Genre Fiction’s Greatest Spiders

I'm so reading every book mentioned in the comments.

Is It Time to Update Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger?

I'm biased because I want a giant cape made of extra dimensional Darkness.

DC: Reboot, No, Relaunch, I Mean Rebirth

Nu-52 wasn't to my taste.  I had bad memories of comics in the 90s, not fond nostalgia, so I haven't liked this 90s throwback situation much...even more so in the movies.  From that perspective, this can only be a good thing, but like every other similar event I worry that it's an excuse to go back to the "true" version of characters, where "true" means older, whiter, maler.  Frankly, I think the answer has been "abandon strict canon" for a while now, but that's just me.

What Are You Reading (When You’re Not Reading Science Fiction/Fantasy)?

3. SchuylerH

That basically was the impetus behind the Appendix N re-read I did; I wanted to fill in more gaps!

8. fallinharmony

Good to know I'm not the only one who counts on my book club to bring variety to my reading list.

10. Mayhem

Antarctic non-fiction is another subgenre I get a lot of joy from.

Cover Reveal for Lian Hearn’s Tale of Shikanoko

I didn't know this was happening!  This is fantastic news!  I adored the Tales of the Otori; they are a major influence on my current RPG campaign, along with L5R & Vampire: the Requiem.

We Have Wormsign the Likes of Which the Holidays Have Never Seen

It's so obvious in hindsight.  So perfect.  Of course.  It had to be this way.

The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Dragons of Winter Night Part II, Chapters 2 and 3

Somewhat off topic, but the new Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide for D&D 5e hinted that Raistlin might better be thought of as a Warlock than a Wizard kind of blew my mind the other day...

Is There Any Room in Epic Fantasy for the Small Story?

Not pictured on the cover: optional severed head soaring through the air.

Science Fiction Predicts Our Future for the Next 800,000 Years!

DC One Million is set in the future when Action Comics reaches issue number one million.  853rd century.  That's 85,201-85,300.  & being a Grant Morrison joint, the gimmick is used to pretty great effect.

Break the Fourth Wall if You Want the Dungeons & Dragons Movie to be Great

26. Hanrahan Highland

Maybe it is time to resurrect the mid-movie intermission?  SNACK BREAK!

27. Wormys_Queue

Maybe it's just me, I like it when a pretentious movie or film tries for it...& pulls it off.  It is certainly easier for comedies, though, & I'll again point at Marvel as proof of concept that you can have comedy in your movie & still take that movie seriously.

Break the Fourth Wall if You Want the Dungeons & Dragons Movie to be Great
18. Thomas Beckett You already know I think you are a hero for that!  Everyone else: you should look into these plays, they rule! 20. Jenny Islander Well, see, that's why I think the way to make it stand out is structural!  Make it weird! (I do quite like that opening montage idea though.) 21. Frankie Blankenship I am being a little cavalier in my semantics, I will confess. 23. Kirth Girthsome It would be especially hard to convince folks it wasn't GRRMesque grimdark, too.  A tightrope.  Sounds fun! (Yes please to lists of polearms.  Essential.) 24. Releeh See, but we're on the same page at least-- establishing that there is an audience is step one!
Break the Fourth Wall if You Want the Dungeons & Dragons Movie to be Great

11. Kenny Cross

Well, no, but we don't need anything.  We could have lived without the Marvel movies...but I'm glad we got them.

12. Walker

What's the Appendix N of movies?

14. Pooga

Oh, I've never heard of these!  Now I need to find time to read these!  (After I finish this Shadowrun iPad game...)

15. aebriol

So it's one of those threads, where I start building a list for my next bookstore run.  Can you recommend the best LITRPG to start with?  It sounds interesting but information seems sort of scant.

17. JLaSala

I don't know if I agree with your assessment of Jackson; before this Hobbit situation he did have that whole other trilogy.  But you are right, & I think that's something you can work with.  Free yourself of canon & minutia!  

Why Did Seanchan Invade Randland From the Wrong Direction?

3. TorChris

Sometime remind me to show you the ocean & wind current sims I've tried to build for my campaign.

Break the Fourth Wall if You Want the Dungeons & Dragons Movie to be Great

6. Ryamano

Focusing on an ensemble, not a hero, is a good call; I like that! 

7. Ali T

I'm enjoying Titansgrave a lot myself, but I don't think that's what I mean.  I'm not quite sure what the fictional "real world" frame should be, but I think it should be it's own narrative arc.

8. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard

It's not that I think it can be recreated-- watching will never replace doing-- but that its feelings can be evoked in the audience.  Put on film in someway.  Showing the dichotomy, having it exist, is the only way to do that, I think.

9. Ellisande

Oh, so sort of like...Clue?  A very successful game adapted into a movie that went the post-modern route!  & D&D is far more pomo than a board game!

10. KAsi

Sure, that sounds pretty good!  & like I said, Marvel has shown that you can mix the funny in while taking your movie seriously.

Break the Fourth Wall if You Want the Dungeons & Dragons Movie to be Great

1. LuisMilan

Or try to put on the Head of Vecna...

2. Scott_MI

Well, sure, my actual premise is: now is the time to go big, pitch that!

3. Brian_E

I still haven't seen it but you aren't the first to recommend it to me.  I should check it out.

4. Greg

That's another way of playing the meta-game, but man I would SURE watch the OOTS movie...

5. Sean

I've only read Norton's Forerunner, but just because an idea hasn't worked before doesn't mean it can't ever work.  By that logic, the existence of the first batch of D&D movies would be "proof" that there shouldn't be a DnD movie.  It might be difficult to pull off, but I think brave art tends to be better than art that "plays it safe."

Why Did Seanchan Invade Randland From the Wrong Direction?

What about sargassos & trade winds?  That is to say, maybe it is farther as the crow flies, but faster as the ship actually sails?

Conversations Founded On False Assumptions

The question asked earlier in the thread was, in a nutshell: look at the books you've read.  Are they as diverse as you'd like them to be, or are they homogenous?  If they are homogenous, chances are, they are white men.  I know it is certainly true of my reading habits, even as I make a conscious effort to diversify my readership.  That's part of the point, for me: to be exposed to new viewpoints, new ideas, new worlds; personally, it's all tied up together under the "Fiction" ribbon for me.  So that's the simple challenge: do the math.  Put intentions or speculation on motive & excuses aside & run the numbers in your head.

Go On a Blind Date with an SFF Book!

@9. Tiemen Zwaan

Ha!  I actually thought it was Player of Games before I scrolled back up & saw "Fantasy"!

(The Dispossessed was the only one I knew, but I was excited to see it; great picks!)

The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Guest Highlord Anne C. Perry on Growing Up Geek

My favorite parts of Dragonlance is when you can see the bones of an RPG session sticking out of the meat.  "Hey, everybody, let's go mess around in this haunted ruined city...so I can get a new spellbook!" & "guy with a gem in his chest that is obviously important to the DM's plot?  Ignore him!"  The frustrating genius of PCs...

Crowd-Sourced Storytelling with Tor Authors!

It was the highlight of mine!  That, & afterword I got to go over & talk to a bunch of kids about Pathfinder & RPGs for a while...

Gene Wolfe: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
34. SchuylerH Have you read it before? I have a pet theory that it happens in the same "world(s)" as An Evil Guest.
Announcing Infomocracy, Tor.com’s First Novel
Also don't under estimate shurikens & flame throwers, just sayin'...
Marvel CEO’s “No Female-Lead Movies” Email Makes No Sense
Not Mike, Listen, I could cherry-pick examples that fit my axioms all day here. The point is, these movies I've picked are my argument for why female led movies won't work. It has nothing to do with the quality of the work: critically those movies were universally acclaimed, & I think all the fans agree we really got to the heart of what those characters were all about. It's some of our best work, & so the only reason I can think as to why these poorly chosen examples might have failed has to be the female lead. I'm sure you'll agree, Un-Ike.
Does the Suicide Squad Cast Photo Look More Like a Metal Band or a CW Show?
I'm a fan of DC heroes but not what DC is doing in comics & movies these days, for the most part. That said, Suicide Squad is one place where the obsession with mid-90s "grim n' gritty" actually works. I could see this movie, & frankly I'm still a third convinced that the Joker will wipe the temporary tattoos off his skin in the first act, & the photo is just trolling the fans. (Also I remember everyone getting burned by hating on Ledger, & I don't want to fall into that same trap.)
Afternoon Roundup: Batman Takes Inspiration from the Joker’s New Look
CRIME I've been cracking up about it all weekend. One ray of light in the DC film universe, at least.
Five Books About Magical Realism
8. HelenS I am fond of quoting the esteemed Gene Wolfe, viz, "Magic realism is fantasy written by people who speak Spanish."
What Does George R. R. Martin Have to do With Dinosaur Lords?
When I heard the elevator pitch, I was hooked-- when I heard the attribution, I was floored. I dug right in & I mean...do you like knights riding dinosaurs? Is there any possible way you <i>don't</i> like knights riding dinosaurs?
15 Secrets Hiding in the World of Game of Thrones
House Jordayne of the Tor's words are "Let it be Written."
Five Books with Fantastic Horses
I definitely do not think it counts as a horse-- almost the opposite actually-- but I will say that reading The Last Unicorn took my breath away.
Advanced Readings in D&D: Robert E. Howard
82. Alexis West Yeah, I really like it when the explicit race stuff in Howard shows up. He can have some problems with implicit racial stuff, being a product of his time, but when he is mindful, I think he's pretty good. I feel the same way about ERB, for that matter. Sure, there is some offensive "noble savage" & "great white hope" stuff in there...but it's also overtly & explicitly a call for people-- Martians-- to overlook the bigotry of skin colour & band together. You know?
On Iain M. Banks and the Video Game that Inspired Excession
Excession is a Big Idea, but as far as Big Idea Culture books go, I like the not-totally-Culture-but-totally-Culture story in Inversions. The "email or forum" structure of the Minds I think sort of dates as the internet unfolds but I still really enjoy it...mostly on account of how much I like the Monolith in 2001...
Afternoon Roundup: The Dress That Launched a Civil War
It's a great example, because Captain America is unambiguously right & the whole argument is silly. Just like Civil War!
Robert Jordan’s Estate Does Not Approve of the Wheel of Time “Pilot”
4. StrongDreams Sounds like vice versa; Bandersnatch gave Universal the rights till the 11th? That's what my reading of the letter is anyhow.
Gene Luen Yang to Write DC Comics’ Superman
2. niallalot Superman is my favorite. Like, top five fictional characters, easy.
Demon: The Descent is His Dark Materials Meets Terminator and Aliens
6. jan paparazzi Hey that's what is cool about the internet...just because this wasn't posted yesterday doesn't mean it disappears! Yeah, the fingerprints of Kult are all over this, except I kind of feel like Kult was...well, trying too hard? The old World of Darkness shared the same vibe...& I was a teenager trying too hard when they came out, so I was into it! Still, the whole gnostic war...yeah, very much. Oh, or Palladium's Nightbane!
What If Guardians of the Galaxy Were Just the Avengers’ D&D Campaign?
I totally think Captain America, professional comic book artist, is the one to come up with Rocket; I feel like it really "gets" Steve Rogers.
Demon: The Descent is His Dark Materials Meets Terminator and Aliens
4. Adam Lowe It's far more cohesive than Kult & far less interested in being unrelentingly bleak-- in which "bleak" means lots of PG-13 nudity in the art mixed up with violence & tentacles-- & more in the weirder, cerebral aspects. Or well, there is plenty of room for a rolicking brawl, & for the Big Grimdark if you want, but there is a more cohesive vision, of this sort of gnostic Matrix battle, that ties it together with the "dun dun dun I am a cyborg demon thing from DOOM!"
You Gotta Deal With It: The Legend of Korra is Over
42. rsndn Good looking out! It's there, it just accidentally got left out of the index. I'll email the Tor.com gremlins, but in the meantime: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/12/the-legend-of-korra-beyond-the-wilds
Legends & Lairs in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition’s “Monster Manual”
8. lerris Uh...my encounter balance is all messed up. I TPK'd them in the first fight! Details to follow in my DMG review.
Legends & Lairs in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition’s “Monster Manual”
5. lerris Yeah but at some point the whole "ignore the rules, you are the DM!" stops being a good excuse, when you are talking about the rules, you know? Yeah, I can mash it up on my own, but I'm a high level user, not your target market! 6. cmorgan It is & & agree! Though Death Knights don't get Power Word Kill standard, & that is BS.
Legends & Lairs in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition’s “Monster Manual”
2. bhaughwout I've always found the kuo-toa weird; they're the only critter in any Monster Manual that came complete with a culture, with their "whips" & "moniters" & such. I've got a fondness for them, & not least because they provide a way to foreshadow one of my favorite monsters...aboleths... Anyhow, the index complaints were from a pre-DMG release draft of the article, but still, I want it all in one book; flipping back & forth between pages is easier than swapping entire books. 3. vanye I disagree. I'm not saying everybody should be legendary. I'm just saying there should be legendary options for low levels! Keeping good rules out of circulation just for the sake of doing so doesn't make sense to me. (If anything, I'd like to see lairs completely divorced from monsters. "A Crypt" with lair actions, or "A Boobytrapped Cave" or something.)
Legends & Lairs in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition’s “Monster Manual”
I'm just putting the finishing touches on the X-mas one-shot that I made when I was trying to get a concrete handle on the new MM, in fact!
You Gotta Deal With It: The Legend of Korra is Over
33. sn0wcrash Per this post, Bryan Konietzko sure makes it sound like Nick put a limit to how much equality they were allowed to show, yeah.
You Gotta Deal With It: The Legend of Korra is Over
So basically now I want to play in an RPG campaign in the cyberpunk Avatar future.
You Gotta Deal With It: The Legend of Korra is Over
14. Peter D. See, my pitch for the next cycle? Flashback. GIVE ME AVATAR KYOSHI!
You Gotta Deal With It: The Legend of Korra is Over
9. ChristopherLBennett 1) I kind of agree; that being said, a deus ex machina-- or deus ex avatar, I guess?-- would have side-stepped the drama. Narrative rules, I think. Still, I feel you on this point, for sure. I can only say that Korra has a troubled relationship with the Avatar state, & that the Avatar state isn't always the be-all-end-all, even in the original series. 2) I dunno, "let's stand in front of this laser beam & see if I can bend it & maybe it will catastrophically tear the fabric of reality to do so?" is one of those ideas that I think works best as a last resort. 3) I disagree, that would have made it too pat, too easy. I liked where they left it, personally, I felt like it was all tied up. Of course, it is easy to want MORE, I want more, more of EVERY scene! More Korra, more Avatar! 4) it would have been nice for everyone to get a moment...but that's a crowded ending. Mako was there to misdirect on the romance, Tenzin deserved to be there, & well....Asami. 5) YES. I agree. GIVE US THE KISS. Still, it was unmistakably queer, as an ending; not good enough, but still better than everybody else! Those balls were like the control ball on the old Catapillar game!
You Gotta Deal With It: The Legend of Korra is Over
2. Peter D. Yeah, folks were discussing that in the thread last week. Well spotted! 4. ChocolateRob I feel like I was pretty good at giving Meelo credit where due! 5. Bluejay Yeah, I struggled with how to articulate it & ultimately moved on in the review, but there is something very powerful in that scene. What makes it different, I think, from the typical villain/hero trope, is that Korra truly knows herself. Not just the justification of herself, not just the paper tiger of herself, but warts & all...& that's why she is able to look at Kuvira with empathy & speak truth to power. 7. ChocolateRob Mostly I'm just annoyed at the spirits being like "ha ha sorry, suckers, peace out!" when push came to shove.
You Gotta Deal With It: The Legend of Korra is Over
1. Aeryl Tenzin was so great. One of my favorite characters of the whole series. I'm sad we don't get more seasons; there is so much more I want to see from him, from everyone.

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