Tor.com content by

Leticia Urieta

The Solidarity of the Weird: Los Espookys Explores Community Over Capitalism

In the long lineup of big budget dramas like Game of Thrones that has made HBO shows into must watch programming (if you can steal someone’s HBO Now password), it is surprising to see the humble success of Los Espookys, which surprised and delighted critics and new viewers in 2019. Written and created by Ana Fabrega, Julio Torres, and Fred Armisen, (who play Tati, Andrés, and Uncle Tico respectively), the show centers on four friends living in what we presume to be Mexico City who, despite the pressures of their everyday lives, create a group that delivers staged “espantos,” or scares, for a variety of clientele. Though the first season is quite short, the familial bond between the characters develops naturally and is both delightful and surprising to watch.

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Behind the Cameras of Grecian Myth: Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters by Emily Roberson

If you, like me, pored over Greek myths for fun, you are familiar with the tale of Theseus and his defeat of the Minotaur. It is a story that is told and retold across stories and artwork to uplift the heroism of Theseus and describe the cruelty of the Greek gods. Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters by Emily Roberson takes this familiar tale and shifts the focus to princess Ariadne and her role in Theseus’ heroic deed for a young adult audience.

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The Origin Story We’ve Been Waiting For: The Rise of Kyoshi

Avatar: The Last Airbender was a show that was progressive like few others since. Set in a fantastical realm based on a variety of ancient Asian dynastic kingdoms and cultures, the show centers on the roles that power, compassion and love play in being a leader. The characters often disrupt gender binaries, and represent the experiences of people with disabilities, characters living with trauma, and the costs of revolution on ordinary citizens. Now, almost 20 years after the show’s finale aired, writer F.C. Lee and original showrunner Michael Dante DiMartino have co-created a YA novel, The Rise of Kyoshi, to tell the tale of Aang’s predecessor, Avatar Kyoshi of the Earth Kingdom.

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When Stories Shape Our Histories: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Since the original conquests and subsequent waves of colonization, it has been a struggle for pre-Hispanic indigenous communities to keep their traditional stories alive; as elders pass on, oral stories can die with them. Most people outside of these communities will not hear of these stories outside of anthropology or world literature textbooks. Yet sharing these stories with others, while mixing in historical context and her own fantastical elements, is exactly what author Silvia Moreno-Garcia is doing in her latest novel, Gods of Jade and Shadow. 

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