Twists and Turns in Andre Norton’s Android at Arms

This book did not go where I expected it to go at all. The title, to start with: I expected something like Forever War meets I, Robot. Protagonist finds himself kidnapped and hauled off into space to fight. I just read a Norton novel that did exactly that, Secret of the Lost Race.

For a fair few chapters I kept expecting this to happen. Planetary prince Andas expects to be chosen as the Emperor’s heir, but wakes up on an alien world with an assortment of other, more or less equally royal, noble, or politically powerful people. Or are they people? There’s been an interplanetary conspiracy to replace influential personages with android doubles.

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New Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker Teaser (Seemingly) Promises Massive Resistance Fleet

The final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will debut on Monday, October 21st some time between 9:30 and 10:00 PM ET, during the halftime break of ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

But until this evening, the internet/Disney/etc. is teasing the trailer, as it is wont to do. It’s a bit of an endless game chasing teasers, but: This one–if accurate!–seems to promise a crazy confrontation.

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We Are Very Into the Idea of Michael Keaton Returning as Batman for a Batman Beyond Movie

Robert Pattinson may be our incumbent Batman, but Warner Bros. reportedly has another Bruce Wayne in mind for yet another variation on the franchise? According to We Got This Covered, unnamed sources told the outlet that the studio wants to bring back Michael Keaton as Older Bruce Wayne for a live-action adaptation of the animated series Batman Beyond. 

And honestly? We’re super into this idea.

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Myke Cole’s Sacred Throne Trilogy Sweepstakes!

Robin Hobb calls Myke Cole’s Sacred Throne trilogy “ruthless and heart-wrenching” – and we want to send you the entire series, including a galley of the final book The Killing Light!

 

In a world where any act of magic could open a portal to hell, the Order insures that no wizard will live to summon devils, and will kill as many innocent people as they must to prevent that greater horror. After witnessing a horrendous slaughter, the village girl Heloise opposes the Order, and risks bringing their wrath down on herself, her family, and her village.

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Listen to Cassandra Khaw’s “These Deathless Bones”, a Free Audiobook Horror Story

Prepare your ears for a world of ghosts, zombies, serial killers, and many more dark characters! Nightfire’s new anthology Come Join Us By the Fire, available exclusively on Google Play Books, has harnessed the talents of your favorite masters of horror including China Miéville, Paul Tremblay, Carmen Maria Machado, and more to bring you 35 terrifying tales you’re sure to enjoy. You can download the entire anthology of 35 stories, or pick and choose your favorites to download individually.

Today, we recommend Cassandra Khaw’s “These Deathless Bones”, a horror tale about the Witch Bride and the discord between her and her young stepson.

Court Intrigue Beyond Europe: S.C. Emmett’s The Throne of the Five Winds

For all of the tendency in fantasy lately to look at perspectives outside of the aristocratic, the powerful, and the noble, there is a satisfaction in that mode of epic fantasy. Sometimes you want the people at the center of power, the classic rock of epic fantasy where the movers and shakers, and those adjacent to them scheme, jockey and manipulate each other. Multiple viewpoints and perspectives, but generally from that social class help make it seem like a pressure cooker of intrigue and drama. So it is with S.C. Emmett’s The Throne of the Five Winds.

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Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Falls Just Short of the Epic Treatment it Deserves

The first Maleficent film had its snagging points, but delivered on emotion and fairy tale reimaginings far better than many of Disney’s subsequent live-action remakes. But a sequel? Did we really need a sequel, complete with Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent gnashing her teeth at a domineering Michelle Pfeiffer?

Truth is, if Disney had a little more guts, they would have made this a trilogy, and given it the care that other major fantasy epics receive. Because Maleficent: Mistress of Evil only needed a bit more investment to make it one of the better fantasy films of the decade.

[Some spoilers for Maleficent: Mistress of Evil]

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30 Minutes Till Madness: Power and Male Derangement in The Wheel of Time

Power is a most persistent taxman. As interesting as those examples are of the bodily tariff that attends tapping into extreme power (see Rock Lee’s Lotus taijutsu in his examination fight with Gaara in Naruto, the Elric brothers losing limbs in an attempted resurrection in Fullmetal Alchemist), I am much more fascinated by the intangible requisitions. Sure, you may be willing to sacrifice an arm or perhaps even your eyesight to wield the power necessary to defend/avenge your loved ones, but would you sacrifice your goodness? Would you sacrifice your sanity? In Robert Jordan’s masterwork series, The Wheel of Time, it is a question asked of every male channeler who wields saidin. Go ahead and tap into the One Power, energy powerful enough to manipulate the universe. We kindly ask that you leave your mental health at the door. That way lies madness.

(Note: That way also lies spoilers for the Wheel of Time series.)

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There May Be More Than a Year Between His Dark Materials Seasons 1 and 2

“A few years”? Hmmmm.

HBO’s adaptation of His Dark Materials doesn’t air for another two weeks, but already the cast and crew are hard at work adapting The Subtle Knife for season two. Ahead of the premiere date, Lin-Manuel Miranda, who plays Lee Scoresby, sat down with Entertainment Weekly, and had all sorts of interesting things to say about filming with puppets, daemon-human dynamics, his Texan accent, and His Dark Materials season two. Here’s what we learned!

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The Terror: Infamy Is a Frustrating, Groundbreaking, and Timely Exploration of History and Horror

When I talk about The Terror: Infamy, which concluded last Monday, the word that I keep using is frustrated. Frustrated because Infamy has two potentially great stories going on: a J-horror tale of intergenerational trauma, and a real-life suspense drama about being unjustly incarcerated by one’s own government, and neither of those stories is executed with the finesse that I was hoping for. Frustrated because I—an Asian-American adoptee of Korean descent—have been hungry all my life for more Asian-American representation in popular media; a prestige drama with a predominantly Asian core cast is a huge step forward and I was rooting for it hard. Frustrated because the incarceration of thousands of Japanese-American citizens under Executive Order 9066 is a piece of American history that we need to confront, particularly since American immigration policies of the last two years have made those events uncomfortably relevant all over again.

[Light spoilers follow.]

Lost Transmissions: The Secret History of Science Fiction and Fantasy Sweepstakes!

Lost Transmissions: The Secret History of Science Fiction and Fantasy is a fascinating illustrated history of lost, overlooked, and uncompleted works of science fiction and fantasy, by Desirina Boskovich and featuring a foreword by award-winning author Jeff VanderMeer – and we want to send you a copy!

Science fiction and fantasy reign over popular culture now. Lost Transmissions is a rich trove of forgotten and unknown, imagined-but-never-finished, and under-appreciated-but-influential works from those imaginative genres, as well as little-known information about well-known properties. Featuring writing from Charlie Jane Anders, Meg Elison, John Chu, William Gibson, Neil Gaiman, Lev Grossman, Annalee Newitz, Jeannette Ng, Mark Oshio, Ekaterina Sedia, K.M. Szpara, Paul Tremblay, and more.

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Through Doorways: Portal Fantasies and Queer Escape

Before I looked for girls or boys, I was looking for doors first.

It made sense, being born under a Nebraska sky that went on for miles: farm boy land. A dust bowl town was not a place for a queer girl-child; the whicker of wind through corn stole your breath if you tried to breathe too deeply, feel too much. It wasn’t a town for being yourself. It was a town for being farm girls, waiting for their farm boys. Farm boys, farm girls, and nothing in-between. Certainly not farm girls who crushed too hard on their best friends, and were then crushed in return. There was no escaping the endless plain. Not in a cornfield that was a kingdom and stalks rattled like dried bones in the night.

There was only one way, one kind of book, where farm kids got the kind of story I needed.

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