The Wheel of Time Has Cast Two Whitecloak Leaders

The Wheel of Time television series is back again with more casting news! Which, given their current production pause, is exciting for all of us because it gives us more information to chew over. This time, we’ve got Whitecloaks on the brain…

(Note: The comments section for this piece will most likely contain spoilers for the Wheel of Time series.)

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Potluck Devils: Stephen Graham Jones’s “The Spindly Man”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

This week, we’re reading Stephen Graham Jones’s “The Spindly Man,” first published in Ellen Datlow’s Fearful Symmetries anthology in 2014 and available in the September 2016 issue of The Dark. Spoilers ahead. (Also spoilers for Stephen King’s 1994 story “The Man in the Black Suit,” which you can find in The Weird.)

[“Proof,” he said. “We’ve all got proof, man. I bet every one of us has a story like this kid’s. Don’t we?”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

An Old Story Made New: C.T. Rwizi’s Scarlet Odyssey

A mother who became an obsessive. A boy who became a mystic. A woman who became a warrior. A machine who became a man. A survivor who became an abuser. A princess who became a king. An enemy who became a lover. An ally who became an adversary. The stories of people who defied tradition and social order to live according to their own rules overlap and intertwine in C.T. Rwizi’s commanding new epic fantasy Scarlet Odyssey.

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Read an Excerpt From the Near-Future Dystopia Sensation Machines

Michael and Wendy Mixner are a Brooklyn-based couple whose marriage is failing in the wake of a personal tragedy. Michael, a Wall Street trader, is meanwhile keeping a secret: he lost the couple’s life savings when a tanking economy caused a major market crash. And Wendy, a digital marketing strategist, has been hired onto a data-mining project of epic scale, whose mysterious creator has ambitions to solve a national crisis of mass unemployment and reshape America’s social and political landscapes.

When Michael’s best friend is murdered, the evidence leads back to Wendy’s client, setting off a dangerous chain of events that will profoundly change the couple—and the country.

Set in an economic dystopia that’s just around the corner, Adam Wilson’s Sensation Machines grapples with greed, automation, universal basic income, wearable tech, revolutionary desires, and a broken justice system. Available July 7th from Soho Press.

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Tales From the Lost Desk: A Love Letter From the Books Editor

Once upon a time, there was a glorious city with towers that stretched into the sky, roads that stretched long into the beyond. The city had existed for many many years, and would continue to stand for years after, ancient and forever and steadfast. It was a city that cradled its inhabitants, that vibrated with energy and life.

Within one particular tower was a group of creative, clever people who were working very hard bringing art to the people of the world. This group of people cared so deeply about their work, and about each other. Every day was a joy.

And in a small corner of the tower was a desk covered in books from all corners of the world, each one loved and cared for by the desk’s keeper, who did their best to help brilliant works of fiction reach readers who needed them the most…

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Le Guin’s City of Illusions: Language and Trust on Space Opera’s Margin

A biweekly series, The Ursula K. Le Guin Reread explores anew the transformative writing, exciting worlds, and radical stories that changed countless lives. This week we’ll be covering City of Illusions, first published by Ace Books in 1967. My edition is part of a three-book collection Nelson Doubleday, 1978, and this installment of the reread covers the entire novel.

In the previous novel of our reread, we encountered the planet Werel and the struggle by descendants of the original Terran colonists to coexist with the indigenous Werelians at a moment of intense socio-political upheaval. Planet of Exile is a great example of the social-science turn in science fiction during the New Wave of the 1960s and exemplifies Le Guin’s concerns with how knowledge gets made and how cultures interact. Le Guin’s next novel, the beguilingly titled City of Illusions, furthers her interest in these subjects, asking not how knowledge gets made, but how can we trust that knowledge—what knowledge can we trust in a world of competing ideologies, myths, religions, politics, cultures, etc.?

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Series: The Ursula K. Le Guin Reread

Five SFF Books to Help You Celebrate Canada Day!

Today is Canada Day, which celebrates the creation on July 1st, 1867 of that single Dominion known as Canada, from the separate colonies of the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. July 1st, 1867 is just one of a surprising number of occasions on which Canada became a sovereign nation, sorta-kinda, but it is the date that won the national holiday.

To commemorate the event, here are five Canadian novels for your reading pleasure.

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The Ones Who Look

Ethical Empire built the gate to heaven, and their employees hold the keys. By offering custom-built afterlives through full-brain uploads, they answered the needs of a society pushed to the brink by climate change and cascading antibiotic failure. But for Zoe, who works daily to assess the sins of users and decide who’s worthy of salvation, heaven is not so simple. Despite the urging of the angels on her shoulder, she is determined to uncover heaven’s secrets, no matter the cost.

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Intriguing SFF Works Awaiting English Translations

I am monolingual, which limits me to reading works in English. One of the joys of this modern, interconnected world in which we’re living is that any speculative fiction work written in another language could (in theory) be translated into English. One of my frustrations is that, generally speaking, they haven’t been. Here are five works about which I know enough to know that I’d read them if only they were translated.

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Never Say You Can’t Survive: The Most Powerful Thing a Story Can Do Is Show How People Change

Charlie Jane Anders is writing a nonfiction book—and is publishing it as she does so. Never Say You Can’t Survive is a how-to book about the storytelling craft, but it’s also full of memoir, personal anecdote, and insight about how to flourish in the present emergency.

Below is the seventh chapter, “The Most Powerful Thing a Story Can Do Is Show How People Change.” You can find all previous chapters here. New chapters will appear every Tuesday. Enjoy!

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Series: Never Say You Can’t Survive

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