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Stubby the Rocket

Eight of Our Favorite In-Universe Superfans

It’s safe to assume that if you’re here on this site you’re a huge fan of something. Maybe it’s Brandon Sanderson’s writing, or V.E. Schwab’s. Maybe it’s DC Comics, or Marvel’s Netflix shows. Maybe it’s all things Star Wars, or maybe it’s the sci-fi genre as a whole. Fandoms can be enriching, they can be found families, they can be outlets of boundless creativity.

And one of of our very favorite things in modern pop culture is that after many years of fans being derided for being too nerdy or even creepy, many films and TV shows have started including characters that are themselves fans, to create a meta Greek chorus.

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Seven Flying Fantasy Creatures (That Aren’t Dragons)

When it comes to fantasy creatures, we feel like dragons get all the credit. And we get it, they’re flashy and scaly and there’s fire-breathing and they have unnerving laughs, but they aren’t the only awesome flying buddies around. Just being able to fly is impressive enough, right? Right??

It seemed like a good moment to pause and give a little love to our favorite non-dragon air steeds. Here they are…

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All the Stuff That Brought Us Nerdy Joy in 2020

Wow, 2020! Sure has been a…wait. It’s only been a year? And it’s not even over yet?? Are you serious???

This can’t be right.

Whatever. Sorry. We here at Tor.com have looked back through this terrible glacial age of a year, and found the nerdy moments that shone as diamonds in a sea of dross. Our joy came in unexpected ways—from celebrity sourdough starters to Oscar Isaac’s magnificent beard to rage-fueled Umbrella Academy members—but we were grateful for each precious drop of serotonin. Are we whistling in the dark? Possibly. But couldn’t it also be argued that, in times like this, we have more need than ever to find brightness, and life, and hope?

Some of us happen do that through geeky pop culture.

So please enjoy this list, and please tell us about your own moments of nerdy joy in the comments!

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Join Us For Trivia Night! Tor.com Presents: Nerd Trivia for Nerds

Join us on Wednesday November 11th from 7-9pm EDT for a night of nerdy trivia!

Tor.com is hosting our first ever trivia night, and we want you to be a part of it. We’ll be asking general nerd questions, covering everything from Dune to Disney, so it’s time to show off your expertise and put all those hours of Lord of the Rings marathons to good use—not, of course, that they aren’t useful otherwise. We are always in full support of your LOTR rewatches.

We’ll be joined by some special guests, including Sarah Gailey, Christopher Paolini, P. Djèlí Clark, A.K. Larkwood, and Mark Oshiro! 

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Celebrating the Working-Class Warriors of SFF

Fantasy stories tend to focus on the sword-wielding heroes and wise queens, an arrogant princeling or two, dashing superheroes, gruff wizards, maybe the odd monster who’s misunderstood by the humans at the base of the mountain. But none of those archetypes would get very far in their adventures if not for the shop clerks, cooks, nurses, and janitors who actually keep society chugging along—even in a fantasy realm.

With this in mind, we have assembled an appreciation post dedicated to some of our beloved under-sung working-class characters in SFF. Join us in the proletarian utopia of the comments to add your favorites!

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Nic Cage Will Voice Vern in Amazon’s Adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s Highfire

Nic Cage’s oeuvre just keeps getting more and more Nic Cage-ian. With the exception of The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent—a twisted Being John Malkovich-meets-Misery hybrid wherein the actor plays a struggling version of himself (!) who must recreate his most iconic cinematic moments (!!) to survive an obsessed super-fan, played by Pedro Pascal (!!!)—Cage’s latest project seems to be the most him one yet. Deadline reports that he’ll be starring in and executive producing Amazon’s forthcoming adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s Highfire, in which he’ll voice a “vodka-drinking, Flashdance-loving dragon who lives an isolated existence in the bayous of Louisiana” and teams up with a teenage mob courier pursued by a corrupt cop.

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Shamier Anderson and Sam Neill Lead Cast of Apple TV+’s Sci-Fi Drama Invasion

Apple TV+’s upcoming sci-fi series Invasion (not to be confused with the network’s forthcoming Isaac Asimov adaptation Foundation) is back in business. On Thursday, Deadline reported that the show resumed production last week, and also unveiled part of a cast-list led by Shamier Anderson (Wynonna Earp) and Sam Neill (Event Horizon).

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The Powerpuff Girls Are Getting a Live-Action Series Featuring Them as “Disillusioned Twentysomethings”

The Powerpuff Girls are getting The Umbrella Academy treatmentVariety reports that a live-action series featuring the titular trio as “disillusioned twentysomethings who resent having lost their childhood to crime fighting” is in the works—at The CW, naturally, and featuring none other than Diablo Cody as one of the writers and executive producers.

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Vanity Fair Shares First Look at Netflix’s The Haunting of Bly Manor

Season 2 of The Haunting of Hill House may look a lot sunnier than the first, but it appears to be just as scary. Based on Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw and entitled The Haunting of Bly Manor, the Netflix anthology series’ sophomore season shared a first look with Vanity Fair on Monday, with director Mike Flanagan teasing changes to the novella, Jamesian Easter eggs, new characters, clues hidden in plain sight, and more. Here’s everything we learned!

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Here Are All of Book Your Summer Live!’s Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Events

Penguin Random House’s Book Your Summer Live! is well underway. In between August 21 and 22, the virtual book festival features readings, giveaways, panels, and other events from a whole host of authors and editors including Jim Butcher, Kat Cho, Laurell K. Hamilton, Micaiah Johnson, Alma Katsu, Naomi Novik, Nnedi Okorafor, Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, and many more! Check out all the sci-fi, fantasy, and horror events below!

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William Jackson Harper Will Narrate Marvel’s Black Panther: Sins of the King for Serial Box

Fans of The Good Place may have said a tearful good-bye to Chidi and co. in January, but we’ll be seeing (or rather hearing) William Jackson Harper very soon. Serial Box has announced that the newly Emmy-nominated actor will be narrating its next Marvel story, Marvel’s Black Panther: Sins of the King. 

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Olivia Wilde Will Direct a Secret Marvel Movie (That’s Probably Spider-Woman)

Olivia Wilde is joining the Spider-Verse! On Wednesday, Deadline reported that the actor-director has signed on to “direct and develop” a “secret Marvel film project revolving around a female character in the universe” for Sony Pictures, and she quote-tweeted the news story shortly thereafter with a spider emoji.

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