A Cup of Salt Tears August 27, 2014 A Cup of Salt Tears Isabel Yap They say women in grief are beautiful. Strongest Conjuration August 26, 2014 Strongest Conjuration Skyler White A story of the Incrementalists. Seven Commentaries on an Imperfect Land August 20, 2014 Seven Commentaries on an Imperfect Land Ruthanna Emrys Stories of Tikanu. Hero of the Five Points August 19, 2014 Hero of the Five Points Alan Gratz A League of Seven story.
From The Blog
August 25, 2014
Animorphs: Why the Series Rocked and Why You Should Still Care
Sam Riedel
August 20, 2014
The Welcome Return of the Impatient and Cantankerous Doctor Who
David Cranmer
August 19, 2014
The Wheel of Time Reread Redux: Introductory Post
Leigh Butler
August 19, 2014
Whatever Happened to the Boy Wonder? Bring Robin Back to the Big Screen
Emily Asher-Perrin
August 15, 2014
“Perhaps It Was Only an Echo”: The Giver
Natalie Zutter
Showing posts by: Leah Schnelbach click to see Leah Schnelbach's profile
Fri
Aug 22 2014 12:30pm

Ray Bradbury: The Best Writing Teacher You Could Ever Have

Ray Bradbury David A JohnsonToday would have been Ray Bradbury’s 94th birthday, and there are many, many stories you can tell about Bradbury’s life and career: Fahrenheit 451 was written in nine days, and cost the young author $9.80 in typewriter rental fees; Truman Capote got “The Homecoming ” published in Mademoiselle after it was rejected by Weird Tales; it took several years of working with editors at Knopf to find his voice; Ray Harryhausen was the best man at his wedding, and the two were lifelong friends.

All of these make for a colorful life, but I really want to talk about Ray Bradbury: the best writing teacher you could ever have.

[Read More]

Wed
Aug 20 2014 9:30am

Should the World Fantasy Award be Changed?

World Fantasy Award Howard HP Lovecraft

Daniel José Older, author and editor of Long Hidden, recently started a Change.org petition to redesign the World Fantasy Award. This has led to signatures and celebration, as well as some controversy. His petition’s immediate request is that the WFAC change the award to resemble Octavia Butler. The current WFA statuette (shown here) is a stylized bust of H.P. Lovecraft. Designed by the great Gahan Wilson, it is a striking piece of sculpture—but it is also a reminder of the community’s contentious past.

So there is also a larger question that needs to be heard: who is SFF’s audience? Who is this community for?

[Read more]

Sat
Aug 16 2014 8:00am

Diana Wynne Jones Subverted Fantasy Even as She Celebrated It

Diana Wynne Jones

Diana Wynne Jones never quite took her fantasies seriously. Any time she had the chance to subvert your expectations of the brooding Byronic wizard, or the master enchanter, or the fantasy kingdom wracked by war, she took it. Taken as a whole, her books act as both a love letter and a critique to the Fantasy genre.

Born this day in 1934, she was raised by parents (both professional teachers) who neglected their children, remained emotionally distant, and only provided their three girls one book a year to share between them. What might have fostered resentment instead led Wynne Jones to be self-reliant: she made up for their lack of books by making up her own stories.

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Fri
Aug 15 2014 10:00am

We’re Holding Out for a (New) Hero: How Heroes and Villains are Evolving

I think it’s safe to say that 2014’s greatest hero is a vocabulistically-limited tree. (If not him, then maybe the raccoon with anger management issues.) I had already been think about how heroism and villainy seemed to be changing this year after I saw How to Train Your Dragon 2 and The LEGO Movie. Captain America: The Winter Soldier and X-Men: Days of Future Past also gave us far more ambiguous heroes and villains than their predecessors, and then I saw Guardians of the Galaxy.

And now, I think that the Western is evolving in some really exciting ways, especially when we look at how heroes in 2014 stack up against some of our biggest cultural good guys. Be warned: I might be completely wrong. I have accepted this, and am quite open to being yelled at in the comments. Also, spoilers abound! It turns out it’s hard to write about villain-deaths and Noble Heroic Sacrifices without giving away endings, so proceed with caution.

[Seriously, I spoil everything.]

Thu
Aug 14 2014 9:00am

No Longer Locked In: How Real-Life Robots Help Kids

VGo Verizon

John Scalzi’s latest novel, Lock In, builds from a deeply relatable premise: Fifteen years from now, a virus knows as Haden’s Syndrome sweeps the globe. 95% of those afflicted experience nothing worse than fever and headaches. 4% suffer acute meningitis, creating the largest medical crisis in history. And 1% find themselves “locked in”—fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus.

When the book begins, society has adjusted to the crisis, and life has, for the most part, gone back to normal. Those who are locked in spend most of their time in the Agora (a virtual reality designed specially for Haden’s patients), but they can also use “threeps,” highly maneuverable robots that can interact with non-Hadens. And then there are the Integrators, healthy humans that can allow Hadens to jack into their minds and use them for trips to theme parks, bacon cheeseburger feasts, and… other activities where a threep won’t be optimal.

While we’re not quite ready for Integrators yet, a form of threep is already in use, going a long way toward helping some children live better lives.

[read more]

Wed
Aug 6 2014 3:00pm

James Gunn’s The Toy Collector and Subversive Man-Children

The Toy Collector James Gunn review

As a writer, you run the risk of discovering a book that is the book—the book you would have written if you had time, money, talent, drive.

When you meet this book you have two choices. You can beat your head against a wall in a rage at the fact that your book has already been written, by someone who is not you, or you can allow than anger to pass through you like fear on Arrakis, bow your head, and humbly accept that this is now your favorite book. Because, by claiming the book as your favorite, you mark yourself as the book’s greatest fan, rather than a failure.

James Gunn’s The Toy Collector is not that book for me, but it comes damn close.

[Read More]

Thu
Jul 31 2014 11:00am

Dovebuckets and Face-Crabs: The Sandman: Overture Issue 3

Sandman Overture #3 Neil GaimanThe Sandman: Overture Issue #3 has finally arrived! I’ll skip over the part where I snark about how long it’s taking, because the art is so amazing I’m cool with it taking three times this long. I’ll also say upfront that I think some of the writing is shaky in this issue, but that I’m still happy to be along for Morpheus’ journey to try to save the universe. Again.

I am faced with my usual conundrum of how much to say here… I want to talk about the issue, but I also want to stay as non-spoilery as possible. Let’s start off with the basic plot...

[Read More]

Sun
Jul 27 2014 3:00pm

Constantine Panel Gives a Sneak Peek At Demons!

We don't think there are enough cigarettes in all of London for this number of Constantines! They were part of a John Constantine meet-up that took place shortly before the screening of the pilot episode of Constantine at this year's SDCC. So at least any lingering demon plagues should be sorted out...

Constantine premiered its pilot to a great response from the crowd! We've gathered some of the highlights from the show's panel below, along with the new extended trailer that debuted on Saturday night.

[Unless this is a Constantine/Orphan Black crossover...?]

Sat
Jul 26 2014 8:00pm

Vin Diesel Credits Groot with Helping Him Heal After Paul Walker’s Death

Vin Diesel Groot Paul Walker

Okay, the following will probably make you cry. Vin Diesel recently went on record as saying that playing the role of Groot helped him deal with his grief after his Fast and the Furious co-star Paul Walker’s tragic death last November.

[More proof of Groot’s wonderfulness]

Sat
Jul 26 2014 6:13pm

The Boxtrolls Invades San Diego with Bug-Kebabs!

The Boxtrolls is the new film from the creators of Coraline and ParaNorman. That should be all you need to hear, right? The film just did a panel at Comic Con that had people in tears, plus they launched a wonderfully unique marketing campaign!

[Check out more below!]

Sat
Jul 26 2014 1:13pm

Naked Ben Franklin! Headless Romance! Devilishly Handsome Centaurs! Sleepy Hollow at San Diego Comic-Con 2014!

The Sleepy Hollow panel hadn’t even started yet on Friday at San Diego Comic Con and Orlando Jones was already killing social media, first with this adorable message to the world, and then with a tweet that summed the Con up pretty well: “What do mean you don’t ship Ichabbie? We’re gonna have to ask you to leave sir.”

The panel featured executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Star Trek, Fringe, Spider Man 2), Mark Goffman, Heather Kadin, Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie, John Noble, Orlando Jones, and Lyndie Greenwood, and Katia Winter. We’ve gathered the highlights below!

[Click through for magic and centaurs!]

Fri
Jul 25 2014 7:32pm

Will We Have a New Doctor Strange This Weekend?

Well...it might not be Benedict Cumberbatch, but we may get a Doctor Strange confirmation soon! It seems that Joaquin Phoenix is in pretty serious talks with Marvel to play the Sorcerer Supreme, who’s getting his own movie in 2016-ish! Comic Book Resources said that multiple sources were confirming that Phoenix is talking with director Scott Derrickson, and The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that. That’s like, more than three confirmations! Which, in Hollywood rumor terms, is like carving something into a stone tablet.

So, what does everyone think? Is Phoenix the right fit for Marvel’s greatest occultist? And what sort of opportunities await the face that lives on his forehead?

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

Fri
Jul 25 2014 4:50pm

The Walking Dead Season 5 Trailer Promises a Jaunty Road Trip!

The Walking Dead Season 5

So the wacky misadventures The Walking Dead continue in this special SDCC 2014 trailer for Season 5! The tattered remains of the non-zom population try to shamble their way toward Washington D.C., but, well, let's just say there may be some obstacles on the Beltway...

[click through for the trailer!]

Fri
Jul 25 2014 4:40pm

What Time is it? Time for a 7th Season of Adventure Time!

Adventure Time has just made history by being the first Cartoon Network show to be picked up for a seventh season! The show’s Comic-Con panel was the usual mixture of animation sneak peeks, virtuosic voice acting, and occasional bursts into song. Check out the highlights below!

[Mathematical!]

Fri
Jul 25 2014 2:45pm

SDCC 2014: Lois Lowry Wishes She Had a Cameo in The Giver

The Giver SDCC posters

“When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong.” So says The Giver’s Chief Elder, who is played to chilling effect by Meryl Streep in the film adaptation of the classic work.

Lois Lowry came to Comic-Con to talk about the book and the film, and was regarded with “reverence and respect,” as she damn well should be. Given that her YA dystopia predates (and probably inspired) successes like Divergent and The Hunger Games, why did it take so long to get a film adaptation?

[Highlights from The Giver panel]

Fri
Jul 25 2014 1:35pm

Scott McCloud and Gene Luen Yang Talk Comics, Religion, and Racism at San Diego Comic-Con!

Gene Luen Yang Scott McCloud

Two comics masters, Gene Luen Yang and Scott McCloud, sat down for a wide-ranging conversation at SDCC, covering everything from the Gospel of Thomas to the white-washed cast of The Last Airbender film adaptation.

[Check out the highlights of their talk below!]

Fri
Jul 25 2014 11:00am

Circumnavigate the World Through Genre!

When you spend time in science fiction and fantasy, you get detailed tours of mythical Shires and Hogsmeades, alternative Londons, dystopian San Franciscos, and steampunk Seattles. But what about the rest of the planet? We asked the Twittersphere, and then gathered up some examples of SFF set in cities far and wide around the world (plus a few other worlds, too).

[Tap into your inner Phileas Fogg!]

Fri
Jul 25 2014 9:10am

Betty White Admits She Was “Such a Trekkie!” Then William Shatner Showed Up

Betty White San Diego Comic Con 2014 William Shatner

Emma Loggins was on hand to report one of the greatest moments in our collective history. “Am I a geek or a nerd?” Betty White asked the crowd at the Legends of TVLand panel. “I’ll be anything you want me to be.” Oh, Betty, we just want you to be you. The Golden Girl took the stage with Donald Faison and an alternately snippy and charming William Shatner who kept ribbing Ms. White about her age. “I used to be such a Trekkie,” she mused, and finally bested the Shat by turning to the audience with this gem: “I forgot his name, he used to be on Star Trek.” Ouch.

[Then they started talking about zombies]

Thu
Jul 24 2014 7:05pm

Six Seasons and a Community Panel at SDCC 2014!

Hey Human Beings! It’s been a rollercoaster of a year, what with Dan Harmon getting un-fired from Community, then Donald Glover leaving the show, and then the show getting cancelled, only to be rescued at the last moment (by, of all corporate human beings, Yahoo?) and unleashed back into the world like some sort of wizard that fell into shadow and came back all white and glowing and more irascible than ever. San Diego Comic Con hosted a Community panel today, and it was full of wonders! First, to get the news out of the way: Community Season 5 will come our on Blu-ray/DVD on Aug 5th, and writing for Season 6 will begin this fall! Now click through to read highlights from the panel!

[Yes, Harmon’s already planning the movie.]

Thu
Jul 24 2014 3:45pm

Pixar’s Toy Story that Time Forgot Reveals Airdate and New Characters at San Diego Comic-Con!

Trixie the Dinosaur and Kristen Schaal the Human

Pixar’s Toy Story that Time Forgot has announced an airdate! The special will air on ABC on December 2nd. Composer Michael Giacchino (he won the Oscar for Up!) moderated a panel at 2014 San Diego Comic Con with Kevin McKidd, who voices Reptillus Maximus, Kristen Schall, the voice of Trixie the dinosaur, director Steve Purcell, executive producer Galyn Susman, and Derek Thompson, the head of story.

[Read more]