How Much Beer Does it Take to Get a Hobbit Drunk?

Hobbits live the good life: they eat all day, they generally work with their hands and enjoy nature (unless they are wealthy and don’t work at all), and they live in an idyllic farmscape full of lush trees, rivers, and green hills. They also consume their fair share of ale in taverns, an ode to the pub culture that J.R.R. Tolkien himself heralded from.

But how much can a hobbit actually drink?

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Paramount and Scott Rudin are Teaming Up for an Adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s Borne

Variety has announced that Paramount has acquired the rights to Jeff VanderMeer’s upcoming novel, Borne. The novel, which will be released by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in spring 2017, follows a young woman fighting to survive in desolate near-future city. The woman finds a green lumpish creature called Borne during a scavenging mission, and begins to realize that her new companion may be more than she first thought. Scott Rudin and Eli Bush, who are currently producing the film adaptation of VanderMeer’s Annihilation with Paramount, will also produce Borne. Annihilation stars Tessa Thompson, Natalie Portman, and Oscar Isaac, and will be Alex Garland’s first film since Ex Machina. You can read more about the filming process here.

Annihilation is the first novel in The Southern Reach Trilogy, VanderMeer’s acclaimed series of environmental horror. He was recently named the 2016-17 Trias writer-in-residence for Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

[via Variety]

Sabaa Tahir Picks Patrick Rothfuss’ Brain About Writing Sequels and Impostor Syndrome

A Torch Against the Night author Sabaa Tahir jokes that Patrick Rothfuss saved her from writing a bad second book when it came time to follow up the success of An Ember in the Ashes. Rothfuss, of course, knows all about the pressure of writing sequels to successful debuts, as he is hard at work on the third novel in the Kingkiller Chronicle, after The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear. The two sat down with Penguin Teen for an illuminating talk about fending off impostor syndrome, how to look at writer’s block as not something permanent, and potential epic beards for Kvothe.

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Rereading Kage Baker’s Company Series: The Graveyard Game, Part 2

Welcome back to the Kage Baker Company Series reread! In this week’s post we’ll cover the section of The Graveyard Game that’s set in 2025 and 2026, so from the end of last week’s post to the end of the second Yorkshire chapter.

As always, you can find all previous posts in this reread on our wonderful index page. Also as always, please be aware that this reread contains spoilers for the entire series, so be careful if you haven’t read all the books yet!

[Magna est veritas, et praevalebit.]

Series: Rereading Kage Baker

The Gates of Hell

Alexandria has fallen, and with it the great kingdom of Egypt. Cleopatra is dead. Her children are paraded through the streets in chains wrought of their mother’s golden treasures, and within a year all but one of them will be dead. Only her young daughter, Cleopatra Selene, survives to continue her quest for vengeance against Rome and its emperor, Augustus Caesar.

To show his strength, Augustus Caesar will go to war against the Cantabrians in northern Spain, and it isn’t long before he calls on Juba of Numidia, his adopted half-brother and the man whom Selene has been made to marry—but whom she has grown to love. The young couple journey to the Cantabrian frontier, where they learn that Caesar wants Juba so he can use the Trident of Poseidon to destroy his enemies. Perfidy and treachery abound. Juba’s love of Selene will cost him dearly in the epic fight, and the choices made may change the very fabric of the known world.

The Gates of Hell is the follow up to Michael Livingston’s Shards of Heaven, a historical fantasy that reveals the hidden magic behind the history we know, and commences a war greater than any mere mortal battle. Available November 15th from Tor Books.

[Read an Excerpt]

Magnificent Labor: The Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad is the kind of book I want to shove into people’s hands like an overzealous missionary. I can talk anybody into it, because it’s a book like a diamond: view it through any facet you like and fall slack-jawed at what you see.

Read it one way and it’s a stunning literary work, suitable for academic discussion, shortlisted for the National Book Award. Present it to a true-blue science fiction fan and it’s Philip K. Dick and Octavia Butler’s love child with prose that’ll stop their pulpy heart. Tell a horror reader that it builds dread like a Stephen King classic. Throw on top of that an incredibly skillful first-person narration by a female character handled deftly and authentically by a male writer and you may as well start warming up the baptismal font; the reader is going to convert.

[This isn’t exactly a surprise…]

Series: That Was Awesome! Writers on Writing

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “Requiem for Methuselah”

“Requiem for Methuselah”
Written by Jerome Bixby
Directed by Murray Golden
Season 3, Episode 21
Production episode 60043-76
Original air date: February 14, 1969
Stardate: 5843.7

Captain’s log. The Enterprise is in the grips of an epidemic of Rigellian fever. Three crew members have died (they don’t get named, of course, so they’re not anybody important or anything…) and twenty-three more are ill. They’re in orbit of a small uninhabited planet that has tons of pure ryetalin, the only substance that can cure the fever (which makes you wonder why they don’t stock any on the ship…). Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to collect the ryetalin, but it turns out the uninhabited planet is not so uninhabited as all that. There’s an old human named Flint, who says this world is his retreat and that the landing party is trespassing. He refuses to allow them to collect ryetalin, and if they don’t leave, he’ll kill them. He’s got a big ol’ robot with a powerful ray beam (and very bad aim) at his disposal to back it up.


Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Swoon Reads Opens Submissions to Young Adult Fiction Across All Genres

To celebrate its third anniversary, Swoon Reads, Macmillan’s crowd-sourced young adult romance imprint, is expanding its submissions to include all genres within YA fiction. Swoon Reads is still looking for the same irresistible, unforgettable, original YA novels that have never been published before, but now you can submit heroic epics, alien adventures, chilling mysteries, and more. As the imprint says on Twitter, #SwoonReadsisallYA.

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Fairy Tales Gorgeously Reimagined: The Starlit Wood

In her exceptional study on fairy tales, From the Beast to the Blonde, Marina Warner, in a single sentence, sums up the true worth of fairy tales: “for they are stories with staying power, as their antiquity shows, because the meanings they generate are themselves magical shape-shifters, dancing to the needs of their audience.”

With this succinct and elegant explanation as to why fairy tales entice our continued fascination, I’ve found my entry into The Starlit Wood—an ambitious anthology collecting eighteen fairy tale retellings drawn from various traditions.

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To Be Continued: Supergirl, “The Last Children of Krypton”

“I do not do well with change,” a flustered Kara declares on this week’s Supergirl, as her new boss unhires her as a reporter and a new threat descends upon National City. In a cruel twist of fate, Kara has to say goodbye to both Clark and Cat, as various obligations pull them out of her orbit and into their own side plots. But not before Supergirl and Superman have one last #TooMuchFun teamup against Project Cadmus.

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The Star Trek Encyclopedia Sweepstakes!

Today, Harper Design releases Michael and Denise Okuda’s The Star Trek Encyclopedia, Revised and Expanded Edition: A Reference Guide to the Future—and we want to send you a copy!

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the classic show, a fully authorized revision of the popular reference companion: a two-volume encyclopedia featuring a completely new design, stunning new full-color photographs and illustrations, and 300 pages of new entries, packaged in a specially designed and shrink-wrapped deluxe slipcase.

Since its initial publication twenty-five years ago, The Star Trek Encyclopedia has been the go-to source for everything related to the franchise’s canon. Packed with highly detailed information, including brief episode and film synopses, no other book has come close to offering the same wealth of insight into the Star Trek universe. Now, The Star Trek Encyclopedia has been thoroughly revised and redesigned for a new generation of fans. This updated and expanded edition includes 300 more pages, information, photographs and illustrations, and offers exhaustively researched and detailed entries on the characters, ships, and events from the last fifteen years of Star Trek television shows and films, including Star Trek: Voyager seasons 4-7, Star Trek: Enterprise seasons 1-4, and Star Trek Nemesis. It also features material detailing the recent big-screen films Star Trek and Star Trek: Into Darkness.

Comment in the post to enter!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States and D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec). To enter, comment on this post beginning at 1:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on October 18th. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on October 22nd. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor:, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

The Wheel of Time Reread Redux: The Shadow Rising, Part 6

Greetings, Professors! Shall we Redux a Wheel of Time Reread? Excellent!

Today’s Redux post will cover Chapter 28 of The Shadow Rising, originally reread in this post.

All original posts are listed in The Wheel of Time Reread Index here, and all Redux posts will also be archived there as well. (The Wheel of Time Master Index, as always, is here, which has links to news, reviews, interviews, and all manner of information about the Wheel of Time in general on

The Wheel of Time Reread is also available as an e-book series! Yay!

All Reread Redux posts will contain spoilers for the entire Wheel of Time series, so if you haven’t read, read at your own risk.

And now, the post!

[which is why we should be glad Olver wasn’t in charge of NORAD that one time]

Series: The Wheel of Time Reread

How Your Role-Playing Game Campaign Can Inspire Your Novel

I’m sometimes startled to realize how many of the stories I’ve written have their roots in a role-playing game. They’re by far the minority among my published works, but even so: depending on how you count it, one novel series, one novella series, a novelette, and three short stories have been shaped in some fashion by my RPG experiences. If you include unpublished works, the list increases by at least two more novel series and another short story.

I say “depending on how you count it” because the nature of that influence varies from work to work. Nothing I’ve written is a direct retelling of a whole game. Some make use of pretty significant elements; one is barely related at all, being an idea that sprang sideways out of my character concept and thereafter had nothing to do with it. The process of adaptation changes based on what bit of the game you’re using as your springboard: a setting, a character, a plot. If you’re minded to adapt your own game experiences in some fashion, it can help to look at it from those angles and figure out what you’re dealing with—so let’s dig into each possibility in turn.

[Read more]

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