Watch Marlon James and Tochi Onyebuchi Interview Each Other About…Almost Everything

There’s a sense of heightened reality that occurs when you see Marlon James (author of the rich fantasy Black Leopard, Red Wolf) and Tochi Onyebuchi (author of the not-actually-dystopic superhero tale Riot Baby) sitting on a public stage, before a rapt crowd, speaking with each other. Either of them alone exhibits superhuman charm, but put the two of them together and they become a Super Saiyan of wit. A veritable Voltron of expertly-deployed shade. A drift compatible charisma Jaeger, if you will—except one half of the Jaeger’s wearing a shirt that says “Slipthot” on it, and the other half is super into Can.

And lucky us, they got together for an event at the Strand! The two authors discussed writing, anime, and life in a violently white society, the X-Men, Sarah McLachlan?, and American Dirt, amongst a mosaic of topics. We’ve provided a transcript below.

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The Gideon the Ninth Reread: Chapters 9 and 10

Now this is the story all about how Gideon’s life got flip-turned upside down…

Welcome back, boneheads! It’s time for another close read of Gideon the Ninth by Tamysn Muir! I’m your host, Goriddle Gorilla, and today I’ll be recapping chapters nine and ten. These two chapters cover Gideon’s first venture out into the First House after she and Harrow arrive.

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Series: Gideon the Ninth Reread

Six Books with Monstrous Heroes

It’s hard to argue that the fantasy genre doesn’t have a tendency to support the idea that the further a creature strays from the human ideal of beauty, the more likely said creature is to bite off your finger to steal your magic ring.

But there are those fantasy novels that flip the script, putting traditionally monstrous races in the role of the protagonist. In these books, the trolls and goblins and dragons get to be, er, people—and even if they sometime still wind up working the teensiest bit on the side of the baddies, at least we can sympathize with their motivations.

Here are six books that explore the inner lives of members of the genre’s rogues gallery.

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Reading the Wheel of Time: A Question of Sins in Robert Jordan’s The Shadow Rising (Part 20)

Good morning friends. This week in Reading the Wheel of Time, we’re finishing off what we learned about the history of the Aiel, the breaking, and the Bore. I’m delighted by some of these revelations and frustrated by others, but overall just proud I made it through everything. It’s easy to feel like I’m missing important themes, even after breaking this section down into three weeks of recaps. Is there such a thing as FOMO for reading?

[He will take you back, and he will destroy you.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

7 Fantasies Told Across Multiple Points of View

One of our favorite techniques in writing is the use of multiple close points of view. While it has an exalted history in fantasy—Tolkien jumped all over Middle-earth in The Lord of the Rings—what we’re especially excited about now is the way authors use the style to craft a much more personal story, by taking us into deep into the minds of many different characters. Multiple points-of-view allow a writer to show us the depth and breadth of their world, to explore class disparity and racial oppression, to tell different sides of a love story or a battle.

We’ve picked a few of our favorite recent examples—tell us yours in the comments!

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Gareth L. Powell’s Embers of War Trilogy Sweepstakes!

BSFA Award-winning author Gareth L. Powell delivers an explosive conclusion to his epic Embers of War trilogy in Light of Impossible Stars — and we want to send you the full series, including Embers of War, Fleet of Knives, and Light of Impossible Stars!

 

Low on fuel and hunted by the Fleet of Knives, the sentient warship Trouble Dog follows a series of clues that lead her to the Intrusion–an area of space where reality itself becomes unstable. But with human civilisation crumbling, what difference can one battered old ship have against an invincible armada?

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Witches and Whales: The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

On Christmas Eve 1617, in the tiny fishing village of Vardo, Finnmark, a sudden storm wipes out almost the entire male population. Forty of the grown men who had set out in their boats, much as they often did, are killed by a freak storm that defies logic, and the women of Vardo are left to fend for themselves, even as they grieve for the loss of their loved ones.

In Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s first adult novel, The Mercies, the “storm comes like a finger snap […] then the sea rises up and the sky swings down and greenish lightning slings itself across everything, flashing the black into an instantaneous, terrible brightness,” as the women are perhaps “screaming but here is no sound save the sea and the sky and all the boat lights swallowed and the boats flashing and the boats spinning, the boats flying, turning, gone.”

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Five SF Stories About Teleportation Systems Gone Awry

Some hundred years ago, visionary hydroelectric pioneer Adam Beck proposed a grand scheme for electrically powered trains that would service the city of Berlin, now Kitchener, Ontario’s transit needs, as well as those of outlying communities. Such is the blinding speed at which modern society moves that scarcely a century later, something akin to a much-reduced version of Beck’s proposal became reality in the form of Waterloo Region’s Ion Light Rail System. For the most part the Ion is perfectly functional, some curiously patron-hostile stops aside, but an unexpected emergent property of the system very quickly became apparent: Kitchener-Waterloo drivers are terrible at noticing train-sized objects. You’d think a massive, whale-sized object bearing down on your car would draw attention … but apparently not. (As I type, the system celebrates its first twocollision day, within hours of each other and only blocks apart. Happily, no one involved in these car-vs-Ion accidents was seriously injured.)

Anyone who has read A. J. Deutsch’s 1950 short, “A Subway Named Möbius” could have predicted that something unexpected would happen.

[This is doubly true for teleportation-based transit systems.]

Ten Brilliant Cartoons That Will Break Your Heart

I woke up last night in a cold sweat. I had a dream.

I dreamed that someone read the list below and said, “Wow, these films sound great! I’m gonna binge this stuff this weekend!”

It…didn’t end well.

Do me a favor: DO NOT binge this list. You may think you’re strong, but take it from the man who sat in his doctor’s waiting room, staring at his tablet while straining, fruitlessly, to suppress the tears: The list is stronger.

[Grab your tissues, and read on!]

Pick Your Necromancy Family From Among the Houses of Gideon the Ninth

There’s no shortage of things to love about Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth—and its upcoming sequel, Harrow the Ninth—but if we had to pick just two: (1) it is full of necromancers, and (2) there are nine separate Houses dedicated to their Undead Emperor, each with a purpose, and necromantic talents all their own.

Want to know where you’d belong? Here is a glorious breakdown, complete with rhyme scheme…

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