Tor.com content by

Stubby the Rocket

Finn Wields His Lightsaber in New Teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens!

The latest teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes to you via Instagram, which has expanded its photo and video borders to make posts even more cinematic! They’ve certainly achieved that with this awesome (but oh-so-short) spot showing Finn facing off against Kylo Ren. Blue lightsaber versus red… classic.

You can watch the teaser here!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes to theaters December 18.

Never Get Chomped Again with This Zombie-Proof Swiss Army Multi-Defense Tool!

While most zombies shamble along, they usually come at you fast enough that you can’t waste time rummaging in a duffle bag for exactly the weapon you need. That’s why wise Instructables member seamster has come up with the perfect zombie-fighting weapon: This souped-up Swiss Army knife includes a machete (obviously), plus a hatchet, two types of wrenches, and more! Though it’s unclear how you’re supposed to hold it… (Hat-tip to Neatorama for finding exactly what we need to defend ourselves in the zombie apocalypse.)

Afternoon Roundup brings you an evil AU Harry Potter, playing with the structure of short stories, and Galaxy Quest news!

[Read more]

Captain America: Civil War Teams (Maybe) Revealed

Comic book and sci-fi movie review vlogger Mr. Sunday Movies has reportedly scooped a look at the teams for the next Marvel movie Captain America: Civil War.

Mr. Sunday Movies states that the concept art revealing these teams is akin to a stereo that “fell off the back of the truck,” so take this information with many grains of salt. Still, even if they’re just cut-and-pastes from DeviantArt, it’s still fun to speculate on whether these should be the teams!

[Read more]

Open the Garage Door, HAL

Quick, if you look at the house pictured above, can you guess which director’s oeuvre it’s based on? If you guessed Stanley Kubrick, you are correct! Artist Frederico Babina has done a wonderful thing with his Archidirector series: he takes directors and re-imagines their individual styles as houses! This is a unique way to see the essence of an artist. You can check out the whole series here, where he honors Ridley Scott, Jacques Tati, Charlie Chaplin, Tim Burton, and more!

Morning Roundup brings you the latest news from Mars, a tricky conversation between Ryan Britt and Austin Grossman, and the darker side of Banksy!

[Read more]

Take the Fury Road To Giza!

Each time we promise our selves that we’re done talking about Mad Max: Fury Road, we find some new twist on the story that makes us love it all over again. Case in point, Kotaku shared this fantastic piece by Japanese artist Takumi that translated Fury Road’s archetypal characters into ancient Egyptian art. It turns out that the legend of the Fury Road (which can be seen in its original form here) would look  surprisingly at home on the wall of a pharaoh’s tomb. It also feels strikingly similar to the tale told by The Lost Tribe in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. Oh, and as if that wasn’t enough, here’s the inevitable-yet-fun Honest Trailer.

Morning Roundup brings you an alternate Star Trek timeline, the mathematics of the cozy mystery, and an update on the whereabouts of rogue typist Mavis Beacon!

[Plus, the many murders of Batman]

A Super Star Destroyer Is Basically a Floating Manhattan

The moment that the Imperial Star Destroyer first loomed across the screen in Star Wars: A New Hope was amazing enough—then Empire upped the game by introducing its big mean momma the Super Star Destroyer. But have you ever thought about comparing the size of that ship with something in real life?

Redditor movielover278 created this visual size comparison between a Super Star Destroyer and the island of Manhattan, and… WOW. Do Imperial soldiers need to use space taxis to get around? What’s the trendiest neighborhood on the Super Star Destroyer? Do they also charge tourists $3 for bottled water? WE HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS. (via Laughing Squid)

Morning Roundup brings you a history-changing take on The Karate Kid, commentary on banking in medieval fantasy, and #MyFirstPageTurner!

[Read more]

Presenting the Cosplay Variant Initiative!

At the Special Edition: NYC convention a few months ago, Marvel Comics announced that it would be releasing a series of cosplay variant covers, highlighting the fans who put hard work into their cosplay of Marvel characters. And now you can meet the members of the Cosplay Variant Initiative! Marvel recently released the cosplay variant covers for its October titles, including A-ForceInhumans, Captain Marvel, Thor, Ms. Marvel, and more!

Afternoon Roundup brings you reading recommendations based on your favorite Harry Potter book, an oral history of a truly WTF movie, and the return of Marvel dubsmash wars!

[Read more]

Science Fiction Predicts Our Future for the Next 800,000 Years!

Science fiction is about predicting the future, based on hard facts or sheer imagination or, often both. Everyone, from Isaac Asimov to Tyra Banks, has taken stabs at guessing what lays beyond for our generation and for the many (or few) generations after us. In 2012, The Awl compiled an exhaustive list of predictions culled from science fiction novels and stories, starting with the Titanic being resurrected from the ocean floor as described in Arthur C. Clarke’s The Ghost from the Grand Banks.

But it wasn’t until Maria Popova from Brain Pickings tweeted this list a few months ago that Giorgia Lupi, an Italian information designer, was inspired to create an infographic of the data. Lupi’s design gives you an even better sense of the vast future laid out in fiction—with the added optimism that, in the eyes of our writers, the human race at least makes it until the year 802701!

[Find out what awaits us in our sci-fi future]

Take a Time Turner Back to This Potter-Themed Classroom

Few things make us want to go back to school, but this teacher’s ingenious Harry Potter-themed classroom is one of them. Redditor 86thdj shared his wife’s handiwork, from the “fireplace” complete with Hogwarts letters to motivational posters for each house, to even a miniature plush Fluffy guarding papers to be shredded! (via Pleated-Jeans)

Morning Roundup brings you the neuroscience of reading great literature, Amanda Palmer’s latest performance art piece, and vintage VR!

[Read more]

Star Wars Is The Energy That Surrounds Us and Binds Us

We all know that Star Wars has been a hugely influential series. It sparked a new popular appreciation of science fiction, made Harrison Ford the single sexiest human who ever existed or shall exist (this is an Objective Fact; we will hear no back-sass), provided the foundation for George Lucas’ empire, and gave a generation of girls an intelligent, hyper-competent, generally awesome heroine to look up to. Now the good people at the Shutterstock Blog have teamed up with Pop Chart Lab to create an infographic that teases out even more ways that Star Wars has permeated our culture.

[So much influence!]

Let This Fan Poster Convince You Why We Need a Hawkeye TV Series

With Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye run over, the Internet has a little hole in its heart for how this team envisioned the amazing rapport between Hawkeyes Clint Barton and Kate Bishop. (Not to mention Annie Wu’s art for the Kate-in-L.A. arcs!) So, of course Tumblr user nottonyharrison was filling the perfect space with her fan-made posters of a Netflix Hawkeye² series starring Jeremy Renner and some great fan-casting of Aubrey Plaza. We’re not sure what’s the best part of this poster—Kate looking stylish and badass, Clint flying through the air as usual, or Pizza Dog! This is not nottonyharrison’s first rodeo: Another fan poster she created inspired this opener that might as well be TV canon. Seriously, Marvel Studios and Netflix should take some notes from her. (Hat-tip to The Mary Sue for finding this; check out more fan posters there.)

Afternoon Roundup brings you a new adventure for our favorite Star Trek-obsessed astronaut, what happens when you add custom sound effects to Super Mario, and a vintage GPS!

[Read more]

These Posters Bring Hollywood Glamour to The X-Files!

Pittsburgh-based graphic artist and designer J.J. Lendl began The X-Files Poster Project as a one-month exercise, but it’s ended up being such a success that he’s decided to keep it going! As you can see in this haunting poster for “One Breath,” Lendl draws on various visual influences to highlight the emotional core of an episode—in this case, Scully’s choice between life and death itself. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite posters, but he also takes suggestions!

[Everyone whistle the theme!]

Get Your Head in the Clouds with These Cities in the Sky!

From the realm of giants in Jack and the Beanstalk to the airborne habitats proposed by idealistic genius Buckminster Fuller, we’ve long been fascinated by worlds concealed above the clouds, set apart from the happenings on the ground. In discussing worldbuilding in the airUpdraft author Fran Wilde talks about what sky cities can represent: status, culture, control, or escape. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list with some of our favorite cities—from books, movies, and video games—whose structures float in the air or rise high into the atmosphere.

Be sure to share your own favorite weird sky cities in the comments!

[Read more]

This Eyelid Art for The Little Prince Will Have You Seeing Stars

If eyes are the windows into the soul, then what about eyelids? Artist Tal Peleg combines eyeshadow and watercolors in crazy-inventive pop culture tributes. As much as we cooed over Baymax cuddling a “hairy baby,” we were especially dazzled by the Little Prince set against the backdrop of space. (via Pleated-Jeans)

Morning Roundup brings you what movie dystopias get wrong about dictators, Deadpool burning DC, and more on cli-fi!

[Read more]

The Angels Have the Front Porch!

If you think about it, these Weeping Angel string lights from ThinkGeek are rather counterintuitive. Ostensibly, they’re probably intended to be a fun, geeky way to decorate your humble abode. But in reality, anyone who approaches your home receives ample warning that you’ve already fallen prey to the most insidious light sources, and know to turn and walk far away from those twinkling little harbingers of doom. (Hat-tip to The Mary Sue for finding these horrifying decorations.)

Afternoon Roundup brings you the first look at Banksy’s Dismaland, a nearly endless way to play the Game of Thrones, and an empirical ranking of TV that didn’t meet our expectations!

[Read more]

Man Destroys God, Man Creates Rabbits, Rabbits Eat Man

Or, you know, just look super adorable as they rampage through Jurabbit Park, leaving action figures and even dinosaurs in their wake. Fluffy bunny Roger Angus Dorn and his human Matt had the smart idea of making Roger a star, by recreating famous scenes from Jurassic Park. Maybe he’ll make it into Jurassic World 2!

Morning Roundup brings you an eye-opening look at Daredevil, an underground amusement park, and authors talking video games!

[Read more]

M.L. Brennan Talks Kitsune Science and Folklore in Her Reddit AMA

When we first covered M.L. Brennan’s urban fantasy series Generation V in Under the Radar last year, Justin Landon summed up part of what granted these books “underlooked” status: Instead of being about some kickass woman, the protagonist is Fortitude Scott, underachieving film studies graduate who’s also a prepubescent vampire. He’s not particularly good at anything, yet he’s investigating murders and vampire territory issues, along with his kitsune shapeshifter bodyguard Suzume.

And that’s all what makes the Generation V series—the latest installment, Dark Ascension, is available now—so enticing to readers. So, when Brennan took to Reddit’s r/fantasy for an AMA, she led a rousing conversation about proper Tupperware storage of organ meats, how an unemployed Millennial makes for a relatable hero, and, of course, the ins and outs of kitsune folklore. Check out the highlights!

[Read more]

Want Some Ice for That Dumbleburn?

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore is perhaps one of the most contentious characters in the Harry Potter universe, due to his decisions about major life-changing events (mostly Harry’s) and his long game that almost no one actually knew about. But Tumblr artist floccinaucinihilipilificationa knows that Dumbledore can occasionally be a bit of a troll, and has created some snicker-inducing comics that are mostly at Snape’s expense.

Today’s Afternoon Roundup examines a case of “to edit or not to edit,” how sci-fi fandom sparked the gay rights movement, and what happens to discarded celebrity wax figures!

[Read more]