A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Proposed Trade-Offs for the Overhaul of the Barricade July 30, 2014 A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Proposed Trade-Offs for the Overhaul of the Barricade John Chu Fighting Turbulence requires sacrifices. The Colonel July 29, 2014 The Colonel Peter Watts The hives are sleeping giants. <em>To Eternity</em> July 24, 2014 To Eternity Wesley Allsbrook and Barrie Potter If all things were normal, Stuart would be considered quite a catch. Brisk Money July 23, 2014 Brisk Money Adam Christopher It's hard out there for a robotic detective.
From The Blog
July 30, 2014
Pull List: Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel
Alex Brown
July 30, 2014
Concerning Hobbits, On-Screen and Off: Why Jackson and Tolkien Can Peacefully Co-exist
Jeff LaSala
July 30, 2014
Yes, Women Want to Be Thor—So Why is the New Avengers Line-up Cause For Ire?
Emily Asher-Perrin
July 29, 2014
Introduction to the H. P. Lovecraft Reread
Ruthanna Emrys and Anne M. Pillsworth
July 25, 2014
Huge New Cast and Bloopers. Highlights from the San Diego Comic Con Game of Thrones Panel
Chris Lough
Aug 1 2014 1:00pm

Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, Before They Are Hanged: “Among the Stones” and “The Fruits of Boldness”

Reading the First Law Trilogy has been a different experience this time around. The pulse pounding excitement and visceral action has been far scarcer than I remember, replaced with thoughtful trope inversion and deeply fascinating characters. In fact, before this week there had been less than five scenes where serious ass-kicking (or blood letting) took place. This trend is changing in a major way at this point in Before They Are Hanged as Logen’s crew takes on their pursuers and Colonel West’s army is destroyed by Bethod. I’m pretty excited about it!

Get your athletic tape out and reinforce those joints, we’re about to get grimdark up in here.

[Among the Stones…]

Aug 1 2014 12:30pm

Summer of Sleaze: Michael McDowell’s The Amulet

The Amulet Michael McDowellSummer 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.

Sometimes you’re just wrong. Michael McDowell probably figured that his books would be his legacy. After all, Stephen King called him “the finest writer of paperback originals in America” and said he was “a writer for the ages.” Surely literary immortality was assured by his two screenplays for Tim Burton, Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Collecting funerary ephemera was just a hobby. By now McDowell been dead for 15 years and his books are long forgotten while his massive “Death Collection,” containing everything from a tombstone salesman’s kit from the Thirties to wreaths made of dead people’s hair, was installed with great ceremony at Northwestern University.

But Stephen King wasn’t wrong. McDowell is one for the ages. In fact, he’d be called one of the great lights of Southern fiction if it wasn’t for the fact that most of his books deal with woman-eating hogs, men marrying amphibians, and vengeance-seeking lesbian wrestlers wearing opium-laced golden fingernails.

[Read More]

Aug 1 2014 12:00pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: The Crippled God, Chapter Eight

Welcome to the Malazan Reread of the Fallen! Every post will start off with a summary of events, followed by reaction and commentary by your hosts Bill and Amanda (with Amanda, new to the series, going first), and finally comments from Tor.com readers. In this article, we’ll cover chapter eight of The Crippled God.

A fair warning before we get started: We’ll be discussing both novel and whole-series themes, narrative arcs that run across the entire series, and foreshadowing. Note:The summary of events will be free of major spoilers and we’re going to try keeping the reader comments the same. A spoiler thread has been set up for outright Malazan spoiler discussion.

[Read More]

Aug 1 2014 11:20am

Take a Peek at Concept Art for Guardians of the Galaxy!

Guardians of the Galaxy concept art

Artist Stephan Martiniere (responsible for this prior awesomeness) worked on the top-secret-until-now Guardians of the Galaxy movie and he’s got a ton of concept art to share! Check out how the movie’s rough and tumble cosmic tone came together for the tech and the environments we see in the film. Don’t worry, there are no spoilers for the movie.

[Guardians of the Galaxy concept art]

Aug 1 2014 11:00am

Your Fun Fandom Tour of London!

Platform 9 3/4

Say you’re headed to London (as quite a few of you might be for this year’s World Con!) and you want to get in some fun fandom sight-seeing. You’ve gone to the museums and the art galleries already, or you’re hoping to dilute those places with a little more wandering and time spent on the Tube.

The great thing about London is that many of its famous sights are directly related to SFF’s most beloved fandoms. Remember how the opening of the 2012 Olympics was full of Poppins and Bond and Potter? There’s a reason for that. So here are some places you might want to stop off—and a lot of them are probably more obvious than you realize.

[Read more]

Aug 1 2014 10:00am

Revealing the Intense Final Cover for George R. R. Martin’s The Ice Dragon

The Ice Dragon George R. R. Martin Luis Royo final cover

That gasp you just heard was yourself as you clicked on the above image to see the final full size wrap-around cover for George R. R. Martin’s The Ice Dragon!

The children’s illustrated book is a tale of courage and sacrifice set in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, with 30 intense interior illustrations and a full color cover from acclaimed artist Luis Royo. The cover you see above will only be available on the first edition of the book, which is out on October 21 from Tor Teen.

So how does the tale fit into the world of Ice and Fire?

[More art from The Ice Dragon]

Aug 1 2014 9:00am

Joss Whedon: The Biography (Excerpt)

Amy Pascale

Amy Pascale Joss Whedon The Biography excerpt From the cult favorite Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which netted four million viewers per episode, to the summer blockbuster The Avengers, which amassed a box office of $1.5 billion, Joss Whedon has made a name for himself in Hollywood for his penchant for telling meaningful, personal tales about love, death, and redemption even against the most dramatic and larger-than-life backdrops.

Extensive, original interviews with Whedon’s family, friends, collaborators, and stars—and with the man himself—offer candid, behind-the-scenes accounts of the making of ground-breaking series such as Buffy, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse, as well as new stories about his work with Pixar writers and animators during the creation of Toy Story. Most importantly, however, these conversations present an intimate and revealing portrait of a man whose creativity and storytelling ability have manifested themselves in comics, online media, television, and film.

Amy Pascale’s Joss Whedon: The Biography is available now from Chicago Review Press!

[Read an Excerpt]

Aug 1 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: The Greatest Rocket Cosplay We’ve Seen Yet!

James Gunn attended the UK premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy with a friend! Oreo the raccoon seems to be taking a cue from Rocket, here—we’re guessing he launched himself at the paparazzi about a second after this photo was taken.

Morning Roundup has inspiration from a future Star Wars director, an assessment of the greatest email correspondence of all time, and Vin Diesel somehow steals our hearts again. Hasn’t he stolen them like eight times already this month? Give us our hearts back, Vin Diesel.

[Plus a look at diversity in comics!]

Jul 31 2014 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: August Releases in Urban Fantasy

fiction affliction urban fantasy new releases augustAugust is a huge month for urban fantasy fans (and paranormal fantasy and contemporary fantasy). We can look forward to thirty-five new books filled with fins, fangs, and fur this month, including new series offerings from, among others, Chloe Neill (Chicagoland Vampires), Rob Thurman (Cal Leandros), Kat Richardson (Greywalker), Hannah Jayne (Underworld Detection Agency), Karina Cooper (St. Croix Chronicles), Marlene Perez (Nyx Fortuna), Elizabeth Bear (Promethean Age), Kevin J. Anderson (Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I.), Richard Kadrey (Sandman Slim), and Simon R. Green (Ghost Finders).

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.

[Read about this month’s releases.]

Jul 31 2014 4:30pm

Thrones and Bones Sweepstakes!

Karn and Thianna are outsiders. He’d rather play a board game than inherit the family farm and she’s a half human, half frost giantress that isn’t truly accepted in either world. When family intrigue forces them to flee their homes, they’ll have to team up to face a 1,500-year-old dragon, undead warriors, an evil uncle, and an assortment of angry beasts. Even if they do survive, neither of them will ever be the same again.

We want to introduce you to Lou Anders' debut novel before its August 5th release from Crown Books! Three lucky winners will receive a copy of Frostborn along with an awesome set of four trading cards inspired by Karn's favorite game! 

Check out a preview of the card set below the cut, and comment in the post to enter! 

[Read more]

Jul 31 2014 4:00pm

Trial by Fire (Excerpt)

Josephine Angelini

Trial by Fire excerpt Josephine Angelini This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Lily realizes that what makes her weak at home is exactly what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. It also puts her life in danger. Thrown into a world she doesn’t understand, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone, and a love she never expected.

Josephine Angelini’s Trial by Fire publishes September 2nd from Feiwel & Friends!

[Read an Excerpt]

Jul 31 2014 3:12pm

It’s Harry Potter’s Birthday — Let’s Celebrate With Fan Art!

Harry Potter, palnk, seven years

One of my favorite aspects of fandom has always been fan art. And since it’s Harry Potter (and J.K. Rowling’s) birthday, it seemed the perfect occasion to flood the gates with gorgeous/moving/hilarious Potter fan art, like you see above. That piece, detailing all seven of Harry’s years is by DeviantArt user palnk.

More treats below!

[See more]

Jul 31 2014 3:00pm

When Your House Obsession Becomes A Kid’s Book: The Children of Green Knowe

The Children of Green Knowe L M BostonYoung Toseland Oldknow—Tolly, please, if you must give him a nickname, not Towser, or worse, Toto (I am trying to look past the implied insult to Oz here, everyone)—is off to live with his great-grandmother in a very old house that to him feels very far away. He is both scared and slightly hopeful: since the death of his mother, his only real family is a distant father and a well meaning but generally clueless stepmother, so a great-grandmother feels like something. She might even be real family.

Spoiler: she is. What Tolly didn’t expect—and couldn’t expect—were the ghosts. Or, if you prefer, The Children of Green Knowe.

[When you are not about to let a little thing like a plague distract you from living, playing, and dealing with evil haunted trees.]

Jul 31 2014 2:19pm

Holly Black Will Write the Twelfth Doctor’s Next Adventure

Holly Black Doctor Who short story Lights Out Peter Capaldi 12 Doctors 12 Stories

Doctor Who may be returning to the airwaves on August 23, but the BBC won’t be the only place for fans to follow the Twelfth Doctor’s escapades through time and space. In October, Puffin will release its ebook anthology Doctor Who: 12 Doctors, 12 Stories—and now we know who’s penning the latest adventure! 

After Twitter rumors had previously pointed to Frank Cottrell Boyce and J.K. Rowling, The Guardian reveals that The Coldest Girl in Coldtown author Holly Black will be the one to take on Peter Capaldi’s Twelve in a new short story, called “Lights Out.”

[Read more]

Jul 31 2014 2:00pm

Lords of the Fallen Demoralizes the Masses at SDCC

Lords of the Fallen

Lords of the Fallen capped off my weekend of gaming through SDCC in rather violent, merciless fashion. The game is a joint venture between Polish developer CI Games and German studio Deck13 Interactive, and to date, much of its fame stems from its reputation as being a “next-gen” Dark Souls. While the developers haven’t done much to dissuade gamers from that comparison, they certainly want a game that’s able to stand on its on merit, rather than be known as a next-gen Dark Souls knockoff—and so, I checked in to play through the dungeon on preview to see where the game is at.

[So much death. Why can’t we all just get along?]

Jul 31 2014 1:40pm

Be Careful What You Wish For in the First Into the Woods Teaser Trailer

watch Into the Woods teaser trailer Chris Pine Anna Kendrick Emily Blunt Johnny Depp Meryl Streep

Into the Woods has caused considerable furor long before its Christmas Day release, with rumors that Disney had cut the musical’s sexiest song for the movie adaptation. (Don’t worry, they didn’t.) Now, the first teaser trailer is out, allowing us our first chance to ponder the movie based on actual footage and not just set photos and hearsay.

[“I wish...”]

Jul 31 2014 1:18pm

Chris Hemsworth, Evans, Pratt, and Pine Need to be a Boy Band

Chris Hemsworth Chris Evans Chris Pratt Chris Pine boy band Christo4 photo album cover Photoshop Twitter fandom wonderful

Our new favorite person is the Twitter user who had this brainstorm earlier today:

And our other new favorite person is Cuddlebuggery's Meg Morley who then Photoshopped our dreams into reality.

Forget *NSYNC’s surprise greatest-hits album, or NKOTBSB, or even One Direction—the 2010s are about to see the greatest boy band of its time. Because they’re all named Chris, they all play geek icons, and they’re already used to fighting off screaming fans.

We can’t wait til their first single, “Assemble Your Love,” drops. Not to mention their Christmas (hee) album. What an amazing time we live in.

Image: @megsaysthings

Jul 31 2014 1:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Feast for Crows, Part 24

George R R Martin Song of Ice and Fire 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 24 of A Feast for Crows, in which we cover Chapter 33 (“Jaime”) and Chapter 34 (“Cat of the Canals”).

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!

[“I think we’ve all arrived at a very special place. Spiritually, ecumenically… grammatically…”]

Jul 31 2014 12:30pm

The Harry Potter Reread: The Chamber of Secrets, Chapters 17 and 18

Harry Potter and the Chamber of the Secrets coverThe Harry Potter Reread has passed through what Americans call a “sophomore year,” which is a useless word, in that it is designed to make it seem as though something was accomplished instead of just saying oh, good work on that second year. Seriously, it means nothing, but it sounds terribly important. (Also, it’s Harry and Rowling’s birthday today, so… cake? Do we have a cake? We should get some cake.)

Which does not detract from the fact that we’ve reached the end of the second book! I knew the first two went by faster than the rest, but this has been a total blur. I’m just sort of stunned and wobbly. Like a newly-freed house-elf? We’ve got two chapters left of The Chamber of Secrets—The Heir of Slytherin and Dobby’s Reward.

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]

Jul 31 2014 12:15pm

“You Did Me and My Dragons Real Proud” Anne McCaffrey on John Schoenherr’s Illustrations

Anne McCaffrey Pern dragon John Schoenherr

Illustrator Ian Schoenherr recently published a letter Anne McCaffrey wrote to his father, John Schoenherr, thanking him for his dragons! The elder Schoenherr provided some wonderful illustrations to accompany two of McCaffrey’s early Pern stories in Analog Magazine, making these the earliest depiction of F’lar, Lessa, and Mnementh! “Weyr Search” and “Dragonrider” were published in October and December of 1967, respectively, and each served as the magazine’s cover story.