| Science fiction. Fantasy. The universe. And related subjects.

Read an Excerpt From Yours for the Taking

The year is 2050. Ava and her girlfriend live in what’s left of Brooklyn, and though they love each other, it’s hard to find happiness while the effects of climate change rapidly eclipse their world.

We’re thrilled to share an excerpt from Yours for the Taking by Gabrielle Korn, a science fiction novel of queer love, betrayal, and chosen family, and an unflinching indictment of white, corporate feminism—out from St. Martin’s Press on December 5th.

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Monarch: Legacy of Monsters Co-Creators Matt Fraction and Chris Black on That Pivotal Godzilla Scene

The television series Monarch: Legacy of Monsters takes place on two timelines: one in 2015 that takes place between 2014’s Godzilla and 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and one in the 1950s, which shows the origins of the titular Monarch organization, the institution in Legendary’s MonsterVerse responsible for researching the Titans and protecting humanity against them.

The show, which just had its third episode released on Apple TV+, is centered around a family whose lives are intertwined in various ways with Monarch. The 1950s timeline focuses on three of those characters—Keiko (Mari Yamamoto), a young Bill Randa (Anders Holm), and a young Lee Shaw (Wyatt Russell)—who also happen to be the founders of Monarch.

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Dangerous, Hopeful Futures: Celebrating the Visionary Stories of Kelley Eskridge

“That’s what people do, they get different together.” (Solitaire, 351)

Kelley Eskridge is not a prolific author, but she has nevertheless produced a body of work remarkable for its subtlety and depth. Eskdrige’s short stories are marvels of character-focused SF, where speculations are explored through the interactions of everyday people. They frequently centre queer characters and explore ideas around gender. Similarly, her lone novel Solitaire (2002), is an underrated and pioneering work of queer cyberpunk that thoughtfully explores the potential uses of VR technology for incarceration.

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Five Books With Highly Imaginative Takes on Prehistoric Existence

You know where you are with stone tools. Or rather, scientists know where their ancestors were with stone tools, because stone tools are sufficiently durable that, with a bit of luck, the tools will outlast the species that made them.

Other technologies are not as considerate. We can only make an educated guess as to when clothing was adopted by comparing head and body lice, which became reproductively isolated from each other when humans started wearing clothes: 70,000 years ago, plus or minus about 40,000 years.

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5 Stories About Embracing Found Family

Some of our favorite SFF protagonists tend to form their own circles, building communities with those that love them for who they are. Around the holidays, these stories offer a gentle reminder that there are many ways to define family, and plenty of reasons to spend time bonding with the people who mean the most to you even if you’re not strictly related.

These five stories celebrate found families and the wonderful, unconventional love they share.

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Matt Fraction Reveals Creating New Titans For Monarch: Legacy of Monsters Was a Family Affair

The latest installment in Legendary MonsterVerse—the Apple TV+ series, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters—is more about some complicated multi-generational family issues than Titans like Godzilla. That doesn’t mean, however, that some very large and very deadly creatures don’t make an appearance.

One of those creatures is the tentacle-faced Frost Vark, who we first meet at the end of the third episode where it exacts its terror on a too-warm airplane. The Titan isn’t one we’ve seen before, and we owe its existence, in part, to the young son of the show’s co-creator, Matt Fraction.

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On a Horse With No Name: Max Gladstone’s Last Exit (Part 9)

Welcome back to Reading the Weird, in which we get girl cooties all over weird fiction, cosmic horror, and Lovecraftiana—from its historical roots through its most recent branches.

This week, we continue Max Gladstone’s Last Exit with Chapters 17-18. The novel was first published in 2022. Spoilers ahead!

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Series: Reading the Weird

Odo’s Cooking and the Food Culture of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

I fantasize about the food culture of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine more than any other invented universe. I long to try a sip of spring wine, or experience the spicy tang of hasperat. And my kingdom for a raktajino! The extra-strong Klingon coffee is mentioned briefly in other series, but no one seems to drink it as much as the senior officers on DS9. Double sweet, double strong, your replicator or mine?

Maybe it’s the blending of recognizable Earth food cultures with alien civilizations on the promenade that gives DS9 such bustling, vibrant warmth?

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Audiobooks Have Taken Over My Life, and I Love It

I’ve officially become An Audiobook Person. It wasn’t a sudden conversion—I’ve been listening to podcasts for years, but there was a time I couldn’t imagine listening to fiction in the same way. Then I started adding non-fiction audiobooks into the mix in my library queue, and I loved it. It was a whole new world; then at some point, I finally tried listening to a few fiction audiobooks, and… it took some getting used to, honestly. I bounced off of a few attempts, and at first I didn’t like surrendering so much control to the narrator, letting their phrasing and their interpretations of the characters’ voices influence my impressions. It felt a bit like getting the story secondhand, filtered through someone else’s mind, like the mental equivalent of reading somebody’s aggressively highlighted copy with notes scribbled in the margins.

But I did like being able to catch up on reading while I was packed into an overcrowded, standing-only subway car, or making dinner, or going for long walks. The more I listened, the more I got used to it—but also, I learned what works for me and some things that don’t (more on that in a bit), and I started to appreciate what a talented narrator can bring to the experience. I think I started really listening to fiction in earnest in 2015 or so, and now I have favorite series and favorite audiobook narrators, people whose names I’m always happy to see when I’m searching for something to read/listen to.

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Learning Empathy From Robots: How MST3K Helped Explain My Parents

This week marks a milestone for all of humanity—Friday marks the 35th anniversary of the first broadcast of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The first ever episode, “The Green Slime” was shown on a small Minneapolis cable-access channel called KTMA on November 24, 1988.

There are many things to say about MST3K, (and eventually I plan to say all of them) but since this is Thanksgiving week I wanted to thank the show’s writers for helping me with a very specific issue I had as a kid.

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Don’t Look Back: The Future by Naomi Alderman

Three of the richest people in the world. Three of the most powerful, most influential in both the best and worst of ways; three of the smartest, future-savvy and most driven people in the world who are changing the course of humanity daily. It would take just the three of them to make immense, long lasting changes that slow down the doomsday clock, to tilt the earth away from certain end, but instead they plan to only save themselves.

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This Thanksgiving, You Can Once Again Watch MST3K Rather Than Talk To Your Family

Now here’s something to be thankful for! Coming back for its thirty-fourth year(!), Mystery Science Theater 3000 is once again hosting a Mega Turkey Day Marathon Telethon. That’s right, for 48 hours starting at 9:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, you can tune in and watch 24 classic episodes of the series, including some from way back in the 1980s!

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