If you gaze long enough into the holidays, the holidays will gaze back into you.
This original short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by senior editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden.
Pre-school ain’t easy. Helena’s always scarfing down everyone’s food, Delphine’s being a goody two-shoes tattle tale, and Cosima is just straight up delinquent. And all of them are each other! What’s Principal Leekie to do?!? You’ll just have to read this brilliant Itty Bitty Orphan Black Tumblr by Lady-Adventuress to find out.
Your Morning Roundup is upstaging Neil Gaiman with a cat, piling the hurt onto Jonathan Frakes, and replacing dragons with Thomas the Tank Engine.
Welcome back to the British Genre Fiction Focus, Tor.com’s regular round-up of book news from the United Kingdom’s thriving speculative fiction industry.
With only two weeks to go before Christmas day, you’d think the British genre fiction industry would be winding down for winter... but it isn’t!
Today, the troubled run of David Wingrove’s Chung Kuo takes another turn for the worse, with the author himself suggesting that his current publisher, Corvus, is poised to drop the radically recast sf series from its forthcoming calendar—though I dare say fans of the man need not be entirely dismayed: he has plans to save the saga, plus he’s been plenty busy with a brand new trilogy about time travel. In this week’s Cover Art Corner, we’ll take a closer look at what Wingrove insists is his best book. Last but not least, a lovely new look for Harry Potter, as Bloomsbury announces its plans to rerelease the bestselling seven-book series complete with full colour illustrations by Jim Kay.
Something—perhaps old age, perhaps the growing realization that she would never finish My Lord John, the book she hoped would be a masterpiece—kept Georgette Heyer in a somber mood as she began to write her second to last novel, Charity Girl. It was a response to both fans and critics: for her fans, she has one last aristocratic hero, Viscount Desford, son and heir of the Earl of Wroxton, along with a ludicrously pompous villain, Mr. Wilfred Steane and a happy ending after the, er, what was that of Cousin Kate; for her critics, a realistic take on the restrictions faced by aristocratic women.
But even her happy ending and the bright and witty dialogue in parts of the book have an often wistful tone. Charity Girl is the novel of an author revisiting the world she created, this time, not quite able to believe in all of it.
Although Sony has already announced Amazing Spider-Man 3 and 4 for 2016 and 2018 respectively, Andrew Garfield recently revealed that he’s only signed up to play Peter Parker through to the third film. ComingSoon.net highlighted a statement from him in a recent press junket:
I mean I’m under contract for another after [Amazing Spider-Man 2]... as far as a fourth one? That’s not anything to do with me.
This is pretty straightforward contract talk and it doesn’t mean that Garfield won’t be in the fourth Amazing Spider-Man film, or that they won’t just recast Peter Parker if Garfield doesn't return. But it does make me wonder... does the movie Spider-Man need to be Peter Parker?
Ichabod chases after his long-lost (and presumably long-dead) son with some help from our favorite sin eater, Abbie tries to inject Christmas spirit into the ongoing apocalypse, and Frank Irving looks for faith and family in “The Golem,” the last episode of Sleepy Hollow until the new year. Daddy issues abound as some characters get sidelined, and tension builds to draw viewers towards what will surely be an overwhelming finale. Also, THERE’S A BABY. THERE IS A BAAAAAABY! LOOK AT THE BAAAAABY!
Since our regular Sleepy Hollow recapper, Leah, is even now enjoying the Tuscan sun, far away from any American apocalypses, I’ll be filling in for her this week.
Written by David S. Cohen & Martin A. Winer
Directed by Les Landau
Season 3, Episode 15
Production episode 40512-461
Original air date: February 13, 1995
Station log: Two Cardassian scientists are coming to the station to deploy a subspace relay on the Gamma Quadrant side of the wormhole, which will allow communication through the wormhole for the first time. Sisko goes over the security arrangements with Odo (the commander wants to make sure they feel like guests rather than prisoners, though Odo’s assigning guards to them is as much for the scientists’ safety from more militant factions opposed to the Bajoran-Cardassian treaty as it is anything else), the scientific data with Dax (who’s skeptical that the relay as designed will work), and, rather unintentionally, catering stuff with Quark, who finally has a use for the cases of kanar in his store room (though, to his chagrin, it’s gone bad in the years since the occupation ended).
Vedek Yarka arrives to meet with Sisko and inform him that allowing the Cardassian scientists on board will bring destruction to Bajor. Yarka’s interpretation of Trakor’s Third Prophecy is that this project will result in the destruction of the Celestial Temple of the Prophets—the wormhole. The prophecy speaks of three vipers returning to their nest in the sky, which he interprets as the Cardassian scientists coming to Deep Space 9, at which point a sword of stars will appear in the heavens, the temple will burn, and the gates will be cast open. Kira points out that there are only two scientists coming, so that doesn’t quite track. And, Yarka admits, the rest of the vedek assembly and the kai herself don’t agree with his interpretation—he’s gone to Sisko as the Emissary as a last resort, but Sisko makes it clear that he isn’t stopping the project.
Artist Michael Whelan recently discovered a preliminary sketch he did for Anne McCaffrey’s seminal Dragonriders of Pern volume The White Dragon. Check it out! It’s not far off from the classic final cover, though you’ll notice that the spine of the book was originally going to have its own tiny white dragon!
You can see this sketch and many more pieces from Whelan’s collection here on Facebook. And read Whelan’s own tribute to McCaffrey for more on the working relationship between the artist and the author.
Check out A Darkling Sea by James Cambias, available January 28th, 2014 from Tor Books!
On the planet Ilmatar, under a roof of ice a kilometer thick, a team of deep-sea diving scientists investigates the blind alien race that lives below. The Terran explorers have made an uneasy truce with the Sholen, their first extraterrestrial contact: so long as they don’t disturb the Ilmataran habitat, they’re free to conduct their missions in peace.
But when Henri Kerlerec, media personality and reckless adventurer, ends up sliced open by curious Ilmatarans, tensions between Terran and Sholen erupt, leading to a diplomatic disaster that threatens to escalate to war.
Against the backdrop of deep-sea guerrilla conflict, a new age of human exploration begins as alien cultures collide. Both sides seek the aid of the newly enlightened Ilmatarans. But what this struggle means for the natives—and the future of human exploration—is anything but certain.
Last week we gave you a sneak peek at Neutrino Hunters, Ray Jayawardhana's thrilling account of the search for the elusive particles that may hold the key to many of our universe's greatest mysteries. It's out today from Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, and we want to give you your own brand-new copy!
We have five chances for you to win, so 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 1:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on December 10. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on December 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.
The first trailer for the new Godzilla movie is here! Is the monster happy? Sad? Inconclusive! See for yourself.
I bear witness of the Wheel of Time Reread, for the Wheel of Time Reread is true!
Today’s entry covers Part 6 of Chapter 37 of A Memory of Light, in which trends are bucked, truth is spoken, and a dear friend is lost.
Previous reread entries are here. The Wheel of Time Master Index is here, which has links to news, reviews, interviews, and all manner of information about the Wheel of Time in general. The index for all things specifically related to the final novel in the series, A Memory of Light, is here.
Also, for maximum coolness, the Wheel of Time reread is also now available as an ebook series, from your preferred ebook retailer!
This reread post, and all posts henceforth, contain spoilers for the entire Wheel of Time series. If you haven’t read, continue at your own risk.
And now, the post!
We’re a little ashamed that we forgot Community returns on January 2nd, but only a little. After all, isn’t Community a show that embraces the full shame, despair, and joy of being odd? Yes.
Now let’s watch this trailer for the forthcoming fifth season, because god it hurts to see Jeff and Britta and Troy and Abed and Shirley and Chang and Dean and Leonard again. It hurts so good.
Words of Radiance is coming, and we're delighted to be able to share with you this stand-alone excerpt from the book!
“Lift,” by Brandon Sanderson, is an interlude chapter from his upcoming novel, but new readers or those afraid of spoilers need not fear; it introduces a new character and a new land entirely removed from the plot of The Way of Kings, and stands very well on its own.
Lift, a young thief who augments her skills with some magical “awesomeness,” infiltrates a palace where a council of viziers is choosing their new supreme leader from a large pack of applications. She wants to steal their dinners, but is being chased by a terrifying lawman she calls “Darkness.”
What kind of magic is she using? Is the word “awesomeness” commonplace in this part of Roshar? Read on!
Welcome back to the Short Fiction Spotlight, a weekly column dedicated to doing exactly what it says in the header: shining a light on the some of the best and most relevant fiction of the aforementioned form.
When we look up at the night sky, space is black as far as the eye can see. Yet, when we read novels about it or watch something on TV on in the movie theatre, it is white beyond all comprehension.
That was the thought that launched the collection we’ll be discussing today. Funded in part through a Kickstarter campaign, Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond is a colossal anthology of some forty short speculative stories, written by and (by and large) about people of colour.
The Wachowski Siblings are at it again! This time with something that... looks kind of like The Matrix, but with
Charlie Hunnam Channing Tatum elves. We’re okay with this, mostly belong he’s no long in 50 Shades of Grey.
Kathryn Allan, an independent scholar whose work focuses on the connections between technology and the body, has put together a rare beast. Disability in Science Fiction: Representations of Technology as Cure is an unusual collection of academic articles: it combines interesting scholarship with an remarkable degree of accessibility to the general reader.
If you have no real idea about disability studies and science fiction studies as areas of academic concern, much less their intersection, fear not! For the most part, the articles contained herein are quite plain about their bases and goals, and provide much food for thought about the way we read science fictional technologies, bodies, and (post)human futures.
This year’s edition of Spike TV’s Video Game Awards aired this past week, giving gamers a sneak-peek at some major new upcoming franchises, as well as the opportunity to debate the merits of the network’s 2013 award choices. One of the night’s biggest announcement came from Telltale Games, as the game developer confirmed that they acquired the rights to produce a series of games coming in 2014 based on George R. R. Martin’s ASOIAF universe, and likely serving as complementary content to HBO’s Game of Thrones television series.
Rejoice, Stormlight Archive fans! Words of Radiance, the eagerly awaited sequel to Brandon Sanderson’s bestselling novel The Way of Kings, is on our desks right now! Brandon just turned in the final draft to his editors, and production for the second novel in the Stormlight Archive series is underway.
While you’re waiting, feast your eyes on the massive size of the printed manuscript! We printed out all 2000 pages and you can take our word for it: this book is heavy. You can see it nearly destroyed Way of Kings rereader Carl Engle-Laird’s ability to hold things, and he’s like 11 feet tall.
Hugh Jackman tweeted this awesomely foamy pic under the hashtag “coffeeclaws.” We have to commend the barista for capturing Logan’s hair spiky hair as well as his wonderful claws. We can practically taste the snikt!
Morning Roundup features Steven Moffat speaking about Matt Smith’s final turn as the Doctor (in a possibly spoileriffic fashion, so don’t click the link if you don’t want any details), Peter Jackson and Ian McKellen talking about why Smaug is the best dragon, and some disturbing news from the World of Warcraft.