A Kiss with Teeth October 29, 2014 A Kiss with Teeth Max Gladstone Happy Halloween. This Chance Planet October 22, 2014 This Chance Planet Elizabeth Bear We are alone, except for the dog. Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza October 15, 2014 Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza Carrie Vaughn A Wild Cards story. The Girl in the High Tower October 14, 2014 The Girl in the High Tower Gennifer Albin A Crewel story.
From The Blog
October 30, 2014
Rich and Strange: “Witch, Beast, Saint” by C. S. E. Cooney
Amal El-Mohtar
October 29, 2014
19 Strange Things Hiding in The World of Ice and Fire
Chris Lough
October 28, 2014
Fairy Tale No More: Doctor Who is a Science Fiction Show Again
Ryan Britt
October 27, 2014
Seven Science-Fiction Heroes with Swashbuckling Swagger
David Cranmer
October 24, 2014
9 Harry Potter Halloween Stories We’d Rather See Than Dolores Umbridge
Stubby the Rocket
Showing posts by: Theresa DeLucci click to see Theresa DeLucci's profile
Thu
Oct 30 2014 2:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Kick Into Sunset Overdrive This Halloween

Sunset Overdrive isn’t exactly your classic Halloween video game, but hey—there are mutant zombies, so... close, right? Insomniac Games’ fast-paced rail-based shooter took E3 by unexpected storm earlier this year, going from virtual unknown to being touted as a franchise-defining title for a console sorely in need of one at the time—the Xbox One. The much anticipated game launched this week, just in time for October 31st. Is it worth your time?

[“My life didn’t start until the world came to an end.”]

Fri
Oct 24 2014 10:30am

Gaming Roundup: Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth Blasts Off This Week

Somewhere along the line, someone decided that Sid Meier’s Civilization—in space—would be a fantastic idea, and... well, they were right. It was an excellent pitch, ripe with possibility if pulled off successfully and billed as a spiritual successor to 1999’s excellent Alpha Centauri. So how did Firaxis Games fare with the much-anticipated Civilization: Beyond Earth?

[“A new beginning for mankind...”]

Thu
Oct 16 2014 2:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Dare to Survive The Evil Within

Legendary survival horror developer and creator Shinji Mikami made his return to the gaming world as his latest endeavor, The Evil Within, launched worldwide this week. Mikami, best known for his creation of the Resident Evil franchise and his work on Dino Crisis, was last heard from in 2011 when the underrated Shadows of the Damned released. Since then, he has been hard at work on returning to the roots of survival horror, the genre that made him a legend. How did he fare with The Evil Within?

[“What do you fear, little one?”]

Thu
Oct 9 2014 2:30pm

We Are All Freaks: American Horror Story: Freak Show

We are all freaks.

Except for Jessica Lange. She is a fearsome, scenery-chewing superbeast whose line delivery on FX’s pandering, gratuitous, and way self-aware drama American Horror Story has launched GIFS galore, introduced “The Name Game” to a new generation, and makes me crack up every time I hear someone mention the words “knotty pine.” She’s been a faded Southern belle, a naughty nun, and a supreme witch. In AHS: Freak Show, Lange is back playing Elsa Mars, a German sideshow ringleader with delusions of stardom and a big secret.

This isn’t the highbrow supernatural pedigree of HBO’s sideshow drama Carnivale, but it’s probably the sideshow drama we deserve. Those phobic of clowns and spoilers should exit the tent immediately.

[“Life on Mars?” is a cabaret, my friends...]

Thu
Oct 9 2014 2:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Become the Hunted in Alien: Isolation

Alien: Isolation has been on the radar of the gamingverse for quite some time. Long since pegged as the game to make things right after the debacle that was Gearbox’s Aliens: Colonial Marines, Isolation did nothing to curb anticipation in its previews, which made it out to be everything franchise fans wanted in an Alien game — claustrophobia, extreme vulnerability, space stations, flamethrowers, and one deadly, badass alien.

Well, the game’s been out for a couple of days now, so what better way to usher in October than with a closer look at one of the premiere horror offerings of the season?

[“Some things are better left lost...”]

Tue
Oct 7 2014 4:00pm

A Hint of the Alien: The Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Volume One

Year's Best Weird FictionIt seems strange that there’s been no official Year’s Best Weird Fiction anthology before this inaugural, crowdfunded volume, co-edited by series editor Michael Kelly and special guest editor Laird Barron and published by Undertow/ChiZine Publications. Reading through this finely-curated collection of short stories and novelettes, it’s clear that the Weird is all around us. And it’s really, literally, quite awesome. But it’s not new.

The popularity of this subgenre, if you can call it that, waxes and wanes every decade or so and has for a long time, from early masters like Algernon Blackwood and H.P. Lovecraft to contemporary authors whose names are often associated with the New Weird—think China Miéville and Caitlín R. Kiernan. But the weird never really goes away; it just travels through fiction wearing other genres as a disguise. Call it horror, dark fantasy, slipstream, or just plain ponderous.

In his introduction, Kelly says he read upwards of 3,000 stories. In his introduction, Laird Barron, himself a enjoying a great deal of acclaim for his own collection The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All, offers a guiding principle that helped whittle that giant pool down to the very best: “My sense of a weird tale is that it contravenes reality in some essential manner; that it possesses at least a hint of the alien; and that it emanates disquiet or disorientation.”

[Read More]

Thu
Oct 2 2014 2:30pm

Gaming Roundup: One Does Not Simply Overlook Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Shadow of Mordor

The first wave of reviews are in for Warner Bros.’ Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, and it would appear that developer Monolith Productions has a surprise hit on their hands. Sure, LOTR-meets-Assassin’s Creed-style-world-meets-Arkham-style-combat with a new grimdark story sounds like a pretty solid concept, but knowing that it’s actually really fun and frustrating and beautiful? We finally might have a media tie-in game worthy of its franchise. (That doesn’t star Vin Diesel.)

[“You are banished from death. A curse binds us together.”]

Thu
Sep 25 2014 4:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Death of a Titan

Titan gaming roundup

Blizzard Entertainment finally pulled the plug on their not-so-secret secret MMO this week. News of their venture, codenamed Titan for the last several years, first leaked as far back as 2007, sending the gaming world into a frenzy as players salivated over the possibility of a new IP from the masters of modern MMO. Sadly, it was not to be, as Blizzard officially cancelled the game after seven long years of development, citing a lack of passion and drive for the project.

[Where does Blizzard go from here?]

Thu
Sep 18 2014 2:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Visit Hyrule as You’ve Never Seen it Before in Hyrule Warriors

At first glance, one might be forgiven for mistaking Hyrule Warriors for another entry in Nintendo’s iconic Zelda series. The game is set in Hyrule. Zelda’s in it. Link’s in it. Everyone from Ganondorf to Princess Ruto to the Great Deku Tree is present and accounted for. But this isn’t your father’s Zelda, oh no. While Hyrule Warriors adds what Nintendo hopes will become another A-List title to the Wii U’s arsenal, those expecting anything akin to a classic Zelda experience will be in for a surprise.

[Prepare to save Hyrule... again.]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 1:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Next-Gen Gaming Meets its Destiny

There was plenty going on this week in gaming—from the Xbox’s abject failure in Japan to the 15th anniversary of the Dreamcast—but one story pretty clearly stood out from all the rest. Destiny, Bungie’s much-anticipated post-Halo IP, launched, finally giving both next-gen (or is it current-gen? I feel like we can call them current-gen now) consoles their first true killer app (with apologies to the Xbox-exclusive Titanfall).

[“It doesn’t matter who you are. Only what you will become.”]

Thu
Sep 4 2014 3:30pm

Gaming Roundup: The Resident Evil Remake Gets a Remake

Resident Evil remake

Give Capcom credit—they know which side their bread is buttered on. When Shinji Makami’s classic survival horror franchise, Resident Evil, first launched all the way back in 1996, it met with substantial critical and financial success that spawned a trail of sequels and tie-ins 23 games deep, with the original game warranting a 2002 remake exclusively for the GameCube (which, predictably enough, also met with substantial critical and financial success). Is it, then, really any surprise that 2002’s Resident Evil REmake is receiving an HD remastering for current and next-gen consoles next year, over a decade after its initial launch?

[There’s a party in Raccoon City and everyone’s invited...]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 2:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Grab a Friend or Four to Play Dragon Age: Inquisition

BioWare’s upcoming Dragon Age: Inquisition is looking better and better as its launch date nears. With each passing month the developer has teased a little more of the game, and this last week brought us news of a particularly tantalizing nature: the latest entry in the Dragon Age franchise will feature a four-player online cooperative play mode.

[“Lead them or fall...”]

Mon
Aug 25 2014 10:00am

Not with a Bang: True Blood’s Powerfully Unsexy Series Finale

True Blood Thank You

Leave it to True Blood to figure out one last stake to twist into the hearts of its diminished audience. Will Sookie and Bill be together forever? Will Eric get naked one last time? Will we see some characters get a little closure? Will the show go completely off the rails and end up with Sookie becoming president of a new, vampiric, world order?

Nope!

I mean, this was once an Alan Ball show and he was responsible for the best series finale ever—Six Feet Under. But Ball is long gone. And while we didn’t go into full-on Dexter levels of lunacy or TV-punching rage like Lost or Battlestar Galactica, True Blood’s finale was definitely the most flaccid sixty-five minutes of TV in some time. Because, you know, if an excellent series finale is supposed to contain the show’s mini-thesis, True Blood’s running theme was most certainly ham-fisted meditations on conventional morality by fully-clothed people, right?

[Put a stake in it, it’s done...]

Fri
Aug 22 2014 11:30am

Gaming Roundup: Gamescom 2014 Edition

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Gaming Roundup

Gamescom—Europe’s largest annual gaming convention and the second largest in the world—came and went last week in Cologne, Germany, and left in its wake a plethora of previews and trailers for excited gamers to sift through. Most of the industry’s major players were present, and the focus was very much on the continued development and maturation of next-gen consoles in the marketplace—a circumstance balancing the most viewed and approachable games of next year.

[So many games, so little space...]

Mon
Aug 18 2014 10:00am

True Blood Season 7, Episode 9: “Love is to Die”

True Blood Love is to Die

Tonight’s episode of True Blood was the second to last. And I’m not just talking about Ginger.

I’ll be here all week, folks. Until next week, when it is the coffin of this mouldering show is lowered into the ground, never to rise again. We hope. The best I can say is that this week’s episode wasn’t outright offensive like last week’s and that it focused more on the romance than the plot. I like character moments, especially if the character is Jessica, but really, this hour was a whole lot of rehashing things that were already spelled out for us two seasons ago.

So while Jason and Eric suffered through some blue balls, True Blood itself couldn’t even tease us with anything truly fun for the finale.

Spoilers and a supernatural deathpools after the cut...

[Read more...]

Mon
Aug 11 2014 11:00am

True Blood Season 7, Episode 8: “Almost Home”

True Blood Almost Home

Let’s just say that after this episode, I’ll be happy to dance on True Blood’s grave.

This season started off sloppily, picked up in the middle, and is now careening towards something that looks like an ending, but is more just a crash against misdirected fan service and muddled writing. What’s missing is any kind of emotional resonance. But I could overlook a lot of that in the spirit of recognizing that this show is a shadow of its former self and a weird determination to see how characters I once liked ride off into the sunset.

And then True Blood went from being so-bad-it’s-good to legitimately offensive.

[Tara speaks at last and it’s really upsetting...]

Thu
Aug 7 2014 2:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Assassin’s Creed: Rogue Targets Your Inner Arctic Explorer

In the surprising-yet-not category, Ubisoft revealed earlier this week that they’re officially cranking out yet another Assassin’s Creed game this year. Assassin’s Creed: Rogue launches this holiday season, and appears to be a last-gen peace offering to gamers who haven’t yet upgraded to the Xbox One or PS4, and accordingly have no means to play the forthcoming Assassin’s Creed: Unity. While more dedicated fans will likely be able to speak to this with more authority than I... is anyone else getting burned out on this franchise simply due to the sheer volume of content being churned out?

[No official word yet on whether Ubi managed to learn how to animate the female form for this game.]

Tue
Aug 5 2014 12:15pm

True Blood Season 7, Episode 7: “May Be the Last Time”

True Blood May Be the Last Time

Be careful what you wish for.

Fans of True Blood—and those watching out of habit—have been wondering who Sookie might end up with by series’ end and we might have gotten an answer last night. But since we’re three episodes from the final episode, is this love meant to last? And, moreover, did it have to be so sad and...veiny? But there were plenty of other fan service nuggets that didn’t satisfy either. So maybe last night’s theme wasn’t nostalgia so much as frustration.

At least Arlene was suffering from the good kind of frustration.

Spoilers and salty language after the cut.

[Fairies, dwarves, and vampires behaving badly...]

Thu
Jul 24 2014 3:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Die and Enjoy It in Lords of the Fallen

Lords of the Fallen

From Software’s Dark Souls franchise went a long way toward mainstreaming the concept of insanely difficult, yet fun gaming. Polish developer CI Games, in conjunction with German studio Deck13 Interactive, is making no secret of the fact that they hope to follow in From’s tradition with their latest title, Lords of the Fallen.

[“The sins I have committed have left their mark. Now I shall leave mine.”]

Mon
Jul 21 2014 12:00pm

True Blood Season 7, Episode 5: “Lost Cause”

True Blood Lost Cause

I’m a sucker for a TV party, so, as unexpected as last night’s big memorial party was, seeing as it’s only been three in-show days since the last Bon Temps gathering ended in mass casualties, any chance for lots of characters to bump up against (and/or stab) one another is cause for celebration.

So, yes, this was another human-centric and mostly not terrible episode of True Blood. And, like Andy Bellefleur, life in Louisiana marches forward. Just some people won’t be marching much longer.

And then the freaking Yakuza showed up. And True Blood was nauseating again.

Spoilers and saucy hand gestures after the katana cut...

[Read more...]