A Long Spoon December 18, 2014 A Long Spoon Jonathan L. Howard A Johannes Cabal story. Burnt Sugar December 10, 2014 Burnt Sugar Lish McBride Everyone knows about gingerbread houses. Father Christmas: A Wonder Tale of the North December 9, 2014 Father Christmas: A Wonder Tale of the North Charles Vess Happy Holidays from Tor.com Skin in the Game December 3, 2014 Skin in the Game Sabrina Vourvoulias Some monsters learn how to pass.
From The Blog
December 22, 2014
What is it Like to be a Malfoy Post-Battle of Hogwarts? Rowling Reveals All on Pottermore
Stubby the Rocket
December 18, 2014
Mistborn Fans Will Get TWO New Novels Next Year!
Tor.com
December 15, 2014
Steven Erikson: On Completing Malazan
Tor.com
December 12, 2014
When My Wife Put Her Face in a Fireball for Epic Fantasy
Brian Staveley
December 10, 2014
Even More Standalone Fantasy Fiction!
Stubby the Rocket
Showing posts tagged: television click to see more stuff tagged with television
Tue
Dec 23 2014 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “Covenant”

Rewatcher’s note: There will be no DS9 Rewatch on Friday the 26th of December. We’ll be back on Tuesday the 30th with “It’s Only a Paper Moon.” Happy holidays!

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Covenant“Covenant”
Written by Rene Echevarria
Directed by John Kretchmer
Season 7, Episode 9
Production episode 40510-559
Original air date: November 25, 1998
Stardate: unknown

Station log: Kira joins Odo, Bashir, and Dax for a drink after services. They talk about faith and religions and stuff for a while, and then Kira goes back to her quarters, where she’s visited by Vedek Fala, who was her religion teacher growing up in the refugee camp. He gives Kira a present, which turns out to be a homing beacon that transports her to Empok Nor. The station has been taken over by the Pah-wraith cult, under the guidance of their new master, Dukat.

[I’ve always found that when people try to convince others of their beliefs it’s because they’re really just trying to convince themselves.]

Tue
Dec 23 2014 12:00pm

Christmas in the Stars: Aliens Encounter the Holidays!

He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special

Lots of shows decide they need a little Christmas come December, but they’re not quite sure how to do it. Do you talk about the big Jesus-shaped elephant in the room? Do you just focus on Santa? Do you, I don’t know, cast Juliana Hatfield as an angel or make miracles happen on Walker, Texas Ranger?

This late-December urge becomes extra fun when sci-fi shows try it—they don’t actually want to deal with the religious aspect of Christmas, but they still have to find a way to explain Santa and presents (and maybe just a dash of Christianity) to aliens who are already confused enough just trying to deal with humans. So most of them fall back on humans teaching aliens about “goodwill” or “being kind to others.” This leads to some amazing moments, as we’ll see.

[Click through for special holiday times with ALF!]

Mon
Dec 22 2014 4:30pm

Mike Colter Cast as Marvel’s Luke Cage!

Mike Colter, Luke Cage, Marvel

It was rumored a while back, but now it’s been confirmed: Mike Colter has been cast as Luke Cage!

[Read more]

Mon
Dec 22 2014 3:00pm

Technology is the Worst Gift in Black Mirror: White Christmas

Black Mirror: White Christmas TV review Rafe Spall Jon Hamm Oona Chaplin Charlie Brooker

It’s unnervingly fitting that Black Mirror: White Christmas focuses less on societal issues (as covered in the show’s other, self-contained episodes) and more on technology and the normal people who wield it. After all, Christmas is the season of giving big, highly desired gifts to loved ones, always with the best intentions in mind. But sometimes those intentions only lead to pain. In Charlie Brooker’s dystopian British Christmas special, technological advancements meant to make our lives easier instead break down communication and dilute our sense of humanity. Brooker doesn’t even go for some futuristic tech like drones or artificial intelligence, instead extrapolating out from Google Glass and implant tech that already exists.

Through three interlocking tales and a frame story deftly handled by Jon Hamm and Rafe Spall, we learn the consequences of humans using technology to reform how we see the world and to force those closest to us into new roles or contexts. This special is supremely disturbing but necessary holiday viewing.

[Read more]

Mon
Dec 22 2014 1:30pm

You Gotta Deal With It: The Legend of Korra is Over

Legend of Korra finale

Tor.com’s offices are here in the Flatiron Building in New York City, a distinctive architectural wedge. Seeing Korra face down Kuvira’s giant platinum Colossus in The Legend of Korra series finale from atop a sharp triangular building in Republic City was a fun coincidence, huh? Really makes you feel like you’re in the thick of it...but then, I felt the same way when they put the Daily Bugle in the Flatiron Building in Spider-Man. Hey, and J.K. Simmons, Tenzin’s voice actor, played J. Jonah Jameson. Weird.

I know I’m rambling, but I’m still filled with nervous energy from the cliched-but-truly stunning conclusion of the series, and trying not to use a spoilery image at the top of the post. The Legend of Korra ended with action and romance and most importantly of all, the series ended with Korra continuing the arc of the Avatar spirit, begun in Aang: towards greater compassion, greater empathy.

[Read More]

Mon
Dec 22 2014 11:00am

Legend of Korra’s Finale and the Problem With “Fan Service”

Legend of Korra finale, Korra, Asami

The Legend of Korra finale has come and gone, and it was an emotional ride for many. And while there’s been an outpouring or support for the ending of the show, there’s a thing I keep seeing around the internet that’s pissing me off, and I have a word or two I’d like to say about it.

It’s a lot of words, actually.

Immediate spoilers for the finale of the series below.

[Maybe it’s time to retire this term.]

Fri
Dec 19 2014 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “The Siege of AR-558”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Siege of AR-558“The Siege of AR-558”
Written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by Winrich Kolbe
Season 7, Episode 8
Production episode 40510-558
Original air date: November 18, 1998
Stardate: unknown

Station log: For reasons passing understanding, Rom is auditioning for Fontaine’s opening act, never mind that it’s a friggin holodeck program. Bashir arrives and takes a set of recordings of Fontaine singing to bring on a supply run to AR-558.

The Defiant heads off, with Quark as a reluctant passenger, sent by Zek to provide a report on the front lines. Sisko, Bashir, Dax, and Nog beam down (along with Quark) with the supplies, while Worf and O’Brien remain on the Defiant. The away team is fired on by Vargas, who saw movement, and who never got the memo that Starfleet officers were beaming down. Larkin castigates Vargas (who rants quite crazily), and then informs Sisko that she’s in command, as the captain and commander who were in charge are dead.

[There’s only one order, Lieutenant: we hold!]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 12:10pm

BBC America Shares Orphan Black Season 3 Premiere Date and Teaser: “This Is War”

Orphan Black season 3 teaser

Orphan Black returns April 18, 2015! BBC America confirmed the premiere date and released a short new teaser to tide us over. Compared to the first two seasons, which has seen the Clone Club in hiding from the various folks who want to kidnap/experiment on/breed them, now they’re taking a stand with the simple statement: “This is war.”

[Watch the teaser]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 11:00am

Following Battlestar Galactica’s Lead: Ascension, “Night Three”

Ascension Night Three review

Going into Ascension, I assumed that it was a self-contained miniseries, not unlike the generation ship itself smoothly sailing through space toward its destination. But once we discovered the twist behind the series’ premise—which redefined everything this supposed space opera was commenting on—it also makes sense to learn that Ascension is intended as some sort of sneaky pilot, not unlike Syfy’s 2003 miniseries that spawned the new Battlestar Galactica.

Ascension’s finale forced the ship to face its gravest danger yet; saw characters usurping power in “yay!” ways and killing each other in “no what no!” ways; and upped the ante with a very different sci-fi twist that might guarantee a series pickup but could also wind up alienating future viewers. Basically, Ascension has become a hot mess of a show—but that might not be the worst thing!

[Read more]

Tue
Dec 16 2014 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “Once More Unto the Breach”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Once More Unto the Breach“Once More Unto the Breach”
Written by Ronald D. Moore
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Season 7, Episode 7
Production episode 40510-557
Original air date: November 11, 1998
Stardate: unknown

Station log: O’Brien and Bashir are in Quark’s are arguing over the legend of Davy Crockett, when Worf interrupts. He says that if you believe in the legend of Crockett, then he died a hero and there should be no question in their minds. If you don’t believe in the legend, then he was just a man and it doesn’t matter how he died.

When Worf goes to his quarters, he is visited by Kor. They share a bottle of bloodwine and toast Jadzia’s memory, and then Kor asks a favor: he wants to be part of the war effort, but in his many years, he’s made too many enemies, and so cannot get an assignment to fight. He asks Worf for help getting him a command.

[He will succeed. He is Kor...Dahar master!]

Tue
Dec 16 2014 1:50pm

Asking for Forgiveness Instead of Permission: Ascension, “Night One”

Ascension Night One TV review

In space, no one can hear you scream… Unless you’re on the Orion (that’s important—more on that later) class generation ship Ascension, which has just marked year 51 of its century-long voyage to Alpha Centauri to colonize a new planet. Launched in secret in 1963, this space ark houses 600 people and has already brought up two generations, though not without issues: The fact that the ship’s social mores are stuck in the 1960s, coupled with the younger crew members’ disillusionment with the fact that they’re grooming their successors for their new home, has created a society layered with fiercely guarded secrets and hidden violence.

Ascension is an ambitious miniseries from Syfy, as the network is struggling to launch its own science-fiction epics to challenge the other genre programs currently commanding viewership on other networks. The series was originally going to air over the course of six weeks, but the Powers That Be have smartly condensed it into a three-night event. That’s an especially keen choice since “Night One” ends with a massive twist that will determine how you view the rest of the show. As we can’t ignore the twist when discussing the show, watch out for spoilers later on in this review.

[Read more]

Tue
Dec 16 2014 9:00am

Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2014

Anime Year in Review

As 2014 draws to a close, it is once again time to look back, reflect, and reduce all our experiences into ranked “best of” lists. Whereas often the year is dominated by one major blockbuster, 2014 was a somewhat eclectic year for anime, featuring a smattering of very good shows (and very bad ones), stunning displays industry talent (and incompetence), some very pleasant surprises (and rather unpleasant disappointments), and, alongside the annual prophecies of doom, a few reminders of how imaginative, innovative, and beautiful the medium can be.

So, without further ado, here’s a list of my ten favorite shows of 2014.

[Read more]

Mon
Dec 15 2014 5:00pm

All Your Giant Mecha Dreams Come True! The Legend of Korra, “Kuvira’s Gambit”

Legend of Korra Kuriva's Gambit

That’s...quite an eponymous ploy, hm? This episode of The Legend of Korra is named “Kuvira’s Gambit,” and I frankly was expecting something like the inverse of the Gaang’s invasion of the Fire Nation, or the Rebel’s plan on Endor, or Suyin’s assault on Kuvira in the first place. Make a distraction and let an elite team take out essential targets. I was expecting Kuvira and a crack assault time to ride in on, I don’t know, a heavy paratroop drop, and hit Republic City in the heart.

But no, I had it all wrong: Kuvira’s gambit is a 25 story tall mecha suit. It’s a short jump from last week’s “Operation Beifong”: now that the crew is back together—kit and caboodle—they’ve almost got a chance to prepare...

[Read More]

Mon
Dec 15 2014 2:00pm

Flying Hats and Marching Brooms: Once Upon a Time, “Heroes and Villains”

Once Upon a Time Heroes and Villains

Villains! Heroes! Trickery! Princesses! Pirates! Surprisingly Powerful Hats! Yep, time once again for ABC’s Once Upon a Time, as the fall season draws to a close with “Heroes and Villains.” Which has to do—SHOCKER AHEAD—with Heroes and Villains.

[This means an evil yet adorable dalmatian could be showing up. JUST SAYING.]

Fri
Dec 12 2014 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “Treachery, Faith, and the Great River”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Treachery, Faith, and the Great River“Treachery, Faith, and the Great River”
Written by Philip Kim and David Weddle & Bradley Thompson
Directed by Steve Posey
Season 7, Episode 6
Production episode 40510-556
Original air date: November 4, 1998
Stardate: unknown

Station log: Odo has received a coded message from Gul Russol, one of his most reliable contacts in Cardassian space—and whom he thought was executed when Cardassia joined the Dominion. But he was Odo’s most reliable informant so he has to answer the call. He takes the Rio Grande to the rendezvous, only to find that Russol really is dead, and the message actually came from Weyoun—and he wants to defect. He claims that his life is in danger because he’s being scapegoated for the failure of the war to have already been won.

Sisko needs the Defiant’s malfunctioning gravity net to be working when he returns from a conference on Bajor in three days, but the quartermaster, Chief Willoughby, says it’ll take three weeks for the part to arrive. O’Brien has no idea how to make that happen—but Nog has a few ideas, and goes off to work his Ferengi magic, to O’Brien’s dread.

[It’s the wrong shape. The wrong height. The wrong width. Other than that it’s perfect. The captain will never suspect you switched desks on him.]

Thu
Dec 11 2014 3:29pm

It’s Yuletide and You Are Dying: Watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special Trailer

Doctor Who Christmas special trailer alien

While the most recent teaser clip for the Doctor Who Christmas special definitely scared us into staying off Santa’s Naughty list, the official trailer guarantees that this will be a very creepy Christmas. We’ve got mysterious bodies rising up from sleep (or death), an alien infestation, and a chalkboard that won’t let you erase the message “You Are Dying.”

[Watch the trailer]

Thu
Dec 11 2014 2:00pm

5 Times Stephen Colbert Was Declared the Ultimate Fanboy

Stephen Colbert Gandalf The Hobbit Entertainment Weekly

As Entertainment Weekly observed in their upcoming Stephen Colbert/The Hobbit cover story, the host of The Colbert Report plays a satire of a conservative windbag—but when he geeks out, that’s never an act.

Since the Report premiered on Comedy Central in 2005—and even before that, when he was a correspondent on The Daily Show—Colbert has unabashedly indulged his nerdy side, alternately poking at and showing off his own extensive knowledge of various properties. Getting his own series was a platform to lampoon right-wing pundits, but it also served to show America what a proud nerd looks like. Whether defending the new crossguard lightsaber or dominating at Tolkien trivia, Colbert taps into his endless knowledge and enthusiasm for all things geek in a way no one else can.

[Read more]

Wed
Dec 10 2014 4:00pm

“Operation Beifong” Strikes Back on The Legend of Korra!

Legend of Korra Operation Beifong

What is the sibling term for “Linsanity?” Su-per Sa-yin? Okay, that’s pretty dumb, but Suyin cutting loose in this episode of The Legend of Korra, oh boy! I should say all the Beifongs bring the pain, and I do mean all the Beifongs—excepting Batar Jr. I suppose—because guess who came out of retirement to kick some butt? That’s right, the Original Beifong. Yeah, it’s a Beifong blitz!

But despite the episode title “Operation Beifong,” it isn’t all about the Beifongs. The heroic Bolin from “Battle of Zaofu” steps up to maturity, Zhu Li gets up to some new tricks, and Korra reaches out to the Spirit World. After last week’s more focused character piece, I am ready to see some earthbenders go toe-to-toe-to-toe...to-toe-to-toe! There are a lot of bare toes in this episode is what I’m sayin’.

[Read More]

Wed
Dec 10 2014 12:00pm

We Need a Kink in Our Stories: BDSM Characters in Your Favorite Genre Fiction

Farscape, Scorpius, John Crichton

Look at a beloved genre TV show, movie, or comic book. Is there simmering sexual tension marked by shifting power and the exchange of control? Do the characters strut around in leather corsets and wield whips? Does someone get tied up? You’re looking at BDSM (variously standing for bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism) at play. Which really doesn’t come as a surprise, because geeks are kinky as all get out.

Older, more conservative narratives would have us believe that people who engage in BDSM are somehow wrong or depraved. But the sheer presence of kinky characters across so many stories—whether hiding in children’s shows as jokes for the parents, or in the case of Farscape’s Scorpius, hiding in plain sight—simply proves how universal the notion of power exchange is.

Remember your safe words, ’cause it’s time to meet our favorite fictional kinksters!

[Read more]

Wed
Dec 10 2014 12:29am

Teaser Trailer for BBC’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

“Magic is not ended in England.”

A short but sweet look at the BBC’s upcoming seven-episode adaption of Susanna Clarke’s hugely popular Hugo-winning novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.

[Read more]