When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami September 16, 2014 When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami Kendare Blake A Goddess Wars story As Good As New September 10, 2014 As Good As New Charlie Jane Anders She has three chances to save the world. Tuckitor’s Last Swim September 9, 2014 Tuckitor’s Last Swim Edith Cohn A hurricane is coming. Headache September 3, 2014 Headache Julio Cortázar Translated by Michael Cisco.
From The Blog
September 11, 2014
The Ghostbusters are an Antidote to Lovecraft’s Dismal Worldview
Max Gladstone
September 11, 2014
Five Underrated Doctor Who Companions (And One Scoundrel)
David Cranmer
September 9, 2014
My Favourite Apocalypses, or, How to End the World for Fun and Profit
Gary Gibson
September 9, 2014
Sleeps With Monsters: Another Post About Some Books
Liz Bourke
September 8, 2014
Come With Us to All the Magical Londons!
Leah Schnelbach
Showing posts by: Chris Lough click to see Chris Lough's profile
Sat
Sep 13 2014 10:00pm

If You Want a Monster to Hunt, You’ll Get It. Doctor Who: “Listen”

Doctor Who season 8, episode 4: Listen

We just saw one of the greatest episodes of Doctor Who, or one of its worst. And I can’t decide where “Listen” ultimately falls.

It’s an uneven episode of television, juxtaposing tense and imaginative scenes against long, drowsy passages of banal writing. Its ending is magnificent, managing to shock while tying together the emotional journeys of all the characters involved. But it also feels like cheating. Like we didn’t quite earn the peek behind the curtain that we got.

“Listen” is impactful, that’s for sure. But I need to parse these mixed feelings about the episode, as I suspect their origins are grown from being a viewer who is perhaps too familiar with the subject matter. I’d like to end this analysis on a positive note, so we’ll start by getting the bad bits out of the way.

[Doctor Who: “Listen”]

Sat
Aug 30 2014 10:00pm

Locked in a Room With His Greatest Enemy. Doctor Who: “Into the Dalek”

Doctor Who Into the Dalek Peter Capaldi

If you want to find out who the Doctor really is then lock him in a room with his greatest enemy: the Daleks.

This has been one of the few truths of Doctor Who as a show, even more so after its return in 2005 and the introduction of the Time War plot establishing that the Doctor sacrificed his own people to rid the universe of the Daleks once and for all. As an unyielding trickster, the Doctor thrills in subverting the universe’s expectations and inspiring others to do the same. This trait is embedded deeply in the Doctor’s fictional history. He’s not going to bow to the constraints of Time Lord society, he’s going to steal a TARDIS and get the hell out of there. He’s not [whatever his Gallifreyan birthname is], he’s the Doctor. Just the Doctor. And you can’t force him do anything he doesn’t want to do.

Unless you’re the Daleks.

[Doctor Who: “Into the Dalek.” Spoilers ahead.]

Wed
Aug 27 2014 12:53pm

Oh Crap, Shadows That Eat People are Real and They’ve Been Protecting Our Books For Centuries

Vashta Nerada Doctor Who

No, you’re overreacting.

So, a few years ago Steven Moffat introduced a monster to Doctor Who called the Vashta Nerada who were basically a cloud of microscopic carnivores and who you could only tell were around because suddenly you had an extra shadow and oh crap they’re going to eat you they ARE eating you and there’s nothing you can do.

We find out that these critters actually live in books because their natural habitat is trees and book paper and oh look, this guy over at Scientific American is pointing out that there are REAL animals on Earth who are basically this annnnd they’re scorpions. Book scorpions.

[BOOK SCORPIONS, PEOPLE]

Wed
Aug 20 2014 10:00am

Rentable You: John Scalzi’s Lock In and the Terror Hiding in its Future

John Scalzi Lock In

Amongst the shoot-outs, robot fights, and political intrigue of John Scalzi’s new novel Lock In (yes, there are robot fights!) is the looming sense that even though this near-future is intimately comparable to modern day we are nevertheless seeing our initial lurch towards a truly science fiction society. A key worldbuilding aspect of Lock In’s future is the presence of hardware and software that can be installed within a person, thereby allowing them to extend their awareness into robots. Did your robot just get hit by a truck? Good thing you had the pain turned down and the auto-disconnect toggled on.

But this awareness goes both ways, and one of the squirrellier aspects of the capital-F FUTURE that Lock In explores are the beginnings of a world where you can be shoved out of your own mind. Where the last barrier of privacy is breached and you become rewritten.

[Read more]

Thu
Aug 14 2014 11:30am

Peter Capaldi is the Doctor and You Should Be Worried. Doctor Who: “Deep Breath”

Doctor Who Deep Breath Peter Capaldi

By the end of “Deep Breath,” Peter Capaldi’s debut episode as the Doctor, you’re not going to know how to feel about the Doctor anymore. But that’s alright. Sort of. Because neither does he.

Capaldi’s casting as the Doctor made waves when it was announced in August 2013. The actor is a known quantity, utterly unafraid of depicting the rough edges of humanity, and a simultaneously inspired and insane choice for such a beloved character as the Doctor. As viewers we have become accustomed to the frivolity of Matt Smith and David Tennant, and the emergence of Capaldi in the role hinted at a dramatic shift away from Doctor Who’s lighter tone. Perhaps too much of a dramatic shift?

[Non-spoiler review of Doctor Who “Deep Breath”]

Mon
Aug 11 2014 4:15pm

Did Will Arnett Hide an Arrested Development Reference in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

Arrested Development easter egg Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie isn’t at its best when making pop culture references but it seems that Will Arnett still managed to sneak in a cheeky Arrested Development reference for eagle-eyed malcontents such as myself. Some spoilers ahead.

[The Arrested Development easter egg in TMNT]

Mon
Aug 11 2014 1:15pm

There is No Joy Left For You Here. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014

When I was 11 I got into a fight with a kid down the street over accusations that I broke one of his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toys. I don’t remember if I did. I might have? The only thing I can legitimately recall is that we combined our toys, and that I was jealous that he had an April O’Neil and the turtle van, of which I had neither. His name was also Chris. We never hung out after that. He had a last name that included a biblical part of the body and middle school was going to do him no favors in that regard so he was probably already choosing his friends carefully.

[This is what it’s like to accept ninja turtles into your life]

Fri
Aug 8 2014 11:49am

The Mayor From Portlandia Revealed as Skye’s Father On Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Kyle MacLachlan Agents of SHIELD Mayor Portlandia

Some people, not me, are reporting that Kyle MacLachlan has joined the cast of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as Skye’s eventually-to-be-revealed father, which is a twist that I really did not see coming. I mean, I always suspected that Twin Peaks and Portlandia didn’t quite exist in our world but I had no idea that they were technically part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The proof is below.

[Kyle MacLachlan joins Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.]

Tue
Aug 5 2014 7:00am

If Neil Armstrong Can Be the First to Land on a New World, So Can You

Neil Armstrong. Art by David A. JohnsonHistory remembers the now-departed Neil Armstrong fondly for being the first man to set foot on the moon. And it should. That first step was the culmination of millions of years of human exploration and ingenuity, taking us from the trees to an entirely new world. The importance of that can’t be overstated.

When we imagine taking a step this large as a species, it’s difficult not to imagine the person leading the way as being larger than life, of possessing exceptional qualities that allowed them to break through to this new frontier. They are our hero, our catalyst, something we can focus on and examine and emulate order to better ourselves.

Neil Armstrong is a particularly refreshing idol in this regard because there’s nothing particularly exceptional about him. Well...that’s not entirely true. He tended to crash planes. A lot.

[There’s more to this story]

Sat
Jul 26 2014 8:40pm

Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, and Phase 3. SDCC Marvel Studios Panel

Marvel Studios San Diego Comic Con Avengers Age of Ultron

The main event is here! The Marvel Studios panel has begun at 2014 San Diego Comic Con and we are eagerly awaiting news about Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Marvel’s Phase 3, and anything else the studio might have squirrelled away far from rumor-spreading lips.

Readers, assemble!

[Marvel Studios at 2014 SDCC]

Sat
Jul 26 2014 7:40pm

These New Orphan Black Clones Sure Are Unexpected

Tatiana Maslany Orphan Black Muppets

Boy, Orphan Black season 3 is sure going to head off in some weird directions! How many Muppet clones of Tatiana Maslany are running around? How deep does the conspiracy go? Does Mr. Hooper know about this?!?

Oh...this is Maslany at Nerd HQ at San Diego Comic Con? Okay.

Wait, is Bert at Comic Con without Ernie?!? #scandal

Sat
Jul 26 2014 4:40pm

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Assured by Marvel, James Gunn Already Talking Ideas

Guardians of the Galaxy sequel James Gunn

With still a week to go until Guardians of the Galaxy hits theaters in the U.S., Marvel Studios has decided that the early buzz on the film is so good that a Guardians of the Galaxy sequel is a definite green light, according to Variety.

[Read more]

Sat
Jul 26 2014 2:30pm

Peter Capaldi’s Doctor is Seriously Weird

Doctor Who teaser Peter Capaldi Listen

There’s a new teaser out for the forthcoming season of Doctor Who, starring Peter Capaldi as...a pretty weird new Doctor.

The word he stresses in the teaser is also the title of one of the early episodes in the season. Perhaps this clip is from that?

[New Doctor Who teaser]

Fri
Jul 25 2014 6:10pm

What’s to Come From Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, and Marvel TV Next Year?

Agent Carter Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Marvel television San Diego Comic Con 2014

The cast and crew of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the forthcoming Agent Carter took to the stage at San Diego Comic Con on Friday to reveal what’s next for my living captors Coulson’s plucky crew. Both shows are slated to fill the airwaves starting this fall, all the way up to the debut of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Will there be any crossover?

The initial Agent Carter panel included Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb, Agent Carter show runners Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas, pilot script writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, Marvel Studios co-president and Agent Carter pilot ep director Louis D’Esposito, and Agent Carter herself Hayley Atwell. The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. cast and crew followed afterwards.

[Marvel TV at SDCC]

Fri
Jul 25 2014 5:17pm

Huge New Cast and Bloopers. Highlights from the San Diego Comic Con Game of Thrones Panel

Now that season four of Game of Thrones has concluded the show is beginning to enter uncharted territory. Sure, there are two books left to film, but how will HBO combine them? And what will they start sneaking in from as-yet-unpublished material?

Let’s see if the 2014 San Diego Comic Con GoT panel: featuring showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss, author George R.R. Martin, and cast members John Bradley, Gwendoline Christie, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Natalie Dormer, Kit Harington, Rose Leslie, Rory McCann, Pedro Pascal, Sophie Turner, and Maisie Williams...can tell us!

[Game of Thrones at SDCC 2014]

Fri
Jul 25 2014 3:37pm

What You’ll See in the First Mockingjay, Part 1 Trailer

Mockingjay trailer

The first trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 is being screened at the Samsung booth at San Diego Comic Con this weekend. It will be released online next week...UPDATE: It's live! Watch it below. Spoilers ahead.

[Mockingjay trailer]

Fri
Jul 25 2014 2:30pm

Real Life Batgirl Ziplines Over Gotham at SDCC

Batgirl over Gotham San Diego Comic Con Philiana Ng

Fox has a zipline at San Diego Comic Con set up that allows you to soar over the skyline of Gotham. So you know that at some point the Bat-Family cosplayers were going to show convention goers how it’s done.

Hollywood Reporter correspondent Philiana Ng caught this awesome shot of Batgirl plunging towards Gotham. Check out her Twitter for more of the Bat-Family in Gotham, including the big man himself.

All of our ongoing San Diego Comic Con 2014 coverage can be found here.

Thu
Jul 24 2014 8:00pm

George R. R. Martin Makes a Pretty Stunning Daenerys

George R. R. Martin Daenerys San Diego Comic Con

Ran into George R.R. Martin at comic-con... he really gets into his characters” said Reddit user justbeingfrank, who managed to snag a pic of the author at San Diego Comic Con, revealing his stunningly accurate Daenerys impression.

Don’t think it was really GRRM? It was. Everyone go home. justbeingfrank has won the Iron Throne.

All of our ongoing San Diego Comic Con 2014 coverage can be found here.

Thu
Jul 24 2014 6:41pm

Benedict Cumberbatch Really Can’t Tell Us If He’s Doctor Strange, Okay?

Benedict Cumberbatch Doctor Strange

Cheekboned Sherlock spirit vise Benedict Cumberbatch is at San Diego Comic Con this year to promote Penguins of Madagascar, the third Hobbit movie, and...Doctor Strange?

At least, that’s the rumor, and SDCC goers have wasted no time asking him flat out whether he’s going to be announced as Stephen Strange during Marvel’s Phase 3 panel on Saturday.

[How many ways can I say maybe?]

Thu
Jul 24 2014 5:18pm

Jack Black Dragged Away by R. L. Stine’s Monsters During Goosebumps Panel

Sony Goosebumps Jack Black San Diego Comic Con 2014

This year’s Sony panel at San Diego Comic Con was primarily a showcase for the forthcoming movie adaptation of R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps book series, starring Jack Black and debuting in August of 2015. (Chris Colombus also video’d in to apologize for not having any Pixels footage for anyone, especially after that awesome action shot with Peter Dinklage.)

Sony also headed off any Marvel Universe news at the pass by announcing the day before that Amazing Spider-Man 3 and Sinister Six were moving, prompting to Marvel Studios to immediately hoover up the vacated movie premiere dates.

But anyway, here’s what a Goosebumps movie could possibly be about!

[Sony and Goosebumps at San Diego Comic Con 2014]