Books

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about Handmaid’s Tale, and with the impressive trailer for season 3, it will hardly be the last.

At the end of season 2, June sent Emily and Nicole to Canada while she stayed behind in Gilead to find her other daughter, Hannah. Though she could have escaped with them, she didn’t. Instead, she went back to the precarious, dangerous Waterford home with the tyrannical Fred and the conflicted Serena Joy.

In my season 2 review, I was frustrated and unsure how the next season would play out. Thinking that leaving was an obvious choice and the writers just kept her in Gilead for drama, I worried they would go back to the old tricks. That season, there had been a bit too much forced Serena Joy/June conflict and I was afraid they’d just re-hash that old conflict.

While I still think the ending wasn’t a logical one, the season 3 trailer shows a writer’s team that’s pulled together an interesting season all over again.

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*Short Stories is a ongoing collection of original weird and wonderful works from Nerd Bastards creative writing team. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoy dreaming them into being. 

All it takes is one drop of blood.

Cari yawned as she perused through her least favorite material, oceanic Selachimorpha. It was easy to roll her eyes as the video notes explained more on the subject. She never quite understood her mother’s fascination with fish-eyed, sharp-toothed predators. Half her notes were on the creatures, despite the fact that all known Earth permutations had died out decades ago. Large predators had a hard time around aggressive, invasive species with two long legs.

After that sixth extinction, Earth was no place to be a zoologist. That’s why Dr. Zahn, her mother, took to the stars. Cari had grown up marveling at new species, falling in love with the small avian herbivores that lived in forests, flying gracefully with wide eyes like hers.

Yet her mother always held some strange reverence of these violent predators. Killers. Monsters. Cari learned the facts, observed and recorded dutifully, but they both knew she’d never feel anything but ambivalence.

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Kickstarter is an amazing resource for creatives and creators to seek crowdfunding for projects that would otherwise never see the light of day. People, fans, nerds, just like you produce amazing works of art with the help of their peers and like-minded fans. NerdBastards would like to take some time to stop and recognize some noteworthy projects in need of funding. Help make all kinds of fantastic art and support independent creators. Today’s spotlight is on…

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You can’t keep a good wizard down! Harry Dresden has a been a nerd favorite for years now, the TV show still has a cult following despite being off the air for a decade. Now there are whispers of a reboot and fans of the book and the show couldn’t be happier. With Dresden getting a reboot and Buffy not being far ahead of him, what other Urban Fantasy books deserve some time on the small screen? Dramatic and broody vampire shows have taken up much of that space. Could interest in shows like The Vampire Diaries and The Originals carry over into other properties?

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With Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald releasing in November, nerdy fans are abuzz about its possibilities. Its connecting even more to classic Harry Potter characters, after all, with the addition of a younger Dumbledore to the cast. However, the things they’re abuzz about aren’t all inherently good. Many fans have mixed feelings about Johnny Depp’s involvement as Grindelwald himself, are concerned about the portrayal of a younger Dumbledore, and, more recently, the uproarious confusion about adding Nagini, Voldemort’s pet snake, as a character in the film. What once was a highly intelligent reptile is now shown to be a beautiful woman who transforms into a massive snake. Her inclusion, her race, and her relevance have all been up for grabs when it comes to criticizing the film. Here, though, we are going to look into something more unsettling: what this new information on her implies for the original Harry Potter series.

And trust that those implications are disturbing. (more…)

Though Harry Potter’s story ended with Voldemort, the universe of wizards, magic, and Hogwarts has proven to have more stories to tell. In November 2016, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them premiered, telling now the story of Newt Scamander, a creature-lover who adventured many years before Harry was even born.

For those new to the tale, the movie is set in 1926, decades before the events of Harry Potter. Viewers follow protagonist Newt Scamander, a kind Hufflepuff who has a very unique profession: magizoologist. He finds and cares for many exotic magical creatures. In his journeys, he heads to America and finds even more trouble with creatures and magic than his timid personality would ever anticipate.

In the film’s sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Scamander’s adventures continue and begin to come a little closer to home. This time, he’s working with fan favorite great wizard, Albus Dumbledore. After all, Dumbledore does have a complicated relationship with Grindelwald, the great criminal of the film. (more…)

Dungeons & Dragons has been around for a very long time.  The popularity of the game seems to continue to grow as more people try the Fifth edition and love it.  The future of D&D seems to be in good hands since Wizards of the Coast has a good number of items that could end up on your favorite gamer’s Christmas list.

There is an adult coloring book, game adventures/supplements, several choose your own adventure style books, and books to help children learn while interacting with a D&D style story.

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The term “high fantasy” was first coined by Lloyd Alexander in a 1971 essay he wrote based on a presentation done for a conference of Children’s Librarians.

It is defined as a fantasy set in an alternate, fictional world rather than the real world.  Often the hero of “high fantasy” is a childlike figure that matures rapidly due to circumstances related in the story.  They are often helped by a mystical mentor who is often formidable and provides not only help but advice.  The antagonist is often some unknown force or “Dark Lord” of great power and fueled by malevolence for the rest of the world.

This genre has returned to prominence in recent years with books like the Game of Thrones series.  Here are a few of the classics in the genre that you can read as we continue to wait for George R.R. Martin to actually finish the next book.

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Frank Herbert’s Dune has been one of the most influential science fiction novels of the past century. It has inspired, created, and been homaged in more forms than one can count. Dune is a story that finds its way into most all sects of nerd-dom This can include spawning the most iconic worms in the world, to feeding meme culture, to inspiring films and video games. Even today, games like Enter the Gungeon make spice a usable in-game item, and shows like Futurama utilize sand worms to travel across desert planets. Truly, spice has become life. In its own, special way, of course.  (more…)

The original announcement that AMC would create an adaptation of Dan Simmons award-winning novel The Terror was notable not only because many felt the novel would make for great television, but because it was announced as an anthology series. The Terror is a sprawling giant of a novel that spans almost 250,000 words and reaches almost 800 pages. Throughout his sprawling narrative, Simmons expertly splices several conflicts, narrates multiple point-of-view characters, and alternates between past and present timelines. That means that adapting the novel into a series that has received favourable reviews all-round rather than a feature-film was a smart choice. But while we can say the show itself was good, readers might want to know how good an adaptation it was. (more…)