Sleep Walking Now and Then July 9, 2014 Sleep Walking Now and Then Richard Bowes A tragedy in three acts. The Devil in the Details July 2, 2014 The Devil in the Details Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald A Peter Crossman adventure. Little Knife June 26, 2014 Little Knife Leigh Bardugo A Ravkan folk tale. The Color of Paradox June 25, 2014 The Color of Paradox A.M. Dellamonica Ruin, spoil, or if necessary kill.
From The Blog
July 3, 2014
Gaming Roundup: Elite: Dangerous Gives You A Universe
Pritpaul Bains and Theresa DeLucci
July 3, 2014
Flintlocks and Freedom: Check Out these Revolutionary War Fantasies!
Leah Schnelbach
June 30, 2014
The YA Roundup: With News from the Capitol!
Kat Kennedy and Steph Sinclair
June 30, 2014
Queering SFF: Wrapping Up Pride Month Extravaganza (Redux)
Brit Mandelo
June 30, 2014
Change is in the Air on The Legend of Korra!
Mordicai Knode
Showing posts by: Emily Asher-Perrin click to see Emily Asher-Perrin's profile
Mon
Jun 2 2014 1:00pm

How to Make Sith and Infuriate Solos?—Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights: The Lost Ones

Star Wars: The Lost Ones, Young Jedi KnightsReady to find out about a special friend you never knew Jacen and Jaina had? It’s time to meet Zekk and go on vacation and all sorts of other fun stuff because the Young Jedi Knights Reread is back with The Lost Ones!

We hope you missed the Shadow Academy because they’re up to their old tricks! (Actually, they’re new tricks if we’re being real honest here, and we should be honest since the Shadow Academy is trying really hard, you guys.) Recruitment is up, or it’s about to be up by at least one. And diplomatic functions are an easy place to get made fun of, so watch out for that next time you find yourself at one.

[Who are those lost ones, anyhow?]

Mon
Jun 2 2014 11:30am

Maleficent is Too Busy Taking Names to Worry About the Haters

Maleficent, Angelina Jolie

So... Maleficent has been panned by a lot of people. And while it is lacking in certain technical and structural merits, I’m not going to deny it—it’s lovely. Got some flaws, but if you’ve been holding out for a fairy tale retelling that manages to truly empower, this is where it’s at.

You’re just going to have to get over any issues you might have with Angelina Jolie. Yes, you.

Major spoilers for the film below.

[There is no such thing as True Love’s Kiss]

Fri
May 30 2014 11:15am

Pity Captain Kirk, For He Has No iPhone: Douglas Preston and John Scalzi at BEA!

John Scalzi, Douglas Preston, BEA 2014

John Scalzi and Douglas Preston took to the stage on Thursday at this year’s BEA to talk about the future! Do you ever wonder what it would be like for an artificial intelligence to encounter the internet for the first time? Or whether you’d rather live on Mars than have the internet? Or perhaps you’re concerned about how the digital age will affect the next generation? Fear not! This will soothe your worried heart.

Or it might just leave you with new, more complex questions—the future is difficult that way.

[Read more]

Fri
May 30 2014 11:00am

Liveblogging Season Four of Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Obi-Wan, Asajj

The subtitle of Star Wars: The Clone Wars season four is “Battle Lines.” What would probably be more appropriate is “Every Kind of Death You Can Imagine. Also Tears.”

Which doesn’t mean I didn’t like it! More importantly, we did get to see the deconstruction of some real moral ambiguity central to the Star Wars universe (that doesn’t usually get talked about so, bonus). So let’s get to it.

[If you call those clones “defective” one more time, so help me…]

Thu
May 29 2014 9:00am

None of Us Would Survive One Day at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Hary Potter, CHamber of Secrets

Much of children’s literature creates fantastical scenarios in which the young protagonists can endure all sorts of danger that reality would never permit. It is the nature of fiction to allow us to do whatever we cannot, and when you’re a child—a point when your suspension of disbelief is at an all-time high—taking advantage of this will never be easier.

But if we stop to consider carefully, reality will eventually clock in. And it’s then when you realize that you would never make it through your education at Hogwarts. Lasting a term would be a miracle. Why do parents send their children here? It’s madness.

[Did you put your name in the Goblet of Fire? Bad move, dude.]

Wed
May 28 2014 9:30am

X-Men: Days of Future Past Saves Mutantkind By Teaching Professor X to Respect Women

X-Men Days of Future Past, Charles Xavier, James McAvoy

At the end of X-Men: First Class, Charles Xavier lies paralyzed on a beach while Magneto makes a stirring speech about mutants and their need to separate themselves from humanity. Erik is trying to win others over to his cause, and he succeeds—half of the youngsters take his hand and vanish from sight. It’s hard not to notice that Magneto has taken with him all the female mutants and mutants of color… while Charles is left there with three white male mutants and a human.

It’s impossible to leave unnoted because X-Men Days of Future Past is concerned with precisely this dialogue, and how it might have impacted the future of mutants and humans alike. Because despite Charles Xavier’s experience and affability, he is far from infallible. And it turns out he had one more essential lesson to learn.

Spoilers ahead for X-Men Days of Future Past.

[Are you Charles’ Raven?]

Fri
May 23 2014 11:00am

“You’re afraid. I remember.” X-Men: Days of the Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past

When X-Men Days of Future Past was announced at San Diego Comic Con, and every single X-Man was brought out on stage to take a bow, it was hard not to be excited at the prospect of such an ambitious film. But it was also a little frightening to conceive; could this melding of generations possibly work? Could this many X-Men on screen at the same time even make sense? What is a day of future past anyhow?

Springboarding off of 2011’s First Class and the aftershocks of the contemporary movies, DoFP brings together a decade and a half of X-films without breaking a sweat. And not just by putting all the actors in the same film, but by unifying these stories on the same front to teach a powerful lesson about how history might be righted in the face of an untenable future.

Minor spoilers for the film below.

[It was supposed to be you.]

Thu
May 22 2014 9:00am

The Harry Potter Reread: Rewatching The Philosopher’s Stone Film

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Ron, Hermione

The Harry Potter Reread has morphed into a rewatch briefly, which means that it probably sprouted some feathers and gained surround sound hearing, and is fuchsia rather than it’s usual cheery cherry color. (I don’t know, rereads are probably colorful. At least, they are in my head.)

So… what is there to say about Chris Columbus’ first outing into the Potterverse? While it took decades for Lord of the Rings to become a live action trilogy, they were banking on Potter when we were barely halfway through the series. And it was strange. Sort of like this first film.

[Yer a wizard, Harry.]

Mon
May 19 2014 1:00pm

My Other Sister is a Nightsister—Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights: Shadow Academy

Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights: Shadow Academy coverThe Young Jedi Knights Reread is onto the second book—Shadow Academy! AKA, where the story probably should have really started, but you know how it is. This is where we get an important reintroduction to some characters from the Expanded Universe and an idea of where this first arc is going.

Emily and Natalie are back to tell you all about Nightsisters, turning to the Dark Side, and questionable business practices! So let’s dive on in (there’s a GemDiver station, so we were kind of making a pun there) to the next installment!

[And Brakiss is back.]

Thu
May 15 2014 9:00am

The Harry Potter Reread: The Philosopher’s Stone, Chapter 17

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Mary GrandPreThe Harry Potter Reread feels so grown up and accomplished right now. It’s very first rite of passage has been reached, and after today’s reread, it will be taken out for a sundae. What sort of sundae will be rightly up to all of you. (Reread is partial to butterscotch, but it can be flexible in the interest of scientific discovery.)

We’ve made it through a whole book! This is me hugging all of you through the internet. (If hugs are not your thing, I’m doing a funny dance—my coworkers will attest to my mastery of goofy office chair dances.) This reread is already so much fun, and we happily have six more tomes left to tackle. But first we will wrap up with the final chapter of The Philosopher’s Stone—The Man With Two Faces.

Index to the reread can be located here! Other Harry Potter and Potter-related pieces can be found under their appropriate tag. And of course, since we know this is a reread, all posts might contain spoilers for the entire series. If you haven’t read all the Potter books, be warned.

[One of my more brilliant ideas, and between you and me that is saying something.]

Wed
May 14 2014 1:00pm

Liveblogging Season Three of Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Apparently the subtitle of this season was “Secrets Revealed.” I suppose that makes as much sense as anything.

Season three of The Clone Wars really didn’t pull its punches. Lots of episode arcs this time around, where three or four tied together to complete a single story. There was a lot more death in this season, and a pretty intense look into the political difficulties that lead to the fall of the Republic.

With that in mind, let’s get down to it.

[Show, stop that, you are a cartoon, stop playing with my emotions.]

Mon
May 12 2014 1:00pm

Fast Times at Jedi High—Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights: Heirs of the Force

Star Wars Young Jedi Knights Heirs of the Force coverHey there, Star Wars fans! This Expanded Universe reread is going to go a little differently from the others. See, Emily Asher-Perrin and Natalie Zutter have spent an inadvisable amount of time in Brooklyn bars discussing their childhoods reading Star Wars books… and how prominently the Young Jedi Knights series featured in that. (Both of them dressed up as Tenel Ka when they were small, and believe that this says something about them personally. They do not know what. No, you can’t see the pictures. Well… maybe.)

For those who may be unaware, the Young Jedi Knights series was concerned with the training and hijinks of Han and Leia’s twins, Jacen and Jaina, and their cadre of friends. There were lessons! Friendships! Drama! Teenage romance! Lots of puns and questionable humor! And these were the first books to feature the Solo twins slightly older and more competent. So there’s that.

So we’re going to start at the beginning with Heirs of the Force!

[Chewie has a nephew?]

Thu
May 8 2014 9:00am

The Harry Potter Reread: The Philosopher’s Stone, Chapters 15 and 16

Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone coverThe Harry Potter Reread was getting sassy and breaking rules this week, so I put it in detention. If only that worked on rereads the same way it worked on students.

This week we’re running a marathon that leads us right up to the final showdown of The Philosopher’s Stone. It’s chapters 15 and 16—The Forbidden Forest and Through the Trapdoor. We’ll get ominous warnings of every kind, our introduction to some fantastic new species, and a series of tests hopefully leading to that special stone we were talking about before.

Index to the reread can be located here! Other Harry Potter and Potter-related pieces can be found under their appropriate tag. And of course, since we know this is a reread, all posts might contain spoilers for the entire series. If you haven’t read all the Potter books, be warned.

[Mars is unusually bright tonight…]

Mon
May 5 2014 2:00pm

Invisible Men and Women Who Take Risks: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Perpetuates the Narrative Status Quo

The release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier hit the world like a hopeful harbinger of blockbusters to come; while we certainly have a long way to go in terms of inclusive entertainment, to have a superhero who is associated with all that is “great and good” call a team together than consists primarily of women and people of color to restore balance to the world was a welcome sight. It showed moviegoers that their calls were being noticed, that perhaps we could expect a more diverse landscape going forward. But that was one movie and one studio and one creative team, and not every story will pass muster. Which brings us to the next big summer release, in the form of a Spider-Man sequel.

What could have been an easy sell resorted to a lot of the same played-out tropes we’ve been witnessing for decades. But what was perhaps most disappointing about The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was how these tropes were displayed as though they were something fresh and new.

SPOILERS AHEAD.

[And then everyone will know what it’s like to feel invisible.]

Fri
May 2 2014 10:00am

All My Friends Are Villains: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Andrew Garfield

Someone actually says that Spider-Man “does everything a spider does” in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Which basically gives you an idea of how tone deaf the film is, if we were ever supposed to take it seriously at all.

Honestly, it’s really hard to tell.

Very minor spoilers for the film below.

[Be hope. People need that, or something.]

Thu
May 1 2014 9:00am

The Harry Potter Reread: The Philosopher’s Stone, Chapters 13 and 14

Harry Potter 1The Harry Potter Reread is like the candyman—it mixes everything with love and makes the world taste good. Sorry if I made you want candy just now. (Not sorry?)

We’ve got harbingers of things to come, plus a tiny wee dragon! This week we’re onto Chapters 13 and 14—Nicolas Flamel and Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback. How many mysteries can Harry solve in two chapters? (None? A few minor ones that only sort of count?)

Index to the reread can be located here! Other Harry Potter and Potter-related pieces can be found under their appropriate tag. And of course, since we know this is a reread, all posts might contain spoilers for the entire series. If you haven’t read all the Potter books, be warned.

[Let’s send all the dragons to Charlie…]

Wed
Apr 30 2014 1:30pm

No, McDonald’s Did Not Do A Good Job With Its Spider-Man Toys “For Girls”

Pink Spider-Man

Okay, so we all know that McDonald’s has had gendered toys for years now, and it’s time that stopped being a thing. Barbies don’t need to be “for girls,” Hot Wheels don’t need to be “for boys.” More importantly, no one should be labeling them as such because giving a kid anxiety over wanting a toy that’s not “for” their gender is ridiculous when toys are for everyone.

Suddenly, McDonald’s is getting a great deal of praise for its latest toy line, tied to the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Because look, everybody! We acknowledged that girls like Spider-Man, too! Girls like boy heroes! (We are still pretending that we don’t know this?) Girls want toys with Spider-Man’s picture on it, so we made them—we did an AWESOME job.

Except, I’m looking at those toys right now and no, they did not. They did not do a good job. In fact, I’m sort of angry over what a botched mess this is.

[Lemme explain a thing…]

Mon
Apr 28 2014 9:00am

Liveblogging Season Two of Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, season two

Remember how I liveblogged the first season of The Clone Wars? Well now I’m back for round two! So for those who are interested in this flailing newbie’s look at the animated portion of the Star Wars universe, you’re in luck!

This season is where it kinda got complicated, didn’t it? Seems like they had their format figured and really spent time trying to broaden the scope of the Star Wars universe. It worked out pretty much in their favor.

I’m still concerned for Obi-Wan, though.

[Destroy them all, Fillo Beast! DESTROY.]

Mon
Apr 28 2014 7:00am

Terry Pratchett is (Supposedly) the Most Shoplifted Author in Great Britain for a Reason

Terry PratchettToday, April 28th, marks Sir Terrence David John Pratchett’s birthday, and along with being appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2009 (an honor that caused him to forge his very own sword from iron that he dug out of the ground), he is also reputed to be the most shoplifted author in Britain. And what that tells us is actually very simple; Terry Pratchett writes wonderful books and we love to read them.

An only child and self-described “nondescript student,” Pratchett was first commercially published at age 15, and claims to have received his true education from the Beaconsfield Public Library. He has been an astronomy enthusiast all his life, and has an observatory in his home garden. There is an asteroid named after him. He has a love of wide-brimmed black fedoras, and a wit welcome among the likes of Twain and Wilde. While a great deal of fantasy spends its time displaying the grimmer aspects of life, the world loves Terry Pratchett for his ability to tell the truth in ways that make us laugh.

[Read more]

Thu
Apr 24 2014 10:00am

The Harry Potter Reread: The Philosopher’s Stone, Chapter 12

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's StoneThe Harry Potter Reread has gorged itself on chocolate frogs, and now can only speak in croaks and ribbits. Which is very rude of it. I suppose it’s up to us to snap it back into shape… I’d do it on my own, but I am gorged on pumpkin pasties. (Really, I’d just very much like to try one. There must be a recipe somewhere…. Bingo.)

There’s a lot to discuss this week, so it’s a single chapter this time! We’re on Chapter 12—The Mirror of Erised. Which means that this chapter is made of emotions, invisibility, and Christmas! Nothing can possibly be bad about that. Right?

Index to the reread can be located here! Other Harry Potter and Potter-related pieces can be found under their appropriate tag. And of course, since we know this is a reread, all posts might contain spoilers for the entire series. If you haven’t read all the Potter books, be warned.

[We know we’re called Gred and Forge.]