Real-Life Vulcan Found? First Exoplanet Confirmed Around the Star That Hosts Vulcan in Star Trek

Astronomers at the University of Florida, Tennessee State University, and the University of Arizona, have detected a “super-Earth” around the star 40 Eridani A, the real-life star that also has the honorable distinction of being the home solar system of Vulcan from the Star Trek franchise.

But it’s not all good first-contact-that-propels-humanity-into-post-scarcity news. The paper detailing the discovery notes that the super-Earth is orbiting extremely closely to its star (its orbital period is only 42.4 days) and is thus entirely too hot to support life. Still, astronomers are only just now forming a detailed study of the system, and typically if there’s one confirmed exoplanet around a distant star, there tend to be multiple planets still awaiting discovery.

So anyway. Star Trek is real. Spock is real. Love is real.

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Financial Tips From the Dreamlands: Lovecraft and Barlow’s “The Hoard of the Wizard-Beast”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

This week, we’re reading Lovecraft and R.H. Barlow’s “The Hoard of the Wizard-Beast,” written in 1933 and first published in Necronomicon Press’s The Hoard of the Wizard-Beast and One Other in 1994. Spoilers ahead.

[“Unconcernedly munching something the priests had given It was a large pudgy creature very hard to describe, and covered with short grey fur…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

No Soft Edges: Rosewater by Tade Thompson

Rosewater is award-winning author Tade Thompson’s second novel. A science fiction novel—part near-future thriller, part post-first-contact story—set in Nigeria, it’s a fast, tense, pacy, interesting book. First published in 2016 by a small press outfit, it’s now been picked up by Orbit and given a wider release as the opening volume of a trilogy.

At first glance, Rosewaters setting, its mixture of mysticism and science, and its overall themes—communication, trust, the unknowable alien and irreversible transformations—recalls the work of another award-winning author of Nigerian extraction: Nnedi Okorafor’s acclaimed Lagoon (Hodder, 2014; Saga Press, 2016). But in terms of structure, characterisation, and tone, Rosewaters an entirely different beast. It reminds me a little of Elizabeth Bear’s Jenny Casey trilogy, and a little, too, of Ian McDonald. It’s not really into soft edges.

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Read an Excerpt from Dale Bailey’s In the Night Wood

Failed father, failed husband, and failed scholar, Charles Hayden hopes to put his life back together with a new project: a biography of Caedmon Hollow, the long-dead author of a legendary Victorian children’s book, In the Night Wood, and forebear of his wife, Erin. Deep in mourning from the loss of their young daughter, they pack up their American lives, Erin gives up her legal practice, and the couple settles in Hollow’s remote Yorkshire mansion.

In the neighboring village, Charles meets a woman he might have loved, a child who could have been his own daughter, and the ghost of a self he hoped to bury. Erin, paralyzed by her grief, immerses herself in pills and painting images of a horned terror in the woods.

In the primeval forest surrounding Caedmon Hollow’s ancestral home, an ancient power is stirring, a long-forgotten king who haunts the Haydens’ dreams. And every morning the fringe of darkling trees presses closer.

Soon enough, Charles and Erin will venture into the night wood.

Soon enough, they’ll learn that the darkness under the trees is but a shadow of the darkness that waits inside us all.

Dale Bailey’s In the Night Wood is available October 9th from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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Loki and Scarlet Witch May Star in Their Own Shows for Disney’s Streaming Service

Disney and Marvel Studios may team up on some magical original content next year! According to Hollywood Reporter, the studios are planning to make Disney’s new streaming service considerably more irresistible (at least to certain fans) by developing limited series for Loki and Scarlet Witch—and rather than turning to animation, they’re intending to bring Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen in to star!

The two may join a roster of other superheroes/villains/grey-area-magic-users who haven’t yet headlined their own films.

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Morgoth Is Rendered Null and Void In An All-Out War (of Wrath)

In Which Morgoth Gets His Ass Handed To Him, the Last Sons of Fëanor Find Time To Make One More Bad Decision, and Beleriand Starts Taking On Water

Well, we’re down to it at last. The final showdown of the First Age, which gets less page space than any of the Wars of Beleriand—and yet it’s the greatest conflict of them all. We’ve not seen this sort of mayhem since the Valar mopped the floor with Morgoth back when his library card still read “Melkor.” And that was arguably a more discreet event, since the Valar were then trying to shelter the newly awakened Elves!

The second half of Chapter 24 is a bit like the rushed ending of a really great novel—something even the best authors can be guilty of. But it’s not the ending of The Silmarillion, just the Quenta Silmarillion, the history of the First Age which centers around the Noldor and those pesky Silmarils. So let’s get right into it.

[So sudden and ruinous was the onset of that dreadful fleet…]

Series: The Silmarillion Primer

How Cordwainer Smith’s Work Influenced the Writing of Mecha Samurai Empire

My relationship with Cordwainer Smith’s work began in high school thanks to my 11th grade AP English teacher, Mr. Hom. I grew up in an abusive family and I hated going home, so I used to stay after school as long as I could, talking with my teacher about the weird worlds of literature.

He introduced me to many of my favorite literary works, from the musings on philosophy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance to the maniacal defiance of godhood in Moby-Dick, as well as the suppressive thought police of 1984. But the writer that stands out most was one I’d never heard of before: Cordwainer Smith.

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Who Benefits From Your Fear? Announcing Vigilance, a New Novella From Robert Jackson Bennett

Ripped from the author’s heart by a constant stream of real-life headlines, award-winning fantasy author Robert Jackson Bennett’s forthcoming novella is a dark science fiction action parable about an America that has permanently surrendered to paranoia, distrust, and gun violence. Tor.com Publishing is proud to announce the acquisition of Vigilance.

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Nine Last Days on Planet Earth

When the seeds rained down from deep space, it may have been the first stage of an alien invasion—or something else entirely. How much time do we have left, and do we even understand what timescale to use? As a slow apocalypse blooms across the Earth, planets and plants, animals and microbes, all live and die and evolve at different scales. Is one human life long enough to unravel the mystery?

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Mary Robinette Kowal will Return to Space with Two New Lady Astronaut Novels!

Mary Robinette Kowal is giving us more stories from her punch-card punk universe! Kowal has signed a six-figure deal with Tor Books to continue the alternate history series with two more books about mathematician/astronaut Elma York and her colleagues: The Relentless Moon and The Derivative Base will follow The Calculating Stars and The Fated Sky in 2020 and 2022, respectively.

As if that wasn’t enough, Kowal’s sparkling standalone SF murder mystery, that she describes as “The Thin Man in Space,” will hit shelves in 2021!

Kowal recently spoke about her series with The Verge, sharing details about the future of the series, and a look at a brand new character.

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The Sacred Throne Series Sweepstakes!

The second book in Myke Cole’s Sacred Throne series, The Queen of Crows, is available now from Tor.com Publishing—and to celebrate, we want to send you a copy of it, along with a copy of the first book in the series, The Armored Saint!

In this epic fantasy sequel, Heloise stands tall against overwhelming odds—crippling injuries, religious tyrants—and continues her journey from obscurity to greatness with the help of alchemically-empowered armor and an unbreakable spirit.

No longer just a shell-shocked girl, she is now a figure of revolution whose cause grows ever stronger. But the time for hiding underground is over. Heloise must face the tyrannical Order and win freedom for her people.

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 September 18th. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on September 22nd. 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.

Trauma and Triumph: Myke Cole’s The Queen of Crows

Myke Cole surprised readers last year when the author of primarily military fantasy fiction told the grim but complex story of a young woman named Heloise, living in a world where wizardry would summon devils into the world, and only the tyrannical Order could keep the people of the world safe.

In The Armored Saint, Heloise lives in Lutet with her mother and father, and does her best to obey them, help the town where she can, and spend time with her friend Basina, for whom she harbors a love beyond friendship. But throughout the book, we see time and again the brutality of this world: how the Order cuts down any who oppose them, no matter how small the infraction, and how they force other civilians to aid them in “the knitting,” a fancy name for utter destruction of a town and its citizens who they fear have been touched by wizardry.

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Netflix Announces Live-Action Avatar: The Last Airbender Series is Incoming! [Update]

Back in between 2005 and 2008, a truly exceptional children’s television series aired on Nickelodeon titled Avatar: The Last Airbender. Four years later, a sequel series was produced titled The Legend of Korra. Between those two series, M. Night Shyamalan made a live-action adaptation of The Last Airbender, which was universally panned by fans and critics alike.

Today, we learn that we’re getting another shot at a live-action Last Airbender—and a good one at that.

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