Let Me Tell You About My Dream: H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Very Old Folk”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

Today we’re looking at H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Very Old Folk,” first appearing as a letter to Donald Wandrei on November 3 1927, and first published in the Summer 1940 issue of Scienti-Snaps. Spoilers ahead.

[“For many nights there had been a hollow drumming on the hills…”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Binti: The Night Masquerade Sweepstakes!

We want to send you a galley copy of Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti: The Night Masquerade, available January 16th from Tor.com Publishing!

Binti: The Night Masquerade is the concluding part of the highly-acclaimed science fiction trilogy that began with Nnedi Okorafor’s Hugo- and Nebula Award-winning Binti.

Binti has returned to her home planet, believing that the violence of the Meduse has been left behind. Unfortunately, although her people are peaceful on the whole, the same cannot be said for the Khoush, who fan the flames of their ancient rivalry with the Meduse.

Far from her village when the conflicts start, Binti hurries home, but anger and resentment has already claimed the lives of many close to her.

Once again it is up to Binti, and her intriguing new friend Mwinyi, to intervene—though the elders of her people do not entirely trust her motives—and try to prevent a war that could wipe out her people, once and for all.

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Blood and Sand

Roma Victrix. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to create an empire—an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves.

Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.

Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end—and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus…

Blood and Sand is a stirring tale of two slaves who dared take on an empire by talented debut author C. V. Wyk—available January 16th from Tor Teen.

[Read an Excerpt]

Watching Return of the Jedi for the First Time, After the Prequels

Having only seen the prequels, I didn’t really get Star Wars—so in order to increase my Star Wars I.Q., I finally watched the original trilogy. And I’ll be blunt: I don’t think Return of the Jedi is as good as The Empire Strikes Back or A New Hope.

And yet… despite not being as good as its predecessors, Return of the Jedi still strikes a chord in me.

[Read more]

Power is Money in Sanderson’s Cosmere

Sometimes money is power, but sometimes power is money—especially in Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere. When we look at the various currency systems within Sanderson’s worlds, we find that he often inextricably fuses each economy to its local magic system. It makes sense, of course, from a magical perspective: if Apple makes money off of iPhones and other devices, why shouldn’t Garrick Ollivander profit from his abilities as the greatest wandmaker in the wizarding world? If a pawnshop or a bank in Southern Illinois uses the American legal system to gouge poor families with high-interest loans, why shouldn’t Devi do the same to Kvothe to gain access to arcane knowledge?

But Sanderson takes it a step further: starting with the assumption that money is power, he retroactively anticipates the corollary: that power is money. Anyone remotely familiar with American politics expects this. We seldom expect it, however, with magic.

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Everything’s Coming Up Fëanor

In Which Arda’s Greatest Overachiever Steps Up and Melkor Is Released On Good Behavior

In the sixth chapter of The Silmarillion, “Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor,” we’re given a short but impressive intro on the guy whose actions will upset the geopolitical foundations of Elvendom in the near future. We met him in the previous chapter and even got as far as the names of his kids, but now we’re taking a step back to look at his early life: the intensity of his birth, the tragedy of his mother, and the dilemmas of his father. Fëanor has so much to offer, and some of it will be to the betterment of all, and some…not so much. There is a bit of a call-back in his nature to the Ainulindalë, to the secret fire and to another who went often alone seeking greater power.

Speaking of whom, at the end of the chapter, Melkor will be released from his three-age prison sentence, which doesn’t bode well for anyone. So what does the most powerful of the Ilúvatar’s offspring brood about in prison? Certainly not rainbows and puppies.

[Take counsel from none. Read on ever swiftly and alone.]

Series: The Silmarillion Primer

Download a Free Ebook of Truthwitch by Susan Dennard – 12/13 Only!

For 24 hours only, sign up for the monthly Tor Teen newsletter and they will send you the ebook edition of Susan Dennard’s Truthwitch for free!

This offer is available from 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM EST on December 13th.

Truthwitch is the first book in Susan Dennard’s New York Times bestselling Witchlands series, about two best friends who must use their magic to save the world from war and corruption.

(Note: If you’re experiencing technical difficulties, please email [email protected])

Where Should You Start Reading The Chronicles of Narnia?

As someone who has been known to start series smack in the middle—with both books and television shows—I tend to be a bit agnostic on the question of “what order should I read/watch these in?” With three exceptions:

Legends of Tomorrow, which everyone, without exception, should start in the second season, only tackling the first season much, much later after getting a chance to realize that these characters can actually be fun.

Blackadder, which everyone, without exception, should also start in the second season, only in this case, never return to the first season at all.

And The Chronicles of Narnia, which everyone, without exception, should read in publication order.

[Read more]

“Fun” Doesn’t Exist in a Vacuum — Why Context Always Matters

I want to open with certain unavoidable caveats, just in case anyone leaps first to any assumptions about what’s being said here. No one is saying you can’t have fun.

Let’s make that damned clear.

No one is saying you can’t have fun. In fact, we’re saying you must have fun. Have fun! That’s an order, Ensign!

But fun is… a thornier thing, all the time, beyond just whether or not you are having it.

[Read more]

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery RPG Lets You Fulfill Your Dreams of Being a Hogwarts Student

If you ever bemoaned not receiving your Hogwarts letter via owl, Portkey Games has a treat for you: a new mobile narrative role-playing game called Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, in which players can enroll in Hogwarts and learn the first things about becoming witches and wizards. Between this and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the Pokémon GO-esque mobile game, Portkey Games (a new game label from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment) is all about making fans of J.K. Rowling’s books feel firmly embedded in the wizarding world.

[Read more]

Lumberjanes’ Noelle Stevenson is Rebooting She-Ra for Netflix

Today Noelle Stevenson, the Eisner Award-winning cartoonist behind the fantasy graphic novel Nimona and the delightful comic book series Lumberjanes, announced the raddest of news: She’ll be showrunning Netflix’s reboot of beloved ’80s animated series She-Ra. It’s one of six new animated series from Netflix and Dreamworks Television including the new season of Guillermo del Toro’s Trollhunters and 3 Below, the second installment of the Tales of Arcadia Trilogy.

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Holy Rewatch Batman! Extra: Batman vs. Two-Face

Batman vs. Two-Face
Written by Michael Jelenic & James Tucker
Directed by Rick Morales
Original release date: October 10, 2017

The Bat-signal: Batman and Robin are invited by Dr. Hugo Strange to witness the testing of a new crimefighting tool: the Evil Extractor. En route, Batman stops by the Gotham State Penitentiary to visit Catwoman, giving her a gift of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s love poetry. Their attempt to kiss through the bars is interrupted (of course) by Robin.

[Riddle me this: Why are we like Two-Face’s henchmen? Answer: because we’re all doing his bidding!]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

The Top Spec-Fic Comics of 2017

It’s that time of year when everyone writes up lists of the best of the best and the worst of the worst. And Pull List is no exception. We’ve had a pretty great year for new comics, especially in the indie realm. DC’s Rebirth is still chugging along while Marvel continues to shoot itself in the foot then blame everyone else but themselves. As always, there’s lots of meh stuff cluttering up the market, but finding good quality series is pretty easy as of late.

Don’t think of this roundup as a “best of” but rather a list of “really cool titles you should be reading.” The only eligibility requirement was that it had to be released for the first time in 2017, including the release of the first issue, first time being published in print, or first time being published in English. No trades of series that premiered in previous years (which is why there’s hardly any Rebirth), and I’m not counting events either (hence no Legacy or Civil War II titles).

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A Star Wars Newbie Watches The Empire Strikes Back for the First Time

Having only seen the prequels, I didn’t really get Star Wars—so in order to increase my Star Wars I.Q., I finally watched the original trilogy. Last time, I watched Star Wars: A New Hope and found an appreciation for the older movies that I didn’t know would be there.

I went into watching The Empire Strikes Back with slightly higher expectations, tempered by the fact that this was, after all, still Star Wars. Three of Lucas’ movies had already failed me, after all, even if the fourth turned out to be quite good against my expectations.

As for The Empire Strikes Back

[Read more]