Too Much Love Will Kill You: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “The Only Light in the Darkness”

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http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/04/agents-of-shield-the-only-light-in-the-darkness

Agents of SHIELD season 1, episode 19: The Only Light in the Darkness

As supervillain powers go, “turning off the lights without having to get out of bed” is dubious. You can jazz it up like this week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode did and claim that what Blackout is really doing is absorbing energy, but that still means your villain’s greatest weakness is A Bunch of Flashlights. Thanks for the takedown, trick-or-treating group of kids! We’ll call you next time he escapes.

If this was earlier on in the season, I feel like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would have tried to hang its entire episode on this monster chase in an attempt to dazzle the viewer with the concept alone. It’s a sign of the continued growth of the show that “The Only Light in the Darkness” now pushes that to the margins in favor of spending its time with our non-super-powered—but more interesting by the week!—team of agents.

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Weird Conspiracy on the Range: Peacemaker by Marianne de Pierres

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http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/04/book-review-peacemaker-marianne-de-pierres

Peacemaker Marianne de PierresVirgin Jackson is a park ranger, but not just for any park. She is responsible for making sure Birrimun Park in Australia remains a crime-free zone. It is, after all, the largest natural landscape in the world of this near future world, so her job is no small thing. When Virgin notices a couple of unsavory individuals in the park—unsavory individuals with guns who have entered the park by no means she can immediately determine—Marianne de Pierres’s Peacemaker kicks into full gear.

Told from Virgin’s point of view, de Pierres’s narrative is very intimate. We see everything through her eyes, including the United States Marshall assigned to shadow her on the strange goings-on at the park, Nate Sixkiller. (Yeah, just go with the name). He comes across as polite and mannered in a classic cowboy sort of fashion, yet quite stoic and unbending.

[Ride along with some Cowboys in Australia…]

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“Trust the Story”: A Conversation with Sofia Samatar

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http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/04/a-conversation-with-sofia-samatar

Sofia Samatar I’ve been more or less obsessed with Sofia Samatar since I first read her debut novel, A Stranger in Olondria (2013). Her work is gorgeous and innovative, breaking new ground while evoking the best of classic SFF. And I’m not the only one to think so; Sofia has recently been nominated for the John W. Campbell Award For Best New Writer.

She was kind enough to answer a few questions about her writing, below.

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Why Do We Want More MST3K?

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http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/04/mystery-scence-theater-3000-reboot

Yesterday Wired published an exhaustive oral history of the Greatest Show of All Time, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and in the last two paragraphs dropped the bombshell that Joel Hodgson is planning to resurrect the show. Already plenty of pop culture sites have weighed in, and obviously the consensus has been YES WE WANT THIS NOW. And there is already a gleeful reddit debate about who could host. And while I am one of those jumping up and down in Muppet-like enthusiasm, the reaction has also made me ask: why? Why are we still debating Joel vs. Mike after all these years? Why is this show the one that continues to speak to us, even to people who were infants when the show started?

Why, in 2014, with so many options, do we keep returning to the Satellite of Love?

[This may just be a show, but I can relax when I’m dead.]

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Godzilla in the Mist: Rediscovering the 60th Anniversary Restoration of the Classic Film

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http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/04/godzilla-in-the-mist-rediscovering-the-60th-anniversary-restoration-of-the-classic-film

Gojira Godzilla 1954

Right now, and for the rest of the summer, touring in select movie theatres in America is a cinematic 60th Anniversary Restoration of Ishiro Honda’s immortal monster film Gojira, or as we came to know him in the US, Godzilla. And with Bryan Cranston getting ready to do battle with the big G in the newest American reboot of Godzilla, this is the perfect time to revisit the first footprint from “the king of monsters.” And I do mean literally, because even in 1954, that footprint shows up way before the monster does.

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Malazan Reread of the Fallen: Dust of Dreams, Chapter Nineteen (Part Two)

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http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/04/malazan-reread-of-the-fallen-dust-of-dreams-chapter-nineteen-part-two

Welcome to the Malazan Reread of the Fallen! Every post will start off with a summary of events, followed by reaction and commentary by your hosts Bill and Amanda (with Amanda, new to the series, going first), and finally comments from Tor.com readers. In this article, we’ll cover the second half of chapter nineteen of Dust of Dreams.

A fair warning before we get started: We’ll be discussing both novel and whole-series themes, narrative arcs that run across the entire series, and foreshadowing. Note: The summary of events will be free of major spoilers and we’re going to try keeping the reader comments the same. A spoiler thread has been set up for outright Malazan spoiler discussion.

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Looking For a Light at the End of GrimDark? Check Out These 13 Life-Affirming Fantasies

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http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/04/looking-for-a-light-at-the-end-of-grimdark-check-out-these-13-life-affirming-fantasies

Grimdark

Now, before we get started, allow me to be clear: grimdark is great! It has its place in the fantasy spectrum, and many works that fall under the grimdark or gritty heading are classics. Obviously, we here at Tor.com love our Abercrombie and Martin—which, really, they need to also be a vaudeville team—but sometimes we want a fantasy that’s more optimistic. Just a little, guys! C’mon, we’re not asking for much...

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Rocket Talk Episode 6: A Discussion with Saga Press Executive Editor Joe Monti

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http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/04/rocket-talk-episode-6-joe-monti-executive-editor-of-saga-press

Rocket Talk: Tor.com podcast

In this episode of Rocket Talk, Justin Landon is joined by Joe Monti, Executive Editor for Simon & Schuster’s new SFF imprint, Saga Press. Justin and Joe talk about what direction the press will go, adjusting to life as an editor vs. an agent, why grimdark isn't a movement, and the impact of blogs on book selling.

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The End of the End of Everything

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http://www.tor.com/stories/2014/04/the-end-of-the-end-of-everything-dale-bailey

“The End of the End of Everything,” by Dale Bailey, is an sf/horror story about a long-married couple invited by an old friend to an exclusive artists’ colony. The inhabitants of the colony indulge in suicide parties as the world teeters on the brink of extinction, worn away by some weird entropy.

Like some other stories published on Tor.com, “The End of the End of Everything” contains scenes and situations some readers will find upsetting and/or repellent. [—The Editors]

This novelette was acquired and edited for Tor.com by consulting editor Ellen Datlow.

[Read “The End of the End of Everything” by Dale Bailey]

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Jupiter War (Excerpt)

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http://www.tor.com/stories/2014/04/jupiter-war-excerpt-neal-asher

Jupiter War Neal Asher Owner trilogy

Check out Jupiter War, the conclusion to Neal Asher's Owner trilogy. Jupiter War is available now from TorUK, and a US edition is coming May 6th from Night Shade Books!

Alan Saul is now part human and part machine. He craves the stars, yet his human side still controls him. But Saul’s robots make his crew feel increasingly redundant, sowing the seeds of mutiny and betrayal.

Serene Galahad, Earth’s ruthless dictator, hides her crimes from a cowed populace as she desperately readies a new attack on Saul. She aims to destroy her enemy in a vicious display of violence.

The Scourge limps back to Earth, its earlier mission to annihilate Saul a failure. Some members of the decimated crew plan to murder Galahad before she has them executed for their failure, but Clay Ruger plans to negotiate for his life. Events build to a climax as Ruger holds humanity’s greatest asset—seeds to rebuild a dying Earth. This stolen Gene Bank data is offered at a price, but what will Galahad pay for humanity’s future?

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