Sosie Bacon and Jason Ralph To Star In SyFy Adaptation Of Lev Grossman’s ‘The Magicians’

Sosie Bacon and Jason Ralph have been announced as the stars in SyFy’s adaptation of Lev Grossman’s fantasy novel The Magicians. The… Read More

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Joshua Davis’ ‘Spare Parts': Part Inspirational Story, Part Indictment of the American Dream

Spare Parts, the George Lopez movie opening in theaters in January 2015, is an inspirational true story about four undocumented high schoolers in Arizona who took on fancier, richer college kids — including MIT — in an underwater robotics competition, and, against all odds, built a better robot. It’s a heartwarming story adapted from a 2005 Wired article by writer Joshua Davis. … Read More

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Miranda July Has A New Novel, ‘The First Bad Man,’ and You Can Buy Items That Appear in It (?)

Miranda July, director/writer of Me and You and Everyone We Know and The Future, and writer of the short story collection, No… Read More

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The 10 Best Books by Academic Publishers in 2014

2014 was a great year for books all around, but academic publishing in particular branched out, with quality works in philosophy, poetry, fiction, and history. This was, of course, the year of Piketty’s broad, sweeping economic tome Capital, but it was also the year of smaller books like Kristeva’s The Severed Head and Cecilia Corrigan’s excellent debut Titanic. For many readers, it’s too easy to forget academic presses, especially as more and more book purchasing goes online, but I hope this list will give you reason to seek out books by these amazing publishers. … Read More

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Jaw-Dropping Redesigns of the ‘Harry Potter’ Books

Everyone loves the Harry Potter books — 450 million units sold, at last count — but one Hungarian design student took her love for those books a step further, and came up with something rather (dare I say it) magical. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) “The Harry Potter books are so magical, so mysterious, and so adventurous,” writes Kincső Nagy, introducing her BA degree project at the art showcase site Behance. Nagy says that she chose to redesign them “to show this extraordinary atmosphere of the books.” She created covers for the entire series and devised ingenious “interactive illustrations” for the inaugural volume; check out our faves after the jump. … Read More

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10 Mysteries, Passions, and Hauntings to Obsess Over If You Like ‘Serial’

It’s easy to be obsessed with Sarah Koenig’s podcast Serial. It’s the addictive true crime story that delves into the murder of a young woman in 1999 and her boyfriend who claims innocence, even though he was convicted. Where the obsession comes through is that Koenig — and by virtue of listening, you — is exploring the case in what feels like real-time, coming up with motives, reasonable doubt, and possible alternate histories of why Adnan Syed may be innocent. The case is being appealed in January.

But sometimes Serial takes a week off (like Thanksgiving), and even though a season two is assured — and it’s a mystery as to what it may be — this tsunami of buzz is going through the various stages, bending around to “overrated.” There’s a mystery to how it will end, but will you be happy with it, whether Adnan is exonerated or not? We wanted to give you ten other stories searching for the truth — documentaries, books, television, Instagram, even a museum — that are worthy of your obsession and your detective work. … Read More

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200 Years Later: We Still Do Not Know the Marquis de Sade

The Marquis de Sade was “the freest spirit who ever existed,” according to surrealist poet Guillaume Apollinaire. Maybe that was true while the Marquis lived — although he spent plenty of time in jail — but in the 21st century, Sade is imprisoned in a cage of media. Today, on the 200th anniversary of his death, Sade is among the most mediated literary figures we have in the western tradition. I don’t meant to suggest that Sade is adapted more than Shakespeare or Dickens or Poe. I’m just saying that the ratio between the Marquis de Sade we inherit from TV and movies and the one we (never) read is totally out of whack. … Read More

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2014’s Gender-Equitable ‘NY Times’ Year-End Book List Shows How Far We’ve Come in Just a Few Years

When I was an earnest early-20-something, I used to angrily count the gender ratio of the New York Times Book Review‘s annual “100 Notable Books” list, always sure that it would be far from 50-50. My scornful prediction inevitably proven right, I would immediately take to the keyboard and rant about it on my personal Blogspot blog.

So much has changed in a few short years! Now I’m a jaded early-30-something, and Blogspot rants have been replaced by a whole new generation of earnest 20-somethings on Tumblr. And also, far more significantly, the New York Times Book Review has actually made progress on gender. … Read More

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