Selfies September 17, 2014 Selfies Lavie Tidhar Smile for the camera. 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.
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September 17, 2014
How Goldfinger Bound Sci-Fi to James Bond
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Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 1
Tansy Rayner Roberts
September 13, 2014
If You Want a Monster to Hunt, You’ll Get It. Doctor Who: “Listen”
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The Ghostbusters are an Antidote to Lovecraft’s Dismal Worldview
Max Gladstone
Showing posts by: Genevieve Valentine click to see Genevieve Valentine's profile
Wed
May 28 2014 9:00am
Original Story

The Insects of Love

Genevieve Valentine

“The Insects of Love,” by Genevieve Valentine, is a dream-like science fiction/fantasy puzzle about two sisters and several possible realities. The only certainty is that one sister gets a tattoo and disappears into the desert. The surviving sister is obsessed with insects and believes her sister has left her clues as to her disappearance.

This novelette was acquired and edited for Tor.com by consulting editor Ellen Datlow.

[Read “The Insects of Love,” by Genevieve Valentine]

Wed
Mar 6 2013 10:00am
Original Story

Terrain

Genevieve Valentine

“Terrain,” by Genevieve Valentine, is a steampunk western about six diverse people living and working together on a farm outside a small town in Wyoming. The encroaching Union Pacific railroad wants the land, threatening their home and their livelihood, running a unique message service with mechanical “dogs” (actually looking more insectile) that can climb up mountains where the Pony Express cannot.

This short story was acquired for Tor.com by consulting editor Ellen Datlow.

[Read “Terrain”]

Tue
Mar 5 2013 1:49pm

Genevieve Valentine

Genevieve Valentine’s first novel, Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti, won the 2012 Crawford Award and was nominated for the Nebula. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Journal of Mythic Arts, Lightspeed, Apex, and others, and the anthologies Federations, The Living Dead 2, Running with the Pack, After, and more.

Her nonfiction has appeared at NPR.org, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, Weird Tales, Tor.com, and Fantasy Magazine, and she is a co-author of Geek Wisdom (out from Quirk Books).

Mon
Jul 19 2010 5:36pm

Review: Inception

The previews before a movie can be telling: they reveal what sort of audience marketers expect the movie to attract, and are ideal for plugging upcoming movies in a similar vein to the feature presentation.

The previews before Inception seemed as if they’d been chosen at random, since there’s no movie this year that’s enough like Inception to promote alongside it. (Maybe you’d enjoy a Robert Downey, Jr. road-trip comedy? No? Here, we’re remaking Tron!)

And at times, Inception, while it wholeheartedly subscribes to the theory of Go Big or Go Home, isn’t quite sure what it wants to be. It is by turns a character drama, a science-fiction exposition-fest, and a heist. At some of these things it’s better than at others, but there’s no denying that the movie is largely gripping, often interesting, and occasionally awesome.

[Spoilers left and right in here!]

Mon
Jul 19 2010 1:40pm

Launchpad Workshop Recap: Four Fun Things About the Universe

As Launchpad continued apace this last week, every day brought new, hilarious and terrifying information about our universe. But sometimes, in the ocean of information, there was an anecdote so beautiful and/or grisly that you just felt the need to share, you know?

Under the cut, four fun things about space, the stars, and you.

[Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do...]

Fri
Jul 16 2010 9:57am

Blogging from Launchpad Workshop: Science!

All this week, I’m one of the participants in Launchpad Workshop, a week-long intensive astronomy course in Laramie, Wyoming, designed to put the science back into science fiction, a handful of creative types at a time. Launchpad is a mixture of astronomy lectures, hands-on labs, stellar observation, and every other science concept that ever scared an English major. (For me, that would be all of them.)

I'll be checking in every few days with some conceptual highlights, resources for the curious, and fun facts about things like the Kepler supernova. (It exploded on October 9, 1604 and is still going strong; by now it’s 14 light years wide and expanding at 4 million miles an hour. Science!)

[The good, the bad, and the misunderstood.]

Wed
Jun 30 2010 5:21pm

Eclipse: The Decline and Fall of the Twilight Empire

Last night was the release of Eclipse, the third movie in the Twilight franchise. Theaters were packed; Team Edward/Jacob loyalties ran high; anticipatory squeals filled the air.

The movie that unfolded wasn’t worth any of it.

This has gone beyond cinematic “worth” in the context of inscrutable teen tastes, or a shift in the zeitgeist, or any of the other trends that set their intended audience alight while mystifying everyone outside their demographic. This is about a two-hour movie that has to pull its bookend voiceover into the film to explain plot points it never shows, as the camera pans over a lengthy establishing shot of a forest.

...More than once.

[All the spare jean cutoffs in Forks can’t cover up a mess this big. WARNING: Spoilers ahead!]

Fri
Jun 25 2010 6:22pm

Inception: Sci-Fi’s Last, Best Box-Office Hope?

This week, Christopher Nolan and company released 14 new stills from his sci-fi thriller Inception.

These photos might require a spoiler warning, but honestly, it’s not as if we’d know. Nolan has been tight-lipped about the project from the beginning. For months after its announcement, he would say only it was set “within the architecture of the mind.” Early promotional material was equally vague.

More recently, a set of character posters have given us a lineup straight out of a film-noir caper (with titles like Point Man, Shade, Forger, and Mark), and theatrical trailers have inevitably begun to give hints as to the plot.

[Read more...]

Mon
Jun 21 2010 2:04pm

Review: Jonah Hex

Missing from photo: Josh Brolin making Pew pew! noises.

If this year’s speculative-cinema offerings have taught us anything, it’s that many speculative movies are bad. Many of them are very bad. But every once in a while, a movie comes along that is so gleefully bad, so delightfully awful, so surreally self-serious, that it transcends every rubric of quality and ascends in the camp canon as unintentional comedy gold.

In completely unrelated news, let’s talk about Jonah Hex.

[It’s like a drinking game that hired actors!]

Mon
Jun 7 2010 6:06pm

Review: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time


Gemma Arterton and Jake Gyllenhaal, making an unsuccessful attempt to escape the set.

The line between action movies and video games is getting thinner. In theory, this isn’t a bad thing; games have increasingly rich world-building and character development, and action movies are combining choreography and CGI to compete with the physically-impossible feats of their avatar muses.

In reality, when a game is made into a movie, it generally falls into the trap of attempting to recreate game play instead of bringing the world and the characters to life in a compelling or coherent narrative.

It’s easy to say that this issue is the big mistake that was made in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. However, that wouldn’t be doing justice to its actual missteps.

I’m just saying, you know a movie has been ambitious in its mistakes when its highlight is Alfred Molina giving a passionate kiss to an ostrich.

[At least that means Molina won the ham-off with Ben Kingsley.]

Thu
Jun 3 2010 12:28pm

Nine Hobbits that Could Happen

Ever since TheOneRing.net dropped the newsbomb that Guillermo del Toro was departing The Hobbit (citing production delays that have hamstrung the epic two-parter for nearly a year), speculation has raged. With budget problems, studio delays, and a three-year schedule that’s stretched to six, things don’t sound like they’re going to get any easier.

Who’s going to direct this thing now?

The Hobbit camp has not put forth any names for del Toro’s suggested replacement. As fans, clearly that’s our job.

Below the cut, nine ways this train wreck can go.

[That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates!]

Mon
May 24 2010 9:46am

The State of Genre TV

So, the periodic slice-and-dice of show schedules has happened. Fall and midseason schedules are shaping up, and the network-TV roster is more of the same. Perhaps the only surprising element is the dearth of speculative shows that have been picked up.

Just a few months ago, a Push-inspired series was in the works and being shopped to networks, an American Torchwood remake was commissioned by Fox, FlashForward and V were midseason, and all the networks were scrambling to find the show that would replace the departing Lost.

Now, the Torchwood remake has already been scrapped, Push is nowhere to be seen, FlashForward has been canceled, and Heroes has finally been put out of its misery. Someone even came to their senses and canned Ghost Whisperer. Fringe has been renewed, and V just barely scraped by for another season, but neither show has seen much promo support by their networks.  The only new sci-fi shows in the network lineup for this fall are ABC’s maybe-vampire drama The Gates, NBC’s comic-book-noir The Cape and Steven Spielberg’s suspiciously-familiar-looking Terra Nova on Fox.

So, what happened?

[Either a postmortem or a premortem, you tell me.]

Wed
May 5 2010 1:09pm

Hansel and Gretel are Out For: Blood, at Least One Cullen

On the heels of Warner Brothers’ gothic take on Little Red Riding Hood, Paramount has landed a dark fairy tale of its own. It’s pushing Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters into production, with a projected release in 2011. Producer Adam McKay promises “a steampunk vibe mixed with a little bit of a goth edge and hyper-cartoon violence.”

A dark steampunk retelling of a classic fairy tale? What could go wrong?

In completely unrelated news, McKay also revealed to MTV that producers have approached members of the cast of the Twilight films about starring.

Under the cut, some wild speculation. (The nice thing about a cast of three hundred people under 25 means you can get a pretty decent betting pool going if you put your mind to it.)

[No fair picking Michael Sheen before I do!]

Tue
Apr 20 2010 12:06pm

Riverworld is All Wet

Monday night, SyFy premiered Riverworld, a four-hour miniseries based on the series of novels by Philip José Farmer. The novels chronicled the adventures of those resurrected after death, living on a cultivated river-planet overseen by extraterrestrial powers.

SyFy is notorious for hilariously abysmal weekly movies. Their miniseries have fared a little better from additional time and care—not that this tempers the glee with which they can throw a decent cast into a cauldron of plot soup for four hours. (Lookin’ at you, Tin Man, and Alice, and Children of Dune, and...)

With Riverworld, SyFy was more ambitious, and this backdoor pilot is a full-on narrative bouillabaisse, thick with confusion and seasoned with questionable overtones. (Mmm, soup metaphor.)

[Paddling through a river of spoilers.]

Mon
Apr 5 2010 3:32pm

Clash of the Titans

In theory, the best thing about a movie like Clash of the Titans is that there’s no Oscar-ballot discussion of deeper meaning. It was an epic B-movie in 1981, and it’s an epic B-movie now. (Motto: If you’re looking for a fifteen-minute eardrum-busting fight between nameless soldiers and enormous scorpions, you’ve come to the right place.)

And there is something exciting about the formula of a great B-movie; it’s as if they exist in a shared canon that builds shorthand with its audience. (It means that we smile when Pete Postlethwaite shows up in a cameo as the grizzled father figure, because of course he is.) For Clash of the Titans, this job should be even easier; it’s built on one of cinema’s most legendary clunkers, and so is in a unique position to improve on its source material and churn out a great mythological action flick.

Unfortunately, Clash of the Titans overshoots Popcornville and ends up in Disastertown.

[Release the spoilers!]

Tue
Mar 23 2010 3:40pm

Repo Men: Take That Back.


There’s a moment early in Repo Men in which Jude Law’s Remy, an artificial-organ retrieval operative, is reclaiming the liver of a past-due gentlemen whom Remy has tasered to subdue. In the middle of Remy’s legally-mandated questionnaire about whether the man would like to have an ambulance present, the man’s date attacks Remy. “There’s no need for violence, miss,” assures Remy, and promptly tasers her, too.

Most of Repo Men feels like this. I don’t mean stale one-liners inserted into a premise that devolves into a by-the-book dystopia. I mean, it feels like being tasered.

Theoretically, Repo Men should be a movie for our time because it focuses on the punitive bait-and-switch of privatized healthcare, and the seemingly inhuman ability of corporate employees to enact greed cycles without thought to the human cost—two timely concepts that absolutely deserve screen time, especially tackled metaphorically in a sci-fi setting.

Practically, though, Repo Men is a movie for our time because it’s a hyper-violent, poorly-scripted, nominally sci-fi clunker that fails to deliver on its premise.

[A job’s a job.]

Wed
Mar 17 2010 12:12pm

Revenge of the Return: Sequels Get Even

This week, Robert Rodriguez confirmed that a new script for Sin City 2 is in hand, and hopes to film this year, saying “sooner is better.”

As someone who saw Sin City, I question his enthusiasm (as a multi-celled organism, I question his enthusiasm), but it’s hard to blame him for capitalizing on sequel potential. It’s one of Hollywood’s defining traits that it doesn’t know when to quit. On the off-chance it stumbles across a good idea, it will spit out sequels until the concept is run into the ground. *cough*Matrix*cough*

As movies get more expensive, multiplex real estate gets rarer, and television gets better (in both scope and quality), movies have become all about the bottom line: what can make the studio the most money, the fastest. Ours is an era of superhero blockbusters, 3D extravaganzas, and more hurriedly-developed sequels than you can imagine. Below, ten sequels working their hardest to trick us into wasting two hours of our lives.

[If at first you don’t succeed...]

Mon
Mar 1 2010 5:21pm

SyFy's Beauty and The Beast


This weekend, SyFy rolled out the first of many planned fairy-tale updates with Beauty and the Beast. The venture was announced with enough pomp and circumstance to think that perhaps SyFy was finally embracing the camp appeal of their movies-of-the-week, and setting out to create a linked set of films—a grownup’s Faerie Tale Theatre.

Unfortunately, SyFy seems to have given this venture the same short shrift it’s given all its other movies, and their premiere effort ends up simply [beast-related pun].

Below the fold, five things you should know about Beauty and the Beast.

[Once upon a time, a beloved fairy tale was ruined forever.]

Fri
Feb 26 2010 12:41pm

Casting, Lots: A Movie News Roundup

It feels like this month has been riddled with moviemakers waking themselves up from the stupor of the post-Christmas movie dump and scrambling to come up with better movies that can be dumped unceremoniously into these slots next year. Some of those people will cast their movies carefully, and succeed. Most of those people will fail; here, we make note of their first mistakes!

• Ian McShane is in final talks to play Blackbeard in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. In unrelated news, the movie has preemptively been rated triple-R for language.

If cast, he’ll be working alongside Penelope Cruz, playing a fellow pirate who racks up pirate-award nominations despite not being very good at pirating.

[Under the cut, more slow-motion train wrecks we can all enjoy.]

Fri
Feb 19 2010 4:29pm

Red Riding Hood Retelling is Go: What Big Teeth You Have!

Little Red Riding Hood, the original story about a girl and a wolf meeting cute, is getting a new, romantic retelling from Warner Brothers. If you think that this is not an attempt to use its metaphorical teeth to take a bite-related pun out of Twilight’s success, then you have never seen a movie before.

Naturally, anything as phenomenally popular as Twilight is going to spawn a subgenre; since Twilight can basically print its own money by now, there’s no point in straying too far from the proven concept. Warner Brothers has even hired Twilight’s Catherine Hardwicke herself to direct, which is such a genius move I can hardly believe it. (Summit released her from her contract before filming began on New Moon, citing scheduling difficulties, a move that, given fan reception of New Moon, might have been a mistake.) Of all the big-and small-screen Twilight spinoffs that have been put into production, scoring Hardwicke might be the single best move any of them has made.

[One other good move, and a questionable one, under the cut.]