Read Joe Abercrombie’s Introduction to The Folio Society Edition of A Game of Thrones

When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die…

A publishing phenomenon; the biggest TV series in the world; a book that revolutionised a genre. A Game of Thrones is also, above and beyond all these things, a uniquely addictive piece of literature, claiming legions of fans and winning vast critical acclaim, and now The Folio Society presents the ultimate illustrated collector’s edition, with art by Jonathan Burton and a special introduction by fantasy author Joe Abercrombie.

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Download a Free Ebook of The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley Before July 20, 2019!

The emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each of them also has a life-path on which their father set them, destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods.

Each month, the Tor.com eBook Club gives away one (or two, or five…) free sci-fi/fantasy ebook to club subscribers. For July 2019, the Ebook Club pick is The Emperor’s Blades, the first volume of Brian Staveley’s fantasy trilogy “The Chronicles of Unhewn Throne”!

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Reading the Wheel of Time: Hammers, Balefire and Persuasion in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 21)

Hello dear readers and welcome back to week 21 of the read of The Dragon Reborn. This week the strands of the wheel are drawing our protagonists ever closer to the Heart of the Stone and the climax of the long-building drama of The Dragon Reborn. I’ve been noticing that, somehow, this book seems slower than the previous two, although I can’t quite put my finger on why. It feels, though, that there have been fewer side quests and stand-alone adventures for everyone—more focus has been put on learning information, conversations, and world building than on, say, getting lost in Shadar Logoth or mirror worlds. I’m not sure if it would feel as slow if I was reading straight through without stopping every few paragraphs, but doing things this way, it certainly does.

We get a nice little reprieve this week as Perrin goes back to smithing, at least for a day. It’s like the calm before the storm, as it’s followed up by Moiraine’s revelation that the forsaken Bel’al is in Tear and Liandrin and the others catch up to Nynaeve.

One note about last week’s post: I forgot a page! My recap ended with Thom and Mat returning to The White Crescent for sleep, but I had forgotten (and not indicated in my notes, apparently) that there was a bit more to the end of Chapter 49. So the first little bit of today’s recap will be finishing that up, before we head into Chapter 50 and 51.

[So much in Tear looked odd that it was a relief to walk into the smithy.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

io9 Reveals the First Look at the New Star Wars Book Thrawn: Treason

Publishing this month, Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn: Treason is the third installment in the Star Wars: Thrawn series, and takes place before the battle for Lothal’s liberation, as depicted in the series finale of Star Wars: Rebels. And io9 has a first look at the book. Some initial details ahead!

Not only does General Admiral Thrawn find his TIE Defender project on hold in favor of Director Krennic’s future Death Star plans (as depicted in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), but an unexpected run-in with his former protégé Commander Eli Vanto redirects Thrawn’s attentions back towards his people, the Chiss. Essentially, Thrawn finds his loyalties being tested and split once more.

So, what exactly has Thrawn been up to in the events leading up to Thrawn: Treason?

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Heartless: Andre Norton’s Dread Companion

It’s been a while since I remembered any elements of a Norton novel in this reread, but Dread Companion definitely rang some bells. I remembered the names of the children, Oomark and Bartare, and the weird landscape of geometrical shapes in which the protagonist finds herself. I also recognized the scary hairy beast-man when he appeared, though I didn’t recall much of who he was or how he got there.

What I had forgotten, or maybe just didn’t notice, was how dark and ultimately heartless the book is.

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Gods of Jade and Shadow Sweepstakes!

The Mayan god of death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey in a dark, one-of-a-kind fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore. Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is full of magic and myth – and we want to send you a copy!

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own. Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room.

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Read an Excerpt from The Gossamer Mage

Only in Tananen do people worship a single deity: the Deathless Goddess. Only in this small, forbidden realm are there those haunted by words of no language known to woman or man. The words are Her Gift, and they summon magic.

Mage scribes learn to write Her words as intentions: spells to make beasts or plants, designed to any purpose. If an intention is flawed, what the mage creates is a gossamer: a magical creature as wild and free as it is costly for the mage. For Her Gift comes at a steep price. Each successful intention ages a mage until they dare no more. But her magic demands to be used; the Deathless Goddess will take her fee, and mages will die.

To end this terrible toll, the greatest mage in Tananen vows to find and destroy Her. He has yet to learn She is all that protects Tananen from what waits outside. And all that keeps magic alive…

The Goassamer Mage, a new fantasy epic from Julie E. Czerneda, is available August 6th from DAW.

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5 Questions About the New 007 and the Future of the Bond Franchise

The news has been keeping a weather eye on the latest James Bond film (currently only known as Bond 25), leading to a sizable leak and subsequent announcement over the weekend that could shake the series all the way to its foundations—and I’m not talking about the obliteration of Bond’s ancestral home, Skyfall.

I’m talking about the new 007.

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Drop What You’re Doing and Watch DefunctTV’s Jim Henson Special

We have just under three weeks left until The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance hits Netflix, and what better way to prepare for the long-awaited sequel than a six-part ode to its creator? On Sunday, DefunctTV uploaded the last episode of their miniseries on Jim Henson’s “life and works,” and we’re not hyperbolizing when we say you should drop whatever it is you’re doing and go watch the whole thing right now.

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3 Possible Star Trek: Picard Storylines that Are too Depressing to Contemplate

One of the hallmarks of Star Trek: The Next Generation is its meditative quality; unlike like the excellent, nail-biting action in Star Trek: Discovery, the vast majority of TNG’s best episodes are quiet and more reflective. In fact, current Trek executive producer Alex Kurtzman has described Discovery as a “bullet” contrasting it with the upcoming TNG sequel saying: “Picard is very contemplative show. It will find a balance between the speed of Discovery and the nature of what Next Gen was.” And part of what the show is seemingly contemplating is not just what is happening with Picard in real time, but also what has happened since the events of Star Trek Nemesis. We’ve all got theories, but what if Kurtzman, Michael Chabon, Kirsten Beyer, and Patrick Stewart are willing to go super-dark? Here’s a speculative peek into the Picard possibilities you haven’t even brought yourself to consider yet…

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The MCU’s Spidey Is a Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man that Looks Like His Neighborhood

Spider-Man has always been inextricably linked with New York City. From his very first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15, he’s been a city kid, though that he was actually in the Big Apple wasn’t specified until later. (Marvel’s earliest superhero comics tended to take place in generic, unidentified cities, or in “Central City” or the like…)

Some of Spidey’s most iconic moments have been part of the city that never sleeps, most notably Gwen Stacy’s death on the Brooklyn Bridge (or the George Washington Bridge, depending on whether you believe the art or the script, though the story really only makes sense at the former, given the geography).

But while his surroundings have always looked like NYC, his supporting cast has never quite lived up to it—at least until the Marvel Cinematic Universe…

[He looks out for the neighborhood, has a dope suit, and I really respect him. … ‘Sup, dickwad?]

The Tao of Sir Terry: Pratchett and Political Philosophy

“It wasn’t that the city was lawless. It had plenty of laws. It just didn’t offer many opportunities not to break them.” —Night Watch (2002)

In the Discworld series, Ankh-Morpork is the Ur-city, of which all other cities throughout time and space are mere echoes. But politics is, quite literally, the life of the polis, of the city, as Pratchett himself was keenly aware:

“‘Polis’ used to mean ‘city’, said Carrot. That’s what policeman means: ‘a man for the city’. Not many people knew that.” —Men at Arms (1993)

And again, in the finale of the same book: “Have you ever wondered where the word ‘politician’ comes from?” said the Patrician.” It is therefore little wonder that politics, and political philosophy, is a core subject of most, if not all, of Pratchett’s works at some level or another—and this is especially true of the Discworld novels

[Free men pull in all kinds of directions…]

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