Celebrating the Sincerity of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown first aired on October 27th, 1966, meeting CBS’s demand for another Peanuts holiday-themed special that could run annually, like the previous year’s A Charlie Brown Christmas. CBS reportedly went so far as to say that if Charles Schulz and Bill Melendez couldn’t deliver a hit, they wouldn’t order any future Peanuts specials. Luckily The Great Pumpkin was a success, and even added a new holiday figure to the American pantheon, as many people assumed the Great Pumpkin must be a real folk tradition.

I revisited the special recently, and found a much weirder, darker world than I remembered…

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Dave Bautista Will Defend the Earth in Universe’s Most Wanted

From the minds behind Rampage and xXx: The Return of Xander Cage comes Universe’s Most Wanted, a film about a small, presumably American town beset by the universe’s most dangerous criminals. Guardians of the Galaxy‘s (pictured above) Dave Bautista is set to play an “intergalactic peacekeeper” who works with the son of the town sheriff to defeat these pesky varmints and villains.

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Beyond Frankenstein: 7 Contemporary Monster Stories Written by Women

October is upon us and the monsters have been very patient all year. Now it’s time to crack open some books and let them out. Stories like Mary Shelley’s monstrous masterpiece Frankenstein and Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire are always wonderful Halloween reads, but why not try out one of these modern books written by female authors? Here are seven fantastically creepy monster books written by (or edited by) women to frighten up your season.

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Five Books Featuring Alien Oceans

Oceans may be rare in the inner Solar System—Mars and Mercury are too small for oceans while Mercury and Venus are too hot—but if we consider that water is composed of hydrogen (the most common element in the universe) and oxygen (the third most common element), it seems likely that water would be pretty common too. Indeed, if we look at the worlds out beyond the Solar System’s frost line, we note that there are likely to be oceans within Europa, Enceladus, Ganymede, Ceres, Pluto, and other small worlds.

As for exoplanets (which we have been discovering at a surprising rate, of late) … well, some of them must have oceans, or be covered with oceans, as well. SF authors, even before the exoplanet boom, have long been imagining water worlds. Here are a few books about ocean planets.

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Genndy Tartakovsky Brings the Magic With Unicorn: Warriors Eternal

Genndy Tartakovsky clearly doesn’t sleep, and we all benefit from this. The prolific director/writer/producer/creator (Primal, Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack) is working on a new series: Unicorn: Warriors Eternal. It’s inspired by myths and folklore, and is about unicorns who have to protect the world while trapped in the bodies of angsty teens.

This could not possibly be any more extremely my sh*t.

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The Craft: Legacy Focuses on the Wrong Villain

1996’s The Craft became a beloved cult classic acknowledging that nearly every girl—or person raised as one—has gone through a “witch” phase. (Indeed, some never leave it.) But while the dangers of that film felt very real to your average American teenager, its ending was always an awkward thing that forewent the bonds of female fellowship and solidarity in favor of punishing one of their own for overstepping with her power.

Blumhouse’s sequel, The Craft: Legacy, was poised to be an answer to that error, a chance to show what young women can truly accomplish when they trust in each other. Sadly, the film is being dragged in far too many directions to answer for a decades-long slight.

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Grand Admiral Thrawn Turns 30, Which Means 2021 Should be Called Thrawnty-Thrawnty-One

In 1991, author Timothy Zahn brought back Star Wars in a big way, with his novel Heir to the Empire, a continuation of the franchise after the events of Return of the Jedi.

One of his secret weapons was Grand Admiral Thrawn, who’s gone on to become a fan-favorite character, and who’ll return in a new book next year, Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good, along with some additional merchandise to celebrate the three decade mark since he first appeared.

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Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Year of Hell, Part II”

“Year of Hell, Part II”
Written by Brannon Braga & Joe Menosky
Directed by Mike Vejar
Season 4, Episode 9
Production episode 177
Original air date: November 12, 1997
Stardate: 51425.4

Captain’s log. After we get a summary of Part I, we see that Voyager—which is now down to a skeleton crew consisting only of the people in the opening credits (minus the still-kidnapped Chakotay and Paris), which strains credulity approximately 100%—hiding in a nebula while Torres struggles to effect repairs.

[Remember this guideline: the captain is always right.]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

Take That Chance: Tabletop Games for Your Favorite Horror Book

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.

[There are so many fantastic horror games out there!]

Listen to Craig Laurance Gidney’s “Spyder Threads”, a Free Audiobook Horror Story

Prepare your ears for a world of ghosts, zombies, serial killers, and many more dark characters! Nightfire is thrilled to present season 2 of Come Join Us by the Fire, featuring 27 horror short stories that are sure to make you scream—available for free exclusively on Google Play Books. There’s something for every listener, so come join us by the fire and hear tales not to tell against the dark… but to embrace it.

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