When an illicit trade deal goes wrong and Quandary is blamed for it, she goes on the run to avoid the crosshairs of a bioengineered killer that only lives for 24 hours. If Q can evade it for that long, she just might survive.
It’s a classic romantic trope: a marriage is arranged for political reasons, and despite initial feelings or inclinations, the two strangers begin a slow spiral into each other’s hearts. In A Strange and Stubborn Endurance, author Foz Meadows imbues this familiar story with enough twists and turns and thoughtful examinations to render it almost entirely new—a queer romance for the ages. A secondary world fantasy of intricate politics, hierarchies of power and culture and magic, plus two exquisite leads that brim with life, this slow-burn novel may have the flame low, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t burn hot.
For the first time ever, the 2002 feature Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla will grace theater screens in the United States for one day.
Everyone currently freaking out about the new Interview With the Vampire TV show, have I got a novel for you. While Alexis Henderson’s latest dark fantasy novel House of Hunger is only vampire adjacent, it’s sexy and queer and monstrous and very bloody.
In the final paragraphs of the 1977 short story “The Screwfly Solution” by Raccoona Sheldon (aka James Tiptree Jr, aka Alice Bradley Sheldon), the world has succumbed to an apparent plague of violent misogyny, leaving the story’s protagonist, Anne, the last woman alive. Scuttled away into hiding by one of the few men immune to the “femicidal” wave sweeping humanity, Anne cuts her hair, dirties her face, and disguises herself as a boy. She only ventures into society when she absolutely must, often gambling on whether she passes well enough to slink by the detection of a store clerk when she purchases supplies. The threat of discovery hangs heavy—Anne’s safety, her life, balancing on the gendered expectations of a man she doesn’t know.
As a trans woman, I know this threat. It’s a feeling I’ve felt in gas stations in rural Oregon on the mornings when I forgot to shave. It’s a feeling I’ve felt whenever I enter the women’s room in a rest stop off I-94. It’s a feeling I’ve felt when my girlfriend reminds me to let her do the talking when we check into a hotel in Wyoming.
Marvel just keeps bringing Michael Waldron back. The writer came into the MCU with Loki, stuck around for the turgid Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and now will continue his turn in the multiverse with Avengers: Secret Wars, which will close out Marvel’s Phase Six.
Yes, sure, it’s very tidy that the man who brought Kang (Jonathan Majors, above) into the Marvel world will presumably see him out again. But this is not, shall we say, an inspired choice.
Welcome back to Reading The Wheel of Time and the last week of Lord of Chaos! It’s just the epilogue this week, which is remarkably short by Robert Jordan standards. Still, we get some tasty little teasers of what’s to come in the next book. I must confess, I did not expect Moghedien’s escape!
Series: Reading The Wheel of Time
At the end of 2020, Marvel announced that Don Cheadle would return to the role of James Rhodes/War Machine in Armor Wars, a Disney+ series. Two years later, the battlefield looks a little different: We’ll see Rhodey next in Secret Invasion, which comes to Disney+ next year. And Armor Wars is on the way to the theater instead of your living room.
The nominees for the 2021 Shirley Jackson Awards have been announced! The awards recognize “outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.”
This year, the winners will be announced October 29th at an in-person ceremony at the Boston Book Festival that is presented in partnership with Readercon. Elizabeth Hand and Paul Tremblay will host the ceremony.
Congratulations to all the nominees!
I recently reached a long-awaited milestone: my child became old enough to watch ‘90s witch classic The Craft with me. Remember that scene where unstable-goth-icon Nancy explains the nature of their deity, Manon? If God and the Devil played football, she explains, eyes alight with teenage mania, Manon would be the field they played on.
And because I’m always teaching and thinking about narrative—and because even if I show my tween “edgy” movies, I’m a nerd—I thought: that’s exactly how place functions in stories. Character and plot are here tossing the ball (or whatever football players do), but they don’t exist without place.
I don’t mean that in a literal sense—that a story needs a stage on which to unfold. I mean that place infuses and animates everything; I mean that place is an embodiment of character and conflict.
Series: Five Books About…
With the heart of an Atwood tale and the visuals of a classic Asian period drama, Nghi Vo’s The Empress of Salt and Fortune is a tightly and lushly written narrative about empire, storytelling, and the anger of women.
This week download a FREE copy of The Empress of Salt and Fortune—Volume 1 in the Singing Hills Cycle series by Nghi Vo.
Sonya, former poster girl for the Delegation, has been imprisoned for ten years when an old enemy comes to her with a deal: find a missing girl who was stolen from her parents by the old regime, and earn her freedom.
We’re thrilled to share an excerpt from dystopian science fiction novel Poster Girl by Veronica Roth, out from William Morrow on October 18.
Lina lost everything. She had been the best assassin in Sunpo, despatching baddies and anyone who got in the way at the behest of her crimelord-turned-father figure. But when Konrarnd Kalmin, the leader of an enemy gang, has all the Talons except for Lina executed, she’s forced to kill for the man she despises. If she doesn’t, he’ll kill Lina’s little sister, who is off in the mountains going to school away from all the bloodshed.
Now, Kalmin forces her to steal and destroy a sacred tapestry that, as they both are surprised to learn, belonged to Haneul Rui, aka the Pied Piper, a Dokkaebi who steals humans into his realm, Gyeulcheon. Rui also happens to be the emperor of said realm. He does his pied piper flute magic on Kalmin, but while Lina is more than happy to let her nemesis rot on the end of Rui’s sword, Kalmin’s second in command threatens to kill her sister if she doesn’t get him back. Rui offers her a deal of his own: she has 14 days to kill him or he kills her as punishment.
With her back against the wall, Lina is desperate for options, any options. A secret group of revolutionaries looking to get rid of the emperor is either her key to victory or the road to disaster. But when she and Rui find themselves going from sniping at each other to flirting, Lina’s choices are reduced even more. Can she kill the man she also wants to kiss?
Episode 7 is a masterful, edge-of-your-seat bottle episode where all the major characters wrestle with grief, dread, and the generational trauma that has spread from Alicent and Rhaenyra to their children. Nearly the entire episode is spent in a pair of lengthy scenes that have the entire cast on screen, roiling with tension, hatred, and frustration. As we move towards the end of the season, we’ll talk about more changes from the source material, most of them for the better, and the ways in which House of the Dragon continues to cleverly introduce intriguing details from Martin’s extensive world.
Written by Mike Sussman & Phyllis Strong
Directed by James Whitmore Jr.
Season 2, Episode 16
Production episode 042
Original air date: February 19, 2003
Captain’s star log. Enterprise comes across a pod floating in space. They take it on board and get it open (which requires a phaser, as the hatch is welded shut) only to find what appears to be a human corpse inside.