Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “That Which Survives”

“That Which Survives”
Written by Michael Richardson and John Meredyth Lucas
Directed by Herb Wallerstein
Season 3, Episode 14
Production episode 60043-69
Original air date: January 24, 1969
Stardate: unknown

Captain’s log. The Enterprise comes across a planet the size of the moon and which is only a few thousand years old, but somehow has an atmosphere and vegetation. Kirk takes down a landing party that includes McCoy, Sulu, and D’Amato, a geologist. As they’re about to beam down, a woman named Losira appears in the transporter room warning them not to beam down. Then she just touches Ensign Wyatt at the console, who collapses, dead.

[“It looks so lonely there.” “It would be worse if he had company.”]

Fiction Affliction: September Releases in Science Fiction

Twenty-two new science fiction books take you to the stars and beyond this month, including two nonfiction titles—one about Halo and one about time travel! Cixin Liu’s Death’s End brings his Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy to a close, while Kevin J. Anderson winds up his Saga of Shadows. More time traveling hijinks can be found in Jodi Taylor’s third Chronicles of St. Mary’s novel, and if you’d like to go to space, you’ve got more options than we can count on one hand.

[Read more]

A Case Study in Interspecies Research Ethics: Seanan McGuire’s “Down, Deep Down, Below the Waves”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

Today we’re looking at Seanan McGuire’s “Down, Deep Down, Below the Waves,” first published in Aaron J. French’s 2015 collection, The Gods of H.P. Lovecraft. Spoilers ahead.

[“Jeremy plucked the white mouse from its tank as easily as he would pick an apple from a tree”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

The Invisible Library Prize Pack Sweepstakes!

The Masked City, the second book in Genevieve Cogman’s Invisible Library series, comes out September 6th from Roc—and we want to send you a set of the first two books in the series!

Working in an alternate version of Victorian London, Librarian-spy Irene has settled into a routine, collecting important fiction for the mysterious Library and blending in nicely with the local culture. But when her apprentice, Kai—a dragon of royal descent—is kidnapped by the Fae, her carefully crafted undercover operation begins to crumble.

Kai’s abduction could incite a conflict between the forces of chaos and order that would devastate all worlds and all dimensions. To keep humanity from getting caught in the crossfire, Irene will have to team up with a local Fae leader to travel deep into a version of Venice filled with dark magic, strange coincidences, and a perpetual celebration of Carnival—and save her friend before he becomes the first casualty of a catastrophic war.

But navigating the tumultuous landscape of Fae politics will take more than Irene’s book-smarts and fast-talking—to ward off Armageddon, she might have to sacrifice everything she holds dear….

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 12:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on August 31st. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on September 4th. 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.

Bill Nye Saves the World With New Netflix Talk Show

Almost twenty years after PBS’ Bill Nye the Science Guy went off the air, Bill Nye is returning to television! Netflix announced today that in spring 2017 they’ll be premiering Bill Nye Saves the World, a talk show exploring the intersection of science and pop culture. According to Netflix’s synopsis,

Each episode will tackle a topic from a scientific point of view, dispelling myths, and refuting anti-scientific claims that may be espoused by politicians, religious leaders or titans of industry.

The streaming service promises that the show will feature Nye’s “unfiltered style” along with experiments, demonstrations, and special guests.

[Read more]

The Journey to Night Vale: The Foundations of SFF Podcast Fiction

So, you want to hear a story?

Last week, Wired Magazine featured an article entitled “Fiction Podcasts Are Finally a Thing! Thank You, Sci-Fi and Horror.” As I have been both a podcaster and a podcast consumer since 2004, I was anxious to find out what journalist Charley Locke and Wired had to say about Fiction Podcasts. However, I found myself scratching my head the more I read, especially when Locke boldly stated, “Years after Welcome to Night Vale first defined the genre, fictional podcasts have finally arrived.” This echoes a New York Times article from March of this year when Night Vale co-creator Joseph Fink said “The whole fiction podcast thing blew up in the past year.”

[Fiction podcasting has been alive and well for over a decade.]

The Soviet Version of The Hulk is a Giant Bear With a Machine Gun

Hey, who wants to see a giant bear with a gatling gun? The answer is: everyone.

A trailer for the Russian-made movie Guardians has been lighting up the internet in the past few days, drawing comparisons to 2012’s The Avengers in regards to sheer, eyeball-widening superhero action. The plot is terrifically simple. A machine army is attacking a present-day Soviet Union (according to the press materials, although the trailer says differently!) and the government has mere days to assemble disparate Soviet/Russian superheroes into a fighting force the likes the world has never…I’m sorry I can’t hold it in anymore…THEIR HULK TURNS INTO A GIANT BEAR AND IT’S ALL I’VE EVER WANTED.


Innumerable Voices: The Short Fiction of A. Merc Rustad

Innumerable Voices is a monthly column profiling short fiction writers and exploring speculative fiction themes in their many permutations. The column will discuss stellar genre work from both fresh and established writers who don’t have short fiction collections or novel-length works, but who actively contribute to anthologies and magazines.Links to magazines and anthologies for each story are available as footnotes. Chances are I’ll discuss the stories at length and mild spoilers will be revealed.

In reading A. Merc Rustad’s catalog in preparation for writing this profile, I found myself reflecting on how I came to read speculative fiction and which characteristics fostered a full and unconditional adoration of the genre—one that has only found strength in subsequent years. Few other authors have proffered the exact conditions to revisit my initial, sublime surrender to SFF’s immeasurable potential and richness in possibility, which should already inform you about the powerful effect Rustad’s writing exerts.

[Read more]

The Key to the Coward’s Spell

Nursing an injured arm while on the job searching for a missing kid is bad enough for sword jockey Eddie LaCrosse. But when he discovers a smuggling ring rumored to be protected by powerful magic, he seeks out old friends and new to lend a hand. A tale set in Alex Bledsoe’s popular medieval noir world.

Please be warned that this story deals with difficult content and themes involving children.

[Read more]

Winnie the Pooh and Piglet Too…at Tanagra!

Temba, his arms wide! Kira at Bashi “Winnie the Pooh and Piglet Too…at Tanagra”. Bastian, atop Falkor!*

*Yeah sorry we only have so much of the Tamarian language available so I’m subbing in human pop culture here. Anyway, I found this over on Geek Club Facebook and thought it too perfect not to share!

Update: Thank you, commenters, for identifying the original artist of this piece as Lar DeSouza! This and many other funny sci-fi/fantasy comic illustrations can be found on his Twitter account.

Learn How to Write the VanderMeer Way

Jeff VanderMeer has been appointed the 2016-2017 Trias Writer-in-Residence for Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and will be teaching a creative writing course called “Ghost Modules, Months of Secrets, and Dark Matter.” Assuming you’re not currently enrolled in the upstate NY college, he’s also been kind enough to post the basic outline for his seminar, along with a reading list.

This, along VanderMeer’s Wonderbook lecture series, will make for indispensable inspiration for those of you embarking on your own writing projects this fall!

[Read more]