Welcome back to Toy Aisle, io9's weekly round up of the toys and merchandise that have caught our eyes lately. This week: repping your favorite Marvel heroes as the nights grow colder, how to make your Nerf armory even more ridiculous, and...poop? Check it out!
It's Never Too Early For Ugly Sweaters, and More of the Weirdest Toys and Merchandise of the Week @ io9
Telltale Games closing down, second GAME OF THRONES video game series (and others) cancelled @ The Wertzone
Showering can be dangerous no matter who and where you are (see: soap and hard, slippery surfaces). But it’s especially precarious for vigilantes locked up in prisons full of criminals they had a part in apprehending.
Every morning, millions of people across the world crawl from their homes and make agonizing journeys underground through the dark, dank portals we commonly refer to as subway systems. In exchange for money and pieces of our souls, these portals get us where we need to go—and, unfortunately, the prices we pay for…
We’re nearing Hobbit Day—the birthday of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved heroes, Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. I also happen to be a few months away from celebrating my own Hobbit Birthday, 33 and a third years young. So, I foolishly thought: I’ve avoided watching Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit movies until now, maybe it’s time I…
Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights is back, once again bringing your favorite scary franchises to life. Every year, properties like like Stranger Things, The Purge, The Walking Dead, and Halloween get their very own freaky mazes, terrifying fans who are brave enough to stand in line and venture into the dark abyss.
“I’ve been looking to do a movie like this for a long time,” Eli Roth told io9 in Los Angeles recently. Thanks to films like Hostel and Cabin Fever, the director’s name has long been synonymous with gory, intense, R-rated horror. That’s why seeing his name on the PG-rated family film The House With a Clock in Its Walls…
Every time someone complains about the fact that there are too many sequels and not enough new properties, or that we’re reviving way too many old series instead of coming up with new ideas, I nod in solidarity. After all, it’s true — networks and studios are relying more and more on nostalgia, bringing back series like Veronica Mars (I AM VERY EXCITED) and expanding the ridiculously complicated and large Marvel Cinematic Universe every year.
But here’s my secret confession: I love everything about all of this.
Hail the prime evil.
Marvel's development of a film project based on Jack Kirby's The Eternals is moving into the next stage, as a director has now joined the film.
This week, Nickelodeon dropped the latest iteration of Kevin Eastman's iconic sewer dwellers with the all-new animated series, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Looks like Chucky is getting ready to play. Immediately after getting word that production for the Child's Play remake has begun in Vancouver, MGM and Orion Pictures have offered us our first look at the film's star, the evil sentient doll Chucky. And we have to say, he still doesn't look like a toy we'd give to a young child —especially with that butcher's knife.
The gaming world faced a few setbacks today, even as Spider-Man swung to unprecedented heights on the other end of the spectrum. Sony, the company that put out the killer PS4 game, ran into problems in their other sectors and the PC streaming world lost a potential market as Twitch fell out of favor.
Jamie Lee Curtis flips a fan the bird and talks trauma at Halloween's Fantastic Fest premiere @ Syfy Wire
Ahead of its theatrical release, Halloween made its U.S. premiere at Fantastic Fest's opening night. To celebrate the return of Michael Myers, the sequel's screenwriter Danny McBride, producers Jason Blum, Malek Akkad, and Bill Block, ingénue Andi Matichak, and our favorite scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis were all in attendance.
Patrick Tubach has been at Industrial Light and Magic for almost 20 years, helping to chart the company's growth and the visual effects industry's dramatic changes during those years.
In his science fantasy novel Blackfish City , Sam J. Miller posits that “all cities are science experiments.” As experiments go, the climate change-afflicted floating city at the center of Miller’s novel—the arctic burg of Qaanaaq—looks quite a bit different than the drowned Manhattan of Kim Stanley Robinson’s New York 2140. Though released within a year of one another, and sharing a general focus—how will cities cope and change as sea levels continue to rise?—these two novels show us vastly different visions of metropolitan life in the waterlogged future.
Although the cities themselves are quite different, there are some striking similarities between the two novels. Structurally, they both shift between different viewpoint characters with each chapter. Robinson jumps back and forth between seven perspectives (two of which feature pairs of characters who are always together); Miller uses six. Each book has one viewpoint character who does the heavy lifting when it comes to doling out expository backstory, explaining how the cities arrived at the point where their respective stories begin.
Class divisions persists in both Qaanaaq and NYC: In New York 2140, the elite own space in soaring graphite towers on the dry bedrock of Upper Manhattan, while the middle class live in partially submerged buildings with waterproofed lower levels, and the lower class squat in buildings sinking into the sea; in Blackfish City, each of the eight arms of the asterisk-shaped city houses a different socioeconomic group in varying levels of luxury or squalor. In both tales, the elites are in control, but the common folk are rising up in revolt.
Robinson imagines a plausible future in which sea levels have risen 50 feet by 2140. With support from his characteristically robust worldbuilding, the novel details how New York City has survived and thrived in the wake of this cataclysmic climate shift. Some areas of Upper Manhattan sit on bedrock and remain safely above the high tide level; here is where new, high-tech skyscrapers are being constructed. Buildings located below Central Park—in standing water—use diamond coatings and other technology to waterproof the floors now underwater (provided they have the resources to do so), and build boat docks accessible from the floors at water level. (Lower Manhattan has become a “super Venice,” with boats replacing cars, buses, trains, and subways.) The have-nots live in crumbling buildings perched precariously on now-submerged landfill, surviving (or not) at the mercy of the tides.
All but one of Robinson’s viewpoint characters are connected to a single residential building, and their relationships develop from that association. The exception is the unnamed narrator who provides the history of the great climate shift, referred to simply as “A Citizen” (we never learn if they have any direct connection to the events of the novel). Said Citizen speaks directly to the reader, telling the story of how New York City got from present day to 2140, but also loading us with trivia about the earlier history of the metropolis, going all the way back to the days of Henry Hudson. For among other things, this novel is a paean to New York City. The Citizen’s chapters are purely what sci-fi readers like to call an “info dump” (albeit an interesting one), and Robinson knows it—at one point the Citizen advises impatient readers to skip to the next chapter if they tire of the “expository rants.” Speaking of: several of the characters also talk a lot about economics. (Robinson has said in interviews that he wanted to write a book about economics, and this is it.)
I am sure there are a lot of NYC references that went over my head, but there are two sly ones I did catch: a Dutch floating city brings a load of refuges to New York City. Its name? New Amsterdam. Logical, in the context of the year 2140, since the Amsterdam we know today is probably underwater in the novel, but that’s also what the Dutch called Manhattan, back when they owned it. The Citizen at one point wonders if their words are being read in the year 2144, 2312, 3333, or 6666. The second of those, of course, being the title of one of Robinson’s other novels, and another book with scenes set in a drowned New York City.
New York 2140 offers a lot of things (certainly enough to earn it that Hugo nomination), but none that I’d consider in the category of big SFnal ideas (climate change novels being rather less speculative these days than I’d prefer). Blackfish City, on the other hand, certainly does. Its setting, the floating city of Qaanaaq, is anchored over a deep sea geothermal vent that supplies the heat and energy needed to survive the harsh conditions of life in the Arctic Circle. The mechanics and much of the city policy are run by software, an advanced AI system only somewhat diminished after the cyberattacks of the Sys War.
But Miller introduces an even more dramatic SF concept—nanotechnology that allows humans to bond to animals and, we eventually discover, much more than that, pushing the book into the realm of fantasy.
Miller doesn’t dwell on specifics: we’re not sure when the novel is set, or how much the sea level has risen by that point. But there are references to “Events” that suggest the history between now and then. There was a Sys War, a Water War, and a Cancer War. The Real Estate Riots turned into the Real Estate War. The denizens of Qaanaaq refer to the “Sunken World,” which seems to mean the entire old world order reshaped by climate change. Much of the background of Qaanaaq is revealed by the program City without Maps, a broadcast followed by many of the characters. In contrast to the contributions of Robinson’s Citizen, these sequences as essential; as the book progresses, we learn more about the purpose of the broadcast and the author behind it. All the main characters share deep, significant connections, some of which they themselves only learn about as the story progresses. The end of the novel connects beautifully to its beginning.
So to connect this end back to my own beginning: we don’t know by how many feet the sea will rise. Or how we will adapt. But Robinson and Miller give us fascinating, very different visions of what might be in our future, one more plausible, the other more fantastical, and both, certainly, a whole lot wetter.
The post Tales of Two Drowned Cities: <i>New York 2140</i> and <i>Blackfish City</i> appeared first on The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog.
The world of horror is vast. With so many films across the spectrum of budget, studio involvement, quality, availability, and, above all else, pure scare-the-living-shit-out-of-you-ness, it helps to have trained professionals parse through some of the older and/or lesser-known offerings. That's where Team Fangrrls comes in with Deep Cuts, our series dedicated to bringing the hidden gems of horror out of the vault and into your nightmares.
The rebooted DuckTales series is getting a third season, but you don't have to take our word for it. You can hear it directly from the show's all-star voice cast.
See a six-page sneak peek at Batman: Kings of Fear #2 by Scott peterson and Kelley Jones.
September 22 is Hobbit Day, which means it is (by non-Shire reckoning) the birthday of both Bilbo Baggins and his adopted heir, Frodo Baggins. It was on this day that the “long expected party” took place in The Fellowship of the Ring, and it also provides an excellent excuse to not only celebrate the masterworks of J.R.R. Tolkien, but the film adaptations by Peter Jackson.
Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale is seen as a dystopian allegory for the oppression of women, but that didn't stop one online lingerie retailer from offering a "sexy" version of the show's trademark red cape dress and white hood. Faster than you could say, "Praise Be!," outrage exploded online and the company quickly pulled the Halloween costume from its site.
Did you know the iconic ghost in the Ghostbusters symbol has a name?
The Week in Geek: Captain Marvel brings back the '90s! Batman debuts a new tool! Toad gets his spotlight! @ Syfy Wire
Another week in the books. We're more than halfway through September, but don't tell summer, she's still heating up, I guess.
A lot happened this week, and a lot of it happened at the last possible second, too. Did you catch it all? Or did you look at why "Toad" and "Mario Kart" were trending on Twitter early in the week and then turn off the internet until right now? Who could blame you?
Yandy is pretty well known for making “sexy” costumes out of anything—from South Park to Slender Man. But people drew the line on one of the company’s latest ensembles—a sexy version of the handmaid outfit from Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale—leading Yandy to remove it from its site and issue an apology.
A great downfall to a number of villains is their need to tell all of their business to any unfortunate soul who happens to be present. The onslaught of lectures and diatribes is unnecessary, but the need to hear one’s own self-appraised genius is that great. It is for this reason the giant shark in Justice League: Throne of Atlantis is the real MVP.
The Predator auditions for James Bond with Olivia Munn, Keegan-Michael Key in James Corden sketch @ Syfy Wire
The mandibled hunter from the popular Predator films is not a space alien, but actually a struggling actor named Howard Goldschwartz, who is obssessed with doing Austin Powers impressions.
This weekend, a Twitter user shared a disturbing story that verged on the surreal. In a 32-tweet thread, Ashley recounted an abusive relationship with a boyfriend who forced her to eat until it caused her pain—seemingly for his own sexual pleasure.
Even though we thought there were a surprising amount of things to like about Iron Fist’s second season, in the weeks since it dropped on Netflix, more than a few people have asked whether they should invest the time in watching the entire thing. The answer, unsurprisingly, is complicated.
Just in time for Halloween, The Ringer Podcast Network launches a Halloween-themed podcast. Called Halloween: Unmasked and hosted by MTV News and The Washington Post journalist Amy Nicholson, the podcast will focus on John Carpenter's 1978 classic film, as well as touching on sequels. Nicholson will interview filmmakers, critics, and fans, as well as preview the newest Halloween reboot, directed by David Gordon Green, which opens in theaters October 19.
The House With A Clock In Its Walls film review: Eli Roth goes kid-friendly with spooky horror @ Sci-Fi Now
R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series sucked legions of ‘90s kids into an incurable horror fandom, which is why the latest thing that has been done with modern technology is infinitely cool.
Wow, time flies when you're having fun. Season 14 of The CW's Supernatural is only weeks away and a trailer just dropped to give fans an idea of what they can expect from the Winchesters this time around.
I had the pleasure of attending the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con. I was invited to moderate a NASA panel on exoplanets, with the twist of looking at them through the lens of science fiction. How do the planets we discovery compare to those seen in Star Trek, Stargate, and so on? And how do shows like The Expanse that stick to “hard science” — firm adherence to known science, or extrapolation as needed but sticking to the rules created — depict worlds we already know (like asteroids and moons of outer planets)?
Get a new look at Agents Hemsworth and Thompson in behind-the-scenes pics from the new Men in Black. Brie Larson talks Captain Marvel. Alan Tudyk is joining another comic book adaptation. John Carpenter teases that a Prince of Darkness show is on the way. Plus, HBO’s Watchmen finds some intriguing musicians for its…
The entire internet now knows that anyone who recently picked up a copy of Batman: Damned #1 saw a little more of Batman than they might have expected.
Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny, and the entire cast of The X-Files reuniting at Spooky Empire @ Syfy Wire
If you have a couple extra days in your Halloween schedule, consider heading down to Spooky Empire. This horror convention in Orlando, Florida, is now entering its 16th year, and are celebrating their Sweet Sixteen with a huge get.
Happy Thorsday! Happy Thirstday! Happy Friday Eve! Given what today is, it means we only have one more sleep until the penultimate Wynonna Earp episode (before the two-part finale) as well as the Killjoys Season 4 finale! If you haven't heard already, these shows are bonkers and these episodes will leave you reeling (in a good way, hopefully)!
New Doctor. New friends. New TARDIS. New worlds. And apparently, new monsters and new monsters only.
It’s here at last: A Texas-sized celebration of everything weird, wonderful, and just plain wicked from the movie world of fantasy and horror, as Halloween's U.S. premiere kicked off Fantastic Fest 2018, finally dropping the velvet rope on one killer red-carpet lineup.
Carol Danvers has had as many interpretations of how she became a superhero as she’s had superhero mantles themselves—but the first trailer for her solo movie was not the only new take on it we got this week. Her latest comic series just made us question everything we thought we knew about her origins.
If you picked up a physical copy of writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo’s Batman: Damned this week, then you were treated to a passing glimpse of a totally-nude Bruce Wayne in the Batcave. From the sounds of it, DC regrets greenlighting the decision to show off Batman’s penis.
Twitch had a rush of popularity in China last month, but now reports indicate that the live streaming video platform is no longer available in the country.
I’m not one for excessive displays of emotion at the cinema, but after watching Assassination Nation at Toronto International Film Festival I couldn’t help but cheer. Not just cheer, I might add, but fist pump too, because that’s what this film both is and deserves. It’s a feminist fist pump of a movie that takes the horror of being a woman in this patriarchal society we continue to live in and turns it into an empowering call to action.
Boom! Studios founder says he's in final talks to write and show-run Diablo series for Netflix @ Syfy Wire
If the stars align, Boom! Studios founder Andrew "Andy" Cosby could be leading an epic war involving Heaven and Hell.
Posting on Twitter Wednesday, Cosby wrote: "I guess I can confirm I am indeed in final talks to write and show-run the new DIABLO animated series for Activision and Netflix. It's very exciting and I hope to the High Heavens it all works out."
The latest entry in the Halloween franchise is both a dazzling tribute to the original film as well as a unique, standalone story. It’s filled with deviations from the familiar slasher formula, but it also carefully incorporates an adoration of its predecessor that feels respectful but not overpowering. By balancing…
Revengers (re)assemble! Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth show off their new Men in Black looks @ Syfy Wire
For a top secret agency, the Men in Black seem like they may have a security leak. It's bad for them, but good for us — Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, recently shared a photo from the set of the new reboot/continuation, and it just so happens to give us our first look at his partner in the film, Tessa Thompson.
The First Lady of, well, everything is making her way back into Lucifer’s life.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine was not the only show to go through the Fox cancellation blues. Lucifer, based on the Vertigo comic book of the same name, also found itself on the chopping block. Just like Brooklyn, fan support helped find Lucifer a new home with a 10-episode Season 4 on Netflix.
Dream Casting is an imaginative look at the casting process of potential Hollywood projects based on comics and other media. This isn't just about what is being made; this is about what should be made, and who we think should be the stars.
I am almost embarrassed to admit that I didn’t see this coming, but, well...I didn’t: Just in time for the annual surge of predictably sexist Halloween attire, a bright red, sexy handmaiden’s costume.
American Horror Story's Latex Sex Demon Came to Apocalypse in the Most Fucked Up Way Imaginable @ io9
There would be no American Horror Story without that latex fetish suit that started it all during Murder House—and the unsettling garment made a shocking return to the franchise on this week’s episode of Apocalypse.
The interesting thing about Harry Potter collectibles is that there seems to be more coming out now then there was when Pottermania was in its prime. Might that have something to do with the fact that 20 years ago, most of the fandom was too young to have expendable income for things like replica wands and furniture? Yeah, probably.
All we know is that it doesn't look like there's going to be a shortage of Wizarding World merchandise any time soon, and that's not a bad thing.
Warning! The following contains adult themes being discussed in a borderline adult, yet mostly immature, manner. If you are weird about sex, girls talking about sex, or just have a minimal sense of humor, turn away now. Otherwise, don't say we didn't warn you.
In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (aka Star Wars), C-3PO lays this self-deprecating confession on Luke Skywalker: “I’m not so good at telling stories.” Yet, two films later, he’s literally telling the story of Star Wars to a bunch of Ewoks. C-3PO might seem like a bumbling idiot, but in this video we show why he’s…
“There are those who believe that life here began out there, far across the universe... There may yet be brothers of man who even now fight to survive — somewhere beyond the heavens!”
5 filmmaking rules Nick Castle learned from working with John Carpenter on Halloween and more @ Syfy Wire
In the late ‘60s, two young filmmakers, John Carpenter and Nick Castle, met at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. Their friendship would go on to breed creative collaborations that have stood the proverbial cinematic test of time.
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