Star Trek: Online is going boldly into its past with the Rise of Discovery.
SPFBO 2019: An Introduction, What To Expect & Top 3 Cover Finalists (by Mihir Wanchoo) @ Fantasy Book Critic
Our latest WIRE Buzz has a little something for everyone: superhero streaming show news, basketball/animation crossover news, and post-apocalyptic TV news. All equally fun, we’d say.
First, let's talk DC Universe’s upcoming series, Stargirl. The Geoff Johns-run show focuses on Brec Bassinger’s Courtney Whitmore, aka Stargirl, who inspires the next generation of superheroes after discovering a powerful cosmic staff used by her step-dad, a former super-sidekick.
In Sci-Fi Short The Replacement, a Man Faces a Future Filled With Too Many Clones (Including His Own) @ io9
In the near future, clones are common—but none have been so successful as all the new versions of Abe (Jeff Garretson), especially the one that just became America’s first clone president. Though most of Sean Miller’s The Replacement frames the situation as Abe’s personal hell, the story eventually reveals that all…
Welcome back to Gaming Shelf, io9's regular column all about the latest in tabletop and roleplaying games. Things are a bit quiet right now, as many gaming companies seem to be saving their best stuff for San Diego Comic-Con in July and Gen Con in August. But we’ve still got some really cool games and stuff, including…
Talking lions, fairy-tale movies, and drama in the far-flung future. You know what that means ... another edition of WIRE Buzz, where the latest developments in the world of genre are collected for your reading pleasure.
When it came time for Zack Snyder and Warner Bros. to cast the latest iteration of Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, fans and critics had already placed their bets on the likely candidates. Bryan Cranston emerged as a front-runner, easily imaginable in Heisenberg mode taking on the mantle of comic book lore's most sinister billionaire. Instead, they cast Jesse Eisenberg.
With the release of Jessica Jones’ third and final season, a TV experiment four years in the making is over. Whether laid low by Disney’s own streaming plans or because simply it began to be more trouble than it was worth to Netflix, its legacy is now etched in stone: chasing a comic book weirdness that it had once…
Brown keys, tan case, and that friendly, soft-edged wedge shape that just exudes 1980s computing competence: If you’ve waxed nostalgic for the days when the Commodore 64 was a common sight in schools and homes alike, you’ll probably be pretty stoked about the latest entrant in the seemingly unstoppable race to breathe new life into all things retro.
Happy Birthday, Mercedes Lackey: An Ode to Valdemar, and the Books That Changed My Life @ Barnes & Noble: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Yesterday was the 69th birthday of author Mercedes Lackey, a woman whose work literally changed my life. I want to tell you why. It is a story touched by tragedy, but with a silver lining of hope.
I first wrote a version of this essay back in 2014, in response to the civil unrest in Ferguson, MO, but the events of the intervening years—the Pulse nightclub massacre, countless school shootings, and everything else that’s happening every day in our crazy world, too connected world—have robbed it of none of its relevance. And despite the sad occasions that prompted me to write this in the first place, I’m delighted to revive it in honor of Mercedes Lackey on her 69th birthday. Valdemar has held such a special place in my heart for so long. In building a world in words and pictures, Mercedes and her partner Larry Dixon gave me, and countless readers the world over, a beautiful and timeless gift.
I was born in Florida and raised in a small town in South Carolina. I went to a primarily white private school. My parents are hard-working, blue collar folks who felt that making sure their child had a good education was paramount. Back then, I was a poor white kid going to school with a lot of rich white kids. I didn’t know many people of color, and I didn’t know anyone who was openly gay, or otherwise different from the homogeneous group of people I knew. Those who were different—like me—were bullied because we made good grades or read “weird” books or doodled dragons and gryphons on our notebooks.
Back then, I was always extremely excited to receive the school’s book club catalogue. When I was 14, one particular book in that catalogue had a cover that caught my eye. I had no idea what I was in for when I placed an order for a three-book set, sold all together. What I saw was a nice looking guy and a pretty white horse. What I bought was Magic’s Pawn, Magic’s Promise, and Magic’s Price: The Last Herald-Mage trilogy by Mercedes Lackey, set in the world of Valdemar. What I read in those pages forever changed my life.
These were the first fantasy novels that really stuck with me. For first time I read stories about someone who was very different from me, but had problems I could relate to on some level. Vanyel, the protagonist, is very young but has already realized he’s different from other men. He is bullied for loving music and not wanting to practice fighting. His father never truly bonds with him because they don’t understand each other. Vanyel is sent away to school, and that’s where he discovers he’s shay’a’chern, or a homosexual.
As I said, I did not know any openly gay people at that point in my life. I think I barely knew what “gay” meant, outside of a few hushed discussions in health class, other than that it was an insult slung at kids who were different in any way. With no queer peers, there was no real way for me to know what it meant to be gay. This trilogy did that. It opened my eyes to a whole new world, and not just in a fantasy sense. Particularly in the time when they were written, Lackey’s use fantasy terminology helped readers get past emotionally charged words like “gay” and “lesbian” and “homosexual” to get straight to the heart of the matter, which is to show us a person who is different from many in his world, and to illustrate the very real emotional struggles that result from that.
In school, I was bullied for being different. I was called a “lesbian” by my classmates, though I’m not one. Very few people reached out to me to find out who I really was as a person. Vanyel struggles with life or death situations with people he loves, as well as the internal struggle we all face when trying to figure ourselves out. I could put myself in his shoes and see what it was like, at least a little bit, to be gay. And I could see that compassion for other human beings, regardless of who they love, is how we survive in this world. I could also see that being bullied is a survivable situation, and that I can be strong and cherished and successful, regardless of what people said about me. After high school graduation, I did the one thing my parents had hoped for: I received a scholarship to a small public college that was vibrant with diversity and has a strong liberal arts program (I majored in English). Getting that scholarship was the only way we could afford college. Vanyel helped me believe I deserved it.
When I moved to New York, I started working at a prominent publisher of sci-fi and fantasy, and I met an avid reader of the Lackeys’ books at New York Comic-Con. We became fast friends, and shortly after, he came out to me and a mutual friend. We were among the first people he had come out to in the city, and he had only just prior to that come out to his family. He was in his early 30s and had never revealed his sexuality to anyone before then. He spent his entire life up to that point hiding his true self because he was afraid of judgement, afraid of what his church would say, and afraid of how his family would react. Shortly thereafter, I gave him the Last Herald-Mage trilogy, partly because I knew he could identify so strongly with Vanyel, and partly because I wanted him to understand that I could be empathetic to his situation. I wanted him to know that I wasn’t going to judge him, and that I fully accepted him for who he is, no matter what. I wanted him to know that he deserved the same happiness as all of the other human beings on this planet. Today, he remains one of the brightest lights in my life, and one of the happiest people I know. I have never met someone who has struggled so much and still ended up such an optimist.
Science fiction allows us to imagine possible futures. It gives us hope we might have a future, despite the fact that sometimes our species can be so full of darkness. Fantasy allows us to understand the world through the eyes of people who are very different from us: a different race, sex, orientation, or even species. And all of this, to me at least, is why fantasy and science fiction matter. So, for Mercedes Lackey’s birthday, I invite you to remember a science fiction or fantasy novel that helped open your mind, and I want you to donate it to a library in a struggling community. I think we can all make a difference in the world one book at a time, just as Vanyel and the wider world of Valdemar did for me.
What SFF book changed your life?
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first episode of the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, SYFY WIRE has put together a series of oral histories that detail different aspects of the top-secret, often groundbreaking production of the movie. In this installment, we look at Darth Maul, the stunts, and the final lightsaber duel that would define a generation.
Great visual storytelling starts with visuals to explain the storytelling. Storyboards, for example, are used to convey the drama and how the action of a scene is going to unfold long before cameras start rolling. A new book called Game of Thrones: The Storyboards dives deep into that aspect of the hit show, with…
Since Stranger Things first took off as a beloved series and meme generator in summer 2016, fans all over the world have awaited each new installment with bated breath. Stranger Things 3, aka Stranger Things Season 3, is the first time we’ll see the gang outside of a school context. It’s summertime, baby, which can only mean plenty of teenage shenanigans ... and, y'know, new monsters. This is Hawkins we’re talking about.
The movie franchise has always been hit and miss, but X-Men fans know that’s also been the case at times in the comics themselves — just ask the folks who’ve written some of those stories over the past few years.
Television and movies love a near-catastrophe event. Depictions of personal stories as humanity sits on the precipice of a self-inflicted abyss are an effective way to heighten tales of romance and unconditional love.
Every dog is a superhero, so naturally, it makes sense for a superhero help them find good homes. Spider-Man: Far From Home star Tom Holland stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to help some super-pups get super-adopted. And even though I’m not supposed to have a dog in my place, I’m so tempted to take one or …
Hackers steal video games, computer programs, movie trailers, and just about anything that can exist on a computer or in cyberspace (please don’t be that person), but someone actually had the nerve to mess with NASA.
“I’m … I’m Garnet,” I said as tears ran down my cheeks.
My therapist had no idea what I was talking about but patiently waited as I cried and repeated, “I’m Garnet.”
San Diego Comic-Con is always the biggest event in the world of genre entertainment, with tons of celebrity panels, actor Q&As, trailers, previews, and other goodies setting up the next few months (or years) of films, TV, and comics. 2018 was big and 2019 will only be bigger.
When tackling a comic adaptation of a film, you'd think comic book writers and artists might have a fairly easy job. Just copy what's on the screen and in the script, right? It wasn't so for DC comic book creators Denny O'Neil, artist Jerry Ordway and editor Jonathan Peterson when they took on what was to become one of the biggest superhero movies ever, Tim Burton's Batman, in 1989.
Welcome to another edition of WIRE Buzz, where we compile all the latest genre news in one convenient place. Transition into your lunch hour with updates on Avengers: Endgame, Last Night in Soho, and the Minecraft film adaptation.
The recent release of Godzilla: King of the Monsters and the introduction of a whole new “monsterverse” has got this medievalist thinking a lot about the creatures that are coming to define our time, and their origins both as kaiju monsters developed in the 1950s and ‘60s by Japan’s Toho Studio and their far older…
Book Review: New Worlds, Year Two: More Essays on the Art of Worldbuilding by Marie Brennan @ Sci-Fi Fan Letter
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station caught the spectacular eruption of the Raikoke volcano off of Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula over the weekend.
Lightyear, a company founded by World Solar Challenge-winning engineering students in 2016, has revealed the prototype for its new solar car — and if it works as advertised — it's going to be impressive to see out in the world.
Now that television's storytelling standard has shifted from interchangeable episodic hours to cohesive arcs unfurled over shorter seasons, it has become commonplace, almost to the point of cliché, for showrunners to say the project is more like a 10-hour movie than anything else. The new Cinemax crime drama Jett takes that new age adage to a new level — the story not only unfolds like a movie, the project was also written, pitched, and shot in much the same manner.
Anyone who saw the glimpse of Respawn’s upcoming Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order at E3 earlier this month and thought it was disappointingly linear may be far more interested in this new footage, which demonstrates more of the game’s Metroidy influences.
The highest-browed superhero TV series ended on a low note for both characters and viewers last season. Last night’s Legion season three premiere—the final season—was a sort of recalibration to season one, where David is dealing with several mental health issues, and also everything else in the world is weird as hell,…
This Week’s New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books: Mechanical Dragons, a Look Back at 2018’s Best, and a Return to the Most Brain-Tingling Universe in SF @ Barnes & Noble: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Hexarchate Stories, by Yoon Ha Lee
The novels of Yoon Ha Lee’s Machineries of Empire series—Ninefox Gambit, Raven Stratagem, and Revenant Gun—have been nominated for three consecutive Hugo Awards for Best Novel (we’ll see if he finally gets his chance at the statue for book three when the 2019 Hugos are handed out later this summer at WorldCon 77 in Dublin). The books are set within a fascinating interstellar empire known as the Hexarchate, which is divided into six factions that control separate areas of space. Citizens of the Hexarchate are expected to live according to the high calendar, as perfect alignment (“consensus mechanics”) is required in order for their complex machinery to function. If that all makes your head spin a little bit, well, that’s the idea: this is military space opera at it’s most inventive, complex, and challenging. Though the trilogy is complete, there is much more to learn about Lee’s vast empire, which is where this new collection comes in: Hexarchate Stories brings together all of the author’s short fiction set in this universe. These tales stray from the milSF of the main series in fascinating ways (one focuses on an art thief’s attempts to put a stop to a galactic superweapon), and make for great (if brain-straining) reading even if you’ve never before encountered the author.
Salvation, by Peter F. Hamilton
That Hamilton remains under the radar of many sci-fi readers (particularly in the US) is a crime; not only has he consistently offered up amazing science fictional concepts, he’s packed them into character-focused epics with sprawl to rival Dickens. His most recent door-stopping work, newly available in convenient mass market paperback size, stands apart from his earlier series. It’s set in the 23rd century, by which time humanity has achieved a complacent sort of ascendancy, managing a far-flung interstellar empire via networked “jump gates” that allow for instantaneous travel to anywhere. The cargo on a crashed spacecraft found on a newly discovered planet, however, threatens to fatally undermine that hegemony. Paralleling that story is one set in the 51st century, where an ancient enemy pursues the genocide of the human race and a team of genetically altered soldiers prepare to face it. Per usual for Hamilton, the ideas are as invigorating as the plot, which earns the epic page count.
The Book of M, by Peng Shepherd
This literary-leaning dystopian novel, another one of our favorite SFF books of 2018 just out in paperback, is set in a world set upon by a truly strange affliction: all over the globe, people are losing their shadows, a loss that grants then extranormal powers, at the cost of their memories. To escape the Forgetting plague, lovers Max and Ory flee to the wilderness. They think themselves safe, until Max loses her shadow and is forced to go on the run, lest she become a danger to the man she loves. Knowing his wife’s time, and memories, are running out, Ory sets out after her, exploring a landscape devastated by the unrest that rose up in the wake of humanity’s strange evolution, and, along the way, finds answers, and some cause for hope.
The Iron Dragon’s Mother, by Michael Swanwick
Michael Swanwick surprises with a direct sequel to his 1993 science fantasy classic The Iron Dragon’s Daughter. The followup tells the story of Caitlin of House Sans Merci, a half-human pilot of mechanical dragons. After completing her first mission, she finds she has a hitchhiker in her head named Helen—but before she can puzzle that out, she finds herself framed for a series of terrible crimes, including the murder of her brother. Believing he must still be alive, Caitlin flees into the lands of the industrialized faerie, and discovers a twisted society where changeling women are used as breeding stock and pilots are punished if they do not remain virgins. As she pursues the truth to prove her innocence, Caitlin finds herself working toward a greater goal than her own freedom, assembling a heroic group of friends to help her liberate those suffering under an oppressive society.
What sci-fi or fantasy book are you planning to read next?
The post This Week’s New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books: Mechanical Dragons, a Look Back at 2018’s Best, and a Return to the Most Brain-Tingling Universe in SF appeared first on The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog.
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.
The most disappointing thing about the miniature Commodore 64 released last year was that its tiny keyboard didn’t actually work—it was just for show. Those cryptically labeled dirt-brown keys were one of the most iconic features of the C64 back in the ‘80s. But come December, the C64 Mini will be joined by another…
Z is for Zombie is Pepperwood Chronicles’ scribe Nick Miller’s first foray into fiction, one featuring a blurb from friend Winston Bishop: “This is the worst thing I have ever read in my entire life.”
Download a Free Ebook of The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson Before June 29, 2019! @ Tor.com
Welcome back to Battlestar Galacticast ... time to talk Battlestar Galactica Season 2!
Actually, it’s June on the line.
The Handmaid’s Tale reminds us that some people should never be trusted.
Title: “Unknown Caller”
Cast and Crew
Director: Colin Watkinson
Writer: Marissa Jo Cerar
Inspired by the novel by Margaret Atwood
Elisabeth Moss as June Osborn / Ofjoseph
O-T Fagbenle as Luke
Samira Wiley as Moira
Bradley Whitford as Commander Joseph Lawrence
Julie Dretzin as Eleanor Lawrence
Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy Waterford
Joseph Fiennes as Commander Fred Waterford
Mick Minghella as Nick
Ashleigh LaThrop as Ofmatthew
Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia
Amanda Brugel as Rita
Sam Jaeger as Mark Tuello
Bahia Watson as Brianna
Jonathan Watton as Mathew Calhoun
Marissa Kate Wilson as Ofzachary’s Partner
Bobby Daniels as Guardian Technician
Prince Amponsah as Cashier
Scott Farley as Guardian Jeremiah
Andrew McGillivray as Eye
Serena Joy convinces June to help set up a meeting between herself and Luke. But, as Carl Con Clausewitz wrote, in a business as dangerous as war, mistakes that come from kindness are the very worst.
This episode has less movement and more dramatic moments, communicated through exceptional actors.
The story feels very like the set-up for season two: driven less by the plausible motivations of characters and more by the motivations of the writers.
Why, in particular, does Luke agree to the meeting?
Originality: 2/6 I liked the way they used the cassette tapes. It differs from the novel, but it certainly takes its inspiration from the role they play in the source material.
Emotional Response: 5/6
In total, “Unknown Caller” 32/42
It’s not much, but it’s probably going to be more than enough for Marvel Studios to swipe Avatar’s box office record.
Reading the Wheel of Time: Darkhounds, the Forsaken, and Fireworks in Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time (Part 18) @ Tor.com
Sometimes being a science communicator with an astronomy background means trusting your instincts. In the particular case below it wasn’t like it was a huge revelation or anything, but just a fun confirmation that we do indeed understand a lot of stuff going on in the Universe.
George Clooney will direct an adaptation of Lily Brooks-Dalton’s post-apocalyptic thriller Good Morning, Midnight. James Wan hypes up his horror-tinged Aquaman spinoff, The Trench. Plus, David meets Professor X in new footage from Legion, Deadly Class is officially dead, and Danny Boyle has an idea for a new 28 Days…
We had speculated about the date of Amazon’s fourth Prime Day, but now we know for sure. It will at 3AM ET on Monday, July 15, and run for a full 48 hours, the longest Prime Day to date.
Up to 50% Select Levi’s Men’s and Women’s Clothing | Amazon | Prime member exclusive
An ancient alligator god. A living building. A doomed architect. The subjects of the best comics released in 2019 so far are an eclectic mix, and these stories highlight the stylistic range of the medium with drastically different visual and narrative perspectives. From poignant graphic memoirs to sensational genre…
Reviewers are beginning to stir with their full reactions to the newest spooky chapter in James Wan’s ever-expanding Conjuring horror-verse, and it looks as though longtime fans will find some good news lurking in the creepy darkness we’ve all been locked away in while waiting for Annabelle Comes Home to materialize.
What's your favorite scary movie? More specifically, what's your favorite scary movie that later inspired a TV series with a long-delayed third season that now, finally, has a premiere date?
That's right, the long-awaited third season of Scream: Resurrection will be scaring up some viewers starting in just a couple of weeks.
The battle for the future of this and all other Earths hangs in the balance...even if the details are a little hard to make out. One YouTuber has recreated Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man’s epic battle with Thanos from Avengers: Endgame—finishing with the team coming together for the final showdown.
A Hollywood heavyweight moves over to Netflix for some sci-fi, Pixar continues to mess with our heads in a good way, and Zachary Levi enters the spy-craft business.
We've got 'em all in this edition of WIRE Buzz.
When we first glimpsed Forky in that tantalizing Toy Story 4 teaser, we knew the fourth installment of this playful franchise was going to be a wild ride. With his spork body, asymmetrical googly eyes, spindly pipe-cleaner arms, and panicked expression, Forky was a toy unlike any we'd seen before. Some have speculated that his arrival brings with it a new level of weird to this family-friendly film series.
Super Mario 64 sent the mustachioed plumber to all sorts of memorable worlds during his quest to snag Power Stars and rescue Princess Peach from Bowser's clutches, but more than two decades later, it's not Bob-omb Battlefield, Lethal Lava Land, or Cool Cool Mountain that you remember most. Instead, it's Princess Peach's Castle itself, an innovative spin on the idea of a "hub world" that showed players that there were secrets to be found right from the start.
It looks as if Star Trek is making it so once again. Thanks to an under-the-radar social media tease, fans are connecting the dots left by a Star Trek director about the upcoming new batch of Short Treks episodes — and two of the franchise’s biggest names look like they’ll be heading back to the bridge.
The Marvel universe is expanding. We’re not talking about the multiverse here, just a new approach to a medium that’s so far only featured the MCU-centric Marvel Universe LIVE! That’s right, drama nerds rejoice, because three new plays featuring Marvel characters were announced today, which means that the humanization of these super-beings can be explored by actors at all levels and with all budgets.
Last week, an announcement was made that Vertigo Comics would be shutting down and merging its current concepts and properties into the overall DC Universe. As DC had only just made attempts to reignite interest in the line in 2018 in commemoration of its 25th anniversary, this caught a lot of readers off guard.
Comet Interceptor sounds like the ultimate sci-fi blockbuster, but it’s actually even cooler than fiction.
Writer/director Taika Waititi has made the case that he can do anything. The rising Hollywood superstar has directed the funniest movie in the MCU, co-created a hit vampire comedy, played Adolf Hitler, and set his sights on adapting Akira. Now he’s after another pop culture white whale: Flash Gordon.
WIRE Buzz: Danny Boyle still teasing 28 Months Later, WB TV locks in big SDCC slate, more @ Syfy Wire
Today’s WIRE Buzz digs up some old properties and reanimates them — and only one has to do with zombies. But Space Jam certainly feels like it's gunning for new life by this point, right?
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