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Stubby the Rocket

All the Birds in the Sky and Ghost Talkers Among the Best SFF Audiobooks of 2016

AudioFile Magazine, which reviews thousands of audiobooks a year (nearly 400 every 60 days, according to the website), has released its list of the best audiobooks of 2016. The recommendations, based on best listening and most interesting performances, number 126 audiobooks across nine genres. Fifteen of those titles make up the sci-fi and fantasy list, including Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky, N.K. Jemisin’s The Obelisk Gate, Joe Hill’s The Fireman, and Mary Robinette Kowal’s Ghost Talkers.

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New Brandon Sanderson Interview on Google Discover Drops Stormlight 3 Hint

Brandon Sanderson is currently touring his new book Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection (he hits the NYC and Chicago areas this weekend!) and recently stopped by Google Discover for a “post-Arcanum” interview.

Naturally, Sanderson’s next big project–Stormlight Archive Book 3–came up, and this interesting tidbit appeared:

However, as a teaser, I did “sneak” a few flashbacks in from another character as well, someone whose past you might not expect to play a role in this book.

Is it Szeth? But readers would perhaps be expecting a Szeth flashback, wouldn’t they? So maybe it’s someone else… The full interview is available on Google Discover.

This Morning in Publishing: December 1, 2016

Yesterday’s Google doodle featured the genius polymath Jagdish Chandra Bose who, along with a multitude of other talents, was one of the world’s first science fiction writers. (His SF story “Nirrudeshar Kahini” anticipated the “butterfly effect” popularized by chaos theory.) Learn more about him over on!

Also, we have to discuss what fictional items we wish we could put on our holiday gift-giving lists. Among other things.

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Holidays Meet Fairy Tales in this Magical Wooden Castle!

If you live in or around Columbus, Ohio, you may want to stop off at the Franklin Park Conservatory, where you will find a castle made of trees. Landscape architect Paul Busse has spent his career creating magical landscapes from living things. In 1991 he founded Applied Imagination, a company focused on using biological architecture to create new landscapes, including the annual Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden, which recreates New York’s greatest landmarks in delicate wooden miniatures. Even though he has since retired, he continues to consult on some exhibits, and his work for this year’s Franklin Park Conservatory display combined fairy tales, castles hewn from trees, and the simple joy of a holiday train.

Star Trek: Discovery Reveals an Impressive Sci-Fi Cast

We have our first three major cast members for Star Trek: Discovery! We already knew that the extraordinary Michelle Yeoh would be playing a Starfleet captain, but now has also announced the additions of Doug Jones and Anthony Rapp. We now know that Yeoh will be playing Captain Georgiou of the starship Shenzhou. Doug Jones, probably best known for his uncanny performances as Abe Sapien in Hellboy and The Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth, will be Lt. Saru, a science officer who is also a member of an alien species we’ve never seen before on Star Trek. (So…not a Vulcan?) The third character is another science officer (yay!), Lt. Stamets, an astromycologist aboard the starship Discovery who also has the distinction of being the first openly gay character in a Star Trek television series. He’ll be played by Broadway star Anthony Rapp, most famous for playing Mark Cohen in Rent and Charlie Brown in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. 

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The Most Important Place in Brandon Sanderson’s Books is Named After Jane Yolen

Brandon Sanderson’s new story collection Arcanum Unbounded made a big reveal: Most of the author’s works take place in a single “Cosmere” universe, and many of those fantasy worlds will crossover in the future!

Readers have yet to see the most important planet in Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere, however. Somewhere out there is a planet that breeds trouble, that produces scholars, that has seeded many different worlds with many different types of magic. Sanderson has yet to reveal that story, or that planet, but we do know one thing: It’s named after fantasy author Jane Yolen!

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The Morning in Publishing: November 28, 2016

Did you know that yesterday was #cyborgmonday? Sure, it was also Cyber Monday—and we’ll get to gift guides later in this roundup—but Fierce Reads was all about the Lunar Chronicles, with coloring book pages (illustrated by Kat Adara) and character quizzes for Marissa Meyer’s reimagined fairy tale heroines. Are you a Cinder or a Cress? Or maybe Iko! Even though it’s Tuesday, you can still celebrate #cyborgmonday with today’s roundup of the happenings in publishing culture.

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Get Your Head in the Future: 6 of Our Favorite Warren Ellis Stories

If you have any anxiety at all about the future, Warren Ellis will find it, extract it, magnify it, and…make you feel empowered enough to take it on yourself. Ellis, whose career spans decades of filthy-yet-forward-looking articles, books, and graphic novels, is back at it this week with the release of his new novel Normal, a story about rebalancing your head after spending too much time worrying and preparing for the future.

We’re looking forward to reading it, as Ellis has written some of our staff’s favorite stories ever. Here are just a few that have stuck inside our mind-traps over the years…

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Do They Even Celebrate Christmas on Skaro?

We know. it’s a little early to start with the Christmas decorations, but come on. Stare into the horrifyingly festive death plunger on this amazing Dalek Christmas tree, and tell us that this spectacle doesn’t get you into the running, ducking, and defiant holiday spirit.

(How was there never a Dalek Christmas tree during the Russell T. Davies era? That guy loved turning Christmas symbols into deadly weapons!)

(Lots more Dalek Christmas trees where that came from. Just Google Image Search the term!)

[via The Time Lords Academy!]