A Long Spoon December 18, 2014 A Long Spoon Jonathan L. Howard A Johannes Cabal story. Burnt Sugar December 10, 2014 Burnt Sugar Lish McBride Everyone knows about gingerbread houses. Father Christmas: A Wonder Tale of the North December 9, 2014 Father Christmas: A Wonder Tale of the North Charles Vess Happy Holidays from Tor.com Skin in the Game December 3, 2014 Skin in the Game Sabrina Vourvoulias Some monsters learn how to pass.
From The Blog
December 9, 2014
The Eleventh Doctor’s Legacy Was Loss and Failure
Emily Asher-Perrin
December 9, 2014
Tor.com Reviewers’ Choice: The Best Books of 2014
Tor.com
December 8, 2014
How Fast is the Millennium Falcon? A Thought Experiment.
Chris Lough
December 8, 2014
Tiamat’s Terrain: Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange
Alex Mangles
December 4, 2014
Potential Spoiler Leak for Star Wars: The Force Awakens Reveals Awesome Details
Emily Asher-Perrin
Thu
Dec 18 2014 2:30pm

The Globe: The Science of Discworld II Sweepstakes!

We recently brought you an excerpt from Terry Pratchett’s The Globe: The Science of Discworld II, an exploration of the human universe of Roundworld, out in the U.S. from Anchor Books on January 20th. Now we want to send five lucky winners a copy of the book, co-authored by Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen!

When the wizards of Unseen University first created Roundworld, they were so concerned with discovering the rules of this new universe that they overlooked its inhabitants entirely. Now, they have noticed humanity. And humanity has company.

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 2:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on December 18. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on December 22. 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
Dec 18 2014 2:00pm

The Harry Potter Reread: The Goblet of Fire, Chapters 9 and 10

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, coverThe Harry Potter Reread has never mastered the art of gift wrapping, but enjoys fancy wrapping paper. This is a problem. It is a waste of fanciness. Unacceptable.

We’ve arrived at the place where everything actually gets scary! It’s Chapters 9 and 10 of The Goblet of Fire—The Dark Mark and Mayhem at the Ministry.

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]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 1:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Dance With Dragons, Part 4

A Song of Ice and Fire A Dance with DragonsWelcome 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 4 of A Dance With Dragons, in which we cover Chapter 6 (“The Merchant’s Man”).

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!

[“Quentyn,” on the other hand, is a perfectly cromulent name]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 12:10pm

BBC America Shares Orphan Black Season 3 Premiere Date and Teaser: “This Is War”

Orphan Black season 3 teaser

Orphan Black returns April 18, 2015! BBC America confirmed the premiere date and released a short new teaser to tide us over. Compared to the first two seasons, which has seen the Clone Club in hiding from the various folks who want to kidnap/experiment on/breed them, now they’re taking a stand with the simple statement: “This is war.”

[Watch the teaser]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 12:00pm

Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 22

Words of Radiance reread Chapter 22Welcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com! Last week, Alice mourned the loss of Bluth and celebrated the impoverishment of Tvlakv. This week, we watch a number of threads plot along, then are surprised by an assassin!

This reread will contain spoilers for The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and any other Cosmere book that becomes relevant to the discussion. The index for this reread can be found here, and more Stormlight Archive goodies are indexed here. Click on through to join the discussion.

[Read more]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 11:05am

A Message From John Sargent

Dear Authors, Illustrators, and Agents,

There has been a lot of change in the e-book publishing world of late, so I thought it a good idea to update you on what is going on at Macmillan. The largest single change happens today, December 18th. Today a portion of our agreement with the Department of Justice (called a consent decree) expires, and we will no longer be required to allow retailers to discount e-books.

Unfortunately, the court in the Apple case made matters more complex. In a judgment against Apple, the court determined that publishers would be required to allow Apple unlimited discounting, and for a period that extends beyond the court approved consent decrees. Different time periods were assigned to different publishers. This will ensure a muddled and inefficient market until October 5, 2017 when Macmillan’s term (the last publisher) expires. Simon & Schuster and Macmillan have appealed the court’s decision to extend these dates. This appeal still awaits resolution.

[Read More]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 11:00am

Following Battlestar Galactica’s Lead: Ascension, “Night Three”

Ascension Night Three review

Going into Ascension, I assumed that it was a self-contained miniseries, not unlike the generation ship itself smoothly sailing through space toward its destination. But once we discovered the twist behind the series’ premise—which redefined everything this supposed space opera was commenting on—it also makes sense to learn that Ascension is intended as some sort of sneaky pilot, not unlike Syfy’s 2003 miniseries that spawned the new Battlestar Galactica.

Ascension’s finale forced the ship to face its gravest danger yet; saw characters usurping power in “yay!” ways and killing each other in “no what no!” ways; and upped the ante with a very different sci-fi twist that might guarantee a series pickup but could also wind up alienating future viewers. Basically, Ascension has become a hot mess of a show—but that might not be the worst thing!

[Read more]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 10:30am

Jonathan Strange Meets Georgette Heyer: Pan Macmillan Acquires Zen Cho’s Regency Fantasy Sorcerer to the Crown

Zen Cho

Pan Macmillan has acquired the UK rights to Sorcerer to the Crown, the start of a new trilogy from debut author Zen Cho.

Pan Macmillan's Senior Commissioning editor Bella Pagan is excited for the trilogy, saying “Sorcerer to the Crown is warm, clever and witty. I just adored the characters, their dilemmas and the lively world Zen Cho has created. It’s very special and I just can’t wait to share this wonderful book with as many readers as possible.”

[Regency London and High Magic!]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 10:00am

Midnight in Karachi, Episode 2: Patrick Ness

Midnight in Karachi

Welcome back to Midnight in Karachi, a bi-weekly podcast about writers, publishers, editors, illustrators, their books and the worlds they create, hosted by Mahvesh Murad.

This week Mahvesh is joined by Patrick Ness, author of the Chaos Walking trilogy, A Monster Calls and More Than This. He’s the winner of two Carnegie Medals, a Guardian Children’s Fiction prize, a Tiptree Award and a Costa Book Award, and he's also been on the Clarke Award shortlist in 2011. Patrick’s beautiful, frightening novel A Monster Calls is currently in development as a feature film starring Sigourney Weaver and Liam Neeson, so naturally we gushed about Sigourney on the podcast, as well as Prince. Patrick also tells us about his next book due out in 2015.

And in this week's Under the Radar segment, Mahvesh talks about an early feminist classic from the subcontinent called Sultana’s Dream.

[Listen Now!]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 9:30am

The Gospel of Loki U.S. Cover Reveal!

Joanne M Harris Gospel of Loki US cover Saga Press

Tor.com is excited to reveal the U.S. cover for The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M. Harris, author of Chocolat. The Gospel of Loki was a bestseller in the UK and will be published by Saga Press in the U.S. on May 5, 2015. Check out the full cover below, and read editor Joe Monti’s thoughts on the design!

[Read More]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 9:00am
Original Story

A Long Spoon

You may have heard of Johannes Cabal; he is a necromancer and a little infamous. He is also very sensitive to attempts on his life. When a murder of crows tries to . . . well, murder him, and the contents of his bath are transmuted into hot nitric acid, he suspects someone may mean him harm. The trail leads to one of the less travelled parts of Hell itself, and there Cabal will need a guide.

As Dante had his Virgil, so Cabal employs the services of a devil who is a monster, a predator, and—most alien of all to Cabal—a woman. The devil Zarenyia and he delve deep into Hell, even into Satan’s greatest mistake, to confront challenges quite outside the ken of any mortal. But one should always use a long spoon when supping with a devil, and Cabal soon realises the unthinkable, a horror beyond his experience. He is actually beginning to like her.

This novelette was acquired and edited for Tor.com by St. Martin’s Press editor Peter Joseph.

[Read “A Long Spoon” by Jonathan L. Howard]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Do You Want to Build A Wampa?

Star Wars Wampa Snowflake

In the interest of providing you a non-denominational wintry craft, we present: Wampa-flakes! Anthony Herrera creates culturally relevant snowflakes that can celebrate the winter season itself without any reference to Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa...wait, did we finally decide the Force was a religion?

Morning Roundup brings you the complex inner lives of videogame extras, a 3D-printed puppy, and multiple ways to celebrate the new Hobbit film!

[Plus, Christmas just got a whole lot merrier!]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 7:00am

The Man Who Demolished Boring Science Fiction: Alfred Bester

Alfred Bester art by David A. JohnsonThinking about telepaths when telepaths are in the room is hard because they know you’re thinking about them. This is why—on most days—I’m glad I never actually had the chance to meet science fiction legend Alfred Bester, because my thoughts about him would have been disgustingly gushing and I’m sure he would have heard those thoughts because he was likely a real deal telepath and I would have been embarrassed. I’m kidding. I’m super sad I didn’t get to meet him! (But he was probably a real telepath...)

Today would have been Bester’s 102nd birthday. He won the first Hugo award for a novel ever, and made everything in SF way more fun. Here’s why he’s still the best.

[Read more]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 7:00am

Michael Moorcock is The Eternal Champion

Michael Moorcock Portrait by David A. JohnsonToday marks the 75th birthday of celebrated and influential author and editor Michael John Moorcock. Involving himself in the SF/Fantasy scene practically as soon as he discovered it, Moorcock began editing Tarzan Adventures in 1957 when he was just 17. His love of high adventure, such as the work of Leigh Brackett and Edgar Rice Burroughs, influenced not only his early editorial work but also his own writing.

He is often self-deprecating about his style, saying in the introduction to Elric: The Stealer of Souls:

“I think of myself as a bad writer with big ideas, but I’d rather be that than a big writer with bad ideas”

[Read more]

Wed
Dec 17 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

Half-Resurrection Blues (Excerpt)

Half-Resurrection Blues excerpt Daniel Jose Older Carlos Delacruz is one of the New York Council of the Dead’s most unusual agents—an inbetweener, partially resurrected from a death he barely recalls suffering, after a life that’s missing from his memory. He thinks he is one of a kind—until he encounters other entities walking the fine line between life and death.

One inbetweener is a sorcerer. He’s summoned a horde of implike ngks capable of eliminating spirits, and they’re spreading through the city like a plague. They’ve already taken out some of NYCOD’s finest, leaving Carlos desperate to stop their master before he opens up the entrada to the Underworld—which would destroy the balance between the living and the dead. But in uncovering this man’s identity, Carlos confronts the truth of his own life—and death.…

Daniel José Older's Half-Resurrection Blues is the first Bone Street Rumba novel, a new urban fantasy series publishing January 6th from Roc!

[Read an Excerpt]

Wed
Dec 17 2014 3:00pm

Rich and Strange: “Nkásht íí” by Darcie Little Badger

strange horizonsWelcome back to Rich and Strange, a weekly reading of marvellous short fiction from around the web. Today’s review takes a look at “Nkásht íí” by Darcie Little Badger, published this week in Strange Horizons.

This week in Full Disclosure: nothing to declare! Except that this story is beautiful and hooked me from start to finish.

[Read More]

Wed
Dec 17 2014 2:00pm

What of the King Under the Mountain? The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Thorin, Bilbo

It was a cue that the overall tone of the final Hobbit film had been altered when it’s subtitle was changed from There and Back Again to The Battle of the Five Armies. And while the film has its fair share of dazzling moments, it does prove what many fans had bemoaned from the very start of this enterprise: it should have been two films, not three.

Minor spoilers for the film (and book) below.

[Tea is at four. Don’t bother knocking.]

Wed
Dec 17 2014 1:00pm

Rereading Melanie Rawn: The Star Scroll, Chapters 8 and 9

Melanie Rawn Dragon Prince Star Scroll rereadWelcome to the weekly Wednesday reread of The Star Scroll! This week the dragons come back to the Desert, Pol learns an important secret, and Segev plots evilly.

Chapter 8

So This Happens: The dragons come back to the Desert, and the family reacts in their various ways. Pol actively tries to sense them, and succeeds, if faintly. Maarken just does. Feylin takes the census from the top of the Flametower, assisted by Rohan and Tobin and their spouses, with some teasing and some discussion of how wonderful the dragons are. Rohan and Tobin also talk about the dragons’ gold, and find that Pol has overheard.

[Read More]

Wed
Dec 17 2014 12:00pm

We Three Kings Have Traveled Far, Over The Misty Mountains Cold

As Christmas carols go, “We Three Kings” is weird, sad, and slow. Though widely believed to be the work of one John Henry Hopkins, Jr., who supposedly wrote it for a Christmas pageant in 1857, Max Gladstone and his musical compatriot Dan Jordan have dug deep into the darkness of this traditional song to find the truth. The roots of this decidedly dour tune lie beneath the Misty Mountains themselves, because it turns out that it’s an adaptation of an old Dwarven folk ballad! Maybe you’ve heard of it?

[It’s a Misty Mountain Christmas]

Wed
Dec 17 2014 11:30am

The Whispering Swarm Sweepstakes!

On January 13th, The Whispering Swarm, Michael Moorcock’s first independent novel in nine years, comes out from Tor Books. We’ve given you an exclusive sneak peek, and now we want to send five winners a galley, so you can read the first novel in a new trilogy from this acclaimed master of science fiction and fantasy before it hits shelves.

Check for the rules below!

[Read more]