There are worse things than a local gangster’s cronies lurking in New Jersey’s wetlands…
There are worse things than a local gangster’s cronies lurking in New Jersey’s wetlands…
A banished warrior teaches her treacherous uncle that once made, some oaths cannot be broken…and some monsters cannot be chained.
Commander Niaja vrau Erezeng is up against an enemy that doesn’t just destroy all the beings, ships, and planets in its path, but also consumes their greatest arts, somehow scratching them from existence everywhere…
While all her friends’ fish are changing into mermaids, is 12-year-old Anissa’s fish becoming something else?
When the waters rose, the people who stayed on the River learned they weathered the storms best together, but what happens when one of their own becomes curious about the Land?
A photographer’s obsession with an unsettled subject exposes two friends to a darkness that won’t be contained by frames…
We’re excited to reprint “The Woman Carrying a Corpse” by Chi Hui, translated from Chinese by Judith Huang, from the groundbreaking anthology The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories, edited by Yu Chen and Regina Kanyu Wang, out now in paperback!
“The Woman Carrying a Corpse” was originally published as 背尸体的女人 in December 2019 by Flower City (花城).
For me, reading is meditation—a flow-inducing escape from whatever woes the workday brings me, and a welcome reprieve from any worries that might be flitting around my mind.
More than 90 percent of the time, I find that escape in the form of a many-volume epic sci-fi or fantasy story. Once in a while, though, I need something more subtle and nuanced—a book or a story that speaks to my need for calm and comfort and allows—even encourages—my mind to take a break from my anxieties and find a new perspective.
It takes a special kind of book by a special kind of author to ease my mind in exactly the right way, and today I’m happy to share five of my favorites with you. These books and stories are all at the top of my list whenever I need to take a break, reflect, and focus on what’s important in life…
A few months back, The New York Times asked Leigh Bardugo what books got her into fantasy as a genre. She named a handful of books, adding,”I think any time you can remember where you were when you read a book for the first time (Dune—tiny motel room on a miserable family trip, A Swiftly Tilting Planet on the white shag carpet in my grandparents’ back room) that means something.”
And it does, doesn’t it? Over the months I’ve been writing this column, I’ve mentioned more than one book about which I remember the specifics of my first reading experience: trying not to audibly cry on a Greyhound bus as I finished Where the Red Fern Grows; reading Lavinia on a train, the sound of wheels on tracks locking in with Le Guin’s prose; wading through Wanderers on a (pre-pandemic) plane, increasingly creeped out by the people too close to me.
Would I remember these books the same way if I had read them elsewhere? What alchemy makes these memories so clear? What is it that makes some stories coalesce so clearly in our minds, like postcards you can flip back through?
As my readers may have deduced, I read a lot of science fiction. It happens that I also seek out and enjoy material I tend to think of as SFF-adjacent, books that share some important theme or element with science fiction and fantasy. Perhaps examples will make what I am talking about clearer…
The weather is warming up in the Northern Hemisphere and while most people are enjoying the longer days and toasty sunshine, I’m focused on the dreaded fact that bug season is upon us. While I know that insects are necessary to humankind’s survival, a lot of them are also undeniably creepy. There’s the many legs (too many legs), their overwhelming numbers (swarms!), and the fact that some of them are venomous (to the point of being deadly). If you take all of that, scale it up, and stick it in a movie, the result can be truly terrifying.
While I split hairs between fungi and plants in previous lists, I haven’t afforded insects and arachnids the same benefit here. This is mostly because when something creepy is crawling its way towards me, I’m too freaked out to care about which category it belongs to. Now on with the list—here are eight movies that make great use of big bugs.
The Lambert family’s story is over (theoretically). But the Insidious franchise remains. Deadline reports that Mandy Moore (Dr. Death) and Kumail Nanjiani (Obi-Wan Kenobi) are set to star in Thread: An Insidious Tale, which is described as “an offshoot project” rather than a film in the main franchise narrative.
Presumably it will still be quite frightening, regardless.
San Francisco and the Bay Area are world-famous communities to which many have moved…and many would move if they could afford it. A fair number of SF authors have looked at the hordes populating the Bay Area and wondered “what would all this look like if there were a lot fewer people?” Here are four works that answer that question.
Marvel doesn’t have a lock on mutants, that’s for sure. The latest iteration of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arrives this summer, and Mutant Mayhem looks to be a charming (and gorgeously animated) tale just absolutely packed full of mutants—though some dream of going to high school, and some dream of mutant world domination. (Somebody call Magneto!)
Netflix keeps calling the upcoming season of Black Mirror “The most unpredictable, unclassifiable and unexpected season yet,” which seems like a high bar to set. But maybe they’re onto something? The trailer for the series highlights the five standalone “films,” which range from the experience of a women who finds herself the subject of a prestige Netflix—um, I mean Streamberry—series to a mystifying, Aaron Paul-starring story set in space. And one haunting tale gets a little title card that says it’s presented by Red Mirror.
The connecting tissue is, of course, the mind of creator Charlie Brooker.
Here’s a sad truth about writing for most authors: This is not a lucrative business. Years can go by between publications, and there’s never a guarantee anyone will end up earning royalties on their books. So it’s no wonder that several legends of speculative fiction have cast their gaze toward Hollywood over the years…and took up jobs penning screenplays and teleplays for books and stories written by other authors. The five authors we’re highlighting below wrote their own successful works of science fiction, fantasy, or horror, but also adapted books and stories originally penned by other writers for both the big and small screen (and of course, you’ll note some overlap with this previous article, where we looked at six authors who’d done well adapting their own works).
So without further ado, here are some famous names you’ll definitely recognize… and some of the scripts they wrote that you might not know they had anything to do with!
Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology has gotten a comic series adaptation via P. Craig Russell at Dark Horse Comics, and the entire set is now available for pre-order in an oversized deluxe collection.
All his life, Conrad hadn’t known anything existed below the toxic black clouds of the Skylands… until now.
We’re thrilled to share the cover of Sky’s End, the first book in Marc J Gregson’s Above the Black trilogy—publishing January 2, 2024 with Peachtree Teen.
Live-action remakes of classic animated films are in vogue right now, and not only at Disney. We’ve known for a few months that Universal was getting in on that live-action, um, action with a flesh-and-blood reimagining of 2010’s How To Train Your Dragon. That project is steadily moving forward, and today we found out what human actors will take on the leading human roles in the movie.
Delhi, the near future: Bibi, a low-ranking employee of a global consulting firm, is tasked with finding a man long thought to be dead but who now appears to be the source of a vast collection of documents.
We’re thrilled to share an excerpt from The Light at the End of the World by Siddhartha Deb, a kaleidoscopic, genre-bending novel connecting India’s tumultuous 19th and 20th centuries to its distant past and its potentially apocalyptic future—out today from Soho Press.
The horror movie Barbarian caused waves when it came out last year and secured writer-director Zach Cregger an eight-figure deal for his next film. Cregger is also producing other projects, and one of them is Companion, a film written by Drew Hancock, who will also make his debut directing the feature.
Written by Phyllis Strong
Directed by James L. Conway
Season 3, Episode 19
Production episode 071
Original air date: April 21, 2004
Captain’s star log. Enterprise is picking up where they left off last time, getting the shit kicked out of them by Reptilian ships, but suddenly the attack ceases. This is only a minor reprieve, as they have no propulsion or weapons, systems failures all over the ship, tons of hull breaches, and many casualties.
We find out that the Xindi Council ordered the Reptilian ships to back off, to Dolim’s annoyance. The Aquatics will transport Archer to the council chambers so he can be interrogated by the council. Dolim is even more pissed about that.
Cassandra Khaw’s new novella, The Salt Grows Heavy, begins with death and consummation. On its very first page, a mermaid’s daughters clean gore from their fingertips after devouring the face, eyes, and brain of a thing that used to be human. They are, their mother muses as she watches them, “the best of their parents.” We as readers are thrown into the deep-end, as unmoored and unsteady as a sea creature on land.
In its brief and horrible 100 pages, The Salt Grows Heavy continues its assault: murder and dismemberment are commonplace, children are awash in blood, and, most importantly, love (familial, romantic, and otherwise) is present in abundance. With gorgeous prose and tender, meaty detail, Khaw guides us through an unreal fable of love and body horror. They introduce us to a mermaid and her plague doctor companion as they traverse a bleak landscape to find humanity and monstrosity irrevocably intertwined. And never once does Khaw explain the abominations we’re witnessing—our unknowing, after all, is part of its allure.
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.
In the latter part of the 20th century, the science fiction community began to move past its lurid pulp origins and become part of respectable culture. The genre began to leave behind covers featuring bug-eyed monsters and scantily clad maidens and turned toward plots that depended thoughtful scientific extrapolation rather than simply generating thrills. Of course, as Alan E. Nourse shows in the collection Tiger by the Tail, those stories can still be fun and compelling.
Shifter romances are a thing. A big, exuberant, all the fun and hot sexy shifter guys (and gals and even nonbinaries) you can eat thing. They’re usually written by pseudonymous authors—and some of those pseudonyms may actually be a consortium of writers writing in the same universe with interconnected characters.
Like shifter cozy mysteries, shifter romances feature one or more shifters per novel and per universe. Romances, unlike cozies which can stretch out the attraction through a whole series, traditionally wrap up the love story within a single volume. The point of the story is the relationship, and it must end in “HEA”—Happy Ever After.
That doesn’t mean there can’t be series set within the same universe. Think Bridgerton. Each member of a family gets their own story and their own romance. The rest of the family will move in and out and even play major roles in the overall plot, but again, the relationship is the focus.
Shifter romances can feature any human-to-animal transformation you can imagine, and maybe a few you can’t. Real-world or mythical, anything goes. As witness Elva Birch’s six-book series (with book 6 coming out this summer), Royal Dragons of Alaska.