A small-town baker uses her magic to confront a post–vampire apocalypse world in this award-winning urban fantasy Neil Gaiman called “pretty much perfect.” Although it had been mostly deserted since the Voodoo Wars, there hadn’t been any trouble out at the lake for years. Rae Seddon, nicknamed Sunshine, head baker at her family’s busy and popular café in downtown New Arcadia, needed a place to get away from all the noise and confusion—of the clientele and her family. Just for a few hours. Just...
The Pacific Ocean is a big thing to steal, and Quietly's roommate Imani never does anything small. But then Imani goes and dies, and Quietly is left to travel to the Under-Ath (the underworld beneath Athens, Georgia), with angry gods at her heels, to clean up the mess Imani left behind and try to rescue her friend. [more inside]
The traitor Baru Cormorant is now the cryptarch Agonist―a secret lord of Falcrest, the authoritarian Empire of Masks she's vowed to destroy. [more inside]
The Dragon Prince: Season 1 Season 1, Ep 0
Two human princes who forge an unlikely bond with the elfin assassin sent to kill them, embarking on an epic quest to bring peace to their warring lands. [more inside]
Disenchantment: The First (?) Season Season 1, Ep 0
Matt Groening returns to TV (well, Netflix) with a fantasy-based, more serialized story than his previous work. [more inside]
Miryem, the daughter of a softhearted moneylender in a small village in Lithvus, takes over her father's business to keep her family from starving. As she steps into this role effectively, she attracts the notice of an Old One, a powerful Staryk lord from a kingdom of winter and magic, who presses her to spin silver into gold for him. The ensuing action draws in two other young women pushing at the limits of the roles they were born in--Wanda, a farmgirl from Miryem's village, and Irina, a duke's daughter with her own connection to magical beings--along with a prosperous Jewish family in the large city Vyšnia, the tsar himself, and a wide range of characters with a keen interest in how long winter will last, from squirrels to powerful beings of magic. [more inside]
A shameless chauvinist gets a taste of his own medicine when he wakes up in a world dominated by women and locks horns with a powerful female author. [more inside]
Charlie receives a golden ticket to a factory, his sweet tooth wants going into the lushing candy, it turns out there's an adventure in everything. [more inside]
A reluctant dwarf must play a critical role in protecting a special baby from an evil queen. [more inside]
The City and the City: miniseries Season 1, Ep 0
Two cities with a dangerous and volatile relationship. [more inside]
An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown. [more inside]
There can only be one. [more inside]
A paraplegic marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: MERLIN'S SHOP OF MYSTICAL WONDERS Season 10, Ep 3
"In a world where magic truly exists, anything can happen." What if... someone made a movie like The Princess Bride, except instead of Peter Falk he could only get Ernest Borgnine, and instead of a charming and witty tale he had two mediocre made-for-TV fantasy-horror movies, and the kid instead of going to sleep with dreams of high adventure and romance was instead left with nightmares of demonic familiars and cursed deadly toy monkeys? In a world where schlock truly exists anything can happen. I love this one, it's all so bizarre and inexplicable. It's easy to make fun of Ernest Borgnine (hell, I do it too) but he had a long career and seemed like a good guy. In subplot land Pearl performs an experiment on Mike and co. for the Mad Science accreditation board. Taste the rainbow of fruit pain! Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders is available on YouTube. Premiered September 12, 1999. By the way: this was the last new episode of MST3K to appear on the Sci-Fi channel, actually showing after the series conclusion. Ten episodes left. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: QUEST OF THE DELTA KNIGHTS Season 9, Ep 13
"In an age of swords and sorcery, one young hero holds the key to infinite wisdom--and ultimate power." Not any sorcery, actually. Somewhere in the medieval nation of Europe, a young boy is sold as a slave but bought/rescued by "Baydool," who works for the "Delta Knights," against the villainous "Vultare," who works for "The Mannerjay." They're trying to find the lost treasure of Archimedes, Leonardo da Vinci is with them--if you try to make sense of when or where this film happened you'll go crazy. Roll for initiative! This is an underrated episode I think. The movie's got a crazy premise, the settings seem like they came from a LARP, and it just opens itself to riffing, which is nice after a couple of numbing episodes. Host segments are also great, with the "Loaner AMC Crow," another of Servo's chorus performances, and Pearl doing the riffing for the first quarter of the episode. This is the end of Season Nine of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Assembled people and robots, we have entered the home stretch. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered September 26, 1998. 13 episodes left. [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Return to Skyfire Season 5, Ep 8
Official FOX synopsis: "When Terry’s favorite author, DC Parlov (guest star Fred Melamed), returns to the precinct because his latest manuscript was stolen, Terry and Jake convince Rosa to go undercover with them at a fantasy fiction convention to find the culprit. As drama ensues between Parlov and another writer (guest star Rob Huebel), Terry admits that he’s been writing a book of his own. Back at the precinct, Holt, Amy and Charles take a forensics course, but Charles’ big mouth gets him in trouble."
Mystery Science Theater 3000: JACK FROST Season 8, Ep 13
AKA "Morozko," or (stupidly) "Frosty." "All the magic of the winter-time wonder-maker to fascinate young and old!" A headstrong Russian guy gets into trouble with a mushroom sprite and his head's turned into that of a bear. Meanwhile a girl has parent issues and is abandoned in the woods. Can Father Frost get these two knuckleheads together? A throwback to the Russian movies of the Comedy Central era, it's another fairly good folktale adaptation made riffing fodder mostly through no fault of its own, the comedy coming from a dreamlike atmosphere, cultural barriers, and the fact that most folktales are pretty dang weird anyway. In the channel-mandated subplot, Pearl's still on her way back from dropping off the space children, leaving Brain Guy and Bobo to bond on Camping Planet. The word is that this movie is shown in some countries on TV around Christmastime, which may explain why it isn't on YouTube in entirety, although there is a 38-minute Best Of reel. If you can find it, it's a classic episode. Promo. Premiered July 12, 1997. [more inside]
Someone is dead set to air the spy agency’s dirty laundry in The Delirium Brief, the next installment to Mefi's Own Charles Stross’ Hugo Award-winning comedic dark fantasy Laundry Files series! [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: WIZARDS OF THE LOST KINGDOM II Season 11, Ep 11
"Across the Sea of Dreams... behind the Curtain of Time... lies the land of ultimate fantasy." I bet you weren't looking forward to another visit to the world of last week's movie. Good news, other than the name and executive producer Roger Corman, this movie has nothing to do with the first one! A shepherd who's also a wizard tries to save the world from bad wizards blah blah Tolkien Eddings Brooks. A lot of people think Part 1 was a highlight of the season, but many also think this is a lowlight, so beware guys. A subplot begins in this episode, with Kinga deciding to marry Jonah. And we have another visit from Pearl! Episode 1111 is available on Netflix. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: WIZARDS OF THE LOST KINGDOM I Season 11, Ep 10
"On The Far Edge Of Fantasy The Ultimate Conflict Is Drawing Near" Young wizard apprentice Simon is aided by an ambulatory hairball and Rowsdower the Conquerer in a bid to overthrow the evil wizard Sherpa. What, it's Sherka? Whatever. Lots of people have proclaimed this the best episode of Season 11, so get ready for some massive goofiness folks. In host segment news, a plot line develops that takes us to the end of the season. Yeah yeah, just don't let it get in the way of the riffing guys! Episode 1110 is available on Netflix. [more inside]
"The Most Action-Packed Deathstalker Yet!" A smug sword guy roams a standard fantasy realm trying to overthrow an evil wizard or something. General consensus is this is a terrific episode. The movie is deeply cheesy and bad, and yet the others in its series are just as bad but also contain tons more nudity, so count yer blessings! Plus great riffing, classic movie lines like "Potatoes are what we eat!", and a bunch of Lord of the Rings references before they were cool. Host segments take on Renaissance festivals and romance novels. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered February 17, 1996. [more inside]
Hugo and Nebula Award short-listed novel about the end of the world―and the beginning of our future. A sort of coming of age novel, philosophical exploration of nature and technology, action/adventure/romance with some bittersweet humor on top. [more inside]
Because of the actions of her irresponsible parents, a young girl is left alone on a decrepit country estate and survives inside her fantastic imagination.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE SWORD AND THE DRAGON Season 6, Ep 17
aka "Ilya Mourometz" (USSR) "Eye-Filling Spectacle! Man Against Monsters!" "A cast of 106,000! 11,000 horses!" Russian folk hero Ilya Muromets is a chair-bound farmer who gains both the power to walk and the magic sword Invincor, and uses both to drive off the evil Tugars that threaten his land -- whose number includes his son. For once the opening ad blurbs and descriptions of this film aren't sarcastic, for this is a genuinely great movie, the third both of MST's treatments of the output of Russian director Aleksandr Ptushko. (The other two were 422 THE DAY THE EARTH FROZE and 505 THE MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD.) Yet, while the movie is terrific, it's also very strange, which makes it excellent riffing fodder. Wait until you see the wind demon. It all adds up to a rare episode where you can appreciate both the film and the jokes. Also contains a favorite host segment, the "Joke by Ingmar Bergman." YouTube (1h37m) Premiered December 3, 1994. [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Skyfire Cycle Season 4, Ep 8
When Terry's all-time favorite fantasy author (guest star Fred Melamed) receives threats from a Sad Puppy-esque fan, Jake helps him overcome his jitters at meeting his hero to crack the case. Meanwhile: Gina launches an unstoppable charm offensive against Boyle's cousins; Amy and Rosa try to patch up a Monty Hall problem-related marital spat between Holt and Kevin. It's a nearly All-Previously-On-MeFi episode of B99!
In Seth Dickinson's highly-anticipated debut The Traitor Baru Cormorant, a young woman from a conquered people tries to transform an empire in this richly imagined geopolitical fantasy. [more inside]
Continuing the trilogy that began with the multi-award-nominated The Fifth Season. The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: OUTLAW Season 5, Ep 19
aka "Outlaw of Gor," "Gor II." "The Adventure of a Thousand Lifetimes Continues!" "Fuera de la Ley de GOR" While John Carter fell asleep in a cave and woke up on Mars, one thing author John Norman's creation Gor has over Burroughs' Barsoom books is that at least Tarl Cabot has a magic ring to explain his ridiculous translocation to Barbarian Planet. You know Barbarian Planet, it's a world based on one of those oft-written-about fantasy times that never really existed historically, but all kinds of folk like to imagine, from Howard to Gygax. Well, at least this version has Jack Palance! When this episode aired, the movie was just four years old! I'm not sure it ever got a release in theaters in the US. Although he did it under a pseudonym, the main screenwriter is the same Harry Alan Towers who did the screenplay for 323 THE CASTLE OF FU MANCHU. Fortunately this movie is tons more watchable, thanks to massive amounts of flesh (both male and female, it's an equal opportunity exhibitor) and excellent riffing. One of the host segments refers to all the skin, one of the best sketches and songs MST ever did: Tubular Boobular Joy. Notes on Gor itself are after the break. Official YouTube, with annotations! (1h32m) Premiered December 11, 1993. If you want to fill in the blanks with the movie this is a sequel to (may god have mercy on your soul), here it is! (1h30m) [more inside]
Deep below the University, there is a dark place. Few people know of it: a broken web of ancient passageways and abandoned rooms. A young woman lives there, tucked among the sprawling tunnels of the Underthing, snug in the heart of this forgotten place. Her name is Auri, and she is full of mysteries. The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a brief, bittersweet glimpse of Auri’s life, a small adventure all her own. At once joyous and haunting, this story offers a chance to see the world through Auri’s eyes. And it gives the reader a chance to learn things that only Auri knows.
My name is Kvothe. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me... So begins the tale of a hero told from his own point of view—a story unequalled in fantasy literature.
The riveting first-person narrative of a young man who grows to be the most notorious magician his world has ever seen. From his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime- ridden city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that transports readers into the body and mind of a wizard. It is a high-action novel written with a poet's hand, a powerful coming-of-age story of a magically gifted young man, told through his eyes: to read this book is to be the hero.
The armies of the Dark Lord Sauron are massing as his evil shadow spreads even wider. Men, Dwarves, Elves and Ents unite forces to do battle against the Dark. Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam struggle further into Mordor, guided by the treacherous creature Gollum, in their heroic quest to destroy the One Ring…
Frodo and the Companions of the Ring have been beset by danger during their quest to prevent the Ruling Ring from falling into the hands of the Dark Lord by destroying it in the Cracks of Doom. They have lost the wizard, Gandalf, in the battle with an evil spirit in the Mines of Moria; and at the Falls of Rauros, Boromir, seduced by the power of the Ring, tried to seize it by force. While Frodo and Sam made their escape the rest of the company were attacked by Orcs. Now they continue their journey alone down the great River Anduin – alone, that is, save for the mysterious creeping figure that follows wherever they go.
Continuing the story begun in The Hobbit, this is the first part of Tolkien’s epic masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, featuring a striking black cover based on Tolkien’s own design, the definitive text, and a detailed map of Middle-earth. Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power – the means by which he intends to rule Middle-earth. All he lacks in his plans for dominion is the One Ring – the ring that rules them all – which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.
For Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry's seeing dollar signs. But where there's black magic, there's a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry's name.
From the bitter quest of the Queen of Longtrellis, to two mysterious sisters who provoke the passion of a king, to the King of Highhills obsessed with a giant Flea, these tales are inspired by the fairytales by Giambattista Basile. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD Season 5, Ep 5
"All the Magic of 'Stone Flower' All the Power of 'Alexander Nevsky' All the Artistry of 'Grand Concert' Highly Recommended for Children" A strangely Russian Sinbad, upset with corruption in his home town of not-Bagdad, searches the world for happiness. This is the second of the Russo-Finish movies MST did, imports from the Soviet Union directed by genius filmmaker Alexandr Ptushko. Originally it was Sadko, a film production of an honest-to-goodness opera! One composed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov! Vibrant, wonderous, astounding, and with music from the opera, this is much better fare than the SOL usually got. It is also a terrific episode, because the writing is the Brains at their best, and the movie, for all its wonders, is incredibly strange. Get your popcorn ready folks, this is one of the best. YouTube (1h32m) - Unriffed - Russian original Садко (Sadko) - With English subs - A performance of the opera Sadko (2h53m) [more inside]
The Flash: Trajectory Season 2, Ep 16
Having arrived in town intent on creating maximum chaos, Trajectory’s antics are misinterpreted as having been perpetrated by the Flash himself. Barry thus must quickly uncover the mystery of who is the girl under the mask — as well as what is driving her mad desire for speed and destruction.
Would anyone in the Potter reread club be interested in adding in Rainbow Rowell's Carry On once the series re-read is completed? It's so directly a meta-commentary on the Potter storyline that I'd be curious to see what people think, and I know from threads on the blue that at least a few of the mefite Potter fans have read it. [more inside]
Harry ignores warnings not to return to Hogwarts, only to find the school plagued by a series of mysterious attacks and a strange voice haunting him. Contains book and series spoilers! [more inside]
Second book of the Harry Potter series. Thread contains series and movie spoilers! [more inside]
The Shannara Chronicles: Changeling Show Only Season 1, Ep 4
Wil and Amberle prepare to leave for the Wilderun. However the Changeling continues to murder inside the palace and frames Eretria for the crimes.
The first book in the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling in which Harry learns on his 11th birthday that he is a wizard and soon after sets off to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE MAGIC SWORD Season 4, Ep 11
"SEE the Green Fire Demons! SEE the 25-Foot Tall Ogre! SEE the Beautiful Vampire Woman! SEE the Boiling Crater of Death!" Lodac the Sorcerer has trouble finding a pet store that carries Dragon Chow, so he finds natural prey for it. Young George, a socially-awkward teen who's spent his whole life in a cave taken care of by witch Estelle Winwood, resolves to help protect the local princess population. The general consensus is that this is not a bad movie by MST standards. I concur; it's rather fun in a fairytale kind of way. Director Bert I. Gordon did good this time, and Basil Rathbone as the evil wizard helps to elevate things too. YouTube (1h33m). Premiered September 29, 1992. See comments for new information about our weekly showings.... [more inside]
A troubled young man is drawn to a mythical place called Midian where a variety of monsters are hiding from humanity. [more inside]
With England in chaos as magic returns, Strange comes back home to claim Mr Norrell and rescue Arabella. But can his plan possibly work? Or will the dark prophecy of the Raven King finally be fulfilled? [more inside]
With England in chaos as magic returns, Strange comes back home to claim Mr Norrell and rescue Arabella. But can his plan possibly work? Or will the dark prophecy of the Raven King finally be fulfilled?
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: The Black Tower Show Only Season 1, Ep 6
Having fled England to Venice, Strange attempts to drive himself insane as a way of gaining access to the fairy magic that he believes can help his wife. In so doing, he unleashes a curse that threatens to destroy him utterly. [more inside]
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: The Black Tower Books Included Season 1, Ep 6
Having fled England to Venice, Strange attempts to drive himself insane as a way of gaining access to the fairy magic that he believes can help his wife. In so doing, he unleashes a curse that threatens to destroy him utterly.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: Arabella Show Only Season 1, Ep 5
Jonathan Strange's remarkable magic helps England win the Battle of Waterloo, after which Strange returns home hoping for a peaceful new life, but the Gentleman's scheme for revenge wrecks all of his and Arabella's plans, leaving Jonathan Strange a ruined man. [more inside]