Working a Great Premise Into a Plot, And Other Highlights from Sarah Gailey’s Virtual Con r/Fantasy AMA

Sarah Gailey’s new novel, When We Were Magic, came out in March, just a month after the release of their novel Upright Women Wanted, but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic means they can’t do any of the promo events authors would otherwise be doing.

Luckily, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has partnered with r/Fantasy for a “virtual con” for authors who’ve had to cancel their book release events, and to kick things off, Gailey dropped by on Monday for an AMA. Here are the highlights!

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Celebrating the Minimum Wage Warriors of SFF

Obviously for a fantasy world to work, we need our sword-wielding heroes and wise queens, an arrogant princeling or two, dashing superheroes, gruff wizards, maybe the odd monster who’s misunderstood by the humans at the base of the mountain. You probably want a nefarious villain and a handful of henchpeople. But none of those archetypes would get very far in their adventures if not for the shop clerks, cooks, nurses, and janitors who actually keep society chugging along—even in a fantasy realm.

With this in mind, we have assembled an appreciation post dedicated to some of our beloved under-sung working-class characters in SFF. Join us in the proletarian utopia of the comments to add your favorites!

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Join K.M. Szpara and N.K. Jemisin to Discuss Docile Over Livestream on April 2nd

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic may have canceled conventions, book expos, writers festivals, and book tours around the world, which means many authors have switched to virtual events and release parties to promote their works. This week, K. M. Szpara will be discussing his book Docile, published by Publishing earlier this month, in conversation with Hugo Award-winning author N. K. Jemisin.

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The Gideon the Ninth Reread: Chapters 21 and 22

It’s time for another close read of Gideon the Ninth by Tamysn Muir! I’m your host, Trentin Quarantino, and today I’ll be running down chapters twenty-one and twenty-two for your amusement.

How is everyone doing out there? I hope you are all as well as you can be, readers, and that you’re not holed up anywhere that has a giant monster bone construct. (Ha, ha, it sounds dirty when I say it.)

Before we start, just a quick reminder that in this post I will be spoility-spoility-spoility down the spoiler trail, so if you haven’t read these chapters yet, you might want to do that first.

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Series: Gideon the Ninth Reread

Queering SFF: 12 Authors, Critics, and Activists on What’s Changed in the Last Ten Years

At the start of a new decade, and as this column also reaches its tenth anniversary, I wanted to offer readers a bit of a retrospective with some folks who have been part of the broader field of queer SF/F across that same timeline. And by “a bit of a retrospective,” I mean a big ol’ roundtable discussion with some of the finest individuals our field has to offer—critics, organizers, writers, and occasionally all of those at once.

Whether you’re a convention-goer or a short fiction devotee, a home cook or a Twitter fanatic, a novel reader or a nerdy poet, you’re likely to have run into some (or all!) of our conversational partners today at one point or another. Their interests are diverse, as are their engagements with the field of Queer SF/F at large.


Series: Queering SFF

Reading the Wheel of Time: For Our Next Trick, We Hunt Trollocs in Robert Jordan’s The Shadow Rising (Part 24)

Hello and welcome back to Reading the Wheel of Time. A quick note before we start: I know that I’ve been a bit all over the place with communicating which chapters I’m covering each week. Mostly this is because I’ve fallen behind in my schedule and don’t always know/remember what I’m planning to cover the following week. Or it changes between postings. I am currently working on getting that organization back together, and will make sure to put “this week we’re covering X” at the beginning of each post and “next week we’ll do Y” at the end.

It is a privilege getting to share this experience with you all, and to be part of such a passionate community, especially in these difficult times.

Anyway, this week our read of The Shadow Rising will cover only one chapter, Chapter 33, in which Perrin gets to meet Lord Luc, has some strange conversations with Faile, and steps into a true leadership role. We also get the fun of watching him execute a rescue very similar to the one that Nynaeve, Moiraine, and Lan executed when Perrin and Egwene were prisoners, and the fun of watching Verin be extremely Verin-y.

[Also, Lord Luc is definitely Slayer.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

Sony Delays Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Morbius to March 2021

Ghosts might not worry the Ghostbusters, but the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has Sony worried about its box office returns. The studio has announced that it’s shifting a number of its upcoming films to later dates, including the upcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Morbius, which were slated to hit theaters this summer. The films will now debut in March 2021.

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“I love thee still.” Highlights From #TorDotRead’s First Discussion of The Goblin Emperor!

The Great Socially Distant Read of The Goblin Emperor kicked off last Wednesday with fantastic results! We shared a vibrant conversation with readers on Twitter, while maintaining a safe and healthy distance. You can look back at the whole discussion (and join this week’s!) at #TorDotReads, and in the meantime, we’ve rounded up some of the highlights of last week’s conversation.

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Sliding From World to World in Andre Norton’s Knave of Dreams

Now I understand why the regulars from the Comments section urged me to read Knave of Dreams while I’ve been checking out Norton’s earliest published novels, notably The Prince Commands. Knave of Dreams is a relatively late entry, from 1975. There are forty years of novels and stories between the two, and whole worlds discovered and created. And yet the roots are the same: the Ruritanian Romance that was so much in vogue when Norton was a brand-new writer.

Young Andre played her fanfic straight: setting The Prince Commands in the classic imaginary European country. Mature Andre had been writing fantasy and science fiction for decades, and had a wide array of storytelling tools to choose from. Knave of Dreams is a Ruritanian adventure in the sense of the royal impostor from America swept away to the foreign kingdom and thrown headlong into complicated court intrigue. It’s also an alternate-worlds story and a kind of portal adventure.

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“We didn’t pull any punches.” R.F. Kuang on Her Next Novel, The Burning God

R.F. Kuang made a splash in 2018 with her debut novel, The Poppy War, an epic military fantasy about a young woman named Rin, who finds herself in the midst of a brutal war.

Loosely based on real-world Chinese history, The Poppy War earned Kuang nominations for both the Nebula and World Fantasy Awards. She followed up that book last year with The Dragon Republic, and in November, she’ll close out the trilogy with The Burning God.

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All the New Fantasy Books Arriving in April!

The castle burns behind you, but from the bow of your ship, you can see the stars for the very first time.  Around you, a crew of pirates begin to sing an old sea chanty. For the first time, you feel at home, and you aren’t afraid. This month’s fantasy titles are all about conquering fears in service of a better life: Protect a book club of women in Grady Hendrix’s The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires;  change what it means to be human in the next installment of the Founders trilogy from Robert Jackson Bennett, Shorefall; and learn what happens after you save the world in the adult debut from Veronica Roth, Chosen Ones.

Head below for the full list of fantasy titles heading your way in April!

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Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Elogium”

Written by Jimmy Diggs & Steve J. Kay and Kenneth Biller and Jeri Taylor
Directed by Winrich Kolbe
Season 2, Episode 4
Production episode 118
Original air date: September 18, 1995
Stardate: 48921.3

Captain’s log. Chakotay stumbles on two crewmembers smooching in the turbolift. This prompts a conversation with Janeway on the subject of fraternization. Meanwhile, Paris helps Kes carry some cabbage from hydroponics to Neelix’s kitchen, prompting a jealous snit from Neelix.

[It appears we have lost our sex appeal, Captain.]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

Netflix Unlocks a Second Season For Locke & Key

After spending years in production hell, Netflix began streaming its adaptation of Locke & Key earlier this year. The show departed from the comics it’s based on in some significant ways, and ended up on a big cliffhanger.

Fortunately, we won’t be left hanging: Netflix announced today that it was officially bringing the series back for a second season.

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If the Vampire Lestat Was Your Boyfriend…

If Lestat was your boyfriend, he would cry a lot. Like, a lot. He would cry crimson tears because all vampires weep blood for extra theatrical effect, thank you Anne Rice.

If Lestat was your boyfriend, he would never want to break up. Ever. That’s not a good thing. He is just too intense for even an immortal relationship. Lestat doesn’t understand that all mortal relationships inevitably end, whether by breakup or till death do us part, and since all vampires were mortal once, well, you get the picture. All other vampires seem to be cool with breakups. Except Lestat.

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