Holy Rewatch, Batman! “Marsha, Queen of Diamonds” / “Marsha’s Scheme of Diamonds”

“Marsha, Queen of Diamonds” / “Marsha’s Scheme of Diamonds”
Written by Stanford Sherman
Directed by James B. Clark
Season 2, Episodes 23 and 24
Production code 9727
Original air dates: November 23 and 24, 1966

The Bat-signal: The police are on alert at U Magnum Diamonds because Marsha, Queen of Diamonds, is back in town—she’s been after the Pretzel Diamond, which U Magnum has on display, for years. O’Hara himself shows up to make sure all is well—and then escorts Marsha inside to take the diamond! O’Hara is completely devoted to her, fawning all over her and threatening the staff at U Magnum with arrest if they don’t give Marsha the Pretzel Diamond.

Apprehensive about his subordinate’s going rogue, Gordon immediately calls Batman, who is in the Batcave doing maintenance on the Bat-diamond and the machine that channels the power to the Bat-computer through that massive, perfect gem. They head off in the Batmobile to GCPD HQ—but Gordon isn’t there! On Marsha’s orders, O’Hara has called the commissioner to Marsha’s hideout.

[Let me be near you!!!!!]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Consequences and Coping Mechanisms: Orphan Black, “The Antisocialism of Sex”

Soooo remember when Orphan Black co-creator John Fawcett said that 4×05, 4×06, and 4×07 would be a crazy three-episode arc? Yeah. Last week’s heart-ripper of an episode, “The Scandal of Altruism,” subjected Sarah’s already-risky plan to every possible monkeywrench, leaving her freed from her creepy bot implant but everyone else absolutely screwed and devastated. And this week, we looked at the crazy mess of guilt and self-harm that comes out of the Clone Club’s massive setback.

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A Green and Ancient Light

Set in a world similar to our own, during a war that parallels World War II, A Green and Ancient Light is the stunning story of a boy who is sent to stay with his grandmother for the summer in a serene fishing village. Their tranquility is shattered by the crash of a bullet-riddled enemy plane, the arrival of grandmother’s friend Mr. Girandole—a man who knows the true story of Cinderella’­s slipper—and the discovery of a riddle in the sacred grove of ruins behind grandmother’s house. In a sumptuous idyllic setting and overshadowed by the threat of war, four unlikely allies learn the values of courage and sacrifice.

A gorgeous fantasy in the spirit of Pan’s Labyrinth, Frederic S. Durbin’s A Green and Ancient Light is available June 7th from Saga Press.

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Leviathan’s Blood Sweepstakes!

We want to send you a copy of Ben Peek’s Leviathan’s Blood, available May 31st from Thomas Dunne Books!

At the end of The Godless, Mireea lay in ruins, the dead of the city had risen as ghosts, and the keepers Fo and Bau had been slain by Zaifyr.

The Mireeans have now fled to the city of Yeflam with the immortal Zaifyr in chains to barter for their safety. With the threat of war arriving at the Floating Cities, Zaifyr’s trial will become the center of political games. However, Zaifyr is intent on using his trial to begin a new war, a motive that many fear is an echo of the dangerous man he once was. Ayae, a young girl cursed with the gift of fire, sees a chance to learn more of her powers here in the floating city, but she is weighed down by her new responsibilities regarding the safety of the Mireean people.

Across the far ocean, exiled Baron Bueralan and cartographer Orlan have arrived in the city of Ooila with some chilling cargo: the soul of a dead man. As the two men are accepted into the city’s court, they are pulled ever deeper into the Queen’s web of lies and deceit. All the while, a rumor begins to spread of a man who has come ashore, whose seemingly innocent presence threatens them all.

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Abracadabra: The Only Good Magician is a Dead Magician

Welcome to Freaky Friday, the only weekly celebration of forgotten pulp fiction that comes fully approved by Magnus Trench.

Hating clowns is a waste of time because you’ll never loathe a clown as much as he loathes himself, but a magician? Magicians think they’re wise and witty, full of patter and panache, walking around like they didn’t deserve to be shot in the back of the head and dumped in a lake. For all the grandeur of its self-regard, magic consists of nothing more than making a total stranger feel stupid. Worse, the magician usually dresses like a jackass, sending the message loud and clear, “I may be a balding hippie wearing rainbow suspenders, but you can’t even stop me from stealing your watch and pretending to find it behind your ear.” We’re supposed to ooh and aah over their feats, which mostly consist of hiding things in their waxy orifices when we’re not looking, producing body temperature quarters and handkerchiefs from their nooks and crannies with a flourish, standing motionless until we’re guilted into applause, at which point they beam and wink as if they’ve just performed surgery on the President rather than befuddled a mouth-breathing child.

Abracadabra is a horror novel about magic and magicians. It is warm and wise and full of love.

Kill me now.

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Rocket Talk Episode 77: Does Hamilton Count as Genre?

Welcome back to the Rocket Talk podcast! We’ve got some tremendous shows coming in the weeks ahead. So stay tuned!

This week’s show features Rocket Talk regular, Amal El-Mohtar. She joins Justin Landon to talk about Hamilton, the musical cultural sensation. The pair discuss what makes the musical so great, how it’s impacting the discussion, and whether or not it qualifies as “genre”. [Read more]

Series: Rocket Talk: A Tor.com Podcast

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: Blood and Bone Wrap Up

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 (with Amanda, new to the series, going first), and finally comments from Tor.com readers. In this article, we’ll wrap up our coverage of Ian Cameron Esslemont’s Blood and Bone.

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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Series: Malazan Reread of the Fallen

Celebrate Women Artists in Science Fiction and Fantasy at the Society of Illustrators!

On June 8th, a new exhibit curated by Tor’s own Irene Gallo and Orbit Books’ Lauren Panepinto opens at the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators, turning a spotlight on the incredibly rich array of science fiction and fantasy art created by women, from established icons in the field to new and upcoming artists. Point of Vision: Celebrating Women Artists in Fantasy and Science Fiction will run until August 20th; the opening reception is June 10th and is open to the public.

[Learn more and preview some of the art!]

Here’s a Chance to Win a Magical Pile of Books!

We’re giving you a chance to win every book we’ve published from our launch in September 2015 to the first week of June—from Kai Ashante Wilson’s The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps to Malka Older’s Infomocracy. That’s right: Every. Single. Book. Our line includes everything from contemporary fantasy to spine-tingling horror to science fiction adventure, and we want to give one lucky winner the chance to brag to all of their friends about having the whole Tor.com Publishing line on their bookshelf.

Just go here to sign up for the Tor.com Publishing newsletter and enter to win your very own novella library, and head below for a complete list of what you might win!

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The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Dragons of Spring Dawning Part 2, Chapters 2 and 3

Welcome back to the Dragonlance Reread. Last week was pretty epic. The tide, she hath turned! Disco dragons and Dragonlances and Golden Generals and Knights and Palanthians are reclaiming Krynn from the Dragonarmies, and, as they say in every bad television episode ever, “nothing can go wrong!”.

Except, well, it can. Because Kit is clever… so what are the forces of Evil up to? Let’s have a looksee.

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Series: Dragonlance Reread

Five Books About Prophecy

The prophecy of the chosen one is considered to be a tired trope by many fantasy readers. Indeed, many books use prophecy as a crutch to make it easier on the characters and push the plot along. But when done well, prophecy makes it harder on the characters, not easier, and enhances the mythic quality of the novel.

I love prophecy and the tale of the chosen one. I love when I realize a new book will detail another hero’s journey, and I break out in goosebumps when the prophecy sends our hero forth. The Lord of the Rings teems with prophecy—most of the main characters have legends attached to them. Harry Potter’s entire dilemma would not exist if a prophet hadn’t spewed her ambiguous foretelling, setting Voldemort against him. When in the hands of a master, a prophecy can be devastating. It can wring the chosen one dry, even crushing her spirit and leaving her quest shrouded in doom. A prophecy can add a lyricism to the novel, which makes the writing sing. It cloaks a novel with a hint of ancient folklore. Before you give up on prophecy, read one of these five masterfully prophetic books.

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Series: Five Books About…

The Harry Potter Reread: The Deathly Hallows, Epilogue

The Harry Potter Reread is gonna cry because how did we actually reach the end of this? Sure, we’ve got a couple movies left, but this is sad! It’s a time for handkerchiefs and toasts!

This week we’re going to deal with one of the most contentious pieces of the Potter mythos. It’s time for the Epilogue….

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