Allow the Witcher Himself to Read You The Witcher

It’s become increasingly clear that Netflix cast one of (if not the) biggest Witcher fanboys on earth as Geralt of Rivia. Henry Cavill has not shied away from letting his nerd flag fly, gushing about both the books and the games in nigh every interview. And now, he wants to share the love for the uninitiated. With just one week left until all 8 episodes come out, Netflix has released a new video of the Witcher himself reading from The Witcher books.

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The Sword of the Lictor, Part 3: Weaponless in the Wilderness

The most recent installment of this reread showed us some of the horrors of Urth in the form of a few monsters (from that world or not) that cross Severian’s path as he leaves the city of Thrax behind him. His journey continues in this last section of the book, taking him very far—this time accompanied by a boy, the young Severian, who he adopts as a son. They won’t be short on adventure—and, in a way, they will face new monsters, as well.

Severian—our Severian—ponders which direction he should take. He knows he can’t descend far, for the Archon of Thrax is sure to be waiting for him, not to mention Agia. So he decides to go to the northeast, where stands the highest peak he had seen so far. At least half of that mountain is covered in snow. He imagines that even hard-bitten dimarchi won’t follow him there.

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Series: Rereading Gene Wolfe

Best Young Adult Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror of 2019

This was an awesome year for young adult speculative fiction. It feels like a metric ton of YA was published this year, and most of it hovered somewhere between “so good” and “I’m dying from the greatness.” We were blessed with so much awesome young adult science fiction, fantasy, and horror this year that it took me a week to pair down my best ofs to the best of the best, and it’s still super long. So here you have it, my list of some of the best YA speculative fiction of 2019.

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His Dark Materials Fails to Deliver a Much-Needed Update of the Original Books

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about my disappointment with some of the continued racist tropes that the His Dark Materials television series inherited from its source novels. Some of the responses seemed to indicate surprise that Pullman’s iconic and beloved series contained any racism whatsoever. I want to be clear and careful here: Pullman’s series contains few to no instances of overt racism like we might find in the works H.P. Lovecraft or Rudyard Kipling. But what His Dark Materials (the book series) does contain and what His Dark Materials (the TV show) has unfortunately continued with are a number of subtle racist and colonialist tropes that the show would have done well to rewrite and rethink.

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Rey Should Choose to Adopt the Skywalker Name, Not Be Retconned Into the Family

Star Wars: The Last Jedi left many fans with the answer they’d been hoping for—Rey is not a Skywalker! In fact, Rey’s parentage is of no importance whatsoever. It seemed like we got lucky and the new generation would not be related to this dominant clan of hyper-capable Force-users (with the exception of Kylo Ren). But now Episode IX is sneaking up on us, and according to director and writer J.J. Abrams: “I don’t want to say that what happens in Episode 8 [didn’t happen]. We have honored that. But I will say that there’s more to the story than you’ve seen.”

So… there’s still more to the “Rey’s parents” saga ahead.

Can we still just say no to this?

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“Writing Saved My Life.” Highlights from Tochi Onyebuchi’s Tor.com Live Q&A

Tochi Onyebuchi is making his adult fiction debut with a brand-new book, Riot Baby! A complex narrative that follows young Kev and his sister Ella, who develops god-like super powers, Riot Baby deals with race, family, and trauma though a sci-fi lens.

Ahead of its January release, the author dropped by Tor.com HQ for a live Q&A, where we talked about anime, superheroes, the Black American experience, writing anger as strength, and more. Here were some of the highlights.

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Oathbringer Reread: Chapter One Hundred Eight

Good morning, faithful Rereaders! Have you heard the wonderful news? We have an official release date for Stormlight 4! November 17, 2020! Huzzah! (Now, Alice and I would like to remind you that this could still change. Nothing is set in stone until Team Dragonsteel tells us that it’s set in stone, but still. Excitement! Jubilation! High-pitched squeals of merriment!)

::ahem:: As exciting as this is, we do need to get back on track, because we’re nearing the end-game here, people. And this is one heck of a long chapter. We’ve got painful confessions, and Syl locked up (No! Poor Syl!), and Kaladin drawing near to the Fourth Ideal, and Fused on the horizon, and… and… Hoo boy. Lots and lots to cover, so come along and prepare your seat on the Honor’s Path as we continue our trip through Shadesmar.

[Sometimes rules didn’t seem to apply to Kaladin Stormblessed.]

Series: Oathbringer Reread

The Self-Renovating Haunted House: Madeline Yale Wynne’s “The Little Room”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

This week, we’re reading Madeline Yale Wynne’s “The Little Room,” first published in the August 1895 issue of Harper’s Magazine. Spoilers ahead.

[“That little room has always been there,” said Aunt Hannah, “ever since the house was built.”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Read an Excerpt From Strange Exit by Parker Peevyhouse

Seventeen-year-old Lake spends her days searching a strange, post-apocalyptic landscape for people who have forgotten one very important thing: this isn’t reality. Everyone she meets is a passenger aboard a ship that’s been orbiting Earth since a nuclear event. The simulation that was supposed to prepare them all for life after the apocalypse has trapped their minds in a shared virtual reality and their bodies in stasis chambers.

No one can get off the ship until all of the passengers are out of the sim, and no one can get out of the sim unless they believe it’s a simulation. It’s up to Lake to help them remember.

When Lake reveals the truth to a fellow passenger, seventeen-year-old Taren, he joins her mission to find everyone, persuade them that they’ve forgotten reality, and wake them up. But time’s running out before the simulation completely deconstructs, and soon Taren’s deciding who’s worth saving and who must be sacrificed for the greater good. Now, Lake has no choice but to pit herself against Taren in a race to find the secret heart of the sim, where something waits that will either save them or destroy them all.

Strange Exit, Parker Peevyhouse’s near-future, stand-alone thriller, is available January 14th from Tor Teen.

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Rereading The Ruin of Kings: Chapters 76 and 77

Happy mid-December, Tor.com! Sick of Christmas yet? Well, then, come on down here, where there are demons and zombies and betrayals and not one single iota of holiday cheer! Hurray!

This blog series will be covering The Ruin of Kings, the first novel of a five-book series by Jenn Lyons. Previous entries can be found here in the series index.

Today’s post will be covering Chapter 76, “Betrayal”, and Chapter 77, “Gadrith’s Way.” Please note that from this point forward, these posts will likely contain spoilers for the entire novel, so it’s recommended that you read the whole thing first before continuing on.

Got that? Great! Click on for the rest!

[But seriously, Talon should die in a fire]

Series: The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons

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