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Despite the movie being three hours long, we still have a lot of questions about Avengers: Endgame and its aftermath, from more post-Snap ponderings to some super existential shower thoughts. We’re also wondering about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially with regard to the Disney+ TV shows, and where things are headed from here. Maybe you’re wondering a few of the same things…

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Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame below. BIG SPOILERS. Seriously, stop reading here if you haven’t seen the movie yet. 

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  • movies

14 Things We Loved (and 8 Things We Hated) in Avengers: Endgame

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Avengers: Endgame is finally here! We’ve all been following the MCU since Iron Man first came out of the superhero closet in 2008, and we have feelings.

A LOT OF FEELINGS. A lot of VERY SPOILERY feelings. This is your space to shout about the highs and lows of the movie, the moments that made you cheer and the beats that left you cold.

Seriously, did we mention spoilers? Don’t read this if you haven’t seen the movie yet.

[Read more]

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First Contact Goes Awry: The Mote in God’s Eye and The Gripping Hand by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

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In this bi-weekly series reviewing classic science fiction and fantasy books, Alan Brown looks at the front lines and frontiers of the field; books about soldiers and spacers, scientists and engineers, explorers and adventurers. Stories full of what Shakespeare used to refer to as “alarums and excursions”: battles, chases, clashes, and the stuff of excitement.

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Even before the stories were called “science fiction,” authors have speculated on and theorized about contact with alien beings. In 1974, two of the era’s most popular science fiction authors, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, decided to team up and produce the ultimate first contact novel, a tale they called A Mote in God’s Eye. Their different approaches to storytelling ended up meshing quite well; not only did they produce a landmark novel, they started a best-selling collaboration that lasted for decades. The book was praised by Robert Heinlein as “[t]he best novel about human beings making first contact with intelligent but utterly non-human aliens I have ever seen, and possibly the finest science fiction novel I have ever read.” Today, I’ll look at that original novel, one of my favorite novels of all time, and also its 1993 sequel, The Gripping Hand, which—while some feel that it’s not as strong as the original book—brings the tale to a satisfying conclusion.

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  • Men In Black
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The latest trailer for Men in Black: International just gives us so many more reasons to want to see Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth protect the universe on this latest Men in Black go-round. We find out more about why Agent M (Thompson) wants in on MIB in the first place, and who they’re up against—a shapeshifting alien, so, basically, anyone. Plus, we meet a bevy of extraterrestrials, including tiny sidekick Pawny (voiced by Kumail Nanjiani). Throw on your shades and check it out!

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If you’re one of the brave souls who rewatched all 20-plus Marvel Cinematic Universe movies leading up to Avengers: Endgame, we salute you. But if you’re like us, you’ve spent the last few weeks revisiting your personal favorites several times over, savoring the best moments with beloved characters. From Iron Man to Captain Marvel, we’ve rounded up our favorite bits from across the MCU, from defining character beats and emotionally resonant fight sequences, to laugh-out-loud scenes and unexpectedly brilliant tonal shifts.

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The future beyond Endgame is uncertain, but we’ll never forget the moments that brought us here…

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Welcome back to the Oathbringer reread, wherein I rearrange all the things and get out of order here. Rather than tackling Dalinar’s Rathalas flashbacks this week, we’re going to examine the gemstone archive epigraphs en masse, and see what we can learn—about the Orders, about the history, about the spren, and about Urithiru.

[They’d found another way to pass on their knowledge.]

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  • H.P. Lovecraft
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Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

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This week, we’re reading Inoue Masahiko’s “Night Voices, Night Journeys,” translated by Edward Lipsett. This version is first published in Asamatsu Ken’s 2002 Night Voices, Night Journeys anthology; the publication date of the original Japanese version is surprisingly difficult to track down—or at least we haven’t managed it. Spoilers ahead.

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Series: The Lovecraft Reread

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