Mortal Engines Is This Close to Being a Good Movie


This post is by Molly Templeton from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The worst thing about Mortal Engines is that you can see, in fits and starts and flashes, the movie it could’ve been.

That movie is a lot better than the one we actually got.

Mortal Engines is based on the book by Philip Reeve—the first of a quartet of stories about Hester Shaw, Tom Natsworthy, and the post-apocalyptic future in which they live. Traction cities roam the globe, giant mobile beasts that hunt and repurpose each other for parts and resources. (Just go with it.) Their “municipal Darwinism” is at odds with the Anti-Traction League, who live in what we’d call normal cities and towns—the kind that don’t roll about on giant treads or wheels, crushing everything in their path.

The film’s first 24 minutes, which I first saw at New York Comic Con, build a sense of scale and momentum that’s exactly right for a movie that ...

We Might Be So Much More: Reading Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass: Kingdom of Ash


This post is by Molly Templeton from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




All our theories can at last be put to rest, though not all of our questions got answers. But how could they? Even in almost a thousand pages, there were so many things in motion, going into this last book, that only one thing seemed definite: A really big showdown, years in the making, was coming.

Welcome to the last post in Reading Throne of Glass! My head is absolutely full to bursting with details, both vital and random, and I’m dying to talk about what happened at the end. So let’s get to it.

This post involves all the spoilers for all the books!

A Fairly Brief (Given How Much Happens) Summary of Kingdom of Ash

In the east, Rowan, Lorcan, Fenrys, and Elide hunt for Aelin, wringing news about Maeve from her Fae commanders. Elide is still furious at Lorcan, but eventually he clears something ...

How A Wizard of Earthsea Made Me a Fantasy Reader


This post is by Molly Templeton from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




This week, Saga Press releases a gorgeous new omnibus edition of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Books of Earthsea, illustrated by Charles Vess, in celebration of A Wizard of Earthsea‘s 50th anniversary. In honor of that anniversary, this week we’re running a different look at Earthsea each day—starting with the first book in the series.

I didn’t meet the book that would make me a fantasy reader under the best of circumstances.

When I was small, 8 or 9, I got very sick with some sort of stomach thing. Nothing would distract me from whatever was twisting my gut. I sprawled on our scratchy, plaid sofa, miserable, unsoothable, probably an absolute terror to be near. My mother, being very smart and very well-read, decided to read to me.

I don’t know if she started with A Wizard of Earthsea, but I know it’s what worked. It was the only ...

10 Questions We Hope Are Answered in Sarah J. Maas’s Kingdom of Ash


This post is by Molly Templeton from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




After reading the entire Throne of Glass series in six weeks, I am extremely ready for Kingdom of Ash—maybe more ready than I can remember being for the last book in a series, ever. And by “ready” I largely mean “armed with many details and about a thousand questions, approximately one for each page of the massive final book.”

Here are 10 of the biggest questions—from the mysteries of barely-seen countries and tricksy villains to the question that hangs over every final book in a series packed with conflict: Who’s going to make it out alive?

The entirety of Throne of Glass up through Tower of Dawn is discussed below, so enter here only ye who have read the books.

 

What will it take to forge the new Lock?

Aelin and company were sent to the Stone Marshes of Eyllwe (more on that later) to find a ...

Side Quest: Reading Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass: Tower of Dawn


This post is by Molly Templeton from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




After Empire of Storms, our heroine is off the page in more ways than one: Tower of Dawn is primarily Chaol’s book, as he and Nesryn venture to the Southern Continent and meet up with another person whose life has been unexpectedly affected by a certain former assassin. A reader might think they could skip Chaol’s sometime frustrating tale of healing, but that would be a mistake: it’s also full of super-important secrets and one reveal that changes the entire nature of the threats our heroes face. (I have so many questions.)

Welcome to the next installment of Reading Throne of Glass! In anticipation of Kingdom of Ash, I’ve been reading the entire series over six weeks. This isn’t a reread for me, but a first-read: if you’ve already read the whole series, you will be able to feel extremely superior while I ponder things you probably ...

Ambrose Spellman Is Already My Favorite Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Character


This post is by Molly Templeton from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Ambrose Spellman

According to Chance Perdomo, who plays Ambrose Spellman in the upcoming Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, he’s “the Alfred to Sabrina’s Batman.” I don’t think this means Sabrina’s going to be flying around using a witch utility belt, but I do think it means that Ambrose is likely to be an absolute fan favorite once the series airs. Based on the first episode, which fans got a sneak peak of at NYCC, he’s pretty much got my vote.

The pilot episode was screened as a treat for fans and not intended for review, so you’ll have to wait for an in-depth take on the sweet, playful, spooky, socially aware and—dare I say—charming hour of TV.  Kieran Shipka is just right as the cheerfully witchy Sabrina (and very different from Melissa Joan Hart’s ’90s take on the character); Miranda Otto in extremely deadpan witch mode is perfection; Michelle ...

Through the Looking-Glass: Reading Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass: Empire of Storms


This post is by Molly Templeton from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Just when it seemed like things couldn’t get any more complicated for the woman formerly known as Celaena Sardothien… they did. From sea dragons to Settling, magic mirrors to Manon’s secret history, Empire of Storms is crammed with revelations and confrontations. There are even more queens playing this unfinished game than we thought—and power keeps shifting.

Welcome to the next installment of Reading Throne of Glass! In anticipation of Kingdom of Ash, I’m reading the entire series over six weeks. This isn’t a reread for me, but a first-read: if you’ve already read the whole series, you will be able to feel extremely superior while I ponder things you probably know backwards and forwards. My fellow first-readers, though, beware: there are likely to be spoilers for future books in the comments.

Spoilers for the series up to and including Empire of Storms follow!

There Are a LOT of Moving ...

Mortal Engines Looks Better Than You Might Expect


This post is by Molly Templeton from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




At NYCC’s Mortal Engines panel, moderator Andy Serkis made a big show of extending how much footage the audience would get to see. Eight minutes? Surely not enough. Seventeen? Twenty? A little more, actually: the sneak peek was of the first 24 minutes of the film, a race across a deserted green-and-brown landscape, in which a small traction city makes a desperate bid to escape the metallic gaping maw of, well … London.

And it was … pretty cool?

If I sound skeptical, it’s because the early trailer for Mortal Engines was less than impressive; it looked choppy, stiff, a little Generic Action Fantasy. Peter Jackson is a writer and producer on the film, and the trailer made it look like the work of the man who made too many Hobbit movies. (Christian Rivers makes his directorial debut with this movie; Jackson wrote the screenplay with his frequent writing partners ...

Vengeance and Victories: Reading Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass: Queen of Shadows


This post is by Molly Templeton from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The young woman who used to call herself Celaena Sardothien is back on her home continent, having reclaimed her name and heritage—and with several new goals in mind. One is to destroy her old master, Arobynn Hamel. The other two are even more dangerous.

And just about anything else I might say here is a spoiler of some sort, so let’s jump right in.

Welcome to the next installment of Reading Throne of Glass! In anticipation of Kingdom of Ash, I’m reading the entire series over six weeks. This isn’t a reread for me, but a first-read: if you’ve already read the whole series, you will be able to feel extremely superior while I ponder things you probably know backwards and forwards. My fellow first-readers, though, beware: there are likely to be spoilers for future books in the comments.

It Is Pretty Much Impossible to Sum Up Queen of ...

Please Gender-Swap the Heck Out of the Riftwar Saga TV Series


This post is by Molly Templeton from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Like many a passionate young fantasy reader in a certain era, I quickly realized I could only reread The Lord of the Rings so many times. So when I discovered Raymond E. Feist’s Tolkien-influenced Riftwar Saga, I fell in love. The books had some of the same elements—dwarves under the mountains, elves in the woods, mythic old mages sneaking around—but with a magician-in-training main character who was entirely to my can-I-please-grow-up-to-be-a-wizard tastes.

I haven’t re-read Riftwar (by which I mean the first three-or-four books, depending on how you’re counting) in years. I remember them in a slideshow: young Pug, chosen as apprentice by the magician Kulgan; the soldier Tomas meeting a dragon deep in a cave; Martin the forester, friend to the elves; the hunt for the cure for Arutha’s poisoned princess; Jimmy the Hand, the thief who turns squire.

You might notice a theme there.

Every major character in ...

Among the Witches and the Fae: Reading Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass: Heir of Fire


This post is by Molly Templeton from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Heir of Fire finds Celaena Sardothien—Adarlan’s Assassin, the King’s Champion, and so many other things as well—drinking on foreign rooftops. She’s crossed the sea on assignment to assassinate the royal family of Wendlyn, but accepting that assignment was a ruse to get her closer to the Fae queen, who may know a thing or two about Wyrdkeys.

This task will be even more complicated than she expects. Heir of Fire has a certain middle-book vibe, in that while it’s packed full of slow-burn reveals and backstory, in the present timeline, it’s a lot of putting-pieces-in-motion. There’s so much to learn, and so much to set up. Everyone’s in research and training mode.

Personally, I love a good training montage.

Welcome to the next installment of Reading Throne of Glass! In anticipation of Kingdom of Ash, I’m reading the entire series over the next six weeks. This isn’t a reread ...

Secrets and Sacrifice: Reading Sarah J. Maas’s Crown of Midnight


This post is by Molly Templeton from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Following the events of Throne of Glass, Celaena Sardothien has a lot on her plate. Assassination, scheming, magic, Wyrdmarks, loss, love, witches, a major revelation or two—Crown of Midnight may not have the plot-driving competition of the previous book in the series, but it’s got all the intrigue you could ask for and then some (and two creepy monsters, no less!).

In short, this book is a lot.

Welcome to the next installment of Reading Throne of Glass! In anticipation of Kingdom of Ash, I’m reading the entire series over the next six weeks. This isn’t a reread for me, but a first-read: if you’ve already read the whole series, you will be able to feel extremely superior while I ponder things you probably know backwards and forwards. My fellow first-readers, though, beware: there are likely to be spoilers for future books in the comments.

Spoilers ...

Wyrdmarks and Worldbuilding: Reading Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass


This post is by Molly Templeton from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




When a series is seven books long and each book seems to get longer and longer, the first book is bound to raise more questions than it answers. And that is entirely the case with Throne of Glass, the first book in Sarah J. Maas’s series of the same name: it leaves a reader with so many questions. Where’d magic go? Is there really a whole kingdom of witches? How can a prince be so nice when his father is a total monster? And when am I going to get the whole story on teenage assassin Celaena Sardothien’s history?

I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to be patient with these and some of my other endless questions—or relatively patient, anyway…

In anticipation of the seventh and final Throne of Glass book, I’m reading the entire series over the next six weeks! This isn’t a reread for me, but ...

Six Big Questions About the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Revival


This post is by Molly Templeton from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




When the news broke that Buffy the Vampire Slayer would be coming back to TV in some form, it was… confusing. In a single Hollywood Reporter article, the new show was described as a “reboot,” a “new take,” an “adaptation,” and a show that would “build on the mythology of the original.”

Three things seem certain: Buffy creator Joss Whedon is executive producing the show; Monica Owusu-Breen will write and serve as showrunner; the Slayer will be black.

Reactions to the idea of Buffy coming back in some unknown form ranged from excitement to trepidation to dread. Reboot fatigue is real; nostalgia only gets you so far; is it possible for something to be so iconic as to be un-repeatable? The overall sense among fans seemed to be that almost no one wanted a Buffy do-over… but given the Buffyverse’s potential for new stories, people were tentatively intrigued by ...

If We Ask Nicely, Will Misson: Impossible — Fallout Director Christopher McQuarrie Please Make a Star War?


This post is by Molly Templeton from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




We could argue until the metaphorical cows come home about whether or not the Mission: Impossible franchise is science fiction; I contend it is, and hold up “this dude is wearing this other dude’s face” as Exhibit A. However you slice it, the Mission: Impossible movies are genre: you might call them SF-adjacent, or just plain action, or my preferred (if unwieldy) category designation: Movies so precisely calibrated yet entirely ridiculous you can’t stop laughing with incredulous glee.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout contains a lot of sequences that, if you have a Thing for impressively orchestrated action, you truly need to see as big as possible. (I have this Thing. In spades.) You can watch a wee featurette about the HALO jump sequence here, and it’s a lot of you-seriously-did-this-oh-my-god fun, but this is not even the most over-the-top sequence in the film. (That’s the finale, of course....

Ten Years Later, There’s Still Nothing Like Tarsem Singh’s The Fall


This post is by Molly Templeton from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




When you want something in life, how do you get it?

Maybe you tell a story about it.

Maybe you tell your parents about the toy you simply must have. It’s the best toy. It will allow all your tiny tyrannical narrative dreams to come true. You’ll scale heights and crush enemies. You need this toy. It defines you and the stories you tell.

You tell a teacher why your interpretation of a book is the truest one. You tell a college why it wants you, you with your trove of stories that no one else has. You tell a company a story about why you are the perfect candidate for their perfect job. You tell a story about the life you want and it becomes the life you have. Or it doesn’t, and you keep editing that story.

They’re called life stories for a reason.

But a story needs ...

The Expanse Returns for Season 3 With “Fight or Flight”


This post is by Molly Templeton from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Last year, The Expanse got a double-episode season premiere — and it really could we have used one this time around too. The way the show lets its narrative bleed from one season to another means that there’s never any downtime, and no need to ramp back up again, when a new season starts; we’re still in the thick of it, and the “it,” right now, is on the verge of all-out interplanetary war.

But war isn’t even the biggest part of the scope of this show, as the very first scenes of “Fight or Flight” make clear. It’s not James Holden we start with, fixing the Rocinante after getting rid of a glowing blue space monster; it’s not Chrisjen Avasarala, betrayed and pinned down on what amounts to an enemy ship.

(Spoilers for everything up to and including the season three premiere!)

No. We start with what’s left ...

Why Canto Bight is Vital to The Last Jedi


This post is by Molly Templeton from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Plenty of things about Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi have been divisive, but few have been as derided as the Canto Bight sequence.

The whole thing is just a disgracefully bad bit of storytelling.”

“…feels pointless and tacked on…”

But the Canto Bight stuff is a bit of a drag…”

“…an unnecessary sequence at the casino city of Canto Bight that goes straight from a political sermon into a plot hole…”

Was it put there as a merchandising tool, a way to sell space pony plushies and several dozen more figurines? Does it fail to advance the story at all? Does it matter?

No, and no, and yes. Canto Bight is neither a fluffy diversion nor a tacked-on way to find something to do with Rose and Finn. It’s absolutely vital to the themes of The Last Jedi, and if you ...

Glitter and Grime: Would You Want to Go to Star Wars’ Canto Bight?


This post is by Molly Templeton from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




If The Last Jedi is the Star Wars feast we’ve been waiting for all year, Canto Bight is an odd appetizer platter, an array of tidbits that you might find unnecessary—or you might find appealingly curious.

Why do we get a whole book centered on Canto Bight, of all the Star Wars locations? The casino city was teased in Vanity Fair this summer, when Rian Johnson described it as “a playground, basically, for rich assholes.” One glittering city on the desert planet of Cantonica, it sits next to a giant manmade sea and is largely a resort city for the wealthy and glitzy. It’s so fancy, it has rare Alderaanian trees—or what people claim are Alderaanian trees. This city has its own mythology, as Mira Grant (the pen name of Seanan McGuire) explains in “The Wine in Dreams”:

It began, as most beautiful things do, with money, ...

You’ll Never Sink My Love of Battleship


This post is by Molly Templeton from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




There exists no convincing argument that movies should never be based on board games, because Clue exists, and therefore disproves any such argument. That said, the game of Battleship is a categorically stupid idea for a movie. Battleship is basically bingo with a bit of deductive strategy and no wacky prizes at the end. People in movies cannot sit around yelling YOU SUNK MY BATTLESHIP at each other, a fact which must have been clear to the people behind Battleship. Despite its dubious source material, Battleship is the one of the greatest dumb action movies of the early twenty-teens. Writers Jon and Erich Hoeber and director Peter Berg clearly took their Hasbro/Universal paychecks, gave the game a serious side-eye, and opted to keep just a few elements: big honkin’ battleships, cylindrical missile things, and goofy coordinates.

Everything else is newly made-up big dumb action movie gold.

It is important to ...