Tor.com content by

Chris Lough

Fiction and Excerpts [1]
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Fiction and Excerpts [1]

Does The Geek’s Guide to Dating Work on a Real Date?

, || Finding someone to date shouldn't be like trying to party up in an MMORPG: running around, repeatedly spamming chat channels for a group, and anxiously seeking a random encounter. (Random casual encounters are for Craigslist. This isn't that kind of book.) No, seeking out Player Two is more like an old-school RPG: a gradual progression that, with the right walkthrough, becomes much, much easier.

TV Rights to The Wheel of Time Optioned by New Studio, With Jordan Estate’s Approval

Harriet McDougal, wife of the late Robert Jordan, dropped some exciting news late Thursday: the TV rights to Jordan’s Wheel of Time fantasy epic have been acquired by a major studio.

In the wake of the success of Game of Thrones, and considering the staggering amount of fantasy and sci-fi book properties that have been optioned for TV and film, the absence of The Wheel of Time has been eyebrow-raising. (Or in the parlance of the series itself, perhaps the better term is “sniff producing”?) Fans of the series were given a glimpse into the legal tangle preventing WOT’s emergence onto the small screen on February 9, 2015, when a sudden pilot episode dubbed “Winter Dragon” aired in the early A.M. hours on the FXX Network. McDougal released a statement clarifying that the pilot was made without her knowledge, prompting Red Eagle Entertainment, the production company behind the pilot, to issue a lawsuit. (Which they later withdrew.) A more detailed account of the behind-the-scenes machinations can be found at io9, but regardless of the details, overall it seemed as if fans would have to wait a very long time to see Jordan’s work on screen in a large-scale production.

Now, the wait is seemingly over.

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Is This Our First Look at a New Cinematic Team of X-Men?

io9, Comic Book Resources, and other online nerd news sources are picking up on a new image from X-Men: Apocalypse that was recently posted to Reddit Comic Books. The image appears to show a new team of X-Men emerging from the chaos of the forthcoming movie, a team that looks more like their comic book counterparts than ever before.

This is potentially spoilery, so if you want to check out the line-up, take a peek below the cut.

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A Sci-Fi Story As Told Through 9 Innings of Baseball

Baseball and science fiction share more of a fanbase than one might suspect, and every couple years or so a new sci-fi/fantasy baseball story piles into the dugout. Inspired by Harry Turtledove’s House of Daniel, the latest novel in this grand tradition, we wondered… could you tell a brand new story using bits from sci-fi baseball stories both new and old?

You can. And the result is suitably weird. (Anything can happen in the second half of the game. Anything.) Thanks go to Justin Landon for piling us high with sci-fi/fantasy baseball literature recommendations. We also pulled suggestions from Steven Silver’s impressive list of baseball-themed genre stories over on SF Site.

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The Sort-Of Pyramids of King Sneferu

Amongst the sands of Egypt stands the Great Pyramid of Giza, a monument to the architectural and artistic achievements of the Egyptian Empire, and a sight that withstands the enraptured gazes of generations of humanity. Even though the religion that birthed it is long dead, the Great Pyramid still exudes a holy sanctity that defies the countless wars fought in its shadow. Barring the endless drift of Voyager I, the Great Pyramid, built under the auspices of Pharaoh Khufu, is the closest our species has yet come to creating something that preserves our vast imagination across the eras.

But man, did Khufu’s dad build some goofy pyramids before that.

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Now We Can Map Every Magical World into a Multiverse

Seanan McGuire’s new book Every Heart a Doorway explores how to deal with real life once the portal to your own personal magical world has closed. It also gives readers a rough guideline for how all of these different portal worlds–like Narnia, Oz, Wonderland, and so on–relate to each other. From the book:

Here in the so-called “real world” you have north, south, east, and west, right? Those don’t work for the most of the portal worlds we’ve been able to catalog. So we use other words. Nonsense, Logic, Wickedness, and Virtue. There are smaller sub-directions, little branches, but those four are the big ones. Most worlds are either high Nonsense OR high Logic, and then they have some degree of Wickedness or Virtue built into their foundations from there. A surprising number of Nonsense worlds are Virtuous. It’s like they can’t work up the attention span necessary for anything more vicious than a little mild naughtiness.

We saw that and wondered…could we use Every Heart‘s guidelines to map ALL of the different portal worlds in fiction into a single multiverse?

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Author Myke Cole’s Reddit AMA Has Already Produced the Perfect Presidential Candidate

Author Myke Cole is hosting an “Ask Me YOU Anything” over on Reddit Fantasy and the results of his Q&A to the sci-fi/fantasy community has already resulted in the perfect 2016 presidential candidate: President Jean-Luc Picard, as suggested by fantasy author Peter V. Brett.

Head on over to Reddit Fantasy and jump in the conversation! The thread has become a fascinating mixture of stories from past and present, from wishes for the future of the genre to Robin Hobb meeting F. M. Busby and learning in a single stroke how paying it forward should be the golden rule of the sci-fi/fantasy community.

#MakeItSo2016

An Oral History of Batman v Superman (as Told By Its Critics)

Hugely anticipated superhero square-off movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has not been well-received by movie reviewers and critics, including outlets that provide in-depth coverage of comics and “geek”-related media; outlets that hire writers who have a substantial background knowledge of the characters, as well as a personal interest in seeing these heroic icons portrayed onscreen.

DC Entertainment’s first attempt at constructing its own cinematic universe has sunk below 50% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and the critical reaction to the film is so unified that it has become its own narrative, overriding the thrill of seeing Superman and Batman in the same movie for the first time in history, and polarized against the consensus of casual moviegoers, who worldwide spent almost half a billion dollars seeing the movie during its opening weekend.

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A Woman Confronts Her Predators in 10 Cloverfield Lane

Fair warning: 10 Cloverfield Lane is a movie you should probably see before you read anything about it.

It’s not at all a Cloverfield sequel, in content or style. Rather, it’s a weird fusion of two different genres of film, one of them being the “escape the room” thriller featured in the trailer, and the other being an entirely different movie that the characters emerge into near the end of the story.

The only reason that these two film styles hang together at all is due to Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s character Michelle, because in both instances she’s facing a problem that is distressingly familiar: How can a woman fight back against her predators when they have the strength of the entire world behind them?

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Brandon Sanderson Announces New Apocalypse Guard Book Trilogy

Delacorte Press has announced the acquisition of a new young adult book trilogy by Brandon Sanderson under the title “Apocalypse Guard,” to be published beginning in spring 2018.

The description for the trilogy notes that “Apocalypse Guard” is set “in a world parallel to that of the Reckoners [trilogy].”

Which makes one wonder…is Sanderson building a second Cosmere?

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Three Egyptian Myths More Fun Than Gods of Egypt

Gods of Egypt, an action film dressed in the garb of Egyptian mythology, debuted this weekend, becoming the latest example of the practice known as “whitewashing” for which Hollywood film productions have become known. Aside from being insulting, the film aggressively flattens the myths and figures its story draws from, creating a by-the-numbers CGI-fest that loses the character quirks, as well as the resonance that Egyptian myths have with the circumstances of our modern age.

So here are three myths (well, two myths and one story) that are WAY more fun and meaningful than Gods of Egypt.

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