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Stubby the Rocket

Hi Steve, Here Are Your Friends–Oh, Awkward…

You might have noticed Facebook celebrating its 12th birthday on February 4 with the introduction of “Friends Day” videos on users’ walls: strolls through memory lane via algorithm and whether anyone remembers to tag each other in photos anymore. Marvel Entertainment, particularly the marketing team behind Captain America: Civil War, decided to get in on the fun with a cheeky parody on Steve Rogers’ timeline… mostly funny because it’s sad, and sad because it’s true.

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Mapping Time and Tesseracts!

Author and Illustrator Andrew DeGraff spent 140 hours hand-painting this fantastic map of A Wrinkle in Time for his book Plotted: A Literary Atlas. Most the maps featured in Plotted are from literary fiction, and remain firmly on land. While the map for A Christmas Carol shows Scrooge’s travels with ghosts, it stays in a historically accurate London; the Watership Down map resembles nothing so much as a particularly grim Family Circus; maps for Robinson Crusoe, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Invisible Man are all based in solid reality.

For their one truly sci-fi map, however, DeGraaf had to go in a very different direction.

[It was a dark and stormy map…]

V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic is Being Adapted for Television!

Another fantasy series joins the bevy of SFF works on television! V.E. Schwab’s alternate-universe fantasy novel A Darker Shade of Magic is heading to television—and better yet, she’s writing the pilot. Actor Gerard Butler’s production company G-BASE (Olympus Has Fallen and the forthcoming London Has Fallen) has acquired rights to adapt the book as a limited series.

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SNOOOOOOOOOW!”

Say, that’s a pretty sweet Darth Vader statue! It was so cool of the people of the Polish city of Wejherowo to erect it.

Wait, what’s that you say? This is actually a statue of Jakub Wejher, for whom the town was named, and no resemblance to Darth Vader is intended?

Huh.

Click through to see the statue in it’s non-snowy state, and be amazed!

[Hmmm….]

Bow Before the Cuteness of Harry Potter Anime!

Kotaku has shared the most wonderful thing: chibi Harry Potter! And not just any chibi Harry Potter, but official anime designs for Harry Potter:

Warner Bros. Japan has officially licensed these illustrations for a series of Harry Potter goods that will go on sale within the country. So far, the designs have been limited to things like folder files, buttons, rubber stamps, and keychains.

Buttons? Rubber Stamps? Keychains??? Come on, guys, we want squishy plushy things, and we want ’em now! Click through to see the character designs, and bow before the power of Buckbeak!

[Seriously, these are so cute they hurt.]

Authors Taught Us How to Stab People

We know authors don’t spend all their time locked in a room, obsessing over syntax. Some of the best writing comes from not writing at all—from having a completely unrelated specialty, like beekeeping or robotics. Since 2015, we’ve asked SFF authors to geek out about the hobbies and callings that fill their lives when they’re not writing our favorite stories. Some are more physical, like auto repair or falling or riding rollercoasters; others are more in the mind, like mastering the scent science of perfume or applying godlike qualities to The Beatles or taking in a perfect fire you’ve created. Read through our best “And Related Subjects” essays (so far) for some valuable lessons from SFF authors that have very little to do with writing.

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Looking for a New Story? Check Out the 2015 Locus Recommended Reading List!

The 2015 Locus Recommended Reading List is up, and we are honored to have several pieces of short fiction included! Each year, the February issue of Locus Magazine features a reading list compiled through the consensus of Locus editors and reviewers, which results in a variety of titles to be added to your TBR pile. This year we are so pleased to have work from Tor authors including Kai Ashante Wilson, Nnedi Okorafor, John Chu and Michael Swanwick featured in the First Novel, Novella, Novelette, and Short Story categories. Click through for our full list of included fiction, and happy reading!

[Stories upon stories!]

“So Be It! See To It!” Octavia Butler States Her Purpose

This year marks a decade since Octavia E. Butler’s untimely passing. In celebration of her life, the Huntington Library posted this poignant example of Butler’s dedication to her work and to her community. These paragraphs, written on the inside of one of her journals, aren’t just encouraging mantras for a writer fighting to have her voice heard in the wider SFF world. This is the mission statement of an African-American author who is determined to make a space for the people of color who come after her.

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Start Your Day with a One More Hamilton Mashup!

Lin-Manuel Miranda celebrated a birthday recently, and he shared one of his favorite gifts on Twitter: a drawing from Disney director John Musker! The Hamilton creator is collaborating with Musker on the Disney veteran’s upcoming Moana, the tale of a young Hawaiian girl who goes on a quest with a demigod. Which is why we get to Miranda-as-Hamilton hanging out with Moana and a demigod who looks suspiciously like The Rock. If you’d like to see the homage go in the other direction, here’s Miranda singing “A Whole New World” with Lea Salonga. Moana comes out later this year, and we are so, so excited.

Wait a Minute, What if Carrie Fisher’s Dog is Supreme Leader Snoke???

We may have figured out something very important about The Force Awakens. Tumblr-er mykylosrens shared a this image and we have to agree: this is a wonderful portrait of the Organa-Solo family as they might have been under different circumstances, safe and happy. But wait! What if this is how it all began, and Gary the dog is really Supreme Leader Snoke, slowly corrupting Ben while posing as Leia’s loyal companion? Just look at the devious little face! We’re just saying it’s possible.