There are worse things than a local gangster’s cronies lurking in New Jersey’s wetlands…
There are worse things than a local gangster’s cronies lurking in New Jersey’s wetlands…
A banished warrior teaches her treacherous uncle that once made, some oaths cannot be broken…and some monsters cannot be chained.
Commander Niaja vrau Erezeng is up against an enemy that doesn’t just destroy all the beings, ships, and planets in its path, but also consumes their greatest arts, somehow scratching them from existence everywhere…
While all her friends’ fish are changing into mermaids, is 12-year-old Anissa’s fish becoming something else?
When the waters rose, the people who stayed on the River learned they weathered the storms best together, but what happens when one of their own becomes curious about the Land?
A photographer’s obsession with an unsettled subject exposes two friends to a darkness that won’t be contained by frames…
For me, reading is meditation—a flow-inducing escape from whatever woes the workday brings me, and a welcome reprieve from any worries that might be flitting around my mind.
More than 90 percent of the time, I find that escape in the form of a many-volume epic sci-fi or fantasy story. Once in a while, though, I need something more subtle and nuanced—a book or a story that speaks to my need for calm and comfort and allows—even encourages—my mind to take a break from my anxieties and find a new perspective.
It takes a special kind of book by a special kind of author to ease my mind in exactly the right way, and today I’m happy to share five of my favorites with you. These books and stories are all at the top of my list whenever I need to take a break, reflect, and focus on what’s important in life…
A few months back, The New York Times asked Leigh Bardugo what books got her into fantasy as a genre. She named a handful of books, adding,”I think any time you can remember where you were when you read a book for the first time (Dune—tiny motel room on a miserable family trip, A Swiftly Tilting Planet on the white shag carpet in my grandparents’ back room) that means something.”
And it does, doesn’t it? Over the months I’ve been writing this column, I’ve mentioned more than one book about which I remember the specifics of my first reading experience: trying not to audibly cry on a Greyhound bus as I finished Where the Red Fern Grows; reading Lavinia on a train, the sound of wheels on tracks locking in with Le Guin’s prose; wading through Wanderers on a (pre-pandemic) plane, increasingly creeped out by the people too close to me.
Would I remember these books the same way if I had read them elsewhere? What alchemy makes these memories so clear? What is it that makes some stories coalesce so clearly in our minds, like postcards you can flip back through?
As my readers may have deduced, I read a lot of science fiction. It happens that I also seek out and enjoy material I tend to think of as SFF-adjacent, books that share some important theme or element with science fiction and fantasy. Perhaps examples will make what I am talking about clearer…
Welcome back to Reading the Weird, in which we get girl cooties all over weird fiction, cosmic horror, and Lovecraftiana—from its historical roots through its most recent branches.
This week, we continue Hilary Mantel’s Beyond Black with Chapter 11. The novel was first published in 2005. Spoilers ahead! CW for slurs related to ethnicity and gender, and abortion treated as a shameful secret.
First introduced in the pages of X-Men, Storm is probably the most recognized Black female superhero.
We’re thrilled to share a brief excerpt from Hero Me Not by Chesya Burke, an in-depth look at The X-Men’s Storm through all her manifestations in comics, animation, and films—available now from Rutgers University Press.
Are you a big Star Trek: Strange New Worlds fan or even just SNW curious but don’t currently have a Paramount+ subscription? If so, I’ve got good news for you: The entire first season of Strange New Worlds is now available to legally watch FOR FREE (albeit with some commercials) on the streaming network’s YouTube channel.
I’ve long said that Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series was ripe for film or television adaptation, and it looks like Hollywood finally agrees with me! The author’s standalone book in the First Law world, Best Served Cold, is getting an adaptation and not only has some A-list talent attached, but also sees Abercrombie penning the script.
The unexpected second season of Good Omens—Prime Video’s adaptation of the book by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett—arrives in just under two months, which means it’s time for the teasers and hints to start appearing. And what a treat this one is: The full title sequence for the new season, which is our first real hint at what the story might be about.
I’ve been a fan of Martha Wells since the first Murderbot Diaries book, All Systems Red. So of course I was so excited when I heard about Witch King. I know she’s written a lot of fantasy before, but this would be my first venture into that side of her work. Without knowing what to expect, I dived in. Thrilled to report that I was not disappointed.
The weather is warming up in the Northern Hemisphere and while most people are enjoying the longer days and toasty sunshine, I’m focused on the dreaded fact that bug season is upon us. While I know that insects are necessary to humankind’s survival, a lot of them are also undeniably creepy. There’s the many legs (too many legs), their overwhelming numbers (swarms!), and the fact that some of them are venomous (to the point of being deadly). If you take all of that, scale it up, and stick it in a movie, the result can be truly terrifying.
While I split hairs between fungi and plants in previous lists, I haven’t afforded insects and arachnids the same benefit here. This is mostly because when something creepy is crawling its way towards me, I’m too freaked out to care about which category it belongs to. Now on with the list—here are eight movies that make great use of big bugs.
The Lambert family’s story is over (theoretically). But the Insidious franchise remains. Deadline reports that Mandy Moore (Dr. Death) and Kumail Nanjiani (Obi-Wan Kenobi) are set to star in Thread: An Insidious Tale, which is described as “an offshoot project” rather than a film in the main franchise narrative.
Presumably it will still be quite frightening, regardless.
San Francisco and the Bay Area are world-famous communities to which many have moved…and many would move if they could afford it. A fair number of SF authors have looked at the hordes populating the Bay Area and wondered “what would all this look like if there were a lot fewer people?” Here are four works that answer that question.
Marvel doesn’t have a lock on mutants, that’s for sure. The latest iteration of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arrives this summer, and Mutant Mayhem looks to be a charming (and gorgeously animated) tale just absolutely packed full of mutants—though some dream of going to high school, and some dream of mutant world domination. (Somebody call Magneto!)
Netflix keeps calling the upcoming season of Black Mirror “The most unpredictable, unclassifiable and unexpected season yet,” which seems like a high bar to set. But maybe they’re onto something? The trailer for the series highlights the five standalone “films,” which range from the experience of a women who finds herself the subject of a prestige Netflix—um, I mean Streamberry—series to a mystifying, Aaron Paul-starring story set in space. And one haunting tale gets a little title card that says it’s presented by Red Mirror.
The connecting tissue is, of course, the mind of creator Charlie Brooker.
Here’s a sad truth about writing for most authors: This is not a lucrative business. Years can go by between publications, and there’s never a guarantee anyone will end up earning royalties on their books. So it’s no wonder that several legends of speculative fiction have cast their gaze toward Hollywood over the years…and took up jobs penning screenplays and teleplays for books and stories written by other authors. The five authors we’re highlighting below wrote their own successful works of science fiction, fantasy, or horror, but also adapted books and stories originally penned by other writers for both the big and small screen (and of course, you’ll note some overlap with this previous article, where we looked at six authors who’d done well adapting their own works).
So without further ado, here are some famous names you’ll definitely recognize… and some of the scripts they wrote that you might not know they had anything to do with!
Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology has gotten a comic series adaptation via P. Craig Russell at Dark Horse Comics, and the entire set is now available for pre-order in an oversized deluxe collection.
All his life, Conrad hadn’t known anything existed below the toxic black clouds of the Skylands… until now.
We’re thrilled to share the cover of Sky’s End, the first book in Marc J Gregson’s Above the Black trilogy—publishing January 2, 2024 with Peachtree Teen.
Live-action remakes of classic animated films are in vogue right now, and not only at Disney. We’ve known for a few months that Universal was getting in on that live-action, um, action with a flesh-and-blood reimagining of 2010’s How To Train Your Dragon. That project is steadily moving forward, and today we found out what human actors will take on the leading human roles in the movie.