Useless Wings January 28, 2015 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
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]

Wed
Jan 28 2015 3:30pm

Medieval Scribe: “Oh My God, I’m So Hungover”

Irish manuscript hangover gloss ogham script

Clearly, the medieval scribes-in-training who spent their hours at school doodling in the margins of illuminated manuscripts grew up to be the scribes who basically threated other ancient texts as their diaries. According to blogger Anglandicus, adult scribes would detail their physical and emotional states on the ancient manuscripts they were working on, from reciting prayers to complaining about their peers’ shoddy work to nursing a wicked hangover.

[Read more]

Wed
Jan 28 2015 3:00pm

Why is Howard Stark’s Moustache So Sad? Agent Carter: “The Blitzkrieg Button”

Agent Carter: The Blitzkrieg Button

You know those pictures of TV writing rooms where there are index cards on a huge corkboard, each card representing an important moment (or scene) in the overall season? Last night’s episode of Agent Carter, “The Blitzkrieg Button” felt like all the cards that were left over after the series had been planned out. You got your Peggy Remembers Howard is a Jerk card, you got your SSR Reacts to Krzeminski’s Death card, you got your Dottie Blows Her Cover card.

Piled together, this doesn’t quite make a story, so Agent Carter also throws the Stan Lee Cameo card at us and one of the writers sneaks in a Captain America is Jesus Maybe card in hopes that we won’t notice. Something’s gotta fill that episode 4 slot!

[Read more]

Wed
Jan 28 2015 2:00pm

Sewing Machine Battles: Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

Karen Memory Elizabeth Bear reviewElizabeth Bear’s newest novel Karen Memory takes a different direction than her last several projects: it’s a steampunk romp set on the west coast during the late 19th century, narrated by the titular character, a young woman who works as a “seamstress” in a high end bordello.

One night, she helps (along with her housemates) to rescue two young women who have escaped the crib brothels down by the port—one the rescuer, one the rescue-ee. The incident brings the already-strained relationship between our antagonist, Peter Bantle, and the house’s Madame to a head; and, not long after, murdered women begin appearing around the city—also bringing to town the Federal Marshal Bass Reeves.

There are also dirigibles and steam-powered sewing machines like exoskeletons, of course, and the wider conflict over the future of the West lingers in the submerged layers of the narrative as well. There’s a mix of actual history and invented, real places and people and imaginary, that adds a certain depth to the fun—plus, there’s also a diverse cast, from our protagonist’s love interest Priya to the Marshal and his posseman.

[A review.]

Wed
Jan 28 2015 1:45pm

These DIY Labyrinth Barbies Will Make You Do the Magic Dance

DIY Labyrinth Barbies photos

We’re not sure who to award the title of “coolest ever” to: The father who hacked Barbie dolls to turn them into Jareth the Goblin King and Sarah Williams; or his seven-year-old daughter, who asked for Labyrinth dolls in the first place. Redditor just_s0me_guy shared his fantastic DIY work on Imgur, explaining how in the absence of Labyrinth toys, he got creative.

[Read more]

Wed
Jan 28 2015 1:15pm

Afternoon Roundup: It’s Dangerous to Go Alone! Take This Caffeine Boost

Sleevebucks pop culture geeky Starbucks sleeves Link Legend of Zelda Instagram

Welcome to the first-ever Afternoon Roundup! Right around the time you’re flagging and getting your afternoon caffeine fix, we’re here with more great links from around the Web. And once you have your hot drink in hand, maybe you’ll be inspired by the Instagram account Sleevebucks to turn the Starbucks mermaid into every pop culture character imaginable! Although they’ve already done a bang-up job of transforming her into Zorro, Thor, and even Sherlock Holmes himself.

Afternoon Roundup ponders Chris Pratt ruling two big action-adventure franchises; connects the dots on Legend of Korra; and tries to get you to watch Black Mirror already—you’ll really like it!

[Read more]

Wed
Jan 28 2015 1:00pm

Rereading Melanie Rawn: The Star Scroll, Chapters 19 and 20

Melanie Rawn Dragon Prince Star Scroll rereadWelcome to the weekly reread of The Star Scroll! In this week’s adventure, the Rialla continues, both the marriage market and the races get (sometimes literally) heated, and a midnight meeting raises lots of questions but few answers.

Chapter 19

So This Happens: Princess Alasen is an escape artist when it comes to guards and escorts. Today she’s at the rail for the races. The young men are showing off the horses, and she has her eye on a particularly nice mare, which she intends to ask her father to buy for her.

She knows she’s been brought here to choose a husband. She’s watching the mare’s rider, her father’s squire, Sorin of Radzyn Keep—but she’s not thinking of him as husband material. They’re just good friends.

[Read More]

Wed
Jan 28 2015 12:30pm

The Mime Order Sweepstakes!

Samantha Shannon, author of The Mime Order, dropped by yesterday to take our Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, and now we want to send you a copy of her book! 

The Mime Order is the second installment in Shannon’s seven-book series that follows dreamwalker Paige Mahoney, a gifted clairvoyant living in London’s future, whose natural talents are considered treasonous under the current regime.

We have three copies 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 12:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on January 28. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on February 1. 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.

Wed
Jan 28 2015 12:00pm

Pull List: Nimona

Once upon a time, a bored blogger was endlessly scrolling through Tumblr when she came across some really awesome fanart. She checked out the OP and was pleased to discover a gem of a webcomic. The blogger was immediately hooked and spent the next few hours devouring everything the artist had ever created. She reblogged the artist’s mini-comics, bought copies of her fanart, and devoured her webcomic with the kind of single-minded intensity she usually reserved for 40,000+ word fanfics. Even though the webcomic has come to an end, the blogger still keeps the RSS feed on her bookmarks toolbar, because every now and again she gets a craving.

And now it’s time for you, dear reader, to fall in love with Nimona, Ballister, and Goldenloin just as your fair blogger did...

[“Aw yeah! Let’s make some evil plans!”]

Wed
Jan 28 2015 11:20am

Covering Crashing Heaven

Crashing Heaven Al Robertson

Bought eighteen months or so ago in what The Bookseller describes as “a major pre-empt ahead of an auction” that would probably have been hotly fought, Crashing Heaven is for my money among the most exciting debuts of the coming months.

According to Gollancz’s Simon Spanton, “Al Robertson [is] a writer completely in command of his material and totally at home in his chosen genre”—which is to say science fiction. “To find all this, fully formed, in the work of a debut writer is special indeed. It’s a long time since I’ve read a book that takes the familiar and fashions it into something that feels so fresh.”

[Read More]

Wed
Jan 28 2015 11:00am

Rocket Talk Episode 41: Myke Cole

Rocket Talk Myke Cole

In this episode, Myke Cole visits Rocket Talk to discuss the challenges of writing things outside his experience. He and Justin discuss Cole’s newest release, Gemini Cell, and how a writer can and should push themselves.

[Listen Now!]