Sleep Walking Now and Then July 9, 2014 Sleep Walking Now and Then Richard Bowes A tragedy in three acts. The Devil in the Details July 2, 2014 The Devil in the Details Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald A Peter Crossman adventure. Little Knife June 26, 2014 Little Knife Leigh Bardugo A Ravkan folk tale. The Color of Paradox June 25, 2014 The Color of Paradox A.M. Dellamonica Ruin, spoil, or if necessary kill.
From The Blog
July 3, 2014
Gaming Roundup: Elite: Dangerous Gives You A Universe
Pritpaul Bains and Theresa DeLucci
July 3, 2014
Flintlocks and Freedom: Check Out these Revolutionary War Fantasies!
Leah Schnelbach
June 30, 2014
The YA Roundup: With News from the Capitol!
Kat Kennedy and Steph Sinclair
June 30, 2014
Queering SFF: Wrapping Up Pride Month Extravaganza (Redux)
Brit Mandelo
June 30, 2014
Change is in the Air on The Legend of Korra!
Mordicai Knode
Fri
Jul 11 2014 11:15am

Timothy Zahn Says We Shouldn’t Assume That All Star Wars Expanded Universe Books Are Non-Canon

Timothy Zahn Reddit AMA Star Wars Expanded Universe EU novels canon quote

Timothy Zahn conducted an AMA on Reddit on Wednesday to talk about his three-decade-plus writing career, but it’s no surprise that the majority of questions he fielded were about his Star Wars Expanded Universe novels. We’ve talked plenty about Zahn’s work, like how Heir to the Empire turned Star Wars into bonafide science fiction. In short, Zahn’s novels are seminal to the EU.

Which is why Star Wars fans were distraught to learn that what we all know as the EU is not being considered canon alongside the upcoming films. A press release from Disney and Del Rey in April classified the EU novels under the heading of Star Wars Legends, setting them apart from the original six films, the forthcoming sequels, Star Wars: Clone Wars, and Star Wars Rebels.

But Zahn said something very interesting in his AMA about the mindset in which readers should approach the EU, and how “canon” actually matches up with contradictions.

[Read more]

Fri
Jul 11 2014 11:00am

Under the Radar: The Adventures of Amir Hamza

The Adventures of Amir Hamza Ghalib LakhnaviHere is a story to end all stories, a legendary tale of epic proportions, a fantastic riot of a narrative that even in its English translation retains the idiom and rhythm of its original oral form.

It follows the complicated adventures of one man, a hero to conquer all heroes, a man predestined to be ‘The Quake of Qaf, the Latter-day Sulaiman, the World Conqueror, the Lord of the Auspicious Planetary Conjunction, the Slayer of Sly Ifrit, and a believer in God Almighty—Amir Hamza.’

[Read More]

Fri
Jul 11 2014 10:00am

For Love or Money (And If You Do It Right, BOTH): Choosing a Career in Art

greg ruth pandemonium daryl gergory

We have a rather warped ethos for how we look at and deal with art and artists as a culture. There are roughly two camps of art-making, those who do it for fun as a hobby or are lucky enough to have married well or receive a trust fund or live in a hut, and those of us who make a living out of art and must navigate the treacherous waters where the profit motive and the creative motive meet, clash and dance together. That’s what this week’s post is about (suck it, hut-people).

When we’re kids, we don’t do it for the money. Art is a playground and a wonderscape we’re encouraged to utilize as much as possible. No one complains that their kid draws too much, or likes art too much. That comes later when you’re a grownup and you’re supposed to have gotten rid of this childish habit. Those of us who wish to or in my case, have codified this act of play as a career have a rocky road to navigate. Really much of the issues that will come at you in terms of balancing your need to feed yourself/your family are only struggles you’ll have to wrestle with when you make it your full time gig.

[Read More]

Fri
Jul 11 2014 9:30am

Why I’m Voting for Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice

Ancillary Justice Ann Leckie Hugo nomineeWhen thinking about Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice, the first thing that comes to my mind is gummy worms. Sour gummy worms, to be precise, are a very specific desire. When you want a sour gummy worm nothing else will do. Seriously, nothing else. The second thing that comes to mind are macaroons, those little delicious crispy baked goods that have replaced the cupcake as the pastry du jour.

Yes, Ancillary Justice is like gummy worms and macaroons, combined. Early buzz meant that readers were craving Ann Leckie’s debut novel, and finally getting to read it was both satisfying and sweet.

[Read More]

Fri
Jul 11 2014 9:00am

Summer of Sleaze: The Universal Horrors of Charles L. Grant

Charles L Grant

Summer of Sleaze is 2014’s turbo-charged trash safari where Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction and Grady Hendrix of The Great Stephen King Reread plunge into the bowels of vintage paperback horror fiction, unearthing treasures and trauma in equal measure.

Moonlight over a lonely town. Fog swirls. Whispering shadows. Footsteps in the forest. A voice from the darkness. A movement seen from the corner of the eye. A slowly spreading stain of red.

New Jersey-born writer and editor Charles L. Grant (1942–2006) championed these hallmarks of old-fashioned horror tales, even in spite of their simplicity, their overuse, indeed, their corniness, because he knew in the right hands such subtle details would build up to an overall mood of dis-ease and weirdness. Evoking fear of the unknown, not the graphic revelation of a psychopath with a gore-flecked axe or an unimaginable, insane Lovecraftian nightmare, is what a truly successful horror writer (or, for that matter, filmmaker) should do. And especially during the 1980s, when he published dozens of titles through Tor Books’ horror line, Grant did precisely that.

[Read More]

Fri
Jul 11 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: We Were on the Edge of Salisbury When the Sand Began to Take Hold...

What are Neil Gaiman, Dirk Maggs, and Terry Pratchett doing? Is this, as Kevin O’Shea suggests, a writerly order of “Get in the car, losers, we’re going storytelling”? Or is it possibly a heist? A...magical heist, perhaps? Or maybe they’re setting off for some illegal streetracing with Joe Abercrombie and China Miéville? Whatever type of adventure they’re planning, we’re glad that Sir Terry shared the moment with Twitter.

Morning Roundup wants to share some good news about the Rapture! And also some thoughts on Mars, and the best cannibalistic Twitter feed we’ve yet discovered.

[Plus Box Trolls! Box TROLLLLLLS. We might be a little excited about this movie.]

Thu
Jul 10 2014 5:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Thomas Sweterlitsch

thomas sweterlitsch pop quiz interviewWelcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on Tor.com featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!

Today we’re joined by author Thomas Sweterlitsch, who lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and daughter. He has a Master’s Degree in Literary and Cultural Theory from Carnegie Mellon University. He worked for twelve years at the Carnegie Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. His first novel, Tomorrow and Tomorrow, is available now from Putnam.

Join us as we learn the best defense against Freddy Krueger!

[Read More]

Thu
Jul 10 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

Dirty Wings (Excerpt)

Sarah McCarry

Dirty Wings excerpt Sarah McCarry

Maia is a teenage piano prodigy and dutiful daughter, imprisoned in the oppressive silence of her adoptive parents’ house like a princess in an ivory tower. Cass is a street rat, witch, and runaway, scraping by with her wits and her knack for a five-fingered discount. When a chance encounter brings the two girls together, an unlikely friendship blossoms that will soon change the course of both their lives.

Cass springs Maia from the jail of the only world she’s ever known, and Maia’s only too happy to make a break for it. But Cass didn’t reckon on Jason, the hypnotic blue-eyed rocker who’d capture Maia’s heart as soon as Cass set her free—and Cass isn’t the only one who’s noticed Maia’s extraordinary gifts. Is Cass strong enough to battle the ancient evil she’s unwittingly awakened—or has she walked into a trap that will destroy everything she cares about? In this time, like in any time, love is a dangerous game.

Sarah McCarry’s Dirty Wings is available July 15th from St Martin’s Press.

[Read an Excerpt]

Thu
Jul 10 2014 3:30pm

Summer Reading Sweepstakes!

Summer is here and sure, you could rewatch the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the tenth time, or you could try out some awesome nonfiction from Oxford University Press instead! This is your chance to learn something new about politics and international security or to answer all those questions you have about Darwin or impress your friends with your knowledge of cognitive psychology. 

We want to send one lucky winner a summer reading prize pack that includes Cyber War Will Not Take Place, Diagnosing GiantsComing to Our Senses, It’s a Jungle in There, and a galley of Superintelligence, out September 3rd, and Darwin’s Dice, out October 1st! 

Comment in the post to enter! 

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States and D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec). To enter, comment on this post beginning at 3:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on July 10. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on July 14. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Tor.com, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

Thu
Jul 10 2014 3:15pm

Batgirl Gets a New Creative Team and a Rad New Look

Batgirl new look costume photo new creative team Gail Simone DC Comics

Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl has been through a hell of a lot: getting paralyzed and becoming the hacker hero Oracle in 1986, only to get retconned in DC Comics’ New 52 in 2011, regaining the use of her legs. Not to mention her brother being a serial murderer and her family falling apart.

So, DC is giving her a break. Starting with Batgirl #35, we’ll see the lighter, younger, more hipster-y adventures of Barbara Gordon—a redux complete with a whole new creative team and a much more practical (but thrift store-approved) costume.

[Find out what the new Babs has in common with Veronica Mars and Sherlock Holmes]

Thu
Jul 10 2014 3:00pm

Community Obedience: Gathering Blue

Gathering Blue Lois LowrySeven years after writing The Giver, Lois Lowry wrote a companion volume, Gathering Blue. In it, she explored another future society that, like the one in The Giver, very carefully allocates its workforce and assigns tasks, and, like the one in The Giver, does not hesitate to kill unacceptable members of the community. By “unacceptable,” this community generally means the disabled, the old, those who refuse to work or contribute, and, as young Kira is about to discover, those that stand up against the community leaders. It is a community of codified status. And it is a community that insists on absolute obedience on laws—while not necessarily getting that absolute obedience.

Unlike the community in The Giver, however, no one is under the impression that everything is perfect in their community: they know what death means, refusing to use innocuous words like “release” in its stead, and have mourning rituals for the ones they have lost. They know about illness; as the book starts, Kira’s mother has just died from one. Part of their community lives in a very poor section, called the Fens, where they live by scavenging and trade and very little else. They know about grief. They know about love. And they can see colors. Indeed, this last gift is what keeps Kira alive.

[If not always happy about it.]

Thu
Jul 10 2014 2:10pm

Get Pop-Cultured with these Tor Books Authors!

We’re excited to announce a special Tor Books author event being held in conjunction with ReaderCon this weekend! You can join Felix Gilman, Max Gladstone, Paul Park, and Brian Staveley for a discussion and book signing this Sunday, July 13th at 3:30pm in Burlington, MA!

These four genre-bending SF&F authors will be talking Worldbuilding and Storytelling in Fantastical Universes, a topic they all know a thing or two about since each of them have novels out from Tor Books this year!

[Check below for full details! ]

Thu
Jul 10 2014 2:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Alien: Isolation Promises to Get It Right by Going Back to the Beginning

Alien Isolation

Last year brought us the travesty that was Aliens: Colonial Marines. Between Ridley Scott being involved with storyboarding the game and developer Gearbox Software being given license to make the game canon, potential was vast, but execution was deeply flawed—the game launched as a buggy, derivative, universally panned mess, rather than the tightly focused piece of survival horror gamers were hoping for. This year, developer The Creative Assembly took a stab at getting the IP back on track, taking E3 by storm with Alien: Isolation, and early word is this game does not disappoint.

Oh, and did we mention they reunited the cast of Alien for the game’s first DLC? Bet we’ve got your attention now.

[“I think... I think there’s something here.”]

Thu
Jul 10 2014 1:30pm

Voting the Categories: A Guide to the 2014 Hugo Short Story Finalists

Hugo Awards The Hugo ballot is officially open, and the time has come to perform the laborious task of deciding among excellence. And, while much of the attention of the voting community tends to concentrate on the Best Novel finalists, we at Tor.com all felt that this year’s short fiction field was exceptionally strong. I’ve decided to help guide readers through the short story, novelette, and novella finalists in preparation for voting.

This week I discuss the short story category. This is, in my opinion, the most competitive category on the ballot. These stories are strong, interesting, compelling, and well-worth your time. So, without further ado, let’s get right to it.

[Read more]

Thu
Jul 10 2014 1:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Feast for Crows, Part 21

A Song of Ice and Fire George RR Martin A Feast for CrowsWelcome back to A Read of Ice and Fire! Please join me as I read and react, for the very first time, to George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.

Today’s entry is Part 21 of A Feast for Crows, in which we cover Chapter 29 (“The Reaver”).

Previous entries are located in the Index. The only spoilers in the post itself will be for the actual chapters covered and for the chapters previous to them. As for the comments, please note that the Powers That Be have provided you a lovely spoiler thread here on Tor.com. Any spoileriffic discussion should go there, where I won’t see it. Non-spoiler comments go below, in the comments to the post itself.

And now, the post!

[“They want us alive when they eat us.”]

Thu
Jul 10 2014 12:20pm

Syfy Greenlights The Magicians Pilot

The Magicians pilot greenlight Syfy Lev Grossman Sera Gamble John McNamara

Author Lev Grossman best sums up the latest exciting news about his book series The Magicians in a tweet yesterday:

And here’s what it is. A tweet five years in the making: Magicians pilot is greenlit

We had previously reported that The Magicians would be coming to Syfy, but now it’s official!

Deadline’s latest report doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know: After an earlier version of the pilot didn’t get picked up by Fox in 2012, producers Michael London and Janice Williams brought on new writers. With a retooled script by Sera Gamble (Supernatural) and John McNamara (Lois & Clark), they shopped it around to other networks. (Interestingly, Deadline mentions that this second pilot might start earlier in the series than the Fox project did.)

Syfy further developed the pilot; as Grossman wrote on his blog in April, the project was still technically in development. Now that it’s greenlit, we’re excited to see it join Syfy’s roster of scripted shows, including Ascension (premiering in November) and the 2015 projects 12 Monkeys, The Killjoys, and The Expanse.

Thu
Jul 10 2014 12:00pm

Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 4

Brandon Sanderson Words of Radiance reread Stormlight Archive Welcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com! Please come along with me as we follow Dalinar on a magical journey through the lands of yesteryear.

In Chapter 4: Taker of Secrets, Dalinar enacts Navani’s scholarly plan to decode the Almighty’s voicemails, he dreams about chasing a face through a lake (Lakeface?), Navani asks again about when they’re finally going to move in together, and Dalinar sees the writing on the wall. I’m not sorry about that pun. No one makes me feel my own remorse.

[Read more]

Thu
Jul 10 2014 11:30am

Genevieve Valentine is Going to Write Catwoman!

Catwoman Genevieve ValentineYou know what would make DC’s run of Catwoman cooler? Having someone as fabulous as Genevieve Valentine writing it! And we’re in luck, because it just so happens that she will be.

This is the best idea.

[Read more]

Thu
Jul 10 2014 11:15am

Is Doomsday in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice?

Batman v Superman Doomsday

Bleeding Cool is reporting that concept art exists for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice featuring the character Doomsday, whose primary claim to fame is beating the crap out of Superman so hard that Superman died. The 90's were like that.

And, you know, at this point why not? The film already features Batman, Superman, Lex Luthor, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Lois Lane, Alfred, Perry White, and is rumored to be including hints of Arrow, Aquaman, Green Lantern, The Flash, and others. Surely the addition of Doomsday will be the thing that finally excites us? We hope Paul Giamatti is playing him. His Rhino was effortless and beautiful.

Thu
Jul 10 2014 11:00am

The Harry Potter Reread: The Chamber of Secrets, Chapters 11 and 12

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets coverThe Harry Potter Reread is thinking about getting a jaunty hat to wear, because if a reread can’t be fashionable, then what’s the point? Also, because then it could use the word jaunty more often, which is depressingly underused in modern speech.

This week we’ll get our behinds handed to us after being taught some bogus curse defenses, and then turn into half-cats. Sort of. It’s chapters 11 and 12 of The Chamber of Secrets—The Dueling Club and The Polyjuice Potion!

Index to the reread can be located here! Other Harry Potter and Potter-related pieces can be found under their appropriate tag. And of course, since we know this is a reread, all posts might contain spoilers for the entire series. If you haven’t read all the Potter books, be warned.

[Read more]