The Sound of Useless Wings January 28, 2015 The Sound of Useless Wings Cecil Castellucci Of insect dreams and breaking hearts. Damage January 21, 2015 Damage David D. Levine Concerning a spaceship's conscience. And the Burned Moths Remain January 14, 2015 And the Burned Moths Remain Benjanun Sriduangkaew Treason is a trunk of thorns. A Beautiful Accident January 7, 2015 A Beautiful Accident Peter Orullian A Sheason story.
From The Blog
January 21, 2015
Don’t Touch That Dial: Midseason SFF
Alex Brown
January 21, 2015
Agent Carter, I Think I’m in Love
Liz Bourke
January 21, 2015
The Illogic of Fairy Tales
Genevieve Cogman
January 16, 2015
Birdman is Actually Just a Muppet Movie
Max Gladstone
January 15, 2015
What Are Your Favorite Non-Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Shows?
Stubby the Rocket
Fri
Jan 30 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Don’t Miss the Left Turn at Minas Morgul!

Frodo Google Map

Frodo and Sam would have had a much easier time if Middle-earth had Google Maps! They probably would have been given more options for their trip, too, rather than just having to rely on Gandalf and Strider. Maybe Waze would have warned them about the goblins in the mines of Moria? mbingcrosby posted this map on reddit, you can see a larger, zoomable version here!

Morning Roundup brings you the passing of a ghost-torch, reading suggestions from Kelly Link, and a whole constellation of fashion!

[Plus a fantastic easter egg in Agent Carter!]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: February Releases in Paranormal/Urban Fantasy and Horror

new releases urban fantasy Thirty-five new releases in these mega-genres make your valentine all furry and fanged, including new series titles from, among others, Kait Ballenger (Execution Underground), Kathleen Tierney (Siobhan Quinn), Jaye Wells (Prospero’s War), J.D. Robb (In Death), Kylie Chan (Celestial Battle), and Bob Mayer (Area 51).

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.]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 4:00pm

Gaming Roundup: The First Must-Have Game of 2015 is from 1998

Grim Fandango Remastered

For over a decade after its critically-acclaimed release in 1998, Grim Fandango was viewed as a lost classic—a forgotten disk that remained only attainable enough to affirm its scarcity throughout the 2000s. The game languished in the clutches of outdated OSes for years, and physical copies were banished to the furthest corners of eBay, where they were sold at inordinate prices. When GOG.com began turning yesteryear’s classics into digitized, DRM-free treasure troves, Grim Fandango quickly became their most-requested game. Rumors of the game’s return occasionally surfaced, but for so long, were never anything more than shadows and dust.

Until last year.

[“Buenos dias!”]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 3:30pm

The Harry Potter Reread: The Goblet of Fire, Chapters 19 and 20

The Harry Potter Reread is gonna take the bull by the horns, walk it straight over to the castle gate, have it sing the guards a song, then rush the throne room and install the bull as the new monarch. It seems a reasonable way to conduct one’s business affairs.

This week we’re gonna read is really annoying article and probably fight some dragons or whatever. It’s chapters 19 and 20 of The Goblet of Fire—The Hungarian Horntail and The First Task.

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
Jan 29 2015 3:00pm

Rejecting Technology for Taboo: The Guardian of Isis

Four generations—or at least sixty years—have passed on Isis since The Keeper of the Isis Light. For the colony that mutually rejected Olwen, the Keeper, and her AI Guardian years ago, however, things have not been going all that well. The colony is still trapped in the same valley, and, probably because this is a Monica Hughes book, is starting to run short on food.

Far worse, apparently in reaction to the events in the previous book, the colonists have deliberately gone backwards. They’ve discarded technology (including rather important elements like water gauges to track just how high the lake is getting), turned Guardian and Olwen into mythological figures to be worshipped instead of approached for technological assistance, discarded literacy, and added elements like “taboo” and sexism. I knew rejecting Olwen was going to be a bad thing, but this bad? Harsh.

See what your meddling led to, Guardian of Isis?

[A sequel that doesn’t quite live up to its introduction. Spoilery.]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 2:40pm

It Is Possible You Will See Hooded Figures at Worldcon. DO NOT APPROACH THEM

Starry Night Vale

Worldcon has taken place in many fine cities over the years, including London, New York, Montreal, Yokohama, and this year's selection, Spokane, Washington (Sasquan, wooo!!!), but there's now a petition to bring it to a very special place next year: Night Vale. This bid makes perfect sense, as the colorful attendees of Worldcon would fit right into that most Lovecraftian of desert towns.

[Perhaps Cecil could emcee?]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 2:15pm

The Terminator: Genisys Super Bowl Trailer Flips School Buses and Pits Arnold vs. Arnold

Terminator: Genisys Super Bowl trailer

Plenty of movie trailers will be rolling out during the Super Bowl this Sunday, but some studios are already putting their TV spots online. Case in point, the latest trailer for Terminator: Genisys, which opens with a motorcycle on a train and a schoolbus flipping end over end on the Golden Gate Bridge.

[“Where is he?!”]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 2:00pm
Excerpt

Dark Intelligence (Excerpt)

Neal Asher

Neal Asher Dark Intelligence US cover Thorvald Spear wakes in a hospital to find he’s been brought back from the dead. What’s more, he died in a human vs. alien war that ended a century ago. Spear had been trapped on a world surrounded by hostile Prador forces, but Penny Royal, the AI inside the rescue ship sent to provide backup, turned rogue, annihilating friendly forces in a frenzy of destruction and killing Spear. One hundred years later the AI is still on the loose, and Spear vows for revenge at any cost.

Isobel Satomi ran a successful crime syndicate, but after competitors attacked she needed power and protection. Negotiating with Penny Royal, she got more than she bargained for: Turning part-AI herself gave Isobel frightening power, but the upgrades hid a horrifying secret, and the dark AI triggered a transformation that has been turning her into something far from human…

Spear hires Isobel to track Penny Royal across worlds to its last known whereabouts. But he cheats her in the process and quickly finds himself in her crosshairs. As Isobel continues to evolve into a monstrous predator, it’s clear her rage will eventually win out over reason. Will Spear finish his hunt before he himself becomes the hunted?

Dark Intelligence is the explosive first novel in a brand new trilogy from military SF master Neal Asher and a new chapter in his epic Polity universe. Dark Intelligence is available now in the UK from Tor UK, and publishes February 3rd in the US from Night Shade Books.

[Read an Excerpt]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 1:30pm

Afternoon Roundup: The One Time We’d Suggest Putting Your Hands in Front of a Dragon’s Mouth

dragon faucet cool photo

Washing your hands has never been so majestic as with this rad dragon bathroom sink faucet spotted by Offbeat Home. And lookit those handles! It’s like a badass, water-spouting, T-Rex-handed beast keeping you clean and germ-free.

Afternoon Roundup double-checks it didn’t forget its chemise; is impatient for The Vision to show up already; and preps for the Super Bowl in the bloodiest way possible.

[Read more]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 1:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Dance with Dragons, Part 8

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 8 of A Dance With Dragons, in which we cover Chapter 12 (“Reek”) and Chapter 13 (“Bran”).

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’ve heard of putting down roots, but this is ridiculous]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 12:00pm

Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 26

Words of Radiance reread Chapter 26Welcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com! Last week, Alice got to play with all the pretty ponies. This week, having drawn the short straw, I only get to play with one of the pretty ponies. Luckily, Sureblood is the prettiest of them all, and he likes to have his ears scritched. Additional fun fact: Microsoft Word doesn’t want me to use the word “scritched.” I WILL BREAK ITS SPIRIT.

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
Jan 29 2015 11:00am

Making Art in a Tilting City: The Sculptor by Scott McCloud

Scott McCloud The Sculptor review

David Smith has two hundred days to live. More specifically, he has two hundred days to create a work of art that will embody his memories and his dreams, one that will stand in his place once he’s gone. In a city with hundreds of other David Smiths listed in the phone book, David’s desire to be remembered will be hard-won at best. Then he meets Meg, and his new-found superpower to bend any material to his will seems like the least of his worries.

Scott McCloud—best known for his seminal work, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art—combines Faustian myth with brilliant visual storytelling in his new graphic novel The Sculptor. Using panel after panel of towering cityscapes and crowds of anonymous faces, McCloud sets a stage that will be familiar to many readers, especially those with creative ambitions.

[Read More]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 10:30am

Poison Fairies: The Landfill War Sweepstakes!

Acheron Books is the first publishing house that produces Italian fantasy, science fiction, and horror and distributes it worldwide in the English language in ebook format.

We want to send you one of Acheron’s recent releases, Poison Fairies: The Landfill War by Luca Tarenzi in a DRM-free format! Read an excerpt here. Under the pen name Giovanni Anastasi, Luca has also released the historical fantasy Demon Hunter Severian: Lady of the Night Gates.

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 10:30 AM Eastern Time (ET) on January 29. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on February 2. 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
Jan 29 2015 10:20am

Tor.com is Seeking a Marketing and Publicity Manager

Tor.com

Last summer, we announced the expansion of Tor.com’s fiction publishing to include commercially sold novellas. Since then our editors have been hard at work acquiring stories and it is now time to hire a Marketing and Publicity Manager to help us get the word out on Tor.com, our authors, and our titles. 

Tor.com is seeking a marketing and publicity manager with 4-5 years of experience. This person will lead, plan, and execute trade marketing and publicity initiatives for Tor.com publishing with a focus on digital outlets, working closely with our sales department and major clients. Candidates should have an extensive knowledge of science fiction and fantasy publishing and a network of current contacts within the industry. We are looking for someone enthusiastic about the possibilities that working in a digital space can bring, someone that wants to try new ideas, learn, innovate, and adapt as the program develops. They will be part of a small creative team fully dedicated to the Tor.com imprint, approximately 30 titles a year. This is a full-time position working in our New York office.

[Read the full job description]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 10:00am

Midnight in Karachi, Episode 5: “The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family” by Usman T. Malik

Enthalpy exploding water balloon Edward Horsford

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 episode takes a break from its usual transmission to bring you a story called “The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family” by Usman T Malik, as read by Mahvesh Murad. The story was originally published in Qualia Nous, edited by Michael Bailey. It can be read online for free here.

[Listen Now!]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 9:00am

That Was Awesome: The Power of Voice in The Diabolical Miss Hyde

The Diabolical Miss Hyde Viola Carr I started reading The Diabolical Miss Hyde, and in the first paragraph, I found voice. Voice is such a nebulous yet vital element in writing. It’s attitude, rhythm, dialogue. It’s what makes a book come alive. Within a matter of sentences, Viola Carr’s novel snared me because of a perspective with blunt, ungrammatical charm:

In London, we’ve got murderers by the dozen. Rampsmen, garroters, wife beaters and baby farmers, poisoners and pie makers and folk who’ll crack you over the noddle with a ha’penny cosh for the sake of your flashy watch chain and leave your meat for the rats. Never mind what you read in them penny dreadfuls: there ain’t no romance in murder.

But every now and again, we gets us an artist.

[Read More]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: We’ve Found the One Thing That Makes Star Wars Even Better!

Kitten Princess Leia

Tumblr user Ivanova-is-god posted this adorable kitten Leia! We would rescue her from a billion Admiral Tarkins.

Morning Roundup brings you tales of the aquatic god Momoa; a look at the loneliness of the long distance mathematician; and an oral history of Area X!

[Um, phrasing?]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 5:30am

The Shortlist for the First Annual James Herbert Award for Horror Writing

James Herbert Books

Pan Macmillan has just announced the shortlist for the first annual James Herbert Award for Horror Writing! Celebrating work “from the darkly fantastical and post-apocalyptic to desolate rural mysteries, gut-wrenching body horrors and modern re-imaginings of classic horror tropes,” the shortlist represents a diverse array of writing from some of our favorite writers.

[Read More]

Wed
Jan 28 2015 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: Genre-Benders for February

new releases genre february Twenty-two books defy genrification in February, including new dystopian and time-travel anthologies and new steampunk titles from Elizabeth Bear, Leanna Renee Hieber, Kristin Bailey, and Viola Carr.

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.]

Wed
Jan 28 2015 4:00pm

Half of a War God: Gemini Cell by Myke Cole

Gemini Cell Myke Cole review“For the dead, war never ends.” That’s the somewhat ominous tagline on the cover of Myke Cole’s newest military fantasy novel Gemini Cell. Set in the early years of the Great Awakening, the novel shows how humanity first reacted to the sudden appearance of magical powers in random people—a process that would eventually lead to the militarization of magic as portrayed in Cole’s first three Shadow Ops novels: Control Point, Fortress Frontier, and Breach Zone.

Gemini Cell is in a sense a prequel to that trilogy. It doesn’t share any characters with the first three books, but it’s set in the same world during an earlier age, more or less setting the stage for what’s coming down in Control Point. A prequel in the L.E. Modesitt Jr. sense, maybe.

There’s two bits of good news here. First of all, if you’ve always been curious about the action-packed military fantasy Myke Cole excels at, this book is an excellent entry point to the series, as it basically requires zero knowledge of the other books. The second bit of good news: it’s also the best novel he’s written so far.

[Read More]