The New York Times profiled science educator and Neil DeGrasse Tyson BFF Bill Nye, seen here reminding us that the “S” doesn't really stand for hope. For more talk of science and Man of Steel, venture onward!
K.J. Bishop’s 2003 debut The Etched City launched to an insane amount of praise from some of fantasy’s most prestigious authors and was nominated for a World Fantasy Award. A decadent novel in the literal and literary sense, tinged with weird Western tropes, Bishop crafted a new world peopled with gunslingers, mad scientists, and exotic monsters. But none of the colorful killers residing in the city of Ashamoil—Bishop’s New Crobuzon, her Amber—were as dangerous as an artist shaping reality from dreams.
That Book Your Mad Ancestor Wrote, a collection of nineteen stories spanning the Australian writer’s career from her earliest sales to works published here for the first time, is a menagerie of marvels. (And at the time of this writing, it just won the Aurealis Award for Best Collection.) The prose is atmospheric, wry, and challenging. Fans of unconventional fantasy will be pleased if they are willing to trust in Bishop’s authorial vision and follow it down some very surreal avenues.
Written by Justin Monjo, directed by Rowan Woods
Season 3, Episode 17
1st US Transmission Date: 17 August 2001
1st UK Transmission Date: 7 January 2002
Guest Cast: Xhalax Sun (Linda Cropper), Talyn Lyczac (John Gregg), Tenek (Stephen Shanahan), Hotel Owner (Raj Ryan)
This episode features the crew of Talyn.
Synopsis: Aeryn, in mourning for Crichton, leaves Talyn and takes a hotel room on Valldon, a world Stark claims has mystical properties that allow the living to contact the dead. What she doesn’t know is that Xhalax is also on the planet, having been spared by Crais, and is plotting to mess with her head.
You needed some Star Wars news today, didn’t you? Obviously you did!
Bleeding Cool recently got their hands on the casting call for the new Star Wars film, and it’s a tease to be sure. It’s from the recently-announced open call in the U.K. and is completely confirmed and whatnot. For those who were hoping to get confirmation of characters past from tie-ins and other sources, no luck just yet. Let’s see if we can’t figure out who some of these fresh new faces will be playing...
Entertainment Weekly is reporting that the character of Mary Jane Watson, played by Shailene Woodley in the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man 2, has been cut entirely from the film. The actress dropped the shocking news while talking about the upcoming film adaptation of Divergent in a recent interview with EW. Via ComingSoon.net:
“Of course I’m bummed. But I’m a firm believer in everything happening for a specific reason....based on the proposed plot, I completely understand holding off on introducing [Mary Jane] until the next film.”
Mary Jane’s scenes have apparently been moved to the third film in the franchise, which Sony Pictures recently announced as debuting on June 10, 2016, with a fourth film to follow on May 4, 2018. So what does this mean for Amazing Spider-Man 2? Spoilers and speculation ahead.
It’s no slight on life, but what an exhausting enterprise existence is!
If a single day goes by without some occurrence of angst, anger, regret, fear or frustration, we count ourselves lucky. But let’s face it: this is a rarity. Life is full of strife. From time to time, horrible things just happen to happen, and on other occasions, we simply wake up on the wrong side of the bed.
That said, it doesn’t much matter what’s bothering or annoying us, what’s upsetting or distressing us: everything tends to look better after a good night’s sleep. Better, or at least very least different. Taking your recommended daily allowance of eight hours under the covers can help us see almost anything in a new light.
And why not extrapolate that out? If a short snooze can essentially obliterate the blues, why not assume that a longer period of unconsciousness might stand a chance of addressing much more serious and ingrained issues and conditions than those we face on a day-to-day basis?
People have, in the past. Yet there are very real reasons why this species of treatment isn’t commonplace in our age—complications that The Sleep Room by F. R. Tallis in part examines.
Dan Simmons has created a work of high homage with The Guiding Nose of Ulfänt Banderōz, a novella set in Jack Vance's Dying Earth universe that first appeared in the tribute anthology Songs of a Dying Earth. On June 30th, Subterranean Press is releasing a gorgeous hardcover edition of the tale, complete with a dust jacket and interior illustrations from World Fantasy Award-winning artist Tom Kidd.
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On the surface, the premise for Defiance—SyFy’s new “aliens on earth” TV show—has everything to distinguish itself as a science fiction hit. After a period of a long war, alien life forms have settled on Earth; the aliens are forced to integrate into human society after (accidentally) causing the nigh-cataclysmic destruction of most of the planet. The Earth is a shadow of what it once was, a strange place with new technology, mutated creatures, and fragmented societies trying to rebuild. There’s political intrigue, hidden danger, inter-species relationships, and lots of gunfights.
But what makes Defiance stand out is the fact that, like many science fiction shows before it, it’s not really about aliens or technology. At its heart, Defiance is a western, a post-apocalyptic Deadwood that calls to the frontier-lover in us all.
Welcome to the Malazan Re-read 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 Tor.com readers. In this article, we’ll cover the second part of Chapter Fifteen of Toll the Hounds (TtH).
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.
Well before Man of Steel ever hit theaters, the internet was swarming with protests that were bound to spring up as soon as Chris Nolan’s name was attached to the project. Why do we need a gritty Superman? They better not make Clark’s story like the Dark Knight arc. Why can’t they just make the movie fun? And now that the movie has been released, there are legions of fans decrying, as everyone knew they would: “That’s not my Superman!”
And they’re completely right. So I’m going to make myself incredibly unpopular by saying—
That’s not actually a problem.
It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.
But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.
Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.
In this trailer for The LEGO Movie—due out in February 2014 from the directors of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs—we learn that the LEGO World is under attack, and naturally the only minifig who can save it is a construction worker, voiced by loveable everyman Chris Pratt (Parks & Rec). But LEGO Batman is there to help, because what would The LEGO Movie be without LEGO Batman? Watch the trailer below!
As the movie adaptation of Max Brooks’s blockbuster novel approaches—it’s finally due out in U.S. theaters this Friday—I’m keeping an open mind. The movie might be great, or it might be just mediocre, and there’s a decent chance it’ll stink on ice. But the one thing I’m not expecting is for it to be very much like the book on which it’s based.
The complaint I’ve been hearing most about the trailer is how the filmmakers have changed the zombies from shambling, Romero-esque undead hordes to an unstoppable swarm of speedy power-zombies. Personally, I’m not much bothered by that change—faster zombies are probably a better fit for the movie they’ve produced, which looks like a pretty conventional action movie.
It’s true that in writing World War Z, Brooks was inspired by George Romero’s zombies—but he was also inspired (perhaps even more directly) by the work of author/historian Studs Terkel.
Larry Niven and Brenda Cooper join forces for an epic SF space adventure full of machine/human hybrids, terraforming, and far-future intrigue. Building Harlequin’s Moon finds the crew of the John Glenn unexpectedly stranded on a moon near an epic gas giant!
Today's your last chance to get this great work of hard SF for $2.99! Available at these ebook retailers or your favorite ebook provider.
“Burning Girls” by Veronica Schanoes is a fascinating dark fantasy novella about a Jewish girl educated by her grandmother as a healer and witch growing up in an increasingly hostile environment in Poland in the late nineteenth century. In addition to the natural danger of destruction by Cossacks, she must deal with a demon plaguing her family.
This novella was acquired and edited for Tor.com by consulting editor Ellen Datlow.
Do you have a soft, squishy pet sorely lacking in armor? Here’s how to fix that. Do you have a pet with it’s own, natural armor? Here’s how to make it (comparatively) soft and squishy. Read on for news on Prometheus 2, the True Blood casts' early roles, and the worst videogame of all time.
Welcome back to the British Genre Fiction Focus, Tor.com’s regular roundup of book news from the United Kingdom’s thriving speculative fiction industry.
Not for the first time, but perhaps, alas, the last, we lead this week with an item regarding Iain Banks, whose final interview proved as powerful and powerfully funny as anything else from the mind of the late great.
Relatedly, there was anger from certain independent booksellers at the deep discounting of Banks’ new novel, The Quarry. Was Amazon and Sainsbury’s behaviour a timely tribute, scandalous profiteering, or something between these extremes?
Later on, we’ll look at the cover and blurb of “the book that everyone will be talking about in 2014” in Cover Art Corner, before closing out with news of the nominees for this year’s British Fantasy Awards.
Have you always wanted to read a sequel to The Dark Crystal? Have you ever wanted to write it yourself?
Georgette Heyer always claimed to dislike the mystery novels she had churned out on a regular basis prior to World War II. In part, this was thanks to ongoing struggles with that publisher—while also noting that her mystery publishers were doing a better job of promoting her works than her historical publishers were. In part, it may have been the ongoing tendency among literary critics to regard mysteries and other genre fiction as somehow lesser than mainstream literary fiction—a convenient way to place Georgette Heyer, who continued to long for literary acceptance, into that “lesser” category. In part it may also have been that at least some of her mystery novels were collaborated with her husband, who usually supplied murder methods and motives, which partly helps explain why some of these novels turn on obscure points of inheritance law—Rougier was a barrister.
Thus these novels were not entirely “hers.” But for all of her spoken dislike of the genre, Heyer had written one a year for a decade—and even after she stopped writing them, found ways to sneak elements of her mystery novels into her historical works. Even in the subgenre that she was now building, Regency romances, in The Quiet Gentleman.