An Aged Mystery in a Surreal Landscape: Marian Womack’s The Golden Key

Marian Womack’s fiction finds the middle ground between haunting landscapes and the surreal. She’s edited an anthology in collaboration with Gary Budden, whose work occupies a subgenre known as “landscape punk.” And a review of her 2018 collection Lost Objects in Weird Fiction Review cited the story “Kingfisher,” and highlighted “a blurred boundary between an initially recognizable world and a later turn toward something much weirder.”

While much of Womack’s work to date has been set around the present or in a possible future, her new novel The Golden Key opts for a very different locale: England in 1901.

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All Rebel, No Cause: Andre Norton’s Ride Proud, Rebel!

2020 is a difficult year for reading novels about the American Civil War. The old comfortable myths, the familiar interpretations of history, have developed serious fractures. The romance of the Confederacy has given way to the dismantling of Confederate war memorials. The election of an African-American President represented both the power of cultural change and the vehement, even violent opposition to it.

Andre Norton published Ride Proud, Rebel! in 1961, in the midst of the Civil Rights era. Her science fiction novels took care to depict a future that was not all or even mostly white, and she tried hard to write Black and Native American characters with respect and understanding. And yet she chose this material for a foray into historical fiction.

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Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Emanations”

“Emanations”
Written by Brannon Braga
Directed by David Livingston
Season 1, Episode 8
Production episode 109
Original air date: March 13, 1995
Stardate: 48623.5

Captain’s log. Voyager has detected a heretofore undiscovered element in the asteroids of a ring around a planet. They investigate, as it could be useful, not just to catalogue, but to mine and use. Chakotay, Kim, and Torres beam down to discover that the element is in a weird coating that’s on a bunch of dead bodies that seem to be haphazardly stored in the asteroid. (The asteroid is also Class M; the notion that an asteroid would have oxygen-nitrogen air and the same gravity as Earth is patently absurd, but doing space suits and filming in a gravity-less environment aren’t really in a 1990s TV show’s budget.)

[In essence, Commander, you were strolling through dead bodies.]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

Sonic The Hedgehog: An Origin Story That Deserves a Follow-Up

When someone at work asks how I felt about Sonic the Hedgehog, I will say “It was great!” because they know me as “the guy who really likes Sonic” and not necessarily “the guy who has spent 50+ podcast hours talking about Sonic’s cultural impact and meaning” so they don’t need the full, complicated answer. But you clicked on this review, so you need the details. And the truth is: Sonic the Hedgehog is a fun movie, but it sacrifices Sonic’s messy and rebellious history to make Marvel-style comfort food.

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Ken Liu and Katie M. Flynn Bundle Sweepstakes!

Read two of the most exciting sci-fi releases this year! We want to send you a copy of Ken Liu’s latest collection The Hidden Girl and Other Stories, along with Katie M. Flynn’s near-future novel The Companions!

 

Ken Liu is one of the most lauded short story writers of our time. The Hidden Girl and Other Stories includes a selection of his science fiction and fantasy stories from the last five years—sixteen of his best—plus a new novelette.

Station Eleven meets Never Let Me Go in The Companions by Katie M. Flynn, a debut novel set in an unsettling near future where the dead can be uploaded to machines and kept in service by the living.

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Read an Excerpt From Marie Rutoski’s The Midnight Lie

Set in the world of the Winner’s Trilogy, Marie Rutkoski’s The Midnight Lie is an epic LGBTQ romantic fantasy about learning to free ourselves from the lies others tell us—and the lies we tell ourselves. The novel is available March 3rd from Farrar, Straus and Giroux—we’re excited to share the first three chapters below!

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Meet John Scalzi on Tour for The Last Emperox!

The Last Emperox is the thrilling conclusion to the award-winning, New York Times and USA Today bestselling Interdependency series, an epic space opera adventure from Hugo Award-winning author John Scalzi. This Spring, the author will hit the road, visiting bookstores and festivals to meet readers and fans like you!

The Last Emperox publishes April 14th with Tor Books. Head below for the full tour schedule!

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Rereading The Ruin of Kings: Chapters 87 and 88

Hello Tor.com! Journey with me through these last few chapters of RROK, won’tcha?

This blog series will be covering The Ruin of Kings, the first novel of a five-book series by Jenn Lyons. Previous entries can be found here in the series index.

Today’s post will be covering Chapter 87, “The Breaking of Oaths”, and Chapter 88, “Miya’s Gift”. Please note that from this point forward, these posts will likely contain spoilers for the entire novel, so it’s recommended that you read the whole thing first before continuing on.

Got that? Great! Click on for the rest!

[That “gift” better have a Return receipt attached to, if you know what I mean]

Series: The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons

To Write About the Future Is to Represent the Past

Science fiction authors tend to get salty when people accuse us of trying to predict the future. Especially when people are like, “Hey, in your book you said that there would be giant flesh-eating killer moths in 2015, and instead they arrived in 2018, and I want my money back.” Most science fiction authors will insist that even if a book is set in the future, it’s really about the present—and there’s a lot of truth to that.

But lately, I’ve been feeling like a lot of my science-fiction writing about the future is actually about the past. The past and the future are reflections of each other, after all. And what kind of future we build depends on what we learn from our past.

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Watch Marlon James and Tochi Onyebuchi Interview Each Other About…Almost Everything

There’s a sense of heightened reality that occurs when you see Marlon James (author of the rich fantasy Black Leopard, Red Wolf) and Tochi Onyebuchi (author of the not-actually-dystopic superhero tale Riot Baby) sitting on a public stage, before a rapt crowd, speaking with each other. Either of them alone exhibits superhuman charm, but put the two of them together and they become a Super Saiyan of wit. A veritable Voltron of expertly-deployed shade. A drift compatible charisma Jaeger, if you will—except one half of the Jaeger’s wearing a shirt that says “Slipthot” on it, and the other half is super into Can.

And lucky us, they got together for an event at the Strand! The two authors discussed writing, anime, and life in a violently white society, the X-Men, Sarah McLachlan?, and American Dirt, amongst a mosaic of topics. We’ve provided a transcript below.

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The Gideon the Ninth Reread: Chapters 9 and 10

Now this is the story all about how Gideon’s life got flip-turned upside down…

Welcome back, boneheads! It’s time for another close read of Gideon the Ninth by Tamysn Muir! I’m your host, Goriddle Gorilla, and today I’ll be recapping chapters nine and ten. These two chapters cover Gideon’s first venture out into the First House after she and Harrow arrive.

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Series: Gideon the Ninth Reread

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