Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “Children of Time”

“Children of Time”
Written by Gary Holland and Ethan H. Calk and Rene Echevarria
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Season 5, Episode 22
Production episode 40510-520
Original air date: May 5, 1997
Stardate: 50814.2

Station log: The Defiant is en route home following a week-long reconnaissance mission in the Gamma Quadrant. Dax, Kira, and Odo are talking in the mess hall and Kira reveals that she and Shakaar broke up a week earlier, which is news that hits Odo pretty hard on several levels.

Dax discovers a planet that has a strange energy field around it, but also the possibility of life signs. After a week in the GQ everyone wants to go home, but Dax talks Sisko into a quick survey. However, the field has an adverse effect on the ship, sending a massive shock through Kira, and damaging the ship enough that they’re not going to be able to move for a couple of days. Everyone’s a little peeved at Dax, but then Worf reveals that they’re being hailed by a settlement of about 8000 people, who appear to be mostly human—which is odd in the GQ.

[“If all we detect is some fungus, we’re not beaming down.” “What if it’s smart fungus?”]

Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch

Frozen on Once Upon a Time: Elsa Won’t Get a Love Interest and What Else to Expect

To the delight of some TV viewers and the chagrin of others, Frozen is the latest Disney film that ABC’s Once Upon a Time is cribbing from for season 4. They ended last season with a shot of Elsa’s retreating back, signaling that winter was indeed coming (sorry, had to) in Storybrooke. A recent paparazzi shot gave us a clearer look at Elsa in her signature dress; OUAT has also cast Anna and Kristoff.

But what will compel the royal sisters and ice harvester to leave Arendelle? And, more importantly, are we going to see some sort of twist on their recent-but-by-now-very-familiar story? OUAT’s creators sat down with Entertainment Weekly to hint at what to expect. (We’re gonna break the news to you now—no Olaf.)

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Summer of Sleaze: James Herbert’s The Rats and The Fog

Summer of Sleaze is 2014’s turbo-charged trash safari where Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction and Grady Hendrix of The Great Stephen King Reread plunge into the bowels of vintage paperback horror fiction, unearthing treasures and trauma in equal measure.

Books win awards. Books drink white wine. Books are discussed in hushed tones by earnest scholars. Books are genteel, books are mellow, books are housed in libraries where there is no talking. It’s hard to remember that books can be a punch in the nose, a bottle of beer broken over the head, a gob spat in the eye. Amiri Baraka’s in-your-face plays, Tom Wolfe’s go-go new journalism, Kathy Acker’s punk poetry. These writers set literature on fire and readers could either get on board or fuck off. James Herbert was one of them.

By the time he died last year he was a mainstream success, but his two earliest books are nasty, mean, angry pieces of anti-establishment sleaze torn straight out of his id, redeemed by Herbert’s complete conviction to Go There. That conviction is what keeps these two books in your hands long after you might otherwise throw them across the room. Read Herbert and you’re like a baby gripping a 10,000 volt cable, hands smoking, unable to tear them away even as your brain turns to cinders.

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A Roughty Toughty Aussie Bloke: An Interview with Ben Peek

When you put two authors together, interesting things are bound to happen. Such was the case when David Barnett, award-winning journalist and author of Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl, got to talk with Ben Peek about his latest novel, The Godless. Peek tells the story of a world built upon the bodies of dying gods, a young apprentice with powerful new abilities, and a war that threatens to tear everything apart.

amazon buy button The GodlessTor has followed The Godless from its cover reveal to a sneak peek at the first five chapters, and now we get to know the man behind the mythical realm. Check below the cut for walkabouts in the outback, what’s next for Ben Peek, and psychedelic koalas!

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Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, Before They Are Hanged: “Long Odds,” “The Road to Victory,” and “Necessary Evils”

Joe Abercrombie puts us on the cusp this week in Before They Are Hanged. Ferro (and crew), West, and Glokta all sit on the precipice of battle. Rather than give the reader several complete chapters detailing the run up to the clashes of arms, Abercrombie gives three extremely small bite chapters that hit like staccato notes.

Rather than write about each of these chapters individually, I figured I’d write about them as a group. Below you’ll find summaries of each of the chapters, and then, for the rest of the post, I treat them as one chapter. We’ll see how it goes.

[Three for the Price of One…]

Series: The Joe Abercrombie First Law Trilogy Reread

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: The Crippled God, Chapter Five

Welcome 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 cover chapter five of The Crippled God.

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.

[Read More]

Series: Malazan Reread of the Fallen

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Craig Cormick

Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on Tor.com featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!

Today we’re joined by award-winning author and science communicator, Craig Cormick. He has published over a dozen books—short story collections, novels and non-fiction—with both independent and mainstream publishers. Craig’s latest novel, The Shadow Master (published by Angry Robot), blends history with fantasy by pitting fictional versions of Leonardo and Galileo against each other. The result? Assassination; ancient, impossible machines; torture and infamy…

Join us for what might be the most heart-warming tale we’ve ever heard. It involves a schoolyard bully, a library, and a whole lot of cute.

[Read More]

Series: The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe

Gaming Roundup: Virginia Promises Interactive Drama with a Lynchian Flair

First person indie adventure game Gone Home did a lot of good for the interactive storytelling genre last year. The unexpected hit touched on all the right notes: a deftly told story, interesting character work, pitch-perfect atmosphere, and a heavy dose of 90s nostalgia. In many ways, Gone Home helped make it okay for games to be about the story and only about the story. The next step? More interactive drama games. Enter Variable State with their 90s cult classic TV-inspired Virginia.

[Any game citing Twin Peaks and The X-Files as core inspirations is going to have our undivided attention.]

Summer 2014 Anime Preview: In the Name of the Moon!

As summer reaches its sweltering peak, what better reason to stay indoors with the A/C on than a new season of foreign cartoons? With a packed schedule of both new and returning shows, the summer season is looking rather suspiciously good. Fans will be pleased at the return of Space Dandy to both Japanese and American televisions, as well as new seasons of Sword Art Online (with guns!), Free! (with mermaids!), Kuroshitsuji (with circuses!) …and perhaps not so pleased with the return of Sengoku Basara (with uglier character designs!). For the binge-watchers, sci-fi series Knights of Sidonia is now available in full on Netflix. And as if that weren’t enough, there’s a whole roster of new shows, ranging from the rose-strewn Sailor Moon reboot to the moody and mysterious Terror in Resonance. With simulcasts mere moments away, there’s no reason to wait. Here are six of the best new summer shows that are available to watch right now.

[Read more…]

The Art of Julie Dillon

Julie Dillon. Twice nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Artist, she’s become synonymous with awards ballots. The Chesley Award, Spectrum, and the World Fantasy Award, among others, have all named her as one of the finest illustrators working in science fiction and fantasy art.

Oddly, she remains under used in the cover game, with only a handful to her credit among major publishing houses. And among cover artists, her name recognition in comparison to stalwarts like John Harris and Michael Whelan lags behind, which is a fact not long for this world. Because Julie Dillon has something few artists lay claim to, a distinctive point of view.

[Read More]

Morning Roundup: This Slytherin Tea will Help You on the Way to Greatness

Pop Culture Brain introduced us to our new favorite tea shop! We love the juxtaposition between Slytherin (EVIL!!! or at least, MORALLY GREY.), a nice cup of tea (Cozy! Jean-Luc Picard!), and Snape (CONFLICTED. And kinda stalky.)—and obviously the fact that poor put-upon Snape can only mutter about his hatred of puns just takes everything to a new level.

Morning Roundup wants ALL THE SCONES. But lacking that, we’ll just have to give you all the news we can find! We’ve got a new Daredevil cast member, musings on horror from Guillermo del Toro, and reading recommendations from Stephen King! Plus, Russia has a brand new Hellmouth. At least, we’re assuming it’s a Hellmouth, until we’re proved wrong. It seems safer that way.

[What’s on the other side???]

Shifting from Human to Supernatural Evil: Messenger

Lois Lowry’s Messenger takes place a few years after the events of The Giver and Gathering Blue. Jonas has settled down in the seemingly genuine utopian village where Kira’s blind father, Christopher, found refuge. Jonas has become the village Leader, with the simple and descriptive name of Leader, and Christopher has become the village Seer, with, ditto. Matty is still Matty, if a little cleaner and more educated, now hoping to earn the name of Messenger. We also get a hint that just maybe the community of The Giver has been forced to change, just a little, by Jonas’ departure, and that they are willing to forgive and forget.

(That’s Jonas’ interpretation. My interpretation is that the community is still so against change that they are doing everything they can do to ensure that no one in the community knows that alternatives exist—even though alternatives are clearly around.)

[When human evil is overtaken by supernatural evil.]

Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, and More to Team Up in New “Avengers”-Style Films

With Marvel and DC’s superhero films proving that geeky franchises can flourish, it makes sense that Universal is peering back into the vault at its OG franchise: classic monster movies.

We’re talking, of course, about the black-and-white Frankenstein, Dracula, and Creature From the Black Lagoon on which we all grew up—or, for younger movie audiences, watched other movies parody and reference without achieving the same staying power as these horror masterpieces.

We’ve known for a while that such a massive revival was in the works, but now we know who’s helming it: Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan.

[It’s aliiive!]

Hail Pie-dra!

Behold! One of the running jokes from the Tor.com Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. recaps forged into delicious life courtesy of Tumblr user hobwicki!

Oh, and the second season returns to menace us on Tuesday, September 23rd in an unbroken 10-episode block which then gets switched out with Agent Carter for 8 episodes, then back to AoS for another 12 episodes which means we’ll be watching the Marvel universe non-stop right up to Avengers: Age of Ultron or until the sun grows cold, whichever comes first.

Where Every Man Has Gone Before: Vonda McIntyre’s Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

For those of you who may have been busy (or not yet born) in 1986, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is the story where Kirk et al DON’T go where no man has gone before. Instead of doing their fantasy jobs, which they are amazing at, and living their fantasy lives, they do what everyone in 1986 did every day. They take on the challenges of navigating San Francisco during what turned out to be the twilight of the Cold War.

At its heart, The Voyage Home is a screwball comedy. It works by highlighting the strangeness in ordinary things. This is exactly the kind of story that Vonda McIntyre does well. Her depth of characterization enhances both the peril and the humor of a complicated plot that has to carry a series of hefty metaphors. The problems of a time when humanity threatened to destroy itself are a parallel to the 24th century threat of a probe threatening to destroy humanity.

[Again. The Federation should consider significant research into humanity-destroying probes.]

Banking on the Hugos: Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross

Charles Stross is a mainstay on genre award ballots every year; 2014 marks his seventh appearance on the short list for the Hugo Award for Best Novel. There’s good reason for these accolades because when it comes to plausible and well-thought out future scenarios, few can invent better scenarios than Stross.

Neptune’s Brood, in this case, imagines a post-human, far future where we as humanity have become a thing of the past often referred to as Fragiles. The novel is many things, but a primary thrust revolves around economics in the future and a supposed defrauding scam as it features Krina Alizond-118 on her journeys through the galaxy.

[Pirates and banking?]

The Rise of Aurora West (Comic Excerpt)

The extraordinary world introduced in Paul Pope’s Battling Boy is rife with monsters and short on heroes… but in this action-driven extension of the Battling Boy universe, we see it through a new pair of eyes: Aurora West, daughter of Arcopolis’s last great hero, Haggard West.

A prequel to Battling Boy, The Rise of Aurora West follows the young hero as she seeks to uncover the mystery of her mother’s death, and to find her place in a world overrun with supernatural monsters and all-too-human corruption. With a taut, fast-paced script from Paul Pope and JT Petty and gorgeous, kinetic art from David Rubin, The Rise of Aurora West (the first of two volumes) is a tour de force in comics storytelling.

The Rise of Aurora West is out on September 30th from First Second Books, but you can read an excerpt now!

[Read an excerpt from The Rise of Aurora West by Paul Pope]

This 3D Futurama Video Is Almost Like Having Futurama Back

We were so happy-sad over the Futurama series finale last fall, but it was a fitting end to a series that ended up spanning a decade. Little did we know that this 3D take on Matt Groening and David X. Cohen’s series would be all we needed to suddenly want more.

Russian artist Alexey Zakharov has brought New New York—with a cameo by the Planet Express ship!—to life (or at least, stunning 3D), and wow does it look cool.

[Read more]

Adam Christopher and Chuck Wendig Will Revive and Gender-Flip Classic Hero The Shield

Archie Comics has announced the first three titles in their Dark Circle superhero imprint! The Shield, from writers Adam Christopher (The Burning Dark, “Cold War”) and Chuck Wendig (Blackbirds) and artist Wilfredo Torres (The Shadow: Year One); The Black Hood from writer Duane Swierczynski (Judge Dredd, X, Birds of Prey) and artist Michael Gaydos (ALIAS); and The Fox from writer/artist Dean Haspiel (Billy Dogma, HBO’s Bored to Death) and scripter Mark Waid (Daredevil, Kingdom Come, founder of Thrillbent).

The titles will be overseen by editor Alex Segura, and will launch early next year. They will all serve as jumping on points for new readers, using characters from Dark Circle Comics in unique new ways.

The Shield (pictured here) will be a gender-flipped version of a classic all-American hero who originally debuted in 1940 (predating Captain America!) and will be a new way to explore history. Adam Christopher said of the title: “We’ve all poured a lot of love into the new Shield—she’s a very powerful, very modern female superhero. And that I think is something to celebrate.”

We can’t wait to see her adventures!

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Feast for Crows, 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 Feast for Crows, in which we cover Chapter 30 (“Jaime”) and Chapter 31 (“Brienne”).

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 Tor.com. 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!

[“It’s a conjuring trick, that’s what it is. I saw a fellow make a peanut disappear once.”]

Series: A Read of Ice and Fire