An Explosive Space Opera: Seven Mercies by Laura Lam and Elizabeth May

Seven Mercies, the second novel-length collaboration between Elizabeth May and Laura Lam, is the conclusion to the space opera duology that began with 2020’s Seven Devils. A small and ragged band of rebels stand against the might of a murderous empire and the AI that’s capable of controlling the minds of its citizens. The results are explosive.

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Peacemaker’s Choreographer for Opening Number Shares Her Creative Process, Which Includes Having Alan Tudyk Dance for Her

If you’re watching Peacemaker and/or have been on the internet lately, you might have seen the show’s opening number, where the actors—led by John Cena—do a weird, complicated-looking dance with a bald eagle named Eagly flying in at the very end.

The dance is a mesmerizing one, and choreographer Charissa-Lee Barton recently shared how she put the moves together, which include filming her husband Alan Tudyk cutting a rug to see if a non-dancing actor could pull them off.

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Percy Jackson and the Olympians Is “Really, Truly, and For Sure” Coming to Disney+

You can absolutely forget the Percy Jackson movies, now, if you so desire. Percy Jackson and the Olympians—a series adaptation of Rick Riordan’s books that was announced in 2020—officially has the green light at Disney+.

A clearly enthusiastic Riordan announced the news via Disney+’s YouTube channel, saying, “The wait is over, demigods. I am thrilled to be the first to tell you that Percy Jackson and the Olympians is really, truly, and for sure coming to your screens.”

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Lucy Liu Will Star in Blumhouse’s Adaptation of Stephen King’s Later

If you’re keeping track of all the Stephen King adaptations currently underway, in the works, or about to arrive, here’s another one for your list: Blumhouse Television has snapped up the rights to King’s novel Later, which they will transform into a limited series starring Lucy Liu. Raelle Tucker (True Blood), the series creator, wrote the pilot.

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Hello There: On Selina Kyle’s Apartment in Batman Returns

Welcome to Close Reads! In this series, Leah Schnelbach and their guests dig into the tiny, weird moments of pop culture—from books to theme songs to viral internet hits—that have burrowed into our minds, found rent-stabilized apartments, started community gardens, and refused to be forced out by corporate interests. This time out, Leah Schnelbach meditates upon that most terrifying of topics…REAL ESTATE.

When you think of Batman Returns, what do you think of?

Catwoman deadpanning “Meow” as a building explodes behind her?

The Penguin eating raw fish in his campaign office?

The Penguin biting a staffer’s nose?

The Penguin commanding an army of militarized actual penguins?

OK, it turns out there was a lot of rad shit in that movie. But what I find myself thinking about most is Selina Kyle’s apartment.

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Series: Close Reads

6 Books to Read While You Wait for Yellowjackets to Return

Showtime had a surprising and bloody hit this winter—and it wasn’t the new season of Dexter. Clever, original, and creepy as hell, Yellowjackets is the latest obsession of thriller fans and paranormal conspiracy theorists everywhere. When a private plane carrying a high school girls’ soccer team crashes in the Canadian Rockies in 1996, the team must do anything and everything to survive. Twenty-five years later, we know that some of the team made it back to civilization, but the mystery and trauma around what happened in the wilderness returns to as the women reckon with how the accident derailed their lives.

[Doomed field trips, mean girls, and more survivor stories…]

Let Gandalf Star in a Musical, You Cowards

Once you have played both Gandalf (above) and Magneto—and Iorek Byrnison!—you should get to do whatever you want. Especially when you are Ian McKellan, whose storied career includes countless roles across stage and screen.

And what McKellen wants is to star in a musical.

“I don’t feel I have much to prove in my career anymore, so why not just do the things I enjoy doing, like getting in front of an audience and entertaining them,” he told BBC Radio’s 4 Today.

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A Story of Resistance, Not Surrender: Goliath by Tochi Onyebuchi

Don’t let the cover copy fool you. Goliath is not your average science fiction novel. Onyebuchi jumps through first, second, and third POV, from a traditional Western narrative structure to documentary footage to nonfiction journalism articles. Time is nonlinear here, with some stories happening in the past, others in the characters’ presents, and others in their futures. It is somehow simultaneously epic yet intimate in scope, with a large cast of characters spreading across several states and many years, most of whom are connected to each other by one man: Bishop.

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Reading The Wheel of Time: Graendal and Semirhage Treat Their Patients in Robert Jordan’s Lord of Chaos (Part 6)

Welcome back my friends, it is time once again for Reading The Wheel of Time. This week we’re covering Chapter 6 of Lord of Chaos, in which Sammael gets manipulated (but not in the way he thinks) and Sylas gets Semirhage and Graendal mixed up. We also get a lot of fun new world building, and answer last week’s question about whether or not a Gateway could actually cut someone in half.

Which, gross, it can. Does Rand know that’s a thing he could accidentally do?

[She would kneel, if need be, for as long as need be, but she would not be sacrificed.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

5 Adrenaline Pumping YA SFF Survival Books

Who doesn’t like to escape into a story where the stakes are impossibly high, and the entire world is out to get you? Growing up, I craved books with non-stop action and adventure, anything to take me out of my dull teenage existence in small town Louisiana. My younger self devoured all kinds of books with survival elements, from Julie of the Wolves to A Wrinkle in Time. But no matter the genre, I always found myself wanting to fall into a fast-paced story where one wrong move could mean the difference between life and death.

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Series: Five Books About…

Finding Poetry in Pamela Dean’s Tam Lin

We are the product of the books we read as children and young adults. They shape the vocabulary we use to shape the world we live in: they spark interests and ideas and ideals that we may never be consciously aware of harboring. Sometimes we’re lucky. Sometimes we can point to the exact moment where everything changed.

I was fourteen. I read like books were oxygen and I was in danger of suffocation if I stopped for more than a few minutes. I was as undiscriminating about books as a coyote is about food—I needed words more than I needed quality, and it was rare for me to hit something that would actually make me slow down. It was even rarer for me to hit something that would make me speed up, rushing toward the end so I could close the book, sigh, flip it over, and start again from the beginning.

I liked fairy tales. I liked folk music. When I found a book in a line of books about fairy tales, with a title taken from a ballad, I figured it would be good for a few hours.

I didn’t expect it to change my life.

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Understanding Horses: Winter Dreams, Spring Foals

Every gardener in a temperate climate knows that winter is the fallow season, but it’s also the season of hope. That’s when the seed catalogues start to arrive. The garden is asleep, but once the days start to lengthen, it won’t be too terribly long before it’s time to till and plant.

The same thing happens to horse breeders. With a gestation period of 345 days on the average—eleven months and a week is the rule of thumb for calculating the approximate due date—waiting for a foal can seem like an eternity. The mare goes on about her business for the most part, but sooner or later, she’ll start to show signs that something is going on in there. She may barely round out, or she may become so spherical that observers wonder how she stays up on those spindly legs.

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