June 24th, 2017

Posted by Germain Lussier

Full reviews won’t be posted until next week, but Sony lifted the social media embargo for press who have seen Spider-Man: Homecoming moments ago, and the first results are (for the most part) encouraging.


June 23rd, 2017

Posted by Germain Lussier

A young man’s father heads off into space to look for intelligent life. He never returns. Decades later, that young man decides to journey across the galaxy in search of his father. That’s rumored to be the plot of a new scifi film called Ad Astra, and writer-director James Gray just landed his second star.


Posted by Cheryl Eddy

The title of Scorch Motion’s short, Life Without Stuff, suggests a solid anti-consumerist philosophy—something everyone, not just hoarders, could probably stand to embrace. Unless, of course, that “stuff” happens to be very much in use and necessary when it suddenly disappears. Poof!


posted by [syndicated profile] io9_feed at 04:40pm on 23/06/2017

Posted by Rae Paoletta on Gizmodo, shared by Cheryl Eddy to io9

Over the last few months, SpaceX has out-SpaceX-ed itself in the best way possible: it’s launched an already used rocket into orbit (and landed it), ferried up a spy satellite, and even flown a recycled Dragon spacecraft. But this weekend, the aerospace company will tackle a new challenge: two launches within 48…


Posted by Maddie Stone on Gizmodo, shared by Cheryl Eddy to io9

Hutchinson, Kansas isn’t the kind of place you’d wind up if you weren’t looking to. The placid prairie town sits a solid hour’s drive south of I-70, the interstate that most travelers use to blow across 425 miles of Kansas cornfield and cattle pasture as quickly as possible. But as soon as I entered the silver-roofed…


Posted by Charles Pulliam-Moore

Last week, a casting call for Fox’s upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix made its way onto the internet and dropped a few hints about which new mutants are going to be in the film. The roles were listed under production names to keep their identities hidden, but now we know that “Brittany” was code for Dazzler.


Posted by James Whitbrook and Andrew Liszewski

Welcome back to Toy Aisle, io9's weekly round up of all things merchandise. This week we’ve got even more San Diego Comic-Con exclusives to drool over, some new Lego from the upcoming Ninjago movie, and the best plastic recreation of Bruce Campbell’s face the world has ever seen. Really!


Posted by John Scalzi

Hey, did you know I’m currently writing a novel? I am! It’s called Head On, and it’s coming out in ten months. Also, it’s not done yet, and the deadline is real soon now. I need to make some real progress on it in the next few weeks or else my editor will give me highly disapproving looks. Which would be no good. My problem is that whenever I make any real progress and take a break to see what’s going on in the news, it looks like this:


And, well. That’s not great for my focus.

The world is not going to stop being like this anytime in the near future, alas, but I still need to get my work done, and soon.

So: From now until the book is done, my plan is to avoid the news as much as possible, and also, to the extent I do see news, to avoid writing about it in any significant detail. Tweets? Maybe. 1,000+ word posts here? Probably not.

Note that I’m going to fail in avoiding the news entirely — I live in the world, and next week I’ll be at Denver Comic Con, which means that at the very least in the airport CNN is going to come at me, and anyway whichever way the Senate plan to murder the ACA falls out, I’m pretty sure I’m gonna know about it. Be that as it may I’m going to make an effort to keep as much of it out of my brain as possible.

Incidentally, yes, just in case you were wondering, this is confirmation that at least one of your favorite writers — me! — finds it hard to get work done in these days of the world being on fire. “The art of the Trump era is going to be so lit!” people have said. Dudes, when you’re worried about friends losing access to health care and American democracy being dug out from below because the general GOP attitude to the immense corruption and bigotry of the Trump administration is “lol, as long as we get to kick the poor,” just to list two things about 2017, the creative process is harder to get into, and stay inside of. I’m not the only one I know who is dealing with this right now.

But the work still needs to get done — and not just for you folks. I like getting caught up in my work. It feels good when the writing is moving along.

So, again: News break.

This doesn’t necessarily mean fewer Whatever posts over the next few weeks, since I’ll have July Big Idea pieces and other posts in the pipeline. It does mean the posts that show up probably won’t touch much on world/national news or politics.

I mean, I hope they won’t. But I also know this is a thing, especially with me:

So. I will try to be strong.

Also, when the book is done, oh, how I shall opine.

In the meantime, I don’t suspect you will have difficulty finding other opinions on news and political events. It’s called “the Internet.” You may have heard of it.

Posted by Charles Pulliam-Moore

Each of DC and Warner Bros.’ Justice League/Looney Tunes crossovers have struck a delicate balance between slapstick comedy and classic superhero action that ends up making all of the characters involved more interesting. In the upcoming Batman/Elmer Fudd special, though, things get vewy, vewy dark.


Posted by Riley MacLeod on The Muse, shared by Cheryl Eddy to io9

I’m filing out of New York’s Atlantic Theater, where I’ve just seen British mentalist Derren Brown perform his first American stage show, Secret. Around me, people are trying to work out how the two hours of tricks were done. I keep fidgeting, checking my phone—anything not to eavesdrop. With Brown’s work, and magic…


Posted by Katharine Trendacosta

So it’s come to this. Blade Runner fans have debated for decades whether or not Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) was a replicant. And they’ve debated whether or not there even was an answer in the movie at all. They’ve debated who to believe. And when Blade Runner 2049 directed Denis Villeneuve said that there wouldn’t be…


Posted by Beth Elderkin

Game of Thrones has made quite a few changes from its source material— including, in some cases, moving past the books entirely. A recent data analysis of Game of Thrones shows the series’ biggest surprise: how important it’s made Cersei Lannister.


Posted by Germain Lussier

The first season of AMC’s Preacher took a decidedly different turn from the comics it was based on. It was essential a prequel, leading up to the events of the first issue, setting the tone and introducing the characters in a uniquely manic and violent world. It was a big risk. Now that season two is about to…


Posted by ScienceBlog.com

NASA's Webb Telescope Gets Freezing Summertime Lodging in HoustonEngineers will perform the test to prove that the telescope can operate in space at these temperatures. Chamber A will simulate an environment where the telescope will experience extreme cold — around 37 Kelvin (minus ... Read more

Posted by ScienceBlog.com

Tech generates origami patterns for any 3-D structureIn a 1999 paper, Erik Demaine — now an MIT professor of electrical engineering and computer science, but then an 18-year-old PhD student at the University of Waterloo, in Canada — described an algorithm that ... Read more

Posted by Charles Pulliam-Moore

As much as die-hard fans go to bat for Fox’s X-Men movie franchise, there’s a general consensus that the studio has largely missed the mark when it comes to translating certain characters’ comic book costume designs to the big screen. Sir Ian McKellan wants that to change.


posted by [syndicated profile] tor_dot_com_feed at 05:30pm on 23/06/2017

Posted by Leanna Renee Hieber

In this ongoing series, we ask SF/F authors to describe a specialty in their lives that has nothing (or very little) to do with writing. Join us as we discover what draws authors to their various hobbies, how they fit into their daily lives, and how and they inform the author’s literary identity!

I was one of those renaissance-artsy kids, always obsessively creating things. Writing when I barely knew how to construct sentences, drawing, sculpting, singing, dancing, dressing-up; I was engaged in storytelling in every possible way from my earliest understanding of human expression. My wonderful, tolerant college professor parents knew they had a compulsively creative soul on their hands, but they couldn’t have expected some of the obsessions that went along with that restlessly creative spirit.

I showed an early interest in and love of birds. They were always my favorite animals. My first word was “bird,” uttered while sitting atop a stone eagle at my father’s alma mater. I love winged, feathered creatures, real and mythical—to me, they have always represented magic, freedom, and limitless possibility. When I was given the Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds around age 8 or 9, I began to understand birding as a science. I memorized the whole guide, bird by bird (just like Anne Lamott’s great writer’s guide), and began my “life list,” marking down all the birds I’d seen.

I learned the word ornithology and began to consider myself an ornithologist in training. My parents got me a subscription to Cornell University’s incredible magazine Living Bird and I assumed I’d attend college there as they have the leading ornithology department in the nation. I developed a keen eye for bird-like details in all kinds of surroundings. My mind stored increasing amounts of bird facts and calls, flight patterns and silhouettes. My eyes and heart were trained and attuned to these fragile, beautiful, majestic, miraculous, hollow-boned beings.

Birds have always been a symbol of the soul for me. In all kinds of traditions and mythologies, birds are seen as messengers and conduits to the heavens. As I’ve always been drawn to deeply spiritual narratives and symbols, birds became an extension of my thoughts on the soul and its ability to be more than just an entity within a body; an essence that could sometimes float and fly out from its bounds. Limitless possibility.

My love of ghost stories, of reading them and dreaming them up, of telling them around Girl Scout campfires, crested during this time of heavy ornithological obsession, likely due to that crystalizing sense of self and soul. I began to consider different birds as symbols for different spiritual and emotional states, birds as both signs of departed souls and creatures bearing tidings from the beyond. I’ve always lived in a pleasant openness with divine mystery. The infinite, unfathomable wonder of the world flits in and out of my notice like a lark or a hummingbird, sometimes swooping into my consciousness like a raptor or soaring dreamily out over open water like a gull.

My love of the arts eventually outweighed my obsession with the migratory patterns of sparrows and the call of my storytelling wilds drowned out the gentle, rasping chirps of chickadees. However I’ve never lost sight of my first great love. Birds play roles in all my work, as both characters and symbols. They often grace the covers of my books: the mythic phoenix graces Perilous Prophecy and ravens adorn all my Eterna Files. They appear as familiars, messengers, and harbingers. Much of my work takes metaphoric or literal flight, and I owe that to the creatures that have remained the keys to my heart.

I remain tied to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology as a constant supporter and modest donor; I am a member of NYC’s Audubon Society and love how the group tailors its love of birds and avid bird-watching to New York City living (there are many opportunities to be a birder in the big city!). I celebrate the vital environmental studies and legislative victories these institutions fight for and I worry for the fate of so many native species undergoing the threats of climate change. Birds are one of the first indicators of climate trends, problems, and changes. Canaries in the coal mines of our world, they are precious jewels we must take care of.

In these dark and oft trying times, it remains all the more vital to reach both inwards and outwards towards inspiration, to what’s not only within us as our great passions but what can be protected and treasured in the outside world. I invite you to look around you to find the symbols, icons, beings and creations that most inspire and excite you, and see what messages and meaning they have for you.

Leanna Renee Hieber is the author of The Eterna Files and Eterna and Omega. Perilous Prophecy is a standalone prequel to Strangely Beautiful. Rarely seen out of Victorian garb, Hieber has won several Prism Awards and was a finalist for the Daphne Du Maurier Award. A talented actor and singer, Hieber has appeared on stage and screen, including episodes of Boardwalk Empire, and regularly leads ghost tours in New York City.

Posted by John Scalzi

If you’re a fan of the Midnight Star video games I helped create, here’s something fun for you: John Shirley, legendary writer and lyricist, has written “Purgatorio,” a serialized story set in the Midnight Star universe. He’s written it for Bound, a new company (and iOS app) specializing in serialized fiction. Which is pretty cool.

And, it’s the first time someone’s done media tie-in work for a universe I helped to create. Which is also pretty damn cool, if you ask me.

Here’s the post on Bound’s site talking about the story. If you have an iOS device you can also download the app there.

posted by [syndicated profile] ao3_news_feed at 01:08pm on 23/06/2017

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posted by [syndicated profile] jim_hines_feed at 03:18pm on 23/06/2017