The Hell of It February 25, 2015 The Hell of It Peter Orullian What will he wager? Schrödinger’s Gun February 18, 2015 Schrödinger’s Gun Ray Wood Maybe in some other timeline it would have gone smooth. Acrobatic Duality February 11, 2015 Acrobatic Duality Tamara Vardomskaya The two of her are perfectly synchronized. The Language of Knives February 4, 2015 The Language of Knives Haralambi Markov They share the rites of death, and grief.
From The Blog
March 2, 2015
A Ranking of 1980s Fantasy That Would Please Crom Himself!
Leah Schnelbach
February 27, 2015
Goodbye, Mr. Nimoy — What Spock Meant to One Geeky 12-Year-Old Girl
Emily Asher-Perrin
February 26, 2015
Introducing the Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch
Keith DeCandido
February 23, 2015
Oh No, She Didn’t: The Strong Female Character, Deconstructed
Ilana C. Myer
February 20, 2015
Evil Eighties: The Paperback Horrors of Lisa Tuttle
Grady Hendrix
Showing posts by: Theresa DeLucci click to see Theresa DeLucci's profile
Wed
Feb 25 2015 11:00am

Of Masks and Mary Sues: Kushiel’s Chosen, Part 1

Kushiel's Reread Tor.com Kushiel's Chosen Jacqueline CareyWe’re continuing Kushiel’s Reread with Kushiel’s Chosen, the perennial middle book: It has to recapture the magic of the original, while upping its stakes without getting ludicrous. In many ways, Chosen tracks Phèdre nó Delaunay’s development into a better Servant of Naamah, spy, and peer of the realm. In other ways, the book is the weakest of the trilogy by dint of being a bridge between the naïve girl of Kushiel’s Dart and the worldly woman of Kushiel’s Avatar. But first, let’s find out what happens when Phèdre rededicates herself to serving and spying!

We’re going to get spoilery—because it turns out there is a ton of foreshadowing for later books and trilogies—so feel free to do the same in the comments. As Shemhazai said, all knowledge is worth having. And as he might have said… Reread as thou wilt!

[Read more]

Wed
Feb 18 2015 10:00am

That Which Yields is Not Always Weak: Kushiel’s Dart, Part 2

Kushiel's Dart Reread Tor.com Jacqueline Carey new cover trade paperbackWelcome back to Kushiel’s Reread! This week, we wrap up Part 2 of Kushiel’s Dart, in which Phèdre nó Delaunay and Joscelin Verreuil survive slavery in Skaldia, join a diplomatic delegation to the far shores of Alba, and bring Queen Ysandre’s betrothed to Terre d’Ange so he can help kick the Skaldi out.

In rereading Kushiel’s Legacy, we’re breaking each book into two parts; turns out there’s a very natural delineation between Part 1 and Part 2 of each of Phèdre’s adventures (hint: it involves her getting imprisoned and/or enslaved). Each reread will include a brief summary, some plot highlights, and our commentary. We’re going to get spoilery—because it turns out there is a ton of foreshadowing for later books and trilogies—so feel free to do the same in the comments.

As Shemhazai said, all knowledge is worth having. And as he might have said… Reread as thou wilt!

[From Skaldia to Alba to the Master of the Straits, and Phèdre finds a bedmate in every port...]

Thu
Feb 12 2015 2:00pm

Love and Cruelty: Kushiel’s Dart, Part 1

Kushiel's Dart Reread Tor.com Jacqueline Carey new cover trade paperbackGeorge R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire isn’t the only fantasy series to tackle the thrilling game of thrones: Jacqueline Carey was doing the same in the early 2000s with the Kushiel’s Legacy trilogy. And this one had plenty of sexposition long before it was a thing on the HBO series—thanks to courtesan/spy-turned-diplomat Phèdre nó Delaunay and her encounters with patrons, usurpers, and the divine. The Kushiel books readily accepted and depicted all sorts of sexualities—especially LGBTQ and BDSM—long before they were part of the mainstream conversation.

To celebrate the trade paperback release of Kushiel’s Dart, Theresa DeLucci and Natalie Zutter are rereading Kushiel’s Legacy. We’re breaking each book into two parts; turns out there’s a very natural delineation between Part 1 and Part 2 of each of Phèdre’s adventures (hint: it involves her getting imprisoned and/or enslaved). Each reread will include a brief summary, some plot highlights, and our commentary. We’re going to get spoilery—because it turns out there is a ton of foreshadowing for later books and trilogies—so feel free to do the same in the comments.

As Shemhazai said, all knowledge is worth having. And as he might have said… Reread as thou wilt!

[Read more]

Thu
Feb 5 2015 4:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Wander Through Ori and the Blind Forest in March

Ori and the Blind Forest

It’s not every day that a stylish, beautiful, Studio Ghibli-inspired 2D platformer hits the retail shelves, but that’s exactly what’s happening this March when Moon Studios’ Ori and the Blind Forest lands on the Xbox Marketplace this March. With gameplay guided by such genre stalwarts as the Rayman and Metroid franchises, artwork influenced by Ghibli’s lush, gorgeous anime classics, and a coming-of-age story inspired by some of the best Western animation has to offer in The Iron Giant and The Lion King, Ori is building a lot of expectations in a hurry—especially for an indie game.

[“A rebirth it was. Through a bond that was made.”]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 4:00pm

Gaming Roundup: The First Must-Have Game of 2015 is from 1998

Grim Fandango Remastered

For over a decade after its critically-acclaimed release in 1998, Grim Fandango was viewed as a lost classic—a forgotten disk that remained only attainable enough to affirm its scarcity throughout the 2000s. The game languished in the clutches of outdated OSes for years, and physical copies were banished to the furthest corners of eBay, where they were sold at inordinate prices. When GOG.com began turning yesteryear’s classics into digitized, DRM-free treasure troves, Grim Fandango quickly became their most-requested game. Rumors of the game’s return occasionally surfaced, but for so long, were never anything more than shadows and dust.

Until last year.

[“Buenos dias!”]

Fri
Jan 16 2015 2:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Evolve Slouches Towards Release

Evolve

Left 4 Dead launched just over six years ago, but the impact it had on the gaming landscape can still be felt today. Developer Turtle Rock Studios delivered a new standard for co-op multiplayer done right, but are now looking to push the envelope further with their next IP.

Enter Evolve—a multiplayer shooter still involving a team of four taking on monsters, but of a very different nature than L4D’s swarming zombie packs. Evolve works off of a 4 vs 1 concept, in which four hunters take on one very large, very powerful, and very angry monster. Unbalanced multiplayer is a tricky thing to pull off, but early indications suggest that Turtle Rock succeeded.

[“Choose your side.”]

Thu
Jan 8 2015 4:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Uncharted 4 Story Details Emerge

Uncharted 4

As the curtains close on 2014, a year that placed next-gen hardware in living rooms around the world, 2015 looks to bring the first wave of true next-gen games to the masses. Last year’s launch titles certainly looked impressive, but not many (with a select few exceptions) ventured into the realm of true innovation. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End qualifies as one of 2015’s great hopes in this respect, but until the last few weeks, little was known about developer Naughty Dog’s return to their best-known franchise other than the fact that it existed. Now the floodgates are beginning to open, and it’s hard not to like what we see.

[“Some chains can never be broken.”]

Fri
Dec 19 2014 12:00pm

Gaming Roundup: The Best (And Worst) of 2014

shadow of mordor

2014 was an eventful year in gaming. The Xbox One and PS4 both hit their one year anniversaries in strikingly different market positions, but a late surge by Microsoft helped bridge the gap. We’re still waiting for a game to take full advantage of current-gen capabilities, but 2015 looks extremely promising. Oh, right—and there was that little thing where we saw the worst of a large section of the gaming community for far too long a period of time. Let’s get right to our list of the best and worst of gaming in 2014.

[The year at a glance, a click away…]

Thu
Dec 11 2014 11:00am

Gaming Roundup: Uncharted 4 Makes the Leap to PS4

gaming roundup uncharted 4

Sony’s PlayStation Experience rolled through Las Vegas this past weekend, bringing with it a number of exciting tidbits on several hotly-anticipated titles set to release in 2015—including the company’s first potential console-defining game, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. When last we left Nate Drake, he was wandering Colombia, France, Syria, and Yemen in search of yet another of Sir Francis Drake’s treasures, before getting hitched (again) to his wife, Elena. While anyone familiar with the previous 3 games of the series will have a fairly accurate sense of the game’s atmosphere and action, Uncharted 4 will still have its fair share of surprises on the PS4—including a new member of the Drake family.

[“It’s good to see you’re alive, little brother.”]

Fri
Dec 5 2014 4:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Is Telltale’s Game of Thrones As Good As The Walking Dead?

Tyrion Game of Thrones

In recent years, developer Telltale Games has positioned itself at the forefront of AAA dilemma-based, narrative-driven video games. After taking their medicine via the less-than-successful Back to the Future and Jurassic Park episodic features, the studio learned from its mistakes and hit one out of the park with their Walking Dead series—a critical and commercial smash hit that focused on engaging characters, tough decisions, and a relentless story en route to becoming a critical and commercial smash hit.

With success came opportunity, and Telltale was given the reins to one of the hottest IPs in the market today—Game of Thrones. Prior gaming ventures into Westeros have generally been about as successful as Viserys Targaryen’s quest to reclaim the Iron Throne, but Telltale’s Walking Dead story-heavy formula seemed to be a tailor-made fit for ASOIAF. Does Game of Thrones finally have a worthy entry in the gaming-verse?

WARNING: here there be spoilers for those new to the show or books.

[“What you do will have repercussions.”]

Thu
Nov 20 2014 2:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Dragon Age: Inquisition Takes Flight This Week

Gaming Roundup Dragon Age: Inqusition

With Dragon Age: Inquisition, industry heavyweight BioWare is diving back into the gaming waters with their first full-fledged RPG since 2012’s fantastic Mass Effect 3.

Dragon Age: Origins was a revelation to gamers in 2009 (two years after the launch of the first Mass Effect), helping to firmly establish its developer as a founding father of the modern RPG—as though the creators of Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights really needed any further cred. While Dragon Age II was widely viewed as a step backward for the franchise, BioWare promised to take the criticism (most commonly, repetitive gameplay and a distinct lack of environmental variety) to heart and put to rest any outstanding concerns in Inquisition. Did they succeed?

[Lead them or fall.]

Fri
Nov 14 2014 10:30am

Gaming Roundup: Blizzard Rebounds with Overwatch

A couple of months ago, the gaming universe mourned the demise of Blizzard Entertainment’s Titan—an ambitious new MMO shooter eight years in the making. The game’s cancellation raised a number of questions—most notably, how it would impact Blizzard’s bottom line and whether the all-star developer had any other strategies by which to foster and develop a new IP.

As it turned out, Blizzard had a plan all along. Meet Overwatch.

[“Don’t worry, loves. Cavalry’s here.”]

Thu
Nov 6 2014 2:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Grim Fandango Returns From the Land of the Dead

Last week, the internet’s finest purveyor of classic gaming, GOG.com, announced an agreement with LucasArts that brought a veritable treasure trove of 90s PC classics back to computers, including the much-acclaimed X-Wing and Tie Fighter games. However, even amidst this bounty, a sour note sounded. Where was Grim Fandango? LucasArts’ heralded comedy noir offering, headed by the legendary Tim Schafer, blended Aztec mythology and film noir into a colorful, stylish, and beautifully written game that left a lasting impression upon all who played it. It’s been one of GOG.com’s most-requested games of the past decade. What reason could there be to hold back one of the most beloved games of the 90s?

Well, for one, it’s coming back next year.

[“Guess they couldn’t save me, eh?”]

Thu
Oct 30 2014 1:00pm

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 9:30am

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 1:00pm

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 1:30pm

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 1:00pm

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 3:00pm

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 1:30pm

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.”]