Dark Plans Are Revealed in The Rings of Power’s “New Life”

This week in episode six of The Rings of Power, Arondir and Bronwyn fight back against the orcs, and we learn the truth about Adar and what the evil blade is for. Also, the Númenóreans spend a lot of time in transit. Which is fine, Mordor wasn’t built in a day…

[Humility has saved entire kingdoms that the proud have all but led to ruin.]

Now Is the Perfect Time to Snuggle Up With A Night in the Lonesome October

A Night in the Lonesome October is Roger Zelazny’s last novel and still stands as both my favorite Zelazny and my favorite book to open when it’s time for a fall reread, leading up to Halloween. It’s broken into chapters for each day of the month of October—which not only makes it eminently rereadable, but also means it’s the perfect autumnal treat to go along with my pumpkin spice latte. In fact, I encourage everyone I know to read or reread it along with me every Halloween—won’t you join me?

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Watch Kaiju Movies with John Carpenter during Shout! Factory’s Masters of Monsters Weekend This November

John Carpenter, the mind behind the characters from the Halloween franchise and The Thing (ed. note: not to mention my personal fave, The Fog), will add movie marathon host to his list of titles. The filmmaker and composer will be guiding us through Shout! Factory TV’s Masters of Monsters weekend in November, where he’ll share his love of all things Godzilla.

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Love, Death, and The Gothic in Belladonna by Adalyn Grace

It’s a culmination of the last couple of years—as well as the last couple of months for me, personally—that’s led to me being drawn to books hyperfocused on death. You don’t need to look far lately to find books with themes on grief, death, and horror, especially in the YA genre. There’s a boom happening here with standouts across all genres, and Adalyn Grace’s Belladonna is an enticing romantic gothic fantasy that carves out its own space among the macabre.

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Timothée Chalamet Does a Lot of Murder in the Trailer for Bones and All

The weird thing about Bones and All, the much-lauded second movie in which Luca Guadagnino directs Timothée Chalamet (after Call Me By Your Name), is that the book it’s based on seems to be… not really about his character. Camille DeAngelis’ novel is described as “at once a gorgeously written horror story as well as a mesmerizing meditation on female power and sexuality.”

This looks like something else.

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Books of Secret Knowledge: The Diary and The Yearbook

Books and textual artifacts have been frequent catalysts in Gothic and horror literature. H.P. Lovecraft’s characters have The Necronomicon and Francis Wayland Thurston discovers dark truths he cannot live with in his dead uncle’s notes in “The Call of Cthulhu” (1928), while the Overlook Hotel seduces Jack Torrance with a pile of historical documents in Stephen King’s The Shining (1977). Offering detailed chronicles of the past—whether recent or ancient—and forbidden knowledge that can be achieved in no other way, these books serve as both repositories and doorways.

Books bursting with dark secrets play a similarly pivotal role in Sinclair Smith’s The Diary (1994; also published as Let Me Tell You How I Died) and Peter Lerangis’ The Yearbook (1994). 

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“Just keep circling…” — Star Trek: Lower Decks: “Hear All, Trust Nothing”

Since 2020, the Secret Hideout Trek shows on Paramount+ have shown us the fates several of the characters from the twenty-fourth-century spinoffs: TNG’s Jean-Luc Picard, William Riker, Deanna Troi, Wes Crusher, and Data and Voyager’s Seven of Nine on Picard (with TNG’s Worf, Beverly Crusher, and Geordi La Forge to be seen in the upcoming third season); Voyager’s Kathryn Janeway and Chakotay on Prodigy; Riker and Troi again and Voyager’s Tom Paris on Lower Decks.

Conspicuously absent from that list is anyone from DS9 (though Quark has been mentioned more than once on both Picard and LD), but this week’s LD makes up for that lack in spades, and it’s my favorite episode of LD so far. (Note, this doesn’t mean it’s the best. Just that it’s my favorite, which is as much my love for DS9 as anything…)

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Taika Waititi’s Time Bandits Casts Lisa Kudrow, Charlyne Yi, and More

If you forgot that a Taika Waititi-directed Time Bandits series was coming to Apple TV+, well, you’re not alone. It’s been three and a half years since Waititi’s involvement was announced. But the adaptation of Terry Gilliam’s 1981 film (pictured above) is real! Real enough to be well into the casting process, anyway. Variety reports that the main cast is set—and it’s an intriguing lineup.

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Do Whatever You Want With Your Books

Last week, my physical therapist added new homework to my assortment of assigned exercises. “Do you have stairs in your house?” she asked. “Or if not, something you can stand on?”

“The complete works of Shakespeare?” I said, and she laughed. But yes: That would do for heel raises.

There was a point in my life where I never would have considered such a thing. But even the most strident among us can change our ways eventually. Sort of. Maybe. A little bit.

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Rhythm of War Reread: Chapter Ninety-Six

Hey, it’s Thursday again, and time for another installment of the Rhythm of War Reread! Today we reach the penultimate chapter of Part Four. The Avalanche is not far off now, and the snow is hanging heavily over our heads—which is to say, the critical plot points are piling up and aligning, and ere long they will all come rushing together and falling on our heads. This is a relatively quiet chapter, for all that, giving a little information on the Kaladin-arc plans but mostly positioning Venli’s moves from here on out. There will still be surprises along the way, but most of it is set up here.

[I now realize I didn’t have the first notes of understanding what it meant to be a traitor.]

Series: Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson

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