The tales of this book explore and extend the world established by the Earthsea novels—yet each stands on its own. It contains the novella “The Finder”, and the short stories “The Bones of the Earth”, “Darkrose and Diamond”, “On the High Marsh”, and “Dragonfly”. (Book 5 of the Earthsea cycle) [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: OUTLAW Rewatch Season 5, Ep 19
Re-rewatch! Gor is a desert planet where few people wear much clothes, and our hero Tarl Cabot ("Cabot? Cabot!") travels there from Earth via mystic jewelry, although he doesn't encounter their famous houseplants. Watch our for Jack Palance crapping bigger than any of us. Verily it is a toobular boobular joy! Previously and again.
In the grand tradition of Russian fantasy films comes a new version of the supernatural legend of The Viy, written by Nicolai Gogol. An eighteenth century English cartographer sets out on a journey to map the uncharted lands of Transylvania, only to discover the dark secrets and dangerous creatures hidden in a cursed, fantastical Romanian forest. Streaming on Amazon Prime. Note: this is a bad movie. [more inside]
Years before, they had escaped together from the sinister Tombs of Atuan—Tenar, an isolated young priestess, and Ged, a powerful wizard. Now she is a farmer's widow, having chosen for herself the simple pleasures of an ordinary life. And he is a broken old man, mourning the powers lost to him not by choice. A lifetime ago, they helped each other at a time of darkness and danger. Now they must join forces again, to help another—the physically and emotionally scarred child whose own destiny remains to be revealed. (Book 4 of the Earthsea cycle) [more inside]
Darkness threatens to overtake Earthsea. As the world and its wizards are losing their magic, Ged—powerful Archmage, wizard, and dragonlord—embarks on a sailing journey with the highborn young prince, Arren. They travel far beyond the realm of death to discover the cause of these evil disturbances and to restore magic to a land desperately thirsty for it. (Book 3 of the Earthsea cycle) [more inside]
The Watch: The What? Books Included Season 1, Ep 3
The Watch goes undercover in order to infiltrate The Assassins Guild. [more inside]
The Watch: A Near Vimes Experience Season 1, Ep 1
Capt. Sam Vimes' life of drinking and being fairly useless is interrupted when a supposedly dead figure from his past returns to Ankh-Morpork. Inspired by the work of Sir Terry Prachett. [more inside]
Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser discuss the tension between wage labor and freedom. Fafhrd finds religion. The Mouser tries his hand at career a in organized crime and gets bumped up into a supervisory role. They make a detour from Nehwon to explore the Levant. They see more of Ningauble's ocular organs than anyone should be comfortable with. [more inside]
Tenar is chosen as high priestess to the ancient and nameless Powers of the Earth, and everything is taken from her—home, family, possessions, even her name. She is now known only as Arha, the Eaten One, and guards the shadowy, labyrinthine Tombs of Atuan. Then a wizard, Ged, comes to steal the Tombs’ greatest hidden treasure, the Ring of Erreth-Akbe. Tenar’s duty is to protect the Ring, but Ged possesses the light of magic and tales of a world that Tenar has never known. Will Tenar risk everything to escape from the darkness that has become her domain? (Book 2 of the Earthsea cycle) [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD Rewatch Season 5, Ep 5
Rewatch! As multiple observers note, "That's not Sinbad!" It isn't. It's Sadko, a movie production of what was originally an opera, although there are no songs here. The main character was renamed Sinbad because he had better name recognition. All the same, this is an excellent episode of our favorite cowtown puppet show. Previously
I'm thinking monthly for the remaining five books, but I'm open to other ideas. [more inside]
Ged was the greatest sorcerer in Earthsea, but in his youth he was the reckless Sparrowhawk. In his hunger for power and knowledge, he tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tumultuous tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death's threshold to restore the balance. (Book 1 of the Earthsea cycle) [more inside]
We learn the early history of the legendary fantasy pair: The reader is introduced to a young Fafhrd and a young, as yet untitled, Gray Mouser. Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser are introduced to each other. Everyone is introduced to the great city of Lankhmar. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE DAY THE EARTH FROZE Rewatch Season 4, Ep 22
Rewatch! For a change a fairly charming, fairy-tale-like Russo-Finnish production, a story from the Kalevala having to do with the SAMPO. Still a pretty riffable movie though! Previously
Do people think there's a way to get an OK discussion of Fritz Lieber's Fafhrd/Mouser stories on FanFare? There are definitely problematic elements scattered through them that make me uncertain about even trying. [more inside]
This is about a young woman whose magical abilities are entirely related to bread dough. She can make gingerbread men dance. Her familiar is a sourdough starter. Her peaceful life in interrupted when she sees a corpse in the bakery. I haven't been pulled into a book so thoroughly in a long time. It's got tremendous amounts of plot twists and good sense. T. Kingfisher is Ursula Vernon's pseudonym. She couldn't find a publisher for it after 10 years, so it's self-published. Apparently it's somewhat sideways from standard YA fiction. [more inside]
The Boys: What I Know Season 2, Ep 8
The Boys (and two girls) finally go after Homelander and Stormfront head on. But things don't go as planned when Butcher is forced to make, Atrain and Deep come to a collective decision, and new super villain pops up. [more inside]
Would anyone be interested in a reread of Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea cycle? [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE MAGIC SWORD Rewatch Season 4, Ep 11
Rewatch! One of Bert I. Gordon's better efforts, a fairy-tale-like story involving Basil Rathbone as an evil wizard, Estelle Winwood as a friendly witch, and a prince trying to rescue a princess from a dragon, and a traitorous knight, and curses and swords and stuff. Roll for initiative! Previously
The Boys: Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker Show Only Season 2, Ep 7
Butcher has a family reunion, Mallory and The Boys prepare for Congressional hearing against Vought but a surprise pops in on that, and Lamplighter gives Hughie a hand with a Starlight problem. Meanwhile, Homelander and Stormfront continue their master plan.
The Boys: The Bloody Doors Off Show Only Season 2, Ep 6
When The Boys and Starlight follow a lead to Vought's mysterious Sage Grove Center, they find one of Vought's darkest secrets - and someone even darker from their past. Meanwhile Homelander and Stormfront's relationship deepens.
The Boys: We Gotta Go Now Show Only Season 2, Ep 5
Butcher has no more intentions to fight with Sups but Black Noir traced his location and found him what will he do now? Sups are shooting a film name - #Dawn Of The Seven. Homelander and Stormfront have a meeting of the minds and powers.
The Boys: Nothing Like It in the World Show Only Season 2, Ep 4
Road trip! The Boys head to North Carolina to follow a lead on a mysterious Supe named Liberty. And did you know a person's choice of candy bars might tell you if they're a serial killer? Watch and learn the warning signs! This episode could save your life!
The Boys: The Big Ride Show Only Season 2, Ep 1
With Butcher still missing, Hughie, Mother's Milk, Frenchie, and Kimiko are now fugitives, and Homelander and Vought are more powerful than ever. But just as the Boys are about to leave the country, they are pulled back into the fray. [more inside]
Written by Neal Stephenson and published in 1999. Two groups of characters, one from the late thirties and forties and one in the then present-day ~1999 (a few who are descendants of the earlier group) involve themselves with codes, codebreaking, and Axis war gold, among other things. [more inside]
The second volume of Tamsyn Muir's Locked Tomb trilogy. [more inside]
The final installment of the Daevabad Trilogy picks up exactly where the last book left off. Nahri and Ali surface on the Nile while Manizheh and Dara now have control of Daevabad. [more inside]
The Order: Season Two Season 2, Ep 0
The Knights debate whether they are war-wolves or were-locks while trying to take down the Order from the inside.
Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story. Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math. Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet. Godhood is attainable. Pray it isn’t attained.
Based off of the song with the same title by Clipping. The water-breathing descendants of African slave women tossed overboard have built their own underwater society—and must reclaim the memories of their past to shape their future.
An adventurous 11-year-old girl finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home, but it has sinister secrets. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: CAVE DWELLERS Rewatch Season 3, Ep 1
Rewatch! The first classic episode in a season of classic episodes, a dull old guy ("Akronos") living in a prehistoric time is attacked by a John Saxon-type ("Zor") over a "geometric nucleus," so he sends his daughter Mila, who wears a hubcap on her chest, to go fetch Ator and his faithful male companion ("Thong," really) to save him. Mila impresses Ator by demonstrating her knowledge of the chemistry of human filth. The titular cave dwellers are only a stop-off point halfway through the film, there's a snake puppet, and an unexpected appearance by a hang glider. The whole thing is ridiculous. It's indicative of how disjointed this movie is that, despite it being a classic episode and one of my favorites, I still had to look up the names of the old guy, the bad guy and the girl! This movie is actually the sequel to the movie used in the last episode of Season 12. Previously
I just went through the book posts for the last three months. There's lots of books I'm considering reading, and one book I read a while ago but don't remember well enough to do deep insightful commentary. In order to get more synchronicity on this, does anyone want to start a book club? Or even a couple in different genres? I would love a romance, science fiction, fantasy and/or nonfiction book club.
Onna can write the parameters of a spell faster than any of the young men in her village school. But despite her incredible abilities, she’s denied a place at the nation’s premier arcane academy. Tsira is a troll who never quite fit into her clan, despite being the leader’s daughter. She decides to strike out on her own and look for work in a human city, but on her way she stumbles upon the body of a half-dead human soldier in the snow. As she slowly nurses him back to health, an unlikely bond forms between them, one that is tested when an unknown mage makes an attempt on Tsira’s life. Soon, unbeknownst to each other, Onna and Tsira both begin devoting their considerable talents to finding out who is targeting trolls before their homeland is torn apart.
Every great city has a soul. Some are ancient as myths, and others as new and destructive as children. New York City? She's got six. [more inside]
The great city of Alt Coulumb is in crisis. The moon goddess Seril, long thought dead, is back--and the people of Alt Coulumb aren't happy. Protests rock the city, and Kos Everburning's creditors attempt a hostile takeover of the fire god's church. Tara Abernathy, the god's in-house Craftswoman, must defend the church against the world's fiercest necromantic firm--and against her old classmate, a rising star in the Craftwork world. [more inside]
Deathstalker II is a fun and tongue-in-cheek 80's style fantasy movie, although it does have much more nude female flesh than people may appreciate. It's borderline porn. Lots of ridiculous stuff in this one: the movie doesn't take itself seriously at all. It's "MST Club Approved!" [more inside]
A god has died, and it’s up to Tara, first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, to bring Him back to life before His city falls apart. Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without Him, the metropolis’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot. [more inside]
Winter lasts most of the year at the edge of the Russian wilderness, and in the long nights, Vasilisa and her siblings love to gather by the fire to listen to their nurse’s fairy tales. [more inside]
Welcome back to crappy fantasy land, where our apes are bats, and our conquerors have Dad Bod. Previously - Also Previously
A man returns to the site of his childhood home where, years before, he knew a girl named Lettie Hempstock who showed him the most marvelous, dangerous, and outrageous things...
In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place. Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.
Five villains. One legendary general. A final quest for vengeance. In this grimdark fantasy epic, a former general queen has to get the gang back together for one last job. [more inside]
In the first book in a brilliant new fantasy series, books that aren't finished by their authors reside in the Library of the Unwritten in Hell, and it is up to the Librarian to track down any restless characters who emerge from those unfinished stories. [more inside]
In a world where terrifying, capricious gods once walked the earth, enslaving and brutalizing millions, three unforgettable protagonists struggle to come to terms with the mysteries these divinities left behind— and to make sure these cruel masters do not rise again.
From G. Willow Wilson (Ms. Marvel). Set in 1491 during the reign of the last sultanate in the Iberian peninsula, The Bird King is the story of Fatima, the only remaining Circassian concubine to the sultan, and her dearest friend Hassan, the palace mapmaker. Hassan has a secret--he can draw maps of places he's never seen and bend the shape of reality. When representatives of the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrive to negotiate the sultan's surrender, Fatima befriends one of the women, not realizing that she will see Hassan's gift as sorcery and a threat to Christian Spanish rule. With their freedoms at stake, what will Fatima risk to save Hassan and escape the palace walls?
(From the generic umbrella copy that autopopulates here for these books): The eleven stories, novellas, and novels in Return to Nevèrÿon's four volumes chronicle a long-ago land on civilization's brink, perhaps in Asia or Africa, or... Flight from Neverÿon was largely written in 1983 and 1984 and first published in 1985. The book consists of two shorter stories and one novel, “The Tale of Plagues and Carnivals”, Delany’s response to the AIDS crisis, and is notable as possibly the first published fictional work taking AIDS as its catalyst and subject. [more inside]
(This is for the first book, see below) In his four-volume series Return to Nevèrÿon, Hugo and Nebula award-winner Samuel R. Delany appropriated the conceits of sword-and-sorcery fantasy to explore his characteristic themes of language, power, gender, and the nature of civilization. Wesleyan University Press has reissued the long-unavailable Nevèrÿon volumes in trade paperback. The eleven stories, novellas, and novels in Return to Nevèrÿon's four volumes chronicle a long-ago land on civilization's brink, perhaps in Asia or Africa, or... [more inside]
From Ta-Nehisi Coates, the National Book Award–winning author of Between the World and Me, a boldly conjured debut novel about a magical gift, a devastating loss, and an underground war for freedom.
In his four-volume series Return to Nevèrÿon, Hugo and Nebula award-winner Samuel R. Delany appropriated the conceits of sword-and-sorcery fantasy to explore his characteristic themes of language, power, gender, and the nature of civilization. Wesleyan University Press has reissued the long-unavailable Nevèrÿon volumes in trade paperback. The eleven stories, novellas, and novels in Return to Nevèrÿon's four volumes chronicle a long-ago land on civilization's brink, perhaps in Asia or Africa... [more inside]