Reading the Wheel of Time: Rand and Egwene Plot Their Own Paths in Robert Jordan’s The Shadow Rising (Part 25)

My friends, Rand has learned so much this week in our read of The Shadow Rising. And by Rand, I mean me. This is even more exciting than the reveal about the history of the Aiel—we finally get the full story of what happened to Tigraine, we find out something very interesting about her brother, and we learn more about the Prophecy of Rhuidean and what it means for the future of the Aiel. Not to mention seeing glimpses of Egwene’s future, and what kind of woman she is going to become. There are so many pieces slotting into place that I feel like I’m a game of Tetris that Robert Jordan is playing.

But first, let’s do the recap. Chapters 34 and 35 continue on below, followed by a lot of yelling about bloodlines.

[The fulfillment of the Prophecy of Rhuidean has begun.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

Cooperation, Social Distancing, and Other Lessons I’ve Learned From My Horse

If there’s one thing horses do for humans, it’s teach them things. Sometimes in the sense of Learning Experiences, i.e. School of Hard Knocks (and Falls and Crashes and Financial Disasters), but many times in the sense that if a human studies the horse, she can learn a great deal about how to live and let live. It’s always been true, but in this time of global pandemic and universal fear and all-around awfulness, it’s more relevant than ever.

[Lessons like, for example…]

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Twisted”

Written by Arnold Rudnick & Rich Hosek and Kenneth Biller
Directed by Kim Friedman
Season 2, Episode 6
Production episode 119
Original air date: October 2, 1995
Stardate: 48945.8

Captain’s log. Kes goes to the holodeck, which is running the Chez Sandrine program, to find the bar darkened and deserted—but then Janeway, Neelix, Chakotay, Torres, Paris, the EMH (transferred to the holodeck and serving as the bartender), and the various holographic staff and patrons all jump out from hiding and yell “Surprise!”

[Cake, anyone?]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

5 Books that Capture the Magic of New York City

Thalia Cutler, in The Glass Magician, is a professional stage magician on the vaudeville circuit. Onstage she plays the Lady of the Lake, who produces doves from thin air — actually the pigeon-squeezer corset beneath her costume. Offstage she deals with rival magic acts and cynical theater managers. She travels from the theater district to the splendors of Riverside Park and the Hudson River via a Hell’s Kitchen boarding house.

I had a wonderful time doing research for The Glass Magician. Although I am at a far remove from New York City in 1905 in both time and space, it wasn’t hard to imagine how people might react to the advent of new technology or new knowledge about themselves.

[Read more]

Series: Five Books About…

Star Trek: Picard and The Witcher Highlight a Brave New Trend — Direct Contact With Fandom

Showrunner Michael Chabon remembers the exact moment when he knew he needed to talk directly to the viewers of Star Trek: Picard. At the end of a “gauntlet” of perfunctory red-carpet interviews with members of the press at the LA premiere of the series, Chabon describes “a sense of relief” in being greeted by what he describes as “probably 100 fans, a lot of them in cosplay. All I wanted to do at that moment was to go stand over there and talk to them and answer their questions and engage and be part of that.” And so, as Picard started airing, Chabon took to Instagram every week to answer fan questions about each episode.

This direct and overwhelming positive interaction with fans reveals the emergence of an encouraging trend. Some of the biggest science fiction and fantasy TV franchises are connecting directly with their fandoms, in a way that brings everyone down to Earth. From The Witcher to the in-production Wheel of Time TV series, to Chabon’s Instagram talkbacks about Picard, the line between fan and showrunner is getting warmly blurred.

[Spoilers ahead for Star Trek: Picard.]

Imaginary Space Programs Are Always Better Than Reality (But Reality Is Pretty Amazing)

Yuri’s Night approaches. With it comes the inevitable cloud-shouting from persons my age about all the space habitats and Moon colonies we were promised and currently don’t have. Hold on, guys…some of this discontent might go away if we adopted a different perspective.

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Mark Hamill Pens Grateful Goodbye Letter to Star Wars

The release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker marked the end of not just one trilogy, but three. Over the weekend, Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker himself, shared an emotional goodbye letter to the series.

“What an extraordinary journey it’s been,” he begins, typed out on some Star Wars letterhead (is this official? has he had a stock of it since the ’70s??), recalling the story of how “The Adventures of Luke Starkiller” evolved into the Skywalker saga we know today.

Check out the full letter below!

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Twelve Animated Series You Should Absolutely Watch Now That There’s Time

Welcome to Time Enough at Last: The Home Edition, when we all discover what our true heart’s desire is when we’re stuck with nothing much else to do. Surprise, surprise, it turns out that not many of us are eager to be alphabetizing our book collections, dusting the upper shelves, or cleaning out the back of the fridge like we promised three months ago (sorry, B).

In my case, top priority has been given to the arduous task of sitting around and watching cartoons. And yes, while that can be as infantile as it sounds—as the bowl of Cap’n Crunch next to me attests—it’s also a fact that animated series, even the ones purportedly aimed at kids, have grown more nuanced and sophisticated since the days of Yogi Bear, Transformers, and Smurfs (or whatever you gazed goggle-eyed at from the living room carpet when you were a kid). And adult stuff? No surprise, everything’s on the table there (sometimes literally).

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