Tor.com content by

Stubby the Rocket

Star Trek Redshirt Garden Gnome Reveals the Dangers of Your Garden

Will ThinkGeek never stop dreaming up odd but perfect nerdy toy combos? Citing the little-known subculture of Star Trek horticulturists, they’ve created this set of garden gnomes for Kirk, Spock, Gorn, and (of course) an ill-fated Redshirt. We appreciate this little guy’s noble sacrifice, so that Gnome-Kirk and Gnome-Spock could explore this treacherous land. (A tip of our gnome hats to Epic Stream for finding these!)

Afternoon Roundup wants to know why Hogwarts hasn’t been invented yet, dances to “Axel F,” and guesses the title of the first Future Library book.

[Read more]

The Professor X/Magneto Chess Match Just Got Meta

Do you have a prescheduled annual meeting with a nemesis to settle your moral quandaries through the beautiful art of chess? Or perhaps you need to cheat death again, to win a few increasingly desperate days of precious life? Why not use a Thanos chess piece to checkmate the Grim Reaper! The DC and Marvel chess pieces from Eaglemoss will allow you to take an already nerdy occupation to new and magnificent heights. [Chess set image via Toyland!]

Morning Roundup welcomes its U.S.-based readers into what is hopefully a wonderful long weekend. It is the true beginning of summer, and the next crest in the glorious wave of summer movie season. We bring you the Mad Max meme you’ve been waiting for, reading suggestions for the SF-challenged, and HATEBEAK.

[Also, a song for a blowfish.]

What are Neville Longbottom’s Abs Hiding?

So we’ve all seen the Neville Longbottom pictures, right? In which Attitude, a magazine tailored to gay men, and Matthew Lewis once again prove that Hogwarts produced some, er, remarkably fit and attractive wizards? And then J.K. Rowling came in to be the most adorable mom ever?

After a lot of quiet introspective thought, we wondered…what if that was actually Neville on the cover? Because there’s something missing, isn’t there?

[Something wonderful.]

What Are the Zoning Ordinances for Starships?

OK, you might think you’re a Star Trek fan. but Liu DeJian is so in love with the series that he licensed rights from CBS so he could create a building-sized homage to the U.S.S. Enterprise. The building is home to NetDragon Websoft, and you’ll have to go to China if you want to visit it. You can see more of the building over at Nerd Approved!

Afternoon Roundup brings you naughty picture of Neville Longbottom….and really we don’t remember the rest of it. There’s probably some stuff about Tomorrowland and Fury Road but seriously we just keep going back to the whole Neville thing…

[NEVILLE.]

You Shall Not PURRRRRR

We would watch the hell out of a Lord of the Rings remake starring LEGO mini-figs and giant cats. This image comes courtesy of French artist Samsofy, who sums his work up thusly: “My work combines the techniques of photography, street art, model making and installations; in my created microcosms, I play with scale and material to alter perception.” He has indeed made us perceive the Balrog as a big old kitty, and that has made our morning. [via Bored Panda!]

Morning Roundup brings you honest talk with Clive Barker, an honest trailer with the Wachowskis, and some more thoughts on Mad Max: Fury Road!

[Plus Jules Feiffer!]

New SFWA Board Announced

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America has announced who has been elected to its board going forward from July 1, 2015.

Ballots have been tallied and certified.  The current board serves until June 30th. On July 1, 2015 current Vice President Cat Rambo will start a two year term as president, and current Secretary Susan Forest  continues for two years in that post. Current Chief Financial Officer Bud Sparhawk was re-elected for one year as is newly-elected Vice President M.C.A. Hogarth. Newly elected Director-at-Large Jennifer Brozek starts a two year term, joining current Directors-at-Large Lee Martindale, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Sarah Pinsker, as well as re-elected Director-at-Large Matthew Johnson.

Current president Steven Gould and Director Jim Fiscus will step down on June 30. New election guidelines going forward have also been announced. You can find more info at the SFWA site.

SFF Book Covers That Made You Pick Up the Book

Sometimes, we can’t help but judge a book by its cover. And when a particularly gorgeous or innovative cover compels us to pick up a book about which we know nothing else, that’s considered a positive. We asked, and you answered: Here are thirteen sci-fi/fantasy book covers—featuring stunning landscapes, dragons both fearsome and anatomical, vintage space illustrations, and astonishing art imbued with movement—that instantly draw readers into the world beyond the title page…

[Just try to resist picking up these books!]

Obi-Wan Really Should Get His Story Straight

We know why Obi-Wan Kenobi lied to Luke Skywalker about his father: It was the easiest way to recruit the farmboy, plus it ensured the future of the Rebel Alliance and the resurgence of the Jedi. But it’s still pretty funny when you see images like this one, where, oh yeah, that’s not how it went at all.

Afternoon Roundup brings you a mea culpa of sorts from Simon Pegg, ideas for what kind of flag to plant on Mars, and Peter Dinklage growling his way through Coldplay.

[Read more]

“Unbreakable Imperator Furiosa” is a Weirdly Perfect Mashup

Before the Internet exploded with adoration over Mad Max: Fury Road, back in March, we were talking about a different work in which a plucky woman frees herself and other sister-wives from an apocalypse cult run by a creepy leader, proving that females are strong as hell. Why, we’re talking about Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt! And now, brilliant YouTuber Albert Lopez has mashed up Imperator Furiosa’s own odyssey to emancipate her fellow woman with the infectious, Auto-Tuned Kimmy Schmidt opening.

[“It’s a miracle!”]

FSG Acquires Jeff VanderMeer’s New Novel Borne

While his Southern Reach Trilogy is being adapted for film, Jeff VanderMeer has sold a new novel. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Farrar, Straus and Giroux has acquired the rights to Borne, a futuristic tale about a woman who discovers a mysterious creature in the ruins of a collapsed civilization. (Similar themes are present in VanderMeer’s Annihilation, the first book of the Southern Reach Trilogy, which sees a biologist, anthropologist, surveyor, and psychologist investigating the abandoned Area X.)

[Read more]

Be Your Own Walking Carpet!

Yesterday was Peter Mayhew’s birthday! We don’t know how you celebrated, but we’ve found the perfect gift for anyone who loves Wookiees, or being warm, or being bad-ass. We’ve also found some fascinating facts about our favorite resident of Kashyyyk.

Morning Roundup brings you news of Tomorrowland, even more Mad Max: Fury Road extras, and a conversation between two fantasy greats!

[Plus a great scientific advance for Netflix!]

We Are Not Things! We Are Cats!

You know a movie has made its mark on the cultural consciousness when it gets the cat treatment. Etsy user KittyCassandra wasted no time in making this hilarious print of Mad Max: Furry Road, featuring Imperator Purriosa (we’re just guessing), the guy with the telescope, Doof Warrior, and all of the other crazy characters.

Afternoon Roundup brings you perhaps the best celebrity prom outfit, debates on sci-fi and maturity, and a way to relive the wonder of “Too Many Cooks”!

[Read more]

This is a No-Tilting-at-Windmills Zone

In case there are any aspiring Don Quixotes out there, this sign has popped up near various windmills around the world. Then again, if the alternative energy revolution that xkcd predicted comes to pass, we will need a man who’s not afraid to tilt at some killer windmills…

Morning Roundup brings you stats on Mad Max: Fury Road, an interesting cover of “Life on Mars,” and two fun games to take up your Tuesday.

[Read more]

Isla Nublar Makes a Perfect Dino Snack!

We love art with dinosaurs in it! We especially love dino art created by excellent people like Francesco Francavilla, who submitted this epic Jurassic Park poster as his entry to the latest Jurassic World-themed Mondo show. The show will be at Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse Mondo Gallery from June 12th -27th, so Texans, add some dinos to your social calendar!

Morning Roundup brings you amazing tales from the set of Fury Road, thoughts on epic fantasy, and an alternate timeline where Jay Leno s a wisecracking action hero.

[Plus the beauty secret of non-Jay Leno action heroes!]

Astronaut Chris Hadfield Sits in the Captain’s Chair

Colonel Chris Hadfield spent a fair amount of time on the International Space Station channeling David Bowie, but when he’s on Earth he chooses to play Captain Kirk. At least, that’s the impression we get from this photo of him sitting in a replica of the Enterprise‘s command chair. The cool prop belongs to Mythbusters‘ Adam Savage, who ordered a less-than-stellar version from eBay and then made it look more authentic.

Afternoon Roundup ponders the science of the DeLorean, goes adventuring with Noelle Stevenson, and watches Anna Kendrick choose… wisely.

[Read more]