The Lion King Is Just Sad, and We Have No One to Blame But Ourselves

The Lion King was a big deal for Disney because when it was originally conceptualized, no one thought it would make a dime. It proceeded to be one of the company’s most profitable films, and then went on to fuel an extremely successful international hit musical. But the concept of a “live action” CGI driven Lion King has had many fans scratching their heads, and wondering if this was perhaps a bridge too far for Disney.

And indeed, the bridge was very far.

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Revealing The Unspoken Name, an Epic Fantasy Adventure from A.K. Larkwood

Earlier this year we announced a new three-book series from debut author A.K. Larkwood—an epic coming-of-age fantasy with a modern sensibility, featuring ruthless mages, hungry gods, ancient tombs, and rival sorcerers. Now we’re thrilled to share the cover for the first book, The Unspoken Name, publishing in February 2020 with Tor Books!

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Under the Skin: Shape-Changing in Mexican Folklore

Witches in European folklore fly through the air on broomsticks, but in Latin America they change shapes, turning into different animals. This belief in shape-changing sorcerers, which is present in many Indigenous communities across Mexico and Central America, seems to be based on old Prehispanic concepts of the animal, the soul and the self.

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11 Thoughts on Marvel’s Phase 4 Announcements at San Diego

On Saturday in Hall H at Comic-Con International in San Diego, Marvel Studios had their panel. Amazingly, up until now, we’ve had no idea what the next batch of Marvel movies were going to be. We knew some details—that Black Widow was finally happening, that there would probably be an Eternals movie, that Taika Waititi was directing another Thor film—but nothing concrete. When I saw Spider-Man: Far from Home in the theater there were no trailers for any superhero films at all, which is unusual, to say the least.

This rather impressive security on the future of the most popular film series in the history of the world is finally no longer necessary, as Kevin Feige announced not just the next batch of movies, but also what will be coming on the small screen on the forthcoming Disney+ service.

Here’s’s full run-down of the full set of announcements Feige made at San Diego on Saturday, and here are some of my thoughts on these announcements…


Bad SF Ideas in Real Life: NASA’s Never-Realized Plans for Venus

Many readers may find the plots of some SF novels deeply implausible. “Who,” they ask, “would send astronauts off on an interstellar mission before verifying the Go Very Fast Now drive was faster than light and not merely as fast as light? Who would be silly enough to send colonists on a one-way mission to distant worlds on the basis of very limited data gathered by poorly programmed robots? Who would think threatening an alien race about whom little is known, save that they’ve been around for a million years, is a good idea?”

Some real people have bad ideas; we’re lucky that comparatively few of them become reality. Take, for example, a proposal to send humans to Venus. Not to land, but as a flyby.

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Author C.S.E. Cooney Welcomes You to the Goblin Court

C.S.E. Cooney’s Desdemona and the Deep drops readers into an uncanny, richly painted underworld reminiscent of the early twentieth century. On the surface, Desdemona’s world is rife with industrial pollution that ruins the health of poor factory workers while the idle rich indulge themselves in unheard-of luxury. Below are goblins, mysterious kingdoms, and an entirely different hierarchy. Below, the goblin king himself welcomes you and yours to an enchanted evening filled with glittering guests and delectations. We recommend that you follow the rules.

A luxurious, dizzying fantasy, Desdemona and the Deep is available July 23 from Publishing.

[There. That’s better.]

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Timeline and Location Might Be Different Than We Thought

Hit it! The future is here! On Saturday, straight from San Diego Comic-Con, new details dropped about season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery  and the big news is…the ship may not have ended up in the spot it was supposed to be. Remember when Burnham was really clear about the exact planet and time period in the season 2 finale? Well…it turns out they might not have arrived exactly where and when they planned. So, where are they in the timeline?

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Westworld Season 3 Goes Full Blade Runner

If the brooding piano in the opening of credits of Westworld always makes you feel like you’re watching the sci-fi TV equivalent of a depressing Radiohead song, then season 3 might suddenly seem like a different show. Not that it won’t be depressing, but, basically, that the show is no longer secretive about who is a robot Host and who isn’t. If the previous seasons were Radiohead, the new season is full-on Daft Punk. The season 3 trailer for Westworld was revealed on Saturday at San Diego Comic-Con, and because the Hosts are out in the real world now, the show feels like what would happen if Blade Runner was a giant war.

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The Orville Season 3 Will Make One Big Change (And It’s Not On-Screen)

One thing The Orville has always had on the newer Star Trek shows (and a lot of shows in general) is that you didn’t have to get a subscription to a streaming service to watch it. For two seasons, The Orville was old-school; all you had to do was have network TV and you could watch the Star Trek-ish show for free. But not anymore. Season 3 of The Orville will not air on Fox on live TV, but instead, be streamed exclusively on Hulu.

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