I think I speak for a lot of you when I say that Peter Jackson’s (unfortunately) epic adaptation of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien might have benefitted from some brevity. Ignoring the additions made by Jackson and his writers, the films are just too long, and the source material spread too thin (like butter over too much bread.) I eagerly await the day that one of the many talented hobbyist film editors cuts a version of The Hobbit that runs about four hours. What would that look like?

Well, film editor Joel Walden wondered just that and the result is a wonderful trailer for the single film adaptation that an alternate universe version of Peter Jackson may have directed somewhere in the multiverse.

“With Peter Jackson’s final chapter in the ‘Middle Earth Saga’, ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ hitting theatres worldwide next week, I thought it would be fun to create a trailer that promotes his cinematic retelling of ‘The Hobbit’ as a single epic piece,” Walden said on the trailer’s YouTube page.

Alas. What could have been.

Austin Butler, cast as Wil Ohmsford in MTV's Elfstones of Shannara

Austin Butler, cast as Wil Ohmsford in MTV’s Elfstones of Shannara

MTV has announced two more castings for its 10-part mini-series adaptation of Terry Brooks’ The Elfstones of Shannara, and they’re doozies: Wil Ohmsford, conflicted hero, and Ander Elessedil, trouble Elvish prince.

“Austin Butler is going from playing a 1980s heartthrob to portraying an elf,” The Hollywood Reporter reported today. “Butler will star as Wil Ohmsford, who is half human and half elf . [His] easygoing life is about to be turned upside down when he learns that he is the last of the legendary Shannara family. Charged with finding the Druid who will guide him to his destiny, Wil realizes his dangerous journey is just beginning.”

Wil Ohmsford is the central character around who the story’s large ensemble cast revolves. Unless the adaptation departs significantly from the novels, Wil is not active in seeking out this adventure. In fact, most of Brooks’ Shannara novels involve the protagonists being roped into saving the world against their will. We’ll see if this is true or not for the adaptation when it debuts in 2015. Read More »

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We first fell in love with Jian Guo‘s evocative art style when he created these iconic covers for the Chinese edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Now, the Chinese artist is back with these wonderful cover paintings for Gene Wolfe’s classic Book of the New Sun. If you’re a fan of Book of the New Sun, don’t miss Chris Gerwel’s epic retrospective on Gene Wolfe‘s impact on science fiction and fantasy.

Now, go get lost in Jian Guo’s wonderful portfolio.

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From Tiptree to Leckie to L’Engle and Cherryh, science fiction has a rich history of women writing progressive and popular fiction. One could argue that modern science fiction was vitalized by Shelley, and Ursula K. Le Guin has been an ambassador for fantastic and thoughtful fiction for decades. And, of course, now they’re the destroying it one novel at a time.

Recently, the /r/printSF sub-Reddit began a conversation about the best science fiction by women. I realized that I’ve read a woefully small number of the listed books, and this spurred some thought in my head about continuing this conversation, and using it as an opportunity to highlight some of the best science fiction books by women.

My own experiences within science fiction are fairly shallow (at least in terms of the scope of this project), so I asked some of my favourite authors and writers to tell me a bit about their favourites. So, join me, Julie Czerneda, Ann Leckie, Francis Knight, Andrew Liptak, Teresa Frohock, and Maureen Kincaid Speller as we gush about some of the best novels that science fiction has on offer. Read More »

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On November 20th, 2014, Aliette de Bodard announced that she sold a two book series, beginning with The House of Shattered Wings to Gollancz. Aliette de Bodard is considered one of the richest and most evocative writers in speculative fiction, and her past work has ranged from Aztec-influenced fantasy, to a science fiction universe where China discovered the Americas before Europe. The House of Shattered Wings is a murder mystery with “fallen angels, Vietnamese dragons, and entirely too many dead bodies.”

“Set in Paris amongst the aftermath of the Great Magicians War,” Gollancz compares the scale of The House of Shattered Wings and de Bodard’s ambition to the works of Mieville and Banks. Big names to live up to, but the Hugo-nominated and Nebula-winning de Bodard has proven her knack for subtlety and ambition with her short fiction, and handling of scope with her epic Acatl novels. Read More »