Watch the Final Trailer for Ready Player One

Ready Player One final trailer Parzival Wade Watts Aech Lena Waithe

Warner Bros has released the final trailer for its nostalgia fest Ready Player One before the movie’s release next month. While this trailer treads a lot of the same ground as previous ones, with the “Pure Imagination” cover and footage of Parzival leading a resolution in the digital OASIS, there’s also plenty of footage of Wade Watts, and certain fellow gunters, out in the real world.

The official synopsis, from Warner Bros:

Ready Player One is set in 2045, with the world on the brink of chaos and collapse. But the people have found salvation in the OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance). When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital Easter egg he has hidden somewhere in the OASIS, sparking a contest that grips the entire world. When an unlikely young ...

Tamora Pierce’s The Numair Chronicles Has Been 15 Years in the Making

Tempests and Slaughter The Numair Chronicles Tamora Pierce fandom Arram Draper Numair Salmalin

Imagine a lanky, sarcastic, brilliant mage who, when he wasn’t shapeshifting into hawks, resembled Jeff Goldblum, only more awkward. The rare black-robe mage whose magical Gift was some of the most powerful of his generation. Got that visual? Then you have the hunkiest mage in fantasy circa 1992: Numair Salmalín.

By the time he becomes the teacher (and eventual love interest) of wild magic-bearing orphan Daine in Tamora Pierce’s The Immortals series, Numair has lived many lives: as a shapeshifting spy for the king of Tortall, before that as an impoverished street magician hiding from Carthak’s emperor mage who would have him beheaded, and, even further back, as mage-in-training Arram Draper.

I first met Numair Salmalín in the early 2000s. I’ve been waiting half my lifetime to meet Arram Draper.

The first whispers of a “Numair: The Early Years” series came in 2003, and that in and of itself is ...

The Numair Chronicles Tamora Pierce Arram Draper Numair Salmalin The Immortals The Realms of the Gods
Numair Salmalin Minuiko Arram Draper
Daine/Numair spidrens art by Minuiko Tamora Pierce

Why My Sci-Fi/Fantasy OTPs Are All Beta Couples

Zoe/Wash Firefly beta couples Valentine's Day

I’ve written tens of thousands of words of fanfiction for various fandoms, from Firefly to Tamora Pierce, and I’ve always found myself drawn not to those series’ main romantic leads, but to the Beta Couples. Onscreen and in the pages of books, while the main pairings were doing the eternal dance of UST-infused will-they-won’t-they, the supporting characters would partner up with an incredible amount of ease. Often, they’d wind up partnered with kids or other life changes before the main couple had even kissed! How I Met Your Mother has a great scene that visualizes this: while the main characters aimlessly make jokes about Canada, a couple in the background meets, gets married, gets pregnant, watches their kid graduate college, and grows old together.

In a nutshell, that’s the Beta Couple. Only, add in Cylon copies, flash-forwards, Reaver fights, and straight-up magic when this archetype shows up in ...

Zoe Wash
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Matrix/AndrAIa ReBoot beta couples Valentine's Day
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Squire Tamora Pierce Raoul/Buri beta couples Valentine's Day

Love in the Star Wars Universe is a Lot More Realistic Now

Star Wars universe love more stable now Valentine's Day

Force-ghosts jumping from Imperial warships into apprentices’ bodies. Assassins falling in love with the Jedi they’re programmed to kill. Hapan queens trading one-night-stands for heirs. Reptilian crime lords spraying unsuspecting princesses with pheromones to broker a (eyebrow wiggle) trade. Jedi/Yuuzhan Vong hybrids caught between dead best friends/unrequited loves and their new, fallen-to-the-dark-side masters. Love—or, at least, sex and sometimes romance—in the Star Wars universe used to be a hot mess.

But what I grew up with as the Expanded Universe has now been mostly struck from the record—or, rather, redefined as “Star Wars Legends,” with an entirely new canon built around The Force Awakens and its subsequent new EU: prequel novels filling in the years between trilogies, tie-in comic books, and of course films like Rogue One and The Last Jedi. The introduction of new characters brings new romantic dramas that, surprisingly, are a lot stabler, healthier, or simply just more realistic than the ...

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Jyn Cassian beach hug Rogue One love in Star Wars
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Poe/Finn Stormpilot Star Wars: The Force Awakens lip bite GIF
Poe/Finn Stormpilot Star Wars: The Force Awakens GIF
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Serenity Keeps Flying in New Firefly Novels

Firefly tie-in novels Big Damn Heroes generation ship Nancy Holder Tim Lebbon James Lovegrove Titan Books Joss Whedon

You can’t stop the signal: Firefly fans get to return to Joss Whedon’s sci-fi western ’verse with three new novels from Titan Books! While the adventures of Captain Malcolm Reynolds and the crew of Serenity have lived on far past the television series’ sole season in both the 2005 film Serenity and a number of comic book arcs for the last decade-plus, these are the first original Firefly novels to be published. The three books—the first coming in late 2018—will focus on Mal’s past with the Browncoats, will riff on The Magnificent Seven, and will engage with a popular sci-fi subgenre: generation ships!

In Titan Books’ press release, commissioning editor Cat Camacho said she is “delighted to be bringing new, official stories to fans of a show that has continued to grow in popularity over the years, finding new audiences in an unprecedented way. Firefly is a hugely ...

The Cloverfield Paradox Undoes Itself Trying to Be Two Different Movies

The Cloverfield Paradox movie review Netflix Cloververse

Ten years ago, all J.J. Abrams’ company Bad Robot had to do was tweet a date (1/18/08) and a poster with something lurking over New York City, and fans were hooked months before the found-footage sci-fi movie came out. But while the past decade has seen two more installments ostensibly existing in the same Cloverfield mythos, each one’s release has been handled more unevenly than the last: 10 Cloverfield Lane was announced a mere two months before it came out (to mostly positive reviews), and then there was the film formerly known as God Particle. A science fiction thriller with Abrams’ stamp, it was delayed over and over, losing its release date to the untitled third Cloverfield film until Netflix dropped a shocker on Super Bowl Sunday: God Particle was actually The Cloverfield Paradox, and fans could stream it immediately following the game.

But while the method of ...

The Cloverfield Paradox movie review Netflix Cloververse
The Cloverfield Paradox movie review Netflix Cloververse
The Cloverfield Paradox movie review Netflix Cloververse
The Cloverfield Paradox movie review Netflix Cloververse
The Cloverfield Paradox movie review Netflix Cloververse
The Cloverfield Paradox movie review Netflix Cloververse

The Elephant in the Room: The Only Harmless Great Thing Solves the Atomic Priesthood Problem

There’s a reason why we haven’t heard of the atomic priesthood.

It sounds like incredible fodder for awesome dystopian stories: To protect future generations from nuclear fallout, but also to account for evolving languages and social mores, establish a religion whose “priests” pass down knowledge of how to avoid radiation zones. Knowledge, and a healthy bit of fear, zhuzhing the truth to make nuclear fallout akin to a supernatural danger—putting the fear of God, as it were, in our descendants.

So how come this concept doesn’t have its own TV Tropes page chock full of examples? Because in the 1950s and ‘60s, Isaac Asimov and Walter M. Miller, Jr. already played out that scenario in Foundation and A Canticle for Leibowitz, respectively, and found the results uninspiring: egomania, power-grabbing, and buying into their own fake dogma are just some of the reasons why human nature ruins this hypothetical scenario. ...

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WIPP Waste Isolation Protection Plant