The Cosmonaut's Heaven @ io9

The Cosmonaut's Heaven

While all of her classmates dreamed of being astronauts, the thought of space terrified Sonia. It wasn't the vastness of the black, but the idea that skeletons were somehow floating past the stars, their empty eyes staring out of their spacesuits.

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Never Come Between A Leprechaun And His Bong @ io9

That's a crucial lesson that you'll learn from the movie Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood. A lot of this movie is on Youtube thanks to MovieClips, and it actually looks worse than its criminally insane predecessor Leprechaun 5: In Tha Hood.

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On Vampire Diaries, The Worst Part Of Immortality: You Can't Start Over @ io9

On Vampire Diaries, The Worst Part Of Immortality: You Can't Start Over

Last night's Vampire Diaries had a pretty interesting set of metaphors for what it's like to be immortal and yet bound by the past. On the one hand, Stefan tries to explain to Elena the need to start a new life every 30 years. On the other, we see how badly Damon's attempt at a "clean slate" turned out.

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A Beautiful View Of Yesterday's Eclipse @ io9

A Beautiful View Of Yesterday's Eclipse

A partial solar eclipse was visible from much of North America yesterday afternoon , resulting in a flood of gobstopping astrophotography. This shot comes from the folks at Joshua Tree National Park. For more, we recommend SpaceWeather.com and the eclipse hashtag on Twitter.

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Halloween Review: “The Woman in Black” (2012) @ Bureau 42

I had hoped our mystery review would be Babadook, but trying to find that thing playing even remotely nearby, save at a film festival, has proved problematic. Other countries have seen the general release of this low-budget, well-reviewed horror film; North Americans (at least, those of us not attending recent film festivals or horror conventions) will have to wait a little longer.

Instead, we have a double review for you, of the two film adaptations of Susan Hill’s contemporary gothic classic, “The Woman in Black.” The second saw release in 2012.

Cast and Crew

Director: James Watkins
Writers: Jane Goldman, from the novella by Susan Hill.

Daniel Radcliffe as Arthur Kipps
Ciarán Hinds as Sam Daily
Janet McTeer as Mrs. Elizabeth Daily
Sophie Stuckey as Stella Kipps
Misha Handley as Joseph Kipps
Jessica Raine as Nanny
Roger Allam as Mr. Bentley
Lucy May Barker as Nursemaid
Shaun Dooley as Fisher
Mary Stockley as Mrs. Fisher
Daniel Cerqueira as Keckwick
Alisa Khazanova as Mrs. Drablow
Ashley Foster as Nathaniel Drablow
Sidney Johnston as Nicholas Daily
Liz White as the Woman in Black

Full cast and crew details may be found at theimdb.

Available at Amazon

Premise

A young Edwardian solicitor and single father heads to a village to settle an elderly widow’s estate. He discovers a haunting that terrorizes the countryside. The Woman in Black takes children– and the protagonist’s son may be next.

High Point

The film features some disturbing imagery and ideas, but it eschews gore, and relies heavily on ambiance and elementary effects for most of its effect. The film certainly isn’t groundbreaking, but it features a number of low-level frights, and I found it a welcome relief from the trends that dominate contemporary horror.

Low Point

You may want some wine to go with the ending; the film certainly supplies the cheese.

The Review

Originality: 1/6 It’s the second cinematic adaptation of a novella that has been adapted into several other forms, and which consciously used elements of the traditional gothic tale. This version makes several changes and develops its own ending, but gives the viewer nothing particularly original.

Effects: 5/6 The film features strong traditional, physical effects; its weakest visuals involve CGI. Both versions of the film feature a nightmarish nursery scene; as with nearly everything else, the 2014 version goes entirely over the top.

Story 4/6 The ghost has an interesting backstory. The plot mostly involves Radcliffe running scared around a spooky house, developing a bafflingly strange method of exorcism, and bringing the story to a conclusion that really concludes nothing.

A sequel will be out in 2015.

Acting: 5/6 Radcliffe is onscreen most of the time, often alone, and he puts forth a strong performance.

Production 6/6 The film features excellent production values. The 1989 one features a supernatural force invading a mundane, realistically-rendered backwater, the 2014 retelling presents a world as stylized as any Universal Monster Movie’s, graphic child deaths, and fearful, hostile villagers.

Emotional Response: 4/6. The film works well as a gothic Haunted House walk, with some genuinely disturbing elements.

Overall: 5/6

In total, The Woman in Black receives 30/42.

Notes

Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Arthur, gained fame as Harry Potter. Adrian Rawlins, who plays the same role in the 1989 version, appears in several of those films as Harry’s father, James.

October 2014 Halloween Reviews and Podcasts

Written Reviews:

Weekend of Oct 11: Friday the Thirteenth (1980)
Weekend of Oct 18: Zeiram (1991)
Weekend of Oct 25: The Woman in Black (1989) and The Woman in Black (2012)
Halloween Day: Ghost Hunt (2006)

Podcasts:

October 4th: Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000)
October 11th: Predator (1987)
October 18th: The Terminator (1984)
October 25th: Ghostbusters (1984)
Halloween: Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Hilarious House of Frightenstein (1970s)

Halloween Review: “The Woman in Black” (1989) @ Bureau 42

I had hoped our mystery review would be Babadook, but trying to find that thing playing even remotely nearby, save at a film festival, has proved problematic. Other countries have seen the general release of this low-budget, well-reviewed horror film; North Americans (at least, those of us not attending recent film festivals or horror conventions) will have to wait a little longer.

Instead, we have a double review for you, of the two film adaptations of Susan Hill’s contemporary gothic classic, “The Woman in Black.” The first is from 1989.

Cast and Crew

Director: Robert Wise
Writers: Nigel Neale, from the novella by Susan Hill

Adrian Rawlins as Arthur Kidd
Bernard Hepton as Sam Toovey
Fiona Walker as Mrs. Toovey
David Daker as Josiah Freston
David Ryall as Sweetman
Clare Holman as Stella Kidd
John Cater as Arnold Pepperell
John Franklyn-Robbins as Reverend Greet
William Simons as John Keckwick
Joseph Upton as Eddie Kidd
Steven Mackintosh as Rolfe
Pauline Moran as the Woman in Black

Full cast and crew details may be found at theimdb.

Available at Amazon.

Premise

In the 1920s, a young solicitor heads to a village to settle an elderly widow’s estate. He discovers a haunting that may threaten his sanity and his family.

High Point

The film uses minimal visual effects. It relies heavily on the actors, setting, and (most significantly) sound to create horror, and does so effectively, creating a sense of plausible horror and dread.

Low Point

The ending really doesn’t work for me—as much for the execution as the concept.

The Review

Originality: 2/6 This film adapts a novella that had previously been adapted as a stage play—and the source material itself consciously uses the conventions and tropes of the traditional gothic tale. The ending is the film’s own.

Effects: 4/6 The film makes minimal use of special effects, but its sound is disturbingly effective.

Story 4/6 The ghost has an interesting backstory, and the film plays with the notion that Kidd’s mind may be haunted, rather than the house. The conclusion really doesn’t work for me, and it resolves little.

Acting: 5/6 Much rides on the central performance (Rawlins is in virtually every scene, often alone), and the actor delivers. The other performances vary in quality.

Production 5/6 This Woman in Black makes effective use of a low budget and location shooting. I strongly suspect the fog is real.

Emotional Response: 5/6 The film moves slowly, but it packs a few frights—and creates a lingering sense of doom and dead that the more recent version lacks, despite its more developed use of the horror movie bag of tricks.

Overall: 5/6

In total, The Woman in Black receives 30/42.

Notes

Adrian Rawlins, who plays Arthur, appears in several of the Harry Potter films as Harry’s father, James Potter. Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Arthur in the 2012 version, gained fame, of course, as the big screen’s Harry Potter.

October 2014 Halloween Reviews and Podcasts

Written Reviews:

Weekend of Oct 11: Friday the Thirteenth (1980)
Weekend of Oct 18: Zeiram (1991)
Weekend of Oct 25: The Woman in Black (1989) and The Woman in Black (2012)
Halloween Day: Ghost Hunt (2006)

Podcasts:

October 4th: Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000)
October 11th: Predator (1987)
October 18th: The Terminator (1984)
October 25th: Ghostbusters (1984)
Halloween: Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Hilarious House of Frightenstein (1970s)

A Google Executive Just Crushed Felix Baumgartner's Free Fall Record @ io9

A Google Executive Just Crushed Felix Baumgartner's Free Fall Record

Move aside, Felix Baumgartner. Alan Eustace, a senior vice president at Google, fell from the top of the stratosphere this morning, plummeting nearly 26 vertical miles in the span of about 15 minutes. In doing so, he has broken Baumgartner's 2012 record for world's highest-altitude free fall – and by a pretty sizable margin.

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How We Use Ancient Stone-Cutting Techniques To Preserve Dinosaur Tracks @ io9

How We Use Ancient Stone-Cutting Techniques To Preserve Dinosaur Tracks

Unearthing the fossilized bones of dinosaurs without destroying them is already a pretty fiddly process, one that requires time, patience, and many, many delicate brushes. But when you're talking not about bones but the even more delicate tracks that dinosaurs left behind, the process gets that much trickier.

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Excellent Doctor Who Proposal Includes Gorgeous, Life-Size TARDIS @ io9

Excellent Doctor Who Proposal Includes Gorgeous, Life-Size TARDIS

Getting engaged is OK, but do you know what's even better? Getting your own, personal TARDIS to sweeten the deal. And that's exactly what happened to this adorable couple.

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Heads Up: The Next Gotham Was Written By The Tick Creator Ben Edlund @ io9

Heads Up: The Next Gotham Was Written By The Tick Creator Ben Edlund

When Ben Edlund joined the writing staff of the Batman prequel show Gotham some months ago, it was an encouraging sign. Besides creating The Tick, Edlund wrote some of the best Firefly, Angel and Supernatural episodes. And his first credited Gotham script is also excellent.

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We're live-tweeting the Constantine premiere! @ Blastr

<div id="file-161056" class="file file-image file-image-jpeg"> <div class="content"> <img src="http://www.blastr.com/sites/blastr/files/styles/media_thumbnail/public/constantine2.jpg?itok=dnhs0my0" width="100" height="100" alt="" title="" /> </div> </div> <p>There was a lot of hype over <i>Gotham</i> and&nbsp;<em>The Flash</em>, but arguably the most intriguing comics property to make its way to television this fall is&nbsp;<em>Constantine</em>, a small-screen adaptation of dark arts dabbler John Constantine's adventures in&nbsp;<em>Hellblazer</em>. Produced by genre vet David Goyer, the series aims to tackle the supernatural side of DC's universe, and to, hopefully, do a better job of it than the 2005 film starring Keanu Reeves. That starts with star Matt Ryan as the world-weary protagonist, and will, hopefully, culminate in an alchemical mix of horror (as far as that can go on network TV, anyway), adventure, and cynical wit.<i><br /></i></p><p>The proceedings kick off with tonight's premiere, and we're celebrating with a live tweet of the first episode. <a href="https://www.twitter.com/blastr">Check it out at @blastr</a>, and join in the conversation by tweeting at us with #Constantine!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <script src="//cdn.livefyre.com/Livefyre.js"></script> <script> Livefyre.require([ 'streamhub-wall#3', 'streamhub-sdk#2' ], function(LiveMediaWall, SDK) { var wall = window.wall = new LiveMediaWall({ el: document.getElementById("wall"), minContentWidth: 250, postButton: true, collection: new (SDK.Collection)({ "network": "syfy.fyre.co", "siteId": "363398", "articleId": "custom-1414187893954", "environment": "livefyre.com" }) }); }); </script> <div id="wall"></div>

EXCLUSIVE: Grimm creators on S4's powerless Nick, Trubel's trouble and a Wu-ruption @ Blastr

Grimm

Last season, Grimm co-creators and executive producers David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf left us hanging by our fingernails with multiple cliffhangers and things looked pretty grim for our Grimm characters. The NBC series returns tonight, and you can expect that nothing will be easy for any of the show's characters, said the co-creators in an exclusive interview with Blastr.

“Things are getting bigger, badder, better, more complicated...at least more complex,” said Greenwalt.

Indeed! Yes, Rosalie and Monroe did get married. But Renard got shot, Nick lost his powers after accidentally sleeping with mommy dearest, Adalind Shade, Trubel got outed at the wedding and Wu came to believe he might actually not be crazy. Exactly how will Nick deal with life without his Grimm-ness? Don't expect that storyline to be resolved too quickly.

“Monroe can be his eyes and ears, along with other friendly vessen. It's going to take a while and it's going to be a process, and he and Juliette have to make some big decisions, like maybe it's better not to get his powers back and we can attempt to have a normal life,” said Greenwalt.

“First of all, is there any way on heaven and earth to get the powers back. Second of all, do I really want them back and do I really want them back in terms of what's best for Juliette and our relationship,” said Kouf.

Nick will also get some help from Trubel, who we discovered was a Grimm last season, to handle his Grimm duties. At the beginning of the season, “We get a lot of Trubel, and she may go away after that,” Greenwalt threatened.

Fan favorite Wu will begin to figure out some things. “There's a lot more things that begin to happen and he starts getting on this trail of Trubel. Who is this girl? She was involved in a homicide, but she's staying at Nick's house. She's supposed to be a criminology student. There's a lot to stuff not adding up for Wu. And eventually he really erupts,” said Greenwalt.

“We'll have a Wu-ruption,” said Kouf.

As far as Captain Renard, who's been shot...

“He actually dies at the end of episode one, so you've got to stay tuned,” joked Greenwalt.

“But he dies with his shirt off, so it should be fine,” joked Kouf.

And Rosalie and Monroe will face “big problems” and Juliette goes through something “amazing” that may end up helping Nick in the end.

And then there's Adaline, who may not be at all happy with the way things turn out in her dealings with Victor.

“Some really fun stuff happens with her, because she believes she's going to see her baby again. And Victor is playing her for a fool,” said Greenwalt.

As for Grimm's creatures, Nick and the gang will face a variety of vessen. “In the first couple of episodes we're going to meet a guy who can only be described as an octopus head. He puts his tendrils into the back of your skull and sucks certain things right out of you,” said Greenwalt.

Also, there's a Grimm take on a chupacabra, a raging bull boxing episode, a gollum, and an east Indiana-type vessen with “really long tongues that can grab you around the neck and pull you wherever they wish,” he said.

Here's a look at the premiere of Grimm:

Grimm airs on Fridays on NBC at 9 p.m. ET.

Syfy's Childhood's End series taps major Game of Thrones star for lead role @ Blastr

We’re extremely curious to see how things come together with Syfy’s high-concept Childhood’s End miniseries, and the first big casting move has us even more excited.

Iconic character actor Charles Dance, likely best known to modern-day genre fans as Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones, has signed on for the first major role in the project — based on Arthur C. Clarke’s sci-fi classic of the same name.

The basic plot: The six-hour miniseries focuses on a breed of aliens called the “Overlords,” who peacefully invade and rule Earth, then create a pseudo-utopia that comes at the price of human identity and culture. It’s an ambitious pitch, and Dance’s presence will definitely bring some legitimacy to the proceedings.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Dance plays Karellen, the ambassador for the Overlords who makes first contact with human Ricky Stormgren (currently uncast). The character is described as using “comforting words and amazing technological gifts quickly win humanity’s favor, beginning decades of apparent utopia at the cost of human identity and culture. However, his refusal to reveal his physical appearance and insistence on dealing only through Ricky have some people questioning whether his intentions are truly benevolent.” 

The miniseries will be executive produced by Akiva Goldsman (Lone Survivor) and Mike DeLuca (The Social Network). The pilot (and possibly entire run) will be directed by Nick Hurran (Sherlock) and scripted by Matthew Graham (BBC’s Life on Mars).

Childhood’s End is slated to premiere in 2015. Do you plan on checking it out?

(Via Entertainment Weekly)

Chill 3rd Edition Marks the Return of a Classic Horror RPG @ io9

Chill 3rd Edition Marks the Return of a Classic Horror RPG

One of the best horror RPGs ever is coming back, after a 20-year absence. Chill 3rd Edition puts players in the roles of international agents fighting against supernatural forces of darkness — forces that have had the upper hand for too long.

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What If Law & Order's Detective Munch Partnered Up With A Superhero? @ io9

Richard Belzer has played Detective John Munch in numerous TV shows, from Homicide: Life on the Street and Law & Order to The X-Files and 30 Rock. But what if he appeared in a superhero series, perhaps with a superpowered partner?

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Watch this 23-minute Alien featurette with Ridley Scott circa 1979 @ Blastr

If you were disappointed with Prometheus, we have a classic Alien goodie that might help cleanse your palate with some vintage sci-fi awesomeness.

The Playlist has pointed out a rare, 23-minute Alien featurette recorded in 1970, featuring interviews with Ridley Scott, H.R. Giger, Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt and producers Gordon Carroll and David Giler. Yeah, not a bad list of sci-fi heavies there. The video quality is at times a bit poor due to deterioration, but it’s still a little slice of vintage excellence.

Looking back at the impact this movie has had on science-fiction — and cinema as a whole — in the decades that followed, it’s amazing to see the minds behind it talk candidly when Alien was just another little sci-fi flick plowing its way through development. Plus, you get some nice anecdotal stuff from Weaver and Ridley about the shoot.

Fascinating stuff for sci-fi film geeks, and though we can all look back with hindsight and talk about how awesome Alien is, there's something extremely cool about seeing all this play out in glorious, grainy footage in the heat of the moment. Plus, that facial hair. Those clothes. Everyone is just so young.

Check out the featurette below and let us know what you think:

(Via The Playlist)

If sci-fi author William Gibson could time travel, this is the question he'd answer @ Blastr

Living legend William Gibson has written some of the coolest sci-fi and cyberpunk stories ever put to paper, but what would he do if he had a working time machine?

Gibson sat down with Mother Jones for a wide-ranging interview, touching on everything from random questions about his well-known novels to what he’s working on next. But, one of the best questions for the Neuromancer author came when he was tasked with a question every sci-fi fan has likely pondered from time to time — if you could time travel, what era would you visit?

This being Gibson, he takes the query in an extremely unique direction, and says he would use the opportunity to answer a question we’d have never really thought to ask. Basically: He’d go to the future, but not to see what happens. Instead, he’d want to know how our generation is remembered:

“If could have any information from our future, I would want to know not what they're doing but what they think about us. Because what we think about Victorians is nothing like what the Victorians thought about themselves. It would be a nightmare for them. Everything they thought they were, we think is a joke. And everything that we think was cool about them, they weren't even aware of. I'm sure that the future will view us in exactly that way.”

It’s a fascinating spin on the question, and we have to agree — it’d be fascinating to know which of our accomplishments, and which pieces of our culture, will still endure hundreds of years from now. Will they think we were a “joke,” too? It’s a fascinating question.

What do you think? How will our era be remebered?

(Via Mother Jones, image via Wired)

Launch into these 37 stunning photos of ILM craftsmen building Star Wars models @ Blastr

Here's an amazing armada of Star Wars starships from the heyday of Industrial Light and Magic modelmaking showing legendary fx wizards like John Dykstra and Dennis Muren lovingly building X-wings, B-wings, Imperial shuttles, super stardestroyers, Imperial transports, TIE interceptors and bloated medical frigates from the original Star Wars Trilogy.   Also captured are photos of iconic Star Wars vehicles like Return of the Jedi's zippy speeder bikes and the clunky AT-ST walkers.

The level of heart, detail and time spent crafting these spaceships from cannibalized Monogram, Tamiya and Revell plastic model kits is mind-blowing, rivaling anything put on screen today.

These close-up shots come to us from Reddit's JoinYouInTheSun and are a prime example of the ingenious "kit-bashing" techniques used by the talented ILM team from 1977-1983, piecing together salvaged sections, glued turrets and tiny pieces from tanks, submarines, cars, planes and locomotive scale model parts ruthlessly raided out of children's bedrooms, hobby shops, thrift stores and garage sales, all mashed together into Academy Award-winning fine art.  

For the entire fantastic collection of 140 rare Star Wars model photos head over to Imgur hereHave a look and see if you can recognize anything in the detailed designs.

(Via Geek Tyrant)

Todd McFarlane Reveals Concept Art From A New Animated Spawn Project @ io9

Todd McFarlane Reveals Concept Art From A New Animated Spawn Project

Spawn creator Todd McFarlane has announced that a new Spawn animated project is on the horizon, and shared a few peeks at the concept art, including two of the characters and a grimy city street.

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What's The Greatest Speech In Science Fiction And Fantasy History? @ io9

What's The Greatest Speech In Science Fiction And Fantasy History?

The best science fiction and fantasy stories capture our imaginations in all sorts of ways — with cool visuals, with neat ideas, with clever worldbuilding. But sometimes the most powerful thing of all can be just one person, speaking eloquently. What's the greatest speech in any work of science fiction or fantasy?

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Meet the "Snot Otter," North America's Biggest Salamander @ io9

Meet the "Snot Otter," North America's Biggest Salamander

If you've splashed around in the creeks of Appalachia, you may have been close to the largest salamander in North America, the Eastern hellbender, but you probably wouldn't have known it. Learn about this magnificent critter in a short documentary produced by Freshwaters Illustrated and the US Forest Service.

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Exclusive Preview: Arrow 2.5, Chapter 5 @ Blastr

In the latest installment of DC ComicsArrow 2.5, the comic set between The CW show's second and third season, our green-hooded vigilante heads to St. Walker's Church to confront Brother Blood. And we have an exclusive sneak peek at the issue, written by Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim and Keto Shimizuwhich.

Check it out now, then download the entire issue on Monday via the DC Comics App, Readdcentertainment.com, comiXology.com, Google Play, Kindle Store, Nook Store and iBooks.

The Crappy Diagram That Reveals The Hobbit Trilogy's Epic Final Battle @ io9

The Crappy Diagram That Reveals The Hobbit Trilogy's Epic Final Battle

When The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies finally comes out on December 17th, its ending will be suitably epic. In fact, the titular battle will apparently last 45 minutes, and is so huge and complicated that director Peter Jackson had to diagram it out. However, this diagram isn't quite as epic as the battle probably will be.

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Someone is playing God in this brand-new Helix season 2 promo @ Blastr

Syfy has released a brand-new promo teaser for the upcoming second season of its sci-fi series Helix, and looks like things are about to get chilling again.

Whereas the tension-filled viral action of the first season took place in the arctic, the second is firmly moving away from the freezing cold and onto an island with warmer weather. So what does executive producer extraordinaire Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica, Outlander) have in store for us? Well, a new viral outbreak is heading our way, and Steven Weber's cult leader looks sinister enough ...

As per TV Line:

Season 2 of the sci-fi drama finds Billy Campbell’s Dr. Alan Farragut and his CDC team, still haunted by the Narvik crisis at Arctic Biosystems, investigating the outbreak of a new disease on a Windjammer. Clues lead them to an island inhabited by a cult that is dead-set on creating a utopian society.

Weber (Murder in the First, Studio 60) will heavily recur as Brother Michael, the cult’s charismatic leader… who just so happens to be a world-class geneticist.

Have a look at the new promo for Helix season two:

Syfy's Helix season two will premiere on Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. Are you guys looking forward to the upcoming new season?

(TV Line via Spoiler TV)

HotShot Trailer: Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron official teaser @ Sci-Fi Storm

In case you haven’t seen it yet…oh my…but why do I feel depressed?

EXCLUSIVE: Constantine creator promises a snarky John and a 'dark and twisted' world @ Blastr

Would you like to take a tour through the "dark and twisted world" of Heaven and Hell? Well, get ready to meet John Constantine, our snarky and damned tour guide into NBC's new series Constantine, said co-creator and executive producer Daniel Cerone in an exclusive interview with Blastr.

“If you enjoy explorations into dark and light, demons and angels, Heaven and Hell, as revealed through a character who doesn't choose sides, who will thumb his nose at anyone, and won't bow down to anyone and always has a one-liner for every situation ... that's the fun of John Constantine. I think he's just a fun ambassador into a very dark and twisted world,” said Cerone.

The series follows the adventures of John Constantine (Matt Ryan), who is based on the lead character in the popular DC Comic series Hellblazer. John is a seasoned demon hunter and master of the occult who specializes in giving Hell ... well, hell. Already damned, John tries to protect the daughter of one of his oldest friends, armed only with a terrifying knowledge of the dark arts and a wickedly naughty wit. The series, which was developed by Cerone (Dexter) and David S. Goyer (Man of Steel, The Dark Knight Rises), also stars Angelica Celaya as Zed, Charles Halford as Chas and Lost's Harold Perrineau as an angel named Manny.

“John Constantine, he's just such an unusual character. I mean, there's truly nobody out there like him. He's irreverent, he's flippant, he's cursed. He leaves this wake of destruction behind him anywhere he goes,” said Cerone. “Every friend that he has or anyone who comes to trust him ends up dying, ends up paying the price for it. He's a compelling character because he's alone and he's tormented and he's driven to help people all the while knowing that yes, his own soul is damned for Hell and that anyone who comes to care for him is likely going to pay the price.”

While the pilot features a character named Liv (Lucy Griffiths) who gives us an entry into the world, by episode three you'll meet Zed, played by Angélica Celaya, he said. Celaya will be a regular in Constantine.

“She is from the comic book, and she's literally the first woman that we see John Constantine become involved with. She has psychic powers. Basically, she's someone who can go toe to toe with him. She has some fire and some spirit. She can see through things and see through people. John works because he's a bulls--t artist, and she's like a bulls--t detector, so there's great potential for them,” said Cerone.

"The beauty of John Constantine's world is there are a lot of recurring characters, both positive and negative. The biggest characters on our show, in addition to John Constantine and Zed, are John's best friend in the comic book. His names is Chas. He's a combination of driver and muscle and just his longtime childhood friend. So he's part of the team and he provides a nice human perspective for John. Our other primary character who is turning into a favorite is an angel character whose name is Manny. He's played by Harold Perrineau," he said.

The executive producer and writer, who's worked on Charmed, Dexter and The Mentalist, loves the fact that these character and the world allow him to bring his nightmares to life. “I've just always been a closet horror fan. I like to be scared. It goes back to really primal memories as a child. It's hard to do that on network television. It's hard to create a scary show on network television. We referenced X-Files a lot when we were out pitching the show,” he said.

“A lot of our visual effects, yes, they're going toward creating scares and supernatural terrors, but the tone of the show is to kind of keep them as grounded as possible. We're not a show that's going to be doing a lot of rubber masks. The things that we see or don't see are going to be more coming out of shadows. That's the goal. In television you kind of have to do that. In feature films, you have months, sometimes years to design visual effects and bring creatures to life. We just have much more limited capabilities, but what's nice about this material is that it's very true to the comics. The comics weren't filled with crazy creatures. They were filled with characters. At the end of the day, we want to tell stories about characters,” said Cerone.

“I think the biggest challenge is our own ambition. We want to put as much onscreen as possible, and we want to make ... we want to introduce a world that people haven't seen. Our desire is sometimes greater than production realities, so it forces you to become creative and it forces you to really pick and choose your battles. So, from a pure logistical standpoint, I would say that that's the biggest challenge. But it's made infinitely easier by the fact that what could have been the biggest challenge has just turned into a smooth ride, and that is our lead. Our actor Matt Ryan, I have to say, he is John Constantine. If you look into the comics at all and you get a sense of who that character is, he's this very snarky, self-effacing, devil-may-care, blond, chain-smoking Brit. Matt, he so embodies the character. He lives it and he breathes it, and he's such a joy to watch. He's a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. When we cast him, he was onstage doing Henry V with Jude Law. He just brings the world to life. John Constantine, look, he's saying a lot of spells in Latin, in Portuguese, in Mayan. We put a lot of strange words in his mouth, and Matt just rises to the challenge. It's fun to watch him,” he said.

Constantine airs on Fridays on NBC at 10 p.m. ET after Grimm.

Here's a look at Constantine:

Will you watch?

A Gorgeous Short Film About a Magician Who Builds Solar Systems @ io9

A Gorgeous Short Film About a Magician Who Builds Solar Systems

With a wasteland as their canvas, a Master and his Apprentice set about turning rubble into planets and moons, asteroids and comets, spinning them in orbit around a symbolic Sun. So begins Ambition, a short film made by Academy Award-nominated director Tomek Baginksi in collaboration with the European Space Agency.

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WWE’s Christian to reunite with pal Edge on Haven @ Sci-Fi Storm

Jay Reso, also known as WWE Superstar Christian, will reunite with his lifelong friend and former tag team partner Adam Copeland, aka WWE Hall of Famer Edge, for a recurring guest arc on Syfy’s fan-favorite series, Haven, which airs Fridays at 7 p.m. ET/PT. Reso will appear in an all-new episode airing November 28, and will reprise the role for two additional episodes airing later in 2015.

Life imitates art with Reso portraying McHugh, one of Dwight’s (Copeland) oldest and closest friends. McHugh is smart, with ice water for blood, hammers for fists and a dogged sense of loyalty. McHugh and Dwight served as Army Rangers together, as well as members of The Guard. But McHugh left this life for a simpler one, determined to remain out of the line of fire. Dwight knows he could use the help of his fierce friend, but respects McHugh’s desire to live under the radar.

When Dwight finds himself in a romantic conundrum in the episode “Chemistry,” McHugh is the first one Dwight turns to. McHugh counsels Dwight through the challenge, while also considering joining forces with his old friend to once again defend the town of Haven, Maine.

Wireless Electricity Will Transform the World @ Omni Reboot

A Horrifying Instructional Video For Ghosts On How To Haunt Their Homes @ io9

Guides for ghosts can sometimes be on the goofily macabre side (think Beetlejuice's Handbook for the Recently Deceased), but This Is How You Haunt Your House is instead fabulously grim, a chilling short horror film rendered as an instructional guide for the afterlife.

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All The Weirdest Secrets You Never Knew About Clive Barker's Hellraiser @ io9

All The Weirdest Secrets You Never Knew About Clive Barker's Hellraiser

Hellraiser was made for under $1 million, but wound up becoming one of the most significant horror movies of all time. And yet, the more you learn about this film's production, the more of a miracle it seems. Here are all the strangest facts you need to know about the making of Hellraiser.

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The New Borderlands Is Loaded With Secrets And References [UPDATED] @ io9

The New Borderlands Is Loaded With Secrets And References [UPDATED]

Continuing in the Borderlands series' grand tradition of making sly winks at everything from Minecraft to Game of Thrones to a whole lot of Internet memes, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is littered with secrets and references—some especially elaborate. Here are all the ones we know of so far.

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Gawker Send Us Your Mom's Emails and Texts About Ebola | Jalopnik What's The Grossest Thing You've S @ io9

The Computer Demands You Fund The New Paranoia RPG Immediately @ io9

The Computer Demands You Fund The New Paranoia RPG Immediately

Rejoice, Citizen! Paranoia, the ultimate RPG of the darkly humorous future, is coming back — or it will if you don't mind spending a few Alpha Complex credits on this Kickstarter. The new version of the classic game has been streamlined and modernized for the 21st century, and best of all, it's almost nearly funded!

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EXCLUSIVE: Anne Rice on returning to vampires, her new book, and what's next @ Blastr

After more than a decade, Anne Rice has returned to rule as the queen of vampire fiction once more.

In 2003, Rice published Blood Canticle, the 10th book in her best-selling Vampire Chronicles series. At the time, it was intended to be her final book exploring the adventures of the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt. In the years that followed, Rice began the Christ the Lord series, a first-person chronicle of the life of Jesus Christ, and wrote a memoir about her own spiritual journey: Called Out of Darkness. She also created two other supernatural series -- Songs of the Seraphim (about angels) and The Wolf Gift Chronicles (about werewolves) -- and maintained enthusiastic, daily interaction with her fans online. All the while, many of those fans kept asking: Will Lestat ever come back?

The question was finally answered last spring, when Rice announced her 11th Vampire Chronicle: Prince Lestat, an ambitious, world-spanning novel that returns not just to the titular hero, but to all of Rice's vampires. With Prince Lestat's Oct. 28 release looming, we spoke with Rice about the new book, what drove her to return to vampire fiction, and what's next for Lestat and company. 

Blastr: For the benefit of our readers who may not have revisited The Vampire Chronicles in a while, where does this book pick up, and what's happening as it starts?

Anne Rice: It's set now, in the present, 2013-14, or, you know, the eternal present. So it's a sequel to everything that went before in The Vampire Chronicles, and it's the first big book in terms of scope since Queen of the Damned, because it's the first book that takes up the whole Tribe. But it really is a sequel to everything. It's set in the present time. The vampire world is facing a crisis. It's facing two crises, really. And as these crises intensify, calls go up everywhere for leadership and guidance, and that's really what it's about, how the Tribe has developed this kind of worldwide consciousness, and how they need a leader -- or think that they do -- and the book addresses all that. And of course, the title -- Prince Lestat -- of course indicates that Lestat is the person they're all calling for. 

Blastr: I've heard in other interviews that Lestat's voice was kind of being persistent with you, and before you started this book you actually went back and re-read The Vampire Chronicles and found a story. When and how did this story start for you?

AR: How shall I put it? I was surprised at how much I discovered when I went back and started to read, how much I had to say. I was surprised at how much more I wanted to elaborate on all of these different topics. It seems like I had the benefit of a long vacation or a nap, and I returned, refreshed, to the material, and I discovered it to be a gold mine for me personally. I was inspired to approach all kinds of questions like science and vampires, that type of question, communication and vampires. I was inspired to just come up with a whole bunch of new ideas, a whole bunch of new ideas developed, a whole bunch of new situations developed. And I found that my imagination did its usual thing of coming up with new characters, as well as going back to reinvent and rediscover and redevelop old characters. And you can want this to happen when you're a writer, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's going to happen, and fortunately for me it did happen. The more I read the old books, the more it all came to life for me, and I was very happy to pursue it and to sort of give in to it, and the problem was really one of having almost too much to say, and not knowing how to begin and organize because the vision I had was so huge, of everybody all over the world responding to the modern age, to satellite technology, to the Internet, to iPhones, to a whole different world than the world in 2002 when I stopped writing the books. And I finally just thought "OK, just write it. Just pour it out." And I started, and it just poured out. I know that might be a disappointing answer, but that's really how it happened.

Blastr: When did you actually begin writing, and how long did it take you to write this book?

AR: The writing of this actual, coherent first, or ultimate, draft, that never takes me too long. I usually try to get that done in about two to three months. What takes long is all the preparation, all the false starts, all the chapters that don't take off, all the beginnings that don't flow, and all of the discoveries every time something doesn't work. But then when I finally commit that "I'm going to make this happen," and if it does flow, the writing ... it takes place in about three months. I would say it took three months to write the draft that was finished and handed in to Knopf. And then, of course, they didn't want me to tell anybody about it. They didn't want to publish it until fall 2014. It was an agony to wait so long, but that also gave me some time to go over it in copyediting and in galleys, to expand a little here and expand a little there. Time can be a good thing in that regard. You'll think of something. It also could be deadly. You'll ruin your book if you keep picking at it over time, but it worked out really well in this case. It wasn't easy keeping the secret, you know, going down to the Vampire Ball in New Orleans in 2013 and not being able to tell them about this book, but I had to go along with what the publisher wanted.

Blastr: You talked about discoveries and false starts as you were writing. I'm curious: Did you always know that this was going to encompass not only all of your previous characters, for the most part, but a lot of new characters? Did you always know it was going to be this big?

AR: I did once it started to really form in my mind. When I decided to do it, I didn't have a clear idea of how it was going to go, and that's when I picked up the books, when I thought, "OK, just read. Read what you wrote yourself. Start reading all of this." Then, yes, I almost immediately thought of different possibilities for different characters, and a lot of it that I developed in my mind never got to the book. There are characters in this book that we won't get their full story or their early story until the next book or the book after, when there are flashbacks. There just wasn't room enough to put everybody's total story. There are a couple of ancient immortals in this book who come from the earliest times of the vampires, but we have very, very brief summaries of who they were, and what they did, and how they came to know each other in ancient times and come together again in Prince Lestat. it's a great feeling, really, because you are reporting from a world that is really real to you, and it's vast, and it's like you are talking to your reader and saying, "I can't tell you the whole story here, but I can tell you he came from here and this is how he met this person and that person, and now he's standing in Central Park and he's watching Armand and Louis, and he's got a lot of thoughts about this." I like to write that way. I really do. I enjoy writing that way, reporting from a world that's totally real to me, and very well developed.

Blastr: As the main draft of the story took off, was there anything that surprised you more than anything else? 

AR: I was really surprised that I enjoyed so much writing about a vampire who roamed out to the West Coast in the 19th century, and when I described him in the Barbary Coast, and playing the piano in bordellos in San Francisco. I was surprised how much I enjoyed that. I'd like to go back to that in future books, that period in history, and what the vampires might have been like who prowled San Francisco in the gaslight era. I was surprised at how vivid all that became for me. And of course, I'm only talking about, what, three paragraphs in the book? But I really loved it. There were a number of passages that I loved more than other passages. They just sprang to life for me, but I do try when I'm writing a book to yield to that instinct, to make room for what is really vital. It's one of my working methods. Enjoy. Go for the intensity. Go for the pain. Go for the pleasure. If it's not interesting to you, don't assume it's going to be interesting to anyone else. 

Blastr: When you first announced the book on your son's radio show, you said that for a long time you believed that you really couldn't return to this world, you really believed that you were done. What made you feel so strongly about that, and what broke that for you? What made you realize there was something there?

AR: A couple of things. First, Lestat just wasn't talking to me. In 2002, when I ended Blood Canticle, it was not a finale, it was just the final novel. He danced off into the moonlight. It was not like a wrap-up. He was out there, and the other characters were out there in my imagination, but they weren't talking to me. A lot of what I write has to do with what keeps popping up in my mind. It's almost like the characters are on the front step and they keep coming to the door, and finally I open the door for one. But they weren't coming to the door. They didn't come to me night and day. I wasn't finding myself walking down the street thinking, "Oh my God, I've got to write about Lestat now and what he's doing." It wasn't happening. It just wasn't there, and I attribute this to a number of factors. 2002 was the year my husband died. I'd been married for 41 years, and that was a huge, huge thing. The grief of the loss of a spouse like that is almost too big to grasp rationally. If you've spent just about every single night of your life for 41 years with the same person in the same bed, and suddenly that person's gone ... gone ... that's a big thing. You may think you've got it all covered. "I understand grief. I'm looking the void in the face. I'm totally cool with it." But you're not. That's going to take its toll, and it's going to take years. It's going to affect you for years. That's one factor.

And then the second thing was I had a lot of other things I wanted to write. I had done this in the past. When I finished Interview with the Vampire, I went off and wrote a book called The Feast of All Saints, and another one called Cry to Heaven, and then two books under the pseudonym of Rampling, and three books under the name of Roquelaure that were erotica. All that before I went back to The Vampire Lestat. I took eight years before I went back to The Vampire Chronicles, so it wasn't that unusual for me to take 10 years to try a bunch of other things. I'd done it before. I have a lot of different types of things in me that I want to write, and readers don't respond to them equally, but they can often obsess me completely. 

Blastr: So, how did Lestat begin talking to you again?

AR: Well, first off, I decided I wanted to go back to him even before he started talking. I was frustrated. I had been working for years to try to set up deals in Hollywood so that Lestat would have life on the screen, and we weren't getting anywhere, and I was getting angry and frustrated and I thought "Damn it, I'm going to go back and reclaim him and give him life again in the books, and forget these people. This is too anguishing." And so it really occurred to me one day to do that, but again he didn't necessarily start speaking. I had to start reading the books. Then he started speaking, and then it didn't really matter what they did in Hollywood. He was talking to me and I wanted to do it. And I've always had that refuge. When things have gone wrong in the entertainment industry, I can turn around and say "Well, the real life of my work is between hard covers. I don't care." I was asked that years ago by someone. He said "How do you see the life of your work? Do you see it on the screen or do you see it in books?" I said "Definitely in books." Books are what matter to me. So that was the inspiration. It was a moment of rage and anger against Hollywood. 

Blastr: You went off and wrote these other books, but you wanted him to keep going. You wanted him to endure, and when he wasn't enduring on film you decided that you would just make him endure?

AR: Absolutely. I really thought we would have a bunch of movies in the early 2000s. I thought that was going to happen. I thought we had a lot of material there, that we would be able to set it up somewhere. The Twilight stuff was booming, True Blood was booming. I thought "This is a great time. Surely we'll see him." Well, it didn't happen for various reasons. We ran into problems in Hollywood and he didn't come back, and neither did my Witching Hour series, and this is very frustrating to me. I love film and television, and it did cause me to go back and feel "Well, I've got to detach from this. I've got to remember who I am here. I'm a writer, and I'm going to make it happen with him on the page." And a lot of times those kinds of decisions can be very fruitful and very productive. You get mad. You say "OK, you're not interested in him enough to work on this, well guess what? I'm gonna make you sorry." And of course I didn't make anybody sorry. What happened was the Hollywood deal is now worked out. They aren't sorry, they're just very glad to have him. So we have a deal now. It looks like it, anyway.

Blastr: I know you said back in that first book announcement that you hadn't ever really felt comfortable with the, you called them the "hybrid novels," the crossovers [Rice's Mayfair Witches met her vampires in three books: MerrickBlackwood Farm, and Blood Canticle]. So you've kind of sidestepped all of the Mayfair crossover stuff with this book. Do you think you'll ever go back to them?

AR: I wouldn't say never. I don't know. After going back as I have to Lestat, I wouldn't say never. I just...the hybrids in retrospect don't feel right to me. It's like the two series have different textures, and the textures don't mix, and they didn't mix for me in my memory. They worked when I was writing them. It was very exciting to mix them, to imagine the same universe, and I felt quite inspired. But in retrospect, it just didn't work, and I also felt that a lot of the critical response was because the two series have very different readerships, and the Witching Hour people just don't necessarily like the vampires, and the vampire people just don't like The Witching Hour. There are many readers who like both, thank goodness, but there are a lot who don't, and I've always had that kind of polarized or even divided readership. So, I left the whole thing with mixed feelings, and those feelings grew more troubled over the years. Now, if I was to sit down and read the hybrid books, maybe I could get all excited about it again and bring the characters back, but the characters I'm really interested in now are the ones who appear in Prince Lestat, and I have other characters that I haven't gotten to yet.

Blastr: Technology and science are two major parts of this story. There's a vampire radio show, the vampires are using iPhones, and you also have vampires wondering biologically what they are. You've already told the origin story [in Queen of the Damned]. What made you want to go and visit what makes up these vampires and their own biological curiosity about themselves?

AR: I felt it was an inevitable question. I didn't want to avoid it anymore. To me, this world is real. I live in it. These vampires are real. I felt some of them are bound to care about science, and they're bound not to be afraid of it, and they're bound to be more curious and more constructive than afraid. I let my imagination run free on that. I love scope. If you're trying to describe an entire Tribe worldwide, then you really have an obligation to describe all different types of people who become vampires. You can't just people it with one type of person because that's what you are. It won't be a great, enduring cosmology if you do that. You need variety. You need all kinds of different people coming in contact with the Dark Gift. For example, look at a show like Under the Dome. Very enjoyable show, very exciting, lot of fun. But where are the violinists? Where are the opera singers? Where are the schoolteachers in Chester's Mill? Where is the poet? Where is the philosopher? They're not there, because the author of that particular series has a certain kind of person he's interested in, so pretty much that's what you get in Chester's Mill is a certain kind of person. Well, I want to push those limits with myself. I want a bigger scope there. If I'm going to write about a whole world, I want radically different kinds of vampires. I don't think that only poets and rebels and romantics are going to be drinking the Dark Gift. I think there are going to be some others out there, and that's going to include a scientist. 

Blastr: In the novel, Lestat is being called to duty by all of these vampires. People say "You told our story. You're the Brat Prince, you're the one out there letting everyone know that we exist, so we need a leader and you should be the leader." And I've watched this fan following of yours in the decade or so since you stopped writing vampire novels keep asking you to come back, and you're known to a lot of people as the queen of vampire fiction. Did you see any deliberate connection there between Lestat's call and your call as you were writing?

AR: Yeah, I did. It was easier for me to write about his being aware of those requests because I was aware of that kind of request. I was getting it every day: "Where is he? When is he going to come back?" So, it was easy for me to develop the idea that the vampires of the world would be asking the same question. I didn't consciously think about it, but it certainly was easy for me to do that. 

Blastr: Did you feel at all, as you were working on the Christ the Lord series or the Songs of the Seraphim series or The Wolf Gift series, did you ever feel a pull from fans to go back to vampires while you were doing those? 

AR: I didn't feel the pull, but they were certainly asking. The Christ the Lord books, to me, were a really, really great obsession, and a huge challenge. Again, it's me loving to do different kinds of prose and different kinds of literary experiments, and my readers don't always feel as intensely about them as I do. But those books, the challenge of writing about Jesus in the first person, and walking that fine line of being Biblically and theologically correct while making him a living, breathing character, that was so thrilling. That was like mountain climbing must be for mountain climbers. It was just wonderful. A lot of readers didn't share that obsession, and what did happen with those two books is I had a whole readership that didn't know about the vampires. They didn't read those books. They weren't interested in me until I wrote the Christ the Lord books, and I still have that readership, a huge Christian readership, many of whom are not conventional Christians necessarily, or church-goers, but who are believers. And they love those books, and they want more of them, and they are always emailing me and asking me where the third Christ the Lord book is. So, I live with that as part of the joy of being a writer, that I do have these different readerships, and of course it makes me happiest when someone reads everything, but many a time I haven't done that with my favorite writers.

Blastr: You obviously have a strong connection with your fans. You talk to them on Facebook every day. Do you feel any weight of fan expectation about what will happen in this book?

AR: Sure. I think there will inevitably be people who are disappointed. That's always happened with every book I have ever written, from the first time. There were people who didn't like The Vampire Lestat and they wrote me scathing letters saying they didn't like it, that they loved Interview and I had ruined things. You wouldn't believe some of the things they wrote. I remember a producer in Hollywood whom I deeply admired. He just brushed off The Vampire Lestat and said "Well, Interview was so good that they would've settled for anything." And I was cut to the heart. I thought "Are you serious? Are you really just going to dismiss [this book]?" I couldn't believe that's what he said. He just had no interest in anything after Interview with the Vampire, and I just couldn't believe it. But I've always faced that. So, yeah, there will be some people who are disappointed, and some people will say very bad things. They always do.

Blastr: You already have a sequel to Prince Lestat on the way, correct?

AR: Well, I'm writing it, yes. It's boiling and boiling and boiling like a giant cauldron.

Blastr: So, there's no release date on that at the moment?

AR: No.

Blastr: Is there a title?

AR: There is a title. Blood Paradise. My editor suggested that title and she was right on.

Blastr: I don't want to ask you to give away what's going to happen, but are you thinking about doing more kind of standalone books? Sort of like what The Vampire Armand was?

AR: No.

Blastr: It's going to be about The Tribe?

AR: It's going to be all about The Tribe. It's going to be about all of them and how they cope with the continuation of the story, how they go on, and problems that were resolved in Prince Lestat but not resolved forever, a lot of other problems, and who else is out there in the world. It's going to be about the ongoing trajectory of The Tribe, as well as Lestat.

Blastr: Is there any idea in your mind right now how many books this will continue for, or are you just enjoying writing?

AR: I'm enjoying it, and I see it very open-ended. I can see three or four books easily, but you never know. I don't know how that will go. And one of the things I consciously did in this book is I opened doors, and I made possibilities. One of the things I didn't do in the old Vampire Chronicles was open doors. I closed them more often than not. They were a lot about death. They were a lot about tragedy, a lot about failure, a lot about despair, a lot about plans being wrecked, and that happened over and over again. And this time, I felt differently. I had a different view of the world. I wanted to open the doors. I wanted to experiment. I wanted to think in terms of possibility. I already did that in The Wolf Gift books, wrote them in a way to where the Wolf Gift or the Dark Gift is truly a gift, not a curse. And as the person goes into the supernatural realm, they see all of these different paths that they can take, and all of this immense knowledge out there to be acquired, and all of these new experiences to be discovered. So, I do see a lot of books now, whereas before I would end each Vampire Chronicle kind of exhausted and depressed and down, as everything fell apart once again.

Blastr: So you see this as more of a hopeful era for The Vampire Chronicles?

AR: Very much so.

Blastr: You have said before that after Interview with the Vampire, you did not intend this be a series, and yet this is your 13th vampire novel coming out this month. It's been almost 40 years since Interview came out and you have fans who are still coming to these books, and you have fans who are very much looking forward to this one. You have written other things that fans have loved, but the vampires keep coming back for you. What do you think makes them endure so much, not just in your fans' imaginations, but in your imagination?

AR: It's rooted in the characters, not the stories, and it's rooted in the personalities, and the way that the vampire metaphor functions for me as a metaphor for us. It's the most powerful metaphor I know for talking about myself. I feel like an outcast, a predator, an immortal trapped in a body, because I can't really imagine dying. And I think most people feel that way. To me, Lestat's the perfect metaphor for that. I feel larger than time, because I have such a strong sense of history. I walk around seeing the whole world in terms of "Wow, what would Louis XIV have thought about Bristol Farms or Whole Foods?" I just walk around stoned on the 21st century, just marvelling, and so it's easy for me to write about an 18th century immortal, or even a 2,000-year-old immortal, raving about electric light, for example, and what a miracle it is, and what it means for the first photograph to be taken, and the first audio recording. I'm stoned on all of that. I can't get over it. I'm always trying to talk about it in my books in some way, and the vampires give me the maximum intensity in the way I see the world. 

Prince Lestat will be released on Oct. 28. 

Check back next week for part two of our exclusive interview with Anne Rice, in which we discuss the future of The Vampire Chronicles on film.

It's Time For Our Annual Spooky Stories Contest @ io9

It's Time For Our Annual Spooky Stories Contest

As the grass grows deader and an otherworldly chill fills the air, thoughts turn to the march of darkness into waning summer days, and the unknowable, and sometimes horrifying secrets that it holds. It's here. It's finally here. It's our annual Spooky Stories contest.

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Doctors in Australia have transplanted a 'dead' heart that stopped beating for 20 minutes. @ io9

Doctors in Australia have transplanted a 'dead' heart that stopped beating for 20 minutes. It's being described as the biggest heart transplant breakthrough in a decade, one that could revolutionize the way organs are donated. The technique, which utilizes a portable unit that keeps blood flowing through heart tissue, took 12 years to develop. Previously, transplant units relied solely on donor hearts from brain dead patients whose hearts were still beating.

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The Crow Remake To Start Filming In 2015 @ io9

The Crow Remake To Start Filming In 2015

Luke Evans is still going to be the new Crow, and the brand new reboot will allegedly start filming in the Spring of 2015. But no one is asking the real questions, like do we need another Crow movie? And does anyone want another Crow? [via THR]

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8 Alternate 'Buster' Iron Man Suits that are cooler than the Hulkbuster @ io9

8 Alternate 'Buster' Iron Man Suits that are cooler than the Hulkbuster

It might be the most famous, but the Hulkbuster - which made its awesome movie début in this week's fabulous Age of Ultron trailer - isn't the only suit Tony Stark has made to combat a specific super-foe. Here's 8 of Iron Man's 'buster'-style suits that are just as good, if not better.

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No, Ebola Won't Decide The Outcome Of The Elections @ io9

No, Ebola Won't Decide The Outcome Of The Elections

Ebola is at the top of the headlines. The elections are eleven days away. Therefore, the Law of Punditry dictates that political commentators must link these two stories together, forecasting that fears of the deadly virus will determine who controls Congress. Here's why they're completely wrong.

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Yes, there is such a thing as reptiles @ io9

Yes, there is such a thing as reptiles

I'm super sorry, Dustin Welbourne writing for The Conversation, but yes. Reptiles are still a thing, and I gotta tell you why.

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Todd McFarlane reveals first peek at mysterious new Spawn animated project @ Blastr

It’s been more than a decade since the acclaimed animated series Todd McFarlane’s Spawn wrapped up its late 1990s run on HBO, and now the comic's creator has revealed a first peek at a new animated project.

McFarlane, creator of the iconic antihero, has posted some concept art showing characters Sam and Twitch, plus an exterior atmosphere shot. Not surprisingly, the stuff looks good. What’s the concept art actually from? We have no clue. But it would obviously seem a new-look animated Spawn series is in the works.

Considering how many digital outlets are out there trying to ramp up development on original content, it stands to reason there’d be somebody champing at the bit to team up with McFarlane to bring the character back to life. McFarlane teased there’s “LOTS and LOTS” more content on the way, so it sounds like something is definitely brewing.

Check out McFarlane’s full post, including the concept art, below:

(Via Todd McFarlane)

Author Don DeLillo Offers His Thoughts on Taylor Swift's 'White Noise' @ io9

Author Don DeLillo Offers His Thoughts on Taylor Swift's 'White Noise'

Don DeLillo, author of the famous literary novel White Noise, has supplied The Atlantic with a review of the third track from Taylor Swift's latest album – eight seconds of static that were briefly made available to Canadian iTunes customers earlier this week.

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Lucasfilm Is Suing The Empire Brewing Company Over Its Bock Lager @ io9

Lucasfilm Is Suing The Empire Brewing Company Over Its Bock Lager

A small brewery in upstate New York has incurred the wrath of the Star Wars franchise by naming one of its signature lagers, "Strikes Bock." Lucasfilm has filed a "notice of opposition" against Empire Brewery, when it recently tried to trademark the beer.

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A Guide To The Ravenous Hellbeast That Is The Carnivorous Caterpillar @ io9

A Guide To The Ravenous Hellbeast That Is The Carnivorous Caterpillar

"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood." So said Marie Curie, a brilliant scientist who had clearly never heard of the horrifying Hawaiian caterpillars that dine on living flesh. Here, we explore how evolution came to play this cruel joke on us all.

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Astronaut Buzz Aldrin in favor of Mars One's one-way trips to the Red Planet @ Blastr

With NASA not really lighting the solar system on fire with tangible plans to get humans to Mars, some private spacefaring companies hope to carry us to the Red Planet — and now one of America’s most famous astronauts has thrown his support behind one of the most controversial missions.

While speaking at a panel for MIT's AeroAstro 100 conference in Massachusetts, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin opened up about his thoughts on future plans to get humans to Mars. Specifically, Aldrin offered his thoughts on Mars One — you know, the one that’d turn the whole thing into a reality TV series — and said he’s actually in favor of the one-way mission.

Aldrin said he looks at the situation from a simple perspective of cost, noting that we’d likely be better served by making an effort to keep a settlement on the planet after spending so much time, effort and money to get them there. But once we’d established a working base, then consider some return trips if necessary:

“It [will] cost the world — and the U.S. — billions and billions of dollars to put these people there, and you're going to bring them back? What are you going to do when you bring them back here that can possibly compare [to] the value that they would be if they stayed there and Mars wasn't empty? And then, they helped to work with the next group and it builds up a cadre of people. When we've got 100 — or whatever it is — then we start bringing people back.”

Considering that Aldrin is among the few humans to actually set foot on the moon, it stands to reason that his opinion is one to at least consider. We’d also have to agree, to a degree. Mars One’s plan is to send humans on a one-way trip to establish a colony, and though the logistics are up for debate, it almost seems a bit silly to travel that far to just hang out a few days and come back home.

What do you think? Would you sign up for a one-way trip to Mars?

(Via Space)

io9 Newsstand: Best Stories of the Week for October 20 - 25 @ io9

io9 Newsstand: Best Stories of the Week for October 20 - 25

Over on his blog Morning, Computer, Warren Ellis has a few thoughts on the state of SF magazines (mostly of the British variety) prompted by the news that the new New Worlds is now defunct.

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What Are Americans Most Afraid Of? @ io9

What Are Americans Most Afraid Of?

A recent survey asked 1,500 Americans what they fear most. The answers may surprise you.

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WB/DC Actually Wants A Female Director For The Wonder Woman Movie @ io9

WB/DC Actually Wants A Female Director For The Wonder Woman Movie

Well, this is a pleasant surprise. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. is looking specifically for a female director to take the reins of the solo Wonder Woman movie, currently due in 2017.

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The Top 100 Science Fiction-Themed Songs Of All Time @ io9

The Top 100 Science Fiction-Themed Songs Of All Time

Whether it be rock or rap, metal or country, no genre of music has been left untouched by the influence of science fiction. Here are the 100 greatest songs about science fiction.

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75 Years of Marvel, Your Beautiful New Alarm Clock, and More Deals @ io9

75 Years of Marvel, Your Beautiful New Alarm Clock, and More Deals

75 years. 700 pages. 2000 images. Hardcover. $85 or more off MSRP. [ 75 Years of Marvel: From the Golden Age to the Silver Screen]

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Prep for GRIMM’s Return with Catch-Up Featurettes, Preview Clips and Gorgeous Gallery Pics @ SciFi Mafia

Grimm fans, remember when October 24 felt like years away? The wait is finally over, but just in case Season 3 is a little hazy for you, we have a

Crowdfund gorgeous Space posters, fantasy Map creation and More! @ io9

Crowdfund gorgeous Space posters, fantasy Map creation and More!

We're back with another look at neat crowdfunding projects, and this week's got everything from a poster series dedicated to NASA's robotic spacecraft, a mapping tool for fantasy writers and tabletop gamers alike, and even a Calendar dedicated to the badass Women of cosplay.

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Ridiculous Modern Day Phantom Of The Opera Musical Coming To TV @ io9

Ridiculous Modern Day Phantom Of The Opera Musical Coming To TV

From the creator of Desperate Housewives and Devious Maids comes a modern day Phantom of the Opera musical. Yes, Marc Cherry is making a Phantom TV show, and it could be the best-worst thing ever.

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Brad Bird's The Incredibles could get a 3D theatrical rerelease @ Blastr

We’re still bouncing off the walls because a sequel to Brad Bird’s awesome CGI flick The Incredibles is actually in development, but apparently the seminal original might get another shot at box-office glory. Well, maybe.

OK, here’s what happened: Word broke a while back that The Incredibles and Ratatouille were getting post-converted to 3D. As /Film notes, a 3D Blu-ray version of Ratatouille eventually showed up on shelves internationally. But The Incredibles? Nada.

So a report has popped up on FinalReel indicating The Incredibles conversion could be for a theatrical rerelease. The reasoning comes from the U.K. British Board of Film Classification, which classified Ratatouille as a “video” while The Incredibles is listed as a “film.” Typically, the “film” designation is reserved for theatrical releases, apparently — so start speculating.

There’s been no confirmation from folks in the know (i.e. Bird, Disney, etc.), meaning we’ll have to keep this one in the realm of "maybe" for the time being. If you’re any good at math, you’ll note that 2014 marks the 10th anniversary of The Incredibles’ opening — so they’re running out of time if the plan was for an anniversary release.

The more likely scenario, assuming Disney isn’t just totally trolling us? They’re getting the film converted and prepped for a potential theatrical rerelease around the eventual opening of The Incredibles 2 (i.e. a double feature). The film has only garnered more fans over the past decade, and it’d be the perfect time to introduce a whole new generation to the modern classic.

What do you think? Would you like another chance to see The Incredibles on the big screen?

(Via FinalReel, /Film)

Check out Peter Jackson's hand-drawn plans for Battle of the Five Armies @ Blastr

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is a war zone, and Peter Jackson's got the battle plans to prove it.

Peter Jackson is no stranger to epic battle scenes. This is the man who directed the massive Battle of Helm's Deep in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and the even more massive Battle of the Pelennor Fields in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. He's shown us Ents assaulting Isengard, Aragorn leading a charge at the Black Gate and a close-quarters battle with goblins in the depths of Moria. Now, with his final Middle-earth film looming, he's got one more epic battle to show us: the Battle of the Five Armies.

The battle -- in which armies of dwarves, elves, men, orcs and eagles will clash at the foot of Lonely Mountain over the lost dwarven treasure of Erebor recently reclaimed by Thorin Oakenshield and his company -- is set to take up the last 45 minutes or of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. That means a lot of post-production work for Jackson and his team as they put the finishing touches on effects shot after effects shot, but it's also meant lots of careful planning. Before setting out to film the battle, Jackson had to determine just how big it would be in relation to the landscape.

“Before we could loose the first arrow, we had to design the landscape itself and figure out, ‘Okay, if we have 10,000 orcs, how much room are they going to take up?’ ” Jackson said. “ ‘Are they going to fill up the valley or look like a speck?’ Then we could start drawing the arrows on the schematics.”

To help visualize the battle, Jackson drew some maps of his own that show where the forces are coming from and where they fall in the whole scheme. Check it out:

Because the battle is so long, Jackson also had to be careful about how it's paced. Sure, 45 minutes of nonstop orc-slaying sounds fun in theory, but it can also drag on if you don't keep it focused on something familiar, something we actually care about. So Jackson made a little battleground rule.

“We have a rule that we’re not allowed to go more than two or three shots of anonymous people fighting without cutting back to our principal characters,” he said. “Otherwise the audience just ends up with battle fatigue.”

As you might have noticed in the drawing above, the battle will indeed feature the return of the massive eagles of Middle-earth, including the never-before-seen Lord of the Eagles. Jackson was careful to emphasize, though, that the creatures are just another part of the battle this time, and not the plot element that will save the day. And yeah, he knows you've thought about them carrying Frodo all the way to Mordor.

“Tolkien uses eagles in a way that can be kind of awkward because they tend to show up out of the blue and change things pretty quickly,” says the director. “So here they’re just part of the plan, not the saviors. I mean, I do realize that if the eagles had just been able to bring Frodo to Mount Doom in Lord of the Rings and let him drop the ring in, those movies would have been much shorter.”

In less than two months, we'll see the Battle of the Five Armies unfold on the big screen, and then Jackson's Middle-earth movie journey will (most likely) be done. For some viewers, the Hobbit trilogy has been great fun, for others it's been a slog, but however you feel about the saga ending, it's clear Jackson's ready to go out with a bang.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies arrives Dec. 17.

(Via EW)

Warner Bros. reportedly seeking female director for DC's Wonder Woman spinoff @ Blastr

We know a heck of a lot more than we did about DC’s future movie plans, but there are still a lot of questions lingering in Warner Bros.’ massive Justice League scheme.

Some of the biggest questions revolve around who (aside from Zack Snyder) will bring that slate of almost a dozen superhero movies to life. Yes, Snyder has already staked out Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League 1-2 for his trademark brand of splashy gray — but there is still a boatload of movies up for grabs.

Aside from Synder’s tentpoles, the only other film on the calendar with a director currently attached is David Ayer’s Suicide Squad spinoff. That leaves The Flash, Aquaman, Shazam, Cyborg, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman still unclaimed. We don’t know who the studio is looking at for most of these, but a recent note from The Hollywood Reporter offers a major hint for Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman standalone film.

Here’s the choice excerpt from their report:

Warners also is opting for strong directors, tapping David Ayer (Fury) for Suicide Squad and seeking a female helmer for Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman.

Yep, that’s right — along with some nifty casting diversity, the studio is also looking to attract a variety of styles and perspectives behind the camera. That’s awesome, and a very big deal. Considering it’ll be the first major female superhero flick in modern history, it’s only fitting that a female director put it together. Our hats are off to Warner Bros., assuming they follow through.

Forbes is reporting a short list of which female directors Warner Bros. could be eyeing. The options are wide and varied, including: Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight), Mimi Leder (The Leftovers), Karyn Kusama (Aeon Flux), Julie Taymor (Across the Universe), Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad) and Tricia Brock (The Walking Dead). Some have more experience than others, but all are solid options with some good stuff on their resumes.

Now, the big question: Who would you like to see in the director’s chair?

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)

Need An Evil Lawyer? Watch Sleepy Hollow's Parody Of Legal Commercials @ io9

Dealing with the legal ramifications of a curse or monster? Henry Parish, attorney at law, promises to end your legal woes in this lawyerly ad spoof. After all, bringing about the apocalypse is sure to make those pesky criminal charges go away.

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Archaeologists Have Discovered The Highest Known Ice Age Settlement @ io9

Archaeologists Have Discovered The Highest Known Ice Age Settlement

Researchers working in the Peruvian Andes have found an ice age camp located 14,760 feet (4,500 meters) above sea level. It's so high that the archaeologists were surprised ancient humans could even survive up there.

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The Walking Dead's Costume Designer on Dressing Women for World's End @ io9

The Walking Dead's Costume Designer on Dressing Women for World's End

Life during a zombie apocalypse can get pretty grim. Between roving bands of undead walkers trying to snack on your grey matter and feral humans roasting each other into lunch meat, there's precious little time to think about how you actually look. Eulyn Womble, the Costume Designer for The Walking Dead, is charged with creating unique character statements out of clothing that has to appear weathered or scavenged.

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Ascension cast: The retro sci-fi show is 'Mad Men meets Star Trek meets Lost' @ Blastr

When the journey on the spaceship Ascension begins this December on Syfy, viewers will find themselves on a blast from the past that takes place in an alternate retro sci-fi timeline, and one that might just recapture the network’s previous success with Battlestar Galactica.

Loosely based around the actual atomic-powered spacecraft of Project Orion, the 6-hour miniseries (and likely ongoing series) is about a covert craft that was launched by the U.S. in Kennedy-era 1963. The U.S.S. Ascension was to carry the smartest men, women and children to populate a new world, and 50 years into the journey, a mysterious murder -- the first on board -- takes place. 

“It’s Mad Men meets Star Trek meets Lost,” summed up actor Al Sapienza at this week’s Syfy press tour in Orlando, where he was joined by costars Tricia Helfer, Brian Van Holt, Andrea Roth and Brandon P. Bell.

Premiering Dec. 15 at 9 p.m., and airing over three nights, Ascension is a big-idea kind of show, and the return of Helfer to the network makes it feel like this could be Syfy’s next BSG

The world on the ship is a small microcosm of what U.S. society looked like in the early ’60s, with the intention of preserving that. 

“I’m very excited about the concept of this show, and the parallel society, not influenced in any way by what’s happened on Earth in 50 years,” said Sapienza, who plays Councilman Rose. “We don’t know John Kennedy got shot, we don’t about know the civil rights movement or women’s lib; our input from Earth stopped in 1963.”

But to maintain balance, there is genetic pairing, arranged marriages and limits on how many children can be born -- which looks to be part of a major plot point. 

“There’s a birthless ceremony every year, so it depends on how many people have passed away as to how many children can be born,” said Helfer. “So many couples on the ship will never have the right to have a child.”

She teased that her character, Viondra Denniger, and her husband, Capt. William Denniger (Van Holt), have opted out of having a kid.

Additionally, a self-created caste system is in place. It was not initially established when Ascension launched, and it consists of the upper decks and lower decks. But the system allows for a lower-decker like Bell’s African-American character Oren Gault to achieve second-in-command status despite the civil rights movement never happening on board.

Gender equality is also skewed in this timeline, and Helfer’s Viondra has gained behind-the-scenes power through her sexuality and position as the captain’s wife.

“She stands behind her man, but is the steel in his spine,” said Helfer. “She works hard to stay in power; she grew up in the lower decks and made her way up, and is determined to stay there.”

Meanwhile, Roth’s Juliet Bryce is the Ascension’s head doctor and has a job of importance. But Bryce’s teenage daughter is flexing her muscles and trying to push beyond the restrictive rules of their on-board life. 

Speaking to this, Helfer said their world has evolved in the 50 years since they launched. 

“It’s not exactly like Mad Men; it is its own society that has evolved in its own way, but a society of 600 people evolves much slower.” 

Sapienza said he thinks that evolution is any human culture, but on Ascension –- and anywhere that the status quo is challenged –- “there are always those forces that are self-serving, with their own reasons to keep things unfair.”

Some of the other threads the series follows: A ground government is tracking the starship, and the craft is nearly at the point where they won’t be able to turn around and head back to Earth. In conjunction with the first murder on board, people are starting to panic.

He revealed that, aside from his character, most of his co-stars play the first generation born on the vessel. And their children mark the second generation. So the brain trust of Ascension may be deteriorating.

“President Kennedy picked the smartest people, and most qualified, to take this journey,” he said. “Well, as you know, you could get a perfect score on your SATs, but your kids may not be so bright. This is the second generation, so you don’t have (what was the phrase Kennedy used?) the best and the brightest.”

Still, some things never change, even in an alternate sci-fi timeline. 

“Interestingly enough, even though we’ve had no influence from Earth, politics have evolved in the same way as on Earth,” said Sapienza about his character. “I’m self-serving, put myself ahead of the good of the ship and am having an affair with the captain’s wife -- I’m the perfect politician!”

Speaking of the captain, Van Holt introduced his character as a natural-born leader in charge of 600 passengers but “definitely not Captain Kirk,” and referred to Helfer’s Viondra as “the real captain.” 

“He’s not without his moral ambiguities,” he said. “He deals with his demons, and his outlets are morally questionable.”

Wrapping up the panel, Bell said the purpose of the Ascension mission is “super righteous” because they’re leaders on a new frontier.

He added, and his co-stars agreed, that a show compared to Mad Men, Star Trek and Lost has the makings to be the focus of social media conversations.

“It’s extremely socially relevant and has the ability to be one of those shows people will want to talk about the themes,” he said. “There are so many parallels to what’s going on currently to what’s going on on the ship. Social media is the new water cooler talk, and there are so many angles and elements to Ascension that lean into that that it’s something people will want to discuss,” said Helfer. “I’m looking forward to engaging.”

“It’s a forward-thinking show ... plus, we’ve got a great-looking cast,” joked Van Holt.

Will you be tuning in for Ascension's maiden voyage? Let us know in the comments!

Ouija Proves That Movies Based On Random Products Have Hit Rock Bottom @ io9

Ouija Proves That Movies Based On Random Products Have Hit Rock Bottom

Ouija offers a few genuine scares. But mostly, it raises lots of interesting questions about Hollywood's odd and ongoing affection for turning board games and other random pieces of intellectual property into movies.

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Fallen Toronto: a calendar of Toronto's bleak sfnal future @ Boing Boing


Jim Munroe writes, "We've put our science fiction visions of Toronto's future together in a 2015 calendar called FALLEN TORONTO as a new Kickstarter reward for backing our neo-noir sci-fi webseries HAPHEAD. If you live here you can shiver in nameless dread all the year round, and if you live elsewhere you can revel in schadenfreude at the fall of our socialist den of iniquity."

FALLEN TORONTO

(Thanks, Jim!)

Is There A Limit To How Big Vegetables Can Grow? @ io9

Is There A Limit To How Big Vegetables Can Grow?

Fourteen years ago, the world's largest pumpkin weighed in at 1,140 pounds. That's an impressively-sized pumpkin, but it doesn't even come close to sizing up to the newest monster crop of the last decade, the largest of which weighs more than twice that at 2,323 pounds.

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New Trailer For Judge Dredd: Superfiend Is So Wonderfully Weird @ io9

Here is the longest Judge Dredd: Superfiend trailer yet, along with a lot of footage of Judge Death just going bananas on the citizens of Mega-City One.

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