Daniel Radcliffe Will Bring Weird Al’s Weird Life to the Small Screen

Let it never be said that Daniel Radcliffe has not picked interesting roles in his post-Harry Potter career. From a farting corpse (pictured above) to Allen Ginsberg, he has been out there living his best actorly life. And now he’s taken the next step in his creative evolution, signing on to play “Weird” Al Yankovic in a biopic that will air only on the Roku Channel.

That’s a lot of words in an unexpected order. It took me a minute to process them.

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The Expanse’s Series Finale Includes an Easter Egg for Everyone

The Expanse is over (at least for now) and I’m not over it. But this show couldn’t go out without one last moment in which a character’s display screen contains vital—or at least entertaining—tidbits of information. Yet this particular screen reaches far beyond the world of The Expanse. If you’re a fan of, oh, any filmed SF property in the last thirty years, this jam-packed Easter egg has something in it for you.

(This is inevitably a little bit spoilery, but there are only the mildest plot spoilers below.)

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Rick and Morty’s “Total Rickall” Understood an Uncomfortable Truth About Human Relationships

So what was your decision this past holiday? Did you say, “Omicron be damned,” and make your way back home? Was the trip uneventful, the family reunion joyous? And finally, were the medical repercussions non-existent? I sincerely hope so. As for the rest of you—the ones who got up to the wire, saw the infection rate spike, and said, “Naw, not this year”—I have a few more questions…

How did you feel, making that decision? Was there disappointment, frustration, anger even? Was there a voice in the back of your head saying, “Shit, not again?” Did you feel trapped in a continuum where the traditions you’ve known since childhood were once more ripped away from you, thwarted by threats that were at best ambiguous but that you could not ignore?

And then, think about this: Was there a part of you, a teeny-tiny fraction of your soul, that was just a little bit relieved? Maybe even happy?

[Not all gatherings can be as pleasant as we’d like, and maybe that’s a good thing.]

Empty Earths: Five SF Stories Set on a Depopulated Planet

Novels with a focus on demographic transition-driven decline are sadly rare in Western SF. The correct response is to complain loudly that kids are staying off my lawn. However, it’s hard to come up with a list of books about a subject which very few Western authors—Charles Stross aside—find interesting. To paraphrase my uncle Don’s former wrestling opponent, “You read the books you have, not the books you might want or wish to have at a later time.” Novels featuring low population Earths depopulated for reasons other than demographic transition are easy enough to find.

Here are five examples.

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Lesbian Knives Out on a Boat: Revealing A Restless Truth by Freya Marske

Magic! Murder! Shipboard romance!

Magic, mystery, and romance collide in A Restless Truth, the much anticipated sequel to A Marvellous Light. Author Freya Marske describes her new novel as: “Lesbian KNIVES OUT On A Boat! If you think Robin has a knack for attracting trouble, may I introduce… his sister.” A Restless Truth will be available on November 1st, 2022 from Tordotcom Publishing.

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Echo and Hommage in Andre Norton and Sasha Miller’s To the King a Daughter

I had never heard of this book, first of an eventual five-volume series, before I found it in the Andre Norton bibliography. It’s a collaboration with Sasha Miller, author of several fantasy novels of her own, and it came out quite late in Norton’s life, with the later volumes published posthumously. It’s essentially a Witch World hommage, not quite fanfic in that it’s supposedly set in a secondary world of its own, but the settings, characters, and world are clearly based on Norton’s iconic series.

There’s a medievalzoid realm ruled by four families—a la the Mantles of Arvon. There are Sea Rovers who are Sulcarmen with the serial numbers still clearly visible. There’s a huge, deadly Bog inhabited by a wide range of monsters and assorted clans and tribes of ugly, misshapen, barbaric people. There’s a tradition of Wisewomen, represented by the mysterious Zazar. There are ancient ruined cities everywhere, and in the first volume there’s a strong suggestion that the world is being invaded by aliens from another world or dimension.

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Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch: “Civilization”

“Civilization”
Written by Phyllis Strong & Mike Sussman
Directed by Mike Vejar
Season 1, Episode 9
Production episode 009
Original air date: November 14, 2001
Date: July 31, 2151

Captain’s star log. Archer shows up for the morning briefing on nearby phenomena for them to possibly investigate. While he’s inexplicably unenthused by a supernova remnant or a cluster of three neutron stars, he’s over the moon at the Class-M planet with five hundred million people living on it.

[“Have you ever seen anything like that?” “Actually, I have…”]

Series: Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch

The Best (and Worst) Cartoon Sidekicks of 1980s Television

I’ll always have a soft spot for the variety of SFF (and SFF-tinged) cartoon series aimed at kids in the 1980s—partly because of the amazing sidekicks that tagged along for adventures in Eternia, Pac-Land, or a ghost-infested version of NYC. But which sidekicks reign supreme? Naturally, this requires a ranking list post.

THESE ARE MY OWN PERSONAL VIEWS. IT’S OK IF YOU LIKE SNARF.

I mean, I think you might want to talk to a therapist, but it’s probably okay, cosmically speaking.

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Nicola Griffith’s Hild and the Joy of Giant, Perfect Novels

I became a writer on, and for, the internet. I wrote blog posts before I wrote novels, or even short stories. When I wrote, I did so conscious that my reader might at any moment get bored and close the tab. I wrote with a sense of urgency that bordered (not unreasonably) on panic.

This internet affect is palpable, I think, in my first novel, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. In my second, Sourdough, it’s faded—but it’s still there. The point is, I have always tended towards brevity. I have never barfed out 150,000 words, only to cut them back to 75K. I have never, ever written long.

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