This Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles RPG Has Everything You’d Ever Want

Transdimensional Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles may very well be the greatest role-playing game sourcebook of all time. I’m not even being slightly hyperbolic. It is a book that talks about everything from dinosaurs to time travel, from wizards to parallel dimensions.

I suppose I should start a little further back: do you know that Palladium published the TMNT game, called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness? Well they did, and while the game is built on the rickety foundation of the Palladium system, the “Bio-E” mini-system for mutating your character from everyday animal into an anthropomorphic version is incredibly elegant. Transdimensional TMNT takes the “Strangeness” part of “…and Other Strangeness” and cranks it up to eleven. The real kicker, though, is that it has perhaps the most cogent system for time travel that I’ve ever seen, period.

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Five Books About Finding Hope at the End of the World

Hope.

Four little letters, yet together they represent the most powerful substance in the universe. Whether associated with Princess Leia or Samwise Gamgee or Gene Roddenberry, “hope” conjures up images of the impossible victory, the candle in the darkness, the moral arc of the universe finally snapping back to its correct path.

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How to Recover From Reader’s Block

Towards the end of 2019, a well-regarded essayist expressed dissatisfaction with the current state of the SF novel. He went so far as to confidently assert, “I stopped reading novels last year. I think you did too.” Sweeping assertions are often wrong. This one is definitely wrong, at least where I am concerned.

What may have sparked his comment is burnout, of the form that might be called “reader’s block.” You want to read something, but can find nothing specific you want to read. I think most of us who read extensively have been there.

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Bringing Stories to Life: The World of Science Fiction and Fantasy Model Building

Science fiction and fantasy fans love to dream about things that never existed. And some of them enjoy bringing objects and ideas from their imagination to life. Whether working from kits or making something from scratch, there is a great deal of enjoyment to be gained from model building, and satisfaction in seeing a finished project. This is a great time for those who enjoy the hobby: the internet has provided ways to share information with other modelers and to shop for kits and products from around the world, and the new technology of 3D printing has opened up even more ways to bring imaginary things to life. So if, like a lot of people these days, you have some extra time on your hands, you might want to look into model building

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Clones, Sirens, and Dragons: New Young Adult Speculative Fiction for June & July 2020

The pandemic may have put a dent in the spring publication schedule, but the June and July releases are barreling forward full steam ahead. Lots of new and returning series, lots of debuts, and lots of fresh and exciting work from long-time authors. My bookshelves are already protesting all the titles I’m about to add to my TBR.

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Read an Excerpt From Christopher Paolini’s To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

We’re excited to share an excerpt from Christopher Paolini’s first book for adults, To Sleep in a Sea of Stars—publishing September 15th with Tor Books.

During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, Kira Navárez finds an alien relic that thrusts her into the wonders and the nightmares of first contact. Epic space battles for the fate of humanity take her to the farthest reaches of the galaxy and, in the process, transform not only her—but the entire course of history…

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The Roger Corman Tour of Puerto Rico: Watching Last Woman on Earth

When I learned of exploitation film director Roger Corman’s Last Woman on Earth, part of his “Puerto Rico trilogy” (a trio of films shot in Puerto Rico in 1960) I knew I had to watch it. A post-apocalyptic film from The Pope of Pop Cinema set in 1960s Puerto Rico? Yes please! I wanted to see if he captured the island I remember from my childhood. But then I thought: why not watch it when we were actually in Puerto Rico? To that end, I packed the DVD with the overly sexualized image from the original poster on the front securely in my luggage. On movie night my husband and I went all out, popping corn, projecting the film on the white wall of my uncle Esteban’s beach condo as if we were at a drive-in.

It was quite the experience watching this science fiction movie shot not far from where we sat, with the sound of the ocean in stereo from out the windows and from the computer’s speakers. But it wasn’t until later that the poignancy of watching this particular film at this point in history hit us.

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Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Deadlock”

“Deadlock”
Written by Brannon Braga
Directed by David Livingston
Season 2, Episode 21
Production episode 137
Original air date: March 18, 1996
Stardate: 49548.7

Captain’s log. While helping Neelix with some repairs in the mess hall, Wildman goes into labor. (Why a xenobiologist is fixing tech in the mess hall is left as an exercise for the viewer.) The labor goes on for quite some time. While the crew on the bridge waits expectantly, they discover a Vidiian ship nearby. Not in any great rush to have their organs harvested, they go around the Vidiians through a plasma drift.

[Home is wherever you happen to be.]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

Five Lessons from the Star Trek Mirror Universe That We Need Now More Than Ever

Some days, it feels like we’re living in an alternate reality. It’s like we’ve slipped through some mysterious portal and ended up in a world where powerful governments fumble pandemic responses. A world where demagogues make moral arguments that place profits over people. A world more cruel than the one we thought we knew.

Alternate realities have always been constant in genre storytelling, from Thomas More’s Utopia to the DC Universe’s Earth 3. These stories let us examine our fundamental beliefs in a new and unfamiliar context, to test the character of our heroes in radically different situations. For that reason, the Mirror Universe of the Star Trek franchise remains one of the most compelling alternate reality conceits.

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Rumor Time: Disney+ Turning Kingdom Hearts Into a TV Show

It’s the fever dream of gamers the world over: Kingdom Hearts, the game and manga series that gleefully wrecks through every fictional boundary, may come to television. According to IGN, several entertainment journalists have tweeted out tips about a series based on Square Enix’s hit video game that’s reportedly in the works at Disney+.

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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: All Good Things Must Come to an End

The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are back for one final season. During the previous season, the team beat back a monster that consumed planets, only to have the alien race called Chronicoms target the Earth for disrupting the space-time continuum. The team found themselves shifted in time to New York City in 1931, and now it’s up to Mack, Yo-Yo, May, Fitz, Simmons, Deke, Daisy, and a robotic version of Coulson to save the world one more time. There are hints that their travels during the season will take them to different time periods, and their mission will be intertwined with the origins and history of S.H.I.E.L.D. itself. It looks like we are in for a season filled with action, guest stars, and more than a little fan service!

[Only Agents who are cleared to observe SPOILERS should proceed beyond this point! You have been warned!]

Henry Cavill Is Reportedly In Talks to Reprise His Role as Superman in the DC Extended Universe

We might soon be seeing a lot more Superman in more ways than one. On Wednesday, Deadline reported that Henry Cavill is in talks to don the cape at least one more time for an unspecified DC Extended Universe project. The outlet’s unnamed sources say he won’t be coming back in a standalone film, but otherwise, all bets are off.

According to the publication, possible candidates for Superman cameos are Shazam 2Black Adam, and Aquaman 2, while Wonder Woman 1984 and Suicide Squad have wrapped production too soon for this, and an appearance in Matt Reeves’ The Batman “isn’t expected.” Meanwhile, there’s no Man of Steel sequel in the works. But could Cavill’s rumored return be connected to the recently announced “Snyder Cut” that will arrive on HBO Max next year?

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Balancing on the Hyphen: AAPI Identity & Nationalism in Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series

The Age of Revolutions has always fascinated me. After I first learned about the French Revolution as a child, I promptly decapitated my Princess Jasmine Barbie for crimes against the Republic. (My mother screwed her head back on, thus allowing Princess Jasmine to elude revolutionary justice.) This time period, roughly 1774-1849, encompasses some of the greatest shifts in Western thinking, and transformations of Europe and its colonies so seismic that, when asked about the influence of the French Revolution, former Chinese premier Zhou Enlai is purported to have replied, “It’s too early to say .”

But for all these dramatic changes, these great increases of rights for the common man and citizen, the expanded world of the age of sail, it is one of the most whitewashed periods of history in contemporary culture. Period pieces—and the fantasies inspired by them—are pale as debutant’s white muslin gown. In the days before Hamilton suggested that people of color could own and be interested in the American Revolution as much as white students, I had the same historical vision of this time period as a 1950s Republican Senator. I had a vague understanding that the Indian muslins and Chinese silks Jane Austen characters wore had to come from somewhere, but someone like me, a mixed race kid with a Chinese mother and a white American father? I didn’t belong there. There was no place for me in this history.

Enter Tenzing Tharkay, from Naomi Novik’s alternate history Temeraire series.

[And he has an amazing entrance…]

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