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The science fiction and fantasy publishing community was abuzz with rumours over the past couple of months about various buyers for Angry Robot Books, a popular imprint that most recently caught the attention of readers with Kameron Hurley’s The Mirror Empire. News broke yesterday that Angry Robot Books finally founder a new owner: Watkins Media, spearheaded by American entrepreneur Etan Ilfeld.

I reached out to Marc Gascoigne, Managing Director & Publisher for Angry Robot Books, to chat about the his excitement for the sale, and what it means for the imprint and its authors moving forward. Gascoigne was quick to excite. “Huzzah! Onwards!” he said, summing up the thoughts of everyone in the company in a couple of words.

“The sale of Angry Robot has been several months in coming to completion, as the break-up of the Osprey Group proved very complicated,” he continued. “As a result, we’ve been in an uncomfortable place, unable to talk freely about the situation, and having to respond to concerned questions to which we, as mere employees, were unable to answer or action. As you can imagine then, we’re extremely pleased with the sale to Watkins Media. Read More »

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This Heron-mark Sword, designed and smithed by Fable Blades is inspired by the famous weapons of the Blademasters from Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, including protagonist Rand al’Thor.

The sword, which measures 45.25″ from tip-to-tip, is made of twice-tempered steel (blade) and ebony (grip) and features beautiful detailing, such as Rand’s iconic heron mark, Aes Sedai-inspired symbols, and an engraving that Wheel of Time fans will recognize: “Death is Lighter Than a Feather, Duty is Heavier Than a Mountain”.

According to a post on Reddit, the sword has been designed with realistic weight, size, and mass production possibility in mind. However, Fable Blades produces only one-of-a-kind pieces on commission only. Read More »

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Dirk Loechel, a visual artist from Germany, loves spaceships. So much so, that he created a beautiful scale chart of hundreds of spacecraft from many of the most popular science fiction IPs, including Warhammer 40k, Star Trek, Gundam, Final Fantasy, and even Spaceballs. If you’ve got a favourite ship, it’s probably in there!

The scale of the chart hit me when I spent five minutes looking for the Enterprise D, expecting it to be among the middle-ish of the pack in size. I had to squint to find it. Loechel’s chart uses a pixel:metre scale of 1:10, making the chart itself 57km tall and 43km wide. That’s a lot of spaceship.

(Full chart after the jump.) Read More »

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How cool is that image? It’s a bunch of dinosaurs equipped with laser beams and cockpits. Who cares if you have Dimetrodons and Pachycephalosaurus living in tandem? It’s dudes riding dinosaurs with lasers. Dino Riders was my Jesus as a kid. As a dino-obsessed youth, the idea of riding dinosaurs into battle was the thing of legends and far-off planets where anything was possible.

Today, Tor.com revealed not only 2014’s best cover, but also the winner of the 2016 Hugo Award for Best Novel: The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milán. He and I might be a generation apart, but, in our love of dino steeds, Milán and I are clearly cut from the same cloth, and the legacy of Dino Riders is alive and well. Read More »

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Prisoners, Deserters,
and an Age of Heroes

I was a college freshman on 9/11. The events of that Tuesday morning kicked off the 21st century in the United States of America, and changed my life, as it changed the lives of so many young people of my generation in the USA and beyond.

9/11 started the “War on Terror,” two wars in the middle east, poured nitrous oxide into the burning engine of the United States’ national debt, and set the tone for the first decade of the 21st century in the USA, the first decade of my adulthood. I remember telling classmates that we needed to write to our representatives, ask that they not go and start a war over this, that we could do better.

I created an Individualized Major of Creative Mythology, with the aim of studying how myths and legends were structured, how the ur-stories of world cultures were formed.

When I arrived at Indiana University, I declared an East Asian Studies major. I wanted to learn more Japanese, study Japanese history, and go off and work for a video game company, or an anime company, or something involving that skill, and that interest. But after 9/11, I was flailing for meaning, desperate to find some way forward as the world very quickly spiralled away from the future I had expected. As members of my age cohort signed up for the armed services, to be analysts, anything to help, I looked back to Mythology, to hero legends, and in looking back, saw my path forward.

We make meaning out of stories – that’s what humans do. I needed to make meaning out of what was happening in my world, needed to imagine an alternative to the path that history was taking, to dream a brighter future. In spring of 2002, I created an Individualized Major of Creative Mythology, with the aim of studying how myths and legends were structured, how the ur-stories of world cultures were formed, so that I could make 21st century myths and legends to help point the way forward, to see through the cloud of ashes and confusion and anger left by the fall of the towers.

But 9/11 wasn’t the first time the WTC towers had loomed tall in my life, with their presence or their absence. Read More »