The Force Awakens evening report: Oscar Isaac praises Star Wars experience, fans

sw-xwing327→ We heard from him briefly the other day, but Oscar Isaac talks more about The Force Awakens over at IGN, including advice from Harrison Ford, working with practical effects, the “emotional aspect,” the broadsaber and even the racist backlash to co-star John Boyega:

“What’s great about it is, it’s like, ‘Are you a racist? Here’s a perfect way of revealing that to everyone!’ [Laughs] What I loved about the trailer too is, like, the giant middle finger of the first thing you see, right off the bat: John’s face — BAM! So it is, yeah, ‘Just deal with it.'”

Adding, “ultimately, it’s not even about race at all. It’s about a story, and it’s about these characters. [Boyega’s] a great actor, and he’s so good in this movie. And, you know, why not? But what’s great about it too, even more so, is that the huge majority have come out so vocally, the people that are real, true fans in support. [Laughs] They come out and defend it and make themselves heard. They really drowned out that negativity pretty quickly. I think that was really wonderful, to see that.”

How much dumb luck do you think it was that he happened to be on the publicity circuit for A Most Violent Year just as the trailer hit?

Andy Serkis calls the reaction to the trailer “extraordinary.”

→ Did The Force Awakens trailer inspire George R.R. Martin? Will The Winds of Winter really be out in 2015? Who actually expects a gossip blog to have a ‘source’ on George R.R. Martin in the first place? What times we live in.

→ Still running with The Force Awakens on Tumblr, including tons of fan art.

Other worlds: Game of Thrones returns Sunday with S2

The night is dark and full of terrors. The second season of the hit series based on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire debuts tomorrow! (I’m so excited, even though I can’t actually remember where A Clash of Kings ends and A Storm of Swords begins.) Among the must-reads is this interview with showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss. There’s also been a lot of attention paid to the shows’ female characters. And is the mainstream finally paying attention to fantasy? Well, sort of.

If you want to gorge on more Thrones news, reviews, and interviews ahead of the premiere, head over to the dedicated fan blog Winter is Coming.


Authors behaving badly. Christoper Priest, author of The Prestige, is not very happy with the Arthur C. Clarke Award shortlist. Take it, Cleolinda.


Preach it. I haven’t been much impressed with his books, but I think Patrick Rothfuss hits things right out of the park on how fantasy needs to move past aping the Tolkien elves-and-dwarves formula.


The Hunger Games. Everyone loves it! Except the people who somehow missed that Rue was black in the book, and think that diminishes the character’s impact. (Um, spoilers.) Not enough facepalm in the world. Actress Amandla Stenberg said in a statement: “It was an amazing experience; I am proud of the film and my performance. I want to thank all of my fans and the entire Hunger Games community for their support and loyalty.”

Will The Hunger Games mark a sea change in Hollywood’s willingness to greenlight more female-lead action movies? The experts are skeptical.

And finally, here’s something not-so-serious: Capitol propaganda posters.


The Lame Files. Is 50 Shades of Grey taking fan fiction mainstream? Considering what what I got in my mailbox yesterday… Yes. Yes it is. Here’s a look back at the book’s fanfic past.


Also: Ten books every fantasy author should readWhy the Wheel of Time series is so longHighlights in the history of space operaHarry Potter genderswapStakes in fantasy novelsWhy old books smell so good

Game of Thrones gets 13 Emmy nominations

The Emmy nominations came out this morning, and HBO’s fantasy series is among most nominated. Game of Thrones received 13 nods, most notably Best Drama and a Supporting Actor nomination for Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion.

For Best Drama, the show is up against Boardwalk Empire, Friday Night Lights, Dexter, The Good Wife and last year’s winner Mad Men. Dinklage’s competition includes John Slattery of Mad Men and Alan Cumming in The Good Wife.

Thrones other nods include writing (for ‘Baelor,’) direction, casting, costumes, hairstyling, visual effects and Main Title Design.

Meanwhile, A Dance With Dragons is actually selling better in print than in eBook.

Out this week: Robot Chicken, Invasion

It’s been a while since we’ve had any releases at all, but this week thankfully bring a few! First off, on Tuesday, you pick up the Robot Chicken: Star Wars III DVD or Blu-Ray. Hilarity we haven’t seen since Robot Chicken: Star Wars II! io9 catches up with creator Matt Senreich on why there’s no Robot Chicken Star Trek and gets an exclusive deleted scene about Princess Leia.

If you’re a fantasy fan, there’s also A Dance with Dragons, the long-awaited fifth volume of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. (You know, the one that began with Game if Thrones Which is now an HBO series? Yeah.) But more on that later.?

Meanwhile, there’s an actual comic in stores on Wednesday. A new storyline launches with Invasion: Revelations #1.

And come Saturday, it’s also time for the annual summertime wish-it-were-cooler tradition of the Hallmark Ornaments Premiere Weekend.

Next week? Choices of One! SDCC attendees and/or San Diego natives can enter a contest to win lunch with Tim Zahn and editor Shelly Shapiro while they’re in town for the con.

Other worlds: GRRM’s A Dance with Dragons is done

Yes, George R. R. Martin finished the book. The fifth volume of A Song of Ice and Fire got a July 12th publication date last month, but he still wasn’t quite finished with the manuscript, leaving many to doubt that the long-awaited book would actually become a reality. Well, worry no longer, because Martin posted today that Kong has been slain. For those not up on GRRM’s lingo – ‘Kong’ is the book’s nickname – his editor, Anne Groell, has confirmed in plain English.

Meanwhile, HBO’s Game of Thrones TV show has been doing well – ratings held steady for the second episode, and it’s already been renewed for a second season. And you’ll certainly want to check out Time’s fourpart interview with Martin about the show, including his thoughts on how the next few volumes should be split up for filming.

Awards. Nominees for the 2011 Hugo and Campbell Awards were announced the other day, and I’m still a little in shock that two of my 2010 favoritesThe Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and Feed – are up for best novel.

Tolkien. The extended editions of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy will be in theaters this June. Individually, thankfully.

Dark Tower. And for new adaptations, it appears that Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) has signed on to play Roland in Ron Howard’s take on Stephen King’s epic fantasy series.

Recs. Thanks to Jo Walton, I now want to give Daniel Abraham’s Long Price Quartet a swing. And while I was already planning to try Genevieve Valentine’s Mechanique, but Charlie Jane Anders’ review has made me even more intrigued.