posted 17 days ago on io9
A few splatters of blood are probably low on the list of Elle’s things to worry about.Screenshot: Crunchyroll/Adult SwimWe’ve had brief looks at Black Lotus, Blade Runner’s return to animation after Shinichiro Watanabe first gave us a glimpse of 2049's world with his own animated prequel short. Now the legendary Bebop director is back producing a full-fledged series in its noir-cyberpunk world, and we have a really good peek at just what it’s doing.Crunchyroll stopped by New York Comic Con 2021—in-person and virtual this year—to deliver the first full trailer for Black Lotus, produced by the Ultraman Netflix anime studio Sola Digital Arts, and directed by Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex’s Kenji Kamiyama and Ultraman’s Shinji Aramaki. Set in 2032, after the events of Watanabe’s Blade Runner 2049 short “Black Out,” the series follows a young woman who discovers that she’s actually a replicant, Elle (Arisa Shida/Jessica Henwick), and is quickly thrust into a dangerous underworld ruled by cruel thugs and the wealthy elite.The trailer’s light on plot—other than the fact that Elle wants revenge for what’s been done to her and plans to, well “kill them all” (them mostly left vague). But it’s heavy on vibes, and those vibes are at least feeling very Blade Runner so far. Aesthetically, the show’s doing a pretty good job of encapsulating in particular the feel of the original Blade Runner’s world; neon-soaked but still dark and dingy where 2049 was a bit more effervescent. Throw in the moody synth soundtrack, some action, and a Voight-Kampff test for good measure, and you at least have a show that looks like it can walk the Blade Runner walk. We’ll just have to see if it talks the talk when Black Lotus begins airing on Adult Swim’s Toonami block (with its English-language dub) and on Crunchyroll (in Japanese with subtitles) simultaneously from November 13. Wondering where our RSS feed went? You can pick the new up one here.

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posted 17 days ago on io9
Image: NetflixIf it feels like it’s been ages since we last caught up with the Robinson family on Netflix, that’s because it has! Season two started streaming way back in December 2019. Finally, we have our first tease at what the sci-fi revamp’s third and final season has in store for us this December.Season two ended on a very tense note with countless alien robots attacking the Resolute space station and one very bad human trying to kill some of the family unit. What we were left with was a pair of survivors—adults in one group and children in the other led by the very capable Judy. But where the younger crew wound up revealed a 20-year mystery no one expected to unravel. (And don’t worry, the chicken is still around, too.) The first teaser for season three unfortunately doesn’t give us a lot of clues as to what that might mean for the Robinsons as a whole but it does tell us Will never gives up.Here’s the official synopsis of the final season: “In the third and final season of Lost in Space, the stakes are higher than ever and the Robinson family’s survival instincts will be put to the ultimate test. After a year of being trapped on a mysterious planet, Judy, Penny, Will and the Robot must lead the 97 young Colonists in a harrowing evacuation — but not before secrets are unearthed that will change their lives forever. Meanwhile John and Maureen — with Don at their side — must battle overwhelming odds as they try to reunite with their kids. The Robinsons will have to grapple with the emotional challenge of not just being lost — but being separated from the ones they love... as they face the greatest alien threat yet.”Starring Molly Parker, Toby Stephens, Maxwell Jenkins, Taylor Russell, Mina Sundwall, Ignacio Serricchio, Parker Posey, and Brian Steele as the Robot, Lost in Space season three begins streaming on December 1.Wondering where our RSS feed went? You can pick the new up one here.

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posted 18 days ago on io9
Unfortunate circumstances mean that T’Challa’s reign of Star-Lord won’t continue as planned.Screenshot: Marvel StudiosWhile What If’s season one finale finally brought into the fold one of its most promising characters, a variant of Gamora known for slaying Thanos, there was something rather curious about how the character arrived. As planned-out in advance as Marvel projects tend to be, there was no way that What If’s creative team could have seen how the situation with its Gamora variant coming, but as they continue working on the show’s second season, they’re already planning to make things right.What If’s season one finale, “What If... the Watcher Broke His Oath?”, follows the Watcher as he reaches across the multiverse to pluck the different heroic variants he needs to stop an almost all-powerful version of Ultron from murdering everyone in multiple realities. Most of the variants the Watcher picks to become his Guardians of the Multiverse, like Star-Lord T’Challa, Captain Peggy Carter, and Party Thor were characters who’d had their own spotlight episodes much earlier in the season. But the Thanos-slaying Gamora, hailing from a reality where she’d become good friends with Tony Stark, who the Watcher chooses only makes her first appearance in the finale, and the story doesn’t spend all that much time delving into her backstory. It’d be a reasonable enough explanation if What If’s creators ultimately decided that giving the Gamora variant more screen time was less important than dealing with the meat of its major crossover event. But in s recent interview with Variety, head writer AC Bradley and executive producer Bryan Andrews explained that the factors that went into their decision were somewhat more complicated. Initially, Bradley explained, What If’s first season was intended to feature 10 episodes, one of which would have focused on the life of the Stark variant introduced in the finale, and how he came to be close with Gamora.“However, due to the COVID pandemic, one of our animation houses was hit incredibly hard, and the episode needed to be pushed into Season 2, because it would not be finished in time,” Bradley said. “Given everything that we’ve all went through over the past two years, pushing an episode of television is absolutely nothing in comparison.”Screenshot: Disney+/MarvelLike Gamora, Chadwick Boseman’s Star-Lord T’Challa plays a small, but important role in the Guardians of the Multiverse’s fight against Ultron, and his contribution very much feels like a reminder of how silly and fun his spotlight episode was. According to Andrews, even before “What If... T’Challa Became a Star-Lord” became one of the first season’s strongest episodes, plans were coming into shape for a full-on animated spin-off about the variant. “I don’t know if [Boseman] knew this, but there was planning to have Star Lord T’Challa spin-off into his own show with that universe and crew,” Andrews said. “We were all very excited. We know he would have loved it, too. And then, you know, he passed, and so all that’s in limbo. So, who knows? Maybe one day.”Looking forward, the What If team definitely plans to tell more stories inspired by more recent events throughout the MCU, and both Andrews and Bradley hinted that upcoming season(s) will spotlight characters from other Disney+ shows. Though the idea of a proper animated episode of WandaVision sounds fantastic, the pair didn’t confirm specifically which of the newer shows What If might take a crack at. It’s important to keep in mind, Andrews pointed out, that many of these shows are being produced concurrently, making it difficult for them to be in conversation with one another.“[Marvel Studios chief] Kevin [Feige] was like, ‘No no no! No touching! Don’t touch that! Not yet!’”Andrews said about certain stories. “Maybe one day, maybe, if these things continue, we can play with some of that stuff. But we definitely get to play with some other parts of the MCU, for sure. There’s fertile ground.”What If is now streaming on Disney+.Wondering where our RSS feed went? You can pick the new up one here. 

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posted 18 days ago on io9
Get ready to enter a cyber future of Scott Snyder and Francis Manapul’s own design.Image: Francis Manapul/ComixologyDC superstar writer Scott Snyder feels like a man spinning a billion plates at once, but the last few weeks have proven monumentally busy. Having launched his own substack about comics writing and already announced one of multiple new original series for Comixology with long time collaborator Greg Capullo, Snyder is ready for more—and he’s bringing a Justice League friend along for the ride.io9 has your first exclusive look at Clear, the second of three upcoming Comixology Original series penned by Snyder in the wake of We Have Demons with Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, Dave McCaig. and Tom Napolitano. This time Snyder is teaming with his former Justice League artist Francis Manapul—the artist’s first creator-owned project—and letterer Andworld Design, to sell a sci-fi mystery thriller about a seeming suicide that’s not what it seems, in a future where the way we interact with the Internet has become even more closely linked to our humanity than ever before. “My noir and sci fi inspirations for this one are pretty baked into the DNA, everything from Raymond Chandler and Elmore Leonard to Phillip Dick and Margaret Atwood,” Snyder said in a statement provided to io9 over email. “But I think an even bigger influence is just watching how my kids engage with the world these days. The way they consume entertainment, the way they get their information, everything is algorithm based, offering them more of what they Already like. For me, the story is a triangulation between those things, noir, speculative fiction, and a real fear about current trends.” For Manapul, Clear represented a chance not just to work on something he owned himself, but reach into an artistic tone and pallete that was decidedly different from his past work at DC Comics. “Visually, its drastically different from my past work. I’m used to adhering to a certain aesthetic, from character structures to their defined color palette. With Clear I feel let lose. If I want to color someone’s face neon pink because the light around them is creating that look, I can,” Manapul told io9 over email. “As simple as it sounds being able to move away from the local colors of the iconic designs of super hero characters has given me an opportunity to heighten the drama of certain scenes. Neo-noir, Crime-noir, whatever you want to call it, is a genre I haven’t had the opportunity to fully explore. I’ve touched on the crime genre with my previous work on Detective Comics, but Clear is such a kaleidoscope of an experience it’s not really a fair comparison.”Image: Francis Manapul/ComixologyClear is set in a future San Francisco, in a world where the way humanity goes online has radically evolved. Now connecting to the internet neurologically through equipment called veils, people experience the internet in a radically different way—and for a price, can use their veils to transform the world around them with different illusory masks. Each veil is personal so other users can’t see what you do, but the line between reality and online surreality is very blurred. That’s where private detective Sam Dunes steps in, investigating the illegal black veil market, when an old partner checks in to inform him of his ex-wife’s seeming suicide. When Sam uncovers that his wife’s death isn’t all that it seems, he’s thrust into San Francisco’s dark underworld and into a conspiracy that could tear the city apart. “Out of all the books in the line, this one is likely the most urgent and immediate and desperate when it comes to this moment and what it’s saying. I think more than anything these days, we’re all surrounded by mechanisms that reaffirm what we already believe, what we already like, what we already want — Search engines, apps, streaming services, all of it steers us away from things that might challenges, or scare us or upset us, things that might force us to engage outside of our comfort zones. I think people are becoming used to insulating themselves, isolating themselves,” Snyder continued. “Francis and I had long talks about this when we were discussing the possibility of doing a book together. We wanted to do a science-fiction piece that would allow him to really explode visually and try all kinds of different styles, but we also wanted it to be something that spoke to our shared fears about this moment and where things might go. Ultimately the book presents this almost casually nightmarish future, where everyone would rather exist in their own subjective bubble then deal with any kind of objective reality, or truth. Rather than facing kind of systemic challenges, we’d rather see the world as we want, in ways that comfort us.”“The reading experience, Scott and I have created for Clear is multilayered. Taking advantage of the digital platform, you can see what the world of Clear really looks like, and then see it from the perspective of those who inhabit this world,” Manapul added. “It’s a bit like those kids books where you can pull a tab and another image beneath the image is revealed, but make no mistake this ain’t no kids book, LOL! It’s expanded my workload, but I think when the audience gets a chance to read Clear, it will help fully immerse them in our world.”Check out a preview from Clear’s first issue below, making its debut here on io9!Image: Francis Manapul and Andworld Design/Comixolgy (Other)Image: Francis Manapul and Andworld Design/Comixolgy (Other)Image: Francis Manapul and Andworld Design/Comixolgy (Other)Image: Francis Manapul and Andworld Design/Comixolgy (Other)Image: Francis Manapul and Andworld Design/Comixolgy (Other)Image: Francis Manapul and Andworld Design/Comixolgy (Other)Clear, a six part miniseries, will launch as part of Comixology’s Originals line on October 12, and will be available for free Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited, and Comixology Unlimited subscribers, and available to purchase otherwise on both the Kindle Store and Comixology. Wondering where our RSS feed went? You can pick the new up one here.

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posted about 1 month ago on io9
Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) and his AI hologram companion Al (Dean Stockwell) look ready for another leap.Image: NBCUniversalDr. Sam Beckett theorized that one man could time travel within his lifetime, but could the beloved sci-fi series Quantum Leap return within star Scott Bakula’s lifetime? The actor offers a firm “maybe.”Quantum Leap, which ran from 1989-93 on NBC, starred Bakula as Beckett, who becomes unmoored in time and begins “leaping” into other people living in other decades in order to fix problems with the Sacred Tim—er, regular timeline. It was and is a cult favorite show, and still wistfully remembered because of the brusque season finale which stated that Beckett was stuck leaping through time forever (although a secret, unused ending resurfaced only a few years ago). Of course, forever is a long time—certainly long enough for a cult favorite TV series like Quantum Leap to get a sequel or reboot, especially as networks and streaming services scrounge for content. Speaking on Bob Saget’s podcast Here for You (via THR), Bakula said, “There’s very significant conversations about it right now going on. I don’t know what it would be. I don’t know who would have it. The rights were a mess for years. I don’t know if they’re even sorted out now. That’s always been the biggest complication.” That’s hardly an announcement, and it seems like even Bakula is trying not to get his hopes up too much. However, back in 2017, show creator and TV mega-producer Donald P. Bellisario said he’d written a Quantum Leap movie. And in January 2020, NBC’s head of program planning and strategy Jeff Bader told /Film that the network was considering a revival for its Peacock streaming service, which already airs both revivals of the ‘80s and ‘90s sitcom Punky Brewster and Saved by the Bell, respectively. Quantum Leap seems like it would be a rather obvious choice to join the line-up. But I am a bit confused about his assertion that there are rights issues with the show. Bellisario and NBCUniversal own the series, which is quite straightforward unless there’s bad blood between the two. The biggest rights issue the show ever had was infinite amounts of period music the episodes used, much of which was too expensive to license for home video and was omitted. But that wouldn’t be a problem for a Quantum Leap reboot or sequel.So is Bakula purposefully being obtuse? Is he conflating the problems with the old show and a potential new one? What does a “significant conversation” really entail? Are we having one right now? All we know for certain is that 30 years later fans are still hoping to see Sam Beckett leap home for good. Sound like Bakula is, too.Wondering where our RSS feed went? You can pick the new up one here.

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posted about 1 month ago on io9
Alright, no need to shout about it.Image: Fox/DisneyMatt Long will return for at least part of Manifest’s fourth and final season. A taste of what’s in the works for Riverdale, Supergirl, The Walking Dead, and more. Team Archer gets drinks, in the most Archer way. Plus, another tiny little glimpse of Hawkeye’s Kate Bishop. Spoilers, away!The Reincarnation of Peter ProudDeadline reports Village Roadshow and David Goyer’s Phantom Four Films have teamed to produce a remake of 1975's The Reincarnation of Peter Proud written and directed by Sean Durkin. The original film, starring Michael Sarrazin, Jennifer O’Neill, and Margot Kidder concerned a college professor developing latent memories of a previous life.Salem’s LotGary Dauberman’s remake of Salem’s Lot is now scheduled for a September 9, 2022 theatrical release date. [Bloody-Disgusting]SkullsFilming has officially wrapped on the Predator prequel, Skulls.And that’s a wrap on Skulls! Can’t thank @dannytrs enough for inviting me along on this epic journey and entrusting me to help achieve his vision for this film! Thanks to a great cast led by @ambermidthunder, @dakota_beavers and @dd and much love to a brave Calgary crew for diving headfirst in with us! #skulls #predatorMission: Impossible 7Production has also wrapped on Mission: Impossible 7. 2 years ago we accepted a mission.Today that Mission was complete.I can’t thank my amazing crew enough.Globally, over 200 electricians & riggers kept up our side of the bargain, with pure skill and immense determination. Through the global pandemic, every single one of them played their part above and beyond, carrying on against all odds.This really was the hardest movie ever made.I’m lucky to know you all as friends first, crew members second.Please all take a bow.We totally smashed it.Let’s do it all again🎚💡❤️@tomcruise @paramountpics @christophermcquarrieThe MutationA zoologist tracks a mutant rat in the trailer for The Mutation, coming to VOD this October 5. ManifestMatt Long confirmed to Deadline he’ll “be back for some of” Manifest’s fourth season at Netflix. I will be back for some of it, we’re just trying to find out the maximum I can do. I love the character in the show so much, but as you know, when the show was canceled I booked another show. It was a pilot. We don’t know what’s happening with it yet. It’s also a really awesome project. So we’re just trying to work out schedules. Everybody wants the best thing for everyone so fingers crossed it all works out for the best.HawkeyeHailee Steinfeld shared a new photo of herself as Kate Bishop on Twitter, ahead of today’s first trailer drop.The BoysFilming has wrapped on the third season of The Boys, according to Karl Urban on Instagram and Jack Quad on Twitter.And that’s a wrapOn @theboystv season 3Massive thanks to our brilliant cast and crew for all the blood sweet n tearsand also to everyone involved in the production @amazonprimevideo and @sptv for working so hard to keep us all Covid safe 🙏🏽And of course massive thanks to @therealKripkeFor delivering a next level bat shit crazy good season 3I can’t wait for y’all to see itBe safe y’all ❤️KxoRiverdaleAlice hallucinates “an imaginary musical fantasy world” in the synopsis for “Next to Normal” — the September 29 episode of Riverdale. MOTHER’S DAY IN RIVERDALE — Refusing to accept what’s going on around her, Alice (Mädchen Amick) creates an imaginary musical fantasy world in which the Coopers are one big happy family again. But as her mother continues to spiral, Betty (Lili Reinhart) does her best to pull her back to reality. Meanwhile, Tabitha (Erinn Westbrook) ropes Jughead (Cole Sprouse) into a family dinner with her parents, and Veronica (Camila Mendes) and Archie (KJ Apa) make a big decision about their future. Madelaine Petsch, Casey Cott, Vanessa Morgan, Charles Melton and Drew Ray Tanner also star. Ronald Paul Richard directed the episode written by Tessa Leigh Williams (#518). Original airdate 9/29/2021.[KSiteTV]StargirlRick protects Solomon Grundy from bear hunters in the synopsis for “Summer School: Chapter Eight.”SECOND CHANCES — With his world crashing down around him, Rick (Cameron Gellman) focuses his attention on protecting Solomon Grundy after learning hunters are after a bear in the woods. Meanwhile, Beth (Anjelika Washington) becomes the target of Eclipso’s (Nick Tarabay) latest plan. Brec Bassinger, Luke Wilson, Amy Smart and Trae Romano also star. Andi Armaganian directed the episode written by Steve Harper (#208). Original airdate 9/28/2021.[Spoiler TV]SupergirlSupergirl and Nyxly fight over “a totem that controls courage” in the synopsis for ‘The Gauntlet,” the thirteenth episode of season six. SUPERGIRL MUST PASS THE TEST OF COURAGE - Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and team race Nyxly (Peta Sergeant) for control of a magical totem that controls courage. Supergirl and Nyxly battle and each get a piece of the totem but learn the first person to pass the test of courage will gain control of the entire thing. Meanwhile, Lena (Katie McGrath) is still struggling to make sense of her newfound gift.[Spoiler TV]The OutpostOur heroes return to the Outpost in the synopsis for “The Betrayer.”TRUST - Talon (Jessica Green) and Luna (Maeve Courtier-Lilley) return to the Outpost with a dubious ally. Garret (Jake Stormoen) and Zed (Reece Ritchie) attempt to a descent on the Outpost. Meanwhile, Janzo (Anand Desai-Barochia) and Wren (Izuka Hoyle) devise a plan to save the Kahvi and Talon learns about Aster’s (guest star Gerrard Miller) true plan. The episode was written by Justin Partridge and directed by Milan Todorović (#3B12). Original airdate 9/30/2021.[Spoiler TV]The Walking DeadA storm breaks in the synopsis for The Walking Dead’s October 10 episode, “For Blood.” Check out our recap of last night’s episode right here.The Reapers defend Meridian from a herd; Alexandrians protect themselves from walkers in a storm.Airdate: Sunday, October 10 at 9:00-10:00 PM.[Spoiler TV]Day of the DeadNews breaks of the zombie apocalypse in the synopsis for “Forest of the Damned,” the fourth episode of Syfy’s Day of the Dead. Citizens of Mawinhaken fight to survive as they learn the dead are indeed rising from their graves. Cam urges authorities to take action while his dad struggles to break free from Cleargenix captors.[Spoiler TV]SeeSpoiler TV also has a vague synopsis for “The Witchfinder” — the fourth episode of See’s second season.Kofun and Toad arrive in Pennsa just as Maghra makes a life-changing decision. Baba, Paris, and Haniwa run into a trusted friend.What We Do in the ShadowsThe vampires visit Atlantic City, New Jersey in the trailer for this week’s episode of What We Do in the Shadows.ArcherThe Archer crew gets matching t-shirts in the trailer for Wednesday’s episode, “Shots.”GhostsA new trailer for Ghosts takes the form of an educational film reel. Nancy DrewFinally, Nancy Drew must prevent an outbreak of sleepwalker suicides in the trailer for her third season at the CW. Banner art by Jim Cook

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posted about 1 month ago on io9
From visions of what could be, to magical wheels, to some very peculiar couple’s cosplay, there’s a lot to look forward to in Autumn TV.Image: Lucasfilm, Amazon Studios, Netflix, and DisneySummer has passed us by, and while it was far from the kind of summer most people expected for 2021—for pop culture or otherwise—now that the nights are drawing in there’s a whole plethora of genre television to be excited for in the coming months. io9 has collected the hottest sci-fi, fantasy, and genre shows, new and familiar, to look forward to for the rest of the year.What’s streaming and on TV in September 2021?What We Do in the Shadows Season 3 (Now airing, FX): Staten Island’s misfit crew of vampire roommates face an intriguing new status quo as their hit comedy continues its third season—instead of being hunted by the Vampiric Council, they now are the Vampiric Council, despite their dubious leadership skills and general lack of knowledge about how the modern world works. Meanwhile, Guillermo’s (Harvey Guillén) formerly secret status as a Van Helsing-descended vampire slayer is out in the open, something that earns him a promotion from familiar to bodyguard.Q-Force (Now streaming, Netflix): After American Intelligence Agency agent superspy Steve Maryweather is sidelined as a consequence of his coming out as gay, he resolves to form his own team of queer agents who make their cis, hetero peers look like chumps by comparison.Adventure Time: Distant Lands - Wizard City (Now streaming, HBO Max): The fourth and final installment of this Adventure Time miniseries is a weird one. Instead of ending with May’s “Together Again,” a final adventure shared by Finn and Jake that would have provided some real closure for the series, “Wizard City” is an odd tale about Pep, formerly the mysteriously sinister Peppermint Butler. After being doused in Dum-Dum Juice in the regular TV show, Pep has lost his dark magic and become a kid again, so he heads to the WizArts magic school to relearn what’s he’s lost. But even more sinister forces have plans for his future…Kid Cosmic Season 2 (Now streaming, Netflix): Kid and the rest of the Crew are headed into space in Kid Cosmic’s latest season as they continue to learn how to wield superpowers as the galaxy’s newest superheroes. In season two, portal-creator Jo steps into the spotlight in an arc about learning how heroes have to care about the things they’ve sworn to protect.Lucifer Season 6 (September 10, Netflix): It’s the swan song for Los Angeles’ favorite nightclub impresario/LAPD homicide consultant/king of the underworld. Though that last factoid may need some adjusting as Lucifer (Tom Ellis) apparently became God at the end of season five? So that’ll take some sifting through, alongside the show’s usual mix of romance, cheeky humor, and supernatural shenanigans. Also—not to be outdone by last season’s musical episode—the final season will feature an animated episode.Pokémon Journeys Season 5 (September 10, Netflix): In its fifth season, Pokémon Journeys gets an upgrade as Ash, Goh, and their friend Chloe continue to journey around the different regions of the Pokémon world in search of new discoveries. The season kicks off with Chloe finally catching a Pokémon of her very own after relying on her father’s Yamper to stand in as her unofficial partner, and the boys continue to pursue their respective goals of catching every monster in the Pokédex and becoming the ultimate trainer.Y: The Last Man (September 13, Hulu): After many fits and starts, Hulu’s live-action Y: The Last Man series—based on the comic book series by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra—is finally making its big debut. (It also happens to come at a time when its premise about a devastating global pandemic is sure to hit differently with audiences.) After a mysterious plague wipes out the planet’s entire population of mammals with y chromosomes save for Yorick Brown and his pet monkey Ampersand, the world becomes a fundamentally different, more chaotic place. With the fear of the human race’s extinction looming over everyone’s heads, Yorick’s existence represents a certain degree of hope for the future to people like his sister Hero and Agent 355, a bodyguard tasked with keeping Yorick alive.He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (September 16, Netflix): We know what you’re thinking. “Didn’t Kevin Smith just release a Masters of the Universe show?” The answer is yes but this is a new, completely unrelated show with different animation and aimed at a younger audience. But if you’re a fan of all the Etheria action, now you have two options.Squid Game (September 17, Netflix): A variety of people throughout Korea are invited to compete in a special game show for the U.S. equivalent of $40 million. There’s a catch, of course, though none of the contestants read the fine print: while they are playing a variety of childish games from the ‘70s and ‘80s, including the titular one (it’s kind of like tag), the losers of the games will die until a single winner is crowned. From the director of the highly acclaimed movie The Fortress, Hwang Dong-hyuk’s K-drama looks to go hand in bloody hand with another Netflix series, Alice in Borderland.Star Wars: Visions (September 22, Disney+): Star Wars hands over the reigns of a galaxy far, far away to Japanese animation studios and creatives for an anthology of tales outside of current canon, covering epic duels between light and dark, Tatooine rock concerts, and more, all with an anime twist.Screenshot: LucasfilmDoom Patrol Season 3 (September 23, HBO Max): With villains like the Candlemaker, the Brotherhood of Evil, and the Sisterhood of Dada on the loose, the Doom Patrol will find themselves stretched especially thin in the upcoming season as the heroes are pushed once again to use their grotesque powers to save the universe from annihilation.Creepshow Season 3 (September 23, Shudder): The latest installment of Shudder’s breakout horror anthology series based on the Stephen King-George A. Romero cult movies looks chock full of the chilling delights we’ve come to expect, with Michael Rooker, Ethan Embry, and James Remar among the actors mixing with the ghosts and ghouls this season.Midnight Mass (September 24, Netflix): After the twin successes of The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor, Mike Flanagan declared he wasn’t doing another “haunting” show… which we were sad about very briefly until we learned Midnight Mass—which features several Haunting alumni in its cast, as well as a premise that probes the darkness of the human mind (along with, you know, supernatural stuff)—was on the way. When a priest (Hamish Linklater) arrives in an isolated island community, a series of odd events makes some believe miracles are afoot, while others suspect the opposite. Yep, sounds like an essential and spooky binge.Foundation (September 24, Apple TV+): Isaac Asimov’s acclaimed sci-fi epic began with 1951’s Foundation; in 1966, the books were given a special Hugo for “Best All-Time Series,” beating out a little something called The Lord of the Rings. The author continued exploring the world he’d created with sequels and prequels, the last of which was published posthumously in 1993. Adaptation attempts have been made over the years, but at long last Apple TV+ is giving Asimov’s masterpiece the series treatment, and hopefully, the wait will be worth it. Jared Harris and Lee Pace star.Wolfboy and the Everything Factory (September 24, Apple TV+): Joseph Gordon-Levitt is among the executive producers of this 10-episode animated series inspired by the work of artist Toff “Wirrow” Mazery. It’s a fantasy about an imaginative oddball named Wolfboy (Kassian Akhtar), who discovers a wondrous place at the center of the planet where every component of life that eventually manifests on the surface (including trees, animals, and intangible things like memories and time) is created by a group of magical beings.The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2 (September 26, AMC): In The Walking Dead: World Beyond’s season one finale, young protagonists Hope, Iris, and Felix all ended up learning what sort of long con that Huck—a member of the Civic Republic Military—was playing from the jump. After sowing distrust between Iris, Hope, and Felix, she was able to get Hope alone and effectively deliver her to the CRM, which had been plotting to capture her for her brilliant mind. The season one finale ended with a now Hope-less Felix and Iris learning that the Campus Colony safe zone they once called home had seemingly been destroyed, and when World Beyond returns this fall, the show’s set to start explaining what went wrong.The Simpsons Season 33 (September 26, Fox): Springfield’s most beloved family is back, and maybe the 33rd time’s the charm. This season is kicking off with the show’s first-ever fully musical episode, as Kristen Bell guest stars as Marge’s internal singing voice.Bob’s Burgers Season 12 (September 26, Fox): Maybe Bob’s Burgers isn’t as laugh-out-loud funny as it used to be, but it’s still the most consistently funny animated series on TV, which is no small feat. Season 12 doesn’t look to break that trend—upcoming episode titles include “The Pumpkining,” “Driving Big Dummy,” “Seventween Again,” “Beach Please,” “Lost in Bedslation,” and “Fomo You Didn’t”—except in one way: a two-part season finale that according to creator Loren Bouchard says primarily “takes place in Tina’s erotic fiction in which she’s exploring a kind of Blade Runner dark fantasy.” Yes, please.La Brea (September 28, NBC): Gotta love any premise that begins with the sudden appearance of a giant sinkhole gobbling up a large portion of Los Angeles—including several of its residents, who find themselves battling for survival amid a sort of Land of the Lost-Lost World-Journey to the Center of the Earth-Jurassic Park scenario. The main characters are a family who’s trying to reunite, so don’t expect this one to skew too horrifying, but the first teaser did promise some ferocious beasts.What’s streaming and on TV in October 2021?Image: Paramount+Lego Star Wars Terrifying Tales (October 1, Disney+): After the success of last year’s Christmas special, Lego Star Wars turns its eye toward another holiday, in the form of a haunted trip to Darth Vader’s castle on Mustafar, a place full of ancient, spooky artifacts.The Ghost and Molly McGee (October 1, Disney Channel): A grumpy, unpleasant ghost named Scratch has made it his mission to make the world worse. But when he tries to cast a spell on a positive-minded do-gooder named Molly, he accidentally binds them together. It’s a true odd couple—good/evil, optimist/pessimist, compassionate/selfish, alive/dead—that will now need to navigate the world together. Hopefully, you’ll like it, because Disney has already ordered a second season.Nancy Drew Season 3 (October 8, CW): As a matter of fact, the CW’s supernaturally enhanced, Riverdale-ish adaptation of the long-running teen detective book series is indeed still on the air! And it’s even getting a spin-off series based on another classic book series, Tom Swift! So even though we haven’t tuned in for a while, Nancy and company must be doing something right?Muppets Haunted Mansion (October 8, Disney+): The Great Gonzo can’t say no when he’s presented with the opportunity to spend a night in the Haunted Mansion, a house filled with both the spirits of departed people and more than a few other Muppets. Hilarity, of course, will ensue.Ghosts (October 8, CBS): iZombie star Rose McIver keeps things supernatural with her latest series, a sitcom about a couple who inherits a haunted mansion (populated by wacky, era-specific ghosty stereotypes, like a 1960s hippie, a 19th-century robber baron, a 1920s jazz chanteuse, etc.) and decides to turn it into a bed and breakfast.Legends of the Hidden Temple (October 10, CW): Calling all Red Jaguars, Blue Barracudas, Green Monkeys, Orange Iguanas, Purple Parrots, and Silver Snakes. The cult 1990s physical game show is back for a new generation. Cristele Alonzo will host and Star Wars animation mainstay Dee Bradley Baker will reprise his role as the voice of Olmec.Chucky (October 12, Syfy): Child’s Play creator Don Mancini brings his gory, increasingly campy killer-doll saga to the small screen for what looks like both an update of the Chucky saga and a love letter to fans of the long-running franchise. Though the main characters are teens who encounter you-know-who after he turns up looking remarkably well-preserved at a yard sale, the eight-episode series will also feature Jennifer Tilly, original Chucky foe Alex Vincent, and Brad Dourif as the voice of Chucky, among other series veterans.Legends of Tomorrow Season 7 (October 13, CW): Wait, didn’t Legends of Tomorrow just air its season six finale on September 5? How can the next season begin after a mere month? You can thank the pandemic for this unusual airtime, which 1) is admittedly appropriate for the time-traveling Legends, but 2) will hasten a great many other CW series, too. Little is known about the seventh season other than Dominic Purcell, who’s played Mick “Heat Wave” Rory since season, has departed the series, along with Matt Ryan’s John Constantine. Ryan, however, will be back as a new character, Dr. Gwyn Davies, an early 20th-century scientist with a secret. Hopefully, it’s how to fix the Waverider, which was blown up in the season six finale by… the Waverider?Batwoman Season 3 (October 13, CW): The sad saga of the Kane family is (mostly) finished after the facially reconstructed, de-brainwashed former Batwoman Kate (Wallis Day) left Gotham to hunt for Bruce Wayne while actor Dougray Scott elected to not come back as Kate’s father Jacob. Beth (Rachel Skasten) will still be around to mess with the new Batwoman (Ryan Wilder), but the villains won’t be alone—Agent Carter’s Bridget Regan will play major Bat-foe Poison Ivy, with the possibility of the Penguin to come. Luckily, Batwoman will have the new help of Luke Fox’s Batwing (Camrus Johnson) protecting the city, along with GCPD detective and comics favorite Renee Montoya (Victoria Cartagena, who also played the role on Gotham!).Legacies Season 4 (October 14, CW): The final four season three episodes of the second-generation spin-off of The Vampire Diaries were so derailed by covid that they now will make up the beginning of season four. So you can rest easy that the werewolf-vampire-witch hybrid Hope (Danielle Rose Russell) vs. the walking hell-portal Malivore (Aria Shahghasemi) confrontation that season three teased will be revealed. On the plus side, it looks like Hope might be getting help from Omono Okojie’s muse Cleo, as the actor has been promoted to series regular.Day of the Dead (October 15, Syfy): George A. Romero’s 1985 horror classic inspired this new series, which takes its title literally, following six different characters as they try to survive the first 24 hours of a zombie outbreak. It aims to tell a new story while paying homage to Romero—starting with the fact that it will feature old-school zombies slowwwwwly shambling around.I Know What You Did Last Summer (October 15, Amazon Prime Video): This update of the spooky Lois Duncan YA classic—which inspired a 1990s slasher film that’s also since become a classic—follows a group of teens who do something very bad (presumably, like the source material, it will involve an accidental death…or so they think), and then find themselves stalked by someone hellbent on revenge. The pre-Halloween release should be a hint as to how deep into horror this one’s gonna venture.Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 (October 17, AMC): Seven seasons in, the companion series to AMC juggernaut The Walking Dead is still going strong, with a lot to follow up on after the season six finale ended with a nuclear explosion. As always, the people cause most of the conflicts here…but there are also still plenty of undead “walkers” roaming around too.Invasion (October 22, Apple TV+): There’s been exactly one trailer for this sci-fi series, and all it consisted of was a bunch of weird things happening, a bunch of people around the world looking increasingly tense, and a fuzzy shot of some sort of structure that may have just landed on Earth. According to Apple, Invasion is a “sci-fi drama that will make you question what you would do under extraterrestrial threat.” That’s still incredibly vague, so let’s hope more info or footage is forthcoming before it premieres.4400 (October 24, CW): A reboot of the 2004 USA series, the story focuses on a massive group of abductees from various points throughout the recent past who are all suddenly returned together in the present with no recollection of who took them or where they were. As you might expect, their reappearance alone is cause for alarm, wonder, and confusion. As these people—the 4400—begin to manifest a variety of strange, superhuman abilities, the world has to reckon with the possibility that the 4400 have a larger purpose to change the world in ways society isn’t ready for.Behind the Monsters (October 16, Shudder): Shudder’s new docu-series explores the movie monsters that terrify us the most, with episodes dedicated to Candyman, Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Pinhead, Chucky, and Michael Myers. Guess they’re saving Leatherface for season two?Star Trek: Prodigy (October 28, Paramount+): Star Trek boldly ventures into the realm of kids and family programming with a CG animated series aimed squarely at younger audiences, the first for the franchise since The Animated Series. Following a cast of young Delta Quadrant species as they discover an experimental Starfleet ship, the USS Protostar—featuring a command training hologram of none other than Voyager icon Captain Janeway (a returning Kate Mulgrew)—Prodigy will blast them off to new adventures in the still under-explored quadrant.Locke & Key Season 2 (October TBD, Netflix): Netflix’s breakout hit about a family that moves into their ancestral home following a devastating tragedy… only to get pulled into a mystery involving the supernaturally powered keys that keep turning up in its many rooms… finally returns to address all of those cliffhangers that season one left us screaming about.What’s streaming and on TV in November 2021?Image: NetflixAnimaniacs Season 2 (November 5, HBO Max): Hulu must really like its reboot of the classic ‘90s cartoon Animaniacs. After all, the streamer already ordered a 10-episode third season back in February. Besides the return of Yakko, Wakko, Dot, Pinky, and the Brain, season three will feature “pop culture parodies, musical showstoppers, takedowns of historical baddies, and even some important safety tips” according to Hulu. Which, admittedly sounds like the same thing they do every night, try to—er, the same thing they do every season. It’s fine by us.The Flash Season 8 (November 16, The CW): Even though Crisis on Infinite Earths is over, that doesn’t mean the DC CW crossovers are. The Flash season eight begins with a five-part special titled “Armageddon”—you can probably guess the subject matter—that will bring together heroes like Batwoman (Javicia Leslie), Black Lightning (Cress Williams), the Atom (Brandon Routh), Ryan Choi (Osric Chau), and more. Even better are the returning villains, Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) and the Reverse-Flash (Tom Cavanagh). Alas, Cavanagh will not be returning as a regular in season eight, nor will Carlos Valdes’ Cisco. But after “Armageddon,” Justice League foe Despero (Tony Curran) will arrive to make Team Flash’s lives a merry hell. Riverdale Season 6 (November 16, The CW): Riverdale’s fifth season hasn’t even finished airing yet, so there are understandably few details about what’s coming to season six. We do have one clue from show creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who posted this on Instagram on August 30: “Forces are gathering for the ultimate battle between Good and Evil as the cameras begin to roll on Riverdale season six. But who will stand on which side? And who will live, and who will die? Everything has been a prelude to this.” So there’s clearly a lot of wild things going down in season six, but we wouldn’t expect anything less from Riverdale.Star Trek: Discovery Season 4 (November 18, Paramount+): New Captain on the Bridge! After traveling to the 31st century last season, Discovery is back in action as Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) finally takes the captain’s chair. The vanguard of the dwindled Federation’s rebuilding efforts, Michael’s gonna have a lot on her plate coming into the new season—especially without her best friend Saru (Doug Jones) by her side, as he spends some time recuperating on his homeworld.The Wheel of Time (November 19, Amazon Prime Video): A live-action adaptation of Robert Jordan’s giant, sprawling fantasy book series has been in the works forever, but it was Amazon that managed to conquer the beast first. In a world where magic is ruled by women, a sorceress named Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) discovers a group of children, one of whom is prophesied to potentially save the world… or destroy it. A mix of high fantasy, politics, war, and apocalypse, The Wheel of Time is an old-school epic that ran 15 giant books. It should be very interesting to discover how the show might alter and update the source material.Cowboy Bebop (November 19, Netflix): Get everybody and the stuff together, because Netflix is about to blow this scene—the legendary sci-fi anime Cowboy Bebop is re-imagined as a live action-adventure series, as the crew of the Bebop (lead by John Cho’s Spike Spiegel) jets off into the stars in search of fame and fortune.Hawkeye (November 24, Disney+): The man Natasha Romoff’s younger sister Yelena wants to murder is the next Avenger headlining their own Disney+ series. He’ll be joined by a young aspiring hero who dreams of becoming the next Hawkeye. In a world full of superhumans and aliens who regularly save the world, Kate Bishop sees Clint Barton as the Avenger she most wants to be like, something Clint will have trouble understanding when they first meet. Aside from detailing Kate’s journey to becoming a hero in her own right, Hawkeye will also delve more into the time Clint spent as Ronin during the time between Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.What’s streaming and on TV in December 2021?Image: NetflixThe Witcher Season 2 (December 17, Netflix): Geralt (Henry Cavill) is back in action, as he finds himself returning to his home at the Witcher fortress of Kaer Morhan with young Princess Cirilla (Freya Allan) in tow. She now must learn to embrace her hidden powers and the ways of monster hunting herself.The Book of Boba Fett (December TBD, Disney+): Set after the events of The Mandalorian season two, the next live-action Star Wars series sees Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) team up as the duo try to carve out a slice of the intergalactic underworld for themselves.TBDCobra Kai Season 4 (Netflix): Two words: Terry. Silver. That’s the headline for this fourth season of Cobra Kai. The uber-villain of the Karate Kid universe, first introduced in The Karate Kid Part III, is coming to town to team up with John Kreese (Martin Kove) against the newly formed mega dojo combining Miyagi-Do, lead by Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Eagle Fang, lead by Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka).Doctor Who Season 13 (BBC America): It’s the beginning of the end for the Doctor! Jodie Whittaker’s final days as the 13th Doctor begin to play out in a new season promising a singular story across its six episodes. She won’t be alone though—at least Yaz (Mandip Gill) and new friend Dan (John Bishop) are along for the ride.What shows are you looking forward to the most this fall? Let us know in the comments! Wondering where our RSS feed went? You can pick the new up one here.

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A crop of the Hunting By Stars cover. See the full image below.Image: Amulet BooksIn Hunting By Stars, Canadian author Cherie Dimaline—who hails from the Georgian Bay Métis Community—returns to the world of her award-winning 2017 novel The Marrow Thieves. The setting is a dystopian near-future where dreams have disappeared—except among North America’s Indigenous people, who are persecuted and even tortured for retaining this coveted ability. io9 is excited to share Hunting By Stars’ first chapter today!Years ago, when plagues and natural disasters killed millions of people, much of the world stopped dreaming. Without dreams, people are haunted, sick, mad, unable to rebuild. The government soon finds that the Indigenous people of North America have retained their dreams, an ability rumored to be housed in the very marrow of their bones. Soon, residential schools pop up—or are re-opened—across the land to bring in the dreamers and harvest their dreams.Seventeen-year-old French lost his family to these schools and has spent the years since heading north with his newfound family: a group of other dreamers, who, like him, are trying to build and thrive as a community. But then French wakes up in a pitch-black room, locked in and alone for the first time in years, and he knows immediately where he is—and what it will take to escape.Meanwhile, out in the world, his found family searches for him and dodges new dangers—school Recruiters, a blood cult, even the land itself. When their paths finally collide, French must decide how far he is willing to go—and how many loved ones is he willing to betray in order to survive.Here’s a full look at the cover, illustrated by Stephen Glaude and designed by Hana Anouk Nakamura, followed by the first chapter of Hunting By Stars.Image: AbramsThe last thing I remember is standing on the edge of the clearing looking up. The tops of the pines looked like black lace over the full yellow moon, the constellations stitched into velvet. The whole sky was dressed for a feast. Around me, the calls of crows reported on the darkness, a mocking song of reunion with pauses full of loss. I should have listened harder to the crows. Anything that when gathered is called a murder is bound to speak prophecy.CHAPTER 1: PROOF OF LIFE FRENCHI DREAMED ABOUT MY BROTHER.In the dream, we were still kids—the same age we were the last time I saw him, gangly and uncoordinated. We were sitting on the wooden floor of a tree house, the walls buckled and thin, the same tree house he was stolen from all those years ago. I tried to speak, to warn him that the Recruiters would be coming and he was going to be taken and I would be left in a tree like a forgotten ornament. But I couldn’t make a sound, just empty speech bubbles like an unfinished comic that popped around my head. Mitch was laughing as if I was telling the best jokes.“Frenchie, you’re hilarious,” he said, his words swooshing through the air, shaped like paper planes folded out of weekly flyers.Set between us on the floor was a small green figure of a plastic army man, one knee bent, a crooked rifle held at shoulder height. The swoop of the word hilarious tumbled to the ground and knocked the man over. That small violence of plastic on plank sounded like lightening bursting an oak to wood chips.Outside, the world was sped up, the sun and the moon exchanging seats like a game of musical chairs set to fiddles. I saw us in the tree house, and then the tree house in a field, and then the field in the middle of a forest, and then the towns and highways beyond, haphazard like a snapped string of beads over green fabric. Water slid down mountains clotted with pines, and soil rushing after like black vomit. Hail the size of dinner plates bounced over cracked pavement and smashed into buildings. People blipped onto the land like faults in film and then disappeared just as fast, leaving shadows and holes. Lakes, poisoned useless, glinted like coins in the sunlight, then moonlight, then sunlight again. Icebergs melted, and everything warped as if the ice had been the solid frame of it all. Trash in the oceans was beached in tall waves, leaving deserts of water bottles and decorating the trees with the confetti of faded wrappers and pull tabs. Disgorged grocery bags spun down wrecked roads like the crinkly ghosts of tumbleweeds. This was the world now. And that wasn’t even the worst part.Then we weren’t in the tree house anymore. We were outside, in a brick-and-vinyl suburb with dandelions to our knees poking out from cracks in asphalt like bristle on hide. I was holding Mitch’s hand, and we were standing on a street in front of a row of emptied houses, their windows dark as punched-out teeth. People walked by us coughing blood onto their shirts, clutching their bellies and heads and sides, medical masks hanging from their ears like hand-me-down jewelry. They had the plague. The trash cans at the end of each driveway were heaped with syringes, so many vaccinations and cures thrown out because none would work. The people stumbled into one another, knocking over cans and crunching through the needles. They had that look, the one that let you know they were dreamless, that they were halfway to crazy, that they were the most dangerous animals in the field.Fear pinched my guts, and I squeezed Mitch’s hand. Now the dreamless were starting to walk different, stooped, their fingers held strange, always in mid-grab. They had nowhere to go now. They’d stopped showing up for their shifts on rebuilding projects. They’d stopped loving their spouses. They hung themselves from the confetti trees like heavy ornaments. At the edge of my sight, I could see them now, bloated faces pointed down, sightless eyes like coins in the sunlight, then moonlight, then sunlight again. I heard their shoes hitting against each other, hollow chimes in the breeze.The people on the street were starting to notice us, turning on awkward feet to amble over, fingers flexing open and shut. I closed my eyes and buried my face in Mitch’s shoulder. I could hear his breathing loud in my ears, but I had no words to calm him or myself. They saw us now for what we were: dreamers, providers, fuel. I knew what they wanted. I’d watched a pack of dogs once, breaking bones apart in a parking lot and snarling over the marrow, chewing and growling through exposed teeth at the same time, a cacophony of glut. A woman in a beige sweat suit approached, her long hair pulled back tight in a high ponytail, head held at an odd angle, her face twitching. She took small steps toward us on white sneakers until I could feel her breath on my cheek. I closed my eyes. I could hear her teeth snapping open and shut and then the low rumble of a growl, like a spool of ribbon uncoiling up her throat. That’s when my voice returned and I screamed and . . .My eyes opened.There was no light. I lifted my hands in front of my face but couldn’t make them out. I touched my arms, stomach, the front of my pants, wet down to the knees. A sting of humiliation when I realized I’d pissed myself, even now in the heavy dark, even through the massive weight of the headache, there was room for this small embarrassment.Then pain swept in, cutting through my scalp and stabbing into my brain. I pulled my chin to my chest and slouched my shoulders, trying to back away from it. Eventually, it spread to a thud and pull, matching my pulse, and I knew that my heart was still beating somewhere under the dull throb of bruised ribs. Living, as it turns out, is the ability to ache.What had happened? Where was I?I sat up and assessed the back of my head. There was stuff stuck in my hair, like I’d been rolling around in the bush. I hissed through closed teeth, trying to untangle the mess. I grabbed what felt like a leaf and started to pull.“Jesus Christ!”There was a kind of tearing that I heard from the inside of my skull. It wasn’t a leaf; it was dried blood and the beginning crust of a large scab. I dropped my hand to my eyes to look for evidence of the bleeding I knew was there, but there was only darkness.Standing on wobbly legs, cold pushed through the holes in my socks. Where were my shoes? And why was the ground so even? There were always branches to step over, roots bubbling under the soil, making walking a careful dance. I’d been out in the woods and on the run for so many years that my feet didn’t recognize a floor. I shuffled forward, arms outstretched, the ground smooth under each step. Seven slow paces forward and my fingers crunched into a wall. I flattened my palms and followed it until it met another at a ninety-degree angle.That’s when the panic settled into the bottom curve of each throb; I was inside. I’d spent the last eight of my seventeen years outside, running, trying to stay on the other side of walls. Walls only slowed you down. Walls left you without options. Walls kept you still. And these days, stillness was death.I called for the others. “Miig? Rose? Rose, are you there?”I followed the wall all the way around, my shaking fingers, sticky with drying blood, making out the seams of a door, a sink, a toilet, my clumsy feet ramming into the metal frame of a small bed. I collapsed there on the thin mattress and whimpered, winding up like a kettle into shrill. The only thing that made capture more certain than walls was noise that would give your location away, anything from a heavy footstep to a loud cry. But I had no sense, not then, not trapped in this room in the complete blackness.Hearing yourself fall apart makes it happen faster. Back when I was with my family—maybe hours or even days ago, who knows—we worked hard to hold each other up. Tree and Zheegwon, they had a special way of doing this for each other; maybe it was a twin thing, but something as simple as a glance or a hand on a shoulder and they were brought back to calm. It was dangerous to be anything but calm. Calm is strength performed. Weakness is like a loose sweater string caught on a nail and you’re running in the opposite direction. Eventually, you unravel the whole thing and you’re left naked.Somewhere in the middle of the undoing, I fell asleep, curled fetal, my broken head resting on the podium of a knee bent like a plastic army man. And I dreamed; the other thing besides pain that assured me I was alive, truly alive, all-the-way-dialed‑up alive.✦✦✦ ✦✦✦ ✦✦✦I opened my eyes back into the black, scrambling to my feet before I remembered I was inside. The back of my messed‑up head shrieked from the movement, and I sank back to the bed. I smelled wet rot and metal rust—the mineral waste of my own blood. Every muscle hurt, and I was cold. I didn’t know if I was shivering or if the room was vibrating, as if a large vehicle were revving nearby. I folded myself so small my hands were sandwiched between the crescent bones of my ankles. All over, my skin was slippery. Had I pissed myself again? No, I was sweating. I could taste it on my lips, salt and sick.“Not dead. Not dead,” I reminded myself.And then I knew where I was. There was only one place I could be. If I was with my family, Miig and Wab and the others, I wouldn’t be inside, and I certainly wouldn’t be hurt, and I would never, under any circumstance, be alone. I knew then that I was in the place we ran from, the place where Indigenous people were brought and never seen again—I was in one of the new residential schools, just like the old ones the government stole us away to, where they conducted experiments, where they tried to kill the Indian in the child. The realization hit me like a punch to the stomach, and I struggled to breathe, each gasp sending shards of pain into my head and down my neck.Then I did something I hadn’t done in years, something I really had no memory of ever doing: I called out for the one who had left so long ago, the one whom I hadn’t seen since she climbed down from the roof beside the Friendship Centre looking for supplies. Leaving Mitch and me alone and hunted in the middle of a splintered city to run until we found the tree house, where only one of us would be left to continue that run.“Mom! Oh, Mom. Pleeease . . .” It didn’t make sense to try, and it did nothing but amp up the panic pouring into my lungs.There was the sound of metal turning on metal and a click, loud and sure like fingers snapping. The solid air in the room shuddered; I felt it in my ears.A slice of light appeared, so clear it made me squint, so electric and pitched I could hear it. It grew so massive I lifted an arm across my face and sucked in my breath. There were footsteps. I pulled my arm away and only opened my eyes enough to see that the door was swinging wide open.My first response was shock, then an almost hysterical relief. I could see!And then a dark figure appeared in the light, a hieroglyph of a man blocking the way out. His shoulders were broad, the hair on his head short and bristled, and the outline of a holster at his hip came into focus. And I understood that not being dead could be a very temporary state after all.I wanted to sit up, but I had no way to operate the joints and muscles needed to move. Then a voice, unmistakable, one I’d heard since the very beginning, whispered from somewhere close to my head, as if I had tucked her under my pillow like a worry doll.“Without the magic in the marrow, we’re just machines,” my mother said. “And you can’t reason with mechanics.”I tried to call out but only managed to exhale all the breath out of my body. I closed my eyes, eager to get back to the certainty of the complete darkness. It came right away. And this time, there was no dream.Excerpt from Hunting by Stars by Cherie Dimaline reprinted by permission. Copyright Amulet Books.Cherie Dimaline’s Hunting by Stars will be released October 19; you can pre-order a copy here.For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom.

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Screenshot: Warner Bros.When The Matrix Revolutions ended in 2003, few could have guessed we’d be here today, almost 20 years later, going back to where it all started. Back to The Matrix.  After years of rumors, speculation, and anticipation, you better get ready to return to a world of red pills, blue pills, sentinels, agents, and more. Please enjoy watching the tremendous spectacle that is The Matrix Resurrections trailer.Even though that trilogy of films by the Wachowskis put a bow on the story of Neo (Keanu Reeves), Trinity (Carrie Anne-Moss), Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), and the rest—The Matrix Resurrections is doing exactly what its title promises: resurrecting the series. Lana Wachowski writes and directs the latest film which brings back Reeves and Moss are along with newcomers Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Henwick, and Jonathan Groff.We’ll have a full, detailed breakdown up later today but let’s talk overall first impressions. Interestingly, most of the stuff that was available earlier this week as a tease on the official WhatIsTheMatrix website isn’t in this trailer, which is rather exciting. Beyond that, there has to be some kind of time-loop, replay-of-reality narrative happening here. Is Abdul-Mateen playing a young Morpheus? Or is he someone that’s related to Morpheus? The similarities are strikingly intentional. If he is a younger version of the character, could this have all happened before the events of the original films? Is this a story of Neo and Trinity forever destined to save themselves and free Zion? Does Zion even exist in this world anymore? Who is even controlling the Matrix? The questions we have about the world itself are innumerable.The trailer shows a similar arc to the original movie too; Thomas Anderson is stuck in his tech-obsessed reality, then begins to liberate his mind, learn to fight (or maybe just relearning?), and eventually become very powerful with his abilities to manipulate the computer world of the Matrix. The woman with the Alice in Wonderland book has very big Oracle vibes. We see people fighting agents, running up walls, a little bit of everything. Really the main difference between this trailer and what we remember of the original is that Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are each 20 years older. Everything about this looks fantastic though, it could be a movie that reignites a passion for cinema much in the way the original film did back in 1999. That’s a tall order to be sure—but if anyone can do it, it’s the team behind The Matrix. The Matrix Resurrections opens in theaters, and on HBO Max, December 22.Wondering where our RSS feed went? You can pick the new up one here.

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Get ready for a new take on a classic tale, from a comics legend.Image: Mike Mignola and Dave Stewart/Beehive BooksMike Mignola is an artist who’s turned his hands to all sorts of weird and wonderful subjects beyond the realm of his iconic creation Hellboy—and his latest project is seeing him take his style into a beloved children’s classic, in the form of a new edition of Pinocchio.io9's got your first look at Mignola and colorist Dave Stewart’s art for a new, lavish edition of Carlo Collodi’s classic 1883 novel The Adventures of Pinocchio, being published by Beehive books next year. Mignola and Stewart, longtime collaborators across Hellboy’s long history, will provide both the cover for the new edition, which is being crowdfunded through Kickstarter, as well as interior illustrations throughout the original novel. Check out the cover in full below, making its debut here on io9!Image: Mike Mignola and Dave Stewart/Beehive Books“Pinocchio has been one of my two favorite books (along with Dracula) for as long as I can remember,” Mignola said in a press release provided to io9. “It’s shaped the way I write and the way I think. It’s got everything—amazingly strange humor as well as surprising flashes of surreal horror and violence—and tackling it has been a challenge. I’m thrilled to team with Beehive book for this. The books they’ve produced have been true works of art and cannot wait to see what they do with stuff I’m giving them.”If you’re interested in backing the Illuminated Edition of Pinocchio, you can head on over to Kickstarter to sign up to be notified when the project launches in 2022. And if you want to see more of Mignola’s art from the edition, the artist will debut two new pieces from the Illuminated Edition during his virtual artist’s alley appearance at LightBox Expo Online, running from today until September 12—more details for which can be found here. Wondering where our RSS feed went? You can pick the new up one here.

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Blade introducing himself as the new sheriff of vampire town.Image: Luca Maresca, David Curiel, Cory Petit/MarvelOf all the Marvel announcements made at San Diego Comic-Con back in 2019, none were quite as surprising as the news of a new Blade movie starring Mahershala Ali which director Bassam Tariq signed onto a few months later.In the time since the new movie’s announcement, the rest of the MCU has continued to chug along with new cinematic projects like Shang-Chi and the upcoming Eternals, both of which reinforce how the MCU has become a much more mystical, otherworldly place during Phase 4. So far, there’s been little news about how Tariq’s Blade might end up fitting into the MCU down the line. But in a recent interview with The Playlist the director opened up a bit about his experience with the project so far. While Tariq didn’t go into details about the movie’s script, which was penned by screenwriter by Stacy Osei-Kuffour, he explained how Marvel’s given the creative team a fair amount of freedom to build a narrative in service of the story they wanted to tell.“What’s so great is it’s not as boxed in as I think people imagine it to be, which I thought it was,” Tariq said. “But it’s quite exciting, and I think the reality is there is no Blade canon.”Tariq expanded on his point about Blade’s comics canon with a comparison to Peter Parker who, despite appearing across a wide swath of Marvel properties set in a variety of universes, has a fairly well-established lore that the general public is roughly familiar with. With Blade, who’s been appearing in Marvel’s comics since the 70s and was one of the first Marvel characters featured in a major motion picture, that’s not exactly the case. “In some comics, his name is Fred H. Blade, you know, instead of Eric Brooks,” Tariq pointed pointed out. “Unfortunately, the runs never lasted that long, and there have been some interesting and exciting waves. But I can say [the new movie is] character first.”Between Marvel’s comics and video games, Blade’s also been having something of a moment that the new movie may take cues from. In the past few months, Blade’s taken on a significant role alongside other Avengers in Marvel’s King in Black comics series, which saw the daywalker become the new sheriff of the vampire nation formerly known as Chernobyl. Similarly, Blade’s one of the headliners in 2K Games’ Midnight Suns, an upcoming tactical RPG built around a new incarnation of the supernatural hero team from the 90s Midnight Sons comics. While some fans may take issue with the way Tariq phrased his statements, he’s not wrong to point out that Blade’s canon is a bit all over the place and not something that needs to be stuffed into a single film wholecloth.With Blade, there’s plenty to pick and choose from, and given how the new project’s meant to reintroduce the character to a new generation, it’s going to be very fascinating to see which elements end up becoming the basis of the MCU’s canon. Blade is set to begin filming next July 2022.Wondering where our RSS feed went? You can pick the new up one here.

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Inset of the Injustice: Year One - The Complete Collection cover by Jheremy Raapack.Image: DC ComicsWe’re big fans of Tom Taylor’s Injustice: Gods Among Us comics, dubbing it the greatest “Superman goes evil” story ever written. So by extension, we’re looking forward to WB Animation’s upcoming movie adaptation—especially now that the first details have been released.The comic series, which serves as a prequel to Netherrealm’s hit fighting game series of the same name, starts when the Joker destroys all of Metropolis with a nuclear bomb and tricks Superman into killing Lois Lane and his unborn child. It’s horrific enough to goad Superman into his first murder, by ripping out the Joker’s heart. Forever changed by the disaster, the hero decides the world is too awful to be left to its own devices, and established a fascist regime with himself at the head—along with several DC heroes who feel the same way. Batman, unable to convince his Super Friend to change his mind, starts recruiting both heroes and villains in order to take Superman’s regime down. Then everybody fights a lot.If Injustice sounds like it’s nothing but repetitive fighting I assure you, it is not. Taylor, and his successor Brian Buccellato, managed to have some really meaningful character moments across the series, radically fleshing out the versions of DC icons heroic and villainous alike in the series—especially with Harley Quinn, giving us one of the most interesting iterations of the character. Plus, the original Injustice series was also a five-year, five-volume tour through the DC Universe, as Batman attempted to defeat Superman with the Green Lantern Corps, DC’s preeminent magic-users, the pantheon of Greek gods, and more. That means if this first Injustice animated movie is successful, the newly announced voice cast has a lot of work coming their way (many of whom are already doing double duty):Justin Hartley as SupermanAnson Mount as BatmanLaura Bailey as Lois Lane and Rama KushnaZach Callison as Damian and Jimmy OlsenBrian T. Delaney as Green LanternBrandon Michael Hall as CyborgEdwin Hodge as Mr. Terrific and Killer CrocOliver Hudson as Plastic ManGillian Jacobs as Harley QuinnYuri Lowenthal as Mirror Master, Flash, and ShazamDerek Phillips as Nightwing and AquamanKevin Pollak as Joker and Jonathan KentAnika Noni Rose as CatwomanReid Scott as Green Arrow and Victor ZsaszFaran Tahir as Ra’s al GhulFred Tatasciore as Captain AtomJanet Varney as Wonder WomanAndrew Morgado as Mirror Master SoldierThe movie comes along with a featurette about the making of the movie, and the classic Justice League cartoon’s two-part “Injustice for All” story, and two “flashbacks” from previous DC animated movies. Injustice: Gods Among Us will be available on Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD, and digitally on October 19. But if you want a sneak peek, mark your calendar for DC’s online Fandom event on October 16.Wondering where our RSS feed went? You can pick the new up one here.

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Steelstriker by Marie LuImage: Roaring Brook PressThis month we’ve got stories galore to keep you entertained as the seasons change. Read on for kingdoms in rebellion, magical murder mysteries, space shenanigans, parallel dimensions, vampires, a new Dune novel, haunted houses (and forests and lakes), short-story collections, and so much more.Image: Thomas & MercerConstance by Matthew FitzSimmonsIn a world where human cloning exists, albeit only for the wealthy, a young woman who’s gifted her own clone experiences an anomaly during a routine consciousness upload...and then wakes up as her clone after her original self is murdered. Can she figure out who’s responsible before she’s murdered again? (September 1)Image: Mariner BooksThe Nature of Middle-earth by J.R.R. Tolkien and Carl F. HostetterThis new collection edited by Tolkien expert Carl F. Hostetter compiles Tolkien’s final writings on Middle-earth and the vast world and culture he created there, published here for the first time. (September 2)Image: ErewhonThe All-Consuming World by Cassandra KhawA career criminal who’s died multiple times, only to be brought back in cyborg bodies, sets out with her crew on one last mission, a daring rescue—but finds the AI that runs the galaxy is determined to stand in their way. Read an excerpt here. (September 7)Image: Gallery / Saga PressAmong Thieves by M.J. KuhnA sharp-tongued outlaw assembles a not-entirely-trustworthy crew of misfits for the ultimate heist: taking down the sovereign ruler who knows her deadly secret and is hellbent on destroying her. (September 7)Image: Titan BooksThe Art of Space Travel and Other Stories by Nina AllanThis new collection of “weird and wonderful stories” comes from the Hugo-nominated author of The Rift. (September 7)Image: Night ShadeThe Best Science Fiction of the Year, Volume Six edited by Neil ClarkeThe publisher and editor-in-chief of Clarkesworld gathers standout sci-fi stories from 2020 for this diverse collection. Contributors include io9 co-founder Annalee Newitz as well as N.K. Jemisin, Cixin Liu, Ann Leckie, and more. (September 7)Image: Margaret K. McElderry BooksThe Bones of Ruin by Sarah RaughleyA tightrope performer in Victorian London hides her immortality—until she learns the end of the world is near and agrees to enter a “Tournament of Freaks” on behalf of a mysterious man who claims to be able to explain why she is the way she is. (September 7)Image: RazorbillDark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers SainIn this supernatural thriller, a 17-year-old goes missing in a small Louisiana town known as “the Psychic Capital of the World”—but for some reason, nobody’s come forward with any clues. The girl’s best friend turns detective and discovers dangerous secrets in her midst. (September 7)Image: Poisoned Pen PressThe Haunting of Leigh Harker by Darcy CoatesWhen a woman’s quiet suburban home is suddenly invaded by an evil spirit, she must unravel its secrets or she’ll never be able to escape. (September 7)Image: Running Press AdultHow to Survive a Human Attack: A Guide for Werewolves, Mummies, Cyborgs, Ghosts, Nuclear Mutants, and Other Movie Monsters by K.E. FlannThis book reaches out to supernatural creatures who are finding it difficult to avoid pesky humans, with chapter titles like “Self-Training 101 for Werewolves” and “First-Time Haunter’s Guide for Ghosts, Spirits, Poltergeists, Specters, and Wraiths.” (September 7)Image: BaenJekyll & Hyde Inc. by Simon R. GreenWhen a London cop stumbles upon the city’s monster-filled crime underworld, he teams up with the one crew working against all the vampires, mummies, and other beasties: the Hyde of Jekyll & Hyde Inc. (September 7)Image: Blackstone PublishingNo Gods, No Monsters by Cadwell TurnbullAfter losing her brother to what appears to be police violence, a woman realizes that not only are monsters real, they’re suddenly, deliberately making their presence felt in the world for mysterious reasons. Read an excerpt here. (September 7)Image: Jimmy PattersonTides of Mutiny by Rebecca RofeFemale sailors are put to death in her world, but a 16-year-old girl determined to become a captain disguises herself as a cabin boy to get closer to her dream. Before long, her father’s pirate past comes to light and she’s forced to align herself with a prince to continue her journey...if she can keep her true identity a secret. (September 7)Image: Harper VoyagerThe Actual Star by Monica ByrneThis tale spans 2,000 years and six continents, following three stories that explore the origins of humanity, its present, and its future: teenage twins in a Maya civilization kingdom; an American woman traveling in Belize; and people fighting for control of a new religious movement on an Earth decimated by climate change. (September 14)Image: CurrencyAI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future by Kai-Fu Lee and Chen QiufanOver the course of 10 short stories, a novelist and the former president of Google China team up to imagine different global scenarios for the year 2041, all tied into how AI will shape and change our lives. A few examples: “in Tokyo, a music fan is swept up in an immersive form of celebrity worship based on virtual reality and mixed reality,” and “in Munich, a rogue scientist draws on quantum computing, computer vision and other AI technologies in a revenge plot that imperils the world.” (September 14)Image: Gallery BooksBlack Nerd Problems: Essays by William Evans and Omar HolmonThe popular website’s founders share pop culture essays on “everything from Mario Kart and The Wire to issues of representation and police brutality across media.” (September 14)Image: Quirk BooksDare to Know by James KennedyBilled as “Dark Matter meets Annihilation,” this tale follows a salesperson who works for a company capable of calculating the exact moment a person will die. But when he breaks the rules to learn his own death day, it tells him he’s already dead—sending him on a wild, surreal journey. (September 14)Image: Bloomsbury YADefy the Night by Brigid KemmererA new fantasy series begins in this tale of an apothecary apprentice who’s working to cure a devastating plague the land’s rulers have chosen to ignore. Before long she starts to wonder if getting rid of the rulers themselves might be the only lasting cure. (September 14)Image: St. Martin’s PressEmpire of the Vampire by Jay KristoffThis dark fantasy follows a decades-long war between humans and vampires. When the story begins, the vampires have the upper hand, to the point that the sun no longer rises—and the only remaining member of a holy brotherhood that once battled vampires must decide his future path. (September 14)Image: Titan BooksFrom the Neck Up and Other Stories by Aliya WhiteleySixteen stories from the author of The Beauty that examine “the strangeness of everyday life through beguiling gardens, rebellious bodies and journeys across familiar worlds.” (September 14)Image: Farrar, Straus and GirouxThe Hollow Heart by Marie RutkoskiThe Forgotten Gods duology concludes with this tale that sees Nirrim taking the throne and proving to be an unexpectedly vengeful ruler—while back in her home country, Sid steps up to her own royal duty while wondering how she can save her best friend. (September 14)Image: Del ReyOaths of Legacy by Emily SkrutskieIn this sequel to Bonds of Brass, a prince destined to rule a galactic empire returns home after fleeing an assassination attempt, determined to stomp out a growing rebellion. Things get even more complicated when he’s taken hostage and, in order to save his life, the man he loves reveals himself to also be a royal heir—but to the rival kingdom that’s behind the rebellion. (September 14)Image: Angry RobotThe Offset by Calder SzewczakThe Devastating Set-Up of the Month Award goes to this exceptionally dystopian story: “It is your 18th birthday and one of your parents must die. You are the one who decides. Who do you pick?” (September 14)Image: Tor NightfireSlewfoot: A Tale of Bewitchery by BromThis dark fantasy set in a Puritan village in 1666 Connecticut follows the dangerous alliance that forms between an ancient forest spirit known as Slewfoot, and a widowed outcast with nobody else to turn to. (September 14)Image: Blackstone PublishingSouls of Fire and Steel by Jill CriswellThe Frozen Sun Saga continues as the powerful Lira of Stone and the warrior Reyker Lagorsson fight against each other and the demigod who has control over both of them. (September 14)Image: Amulet BooksStalking Shadows by Cyla PaninIn 18th-century France, a teenage girl sells bottles of perfume that help her sister, who transforms into a deadly beast, select her victims. But when the beast-girl starts losing control and killing children, they’ll have to risk everything to try and find a cure. (September 14)Image: DAWWhen Sorrows Come by Seanan McGuireOctober “Toby” Daye returns for the 15th novel in this urban fantasy series. This time around, Toby’s long-delayed wedding to Tybalt, San Francisco’s King of Cats, seems like it’s finally going to happen—if she can manage to keep the chaos around her at bay. (September 14)Image: DAWWinterlight by Kristen BritainThe Green Rider series continues as knight and magic wielder Karigan fights to protect the realm while also confronting the darkness lingering in her past. (September 14)Image: OrbitThe Wisdom of Crowds by Joe AbercrombieThe Age of Madness fantasy series concludes as a revolution rages. Citizen Brock tries to be a hero, Citizeness Savine fights for redemption, and a bloody quest for vengeance threatens everyone’s survival. (September 14)Image: OrbitThe Body Scout by Lincoln MichelSet in a near-future New York, in a world devastated by climate change and pandemics, a baseball scout is pulled into the high-tech body-modification underground when his brother is murdered. (September 21)Image: Tor BooksDune: The Lady of Caladan by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. AndersonThe latest entry in the epic Dune series focuses on Lady Jessica as she’s torn between her family and her loyalty to the Bene Gesserit. (September 21)Image: Tachyon PublicationsThe Escapement by Lavie TidharA lone gunman seeking to rescue his young son must travel into a parallel world that’s a dangerous and surreal blend of his son’s favorite things and some very dark forces. (September 21)Image: Del ReyThe Free Bastards by Jonathan FrenchThe blood-soaked Lot Lands fantasy trilogy ends with this entry, which sees man-orc Oats facing yet another seemingly impossible battle—and a crisis of faith that makes him realize maybe war isn’t the way forward after all. (September 21)Image: Gallery / Saga PressGutter Mage by J.S. KelleyFantasy meets noir in this tale of a king who turns to the powerful Gutter Mage to help rescue his kidnapped son. But as she begins to investigate the case, she uncovers a conspiracy tied to her own past that could spell disaster for everyone. (September 21)Image: Penguin TeenIron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao“Pacific Rim meets The Handmaid’s Tale” in this sci-fi fantasy inspired by Chinese history about a teenaged girl who signs up as a transforming robot pilot to battle mecha aliens—while also plotting revenge against the male pilot who caused her sister’s death, and with an eye toward bringing down the entire patriarchal system. Read an excerpt here. (September 21)Image: Viking Books for Young ReadersThe Other Merlin by Robyn SchneiderThe Arthurian legend goes teen rom-com in this YA take on the classic story. Merlin’s twin sister disguises herself as her brother so that she can practice magic, a forbidden activity for women, while inconveniently falling for the prince while she’s at it. (September 21)Image: Apex Book CompanyPlague Birds by Jason SanfordA girl becomes the very thing that killed her mother—a terrifying “plague bird,” a much-feared blend of human and killer AI symbiote—in order to save her father and her village. By doing so, she realizes a terrible truth about the future of the world. (September 21)Image: AceA Song of Flight by Juliet MarillierA young woman who is both warrior and bard sets out to investigate the kidnapping of a prince and ends up joining forces with her brother—a fellow bard who’s run afoul of the sinister gang that might be behind the crime. (September 21)Image: Delacorte PressSpells Like Teen Spirit by Kate M. WilliamsThe Babysitter’s Coven series winds down with this entry, as “Sitter” Esme works on enhancing her supernatural, demon-slaying powers while trying to unravel the curse that’s lingering over her mother. Also, there’s a new band in town whose magical members are definitely up to no good. (September 21)Image: Titan BooksStolen Earth by J.T. NicholasHumans have fled Earth after the one-two punch of war and environmental collapse, and instead, live miserably on overcrowded colonies and space stations. Earth, meanwhile, is heavily guarded so that nobody can return—until a ragtag crew decides to undertake a risky mission to recover valuable artifacts from their former home planet, which has some big surprises waiting for them. (September 21)Image: Tor BooksUnder the Whispering Door by T.J. KluneAfter he dies, a man becomes determined to make the most of his week at Charon’s Crossing—the tea house perched between worlds—before he heads to the afterlife. (September 21)Image: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young ReadersBeasts of Prey by Ayana GrayA new fantasy series begins as a pair of teens—one of whom has the forbidden gift of magic, the other fated to become a warrior—must reluctantly team up to fight the monster that’s menacing their city. (September 28)Image: Quirk BooksChasing Ghosts: A Tour of Our Fascination with Spirits and the Supernatural by Marc HartzmanThis illustrated “spirited tour through the supernatural history of America” explores haunted houses, pop culture, and American history itself. (September 28)Image: ScribnerCloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony DoerrThe Pulitzer Prize winner’s latest follows three stories of children coming of age with the help of one special book: an orphan in ancient Constantinople; a group of Idaho kids; and a lonely space traveler. (September 28)Image: Quill Tree BooksDark Rise by C.S. PacatIn 19th century London, a 16-year-old boy taps into his magic powers after learning his destiny is to join the fight against the dreaded Dark King. (September 28)Image: Angry RobotThe Godless by James A. MooreThe Seven Forges series continues in post-war Fellein, where peace means chaos as a murderer prowls, a necromancer terrorizes, and a bloodthirsty new army rises. (September 28)Image: BerkleyHorseman: A Tale of Sleepy Hollow by Christina HenryIn this story inspired by The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a teenage boy who’s grown up hearing the legend of the Headless Horseman discovers the headless body of a child in the woods outside Sleepy Hollow. Is the Horseman real... or is something much worse afoot? (September 28)Image: Tor BooksInvisible Sun by Charles StrossThe Empire Games trilogy concludes with this techno-thriller that finds humanity on the brink of extinction across multiple timelines—with all hope of survival resting on “disgraced worldwalker Rita and her intertemporal extraordinaire agent of a mother.” (September 28)Image: Henry Holt and Co.Lakesedge by Lyndall ClipstoneIn this gothic fantasy, a woman finds unexpected romance when she travels to a haunted mansion at the edge of a cursed lake—and must defeat a monstrous god to right a wrong in her past and secure her future. (September 28)Image: Del ReyThe Last Graduate by Naomi NovikThe Scholomance trilogy continues as our teenaged heroine nears graduation from her magic school—but can she keep from being devoured alive without having to embrace her dark destiny? (September 28)Image: Tor NightfireThe Last House on Needless Street by Catriona WardThis horror novel introduces a most unusual family of three—a teen girl who’s not allowed to go outside for...reasons, a man with memory problems, and a cat who reads the Bible—to the reader and to the neighbor who just so happens to move in next door. (September 28)Image: SolarisThe Liar of Red Valley by Walter GoodwaterA young woman who’s been designated as her town’s “Liar,” the keeper of its secrets, would prefer to use her position to dig up the truth, not to gain power. But it’s going to be tough, especially when her curiosity attracts the interest of both the local sheriff and the king. (September 28)Image: Tor BooksLight From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki“Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success,” this tale begins. The first six, no problem. The seventh makes things complicated—as does her chance meeting with a dreamy retired starship captain. (September 28)Image: St. Martin’s GriffinThe Orphan Witch by Paige CrutcherA woman who’s spent her life as a loner would love to change that about herself—but the strange effect she has on the world around her prevents her from forming attachments. When at last she finds the first place she really, truly belongs, she must deal with a raging family feud and a curse before she feels at home. (September 28)Image: RedhookThe Seven Visitations of Sydney Burgess by Andy MarinoAfter she’s knocked unconscious by an intruder, a woman awakens to learn the man was found murdered—and she’s the prime suspect. To figure out what’s going on, she must dig into her unpleasant past and face some long-hidden, very dark memories. (September 28)Image: Tor TeenSome Faraway Place by Lauren ShippenThe Bright Sessions series continues as Rose discovers that she does have magic abilities like everyone else in her family of “Atypicals”—she’s a late bloomer, but she can travel into dreams. As she soon finds, her new powers don’t come without consequence. (September 28)Image: Roaring Brook PressSteelstriker by Marie LuThe sequel to Skyhunter finds Talin forced to abandon her life as a Striker and join up with the enemy Federation to become a tool in their war as a Skyhunter. But she hasn’t turned her back on her country, and together with Red, she might still discover some hope for the future. (September 28)Image: TordotcomSummer Sons by Lee MandeloAfter a grad student dies from what appears to be suicide, his best friend sets out to uncover the truth, a process that shakes loose some long-held personal secrets, some very disturbing family history, and at least one unpleasant ghost. (September 28)Image: Margaret K. McElderry BooksVespertine by Margaret RogersonThe hungry spirits of the dead are invading—and it’s up to a young nun-in-training and the sinister revenant she accidentally awakens to form an unsteady alliance and fight off the threat. Read an excerpt here. (September 28)Image: Titan BooksWhen Things Get Dark: Stories Inspired by Shirley Jackson edited by Ellen DatlowThis horror anthology of new and exclusive short stories pays tribute to the groundbreaking author of The Haunting of Hill House, with contributions from Joyce Carol Oates, Josh Malerman, Paul Tremblay, Richard Kadrey, and others. (September 28)Image: Quirk BooksWilliam Shakespeare’s Avengers: The Complete Works by Ian DoescherEver wondered what the four Avengers films might have been like if they’d been written by Shakespeare? Wonder no longer in this humorous take, which presents the following: Assemble, Ye Avengers; Lo, The Age of Ultron; Infinity War’s Tale; and, of course, The Endgame’s Afoot. (September 28)Image: Gallery / Saga PressThe Year’s Best Science Fiction: Volume 2 edited by Jonathan StrahanA collection of standout short sci-fi stories written in 2020 by both emerging and established authors, including io9 co-founder Charlie Jane Anders as well as Ken Liu, Tochi Onyebuchi, Sarah Gailey, and more. (September 28)Image: SubterraneanCity of Songs by Anthony RyanA dethroned king travels to a fabled city, hoping to find a mythical sword. But before he can track it down, he’ll need to solve a magical murder mystery first. (September 30)Wondering where our RSS feed went? You can pick the new up one here.

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Princess Maya (voiced by Zoe Saldaña) gets ready to take on the gods themselves.Screenshot: NetflixLet’s be clear: Jorge R. Gutiérrez’s Maya and the Three is set in a mythical land inspired by Mexican and Mesoamerican culture. The Book of Life director has drawn from Incan, Aztec, and Mayan mythology, as well as a smattering of Caribbean culture, to create an epic fantasy TV series for Netflix, and you can see it all in Maya’s first trailer.The idea of a princess who not-so-secretly wants to be a warrior is a rather familiar one, but things take a turn when Maya discovers the God of War claimed her life long ago. If she refuses to submit, it will mean bad news for the entire planet, so she decides to fulfill an ancient prophecy that will summon three mythic warriors that can help her fight the gods themselves.That’s a pretty hardcore premise—and worthy of being called a “Mexican Lord of the Rings”—but rest assured the fantasy series is still kid-friendly, as the first trailer shows:What’s really clear about the series, though, is how much it’s a “hyper, hyper, hyper love letter to Mexican culture and to the ancient culture of Mesoamerica, the Caribbean, and a little bit of South American culture,” as Gutierrez called it at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival. And just in case you didn’t recognize the show’s voice actors, as Deadline reports, Maya’s cast is wild:Zoe Saldaña as Princess MayaGabriel Iglesias as PicchuAllen Maldonado as RicoStephanie Beatriz as ChimiDiego Luna as ZatzGael García Bernal as the Jaguar TripletsAlfred Molina as the God of WarKate del Castillo as the Goddess of Death, Danny Trejo as the God of EarthquakesCheech Marin as the Gods of Wind and StormRosie Perez as the Goddess of GatorsQueen Latifah as Gran BrujaWyclef Jean as Gran BrujoJorge R. Gutiérrez as King TecaSandra Equihua as Queen TecaIsabela Merced as the Widow QueenChelsea Random as the Goddess of TattoosJoaquín Cosío as the God of BatsCarlos Alazraqui as the God of Dark MagicEric Bauza as the God of Jungle AnimalsRita Moreno as Ah PuchMaya and the Three will be a nine-episode series, and will debut on Netflix sometime this fall (there’s no concrete release date at the moment). Wondering where our RSS feed went? You can pick the new up one here.

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He’s had it with these MF snakes on this MF plane.Photo: New Line CinemaThe phrase “Never judge a book by its cover” is almost always true, with a few unfortunate exceptions. One such exception is the 2006 film Snakes on a Plane. Those four words tell you everything you need to know about the movie: it’s about “snakes” that are “on a plane.” Why would snakes be on a plane? If snakes did get on a plane, would anything of note even happen? There, in the intersection and dissection of those thoughts, is everything you need to know about the tongue-in-cheek action film starring Samuel L. Jackson. It’s a movie befitting of its simplistic, funny title.Snakes on a Plane was released on August 18, 2006, which means it’s celebrating its 15th anniversary this week. However, the film’s legacy begins a little before that; in July 2006, Snakes on a Plane took its hilarious title and premise into San Diego Comic-Con and blew the roof off the place. There, fans and bloggers alike were wowed by the gory, fun footage. The event created huge buzz all over the internet and, as a result, people who got their film news online expected it to be an instant cult hit. Then it opened. While it did hit number one on its opening weekend, it barely grossed $14 million on its way to $34 million domestic (and $62 million international), which was way under expectations. Why was the opening so bad? The overall negative reviews were one reason, but mostly it was a realization that excitement inside the bubble of the internet isn’t the end all, be all. When a person outside that bubble hears a title like “Snakes on the Plane,” odds are they’re going to dismiss it. And so it was that after its opening weekend, Snakes on a Plane took its place in history. For 15 years, the film has been best known as a cautionary tale—proof that buzz among the geek crowd is good, but doesn’t guarantee a hit. I should know. I was at Comic-Con as a fan when the footage played, got hugely hyped about it, and went to see the film in theaters as soon as I could. I walked out dejected, like I’d been duped, and put the film out of my mind. But this week I revisited it for the first time since 2006 and found lots and lots to think about.This movie gets silly.Photo: New Line CinemaDirected by David R. Ellis (Cellular, The Final Destination)—and written by David Dalessandro, John Heffernan, and Sebastian Gutierrez—Snakes on a Plane follows an FBI agent named Neville Flynn (Jackson) who is tasked with protecting a surfer named Sean (Nathan Phillips). Sean witnessed a notorious crime boss named Eddie Kim (Byron Lawson) murder a lawyer and has agreed to testify against him. To make sure Sean gets to do that, Flynn needs to get him from Hawaii to Los Angeles and protect him from Kim’s henchman. And that’s how, for reasons that are never fully explained, Kim decides to infest the flight with snakes in the hopes the airplane will be disabled and everyone will die, including Sean.It should go without saying just how preposterous the whole premise is. At one point Kim even says he’s putting snakes on the plane because he’s exhausted all other options, something we definitely don’t see in the movie (we see him send henchman to Sean’s home for a second but that’s about it). Jumping from passive assassination to “drugged snakes tasked with bringing down an airplane and killing hundreds” is a little much. Also, you might be thinking, “Are snakes even aggressive?” and the answer is, generally, no. Unless of course... they’re sprayed with special pheromones to make them that way. Again, just preposterous. However, this movie is titled Snakes on a Plane—anything that has to happen to get those snakes onto that plane is basically forgivable. Unfortunately though, if you didn’t know that’s where things were going, the movie doesn’t give you a clue. The first 20 minutes are an elaborate, snakeless setup that’s horribly uninteresting and flat. Sean is a nothing, completely disposable character; we’ve seen about a billion other movies and TV shows about witnesses testifying against crime bosses. Even Jackson’s character doesn’t manage to be engaging in these early scenes. It’s as if he’s just going through the motions, hoping you’ll fast forward to the good shit. Plus, it’s all handled very seriously, almost like an episode of Law and Order or something. There are zero hints of the stupidity and mayhem that’s to come. Snakes on a Plane’s first act might as well be from another movie—in fact, when you think about it, at a certain point it really could be about anything—there’s almost no indication or connection to why we’re watching this particular story, save for one very quick shot of a snake once everyone boards the plane.Samuel L. Jackson had to take a snooze after that first act.Screenshot: New Line Cinema Yes, understanding a story is important. Meeting and caring about characters is crucial. But there has to be some tonal cohesion. Maybe even a character or two you care about or a tease linking everything together. In Snakes on a Plane, basically everyone—up to and including the film’s second lead, a flight attendant named Claire (Julianna Margulies)—is given one, maybe two, stereotypical traits to explore and that’s it. By the time the flight takes off, interest is low, as is emotional engagement and attachment. It’s not a good start. But a few minutes later the snakes are let loose... and it’s glorious. For about 40 minutes, the film is basically nonstop action. There are snakes biting people, snakes eating people, snakes going in people’s mouths, ears, eyes—one even bites a penis mid-urination. Truly, the movie goes from boring cop story to full-on horror-thriller almost in an instant. Adding to the campiness is that most of the snakes are created with very questionable CGI, so they look super fake. (This probably wasn’t intentional but we’re going to pretend it was.) A few shots of real snakes are mixed in, but for the most part, the snakes move and look very much like they came out of a computer. Somehow though, it’s OK because the creatures are doing things snakes would almost certainly never do.It’s in this fleeting second act where Snakes on a Plane is the book the cover promised. The action is completely over the top, hugely improbable, and executed with precision and tension, with each and every scene getting increasingly, hilariously more dire. For a while, the entire film has a really palpable jolt of energy, however, once that starts to wind down, there’s that pesky, overly dense story to get back to. Part of that is Flynn’s FBI boss (Bobby Cannavale) running around Los Angeles chasing down leads about foreign snakes. Another is trying to service every one of these characters that have been introduced. There’s also a laundry list of out-of-place oddities such as a germaphobe rapper named Three Gs (Flex Alexander) who tells a little white kid to “stay Black,” gropes a woman’s breast, and pulls a gun on his fellow passengers when he gets overly anxious. The co-pilot is openly misogynistic to the flight attendants. There are multiple forced romances as well as rampant gender and racial stereotypes. The movie is far from cohesive, which makes its transition to the final act more than a little awkward.Snakes on fire, strong desire. Photo: New Line CinemaBy the end of the film, the passengers have basically isolated themselves from most of the snakes, but there still needs to be a big finale. So Flynn—after delivering the iconic line “I’ve had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!”—decides the best way to get rid of the last few snakes is to shoot out a window. This results in the snakes being sucked out, along with luggage, then chairs, and the hole gets bigger and bigger as an impromptu pilot (comedian Kenan Thompson, which is a whole other story) does his best to land the plane safely. If this scene was in any other movie, it would honestly be a decent little set-piece, but because this is about snakes and the snakes hardly play a role in the climax, it makes the entire ending far from satisfying.“Far from satisfying” was my biggest takeaway after watching Snakes on a Plane for its 15-year anniversary. The actual “snakes on a plane” part of the movie is great, but the idea itself is so absurd and so small, it takes way too long to set up, and no time at all to fix, leaving a movie with a boring beginning, amazing middle, and disappointing ending. One saving grace is that during the film’s end credits, the music video for the non-diegetic theme song “Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)” by the now-defunct pop rock group Cobra Starship plays. The song is such a bop, you end the movie on a high note anyway.Overall, Snakes on a Plane still kind of stinks, but at least it teaches us a few lessons. One is that sometimes an idea that seems good actually isn’t if it can’t be pulled off successfully. Another is that online buzz is ultimately kind of meaningless. And third: 15 years can, sometimes, make a movie you thought was a godawful piece of crap into something that’s merely far from satisfying.I had to screenshot this moment from the movie where a huge snake eats a man alive.Screenshot: New Line CinemaAssorted Musings:The supporting cast in this movie is a who’s who of excellent actors that’s don’t get nearly enough to do. There’s Friday Night Lights star Taylor Kitsch as the first person who dies because he broke two major rules of a horror movie—he did drugs and had sex. Insidious’ Lin Shaye is one of the flight attendants. Anchorman’s David Koechner is one of the pilots. There’s Elsa Pataky from Fast Five, Terry Chen from Almost Famous, just so many “Hey I recognize that actor” moments throughout.One of the most delightfully dated moments in the film is when Flynn needs to describe all the snakes to the snake expert over the in-flight phone. Someone says this process would be easier if they could just take photos to which someone replies they’d just need a digital camera and a laptop. Then—this is the best part—one of the passengers pulls out a Blackberry and goes “This is both.” That a camera phone with internet is treated as a reveal in this movie just shows how dated it’s become.I honestly feel like Snakes on a Plane would have been 15% better if Ellis has done a better job casting Sean. Nathan Phillips is a good-looking guy but his performance is super flat; he has almost no chemistry with Samuel L. Jackson and fails to provide even an iota of sympathy for the character. Even though the whole movie is ostensibly about him, you never for one moment care about him, and it’s a huge hindrance to the film overall.Snakes on a Plane both opens and ends in a tropical location. Each has its reason in the story but, for the bigger picture, it’s probably supposed to make you feel like you were on vacation. Like, this is a movie to watch and have a great time. But it doesn’t work; the juxtaposition only makes the film feel that much more disjointed. In addition, the ending bit in particular (an awkward cut paying off an exchange from the beginning about Flynn surfing) is so out of place you almost don’t believe it’s happening. A perfect example, among many, that this movie had no idea what it wanted to be outside of that very simple, descriptive, catchy title.And now, I’ll take a cue from the film and end this article in the exact same way, with this awesome song.Wondering where our RSS feed went? You can pick the new up one here.

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posted 2 months ago on io9
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II at the premiere of Watchmen in 2019.Photo: Chris Delmas/AFP (Getty Images)In the horror film Candyman, the killer appears when you say his name five times. In real life, though he’s not a villain, you will definitely be seeing the upcoming film’s star, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, many more times than that. In a fascinating new profile in the Hollywood Reporter, the busy Abdul-Mateen details what his next several projects are going to be and it’s beyond impressive.Back in 2019, the star of Watchmen shot the horror reboot Candyman, which comes out later this month. From there he shot a role in Matrix 4, which he began before the covid-19 pandemic and finished under safety protocols a few months later. After that, he made a movie called Ambulance, which is directed by Michael Bay; Abdul-Mateen and Jake Gyllenhaal play criminals who steal an ambulance. Right now, he’s reprising Black Manta—his role from the first Aquaman—in the sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and when that’s over, he gets a few months off before joining up with director George Miller on the Mad Max prequel, Furiosa, in 2022.Oh, and he’s also set up two projects at Warner Bros. he hopes to make sometime in the future. One is called Emergency Contact, an action movie set in the underground music scene of Austin, TX, produced by Dwayne Johnson’s company. And then there’s By All, described as a “dystopian thriller” that “kicks off in the aftermath of a tragic event and centers on a man who is forced to go on the run in a world without police, where justice is crowdsourced,” according to the trade, which notes Warners has franchise hopes for that one.The bad news (for us, not the actor) is that he can’t say much about any of those closely-guarded projects. What he does say is that he believes the script for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is better than the first one and gives his character more to do. “I think the script is better than it was in the first one. It gives the actors a lot of good storytelling moments,” he said. “In Aquaman, we just got a small introduction to Black Manta and to some of his motivations. In this one, I get to exercise and breathe a little bit more. I’m showing some different colors with this one.”He also says he was starstruck filming Matrix 4—but that there was something even odd about it beyond that, because of the circumstances for filming. “The technology that Lana [Wachowski, director] incorporated and the filmmaking, camera rigs that I’ve never seen before. It’s so ambitious,” he said. “It was really interesting to be making The Matrix 4 at a time when the world was so warped and when reality was so distorted. It could creep in a little bit if you let it.”Which is very intriguing. But ultimately, it sounds like Dr. Manhattan himself will be more than creeping into the lives of filmgoers in the next few years. He’ll be popping up a lot. Head over to the Hollywood Reporter for much more.Wondering where our RSS feed went? You can pick the new up one here.

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posted 2 months ago on io9
Screenshot: NetflixAt the end of Kid Cosmic’s first season, Kid and the rest of the Local Heroes made a shocking series of discoveries that drastically changed their perspective on the battle they’d been waging against a race of alien “invaders.” After coming to their senses and deciding to do what’s right, the Local Heroes found themselves transported into outer space and tasked with an even grander new adventure.Kid Cosmic’s first season didn’t end on a cliffhanger so much as it closed out by setting up the building blocks for its next chapter, which Netflix has finally officially announced along with a promise of yet another season. Along with a new teaser for season two, Kid Cosmic creator Craig McCracken also released a statement describing the series as a whole as “one of the most creatively rewarding experiences of my career.”“Working in cartoons, it’s easy to get stuck making the same kind of episodes over and over again,” McCracken said. “But with Kid Cosmic, we loved the freedom to not only make each season different, but to allow the characters to grow, to change, and to learn from their experiences.”After focusing on telekinetic Kid (Jack Fisher) in its first season, Kid Cosmic and the Intergalactic Truckstop! will shift to Jo (Amanda C. Miller), a teenager imbued with the ability to create portals in space that link one spot to another. Going forward, McCracken said, Kid Cosmic’s central focuses and the ideas at work will continue to shift.“In these three seasons of Kid Cosmic, we get to explore the idea of what it truly means to be a hero, as each season focuses on a different character and a different theme,” McCracken explained. “In season one, the Kid learns that heroes help; in season two, Jo discovers that heroes care; and finally, in season three, it is Papa G who accepts that heroes sacrifice.”If Kid Cosmic didn’t exactly grab you in its first season, there’s a chance that what’s coming next might be of more interest, given that it sounds like McCracken always intended for the show to evolve over time after establishing the basic elements of its universe. There’s no word yet on when Kid Cosmic’s third season will debut, but the second season drops September 7 on Netflix.Wondering where our RSS feed went? You can pick the new up one here.

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posted 3 months ago on io9
Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games: MockingjayImage: LionsgateThe Hunger Games Prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, is set to start production in early 2022.Joe Drake, Lionsgate motion picture group chairman, commented on the film and said things were moving along well. The prequel is looking at a 2023 or 2024 release date.According to Yahoo Entertainment news, most of the people previously involved with the franchise are returning. Francis Lawrence has signed on to direct. Producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson are also on board. Hunger Games trilogy author Susan Collins will serve as executive producer and will write the film’s treatment, while Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine) will adapt the screenplay. Here is the synopsis for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes: “The movie will focus on Coriolanus Snow at age 18, years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem. Young Coriolanus is handsome and charming, and though the Snow family has fallen on hard times, he sees a chance for a change in his fortunes when he is chosen to be a mentor for the Tenth Hunger Games… only to have his elation dashed when he is assigned to mentor the girl tribute from impoverished District 12.”The Hunger Games franchise earned $3 billion dollars worldwide. In a time of the pandemic and streaming versus theatrical release wars, Drake states that he believes the audience will come. “There’s an audience that wants to come back” to theaters, Drake affirmed. “I believe the market’s going to come back. … There’s going to be a strong, robust platform for us to monetize our movies.” Naturally, people are concerned with returning to theaters with several Covid-19 variants hitting the streets, but he thinks big brands still have the power to sway moviegoers. I’ve read the Hunger Games books but have not had a chance to check out The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Has anyone read it? Is it worth an adaptation? Let us know in the comments!

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posted 3 months ago on io9
Happy times at the funeral home in Post Mortem.Image: NetflixA woman who’s been declared dead suddenly awakens—and the weirdness only amplifies from there in Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes, a new Norwegian horror series that’s arriving soon on Netflix. Things become even more complicated by the fact that the not-so-dead woman’s brother runs the local funeral home—and business isn’t exactly booming, for what appear to be some very supernatural reasons. (See: the movie’s subtitle.) Netflix recently shared a trailer for Post Mortem, which looks like a delightful blend of pitch-black comedy, monstrous mystery, and ample rivers of blood.“You’re not what you think you are,” someone tells Live Hallangen (Kathrine Thorborg Johansen) in this trailer. And we can’t really tell exactly what she is—a vampire, with all those heightened senses and a thirst for the red stuff? A zombie, considering she was extremely dead but is suddenly alive again? Did she inherit something from her mother, or is it the town itself that’s somehow caused her resurrection? How did she “die” in the first place—and will her new, ah, state of being somehow end up helping her brother keep the family business afloat?Here’s the official description from Netflix: “Live Hallangen is declared dead. Hours later she suddenly wakes up on the forensic table. A dark, insatiable hunger has awoken in her. Meanwhile, her brother Odd tries to keep the family driven funeral home afloat, but the stagnant death rate in the small Norwegian town of Skarnes makes it impossible. Live has to learn to control her new dangerous nature and decide if she is willing to sacrifice people’s lives for her own survival, which ironically goes hand in hand with the survival of the family business.”It has some parallels to iZombie but Post Mortem looks like it’ll tell a fun story bolstered by some supremely deadpan humor. We don’t get a ton of Norwegian horror in the states—feature films Dead Snow, Trollhunter, and Lake of Death being three recent exceptions—so it’s exciting that Netflix is bringing more Scandinavian genre projects to the forefront. Post Mortem is directed by Harald Zwart and Petter Holmsen (Holmsen also wrote the series), and in addition to Thorborg Johansen, it stars Elias Holmen Sørensen, Andrée Sørum, Kim Fairchild, and more.Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes, which runs six episodes, arrives August 25 on Netflix.Wondering where our RSS feed went? You can pick the new up one here.

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Shards of Earth by Adrian TchaikovskyCrop of the cover of The Tale of Princess Fatima.Image: Penguin ClassicsThe end of summer is approaching, but there’s still a full month of what we can technically refer to as “summer reading.” Good thing August has a galaxy’s worth of new sci-fi and fantasy book releases, with parallel universes, ghost hunters, supernatural battles, deep-space intrigue, all manner of witches, and so much more. Read on!Image: ScribnerBilly Summers by Stephen KingThe best-selling author’s latest page-turner is about a war vet turned assassin, prized for his skills as a sniper. He’s ready to leave that life behind until what should be his final job brings him into contact with an extraordinary evil. (August 3)Image: Wednesday BooksThe Dead and the Dark by Courtney GouldWhen famous TV ghost hunters arrive in a small Oregon town, they’re pulled into a mystery involving missing teens who are seemingly haunting those they left behind. A local girl and the ghost hunters’ daughter forge an unexpected bond as they race to uncover the truth. (August 3)Image: Del ReyThe Desert Prince by Peter V. BrettThe author kicks off a new series set in the world of his Demon Cycle novels with this tale of two young people—a princess and the son of a hero—growing up in the wake of a supernatural war that might not actually be over. Read an excerpt here. (August 3)Image: DuttonHoldout by Jeffrey KlugerAfter an accident aboard the International Space Station, all the astronauts evacuate except for a single American, who realizes she now has the perfect platform for righting an injustice back on Earth. (August 3)Illustration: Delacorte PressA Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria LeeAt a boarding school rumored to be haunted by the ghosts of witches, two students set out to research the past when its dark mysteries seemingly start invading the present. (August 3)Image: SolarisMonkey Around by Jadie JangThis San Francisco-set tale follows the adventures of a “barisa, activist, and were-monkey” who gets political in the streets when she’s not being drawn into supernatural matters, including a rash of shapeshifter murders. (August 3)Image: OrbitShards of Earth by Adrian TchaikovskyWith Earth destroyed, the few remaining members of the human race are adrift in space—along with “enhanced humans” engineered for an alien war that’s now far in the past. When one such crew discovers a relic seemingly abandoned by their alien foes, they must figure out what it all means before it’s too late. (August 3)Image: Harper VoyagerStarlight Enclave by R.A. SalvatoreCelebrate the “Summer of Drizzt” with the first book in the author’s latest adventure trilogy featuring Drizzt Do’Urden and other characters from Dungeons & Dragons’ Forgotten Realms. (August 3)Image: Penguin ClassicsThe Tale of Princess Fatima: Warrior Woman: The Arabic Epic of Dhat al-Himma edited and translated by Melanie MagidowTouted as “the only Arabic epic named for a woman” and being published in English for the first time, this tale explores the life of Dhat al-Himma, also known as Princess Fatima, a skilled rider and swordswoman who fought against oppression and persecution to become a legendary warrior. (August 3)Image: Margaret K. McElderry BooksThe Wild Ones by Nafiza AzadA group of teenage girls gains magical powers from a mysterious boy who rescues each of them from dark situations—then must band together to rescue him when he’s captured by malevolent forces. (August 3)Image: JAB BooksThe Hand of the Sun King by J.T. GreathouseA boy torn between his father, whose family has long served the empire, and his mother, the latest in a long line of rebellious sorcerers, must decide which path to follow as he forges his own future. (August 5)Image: Angry RobotThe Maleficent Seven by Cameron JohnstonA band of warriors led by a demonologist general must reunite in a small town 40 years after their first victory to make (what else?) one last stand. (August 10)Image: BerkleyThe Other Me by Sarah Zachrich JengWhen a Chicago artist suddenly plunges into an alternate version of her life, she must figure out how to negotiate her new existence—all while dealing with strange memories and blips in reality that make her unable to trust even her own perceptions. (August 10)Image: Del ReyPaper & Blood by Kevin HearneThe Ink & Sigil series continues, as do the adventures of Al MacBharrais, a Scottish “sigil agent” who can craft magic spells using ink and paper. When a colleague vanishes in Australia, he must travel halfway around the world to solve the supernatural mystery. (August 10)Image: Tor BooksThe Rookery by Deborah HewittThe Nightjar series returns to London’s magical Rookery as Alice Wyndham, who can see people’s souls, struggles to get a grasp on her powers while striving to overcome her troubled past. (August 10)Image: Forge BooksShe Wouldn’t Change a Thing by Sarah AdlakhaA woman who suddenly wakes up as the 17-year-old version of herself—except with all her adult memories intact—must figure out how to reunite with the husband and children she’s unwittingly become separated from. (August 10)Image: Tor TeenThe Sisters of Reckoning by Charlotte Nicole DavisThe sequel to The Good Luck Girls returns to the fantasy-tinged Wild West, where Aster and company fight to help magical “dustbloods” escape oppression and cross the border, where freedom and safety await—at least, until a new threat begins to rise. (August 10)Image: Wednesday BooksCazadora by Romina GarberThis follow-up to Lobizona takes more cues from Argentine folklore as it follows Manu—whose half-human, half-supernatural status marks her as “illegal”—as she enters a cursed realm trying to find allies and fellow revolutionaries. But the malevolent Cazadores are in hot pursuit, and Manu’s not entirely sure who she can trust. (August 17)Image: Gallery BooksChasing the Boogeyman by Richard ChizmarA recent college grad hoping to spark a writing career returns to his Maryland hometown right when a serial killer—whose crimes are so awful it’s rumored the perpetrator may not be human—starts stalking local teens. Inspired, he starts penning a true-crime tale about the events he’s in the midst of. (August 17)Image: Tor TeenThe Endless Skies by Shannon PriceThis standalone epic fantasy is about a city of shapeshifters and the human warriors sworn to protect them, including a teenage girl who discovers a terrible truth just when she’s about to take her oath of service. (August 17)Image: Tor BooksThe Exiled Fleet by J.S. DewesThe Divide series continues as the survivors of the events of The Last Watch find themselves stranded at the edge of the universe, where they’re forced to make new alliances and dodge their enemies if they want to stay alive. (August 17)Image: Atria BooksThe Family Plot by Megan CollinsA woman raised in isolation by true crime-obsessed parents (alongside true crime-obsessed siblings) develops an obsession of her own that just might involve her unusual family: tracking down whoever killed her twin brother when they were teens. (August 17)Image: Harper VoyagerKing Bullet by Richard KadreyThe Sandman Slim series concludes as half-human, half-angel Stark confronts mayhem in Los Angeles, where a dangerous virus has everyone on edge—as does a supernaturally-powered gang leader who’s eagerly exploiting the chaos. (August 17)Image: Tor BooksNeptune by Ben BovaThe late Hugo winner’s Outer Planets trilogy continues with this posthumous entry, as Ilona Magyr heads to Neptune to search for her missing father—but instead finds an alien ship that’s crashed deep within in the ice giant’s ocean. (August 17)Image: TordotcomNever Say You Can’t Survive: How to Get Through Hard Times By Making Up Stories by Charlie Jane AndersThis nonfiction book from the acclaimed novelist (and co-founder of io9) is described as “a practical guide to storytelling” during dark times, reminding readers that “writing can be an act of resistance that reminds us that other futures and other ways of living are possible.” (August 17)Image: Amulet BooksRedemptor by Jordan IfuekoThe Raybearer duology concludes with this YA fantasy following Tarasai’s struggle to survive as she sits upon her new throne—and strives to change her fate, which requires eventual self-sacrifice into the Underworld. (August 17)Image: St. Martin’s GriffinRequiem of Silence by L. PenelopeThe Earthsinger Chronicles series concludes as Elsira surges toward unification under the magical Queen Jasminda. But there are forces determined to keep that from happening that only Kyara and the other Nethersingers can stop. (August 17)Image: BerkleyA Terrible Fall of Angels by Laurell K. HamiltonA new series begins with Detective Zaniel Havelock, who can talk to angels in a world plagued by demons—one of whom just might be the perpetrator in his latest murder case. (August 17)Image: RedhookWildwood Whispers by Willa ReeceA young woman visits an Appalachian mountain town to fulfill her late best friend’s final wish, and discovers she has a deep connection to the area’s special folk magic—as well as a less enticing link to a dark presence in the local forest. (August 17)Image: Dial BooksBurden Falls by Kat EllisA year after the death of her parents in a terrible accident, a young woman who’s been plagued by ghostly nightmares suffers another loss—this time, the murder of someone close to her. Could the ghost, a figure tied to her hometown’s spookiest legend, be responsible? (August 24)Image: RazorbillDevil in the Device by Lora Beth JohnsonThe Goddess in the Machine duology concludes as Zhade takes the throne and Andra goes into hiding—but they’ll have to work together if they have any hope of stopping the rogue technology that’s threatening to end humanity. (August 24)Image: Tor.comLight Chaser by Peter F. Hamilton and Gareth L. PowellThis sci-fi adventure follows a Light Chaser as she travels around the universe collecting stories. Over time, though, she begins to realize there’s a pattern emerging within the stories—foretelling a dark future she’s uniquely poised to prevent. (August 24)Image: OrbitThe Pariah by Anthony Ryan A onetime outlaw’s quest for vengeance leads him down an unexpected path: fighting in the king’s army. But when a demonic threat rises, he must decide if he’s willing to fully embrace life as a warrior. (August 24)Image: Skybound BooksThe Second Rebel by Linden A. LewisThe follow-up to The First Sister finds Astrid working hard to overthrow the religious order she’s managed to infiltrate, Hiro hunting down a digital woman to help the rebellion’s cause in deep space, Lito orchestrating a prison break, and Luciana pondering whether to join the fight. (August 24)Image: Angry RobotTwenty-Five to Life by R.W.W. GreeneAfter a colony mission aimed at preserving the human race departs Earth, everyone left behind must bide their time until the inevitable end of the world. Weary of her oppressive family, one young woman decides to ride it out with a nomadic group of outsiders. (August 24)Image: Titan BooksAlien 3: The Unproduced First-Draft Screenplay by William Gibson by Pat Cadigan and William GibsonHow’s this for a cool collaboration? “The first-draft [and eventually, never-adapted] Alien 3 screenplay by William Gibson, the founder of cyberpunk, turned into a novel by Pat Cadigan, the Hugo Award-winning ‘Queen of Cyberpunk.’”Image: RazorbillDark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers SainIn this supernatural thriller, a 17-year-old goes missing in a small Louisiana town known as “the Psychic Capital of the World”—but for some reason, nobody’s come forward with any clues. The girl’s best friend turns detective and discovers dangerous secrets in her midst. (August 31)Image: Tor BooksThe Devil You Know by Kit RochaThe post-apocalyptic Mercenary Librarians series continues with the author’s latest entry, which sees Maya’s team fighting to save a group of genetically enhanced children. (August 31)Image: Wednesday BooksEnola Holmes and the Black Barouche by Nancy SpringerIn this first Enola Holmes adventure since the Netflix adaptation, Sherlock and Mycroft’s 15-year-old sister takes on a new case involving a woman who’s convinced her twin is still alive, though her sibling’s very suspicious husband claims otherwise. (August 31)Image: SubterraneanEverything in All the Wrong Order: The Best of Chaz Brenchley by Chaz BrenchleyThis retrospective collects more than 30 stories from the speculative fiction author’s 30-plus year career. (August 31)Image: Tor TeenForestborn by Elayne Audrey BeckerAn orphaned shapeshifter is called upon to use her gifts when a magical illness takes ahold of her best friend, who happens to be the prince. She’ll have to make a perilous quest into the wilds of her former forest home to find the cure. (August 31)Image: Tor BooksFury of a Demon by Brian Naslund The Dragons of Terra series ends with this tale. War continues to rage, the Witch Queen continues to struggle with her powers, and “exile turned assassin turned hero” Bershad continues to wonder if there’s all that much value in being human. (August 31)Image: Andrews McMeel PublishingThe House of Untold Stories by Peter ChiykowskiThis collection takes place within “an enchanted mansion of pocket universes and miniature tales, where each door leads to a micro-fiction story. With tales about anger thieves, a deadly pizza delivery service, haunted music boxes, and more, each room will take you on an unexpected journey.” (August 31)Image: Tor.comIn the Watchful City by S. Qiouyi LuWhen an outsider arrives in a city that’s protected by a living network—designed to keep its people safe but also sheltered and controlled—a mysterious visitor turns up with some startling truths about what exists beyond its borders. (August 31)Image: Soho PressMalefactor by Robert RepinoThe War With No Name series—about an epic battle between animals and humans—ends with this entry, which sees some weary survivors hoping that peace can finally be achieved, while others hold fast to the idea that only one side can win. (August 31)Image: Gallery / Saga PressMy Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham JonesA girl uses her favorite horror movies as a way to escape the real-life horrors that surround her, including an abusive father. But when a killer begins to terrorize her small town, her coping mechanism becomes even more of a survival strategy. (August 31)Image: KnopfRevelator by Daryl GregoryWhen a woman returns to the isolated mountain town where she grew up, she realizes the “Ghostdaddy”—the god that leads her family’s religion, and with whom she had a personal encounter when she was a child—is as powerful as ever. (August 31)Image: Dark Horse BooksTriumph of the Wizard King by Chad CorrieThe Wizard King trilogy ends with this volume, which sees the mercenaries who helped the king find success readying for another new conflict. (August 31)Image: Simon & Schuster Books for Young ReadersThe Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton SmithIn this historical fantasy, a seamstress in 1911 New York discovers rather suddenly that she’s a powerful witch and is whisked away to witch school—where she must make some quick decisions about her future and decide where her true loyalties lie. (August 31)Wondering where our RSS feed went? You can pick the new up one here.

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posted 3 months ago on io9
“What if,” Hasbro asked, “we just take all your money now?”Image: HasbroEver since we got our first look at Marvel’s animated Disney+ series What If...?, the company has also been teasing merchandise based on its multiversal take on the MCU. Hasbro’s Marvel Legends line is no exception, and at a special livestream today, the company dove deep into the first look at an entire wave dedicated to the new show.T’Challa Star-LordImage: HasbroDone in the stylized vein of the company’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse figures released earlier this year, the wave kicks off with T’challa as Star-Lord, based on his episode where Yondu’s Ravagers appear in Wakanda rather than in the midst of Peter Quill’s tragic loss of his mother. He comes with two blaster pistols, and both masked and unmasked heads.Heist NebulaImage: HasbroFollowing him up is “Heist Nebula”. We have no idea if this version of Thanos’ less-admired daughter appears in T’Challa’s episode or the one focusing on Gamora as a Warlord of the Mad Titan, but she basically looks like Nebula but wearing a borrowed a wig from Wandavision’s earliest episodes. She packs a small pistol, as well as some alternate hands for posing in all those “what do you think of my new ‘do” poses.Captain CarterImage: HasbroBack down to Earth we get the one, the only, Captain Peggy Carter, who is ready to kick Hydra Butt with her very own Union Flag-themed shield.Doctor Strange SupremeImage: HasbroNext up is the direct opposite of something looking heroic—the “Doctor Strange Supreme,” which suggests that old Stevie’s gone a bit off his magical rocker. Aside from the bags under his eyes and the dishevelled clothing, the green magic rings summoned in one of his alternate hands seems to hint that this is a Sorcerer Supreme who’s tapped into some dark powers in his quest for knowledge.Zombie Hunter SpideyImage: HasbroIt’s probably for the best then that there’s another caped hero in this wave and it’s... Peter Parker!? Yes, the “Zombie Hunter” Spidey seems to be wearing Strange’s enchanted cape, suggesting he might have a few powers beyond the proportional strength, speed, and senses of a Spider in his reality. Aside from the cape, Peter comes with alternate hands for thwiping (or casting?), and a masked head. Interesting factoid: his costume seems to be based off of the version of the Homecoming-style suit seen at Disney California Adventure’s Avengers Campus!Zombie Captain AmericaImage: HasbroZombie hunters need a zombie to hunt, and Peter’s gonna have his hands full with this undead Captain America. Zombie Cap still has a shield to fling, his only accessory, but the spartan additions are made up for the fact that the figure itself looks wonderfully gross, from the slack-jawed head to the hunks of flesh missing all over.SylvieImage: HasbroRounding out the wave and actually entirely unrelated to What If...?—although it’s kind of funny that she’s snuck herself into this multiversal branch of nonsense—is Loki’s Sylvie, who was previously revealed after Sophia Di Martino’s debut in the Disney+ series, but now confirmed as part of this wave. And you’ll need to get her if you want all the What If...? figures, because...Build-a-Figure Uatu The WatcherImage: HasbroCollecting the parts from multiple figures in the wave—Sylvie, T’Challa, Captain Carter, and Nebula at the least, judging by the in-packaging pictures—will let you build a bumper-sized version of Jeffrey Wright’s connective tissue between the various stories in the show, Uatu the Watcher. He’s not the only big What If...? figure though!Deluxe Hydra StomperImage: HasbroSeparate to the wave itself is a deluxe Hydra Stomper, based on the suit of armor Steve Rogers wears after Captain Carter becomes the super soldier of his reality. Aside from being a large hunk of plastic at around 9", the Stomper also includes FX pieces to replicate its jetpack firing off, as well as grip points on the armor to pose Peggy holding onto it as she and Steve rocket into battle.Hasbro’s What If...? Figures will go on pre-order at HasbroPulse.com and other retailers at 1:00 p.m. ET on July 29. Wondering where our RSS feed went? You can pick the new up one here.

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