Five SFF Sports I Would Try in a Heartbeat

My favorite fantasy worlds tend to be jam-packed with fascinating nuggets of worldbuilding , details that help to flesh out the setting and give us a better sense of the places and societies in which the story unfolds. Sports and games, in particular, can contribute to our understanding of the culture of a fantasy or sci-fi world, even if they aren’t central to the narrative. These pastimes—whether played for fun or for much higher stakes—bring the structure of competition into magical and futuristic worlds, and hell, I just wanna give them a go!

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Wes Anderson Welcomes You to Asteroid City

Every so often, Wes Anderson gives us SFF folks a reason to talk about him—and Asteroid City is certainly one of those times. Set in a fictional American town in which a whole host of characters find themselves at a dramatic moment, it’s also a movie with an alien. Maybe? Maybe there’s not an alien? Maybe it’s a metaphor? Look, it’s just a trailer; you’re going to have to decide some things for yourself.

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Five Books About Magical Teachers and Mentors

Fantasy abounds with daring young people who study magic on their own, expanding their grasp with bold experiments into fields they only poorly understand. Fantasy also abounds with sensible young people who, perhaps observing the scorch marks left behind by daring autodidacts, have found experienced elders to guide them past dangers of which novices are unaware.

Sometimes the students make do with a single mentor. Sometimes an entire educational institution is available. Sometimes the students chose their mentor. Sometimes the mentor chooses them. As these five works show, this seemingly simple arrangement lends itself to a wide variety of tales.

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Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and Lower Decks Have Both Been Renewed for Another Season

These journeys aren’t ending anytime soon. While Star Trek: Discovery has just one more season to fly, the rest of Paramount’s Starfleet of shows show no signs of slowing: Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has been renewed for a third season, and Star Trek: Lower Decks for a fifth.

What’s more, both shows return to Paramount Plus this summer! The second season of Strange New Worlds arrives June 15th; the fourth season of Lower Decks hasn’t got a specific date yet.

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Author Nana Kwame Adjei Brenyah on Tour for Chain-Gang All-Stars

Two top women gladiators fight for their freedom within a depraved private prison system not so far-removed from America’s own in Chain-Gang All-Stars, the hotly-anticipated debut novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Friday Black.

This spring, join author Nana Kwame Adjei Brenyah on a coast-to-coast tour—check out the full list of dates below!

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“An aching siren song” — Jade Song’s Chlorine

From the moment that four-year-old Ren Yu receives a book of mermaid folklore from her mother, she’s captivated—but not by any “G-rated” fairytale or sanitized Disney romance. Instead, she pores over darker legends, of the Chinese goddess Nüwa, who created humankind out of yellow clay to sate her loneliness; of the Passamaquoddy mermaids, who transformed into water snakes to mock and elude the discipline of moralist men. Then, three years later, when at swim team tryouts, Ren dives into the pool under the despotic gaze of coach Jim, she finds herself unwittingly plunged into the unique problematics that the figure of the mermaid poses—neither human nor monster, captured nor free. Both powerful and used.

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Black Panther Director Ryan Coogler Is Reportedly Tackling The X-Files

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson’s Mulder and Scully from the original run of The X-Files (pictured above) hold a special place in many a fan’s heart. And while they’ve reprised their characters in two movies and, most recently, in two new seasons, these newer installments were decidedly less well-received.

There’s a chance, however, that we might get new projects in the X-Files universe, and one of them may be backed by Ryan Coogler, the writer-director of both Black Panther films as well as the director of the first Creed movie.

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Can a Calgarian Suspend Disbelief During The Last of Us?

Welcome to Close Reads! In this series, Leah Schnelbach and guest authors 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, Jaclyn Adomeit watches The Last of Us through a very particular lens—that of a resident of the show’s filming location, Alberta, Canada.

I’ve eagerly anticipated HBO’s adaptation of The Last of Us for nearly two years. Not because, like so many others, I played the game—because the show was filmed in and around my neighbourhood and province from July 2021 to June 2022. I got to see the film sets! I got to recognize buildings and shops and alleyways on screen! This must happen all the time to viewers in New York, but as a gal from Alberta, Canada, I was exceptionally not used to it. In 2021 and 2022, I spent many days walking my dog past production crews, and lingering with the sneaky hope of catching a glimpse.

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Looking For Your Next Favorite Writer? Don’t Myth Out on Robert Asprin

Imagine a series of novels—twenty or so, let’s say. They are sword-and-sorcery high fantasy involving alternate dimensions, monsters, magic, kings and queens, intrigue, danger, and lots of action. The two main characters have much the same chemistry as Sam and Dean Winchester, Aziraphale and Crowley, or Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, and the other characters are just as fun, funny, and engaging. The books have puntastic titles like Hit or Myth, Myth Directions, and M.Y.T.H. Inc. Link. Best of all, they’re funny. God, are they funny! Sounds like a literary property over which Netflix, Hulu—heck, all the streaming services should be fighting over, right?

Sadly, to my knowledge, there’s been nary a scuffle. Not a set-to. Not a tiff. The streamers aren’t even giving each other stink-eye over the rights to this series, Robert Asprin’s Myth Adventures, which began in 1978. (Before Good Omens. Before Discworld. Before Hitchhiker’s Guide.) In fact, the only person writing humorous fantasy back then was Piers Anthony, who grew up in Vermont but was born in England.

Come to think of it, the authors of the other books I just mentioned—Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams—are all English as well. Did Robert Asprin, who was born in Michigan and lived for many years in New Orleans, invent American comic fantasy?

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Reading The Wheel of Time: New Black Ajah Hunters are Born and Rand Takes a Bath in Robert Jordan’s A Crown of Swords (Part 18)

This week in Reading The Wheel of Time, things go badly for Elaida, and, in a pleasant surprise, look up a little for Rand. Also, we meet some cool new Aes Sedai. Onward for Chapters 32 and 33 of A Crown of Swords.

[I’d say she is as pretty as you, but how can you compare two sunrises?]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

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