Some of Stephen King’s Best Cameo Roles

I love Stephen King, as a writer, as a proclaimer of the greatness of genre literature, and, maybe most of all, as a guy. He was the first author I knew who—actually, scratch that. Stephen King was the first author I knew.

I recognized the names of children’s authors, and some of the bigger pulpy adult authors that my parents read (my mother was a huge Dick Francis fan, and our house had the requisite copies of Clan of the Cave Bear and Shogun) but King was the first author I saw being interviewed on TV. He was the only author I knew who wrote introductions to his own books, and I got a real sense of him as a person form reading them. Later, when I read Danse Macabre and On Writing, I discovered that he could carry that conversational, regular-guy writing style through an entire book, ...

Raymond E. Feist’s The Riftwar Saga Optioned for Television

BCDF Pictures is bringing Raymond E. Feist’s epic fantasy series The Riftwar Saga to television. Deadline reports that the production company, which has also optioned Marie Lu’s Legend, is working with Atomic Blonde screenwriter Kurt Johnstad to adapt Magician, the first book in the series, which is itself the first series of Feist’s The Riftwar Cycle.

The Riftwar Saga includes Magician (technically, Magician: Apprentice and Magician: Master), Silverthorn, and A Darkness at Sethanon. When orphan Pug goes to study magic under the magician Kulgan, he finds himself ill at ease with the “normal” forms of wizardry—even as they win him the acclaim of the Kingdom of the Isles and the love of the Princess. But when mysterious invaders open a rip in the fabric of spacetime to wage war on the kingdom, Pug’s magic may be the only thing to change the tide of this age-old ...

Read This, Watch That: Pairing “School Story” SFF Books and Anime

As a long-time fan of both speculative fiction and anime, one common thread I’ve noticed in both media is the enduring presence of The School Story. Plenty of fantasy readers make their grand entrance to the genre via a school fantasy story; for teens, who spend more time at school than at home, what other setting could tie the fantastic world to mundane reality?

Here are four anime to watch based on the book series you love—or, if you came here looking for books, four book series to read based on your favorite anime!

 

Read Harry Potter, Watch Little Witch Academia

The Harry Potter series doesn’t need much introduction, but I’ll give you a reminder anyway: in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone), a young orphan is whisked away from an abusive home in mundane 1990s Britain to attend Hogwarts ...

CBS Announces Star Trek: Short Treks Episode Titles and Air Dates

Star Trek: Short Treks episode titles synopses premiere dates airdates

As announced at San Diego Comic-Con, CBS is bridging the gap between seasons of Star Trek: Discovery with Star Treks: Short Treks, four mini-episodes following various Starfleet characters and other familiar faces from Discovery. These standalone installments, more resembling short stories than television episodes, will premiere the first Thursday of every month starting October 4.

Via Deadline, the synopses and air dates for each episode, plus a preview clip from CBS that gives you an idea of what to expect in Star Trek: Short Treks:

Runaway – Thursday, October 4

Onboard the U.S.S. Discovery, Ensign Tilly (Mary Wiseman) encounters an unexpected visitor in need of help. However, this unlikely pair may have more in common than meets the eye.

Written by Jenny Lumet & Alex Kurtzman. Directed by Maja Vrvilo.

Calypso – Thursday, November 8

After waking up in an unfamiliar sickbay, ...

Netflix Shares New Daredevil Season 3 Teaser and Premiere Date

Daredevil season 3 teaser premiere date announcement October 19 Netflix

This week in Bible Study with Matt Murdock, we’re turning to Deuteronomy 30:15: “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity.” Which one do you think Daredevil—interestingly, not wearing his cool suit in this new teaser—will choose? Well, the more pressing question at the moment is, when will viewers find out? Netflix has also shared the premiere date, and it’s a month from now.

That’s right, October 19 is when we’ll get to find out just what Matt means about stopping evil for good. Watch the teaser:

The other Defenders are all snarking on the official Twitter thread, but our favorite is this RT from the Jessica Jones account:

Daredevil season 3 premieres Friday, October 19 on Netflix.

Netflix Announces Live-Action Avatar: The Last Airbender Series is Incoming!

Concept Art by John Staub. Avatar: The Last Airbender

Back in between 2005 and 2008, a truly exceptional children’s television series aired on Nickelodeon titled Avatar: The Last Airbender. Four years later, a sequel series was produced titled The Legend of Korra. Between those two series, M. Night Shyamalan made a live-action adaptation of The Last Airbender, which was universally panned by fans and critics alike.

Today, we learn that we’re getting another shot at a live-action Last Airbender—and a good one at that.

There has been no press release, but Netflix’s social media arm went to work today and announced that a “reimagined” live action series was being worked on, with a piece of concept art from John Staub to prove it:

Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action announcement, twitter

(That’s Appa, Avatar Aang’s flying sky bison, for those who haven’t watched the show.)

There was a response from another Netflix Twitter account, NXOnNetflix, that confirmed the original showrunners—Michael Dante DiMartino and ...

Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action announcement, twitter

Sons of Lei Kung, Daughters of the Dragon — Marvel’s Iron Fist Season Two

Two of the major supporting characters for Iron Fist from shortly after his debut in Marvel Premiere were Misty Knight—an ex-police detective with a bionic arm—and Colleen Wing—a sword-wielding martial artist. The pair of them teamed up as private investigators as Nightwing Restorations, and also have done the superhero thing as the Daughters of the Dragon.

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Netflix edition), Wing was introduced in Iron Fist, while Knight was introduced in Luke Cage, and where Danny Rand dated Knight in the comics, he falls into bed with Wing in his series, and they have remained a couple. Wing and Knight finally got thrown together in The Defenders (where Knight lost her arm) and they reunited for two glorious scenes in Luke Cage season two (where Knight got her bionic arm).

Then we have the middle episodes of Iron Fist season two and can we for ...

Fall 2018 TV: What’s New, What’s Old, And What’s Best Forgotten

And we’re back with Tor.com’s annual television schedule! covering premieres of science fiction/fantasy and adjacent shows. This season spells bad news for science fiction and fantasy fans. If the fall schedule is any indication, our nationwide SFF fever has broken, and the comedown is apparently a rash of procedurals and family dramas or sitcoms.

With the obvious exception of the CW, broadcast networks seem to have tired of fantastical settings and technobabble, with most of the new projects launching on streaming sites or cable, many as children’s animated shows. A few geeky or geeky-adjacent shows—like iZombie, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Roswell New Mexico—won’t appear until 2019. Otherwise, it’s a pretty dreary slate.

So here’s a list that’s not as long as it could be of all the new and returning science fiction, fantasy, horror, and speculative-adjacent shows for the Fall 2018 television season. New shows are in ...

Why Doesn’t Starfleet Put Lawyers On The Enterprise?

Star Trek, TNG, Measure of a Man

The Final Frontier is all about exploration! Or at least, that’s what we all want to believe. But just as often, you run into a bit of a mess by offending new people, not knowing the rules, breaking a few laws, and that’s when… the captain of a starship appoints himself as your lawyer?

No one is bothered by that, huh?

Over on Reddit, queenofmoons made a fair point about the Star Trek universe: Why doesn’t Starfleet put lawyers on starships? Not even one?

It’s not as though they don’t exist in the future; in fact, we do encounter them throughout the run of the Trekverse. But even though starships contain all sorts of experts and scholars and professionals, lawyers never seem to show up on the docket. And when you’re encountering new species with new systems of law on a regular basis, you’d think that would be kind ...

The First Teaser for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is Wonderfully Creepy

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina teaser Netflix reboot adaptation Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa witch happy birthday

A witch’s 16th birthday is very special. Like its predecessor Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina begins with the titular half-mortal girl discovering her half-witch side on her sweet sixteen. But it’s safe to assume the resemblances end there, and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s new television series—based on the Archie Horror comic series he wrote in 2014—won’t involve the same light-hearted shenanigans. Judging from delightfully chilling teaser, it’ll be less “turning mean cheerleaders into pineapples” and more “summoning demons and ghost friends to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to you.”

It’s a short preview, but packed with plenty of dark fun:

The official synopsis, from Netflix:

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina tells the story of Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka), a half-witch half-mortal teenage girl. She’s been waiting her whole life for her 16th birthday, but something wicked this way comes, forcing her to choose between the path of light and ...

“Telling the Story of the Books” and Casting Bela: Highlights from The Wheel of Time Showrunner Rafe Judkins’ Twitter Q&A

The Wheel of Time

For this week’s #WoTWednesday, The Wheel of Time TV series showrunner Rafe Judkins answered fan questions on Twitter! The short-form, rapid-fire Q&A lasted only an hour but has revealed plenty about Judkins’ vision for the series. While he couldn’t say if Amazon Studios has ordered a pilot or an entire season, he was forthcoming with thoughts on translating the magic system from page to screen, consulting with Team Jordan, and whether he’ll appear at JordanCon (“pencil me in”) or other conventions. And only a few WAFOs!

Read on for highlights from Judkins’ Twitter Q&A.

 

 

Making ...

Punching Upward — First Impressions of Marvel’s Iron Fist Season Two

Wow, this is so much better.

I was not kind to Iron Fist season one when it aired, nor did it deserve it. Show-runner Scott Buck evinced no understanding of kung fu or martial arts in general, nor of the character that Marvel has been producing comics with since 1973, and then he doubled down by casting an actor with no martial arts experience whatsoever to play one of the greatest martial artists in the Marvel canon.

After that, the character appeared in The Defenders—where they leaned into his being a twerp—and an episode of Luke Cage season two—in which Finn Jones acted and sounded more like the Danny Rand I’ve been reading since I was a kid than he had anywhere else.

Raven Mentzer took over the show-running duties with IF season two, and while I was a bit nervous that they were giving the show ...

Do You Hear the Drums? It’s the New Outlander Season 4 Trailer

Outlander season 4 trailer Drums of Autumn Brianna Stones Jamie Claire Fraser America Brave the New World Stephen Bonnet

So much of Outlander’s past three seasons have been about trying to change the past. But it would appear that season 4 sees Claire and Jamie Fraser looking ahead to the future. “Do you know what lies beyond those trees?” she asks in the latest trailer from Starz. “This is just the start of what America will become. People come here in the thousands, all hoping to live the American dream.” But one person’s dream can be another’s nightmare.

While Jamie is thinking about how to make his mark on America so that he will somehow reach daughter Brianna 200 years in the future, Claire seems to be putting them in danger—for the noble cause of arguing against slavery, but certainly not ensuring that the Frasers have a peaceful time of it in the New World. Add to that a new villain in the form of pirate ...

Answer the Call and Watch the First Teaser Trailer for Netflix’s She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power teaser trailer Netflix Noelle Stevenson costume by the power of Grayskull

DreamWorks has shared the first teaser trailer for She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Netflix’s forthcoming reboot of the beloved ’80s icon. With Noelle Stevenson (LumberjanesNimona) serving as showrunner, and an interesting adjustment to the title—princesses?—the series looks to be updating She-Ra for today’s audiences.

Watch the teaser trailer reintroducing Adora, complete with “by the power of Grayskull!” and a nifty new transformation sequence:

The official synopsis, from Netflix:

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is the story of an orphan named Adora (Aimee Carrero), who leaves behind her former life in the evil Horde when she discovers a magic sword that transforms her into the mythical warrior princess She-Ra. Along the way, she finds a new family in the Rebellion as she unites a group of magical princesses in the ultimate fight against evil.

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power premieres November 16 on Netflix.

Ask The Wheel of Time Showrunner Rafe Judkins Your Burning Questions September 12!

The Wheel of Time

The Wheel of Time turns, and Wednesdays come and pass: For this week’s #WoTWednesday, The Wheel of Time showrunner Rafe Judkins has announced that he’ll be conducting a Twitter Q&A next Wednesday, September 12. For one hour, he’ll answer one question from every account that tweets at him.

The Q&A will take place 9 a.m.-10 a.m. PST/12 p.m.-1 p.m. EST and is the space to find out whatever you want to know about Amazon Studios’ television adaptation of Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy series. Or, you know, at least ask:

So, ...

Doctor Who Returns in October!

Doctor Who, Jodie Whittaker

The BBC has been keeping us on pins and needles, waiting for the return of Doctor Who this year. Wonder no longer! The release date has been set!

Doctor Who season 11 will premiere on Sunday, October 7th. No word on the time slot yet, or word as to whether it will be a simulcast across the pond. Get ready for the 13th Doctor, everyone!

The move to Sunday is new for the show, which has aired on Saturday since it’s revival. The first episode of the new season is titled “The Woman Who Fell to Earth,” which seems to be a cheeky wink at the novel and film The Man Who Fell to Earth–the 1976 film starred David Bowie as an alien searching for water to save his homeworld.

If we get an word on the time slot today, we’ll update here!

Wheel of Time TV Series Casting Note on Race: “Less Defined Than in Our World”

The Wheel of Time

After introducing us to Tam and Rand al’Thor in last week’s #WOTWednesday, The Wheel of Time showrunner Rafe Judkins has tweeted another page from the pilot script. It’s a note, but a significant one that provides insight into how the series will approach casting:

[A QUICK NOTE: race in the world of Wheel of Time is much less defined than in our world.

As much as possible, our cast should look like America will in a few hundred years—a beautiful mix of white, brown, black and everything in between]

Henry Cavill to Play Geralt of Rivia in Netflix’s The Witcher Series

The Witcher 3

Fresh off Mission: Impossible – Fallout and Justice League, Henry Cavill is taking on the leading role in a new franchise: He will play Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher, Netflix’s television adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski’s fantasy book series. While the adaptation has been in the works for over a year, this casting news is a huge step forward in the series’ development.

Cavill shared the news via a cheeky Instagram post:

Henry Cavill Geralt of Rivia The Witcher adaptation casting news Netflix Andrzej Sapkowski

Netflix’s See What’s Next Twitter account followed up with a tweet confirming that the fantasy series will consist of eight episodes:

And showrunner/executive producer Lauren Schmidt Hissrich (Daredevil, The Defenders, Umbrella Academy) shared her delight with the series’ lead:

The Jim Henson Company Options Susan Dennard’s Witchlands Books

The Jim Henson Company has optioned The Witchlands books, written by best-selling author Susan Dennard, to be developed as a live-action television series. The announcement was made today by Halle Stanford, President of Television for The Jim Henson Company, at a Dragon Con panel led by Dennard and Stanford entitled Two Misfits Who Dream: Women Who Create Fantasy Worlds.

The series is set in a world where three empires rule and every member of the population is born with a magical skill set, known as a “witchery.” Now, as the Twenty-Year Truce in a centuries-long war is about to come to an end, the balance of power will fall on the shoulders of two young women, Safiya and Iseult, who must accept their fate, and themselves, to survive. Published by Tor Teen, with two of the books and a spinoff already on the shelves, the third release in the ...

False conceit: why is Vanity Fair’s scheming heroine misread on screen?

In William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel she’s an amoral social climber – yet in adaptions Becky Sharp is warm and relatable

Though usually seen as an amoral, repellent schemer, William Makepeace Thackeray’s Becky Sharp has become warmer and more “relatable” in 21st-century portrayals. Produced by the makers of Poldark, ITV’s new version of Vanity Fair (starting on Sunday) similarly shows a likable low-born woman winning the heart of a toff – several toffs, in her case – in the Napoleonic era. Gwyneth Hughes adapted the novel and has talked of a tradition of viewing Thackeray’s 1848 novel as “a harsh story ... about a naughty social climber”, whereas her Becky is “a poor orphan who needs to get on – if she doesn’t, she’ll starve”.

Played by Olivia Cooke, the artist’s daughter may become more bitter and ruthless in later instalments, but in part one she’s sweet and vulnerable with no flaws ...