How Many Robots Can You Spot in This Awesome Poster? @ io9

Remember that episode of Futurama, “Crimes of the Hot,” where all the robots in New New York are sent to an island to party until they die? That’s basically this poster, except these robots will never die. At least not in our hearts.


Open Channel: What TV Shows That You Now Love Did You Nearly Miss Out On? @ io9

In a world where there is just so much good TV to watch, it’s basically impossible to get in on the ground floor with every show you could potentially love. Hell, it’s hard enough trying to keep up with more than a few shows at a time! So sometimes we don’t come to a show we end up loving to bits until well after the…


The Amazing World of Gumball's Homage to Cowboy Bebop Is Downright Incredible @ io9

Cartoon Network’s The Amazing World of Gumball is a delightfully demented, acerbic show about anthropomorphic animals (and, um, other things) living in the suburbs, and it delights in breaking the fourth wall. A new homage to Cowboy Bebop reminds us how great the minds behind the show are.


Pennywise Is Happy He Gets to Hang With the Big Kids in the It Sequel @ io9

While filming the first It film, director Andy Muschetti made sure to keep the kids away from Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård) when they weren’t filming so the diabolic clown would stay as terrifying as possible to them. However, now that Pennywise is a celebrity—and It: Chapter Two’s actors are adults—Skarsgård is thrilled…


Hulu's Castle Rock is perfect Stephen King-adjacent horror @ Syfy Wire

As a creator, Stephen King has had one of the most prolific careers of his generation, to say nothing of his contributions to genre as a whole. His books have sold more than 350 million copies and been adapted into movies, TV shows, and television miniseries. For the most part, where there’s a Stephen King book, an adaptation will likely follow — though over the years, the success of King adaptations has varied somewhat.

J.R.R. Tolkien's Archives Come Alive in This Stunning Book and Exhibition @ io9

J.R.R. Tolkien fans need to know about Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth, a new exhibit in Oxford, England containing an incredible collection of papers, paintings, and other archival material from the author’s vast career. If you can’t attend in person, you can pick up the exhibit catalog, a hefty book packed full of…


Geek Road Trip: NJ's War of the Worlds museum (and coffeehouse) for the alien invasion that never was @ Syfy Wire

80 years ago, Orson Welles broadcast an adaptation of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds over the airwaves–terrifying listeners, altering the medium of radio forever, and providing an early glimpse of one of the most singular artistic careers of the 20th century.

Development: Walking Dead, Flash stars going behind the camera; Veep writers creating fantasy detective show @ Syfy Wire

We’ve got a trio of development items for this edition of SYFY WIRE’s development roundup, including two actors becoming directors of shows they’ve starred in, and two writers developing a fantasy detective series. 

Why Fahrenheit 451 needed Millie Montag and should have been a mini-series @ Syfy Wire

Fahrenheit 451's latest adaptation had the updated elements to make it modern, but time constraints and the omission of a major character led to the movie not realizing its full potential. 

July 17 in Twilight Zone History: Remembering actress Connie Gilchrist ('In Praise of Pip') @ Syfy Wire

Today, July 17th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia remember actress Connie Gilchrist, who was born on this day in 1895. Gilchrist, whose real name was Rose Constance Gilchrist, portrayed Jack Klugman's beloved landlord, Mrs. Feeny, in "In Praise of Pip."

Black Panther’s Shuri getting her own solo sister act in new Marvel comics series @ Syfy Wire

In a movie filled with pleasant surprises, Black Panther’s Shuri rated near the very top. Smart and tough, yet loyal and possessed of an equanimous sense of justice, T’Challa’s kid sister (played by Letitia Wright) won hearts first in Ryan Coogler’s Wakandan epic, and then kept right on winning them in Avengers: Infinity War.  

Amazon Is Turning Simon Stålenhag's Tales From The Loop Series Into a TV Show @ io9

Looks like Amazon Studios is getting into the role-playing business. It’s developing a sci-fi series based on Tales From The Loop, the crowd-funded art project from Simon Stålenhag that was also turned into a role-playing game.


Tom Cruise risks his life in new Mission: Impossible - Fallout featurette @ Syfy Wire

Since the franchise launched 22 years ago, the Mission: Impossible movies have become something of a showcase for what star Tom Cruise is willing to put himself through for a nail-biting action sequence. 

Late to the Party: Xena: Warrior Princess @ Syfy Wire

I used to think I was fairly well versed in mid-to-late ‘90s television. I was a big watcher of those WB shows — you know, back when the CW used to be known by a different name and played host to the dancing amphibian known as Michigan J. Frog. But I have a confession to make: I’ve seen very few episodes of the fantasy TV series about a fierce leather-wearing, chakra-wielding queen and her girlfriend called Xena: Warrior Princess. That is what the show is about, right? I feel like I'm pretty close.

IDW Is Making Marvel Kids' Comics, and Maybe That's Not as Weird as It Sounds @ io9

Yes, Marvel is a huge comics publisher more than capable of making its own comic books aimed at younger kids. Hell, they have a good bunch of them going right now! But a new deal between Disney and IDW Publishing is not the first time the House of Mouse has looked beyond Marvel to target younger comic readers.


Is The Earth's Mantle Full of Diamonds? @ io9

Parts of the Earth’s mantle might be loaded with diamonds, if a new model turns out to be correct. But no, you can’t mine them—they’d be almost a hundred miles below the surface.


Watch: Jamie Foxx’s Little John does a mean medieval sensei in new Robin Hood trailer @ Syfy Wire

One thing’s clear from the two trailers we’ve seen so far for director Otto Bathurst’s sumptuous, superhero-like take on the classic English vigilante who steals from the rich and gives to the poor: this is not your father’s Robin Hood.

Brian Michael Bendis calls early plans for Sony's Spidey-Verse 'very cool' @ Syfy Wire

One of the best examples of inter-studio cooperation over the last 10 years definitely has to be Sony allowing Disney to introduce Tom Holland's Spider-Man into the MCU via Captain America: Civil War.

The Latest Robin Hood Trailer Is an Impossible Archery Training Montage @ io9

In order to differentiate it from the countless other Robin Hood adaptations, Lionsgate decided to go in a decidedly more modern direction for director Otto Bathurst’s upcoming movie starring Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx. Sort of.


Space the Nation: GamifyGate @ Syfy Wire

Netflix Is Going All in on the Millarverse With a Live-Action Jupiter's Legacy Series and More @ io9

When Netflix made the surprising decision to buy the rights to Mark Millar’s Millarverse last year, it wasn’t difficult to imagine just what the upstart Hollywood studio planned to do with all of the writer’s many comic book series. What’s surprising is just how quickly Netflix seems to be moving forward on those…


The New Academy Prize in Literature @ Locus Online

Swedish journalist Alexandra Pascalidou has founded The New Academy Prize in Literature with the intent of providing an international literature award since the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature is not being awarded. The New Academy plans to dissolve on December 11, 2018. A longlist of 47 authors nominated by Swedish librarians has been announced, and includes several writers of genre interest:

  • Margaret Atwood
  • Paul Auster
  • Maryse Condé
  • Don DeLillo
  • Kerstin
...Read More

Book vs. Flick: The Beastmaster @ Syfy Wire

The height of '80s low-budget sword-and-sorcery camp, The Beastmaster holds a unique place in being one of the worst films I've ever seen as an adult while also being one of the best I had seen as a small child.  Despite having grown up on the 1982 flick, it was only recently, during a late-night internet wandering, that I discovered it was based on a series of books.

Rainbow Brite Is Coming to Save the World From Drabness in a New Comics Series @ io9

Because it’s been years since Rainbow Brite was at the height of its popularity and everyone’s really into ‘80s nostalgia right now, it’s not too surprising to hear that Dynamite is launching a new comic based on the franchise. Writer Jeremy Whitley and artist Brittney Williams’ monthly series will follow a young girl…


Patient Zero trailer finds American-accented Matt Smith talking to zombies @ Syfy Wire

If you’ve watched a great deal of The Crown and Doctor Who, then you likely got used to Matt Smith’s very English accent. Well, prepare to unhear everything you’ve ever heard, because in the trailer for Patient Zero below, Smith is clearly speaking with an American accent to these zombies.

Marvel and IDW announce new line of superhero comics aimed at younger readers @ Syfy Wire

Two of comics' biggest publishers are teaming up to launch a new line of Marvel superhero comics aimed specifically at middle-grade readers.

Marvel Comics and IDW Publishing announced in a statement Tuesday that they plan to launch a new series of comic books and trade paperback collections, using Marvel characters but published through IDW, that will target younger readers in ways the main Marvel line doesn't. The line will launch in November, and will be available in both comic book stores and book retailers nationwide.

10 Fantasy Books Steeped in the Southern Gothic @ Barnes & Noble: Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Craig DeLouie’s new novel One of Us, out now from Orbit Books, is a dark fantasy tale that plays out against the backdrop of a plague-changed Huntsville, Georgia in 1984. Today. the author joins us to talk about how the novel fits into the tradition of Southern Gothic, and provides you with a reading list of his favorites in the genre.

With its powerful themes and titillating use of the grotesque, Southern Gothic has a venerable literary tradition that today offers fertile ground for a fun, pulpy, atmospheric brand of dark fantasy.

The roots of Southern Gothic’s trace back to the Gothic movement in Victorian England, giving us works like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and later stories like Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

Southern Gothic adopted the tradition and made it distinctly American, from authors like Harper Lee and Donald Ray Pollock to Rough South writers like Cormac McCarthy. Popular themes include complex and deeply flawed characters, the grotesque, a society in decay, and social issues such as prejudice and poverty.

In these stories, the mansions are in ruins, the past looms over the present, and the larger-than-life residents aren’t quite right in the head. Repressed desires threaten to burst in lust, violence, and other taboo acts. Magic, the supernatural, and the Devil himself may haunt the swamps. An atmosphere of mystery and history pervade the earthy setting. A big lie may be lived or challenged.

In my view, mixing Southern Gothic with fantasy isn’t so much a mash-up as a natural fit. The genre is highly adaptable to the grotesque, whether it be monsters, ghosts, demons, or any other fantasy or magical realism element. Its themes are powerful and universal, its settings brooding and atmospheric, its dialogue spiced with wit and wisdom passed down through generations.

Dark fantasy and magical realism elements are made even greater and more believable in their contrast against the earthy setting, people who are ordinary but also larger-than-life, and a mundane rural/small town world.

When I was considering writing my monster novel One of Us, the Southern Gothic style begged for a treatment. The novel is about a disease that produces a generation of monsters now growing up scorned and rejected in orphanages throughout the rural South in 1984. While monstrous in appearance, they have the hearts and minds of teenaged children.

As they grow up oppressed, they begin to develop extraordinary abilities that will allow them to revolt and claim their birthright, recalling themes from The Island of Dr. Moreau and Planet of the Apes.

The story, which focuses on an ensemble cast including the monster children and the residents of the nearby town, explores prejudice, generational conflict, and what makes a monster a monster. It features complex characters and dark elements such as transgressive desires, social decay, and the grotesque. The main focus is on the major characters’ humanity, whether monster or not.

The novel was a heck of a lot of fun to write, and I hope it’s as fun to read.

If you’ve got an appetite for Southern Gothic with a strong genre flavor, you can also try these other works, which tackle similar themes from different angles.

Four and Twenty Blackbirds, by Cherie Priest
Eden traces her diseased family tree across the South and back in time to the Civil War, where her investigation leads to a supernatural climax.

Beloved, by Toni Morrison
Sethe escapes slavery and is now haunted by memories of the horrifying plantation she escaped and the ghost of her dead baby “Beloved”—until a teenaged girl appears with the same name.

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
Ava, a 13-year-old girl growing up in an alligator-wrestling theme park, must make a magical journey to save her family when its matriarch falls ill.

Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice
Louis, a vampire, shares his 200-year-long life story to a reporter, a story that begins in 1790s New Orleans.

Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy
In 1849, a boy joins a scalp hunting gang whose spiritual leader (the Judge) may be God or the Devil, taking him through a hellish Wild West landscape filled with violence.

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls, by Emily Carpenter
Fresh from rehab, Althea goes home to learn a terrifying secret—that for three generations, the women in her family have gone mad and died after turning thirty—forcing her on a trek to unravel the mystery before her looming birthday.

What Blooms from Dust ,by James Markert
Facing the electric chair, Jeremiah is given a second chance at life but on his way home to Nowhere, Oklahoma, he discovers a world that has been overtaken by the Dust Bowl. To save his despairing town, he must learn to forgive himself for his past’s sins and secrets.

Compulsion, by Martina Boone
Barrie travels to live at her aunt’s South Carolina mansion to discover an ancient spirit cursed her family while giving magical gifts to the area’s two other leading families, putting them all at odds. Hunted by unseen forces, she must find a way to break the curse.

With its roots in English Gothic, Southern Gothic fiction endures as its own unique fictional flavor. Often over the top in their delivery and sophisticated in their themes, these stories titillate. For fans of Southern Gothic or fantasy lit who alike seek something fresh, Southern Gothic fantasy offers a distinctive and fun read.

One of Us is available now.

The post 10 Fantasy Books Steeped in the Southern Gothic appeared first on The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog.

Todd McFarlane, Gale Simone, Walt Simonson and other comic book creators reflect on Steve Ditko's legacy @ Syfy Wire

If you were to ask a random person on the street, "Who created Spider-Man?," you'd likely hear a reply synonymous with many of Marvel Comics beloved characters, Stan Lee. But that's only half correct. While it's true Lee provided the initial idea for an ordinary teenager gifted with spider-enhanced superpowers, it was Steve Ditko who was tasked with giving Spider-Man a soul.

Dumbledore and Grindelwald Won't Share a Single Scene Together in Fantastic Beasts 2 @ io9

The Fantastic Beasts sequel is diving into the past of one of the Wizarding World’s biggest non-Voldemort bads: Gellert Grindelwald, who has a deep history with another titanic presence in the series, Albus Dumbledore. And yet, according to Jude Law, neither character will actually directly interact in the film.


A binge guide to Wonder Woman (1975) @ Syfy Wire

We don't give Wonder Woman enough credit for being as straight up bonkers as it really was. This is a television series that started out in WWII with Diana fighting Nazis and had her rollerskating through the late '70s by Season 2 with an admirably appropriate protective helmet. And still also fighting Nazis. This is a woman so dedicated to her mission that she hangs off of helicopters despite not having the ability to fly.

How the making of The Dark Knight made history @ Syfy Wire

Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight burst into cinemas worldwide a decade ago — yes, we feel old, too — and helped to usher in a new era of spectacular superhero movies.

Grossing over $1 billion at the global box office, Nolan's follow-up to Batman Begins owed much of its success to the years of toil put into producing a film that would eclipse its predecessor.

Marvel's New Sentry Is a Sobering Reflection on the Golden Age of Wish Fulfillment Comics @ io9

The Sentry was never been a particularly original superhero. He’s more or less Marvel’s answer to Superman with a healthy dose of Moon Knight’s madness thrown in for good measure. The character’s new solo series, though, is doing something much more interesting than you’d expect.


Netflix's Mark Millar deal: Jupiter's Legacy TV series, Huck film, more in the works @ Syfy Wire

Last summer, it was announced that streaming giant Netflix had purchased Mark Millar's comic book company Millarworld, with plans to adapt the writer's comic books into various TV shows and feature-length films. Today, Netflix announced the five series and movies it's got in active development and the slate sounds pretty awesome.

Ant-Man and the Wasp director Peyton Reed opens up about throwing people off with that mid-credits scene @ Syfy Wire

Well, we were promised a connection to Avengers: Infinity War when Ant-Man and the Wasp rolled around, and we got it.

Gender disparity in film criticism can negatively impact visibility of female-driven movies, study finds @ Syfy Wire

A new and altogether unsurprising study has found that the field of film critics is still mostly dominated by men, and it's an imbalance that can often impact the amount of coverage and exposure given to female-driven movies.

Lumos! The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle are back at Universal Studios Hollywood @ Syfy Wire

One of the coolest things you can do at Universal Studios Hollywood doesn't require one second of line waiting.

The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle within the Wizarding World of Harry Potter have been turned on once again for a limited time this summer. It's an enchanting capper to a day at the park after trying one of the two new magic wand installations (there are now 15 wand spots in the Wizarding World, FYI).

The Forces of Darkness Have Conspired to Bring Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles to Hulu @ io9

Lestat will rise again. Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles series, which has been in the works for two years, is finally coming to television on Hulu.


First teaser clip for Glass, Shyamalan's long-awaited sequel to Unbreakable @ Syfy Wire

The long-anticipated trailer for Glass, the long-anticipated sequel to Unbreakable will be released in mere days at San Diego Comic-Con. Until then, Universal Pictures has release the teaser for the trailer for the sequel. 

All of The 4K Movies In This Sale Are Only $15 Each @ io9

Today’s a really great day to expand your 4K movie collection. You’ll pay just $15 each for all the movies in this sale - that’s three pages of films with classics like The Matrix, Jumanji, King Kong, The Bourne movies and more. Head over to Amazon to start picking out your favorites, this sale will end at midnight.


Batwoman TV series in development at The CW to join the Arrowverse @ Syfy Wire

The CW's slate of DC comic book shows is about to grow larger with a Batwoman series currently in development at the network, reports Variety. Should it get picked up, the show would make its debut sometime next year.

Sorry, folks. James Gunn says the hunt for Guardians of the Galaxy's final easter egg continues. @ Syfy Wire

Blast it all. Despite our wildest hopes and the convincing argument of one dedicated YouTuber, fans of the Marvel films still haven’t found the Holy Grail of Guardians of the Galaxy easter eggs promised by writer/director James Gunn.

A Batwoman TV Show Is in Development at the CW, Starring Lesbian Superhero Kate Kane @ io9

This autumn, Kate Kane was set to descend on the CW’s Arrowverse as a part of its now-traditional multi-show crossover. But Gotham might be about to become a permanent fixture for Ollie and friends, because the CW is planning a potential a Batwoman TV show for 2019.


Hulu sinks its teeth into Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles @ Syfy Wire

Following the massive success of The Handmaid's Tale, Hulu has snatched up the rights to another classic literary creation, Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, per 

This Week’s New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books: Plague Children, Fearless Mercenaries, and Sexytime in Space @ Barnes & Noble: Sci-Fi & Fantasy

One of Us, by Craig DiLouie (July 17, Orbit—Hardcover)
In Huntsville, Georgia in 1968, a mysterious and untreatable sexually-transmitted disease moves through the population, resulting in stillborn and malformed babies. The ones that survive are known as the Plague Generation, and are rejected by the community. They are gathered in The Home, where they are mistreated and abused. When the Plague children begin to develop powers, they see a chance to break free from the “Normals” who have imprisoned and tortured them, and they begin to plot a war against humanity—but their burgeoning powers have attracted the notice of the government, which sees great potential for these children as weapons, even as they slowly come into their own in terrifying and violent ways.

Kill the Farm Boy, by Kevin Hearne and Delilah S. Dawson (July 17, Del Rey—Hardcover)
Hearne and Dawson set out to undermine the white male patriarchy in a hilarious and surprisingly deep fantasy in the Pratchett mold. The titular, clichéd farm boy destined to save the world is killed more or less immediately after being anointed the Chosen One, but his death doesn’t end the threat to the world. A colorful band of unlikely heroes must assemble to do the job for him, including a half-rabbit bard, an aspiring evil wizard whose main skill is conjuring bread, a rogue lacking any sort of coordination, and, naturally, a talking goat. Their quest to take on the Dark Lord infesting their world with evil curses and evil-er magic is filled with plenty of jokes, songs, and riffs on the fundamental importance of cheese—but also delves into the inner lives of these crazy characters, making them real, interesting people. (Which is more than can be said of many super-serious epic fantasy stories.)

The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2018 Edition, edited by Rich Horton (July 17, Prime Books—Paperback)
Horton again gathers the best and the brightest in sci-fi and fantasy short fiction into one immense volume, including standout stories by Charlie Jane Anders (“Don’t Press Charges and I Won’t Sue”), Kameron Hurley (“The Fisherman and the Pig”), Samuel R. Delany (“The Hermit of Houston”), Peter Watts (“ZeroS”), Tobiad S. Buckell (“Shoggoths in Traffic”), Yoon Ha Lee (“Extracurricular Activities”), and Karen Joy Fowler (“Persephone of the Crows”) among man others, drawn from places as diverse as Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and, in a sign of the times, from authors’ own Patreons.

Apocalypse Nyx, by Kameron Hurley (July 17, Tachyon Publications—Paperback)
Nyx, who readers met in Hurley’s Bel Dame Apocrypha series, is a mercenary with a serious drinking problem, which is really only a coping mechanism for her serious everything else problem. In five standalone stories, Nyx and her messed-up crew take on a series of dispiriting jobs as they fight for survival in a world dominated by enormous insects—a world composed of war-blasted wastelands, in which bug magicians plot to exploit an endless war for their own gains. Nyx investigates the death of an ex-con, pays off old debts, and manages to keep her and her team alive—barely—in the midst of a holy war on a planet where technology is all about genetically-altered bugs. In the end, bare survival may be all they’re capable of—but fans of the Bel Dame books will catch plenty of arch references to future adventures and terrible fates that haven’t been served up just yet.

The Girl in the Green Silk Gown, by Seanan McGuire (July 17, DAW—Paperback)
This sequel to Sparrow Hill Road returns us to a distant corner of McGuire’s InCryptid universe, and reunites us with restless, hitchhiking spirit Rose Marshall. Rose has found peace in death, helping spirits move on to the next plane of existence and reveling in finally being with her true love. But the man who killed her, Bobby Cross, drives a car that runs on the spirits of the dead, and he wants nothing more than to finally claim Rose’s soul. Rose is protected from Cross by a magical tattoo—but when he manages to damage it, she finds herself suddenly alive again—much to her horror. In order to get back to the death she loves, Rose will have to team up with a former enemy, someone she’s not entirely certain she can—or should—trust.

Condomnauts, by Yoss (July 17, Restless Books—Paperback)
In the 24th century, mankind encounters alien civilizations and makes a startling discovery: trust and deals are sealed galaxy-wide with sexual encounters, the idea being an act of physical intimacy is better than any mere signature. This gives rise to Contract Specialists—sexual ambassadors known as Condomnauts whose job is to, um, seal the deal, with the fate of the world on the line. While most Condomnauts are genetically-enhanced to be able to handle a wide range of alien biologies and preferences, Josué Valdés rises from the harsh streets of Rubble City, Cuba, to the ranks of the Condomnauts as a “natural,” a sexual being whose skills are only eclipsed by his ego. When the first alien ambassadors from outside the galaxy itself arrive, offering untold advances and knowledge, Josué faces his biggest challenge, and will need every inch of his talent to pull it off. Yoss (A Planet for Rent, Super Extra Grande) is Cuba’s most celebrated contemporary science fiction author, and we’re delighted another one of his gonzo works has been translated into English.

The War in the Dark, by Nick Setchfield
In Europe of the 1960s, there’s the Cold War, and then there’s the real war going on in the shadows. British Intelligence agent Christopher Winter is drawn into the darkness when an assassination goes wrong and forces him to flee Britain. His impromptu alliance with a mysterious Soviet woman finds him traveling across Europe in search of the occult knowledge that could tip the balance of power in the world and give the Russians the upper hand.

The Hidden World, by Melinda Snodgrass
Royal heir Mercedes de Arango was the first woman ever to graduate from the Solar League’s elite military training academy, alongside scholarship student Tracy Belmanor. Fourteen years have passed, and the lives of the two former friends have diverged dramatically: she’s hoping for a military victory to secure her people’s allegiance, while he’s commanding a small smuggling vessel. Their paths rejoin in the latest in the Imperials series, as Tracy must decide how far he’ll go for the woman who betrayed him.

Ghosts of War: Retribution, by Paul Robinson
Cole Traske just wanted to get on with life and get back to work after the death of his mentor. Really. The secretive Cole is the new leader of Penumbra, an team of misfit toughs involved in shadowy interplanetary ops. A chance encounter with a figure from his past sees him throwing everything aside in favor of a galaxy-wide quest for vengeance. This is hard-edged, action-packed sci-fi.

Competence, by Gail Carriger
The Custard Protocol series has been charming, silly, and a little sexy, in all the best ways. In Carriger’s latest steampunk-y novel, the adventures of Miss Primrose Tunstell continue. Alongside the crew of the airship Spotted Custard, Prim encounters evidence of a new type of vampire and heads off to Peru to investigate. Pirates, subterfuge, and many cups of tea follow.

The Cloven: The Vorrh, by Brian Catling
Catling’s imaginative dark fantasy series, named for a vast African forest that’s all that remains of paradise, concludes. In the world of the series, divine knowledge was only ever intended for trees, and Adam’s transgression in stealing the apple lead to a conflict between humans and trees that lasts into the 20th century. In this volume, Nazis are begin to descend upon Africa as the global conflict encouraged by the forest threatens all life.

Constance Verity Saves the World, by A. Lee Martinez
In her last adventure, Constance gave up gave up her life of adventure in favor of leading a perfectly ordinary existence. It’s dull as dirt, and that’s just how she likes it. But the universe needs to fill her old role, though, and choose a new Adventurer to carry on in her place. The problem is, not all of the contenders are worthy, and selecting the wrong person could lead to disaster. Reluctantly, but inevitably, Connie is forced out of retirement in order to ensure that her old job winds up in good hands.

The Expert System’s Brother, by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Genre-agnostic award-winner Adrian Tchaikovsky offers up a slender coming-of-age novella. Handry, a 13-year old living in the village of Aro, attends a Severance ceremony where a potion is splashed on a criminal as punishment. When the potion is accidentally splashed on Handry instead, he spends the next few years starving, covered in a painful rash. Shunned by the community, Handry’s life gets worse when his sister (and only ally) Melory is possessed by one of the spirits that govern Aro, and orders that Handry be exiled. Handry decides to take his fate into his own hands, leaving before he can be expelled and traveling into a wilderness dominated by insects, a world wider and wilder than he would have thought possible.

Mystic Dragon, by Jason Denzel
Denzel, a prominent superfan of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time, offers an epic fantasy in the same mold. It’s the story of Pomella AnDone, who seven years ago  became apprentice to a Mystic. Although she has learned a great deal about mastering the art of Myst, she is unprepared for the responsibility she’ll have to take on when her world is threatened by an incursion from the magical realm of the Fayün. As the two worlds combine into one, chaos and destruction reign, and the Mystics gather to try to protect what they can—including a dangerous and unpredictable prodigy named Shevia. Pomella begins to suspect the powerful girl has evil intentions, but is uncertain if she—or anybody—is strong enough to stop her.

What new books are you picking up today?

The post This Week’s New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books: Plague Children, Fearless Mercenaries, and Sexytime in Space appeared first on The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog.

In Patient Zero, Matt Smith Has an Interview With a Zombie (and an American Accent) @ io9

Oh, and the zombie (or rather “Infected” rage-monster) just happens to be a worryingly smart Stanley Tucci. Yeah, humanity looks pretty boned.


This Kit Lets You Make Your Old SNES Controllers Completely Wireless @ io9

For five years, 8Bitdo has been creating near-perfect wireless clones of your favorite classic gamepads, improving the experience of emulating retro games on modern devices. But if near-perfect isn’t perfect enough for your discerning gaming tastes, the company is now selling kits that should make it dead easy to…


Superman costume designer Yvonne Blake, responsible for Reeve's suit, dies at 78 @ Syfy Wire

Yvonne Blake, the Academy Award-winning costume designer for 1978’s Superman: The Movie and 1980’s Superman II, died in Madrid after suffering a stroke earlier this year, the Spanish Film Academy announced on Tuesday. She was 78.

Chosen One of the Day: Grown-Up Bill’s ponytail from IT @ Syfy Wire

We’re in a bit of a Stephen King renaissance at the moment. IT made a ton of money last year, while Netflix adaptations of 1922 and especially Gerald’s Game earned general critical praise. Castle Rock, set in a town that’s home to an amalgamation of King stories, debuts on Hulu later this month. Adaptations of Pet Sematary, The Tommyknockers, Doctor Sleep, and more are upcoming. Dark Tower... well, Dark Tower happened, let’s just say that.

Exclusive: Sideshow’s Legendary Scale Spider-Man is web-slinging his way to Comic-Con @ Syfy Wire

Sideshow’s Legendary Scale™ Spider-Man figure is arguably their most jaw-dropping reveal of San Diego Comic-Con.

SDCC 2018: A life-size LEGO statue of Thanos will help balance the convention floor @ Syfy Wire

LEGO is set to be a major presence at this year's San Diego Comic-Con with a life-size statue of Thanos, the Mad Titan from Avengers: Infinity War.

A New Lego Set Reveals Spider-Man and Venom Don't Need to Be Jealous of Tony Stark's Hulkbuster Mech @ io9

As one of the few superheroes without any powers, Tony Stark instead brings some impressive toys to battle—including the towering Hulkbuster armor—that must make other heroes jealous. But as io9 can exclusively reveal today, in Lego’s new set, Spider-Man and Venom have no reason to envy Stark, as the two will soon go…


Nathan Fillion's Uncharted fan film could lead to 'digital series or something further' @ Syfy Wire

No, Firefly’s Nathan Fillion wasn’t teasing his casting in the long-coming Uncharted movie, but announcing one of his own, secretly adapting the video game series with Allan Ungar and Stephen Lang back in May — having sat on the idea since January.

Why bringing Pennywise back from the dead was terrifyingly easy for Bill Skarsgard @ Syfy Wire

You might think that getting back into the skin of a ghoul from the Macroverse ravenous for innocent flesh was a nightmare for Bill Skarsgård, but for the IT: Chapter Two actor, Pennywise had a much easier time crawling out of the sewer the second time around.

Stunning chaos in the galactic core @ Syfy Wire

A new radio telescope in South Africa has just been switched on for the first time, and the inaugural image taken by it is jaw-droppingly spectacular.

Updates on Aquaman, Shazam, and More @ io9

Christopher Lloyd is game for a fourth Back to the Future film. The Walking Dead recruits another time-skip character from the comics. Danielle Panabaker will head behind the camera for The Flash’s next season. Plus, a new look at Fear the Walking Dead’s return, and what’s to come on The 100. To me, my spoilers!


Feel the post-plague YA love in latest teaser for The Darkest Minds @ Syfy Wire

Kids have the power in the upcoming adaptation of YA series The Darkest Minds, but the latest teaser focuses on how romance can blossom even in the midst of struggle.

Marvel Rising: Initiation trailer teases premiere of new animated shorts @ Syfy Wire

We've known for a while that Marvel would be introducing the latest multi-platform addition to their ever-growing universe of superheroes called Marvel Rising, but now we've got an official introduction in the form of a teaser trailer ahead of their San Diego Comic-Con panel.

Love at First Bite director Stan Dragoti dead at age 85 @ Syfy Wire

Stan Dragoti, the director possibly best known to genre audiences for the film Love at FIrst Bite, has passed away. The 1979 vampire comedy featured George Hamilton as Count Dracula, who moves to New York City from Transylvania in an attempt to find a bride. 

How to get exclusive merch from comic giants @ Syfy Wire

Merchandise, exclusives, and the delicious acquiring of all things nerdy — that’s the tangible takeaway from San Diego Comic-Con's Mecca-like gathering of comic artists and those who appreciate them.

Knowing as much, here's a handy little heads up: SYFY is collaborating with three major comic artists for SDCC merch drops, which include specially designed T-shirts and hoodies. 

Objects in Space 7/16/18: She isn't gone @ Syfy Wire

This is it: buckle-down week, aka "SYFY FANGRRLS get into prep time for San Diego Comic-Con and try to keep their heads on straight in the process." So far, so good.

Hold onto your diapers! Rugrats relaunching on Nickelodeon and big screen @ Syfy Wire

If you grew up in the '90s, boy, have we got some good news for you.

Rick and Morty, Stranger Things, and Ghostbusters Chia Pets Are Coming Soon @ io9

If you were confused as to why collectibles-maker NECA bought the company that makes Chia Pets back in February, the reason should be crystal clear now that Stranger Things, Ghostbusters, Golden Girls, Gremlins, Predator, and Rick and Morty topiary sculptures are coming to fill every last window ledge in your home.


Exclusive: Stan Lee and POW! Entertainment releasing online comic Stan Lee's Work Force - see the cover @ Syfy Wire

Stan Lee and POW! Entertainment are ready to announce a new online comic book called Stan Lee's Work Force, which stars the legend himself as he leads a superhero staff constantly encountering more than your typical nine-to-five office stresses.

Rugrats Will Return With a New TV Show and CGI Movie @ io9

Break out the rattles and diapers. Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, Angelica, and the rest of the gang will return in multiple mediums.


The Darkest Minds' Newest Teaser Is All About Romance @ io9

Fox’s upcoming adaptation of Alexandra Bracken’s YA series The Darkest Minds might seem like an epic, action-oriented X-Men kind of a story, but the film’s latest trailer is a powerful reminder that romance is ultimately what drives everything forward.


Pacific Rim: Uprising's Cailee Spaeny on why she won't make demonic movies @ Syfy Wire

As feature film debuts go, Pacific Rim: Uprising is a pretty major one, and that’s something Cailee Spaeny is more than grateful for. The 20-year-old actress plays John Boyega’s co-lead in the sci-fi sequel, having spent four years of driving back and forth from Missouri to Los Angeles to launch her acting career.

Timothee Chalamet may take on Paul Atreides in Denis Villenueve’s Dune @ Sci-Fi Storm

We haven’t heard anything since November, and we figured it would languish in development for a while, but it appears that Denis Villenueve’s Dune is moving forward faster than we expected, with Oscar-nominee Timothee Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name, Lady Bird) in negotiations to star.

Vellenueve (Blade Runner 2049, Arrival) took on the project after Legendary acquired the film and TV rights in 2016, and has always had his own vision of the film since reading the books. Oscar winner Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) penned the script.

The Dune Remake Is Looking at Call Me By Your Name's Timothée Chalamet for Its Lead @ io9

Kyle MacLachlan, eat your spice out. Academy Award-nominated actor Timothée Chalamet is in talks to join Legendary’s Dune remake in the lead role of Paul Atreides.


Bumblebee peeing on John Turturro propelled Lindsay Ellis to film criticism greatness @ Syfy Wire

If you take a deep dive into film critic Lindsay Ellis' well-crafted, insightful video essays on her YouTube channel, one image will appear over and over again until it's seared into your brain forever, whether you like it or not.

No matter what the video is about, there's at least a decent chance that it will feature a clip from Transformers in which the Autobot Bumblebee urinates all over the Emmy-winning actor John Turturro.

Report: Harley Quinn’s Birds of Prey will feature Black Canary, Huntress, Cassandra Cain, Renee Montoya @ Syfy Wire

The picture of how DC’s Birds of Prey "girl gang" project may be shaping up just got a whole lot clearer, if a new report about the Margot Robbie-produced movie’s character lineup pans out. 

Casting: Dune may have found its Muad'lead, Walking Dead adds a Tony nominee, Westeros vet joins Rim of the World @ Syfy Wire

The latest cinematic adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune continues to move forward under the stewardship of director Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049, Arrival), and our excitement continues to mount right along with it. Today we have news that an Oscar nominee is close to bagging the lead role. 

July 16 in Twilight Zone History: Remembering actor Phillip Pine ('The Four of Us Are Dying,' 'The Incredible World of Horace Ford') @ Syfy Wire

Today, July 16th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia celebrate the birth of actor Phillip Pine, born on this day in 1920.

Pine had two important roles in the Zone: he's one of the quartet of hoodlums who can change his face at will in "The Four of Us Are Dying" and he's the title character's (Pat Hingle) toy designer colleague in the Season 4 one-hour episode "The Incredible World of Horace Ford."

Here's Boba Fett Like You've Never Seen Him Before @ io9

Star Wars fans have seen Boba Fett throughout his life, from his early days with father Jango Fett, to learning his trade during the Clone Wars, all the way up through his work with the Empire and ultimate demise on Tatooine. But, obviously, there are big gaps in there and Sideshow Collectibles is going to fill them.


Aquaman’s James Wan: Atlantis is kinda scary, but ‘I didn’t set out to make a horror movie’ @ Syfy Wire

As superhero settings go, Aquaman’s Atlantis always has saddled DC with a unique mix of opportunities and problems. Informed by tropes cherry-picked from Greek myth, the deep ocean is a place that’s ripe for visually rich, stylized romanticizing — but it’s also an alien environment that remains poorly explored here on this side of the comics.

Report: Here Are the DC Heroes Joining Harley Quinn in the Birds of Prey Movie @ io9

Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is the headliner in the planned Birds of Prey movie, but who will join her for the ride? A new report suggests some fan-favorite DC Comics characters.


New magical goodness at Universal Studios Hollywood's Wizarding World of Harry Potter @ Syfy Wire

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood has some new magical goodies in store for us, and we got a chance to check them all out.

How the End Credits Scenes of Ant-Man and the Wasp Were Chosen @ io9

The end credits scenes in Ant-Man and the Wasp are deliberately meant to leave you asking questions—questions that won’t be answered until next summer’s Avengers 4 at the earliest. But the film’s director, Peyton Reed, was able to explain to io9 a few things about the scenes, including how the scenes came about, why…


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