The Shape of My Name March 4, 2015 The Shape of My Name Nino Cipri How far can you travel to claim yourself? The Hell of It February 25, 2015 The Hell of It Peter Orullian What will he wager? Schrödinger’s Gun February 18, 2015 Schrödinger’s Gun Ray Wood Maybe in some other timeline it would have gone smooth. Acrobatic Duality February 11, 2015 Acrobatic Duality Tamara Vardomskaya The two of her are perfectly synchronized.
From The Blog
March 4, 2015
Writing Women Characters as Human Beings
Kate Elliott
March 2, 2015
A Ranking of 1980s Fantasy That Would Please Crom Himself!
Leah Schnelbach
February 27, 2015
Goodbye, Mr. Nimoy — What Spock Meant to One Geeky 12-Year-Old Girl
Emily Asher-Perrin
February 26, 2015
Introducing the Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch
Keith DeCandido
February 23, 2015
Oh No, She Didn’t: The Strong Female Character, Deconstructed
Ilana C. Myer
Thu
Mar 5 2015 9:00am
Reprint

Amicae Aeternum

Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume 9 Jonathan Strahan

Tor.com is honored to reprint “Amicae Aeternum” by Ellen Klages, as featured in The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 9—publishing May 12th from Solaris.

Distant worlds, time travel, epic adventure, unseen wonders, and much more! The best, most original and brightest science fiction and fantasy stories from around the globe from the past twelve months are brought together in one collection by multiple award winning editor Jonathan Strahan. This highly popular series now reaches volume nine, and will include stories from both the biggest names in the field and the most exciting new talents.

[Read “Amicae Aeternum”]

Thu
Mar 5 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Jim Henson’s Age of Ultron Babies!

Chibi Avengers

So has everyone had a chance to watch the new Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer? Pretty good, right? During the Twittersplosion of fans clamoring to unlock the trailer, @jenniferfassey posted this picture (which was included with this wonderful Tumblr-pile of sleeping Avengers) and we love it so much! Can this be the after-credits-scene scene? Look at the detail! Baby Tony is stretched out so he can reach his Science Bro without leaving Baby Steve! Li’l Hulk is holding Mini-Loki’s ankle, as if to pummel him again! But it’s ok, cause THOR IS HUGGING HIS BROTHER IN HIS SLEEP. Gaaah. Oh, and please note that, even in Chibi form, Nick Fury sleeps with one eye open.

Morning Roundup brings you a remembrance of Douglas Adams, a sneak peek at Netflix’s Luke Cage series, and pearls of truth falling from the lips of Michael Bay!

[Plus, for all your film nerd needs, a tribute to Saul Bass.]

Wed
Mar 4 2015 4:00pm
Excerpt

Razorhurst (Excerpt)

Justine Larbalestier

Razorhurst Justine Larbalestier Sydney’s deadly Razorhurst neighborhood, 1932. Gloriana Nelson and Mr. Davidson, two ruthless mob bosses, have reached a fragile peace—one maintained by “razor men.” Kelpie, orphaned and homeless, is blessed (and cursed) with the ability to see Razorhurst’s many ghosts. They tell her secrets the living can’t know about the cracks already forming in the mobs’ truce.

Then Kelpie meets Dymphna Campbell, a legendary beauty and prized moll of Gloriana Nelson. She’s earned the nickname “Angel of Death” because none of her beaus has ever survived knowing her. Unbeknownst to Kelpie, Dymphna can see ghosts, too, and she knows that Gloriana’s hold is crumbling one henchman at a time. As loyalties shift and betrayal threatens the two girls at every turn, Dymphna is determined not only to survive, but to rise to the top with Kelpie at her side.

The notoriously bloody history of a mob-run Sydney, Australia neighborhood is fertile ground for Justine Larbalestier’s Razorhurst, a historical thriller with a paranormal twist—available now from Soho Press.

[Read an Excerpt]

Wed
Mar 4 2015 4:52pm

Announcing The Kitschies’ 2014 Winners!

The Kitschies 2014 shortlists PornokitschThe Kitschies, the annual tentacle-themed prize for works containing elements of the “speculative and fantastic,” have announced the winners for the most “progressive, intelligent, and entertaining” fiction of 2014.

The prizes were awarded by judges Adam Roberts and Frances Hardinge at a ceremony held at London’s Seven Dials Club. The winners included a truly mind-blowing young adult novel and an episodic point-and-click adventure game; The Kitschies also honored an illustrator urging for more diversity in her peers’ work.

[Read more]

Wed
Mar 4 2015 3:00pm

Don’t Look Back in Anger. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: “Aftershocks”

Agents of SHIELD: Aftershocks

Let’s get EXCITED for the latest episode of Agent Car…oh, these guys again.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back and it would like you to know that it is not going to just forget how it gave SkyeQuakes some superpowers via the Terrigen Mists. It is going to dig deep into this phenomenon and we know this because Skye spends the entirety of “Aftershocks” in a tiny room doing nothing.

[Read more]

Wed
Mar 4 2015 2:00pm

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Cage”

Star Trek, The Cage“The Cage”
Written by Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Robert Butler
Season 0, Episode 1 (unaired pilot)
Production episode 6149-01
Original air date: October 4, 1988
Stardate: unknown

Captain’s log: We see the Enterprise flying through space, and the camera goes into the bridge, where Captain Christopher Pike sits in the command chair, Number One and Jose Tyler at the navigation console in front of him, and some dude in a blue shirt standing to his right not doing anything in particular. Folks are also at the rear consoles, and Spock walks up to stand beside Pike. They’ve detected something, but they’re not sure what it is, heading straight for them. It turns out to be a radio wave—an old-style distress signal that was designed to cause the type of interference they detected to get attention.

[We aren’t going to go?]

Wed
Mar 4 2015 1:45pm

Afternoon Roundup: Kraken Just Wants to Give You a Hug

Monster Issues Teo Zirinis kraken hug ships too hard

When your boat is being capsized by a mighty kraken from beneath the roiling waves, have you ever stopped to wonder about how the poor li’l guy just wanted to show how much he loves you guys? Artist Teo Zirinis has: In his series Monster Issues, he reminds us that Nessie can never find a good photo of herself, Cthulhu always has to correct people on spelling, and Godzilla prefers classic architecture.

Afternoon Roundup brings you news of a Heinlein movie, fairy doors in danger, and more Jeff Goldblum!

[Read more]

Wed
Mar 4 2015 1:25pm

Watch the New Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer!

Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer car launch

After just a few hours of tweeting #AvengersAssemble, fans were able to unlock the new Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer (as if there were any question). And it is great: Hulk vs. Hulkbuster vertical skyscraper fight! Bruce/Natasha! Vision! Avengers car launch!

[Watch the trailer]

Wed
Mar 4 2015 1:00pm

Rereading Melanie Rawn: The Star Scroll, Chapters 29 and 30

Melanie Rawn Dragon Prince Star Scroll rereadWelcome to the weekly Wednesday reread of The Star Scroll! Almost done now. The battle’s aftermath ends along with the Rialla, in Sunrunner’s Fire. Lines of alliance and conflict are drawn and redrawn, and yet another, and somewhat surprising, marriage is arranged.

Chapter 29

So This Happens: Volog and Davvi discuss the sleeping Alasen’s future, and take time for some exposition about how Sioned went to Goddess Keep. In mid-reminiscence, they receive a message: the Masul faction is changing its allegiance, and Kiele is frantically trying to cover her tracks. They discuss this. Then they discuss Ostvel. Volog wants to “do something for him” in thanks for looking after Alasen.

Urival can’t sleep. He goes back to the field of the battle, with flashback to what happened at the end. He reviews who died and who survived.

[Read More]

Wed
Mar 4 2015 12:30pm

“Celtic Fantasy”: What Does It Even Mean?

Cover art Mark Harrison Ian McDonald King of Morning Queen of Day

When the powers that be here asked me to write a post about my feelings on “Celtic Fantasy,” my “yes” was a hesitant thing, dubious and hedged around with caveats. I can talk—a little—about intensely local Irish fantasy: Ian McDonald’s King of Morning, Queen of Day, or Ruth Frances Long’s A Crack in Everything. Or Jo Walton’s Táin-influenced The Prize in the Game, for that matter. (Or Kevin Barry’s City of Bohane, which is really fantasy set in the future, if you ask me.) Pat O’Shea’s The Hounds of the Morrigan and Michael Scott’s unfinished De Danann series were foundational texts for me before I turned ten: episodes from the Rúraíocht, especially the Táin Bó Cuailgne, and from the Fiannaíocht, cropped up in my primary school readers.

Some of the very first history I was formally taught involved the Christianisation of Ireland and the exploits of St. Patrick as taken from his Confession and a couple of 7th-century hagiographies. My secondary school English and History classes were practically swathed about in the “Celtic Twilight” and the late 19th/early 20th century Anglo-Irish literary renaissance:

“The host is riding from Knocknarea
And over the grave of Clooth-na-bare;

Caolte tossing his burning hair
And Niamh calling
Away, come away—”

(W.B. Yeats, “The Hosting of the Sidhe”)

But Celtic fantasy? What does that even mean, in this context?

[Read More]

Wed
Mar 4 2015 12:00pm

Rocket Talk Episode 46: Courtney Schafer

Courtney Schafer Labyrinth of Flame

In this episode of Rocket Talk, Justin is joined by Courtney Schafer, the author of the Shattered Sigil Trilogy. She and Justin talk about her diverse interests in mountaineering and figure skating, her first two books The Whitefire Crossing and The Tainted City, her tumultuous relationship with Night Shade Books, and her third novel The Labyrinth of Flame, which she’s currently Kickstarting.

[Listen now!]

Wed
Mar 4 2015 11:00am

Writing Women Characters as Human Beings

Hermione Granger

Occasionally I get asked if I have any advice for writers on how to create believable female characters while avoiding cliches, especially in fantasy novels where the expectations and settings may be seen to be different from our modern world.

There is an “easy” answer to this.

Write all characters as human beings in all their glorious complexity and contradiction.

That’s a decent answer, although rarely easy to pull off in practice, but it’s not really answering the question I’m getting asked.

[Read More]

Wed
Mar 4 2015 10:43am

Announcing the 27th Annual Lambda Literary Award Finalists

27th annual Lambda Literary award nomineesThe 27th Annual Lambda Literary Award finalists have been announced, marking a record year of submissions depicting the LGBTQ experience. The 818 submissions came from mainstream publishers, academic presses, and publishing-on-demand technologies; from LGBT publishers both established and emerging. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on June 1, 2015.

Three Tor Books authors were nominated in the category of LGBT Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror: A.M. Dellamonica, Max Gladstone, and Daryl Gregory.

[Read more]

Wed
Mar 4 2015 10:00am

Blood is Thicker Than Water: Kushiel’s Chosen, Part 2

Kushiel's Reread Tor.com Kushiel's Chosen Part 2Just as the first half of Kushiel’s Dart saw Delaunay and Alcuin murdered, and Phèdre and Joscelin sold into slavery, Kushiel’s Chosen Part 1 ends on a similar cliffhanger: Melisande Shahrizai, upon revealing herself in La Serenissima, has Phèdre’s chevaliers slain and imprisons the meddling anguissette on the island fortress of La Dolorosa. Clearly this murder plus slavery/imprisonment/exile combination is Melisande’s favorite move, though you’d think she would have learned from the events of Dart that she should not try to make her pet-turned-peer yield.

We’re going to get spoilery—because it turns out there is a ton of foreshadowing for later books and trilogies—so feel free to do the same in the comments. As Shemhazai said, all knowledge is worth having. And as he might have said… Reread as thou wilt!

[Read more]

Wed
Mar 4 2015 9:00am
Original Story

The Shape of My Name

“The Shape of My Name” by Nino Cipri is a time travel story about what it means to truly claim yourself.

Like some other stories published on Tor.com, “The Shape of My Name” contains scenes and situations some readers will find upsetting and/or repellent. [—The Editors]

 

This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by consulting editor Ann VanderMeer.

[Read “The Shape of My Name” by Nino Cipri]

Wed
Mar 4 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: These Earrings Are Wonderful Conversational Companions!

Labyrinth Door Knocker Earrings

One of the best things about Labyrinth is how the fairy tale elements merged with the pure silliness of Terry Jones's script. The door knockers are a perfect example of this, and now they are also a perfect pair of earrings. Art by Aelia creates many fantasy-inspired pieces (including an awesome Toothless!) but these are our favorites!

Morning Roundup brings you the hidden secrets of Agent Carter, a complete history of The Inhumans, and a look behind the scenes of the biggest game in the history of ever.  

[read more]

Tue
Mar 3 2015 5:00pm

Forget Me Not: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

Buried Giant Kazuo Ishiguro

Like The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and The Hundred-Year-Old Man who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared, Kazuo Ishiguro’s first new novel since Never Let Me Go a decade ago appears to be another of those elderly odysseys we’ve seen with such zeitgeist-like regularity recently—albeit one with the trappings, and the characters, of a classical fantasy.

There be dragons in this book, to be sure—alongside sprites, ogres, wizards and warriors—and you can practically taste the magic in the air of its Arthurian England. But never mind that, or the fact that its narrative is arranged around an epic quest, because The Buried Giant is at its best when it’s about Axl and Beatrice, a loving couple who leave their humble home ostensibly to travel to a village a few days walk away. There, the pair hope to renew their relationship with their estranged son.

A simple enough thing, you might think, but the kicker—the tragedy, in truth—is that they don’t really remember him. They don’t really remember much of anything.

[Read More]

Tue
Mar 3 2015 4:10pm

Community Season 6 Trailer! Everything is New, But Nothing has Chang-ed

Community Season 6

Allow Dan Harmon to show you something beautiful. In the new trailer for the probability-defying new season of Community, Age of Yahoo, we meet a new allies, old friends, and we get to watch Dean Pelton have entirely too much fun with VR! We have lost Troy and Original Shirley, but it looks like we're gaining some prime Chang moments, and possibly more Garrett?  

Will Jeff Winger ever get out of Greendale? Will New Shirley replace Original Shirley in our hearts? Is Keith David the fourth Ghostbuster? Check out the trailer below, and watch the new season of Community via Yahoo on March 17th!

[Nothing will replace Original Shirley.]

Tue
Mar 3 2015 3:00pm

Five Books About Weird Metropolises

Weird Metropolises

Fantastical settings are one of the major draws of speculative fiction. The places where novels are set don’t just provide a backdrop for the plot, they often drive it. They establish the tone of the story and inform the sensibilities of the characters. Nowhere is this truer than in fictional cities, which are both the product of and the backdrop for the characters and their cultures.

These cities are Weird-with-a-capital-W. They’re freakish and fascinating. They’re constructs that reflect the anxieties and aspirations of their societies, and they’re palimpsests for histories that have been built, destroyed, and redefined over generations. Their crooked alleys and towering buildings frame the stories of savvy world-beaters and set the stage for epic clashes of ideology.

[Read More]

Tue
Mar 3 2015 2:00pm

Fox Mulder and the Problem of the Romantic Conspiracy Theorist

X-Files

There’s this thing called the “Twenty Year Rule” that pertains to collective cultural nostalgia, and if one is to give credence to this idea, then the recent resurgence of interest in The X-Files comes as no surprise. IDW Publishing has been running a well-received comic adaptation over the last several years, and just a few weeks ago Fox confirmed that they’re in talks to reboot the series, original cast and everything. And the nerdosphere rejoiced! Are you excited? I’m kind of excited! Kind of.

Okay, “mixed feelings” is more the appropriate descriptor.

[Read More]