The Wild Cards universe has been thrilling readers for over 25 years. In Alan Brennert’s “Skin Deep,” we see for the first time the events of September 15, 1946 from the viewpoint of someone living on the West Coast of the United States. Trina Nelson is a pretty, popular sixteen-year-old high school student whose idyllic life took a turn for the tragic because of the Wild Cards virus. Now, she wants nothing more than to live out her days in the shadowy anonymity of the Jokertown on the Santa Monica Pier. But life, it turns out, has still another wild card to deal Trina…
Rogue Reynard is a real oddity in the Andre Norton canon. It was first published in 1947, then re-published in 1972 as a Dell Yearling Book. This series, according to the notes in the front matter, consists of works “designed to entertain and enlighten young people,” selected by a pair of learned professors.
It reads exactly like that. It is so earnest and so punctilious and so edifying. It’s a solid, or should I say stolid, example of the mock-medieval beast fable, complete with pretentious chapter headings—Chapter the first. Which telleth how King Lion kept Court and Baron Reynard appeared not thereat—and yea-verily prose. There’s funky capitalization and, in the Yearling edition I tracked down to a children’s bookstore in England, fancy Gothic title fonts.
Trapped in a forest, the party walks in a single-file line, carefully stepping over giant roots and branches. Ahead, the ruins of an old castle, or a mansion, or a spaceship, long abandoned, but strangely alive and vibrant. You know you shouldn’t go in (the Game Master has been very clear—do not enter the low place, look at the dark spot, nor search for the lair of the Gravenbest) but at the same time, you know that the only way through is ahead, and death stalks not far behind.
Written by André Bormanis and Carleton Eastlake and Robert Doherty
Directed by David Livingston
Season 7, Episode 2
Production episode 248
Original air date: October 11, 2000
Captain’s log. Voyager has come across a Wysanti ship, who take Azan and Rebi in. Mezoti has also decided to go with them back to the Wysanti homeworld. Icheb points out that she could stay on Voyager, and Mezoti says that he could come with them to Wysanti. They hug and say their goodbyes.
Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch
The first thing that always caught your eye were the covers. They stood completely apart from the fantasy-heavy YA books of the time. Each cover was like a magnet, drawing you across a school gymnasium during the yearly Scholastic Book Fair or leaving you staring slack-jawed in awe at the display in a bookstore window. The first one stands out in my memory, in particular: a boy looks out from the cover, utterly plain and ordinary in every way—except that he was slowly changing into a lizard through the magic of the finest rudimentary photoshop that 1996 had to offer. It was a startling revelation of a cover, fueling young imaginations for years to come.
There was absolutely nothing like K.A. Applegate’s Animorphs series back in the late ’90s and there may never be another series like it again.
Welcome to the second installment of the Y: The Last Man reread! While the first two volumes spent a lot of time in the first few weeks following the loss of all Y-chromosome mammals, the next two pick up the pace. Yorick Brown has a girl to find, dammit, and Dr. Allison Mann has cloning research to recover, and Agent 355 has to keep all of them alive! One Small Step and Safeword cover arguably the greatest narrative ground of the series, from brief bright hopes involving men from space to plumbing the depths of an ex-government-agent-slash-dominatrix’s basement pool and bearing the weight of survivor’s guilt.
If you’re wondering what intrusive fantasy is—apart from sounding like something very rude and impatient—you’re not alone. In Rhetorics of Fantasy, Farah Mendlesohn argues there are four categories of fantasy, one of which is “intrusive.” (The others, in case you’re interested, are portal, immersive, and liminal.) If a portal fantasy is one in which the protagonist and the reader travel from the ordinary world into a magical one (Alice in Wonderland and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe are classic examples), then an intrusive fantasy is the reverse. In intrusive fantasy, magic comes from an Elsewhere into the ordinary world, changing it and the protagonist forever.
Amidst the rush to remake and revitalize older franchises for movies and streaming services, there have been plenty of older classic films that have endured the reboot / remake / continuation / reimagination treatment. Take your pick: Battlestar Galactica, Terminator, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Westworld have all been in and out of theaters and on TV in the last twenty or so years, while new projects about The Last Starfighter and Willow are currently in the works.
Now, there’s word of another film that will be brought back: Kevin Reynold’s much-maligned 1995 film Waterworld (pictured above), which Collider reports is getting a streaming series that may serve as a continuation on the story.
Gotta say, I miss the Concrete Blonde from the first teaser. But using a much more common trailer song doesn’t make Brand New Cherry Flavor look any more ordinary. The story of a young filmmaker who seeks revenge on a leering producer, Netflix’s upcoming series promises to be creepy, bloody, and just plain weird. (That toenail image! Get it out of my head!)
David Lowery’s The Green Knight is so beautiful it becomes painful at times. Lush, witty, dreamlike, it retells a 14th Century tale not by updating the story, but by roughing the details up a bit, and making some subtext text. More than anything, it feels like a successor to The Seventh Seal or Robin and Marian, and if you can see it in the theater (safely!), you should.
It also succeeded in knocking the soundtrack to Inside out of my head for two whole hours! A feat nearly as impossible as surviving a beheading.
Tordotcom Publishing is delighted to announce a new addition to Tamsyn Muir’s New York Times bestselling The Locked Tomb series with Nona the Ninth.
Nona the Ninth will publish in fall 2022, with Alecto the Ninth to follow in fall 2023. Eagle-eyed fans may have already noticed the shift from The Locked Tomb Trilogy to The Locked Tomb Series in this fall’s paperback edition of Harrow the Ninth, and Tordotcom Publishing is excited to announce this expansion of the beloved series.
We’re gonna sharpen this scythe on daylight and see where that gets us. Let’s continue with Reaper Man.
Series: Terry Pratchett Book Club
Recently, I put my mind to the question of whose histories are used to animate storytelling in science fiction and fantasy. What else might exist as a source of inspiration in this genre, beyond Nordic sagas or Christian mythology? What vistas are opened up when writers of color, or writers from marginalized communities, whose histories are so often neglected, imagine new worlds based on cultures, histories or belief systems they know with vivid immediacy?
Do writers from these communities turn to science fiction and fantasy partly because there are very few spaces where they see their stories told in ways that seem authentic and familiar? These five books are by writers who aren’t just writing their resistance: they’re writing their worlds into being.
It’s been quite the July for Octavia Butler. Earlier this week, word broke that A24 was adapting her novel Parable of the Sower as a film, while earlier this month, FX/Hulu’s adaptation of Kindred tapped Janicza Bravo to direct Mallori Johnson as lead role of Dana Franklin in the pilot.
Today brings word of another Butler adaptation in the works: HBO Max is adapting her vampire novel Fledgling for a series.