Logan Filmmaker James Mangold in Talks to Direct DC Studios’ Swamp Thing

It’s only been a day since co-CEOs of DC Studios, James Gunn and Peter Safran, announced their first tranche of films and television shows in their new DC Universe. One of those films was the horror project, Swamp Thing, and while we got little specifics on the film beyond Safran saying, “this is a film that will investigate the dark origins of Swamp Thing,” it looks like we now know who is the frontrunner to direct.

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The Mortifying Ordeal of Being (Telepathically) Known: Hilary Mantel’s Beyond Black (Part 2)

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 continue Hilary Mantel’s Beyond Black with Chapter 3. The novel was first published in 2005. Spoilers ahead!

[“She was beginning to feel that everything of interest was hidden””]

Series: Reading the Weird

Fallout Feature Adaptation Casts Arrow’s Katie Cassidy, Devon Sawa, and More

Editor’s Note: The original post described this Fallout project as the TV adaptation in the works at Prime Video. This is, in fact, another, completely different project called Fallout about survivors stuck in a vault after a nuclear event.

There’s a Fallout feature coming our way (one separate from the Prime Video series based on the eponymous video game that stars Walton Goggins and Ella Purnell ), and we have word on the ensemble cast.

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A Dark Fantasy Popcorn Novel: Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo

Now a sophomore at Yale, Galaxy “Alex” Sterns is desperate to yank Daniel Arlington, aka Darlington, out of Hell. Without getting into too much backstory, he was her supervisor at Lethe, basically the magic cops of Yale’s secret societies. Due to some very bad people doing very bad things, Alex’s boss-slash-crush got dragged over to the other side of the Veil. She and Dawes, Alex’s Lethe colleague, have spent months trying to get him back, but now they have a plan. It’s risky and will involve a lot of death, but of course Alex is going to attempt it anyway.

At the same time, the LA crimelord she escaped from is sniffing around New Haven. Eitan doesn’t understand how Alex can be so tough—she has the uncanny ability to pull ghosts into her body and use their physical strength—but he wants to use her as muscle to expand his empire. Eitan sends her into the nest of a creature so powerful that even Alex is left shaken by the encounter. But that’s not all. Someone is bumping off professors and using magic to do it. As the three plots intertwine, Alex finds herself trapped in the center of a tightening knot of chaos. Demons are on the loose, the bodies are piling up, and Darlington’s very soul is up for grabs.

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Brandon Sanderson’s Tress of the Emerald Sea Will Release in Bookstores on April 4th

In spring 2022, Brandon Sanderson launched a Kickstarter campaign to publish four secret, brand-new novels the author had written after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The response was record-shattering. The campaign reached its goal in less than one day, and eventually totaled $41.7 million dollars, becoming far and away the most successful Kickstarter campaign to date.

Campaign backers began receiving their premium editions (and more!) of the first novel, Tress of the Emerald Sea this January. But for folks who missed the campaign, Tor Books is happy to announce that it will be exclusively publishing commercial editions of the Secret Projects three months after each Dragonsteel premium edition is distributed to Kickstarter backers!

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Women SFF Writers of the 1980s: Dalkey to Devenport

Once upon a time, there was a reviewer with a simple dream: to list every woman who wrote speculative fiction in English and debuted in the 1980s, then discuss those authors with whose work he was familiar. (Editor’s note: Please, please read the footnote, which delineates the precise scope of this article.) He found there was an unanticipated problem: grouping authors by the first letter of their surname could result in sets of authors too large to discuss in one essay. (This was true for only some letters; at least one set, the authors whose surname started with X, contained only one author—Can Xue.)

Attempted solution: procrastinate. Perhaps results will arise as if by magic? After four and a half years of inactivity, it became clear that this would not work.

Epiphany: nothing says this project has to be tackled one letter at a time. In fact, there is another approach.…

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How a Vampire Got Her Punk Rock Groove Back: Vampire Weekend by Mike Chen

Louise Chao has been a vampire for a few decades now. She’s not super strong, she can’t fly, she can’t change into bats or smoke or move particularly fast; she isn’t interested in violence or feeding off people—in fact she isn’t interested in much, other than the music of her youth. She lives with her pet corgi in a house she inherited from her aunt and works as a janitor doing night shifts at a hospital just to make ends meet, stealing enough blood bags to eke out basic survival. It’s a pretty depressing existence, as a few characters remind us.

Louise is passionate about music, though, and used to play for a band. Something happened that pushed her away from live performances, and she hasn’t been able to get back her mojo, as it were.

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New DC Studios Heads James Gunn and Peter Safran Reveal Their First Ten Projects

You can take a break from speculating about the future of DC Studios—at least for a little while. Today, new DC Studios heads James Gunn and Peter Safran announced the first lineup of projects they’ve got cooking, and it’s… a really mixed bag. Some big names (what they call “diamond characters”), some lesser-known folks from DC’s deep backlist, and some ideas that may leave you scratching your head.

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Weird Cosmologies and Unsubtle Monsters: The Shared Terrors of H.P. Lovecraft and Christopher Pike

Welcome to Close Reads! In this series, Leah Schnelbach and guest authors dig into the tiny, weird moments of pop culture—from books to theme songs to viral internet hits—that have burrowed into our minds. This time out, Sarah McCarry teases out similarities in the mythmaking of noted racism enthusiast H.P. Lovecraft, and noted purveyor of ’90s teen chillers, Christopher Pike.

You probably haven’t spent a lot of time considering the striking similarities between HP Lovecraft’s classic 1931 Antarctic travel warning At the Mountains of Madness and Christopher Pike’s extraordinary 1992 Martian-mission-from-hell bonanza The Season of Passage, if for no other reason than the fact that you probably haven’t read The Season of Passage. In thinking about this essay, I did consider the possibility that the Venn overlap between “people who are enthusiastic about At the Mountains of Madness” and “people who cannot shut up about The Season of Passage” consists entirely of, well, me. And yet! dear and patient reader, I ask you to join me, on a journey that will carry us from the frigid, lizard-vampire riddled plains of Mars to the frigid, lizard-ish-vampire-ish-infested mountains of Antarctica, from wet monsters to dry monsters to comely young ladies frolicking about spaceships in their undershorts; in short, a very specific window into the more dubious corners of the American psyche.

Are you ready? Let’s go.

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Series: Close Reads

Why Do People Still Balk at Animation and How Can We Change Their Minds?

“Hey, I have a show you’d love,” I say, and I see my friend’s eyes light up at the prospect of some juicy new content. “It’s an animated series…”

You probably know what happens after those four words. The friend’s eyes lose their glow, and they possibly start glancing around the room for something else to glom onto. Perhaps they say they don’t want to watch a cartoon. They “aren’t into animation.” No matter what you throw at the wall, it won’t stick.

Perhaps you’re lucky, reader, and have a social circle firmly entrenched in the wonderful world of animation. I’ve got a fair few friends who enjoy the occasional animated adventure and a few who happily watch thousand-episode anime series for breakfast. But many of my comrades range from being extremely wary to outright against animation.

[Time to conduct an informal survey!]

FX Cancels Kindred After Just One Season

Kindred, based on the novel by Octavia Butler, is done at FX. The network released the entire season in the middle of December—a strange strategy to say the least—and has now pulled the plug on the adaptation.

But there is a tiny ray of hope for fans of the series: According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Showrunner Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Watchmen) is expected to shop the drama from FX Productions as he envisioned a multiple-season run for the series.”

So there’s a chance another network or streaming platform might pick it up.

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Reading The Wheel of Time: New Old Faces in Robert Jordan’s A Crown of Swords (Part 12)

This week in Reading The Wheel of Time, Cadsuane interrogates Merana, Min and Rand share news of death and comfort each other, and Sevanna plays with fire. Weaves of fire, which she can’t even see.

Hmm. I think that metaphor got away from me.

Kind of how the situation is getting away from Sevanna. Also, I think Ishamael might be back.

It’s Chapters 19 and 20 of A Crown of Swords!

[Small increases in chaos are as important as large.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

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