Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Savage Curtain”

“The Savage Curtain”
Written by Gene Roddenberry and Arthur Heinemann
Directed by Herschel Daughtery
Season 3, Episode 22
Production episode 60043-77
Original air date: March 7, 1969
Stardate: 5906.4

Captain’s log. The Enterprise is in orbit of a planet that is covered in molten lava and cannot support life—yet sensor readings are giving indications of life and a high level of civilization, which matches some legends about the world. But they can’t beam down to investigate further due to the conditions on the planet, so Kirk says that they’re moving on to their next assignment. (Why it never occurs to anyone to go down in a shuttlecraft to investigate is left as an exercise for the viewer.)

Just as they’re about to break orbit, the Enterprise is scanned so thoroughly it makes the lights dim, and then Abraham Lincoln appears on the viewer.

[There is nothing good in war except its ending.]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Peter Jackson Will Write and Produce a Film Adaption of Dystopian YA Novel Mortal Engines

Peter Jackson has announced his next film project over on Facebook! While Jackson himself isn’t directing, his protégé Christian Rivers will be adapting Philip Reeve’s book Mortal Engines, with a script from Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens.

Mortal Engines is the first book in a quartet set in a distant future called the Traction Era. A catastrophic Sixty-Minute War laid waste to Earth, and obliterated national boundaries. People rebuilt society by focusing on “Traction Cities” – that is, mobile city-states that are mounted on tracks and can attack each other for resources as part of a system known as “Municipal Darwinism.” Jackson is a longtime fan of the books, saying, “The moment we read these novels, we knew what exciting movies they’d make. I literally can’t wait to see them!”

The movie will be financed by MRC and Universal, and will begin film in New Zealand next March. Jackson didn’t announce any casting decisions yet, but did note that Weta Workshop and Weta Digital will be working on the film.

Head over to Peter Jackson’s Facebook page  and The Hollywood Reporter for more information about the project! In the meantime: what do you think about the news? Who do you see as Tom and Hester?

To Hell and Back: Lost Gods by Brom

Recently released from jail after a stint on drug charges, Chet Moran is determined to turn his life around, starting with reconciling with his pregnant girlfriend, Trish. Her father has forbidden their relationship, and when the couple make their hasty escape, Chet accidentally hits his high school nemesis, Coach, with his car. They find sanctuary on an island off the coast of South Carolina, his ancestral homeland now occupied by his grandmother, Lamia. Decades before, Lamia’s abusive husband, Gavin, murdered her two sons and tried to kill her. Afterward she lost custody of her daughter, Cynthia, Chet’s mother. Despite having not seen Lamia since he was a child, they have an arcane psychic connection to each other.

But hiding out with his doting grandmother proves too good to be true. The ghosts of hundreds of dead children haunt the island, led by two demon children with an ominous attachment to Lamia. Before he and Trish can flee, Chet is brutally murdered. A depressed angel named Senoy convinces Chet to descend into the underworld to recover a magic key that was stolen from him by Gavin. The key, Senoy insists, will allow him to summon angelic backup to kill Lamia once and for all, and if Chet works fast enough he just might spare the souls of Trish and their unborn child as well.

[“Thought I saw a ghost.”]

A Taste of Honey Sweepstakes!

Happy book birthday to Kai Ashante Wilson’s A Taste of Honey, available now from Publishing! We want to send you a copy of the book, which the Washington Post called one of the month’s best SFF books.

Long after the Towers left the world but before the dragons came to Daluça, the emperor brought his delegation of gods and diplomats to Olorum. As the royalty negotiates over trade routes and public services, the divinity seeks arcane assistance among the local gods.

Aqib bgm Sadiqi, fourth-cousin to the royal family and son of the Master of Beasts, has more mortal and pressing concerns. His heart has been captured for the first time by a handsome Daluçan soldier named Lucrio. In defiance of Saintly Canon, gossiping servants, and the furious disapproval of his father and brother, Aqib finds himself swept up in a whirlwind gay romance. But neither Aqib nor Lucrio know whether their love can survive all the hardships the world has to throw at them.

A Taste of Honey is the future of fantasy,” says the B&N SciFi and Fantasy Blog.

Comment in the post to enter!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States and D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec). To enter, comment on this post beginning at 1:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on October 25th. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on October 29th. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor:, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

5 Vampire Novels That Don’t Sparkle

The vampire, perennial monster, has received somewhat of a makeover in recent years. For almost two decades it has become romantic hero and seducer, often aimed at younger consumers. Twilight as well as the Vampire Diaries series may be the most obvious exponents of this trend, but the seeds were already planted in shows like Buffy (remember Angel?), and the territory continues to be watered with numerous vampire men in the urban fantasy or romance section of the bookstore, who must invariably profess eternal love to a nubile woman.

Before this trend kicked into full gear, vampires were more likely to be rich counts out to bite pretty young lasses à la Christopher Lee or Bela Lugosi. Sexually magnetic, perhaps, but not boyfriend material.

[Read more]

Series: Five Books About…

Romance Found Unseen: A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson

Kai Ashante Wilson’s short novel A Taste of Honey is just as beautiful and peculiar and painful as his much-lauded The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps. A Taste of Honey is set elsewhere in the same world, and while it doesn’t share the same characters or themes, it touches—slantwise—on some of the same concerns.

Aqib bmg Sadiqi is a fourth cousin to the royal family of Great Olorum, younger son and chosen heir to the Master of Beasts. An embassy from Daluça has lately come to Great Olorum, and Aqib finds himself caught up in a scandalous—and dangerous, for in Great Olorum sexual relationships between men are forbidden, as against the Saintly Canon—whirlwind romance with a handsome Daluçan soldier called Lucrio. They have met only ten days before Lucrio will return home with the rest of his embassy: how can their romance possibly last?

[Read more]

Sleeps With Monsters: Fun’s Important

If you follow my Twitter feed, you might have noticed me talking about my mental health in the last while. Sometimes, things get bad. It can be sudden and unpredictable: one week I’m rolling along, perfectly all right, and the next I’m besieged by visions of walking into traffic.* (Or my throat closes up with panic, or I feel exhausted and worthless. Or I can’t make decisions, because everything is too much. Things like that.)

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Series: Sleeps With Monsters

Chris Pine Cast as Dr. Murry in A Wrinkle in Time

The Murry family is almost complete! One day after Black Mirror‘s Gugu Mbatha-Raw was announced as Dr. (Mrs.) Murry in Disney’s adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, the other Dr. (Mr.) Murry was revealed: Chris Pine! The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that the Star Trek Beyond star will be joining the multiracial Murry family (Storm Reid will play Meg) in Ava DuVernay’s film (from a screenplay by Frozen‘s Jennifer Lee), which starts shooting next week. Now to find Charles Wallace…

[Read more]

Announcing The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

I’ve been sitting on this news for a little while, and I’m so happy to be able to finally announce that Publishing has acquired two books in a new science fiction series—The Murderbot Diaries—from the brilliant Martha Wells.

All Systems Red is the first book in the series, and it follows a security droid assigned to protect a team of scientists on a new planetary expedition. But when a neighbouring expedition suddenly becomes silent it’s up to the newly self-aware droid and its distinctly unadventurous charges to investigate. But sometimes things are best left alone…

Martha said:

This novella came out of nowhere, when I was in the middle of writing the climax to my next fantasy novel.  I thought, “I’ll just write down a few lines so I don’t forget this before I have time to come back to it,” and before I knew it I had five pages written. I went back to it the day after I finished the rough draft of the novel and fell into a new world. I’m thrilled and delighted that this novella and its sequel could find a home at  I hope people enjoy reading about Murderbot as much as I enjoy writing it.

The books were acquired by Publishing’s senior editor, Lee Harris, from Jennifer Jackson at the Donald Maass Literary Agency.

All Systems Red will be published in ebook and trade paperback in summer 2017.

Series: Editorially Speaking

Amnesty Is Just Another Mask: Supergirl, “Welcome to Earth”

Yes, Supergirl writer Derek Simon confirmed on Twitter, last night’s episode is named for Will Smith’s iconic line from Independence Day. So, while the plot of “Welcome to Earth” is about President Olivia Marsdin’s (Lynda Carter) visit to National City, it’s really about the Alien Amnesty Act she’s signing, which will invite aliens to step out of the shadows. But, considering the line’s origins, it may not be a warm welcome.

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Rereading Katherine Kurtz: Camber the Heretic, Chapters 4-5

Welcome to the weekly reread of Camber the Heretic!

Last time, the humans finally began making their move against the Deryni, plotting to control the regency after the ailing king dies. This week Camber gets up close and personal with the human-Deryni conflict. Cinhil makes a momentous and most likely fatal decision. And Rhys shows his ruthless side.

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Series: Rereading Katherine Kurtz