Reading The Wheel of Time: Elayne and Nynaeve Prove They Are Aes Sedai in Robert Jordan’s A Crown of Swords (Part 17)

Welcome back once again to Reading The Wheel of Time. This week has some big changes for Nynaeve and Elayne, not to mention the Aes Sedai, the Kin, and one Lan Mandragoran. It’s Chapters 30 and 31 of A Crown of Swords!

[Whatever was about to happen plainly was for Aes Sedai alone.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

Everything Everywhere All at Once Duo Daniels Turn Their Googly Eyes to Star Wars

When you’ve already created a series of dazzling multiverses, maybe a galaxy far, far away is your rational next stop. Brand-new Oscar winners Daniels, who wrote and directed Everything Everywhere All at Once, are the latest recruits to the Star Wars universe: According to a report from One Take News, they’ve directed an episode of the upcoming Star Wars: Skeleton Crew. Or possibly more than one.

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Nothing Makes Me Read Faster Than an Underwhelming Book

Two questions for you today, lovely readers of (1) How fast do you read? (2) Why?

I have a lot of friends who read. In some circles, I am the slowest reader, slotting 50-55 books per year while my comrades knock out 75-100 (which is wild!). In other circles, I’m the biggest reader, the guy who’s always recommending books to everyone else.

[What makes me read a book faster, and when do I take my sweet time? ]

Spec Fic on Identity and Culture: Infinite Constellations, Edited by Khadijah Queen and K. Ibura

Looking for a new short speculative fiction collection? Khadijah Queen and K. Ibura, two literary powerhouses, have you covered. Infinite Constellations: An Anthology of Identity, Culture, and Speculative Conjunctions brings together a variety of short stories and poetry, new stories and reprints, and longer pieces and excerpts, all from veteran and up-and-coming authors.

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Shazam! Fury of the Gods Needs More Joy, Less Bad Mythology

It’s been four years and a lot of growing up for the Shazam family (Shazam Fam? ShaFamily? Zamily?), but despite the recent shakeup with the DC film universe and its incoming Gunn-ification, we still have this sequel to contend with. Is it awkward trying to find the middle ground that Shazam and company occupy while its parent studio chucks millions of dollars in multiple directions that will likely never touch what we’re seeing here?

I mean, yeah. That’s really only one piece of the problem, though.

[Spoilers for Shazam! Fury of the Gods]

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Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch: “North Star”

“North Star”
Written by David A. Goodman
Directed by David Straiton
Season 3, Episode 9
Production episode 061
Original air date: November 12, 2003
Date: unknown

Captain’s star log. We open in what looks like a stereotypical Western town from the late nineteenth century on Earth. A bunch of guys on horseback lynch someone whom they identify as a “Skag.” Only after the opening credits do we see anything familiar: Archer, T’Pol (wearing a head-scarf), and Tucker in appropriate outfits, noting the figure in the coffin, who apparently has weird things on his neck that weren’t clear in the night-time scene earlier. Scans have confirmed that these people are all humans, the horses are horses from Earth, and they somehow wound up in the Delphic Expanse.

[The progress on Earth, it didn’t happen overnight.]

Series: Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch

Allow Me To Make a Gentle Plea For More Space Horror

Sometimes, for no particular reason, I think about the chair.

I’m talking about the chair in Iain M. Banks’s Use of Weapons. The one that haunts the story throughout its reverse narrative, culminating in a horrifying reveal about the main character, the personal demons he’s been running from, and the lengths people will go to inflict pain upon others.

It’s far from the most horrifying thing in a Culture novel; it’s not even the most horrifying thing in that Culture novel. (Isn’t that the one with the cannibal cult island?) But in a book and a series where civilizations clash for millennia and tens of millions of people are regularly wiped out as plots points, it’s this very personal, small-scale horror that really sticks with me.

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Foxes, Dragons, Tigers, Goblins, and Angry Ghosts: Yoon Ha Lee’s Dragon Pearl

Way back in the day, an editor who was among the Great Old Ones said to me, “Fantasy readers are OK with science fiction in their fantasy. But science fiction readers aren’t too fond of fantasy in their science fiction.” That was hard wisdom for my happy genre-bending self, but at the time, it was the way.

I’m sure there are still many readers who want their science served straight, no chaser—and there are plenty of books and stories that give them what they love. But I am really liking the mix of genres that I’m seeing in certain quarters. Space opera is great fun anyway. Add a dose of supernatural and we’re in for a grand ride.

We’ve seen werewolves in space with a Southeast Asian flair. Yoon Ha Lee gives us a range of Korean shapeshifters in his series for younger readers. The first volume, Dragon Pearl, stars a fox spirit named Min and an assortment of other supernaturals and shifters, including a dragon, a tiger, and a goblin.

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Five Authors We Wish Had Written More

I was enormously pleased to read on Mastodon that not only is that classic SF work The Fortunate Fall returning to print, but The Fortunate Fall’s author Cameron Reed is working on a new novel. Huzzah! This is ever so much better than the other model, in which an author produces a promising body of work, then goes silent, apparently forever.

Herewith, five authors from whom we would like, or would have liked, to hear more.

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Mike Flanagan’s Dark Tower Adaptation May Have Characters From Doctor Sleep

Mike Flanagan is still moving forward with his dream project—the adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. This isn’t the first time, however, that Flanagan has tackled King’s work. The filmmaker also directed Doctor Sleep, King’s sequel to The Shining that was critically well-received but didn’t do so well at the box office. Fans of the film, however, may get to see some of those characters once again in Flanagan’s Dark Tower project.

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Thumbs Up! Denzel Washington and Barry Keoghan Join Paul Mescal in Gladiator Sequel

Are you ready to be entertained? It’s been twenty-three years since Ridley Scott’s Gladiator premiered and we saw Russell Crowe star as the titular gladiator who faces off against Joaquin Phoenix’s Commodus (pictured above). After more than two decades, Scott is apparently ready to make a sequel focused on the son of Lucilla (nephew of Commodus), because he seems to think that’s the angle people really cared about from the first film.

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