Brisk Money July 23, 2014 Brisk Money Adam Christopher It's hard out there for a robotic detective. A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star July 20, 2014 A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star Kathleen Ann Goonan A rocket story. The Angelus Guns July 16, 2014 The Angelus Guns Max Gladstone There's a war in heaven, outside of time. Sleep Walking Now and Then July 9, 2014 Sleep Walking Now and Then Richard Bowes A tragedy in three acts.
From The Blog
July 18, 2014
Summer 2014 Anime Preview: In the Name of the Moon!
Kelly Quinn
July 16, 2014
Picturing Dragons
Irene Gallo
July 15, 2014
Who Should Play The Magicians?
Ryan Britt
July 14, 2014
A Long Overdue Nod to SciFi and Fantasy’s Best Librarians
Stubby the Rocket
July 11, 2014
For Love or Money (And If You Do It Right, BOTH): Choosing a Career in Art
Greg Ruth
Showing posts by: Emily Asher-Perrin click to see Emily Asher-Perrin's profile
Jun 12 2014 2:00pm

The Harry Potter Reread: The Chamber of Secrets, Chapters 3 and 4

The Harry Potter Reread is thinking about an art project where we recreate the books via GIFs from various popular tv shows… that’s a lie, that project was never considered, though it does sound like the sort of creepy thing that might crop up fifty years from now in a Harry Potter Museum of some sort.

This week we finally get to see the inside of a wizard home! We meet Gilderoy Lockhart! Throw some gnomes around! Also, there’s a flying Ford Anglia, which is a super classy way to travel. We’re on chapters 3 and 4 of The Chamber of Secrets—The Burrow and Flourish and Blotts.

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.

[Read more]

Jun 12 2014 9:00am

The Perfect Retcon to Star Trek Into Darkness?

Benedict Cumberbatch, Khan, Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness showed up on Netflix recently, and I decided to watch it again (against my better judgement). And there are still some fun moments in that thing, but overall, it’s… really disheartening. Many have said this, so I won’t add to the summit of Mount Critique. We know how it went: None of the shout-outs to former canon were ever earned, Kirk degenerated into a raging frat boy, Carol Marcus was practically an unperson who existed to be RoboCop’s daughter—it’s all been said eloquently and amusingly across various webispheres.

But I did have an idea on how they might fix one of the film’s biggest problems.

[My name is Khan?]

Jun 9 2014 1:00pm

Tenel Ka, Warrior Princess—Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights: Lightsabers

Star Wars Young Jedi Knights Lightsabers This is basically the YJK reread Natalie and Emily have been waiting to get to. For so many reasons. Mostly for the fact that it goes nowhere anyone would expect a kid’s novel to go, particularly not a Star Wars one. Some real s*** happens in this book.

As titles go, nothing really screams Star Wars more than “lightsabers.” I mean, maybe just “Jedi” or “Vader,” but “lightsabers” is a pretty good move. And since getting your own lightsaber is one of the biggest steps on the road to Jedi Knighthood, you know that this is going to be pretty important. So are you ready for the Serious Issues to get tackled in this series? Because we’re going there.

[“Want to hear a joke?”]

Jun 5 2014 2:30pm

Fictional Symbols on Political Stages: Thailand Protestors Adopt Hunger Games Salute

Thailand protestors

A military coup in Thailand has led many protestors to adopt the three-fingered salute from Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series as a form of resistance to the current political state of their country. Of course, while oppression may be counted as a throughline in the situation, the specifics of the upheaval in Thailand is not solidly comparable to the dystopian future Collins created.

Instead, it is a reminder of how the symbols we find in fiction can affect our lives and the world around us.

[Read more]

Jun 5 2014 9:00am

The Harry Potter Reread: The Chamber of Secrets, Chapters 1 and 2

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, coverThe Harry Potter Reread has grown up so big and tough, it gets a whole other book! Or maybe, like, six whole other books! But we’ll just start with the one, because we should pace ourselves. We might get indigestion otherwise.

So now we get a sample of what Harry’s summer really turned out like, and we get to meet our very first house-elf. Time for Chapters 1 and 2 of The Chamber of Secrets—The Worst Birthday and Dobby’s Warning.

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.

[...and the hedge was staring back.]

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?]

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]

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]

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…]

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.]

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?]

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.]

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.]

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.]

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.]

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.]

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?]

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…]

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.


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

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.]