New Anthology Amplitudes: Stories of Queer and Trans Futurity Will Contain Multitudes

Celebrated cultural theorist and scholar José Esteban Muñoz once wrote, “the future is queerness’s domain.” Amplitudes: Stories of Queer and Trans Futurity, edited by Nebula, Lambda, and Hugo Award finalist Lee Mandelo, will take these words to heart in this speculative anthology brimming with tales of literary resistance and complexity. During times of rising peril for queer and trans people worldwide, how can we create art to sustain ourselves? How can we unlock our imaginations from the social oppressions inflicted upon us daily? How can we explore new and fantastic realities for the LGBTQAI+ and other intersecting marginalized communities?

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8 Terrifying Objects That Are Also Kinda Hot

As a horror writer, it is my job to stare at everyday objects and think, How might that item be used to the most horrific end possible? (Fictionally!) But recently, I have been finding more and more crossover between the terrifying and the alluring, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the very best items are both, and that fear and desire might be two sides of the very same coin (…or nail gun). Here are a few of my recent favorites.

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Getting to the Heart of SFF’s Most-Tear Inducing Moments

When we watch movies, my mother always cries at goodbyes. Me, I cry at arrivals. This is just one of the many things that separate us.

She cries in the moments you might expect someone to cry: the ending of Where the Red Fern Grows; the opening montage of Up; when Mufasa is killed. My dad loves telling the story about catching her red-eyed, watching My Little Pony and weeping. I came home from work and I thought something terrible had happened, she was bawling so hard, he said. I thought someone was dead. But it was just Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash exchanging a tearful farewell.

As a kid, I would roll my eyes at her every time: You’re crying? Again? It’s an early example of the ways we would never understand each other. Cinematic sadness rarely gets me down. You think I cried for Jack in Titanic? I did not.

Now that I’m older, though, when and what brings me to tears is starting to feel more significant. I can’t sit through the moment the Riders of Rohan appear in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers without my eyes watering up. All night at Helm’s Deep, Théoden’s army, alongside Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli, have fought greatheartedly against the Uruk-hai, but they have lost their ground. They ride out one more time as dawn arrives, but the Uruk are just too many. The heroes are overwhelmed. It is abundantly clear they are about to lose.

And then.

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Celebrate 15 Years of All Summer Long!

This summer marks’s 15th anniversary—we officially launched the site on July 20, 2008 (Moon Landing Day!) and it’s been a wild, wonderful ride ever since. To help celebrate, we’ll be revisiting some of our favorite personal essays from the last few years starting today and continuing through the end of August. If you’d like to dig further back into our archives, you can also download (for free!) Rocket Fuel: Some of the Best of Non-Fiction, the collection of essays we released for our tenth anniversary.

We hope you enjoy all of the essays to come this summer—we’ve grown and expanded so much as a site over the years that it’s impossible to include all of our favorites in the span of just a few short months, so please feel free to look back, share, and discuss the articles and columns that have stuck with you over time. There will be much more to come as the anniversary approaches, so for now we just want to take this opportunity to thank our entire editorial and production team for their incredible work over the years. And of course, to all of our amazing contributors, from longtime columnists to newer voices, and to our extraordinary community of readers and commenters—thank you all for making such a thoughtful, lively, weird and wonderful place to be, today and every day!

All of our summer encore pieces will be collected here—jump right in with our first selection, in praise of SFF’s most tear-inducing moments.

Reading The Wheel of Time: Elayne Deals with Cliques and Politics in Robert Jordan’s The Path of Daggers (Part 3)

And we’re back with another week of Reading The Wheel of Time. This week we are covering Chapters 3 and 4 of The Path of Daggers. Since they are lighter chapters, while 5 and 6 are meatier, we’re also going to cover the first few pages of Chapter 5, through Elayne’s conversations with Aviendha and Nynaeve. This will finish up the thematic arcs of the earlier chapters, and then next week we’ll move along to the use of the Bowl and the arrival of the Seanchan.

But before that, we recap.

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Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

“Evening Primrose” by John Collier: Cheerful Cruelty, Capitalism, and Cowardice

Welcome back to Dissecting The Dark Descent, where we lovingly delve into the guts of David Hartwell’s seminal 1987 anthology story by story, and in the process, explore the underpinnings of a genre we all love. For a more in-depth intro to the series, check out the first installment.

It cannot be overstated exactly how much Hartwell picked a winner with John Collier’s “Evening Primrose.” It’s a strong morality tale by a master of deeply unnerving stories whose work has mostly fallen by the wayside (a reprint of Collier’s collection Fantasies and Goodnights is practically all that remains of his short work, as well as two ebook editions of his novels). Which is a shame, because Collier has been, and arguably still is, deeply influential.

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Start With One: Revealing The Practice, the Horizon, and the Chain by Sofia Samatar

Celebrated author Sofia Samatar presents a mystical, revolutionary space adventure for the exhausted dreamer in this brilliant science fiction novella tackling the carceral state and violence embedded in the ivory tower. The Practice, the Horizon, and the Chain will be available on April 16, 2024 from Tordotcom Publishing.

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Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch: “The Forgotten”

“The Forgotten”
Written by Chris Black & David A. Goodman
Directed by LeVar Burton
Season 3, Episode 20
Production episode 072
Original air date: April 28, 2004
Date: unknown

Captain’s star log. While en route to their rendezvous with Degra—which, it becomes clear, is why the Aquatics took Archer back to Enterprise rather than to the council last time—Archer holds a memorial service for the people they’ve lost on this mission.

T’Pol visits Phlox in sickbay, and the doctor reports that there’s only minute traces of trellium-D left in her system. However, she is still having trouble controlling her emotions, and Phlox says that the damage the trellium did to her neural pathways is still an issue, and may be for some time. It may be something she has to live with.

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Series: Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Will Make Us Respect Cliffhangers Again

We’ve had to wait four years for the next installment of the best Spider-Man movie, Into the Spider-Verse. Which is too long, and also a completely fair amount of time to wait for a great movie. Seriously, the best movie-making should take time, kids. It doesn’t just happen out of nowhere. (There’s a specific reason I’m harping on this, but we’ll get to that later.)

[Minor spoilers for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse]

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The Ultimate Bodyguard: Zoe Chant’s Defender Cave Bear

One of my favorite things about writing science fiction and fantasy—in all its shapes and forms—is how communal it can be. Writers share worlds, co-create worlds and characters, play in each other’s sandboxes. From Wild Cards to Andre Norton’s many collaborations (including one with Robert Bloch), from the Darkover anthologies to the Valdemar story collections, not to mention all the movie novelizations and media tie-ins, SF and F has a long and storied tradition of mixing it up and sharing it around.

Shifter romance is no exception. There are plenty of solo acts, and duos like Ilona Andrews (who shades over toward urban fantasy). And then there’s Zoe Chant. Zoe Chant takes collaboration to a whole new level. It’s a shared pseudonym, a collective of writers. These are pros with successful solo careers, getting together to write in an ever-expanding shared world of shifters, magical creatures, danger, daring, and heart-stopping adventure. And romance. In every volume, two people get together, and there’s that essential Happy Ever After.

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Witches Not Done Running Amok; Hocus Pocus 3 Is Happening

The Sanderson sisters can’t be stopped. Last year’s sequel Hocus Pocus 2 was apparently #5 on the list of the year’s most-streamed movies, so—inevitably!—Hocus Pocus 3 is now in the works at Disney. Sean Bailey, who runs the part of the company in charge of reimagining animated films into live-action behemoths, confirmed this in an interview with The New York Times.

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Five SFF Stories in Which Kids Save the Day

Modern nations have invested trillions in defense. A waste of money? Recent events suggest that defense is sometimes all too necessary. Would that it were not so!

In the realm of imagination, the unexpected can prevail. Just as elderly ladies can out-detect the professionals and lone geniuses circumvent known physics, young people can save the world. Or at least save the day. Consider the following five books in which young people do their thing.

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