A photographer’s obsession with an unsettled subject exposes two friends to a darkness that won’t be contained by frames…
Revealing Ariel Kaplan’s The Pomegranate Gate
We’re thrilled to share the cover and preview an excerpt from Ariel Kaplan’s The Pomegranate Gate, the first book in a Spanish Inquisition-era fantasy trilogy inspired by Jewish folklore—available September 26, 2023 from Erewhon Books.
Spec Fic on Identity and Culture: Infinite Constellations, Edited by Khadijah Queen and K. Ibura
Looking for a new short speculative fiction collection? Khadijah Queen and K. Ibura, two literary powerhouses, have you covered. Infinite Constellations: An Anthology of Identity, Culture, and Speculative Conjunctions brings together a variety of short stories and poetry, new stories and reprints, and longer pieces and excerpts, all from veteran and up-and-coming authors.
Read an Excerpt From Silver in the Bone
Born without a trace of magic, Tamsin Lark is no match for the sorceresses and Hollowers who populate the magical underground of Boston.
We’re thrilled to share an excerpt from YA Arthurian fantasy Silver in the Bone by Alexandra Bracken, out from Knopf Books for Young Readers on April 4th.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods Needs More Joy, Less Bad Mythology
It’s been four years and a lot of growing up for the Shazam family (Shazam Fam? ShaFamily? Zamily?), but despite the recent shakeup with the DC film universe and its incoming Gunn-ification, we still have this sequel to contend with. Is it awkward trying to find the middle ground that Shazam and company occupy while its parent studio chucks millions of dollars in multiple directions that will likely never touch what we’re seeing here?
I mean, yeah. That’s really only one piece of the problem, though.
[Spoilers for Shazam! Fury of the Gods]
Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch: “North Star”
Written by David A. Goodman
Directed by David Straiton
Season 3, Episode 9
Production episode 061
Original air date: November 12, 2003
Captain’s star log. We open in what looks like a stereotypical Western town from the late nineteenth century on Earth. A bunch of guys on horseback lynch someone whom they identify as a “Skag.” Only after the opening credits do we see anything familiar: Archer, T’Pol (wearing a head-scarf), and Tucker in appropriate outfits, noting the figure in the coffin, who apparently has weird things on his neck that weren’t clear in the night-time scene earlier. Scans have confirmed that these people are all humans, the horses are horses from Earth, and they somehow wound up in the Delphic Expanse.
Series: Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch
Allow Me To Make a Gentle Plea For More Space Horror
Sometimes, for no particular reason, I think about the chair.
I’m talking about the chair in Iain M. Banks’s Use of Weapons. The one that haunts the story throughout its reverse narrative, culminating in a horrifying reveal about the main character, the personal demons he’s been running from, and the lengths people will go to inflict pain upon others.
It’s far from the most horrifying thing in a Culture novel; it’s not even the most horrifying thing in that Culture novel. (Isn’t that the one with the cannibal cult island?) But in a book and a series where civilizations clash for millennia and tens of millions of people are regularly wiped out as plots points, it’s this very personal, small-scale horror that really sticks with me.
Foxes, Dragons, Tigers, Goblins, and Angry Ghosts: Yoon Ha Lee’s Dragon Pearl
Way back in the day, an editor who was among the Great Old Ones said to me, “Fantasy readers are OK with science fiction in their fantasy. But science fiction readers aren’t too fond of fantasy in their science fiction.” That was hard wisdom for my happy genre-bending self, but at the time, it was the way.
I’m sure there are still many readers who want their science served straight, no chaser—and there are plenty of books and stories that give them what they love. But I am really liking the mix of genres that I’m seeing in certain quarters. Space opera is great fun anyway. Add a dose of supernatural and we’re in for a grand ride.
We’ve seen werewolves in space with a Southeast Asian flair. Yoon Ha Lee gives us a range of Korean shapeshifters in his series for younger readers. The first volume, Dragon Pearl, stars a fox spirit named Min and an assortment of other supernaturals and shifters, including a dragon, a tiger, and a goblin.
Five Authors We Wish Had Written More
I was enormously pleased to read on Mastodon that not only is that classic SF work The Fortunate Fall returning to print, but The Fortunate Fall’s author Cameron Reed is working on a new novel. Huzzah! This is ever so much better than the other model, in which an author produces a promising body of work, then goes silent, apparently forever.
Herewith, five authors from whom we would like, or would have liked, to hear more.
Revealing The Death I Gave Him by Em X. Liu
We’re thrilled to share the cover of Em X. Liu’s The Death I Gave Him, a queer sci-fi retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet as a locked-room thriller—available on September 12th 2023 from Solaris Books.
Mike Flanagan’s Dark Tower Adaptation May Have Characters From Doctor Sleep
Mike Flanagan is still moving forward with his dream project—the adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. This isn’t the first time, however, that Flanagan has tackled King’s work. The filmmaker also directed Doctor Sleep, King’s sequel to The Shining that was critically well-received but didn’t do so well at the box office. Fans of the film, however, may get to see some of those characters once again in Flanagan’s Dark Tower project.
Thumbs Up! Denzel Washington and Barry Keoghan Join Paul Mescal in Gladiator Sequel
Are you ready to be entertained? It’s been twenty-three years since Ridley Scott’s Gladiator premiered and we saw Russell Crowe star as the titular gladiator who faces off against Joaquin Phoenix’s Commodus (pictured above). After more than two decades, Scott is apparently ready to make a sequel focused on the son of Lucilla (nephew of Commodus), because he seems to think that’s the angle people really cared about from the first film.
A New Faces of Death Will Star Actors from Stranger Things and Euphoria
In the latest reboot/remake/update news, the cult film Faces of Death is getting a do-over thanks to Legendary. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the new version will star Stranger Things’ Dacre Montgomery (above) and Euphoria‘s Barbie Ferreira.
5 Unconventional Fantasy Heists
We hear heist tales from the time we’re children, don’t we? World mythology and folklore are filled with clever, tricky humans who steal items of value from demons and gods. Even Disneyesque fairy tales have them. Once Jack goes up that beanstalk, what is the rest of the story but a heist?
The fantasy genre embraces heists in all flavors and textures. Here are five of my favorites.
Wait, Maybe Willow Isn’t Canceled?
Two days ago, news came that we’d seen the last of Willow, the sequel series on Disney+. But those reports may have been a bit hasty. Co-showrunner Jonathan Kasdan took to Twitter with a three-part statement that says Willow Volume II is “developed and written.”
Terry Pratchett Book Club: The Last Hero, Part I
The world is ending again. But probably not the way you were expecting it to.