As climate change wreaks havoc on the earth and the fate of humanity grows dire, a scientist makes a plan to save humanity that would shame the devil.
Science fiction takes us to new social, cultural and technological lands, but often it also transports us to new worlds in the more literal sense, that of faraway planets rich in excitement and imagination.
Before the 1990s, the idea of planets around other stars was science fiction, but today, astronomers are discovering thousands of ‘exoplanets’, and inevitable comparisons with the worlds of science fiction have been drawn. For instance, the phrase ‘Tatooine planet’, to describe a world with two suns, is practically part of the scientific lexicon now.
So here are four fictional, yet scientifically plausible, planets—and four real planets that show that, sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction.
Let’s get into it, friends. Let’s talk about what really matters.
Let’s talk about death.
We’re here to start Pratchett’s very first Death-centered book, Mort.
Series: Terry Pratchett Book Club
Well-informed protagonists with excellent memories can be inconvenient. They can reveal all to readers at inopportune moments. If they already know what they need to know, they’re not going to search hither and yon for missing clues and information (and the author is going to have find some other way to bulk up the novel). That’s why so many authors choose a handy cure-all: amnesia. There’s nothing like amnesia to drive a plot and fill up a book.
Here are five rather memorable examples.
Fantasy author Terry Goodkind, known for his long-running The Sword of Truth series, has died at the age of 72. His agent confirmed his passing to Tor Books and Tor.com.
Born in 1948, Goodkind first established a career as a woodworker and artist, before eventually writing his first novel, Wizard’s First Rule, in 1994. The novel follows Richard Cypher, a woodland guide in a magical world, who learns that he’s a long-sought-after First Wizard, and that he has a destiny to save the world.
The novel kicked off Goodkind’s long-running Sword of Truth series, which eventually numbered 21 installments, the most recent of which, Heart of Black Ice, was published in January of this year. In 2019, he launched a series, The Children of D’Hara, also set in the same world, publishing five installments between April 2019 and June 2020.
How do we ensure that the rights of all beings are respected and they are given justice and a fair hearing under the law? Who will stand up when a majority treats someone as a thing, rather than a person? Who can stand against the tyranny of a settlement, a society, a species?
These are the questions at the heart of Erin K. Wagner’s novella, An Unnatural Life.
How do we talk about difficult subjects with young children? The first trailer for The Place of No Words suggests the best place to have tough talks is a sprawling fantasy world that is bursting with a cornucopia of creatures and magical settings. But no matter how bright things appear, a dark truth lingers under the surface of the adventure.
“Worst Case Scenario”
Written by Kenneth Biller
Directed by Alexander Singer
Season 3, Episode 25
Production episode 167
Original air date: May 14, 1997
Captain’s log. Torres is walking down a corridor when Chakotay approaches her. He never calls her by name, and is talking about how lots of people are fed up with Tuvok, and also with Janeway, and how there may be a mutiny happening on board.
Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch
Only Lilliam Rivera could write a beautifully haunting, healing ode to our isla in guise of a young adult novel wrapped in a reimagined myth, then tied off in a bright bow flourishing ode to a magical, musical Bronx. Her latest book, Never Look Back, is both a powerful tribute to Puerto Rico, and all Boricuas left in intense grief after the devastation of Hurricane Maria, and a love story between her protagonists Pheus and Eury that transcends even death itself.
In this biweekly series, we’re exploring the evolution of both major and minor figures in Tolkien’s legendarium, tracing the transformations of these characters through drafts and early manuscripts through to the finished work. This week’s installment takes a look at Peregrin Took, the beloved Pippin whose clueless wonder lightens the heart in many dark places.
Pippin always seems to be an obvious choice for favorite among the hobbits, especially for young readers of The Lord of the Rings. He’s funny, naïve, endlessly loyal: rash with a dash of Tookish bravery (or foolishness) that often lands him in unfortunate situations. His endearing relationship with Gandalf is another point in his favor, for though the wizard only grudgingly accepts Pippin’s energetic, youthful failures, he also slowly comes to bond with the young hobbit in a grouchy, grandfatherly sort of way. Pippin plagues the ancient wizard, and they both know it. But it’s not as if Pippin remains a stagnant character who experiences no growth or maturity over the course of the narrative.
The basic story of the latest episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks had a chance to be any number of things. It could’ve been a fun episode about a genetically engineered dog that is secretly a monster from a horror movie. It could’ve been a fun episode about Boimler being affected by a transporter accident and trying to figure out how to manage. It could’ve been a fun look at Mariner through the eyes of her old Academy-mate.
It winds up being none of those things, which is incredibly frustrating.
SFF is not kind to Asians, and I learned that when I watched Blade Runner for the first time a few years ago. I had heard it as pivotal for the science fiction genre.
Series: Five Books About…
Welcome back to Reading the Weird (né the Lovecraft reread), in which we get girl cooties all over weird fiction, cosmic horror, and Lovecraftiana—from its historical roots through its most recent branches.
This week, we introduce our new column format, and ruminate on what it means to be weird.
Series: Reading the Weird
There is something about Demi. When this boy is angry, rain clouds gather. When he cries, rivers burst their banks…
We’re excited to share an excerpt from The Half-God of Rainfall, an epic story and a lyrical exploration of pride, power, and female revenge from author Inua Ellams—available September 29th from Fourth Estate.