“The Story of Kao Yu” is a new fantasy short story by the legendary Peter S. Beagle which tells of an aging judge traveling through rural China and of a criminal he encounters. Of the story, Beagle says it “comes out of a lifelong fascination with Asian legendry — Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, Indonesian — all drawn from cultures where storytelling, in one form of another, remains a living art. As a young writer I loved everything from Robert van Gulik’s Judge Dee mysteries to Lafcadio Hearn’s translations of Japanese fairytales and many lesser-known fantasies. Like my story ‘The Tale of Junko and Sayuri,’ ‘The Story of Kao Yu’ is a respectful imitation of an ancient style, and never pretends to be anything else. But I wrote it with great care and love, and I’m still proud of it.“
The Worldbuilders charity passed a very big stretch goal for 2016 (one million dollars!), so today Neil Gaiman read a poem chosen for him by the charity: Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” Surrounded by candles, a flickering fire, and wearing the coat of a murdered prince of Stormhold, Gaiman is here to make the changing seasons more atmospheric for fans everywhere.
Apart from a few references to what happened last week, the Dominators are well and gone from the Arrowverse, their influence only really apparent in a sweet moment Arrow (where Thea Queen continues to be the linchpin holding Oliver’s dual lives together). We’ve got other villains to attend to, and a Legion to assemble! But not without a couple of very special holiday moments. Unless you’re a time traveler, in which case no presents for you.
Paul Haggis will write and direct a film adaptation of Paolo Bacigalupi’s 2010 Printz Award-winning post-apocalyptic YA novel Ship Breaker. The novel, set after the melting of the polar ice caps, contemplates a world in which many major cities are underwater and follows a young boy named Nailer who tries to help a girl named Nita escape a blackmail plot. Haggis’ film will be the first in a planned film trilogy.
Haggis is interested in exploring themes of climate change in an “oblique” way. “I liked the idea that you could take that idea [of a post-apocalyptic world ignorant of the 21st century] and explore hopes and fears through that… climate change is a concern of mine, and taking on a film that is not just a narrative about that is attractive.”
Haggis won an Oscars for writing Million Dollar Baby in 2004 and for directing Crash in 2005.
“The Wail of the Siren”
Written by Stanley Ralph Ross
Directed by george waGGner
Season 3, Episode 3
Production code 1708
Original air dates: September 28, 1967
The Bat-signal: The Siren has ensorcelled Gordon in his office with her mastery of the tone two octaves above high C. She has Gordon call Batman and tell him to go to a particular place—Gordon himself suggests Barbara’s apartment.
When he does so, Dick expresses confusion as to why he would want them to go there, never mind the fact that Gordon met the two of them at Barbara’s apartment just last week. Our heroes slide down the poles and head out in the Batmobile to Barbara’s building, parking in the underground garage.
Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!
Deadline is reporting that Wesley Snipes has a debut novel coming from Harper Voyager. The supernatural thriller–Talon of God–is co-authored by Ray Norman and will hit shelves in July of 2017.
Where other robotics researchers are giving us driverless cars, the University of Toronto has gone in a more creative direction: neural karaoke! In a new article at The Guardian, humanity is
warned of a introduced to a project to teach computer programs to create music and dance. First the neural network was trained on 100 hours of online music. Once it had successfully created melody and programmed a stick figure to execute rudimentary dance steps, the computer was shown a series of images to allow the program to mach them with suitable lyrics. Finally, the computer was given Christmassy images, and produced a perfectly competent Christmas carol.
Click through to listen to your future robot overlords singing.
Great news for fans of epic fantasy: Brandon Sanderson has completed the first draft of Oathbringer, the forthcoming third volume in his Stormlight Archive series, keeping the novel on track for a fall 2017 release.
The author revealed the big news late last night:
That’s a wrap, folks. Oathbringer is done at 461,223 words. Still much work to do, but we have a first draft. November 2017 release date.
— Brandon Sanderson (@BrandSanderson) December 9, 2016
Oathbringer has a few more draft revision cycles to go through before it’s ready for the printer. Sanderson often goes into detail on how the drafts come together over on the Stormlight_Archive subreddit. Here’s his latest update, for the curious!
We want to send you a galley copy of April Daniels’s Dreadnought, available January 24th from Diversion Books!
Danny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of Dreadnought, the world’s greatest superhero. Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, Danny was trying to keep people from finding out she’s transgender. But before he expired, Dreadnought passed his mantle to her, and those secondhand superpowers transformed Danny’s body into what she’s always thought it should be. Now there’s no hiding that she’s a girl.
It should be the happiest time of her life, but Danny’s first weeks finally living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined. Between her father’s dangerous obsession with “curing” her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he’s entitled to date her, and her fellow superheroes arguing over her place in their ranks, Danny feels like she’s in over her head.
She doesn’t have time to adjust. Dreadnought’s murderer—a cyborg named Utopia—still haunts the streets of New Port City, threatening destruction. If Danny can’t sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.
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Whether or not you’re a fan of Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime,” you’ll be hard-pressed not to enjoy this skillful mashup using dialogue from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Donnie Darko, the film, is now almost as old as its titular leading character. While the years hang very heavily on his shoulders, they’re sitting very lightly on the movie. Rereleased this week to mark its 15th anniversary, Donnie Darko is a haunting puzzle box of a film that rewards repeated viewings. Especially now, as we sit in a liminal space that’s very similar to the one which surrounds the Darko family. They are trapped in the run-up to an election, a period where nothing quite happens. We’re trapped in the aftermath of one, in the closing weeks of a year that has been difficult in almost every way imaginable. Donnie’s disbelief at his world and his bone-numbing fatigue in the face of how hard everything is has always been familiar, but it’s rarely felt more relevant than it does now.
Because we’re living on a planet where reboots evolve from originals, we’re getting a third entry in the Planet of the Apes series! War for the Planet of the Apes highlights Caesar’s wish for peace, but willingness to battle humans like Woody Harrelson.
Click through for APES.
The New York Times has a long, in-depth profile of Sara Seager. Seager, an astrophysicist and MIT professor, and has become one of the leaders in exo-planet research, and proponent of the “starshade” project, which currently seems like our best bet at finding Earth-like exoplanets, and maybe even extraterrestrial life.
Welcome to Freaky Fridays: War on Christmas edition! From now until Santa has murdered all the naughty children and Krampus is doing a jig in their guts, we’ll be talking about the weird old paperback novels that put the “ow” in snowman.
Normally, I don’t start these columns talking about the cover art, but look at that guy. Just look at him. What you’re seeing is the online dating profile used by the Abominable Snowman when he’s looking for a mate. First, he thoughtfully tells us his age (“thousands of years”) so that we understand he’s a sugar daddy looking for a sugar baby, then he makes sure we know his interests (likes to stalk the earth; is a foodie) ensuring his dietary preferences are front and center because, as we all know, most sugar babies are body conscious and wouldn’t be comfortable feasting at all, let alone on the flesh of humans, since they’re mostly vegan.
OKCupid says men’s profile photos are most effective when they look away from the camera and don’t smile. Yeti’s on it. You should be doing something interesting, preferably with your pet. Yeti is hiking, and he’s his own pet: done. eHarmony advises that your profile photo be flattering, genuine, and accurate. Check, check, and check again. He’s even listed his full name (Norman Bogner) under his username (Snowman). Okay, Yeti is ready to fire his proton torpedoes into your thermal exhaust port, so what’s stopping this hairy snowman? Turns out: everything. YETI IS TERRIBLE AT DATING.
Or does he?
Just in case your Friday needed further brightening, here is the first trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming, and it is darling.
The Raven Cycle author Maggie Stiefvater hit a career highlight this week when a fan brought a live raven to one of her readings! We can only hope it asked a good question during the Q&A. If you’re looking for publishing news highlights, you’ve come to the right place! Click through and you will find news from Neil Gaiman, Brandon Sanderson, and even more best book of the year lists.