Real-Life Vulcan Found? First Exoplanet Confirmed Around the Star That Hosts Vulcan in Star Trek

Astronomers at the University of Florida, Tennessee State University, and the University of Arizona, have detected a “super-Earth” around the star 40 Eridani A, the real-life star that also has the honorable distinction of being the home solar system of Vulcan from the Star Trek franchise.

But it’s not all good first-contact-that-propels-humanity-into-post-scarcity news. The paper detailing the discovery notes that the super-Earth is orbiting extremely closely to its star (its orbital period is only 42.4 days) and is thus entirely too hot to support life. Still, astronomers are only just now forming a detailed study of the system, and typically if there’s one confirmed exoplanet around a distant star, there tend to be multiple planets still awaiting discovery.

So anyway. Star Trek is real. Spock is real. Love is real.

Some fun facts:

Loki and Scarlet Witch May Star in Their Own Shows for Disney’s Streaming Service

Disney and Marvel Studios may team up on some magical original content next year! According to Hollywood Reporter, the studios are planning to make Disney’s new streaming service considerably more irresistible (at least to certain fans) by developing limited series for Loki and Scarlet Witch—and rather than turning to animation, they’re intending to bring Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen in to star!

The two may join a roster of other superheroes/villains/grey-area-magic-users who haven’t yet headlined their own films.

Disney has already stated a plan to move all of its movies to the new platform, as well as films from Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm, adding up to about around 500 films, along with 7,000 episodes of Disney TV fare. Bob Iger said last year that the studio was planning a few original films exclusively for the service, so these proposed shows would add some more original content, while also tying the service into the ever-growing ...

Mary Robinette Kowal will Return to Space with Two New Lady Astronaut Novels!

Mary Robinette Kowal is giving us more stories from her punch-card punk universe! Kowal has signed a six-figure deal with Tor Books to continue the alternate history series with two more books about mathematician/astronaut Elma York and her colleagues: The Relentless Moon and The Derivative Base will follow The Calculating Stars and The Fated Sky in 2020 and 2022, respectively.

As if that wasn’t enough, Kowal’s sparkling standalone SF murder mystery, that she describes as “The Thin Man in Space,” will hit shelves in 2021!

Kowal recently spoke about her series with The Verge, sharing details about the future of the series, and a look at a brand new character.

The Lady Astronaut series is an expansion of Kowal’s 2013 novelette, “The Lady Astronaut of Mars.” While the novelette takes us into a future that features a colonized Mars, the first two novels of the ...

Watch the Trailer for Zombie Christmas Musical Anna and the Apocalypse

Anna and the Apocalypse trailer zombie Christmas movie musical

A pretty succinct way to sum up Anna and the Apocalypse is “Shaun of the Dead meets La La Land.” You could probably also draw some allusions to Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s musical episode “Once More, With Feeling.” At any rate, the darkly funny holiday movie looks to be serving up a new kind of Christmas carol, based on the first trailer.

’Tis the night before Christmas in Little Haven, and the undead are about to rise. It’s not enough for Anna (Ella Hunt) and her friends to seize on giant candy canes as impromptu bats to fight off the Yuletide zombies—they also must sing and dance their way to survival. What a time to be alive:

Anna and the Apocalypse rings in the holiday season November 30 in select theaters, opening wide December 7.

Patrick Rothfuss’ Dungeons & Dragons Character for Morty is Very Appropriate

Rick and Morty Patrick Rothfuss Dungeons and Dragons

The first issue of Patrick Rothfuss’ Dungeons & Dragons storyline in the Rick & Morty comics came out on Wednesday this week and the fantasy author nails the details of both D&D and Rick and Morty so precisely that we wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up writing an episode or two of the show itself.

We’re particularly amused by the alternate cover to issue #1 and its character sheet for Morty:

A closer look at the sheet by Rothfuss and illustrator Jim Zub:

Rick and Morty Dungeons and Dragons Morty character sheet

  • Half-orc, a rogue, and Bonds that state “what’s mine is actually just mine”? Lots of resentment there, Morty…
  • The rest of those stats and that below average Wisdom? Lots of banal resentment ...

This Star Trek Fan Theory Explains Why the Borg’s Attacks on the Federation Make No Sense

Star Trek Voyager The Omega Directive

In Star Trek, there is no villain whose motivations are more perplexing than the Borg.

The sometimes-invincible hive of cybernetic organisms have been a part of the Trek narrative since The Next Generation, providing helpful antagonism throughout their tenure, upping the stakes and leading to high drama whenever they threatened to appear.

But the reasoning behind their actions has always been a bit opaque. Why do they ignore intruders on their ships? How could the Borg evolve to a point where an unsolvable puzzle could potentially short out their entire civilization, especially when they seem to have mastered time travel? (Look out, Borg! It’s a misprinted Sudoku!) When their actions are considered altogether the Borg seem lucky to even be alive.

But when we saw u/StrekApol7979‘s amazing Borg theory over at the Daystrom Institute subreddit, we had to share it. Using mostly evidence from the Star Trek ...

Here Are The Incredibly Low Odds the 6 Original Avengers Had of Surviving Infinity War

Avengers Infinity War trailer

[This article is definitely going into spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War. For those who still haven’t seen it, take the opportunity that Peter Parker passed up and turn back now. I mean, the Blu-ray’s out.]

It was a busy day between Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 when Reddit user u/K5cents attempted a simulation: What were the odds of Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Black Widow surviving Thanos’ Snap? It was a good attempt, but didn’t quite get the model right—we’re not guaranteed that half of the heroes survive, just half the population—and, by the way, Hawkeye’s got a 50/50 chance of still being alive, too. Do you really expect him to sit Avengers 4 out?

So, what is the probability of the 6 original Avengers surviving, based on Thanos’ death-coin-for-everyone? Let’s find out.

In Infinity War, Thanos says the Snap would be completely indiscriminate. This ...

Here Are The Incredibly Low Odds the 6 Original Avengers Had of Surviving Infinity War

Avengers Infinity War trailer

[This article is definitely going into spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War. For those who still haven’t seen it, take the opportunity that Peter Parker passed up and turn back now. I mean, the Blu-ray’s out.]

It was a busy day between Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 when Reddit user u/K5cents attempted a simulation: What were the odds of Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Black Widow surviving Thanos’ Snap? It was a good attempt, but didn’t quite get the model right—we’re not guaranteed that half of the heroes survive, just half the population—and, by the way, Hawkeye’s got a 50/50 chance of still being alive, too. Do you really expect him to sit Avengers 4 out?

So, what is the probability of the 6 original Avengers surviving, based on Thanos’ death-coin-for-everyone? Let’s find out.

In Infinity War, Thanos says the Snap would be completely indiscriminate. This ...

Has Cloud Atlas Author David Mitchell Given Us The Greatest Writing Tip Of Our Time?

John Hornor Jacobs, author of Southern Gods, Incorruptibles, and Infernal Machines recently met up with fantasy author Sanford Allen, who related a meeting with David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas and the World Fantasy Award-winning The Bone Clocks. Apparently, Mitchell spent a bit of time buying Allen drinks and asking for stories of Allen’s time as a touring musician.

But this was not just a pleasant evening out for two writers talking shop—this was also an opportunity for Mitchell to share the art of “IWATH,” or, to spell it out, “I WAS THERE.”

Jacobs shared the anecdote on Twitter, explaining the concept of IWATH:

Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen Series is Coming to HBO Next Year!

HBO is adding superheroes to its roster of bratty dragons and robot cowboys: the latest adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal comic Watchmen has officially received a series order! And…it’s premiering next year? And the cast is enormous?

Click through for all the details we’ve got so far!

According to EW, the show will hit the network some time in 2019, along with Game of Thrones‘ final season and the long-awaited return of True Detective. There still aren’t many details on the show, which will be headed up by Damon Lindelof, but we do know that they’re keeping the basic premise of a society that treats once-legal superheroes as outlaws. HBO has also announced a giant cast, including Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Adelaide Clemens, Andrew Howard, Tom Mison, Frances Fisher, Jacob Ming-Trent, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing, Lily Rose Smith and Adelynn Spoon…. but they haven’t specified who is ...

Star Trek: Discovery Casts Spock for Season 2

Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, Ethan Peck

Star Trek: Discovery has cast its Spock! Ethan Peck will be joining the cast in the iconic role of the USS Enterprise‘s half-human, half-Vulcan science officer. Peck, the grandson of legendary actor Gregory Peck, has previously appeared in ABC Family’s series 10 Things I Hate About You and CW Seed’s I Ship It.

Star Trek: Discovery, which takes place earlier than the original Star Trek, hinted that Spock might be making an appearance when the Discovery came across the Enterprise in its travels. Apparently, Spock will still be chief science officer, but under Captain Christopher Pike, who will be played by Anson Mount. Of course, Spock’s family is already tied to Discovery, as his foster sister Michael Burnham is one of the main characters of the show, so it will be interesting to see how their relationship plays out across the second season of the series.

Showrunner Alex ...

Mark Hamill, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, and More: Amazing Photos from 40 Years of Forbidden Planet

Famed comics and geek retailer Forbidden Planet is turning 40! On August 11, the iconic British comics shop and event space will celebrate the big day with a party featuring prizes, cake and more. Possibly even better? They’ve released a lovely treasure trove of photos from the store’s history, featuring special (adorable) appearances by a young Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Mark Hamill, Douglas Adams, and more!

If you’re going to be in London, you can find the official party business here. But if you can’t make the trip, never fear! You can also download a free archive of forty years of Forbidden Planet signings, book events, and general celebration.

We’re excited to share a sampling of their photo archive below. All photos care of Forbidden Planet (London) Ltd. (Click any image to enlarge.)

 

Douglas Adams
(Denmark Street, August 1982)

Angela Carter
(Denmark Street, September 1984)

Will Eisner
(Denmark ...

Six Big Questions About the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Revival

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 ...

Claire and Jamie Brave the New World in the First Outlander Season 4 Trailer

Outlander season 4 trailer New World Drums of Autumn Diana Gabaldon Jamie Claire

Starz has released the first trailer for Outlander season 4, which sees time traveling nurse Claire and her Highlander husband Jamie trying to start anew in the New World. But trouble follows these two—or perhaps they’re fated to run into all manner of conflict no matter what country or continent they step onto, from woods filled with thieves to a potential warning from… the future!

The 13-episode season is based on Drums of Autumn, the fourth book in Diana Gabaldon’s series, and (according to the official synopsis, which doesn’t say much) “continues the romantic adventures of Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) in America.” No sooner have they landed at River Run, the home of Jamie’s strong-willed aunt Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy, a.k.a. Mrs. S from Orphan Black!) than they find themselves embroiled in local conflicts.

Watch the trailer:

Outlander returns this November ...

The X-Men Are Coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Disney & Fox Approve Sale

X-Men and Marvel Cinematic Universe

Shareholders have approved Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox. According to Deadline, “the whole procedure took maybe 10 minutes” with 99% of the shareholders for both companies approving the acquisition of Fox assets.

The press release states that the acquisition will bring Disney the film and TV studio assets held by 21st Century Fox, along with cable networks FX and National Geographic. Disney will also gain Fox’s 30% stake in Hulu, which raises questions as to the future of Disney’s planned 2019 streaming service.

Via Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, “We’re incredibly pleased that shareholders of both companies have granted approval for us to move forward, and are confident in our ability to create significant long-term value through this acquisition of Fox’s premier assets.”

Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige have not yet released any statement regarding intentions to integrate the X-Men/Deadpool/Fantastic Four and Marvel cinematic universes. However, ...

Maria Dahvana Headley on Defeating Writers Block, Monsters

Maria Dahvana Headley took to reddit for a rollicking AMA full of monsters, women who are emphatically NOT monsters, and some terrific writing advice.

Check out the highlights below!

Headley’s latest novel is The Mere Wife (check out our very positive review here) which updates Beowulf by bringing it into the suburbs and looking at the roles of warriors and monsters in today’s society. Most of all, it focuses on the women in the story—Willa Herot, the most fabulous of the glittering housewives of the Herot Hall gated community, and Dana Owen, a military veteran suffering from severe PTSD who’s just trying to raise her boy, Gren, in peace.

You can see where this is going.

 

So…why Beowulf?

What’s your attraction to Beowulf? What in it begs for reinterpretation, and what is that you consider its heart? (JoshuaACNewman)

Maria Dahvana Headley: It was always Grendel’s ...

15 Rituals The Tor.com Office Has Developed

Tor.com has existed on the internet for 10 years. And when you work in an office and you also work on the internet, where one day gives you a week’s worth of events to react to, you develop a lot of shorthands and rituals to get through the day.

Some of these rituals are straightforward, like our Friday/Monday morning watercooler-style breakdowns about the latest blockbuster, with everyone hashing out what they liked and didn’t like. (Chris hated Infinity War, for example, sparking off a Tor.com Infinity War War.) Some of these rituals are specific to the people here, like the weird voices we use to irritate/amuse one another when we’re feeling low on energy. And then there are the internet-specific rituals: Videos and in-jokes and events we keep coming back to time and again because…well, we’ve never figured out the “because”.

Here are some of ...

unicorn lamp
Greg Hildebrandt Angel of the Gods
What Horses Teach Us
3 origami office dragons
City Bakery Hot Chocolate Festival menu
Maid in Manhattan Voldemort
Star Wars textposts Twitter

Collection of N.K. Jemisin Short Fiction Coming this Fall!

Would you like some good news? N.K. Jemisin’s first-ever collection of short stories is hitting shelves this fall! The collection, How Long ‘Til Black Future Month?, will come out from Orbit on November 27th.

Click through for details!

N.K. Jemisin is the author books including the Inheritance Trilogy and The Broken Earth Trilogy, the first two entries of which, The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate, won back-to-back Hugo Awards for Best Novel. For two years, she reviewed science fiction for The New York Times in a column called “Otherworldly” (since picked up by Amal El-Mohtar) and her short fiction has appeared on Strange Horizons, Clarkesworld, and here on Tor.com, among other venues. According to Orbit, her collection will range from “dragons and hateful spirits haunt the flooded city of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina” to an alternate dimension ...

A New Joss Whedon Sci-Fi Show Is Coming to HBO

Joss Whedon is coming back to TV, with a straight-to-series order with HBO. The show, The Nevers is described as “an epic science fiction drama about a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies and a mission that might change the world.”

Whedon who will act as writer, director, exec producer and showrunner for the series, described The Nevers as “maybe the most ambitious narrative I’ve created” and said that he couldn’t imagine a better home than HBO.

Not only are they the masters of cinematic longform, but their instant understanding of my odd, intimate epic was as emotional as it was incisive. It’s been too long since I created an entirely new fictional world, and the HBO team offer not just scope and experience, not just ‘prestige,’ but a passionate collaboration. I could go on, but — I’m impatiently grateful to say — ...

Announcing the 2018 Locus Awards Winners

Locus Awards winners 2018

Locus Magazine announced the winners of the 2018 Locus Awards during the Locus Awards Weekend in Seattle, WA, which took place June 22 to 24, 2018, with Connie Willis serving as MC of the awards ceremony. Congratulations to the all of the winners and finalists!

The list of finalists and winners is below. Winners for each category appear in bold.

SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL

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