When Species Collide: Andre Norton’s Star Born

I actually remember reading the beginning of Star Born, with the dark-skinned, fair-haired human and the furry alien named Sssuri in a boat. I don’t remember anything at all after that, but this book definitely came my way during my childhood library forays.

It’s a rarity for any author: a sequel that stands solidly on its own. It makes regular references to The Stars Are Ours! but the characters and story are distinct enough for a standalone.

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Supernova Era Sweepstakes!

From science fiction legend Cixin Liu, the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of The Three-Body Problem, comes a vision of the future that reads like Lord of the Flies on a global scale in Supernova Era – and we want to send you a copy!

 

In those days, Earth was a planet in space.
In those days, Beijing was a city on Earth.
On this night, history as known to humanity came to an end.

Eight light years away, a star has died, creating a supernova event that showers Earth in deadly levels of radiation. Within a year, everyone over the age of thirteen will die.

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Read an Excerpt from Hex Life, an Anthology of Witches and Witchcraft!

Witches might be monstrous, or they might be heroes, depending on their own definitions. Even the kind hostess with the candy cottage thought of herself as the hero of her own story. After all, a woman’s gotta eat…

In Hex Life, editors Christopher Golden and Rachel Autumn Deering collect 18 brand-new stories of witches and witchcraft written by popular female fantasy authors, including Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine and Sherrilyn Kenyon writing in their own bestselling universes! Available October 1st from Titan Books.

We’re excited to share an excerpt from Jennifer McMahon’s witchy tale, “The Deer Wife,” below!

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All the New Fantasy Books Coming out in October!

The queen has disappeared. The empire is falling. Your magic swells inside you as you take the final stand, fighting for freedom and truth. No one can save you but yourself. This month’s fantasy titles are perfect for fans of sorcery, secrets, and swords: Discover Yale’s secret magical societies in Leigh Bardugo’s adult debut Ninth House; read Robert Jordan’s highly anticipated, never-before published novel Warrior of Altaii; and run from the wrath of an empire in Jenn Lyons’ The Name of All Things.

Head below for the full list of fantasy titles heading your way in October!

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All the New and Returning SFF Television for Fall 2019

Well, this is a disappointment to say the least. A few years ago when I first started doing this Fall TV schedule list, I did it in part because there were so many speculative fiction shows on the air that I needed a way to keep track of everything. However, this year it’s almost the opposite. The amount of spec fic television has dwindled dramatically.

Two factors seem to be at play here: a trend shift and streaming’s lack of a seasonal schedule. In the first, we’ve been seeing the decline of SFF and horror and the rise of sitcoms and procedurals/dramas (shows about cops, lawyers, investigators, doctors, emergency service providers, etc. where the core group either solve a mystery or deal with intergroup issues, often with overlap between the two) for a while now. You can argue forever about why this is happening—my theory has to do with seeking the familiar and easy as a way of exerting control over an increasingly chaotic world—but the result is a whole lotta network sameness. Add to that the wonky scheduling caused by networks and cable still bound to premieres in September and October with midseason premieres in January, and streaming sites launching one or two shows every month all year round. And this is what you get. With practically every network launching a streaming site over the next two years, the Fall TV premiere schedule will likely become a thing of the past. But for now, let’s just enjoy the ride.

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Heirs, Beware: Gideon the Ninth’s Surprising Blood Ties to The Westing Game

What do gooey haunted-castle space horror adventure Gideon the Ninth and The Westing Game, a children’s mystery set in an eccentric millionaire’s factory town, have in common? They both have “the” in the title!

No, but really: Despite Tamsyn Muir’s debut novel bringing to mind everything from Sweet Valley High to And Then There Were None, it bears an especial resemblance to Ellen Raskin’s 1979 classic. Both are locked-room mysteries in which sixteen relative strangers must solve a mystery that has something to do with the death and rebirth of an omnipotent man who has been pulling the strings on their entire lives. But more important than the answer is the reward—what they stand to gain from their participation. Their inheritance.

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Sisters of the Vast Black Sweepstakes!

The sisters of the Order of Saint Rita captain their living ship into the reaches of space in Lina Rather’s debut novella, Sisters of the Vast Black – and we want to send you a copy!

 

Years ago, Old Earth sent forth sisters and brothers into the vast dark of the prodigal colonies armed only with crucifixes and iron faith. Now, the sisters of the Order of Saint Rita are on an interstellar mission of mercy aboard Our Lady of Impossible Constellations, a living, breathing ship which seems determined to develop a will of its own.

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Where Do Fantasy Maps Come From?

Welcome to the third installment of a series exploring the look and feel of fantasy maps. In this series, I argue for the existence of a default fantasy map style, tease out its key elements, and say something about where it came from and where it’s going.

What Does a Fantasy Map Look Like?” is an attempt to separate a fantasy map’s design language—which is broadly understood but just as broadly ignored—from the territory it describes. I followed that up with “Fantasy Maps Don’t Belong in the Hands of Fantasy Characters,” which argues that because the default fantasy map style is aimed at a modern audience, it would be out of place inside a fantasy story set in a premodern society. Which turns out to have been a controversial thing to say (even if it is, you know, true).

This time I’d like to spend a few moments exploring the origins of the default fantasy map style. We’ve established that fantasy maps don’t much look like real-world maps of the premodern era—that they adopt, to use Stefan Ekman’s phrase yet again, a “pseudomedieval aesthetic”: the maps are modern in function and sensibility, but adopt design cues intended to signify old maps.

We know what this fantasy map style looks like. We’ve established some of its parameters. But where does it come from?

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Five Books About Surprisingly Supernatural Teens

In the world of SFF, books are positively littered with supernatural protagonists, many of them young people just coming into their power as they hit their teen years. But one thing that has always been interesting to me are stories that are utterly realistic—even gritty—until suddenly, out of nowhere, one of the protagonists turns out to be telepathic or telekinetic or psychic. I’ve been thinking about a few specific titles that meet these standards, mostly heavy slices of socially realistic YA that abruptly drop their readers into the icy waters of fantasy. Here are five such books—can you think of more titles that fit the bill?

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Series: Five Books About…

Marlon James’ Black Leopard, Red Wolf and Helen Phillips’ The Need Longlisted for the National Book Award

Congratulations are in order for Marlon James and Helen Phillips, who were included on the National Book Award’s longlist in fiction today! Of the ten books in contention for the prize, James’ Black Leopard, Red Wolf and Phillips’ The Need are the two that come from a speculative fiction tradition.

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Higher, Further, Faster — Captain Marvel

Carol Danvers has had a tumultuous history over her five decades in Marvel Comics, starting as a supporting character to Captain Marvel, becoming Marvel’s first attempt at a feminist icon, the subject of one of the most sexist comics ever written, and then eventually being the seventh character to take on the mantle of Captain Marvel, and is unarguably the most popular of those seven.

Over the past decade or so, she has become one of the major superstars of Marvel’s heroes, her self-titled comic book written by Kelly Sue DeConnick becoming a hugely popular and iconic series in 2012. And in 2019, she became the long-overdue first female hero to headline a movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

[“That’s not the craziest thing I’ve heard today.” “Well, it’s early…”]

Series: 4-Color to 35-Millimeter: The Great Superhero Movie Rewatch

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