23 Retellings of Classic Stories From SFF Authors

We love a good retelling—whether it’s a favorite fairy tale, ancient myth, or epic tale, it’s always great to see old things made new. Part of the reason we love these stories is because they’re so malleable; with themes that span the breadth of the human experience, tales of love, revenge, and adventure can find a home in any place and time, with characters that feel both familiar and fresh at the same time.

As we started thinking about of favorite retellings of classic stories, so many brilliant adaptations, updates, and re-workings came to mind. Here are just a few that we adore! Please feel free to add your own in the comments.

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Wizards of the Coast Freelancer Quits Due to Hostile Work Environment

Game designer Orion D. Black has left their job at Wizards of the Coast’s Dungeons & Dragons department, calling out the company for paying lip service towards diversity and change while exploiting BIPOC, especially Black freelancers, and silencing and ignoring criticism of systemic problems. This comes within a month of members of the RPG community asking for more accountability at the company, highlighting interactions with WotC online, and in gaming and professional environments.

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Wrapping Up the Series in Andre Norton’s Star Ka’ats and the Winged Warriors

This final published volume in the Star Ka’ats series reads more like a continuation than a conclusion. Young humans Jim and Elly Mae are well settled in with the telepathic alien Ka’ats. But not everyone on the world of Zimmorra is happy. A few of the cats who were rescued from Earth before it presumably exploded into nuclear war have not taken well to the Ka’ats’ laws and culture.

One cat in particular, Boots, whom Jim rather likes, sneaks off to hunt, which is a major crime among the Ka’ats. Jim catches him and frees his mouselike prey, and warns him against breaking the law. Boots is not a happy cat, and he has no desire to stop hunting. Hunting is what he is.

This is a general crisis, but there may be a solution. Thanks to the metal the humans helped the Ka’ats find and manufacture, the Ka’ats and their robots have built a spaceship. They plan to head back out among the stars and find lost Ka’at colonies.

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Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “False Profits”

“False Profits”
Written by George Brozak and Joe Menosky
Directed by Cliff Bole
Season 3, Episode 5
Production episode 144
Original air date: October 2, 1996
Stardate: 50074.3

Captain’s log. Voyager has detected signs of a wormhole that has appeared in a region of space several times. That indicates that it may come back. Since it’s been there before, the other end may be fixed. It’s a long shot, but worth investigating. Tuvok also detects a nearby Class M world that has Bronze Age technology, but sensors are also picking up a replicator of a type in common use in the Alpha Quadrant.

[Greed is eternal.]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

The Last of Us Part II: The Best of Us

After a journey nearly as arduous as anything its characters faced in the apocalypse, Naughty Dog’s sequel to 2013’s stellar, heart-rending horror thriller The Last of Us launched to a different, more hostile world than that in which it debuted. As it did everywhere else, COVID-19 waylaid plans and shifted on-sale dates, but the biggest source of frustration for the award-winning studio was a major story leak that spread all over the internet in April.

As a big fan of the first game who was skeptical of the need for a follow-up, I spent the last four weeks avoiding gaming Twitter and Reddit as much as possible, which still did little to actually stop me from doomscrolling social media in the midst of a very real pandemic and time of historic civil unrest. So, basically, I was a giant ball of anxiety before my copy of one of the most distressing games I’ve ever played even arrived at my home—but I went in clean.

[“Oh my god, did I kill Tofu?!”]

Someone Put the Blade Runner Soundtrack Over Fireworks Footage in LA

We’re still a long ways away from the cyberpunk dystopia of Blade Runner, but a long pan over the Los Angeles skyline this July 4th might have you thinking otherwise. As many outlets have pointed out, fireworks (or least people’s complaints about them) have gone way up this year, culminating in a spectacular conflagration on Saturday. When KTLA happened to capture it all via aerial footage, all it took was a title-card, an iconic score by Vangelis, and some editing magic to transform our Los Angeles into a neon-drenched playground for the Tyrell Corporation.

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Read To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini: Chapter 4: “Anguish”

Kira Navárez dreamed of life on new worlds.

Now she’s awakened a nightmare.

During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, Kira finds an alien relic. At first she’s delighted, but elation turns to terror when the ancient dust around her begins to move.

As war erupts among the stars, Kira is launched into a galaxy-spanning odyssey of discovery and transformation. First contact isn’t at all what she imagined, and events push her to the very limits of what it means to be human.

Read To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, a brand new epic novel from New York Times bestselling author Christopher Paolini, out September 15, 2020 from Tor Books.

New chapters on Tor.com every Monday.

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Series: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

Persian Legends and Their Western Counterparts

As someone who has long loved fairy tales and mythology, I’ve always found it both interesting and kind of magical the way similar characters, themes, and motifs appear in the stories of different cultures throughout the world. Whether these similarities show up because of cross-cultural interactions or out of sheer coincidence, certain themes seem to be so universal to humanity that they take root in many times and places. Maybe there are some stories we all need to tell to help us make sense of this world we live in.

While poring over Persian myths and legends for my upcoming novel, Girl, Serpent, Thorn, I was always delightfully surprised whenever I came across a story that sounded familiar to me from my western upbringing. While I don’t have the expertise to speak to exactly how these stories found their way from one culture to another, or whether any of these stories were directly influenced by each other, I hope you’ll join me in marveling at the way some stories speak to and create common threads in all of us.

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Ned Ryerson Himself Says a Groundhog Day TV Series Is in the Works

There’s about to be a lot more Groundhog Day to watch over…and over…and over again. Appearing on The Production Meeting Podcast, Stephen Tobolowsky—who played Ned! Ryerson! aka Needlenose Ned aka Ned the Head—revealed that he’s said yes to reprising his role in a TV adaptation of Harold Ramis’ iconic 1993 film.

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