Watch The Jaw-Dropping Trailer For Fantasy Oddity The Tale Of Tales

Oh, that? Yeah, it’s Salma Hayek devouring a bloody dragon heart, among other striking (and oft-NSFW, so be warned) images in the trailer for The Tale Of Tales. The fairy-tale epic is the latest from Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone (Gomorrah), and it’s debuting next month at the Cannes Film Festival. » 4/19/15 11:00am 4/19/15 11:00am

George R.R. Martin Answers Our Toughest Song of Ice and Fire Questions

When we interviewed A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin at Comic-Con, we decided to drill down and ask some intense questions. Like, is this series only seven books long because some subplots took over the story? Are the Dothraki one-dimensional stereotypes? What does he think of Sliders? Here's what he… » 4/10/15 11:09am 4/10/15 11:09am

Trying to Make Game of Thrones Valyrian Steel Sword With Real Materials 

Nothing reigns consistently in HBO’s Game of Thrones (and George R.R. Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire” book series that inspired it) except Valyrian steel, a magical sword material. Valyrian steel is, of course, extremely not real. But materials scientist Ryan Consell took a look at its chemistry anyway. » 4/07/15 12:07pm 4/07/15 12:07pm

How Katherine Kurtz Changed Fantasy Books Forever

She doesn't get the same level of props as Michael Moorcock. But Katherine Kurtz, author of the Deryni novels, had a huge impact on fantasy, argues a new essay over at Strange Horizons. Starting in 1970, her books were the first of a new kind of fantasy — closer to historical fiction than epic quest narratives. » 4/03/15 10:44am 4/03/15 10:44am

These Amazing Temporary Artworks Are Made Of Sand

When an artist creates a beautiful work of art, she or he usually wants it to last forever — or at least, to outlive its creator. But sometimes, an artist just wants to create a work of beauty that will last a short time, and then be gone forever. Here are the loveliest short-lived works of art... made of sand. » 3/31/15 3:23pm 3/31/15 3:23pm

You've Never Read A Book About Magic And Loss Like Signal To Noise

Plenty of books use magic to talk about coming-of-age stories and the secrets that people bury... but few of them are as sad, or as evocative, as Silvia Moreno-Garcia's new novel Signal to Noise. Her story of three friends in Mexico City and their musical obsessions feels true, as well as truly sad. » 3/30/15 7:00pm 3/30/15 7:00pm

East Middle Earth: A Story Worth Telling?

It is often said that Tolkien had only finished 1/3 of his life's work before he died and looking through all his books and notes shows much truth to that. Virtually nothing was written about what happened in the east of Middle Earth during the events of Tolkien's work, though from what we do know, it indicates… » 3/15/15 5:09pm 3/15/15 5:09pm

Kazuo Ishiguro's New Novel Is A Weird Mess, But It Still Moved Me

Kazuo Ishiguro's brand new novel, The Buried Giant, is a puzzling departure. It's not just that the author of The Remains of the Day is writing an epic fantasy about ogres and a dragon. It's also that it's written in a weird, pseudo-fancy style, and it's hard to love. But I did end up kind of haunted by this book,… » 3/10/15 4:33pm 3/10/15 4:33pm

Gemini Cell Is A Great Love Story That Deals With The True Cost Of War

Myke Cole's "military fantasy" Shadow Ops series has been unpredictable all along. In Control Point, he told the origin story. In Fortress Frontier, he narrated a quest, while in Breach Zone, he zoomed in on a single battle. With his latest installment, Gemini Cell, he does something really unexpected: a romance. » 3/06/15 4:40pm 3/06/15 4:40pm

Yay, This Fantasy Novel Actually Lives Up To Its Superb World-Building

As a genre, fantasy tends to live or die on its world-building. But great world-building, by itself, doesn't make a novel great. And sometimes, a fantasy book can spend so much time establishing its backstory, the story never seems to take off. That's why A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Scwhab is such a treat.… » 3/03/15 4:00pm 3/03/15 4:00pm