When We Have Come to This Place: The Aliens Series as Cosmic Horror

As a sweeping generalization, I’m scared of horror (as discussed). “Isn’t that the point of—” The kind of scared where I can’t consume it, I mean, not the enjoyably or cathartically scared that the creators of said horror intend to elicit. The other kind of scared.

All the same, I’m drawn to certain types of horror in both writing and reading. With my novels Beneath the Rising and its sequel A Broken Darkness (as well as a couple dozen short stories), I told everyone I was simply writing fantasy with monsters and gods; ‘dark fantasy,’ probably. “Nope,” people told me again and again. “These are horror.” As I began to read more about it, I realized that swathes of my writing might not only be horror, but fall into a specific sub-genre of horror: cosmic horror.

[Soon afterwards, I started to think of my favourite film franchise as cosmic horror]

Henry Golding Faces the Three Challenges of the Warrior in the Latest Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins Trailer

The first words spoken in the latest trailer for Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins are “Fish boy!” which is not exactly an auspicious start. But this trailer has a lot more to offer than the brief first teaser, including a little bit of story and longer glimpses at some other G.I. Joe characters who turn up in Snake Eyes’ movie.

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MGM Is Revamping Blacula

When Amazon announced that it was acquiring MGM last month, it said that it would be working to “reimagine and develop that IP” that the studio already has. Lots has been made of the fact that MGM is responsible for properties like James Bond and Stargate, but it has many other films in its library as well.

Case in point: the 1972 film Blacula and its sequels. According to Variety, the studio is looking to revamp the franchise with a “modern reimagining” that will take place after 1973’s Scream Blacula Scream.

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Mars Is the Wild West in the First Trailer for Settlers

Science fiction has utilized the idea of space being the next frontier, and in his feature debut, Settlers, Wyatt Rockefeller turns the Red Planet into a hostile one.

IFC Films released the first trailer for Settlers last week, and it shows off the plight of a family trying to survive on their remote homestead, only to run into some significant problems when bandits arrive.

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Five SFF Characters To Help You Execute the Perfect Caper

No doubt, we’ve all experienced the urge to recover something lost, whether it was money, a family heirloom, a damning letter, or just an eldritch tome that haunts our nightmares. One solution: assemble a team of experts to retrieve the lost item.

The core members of such a team might include a mastermind (to plan the heist), a thief (to get past any security devices), the driver (to orchestrate exfiltration), the muscle (in case something goes horribly wrong), and of course, the distraction (because it is much easier to get away with stuff if everyone is looking in the wrong direction). Speculative fiction offers numerous candidates who would combine the required expertise with the necessary moral flexibility. Here are the five SFF characters I’d pick for my retrieval team.

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Doomsday and the Old Lie: Announcing Emily Tesh’s Debut Novel, Some Desperate Glory

Tordotcom Publishing is thrilled to announce that Ruoxi Chen has acquired World Fantasy Award winner Emily Tesh’s debut novel, Some Desperate Glory, pitched as Vorkosigan meets Gideon the Ninth set in a world inspired by Mass Effect, in which Kyr, a young soldier of Gaea Station, trains to avenge the murder of Earth at the hands of an all-powerful, reality-shaping alien weapon before discovering she might have to take everything into her own hands.

The two-book deal, for North American rights, was brokered by Kurestin Armada at Root Literary.

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White Bears in Sugar Land: Juneteenth, Cages, and Afrofuturism

We resist enclosure. Deer roam forests. Vines colonize abandoned Coliseums. A human being held in solitary confinement will self-harm, scream, plead, kick doors, smear feces on their cell walls, and refuse food if there exists even the promise of seeing the sun for fifteen minutes of their day. There are many words in English for what that human being quests for: liberty, emancipation, freedom, independence. So much of the American project has been dousing its cultural fabric in these colors. No mention of brotherhood and precious little of equality. Justice is nowhere to be found. Peace, somewhere far off in the distance. Over the horizon, in fact. Those messy words presume an After, and they presume that this After is other than post-apocalypse. Liberty, emancipation, independence, without brotherhood or equality or justice or peace, presume utopia. Any alternative imagining can only be fiction.

An episode in the second season of Black Mirror, titled “White Bear,” dramatizes precisely this conundrum. The protagonist, a woman played by Lenora Crichlow, awakens with amnesia, haunted by a symbol that flickers on the television screen in her room and hunted by unreasoning pursuers. People on the street catch sight of her and immediately raise their cameraphones to record. Even as her pursuers shoot at her and those who have decided to aid her, the spectators remain just that. Spectators. They’re being held captive by a signal from a transmitter at a facility called “White Bear.” Get to White Bear, destroy the transmitter, and free the world from their stupor. When she and her confederate reach the transmitter, two hunters attack. In what is supposed to be the episode’s climax, she wrestles a shotgun away from one of her assailants, aims, and pulls the trigger.

Out comes confetti.

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Arrowverse Recap: This DC Universe Shines with a Strong Week of Stories

The CW’s robust lineup of DC Comics-based shows—oft dubbed the Arrowverse—can be a lot to keep up with. Join us weekly as Andrew Tejada keeps you current on all that goes on in their corner of TV Land!

The Legends have some extremely close alien encounters, the new Batwoman races to save the previous one, The Flash helps Cecile confront a dark truth, and Superman and Lois get a visit from dangerous family members on…

This Week in the Arrowverse!

[Spoilers Ahead]

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Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Spirit Folk”

“Spirit Folk”
Written by Bryan Fuller
Directed by David Livingston
Season 6, Episode 17
Production episode 237
Original air date: February 23, 2000
Stardate: unknown

Captain’s log. Paris has reconstructed the Fair Haven holodeck program, and is in it driving a version of a 1904 Oldsmobile Runabout with only moderate skill, eventually crashing into a barrel, damaging a tire. Seamus comments on his ability to afford such a vehicle, and Paris says he came into an inheritance. Seamus asks for a tiny percentage of that inheritance to pay for a drink to celebrate Paris’ good fortune.

[When your quaint little seaside town starts to depolarize, don’t come crying to me.]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

Life at the End of the World: The World Gives Way by Marissa Levien

If you had evidence the world was ending and no one else believed you, what would you do? And even when evidence rears its terrible head, when everyone else catches up to you, what do you do with the time that’s left to you? Such are the big questions looming through Levien’s incredible debut novel, The World Gives Way, in which a generation ship that is the world that is a ship has begun to die.

It is very clearly stated early on that this is not something that can be fixed. There is a breach in the hull. The people onboard will not make it to their new home. Everyone will die. And as we begin, only Myrra, a contract worker embittered by the horrible life she inherited from her ancestors, is the only person that knows it’s coming. Across the city, an investigator named Tobias, himself toiling under a shadow from his past, searches for her. As the two of them spiral ever closer, the world around them crumbles, and indeed, begins to give way. To what, lies at the heart of the novel.

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Risky Business: Five Books About Interplanetary Trade

Humans have, starting in prehistoric times (with obsidian, red ochre, etc.), established vast trade networks that cross mountains, deserts, and oceans. Presumably, this will be true in the future as well, even as humanity expands out into SPAAACE. While there are reasons why larger concerns will tend to dominate, the little guys will often provide more engaging narratives. Thus, these five heartwarming tales of working traders enthusiastically engaging in commerce among the stars…

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The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Finale: Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum

For a long time now, watching The Handmaid’s Tale has been an uneasy undertaking. In wanting to honor June Osborne’s (Elisabeth Moss) trauma and road to recovery, I nonetheless found her endless well of anger—expressed through piercing stares and twisted smiles—more squeamish than gratifying. But then Hulu served up this especially disturbing season four finale, which achieves the difficult task of fulfilling June’s need for justice in a manner that calls back to the past four seasons of The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s still rough to watch, but it’s also wonderfully cathartic.

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Rhythm of War Reread: Chapter Forty-One

Good morning and happy Thursday, my Cosmere chickens! I hope your week has been going better than Kaladin and Navani’s is, and that you are staying safe and healthy out there as the world slowly opens back up (here in the United States, anyway). Today in the reread we’ll be watching as Urithiru continues to slowly fall to the Fused and Regals. It’s like watching a very slow train wreck. Navani is trying desperately to throw rocks at the switch that will divert the train to another track, but…

Well. Let’s dig in and see what happens, shall we?

[We are immortal, and so think nothing can ever surprise us — and that makes us complacent.]

Series: Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson

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