Where Space Adventure Meets Good Old Political SF: Andre Norton’s Catseye

Whatever else Andre Norton did during the Golden Age of science fiction, writing apolitical “pure” adventure was not in her wheelhouse. She had her favored protagonist: young, male, orphaned and alone, struggling to make a go of it in a hostile universe—and her favorite settings: backwater planets full of inimical alien life and mysterious ancient ruins with lots (and lots and lots) of subterranean chambers and passages. Oh, she loved her underground traps and desperate escapes. Her pacing was breakneck, her plots full of wild twists and turns.

And she had an agenda.

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LeVar Burton Reads “Welcome To Your Authentic Indian Experience(TM)” by Rebecca Roanhorse

In Rebecca Roanhorse’s award winning story “Welcome To Your Authentic Indian Experience(TM)”, a tour guide leads virtual reality “experiences” for tourists who want to know what it’s like to be Native American. Think Black Mirror meets Westworld.

Originally published in Apex Magazine in August 2017, Roanhorse’s story is now kicking off the third season of the short fiction podcast LeVar Burton Reads, in which host LeVar Burton invites you to take a break from your daily life, and dive into a great story. LeVar’s narration blends with gorgeous soundscapes to bring stories by Neil Gaiman, Haruki Murakami, Octavia Butler, Ray Bradbury and more to life. We’re excited to share an exclusive clip from “Welcome To Your Authentic Indian Experience(TM)” below!

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Pull List: Queering Canon with Doctor Aphra

Hey you! Yeah, you! Do you love Star Wars? Are you eager to explore the non-Skywalker part of the EU? Do you wanna read stories starring a badass queer woman of color? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, then it’s time you picked up Doctor Aphra. She’s cool, she’s tough, and she can out maneuver anyone at anytime. Aphra will flirt until you swoon, then pick your pocket. Oh yes, my friend, you’re gonna love this comic.

[“Evil’s just a measure of how much your choices take away other people’s.”]

Which Dinosaurs Would Be Effective on the Battlefield?

Victor Milán’s Dinosaur Lords series is set in a primordial world with every species of dinosaur, large and small. The books are bloodsoaked—the basic elevator pitch is “Jurassic Park meets Game of Thrones”—specifically because the saurians aren’t around to be pets, attractions, or build a Dinotopia.

Milán employs them as scaly war engines which brings up a question pondered by generations of kids as they’ve assembled plastic dinosaur toys in their sandboxes—which are the best dinosaurs to wage war?

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Classic Sci-Fi Star Systems Keep Getting Ruined by Science

Having recently discussed some possible SF solutions to the vexing problems posed by red dwarf stars, it makes a certain amount of sense to consider the various star systems that have served as popular settings for some classic science fiction—even if science has more or less put the kibosh on any real hope of finding a habitable planet in the bunch.

In olden days, back before we had anything like the wealth of information about exoplanets we have now1, SF authors playing it safe often decided to exclude the systems of pesky low-mass stars (M class) and short lived high-mass stars (O, B, and A) as potential abodes of life. A list of promising nearby stars might have looked a bit like this2

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The Man in the High Castle’s SDCC 2018 Panel Teases a New Resistance — and a Premiere Date!

The Man in the High Castle will return on October 5th…and it’s already been renewed for a fifth season! The dystopia takes place in a timeline where the U.S. lost World War II, and was subsequently divided between a Nazi Annex in the East, and a Japanese colony in the West. The show hosted a lively panel at San Diego Comic-Con featuring actors Alexa Davalos, Rufus Sewell, Stephen Root, and Jason O’Mara, and executive producers Isa Dick Hackett and Dan Percival, showed an extended clip of Season Three, and discussed the difficulties of creating alternate timelines.

I’ve rounded up some panel highlights below!

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The Godzilla: King of the Monsters Trailer is the Godzilla Movie We Deserve

So, um, did you ever think a Godzilla movie would make you tear up? Because there is something surprisingly powerful about the first trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, screened at San Diego Comic-Con. Which is to say, they are going old school, tapping into the deep roots of Godzilla’s character as the hand of nature when humans take things too far.

But not just Godzilla—there’s Mothra, too, and Rodan, and King Ghidorah. This trailer is the real deal.

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse Adds John Mulaney as Spider-Ham and Nicolas Cage as Spider-Man Noir

In new footage from animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, screened at San Diego Comic-Con, Miles Morales, Peter Parker, and Gwen Stacy a.k.a. Spider-Gwen walk into a multiverse meeting of Spider-Folks and are in for quite a surprise. Upon being handed “Hello My Name Is” stickers, they discover even more iterations of themselves—namely, Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Ham. And here’s the best part: Those roles are being voiced by (respectively) Nicolas Cage and John Mulaney!

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Watch the First Teaser for the TV Adaptation of Thriller Podcast Homecoming

As part of the Amazon Prime Video showrunners panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail was in attendance—not for his lauded series, but for a new project. Esmail is helming the television adaptation of Homecoming, based on the Gimlet Media podcast that was a hit upon its premiere in late 2016.

While the original podcast starred Catherine Keener as case worker Heidi Bergman, who strikes up a friendship with veteran Walter Cruz (Oscar Isaac) while helping him and other veterans readjust to civilian life as part of the mysterious “Homecoming” initiative, the TV version has Julia Roberts filling that starring role. Amazon shared the first teaser for the series at SDCC.

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Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger Renewed for Season 2

Fans of Marvel and Freeform’s new teenage superhero series Cloak & Dagger, which premiered earlier this year, were excited to learn at San Diego Comic-Con that the series will be returning for a second season. Tandy and Tyrone still have a long way to go in mastering their powers and discovering the truth behind how they got them, but they’ll get at least another 10 episodes to do so when the series returns in spring 2019!

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Joss Whedon is Rebooting Buffy the Vampire Slayer with a Black Lead

Big news out of San Diego Comic-Con for Joss Whedon: The creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is overseeing a reboot of his landmark television series, acting as executive producer while Monica Owusu-Breen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Midnight, Texas) will write the script and serve as showrunner. The most significant detail of the reboot news, which comes from The Hollywood Reporter, is that the new Slayer will be black.

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Watch a Behind-the-Scenes Look at The Tick Season 2

On the Amazon Prime Video showrunners panel at San Diego Comic-Con, The Tick creator Ben Edlund shared a sweet video for fans of the series: Stars Peter Serafinowicz and Griffin Newman running around on the set, comparing costumes between seasons 1 and 2, and introducing a bevy of new superheroes coming out of the woodwork when season 2 premieres sometime in 2019.

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