Connecting With Horses Is Like Living in a Fantasy Novel

Deep-down, in it for the long haul horse people have a look to them. They come in all shapes and sizes, and they aren’t all leathery whipcord types in well-worn breeches or a cowboy hat that’s seen a thousand miles and expects to last a thousand more. But you can spot them. It’s the way they stand in a crowd, not making an effort to be visible, and probably not saying much; giving way when the crowd pushes, but not letting themselves be pushed. They have a core of quiet to them.

It’s the way they talk, too, when you get them to open up. It’s not easy if they don’t know you. Oh, they’ll happily talk horses for hours if you’ll let them, but that’s surface stuff. The real, deep stuff, they save for people they trust.

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Anthropocene Rag Sweepstakes!

Nebula and World Fantasy award-winning author Jeffrey Ford calls Alex Irvine’s Anthropocene Rag is “a rare distillation of nanotech, apocalypse, and mythic Americana into a heady psychedelic brew.” — and we want to send you a copy!


In the future United States, our own history has faded into myth and traveling across the country means navigating wastelands and ever-changing landscapes.

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Breaking News (Livestream): The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper

The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper is a queer young adult novel set in the near-future, centering equally on a blooming teenage romance and the national romance of space travel. NASA and reality television program StarWatch have paired up to garner public support for the first manned trip to Mars, intended to begin a survivable colony on the planet—and Cal Lewis Jr., an up-and-coming social media journalist who recently scored an internship at BuzzFeed, has been covering it as well… until his father is selected as the twentieth and final person on the Orpheus project team to go to Mars.

Cal must uproot his entire life, give up his chance at the internship, and step onto the national stage not just as a digital journalist but as a reality-TV participant. The Shooting Stars show is designed to replicate the perfect astronaut families of the ‘60s with added manufactured drama and an updated approach to diversity, but little focus on the actual science of the mission or its purpose. Cal refuses to give up his own media coverage, to the consternation of StarWatch, while he also begins a budding relationship with Leon, the son of another astronaut. But the real problem is the ethical question of what StarWatch is up to and where their loyalties lie: with the program, with the families, or with their own ratings?

[A review.]

Series: Queering SFF

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “State of Flux”

“State of Flux”
Written by Paul Robert Coyle and Chris Abbott
Directed by Robert Scheerer
Season 1, Episode 10
Production episode 111
Original air date: April 10, 1995
Stardate: 48658.2

Captain’s log. Chakotay leads a large away team that also includes Carey, Kim, and Seska to a planet Neelix led them to because it is a great source of food. Paris detects a ship in orbit that’s hiding itself well from Voyager’s sensors, but Tuvok is able to pick it up when Paris gives him a specific spot to aim sensors at. Tuvok somehow recognizes the configuration as belonging to the Kazon-Nistrim, even though we’ve never seen that sect before.

[Get off this ship!]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

Six Genre-Bending Books About Parasites, for Lovers of the Movie Parasite

I always go into movies blind. Maybe I’m a purist or some sort of ass backwards control freak, but I most enjoy movies when I know my reaction to them is purely mine. While I always value a good, critical review, I don’t really care to know the Rotten Tomatoes rating or whether it lives up to the book version. It’s always more rewarding (and, really, more interesting) to compare a fully formed opinion of my own to everyone else’s and see where I fall in the space of media and consumer consensus.

So I walked into Parasite fully expecting a horror movie. Based on the classically opaque trailer and the fact that it played before some other horror movie, my brain filed Parasite away under “horror movies in 2019.” I, of course, did not get a horror movie. And, reader, it was perfect.

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Watch Author Tochi Onyebuchi Talk on The Daily Show About the Role of Sci-Fi/Fantasy in Modern Life

Last week, Riot Baby author Tochi Onyebuchi appeared on The Daily Show, speaking to host Trevor Noah about the history of sci-fi and fantasy as a place of social commentary, storytelling as a “vehicle” for engaging with real-life issues, why Riot Baby is not a “dystopian” novel, what superpower he’d have, and more. Check out the clip below!

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All the New Fantasy Books Arriving in March!

In the deepest part of the night, your path is lit only by the full moon above.  A hand reaches out for you, and you hesitate. Are they friend or foe? You may never know until the journey is complete. This month’s fantasy titles are for risk-takers and lovers of the unknown: New York City comes alive under the masterful pen of N.K. Jemisin in The City We Became; step into another world where women take the lead in S.A. Jones’ The Fortress; and check out the start of a new series and Sarah J. Maas’ adult debut, House of Earth and Blood.

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

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A Redditor Uncovered Three Hidden Westworld Trailers

From the beginning, Westworld’s companion websites have been a treasure trove of Easter eggs, lore, and other goodies, encouraging fans to solve puzzles and decode seemingly innocuous files for a more interactive viewing experience. For season 3, the website in question is Incite Inc., a mysterious tech company first introduced in a teaser way back in November. As reported by Westworld Watchers, per io9, Reddit user u/MTC_Chickpea went poking around the site to try to grab screencaps from a mysterious new trailer. When the trailer disappeared, they turned on their VPN, and voila! Not one, not two, but three hidden trailers for Westworld season 3.

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Watch a Haunting Teaser for Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Adaptation of Olaf Stapledon’s Last and First Men

When it comes to science fiction adaptations, one name you don’t hear much about is British author Olaf Stapledon, who began writing genre novels in the 1930s, with stories like Last and First Men, Odd John, Star Maker, and others.

Interestingly, his book Last and First Men is the inspiration for the directoral debut of Jóhann Jóhannsson, the late Icelandic composer known for his work on films such as Sicario, Arrival, and The Theory of Everything.

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Mortal Men Doomed to Die: Death as a Gift Is Debatable in Middle-earth

In this scattershot series, we’ll be delving “too greedily and too deep,” prying gems out of the glorious rough that is the extended legendarium of Tolkien’s world. This includes drawing on The Lord of the Rings itself, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, The Children of Húrin, and the History of Middle-earth (or HoME) books.

As Tolkien-reading humans, we already know that even in Middle-earth, all Men die at some point. Obviously. But it’s not unless we read Appendix A in The Lord of the Rings that we see mortal death referred to as something other than a tough break. The narrator calls it “the Gift of Men” when speaking of the long-lived Númenóreans. Arwen Undómiel calls this fate “the gift of the One to Men” at her husband’s own deathbed, where “the One” is essentially God, a.k.a. Eru, whom the Elves named Ilúvatar. And this all might seem strange at first, for nowhere else in Tolkien’s seminal book does he explain why death might be seen as a gift.

[‘What about my memories? Will I get to bring them into any halls with me?’]

Marvel Confirms 2021 Releases for Loki, What If?, Ms. Marvel and Hawkeye

After Star Wars took the Disney+ limelight with the release of The Mandalorian last year, Marvel Studios is set to jump into the streaming world this year with its own shows: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision are each slated for release in August and December, respectively.

Now, Marvel has confirmed the next batch of shows that’ll debut in 2021: Loki, What If…?, Ms. Marvel, and Hawkeye.

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Check Out the Original Illustrations From Jules Verne’s Voyages Extraordinaires

Jules Verne was a ridiculously prolific author, publishing more than 90 novels, short stories, non-fiction books, essays, and plays over his 50-odd year career. His magnum opus was the Voyages Extraordinaires, a series of 54(!) novels that sought “to outline all the geographical, geological, physical, and astronomical knowledge amassed by modern science and to recount, in an entertaining and picturesque format…the history of the universe,” according to his editor Jules Hetzel. How’s that for an ambitious undertaking?

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