Fitz’s mind finally breaks in a brutal, damaging Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. @ Syfy Wire

With ratings down and the writers prepping the end like it could be The End, there’s a decent chance this could be the final season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. If that is the case, there’s little doubt this series will be going out on a creative high — and with a team that could be absolutely shattered by the time it gets there.

Spoilers ahead for “The Devil Complex,” the latest episode of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which aired Friday, Mar. 23, 2018.

The paradox in Timeless is a feature, not a bug @ Syfy Wire

In the very first episode of NBC’s Timeless, our trio of unlikely heroes breaks the biggest time traveling rule of them all: don’t change anything.

Like Star Trek’s Prime Directive or the hard and fast rule that your freshly buttered toast will always fall butter side down, this paradox rule is one of those tenets of time travel that any self-respecting science fiction fan will hold up like the oft-joked about East German judge at the Olympics -- a glaring 4.9 in a sea of 6.0's.

Netflix hoping Troy: Fall of a City trailer will give you those Game of Thrones feelings @ Syfy Wire

Netflix is bringing an epic series to it's streaming library, and it might be just the thing that will tide us all over until the return of Game of Thrones. Then again, it might not.

Objects in Space 3/23/18: Catch you on the weekend @ Syfy Wire

Hey, it's Friday! You're here. You made it. You should treat yourself in some way, shape or form. For me, that's watching episodes of AMC's The Terror, which you should definitely check out when it premieres on Monday, March 26th. (My fellow SYFY Wire contributor Tara Bennett has a great interview with some of the stars, and you can watch that here.)

Did you read/see/watch/encounter any interesting or noteworthy genre fare this week?

Cloak & Dagger stars and creators on remaking the mythology @ Syfy Wire

The first full trailer for Cloak & Dagger hit earlier this week, and as fans of the comic have noticed, the new Freeform series features a major reinvention of the characters and the mythology behind the story; Tyrone (Aubrey Joseph) will still become Cloak and Tandy (Olivia Holt) will still become Dagger, but almost everything else has changed, including the background of each character.

The Week in Geek: Krypton begins! X-Files ends! Shatner births! Pacific Rim rises! @ Syfy Wire

I'm not sure how things were by you, but here in New York we had a blizzard even though it's nearly the end of March. So, with that in mind, most of us here are very happy to see the back of this very cold, very snowy spring week.

Steven Spielberg offers optimistic Tintin update @ Syfy Wire

Don't count the Tintin franchise out just yet.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller reveal their credit on Solo: A Star Wars Story @ Syfy Wire

Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street) were ousted from the helm of Solo: A Star Wars Story last summer. This was a surprising turn of events. Even though there were reports of "creative differences" on set between them and producers Kathleen Kennedy and Lawrence Kasdan, they were more than halfway done with shooting. Ron Howard stepped in to direct the rest of the film, and he is the one who will get the "Directed By" credit on the film.

Marvel's Goddess of Thunder Has Fallen @ io9

Since last October, Mighty Thor has been running a storyline called “The Death of Mighty Thor.” This week, that storyline lived up to its name.


Ryan Reynolds gets a screenwriting credit for work on Deadpool 2 @ Syfy Wire

File this one under the “yeah, that makes total sense” banner: Deadpool himself is officially getting a co-credit for scripting the forthcoming movie sequel that bears his anti-heroic name.

Exclusive: Mr. Baseball Bob Uecker to guest star in Teen Titans Go! Season 5 @ Syfy Wire

If you watch Teen Titans Go!, then you know all of the crazy guest stars that have appeared on the series, like Lebron James, Cee-Lo, and Weird Al Yankovic, just to name a few. Now the casting director of Teen Titans Go! has brought Mr. Baseball, legendary Milwaukee Brewers broadcaster, Bob Uecker, to the plate.

Harley Quinn's Getting the Mad Max: Fury Road Treatment in Old Lady Harley @ io9

There’s been Old Man Logan and Old Man Hawkeye storylines showing Wolverine and Clint Barton kicking butt when they’re past their prime. Now Dr. Harleen Quinzel’s making fun of that trend with an all-new arc that starts in Harley Quinn #42.


How I Kill Giants writer Joe Kelly adapted magic and childhood grief from page to screen @ Syfy Wire

Keeping your sacred oath to protect the world from evil giants is hard enough without your friends, family, and teachers telling you that it's all in your head. I Kill Giants, an upcoming movie based on the graphic novel of the same name from Images Comics' Man of Action, tells the story of Barbara Thorson, a fearsome, geeky girl with an important purpose: she finds, hunts, and kills giants before they can wreak destruction on her world.

Does not knowing the ins and outs of the Cloverfield mythology take away from the fun? @ Syfy Wire

Most of the time, sci-fi and mythology go hand in hand. Whether you’re writing a screenplay, a novel, a comic or a game, worldbuilding is typically an essential part of that storytelling process. There’s a lot that entails, whether you’re tackling an original universe in science fiction or in fantasy — new planets, unique magic systems, unique hierarchical structures or strange extraterrestrial creatures, just to name a few.

Artist Hides Secret Code to $10,000 Worth of Cryptocurrencies in Lego Artworks @ io9

It has no inherent value and causes observers to rotate between feelings of fascination and anger. We’re talking about cryptocurrency, but also art. In a new series, artist Andy Bauch is bringing the two subjects together with works that use abstract patterns constructed in Lego bricks. Each piece visually represents…


Nope, this flaming T-rex isn't in Jurassic World: Watch this terrifying dino inferno at a Colorado museum @ Syfy Wire

We'd love to say this is a BTS set piece from the upcoming Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom where all the engineered dinos ignite in flames and go rampaging around suburban streets as flaming ferocities... but it isn't.

Who Won the Week Episode 120: Pacific Rim Uprising, Krypton and more @ Syfy Wire

Welcome to the latest episode of Who Won the Week, a weekly podcast in which SYFY WIRE's Adam Swiderski, Dany Roth and Karama Horne look back at the week that was and the stories that are blowing up the geek-o-sphere.

Adorable, Finger-Hugging Dinosaurs, and More of the Coolest Toys of the Week @ io9

Welcome back to Toy Aisle, io9's regular round-up of the coolest (and often the shiniest) toys and merchandise we’ve been ogling lately. This week: some remarkably stylish Gundams, some weirdly cute finger-mounted dinosaurs, and more Avengers figures than you can shake an Infinity Gauntlet at. Check it out!


Steven Spielberg: Great Netflix original films 'deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar' @ Syfy Wire

As entertainment formats change with the technological times, as well as viewer habits, the line that distinguishes theater-worthy movies from sofa-bound, stay-at-home small-screen fare continues to get increasingly blurry.

Thanks to Vader and Thrawn, the planet Batuu will already be canon when Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opens @ Syfy Wire

The sprawling new Star Wars addition to Disney Parks (called Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge) is still under construction, but we will be able to visit the park's planetary setting of Batuu a little earlier than expected.

March 23 in Twilight Zone History: Celebrating the 1962 premiere of 'Person or Persons Unknown' @ Syfy Wire

Today, March 23rd, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia celebrate the 1962 premiere of "Person or Persons Unknown."

Lethal Women Face Life or Death (Mostly Death) Situations in This Week's Best Comics @ io9

Though Father Time stalks us all in anticipation of the inevitable moment when we pass on from this life to the next, that doesn’t stop us from doing everything we can to stave off death as best as we can. In time, everyone makes peace with the fact that they can’t escape death and most people decide to try and make…


Don Cheadle says Rhodey struggles with being War Machine in Avengers: Infinity War @ Syfy Wire

One of the characters in Avengers: Infinity War we haven't heard a lot about yet is James Rhodes, a.k.a War Machine, played by Don Cheadle.

The 10 Best Deals of March 23, 2018 @ io9

We see a lot of deals around the web over on Kinja Deals, but these were our ten favorites today.


WATCH: A Closer Look: A Day In The Life Of A Stormtrooper @ Syfy Wire

Think being an extra on a Star Wars movie is an easy gig? Check out these stalwart stormtroopers in a new behind-the-scenes video displaying the professional dedication necessary to become a loyal enforcer of the First Order.

Stuff We Love: Spoonflower is a cosplayer/geek clothier's new best friend @ Syfy Wire

Cool geeky clothes are easier to find than ever before — if your body size is average or even extra large. But since bodies come in all heights and widths, the only way to get what we really want is to either make it ourselves, to cajole a clothes-making buddy, or to pay a professional to make us look geektastic. 

Cowabunga! Watch the first trailer for Nick's Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles @ Syfy Wire

Your favorite "Heroes in a Half Shell" are returning to Nickelodeon in a brand-new animated series, but these aren't the ninja turtles you think you know. With a zany art style and an origin story approach, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles promises to put a fresh spin on these classic reptilian crime fighters.

Superman’s costume has evolved more times than he's come back to life @ Syfy Wire

It's a bird... it's a plane... it's a guy in blue spandex crashing to Earth!

That spandex hasn't always been blue. In his 79 years of existence — which will officially become 80 on April 18 — Superman has been through almost as many costume changes as he has nefarious villains and epic battles. And in some of these alternate Kryptonian skinsuits, you wouldn't recognize the hero even if he were soaring above the skyscrapers in whatever your version of Metropolis might be.

Iconic Video Game Series Street Fighter Heads to TV in New Production Deal @ io9

If Guile doesn’t kick someone’s butt and tell them to go home and be a family man, well... what’s even the point of making a Street Fighter TV show?


Dark Knight Returns writer Frank Miller has inked a 5-project deal with DC Comics @ Syfy Wire

Frank Miller's fruitful relationship with DC comics just got a bit more fruitful. The legendary writer has just signed a five-project deal with the publisher, writes The Hollywood Reporter.

Exclusive: See Morgan Jones' journey to the Fear the Walking Dead crossover @ Syfy Wire

Lennie James' Morgan Jones will be crossing over to Fear the Walking Dead during the show's Season 4 premiere April 15.

The Battle Between Spider-Man and Thanos Gets Bonkers in This Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Animated Clip @ io9

Seriously, there is a lot going on here.


I Hate Going Into Comic Book Stores @ io9

I have a confession to make. Even though I understand the important role that they play in the survival and evolution of the industry, I hate going into real-life, brick-and-mortar comic book shops with a burning passion.


Little Dragons Cafe is a nonviolent sim game from the creator of Harvest Moon @ Syfy Wire

If you enjoy video games, there's no doubt that you've heard of the Harvest Moon series at some point. It's an adorable, calm, and deceptively simple simulation series in which you're tasked with managing your own diminutive farm. It's had iterations on systems from Super Nintendo to Game Boy all the way to Nintendo 64 and PlayStation 2 and basically every other console. It's since had a name change to Story of Seasons due to licensing issues with publisher Natsume, but it's still an iconic name.

Gamers and manga fans as introverts? Facebook data thinks it might have a handle on genre fans @ Syfy Wire

The appeal of genre is that it brings an astounding diversity of people together over something they all find a way to love, to share, to argue about, and to defend.

Torn Deftly Weaves a Story of Stitchpunk Magic and Class Warfare @ Barnes & Noble: Sci-Fi & Fantasy

In narratives of revolution, there tend to be two opposing sides, us and them, where us is the poor, and them is the ruling class. Very rarely do we hear the story of revolt from within the middle class: the shopkeepers and traders, the merchants and professors. (I think the word I’m looking for is bourgeoisie, not to get too Marx about it.) The middle of any conflict is not a desirable place to be—not trusted by either side, constantly forced to tread a narrow path between. This unusual perspective makes Torn, the debut novel by Rowenna Miller, very interesting indeed: it tells the story of a young shop keeper living in interesting times (as the old curse goes), divided in her loyalties and standing right where the weave begins to rip, as society is torn in two.

Sophie and her brother Kristos were born in Galitha to immigrant parents from Pellia, a southern country considered by most Galatines to be a backwater. Most Pellians live in a rough and tumble ethnic neighborhood, but Sophie and her sibling have managed to claw their way into a posher Galantine enclave, though their position remains precarious—indeed, we first meet Sophie on her way to renew her business license, something all businesses must do every year, and woe betide those who mess up their paperwork. (As a small business owner who recently messed up her paperwork for licensure, this sequence rang true.) The Lord of Coin gives out precious few business licenses in a year, and the punishment for even minor infractions is placement on a blacklist.

Sophie runs an atelier, a small shop with two employees, though she is only in her mid-20s. She is the only couture charm-caster in Galitha City, having meshed the derided Pellian folk art of charm-casting with the stitching of fine garments, a quirk that has given her a slight edge in the trade. Traditional charm-casters work with clay or satchels of herbs, but Sophie learned to ply her mother’s magic into her work as a seamstress, producing charmed dresses that are not just beautiful, but magical. She is also keenly aware her clientele is primarily made up of minor nobility, the only people wealthy enough to buy beautiful dresses, let alone charmed ones.

Kristos is less lucky, economically speaking, and his is more typical of the average Galantine’s life. He’s a dock worker, when there’s work, toiling mostly as a day laborer, constantly hustling for enough scratch to make rent. He’s also a brilliant orator, smart and well read, but the Galantine university system only allows members of the upper class an education. There’s no good reason someone as bright as Kristos should waste his mind throwing fish on a dock, and he knows it. He becomes a vital member of the Laborers’ League, an organization of the disgruntled lower classes.

Sophie is well irritated with her brother’s politics—can’t you see that I’m the one who makes rent while you’re off in coffee shops talking economic theory?—but she doesn’t have a good counter to her brother’s valid critiques of the Galithan economic system. There are precious few paths out of the insecurity of day labor, even if Sophie has found one. The pair spars good-naturedly, though there is genuine heat to their disagreement. Still, Sophie loves her brother, and is willing to stitch him charmed red caps to protect him and his fellow League members during their rabble-rousing.

Sophie’s business takes her closer and closer to the aristocracy of Galitha, stitching fine dresses for petty nobility. One of her first assignments is for Lady Viola, a well-placed aristocrat who runs a salon of artists, scholars, and assorted hangers on. Viola is kind and warm, and an artist in her own right. Sophie feels a kinship with her, despite the class gap; she is a person with whom Viola can discuss the finer points of her own artistry. That Viola is allowed the time and money to pursue her artistry, while her own brother is denied the same privilege due to their common birth, is lost on Sophie.

Yet Sophie does have a finely rendered relationship with her two employees, and her nascent apprentice, all of them women. Sophie feels keenly the apprenticeships that brought her to entrepreneurship at such a young age. She wants to give back as much as she is able to the young women plying a woman’s trade in a precarious economy. (Lest you worry that the story will get lost in subplots, one of her employees ends up romantically entangled with her brother, and by extension, his revolution.) Sophie’s apprentice is a young Pellian who still bears the marks, by dress and carriage, of their unwanted ancestry. Sophie isn’t just straddling economic classes, but ethnicities—while she might think of herself as Galatine, her dark skin and trade in charms marks her as other. There are aspects of the novel that feel unbalanced—the ruling class luxuriates in finery, and is understood to be noble in both sense of the word, while the rebelling workers are mostly villains, and not always particularly well tailored ones; perhaps even for the author, the finer things in life prove too alluring.

Torn reminds me a bit of Mary Robinette-Kowal’s feminist-minded Edwardian pastiche Shades of Milk and Honey, with its emphasis on the domestic arts, and on the finely graded, stifling strictures put on women’s work, both inside and outside of the home. Sophie may run her own business, but she’s well aware that if she marries, all she has built for herself will all be owned by her husband and his male kin. Her Pellian legacy may afford her certain perks (in that she’s able to bend a folk art to commerce) but she’s still perceived as either foreign rabble (by the ruling class) or as a turncoat collaborator (by day workers less successful than she.) She can be a bit frustrating as a first person narrator—often selfish and nearsighted—but she’s an unusual voice, firmly set within her specific milieu and articulated in her worldview. If revolution came to my own world, I’d probably be closer to a Sophie than an avenging angel like Katniss. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Torn is available now.

The post Torn Deftly Weaves a Story of Stitchpunk Magic and Class Warfare appeared first on The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog.

Star Wars Weekly: New Forces of Destiny episodes and fans Look for Leia @ Syfy Wire

Time again for STAR WARS WEEKLY, a new SYFY WIRE series that rounds up the most important news of the week from a galaxy far, far away. Think of us as your own personal Star Wars Holocron.


This week, Disney released the next eight installments of Forces of Destiny, the bite-sized animated show.

Steven Spielberg Doesn't Believe Netflix Movies Deserve Oscar Nominations @ io9

Steven Spielberg believes anything on Netflix is television and should be treated as such. In a new interview, the powerful director said he doesn’t believe films that premiere on the streaming service should be considered for Academy Awards nominations.


The Spice Girls Wannabe Your New Animated Superheroes @ io9

Never, and I mean never, give up on the good times, folks. Variety is reporting the Spice Girls are working on a new movie—an animated superhero movie, to be exact.


Rian Johnson on why it's not 'healthy' to listen to fans when crafting his new Star Wars trilogy @ Syfy Wire

It's been more than three months since the release of The Last Jedi, and writer/director Rian Johnson is still dealing with the massive and impassioned fan response to the film. Anyone who works on a franchise as big as Star Wars has come to expect the response to be big, loud, and extensive, whether you're working on a film, an animated series, a comic book, or a toy line.

Exclusive preview: Wonder Woman #43 @ Syfy Wire

Comic book fans who have been following along with the story of Wonder Woman—and her twin brother, Jason—can officially get a look at the first pages of the upcoming Wonder Woman #43 before it hits shelves next week.

How Jessica Jones and Marvel Television create a fictionalized New York City @ Syfy Wire

Jessica Jones lives in the modern day, but her city is meant to be a place stuck in the past — a restless landscape of places to prowl at night, or hide from the wintry, thinned-out light on the next day's walk of shame.

"It's got a fog-rolling-off-the-water feel to it, even if we shot it on a bright, sunny day," actor Eka Darville, who plays Malcolm, told SYFY WIRE.

Ready Player One Has a Major Problem Hiding in Plain Sight @ io9

Ready Player One is set to hit theaters soon, a film that’s gotten a mixed reception so far (you can read our review here). The virtual world of pure imagination that director Steven Spielberg has created differs from Ernest Cline’s original novel, but one of those changes has created, or rather enhanced, a major…


Thrawn: Alliances Is Sending Darth Vader and Thrawn to Disneyland, Kind of @ io9

We at io9 pray to the altar of Grand Admiral Thrawn. This is a well-known fact. So when the first excerpt from Timothy Zahn’s new book, Thrawn: Alliances came online, there was quite a bit of excitement followed by pure elation at its awesome revelations.


Justice League's costume designer explains why Superman's black suit was scrapped @ Syfy Wire

Though Warner Bros. did its best for a while to keep him out of the trailers and other marketing materials, it was almost always a given that Superman would show up again at some point in Justice League last year. For a very long time we didn't know how, or when, but for many comic book fans one major question about the Man of Steel's resurrection loomed from the moment Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ended: What about the black costume?

Blogging the Nebulas: Spoonbenders Is the Endearing Saga of a Fantastically Dysfunctional Family @ Barnes & Noble: Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Editor’s note: The Nebula Awards are often described as the Academy Awards of SFF literature. Like the Oscar, the Nebula is voted on by the professional peers of the award nominees—members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. There are seven nominees in the best novel category this year; every two weeks between now and the awards ceremony on May 19, Ceridwen Christensen will be taking a look at each of them, and figuring their odds of taking home the prize.

The pitch:

Daryl Gregory’s Spoonbenders is a rollicking, funny, and touching chronicle of several decades in the lives of the Telemachus family, which starts (insofar as a family starts anywhere) with the courtship of the grandparents, Teddy and Maureen Telemachus. Teddy and Maureen meet cute in the waiting room for a study on psychic powers. Teddy’s there because he’s a con man, cold reader, and swindler looking to make a quick buck gulling academics. Maureen is there because she’s an honest to goodness psychic, though not quite sure of her abilities. Teddy is instantly smitten; how exactly is this woman pulling what looks like the perfect con?

Magicians, con artists, clairvoyants, cold readers, and mediums have a long and tangled history. Harry Houdini is perhaps the most emblematic of this conflict and consanguinity: he was the greatest magician of his age, and also fiercely committed to unmasking psychics who claimed to commune with the dead or read the future. That Maureen and Teddy, the faker and the genuine article, ultimately fall in love is maybe no big surprise. They are two halves of the same flipping coin.

But Spoonbenders isn’t a story told in a linear manner—from courtship, to children, to grandchildren. Instead, it more swirls around the in-laws and outlaws of the Telemachus family, skipping time and tellers as it assembles a family portrait piecemeal. Much of the family lore is relayed in disparate pieces, as when an uncle gets drunk at Thanksgiving dinner and accidentally reveals too much, or in coded warnings from disappointed parents to disappointed children. All of the reversals and half-stories, the intrigue and mythologizing, felt very true to how I’ve experienced my own extended family—moments of dire candor dropped among a thousand of half-truths and efforts at maintaining the status quo. (One of Teddy and Mo’s children doesn’t speak at all, and the chapters in his voice, in his head, are revelatory.) The time and perspective shifts are beautifully done, weaving a story of a family that nevertheless allows each member his or her individuality. Plus, Gregory’s writing is just fun to read, crackling with wit, and a kind of humor that’s just half a turn off.

Why it will win:

I’m going to admit right now I’m a bit of a Gregory fangirl. Though it’s seldom called out in his bibliography, his zombie novel Raising Stony Mayhall is one of my favorites (and I’m a big zombie nerd.) It is one of the smartest, most philosophical takes in the whole undead oeuvre, in addition to being so much fun to read. Spoonbenders is similar, in a way: Gregory turns his keen intellect and flair for dialogue and description on the social, literary, and metaphorical marriage of con artists and magicians, and all of the intended and unintended consequences of such a union, and his guy is very good at exhaustively mining a sub-genre for all its quirks and gifts.

My own personal feelings aside, Spoonbenders feels like a few recent, oddly disparate Nebula winners: Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation, and Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312Though none of these novels are united by content, they are similar in that they are written by well-established SFF writers at the top of their respective games—writers who have put in their dues, and who make the hard work of constructing a novel seem effortless. We Are All Completely Fine, Gregory’s 2015 novella about a therapy group of survivors and perpetrators of unspeakable acts, gathered some awards momentum, including a Nebula nod. It’s a nasty bit of work, not necessarily for your average reader. Spoonbenders is much more approachable, being, as it is, about a family that sticks together despite the prodigious and well detailed failings of its individual members. This is the one book in Gregory’s odd and mutable catalog to date that might prove to be a winner.

Why it won’t win:

The recent winners I did not mention—Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie and All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders—were both debut (or in Anders’ case, SFF debut) novels that smashed genre molds. Spoonbenders doesn’t smash the genre so much as squeeze it until it drips blood, and its science fictional or fantastic content is muted, layered over by the everyday. It is, at heart, is a family saga. Contemporary works, especially those that tend more toward fantasy that science fiction, are traditionally a hard sell for Nebula voters, notwithstanding Jo Walton’s win for Among Others (which, like Spoonbenders, is set in the recent past, not the mythic one.)

All told, I think Gregory has a decent shot at the Nebula this year, even if there are some strikes against it. No, it doesn’t necessarily fit tightly into any defined genre—the Russian spy bits in particular make it hard to categorize—but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The nostalgia factor is high, as it is set (mostly) in the mid-’90s, but that can go either way. There’s no denying Gregory has put in his dues, and he’s an excellent wordsmith, but he’s also going up against other masters of the craft. Until I read all of the nominees this year, I can’t say for sure who I think will win, but for now, Spoonbenders is definitely in the running.

Follow along with this year’s Blogging the Nebulas series here. See previous years’ entries here.

The post Blogging the Nebulas: Spoonbenders Is the Endearing Saga of a Fantastically Dysfunctional Family appeared first on The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog.

This Is the Most Terrifying Halloween Decoration You Have Ever Seen in Your Goddamn Life @ io9

The TransWorld Halloween & Attractions trade show is going on in St. Louis right now, and if for some reason you thought last year’s It remake wasn’t terrifying enough, come Halloween you can put this demonic, animatronic Pennywise clown on your front lawn, which includes a screaming, one-armed version of Georgie in…


Here is literally everything we know about Avengers: Infinity War @ Syfy Wire

In just one month, our eyeballs will be able to witness one of the most epic crossovers in pop culture history, Avengers: Infinity War. Directed by the Russo Brothers (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War), this is an unprecedented event, 10 years and 18 movies in the making.

Fangrrls on Film: Superman: The Movie (1978) @ Syfy Wire

Film criticism is a very dude-heavy industry. According to a 2016 study by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, men account for 73% of the top critics on Rotten Tomatoes, resulting in men often shaping the narrative of what makes a "good" film or a "bad" film—what's worth seeing and what's not. And even the most well-meaning, wokest of men wouldn't necessarily catch the microaggressions or tropes that tend to define whole genres.

How Akira and Tesla inspired the Kaiju and design in Pacific Rim Uprising @ Syfy Wire

The first Pacific Rim movie was a big dark epic, the sort of sci-fi flick with resolute heroes, giant monsters, and battles for the future of civilization that take place almost exclusively at night, during what is an unusually rainy week. Director Guillermo del Toro made the film as a rousing tribute to the great Japanese monster movies of his youth, a blockbuster without a hint of irony.

The Gorgeous Retro Superhero Comic Astro City Is Making Its Way to Television @ io9

Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, and Alex Ross’ Astro City is one of the longest-running superhero series around—yet it’s also one that’s never actually been adapted for screens big or small. That’s about to change, apparently.


Acclaimed superhero anthology comic Astro City being developed as TV series @ Syfy Wire

One of the most acclaimed and massive superhero series of the past 25 years is heading for live action.

2018 Desmond Elliott Prize Longlist @ Locus Online

The Desmond Elliott Prize longlist for “a first novel written in English and published in the UK,” by an author whose permanent residence is in the UK or Ireland, has been announced. Among ten titles listed, two are of genre interest:

  • How to be Human, Paula Cocozza (Hutchinson)
  • The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock, Imogen Hermes Gowar (Harvill Secker)

The winning title will be selected by a panel of three judges ...Read More

WATCH: Take a look back at 1990's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie @ Syfy Wire

On March 30, 1990, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opened in movie theaters. Directed by Steve Barron, the live-action superhero comedy was based on the dark and gritty comic book of the same name created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, as well as the much lighter and funnier 1987 cartoon series.

Don Cheadle Didn't Know the Plot of Avengers: Infinity War While He Filmed It, and He's Totally Fine With That @ io9

How far does Marvel go to keep the secrets for a film like Avengers: Infinity War? Most of the actors never get to read the entire script. Obviously, they see the scenes they’re in, but otherwise, directors Anthony and Joe Russo—along with the writers, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely—tell the actors the general…


The Ninth Doctor returns in early Doctor Who 50th anniversary draft excerpt @ Syfy Wire

While Christopher Eccleston recently opened up about what led to his departure from Doctor Who after only one season as the Ninth Doctor, former showrunner Steven Moffat has released an excerpt from his early draft of the 50th-anniversary

Indie Comics Spotlight: Desiree Rodriguez is a Puerto Rican Strong Starfire fangirl @ Syfy Wire

Desiree Rodriguez is a writer, editor, and unapologetic Latinx geek. Rodriguez edited an upcoming comics anthology, Puerto Rican Strong, for which the proceeds will go to the Puerto Rican victims of Hurricane Maria.

'Move Over' Avengers, the Spice Girls have a new animated superhero team in the works @ Syfy Wire

Wannabe Avengers? Not these superheroes. The semi-reunited Spice Girls (taking meetings together if not touring), whose “Spice Up Your Life” music video is the Blade Runner-iest thing ever to come from pop, are creating an animated film project in which their likenesses will be superpowered.

Carl plays jump rope with Michonne's pet walkers in deleted scene from Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special @ Syfy Wire

Last fall, the world of The Walking Dead collided with the insanity of Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken in The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special: Look Who's Walking. Although the dark zombie drama doesn’t always go for levity, co-creator Robert Kirkman and several of the show’s cast members were more than happy to spoof their characters. 

This New Star Trek Book Is a Remarkably Intimate Look at the People Making the Show, as They Made It @ io9

The making of the original Star Trek television series, has been well documented at this point. But a new book examines some of the rarest artifacts from the cast and crew and their time making the series, through behind-the-scenes photos, letters to fans and producers alike, and much more—and we’ve got a wonderful…


Gal Gadot wishes Wonder Woman a happy birthday on Instagram @ Syfy Wire

Israeli actress/model Gal Gadot took to Instagram to wish Princess Diana a happy birthday. While Wonder Woman first appeared in October of 1941, her birthday is actually March 22, according to a DC calendar from 1976. Gadot posted a page from the comics of Queen Hippolyta creating Diana out of clay with the accompanying caption:

T-Rex Catches Fire at Amusement Park Despite the Fact That Real Dinosaurs Were Rarely on Fire @ io9

The Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience in Canon City, Colorado, used to have 16 regular T-Rex dinosaur statues. Now it has just 15, since one of the dinosaurs caught fire yesterday morning. It burned down in a glorious spectacle that was all caught on tape. But it wasn’t very scientifically accurate.


Reading the Pulps 7: “The Star Pit” by Samuel R. Delany @ Worlds Without End

“The Star Pit” by Samuel R. Delany first appeared in Worlds of Tomorrow February 1967.

You might already own “The Star Pit” in one of these books:

Warning: This column contains spoilers.

“The Star Pit” by Samuel R. Delany is a complex novella I’ve read several times in the last half-century. It reiterates common themes Delany dwelt on in the 1960s as a young writer. “The Star Pit” explores the emotions we feel when we discover places we can’t go but other people can. The story analyzes how dissatisfaction of not fitting in makes us want to go elsewhere.

I related to this story strongly back in 1967 because of the anguish I felt wanting to be an astronaut and learning I couldn’t. I didn’t have 20-20 vision. I didn’t understand back then why I wanted to leave the Earth. In the decades since I’ve learned that there are countless existential locations I can’t go, that others can. I’ve since learned why I was unhappy wherever I was, making this story more beautiful every time I reread it. Anyone who reads “The Star Pit” will discover analogies with their own dissatisfactions and limitations.

Have I been a life-long science fiction fan because I couldn’t go into space? I’m not part of the Millennium Falcon generation, where science fiction is pure escapist fantasy. My favorite spacecraft has always been the Gemini space capsule, something that was as down-to-Earth as a Volkswagon Beetle. My astronaut ambitions began with reading Have Space Suit – Will Travel and ended with “The Star Pit,” a period that coincided with the duration of Project Gemini in the 1960s. Of course, I didn’t know besides poor vision I completely lacked the right stuff until I encountered Tom Wolfe’s book.

Over the years I’ve read many astronaut memoirs and they’ve all taught me the same thing: I’m an earthling. Reading “The Star Pit” shows us the boundaries of our ecological existence. It reveals the dissatisfaction of not fitting in pushes us to leave, and at some point, we butt into a barrier like a guppy in an aquarium.

I’ve always read science fiction because I thought it prepared us for the future. I believed being a science fiction fan supported colonizing the solar system. Now I have doubts. What if humans can’t spread across moons, planets, and the galaxy? Is “The Star Pit” an analogy for that too?

Like Kip Russell in the Heinlein novel, I fantasized in 1967 I’d find a way into space one way or another. I was desperate to get to Mars. I didn’t really know why then. I probably assumed my religion, science fiction, demanded it. As I got older I discovered all the ways I couldn’t adjust to my environment. Was a lifetime of reading science fiction my Zoloft to ease the anxiety of never fitting in and never escaping? Or was the vicarious thrill of science fiction all I ever really needed, like a drug? Wisdom has taught me I never could have been an astronaut. I now know I would hate living in space. So, why do I still read science fiction? That answer also lies in “The Star Pit.” Delany’s words weave the allure of living on other worlds. “The Star Pit” is also an ecologarium.

Is fiction our substitute for living lives of quiet desperation? Some people want to do things in life so badly that they make it happen. Or, die trying. As a kid, I thought anything was possible, and I’d be one of those people who’d overcome all odds. I wasn’t. I just didn’t know that in 1967.

I have a thought experiment I sometimes use to see my life more clearly. I call it the Amoeba Analogy or The Microscope Perspective. Have you ever studied pond water under the microscope and watched simple multicellular animals go through their interactions? Imagine seeing your own life from above, as through a microscope lens. It’s a great way to visualize the finite limitations of our own ecologarium.

Delany starts his story with a description of an ecologarium, a reoccurring analogy in this story:

Two glass panes with dirt between and little tunnels from cell to cell: when I was a kid I had an ant colony.

But once some of our four-to-six-year-olds built an ecologarium with six-foot plastic panels and grooved aluminum bars to hold corners and top down. They put it out on the sand.

There was a mud puddle against one wall so you could see what was going on underwater. Sometimes segment worms crawling through the reddish earth hit the side so their tunnels were visible for a few inches. In hot weather the inside of the plastic got coated with mist and droplets. The small round leaves on the litmus vines changed from blue to pink, blue to pink as clouds coursed the sky and the pH of the photosensitive soil shifted slightly.

The kids would run out before dawn and belly down naked in the cool sand with their chins on the backs of their hands and stare in the half-dark till the red mill wheel of Sigma lifted over the bloody sea. The sand was maroon then, and the flowers of the crystal plants looked like rubies in the dim light of the giant sun. Up the beach the jungle would begin to whisper while somewhere an ani-wort would start warbling. The kids would giggle and poke each other and crowd closer.

Then Sigma-prime, the second member of the binary, would flare like thermite on the water, and crimson clouds would bleach from coral, through peach, to foam. The kids, half on top of each other now, lay like a pile of copper ingots with sun streaks in their hair—even on little Antoni, my oldest, whose hair was black and curly like bubbling oil (like his mother’s), the down on the small of his two-year-old back was a white haze across the copper if you looked that close to see.

More children came to squat and lean on their knees, or kneel with their noses an inch from the walls, to watch, like young magicians, as things were born, grew, matured, and other things were born. Enchanted at their own construction, they stared at the miracles in their live museum.

A small, red seed lay camouflaged in the silt by the lake/puddle. One evening as white Sigma-prime left the sky violet, it broke open into a brown larva as long and of the same color as the first joint of Antoni’s thumb. It flipped and swirled in the mud a couple of days, then crawled to the first branch of the nearest crystal plant to hang exhausted, head down, from the tip. The brown flesh hardened, thickened, grew black, shiny. Then one morning the children saw the onyx chrysalis crack, and by second dawn there was an emerald-eyed flying lizard buzzing at the plastic panels. “

Oh, look, Da!” they called to me. “It’s trying to get out!”

Samuel Delany was an active organism himself back in the 1960s. He traveled far and wide. “The Star Pit” is a story about people like him who wanted to go further and do more but couldn’t. Before I read this story, I wanted to be like Wally Schirra and fly in the Gemini space capsule. In “The Star Pit” we meet a kid who wants to be Golden and travel to other galaxies.

Delany uses my Amoeba Analogy with his ecologarium, reminding readers we are part of an ecology. The structure of “The Star Pit” is like Russian Matryoshka nesting dolls. Delany loves recursive or circular plots, the most famous of which is used in Empire Star.

Vyme, age 42, is the largest of the nesting dolls, and our protagonist. Vyme is a black man, which was uncommon back then in science fiction. I didn’t know it at the time, but Delany was black and gay. Delany was only in his twenties when he wrote this story, so I imagine he was projecting himself as an older man in Vyme. Vyme is a drunk, and failed father. My own father was an alcoholic and failed dad too, which is another personal reason why I relate to this story. The main events in “The Star Pit” take place years after the beautiful introduction above. The Star Pit is an artificial world where intergalactic travelers come and go at the edge of the galaxy. Vyme owns a garage for spaceships and helps wayward kids get work to atone for abandoning his own children.

In Delany’s fictional universe, most humans go crazy if they get twenty-thousand light years beyond the galaxy’s edge, and die at twenty-five thousand. Only a few humans have the psychological make-up to travel across the void between galaxies. They are called Golden. This is the analogy with the average citizen of the 1960s and astronauts, but for many other things too. This story contains Ptolemaic circles within circles of analogies.

Another nesting doll in this story is Ratlit, a thirteen-year-old precocious kid who has already published a novel. Vyme sees Ratlit in himself, and we also know that Delany was a precocious kid who wrote a novel too. Ratlit hates the Golden because he wants to travel to other galaxies (Delany’s metaphor for racism?). Ratlit is in love with Alegra, a girl born with psychic powers and an addiction to an exotic drug from another galaxy. She’s a couple years older than Ratlit, and he uses her to view the worlds on distant galaxies because she can project imagery from the minds of the Golden.

Between the ages of Ratlit and Vyme is Sandy, another man who fails at marriage. Marriages in “The Star Pit” are complex group affairs, so Vyme and Sandy fail to fit into their societies. They are loners. Sandy also sees Ratlit as a younger version of himself and realizes Ratlit will eventually hurt Vyme and tries to protect him. Vyme and Sandy witness two Golden fight, with one killing the other. The victor gives the dead Golden’s spaceship to Sandy and Vyme. Ratlit wants them to give him the spaceship so he can give it to a Golden that’s come between him and Alegra.

Vyme wants to help Ratlit, and Sandy wants to protect Vyme. Each of them knows they are trapped by limitations, each of them tries to help the other get beyond those limits. Vyme, Sandy, and Ratlit each feel they are the most wisely experienced despite their ages. I assume Delany sees these three characters as himself at different ages. And I’m not sure if all the characters aren’t Delany in some ways, even the mean and dumb Golden.

The last doll in the nesting is An, for Androcles, a Golden. He has another ecologarium, this one a small sphere he wears around his neck, with a tiny microscope built onto it. He lets Vyme look at it:

I looked through the brass eyepiece.

I’d swear there were over a hundred life forms with a five to fifty stages each: spores, zygotes, seeds, eggs, growing and developing through larvae, pupae, buds, reproducing through sex, syzygy, fission. And the whole ecological cycle took about two minutes.

Spongy masses like red lotuses clung to the air bubble. Every few seconds one would expel a cloud of black things like wrinkled bits of carbon paper into the gas where they were attacked by tiny motes I could hardly see even with the lens. Black became silver. It fell back to the liquid like globules of mercury, and coursed toward the jelly that was emitting a froth of bubbles. Something in the froth made the silver beads reverse direction. They reddened, sent out threads and alveoli, until they reached the main bubble again as lotuses.

The reason the lotuses didn’t crowd each other out was because every eight or nine seconds a swarm of green paramecia devoured most of them. I couldn’t tell where they came from; I never saw one of them split or get eaten, but they must have had something to do with the thorn-balls—if only because there were either thorn-balls or paramecia floating in the liquid, but never both at once.

A black spore in the jelly wiggled, then burst the surface as a white worm. Exhausted, it laid a couple of eggs, rested until it developed fins and a tail, then swam to the bubble where it laid more eggs among the lotuses. Its fins grew larger, its tail shriveled, splotches of orange and blue appeared, till it took off like a weird butterfly to sail around the inside of the bubble. The motes that silvered the black offspring of the lotus must have eaten the parti-colored fan because it just grew thinner and frailer till it disappeared. The eggs by the lotus would hatch into bloated fish forms that swam back through the froth to vomit a glob of jelly on the mass at the bottom, then collapse. The first eggs didn’t do much except turn into black spores when they were covered with enough jelly.

All this was going on amidst a kaleidoscope of frail, wilting flowers and blooming jeweled webs, vines and worms, warts and jellyfish, symbiotes and saprophytes, while rainbow herds of algae careened back and forth like glittering confetti. One rough-rinded galoot, so big you could see him without the eyepiece, squatted on the wall, feeding on jelly, batting his eye-spots while the tide surged through quivering tears of gills.

I blinked as I took it from my eye.

“That looks complicated.” I handed it back to him.

“Not really.” He slipped it around his neck. “Took me two weeks with a notebook to get the whole thing figured out. You saw the big fellow?”

“The one who winked?”

“Yes. Its reproductive cycle is about two hours, which trips you up at first. Everything else goes so fast. But once you see him mate with the thing that looks like a spider web with sequiris—same creature, different sex—and watch the offspring aggregate into paramecia, then dissolve again, the whole thing falls into—”

“One creature!” I said. “The whole thing is a single creature!”

In many, if not all of Delany’s stories in the 1960s, he gives us characters who anguish over their limitations and resent people who have already done things they hope to do. His characters often feel their cherished uniqueness challenged when they meet others who mirror their talents. Ultimately, even the Golden have limitations. They discover lifeforms that can travel between universes. The lesson of this tale is no matter how far you can go, there are always others who can go further, and there are always further places to go.

When I read “The Star Pit” in 1967 I suffered because I couldn’t go into space. Delany was a black gay man who couldn’t go places in my white world where I could. The funny thing is, there were endless exotic places on Earth we both could have gone that were just as far out as anything he wrote or I read in science fiction.

Science fiction today is consumed as a kind of virtual reality for enjoying space travel fantasies. I still read hard science fiction stories where SF writers try to imagine how colonizing space is possible, but they are less common. Why do we want to leave Earth? Are we dissatisfied with life here? Or do we need to go further, to places we currently can’t go?

Is a Sci-Fi fan’s desire to live in outer space any different from a Christian’s desire to dwell in heaven? Or any more realistic? Aren’t most of the places we anguish over not being able to reach also not real anyway? Aren’t we all rejecting an acutely real life on Earth? Isn’t the ultimate point of this story to teach us how stay and coexist in our own ecologarium?


Avengers 4 already unbalanced thanks to Captain Marvel's massive power set @ Syfy Wire

Her debut movie might be loosely described as an action-comedy, but that doesn't mean Captain Marvel is anyone you want to mess with. That's because Carol Danvers will be one of the most powerful — if not the most powerful — member of Earth's Mightiest Heroes once she arrives.

The B&N Podcast: Ernest Cline’s ’80s Dreams Come True with Ready Player One @ Barnes & Noble: Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Every author has a story beyond the one that they put down on paper. The Barnes & Noble Podcast goes between the lines with today’s most interesting writers, exploring what inspires them, what confounds them, and what they were thinking when they wrote the books we’re talking about.

What happens when you turn your childhood obsessions with science fiction, fantasy and video games into a novel that contains them—and then that story itself becomes a touchstone for a new generation of fans?  That’s what happened with Ernest Cline and his debut novel Ready Player One, the bestselling story of a lone gamer in a dystopian future who has to use his knowledge of 80s pop culture to defeat an evil corporation—in both the virtual and real worlds.

Now, a film version Ready Player One—directed by Stephen Spielberg, whose earlier creations are themselves at the heart of Cline’s novel—is about to hit the big screen, and it’s the perfect time to feature our conversation with the author about his book and the film, conducted during San Diego Comic-Con in the summer of 2017—just as the public was getting its first early glimpses of what the book was going to look like on the big screen.

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.

But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

Find more books by Ernest Cline.

Like this podcast? Subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher to discover intriguing new conversations every week.

Author photo courtesy of Dan Winters.

The post The B&N Podcast: Ernest Cline’s ’80s Dreams Come True with Ready Player One appeared first on The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog.

Laurie Holden talks Pyewacket and Fear the Walking Dead @ Syfy Wire

Pyewacket is the name of a witch's familiar from England in 1644. Matthew Hopkins, the "witchfinder general," claims that he heard a witches' coven near his house and arrested one of the women named. After torturing her for four days, she finally revealed the names of her familiars. Pyewacket was one of her familiars that took the form of an imp.

Chosen One of the Day: Sweaty Daniel Wu in Geostorm @ Syfy Wire

This being the internet and all, I have a list for you. It’s not one of those dumb BuzzFeed lists. It’s intellectual, insightful… may I even say “spiritual”? OK, here goes.

List of Recent Movies That Have Some Sweaty Daniel Wu But Not Enough Sweaty Daniel Wu:

1. Geostorm

2. Tomb Raider

List over.

Frank Miller Is Illustrating a YA Novel That Will Tell the Lady of the Lake's Origin @ io9

Though we all know the story of how King Arthur pulled Excalibur from the stone, comics heavyweight Frank Miller and writer Thomas Wheeler are teaming up to tell the tale from a new perspective.


Friday's Best Deals: Laptop Sleeves, Wireless Headphones, Gerber Knives, and More @ io9

Custom laptop sleeves, terrific wireless headphones, and a popular Gerber knife lead off Friday’s best deals from around the web. Have a great weekend!


Thanos will take center stage in the original graphic novel 'Thanos: The Infinity Conflict' @ Syfy Wire

We're all set for our lives to include a lot more Thanos, as the Mad Titan is the main antagonist of the upcoming MCU film Avengers: Infinity War. Just in case you're still hungry for even more Thanos, you'll be covered by the release of a new graphic novel.

Noah Hawley says his Doctor Doom movie will be 'mixture of genres' inspired by The Winter Soldier @ Syfy Wire

It may still be in its early days, but Legion creator Noah Hawley has been teasing fans with some interesting details of his much-anticipated origin story of Marvel’s Doctor Doom, which he's currently writing for 20th Century Fox.

Orion's filaments of star birth @ Syfy Wire

Our galaxy is hairy.

Well, that's not quite true. It's more filamentary. Like, loaded with strands, filaments, of gas and dust running through it. These can be light-years long, though very narrow. They are thought to form as streams of material in a rotating galaxy converge and collide; it's also possible the turbulence created when stars explode helps this process along.

Beyond exclusive: behind the scenes of the Season 2 finale @ Syfy Wire

Believe it or not, this season of Beyond has come to a close. Some storylines were wrapped up, but others were left wide open. It's time to venture into the beyond... one last time.

From this point on, there WILL BE SPOILERS for Beyond Season 2, especially the Season 2 finale.

Everybody ready? Let's fridge it.

Noah Hawley Says the Fantastic Four Don't Need to Be Rebooted For His New Doctor Doom Movie @ io9

Pacific Rim: Uprising director Steven S. DeKnight still dreams of a crossover with King Kong and Godzilla. John Boyega teases a war in the stars for Star Wars: Episode IX. A Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star is coming to iZombie. Plus, Ant-Man and the Wasp concept art, a gory new look at Ash vs. Evil Dead, and a creepy new


Toys ‘R’ Us founder Charles P. Lazarus dies at 94 @ Syfy Wire

It truly is the end of an era. Toys ‘R’ Us founder Charles P. Lazarus has died at 94, the company and his family have confirmed. The news comes just a week after the beloved toy chain announced it will shut down its stores across the United States.

Meet the astronauts from Nat Geo's new One Strange Rock documentary series @ Syfy Wire

Wonder what Will Smith (Bright) and Darren Aronofsky (Mother, The Fountain) have been up to this past year outside the Hollywood's feature film dream factory?

Black Mirror Season 5 has already started filming @ Syfy Wire

It's time to start mentally preparing yourself for another mind-bending season of Black Mirror, because Season 5 has already begun shooting.

Impulse: First trailer for Jumper spin-off series materializes out of thin air @ Syfy Wire

Get ready to jump. The trailer for the YouTube Red Original series based in the world of Jumper is here, and it looks pretty darn creepy.

The Rain teaser drops new Netflix take on the post-apocalypse @ Syfy Wire

Life-ending plagues and teenage character ensembles make for demonstrably durable TV binge fodder, but Netflix’s new take on the post-apocalypse in The Rain, an original series set to debut this spring, aims to splash that tried and true formula with a neat new twist.

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