Malazan Reread of the Fallen: Assail, Chapter Three

Welcome back to the Malazan Reread of the Fallen! Every post will start off with a summary of events, followed by reaction and commentary by your hosts Bill and Amanda, and finally comments from readers. Today we’re continuing Ian Cameron Esslemont’s Assail, covering chapter three.

A fair warning before we get started: We’ll be discussing both novel and whole-series themes, narrative arcs that run across the entire series, and foreshadowing. Note: The summary of events will be free of major spoilers and we’re going to try keeping the reader comments the same. A spoiler thread has been set up for outright Malazan spoiler discussion.

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Join Brandon Sanderson on His Arcanum Unbounded Tour!

We are thrilled to announce that #1 New York Times bestselling epic fantasy author Brandon Sanderson is touring for the upcoming release of Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection (on sale Nov. 22)! Sanderson’s first compilation of short fictionArcanum Unbounded includes a total of nine works: novellas and short stories set in the Shardworlds, the worlds of Stormlight, Mistborn, Elantris, and others. An all-new 40,000-word Stormlight Archive novella is the crown jewel appearing in this collection for the first time anywhere!

Thus far, Publishers Weekly says, “This collection is required reading for Sanderson fans, offering plenty for new readers who are undeterred by learning too much.” And Kirkus Reviews touts “…fans of Sanderson’s other works will eagerly devour this collection, in which familiar characters return and familiar worlds are further explored.”

Check out the full list of tour dates below.

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Depicting Violence and the Grotesque: The Devourers by Indra Das

The Devourers is lush and strange and putrid, a novel that is, if you cut it a certain way, mostly exposition; an entire history delivered by one character to another, recounted for the most bizarre and aching of reasons. It is a story about shapeshifters, gender issues, loneliness, and the conceit of humanity. It is a hard read, and one of my favorite books this year.

Have I mentioned it is also grotesque?

[There’s a power to acknowledging life’s greasy viscera…]

Series: That Was Awesome! Writers on Writing

Don’t Touch That Dial: Fall 2016 TV — The DC Television Universe

And we’re back with the second edition of the Fall 2016 “Don’t Touch That Dial.” In this very special episode we’re looking at DC on TV, specifically Arrow, The Flash, Gotham, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl. None of these series are new this fall, but all have had major overhauls since their first season, so let’s see what’s working, what’s not, and where we go from here.

Mild spoilers for previous seasons.

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This Costume of John Carpenter’s The Thing is Exactly What it Appears to Be!

We here at do everything we can to promote the idea that October Is The Greatest Month. With that in mind, we’re pleased to share this amazing rendition of John Carpenter’s The Thing. Of course, now Earth will be overrun by terrible shape-shifting aliens, and we’ll never be able to trust anyone again, but it’s a small price to pay for such a stellar costume.

[via Dread Central!]

Imaginative Anthropology: In Celebration of Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin was raised by an anthropologist and a writer. Not just any anthropologist: her father Alfred L. Kroeber, was the first person to earn a Ph.D. in anthropology in the United States, and after graduating from Columbia University he founded the first anthropology program at Berkeley.

This was where Le Guin grew up, in a redwood house near the school, and spending summers in Napa Valley. The descriptions of it sound idyllic, actually like something out of one of Madeleine L’Engle’s novels. She sent her first story to Astounding Science Fiction when she was 11, but was unfortunately rejected. During World War II her three brothers were away in the military, and she spent the summers of her teen years sharing the house with her parents.

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Series: On This Day

Finally a Handy Chart of the “Big 5” Book Publishers and Their Imprints

Trade book publishing is dominated by the “Big 5”: five book publishing companies that own or partner with over 100 different publishers and imprints, and who are responsible for the lion’s share of books that you see on shelves. As such, it can get confusing as to which imprint (like Tor Teen) is owned by which publisher (Tor/Forge Books) is owned by which “Big 5” company (Macmillan).

Designer and author Ali Almossawi recently collected this information into an easy online info chart, allowing curious folks to quickly identify imprints and publishers owned by the same “Big 5” company. This is publicly available information, but it can be difficult to track down in some cases. Almossawi’s chart greatly simplifies that information.

It should be noted that not all publishers are included in the chart, just the ones that are considered the five most prominent. (Harry Potter publisher Scholastic Books, for example, is not included.) So the chart should not be considered a complete representation of the book publishing industry. Nevertheless, it’s an extremely handy collection.

An Expensive Adventure: Atlantis: The Lost Empire

Disney executives could not help but notice a few things during the 1990s. One: even accounting for inflation, science fiction films continued to do very well at the box office, if not quite grossing the same amounts as the original Star Wars trilogy. And two, many of the fans who flocked to Disney animated films, theme parks and the newly opened Disney Cruise Line were teenagers. Why not, executives asked, try an animated science fiction or adventure film aimed at teenagers? It would be a bit of a risk—the company’s previous PG animated film, The Black Cauldron, had been a complete flop. But they could bring in directors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale, whose Beauty and the Beast had been a spectacular success, and who had also added more mature elements to The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It was worth a try.

In theory.

[A film unsafe for linguists to watch]

Tie-In Fiction, and Stepping Outside of Tribal Nerdery

Sometimes I wonder what color my vomit will be when someone tries to hold up Revenge of the Nerds as an important cultural piece of pop culture history.

That might sound crude, of course, but in my defense I didn’t specify what would cause the bodily ejection. I’ve just been at New York Comic Con, see, where I’ve been alternately drinking heavily and meandering through a crowd where we are all breathing heavily on each other and generally absorbed in the miasma of color and sound that is our beautiful pop culture landscape.

And it’s kind of hard to imagine going back to an era where nerds were persecuted.

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Fall 2016 Anime Preview: That Ice Skating Show

It’s that time again—new anime is here along with the fall leaves, and it is our duty, as usual, to divide the 2D wheat from the chaff. Fall is traditionally a strong season for anime, and though this one is a bit lacking, there are still a few new shows worth checking out. Joining a roster of strong sequels—Haikyu!! is back, along with Kyoto Animation’s Sound! Euphonium, the second part of Bungo Stray Dogs and Iron-Blooded Orphans, and the fifth season of Natsume Yuujinchou (hallelujah)—are a smattering of interesting offerings. Fans of madcap comedies might check out ClassicaLoid, a show about classical composers making magical gyoza, and shoujo and BL fans can unite this season over unlikely romcom Kiss Him Not Me. If you’re in the UK, count yourself lucky because The Great Passage, a literary drama about publishing a dictionary, is apparently available only in your region.

And if you just want the best of the season’s new anime without all the funny business, keep reading—I’ve picked three promising shows that you can start watching right this minute. Here’s a little hint: axel, lutz, loop.

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Revealing the Table of Contents for The Djinn Falls in Love

Imagine a world filled with fierce, fiery beings, hiding in our shadows, in our dreams, under our skins. Eavesdropping and exploring; savaging our bodies, saving our souls. They are monsters, saviours, victims, childhood friends. Some have called them genies: these are the Djinn.

Editors Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin have teamed up for The Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories, bringing together over 20 new and classic tales of Djinn from amazing authors from all around the world. The anthology publishes in March 2017 with Solaris, and we’re excited to share the full table of contents—including works from K.J. Parker, Nnedi Okorafor, and Neil Gaiman—below!

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