The Goddesses Are The Future: The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco

“A demoness is what men call a goddess they cannot control.” So opens The Never Tilting World and the legendary song of the ancestral goddess Inanna, with a call to powerful women and the systems that seek to manipulate that power.

Aeon was once a steadily spinning world, ruled by generations of twin goddesses beholden to a secret, terrible ritual. Until seventeen years ago, when one of the goddesses refused the ritual and caused the Breaking. The planet stopped turning, a Great Abyss splitting the earth into two unsustainable halves: Aranth, a storm-tossed freezing never-night, and a brutal, desert wasteland that houses the Golden City. Now, unbeknownst to each other, two young goddesses and their respective unlikely allies find themselves fighting their way to the Abyss from either side of the planet in an attempt to restore the wreckage of their world.

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Watch the Trailer for Never Surrender, a Documentary About Galaxy Quest

This year, Galaxy Quest will turn 20 years old. In case you haven’t seen it (which, if you’re reading this website, seems super unlikely), it was a terrifically meta and affectionate parody of Star Trek and Trekkies, starring Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, and Alan Rickman, that was made the year nerd culture began to take over the world.

Now, to coincide with its 20th anniversary, there’s a new documentary about the film coming out. Called Never Surrender, it explores how Galaxy Quest came to be a beloved cult favorite, and features footage and interviews with the cast and fans. Check out the trailer below!

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8 Sweet, Funny, and Thrilling Queer Fiction Podcasts

When Welcome to Night Vale premiered its pilot episode in 2012, there was plenty to hook listeners, as Cecil Baldwin’s mellifluous voice speaking Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor’s distinctive words immediately crafted an eerie atmosphere of familiar but not. But there was something else that made a compelling first impression: Cecil’s loving descriptions of Carlos, the scientist with the perfect hair. Queer representation on the fictional radio, as matter-of-fact as everything else in Night Vale.

Seven years on, queer characters are found in every corner of the expanding audio drama world. So this list of recommendations is by no means exhaustive; it is simply one starting point based on the SFF series I’ve laughed, gasped, and teared up at. From radio-show hosts caught up in romantic fanfic tropes to stories that aren’t about ships but just about being a queer person in the world, these eight fiction podcasts are something to be proud of.

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Highlights from Brent Weeks’ r/Fantasy AMA

Brent Weeks is the best-selling author of The Night Angel trilogy and The Lightbringer Seriesa “five-volume epic fantasy trilogy” that’s been in the works for the past 11 years. Now, the final volume, The Burning White, is finally complete. Ahead of its release next week, Weeks dropped by r/Fantasy for an AMA, where he talked writing tips, the one most essential rule of writing, the books that were the most fun to write, and much, much more. Here are the highlights! (Stick around until the end for a surprise cameo from Joe Abercrombie.)

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The Messy, Beautiful Worldbuilding of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

It all started, we’re told, with a picture of a faun, walking through a snowy wood and carrying some parcels and an umbrella. The image had come to C.S. Lewis when he was 16 years old, and many years later it became the seed of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe—which, incidentally, celebrates its anniversary today, having been published on October 16, 1950.

It’s a strange scene, symbolic of the wonderful mythological hodgepodge that passes for Narnia’s worldbuilding. In most myths up until that point, fauns weren’t particularly child-friendly, known mostly as symbols of fertility or followers of the wise drunkard Silenus. We definitely wouldn’t expect them to be trotting along with an umbrella and parcels (we’re never told what’s in those parcels or where they came from). Mr. Tumnus (that’s the polite little faun’s name) also has a long tail which he drapes over his arm…an odd detail for someone who is half goat.

Lewis’s disregard for cohesive worldbuilding was cause for critique among a number of his friends. J.R.R. Tolkien didn’t appreciate the mythological jumble. Poet Ruth Pitter complained that if it’s always winter in Narnia, the Beaver family shouldn’t be able to grow potatoes or serve fresh marmalade rolls. In fact, Lewis burned an earlier draft of something similar to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe because, “It was, by the unanimous verdict of my friends, so bad that I destroyed it.”

[But he kept coming back to that civilized little faun…]

Series: The Great C.S. Lewis Reread

What We Are Writing About When We Write About Ghosts

Ghost stories have been with us for thousands of years. The oldest ones, dating back to The Epic of Gilgamesh, included tales of monsters and spirit beings in the underworld, ghosts who held secrets for the living.

Spectrality plays with our beliefs about time. We like to think that past, present, and future are separate from each other, but they’re interconnected. When something happens in the past, it isn’t just over and done with. Tragic events from the past still resonate in the present, which is why certain places enter into local folklore or become historical sites. After suffering a deep loss, people can become engulfed with grief and memories of a loved one. Guilt follows people to their graves. We live in a layered continuum of time, and ghost stories make this explicit. Ghosts signal memories that won’t go away; they signal the guilt of culprits or survivors; they signal an eruption of the past into our present and the dead’s future as we watch a spirit repeatedly go through the motions of a last act.

Need proof? Think of the most popular folktales and legends. The Tower of London is haunted by Anne Boleyn. Every major city in America has a ghost tour, full of stories of buildings haunted by past inhabitants. The ghosts in these stories are usually victims, whether of murder, an untimely death, or past abuse. The specters we see repeatedly are reminders of the things that we can’t yet face, but they keep materializing in front of us, especially when we try to ignore them.

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Ryan Reynolds and John Krasinski Are Teaming Up for a Fantasy Comedy Called Imaginary Friends

Remember Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends? In this mid-to-late aughts Cartoon Network show, imaginary friends, when outgrown by the children who imagined them into existence, end up at an orphanage run by a kindly older woman and her lifelong imaginary friend. Well, what if there were no such place? What if, instead, abandoned imaginary friends were left to languish on their own, unseen and unloved, and ended up on a Joker-esque downward spiral to a career of evil and dastardly deeds?

That’s, more or less, the premise of John Krasinski’s new fantasy comedy Imaginary Friends, starring Ryan Reynolds.

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Naked, Stoned, and Stabbed

The Wild Cards universe has been thrilling readers for over 25 years. “Naked, Stones and Stabbed” is an fantastic new tale from acclaimed sci-fi writer Bradley Denton, about the hidden truths revealed when a Who concert goes haywire.

Freddie’s looking for answers. Freddie’s also a bit unconventional: in his looks, in his music tastes, and oh yeah, he’s also a nascent ace who can manipulate sound. But he’s got a gig as a roadie for The Who and the opportunity of a lifetime in New York City. See, the only thing Freddie wants is the opportunity to meet his older half-sister — and not even a suspicious fire at the Bowery Ballroom can stop him.

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Series: Wild Cards on Tor.com

Apple Has Renewed For All Mankind For a Second Season

Apple’s forthcoming series For All Mankind will already get a second season, according to Deadline. The series is set to debut with the company’s streaming platform, Apple TV + on November 1st, and follows a group of astronauts in an alternate history in which the Soviet Union beats the United States to the Moon.

As a result, the US redoubles its efforts and begins recruiting women to become astronauts in an effort to keep up with the space race. The series comes from Ron Moore, who created SCI FI’s Battlestar Galactica reboot and Starz’s Outlander.

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Sleeps With Monsters: Queen of Coin and Whispers

The strangest thing about talking about Helen Corcoran’s debut novel is that it’s actually kind of weird that I only met her recently. We’re both from Ireland and we’re both queer women—and we attended the same alma mater—and honestly, this country’s not that big. By that rubric, it’d turn out to be dead awkward if I hated Queen of Coin and Whispers, said debut (coming in April 2020 from Irish publisher O’Brien Press): I’m nearly certain that this is the first queer fantasy with a love story featuring young women to be published from a traditional outfit here, and I have just enough local pride to want the best for it.

Fortunately, Corcoran has written a novel that could have been tailor-made to satisfy my particular narrative kinks.

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Series: Sleeps With Monsters

It’s No Game: Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson

In 2016, Fantastic Stories of the Imagination published my survey “A Crash Course in the History of Black Science Fiction” (now hosted here). Since then, Tor.com has published 29 in-depth essays I wrote about some of the 42 works mentioned, and a thirtieth essay by LaShawn Wanak on my collection Filter House. This time we’re discussing the importance of Brown Girl in the Ring, the first published novel by the wonderful award-winner Nalo Hopkinson.

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Sabbath Sweepstakes!

Highlander meets Seven in Nick Mamatas’s Sabbath – and we want to send you a copy!

The infamous eleventh-century warrior Hexen Sabbath is plucked from death and certain damnation by a being claiming to be an angel of the Lord, and finds himself dropped into contemporary Manhattan with no clothes, no weapons, no resources, and one mission—to track down and kill the living personifications of the Seven Deadly Sins before they bring about Armageddon.

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