Lady Hotspur Sweepstakes!

Tessa Gratton’s Lady Hotspur is a sweeping, heart-stopping Shakespearean novel of betrayal and battlefields and destiny — and we want to send you a copy!



This is the motto of the Lady Knights–sworn to fealty under a struggling kingdom, promised to defend the prospective heir, Banna Mora.

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The Battle of Bolvangar Rages in His Dark Materials, “The Daemon-Cages”

We open with a procession through the grim Magisterium research laboratory/concentration camp, Bolvangar. Lyra finally sees Roger across the dining hall but can only communicate with him through their daemons. He seems much changed by his imprisonment.

A girl named Bridget McGinn (Eva Jazani) is called away by Dr Cooper and Sister Clara. On the way to Bridget’s intercision—the terrible process by which daemons are spliced from their humans—Sister Clara experiences a sudden flash of what we later learn is her own intercision.

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The 4 Ways That Emperor Palpatine Engineered His Return in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Ever since the first trailer for Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker premiered, and fans heard that horrific, familiar cackle, we’ve known—The Emperor…Sheev Palpatine himself…was somehow back.

Ugh, that guy. How? How is this possible? According to J.J. Abrams, this was always part of the framework for the third Star Wars trilogy, so it’s not like they made a late game change. Which means that there’s a plan. Which means that The Emperor planned out how to circumvent his own overthrow, and even planned on how to cheat his own death.

And we’ve seen it happen in four different ways already.

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Dead Astronauts Sweepstakes!

Jeff VanderMeer’s Dead Astronauts presents a City with no name of its own where, in the shadow of the all-powerful Company, lives human and otherwise converge in terrifying and miraculous ways. At stake: the fate of the future, the fate of Earth―all the Earths — and we want to send you a copy!


A messianic blue fox who slips through warrens of time and space on a mysterious mission. A homeless woman haunted by a demon who finds the key to all things in a strange journal. A giant leviathan of a fish, centuries old, who hides a secret, remembering a past that may not be its own.

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Karin Tidbeck’s Amatka and the Use of Language in Dystopian Science Fiction

I have a complicated relationship with Nineteen Eighty-Four. To this day, it remains the only book that has ever bored so deeply into my head that I could not bring myself to finish it. This, after multiple attempts, spread across nearly 20 years of a life lived happily in the stacks of libraries and bookstores.

I think about George Orwell’s novel more days than not. Sometimes I think that Nineteen Eighty-Four is the book that truly made me fall in love with language. Newspeak, the propagandic language created by the Party to limit expression and thought, permeates my own thoughts, which mentally—and hyperbolically—declare inconvenient situations as “doubleplusungood.”

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Reading The Wheel of Time: Elayne Discovers One Secret and Misses Another in Robert Jordan’s The Shadow Rising (Part 14)

Welcome back again to our read of The Shadow Rising!

This chapter is really wonderful. Although our time in the Stone has given our characters lots of opportunities to chat with each other and examine their feelings, “Winds Rising” really has the feeling of the Locked Room trope that’s so common in TV especially, where characters are stuck in a room or an elevator or something and forced to spend the entire time talking to each other. Here on the Wavedancer, Thom can play the simple gleeman, but he can’t avoid being studied the way he could in the Stone, can’t slip away when people get too interested in him, as he did with the majhere, or make himself seem more innocuous by taking a room in the servant’s quarters. Everyone is in close quarters (I believe that phrase even has a nautical origin), and they will have an ability to study each other that they might not have, before.

And of course, Jorin’s secret is a more literal example of the problem; she can’t avoid being seen by Nynaeve and Elayne, and one moment of channeling is all it takes to be caught.

[Rand al’Thor may be lucky if the next Age remembers his name correctly.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

Download a Free Ebook of Wild Cards I: Expanded Edition, Edited by George R. R. Martin, Before Dec. 14!

Expanded with new original material, this is how the world of George R. R. Martin’s WILD CARDS began.

Each month, the eBook Club gives away one (or two, and sometimes five? You can’t pin us down!) free sci-fi/fantasy eBook to club subscribers. For December 2019, the eBook Club pick is George R. R. Martin’s Wild Cards I: Expanded Edition.

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Remembering René Auberjonois: 8 Essential Odo Episodes of Deep Space Nine

Star Trek fans got some sad news on December 8 when it was reported that actor René Auberjonois had passed away at the age of 79. His career as an actor included starring roles on Broadway, voice acting in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, and of course, his memorable role on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as the shapeshifting changeling Constable Odo.

As fans and colleagues express their love and admiration for the life and career of Auberjonois, Trek fans are probably yearning to rewatch his greatest DS9 hits. Every single episode featuring Odo on Deep Space Nine allowed Star Trek to explore the concept of the Other and Othering in brave new ways. And thanks to Auberjonois’ thoughtful portrayal, Odo was more than just a collection of head-scratching sci-fi metaphors. He was, in many ways, Star Trek’s greatest alien.

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SFWA Names Lois McMaster Bujold Science Fiction Grandmaster

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has named Lois McMaster Bujold as the 36th Damon Knight Grand Master, one of science fiction’s highest honors.

Born in 1949, Bujold is a prolific author who is best known for her long-running Vorkosigan Saga, a science fiction universe she began in 1986 with Shards of Honor that currently includes 16 novels and a number of short stories.

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Reading Horses, Part I: Being With the Horse

Genre fiction has an ongoing fascination with horse cultures. Sometimes it’s indirect—the Western lives forever in the likes of Firefly and various regions of the Star Wars canon—but it crops up everywhere. Fantasy of course goes all-in for preindustrial worlds, which lean toward animal rather than mechanical transport.

And yet most modern readers and writers have little direct experience with actual horses. Of those who do, many may have been near a horse once or maybe ridden one a time or two, but day-to-day, in-depth contact is rare. I suspect that’s why fantasy horses so often act like motorcycles. Motorcycles are easier to comprehend, these days, than horses.

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Prosper’s Demon Sweepstakes!

In the pitch dark, witty fantasy novella Prosper’s Demon, K. J. Parker deftly creates a world with vivid, unbending rules, seething with demons, broken faith, and worse men — and we want to send you a copy!


In a botched demonic extraction, they say the demon feels it ten times worse than the man. But they don’t die, and we do. Equilibrium.

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