“Let It Go” Lets Go of Being the Top Disney Animated Billboard Hit, Ceding to Encanto’s “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”

Encanto, the latest Disney animated feature about the magical Madrigal family, has been getting a lot of attention since it hit the Disney+ streaming platform. That attention is well-deserved—the movie is loving and vibrant, and features songs by Hamilton composer Lin-Manuel Miranda himself.

While all the songs are catchy numbers, one of them—“We Don’t Talk About Bruno”—has become so popular that it’s ousted Frozen’s “Let It Go” as the highest-charting song from a Disney animated movie in 26 years.

[Read more]

Kate Elliott’s Servant Mage Is a Remarkable Political Drama Slipped Between Interplanar Travel and Dragon Babies

So many fantasy books imagine the downfall of a corrupt, oppressive, monarchist empire. Servant Mage, a slim novella by SFF luminary Kate Elliott, is a book that asks: What then? What happens after the revolution? What happens to the noble class when their system of power falls, when the populace is trapped in the dictatorship of the proletariat in between the past and something better?

[Read more]

Archive 81 Is a Wonderfully Creepy Ode to Film Restoration

First things first: Archive 81 is fun as hell, most of the time, and reliably creepy. The writers and directors went all-in on atmosphere and mounting dread, and rely on horror to grow out of psychological terror rather than gore. There is almost no physical violence in this show? The horror plot reminded me more than anything of an old-timey 1930s haunted house movie, which is exactly what I wanted to watch over a freezing winter weekend.

[Read more]

Daniel Radcliffe Will Bring Weird Al’s Weird Life to the Small Screen

Let it never be said that Daniel Radcliffe has not picked interesting roles in his post-Harry Potter career. From a farting corpse (pictured above) to Allen Ginsberg, he has been out there living his best actorly life. And now he’s taken the next step in his creative evolution, signing on to play “Weird” Al Yankovic in a biopic that will air only on the Roku Channel.

That’s a lot of words in an unexpected order. It took me a minute to process them.

[Read more]

The Expanse’s Series Finale Includes an Easter Egg for Everyone

The Expanse is over (at least for now) and I’m not over it. But this show couldn’t go out without one last moment in which a character’s display screen contains vital—or at least entertaining—tidbits of information. Yet this particular screen reaches far beyond the world of The Expanse. If you’re a fan of, oh, any filmed SF property in the last thirty years, this jam-packed Easter egg has something in it for you.

(This is inevitably a little bit spoilery, but there are only the mildest plot spoilers below.)

[Read more]

Rick and Morty’s “Total Rickall” Understood an Uncomfortable Truth About Human Relationships

So what was your decision this past holiday? Did you say, “Omicron be damned,” and make your way back home? Was the trip uneventful, the family reunion joyous? And finally, were the medical repercussions non-existent? I sincerely hope so. As for the rest of you—the ones who got up to the wire, saw the infection rate spike, and said, “Naw, not this year”—I have a few more questions…

How did you feel, making that decision? Was there disappointment, frustration, anger even? Was there a voice in the back of your head saying, “Shit, not again?” Did you feel trapped in a continuum where the traditions you’ve known since childhood were once more ripped away from you, thwarted by threats that were at best ambiguous but that you could not ignore?

And then, think about this: Was there a part of you, a teeny-tiny fraction of your soul, that was just a little bit relieved? Maybe even happy?

[Not all gatherings can be as pleasant as we’d like, and maybe that’s a good thing.]

Empty Earths: Five SF Stories Set on a Depopulated Planet

Novels with a focus on demographic transition-driven decline are sadly rare in Western SF. The correct response is to complain loudly that kids are staying off my lawn. However, it’s hard to come up with a list of books about a subject which very few Western authors—Charles Stross aside—find interesting. To paraphrase my uncle Don’s former wrestling opponent, “You read the books you have, not the books you might want or wish to have at a later time.” Novels featuring low population Earths depopulated for reasons other than demographic transition are easy enough to find.

Here are five examples.

[Read more]

Lesbian Knives Out on a Boat: Revealing A Restless Truth by Freya Marske

Magic! Murder! Shipboard romance!

Magic, mystery, and romance collide in A Restless Truth, the much anticipated sequel to A Marvellous Light. Author Freya Marske describes her new novel as: “Lesbian KNIVES OUT On A Boat! If you think Robin has a knack for attracting trouble, may I introduce… his sister.” A Restless Truth will be available on November 1st, 2022 from Tordotcom Publishing.

[Read more]

Echo and Hommage in Andre Norton and Sasha Miller’s To the King a Daughter

I had never heard of this book, first of an eventual five-volume series, before I found it in the Andre Norton bibliography. It’s a collaboration with Sasha Miller, author of several fantasy novels of her own, and it came out quite late in Norton’s life, with the later volumes published posthumously. It’s essentially a Witch World hommage, not quite fanfic in that it’s supposedly set in a secondary world of its own, but the settings, characters, and world are clearly based on Norton’s iconic series.

There’s a medievalzoid realm ruled by four families—a la the Mantles of Arvon. There are Sea Rovers who are Sulcarmen with the serial numbers still clearly visible. There’s a huge, deadly Bog inhabited by a wide range of monsters and assorted clans and tribes of ugly, misshapen, barbaric people. There’s a tradition of Wisewomen, represented by the mysterious Zazar. There are ancient ruined cities everywhere, and in the first volume there’s a strong suggestion that the world is being invaded by aliens from another world or dimension.

[Read more]

Our Privacy Notice has been updated to explain how we use cookies, which you accept by continuing to use this website. To withdraw your consent, see Your Choices.