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 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

“No One Is Born Evil” But Daniel Radcliffe Looks Pretty Sinful in the First Horns Trailer

The most evil thing about Daniel Radcliffe’s new project Horns is how long we’ve had to wait for little hints—his impressive American accent, those wicked-looking horns—without knowing when the movie would actually be released. Now, we get both a full trailer and a release date!

[“Sometimes, when you go through hell, the only way out is to walk deeper into the fire…”]

Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 5

Welcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on! Last week we met a thunderclast in one of Dalinar’s visions and received the first scribbled countdown to the Everstorm, setting up some serious concerns in House Kholin. This week we return to Kaladin to see what form the next steps will take.

[“Dalinar Kholin, Highprince of War, hereby orders changes….”]

Series: Words of Radiance Reread on

The 2014 Hugo Toastmasters Have Been Announced!

On Sunday August 17th Loncon 3 will host the presentation of the 2014 Hugo Awards, and they’ve just announced their hosts—Justina Robson and Geoff Ryman!

Robson is the author of the Quantum Gravity series. She has been shortlisted for both the Arthur C Clarke Award and the British Science Fiction Association Award for her debut novel Silver Screen. Her third novel, Natural History, was shortlisted for the BSFA Award, and came second for the John W Campbell Memorial Award. Ryman is a multiple-award winning author, as well as a writing professor at the University of Manchester. His novel Air won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, the Arthur C Clarke Award, the James Tiptree Jr Award, the Canadian Sunburst Award and the British Science Fiction Association Award in 2005.

The ceremony, which will also include the presentation of the John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer, is open to all attending members, and it will be streamed via Ustream for all of you who can’t make it to London!

The Harry Potter Reread: The Chamber of Secrets, Chapters 13 and 14

The Harry Potter Reread would do the Hokey Pokey and turn itself around, but then it would have to turn back in the other direction—otherwise it wouldn’t feel symmetrical. This is important, honest. Or it could crash into a wall on accident.

This week we’re telling all our secrets to disembodied strangers from the past and meeting politicians with questionable fashion sense. It’s chapters 13 and 14 of The Chamber of Secrets—The Very Secret Diary and Cornelius Fudge.

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

Teen Wolf: Reboot

Previously on Teen Wolf: Scott makes a series of stupid decisions that turn out in his favor only out of sheer dumb luck; Stiles makes a series of stupid decisions that turn out in his favor only out of sheer dumb luck; Kira grows more comfortable with being both a BAMF and total rom-com ditz; Lydia continues to be awesome and woefully underutilized; Derek and Sheriff Stilinski play Batman and Commissioner Gordon; Peter loses the bank and gets his v-neck bloody; Kate is the worst; Argent needs a shave; the parental McCalls are now living together or something; and WHERE THE HELL IS DANNY?

[“Can someone in this town stay dead?!”]

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Mary E. Pearson

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

Today we’re joined by Mary E. Pearson, award-winning author of The Jenna Fox Chronicles, The Miles Between, A Room on Lorelei, and Scribbler of Dreams. She writes full-time from her home office in California where she lives with her husband and two golden retrievers.

amazon buy button the kiss of deception The Kiss of Deception, the first book in Pearson’s Remnant Chronicles, is available now from Henry Holt & Co. Read an excerpt here on

Join us!

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Series: The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe

Three Possible Directions for the Next Planet of the Apes

After a fantastic opening weekend both critically and financially, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is obviously poised to bring back Caesar and company in a few years. A sequel to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is definitely happening, and will be directed AND written by Matt Reeves. Recently, Reeves dropped some hints as to the shape of the next film. But what about some specifics?

Here are three scenarios that might fit into the new Apes mythos.

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Morning Roundup: Minimalist Poster Game Over, Man!

Quick, what do you think is happening in the above picture? What if we told you this was a minimalist poster for the film alien, and that there is now a chest-bursting alien baby running amok in your tastefully furnished apartment? Buzzfeed shared some of these designs by Atipo, a Spanish art studio whose method of cutting to the heart of a film is simply breathtaking. Check out the idea for Jaws, Dracula, and, maybe best of all, Fahrenheit 451. 

Morning Roundup has maximalist news for you today! The first official images from the set of Age of Ultron have been released! If Manuel Noriega is going to be portrayed as a murder, he damn well wants some royalties! And you might have heard some news about Thor…

[Plus, Ned Stark might be even more noble than previously suspected.]

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Mike Huddleston

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

Today we’re joined by Mike Huddleston, a comics illustrator who has worked on a variety of titles, including Gen13 and Harley Quinn. Along with author David Lapham, Huddleston is currently in production on a comics adaptation of Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Strain trilogy. Four trade paperbacks of the series are currently available from Dark Horse, and issue one of The Strain: The Night Eternal story arc publises August 20th.

What mystical connection does Mike share with a microscopic bear? Read on to find out!

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Series: The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe

The Ultra Thin Man (Excerpt)

In the twenty-second century, a future in which mortaline wire controls the weather on the settled planets and entire refugee camps drowse in drug-induced slumber, no one—alive or dead, human or alien—is quite what they seem.

When terrorists manage to crash Coral, the moon, into its home planet of Ribon, forcing evacuation, it’s up to Dave Crowell and Alan Brindos, contract detectives for the Network Intelligence Organization, to solve a case of interplanetary consequences. Crowell’ and Brindos’s investigation plunges them neck-deep into a conspiracy much more dangerous than anything they could have imagined.

The two detectives soon find themselves separated, chasing opposite leads: Brindos has to hunt down the massive Helkunn alien Terl Plenko, shadow leader of the terrorist Movement of Worlds. Crowell, meanwhile, runs into something far more sinister—an elaborate frame job that puts our heroes on the hook for treason.

Amazon buy button ultra thin man In Patrick Swenson’s Ultra Thin Man, Crowell and Brindos are forced to fight through the intrigue to discover the depths of an interstellar conspiracy. Read an excerpt below, and look for the novel August 12th from Tor Books!

[Read an Excerpt]

Outer Limits Sweepstakes!

You’re passionate about SF&F. You’ve considered how Alien’s Ellen Ripley opened up doorways for other female leads, you’ve ranted about Jar Jar Binks and how the Star Wars films could have been better executed, and you’ve explained to your friends why the Star Trek Reboot’s Khan situation was so lamentable. You’re invested. You care. 

 That’s why we want to send you a copy of Outer Limits: The Filmgoers’ Guide to the Great Science-Fiction Films, a detailed survey of major genre films from Metropolis to Avatar, out now from Palgrave Macmillan!amazon buy outer limits

We’ve got three great prizes for you:

1st prize: One copy of Outer Limits, plus Living with Star Trek: American Culture and the Star Trek Universe, British Science Fiction Television: A Hitchhiker’s Guide, and Projecting Tomorrow: Science Fiction and Popular Cinema!
2nd prize: Outer Limits and Projecting Tomorrow!
3rd prize: Outer Limits

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 3:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on July 16. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on July 20. 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.

There and Back Again: Our Favorite Forms of Fictional Transport

The temperature is climbing here in Manhattan, which has all of us at dreaming of getting away for a while. And since we’re on the subject, how cool would it be if you could take the TARDIS to your favorite vacation spot? Soar over the crowds on Miami Beach on the back of your very own dragon, or skip the lines at the Eiffel Tower by apparating yourself straight to the top? If you answered “pretty darn cool” then you, my friend, are correct.

We recently asked the Twitterverse how you’d like to arrive at your favorite summer vacation spot, and we’ve compiled a list of the twelve best forms of fictional transportation based on your answers!

[So grab some Plutonium and let’s get going…]

Under the Dome: “Force Majeure”

Finally! While Lost squandered viewer patience by asking too many questions it never answered, Under the Dome just proved that it’s not going to play that game. After a full season of mystery, we finally started getting answers in this episode! Who shaves Big Jim’s head? Where are all these new characters coming from? Who has the best product placement? Are resources the new crops? What is email? And finally, what does it taste like when God cries? (Answer: Acid-flavored cherry Kool-Aid.)

“Those are pretty provocative questions,” says new character Lyle Chumley. Well, I’ve got some pretty provocative answers! Let’s start with the biggest!

[Was this week’s episode better than last week’s episode?]

Voting the Categories: A Guide to the 2014 Hugo Novella Finalists

The Hugo ballot is officially open, and the time has come to perform the laborious task of deciding among excellence. And, while much of the attention of the voting community tends to concentrate on the Best Novel finalists, we at all felt that this year’s short fiction field was equally deserving of attention. I’ve decided to help guide readers through the short story, novelette, and novella finalists in preparation for voting. You can find the short story discussion here.

This week I discuss the novella category. The five finalists display an impressive range of styles and genres, and since two of the entries were also nominated for both the Nebula and the World Fantasy Award, the competition is fierce.

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Welcome to Rereading Melanie Rawn: The Dragon Prince Trilogy!

Not too long ago some of us Lady Writers were talking on twitter about the Invisible Woman phenomenon—about how women are so often disappeared from the arts, the sciences, and everywhere else. Their inventions are credited to the men who worked with them or who came later. Their contributions to literature are dismissed or elided. They just don’t count.

And of course, since we are Lady Writers, and many of us write fantasy, we all made ritual signs and spat on one of our, ahem, favorites: “Women don’t write epic fantasy. That’s a men’s genre.”

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Series: Rereading Melanie Rawn