From real corpses disguised as Halloween props to a Christmas present from another dimension to an internet troll getting way too serious on April Fool’s Day, Hulu always finds a way to make holiday terrifying with Into the Dark. Still, what could possibly be the horror in Father’s Day besides dad jokes and tacky ties?
Four teams. Dozens of Avengers. It’s time to assemble.
Report: Laeta Kalogridis Is Writing the First Installment in a Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Movie Trilogy @ io9
Fans of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic didn’t have to wait long for more news on a film adaptation of the popular game.
Dreamworks has released the first trailer for Abominable, the latest in a string of animated films about the icebound Bigfoot. It might sound recognizable because of all the yeti films we’ve gotten in the past, including the one where Zendaya was Meechee—but it’s also similar for another reason. Does this yeti look...…
Another day, another roundup of super comics news. On today's slate of inked and penciled news, Tom King bids farewell to writing for an iconic DC hero, IDW brings another Marvel character into the fold, and Matt Murdock grapples with a new Daredevil.
Veteran Batman writer Tom King is parting ways with the Caped Crusader about 15-20 issues (the number depends on whom you ask) earlier than expected, but don't worry, he's not leaving DC Comics anytime soon. According to i09, King will simply be pivoting to other projects at the company.
It's hard to remember a time in pop culture without The Rock, right? Dwayne Johnson has expertly positioned himself as The Guy in Hollywood, and he's managed to do that while still maintaining the adoration of millions. That is no small feat. When you see the movies that helped him transition out of wrestling and into acting, it seems even more amazing.
We’re fully drowning in streaming services at this point. You gotta have Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu, and you’re soon gonna need Disney+. Depending on your geeky interests, you might also need Shudder, CBS All Access, and/or DC Universe. Last month, yet another service joined the fray: the Criterion Channel. So…
One of the great surprises of Avengers: Endgame was the number of unexpected cameos in the movie, including one from the great Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One, the one-time Sorcerer Supreme who tutored Dr. Stephen Strange in the mystic arts before leaving this mortal coil behind in 2016's Doctor Strange.
By now, horror fans know the drill: Each month brings a new installment of Hulu and Blumhouse’s holiday-themed horror series, Into the Dark. For June, it’s Father’s Day, and They Come Knocking looks to offer an excellent argument against ever camping in the isolated desert, especially if you see a bunch of “missing”…
Whether or not you agree with the ending, Game of Thrones has some pretty striking landscapes, from sprawling mountains to sheer cliffs to snowy expanses. There is only one way these places could have formed — whatever altverse version of Earth the Game of Thrones realm exists on.
The final season of HBO's Game of Thrones brought the story to a breakneck ending — and, ahem, broke a few necks in the process. But, at least one of those major deaths almost didn't happen.
**Warning: There are spoilers below for the Game of Thrones series finale**
It’s Memorial Day weekend, but it’s cold in Los Angeles, snowing in Colorado, and all your barbecue plans are ruined. Sure, you can grill hot dogs and veggie burgers inside on the stove, but it just defeats the purpose. So do what you really want to do this holiday weekend. Sleep in, stay inside, and play video games and watch movies. Potato salad is much better right out of the fridge anyway. Here are the best deals on Xbox One and PS4 for the week ending May 26, 2019.
SYFY WIRE's Days of Marvel podcast will soon be back in action with 12 Days of X-Men!
Starting Monday, May 27, we'll be revisiting a different X-Men movie each day leading up to the premiere of Dark Phoenix on Friday, June 7. We'll be discussing each film's plot and best moments as well as its place in the expanding universe of X-Men movies.
One of the most coveted of all action figure lineups in the history of fandom is returning like a Jedi to store shelves. Hasbro has just revealed a new lineup of reissued Star Wars: Episode IV action figures lifted straight from the retro Kenner models that almost singlehandedly kicked off the whole movie-toy tie-in craze we all now take for granted.
Welcome to Boarding Party, a new podcast featuring comedians and the things they geek out about.
This episode gets meta (kind of) when the cast of Mission to Zyxx joins Boarding Party. A podcast cast on another podcast? It's practically Inception! Allie, Moujan and Jeremy discuss Star Trek, The X-Files and the process of making one very cool podcast.
Plus, Sir Patrick Stewart receives a standing invite to join the fun on Zyxx. Sir Patrick, if you're listening, we're big fans. Like, very big.
The Game of Thrones series finale has been met with a reaction that can most generously be described as mixed — but one aspect that didn't disappoint is the costume design by Michele Clapton and her team. In "The Iron Throne," Clapton added new garments to the already brimming closet, emphasizing just how vital her work has been.
Twenty years ago, Bruce Wayne stepped down from his iconic role in order to pave the way for a Batman of the Future! Batman: The Animated Series' dream team of Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and Alan Burnett were tasked to make something with a teenage Batman. The result was Batman Beyond, a series that far surpassed its network mandated origin. This may have been a kids show, but it wasn't necessarily for kids.
When artist Andy Park joined Marvel Studios 10 years ago, Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man had yet to meet on the blockbuster Marvel's The Avengers. First hired by Marvel Visual Development co-founders Charlie Wen and Ryan Meinerding, one of Park's first jobs was to design concepts for the first iteration of Marvel's mightiest superhero team.
The mainstream narrative of esports has been lovingly crafted by those who benefit from its success. There’s big money in esports, they say. You’ve heard the stories. Teenaged gamers flown overseas to sunny mansions with live-in chefs. The erection of $50 million arenas for Enders Game-esque sci-fi battles. League of…
Rotten Tomatoes is adding a new feature to keep the Audience Score more authentic by verifying that users have seen the movie. And whiny, woman-hating man-babies are going to be pissed.
It is literally no surprise to anyone who has ever worked in an office that sitting in a desk chair sucks. Even if your chair isn’t totally uncomfortable, it still can do a number on your back and overall health to sit down for your entire work day. If you often find your lower back is killing you after sitting down…
Using ground-penetrating radar, scientists detected a massive reservoir of frozen water sandwiched by layers of sand beneath the northern polar ice cap on Mars. This reservoir contains so much ice that, if melted and brought to the surface, it would submerge the entire planet.
The third season of Netflix' sci-fi horror sensation Stranger Things is creeping toward a July 4 premiere with its nostalgic '80s delights. To fill in gaps between last year's unsettling crisis, Del Rey Books is publishing three official tie-ins that expand the universe and provide motivations behind some of its most indelible characters.
Evan Peters’ Quicksilver in Fox’s most recent X-Men films has been one of the franchise’s most interesting characters, in part because of the innovative way filmmakers have taken to visualizing his super speed. Dark Phoenix wouldn’t be a proper X-Men sendoff without the silver-haired speed demon, and in a new clip…
I don't know exactly when I started getting real thirsty for Nebula, but here we are.
Last Tango in Cyberspace, the second novel from journalist Steven Kotler, is proof that an excess of style isn’t always a bad thing. It’s a cerebral cyberpunk mood piece about the ways culture is shaped and consumed by technology, couched in a twisty-conspiracy narrative about a drug that increases empathy among its users. It offers a fresh sort of cyberpunk, concerned less with the specifics of tech and more with its impact on a culture stratified into cults, sub-cults, and poly-tribes. With an emphasis on style and atmosphere, Kotler lays out the the differing ethoses of the novel’s various and vying factions, their specific cultural and social signifiers helping to support an intricate web of plots and counterplots.
Judah “Lion” Zorn is an em-tracker. His hyper-developed sense of empathy and pattern recognition allow him to expertly trace cultural and linguistic shifts, a skill useful to the corporations that employ him to figure out how to launch new products and identify the next exploitable trend. When his latest gig for a pharmaceutical company leads him to a bizarre murder scene, Lion suddenly finds himself at the center of a weird culture war involving an empathy drug, aggressive animal rights groups, mysterious disappearances, and a rather gruesome incident of taxidermy. Lion’s plans to finish the job and get out and stymied by his own empathic gifts, not to mention interference by the shadowy parties involved, which manipulate him via specific details of his life gleaned from his immersion in a privacy-free culture—from the battered paperback copy of Dune he carries everywhere (a major player in the conspiracy favors codenames drawn from Frank Herbert), to his preferred strain of marijuana (“Ghost Trainwreck #69”). In the end, Lion will face a choice: between slow social evolution and explosive cultural revolt.
If there’s one thing Last Tango in Cyberspace groks, it’s that significant technological shifts beget massive cultural ones. While Kotler does dream up an impressive array of future-tech, the book prefers to focus on the fallout that results. As Lion investigates the drug at the center of the plot, his journey also traces the interlocking “sub-cults” responsible for its spread, from a group of animal-rights terrorists who practice an extreme form of empathy, to a clan of fruit-smuggling retro gamers, to an informant who speaks in a code comprised of Apocalypse Now quotes. In a society built on heightened empathy, the blending and intersecting of culture results in numerous fusion restaurants and new musical genres, while corporations can research someone’s life and unlock the secrets of their greatest fears, the better to influence their actions. In detailing a system of interlocking (or clashing) social systems and ideologies, the novel deploys an array of pop-culture references and cultural signifiers to communicate deeper truths about the way corporations and technology shape our world, both now and five minutes into the future.
Approaching cyberpunk from a cultural and anthropological perspective rather than a technological one, Last Tango in Cyberspace crafts a compelling narrative, but truly excels in its pop-cultural worldbuilding (Lion and his informant share a kind of weird language of references centered around everything from Infinite Jest to goth music, illustrating the depth of their friendship as effectively as reams of exposition). It’s an unusual but entirely engaging book, awash in style and substance (and sometimes style as substance). It’s worth reading for its slick aesthetic alone—but it might also change the way you think about the future.
The post <i>Last Tango in Cyberspace</i>: Sociological Cyberpunk appeared first on The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog.
Star Wars secrets, Norman Osborn in the MCU, and Scarlet Witch: The week in fan theories @ Syfy Wire
Welcome to The Week in Fan Theories, your guide to what fan theories are taking the internet by storm!
With so many fan theories floating around the web, it can be hard to know which ones to take seriously and which ones are wildly off the mark. Some theories are brilliant breakthroughs that reveal a whole new understanding of what a work of fiction means, or they're spot-on predictions about what's going to happen in the next installment. Others are deeply flawed theories that nevertheless get traction on news sites.
Rotten Tomatoes is seeking to keep Internet trolls from prematurely tanking the scores of its films by implementing a new policy that will require a person to prove they bought a ticket to a certain movie in order to leave a fan-based review.
Star Trek's new CBS All Access home has provided fans with plenty to love already thanks to Star Trek: Discovery, but now that a trailer has dropped for Picard, which brings back one of the show's most famous and beloved captains, fans are setting their phasers to "hyped".
Solo: A Star Wars Story was released one year ago this weekend—and in that year, it changed Star Wars in ways that have nothing to do with the Force. It changed how one generation views Star Wars versus the other.
Welcome back to Important Toy News, the SYFY WIRE column that brings you all of the best hotness in toy culture. Join me as I take you on an incredible journey through a new world of toys and collectibles you didn't know you needed. Together, we will learn how fast a bank account can be drained by filling our lives with tasty, tasty shelf candy. We have a lot to cover this week, so let's canon ball into that toy bin and start off with some movie toys!
Following in the rather large footsteps of Warner Bros.' Smallfoot, DreamWorks will be releasing its own Yeti-based adventure in the fall with Abominable. Named after the snowman of cryptozoological lore, the film dropped its official trailer today, promising a heartfelt story between a young girl and her magical monster.
Star Trek: Picard's First Teaser Hints at Jean-Luc's Tragic Place in Starfleet History [Updated] @ io9
The first teaser is here for CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Picard, which brings the incredible Patrick Stewart back as the even more incredible Jean-Luc Picard. But the admiral, who’s been spending a lot of time with his grapes, is no longer a part of Starfleet. The mystery, of course, is finding out why.
There’s no such thing as too many totes — especially when the totes are super high quality, like the Longchamp ones currently on sale at Nordstrom Rack. Longchamp is famous for their rainbow of nylon carryalls, but they also have similarly bold-hued wallets, backpacks, satchels, which are sure to sell out quickly. We…
John Carter and the Origins of Science Fiction Adventure: A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs @ Tor.com
Today we are joined by guest author Anna Kashina—whose latest book, Shadowblade, is out now from Angry Robot—as she discusses the skillful presentation of sword fighting in fantasy novels.
My favorite genre—as a writer and as a reader—is historical adventure fantasy. I tend to pick medieval multicultural settings, with the level of technology preceding the invention of the firearms. As a writer, this gives me one very important tool: blades.
Top-level blademasters are recurring characters in my books, and central to my most recent novel, Shadowblade. For me this means doing lots of research about blade fighting techniques so that I can then pick the best weapons for all my characters, and populate the book with the coolest blade fights I can come up with.
Blade fighting is not just about weapons. There’s so much more that goes into being versatile and skilled with blades. One has to have superb reflexes, to be street-smart and stealthy, and to be a very quick thinker, among many other things. In my mind, this is also an irresistible set of qualities for a strong character.
I rarely go into all the technical details when describing blade fights. After all, it’s all about characters; the fights are only one tool that show off their interactions and their special qualities. Accordingly, my approach to describing blade fights usually goes one of two ways: the first is using the point of view of an expert who doesn’t see the need to focus on every move, but instead notes only a few that are especially well done. The second is from an amateur’s perspective, offering unbiased reactions without any technical knowledge, and thus relating directly to those readers who aren’t proficient with weapons themselves. (There is also a third way I’ve seen employed effectively, one that determinedly avoids describing any fights at all, only the results, leaving the rest to the reader’s imagination.)
In Shadowblade, a young girl, Naia, in training to become a top-level blademaster, accepts a very high profile, near-suicidal assignment for the Empire. Writing this book, I had an opportunity to employ both of my favorite points of view to describe blade fights. Naia starts out an amateur and can only admire the skill of some of the top warriors in her Order. Later on, as a ranked professional, she shifts into the expert mode. Being able to use both approaches in application to the same characterwas very gratifying.
I feel very special when I find a book that resonates with my own way of thinking about blade fights in fiction—but I find they are rare indeed. Here is a very short list of books that I think handle the subject well.
The Way of Shadows, by Brent Weeks
Highly skilled fights are the absolute centerpiece of this book, the story of a young street boy who escapes his gang and trains to become one of the most skilled assassins in the world. He goes through deadly challenges and humiliation, dangers and betrayal, and comes through it all as one of the best of the best. When you read this book, you believe that this is how this kind of training actually works; without glorifying the assassins’ profession, it carefully conveys the skill required to become a master. It’s not for the faint hearted, and on the gory side compared to the books I usually read, but the fights are worth it.
Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas
The main character, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien, starts off as a prisoner in the king’s salt mines. She is summoned by the Crown Prince to become his champion and face some of the worst in their kingdom to win the contest for her freedom. This book is a pure joy to read, and a great example of the very effective “expert” point of view: Celaena has finished her training and achieved her highly notorious reputation long before the start of the book. Every bit of her experience and skill shows—not just in the fights, but in every one of her interactions; she can keep people on their toes with just a glance. I highly recommend this book and the entire series it’s a part of.
Magic of Blood and Sea, by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Assassins are creatures of shadows and blood magic. Dying by an assassin’s hand is the ultimate way to die, because no one could possibly expect you to escape them. With this introduction, we meet Naji, an attractive, mysterious, and complex blood magician, who moves through the shadows to unseeingly approach his victims. A curse binds him to a young pirate girl, and they are forced to travel together until they can find a way to break the spell. All we see of Naji’s blade work are the occasional glints of his steel—he moves too fast for the eye to follow. With all that, the way his fights are described is just so compelling that it is impossible to stop reading. This is a great example that when the details are left to the imagination, the resulting scene can be even more powerful.
Night Watch, by Terry Pratchett
I am aware that this choice is surprising; I greatly admire Terry Pratchett’s work, but Night Watch, while being one of my favorites of his books, is not really about assassins or blade fights. Yet, I think of it as featuring one of the best ways to describe fights: through not showing them at all. One passing character in this book is Lord Vetinari—the criminal who will later become the most effective ruler of Ankh Morpork. In Night Watch he is a young assassin who trails the main character—later to be Captain Vimes—and provides him with unseen help out of the toughest situations. Through glimpses of Vetinari, we learn some scarce secrets of the trade, such as that assassins’ favorite color is not black, but dark blue, because that is the color that blends the best with the darkness. We see Vetinari mostly as a silent shadow glimpsed over the rooftops, disappearing too fast for the eye to trace; no one has ever seen Vetinari with a weapon in hand, a seemingly reassuring thought that instead seems ominous and alarming. Other Terry Pratchett Discworld books occasionally show assassins as well, but this one stands out as the most memorable.
A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin
Here I mention an entire series rather than just one book, because to me it is really just one continuous, very long novel. (Incidentally, I am one of the nearly extinct dinosaurs who never watched a single episode of the Games of Thrones TV series, so everything I say here relies directly from the books.) There are many sword fights in A Game of Thrones, most of them gory and realistic. Real, non-choreographed sword fights are rarely as long and spectacular as they appear in movies. They usually end very quickly, and with lethal disfiguring injuries. There are many of those in this series, but only one swordsman stands out for me because of his pure skill: Jaime Lannister. (Curiously enough, he becomes truly interesting as a character only after he loses his hand, and hence his superb sword skill.) To me, the power comes in the way he thinks of the sword fights, especially when he misses being able to do it the way he used to. It made me think of lightness, and fluidity, and technique, and the fun behind it for someone like him. It’s testament to the author’s superb ability for character development that Jaime, who starts off as a despicable villain, can turn around and become the most likable characters, despite my full awareness that he cannot possibly end up well (no spoilers). His sword skill is an integral part of him, even after he loses the ability.
Anna Kashina writes historical adventure fantasy, featuring exotic settings, martial arts, assassins, and elements of romance. Her Majat Code series, published by Angry Robot Books, UK, received two Prism Awards in 2015. She is a Russian by origin, and a scientist in her day job, and she freely draws on these backgrounds in her writing. Shadowblade is available now.
Now that Captain Marvel’s made her long-awaited debut on the big screen in her own solo film and helped defeat Thanos in Avengers: Endgame, she’s one of Marvel’s most high-profile heroes taking up space in audience’s minds. So it’s none too surprising that she’s the centerpiece of an all-new comic from writer Sam…
Praise Skynet! Today, Paramount Pictures saw fit to bestow us with the first trailer for Terminator: Dark Fate, the sixth installment in the sci-fi franchise James Cameron kicked off nearly four decades ago. Luckily for fans, Cameron returns as a producer, having helped come up with the story upon which the script is based.
When you look up at the sky at night — provided you have decent eyesight and a dark site to view from — you can see thousands of stars. A good telescope can reveal millions.
Where did they come from? They exist, therefore it seems reasonable to assume they got their start at some point in the past. When?
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is one of the greatest, unlikeliest success stories in superhero comics, turning a joke character into the star of a clever, heartfelt, incredibly fun YA series that has become a gateway for readers of all ages. But nothing lasts forever, and after two volumes, 58 issues, one original…
The first trailer for the third attempt at rebooting the Terminator franchise is here and, appropriately enough, the new Terminator power is in line with that.
These aren’t Sony’s best noise canceling Bluetooth headphones—that honor goes to the $348 WH1000XM3s—but these wireless over-ears are still a fantastic deal for $55 refurbished, or $90 less than buying them new.
Fictional merchandise based on movies is the best. There’s just something special about owning a trinket based on, or from, a movie or TV show that you never thought possible, or maybe never even thought of. Imagine a poster from a movie inside a movie, a t-shirt of a fake band, the watch a certain character wears or,…
Now that Game of Thrones is over for good, the focus is on when George R.R. Martin is finally going to complete his side of the story. Thanks to an airline’s offer to fly Martin out so he can have some peace and quiet to finish The Winds of Winter, he’s jokingly promised a deadline. If he doesn’t meet it, New Zealand…
Archer: 1999 Shows Off Its 'Late ‘70s, Early ‘80s Sci-Fi Vibe' in This New Behind-the-Scenes Peek @ io9
FXX has just released a “first look” detailing the sci-fi themed 10th season of Archer, also known as Archer: 1999. Of course, all the cast and crew are going to be enthusiastic about their own show, but it’s pretty undeniable how kick-ass this season (said to be the animated cult favorite’s final) is looking: Space…
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
Gather your coven and get ready to dive into a diverse new witch web series. Juju is counteracting the overwhelming whiteness of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teen Witch, Charmed, and Hocus Pocus with a story about Black millennial women who embark on a journey of sisterhood, ancestry, witchcraft, sex, and magic — all while maintaining day-to-day adulting tasks.
Facial recognition experts called to testify before a congressional hearing on Wednesday found themselves in broad agreement: Citing a litany of abuses, each pressed federal lawmakers to respond to the widespread, unregulated use of the technology by law enforcement at every level across the country. However, the idea…
The cover art for Rage 2 shows a wild-eyed, androgynous bandit screaming in warrior fury at the viewer. Their hair is a stiff, greasy wedge of Day-Glo blue mohawk, their contorted, scarred face is painted white with the outlines of a skull, and they're dressed in pockmarked football shoulder pads and a loose black fishnet shirt. Their oil-stained hands clutch a double-barreled shotgun. Around this figure, neon pink smears highlight a logo that replaces the title's "A" with an anarchy symbol.
It seems those reports of Daniel Craig being injured on the Jamaican set of the 25th James Bond film were, indeed, correct. Today, the official 007 Twitter account revealed that the lead actor would be undergoing "minor ankle surgery" as a result of the accident but that, ultimately, the movie's schedule would not be affected.
Welcome to Debate Club, where Tim Grierson and Will Leitch, the hosts of the Grierson & Leitch podcast, tackle the greatest arguments in pop culture.
Supreme Leader Snoke wasn’t the only being Kylo Ren reported into. He was also beholden to Sienar-Jaemus Fleet Systems. WTF is “Sienar-Jaemus Fleet Systems?”
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