Netflix Has Renewed The Witcher for a Third Season

Over the weekend, Netflix held its virtual Tudum event, where it unveiled first looks, panels, and teasers of some of its upcoming shows. Amongst those reveals? Word that its hit fantasy series The Witcher is coming back for a third season. And that’s not all: The streaming service revealed that it’s producing another animated film, and a “kids and family” series set in the same world.

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Y: The Last Man Goes on a “Mann Hunt” to Find Humanity’s Reluctant Savior

This week’s Y: The Last Man gave us a heartwarming reunion for the comic’s greatest love story—no, I’m not talking about Yorick and Beth, obviously I mean Agent 355 and her collapsible baton. Roadtripping to Boston reveals some very wordy graffiti, one wonderfully acerbic geneticist who has a lot of feelings about being tasked with bringing back cis men, and an intriguing Culper Ring mystery—not to mention an unforeseen destination for our newly-minted trio. Back in Washington, Regina Oliver’s return may prove to be less of a power grab than the new biological development happening in Jennifer Brown’s office. Let’s hit the road with Y!

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When Authors Collide: Five SFF Works of Collaborative Fiction

The writing of prose is often depicted as a solitary activity, an occupation suited to hermits sealed into poorly lit garrets, sliding their manuscripts out under their front door, receiving flat food under the same door. Now this can be a perfectly functional approach to writing…but it is not the only one. Many authors not only appear in public, but they also write with others. If these writing partners have complementary strengths, the pair can produce marvelous works neither could have written alone…

I hasten to add that some collaborations have produced utter dreck. I’m going to tell you about five that worked well… at least for me.

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A Fairy Tale of Farcical Government: Announcing High Times in the Low Parliament by Kelly Robson

Tordotcom Publishing is thrilled to announce that Ellen Datlow has acquired Kelly Robson’s newest novella High Times in the Low Parliament, a lighthearted romp through 18th-century London featuring flirtatious scribes, irritable fairies, and a fraying Parliamentary government. The deal for World English rights was brokered by Hannah Bowman at Liza Dawson Associates.

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Teenage Werewolves, Like Teenage Vampires, Apparently Never Die: Teen Wolf Will Be Reborn as a Movie

I know one thing about Teen Wolf, and it’s the phrase “I’M THE ALPHA NOW.” No, I lied, I know two things about Teen Wolf: People who love Teen Wolf really, really love Teen Wolf. And now they have reason to be super excited: Jeff Davis is at work on a Teen Wolf movie—with the original cast!—set to arrive on Paramount Plus in 2022.

Davis is also making another teen wolf show, this one based on Edo Van Belkom’s Wolf Pack, and is set to direct the pilot for Paramount’s Aeon Flux live-action reboot, which is somehow still in development after being announced in 2018.

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Five Latinx SFF Books Featuring Mythical Creatures

Mythical creatures abound in literature. Whether it’s gold-hoarding dragons or flesh-eating zombies, the monstrous remains a permanent fixture in adult and children’s fiction. However, most of these literary representations have been inspired by European folklore. It’s easier to find a book with Romanian Strigoi attending high school than it is for Chile’s El Peuchén to terrorize its protagonist. The Loch Ness Monster is a household name, but readers will be hard-pressed to find stories centered on the Yacumama and its frightening antics in the Amazon River.

Despite the prevalence of beastly figures we’re familiar with, some authors are adding to the monster canon by drawing from their respective Latinx cultures. These recent and upcoming novels explore magical beings through the lens of underrepresented voices, specifically the Latinx diáspora living in the U.S. Their stories also provide varied definitions of family, fear, and straddling the line between belonging and not.

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Revisiting The Flight of Dragons, a Forgotten Gem of ’80s Fantasy

A band of mismatched do-gooders. An Odyssean-level quest to save the day. Body switching. Inter-dimensional travel. An ultimate showdown of good versus evil. And of course, dragons. Lots of them. More than Daenerys could ever handle. Ummm…why isn’t this a live action movie yet?

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The Flight Of Dragons is a 1982 direct-to-video (that’s VHS, kids) animated film by Rankin/Bass, the duo that brought us The Hobbit and The Last Unicorn, amongst other classics. These gentlemen deserve ALL the lifetime achievement awards. The film is based on both the 1979 novel of the same name by Peter Dickinson and the 1976 novel The Dragon and the George. It was also a staple of my childhood, played on repeat till that poor tape wore out, along with the other aforementioned movies from the same studio.

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Super Mario Bros. Is A Great Movie (It’s Just Not A Great Mario Movie)

There’s only one real problem with the Super Mario Bros. movie: its name.

I saw this so-called video game adaptation for the first time in 1993, shortly after it came out on video. My memory of it—carrying forward through nearly three decades since—was of a mind-bogglingly weird movie that had nothing to do with the game, made no sense, and was a beautiful train wreck of a thing. Upon rewatching it as an adult I expected to have the same reaction and was looking forward to enjoying what was certainly a movie that’s so bad, it’s good.

But taking another look at Super Mario Bros. turned out to be so surprising that it bordered on horrifying. Luigi just said something funny. I laughed at it. This dinosaur-themed dystopia looks really cool. I don’t understand. Why isn’t this a bad movie?

That’s the trick to Super Mario Bros. If you’re not intent on it being about a video game, it becomes an engaging, well-acted (mostly), fascinating, original story. And it pulls this off almost completely by accident.

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Nintendo Announces Chris Pratt Will Voice Mario in Animated Movie

Nintendo has been working on a new, animated feature film about Mario, and during a Nintendo Direct presentation yesterday, the video game maker announced who would be voicing the film’s various characters.

Leading that cast? Guardians of the Galaxy/Jurassic World (pictured above)/The Tomorrow War actor Chris Pratt, as Mario. He’s a bit of an odd choice to play a squeaky Italian plumber, and the rest of the cast looks appropriately bonkers as well.

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I Write Fantasy Because of Patricia McKillip’s The Riddlemaster of Hed

I met The Riddlemaster of Hed in the fall of 1978, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, during my grad studies in biology. The author, Patricia McKillip, I’d encountered in an undergrad course in fantasy; her book, The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, was by far my favorite from that reading list, so I’d kept my eye out for more. I pounced on the mass market, the one pictured above, at the university bookstore. The Heir of Sea and Fire was there too, but it would take another year before I’d have the finale, Harpist in the Wind, in my hands. The books follow Morgon, the Prince of Hed, a humble little country, on his quest to discover the meaning of the stars embedded in his forehead and what happened to his parents, killed at sea. He is a riddlemaster, a scholar trained to use the hints and partial revelations of history to uncover the truth. His first success in a battle of riddles and wits wins him a dead king’s crown and the hand of Raederle, herself descended from shapechanging sorcerers. As Morgon and Raederle, helped by the High One’s Harpist, chase their personal mysteries, the answers disturb those long buried underground, renewing a war from the beginnings of time. To keep the peace and safe their world, they will need to solve the most terrifying riddle of all: why?

What was awesome about McKillip’s story? It marked the first time I refused to read the new one, in my hands, without rereading the previous book(s) first, a habit I’ve continued to this day, with any story I love this much. It’s not because I forget details as years pass. I don’t, not really. I think it’s to put off the moment I finish the new one. To linger, longer, in worlds I’ve grown to value, before the moment when yes, it’s done and I must leave again.

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