Everything We Know About the Unmade

Hello, hello! Welcome back to our detailed examinations of the Stormlight Archive! So far we’ve talked about history, the Heralds, the Knights Radiant, fabrials, worldhoppers, secret societies, and the Fused. This week, it’s time to turn our attention to those mysterious beings, the Unmade: Splinters of Odium and instigators of much mayhem. What do we know about them, anyway?

[We were made, then unmade.]

Journalism More Yellow Than Most: Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s “Flash Frame”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

This week, we’re reading Stephen Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s “Flash Frame,” first published in 2010 in Carrie Cuinn’s Cthulhurotica anthology; you can more easily find it in Ross E. Lockhart’s The Book of Cthulhu. Spoilers ahead.

[“I looked at my steno pad and the lined, yellow pages reminded me of leprous skin.”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Fields of Foreboding in Rory Power’s Burn Our Bodies Down

When I was in elementary and middle school, I lived in Iowa. At my summer camps, I would play in cornfields. My favorite part of the farmer’s market along the Mississippi River was getting fresh sweet corn to eat. I am an Iowan stereotype, and corn is one of my true loves. I was also an anxious little thing who couldn’t even fathom doing anything scary. The T-Rex in the Land Before Time films had me hiding behind my hands until he’d been crushed by rocks or whatever, and the Hydra from Disney’s Hercules? No, thank you, I was not interested, we left the movie theater. My mom has never let me forget we wasted money on the tickets for that one. I had the peer pressure fueled desire to go to the local haunted house at the time, Terror in the Woods, but never the guts to ask to actually go with my classmates.

Not much has changed for me as an adult. My time in Iowa left me feeling incredibly connected to corn—I wax nostalgic whenever I drive by a cornfield—and I have too much natural anxiety to want to participate in anything related to horror. Sometimes it happens, but usually for reasons adjacent to the scary media. When I discovered that Carrie was a musical, I had to see the Sissy Spacek film and read the book. Two years ago, I finally went to my first haunted house, convinced by an ex that it was a good idea since the proceeds went to a local charity, and I hated every second of it. It takes a special creator to truly make me want to dabble in horror.

Rory Power is that creator.

[Read more]

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Reread — Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts of Empire

Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts of Empire
David R. George III
Publication Date: January 2011
Timeline: 2362; February 2381 – February 2382

Progress: Though this is the third in the Typhon Pact novel miniseries, and the second volume we’re covering as part of our DS9 relaunch re-read, it takes place before the last book we looked at. Chapters alternate between three main storylines…

[Read more]

There Was and There Was Not: Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

Girl, Serpent, Thorn is Melissa Bashardoust’s second novel, a lush stand-alone fantasy inspired by the courts and lore of ancient Persia.  Woven through with conflicts of desire and power, loyalty and self-interest, the novel presents a coming-of-age tale that is subversive, queer, and rife with danger. As the intriguing cover copy starts, “There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch.”

Soraya is the twin sister of the shah of Atashar, but their lives run on opposite courses. She has kept to untouched seclusion in the palace through her entire life for the safety of herself and others, as one glancing brush of her skin is lethal. Her lush rose garden and occasionally her mother, brother, or childhood friend Laleh are her only companions—until Laleh stops visiting. However, when her brother brings a captured demon home with him to Golvahar, Soraya sees a chance to bargain for a cure to her curse… except bargaining with devils for knowledge comes at a high cost, and the consequences of Soraya’s actions far exceed the scope of her imagination.

[A review.]

Series: Queering SFF

Five Young Adult SFF/H Novels About Women Reclaiming Their Identities

Heroines in young adult fantasy and horror are often fighters, out to save the world, defeat the bad guy, and vindicate themselves in some way. But there’s a new trend that’s emerging, one that takes the idea of what it means to be a heroine and tilts it: reclamation. In these stories, girls have experienced some kind of transgression of the self, be it an idea imposed by a force outside themselves or a physical violation of some kind, so that the deeper themes have to do with taking back what was stolen on every level.

[Read more]

Series: Five Books About…

Oh No, They’re Making Captain Hook Sexy Again

Captain Hook may once again be played by an individual who’s broken the top 25 on a magazine’s “sexiest” listVariety reports that Jude Law is currently “in talks” to play the krokodeilophobic villain, infamously sexified by Jason Isaacs in 2003, in Disney’s forthcoming live-action remake of Peter Pan

[Read more]

Who We Fight Against: The Silver Chair and Knowing Your Enemies

In a battle we must know our enemies.

Lewis tells us unapologetically that the core idea of The Silver Chair is “war against the powers of darkness,” and since this is war, it would be interesting to make sure we know who these powers of darkness are, exactly. There are people we think are allies but are not in this story, as well as those who we assume to be our adversaries but turn out to be fellow victims. If we are to be effective warriors against the powers of darkness, surely we need to be able to discern who is an ally and who an enemy.

Let’s start with the Lady of the Green Kirtle. Lewis gives us contextual clues, drawn from some of his favorite classical work, hinting at who or what the Green Lady is.

[Read more]

Series: The Great C.S. Lewis Reread

The Last of Terry Pratchett’s Early Stories Will Come Out in September

A new short story collection by Terry Pratchett is coming out in September! Entitled The Time-travelling Caveman, the book is the last volume of the late author’s early stories, The Guardian reports, compiling tales written in the 60s and 70s when he was working as a young journalist.

[Read more]

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