Tor.com content by

Natalie Zutter

Social Media Becomes Surveillance in the First Trailer for The Circle

“Knowing is good, but knowing everything is better.” No, it’s not a preview of Netflix’s next batch of Black Mirror episodes, but it hits the same chord: These words are spoken by Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks), the mashup of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg at the heart of Dave Eggers’ 2013 novel The Circle. EuropaCorp has released the first trailer for the film adaptation starring Emma Watson as Mae Holland, a recent college grad who gets a coveted position at tech company The Circle but soon discovers something ominous at the heart of her new professional and personal social network.

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A Beginner’s Guide to the Fantasy Worlds of L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

L.E. Modesitt, Jr., is one of science fiction and fantasy’s bestselling and most prolific authors. Since signing his first contract with Tor in 1983, he has written over 60 novels, moving between science fiction and fantasy, 18-book epics and standalones. The fantasy worlds he dreams up tackle issues of balance between order and chaos, harmony with nature, and the sociopolitical ramifications of magic-users on society and culture. What’s more, each series features a different, detailed magical system and painstakingly constructed millennia-long timeline of its history. Modesitt also likes to jump back and forth by generations or even centuries within his series, strengthening the fibers of those fictional histories with new stories.

The Towers of the Sunset, the second book in Modesitt’s best-known series The Saga of Recluse, is the Tor.com Free eBook Club pick for December; book 1, The Magic of Recluce, is on sale as well. Those are two different paths to enter the world of Recluce; and if you’re itching to learn more about Modesitt’s other fantasy universes, read on!

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Merriam-Webster Tackles Worldbuilding

As LitHub pointed out in a recent interview, Merriam-Webster’s social media game is on point. Yes, Merriam-Webster as in the dictionary—and the many clever, irreverent folks who dream up snappy tweets and thoughtful blog posts about etymology and wordplay. The site has a keen eye for which words are trending in pop culture, and their choices are impressively up-to-date: in omnia paratus after the premiere of Netflix’s Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Lifemonolith after Jon Stewart dropped it multiple times in one interview; and so forth. What’s more, the site’s Words We’re Watching feature highlights those bits of slang or evolutions in language that are on Merriam-Webster’s radar but haven’t yet gotten the official stamp of approval for inclusion. Take, for instance, when Daniel José Older tweeted:

Merriam-Webster responded within six weeks—and their Words We’re Watching entry for worldbuilding delved into the SFF community for answers.

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Your First Look at Elisabeth Moss as Offred in Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale

“We never wanted the show to be this relevant,” Elisabeth Moss recently told Entertainment Weekly on the set of The Handmaid’s Tale, which gives you a sense of the mindset within which Hulu is adapting Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel. Moss is both a producer on the project as well as its star, playing Offred: the eponymous handmaid in the totalitarian Republic of Gilead, stripped of her previous identity, family, and autonomy and prized for her fertility. Hulu has released a handful of first-look photos revealing Offred’s iconic outfit, plus a glimpse of other handmaids and The Commander (Joseph Fiennes).

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in Talks to Apparate to Broadway

Ever since Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opened in London in June 2016, it seemed inevitable to ask when (not if) it would make it across the pond to New York City and, specifically, the Great White Way. While there have been rumors for months about just how the show would transfer, the producers have officially confirmed to Pottermore that they’re in talks to secure a theater for a spring 2018 opening.

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(Almost) Every SFF Adaptation Coming to Television and Movie Theaters!

Thanks to major properties like Game of Thrones and Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, we’ve entered a golden age of sci-fi and fantasy properties being developed for film and television. It seems that nearly every network and studio has snatched up the rights to old and new classics, with a bevy of projects in production or premiering in the coming months. To keep you on top of the latest news, we’ve updated our master list of every SFF adaptation currently in the works, from American Gods to Y: The Last Man. And surprising no one, prolific writers Neil Gaiman and John Scalzi each have a number of projects in varying stages of development.

Check out this list and get your DVRs and Netflix queues ready, because you’re going to be wonderfully busy for the foreseeable future.

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The New Normal: Supergirl, “Medusa”

I had to keep reminding myself that this week’s Supergirl kicked off the four-night DC TV universe crossover event—mostly because laying the groundwork for the crossover was almost an afterthought. Like an overstuffed turkey, the show crammed in too much: a brief (post-)Thanksgiving plotline, the introduction—and wrap-up—of the Project Medusa mystery, and the appearance of “special guest star” Grant Gustin for less than a minute. Yet again, the show traded in a forgettable series of events that were mostly a backdrop to furthering the personal and romantic relationships of the main cast.

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Lin-Manuel Miranda Producing Film and TV Adaptations of Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicle

Remember when Patrick Rothfuss stopped by Hamilton earlier this year and Lin-Manuel Miranda revealed that The Name of the Wind inspired “The Story of Tonight”? Turns out that the two will not just be influenced by one another but actual collaborators: The Wrap reports that Miranda will serve as creative producer behind Lionsgate’s planned film and television (and other media) adaptations of Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicle.

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Narnia Meets Game of Thrones in the New Trailer for The Magicians Season 2

“What a lovely surprise. A bunch of my students went and conquered another world. The very least I can do is help you rule it.”

Dean Fogg about sums up the second trailer for season 2 of Syfy’s The Magicians: Quentin and the rest of his Brakebills classmates are following in the footsteps of Narnia’s Pevensies by crowning themselves the kings and queens of Fillory. But it’s not all flowers and peace, as the new rulers must contend with northern and southern enemies, a god that needs killing, some pesky magic issues caused by the Beast, and their own fragile friendships that might break apart in the process.

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Trust Fail: Supergirl, “The Darkest Places”

“What are you to my daughter?” Cadmus’ Doctor, a.k.a. Lillian Luthor, demands of Kara Zor-El in this week’s Supergirl. “I’m a friend,” poor, imprisoned Kara responds, only for Lillian to scoff, “I’ve heard that before.” As the title implies, we’re delving into the darkest places in this week’s episode—and that dark place seems to be trust, or rather, the absence of it. National City fears the Guardian after a copycat murders the criminals he’s supposed to bring to justice; J’onn J’onzz learns that he and M’gann M’orzz don’t share the same past; Alex can’t just be Maggie’s friend; and Kara comes face to face with Cadmus and its secret inhabitants.

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Legendary Entertainment Acquires Film and Television Rights to Frank Herbert’s Dune

Production entity Legendary Entertainment has reached an agreement with the Frank Herbert estate in which it has acquired the film and television rights to Herbert’s iconic science fiction novel Dune. The agreement calls for the development and production of possible film and TV projects for a global audience. Legendary’s divisions include its film arm Legendary Pictures (recent releases include InterstellarJurassic WorldCrimson Peak) and Legendary Television and Digital (The Expanse, Colony).

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Subterranean Press Announces Print Edition of John Scalzi’s The Dispatcher

As promised, John Scalzi’s new novella The Dispatcheroriginally released as an audiobook from Audible, will also be available in print. Subterranean Press announced today that it will publish The Dispatcher in May 2017, in both trade hardcover edition as well as a limited signed hardcover edition.

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Emilia Clarke Joins the Han Solo Standalone Film

While the upcoming Star Wars Han Solo standalone film hasn’t yet found its female lead, it has added a woman to the cast: StarWars.com has just announced that Emilia Clarke, a.k.a. Game of Thrones’ Daenerys Targaryen, has signed on in a supporting role.

Clarke joins “scoundrels on the rise in the galaxy’s underworld” Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover). The Mother of Dragons will be the Mother of… Space Dragons? We don’t know yet, only that “Clarke’s role will round out a dynamic cast of characters that Han and Chewie will encounter on their adventures.”

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the minds behind The LEGO Movie, will direct the untitled Han Solo film, which will be released sometime in 2018.

Superheroes Are Real in the First Clip from the Doctor Who Christmas Special

Who’s that knocking at the hundredth-floor window with the force of four nuclear blasts? Why, it’s the Ghost!

“He’s real!” an awestruck reporter breathes, a line which in a Christmas special you would expect to be saved for Santa Claus. But considering that Doctor Who already investigated the veracity of Old Saint Nick two specials ago, now they’ve turned their focus to that other impossible figure: superheroes.

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Set Out on a Very Top-Secret Expedition with the First Trailer for Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

After so many teases, Netflix has released the first full-length trailer for its adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events books. After their parents perish—that means “killed,” by the way—in a fire, the Baudelaire orphans are sent to live with a guardian who seems to be out only for their fortune. Whereas previous teasers focused on Neil Patrick Harris’ nefarious Count Olaf, here we meet a bevy of colorful characters inhabiting Snicket’s world—including Olaf as Captain Julio Sham, Olaf as herpetologist Stephano, Olaf as receptionist Shirley T. Sinoit-Pécer… Suffice to say, it looks like Olaf’s many disguises are on display. But there’s also plenty of mystery and super secret organizations!

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