30pm

The Legend of Korra’s “Stakeout” Yields Answers to Big Questions.

Avatar the Legend of Korra Stakeout

This episode of The Legend of Korra gives us what we’ve been waiting for—a glimpse into the inner workings of Zaheer and his “Red Lotus” gang. I’m going to unpack that and sort through what we learn about our antagonists a-plenty, but that isn’t all we get, not by a long shot.

Last week I’d said we’d seen almost every kind of specialized bending, except the plantbending of the swamp folk. Well, now we’ve seen the Mos Eisley of the sandbenders, so check one more off the list. The desert seems “painted,” more brightly colored than the one where Sokka went cactus-juice crazy, but it still vibes Tattooine, right down to spirits being denied access to a saloon the way droids might be kicked out of a cantina. All this casual discrimination and political oppression! Almost makes you wish someone would do something about it, doesn’t it?

[Read More]

Mon
Jul 28 2014 1:30pm

The Legend of Korra Goes Digital: “The Terror Within”

Avatar Legend of Korra

It’s sad that we have to wait to discuss “The Terror Within”—one of the tensest episodes to date, bringing back the sense of real menace that Amon had—in order to talk about how the sausage gets made, but we should. There is an elephant koi in the room: Nickelodeon has decided not to air the rest of The Legend of Korra and instead will make the remaining episodes available online. I know, I’d rather talk about how we finally get to see an all-out battle between Zaheer and his team of what fans are calling the “Red Lotus Society” versus Team Avatar and the Metal Clan, but we need to discuss the nuts and bolts of how we’re going to be able to see the stories, while we’re at it. I mentioned I was worried last week, but it was too little, too late. At least the episode we actually did get was excellent, right?

[Read More]

Wed
Jun 11 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Uncle Luke has Found a New Padawan!

Mark Hamill is breaking out his lightsaber moves for Episode VII! Check out that awesome stance, and the beginnings of what we’re sure will be an epic beard! And, in a terrifying example of corporate synergy, he’s... training Mickey? Mickey seems to lack the necessary intensity to make a proper Jedi....

Morning Roundup must tear its eyes from this extraordinary image to present you with Avatar casting, Snowpiercer details, and Sleepy Hollow news!

[Plus some haunting mail arrives from a small town that is not what it seems.]

Mon
May 12 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: How Does She Even Find the Gas Cap?

Ricardo Ramirez gives us an impatient Wonder Woman! On first glance, you might think that she’s just annoyed that her jet needs so much fuel, but we think she’s actually thinking about how long she’s been waiting for her solo movie...

Morning Roundup welcomes you into the week with great news about the Family Storm, less-great news about Star Trek, and really terrible news for anyone who thought “unobtanium” was the dumbest concept they’d ever heard in their lives, and wondered, repeatedly, aloud, how the hell anything about Avatar made it past the first draft of the script.

[On a happier note, you can now visit the Temple of Time!]

Tue
Apr 29 2014 10:00am

Star Wars, What is It Good For? The Real History of Science Fiction

Star Wars A New Hope Opening

When I was a little kid, my father enjoyed altering the famous Star Trek preamble “Space…the final frontier,” to “Space…the stuff between Ryan’s ears.” We’ll never know the illness that causes so many fathers to be sooooo hilarious all the time, and my Dad was no exception. But just like “space” meant different things to my Dad and me, it also means a lot of things to a lot of different people: a Final Frontier, a place where No One Can Hear You Scream, and also lots and lots of gas.

The latest installment of the BBC’s documentary series The Real History of Science Fiction decided to talk about space, and was about as successful as my Dad’s bad jokes, meaning the show was mostly dumb, bloated, and occasionally, a little bit charming.

[Read more]

Wed
Oct 16 2013 11:00am

Filmmaking Visionaries: The Top Ten Writer-Directors

Gravity

Watching Gravity in IMAX 3D this weekend, I was struck by the audacity of Alfonso Cuarón. From the precise attention to zero-gravity physics to the heart-pounding interplay of noise and silence, this movie wasn’t simply written—it was authored, from start to finish, by a visionary. In the film world, such adepts are known as “auteurs”—creatives who don’t simply write or direct a film but conjure the entire thing wholesale. While only a small number of projects are made this way, they include some of the most successful and beloved movies.

[Read More]

Mon
Oct 14 2013 5:30pm

A Night Time Stroll Through Pandora With the Family

Avatar theme park

The Japan Disney D23 Expo recently revealed how the Avatar theme park is coming together, complete with concept art and 3-D models. Watch a video of it here.

[via Coming Soon]

Fri
Jun 28 2013 5:15pm

Nathan Fillion Gives Us Permission to Fly Serenity (er, on GPS)

Nathan Fillion TARDIS Serenity GPS Garmin

Are you driving this summer? Perhaps you’re bored with normal GPS navigation images, and you’d like to make your roadtrip a little more epic? The site Geeks are Sexy used one of the images provided by Garmin Heaven, and turned their car into a TARDIS! You can do almost anything with your car’s avatar, like converting it into, um, Avatar, or the Millennium Falcon, a Cylon ship, two different Batmobiles, a lightcycle, or even Wall-E and Eve. (We must decry their deplorable lack of rocketships, however.)

[And it’s all thanks to Nathan Fillion]

Tue
Sep 18 2012 9:00am

Morning Roundup: The Star Wars Anime We Deserve

This fan-made Star Wars Anime video comes from animator Otaking 77077 who is also responsible for the Doctor Who Anime video. Another fan put the Sleigh Bells song “Born to Lose” with it, which just makes it pretty rockin’. Why a Star Wars cartoon can’t actually be like this is beyond us.

Your daily squadron of offsite links includes the following highlights:

  1. Is Doctor Who literally getting darker? (Like, the lights are lowering?)
  2. First look at Catching Fire set pics.
  3. Geeky Downton Abbey connections.

[Read more]

Tue
Sep 11 2012 9:00am

Morning Roundup: Curiosity Takes a Picture of Itself

It looks like the Mars rover Curiosity has joined the Facebook/camera phone generation by taking a picture of itself. We’re thankful there’s no way for the rover to do the dreaded “duck face.” [News via Boing Boing]

Your offsite links are just as awesome, but not as self-centered.

Highlights include:

  1. The Moff leaves Twitter!
  2. Walter Koenig is all over the news.
  3. A Tron dance that must be seen to be believed.

[Read more]

Fri
Jun 1 2012 3:00pm

Little Green Men and Huge Blue Dudes: The Science of Avatar by Stephen Baxter

The Science of Avatar by Stephen BaxterWith more than $2 billion in the bank before it had even hit home video (where it shattered the stats all over again) James Cameron’s Avatar is the highest grossing film of all time. That’s the fact of the matter.

As to the fiction, well... we all remember the broad strokes. The blue people. The big ol’ tree. The incredible flora and fauna. Lest we forget the baddies who laid wanton waste to all of the aforementioned in their unabashedly allegorical quest for the mythical mineral unobtanium.

Good times, right? But obviously well outwith the realms of possibility.

[Read more]

Tue
May 8 2012 9:00am

Morning Roundup: The Bros of Star Trek 2

So, apparently the Star Trek 2 bros went out to the bars and bro-ed down. Bro. Above is just one picture from the part-tay. But where’s Pine/Kirk? Is he taking the picture? Seriously, why is Jim Kirk not out partying? We’re worried about this. (Okay, he’s in there. Pictures from Trek Movie.)

Your offsite links are here to make your morning better.

Highlights include:

  1. Why the Avengers catchphrase wasn’t in the movie.
  2. James Cameron watch.
  3. Guess who is NOT going to Mars. Besides you.

[Read more]

Wed
Feb 9 2011 11:47am

Avatar: The Last Airbender Will Continue in New Comics from Dark Horse

New Avatar: The Last Airbender stories to debut in 2012Miss the adventures of Aang and the gang? You’re in luck! Dark Horse Comics has announced that everyone’s favorite airbender (and his trusty friends) will continue their adventures in a new series of graphic novels beginning in 2012!

The series will continue in comic digest form and will take place after the events of the television show (lovingly rewatched here).

[Details below the cut]

Thu
Dec 2 2010 1:54pm

Avatar Rewatch: “The Library” (episode 210)

Avatar: The Last Airbender episode The LibraryEpisode 2.10, “The Library,” marks the halfway point in Season Two of Avatar and in the series as a whole. This is when stuff starts to get intense. Follow along with us after the cut.

[Appa? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!]

Thu
Nov 11 2010 3:31pm

Avatar Rewatch: “Bitter Work” (episode 209)

Avatar: The Last Airbender episode

In the ninth episode of the second season of Avatar: The Last Airbender, we once again see the writers at play. There is strong continuity between this and the previous episode, “The Chase,” when Azula scorched Iroh good. Now Zuko rests and nurses his wounded uncle back to health. Meanwhile Aang, who has been on the run since episode 206, finally gets the chance to take a break and learn from his new earthbending master, Toph. Problems arise when Aang discovers that learning Earth, an airbender’s opposite element, is not as easy as it looks. In a flashback in a later episode, when Avatar Roku must learn water, his opposite element, he describes the task as “bitter work.”

[Let’s get physical, after the jump]

Mon
Oct 25 2010 3:08pm

Avatar Rewatch: “The Chase” (episode 208)

Avatar: The Last Airbender rewatch episode 208

We wish to extend our gratitude to our readers for their patience this past month. Things have been hectic. Hopefully we will now be able to return to a regular posting schedule, with a new post appearing every other Thursday. We have gone so long without an Avatar Rewatch post, I assume many of you thought our faces had been stolen by Koh, leaving us to wander blindly in the Spirit World. So let’s go with that as our excuse.

Episode 208, “The Chase,” features only characters who are pivotal to the overall arc of the series, in other words, the series regulars. There are no pirates or lost boys here. Azula chases Aang. Zuko chases Azula. Iroh chases Zuko. And in the end we get one of the most awesome battles in the entire series.

[Read more after the jump]

Wed
Sep 22 2010 2:34pm

Bad Kitty: A Meditation on Cat People

This is not a confession, nor a boast, just a statement of fact: I have not seen Avatar.

I try not to judge movies without having seen them. I always get annoyed when (as a rule) religious or conservative groups protest movies they haven’t bothered to see. But I have very mixed feelings about James Cameron’s work. I loved Terminator and Terminator 2, though in both, especially the sequel, much of the dialogue makes me squirm a bit. Aliens, a movie I enjoyed when it came out, doesn’t hold up well. In fact, I’d say it’s my least favorite of the Alien movies (not including the AVP spinoffs). The Abyss? Meh. Titanic is rubbish. Titanic really made me reevaluate Cameron’s canon and cast a pall over most of it.

When I saw the trailer for Avatar, I groaned. When the Stephen Lang hardcore military douche says, without irony, “You’re not in Kansas any more” I winced and knew it wasn’t for me. Anyone who uses that line in a movie now should be stripped of his WGA membership. Or at the very least heavily fined. Same goes for “We’ve got company,” “I’m getting’ too old for this shit” and “Don’t you die on me!” (I’ll forgive the final one if the person saying it is trapped beneath a gravely ill enormously obese person).

That’s not why I haven’t seen it, though.

[Read more]