Stephen King announced the title of his latest project, a novel set to be published in 2020 that features a woman from Mr. Mercedes.
Not sure what to read this week? We have a suggestion: something unlike anything you’ve read before. You may be grappling with finals or watching in agony as students prepare to do what you wish you could (not have to wake up early every damn day), but one thing’s for sure—you need a book as hot as the impending summer.
Our picks for this week are as unique as you are: a look into the unapologetically political and astoundingly insightful The Handmaid’s Tale, an ambition sci-fi read that peers five years into a more recognizable future, and a groundbreaking work of lesbian fantasy. (My fantasy? More lesbian rep on the best-seller list.) Grab a copy of these books and take a look… when you glance up disoriented several hours later, you’ll thank me.
OUR HOT PICK
Explore the world of Gilead with this behind-the-scenes look at the award–winning show The Handmaid’s Tale.
The Handmaid’s Tale—the groundbreaking show produced by MGM Television and based on Margaret Atwood’s best-selling novel—has drawn rave reviews and attention worldwide. Now, this comprehensive book details the process of bringing the story to the small screen with forty-five exclusive cast and crew interviews, backstage and set photography, concept art, costume design, and more.
Delve deep into the dystopia of Gilead as interviews with the show’s cast and creators provide insight into the inspiration behind the characters, settings, and themes, as well as its parallels to the real-world political climate. Showcasing striking visuals and insightful commentary, The Art and Making of The Handmaid’s Tale is the definitive exploration of one of television’s most critically acclaimed shows.
The popular TV series The Handmaid’s Tale will return for its third season on June 5, and the timing couldn’t be more poignant. This season includes pivotal scenes shot in Washington, D.C., further emphasizing the inherently political nature of the show and its source material. Currently, The Handmaid’s Tale is trending on Twitter—of course, there’s a historical precedent. The story trended directly after Donald Trump’s inaguration, coinciding with the historic Women’s March. Currently, the story is likely trending in part because of recent decisions in Alabama and Georgia on the subject of reproductive rights. The former state’s law is particularly stringent for reasons we won’t mention here, as they may be deeply upsetting. (Imagine how upsetting they are when they result in unwanted pregnancy.) The Art and Making of the Handmaid’s Tale captures the essence of these troubling times, featuring rich and thoughtful bonus content such as interviews with Margaret Atwood herself. Other exclusive interviews feature Elisabeth Moss (the actress who portrays Offred) and Warren Littlefield (executive producer)!
OUR COFFEE SHOP READ
Hard to say when the human species fractured exactly. Harder to say when this new talent arrived. But Lion Zorn is the first of his kind–an empathy tracker, an emotional soothsayer, with a felt sense for the future of the we. In simpler terms, he can spot cultural shifts and trends before they happen.
It’s a useful skill for a certain kind of company.
Arctic Pharmaceuticals is that kind of company. But when a routine em-tracking job leads to the discovery of a gruesome murder, Lion finds himself neck-deep in a world of eco-assassins, soul hackers and consciousness terrorists. But what the man really needs is a nap.
A unique blend of cutting-edge technology and traditional cyberpunk, Last Tango in Cyberspace explores hot topics like psychology, neuroscience, technology, as well as ecological and animal rights issues. The world created in Last Tango is based very closely on our world about five years from now, and all technology in the book either exists in labs or is rumored to exist. With its electrifying sentences, subtle humor, and an intriguing main character, readers are sure to find something that resonates with them in this groundbreaking cyberpunk science fiction thriller.
New York Times bestselling author Steven Kotler is as ambitious and impressive as his latest novel: a multiple-time Pultizer Prize nominee whose work has been translated into over forty languages, Kotler offers journalistic insight into a surprising range of timely topics. Since Last Tango in Cyberspace peers only five years into the future, it’s a striking and uncanny exploration of the world we might inhabit, playing on real fears and questions that we have as people living in 2019. The novel discusses ecological and animal rights issues alongside more traditional sci-fi topics, the more familiar neuroscience and technology. Sci-fi fans will appreciate Kotler’s expert balance of references to the genre at large and unique new additions to the genre. Lion Zorn is a charismatic and nuanced protagonist, and readers are sure to appreciate him just as much as the novel’s conceptual striving.
OUR dark horse
In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.
The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.
Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.
Malinda Lo‘s Ash is our Dark Horse this week for no lack of accolades: the groundbreaking LGBT+ YA was a Lambda Award finalist and a Kirkus Best Young Adult Novel. Published in 2009, the ten-year-anniversary edition of this dark, lesbian Cinderella story is actually a re-release, printed due to the novel’s success and cultural significance as an earlier LGBT+ work. The special anniversary release is jam-packed with special features, including a foreward by iconic YA fantasy author Holly Black, a letter from Malinda Lo, exclusive Q&A, and more! If you missed out on this story a decade ago (possibly because you were a small child then), now’s your chance to get in on the (literal!) magic. Even in YA fiction, which has grown increasingly open to LGBT+ characters and stories, lesbians and queer women remain underrepresented. Not in this book! Despite its basis in fairy tale, the novel received an outpouring of praise from sources like Publishers Weekly and The New York Times, praising its originality and deliberate, beautiful language.
All In-Text Images Via Amazon.
Featured Image Made With PhotoCollage.
A few weeks ago, Disney announced their upcoming slate of films post-Fox merger. This included a new Star Wars trilogy and the rescheduling of the long-delayed Avatar sequels. Since the announcement, there has been no word on who will lead this new saga of films. Today, Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed who it will be.
Speaking at the MoffetNathanson Media and Communications Summit, Iger confirmed that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the showrunners for Game of Thrones, will be writing the new trilogy of films.
“We did a deal with David Benioff and D.B Weiss, who are famous for Game of Thrones, and the next movie that we release will be theirs,” Iger said. “And we’re not saying anything more about that.”
Though their involvement with Lucasfilm was announced last year, this is the first confirmation we’ve had about when their films will come out.
The announcement that Benioff and Weiss are leading the new saga of Star Wars films is a little awkward considering the timing. Game of Thrones is in its final season, with the series finale airing this Sunday. As the season has progressed, the quality of the writing has declined, with the last few episodes being viewed as the worst in the series’ history. The rushed narrative, sudden shifts in character development and treatment of female characters has drawn the ire of both critics and fans alike. Don’t believe it? Just look at the like/dislike ratio for the latest “Inside The Episode” video where Benioff and Weiss talk about “The Bells”:
With no information about what this new saga will be about, we’ll just have to wait and see what Benioff and Weiss come up with. Hopefully, it’ll be better than this latest crop of GOT episodes.
Featured Image Via GQ
It’s been twenty-five years since the last TV adaptation of The Stand was released. A ten-hour version is now in the works, which will be developed by director Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) and distributed on CBS All Access according to EW.
Stephen King’s epic novel takes place in a world that has been stripped of its institutions, and 99-percent of its population has perished as a result of a super-flu breakout. Survivors choose between sides of order and chaos. A frail, 108-year-old Mother Abagail tries to uphold the peace. Randall Flagg, the “dark man,” embodies all the negativity that exists in their bleak new world.
Image via Amazon
King expressed his excitement regarding the newest adaptation, which is expected to be more developed than its predecessor, and is excited for the chance to work with Boone again.
I like him a lot. I like his reach, his ambition for it. But, really, the thing I’m mostly excited about is, first of all, we’ve got two more hours to tell the story and, second, we’re free of all those things that held us back with The Stand — that is to say, not only is the budget bigger, even if you equalize the two eras, we’re [more free] in terms of language and in terms of violence in a way that we weren’t with the original Stand.
King is also having a good time with The Stand becoming something of a family project, given his son’s involvement with scripting duties.
“My… son Owen has written some of the scripts and they’re terrific, so it’s good.”
Featured Image via Horror Freak News
Throughout September and early October of this year, Atwood will make several stops around Canada to read from The Testaments and answer audience questions.