Diving Into Christopher Paolini’s New Science Fiction Epic, To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

When Eragon (and I promise, this review isn’t secretly an Eragon retrospective) released in 2002, I picked it up with deep interest and excitement. By the end of middle school, four friends and myself were obsessed. We started writing our own stories of dragons and eggs, mysterious elves, orcan languages, and flight. We passed notebooks of our handwritten epics around in class the way other kids passed notes of gossip. The four of us even wrote Christopher Paolini fanmail, and he responded with notes of his own—to be fair, I’m still unsure if that was actually him answering his mail or if it was just an adult feeling really bad for us. Paolini, if you’re reading this, do you remember fanmail from a gaggle of young Iowan teens? Did you send them replies? Inquiring minds must know.

Anyway, up until that point, I had been reading fantasy passed down to me: Narnia, Belgariad, and more were stories suggested, placed in my hands. I devoured them, but I never felt like they were my stories to share with others. The Eragon series was the first time I had chosen a fantasy story to read that was just mine.

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Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: Third Season Overview

Star Trek: Voyager Third Season
Original air dates: September 1996 – May 1997
Executive Producers: Rick Berman, Jeri Taylor

Captain’s log. The primary theme of the third season was that there wasn’t really a primary theme. For the first time, there were no recurring villains. Yes, we got one last look at the Kazon, but that was just resolving the cliffhanger in the “Basics” two-parter, and the Vidiians, but they were illusory in “Coda.”

Instead, Voyager pressed onward. They firmly moved away from the space occupied by the Ocampa, the Sikarians, the Vidiians, the Talaxians, the Haakonians, the Trabe, et al, and instead entered unknown territory, encountering tons of new species. They have at this point gone so far that Neelix’s value as a guide is pretty much gone as they traverse the Nekrit Expanse, so that their remaining journey is a mystery even to their self-styled native guide.

[Three years ago, I didn’t even know your name. Today, I can’t imagine a day without you.]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

Bilbo Baggins Is the Ultimate Icon of Self-Care

We’ve heard a lot of talk of self-care since the beginning of quarantine. For some, this has taken the form of face masks and day-drinking. For others it’s meant disconnecting from the internet as much as possible, or hurling themselves into cottagecore fantasies.

But we think these people are amateurs. You want self-care? Look no further than Bilbo Baggins.

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Brandon Sanderson’s Rhythm of War Launches With a Special Event and Signed Books

Brandon Sanderson’s Rhythm of War is going to be launched with an exciting online celebration this fall. A virtual event will give fans access to an exclusive livestream with the author, and the opportunity to own a signed copy of the book. And it’s all made possible through a digital partnership with a few select bookstores—one of which may even be in your hometown.

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Planetary Romance Under the Clouds: Pirates of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs

In this bi-weekly series reviewing classic science fiction and fantasy books, Alan Brown looks at the front lines and frontiers of the field; books about soldiers and spacers, scientists and engineers, explorers and adventurers. Stories full of what Shakespeare used to refer to as “alarums and excursions”: battles, chases, clashes, and the stuff of excitement.

Later in his career, after creating a host of memorable characters like Tarzan of the Apes and John Carter of Mars, Edgar Rice Burroughs decided to create a new character, Carson Napier, and send him to the planet Venus, to journey through planetary and literary territory Burroughs had not yet explored. Some people feel this new planetary adventurer didn’t measure up to his predecessor, John Carter, but Carson Napier was a unique character whose adventures I always enjoyed. And when you are looking for a good summer reading book, you can’t go wrong with one about pirates…

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“Can someone give us some context in here please?” — Star Trek: Lower Decks: “Veritas”

One of the cool things the first Star Trek animated series did was not only bring back most of the cast to voice their characters, but on three occasions, they were able to do the same with guest stars: Mark Lenard (Sarek), Roger C. Carmel (Harry Mudd), and Stanley Adams (Cyrano Jones) were able to reprise their roles from the original series without having to worry about the timing of their ability to be on set, because their lines were recorded individually. (Indeed, Lenard wasn’t available until the last minute, and James Doohan had recorded Sarek’s part initially.)

One of the difficulties of having mortal actors play immortal characters is that the mortal actors will age. Seeing, for example, Q on Picard or Discovery would be problematic, as John deLancie has aged.

But he can lend his voice to the role…


John Cena’s Suicide Squad Character is Getting an HBO Max Spinoff

It looks like Warner Bros. is eyeing the Marvel Cinematic Universe strategy with new eyes now that it has its own streaming service. The studio announced that it’s greenlit a tie-in series for James Gunn’s upcoming film, The Suicide Squad, which will follow John Cena’s character, Peacemaker.

The series will run for eight episodes on HBO Max, and is scheduled to go into production sometime early next year.

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Powerful Siblings Face Their Demons in Horrifying Helstrom Trailer

A new trailer has dropped for Hulu’s Helstrom, a brand new series that is subtly set in a darker corner of the Marvel universe.

When demons threaten the world of Helstrom, guardians like Caretaker and psychiatric professionals like Louise Hastings step up to protect innocent lives. When their skills aren’t enough, they need the combined might of Daimon and Ana Helstrom. But before the siblings can help they’ll have to wrestle with the demons in their own past—one of which is their own mother.

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Black Widow Will Have to Complete Her Mission in 2021

Fans of the MCU are going to have to wait a little longer to see Black Widow‘s solo movie. According to Variety, Disney will be moving the debut of Scarlett Johansson’s film from November 6th, 2020 to May 7th, 2021. Unfortunately, the delay of Black Widow will also result in several other MCU properties being pushed back.

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Good Ghost-Hunters are Hard to Find: Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House (Part 1)

Welcome back to Reading the Weird, in which we get girl cooties all over weird fiction, cosmic horror, and Lovecraftiana—from its historical roots through its most recent branches.

This week, we’re starting on Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, first published in 1959. Today we’re covering Chapter 1, Parts 1 and 2. Spoilers ahead.

[“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality…”]

Series: Reading the Weird

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