Read the Fourth Chapter of V.E. Schwab’s The Fragile Threads of Power

Once, there were four worlds, nestled like pages in a book, each pulsing with fantastical power and connected by a single city: London…

Prepare for tangled schemes and perilous adventures with friends old and new as author V.E. Schwab begins a brand new fantasy series set in the dazzling world of Shades of Magic. The Fragile Threads of Power publishes September 26th with Tor Books. Read chapter four below, or go back to the beginning with the first chapter!

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Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City Tests the Boundaries of Dreams

I’m going to be a bit oblique in the way I get into discussing Wes Anderson’s beautiful, enigmatic film, Asteroid City (2023). But then, being oblique has never scared Mr. Anderson, so wot da hey, lemme go with it.

We like to think that art can be a powerful scourge against the forces of hate, and ignorance, and violence. This isn’t always true. Both the Marx Brothers and Charlie Chaplin dared to take on Adolf Hitler with, respectively, Duck Soup (1933) and The Great Dictator (1940), only to discover that literate anarchy and Little Tramp-style hijinks were meagre weapons to deploy against true evil. Pablo Picasso poured every ounce of rage he could summon into documenting a Spanish atrocity in his brilliant painting Guernica (1937), yet the passage of time has so obscured its intent that one especially tone-deaf cartoonist recently used the work to crack a feeble joke about the artist using aliens as models.

So what is art’s superpower?

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Two Versions of a Classic Fairy Tale: Disneyfying The Little Mermaid

I’m a bit skeptical about the recent Disney trend toward rebooting animated classics as live-action films. I understand that CGI and effects have advanced tremendously, and the animated versions have been around for a generation or two or even three. The older ones can use some serious updating, culturally as well as technically. Still, they are favorites, and it’s hard to accept a new take on what one’s loved for, like, forever. Which in the case of The Little Mermaid, is long enough that good lord, it can’t be that old. 1989!

To further muddy the waters, the live-action version got caught in the middle of the latest round of culture wars. Even before it was released, the announcement that the role of Ariel had been cast with a Black actress caused no end of furor.

If anything, that made me more interested in it rather than less…

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Destiny Is Coming for Donna Noble in the Trailer for the Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials

Nothing like starting out the work-week with a whole lot of Donna Noble feelings. There’s a new trailer for November’s trio of Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials, and it is just full of classic Donna (Catherine Tate)—including some footage of that time the Doctor (younger David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, as opposed to current David Tennant as the Fourteenth) had to erase her memory to save her life.

She can’t remember him, or she’ll die—which poses a bit of a problem when a spaceship crashes in front of her and an alien turns up in her shed.

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5 Fantasy Books Featuring Jewish Mythology

Jewish mythology is as expansive as it is storied, with a long history containing a vast range of mythological creatures and elements. From recognizable figures like the Angel of Death and the demon Ashmedai to lesser-known demons called Ruchin and the Tzavua, a beast whose coat is said to have 365 colors, Jewish mythology is rich with stories waiting to be told.

Recently, there’s been an uptick in Jewish representation in the fantasy genre. Where once I sat down to write the Jewish fantasy I wanted to see on the shelves, now my bookcases are full of new favorites, from stories exploring Jewish life in Eastern Europe to fantastical worlds that only just resemble our own.

Each of these recent additions explores Jewish mythology in fresh and exciting ways, which made narrowing down a short list difficult. Without further ado, here are three fantasy books featuring Jewish mythology that should definitely be on your shelves, and two upcoming releases that I can’t wait to get my hands on!

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Barbie Deleted Scene Gives Allan a Hilarious, Jaws-Like Moment

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the film being covered here wouldn’t exist.

Barbie has earned the title of the highest-grossing movie of the year, and as such, has also been released into IMAX theaters with some “special new footage,” as filmmaker Greta Gerwig describes it, included with the screening.

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V/H/S 85 Trailer Hints at Monsters, Guns, and Lots and Lots of Blood

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the film being covered here wouldn’t exist.

The upcoming installment of the V/H/S horror anthology series is set in 1985 (and, as such, is appropriately called V/H/S/85), and the latest trailer for it hints that at least one of the segments in the 110-minute movie contains a supernatural, tentacled monster of some kind, and that more than one very likely contains a lot of blood and a lot of violence.

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The Final Episodes of Doom Patrol Are Overrun With Butts

If you have not been watching Doom Patrol, I’m sorry. You’ve been missing out on a lot, as this baffling yet endearing trailer for the show’s final episodes suggests. Michelle Gomez singing “What the fuck?” in fake opera! Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero) giving a pep talk! A whole lot of attack butts! And a dreaded enemy: the loss of longevity!

Superheroes: They’re just like us.

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Emma’s Story Expands in Episode Five of The Changeling

Episode five marks the show’s divergence from and expansion of Victor LaValle’s original novel. Much of what we see of Emma’s story is only hinted at or mentioned briefly in the book. Here, showrunner and script writer Kelly Marcel takes us along Emma’s trip to Brazil, to meeting the bruxa and the photographer, to motherhood and finding the witches. Let’s take a journey with Apollo down the rabbit hole, through the looking glass, and out the other side of the wardrobe.

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Five Sci-Fi Books That Are Perfectly Suited to Audio

If I had to choose my preferred mode of reading it would be physical books, rather than ebooks or audiobooks. To me, there’s something deeply satisfying about flipping pages, about the way books smell, and—if I’m being totally honest—about the way they look all lined up on a shelf. But I do always have an audiobook on the go for those moments when I don’t have my hands (or eyes) free to skim through the pages.

I’ve found that there are some books that are actually better when experienced via audio, whether that’s because of the structure of the story itself or because of a particularly fantastic narrator. Here are five such examples.

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A Second Chance to Save a Dying World: Revealing The Failures by Benjamin Liar

The vast machine-like expanse of the Wanderlands, crafted by long-lost gods, is teetering on the brink of eternal darkness…

Check out the cover of The Failures, the debut novel from Benjamin Liar and the first installment of The Wanderlands trilogy. The Failures will be available July 2024 from DAW Books.

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