“Fantasy is the Realm of Idealism”: Tamora Pierce in Conversation with the Female Fantasy Authors She Inspired

V.E. Schwab was that kid. The one who, while hiking, always kept an eye out for cracks and stones in the shape of doorways. “I was always looking for a way into another place,” she explained at the NYCC panel Extraordinary Enchantments. Schwab added that she was always “taken with the idea of the proximity of magic [to the real world],” that sense of “you just haven’t found the key to that specific door yet, but that door is there.” Her own desires for a real-life portal fantasy has led her to seed those same hints into A Darker Shade of Magic and its sequels: “I always wanted to make my readers doubt their reality.”

Many of the other female fantasy authors on the panel discussed fantasy in terms of this sort of gateway to another realm, a way to flee the world they currently inhabited.

“For me, it began with ...

N.K. Jemisin and Ann Leckie on What Makes a Classic Work of SFF and New Classics

NYCC 2017 New Classics of SFF Ann Leckie N.K. Jemisin

“One of the markers of [the] current age is that we’re starting to talk about who sets the classics,” The Stone Sky author N.K. Jemisin said at NYCC’s recent panel The New Classics of SFF. In response to moderator Petra Mayer’s (from NPR Books) opening question—what makes a classic work of SFF?—Jemisin explained that having conversations about whose stories are central helps to expand what constitutes the canon of science fiction and fantasy works. The notion of a canon was Provenance author Ann Leckie’s contribution, likening it to her study of the classical canon of music in college. But where she received her training from one or two handpicked textbooks, today’s readers have the internet, which allows for so many conversations to be seen simultaneously. Leckie made the argument that there is no longer “a single list of canonical classics, but a bunch of intersecting and interpenetrating lists....

How Conversations About AI Are Really Conversations About Everything But AI

When One Trick Pony writer/illustrator Nathan Hale did his research on how to draw a futuristic robot, he definitely shied away from giant, cool-looking mechas, because, in his words, they don’t seem feasible. After all, he reasoned, science fiction couldn’t even get a phone right: After 100 years of movies and television showing futuristic communications, not a single one predicted the small, black rectangle that’s become so ubiquitous.

“Like the stupid holographic chalkboard Tom Cruise uses [in Minority Report]—no one wants that!” he joke-raged at the NYCC panel It’s Technical: Our Future with Robots and More. “Nothing in the Star Wars universe is usable—that’s all garbage stuff. R2-D2 wouldn’t be able to get into the [NYCC] convention center!”

“I write giant, unbelievable robots,” Sleeping Giants author Sylvain Neuvel wryly interjected. Which illustrates exactly the reasoning behind the choice of panelists discussing our relationship to tech in the ...

Sleeping Giants adaptation Sylvain Neuvel
NYCC panel It's Technical: Our Future with Robots and More Annalee Newitz Adam Christopher artificial intelligence
One Trick Pony Nathan Hale
Otherworld Kirsten Miller Jason Segel NYCC

Watch the First Trailer for Stephen King’s Castle Rock Anthology Series

Castle Rock Stephen King anthology series trailer NYCC 2017

“You have no idea what’s happening here, do you?” Hulu has released the first full trailer for its Stephen King shared-universe series Castle Rock, filled with images both eerie (what’s in that room?) and familiar (Shawshank bumper sticker!). While much of the plot is still a mystery, the cast—including former Carrie Sissy Spacek and current Pennywise Bill Skarsgard, playing entirely different roles—revealed some intriguing details at NYCC.

Until Hulu puts the trailer on YouTube, you can watch it on Twitter.

As the actors are currently halfway through filming, there was little they could actually say about the series without spoiling the plot. However, that doesn’t mean there weren’t some tantalizing details, starting with this tweet that makes a little more sense once you watch the trailer:

  • The show is aimed at ...

Black Mirror Season 4 is Chock Full of Easter Eggs and Other Tidbits From NYCC

Black Mirror USS Callister NYCC PaleyFest

Would you believe us if we told you that Black Mirror creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones share a background in comedy? “I think it’s a similar muscle, to the worst-case scenario bit of your brain that thinks up jokes,” Brooker said at the NYCC panel, about the series whose alternate title might as well be (as a fan said during the Q&A) Bleak Bleak Jesus Christ This Is Bleak.

Before the NYCC panel, all we knew about season 4 were the six episode titles and intriguing glimpses. After the panel… well, it’s still very much under wraps, which is part of the fun of Black Mirror. “It’s a really tricky show to promote,” Brooker said, “because there’s no recurring characters from previous seasons, so you can’t say, ‘I’ll tell you what Jon Snow is up to now.’” He likened it to an unboxing video, or a box of chocolates: “You ...

Black Mirror season 4 "Arkangel"

The Justice League Learns to Be a Team in New “Heroes” Trailer

Justice League "Heroes" trailer NYCC 2017

In the latest (perhaps last) trailer for Justice League before it hits theaters, Batman and Wonder Woman are still grieving Superman, but there’s crime that needs foiling and a bunch of new baddies. So, they try their darnedest to get Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg to assemble join their super-team. The Flash is adorable as always—that bit with the bat signal—but Aquaman is all about going it alone. Until, of course, he gets a helping hand during a big battle.

So, it’s the same growing pains the Avengers went through. Except that DC invoked Bowie with a cover of the very on-the-nose choice of “Heroes” to go with all the action.

Speaking of heroes, what’s Clark Kent doing in that cornfield? Watch the trailer:

Justice League goes all in on November 17.

Most Likely to Succeed: Marvel’s Runaways

Marvel Hulu Runaways pilot review non-spoiler review NYCC 2017 New York Comic-Con

The pilot for Marvel and Hulu’s Runaways doesn’t culminate in a catchphrase-worthy moment like “Welcome to The OC, b—h!” Nor does it have Kristen Bell as Gossip Girl smugly narrating the goings-on of its preternaturally mature teenage protagonists. But there is a moment near the pilot’s big turning point that sums up The OC and Gossip Girl creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s take on Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona’s comic book series.

“This is some Narnia s–t,” Alex Wilder (Rhenzy Feliz) whispers upon discovering the secret passageway in his own house leading to the lair for the Pride, the cabal of villains made up of the six kids’ respective parents. Joke aside, this is the Runaways’ Narnia moment: They’re about to enter the figurative wardrobe, a short trip into an entirely new world that will strip them of their innocence and force them to become heroes.

Marvel screened the Runaways pilot ...