Featured image via Elseworlds Wiki
Featured image via Elseworlds Wiki
Leigh Bardugo is an incredible YA author famously known for her immersive worlds and cast of diverse, interesting characters. Her previous YA fantasy series include the Grisha trilogy, King of Scars, and the popular Six of Crows duology. Set in a world known as the Grishaverse in which different Grisha possess magical powers under different orders of magic—The Order of the Living and the Dead, the Order of Summoners, and the Order of Fabrikators—Leigh Bardugo created fictional countries with such unique cultures and locations that they almost seemed believable. And let’s not forget how much we all fell in love with Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows. Amidst the buzz about Shadow and Bone, the first book in the Grisha trilogy, coming to Netflix, Bardugo has decided to dive into a new realm of magic by penning her first adult novel.
Bardugo’s new novel, titled Ninth House, seems to be the first book set outside the Grishaverse. And this setting might be slightly more familiar to us—it’s New Haven, Connecticut. The book follows a Yale freshman with a bad past, Alex Stern. She was raised by a hippie mom and dropped out of school to mess around with drug dealer boyfriends and bad jobs. It’s unlikely that she would end up at Yale, but when she becomes the only survivor of a multiple homicide, Alex is offered a full ride to one of the most prestigious universities. Alex’s benefactors instruct her to monitor the suspicious activities of the secret societies within Yale, and she soon discovers that these societies are more sinister than one might expect. The Yale societies are made up of prominent rich and powerful figures who conduct occult activities and forbidden magic in windowless clubhouses referred to as “tombs.”
Bardugo, a graduate of Yale herself, says that she’s had the idea for Ninth House since her first day in New Haven as a student. The book’s release date is October 8th, and Bardugo says, “October is the perfect time for sinister tales, and I hope you’ll find Ninth House to be thrilling, eerie, funny, and maybe a little unnerving.”
It’ll be interesting to see how Leigh Bardugo makes the switch from young adult fiction to adult fiction. Her books have certainly dealt with dark themes surrounding magic before, and they’ve always held a particular air of maturity for YA books. Still, maybe Ninth House will be even more mature now that Bardugo is incorporating some of her own experiences. It also makes you wonder just what Leigh Bardugo experienced at Yale to imagine their secret societies as something occult. But what even are the Yale secret societies? Does her fantastical interpretation have any weight?
Each Yale secret society is small and only allows fifteen members or so. As is to be expected, it’s almost impossible to find information about these societies or what they do, but many of them also have impressive amounts of wealth. Yale has forty-one secret societies that we know about, each with menacing names like Berzelius, Skull and Bones, Book and Snake, Wolf’s Head, and Scroll and Key. With names like Skull and Bones, why shouldn’t we be suspicious? Skull and Bones is probably the most famous secret society and its alumni include William Howard Taft, President George H.W. Bush, President George W. Bush, and former Secretary of State John Kerry. Most of the societies’ alumni seem to be involved in political or financial positions of power… possibly bargained for by occult means? The architectural style of the tomb-like, windowless clubhouses was designed with privacy in mind, so we may never really know what goes on inside.
After a few break-ins to the “tombs,” the floor plan of the original Skull and Bones building was published and it seemed like a fairly normal clubhouse. Nonetheless, who knows what the members of the societies could be concealing behind hidden walls and doors? Maybe Bardugo discovered something in her time at Yale and is finally revealing the dark, supernatural truth.
With a mix of such creepy rumors surrounding the Yale societies in real life and Bardugo’s thrilling, intense writing style, Ninth House is sure to be an amazing first adult fantasy novel for this author.
Featured image via Flatiron Books
If you are a fan of any type of media; literature, film, television, there was something that bothered you. Maybe a couple that you wanted to get together didn’t or your favorite character died or it just needed way more people of color. Writing your own story can make whatever you want happen. Fanfiction is a medium in which a writer can take elements of an already written or produced piece of media and make them their own. Sites like Wattpad and Fanfiction.net has thousands upon thousands of fanfiction stories for literally every fandom you can think of like Supernatural, anime, Steven Universe and BTS.
And fandoms that might confuse some like Slenderman, but to each their own.
To speak as a writer of fanfiction, myself, although a bit embarrassing, it helps me practice my writing. It allows me to explore facets of a story that I would’ve loved for the original author to have done; avenues I felt that were lacking for a complete ending to me. Your imagination is limitless when given something you are passionate about. We consume an incredible amount of media everyday and things like representation, expression, and creativity are important.
Fanfiction can be looked down on upon by those who think it’s nothing but smut, which a lot of it is, but this brings about the argument on whether the author and creators’ intention should be taken as gospel or if it’s up to the reader, the consumer, the ultimate critic, to interpret it they way they want to and take what they want from it.
I agree with both sides for it isn’t one or the other. The author’s intent should be taken into account when reading their work because they aren’t writing it for no reason. A writer, a great one at that, always writes to convey some type of message. And the reader is allowed to see that point and not agree with it fully. They might see something completely different within the pages of the novel, that the author didn’t necessarily intend but stuck with the reader regardless.
The outlet that fan fiction provides is a special one. It inspires creativity and the willingness to write and share. It can be used as criticism, expansion and more importantly as a love letter to the author’s original work. Fanfiction is made from the appreciation of media and that appreciation helps keep the world filled with creatives who have a fandom or multiple fandom as communities that they can connect with when the rest of the world seems hopeless.
Featured Image via The New Yorker
Ever wanted to choose your own profound and horrifying sci-fi adventure? This article is for you.
“With Those We Love Alive” is a strange, deeply atmospheric short story, told a few pieces at a time. You are an artificer, drawn into the service of the Skull Queen. The magic is strange and tangible, and though you don’t see much of the world, you get an impression of its vastness. Live the luminous sense of listless terror made ambiance through the simple but powerful backgrounds, the eerie soundtrack, and the world’s uneasy details. Wander the palace and the city. Look on the outer world. You will be prompted to hold your breath. Look. Look away. Draw all over yourself (cue weird looks from the rest of the editorial team).
You make many choices, shape the world, or does it shape you? The pull of the plot is inexorable, subtle. This is a land of monsters, of gruesome beauty, and unlike any fantasy world you’ve ever seen. You will come to feel trapped. You will come to realize you are terribly in love. With a sense of both choice and inevitability, walk through this place, the palace of the Skull Queen, her city, and see what it makes you. Find an ending as sudden and vibrant as the rest of the story, and etch each choice into your skin.
Eerie, gorgeous, and coolly violent, this story will stay with you long after the sigils you’re instructed to draw have faded.
Things you’ll need: headphones, a marker or pen.
See other people’s sigils here.
Sink your teeth into this, vampire fans. A new Dracula tv series, based on the original novel by Bram Stoker, is coming to Netflix and the BBC. While not airing for quite a while (the supernatural drama is expected to air in late 2019 or early 2020), what details have been revealed are quite salivating. According to The Radio Times the series will be a collaboration between the BBC and Netflix, with the two corporations working together to air the series. Dracula will be helmed by the creators of Sherlock, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. Dracula himself will be played by Claes Bang, a Danish actor who said he would be ‘thrilled’ by the opportunity. He was further quoted as saying:
“I am thrilled to be taking on the role of Dracula, especially when the script is in the hands of the incredible talents of Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and the team responsible for Sherlock.”
Bang will be joined by a wide ensemble of actors to help bring the bloody world of Dracula to life. Actors Joanna Scanlan, Chanel Cresswell, Matthew Beard, Lydia West, Dolly Wells, John Heffernan, Lujza Richter and Morfydd Clark, Paul Brennen, Sofia Oxenham, John McCrea, Phil Dunster and Millicent Wong will be joining the drama in as-yet unknown roles. Mark Gatiss himself will also be in the cast, having expressed an interest in playing Dracula’s mad henchman Renfield. But nothing is set in stone yet.
The show will last approximately three episodes, each of undisclosed length but since this is from the creators of Sherlock, we’re guessing each episode will be movie length in runtime, an hour or more to get their money’s worth of the material. The show’s plot will be, naturally, an adaptation of the Dracula novel but offering a new spin to make it relevant to modern audiences. Moffat said the show will re-centre Dracula as the hero of his own story, as opposed to the antagonist he was in the book and most other adaptations. He will be at the center of the action, as opposed to a more shadowy figure who makes fleeting appearances to menace the heroes. Moffat and Gatiss described the process as difficult, keen to give Dracula center stage but also not take away from his evil at all. They hope their hard work pays off and say they ‘handled’ making Dracula both the main character and truly evil. But we’ll have to wait to see how that plays out onscreen.
Image via The Radio Times
The series is currently in production, having recently completed its second episode. The show is currently filming at Bray Studios, Maidenhead, which was also the location of many classic vampire films starring Christopher Lee as the titular Count, made by Hammer Film Productions. Not much else is known about the show at this time, how closely it will adapt the book or even what the plot will be but the BBC released a short synopsis as a little teaser:
‘Three feature length episodes will re-introduce the world to Dracula, the vampire who made evil sexy. In Transylvania in 1897, the blood-drinking Count is drawing his plans against Victorian London. And be warned: the dead travel fast.’
We can’t wait to see this adaptation of a classic horror novel coming to television. We’ll keep our eyes and ears peeled for further developments. Until then, watch the shadows and keep your garlic close!
Featured Image Via SyFy