| Science fiction. Fantasy. The universe. And related subjects.

Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch: “Daedalus”

Written by Ken LaZebnik & Michael Bryant
Directed by David Straiton
Season 4, Episode 10
Production episode 086
Original air date: January 14, 2005
Date: unknown

Captain’s star log. Enterprise is hosting Emory Erickson, the inventor of the transporter, who wants to test a new long-range, sub-quantum transporter in a barren region of space. The Ericksons and Archers are old friends, and this is a nice reunion for the captain as Erickson and his daughter Danica are beamed on board.

Tucker is particularly thrilled, as Erickson is one of his heroes, and the two get to work together on the transporter.

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Series: Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch

Getting Lost in Space Is Absolutely No Fun in Scavengers Reign

Alien planets: just never a place you want to end up. Maybe there are dinosaurs. Maybe there are, uh, Aliens. And maybe something super weird is happening and no one knows what or why and then there’s body horror, too? That appears to be the premise of Scavengers Reign, a new animated series coming from Max, and I say “appears to be” because this teaser is all vibes: image after image of things that don’t quite make sense and definitely don’t connect. But it’s interesting!

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There’s a New Toxic Avenger In Town

Our first look at the new Toxic Avenger—a remake of the 1984 cult film—comes in the form of a kitschy news report, which feels entirely appropriate. “The freaky folk hero” remains at large, says one reporter in this mashup of pretend-news-coverage, in which interviewees say all kinds of wacky stuff about the guy who’s out there doing some vigilante justice. “He looks like a fucked-up hot dog!” says one voice. One impression is a potato with a scrawled-on face.

You never actually see the face of said Avenger in this short peek—just Peter Dinklage looming in a doorway. But you certainly get the gist.

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Mortal and Immortal (Mer)Folk: Poul Anderson’s The Merman’s Children

I first read the component parts of this novel when it was new, or nearly so, in sections, in Lin Carter’s Flashing Swords Anthologies. I still own the paperback of the collected stories, which were published as a novel in 1979.

Poul Anderson was one of my favorites then, for both science fiction and fantasy. He was impressively prolific and could pretty much do it all, from space opera to swords and sorcery, and he was a solid hand at historical fantasy, too. His novella, “The Queen of Air and Darkness,” showed me how fantasy and science fiction could combine into a seamless and lyrical whole. I loved The Broken Sword and The High Crusade and Fire Time.

The Merman’s Children wasn’t one of my great favorites, but some of it came back to me as I reread it. Supposedly it’s based on a Danish ballad, Agnete and the Merman, and not on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. And yet it’s interesting to see how they seem to set up a dialogue on the one theme that persistently gets dropped from adaptations of Andersen: the question of merfolk and immortal souls.

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Normality Flits Terrifyingly Away in the First Teaser for Leave the World Behind

“There is no going back to normal,” warns G.H. (Mahershala Ali) in the teaser for Leave the World Behind, Sam Esmail’s adaptation of Rumaan Alam’s 2020 novel. Though brief, the trailer offers all kinda disconcerting imagery: wrecked boats, stopped cars, maybe a tidal wave, and whatever it is that Clay (Ethan Hawke) sees in the sky. Red things in the sky can’t be good. Something has gone terribly awry, and four strangers (plus children) are staring at the end of something.

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Five Novels Featuring Science-Fictional Messiahs

Reforming society is jolly hard work—something that could well steal precious time from more enjoyable pastimes. Therefore, delegating the task of saving the world is an attractive option. Simply find some diligent, suitably inspired person, saddle them with responsibility for addressing and correcting the current existential threat, and then head off for another round of darts!

It is hard to see what could go wrong with such a flawless plan. Yet somehow, things often do go amiss. Consider these five works about reforming society.

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The Wheel of Time Asks How to Save the World in “Daes Dae’mar”

While last week’s episode of The Wheel of Time was my least favorite of the show so far, this week’s episode is in contention for favorite to date. Though a little bit hampered by the awkward pacing of the rest of the season, “Daes Dae’mar” flows much more seamlessly than previous episodes, which allows the audience to actually pick up on some of the themes that the show has been trying to tackle this season. But before we get into all that, let’s recap.

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Choices and Consequences in Episode Six of The Changeling

“Aftermath. After. Math. Noun. Definition: the consequences or after effects of a significant, unpleasant event.” The sixth episode of The Changeling opens with those words. It is the theme of this week’s hour. It begins in the aftermath of Emma’s sorcery-induced attack on baby Brian and ends with her staring down whatever is coming next.

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Five Enduring Reasons to Love the Mass Market Paperback

I’ve recently have rediscovered my love of physical media, in particular books. No format is as close to my heart as the humble mass market paperback, whose virtues I would now like to praise for about eight hundred words.

Mass market paperbacks were intended to be cheap, disposable alternatives to proper cloth-bound books. Indeed, paperbacks are so disposable that when bookstores return unsold paperbacks for credit, they only send the covers. The discarded, broken-spined contents are consigned to recycling. So, what’s to love in a format seemingly one step up from trash?

When I was young (he said, adjusting his suspenders for greater comfort and relocating his cane for more convenient waving) paperbacks had a multitude of superlative qualities, of which these are but five. Three were obvious to me even as a teen. Two I only came to appreciate later.

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Patrick Stewart Had a Different Vision for the End of Star Trek: Picard

The final scene of Picard gave a lot of people a lot of feels. There was almost no way for this not to happen, given the Next Generation reunion that was the series’ third season, but there was something just right about it, something that went beyond nostalgia; it had comfort and familiarity without being too sentimental. And everyone looked so happy.

This was not, however, the way Patrick Stewart wanted it to end. In an excerpt from his memoir, Making It So, Stewart details the way he saw the series ending—and how maybe there’s one more Picard story to tell. Just one, though.

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Read Two Story Excerpts From the New Horror Anthology Night of the Living Queers

No matter its name or occasion, Halloween is more than a Hallmark holiday, it’s a symbol of transformation…

We’re thrilled to share two excerpts from Night of the Living Queers, a YA horror anthology that explores a night when anything is possible, exclusively featuring queer authors of color putting fresh spins on classic horror tropes and tales. Night of the Living Queers, edited by Shelly Page and Alex Brown, is out from Wednesday Books on August 29.

Please enjoy excerpts from two of the anthology’s stories: “Nine Stops” by Trang Thanh Tran and “Leyla Mendoza and the Last House on the Lane” by ( contributor!) Maya Gittelman.

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Marvellous, Numinous and Strange: The Pomegranate Gate by Ariel Kaplan

The extent to which Ariel Kaplan’s The Pomegranate Gate draws upon the Jewish experience (or its re-envisioned memory) of medieval Iberia cannot be overstated. This lush, vivid and atmospheric novel draws Guy Gavriel Kay to mind. Not only is Kay’s The Lions of Al-Rassan the only fantasy novel I know to draw so deeply and so directly from this well, but Kaplan’s world, like Kay’s, treads narrowly along the line between historical fantasy and fantastical imagination. For both, the history is recognisably ours, with the names lightly altered (if at all). But unlike most of Kay’s work, Kaplan’s includes real magic and its great and terrible effects.

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