Memory and Humanity in The Hidden Girl and Other Stories by Ken Liu

If you were to try and name a master of modern short fiction in science fiction and fantasy, Ken Liu would have to be among those contending for the title. Winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Awards, in addition to a plethora of translation work of Chinese science fiction and fantasy, a previous short fiction collection, as well as multiple novels and other work across different media, Liu is prolific writer, and an insightful and incisive one.

Having already published The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, Liu is back with The Hidden Girl and Other Stories, a short fiction collection featuring a never before seen novelette, an excerpt from his next novel The Veiled Throne, as well as a whole host of recent stories. And while The Paper Menagerie focused more on family, history, love, and the fantastical, The Hidden Girl is more laser-focused on issues of science fiction—the future, climate change, artificial intelligence, and more.

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All the New Genre Bending Books Arriving in March!

The land knows, and remembers. It has been many years, but something dark is growing beyond, something that has been resting. You know it is calling you, and you remember, too. This month’s genre-bending releases are all about secrets that won’t remain buried. Commune with Hawaiian gods in Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn; solve a mystery with a ghost dog in This Town Sleeps by Dennis E. Staples; and get ready for the new release from Emily St. John Mandel, The Glass Hotel.

Head below for the full list of genre-bending titles heading your way in March!

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Watch Simon Stålenhag’s Retrofuturistic Art Come To Life in a First Trailer for Tales from the Loop

Over the last couple of years, Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag has gained an enormous following with his retro-futuristic artwork, which imagined fantastical machines and robots roaming around the Swedish landscape in an alternate 1980s.

Amazon is turning his first art book, Tales from the Loop, into a streaming television series, and has just unveiled the first trailer and a release date for the show: April 3rd, 2020.

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Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Heroes and Demons”

“Heroes and Demons”
Written by Naren Shankar
Directed by Les Landau
Season 1, Episode 11
Production episode 112
Original air date: April 24, 1995
Stardate: 48693.2

Captain’s log. Voyager is investigating a protostar that has unusually intense photonic energy. Torres beams two samples on board, but one sample doesn’t materialize due to a gap in the annular confinement beam. She tries again, and this time it works. She says it’ll take six hours to analyze. Janeway suggests conscripting Kim to help out to cut that time down, but he’s off duty. She contacts him—but the computer says that Kim isn’t on board.

[The Vok’sha of Rakella Prime believe that hate is a beast which lives inside the stomach. Their greatest mythical hero is a man who ate stones for twenty-three days to kill the beast, and became a saint.]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

Got Series Fatigue? Try These 10 Standalone Fantasy Novels!

Fantasy fiction is best known for its giant, door-stopping series that come in trilogies or longer. Of course, not everyone wants to embark on a ten-book project. And even if you love series, sometimes it’s nice to read a standalone story that provides a satisfying resolution within a single book. With that in mind, I’ve set out to provide a list of ten fantasy stories that have all the thrills of a series but stand alone as a single volume.

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A Strange World in Crisis: The Ragged Astronauts by Bob Shaw

In this bi-weekly series reviewing classic science fiction and fantasy books, Alan Brown looks at the front lines and frontiers of the field; books about soldiers and spacers, scientists and engineers, explorers and adventurers. Stories full of what Shakespeare used to refer to as “alarums and excursions”: battles, chases, clashes, and the stuff of excitement.

Bob Shaw was not one of the most widely known science fiction authors of the 20th Century, but he was one of the most entertaining. He had a clever imagination, a good sense of humor, and an accessible style. One of his best works, The Ragged Astronauts, was written late in his career when he was at the peak of his powers. It follows the adventures of Toller Maraquine, an inhabitant of a unique double planet existing within a shared atmosphere, as he and his fellows from a primitive society attempt to travel by balloon from one world to the other. It is also a tale with a message, a story of human stubbornness and prejudice in the face of imminent ecological collapse—a message that is as timely today as it was when it was written.

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Watch Rian Johnson Break Down the “Eat Sh*t” Scene From Knives Out

Of all the many iconic scenes in Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, one of the most memorable is the one where a sneering, sweater-encased Chris Evans tells all of his family members to “eat sh*t.” Something about the actor’s delivery, along with the Uncut Gems levels of cross-talk, the lightning-quick camera cuts, and the impeccably choreographed reactions of his co-stars, make it ripe for repeat viewings and dissections. Now, Johnson himself is here to explain how it all came together. Sitting down with Vanity Fair, the director whipped out his pink dry erase marker to break down the scene beat-by-beat.

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Netflix’s I Am Not Okay With This Updates the Themes of Carrie for a New Generation

The new Netflix series I Am Not Okay With This is more than okay with revealing, even reveling in, its influences. The story of misfit Sydney (Sophia Lillis of It and Gretel & Hansel) navigating the high school social order carries the DNA of John Hughes films of the 1980s, complete with a detention episode reminiscent of The Breakfast Club. On the other hand, Sydney’s telekinetic superpowers bring to mind decades of X-Men comic books and, in one explosive sequence, the David Cronenberg classic Scanners.

But I Am Not Okay With This acknowledges its most important cinematic influence with its opening image, a climactic moment from which the series flashes back and builds toward over its eight-episode season: Sydney walking away from a disastrous high school dance, her dress covered in blood.

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Oathbringer Reread: Chapter One Hundred Seventeen

Welcome back to the continuing avalanche, O Rereaders of the Tor! It’s just getting crazier by the chapter; this week, we take a few steps forward on multiple fronts (nine-count-’em-nine POV characters!) and have some awesome mental images to swoon over. (Okay, maybe that’s just me?) Anyway. Onward!

[Take a deep breath, my friend. I’m afraid that this will hurt.]

Series: Oathbringer Reread

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Reread — Cardassia: The Lotus Flower

Worlds of Deep Space Nine Volume One
Cardassia: The Lotus Flower
Una McCormack
Publication Date: June 2004
Timeline: December 2376

Unity represents a natural breaking point in the DS9 relaunch novels. Forthcoming stories in this series spin off in different directions, featuring increasingly new and diverse characters on various worlds. As a result, we’re doing away with the review sections used in the prior entries of this reread and transitioning to a looser model going forward. I’ll provide a brief plot synopsis, jump right in to my overall thoughts, single out a few memorable character beats or lines at the end, and conclude with an “orb factor” rating.

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Alix Harrow on Her Next Novel, The Once and Future Witches

Last year, Alix E. Harrow published her debut novel, The Ten Thousand Doors of January, a fantasy novel about a young woman named January Scaller, as she works to uncover her family’s history and the power dynamics of the world. The novel earned Harrow a Best Novel nomination for this year’s Nebula Awards, but she already is poised to release her sophtomore novel: The Once and Future Witches, which is set to hit stores on October 13th.

[I spoke with Alix about her upcoming novel…]

Octavia Butler’s Dawn Revived for Amazon Studios by Ava DuVernay and Victoria Mahoney

Octavia Butler’s Hugo Award-winning Dawn is finally coming to TV! According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ava DuVernay and Victoria Mahoney are teaming up to develop the first book of Butler’s acclaimed Xenogenesis/Lilith’s Brood trilogy for a script-to-series order from Amazon Studios.

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When the Revolution Comes Home: Tehlor Kay Mejia’s We Unleash the Merciless Storm

Carmen Santos is on the run. She is no longer the Segunda to one of the most powerful men in Medio, and she hasn’t been an active guerilla fighter for La Voz since she was embedded in the Medio School for Girls as a child. As she makes her way back to La Buitre and his freedom fighters, she hopes to reintegrate back into her crew. The rest of La Voz has other ideas. Distrusted and isolated, Carmen struggles to prove her worth to the only family she has left. Making matters worse is Ari, a hot tempered interloper who has weaseled his way into a second in command role. He’s up to something, but finding out what drives a wedge between her and her friends, her and El Buitre, her and La Voz.

Desperate to protect Daniela from Mateo Garcia’s soldiers and Ari’s wrath, Carmen embarks on a treacherous journey back to the capital. Everyone wants her dead and will do everything they can to stop her before she reached Dani. Torn between the woman she loves, the life she left behind, the family who saved her, and the cause she’s risked everything for, Carmen’s actions will either redefine the revolution or shatter it. And she may not be able to choose which.

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