Creating a Cocktail Culture on the Moon


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I like details. Little things tell me everything about people, their society, their hopes and fears, the sky above them, the rock beneath them.

When I began writing Luna, I knew I would be building a world from scratch, but also one that adhered to the constraints of the physical realities of the moon. The Moon may have been Heinlein’s Harsh Mistress but we’ve learned a lot about Lady Luna since and she’s got leaner and meaner. A lot meaner. I wanted those facts to shape the world and lives of my characters, from low gravity to moon dust, which is seriously nasty stuff. I suppose it’s a “hard science fiction” book—though that’s an expression I hate. Hard science technically shapes the lives, loves, jealousies and ambitions of every one of my moon’s one point seven million citizens.

That’s where the Martinis come in. Booze, sex and getting off ...

5 Fantastic Recent Books about Humans Colonizing Other Planets


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Humanity has accomplished a great many things since we started mastering technologies like writing and agriculture. But we still remain confined to this one tiny planet, without even a permanent presence on our own moon, and the dream of interplanetary colonization remains just that. So it’s a good thing we have a lot of great books in which humans go to live on other worlds.

When I was working on my new novel, The City in the Middle of the Night, I was inspired by a bunch of great books featuring humans colonizing other planets. Here are five recent colonization books that are especially fantastic.

 

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

A missionary named Peter goes to an alien planet where humans have just begun to colonize, leaving behind an Earth that is going through huge, potentially civilization-ending problems. And what Peter finds on the ...

5 Fantastic Recent Books about Humans Colonizing Other Planets


This post is by Charlie Jane Anders from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Humanity has accomplished a great many things since we started mastering technologies like writing and agriculture. But we still remain confined to this one tiny planet, without even a permanent presence on our own moon, and the dream of interplanetary colonization remains just that. So it’s a good thing we have a lot of great books in which humans go to live on other worlds.

When I was working on my new novel, The City in the Middle of the Night, I was inspired by a bunch of great books featuring humans colonizing other planets. Here are five recent colonization books that are especially fantastic.

 

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

A missionary named Peter goes to an alien planet where humans have just begun to colonize, leaving behind an Earth that is going through huge, potentially civilization-ending problems. And what Peter finds on the ...

5 Ways Science Has Made Science Fiction More Interesting


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It may sometimes seem as if science does nothing but harsh SF’s vibe: “No stealth in space,” “Mars is nigh-impossible to terraform with on-site resources,” “relativity and its speed of light limit has stood up to eleven plus decades of intense testing,” and “all getting bitten by a radioactive spider does is raise a small welt and give one a very slightly increased chance of cancer.” BUT…science gives as well as takes. Here are five examples of ways in which the Solar System as we currently understand it is way more awesome than the Solar System of my youth.

Even limiting oneself to “potential abodes of life (natural or introduced by us)”, the Solar System is far more welcoming than it seemed 40 years ago. Granted, it helps that I grew up in that window between Mariner 2, which ushered in eighteen years of increasingly gloomy revelations about the ...

Better, Stronger, Faster: Cobra by Timothy Zahn


This post is by Alan Brown from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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In this bi-weekly series reviewing classic science fiction and fantasy books, Alan Brown looks at the front lines and frontiers of the field: books about soldiers and spacers, scientists and engineers, explorers and adventurers. Stories full of what Shakespeare used to refer to as “alarums and excursions”: battles, chases, clashes, and the stuff of excitement.

The idea of enhancing human abilities has been part of science fiction since the earliest days of the pulps. All manner of supermen, cyborgs, mutants and others have been presented to readers over the years—after all, who doesn’t sometimes dream about what it would be like to be faster or more powerful? One might have thought that, by the 1980s, the topic would have been done to death, with nothing new to be said… but a young author named Timothy Zahn came up with a story of mechanically enhanced warriors called Cobras that brought something ...

QUILTBAG+ Speculative Classics: Dawn by Octavia E. Butler


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Today we’ll start discussing our second trilogy for the summer: Octavia E. Butler’s Xenogenesis, also published as Lilith’s Brood. (The first trilogy featured was Daniel Heath Justice’s The Way of Thorn and Thunder.) Even though there have been a variety of science fiction books with three- or more-gendered aliens before this novel, Dawn—originally published in 1987—is one of the most prominent works to feature this trope before the current wave of trans speculative fiction.

As human civilization works on destroying itself in yet another world war, humans come into contact with the Oankali: grayish humanoid aliens with sensory tentacles growing from their bodies. The Oankali stop the conflict and save humans from the devastated ruins of Earth—but what do they want in exchange? They are travelers, traders, genetic engineers whose technology is mostly biologically based. They can grow spaceships, and are able to manipulate the genetic material ...

Where Are All Pern’s Medical Folks? The White Dragon: Part Three


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As I reread these Pern books, I keep asking myself, how does this all work? I’m not just talking about the dragons, although many of the questions often left unexplored by the series are associated with dragons. For instance, how, exactly, is a planet regularly whacked by massive environmental and habitat damage supporting so many huge apex predators? Why do the people of Pern so frequently fail to utilize all of the abilities of said apex predators? And beyond the dragons—really, just how does a world of people and dragons work?

I can’t say that The White Dragon helps all that much with answering any of these questions—although it does show us several glimpses of actual farm work, somewhat unusual for this series. It also gives us a pretty solid look at the health care system on Pern.

And I gotta say, I’m unimpressed.

When last we looked in on ...

To Encourage Reach Exceeding Grasp: This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone


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Two far-flung future societies—called Garden and the Agency, respectively—toe through timelines seeding potential, nudging some lives forward and decimating others, with the ultimate goal of preserving their own existence as the inevitable outcome of human culture. As elite agents for their opposing sides, Red and Blue bite at each other’s heels across time and space through dying worlds, long cons, strange pasts and stranger futures. One chance outreach between them, forbidden but irresistible, forges a connection neither could’ve anticipated. Impossible letters wait through centuries for discovery as the pair of them communicate about their goals, their missions, their shared distastes and pleasures—taboo informational liaisons that lead to far more.

One the one hand, This Is How You Lose the Time War is about that titular war: the protagonists are agents undertaking missions to stabilize (or destroy) certain strands in time to benefit their own potential future. On the other, the ...

Culture or Madness? How Jack Vance’s Worldbuilding Redefined “Adventure”


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Author Jack Vance was such a driven world-creator that I’m beginning to suspect it was less of a talent and more of a compulsion. For a timely example of Vance’s relentless societal construction, take the Planet of Adventure quartet of novels, the middle two books of which are celebrating their fiftieth anniversary this year. The books have already been summarized quite well on this site, but I’ll give you the quick version: Space explorer Adam Reith arrives on the planet Tschai, and discovers that four alien races already call it home. The reptilian Chasch arrived thousands of years ago, followed by their enemies, the pantherlike Dirdir and the hulking amphibious Wankh. There’s also a mysterious race called the Pnume who are indigenous to Tschai. And there are humans—lots of them.

The Dirdir, it turns out, gathered up some neolithic humans when they visited earth tens of thousands of years ...

Great Lost Civilizations of Science Fiction and Fantasy


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As previously discussed, it’s possible to do such a thorough job of destroying a civilization that all knowledge of it is lost…at least until inexplicable relics start to turn up. One example: the real world Indus Valley Civilization, which might have flourished from 3300 to 1300 BC, across territory now found in western and northwestern India, Pakistan and northeastern Afghanistan. It was contemporaneous with the civilizations of Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and China. History did a thorough enough job of erasing the Indus Valley Civilization from the records that when modern archaeology began to study it, it wasn’t at all clear whose ruins were being explored. It just goes to show that no matter how great a civilization might be, time is greater.

Thanks to the exploits of 19th-century archaeologists (many of them no better than Indiana Jones, digging for statues and jewelry while ignoring evidence of daily ...

Ranking the Very Best Dogs of Star Trek


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The latest Star Trek series—the forthcoming Next Generation sequel, Star Trek: Picard—will boldly go where no Trek series has gone before by seemingly having a dog as a central cast member. As fans surely know by now, a new poster for Picard reveals the titular former-Starfleet captain standing resolutely with his loyal dog Number One by his side. Now, in real life, this probably has something to do with Patrick Stewart’s love of pitbull rescues, but we really don’t know what role the dog will play in the show. Yet. But the possibilities are clearly awesome.

And although this is the first time a dog has featured on a promotional image for a big Star Trek event, this isn’t the first canine to brave the final frontier. Here are nine dogs (or dog-like creatures) from across the wide canon of Star Trek, ranked in ascending of how adorable and ...

Star Trek The Next Generation Dark Page Troi Dog Kestra

17 Factual and Fictional Stories About Space Exploration


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The Space Race encapsulates both the best and the worst of aspects of U.S. history. On the one hand, there is humanity’s drive to learn and explore. All space programs have no choice but to celebrate the wonders of mathematics, physics, and engineering. (To put this into ’80s film terms: no matter how jock-ish an image an astronaut wants to put forth, it’s still nerds who get us into space.) Space exploration doesn’t just raise the possibility that humanity will find new homes across the galaxy, but it also leaves technological innovation in its wake.

But there’s still that other hand. The Space Race of the 1950s and 60s was the result of intense hatred and fear between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Many of the early aims of the program were baldly militaristic rather than scientific. At least one of the leading engineers was a ...

In Her Skin: Sealed by Naomi Booth


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Climate change is no longer something that can be denied by anyone at all. In Naomi Booth’s sharp, savvy second novel Sealed, the world has become hotter, and there’s a strange new disease that seems to be making people grow new skin over different orifices, eventually killing them by sealing them up inside their own epidermis.

Cutis, it’s called, and while the authorities claim it’s just one more thing to add to the nonchalant list of worries that people already have, from polluted fruit to smog to wildfires, pregnant Alice fears the worst. She’s obsessed with Cutis, and starts collection information not just about it, but also about what she thinks may be it, or what may have started the outbreak. She’s certain her mother died of it, she’s certain numerous people have died of it, far more than the authorities are admitting to, particularly those housed in relocation ...

What To Expect From This Year’s Locus Awards Winners


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What can readers expect next from the winners of the 2019 Locus Awards?

Since 1971, the Locus Awards have honored notable authors and their works, highlighting promising new voices in science fiction, fantasy, and horror, and commemorating authors whose legacies have defined the entire field of speculative fiction. Chosen by readers, the list of Locus nominees and winners also communicates the stories that excited us in the previous year, and it looks like there’s a lot yet to come from this year’s roster of Locus winners!

 

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal—Science Fiction Novel Winner

The first two novels in the alternate history Lady Astronaut series—The Calculating Stars and The Fated Sky—comprised a duology, but Mary Robinette Kowal isn’t done with the series yet. Books three and four—The Relentless Moon and The Derivative Base—are scheduled for publication in 2020 and 2022, respectively, with Tor ...

Almost Every SFF/Horror/Comic Book Adaptation in the Works!


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Rosamund Pike Moiraine Wheel of Time TV show

Thanks to the landscape-shifting success of properties like Game of Thrones and Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, we’ve entered a golden age of sci-fi and fantasy being developed for film and television. It seems that nearly every network and studio has snatched up the rights to old and new classics, with a bevy of projects in production or premiering in the coming months. To keep you on top of the latest news, we’ve updated our master list of every SFF adaptation currently in the works, from The Batman to Y: The Last Man.

Check out this list and get your DVRs and Netflix queues ready, because you’re going to be wonderfully busy for the foreseeable future.

 

COMING SOON

The Boys (July 26, 2019)

The Boys teaser NYCC 2018

Adapted from: The Boys by Garth Ennis (writer) and Darick Robertson (artist)
Originally published: 2006, Wildstorm/Dynamite Entertainment
Optioned for: Television (Amazon Studios/Sony Pictures Television)
What it’s about: In a world where ...

Joker movie trailer, Joaquin Phoenix
Doctor Sleeps, trailer, Ewan McGregor
Batwoman trailer Kate Kane Ruby Rose
The Lady of the Lake Arthurian legend
Harley Quinn animated series teaser DC Universe NYCC 2018
His Dark Materials HBO BBC trailer adaptation
HBO Watchmen teaser
Bird of Prey teaser, Harley Quinn
The New Mutants trailer X-Men horror Maisie Williams
100-bullets
Uncanny X-Men #143 Kitty Pryde spinoff movie
3001: The Final Odyssey TV adaptation Syfy Arthur C. Clarke
Aleister Arcane Steve Niles adaptation Eli Roth
All Our Wrong Todays adaptation Elan Mastai
Amulet movie adaptation Kazu Kibuishi
Analog adaptation
Anna Dressed in Blood book movie adaptation Stephenie Meyer Kendare Blake
Ancillary Justice original query Ann Leckie
Animal Farm adaptation George Orwell Andy Serkis Netflix
Armada adaptation Ernest Cline Ready Player One
Artemis Andy Weir optioned film
Aru Shah and the End of Time Roshani Chokshi adaptation
Allegiant adaptation Ascendant Starz television
Astro City Kurt Busiek adaptation
Astronaut Academy film TV adaptation
Austral TV adaptation Paul McAuley
The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
Batgirl movie adaptation
Beacon 23 Hugh Howey adaptation Studio 8 film TV novellas
Behind the Throne adaptation K.B. Wagers
Biopunk book TV adaptation Zachary Quinto
Black Adam comic book movie adaptation Dwayne Johnson Shazam DC Entertainment
The Black Company TV adaptation Glen Cook Eliza Dushku
Black Hammer adaptation Jeff Lemire Dean Ormston
Black Panther Long Live the King
Blackhawk adaptation Steven Spielberg
Bodies graphic novel adaptation television TV Hulu
Bone adaptation feature film Warner Bros Jeff Smith
Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older
Boogeyman adaptation Stephen King
Book of Enchantment Villains adaptation Disney+
The Book of Joan Lidia Yuknavitch
Borne Jeff VanderMeer Paramount adaptation Scott Rudin Annihilation
BraveNewWorld_FirstEdition
Brilliance adaptation Marcus Sakey Akiva Goldsman
The Brotherhood of the Wheel R.S. Belcher adaptation
Camelot King Arthur adaptation modern day Fox
Caraval adaptation Stephanie Garber
Castle Hangnail movie adaptation Ellen DeGeneres
The Changeling adaptation Victor LaValle
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Veruca Salt
Children of Time Adrian Tchaikovsky Arthur C. Clarke Award
The Chronicles of Amber television TV adaptation Robert Kirkman
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
City of Ghosts adaptation
Conan the Barbarian adaptation
Consider Phlebas adaptation Iain M. Banks Culture novels
A Court of Thorns and Roses adaptation Sarah J. Maas
Cowboy Ninja Viking adaptation delayed Chris Pratt
Crosswind adaptation Gail Simone Cat Staggs Vanessa Piazza
Wizard and Glass The Dark Tower TV series
Darker Shade of Magic
Dawn Lilith's Brood TV adaptation Octavia E. Butler
The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente
Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant movie adaptation
Injection Burn adaptation
Dissonance adaptation
Doc Savage adaptation
Doctor Doom movie adaptation Noah Hawley
Dracula adaptation Mark Gatiss Steven Moffat BBC
Dragonriders of Pern movie
East of West adaptation
The Electric State adaptation
Empress Mark Millar adaptation Netflix
Scott Kelly Endurance adaptation
Eternals adaptation MCU Thanos
Extreme Universe Rob Liefeld Bloodstrike
The Fandom Anna Day adaptation
The Final Six adaptation Alexandra Monir
The Fionavar Tapestry adaptation Guy Gavriel Kay Orphan Black
FKA USA Reed King adaptation
The Forever War Joe Haldeman Warner Bros Channing Tatum
fortunately-the-milk
Game of Thrones spinoff series
gateway-adaptation
Gideon Falls adaptation Jeff Lemire Andrea Sorrentino
The Gilda Stories adaptation
The Girl Who Drank the Moon adaptation Kelly Barnhill
The Gone World adaptation
Gormenghast adaptation Mervyn Peake Neil Gaiman
The Grace of Kings adaptation DMG Entertainment
Grasshopper Jungle movie adaptation Edgar Wright Andrew Smith
Happiness is for Humans adaptation
The Hazel Wood Melissa Albert books we're looking forward to in 2018
A Head Full of Ghosts adaptation Paul Tremblay
Her Body and Other Parties Carmen Maria Machado
HEX Thomas Olde Heuvelt TV adaptation
The Book of Swords "The Hidden Girl" Ken Liu adaptation
The Hike adaptation Drew Magary
Hold Back the Stars Katie Khan movie adaptation John Boyega Letitia Wright
Horrorstor TV pilot Fox Grady Hendrix
The Hunger Alma Katsu adaptation
Hyperion adaptation
I Still Dream James Smythe TV adaptation
Illuminae AIDAN monstrous humans
Infidel comic adaptation
Injection adaptation Warren Ellis
Interview With the Vampire movie adaptation Josh Boone
The Invisibles adaptation
Who is Jake Ellis movie adaptation graphic novel Nathan Edmondson Image Comics
Judge Dredd TV adaptation
Kill Shakespeare adaptation
The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss
The Last Girl TV adaptation Joe Hart Amazon Studios
The Last Policeman adaptation
Lazarus comic book Greg Rucka adaptation
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie adaptation reboot Alan Moore
The Left Hand of Darkness TV adaptation Ursula K. Le Guin Limitless
The Lies of Locke Lamora TV adaptation Scott Lynch
We Have Always Lived On Mars Cecil Castellucci adaptation Life on Mars John Krasinski
Eric Heisserer adapting Ted Chiang novella Liking What You See Stories of Your Life and Others Arrival
Little Brother
The Lives of Tao adaptation
Locke & Key Joe Hill adaptation film TV
Lockwood & Co adaptation television Jonathan Stroud
Logan's Run movie adaptation
Lord of Light Roger Zelazny adaptation
Lumberjanes film adaptation
Luna: New Moon adaptation
MaddAddam adaptation Margaret Atwood
The Magic Order Mark Millar Netflix adaptation
Paolo Bacigalupi Mika Model adaptation movie Netflix
The Monolith graphic novel adaptation Lionsgate
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur adaptation
Morbius adaptation Jared Leto
Mort Terry Pratchett movie adaptation Narrativia memorial
Mouse Guard movie adaptation
MPH adaptation Mark Millar
The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson
My Best Friend's Exorcism adaptation Grady Hendrix
My Boyfriend is a Bear adaptation
Needle in a Timestack adaptation Robert SIlverberg
Neuromancer adaptation Fox
New Gods Jack Kirby movie adaptation DC Extended Universe Ava DuVernay
Feed Mira Grant movie adaptation
October Daye optioned film adaptation Seanan McGuire
Old Man's War book cover John Scalzi
The One adaptation John Marrs Netflix
The Outsider adaptation Stephen King
The Paper Magician adaptation
The Peripheral adaptation William Gibson
The Phantom Tollbooth adaptation
The Picture of Dorian Gray adaptation female driven genderbent St. Vincent
Pinocchio adaptation Guillermo del Toro Gris Grimly illustrations
The Prince and the Dressmaker Jen Wang adaptation
Princeless adaptation
Prodigy Mark Millar Netflix adaptation
Throne of Glass series TV adaptation Queen of Shadows Sarah J. Maas Hulu
The Queen of the Tearling adaptation Emma Watson
Radioactive Lauren Redniss
Ranger's Apprentice movie adaptation
The Raven Boys Cycle TV adaptation Maggie Stiefvater
Red Sonja adaptation
John Scalzi Redshirts
Resident Alien adaptation
Revival Image Comics adaptation Tim Seeley Mike Norton
Riftwar Saga adaptation
Rivers of London adaptation Ben Aaronovitch
Roadside Picnic adaptation television pilot Matthew Goode
Robopocalypse adaptation
Roche Limit adaptation
Rolling in the Deep Mira Grant
The Ruin of Kings Jenn Lyons
Runtime S.B. Divya adaptation film television
Sand adaptation Hugh Howey Syfy
sandman-cover
Sandman Slim adaptation
Scythe Neal Shusterman
Seveneves Neal Stephenson adaptation Ron Howard Brian Grazer
Shadow and Bone adaptation Leigh Bardugo
Shadowman adaptation
The Shambling Guide to New York City movie adaptation Mur Lafferty
The Shining Girls Lauren Beukes movie adaptation
Ship Breaker adaptation Paolo Bacigalupi Paul Haggis
The Sirens of Titan adaptation Kurt Vonnegut
six-months-book-cover
Skin Trade adaptation George R.R. Martin
Sleeping Beauties Stephen King Owen King adaptation
Metaverse Snow Crash Neal Stephenson virtual reality cyberpunk
Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaraslav Kalfar
Spawn adaptation Jamie Foxx
Spin Robert Charles Wilson adaptation
The Stand TV adaptation
Stargirl adaptation Geoff Johns
station-eleven
Brandon-Sanderson-Steelheart
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter adaptation Theodora Goss
Stranger in a Strange Land adaptation
Supergirl movie adaptation
Superior adaptation Mark Millar
The Talisman adaptation Stephen King Peter Straub Josh Boone
The Telling Ursula K. Le Guin adaptation
Temeraire TV adaptation Peter Jackson Naomi Novik
Sleeping Giants adaptation Sylvain Neuvel
The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
These Broken Stars Amie Kaufman Megan Spooner adaptation
This Savage Song film adaptation
Time Salvager adaptation
The Time Traveler's Wife Audrey Niffenegger
Trees Warren Ellis adaptation
The Underwater Welder Jeff Lemire adaptation Ryan Gosling
Unearthed adaptation
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress movie adaptation Uprising Bryan Singer
Uprooted Naomi Novik
The Vampire Chronicles optioned Anne Rice
The War of the Worlds TV adaptation MTV H.G. Wells Teen Wolf creator
Five Books About Prophecy The Demon Cycle Peter V. Brett The Warded Man
Warrior Nun adaptation
The Warriors book adaptation TV Russo brothers
Discworld The Watch TV adaptation
Watchdog adaptation Will McIntosh
Way Down Dark adaptation
Brandon Sanderson The Way of Kings Cosmere adaptation DMG Entertainment
We Are All Completely Fine adaptation Daryl Gregory
We Have Always Lived in the Castle adaptation Sebastian Stan
Wee Free Men Pratchett adaptation movie Rhianna Pratchett
Wheel of Time TV pilot adaptation rumors statement
Who Fears Death optioned TV adaptation HBO George R.R. Martin Nnedi Okorafor
Wild Cards TV adaptation George R.R. Martin Melinda Snodgrass
Wildwood adaptation Colin Meloy LAIKA
The Witch Boy adaptation Molly Knox Ostertag
Witchblade TV adaptation
Truthwitch weather magic Windwitch
Wool Hugh Howey adaptation Nicole Perlman
The Wrong Grave Kelly Link short film
Xanth TV film adaptation Piers Anthony
Zero K adaptation Don DeLillo FX
Zita the Spacegirl adaptation Ben Hatke Fox Animation
Black Widow standalone movie rumored
The 100 season 5 finale
Altered Carbon teaser trailer Netflix adaptation television Richard K. Morgan cyberpunk noir Takeshi Kovacs
Castle Rock Stephen King anthology series trailer NYCC 2017
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina teaser Netflix reboot adaptation Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa witch happy birthday
The City and the City
Marvel Cloak and Dagger trailer Tandy Tyrone
Deadly Class TV adaptation trailer
A Discovery of Witches
Fear the Walking Dead season 4b trailer SDCC 2018
The Flash season 4 teaser trailer SDCC 2017
The Handmaid's Tale 209 "Smart Power" television review
Jessica Jones season 2 teaser International Women's Day March 8
Legion season 3
Man in the High Castle season 3 trailer
Midnight, Texas Charlaine Harris
Mr. Mercedes TV adaptation
Outlander season 4 trailer New World Drums of Autumn Diana Gabaldon Jamie Claire
The Passage TV adaptation Justin Cronin
Preacher season 2 trailer
Riverdale The CW adaptation
Roswell, New Mexico reboot pilot television review NYCC 2018 The CW
Runaways season 2 premiere "Gimmie Shelter" television review nonspoiler
Supergirl season 3 trailer SDCC 2017
The Umbrella Academy teaser Netflix
The Walking Dead season 9 trailer SDCC 2018
Young Justice: Outsiders trailer adaptation

Slide Rules and Nuclear Apocalypse


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People often fear (or dislike, or get stressed out about) change—in culture, in fandom, in fiction, in science… and they like to make their displeasure known. For the record, I find complaining that the inexorable passage of time has transformed fandom or other realities as ludicrous as assessing people by their preferences in slide rules… but I suppose shouting at clouds fills the empty hours.

Still, it must be said: slide rules are pretty cool and way important to the history of science fiction, as evidenced by the ray gun and slide rule toting space pirate on the cover of Astounding Science Fiction.

Like so many of us, I cut my teeth on a Pickett. Pickett made fine slide rules and I still know where mine is. Hence you may be surprised to discover that the slide rule I have used most often was not one of my Picketts. It ...

When Even a Delightful Dragon Can’t Quite Cover Up the Misogyny: The White Dragon, Part Two


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For the most part, Anne McCaffrey’s first few Pern books had focused on humans, not dragons. Indeed, the Harper Hall Trilogy (the side trilogy written for a young adult audience) had barely included dragons at all, instead focusing on Harpers—the entertainers, teachers, journalists and spies of Pern—and fire-lizards, the adorable little miniature dragons who made such delightful pets. That changed in The White Dragon, where, for the first time, McCaffrey allowed a dragon to be a central character.

Mostly because, as the second part of The White Dragon emphasizes, Ruth is an unusually talented dragon.

In this second section, Jaxom’s ongoing, unauthorized attempts to train Ruth to chew firestone keep getting interrupted by pesky little things like, you know, responsibilities—this shortly after Jaxom spent a significant amount of time complaining that no one was giving him any responsibilities. As I think I mentioned last time, Jaxom is not the ...

Clones Are For Educating: 12 Times SFF Characters Trained Their Own Duplicates


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Whether you’ve got a replica, a doppelgänger, or a straight-up clone, having a duplicate of some sort certainly helps you move through life a little bit easier, from a temporary stand-in to a more permanent kind of donor. But they have to know how to successfully emulate their source material, right? Which means that you probably have to train them up. Here are a few of those times that training your duplicate (knowingly or unintentionally, closely or indirectly) came in handy…

 

Battlestar Galactica’s Cylons

Battlestar Galactica training duplicates clones Cylons Number Eights

Screenshot: Syfy

When your entire society is made up of only 12 models, the average Cylon is bound to run into dozens of others with their face, if not their identical personality. The Number Six and Number Eight models in particular find that they range from sweet to savage, empathetic to humanity’s struggle or fervently worshipping the Cylon cause. To manage these disparate personas, ...

The Murders of Molly Southbourne The Survival of Molly Southbourne Tade Thompson
training duplicates Never Let Me Go clones organ donors
training duplicates clones The Island

4 SF Works Featuring a Far-Future U.S.A.


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From the perspective of a foreigner, there’s a baffling lacuna in American science fiction.

The U.S. has moats on three sides, an arctic desert to the north and a somewhat warmer desert to the South. It outnumbers its immediate neighbours; those times it has actually lost wars have been erased from memory; and yet…in SF, it’s a nation doomed to splinter, to be crushed by enemy troops, scorched off the face of the Earth, or absorbed into a bland world state. It’s been supine under the unstoppable might of Grand Fenwick, streamlined thanks to rapacious Canadian imperialists benefactors, or covered in ineradicable crab-grass.

Isn’t it possible that the U.S. might turn out to be as durable as Rome, China, or Ancient Egypt? That something continuous with the United States could be puttering around in the 45th century? I have wracked my fannish brain for examples of such ...

Greed as a Universal Constant: Trader to the Stars by Poul Anderson


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In this bi-weekly series reviewing classic science fiction and fantasy books, Alan Brown looks at the front lines and frontiers of the field: books about soldiers and spacers, scientists and engineers, explorers and adventurers. Stories full of what Shakespeare used to refer to as “alarums and excursions”: battles, chases, clashes, and the stuff of excitement.

There are plenty of science fiction stories about soldiers, spacers, scientists, engineers, explorers, and adventurers, but not so many about merchants and traders. However, you could always count on Poul Anderson to do something different—he was a “Swiss Army Knife” kind of writer, with a wide variety of capabilities. He wrote both science fiction and fantasy, and his heroes filled pretty much every niche listed above. Anderson’s “Technic History” was a consistent backdrop for stories set over centuries, and of the most interesting periods in that history was when mankind was first spreading out among ...