It was with puffy eyes and groggy minds that Hypable writers Selina and Harri arrived at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, London. Starting the day at 4 A.M. to arrive at Leavesden by 10:00, we were obviously feeling weary – but none of that mattered. As the shuttle bus (plastered with pictures of Diagon Alley) pulled out of the lay-by, we were greeted by the comforting sound of “Hedwig’s Theme” and watched by the towering Wizards’ Chess pieces that guarded the entrance. Any fatigue instantly dissolved and was replaced with bubbling excitement and anticipation.

Note: This review contains spoilers for the tour setup.

 

It was over eight months ago now that J.K. Rowling told us Hogwarts would always be there to welcome us home. For any witch or wizard, arriving at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter will feel like returning home after a long time away.

When the doors of the Great Hall swung open, we embarked on a journey of wonder and magic. Yes, magic. It may be one of the most clichéd (and least imaginative) words anyone could use to describe a behind-the-scenes tour of the Harry Potter studios, but, trust us, it’s the only one that can even begin to explain the experience.

Sure, it’s not perfect. There is a bit of a clunky start, with the forced video introduction from Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint (some dodgy dialogue and clear reluctance on their part made it all a bit awkward), but once the tour suddenly and brilliantly kicks off, the real enchantment begins: goblin faces, floating candles, portraits, potions, pets, stunning Yule Ball gowns and so much more.

Experience everything you love about the films, from memorable sets like the Great Hall, the Gryffindor Common Room, Dumbledore’s office, and Diagon Alley to breathtaking props like Ron’s howler, U-NO-POO, the Marauder’s Map and Harry’s Hogwarts letter. Everything is handled with such care and consideration, even tiny papers that never appear on screen are faithful to the continuity and have artistic merit. When you aren’t staring open-mouthed at the craftsmanship, you can be riding a broom, sipping a Butterbeer or magically chopping carrots at the Burrow.

We want to focus now one some specific parts of the tour that we absolutely loved. There are also a few areas we feel have room for improvement – but don’t worry, WB, we’ve got you covered with our brilliant suggestions!

 

Top 5 reasons to visit the Harry Potter Studio Tours

#1: The staff
This sounds weird, but one of the best things about seeing the sets of Harry Potter is the presence of the staff members. We might just be cynical Europeans, of course, but neither of us had ever experienced such pleasant and consistently friendly treatment – even the guy behind the Starbucks counter in the foyer wanted to know all about our tour! Every member of staff was eager to get our input on the tour and hear about our personal experiences with Harry Potter, and they also had interesting stories of their own to share. One story in particular stuck with us: manning the Yule Ball section of the big room of sets was a former extra on the films! He’d come from one of the local schools, and, according to him, had spent more time being a Hogwarts student than an actual student! But he’d loved every bit of it, and when he realised he could continue to work within the fandom, he jumped at the chance. Another member of staff revealed to us that they’re actually quizzed on their Harry Potter trivia and that they’ve had extensive training by the actual set and visual effects designers to make sure they are absolute experts on how it all came together. They aren’t messing around. These people are professional Harry Potter fans. New dream job?
 

#2: Diagon Alley and Hogwarts
We both felt that the tour got better and better as it went on, and some of the final areas took our breath away. First there’s Diagon Alley, with its incredibly detailed shop windows. We probably walked up and down the street a dozen times, just because we could, and there was always more to discover! McMullpepper’s Apothecary almost made us wish Pottermore was working again, with all the incredible ingredients we could stir into our potions, and Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment was packed with trinkets (“bits and bobs for doing your wizardry,” eh??) that we really wish had been available in the gift shop! The best windows to peek through are probably those of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes and Flourish & Blotts, though. An incredible Gilderoy Lockhart display fills up the latter, and you know all about the Weasley products – only this time they are right in front of you! If only we’d have been able to enter some of these shops… but maybe some day they’ll expand the accessibility. The only reason we managed to tear ourselves away from Diagon Alley though was because of what awaited in the next room: Hogwarts. Scaled down of course, but still absolutely massive. And unbelievably real. We stood there in silence for a good 20 minutes, squinting to make it seem like we were really seeing Hogwarts. The detail of this model is unreal, and seeing it really encapsulates how the movies have brought this incredible story to life.
 

Selina's going to Ollivander's!

#3: Butterbeer and the gift shop
Yeah, we’re materialistic suckers! Anyone who’s been to the Wizarding World in Orlando has already experienced something similar to this, of course – although we CAN confirm that the chocolate used for the frogs is British, not American (and therefore more yummy, in our opinion) – but we were overwhelmed. The butterbeer, which is available halfway through the tour, was probably what we had been looking forward to the most, and it didn’t disappoint! Although it wasn’t served in the iconic pints (hint: we wish it could have been!), the froth was delicious and the drink itself lightly sparkling and sweet, just like J.K. Rowling likes it! And the gift shop, that was an experience in itself. There was just so much to see, we’re sure we missed a lot in our quest for souvenirs. Iconic props lined the shelves along with the merchandise, and we almost missed things like the stained glass window from Goblet of Fire and the lamps from Slughorn’s party in Half-Blood Prince! We also didn’t feel that the merchandise was unreasonably priced. Most of the typical souvenirs like Quaffles, Hedwigs, mugs, and notebooks ranged from about £7-£20, and the candy went for about £2.50-£9. There was definitely something to pick up for everyone, even those who only wanted a small token to remember the trip by. Of course, there were also the pricier items, like a replica of the Sword of Gryffindor, a chess set and a Horcrux ring (something for your Great Hall wedding, perhaps??), and lots more. We tried to control ourselves and just bought some candy (it was like someone was whispering “Anything off the trolley, dears?” into our ears), but there were so many things it would have been amazing to own. Like cuddly Pygmy Puffs (if Selina could have remembered whether Arnold was purple or pink, she definitely would have got one for herself!).
 

#4: The display cases
Easily one of the tour’s highlights are the display cases littered throughout studios J and K (the lettering a total coincidence, we were told). All the small artifacts that were created for the films can be studied in acute detail, allowing fans to take in things that they couldn’t see in the movies. Staring at the Horcruxes, reading Lily’s letter to Sirius, looking at Hogwarts through the Marauders Map or reading an article from The Quibbler are just a small selection of the things you can do. We could have easily spent several hours giggling, gasping and gawking at the little touches like Cheeri-Owls cereal, the Yule Ball invitations and Dumbledore’s will. While the inability to observe the sets in as much detail was a disappointment, the props are a magical treat in their own right.

 

#5: The special effects room
After a Butterbeer and a photo in the Ford Anglia or aboard the Knight Bus, visitors start the second leg of the tour in the Special FX/Creatures room. House elves, goblins, mer-people, Fawkes, and even the corpse of Harry and unconscious dummies of Draco, Ron and George stand eerily around you. If you can peel yourself away from these amazing and life-like models for just a moment, you will be treated to a video from Warwick Davies and the Creature Department that shows you exactly how everything was assembled and used. A display case in the centre allows you to push buttons that make Hedwig turn her head or the Voldemort fetus struggle for breath. Go through an archway, and you are face to face with Aragog, staring into the eyes of the Basilisk and looking up at a scaled model of the Hungarian Horntail. Finally, you can bow to Buckbeak and hope that he graciously lowers his head to you. That isn’t even half of it – the Creature room is something that needs to be seen to be believed.

 

Tips for improvement

#1: More time in the Great Hall
The first official stop on the tour is also one of the film’s most iconic sets – The Great Hall. With an introduction to compliment it in the greatest (pun intended) and most surprising ways imaginable that we won’t spoil for you here, it’s safe to say you really are plunged into the Wizarding World head first. The set itself lives up to even the highest of expectations, with wonderful costumes and props from all of Harry’s years at Hogwarts, as well as tiny little details that you wouldn’t have noticed while watching the films. But it’s all over too quickly. By the time you’ve noticed hidden House crests, or tried to take a fleeting picture with Dumbledore’s eagle-podium you’re being rushed along to the next step of the tour. Understandably, there are plenty of other groups that need to see the Hall, but the beginning of this wonderful experience feels rushed. In fairness, the rest of the tour is unguided and you are free to spend as much time as you like gawking at the names on portraits and inspecting every coloured bottle you find. It just feels that, being the largest and most overwhelming stop on the tour, it would’ve been nice to have the chance to soak it all up.
 

#2: Such detailed sets, why hide them away?
The tour may be called The Making of Harry Potter, but what’s wrong with letting visitors explore some more of the sets? The detailed exhibits on how the props, costumes and sets were designed, made, and used are undeniably fascinating. But fans can only explore Diagon Alley and (fleetingly) the Great Hall in any close capacity. The rest are fenced off so that you can only peer into your favourite magical places instead of walking through them.  It is important that everything is kept clean and undamaged, but, without being able to see everything, visitors can never truly appreciate the hard work that was put into crafting the series. An example of this is Dumbledore’s office. We could just about see what looked like the Headmaster’s living quarters behind the main study, and since we never saw this in the films it would have been amazing to finally see it now. But with only one vantage point, all we could really see was an abundance of green and purple velvet cushions. perhaps with the set walls expanded and a walkway put in place (as was done with Diagon Alley), we would have been able to see everything without actually touching it.
 

#3: More photo opportunities
While you are able to take pictures throughout the tour, one of the things the museum-like setup doesn’t allow for is for fans to really get in and experience the story. Of course we get that they can’t have thousands of feet and grabby hands all over everything every day, but only being able to watch the sets from afar is sometimes a bit like freeze-framing a scene from the movies (which you could do at home). One thing we think could improve the tour is to allow for visitors to take more organic, interactive pictures of themselves experiencing the sets. There are already several, great opportunities for this, like getting your picture taken on a broom (see above! Magic is real you guys) or having your face put on an Azkaban poster, and outside you can get pictures in the Ford Anglia and on the Knight Bus, but this could be taken even further. You can’t get up to the actual owl pedestal Dumbledore uses in the Great Hall, so how about making a replica and making a space for it on the side, for fans to get on and strike their best “Weeeelcome, weeelcome!” pose? Also, one of the biggest dreams of most Harry Potter fans is to sit in the Gryffindor common room (or any of the common rooms, actually), and while this can’t happen, perhaps an armchair could be placed in front of the display, so anyone who sat in it would look like they were actually in the room. Just small things like that would really improve the interactivity and give the experience a more hands-on feel.

 

Personal notes

Selina: Being more of a book fan than a movie fan, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But the tour really won me over – mostly because of the staff. I’ve never encountered such a nice group of people, and they really can’t get enough praise. I’d be curious to see them again after a few months, though; listening to “Hedwig’s Theme” over and over again would drive me up the wall within a week! Walking down Diagon Alley was incredible, and seeing Hogwarts was more emotional than I thought it’d be. But, for me, the very best thing about the tour was really random: I finally saw my name in canon! When I spotted it on the wall of portraits I think I let out a squee worthy of a Mandrake. But that’s okay, I was surrounded by people who got my geeky excitement! Introducing, what I shall henceforth claim is my name… Selina Sapworthy (and note: she’s a Gryffindor. Take that, Pottermore!). I’m curious to see what expansions they’ve got planned though. I really felt the absence of sets like the Slytherin common room, the Room of Requirement and the Owlery, and it’d be great to have more areas you could actually walk through (like Diagon Alley) as opposed to just walk by. But all in all, I had an amazing time!

Harri: The Leavesden Harry Potter tour is an informative, rewarding and touching experience for fans of the films and books. If you’re a hardcore fan, you won’t find out much more about the making of the films then you didn’t already know through interviews and DVD featurettes – but the interactive and immersive nature of the tour is worth it. There is so much to see and do that one visit doesn’t seem enough. The official guide estimates that visitors will spend about three hours in the tour. Selina and I spent five hours going around, and even then we wanted to go straight back in to study everything that we might have missed the first time through which can only say good things for the tour. The atmosphere, staff, and Butterbeer were some of my personal highlights. If you have any doubts about going, don’t worry – you will love nearly every second. But look carefully, there is so much there that you can miss some amazing pieces just because they are hidden above doors or behind ticking clocks, and you won’t want to miss a thing!

 

Is it worth it?

One of the big questions we’ve been getting has been whether, when all is said and done, the Harry Potter Studio Tour is worth the £28 admissions fee (plus travel expenses). We came with no real expectations and left only with our arms full of chocolate frogs and camera batteries dead, but also with a deep feeling of having come that much closer to Hogwarts. If that’s what you’re looking to get out of this, then yes, it is absolutely worth it. In the words of J.K. Rowling (whose words are immortalized in the wand room), Hogwarts was there to welcome us home.

As far as getting to the studio, once you’re in London it’s really not that difficult. Trains leave regularly from Euston, and at Watford Junction station Mullany’s Buses operate a regular shuttle service to the Leavesden lot. They say the tour takes three hours – we were there for about five (the butterbeer kept us going!). There is so much to see, and rushing through it would be a huge mistake. We’re both already thinking about going back there, because we probably missed loads! Enter a room, turn and look up, and there’s Luna’s lion hat. Blink and you miss it.

If you do go, savour it. Spend ages inspecting all the props in the display cabinet and the windows in Diagon Alley. Imagine yourself at Hogwarts as you watch the lights change from night to day. Gaze at the incredibly detailed concept design artwork. Talk to the helpful, friendly and knowledgeable staff who will tell you amazing stories about how the Harry Potter movies brought the magic to life. Keep calm and have a butterbeer.

We’ll leave you with this incredible piece of artwork by Adam Brockbank, depicting the Dumbledore funeral scene that should have been. It’s for insights like this that you want to explore the movie magic:

Tickets for the Studio Tour can be purchased on the official website.

Sherlock season 4, episode 3 is the last new material fans will see for a very long time. Was it a satisfying farewell to the series?

The Sherlock season 4 finale is a healthy mix of emotional highs and lows. But was it, as co-creators Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss describe, “television history?” No. It was not. It was not even the best episode of the Sherlock series.

However, it is what we have to left to unpack as we leave Holmes at Watson in 221B by the fire. Let’s get on with it, shall we?

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Sherlock season 4, episode 3 is the last new material fans will see for a very long time. Was it a satisfying farewell to the series?

The Sherlock season 4 finale is a healthy mix of emotional highs and lows. But was it, as co-creators Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss describe, “television history?” No. It was not. It was not even the best episode of the Sherlock series.

However, it is what we have to left to unpack as we leave Holmes at Watson in 221B by the fire. Let’s get on with it, shall we?

The final problem

The greatest flaw of Sherlock is when it gets stuck in its own heightened story telling. “The Final Problem” is the perfect example of retelling the past and not giving the audience any new information. It’s not hard to deduce. The episode does not suffer for this. Because it is not about the game at all.

Eurus’ game is well-crafted, brutal, and unforgiving. She is a master. The episode goes above and beyond to prove that over and over. Eurus wants to understand the complexity of human empathy. The only way she can do that is to cut the people open and see what makes their muscles move.

watson

The maze she crafts tests the resolve of Sherlock, Mycroft, and John. One great example of this is the use of Molly Hooper. It should be noted that Molly Hooper deserves so much better.

Using her love for Sherlock as a weapon, Molly Hooper’s life shatters with three words. Unfortunately, all of this is in service to unravel Sherlock with no resolution on her end.

As he smashes the coffin with his bare hands, John and Mycroft are there to reel him back in. They lend a hand to rebuild the walls that are falling down around him. That is until they literally fall at the doorstep of his childhood home.

The final problem is how do you deliver human connection to someone who does not know how to receive it? That desire to feel that her brothers appreciate her for more than her brain. If Eurus’ favorite person, Sherlock, could just take a moment to play her game, everything can end.

The test, it turns out, is for Sherlock to lean heavily on his capacity for emotional connection throwing logic out of the equation. He makes room for John, Mary, Molly, even Greg in his life. Can he find a way to make room for Eurus in spite of everything he just found out?

“You were always the grown up,” says Mrs. Holmes near the end of the episode. Sherlock takes the family into the next chapter of their life. One where music bridges the gap between them and the entire Holmes family can sit together without words getting in the way.

‘I’m a pirate’

The biggest twist, if you didn’t already work it out for yourself, comes when John discovers the bones of “Redbeard” in the well. They are not dog bones, but the bones of Sherlock’s best childhood friend, Victor.

But the best appearance is by far the inclusion of Mycroft’s Christmas gift — Jim Moriarty.

sherlock season 4 moriarty

Moriarty’s obsession with Holmes begins well before Eurus calls him in for a meeting. But did he succumb to being one of her agents? Probably. But Jim likely steered his own course to Sherlock. But the game… well, the game now reeks of Eurus.

Mycroft Holmes

The Holmes brothers, Mycroft and Sherlock, have the most fascinating relationship on Sherlock. “The Final Problem” highlights the complexity of their past and the trajectory of their future.

The most moving scene in the entire episode arrives when Mycroft, John and Sherlock are contemplating the reality of what may be their final moments alive. Hearing that Sherlock appreciated a talent of his, one that is not based on their familial intellect, moves him to a smile. Well before Mycroft sacrifices himself for Sherlock’s partnership with John, he gets the validation that their relationship is full of mutual appreciation.

mycroft sherlock

The minds of the Holmes siblings may be capable of great feats, but no fortress is entirely secure.

Mycroft’s home at the start of the episode is infiltrated by the combination of Holmes and Watson. Later on, his mind’s security system fails. He is a strong, put together person. After years of arranging Sherlock’s safety behind the scenes, it’s time for Sherlock to step up and do the same.

Is there room for more?

Perhaps we will all meet again at Anemoi. In the credits letters it is typical for the editors to highlight certain letters. The final sequence produces just a single word — Anemoi, the meeting place of the four winds.

While the finale ties up loose ends, recreates the scars that affect the duo the most, it does feel more like a beginning than an ending.

Sherlock may or may not return.

Tags: bbc sherlock

American Horror Story season 7 has yet to begin even filming and the show has already been renewed through 2019. Eager fans (including myself) have started to speculate what the next three seasons of the horror anthology series by FX might look like.

‘American Horror Story: Antichrist’

Ryan Murphy has already stated a future season of AHS will feature a crossover between Murder House and Coven. How that crossover might actually play out is unknown as of now. Although, Murphy has stated that it will not be season 7. In the meantime there are many different ways these two worlds could collide.

As the witches of New Orleans step into the Murder House a world of possible storylines could unfold: ghosts, séances, the afterlife, endless possibilities. However, for me, the final moments of season 1 are what hold the clue to what the crossover season is all about.

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American Horror Story season 7 has yet to begin even filming and the show has already been renewed through 2019. Eager fans (including myself) have started to speculate what the next three seasons of the horror anthology series by FX might look like.

‘American Horror Story: Antichrist’

Ryan Murphy has already stated a future season of AHS will feature a crossover between Murder House and Coven. How that crossover might actually play out is unknown as of now. Although, Murphy has stated that it will not be season 7. In the meantime there are many different ways these two worlds could collide.

As the witches of New Orleans step into the Murder House a world of possible storylines could unfold: ghosts, séances, the afterlife, endless possibilities. However, for me, the final moments of season 1 are what hold the clue to what the crossover season is all about.

Murder House ends with all of the Harmon family dead save for Michael, the third child of Vivian. Three years in the future shows the orphaned child being raised by Constance Langdon, previous owner of the Murder House. Most important of all, however, it is revealed that this toddler has murdered his nanny. Such an act suggests there is more to this child than is of this life.

Meanwhile, the end of Coven showed the existence of witches going public. The supreme witch, Cordelia Goode, opened her academy for young witches all over the country. It seems for now that there is peace with those possessing magical powers. Although, a child born of ghost and human might shake up that peace with powers to match that of the witches. Powers of darkness and a drive to use them for evil that will threaten the safety and security of witchkind. This conflict will ultimately lead up to a head-to-head confrontation between the child of the afterlife and the witches.

‘American Horror Story: Shipwreck’

AHS is no stranger to resorting to the use of supernatural forces as a form of horror. Every season except for Roanoke showed how the dead can walk among the living on Halloween night. Hotel brought us vampires and Coven showed the great and terrible power of voodoo. No season as of yet, however, has shown what horrors natural forces have in store for mankind.

In Shipwreck a luxurious Hawaiian cruise goes full-on Lost when a hurricane rips a passenger ship out of the sea. Crashing onto the shores of an uncharted island, families from all different backgrounds must come together to survive. Washed up with nothing connecting them to the civilized world, things can’t seem to get any worse. That is until trips into the dense jungle for sustenance show what horrors the island has in store.

Carnivorous primates, poisonous plants, flesh-eating bugs, and acid rain are just some of the terrors that passengers meet. Still, as days turn to weeks and time becomes an illusion the vacationers worst enemies become each other. A fight for survival turns into survival of the fittest and seemingly overnight the sandy beaches of this island are stained red. Allies shift into betrayal, families become strangers, and lovers descend into worst enemies. The island is reduced to a battleground with one clear goal: total sovereignty.

Who will become the last man standing, and will help arrive in time to stop complete annihilation of the island inhabitants?

‘American Horror Story: Virus’

Picture Grey’s Anatomy meets Contagion. Every season of AHS so far has been very localized and small scale, taking place in one central location. Roanoke set its roots at a farmhouse in North Carolina. Freak Show never left the small town of Jupiter, Florida. But in a not-so-distant future America, a virus begins taking the lives of unsuspecting citizens.

It starts in a hospital in New York City. A young man comes in presenting unusual symptoms; a fever, bloodshot eyes, a rash spreading quickly across his posterior. Without warning the rash metastasizes inward, eating his flesh from the outside in, killing him slowly and painfully. Across the country another case pops up in a hospital in California. Exact same instance. No warning, no explanation, no idea of where it came from. Soon the virus is nationwide and time is running out as top doctors are trying to find a cure and stop the spread of this viral infection.

Eventually a common denominator between some of the initial victims has shown up. Every single carrier was a survivor of a Hawaii-bound cruise that crashed on an uncharted island months previously. The passengers picked up the virus on the island and carried it to the mainland where it is spreading across the country like wildfire. Finding cure is the only thing left to do. However, with people dying across America by the second, chances of a cure being constructed are becoming sparing.

At the mid-season mark, after loss of hope, weeks of research, and the death of millions a cure is established. The antidote is distributed widely slowing down the spread so research on a preventative agent can begin. There is just one catch:

The dead are coming back to life.

‘American Horror Story: Incarceration’

Roanoke was the bloodiest American Horror Story season yet. Three characters had their innards yanked from their bodies, two hikers were burnt at the stake, and one character’s ear was cut off and pickled for eating. The fandom probably needs a break before the show goes back to using gore tactics as a source of terror.

Once the fans are ready for some more senseless and gruesome entertainment, AHS: Incarceration will be waiting to disturb them. At a penitentiary located in a middle American desert, miles from civilization a dire mistake is made. An innocent man is sent to a prison where the country’s most diabolical criminals are sentenced to live out the rest of their lives.

In this prison, however, there is a secret that few know about and even fewer are willing to share. Every couple weeks a prisoner disappears. Everyone claims to have no clue where they have gone, no one will say if they have escaped or if they are even alive. Those who know the truth are the key to this innocent’s only chance at freedom. Prisoners are selected at random and are given the chance at participating in a series of tasks that if completed will grant them their freedom. Not a soul knows who offers this opportunity, not until they are chosen, until it is too late.

These tasks are gruesome. Inspired by the Saw franchise, the participant must torture themselves in a way similar to that of how they have hurt others in order to gain their liberation. No one has ever succeeded, every prisoner who has attempted the mission has met their demise in the process. Escape, so it seems, is impossible. Even so, the masked tormenter feeds off the human will to attain freedom in order to assemble new victims.

‘American Horror Story: Ghost Stories’

AHS has utilized children in different and interesting ways in the past. Hotel turned children into misunderstood and messy villains using the blood virus. Roanoke centralized them as the heart of the show through Flora and Priscilla. What if, alternatively, the children were the victims?

Not all is right at a happy, sleep-away-camp in sunny and adventurous Colorado. Terrifyingly cheerful camp counselors, a bloodthirsty chef, and a chilling camp song set every child on edge. In the end, not one is surprised to hear something go bump in the night. Meanwhile, ghost stories around the campfire turn into a full-blown nightmare as children’s worst fears come to life.

Something is moving under the waters of the lake where campers swim and canoe. Children who misbehave come back from meetings with counselors acting strangely upbeat and vacant. At night a figure who looks different to each and every child who sees it, skulks in the woods. However, nothing can prepare camp goers for the day that one by one their friends start to go missing.

As events in the camp only become more disturbing the children start to suffer from nightmares that seem too realistic to be just dreams. Employees of the camp begin working even harder and harder to ease the minds of terrified guests. Meanwhile the children discover that there is more at work at camp that meets the eye. They must fight together against supernatural forces that take on the shape of the demons of their mind to save their friends and escape the camp that seeks to take their lives.

AHS: Ghost Stories will have you asking what really lurks in the forest at night?

What kind of storylines do you want to seen in future seasons of ‘AHS’?

We all know the names of these famous sci-fi novels, but have you actually read them? Ocean of Storms author Jeremy K. Brown tells us why we should.

About ‘Ocean of Storms’

In the near future, political tensions between the United States and China are at an all-time high. Then a catastrophic explosion on the moon cleaves a vast gash in the lunar surface, and the massive electromagnetic pulse it unleashes obliterates Earth’s electrical infrastructure. To plumb the depths of the newly created lunar fissure and excavate the source of the power surge, the feuding nations are forced to cooperate on a high-risk mission to return mankind to the moon.

Now, a diverse, highly skilled ensemble of astronauts — and a pair of maverick archaeologists plucked from the Peruvian jungle—will brave conspiracy on Earth and disaster in space to make a shocking discovery.

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We all know the names of these famous sci-fi novels, but have you actually read them? Ocean of Storms author Jeremy K. Brown tells us why we should.

About ‘Ocean of Storms’

In the near future, political tensions between the United States and China are at an all-time high. Then a catastrophic explosion on the moon cleaves a vast gash in the lunar surface, and the massive electromagnetic pulse it unleashes obliterates Earth’s electrical infrastructure. To plumb the depths of the newly created lunar fissure and excavate the source of the power surge, the feuding nations are forced to cooperate on a high-risk mission to return mankind to the moon.

Now, a diverse, highly skilled ensemble of astronauts — and a pair of maverick archaeologists plucked from the Peruvian jungle—will brave conspiracy on Earth and disaster in space to make a shocking discovery.

Ocean of Storms is an epic adventure that spans space and time as its heroes race to fulfill an ancient mission that may change the course of humanity’s future.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Goodreads

5 sci-fi/fantasy novels everyone pretends to have read (but actually should)

For many people, their knowledge of Dune doesn’t go much further than Sting in a metal Speedo. Time to put down the remote and delve into the original (and sometimes completely different) books that birthed these pop culture legends.

‘Dune’ by Frank Herbert

Herbert’s desert world of Arrakis (also known as Dune) is quite obviously the prototype for Star Wars’s Tatooine, and from sandworms to spice, Lucas clearly drew on the first three Dune novels while creating his galaxy far, far away. And who can blame him? Herbert’s galaxy-sprawling saga is stirring, invigorating and completely engrossing. The hero’s journey of Paul Atreides is only one thread in an infinite tapestry that encompasses six Herbert-authored novels and a slew of sequels penned by his son Brian and Kevin J. Anderson. This is world-building at its most epic.

‘Neuromancer’ by William Gibson

If all you know about cyberpunk is The Matrix, then you owe it to yourself to read this book and see where the term actually came from! Gibson put the genre on the map with this 1984 book that was light years ahead of its time, giving life to the concept of “cyberspace,” (a word actually coined by Gibson himself), creating an entire hacker culture and giving rise to legions of imitators. Plus, it has one of the best opening lines of any sci-fi book ever!

‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ by Philip K. Dick

It’s true that Blade Runner is a cooler-sounding title, but Dick’s novel is an even deeper and richer experience than the admittedly awesome (but somewhat loose) Ridley Scott adaptation. Taking place in a post-apocalyptic world in which owning an animal is a status symbol, Androids is a great meditation on finding empathy and humanity in an increasingly artificial world.

‘Earthsea’ by Ursula K. Le Guin

Sorry, J.K. Rowling, we love you, but when it comes to wizarding schools, Le Guin beat you to it. A story of a young boy learning to cope with his unimaginable powers (as well as defeat the shadowy creature they have wrought) is a fantastic, genre-bending coming of age story that instantly transports you to a world so complete and lived-in that you’d swear you were reading a true story.

‘Starship Troopers’ by Robert Heinlein

OK, let’s establish a few things first. Yes, Heinlein’s 1959 novel about Earth’s last stand against a race of arachnoid aliens is a little dated in terms of its politics. And yes, Paul Verhoven’s 1997 adaptation turns the book’s themes into a wicked satire of militarism, jingoism and just about every other “ism” you can think of. But, all that said, the book itself is a watershed piece of science fiction that influenced everything from Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War to James Cameron’s Aliens. Basically, any time you see a futuristic soldier in an exosuit, take a moment to thank Heinlein!

About Jeremy K. Brown

Jeremy K. Brown has authored several biographies for young readers, including books on Stevie Wonder and Ursula K. Le Guin. He has also contributed articles to numerous magazines and newspapers, including special issues for TV Guide and the Discovery Channel, and recently edited a collector’s issue on Pink Floyd for Newsweek. Jeremy published his first novel, Calling Off Christmas, in 2011 and is currently at work on another novel. He lives in New York with his wife and sons.