Natasha Ngan’s Girls of Paper and Fire is a stunning young adult novel, the first in a new trilogy, where girls show their heart and strength in a world that seeks to crush them beneath its feet. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, although this book does come with accompanying trigger warnings: There are several scenes of violence and a few scenes of sexual abuse in this novel. There is also violence against a dog. Please take care of yourself while reading this book. [Read more…]
When you think about science fiction and fantasy TV shows, you might think about series like Star Trek and Doctor Who, or Adventure Time and Game of Thrones. You might not, however, think about Korean dramas. Yet there are many Korean dramas with science fiction and fantasy elements. Most of these shows might be more accurately classified as paranormal romances due to their focus on a relationship between the main characters, but that focus certainly doesn’t take away from the fact that there are cursed goblins, comic book heroes coming to life, and aliens from another star galore in these Korean dramas.
You Who Came from the Stars is one such Korean drama. It ran from December 2013 to February 2014 (Korean dramas typically only run for one season) and garnered success both domestically and internationally. The series influenced fashion and food trends in Korea as well as China, and in 2014 ABC announced that there was an American remake under development. Arguably, it was in large part the actors who propelled the drama to fame: Kim Soo Hyun was already a heartthrob due to his previous drama roles, and Jun Ji Hyun was a veteran actor returning to the small screen for the first time in 14 years.
The adjectives that come to mind when I start describing the stories in Jamie Lackey’s latest collection — “graceful”, “elegant”, “accomplished”, “economical”, “beautiful” — all trouble me a bit, because they all come straight out of the 19th century’s idealization of Womanhood, but I just can’t help it. They all apply, and to every one of these tales.
Priest of Bones imagines what would happen if the Godfather had gone off to war in an early Renaissance world, only to return home to find the “family businesses” have been taken over by others. He takes this rather badly.
In this third episode of Into the Wardrobe (though the first to most of our listeners), Shaun and Jen discuss the 1993 Disney film, Hocus Pocus, directed by Kenny Ortega. They discuss the film’s pros and cons, from its treatment of people of color and anti-feminist portrayals of witches to how it deals with toxic masculinity and bullying and more. The deeper they dig into the film, the more apparent it becomes that what should be a simple Halloween romp is perhaps a bit more complicated than they originally expected. Finally, the show ends in characteristic ItW fashion: with a conversation about whether Hocus Pocus will connect with young audiences today.
This month I have five stories to recommend, and each story is pure and simple fun. First, I loved “The House on the Moon” by William Alexander, which appears in Uncanny Magazine‘s recent Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction special issue. In this story, Ana, a disabled girl living on the moon, goes on a field trip to a Welsh castle that’s been moved onto the moon. Ana is a delightful, witty narrator who has a lot to say about the politics and constructedness of (dis)ability. Second, I recommend “Jump” by Cadwell Turnbull, which appears in Lightspeed Magazine Issue 100. In “Jump,” a couple accidentally teleports home one day, but they are unable to recreate the experience. Turnbull’s story starts with a fun science fictional “what if” and then explores its repercussions in a fascinating way. Third, do you enjoy Victorian era lost world adventure stories, but want one that deftly avoids the problematic tropes that often underlie those stories? If so, then don’t miss Carrie Vaughn’s “Harry and Marlowe and the Secret of Ahomana,” which also appears in Lightspeed Magazine Issue 100. Next, we have “Nation Building and Baptism” by Octavia Cade, which appears in Capricious Issue 10. It’s a moving tale about rebuilding and welcoming refugees after the catastrophes of climate change. If the news has you feeling down, you really should read this warm and gentle story. Lastly, if you love stories about magical books and bookstores, then you simply must check out “The Secret History of the Clockwork King” by Heather Morris, which also appears in Capricious Issue 10.
In this month’s episode, Rachel and Daniel make the most of a relatively-light SFT month, discussing the collections, stories, and reviews that came out in October. They also look ahead to the exciting wonderfulness that is November. The highly-acclaimed Icelandic novel, CoDex 1962, keeps coming up (probably because it’s as great as everyone says it is) and we now have new stories by Yoss and Melanie Fazi to read thanks to World Literature Today. And while Rachel and Daniel wish they could have more time to read all the things, Daniel still needs to invent that time machine Rachel keeps asking for…
Remember: with new stories and books coming to our attention each week, make sure to check the SFT website for updates. Enjoy, and keep reading!
A bientôt! [Read more…]
Recently, I was approached by Radish to write for them. We talked and now I am a verified Radish author! For my inaugural serial, I will be publishing the Asian-inspired dragon-racing YA fantasy I have been talking about for a while now. It has been languishing in my hard drive, bypassed by agents, and now — hopefully — it will have a new lease of life on Radish. (Hopefully (again) that it will be a physical book at the end of the journey… Publishers? Bueller?) [Read more…]
Corey J. White’s Static Ruin and Spencer Ellsworth’s Memory’s Blade each willingly bring to a conclusion a space opera trilogy started in the flush of Tor.com’s season of space opera two years back. [Read more…]
Afros, magic “flutes,” and tokenism, oh my! Happy Halloween, everyone! Shaun, Jen, and Teri consulted with Tonia Thompson to select movies appropriate for a Halloween special during Black Speculative Fiction Month and she has suffered for it. We turn our drunken eyes to Leprechaun in the Hood, a movie that can be best described as everything BAD about representation with a side of WHY. We discuss how the film approaches representation (of so many different peoples), its absurd take on rap and gang culture, and even Leprechauns. And, yeah, we give some love to Warwick Davis, too. In the end, one question remains: is this the worst Torture Cinema movie of all time? Listen to find out!
We hope you enjoy the episode! [Read more…]