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science fiction

The Handmaid’s Tale: To Be Continued in “The Testaments”

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Good news, Handmaid fans! Margaret Atwood just announced she will deliver a sequel to her dystopian classic, The Handmaid’s Tale, next year. To be titled The Testaments (Random House), Atwood promises readers, “Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.” (Gilead, for those few souls who might not know, refers to the repressive Puritan-like regime that takes over the United States after a revolution.) Published in 1985, The Handmaid’s Tale was also inspired by world events. In the early 1980s, AIDS was spreading, there was famine in Ethiopia, the Equal Rights Amendment fell short of ratification and the ozone…

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“Monsters of the Week:” The Essential X-Files Companion

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“The X-Files” has unnerved and engrossed watchers for years, justly earning its title as the longest-running science-fiction television series in U.S. history. What started out as a cult classic evolved into an integral part of pop culture, putting both David Duchovny (Fox Mulder) and Gillian Anderson (Dana Scully) on a fast track to stardom. For all of those who were steadfast fans from the start, and for those who like the skeptical Dana Scully needed more time to believe but eventually came around, Monsters of the Week: The Complete Critical Companion to the X-Files (Abrams) is a must-read this October. Celebrating the show’s 25th anniversary, television critics Zack Handlen and Todd Vanderwerff have provided us with a comprehensive review and analysis on just…

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It’s Alive!: ‘Black Mirror’ & TV’s New Golden Age of Science Fiction

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Think of science fiction as a mirror for our times. Just as television’s first “Twilight Zone” (1959-1964) reflected cold war fears and anxieties, “Black Mirror,” the more recent Netflix anthology series is very much of the moment. Plots range wildly, from a dating site with ulterior motives. Genetic engineering by a creepy Captain Kirk clone. An underclass on stationary bikes earning credits for food while they generate electricity. One episode, “San Junipero,” about two women who are more than best friends won two 2017 Primetime Emmys, and was nominated for a Hugo Award for best dramatic sci fi short. “Black Mirror” segments are very much about how we are changed by technology, says Lisa Yaszek, science fiction historian and critic.…

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Writer’s Bone Podcast: Kat Howard Talks Writing in This Friday Morning Coffee

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BookTrib.com recently added Writer’s Bone to our weekly features. Daniel Ford and Sean Tuohy have been bringing us weekly podcasts of discussions they have with writers about the craft of writing and what motivates them to tell a good story. Today, you can enjoy a Friday Morning Coffee podcast featuring Kat Howard. Kat Howard, author of An Unkindness of Magicians and Roses and Rot, talks to Daniel Ford about crafting the memorable characters you meet in An Unkindness of Magicians and why writers need to find the writing process that works best for them. Kat Howard is best known for her fantasy, science fiction, and horror writing. Her work has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award. To learn more about Kat Howard,…

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Free eBooks: Classic Science Fiction You May Have Missed

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If you’re an everyday reader, you’ve probably read some interesting science fiction along the line – but have you read some famous classics that end up on reader’s lists every year? Because we love sci-fi, from the awesome movies we’re all familiar with such as Blade Runner and The Matrix just to name two, we have some classic sci-fi novel suggestions for you! The War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells When many people think of H.G. Wells, this is the novel that comes to mind. In Wells’ classic that turned into an unforgettable movie adaptation, a Martian invasion takes place in the nineteenth century, forever changing the world around it and causing mass chaos across the land. If you haven’t read the novel or…

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ICYMI! Our Top Picks from the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards

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It’s once again time for the annual Goodreads Choice Awards, where thousands of readers choose their favorite books of the year. The competition is stiff this go around, with three stages of voting and tons of awesome reads to choose from. Goodreads has always been about the readers, bringing together authors and their fans in a truly personal way. The Choice Awards are no exception, and is, according to Goodreads, “the only major book award decided by readers.” Which is why this is such a great chance for the book lovers of 2016 to let their voices be heard The Opening Round vote started on November 1 and goes until the 6, so if you haven’t voted yet, now’s the time!…

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Finally! Tilda Swinton Leads the Pack for Next Doctor Who Search

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Things are shaking up in the world of Doctor Who. Not only is longtime showrunner Steven Moffat walking away after this year, but Peter Capaldi – aka, the Twelfth Doctor – recently announced that he’ll be leaving at the end of the year as well. Capaldi will stay with the show through the latest series, which starts airing on BBC One in April. His final appearance will be the 2017 Christmas Special, with the Doctor regenerating at some point during the episode. Check out the new trailer! There’s been a lot of speculation about who will replace Capaldi to become the official Thirteenth Doctor. Ben Whishaw is a frontrunner, as is comedic actor Richard Ayoade. Even Matt Smith, the Eleventh Doctor,…

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When Words Turn into Magic in Novel ‘Ninth City Burning’

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Ninth City Burning

In Ninth City Burning there is a close and very special relationship between language and magic. Words are semi-magical things in themselves—intangible, weightless, and yet capable of real and drastic effect. Words have the power to wound, to uplift, to alter opinions and perceptions, and, when spoken by the right people under the right circumstances, change the world. Phrases like “I now pronounce you husband and wife” (or, if we’re being grim, “I hereby sentence you to death”) alter the state of reality simply by their utterance. It’s like—well, magic. And so it should come as no surprise that, with a little extra effort, language can be made to perform magic of the true, supernatural variety. The simplest example is…

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Jonesin’ For a Fix: Books for TV Addicts Who Love Orphan Black

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Can we please talk about Orphan Black for a minute? Because OMG it’s so good. While some series lag in its later seasons, Orphan Black just keeps getting better and better, adding to the Sci-fi mysteries and building a complex world that sweeps the viewer along with it. Tatiana Maslany is a force to be reckoned with, playing each clone with so much skill that you often forget she’s the same person. We clearly love Orphan Black here at BookTrib, so much that we’re still Jonesin’ for it, three years after it first premiered. If you’re not part of the Clone Club like the rest of us, it’s time to remedy that ASAP. Just look at this trailer for season…

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The Other, Other George R.R. Martin Series Comes to Television: Wild Cards

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Superheroes are clearly super hot right now. So is the hit HBO television series Game of Thrones, based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novels, which is hot off its extremely well-received sixth season. “Hmm, if only there was a way to capitalize on the success of both these franchises…” one lonely television executive wondered wistfully. Well, some wishes do come true. As it turns out, Universal Cable Productions has acquired the exclusive rights to adapt Martin’s Wild Cards series for television. What is Wild Cards, you ask? Well, to call it Game of Thrones with superheroes would be an unfair boiling-down of a truly unique and fantastic tapestry of heroic science fiction-y novels and…

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Chill Out: 5 Books to Distract You from Your Sunburn

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As a ginger, I happen to be aware of one of life’s fundamental truths: sunburn seriously sucks. From hot discomfort to peeling like a molting snake in the rain forest, having sunburn is frightfully unpleasant. However, in addition to light exfoliation with a warm wash cloth and gentle soap, I can also recommend a book for every occasion to keep your mind off your itchy, fire-engine red skin! Take a look: A Freezing Thriller: Cold (A Joe Tiplady Thriller), John Sweeney (Thomas & Mercer, July 1, 2016) You won’t even think about itching your peeling shoulders while sinking into this espionage thriller, which is cold in more ways than one. This hard-edged novel follows Joe, a special needs teacher with…

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Sci-fi Shows and Books that Should be on Your Binge List

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As a huge sci-fi fan, I’m always on the look out for a new mind-bending TV show to dive into (especially if it’s inspired by an awesome book!). But every once in a while a sci-fi show flies right under my radar. Maybe that’s because the bigger networks rarely tackle a huge science fiction drama, or maybe it’s just because sci-fi has always been slightly regulated to cult status rather than a part of the mainstream. Regardless, sometimes I need to educate myself on the best hidden science fiction shows out there. If they’re based on my favorite books, all the better. Here’s a list of sci-fi shows you probably aren’t watching, but most definitely should be –- plus, a…

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Heat Index: 5 Hot New Books that Sent Us Straight to Fantasy Land

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Fantasy/urban fantasy, science fiction and dystopian genres are some of the hottest books available right now, especially in YA, and I’m going to be completely honest: I had a really hard time ranking these five amazing novels. From Gena Showalter to A.L. Davroe to Karen Marie Moning, I just couldn’t say a bad thing about any of them. That’s why you’ll find that the temp never dropped below 90° in this edition of Heat Index. Get ready to dive right in, because you’re going to want to immerse yourself in these worlds. Guile, Constance Cooper (Clarion Books, March 1, 2016) “Memorable, well-drawn characters…Those who like unusual fantasies will enjoy this and will identify with the appealing Yonie as she searches for her roots and a place…

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Video: Missed It? Interview with Marcus Sakey and Written in Fire (The Brilliance Trilogy Book 3)

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For thirty years humanity struggled to cope with the brilliants, the one percent of people born with remarkable gifts. For thirty years we tried to avoid a devastating civil war. We failed. The White House is a smoking ruin. Madison Square Garden is an internment camp. In Wyoming, an armed militia of thousands marches toward a final, apocalyptic battle. Nick Cooper has spent his life fighting for his children and his country. Now, as the world staggers on the edge of ruin, he must risk everything he loves to face his oldest enemy—a brilliant terrorist so driven by his ideals that he will sacrifice humanity’s future to achieve them. From “one of our best storytellers” (Michael Connelly) comes the blistering…

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Ginormous Giveaways!

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A Small Indiscretion: A Novel At nineteen, Annie Black trades a bleak future in a washed-out California town for a London winter of drinking and abandon. Twenty years later, she is a San Francisco lighting designer and happily married mother of three who has put her reckless youth behind her. Then a photo from that distant winter in Europe arrives inexplicably in her mailbox, and an old obsession is awakened. Past and present collide, Annie’s marriage falters, and her son takes a car ride that ends with his life hanging in the balance. Now Annie must confront her own transgressions and fight for her family by untangling the mysteries of the turbulent winter that drew an invisible map of her…

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5 Sci-Fi Novels to Get You Hyped for Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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The entire nerd-world is foaming at the mouth over Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We hope the movie will be all that and a bag of chips, and based on the teasers, trailer and set photos, it’s shaping up to be everything fans hope it will be (despite any prequel-related PTSD). However, during the excruciating wait for the film’s premiere on December 18, why not feast your brain on a great science fiction novel? Most sci-fi experts will tell you to read Foundation and Dune (if you haven’t read them, get off the internet and read them now. I’ll wait.), but there are some less-obvious choices that will appeal to Star Wars fans for the same reasons they love the…

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