Reconnecting With Fantasy, Thanks to Two Mercenaries and Their Very Cranky Client

I used to have a real problem with fantasy. Not as an idea—I love The Lord of the Rings movies and Alan Garner books get me through adolescence—but as an investment of time. I felt, for a long time, that there was no fantasy I could read that wasn’t 15,000 pages long, did not have a cast of hundreds, and that required at least one degree in medieval history to really get.

I am absolutely delighted to discover just how wrong I was.

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This Blue Milk Ice Cream Will Help You Defeat both the Empire and the Heat Dome!

Are you currently a melting, overheated mess, blinded by the glaring light of the outdoors, shaking your fist at the hellish Daystar before scurrying back into shade and/or air conditioning? If so, it’s entirely possible that this R2 unit could be of some assistance, because this is a blue milk ice cream R2-D2.

Nerdist shared the recipe, which uses regular, Earth-based cow’s milk so you don’t even have to worry about wrangling a Bantha. While they used an Artoo mold, we’re thinking a frozen Han Solo might be more appropriate… or, if you prefer the full ice cream cone experience, you can always make mini Death Star-shaped scoops.

A Space Unicorn Tale: The REAL Story Behind the Creation of Uncanny Magazine

In 2014, we told you about the long history of Uncanny Magazine, starting with its pulp magazine origins in the 1930s. Then in 2015, we spun the tale of the future history of Uncanny Magazine, going a million years into the magazine’s future.

Reader, we lied. A lot.

The biggest lie of all, though, is on every cover of Uncanny—right at the bottom.

Editors-in-Chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas have nothing to do with creation of each issue. They’re not even real people, just actors who go to conventions and podcast a little.

It’s time to reveal the truth. The truth that has been hiding in plain sight the whole time.

[The Space Unicorn mascot is REAL.]

Black Mirror Season 3 Will Give You Nightmares About Social Media and Video Games

What’s that creeping sense of existential dread? It’s the knowledge that Black Mirror season 3 comes to Netflix October 21! At the Television Critics Association press tour, Netflix shared not only the release date, but also episode titles, stars, and directors… including the surprising information that Parks and Recreation creator Michael Schur and Rashida Jones co-wrote one of next season’s episodes.

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Stranger Things — Coming Soon to Videocassette?

Instagrammer Steelberg gives recent horror and other SFF flicks the throwback treatment, repackaging them with glorious retro VHS covers to fit seamlessly between your worn out copies of The Hills Have Eyes and Poltergeist. Not surprisingly, Steelberg has added Netflix’s hit series Stranger Things to the set! The series itself pays homage to pulp paperbacks of the ’80s (complete with a glossy title font and “chapters” in lieu of episodes), and Steelberg’s version pumps up the neon colors and adds extra detailing—like the Goonies-style lettering and the torn video rental stickers—to really complete the retro look. My only quibble: I doubt all 8 hours of season one would fit on a single videocassette tape…

Check out Steelberg’s Instagram for more great VHS mock-ups. And if you’re looking for more on Stranger Things, look no further than Alasdair Stuart’s non-spoiler review of the series!

 

Animation as War Propaganda: Disney’s Victory Through Air Power

As the United States entered World War II, Disney was in major financial trouble. A bitter strike had forced the company to raise salaries and make other financial concessions just when the company could least afford it. Three lavishly animated, expensive feature films—Pinocchio, Fantasia and Bambi—had flopped at the box office. The war had cut off access to most European movie theatres. The decision to make Bambi, based on a book banned by the Nazis, ensured that Disney would not have access to movie theatres in Nazi controlled areas for the foreseeable future. To make ends meet, the company started making training films for the U.S. military, making barely enough money to keep its doors open. The profits from Dumbo swiftly vanished.

[Naturally, Walt Disney figured that this would be a GREAT time to release another film with limited popular appeal!]

Marvel’s Jessica Jones and Daredevil Won’t Return to Netflix Until 2018

Disappointing news for Jessica Jones fans from Marvel and Netflix during the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour this week: Season 2 won’t premiere until sometime in 2018. Ditto for season 3 of Daredevil, thanks to Marvel’s other superhero television series—plus the miniseries event for The Defenders—taking priority.

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Pathfinder Tales: Starspawn Sweepstakes!

We want to send you a galley copy of Wendy N. Wagner’s Pathfinder Tales: Starspawn, available August 9th from Tor Books!

The sequel to Skinwalkers! Once a notorious viking and pirate, Jendara has at last returned to the cold northern isles of her home, ready to settle down and raise her young son. Yet when a mysterious tsunami wracks her island’s shore, she and her fearless crew must sail out to explore the strange island that’s risen from the sea floor. No sooner have they arrived in the lost island’s alien structures, however, than they find themselves competing with a monstrous cult eager to complete a dark ritual in those dripping halls. For something beyond all mortal comprehension has been dreaming on the sea floor. And it’s begun to wake up…

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 July 28th. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on August 1st. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Tor.com, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

Everfair

Nisi Shawl’s Everfair is a wonderful Neo-Victorian alternate history novel that explores the question of what might have come of Belgium’s disastrous colonization of the Congo if the native populations had learned about steam technology a bit earlier. Fabian Socialists from Great Britain join forces with African-American missionaries to purchase land from the Belgian Congo’s “owner,” King Leopold II. This land, named Everfair, is set aside as a safe haven, an imaginary Utopia for native populations of the Congo as well as escaped slaves returning from America and other places where African natives were being mistreated.

Told from a multiplicity of voices, Everfair manages to turn one of the worst human rights disasters on record into a marvelous and exciting exploration of the possibilities inherent in a turn of history. Available September 6th from Tor Books. Read an excerpt below, and check out another sneak peek at the novel at the Tor/Forge blog!

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Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 89

Welcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com! Last time, the secret societies began to reveal their purposes in aftershocks from the climax. This week, Adolin gets angry and the new Radiants gather in conference.

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!

[“Life before death, Radiant. It is the task to which we are now sworn. “]

Series: Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com

Romanov-Inspired Fantasy: Announcing Two Novels by Leena Likitalo

Tor.com Publishing is proud to announce that Senior Editor Claire Eddy has acquired two novels from debut author Leena Likitalo. The duology, which begins with The Five Daughters of the Moon, magically reimagines the fall of the Romanov dynasty from the perspective of five sisters in mortal peril.

Leena Likitalo is a writer from Finland, the land of thousands of lakes and at least as many untold tales. She breaks computer games for living and plays polocrosse for fun. She enjoys embarking on new adventures, be it participating in a surfer sauna ritual or getting lost on her way back from a volcano and having to hitchhike home aboard a garbage truck. Likitalo is also a Clarion San Diego graduate and Writers of the Future 2014 winner. Her short fiction has appeared in several international venues, including Clarkesworld, Weird Tales, and Galaxy’s Edge.

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Series: Editorially Speaking

Diana Gill Named Executive Editor at Tor/Forge

We’re excited to announce that Diana Gill will be joining Tor/Forge as Executive Editor! An accomplished editor, Gill has worked with a variety of books throughout her career—from science textbooks to fantasy novels.

Tom Doherty, President and Publisher of Tor/Forge Books had this to say:

“I am delighted to announce that Diana Gill will be joining us at Tor/Forge. She managed the US division of Harper Voyager, the global science fiction and fantasy imprint of HarperCollins, for twelve years. At Voyager, she discovered such NY Times bestselling authors as Kim Harrison and Ian Douglas. In 2014 she moved to the Berkley Publishing Group. At Berkley’s Ace/Roc she acquired and edited such notable and bestselling authors as Charlaine Harris, Mark Lawrence, Steven Donaldson, and Zen Cho. She developed both established and emerging authors across platforms and formats, both digital and traditional. Diana has done some very fine work in our field. She’ll be a great addition to the Tor/Forge team.”