Balloon artists work in a fragile medium, and yet, in this case, create such strength. Behold the world of Chicago-based balloon artist Smarty Pants, who has created an Invisible Jet worthy of this mighty Wonder Woman.
Last February we reported that V.E. Schwab’s alternate-universe fantasy novel A Darker Shade of Magic was coming to television courtesy of Gerard Butler’s production company G-BASE. Well today we’re excited to update that information: A Darker Shade of Magic will now be a film! According to The Hollywood Reporter, Butler will produce along with Alan Siegel, Danielle Robinson, and Neal Moritz. While Schwab is no longer writing the script, she will be producing as well.
Shared Worlds, a world-building summer camp for kids, is now open for registration. The program is open to rising 8th-12th graders, and will take place from July 16th-29th at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Registration will be open until April 1st so be sure to register soon!
The students work in small groups with an experienced “world-building coordinator” to design and build a world, spending a week building their worlds from the ground up: geography, population, religion and philosophy, legal systems—everything you’d need for a functional world. The second week is spent writing stories that can only occur in the worlds they’ve created. The program culminates in individual sessions between the students and the guest authors so the students get personalized feedback on their work. Finally, the students’ stories are published in the annual program anthology.
2017 marks the 10th Anniversary of Shared Worlds! Each year, Co-director Jeff VanderMeer and Editor-in-Residence Ann VanderMeer are joined by a rotating guest faculty, and this year’s will include Gwenda Bond, Tobias S. Buckell, N.K. Jemisin, Kathe Koja, Terra Elan McVoy, Sofia Samatar, and Ekaterina Sedia, along with experts in history, science, and philosophy.
Check out Shared Worlds’ site to learn more, see this year’s guest authors, and register for the program!
We finally have a premiere date for Starz’s American Gods, the television adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel from showrunner Bryan Fuller! Entertainment Weekly announced today that American Gods will premiere on Sunday, April 30. Starz also released a cool new poster for us to feast our eyes on, featuring Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane), and a very significant buffalo.
20th Century Fox has released the latest footage from Alien: Covenant, being described as “a new chapter in [Ridley Scott’s] groundbreaking Alien franchise” and a sequel to 2012’s Prometheus: a four-minute prologue to the film, in which the crew of the colony ship Covenant enjoys a final meal before going into cryosleep.
Twitterer Ruben Ferdinand brought this epoch-defining moment to our attention “Hideo Kojima just retweeted photoshops of Mads Mikkelsen with cat ears.”
Yes we would like to collect all the photoshops of Mads Mikkelsen in cat-ears. That seems like the correct use of our time, and a game that should be created post-haste.
And can we please talk about that wiener dog shirt? And how weirdly natural it is to see the extra set of kitty ears hovering just above Mads’ regular, human-type ears? Like, that shouldn’t look so natural, should it? And yet, there it is. He looks, as always, perfect.
The live-action Beauty and the Beast has just kicked off their press tour with a lovely Parisian photo, plus a new clip from the film! The film’s stars, Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Josh Gad, and Luke Evans, joined director Bill Condon and composer Alan Menken in front of the Eiffel Tower to celebrate the film’s French origins.
The filmmakers have also released a new clip from Beauty and the Beast, so if you’d like to hear Belle lamenting her provincial life, watch the full clip below.
Is one of your reading goals for 2017 to read more short fiction, but you’re stymied as to where to start? The Monthly Round has just what you need! This recurring feature from the group blog nerds of a feather, flock together has been running since 2014, each month offering up a “tasting flight” of speculative short story/novella/novelette recommendations. Like the content they recommend, these tastes are short and sweet—and they take the theme seriously, giving real thought to the “notes” and “pairings” (with real-life drinks) of each.
Communicating with an alien species, reteaching concepts like the meaning of “I” and “you,” making a friend—there are countless selfish and selfless motivations for overcoming a language barrier. But in the five examples below, from a Shakespeare retelling to an interstellar war story that’s equal parts sci-fi and fantasy, these characters discover that building common ground through language creates its own surprising intimacy.
Binti: Home author Nnedi Okorafor recently shared some exciting news via Facebook: Her science-meets-witchcraft short story “Hello, Moto” has been optioned by Fiery Film, a Nigerian film/TV company/studio based in Lagos and Owerri. The 2011 tale, about a woman who discovers that there is a witchcraft in science and a science in witchcraft when she creates wigs for her friends that gives them incredible powers, is the next project for filmmaker C.J. “Fiery” Obasi, known for the horror/thriller film OJUJU and the gangster thriller O-Town. Obasi recently completed the shoot for his new short film Bruja.
This beautiful caffeinated illustration is part of a project by Mahmoud El Sayed, who has been manipulating Arabic words into illustrations of their meanings. As it is morning, we thought the picture of coffee suited us rather well, but there are many more over on Bored Panda, including koalas and watermelons!
Today we’re talking about Marvel’s “Generations,” fictional novelists, and musicals made from books!
The Salam Award for Imaginative Fiction, announced this week, seeks to encourage the pursuit of science fiction and imaginative writing in Pakistan. Organized by Pakistani speculative fiction authors Tehseen Baweja and Usman T. Malik (The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn), the award is named for Pakistan’s only Nobel Prize winner, theoretical physicist Dr. Abdus Salam; it will be given to aspiring speculative fiction writers of Pakistani origin, regardless of sexual orientation, creed, or caste.
Next week marks the annual Geek Week at Housing Works Bookstore and Cafe in New York, and in addition to deals on their SFF, vinyl, and comics inventory, you’ll also find a sweet lineup of events to attend!
It all kicks off Monday, February 20th at 7pm with a panel on speculative literature and political unrest titled Beyond Orwell. Five authors discuss the role of speculative literature in times of political unrest, past, present, and future. The panel will feature Daniel José Older (Shadowshaper), N. K. Jemisin (The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate), Justina Ireland (Promise of Shadows), Helen Phillips (The Beautiful Bureaucrat, Some Possible Solutions), and Berit Anderson (Scout.ai). Drinks will be available for purchase and all proceeds go toward Housing Works’ charitable mission.
You can RSVP at their Facebook event!
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