The Harry Potter Reread: The Order of the Phoenix, Chapters 13 and 14

The Harry Potter Reread was told that this coffee was lightly sweeten with brown-sugar syrup, and is perplexed to find that this coffee is not sweet at all. Mutiny. On the upside, this coffee is still pretty delicious.

Today we’re going to watch our fifteen-year-old hero suffer through torture and have an unfortunately tense conversation with a fugitive animagus. It’s chapters 13 and 14 of The Order of the Phoenix—Detention With Dolores and Percy and Padfoot.

Index to the reread can be located here! Other Harry Potter and Potter-related pieces can be found under their appropriate tag. And of course, since we know this is a reread, all posts might contain spoilers for the entire series. If you haven’t read all the Potter books, be warned.

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Series: The Harry Potter Reread

Please Won’t You Be My Huge Green Rage Neighbor

Long before Bruce Banner was fighting Chitauri and Ultron robots, he paid a visit to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe to talk to kids about fears and superheroes. And take adorable photos like this one with Bill Bixby and Mister Rogers himself. Forget lullabies—Mister Rogers is the man to help you stop from Hulking out.

Afternoon Roundup is sitting in a lunch box, far above the world—home space ball is blue, and there’s nothing we can do. In the meantime, we bring you the Fury Road art that demanded to be drawn, and one way to count down to The Force Awakens.

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Imagination and Wish Fulfillment in Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story

Show of hands—who’s seen The Neverending Story? Okay, great. Now, who’s actually read the book?

An 80s children’s classic, chances are you’ve seen the movie or at least heard of it. And if you’re a child of the 80s like me, it may very well have a treasured place in the corner of your heart reserved for your favorite childhood nostalgia. While I loved the movie as a kid, it was only years later as an adult, when I chanced to pick up a copy of the book at my local library, that I learned there’s far more to the story than what I saw on the screen.

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Series: That Was Awesome! Writers on Writing

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Dance With Dragons, Part 22

Welcome back to A Read of Ice and Fire! Please join me as I read and react, for the very first time, to George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. Today’s entry is Part 22 of A Dance With Dragons, in which we cover Chapter 37 (“The Prince of Winterfell”) and Chapter 38 (“The Watcher”).

Previous entries are located in the Index. The only spoilers in the post itself will be for the actual chapters covered and for the chapters previous to them. As for the comments, please note that the Powers That Be have provided you a lovely spoiler thread here on Any spoileriffic discussion should go there, where I won’t see it. Non-spoiler comments go below, in the comments to the post itself.

And now, the post!


Series: A Read of Ice and Fire

Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 40

Welcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on! Last week, feasting in the Davar home was less than agreeable for all parties. This week, things are much more congenial as Shallan finds her temporary home in the warcamps.

This reread will contain spoilers for The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and any other Cosmere book that becomes relevant to the discussion. The index for this reread can be found here, and more Stormlight Archive goodies are indexed here. Click on through to join the discussion.

[What had they made the thing out of? Air and wishes?]

Series: Words of Radiance Reread on

The SFF Book Covers You Remember Most Vividly

What is it about a cover that grabs you? Maybe it’s a glimpse into a fantastical land, or a style of art you’ve never seen before, or a figure on the cover who is particularly compelling (or hilarious). We asked you to share the SFF book covers dynamic, unexpected, and baffling enough that they’ve remained imprinted in your memories decades after you first picked them up off the shelf.

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What the Devil? Announcing a second novella from K.J. Parker

K.J. Parker’s upcoming novella The Last Witness, out October 10th from, was one of the first books we bought for the new novella line, and it’s so much fun. Parker is pretty much universally loved here in the Tower, so when I was asked if we’d like another novella from the great man himself, I jumped at the chance.

The new book has the working title of The Devil You Know, and is due to be published in  spring of next year.

Want to know more about The Devil You Know? You know you want to, you devil…

[Read more about The Devil You Know by K. J. Parker]

Series: Editorially Speaking

A Pair of Magical Shoes: Variations on “Cinderella”

What do you do when you find yourself downtrodden, turned into a servant by trusted family members, dressed in mud and rags, without, apparently, a friend in the world? Get some magical footwear—and go dancing.

It’s the sort of tale that could easily seize a world. And for the most part, has.

[Social climbing in elegant footwear]

Godzilla Is a Big Responsibility!

Are you sure you want a baby Godzilla? He’s going to be your responsibility. You’ll have to clean his tank, feed him, and apologize to the city of Tokyo every time he destroys it! …Yes, every time he destroys it. And if you show us you can take good care of him, then we’ll talk about adopting a Ninja Turtle.

Morning Roundup brings you a call to literary arms form Nicola Griffith, the most depressing theme park ever, and thoughts on the awesomeness of Akira!

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Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “Miri”

Written by Adrian Spies
Directed by Vincent McEveety
Season 1, Episode 11
Production episode 6149-12
Original air date: October 27, 1966
Stardate: 2713.5

Captain’s log. The Enterprise picks up an Earth-style SOS from a planet that is a dead ringer for Earth. Kirk beams down along with Spock, McCoy, Rand, and two security guards. They find abandoned buildings and vehicles, but no life. They find a tricycle, and McCoy futzes with it—only to be attacked by a scab-covered creature. Kirk and Spock manage to subdue him, and then he starts crying because the tricycle is broken. The creature has a seizure and dies. McCoy’s readings indicate that his biochemistry is acting like he’s aged a century in a few minutes.

They hear noises in a building, so they investigate. They check a closet, where Kirk—while standing with a phaser surrounded by several other people with phasers—says to come out because they mean no harm. They find a young woman named Miri in the closet, crying, begging them not to hurt her.

[“This is the vaccine?” “That’s what the computers will tell us.” “Without them, it could be a beaker full of death.”]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

This Princess Can Defend Any Castle

Now this is taking cosplay to the next level: An inventive cosplayer modeled her look after Kirbi Fagan’s excellent reimagining of Princess Peach for Muddy Colors’ Women Redesigning Women Characters piece. So meta, so badass. (Hat tip to Orbit Books Creative Director Lauren Panepinto for putting this pic on our radar!)

Afternoon Roundup hopes but doesn’t hope that Sean Connery will return for the new LXG; mentally inserts The Rock into every situation; and thinks the universe is trying to tell us something.

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Rereading Melanie Rawn: Sunrunner’s Fire, Chapters 19 and 20

Welcome to the weekly Wednesday reread of Sunrunner’s Fire! This week the iron hits the fire in some dangerous and devastating ways, and a major character falls headfirst into more than one trap.

Chapter 19—Stronghold: 33 Spring

So This Happen: Andry has deliberately gone riding out to Rivenrock and left lower-ranking Sunrunner Oclel in his place rather than attend Rohan’s audience with Lord Barig. Rohan understands the message being sent, and the insult. Meanwhile he tries to figure out what Oclel is up to on Andry’s behalf.

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Series: Rereading Melanie Rawn’s The Dragon Prince Trilogy

George Miller’s Justice League Would Have Changed Superhero Movies Drastically

Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller almost made a Justice League movie, years before the Avengers made it to the big screen.

It’s one of the panoply of lost Hollywood projects, sunk by the 2007-08 writer’s strike and spoken of in the same terms as Tim Burton’s Superman Lives, Jodorowsky’s Dune, or Bob “Back to the Future” Gale’s Doctor Strange. Miller’s lost project Justice League: Mortal is back in the news because an Australian documentary team wants to show audiences what could have been. Judging from the scripts and other intel that have been leaked, the project had plenty of problems and could have fallen short. Except that now there’s a little movie called Mad Max: Fury Road that has us wondering just what Miller’s Justice League would have looked like, and how it might have impacted the DC and Marvel Cinematic Universes.

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The Coode Street Podcast Episode 235: Elizabeth Hand

Welcome to The Coode Street Podcast, an informal weekly discussion about science fiction and fantasy featuring award-winning critics and editors Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe. The Coode Street Podcast debuted in 2010 and has been nominated for the Hugo, British Science Fiction, and Aurealis awards.

This week we pay a return visit to World Fantasy Award winning author Elizabeth Hand, discussing her new novella Wylding Hall, the British folk revival of the 1970s which provides the novel’s background, the use of multiple narrators (and the advantages of audio-books in differentiating them), and such diverse matters as the legacy of Arthur Machen, why there aren’t more fantasy novels about the arts, and what to expect next in her ongoing series of crime novels involving the troubled ex-punk photographer Cass Neary.

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Series: The Coode Street Podcast

Read Hoshruba: The Land and the Tilism Book 1 in Its Entirety

For the past two months, has serialized the first volume of the Urdu fantasy epic Hoshruba: The Land and the Tilism. Now, the first 50 episodes comprising Book 1, translated into English for the first time by Musharraf Ali Farooqi, are fully available for your reading pleasure!

Each episode transports readers to the magical realm of the tilism, an entire world crafted out of an inanimate object, a world with a pre-ordained, limited lifespan. Emperor Afrasiyab and trickster Amar Ayyar face each other again and again, one man defending his home from the man who is destined to unravel it. Along the way are benevolent angels, trickster girls, enchanted artifacts, rivers of blood–all the makings of a fantasy epic.

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Series: Hoshruba: The Land and the Tilism

The Traitor Baru Cormorant, Chapter 2

Baru Cormorant believes any price is worth paying to liberate her people-even her soul. When the Empire of Masks conquers her island home, overwrites her culture, criminalizes her customs, and murders one of her fathers, Baru vows to swallow her hate, join the Empire’s civil service, and claw her way high enough to set her people free.

Sent as an Imperial agent to distant Aurdwynn, another conquered country, Baru discovers it’s on the brink of rebellion. Drawn by the intriguing duchess Tain Hu into a circle of seditious dukes, Baru may be able to use her position to help. As she pursues a precarious balance between the rebels and a shadowy cabal within the Empire, she orchestrates a do-or-die gambit with freedom as the prize. But the cost of winning the long game of saving her people may be far greater than Baru imagines.

Seth Dickinson’s highly anticipated debut novel, The Traitor Baru Cormorant, is available September 15th from Tor Books and Tor UK. Get a closer look at the cover art for both the US and UK editions here. Read chapter two below, or get started with Chapter 1.

[Read an excerpt]