The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn April 22, 2015 The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn Usman Malik He will inherit the Unseen. The Ways of Walls and Words April 15, 2015 The Ways of Walls and Words Sabrina Vourvoulias Can the spirit truly be imprisoned? Ballroom Blitz April 1, 2015 Ballroom Blitz Veronica Schanoes Can't stop drinking, can't stop dancing, can't stop smoking, can't even die. Dog March 25, 2015 Dog Bruce McAllister "Watch the dogs when you're down there, David."
From The Blog
April 22, 2015
Daredevil, Catholicism, and the Marvel Moral Universe
Leah Schnelbach
April 22, 2015
The Old Guy Action Comeback: I’m Getting Too Old for This Sh*t
Ryan Britt
April 20, 2015
The Net is the Meat: Bruce Holsinger’s Middle Ages
David Perry
April 17, 2015
Spring 2015 Anime Preview: The Hellish Life of a Pizza Delivery Boy
Kelly Quinn
April 16, 2015
The Disney Read-Watch: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Mari Ness
Tue
Apr 28 2015 2:00pm

Five Books Where Music is Practically a Character

Fantasy books and music became inextricably linked in my head one summer in the early 90s. My middle brother gave me his old Walkman, so I could finally listen to music wherever I wanted. My other brother got a job at a nearby bookstore, and brought home piles of Terry Brooks and David Eddings at my request. Walkman+books=happy place for nerdy young Sabaa. To this day, I associate Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Stone Temple Pilots with Druids, Elves, and Murgos (not in that order).

Finding books that pay homage to music is easy. Finding fantasy books that do the same—a bit trickier. But when I do find them—oh, bliss.

[Here are my favorites]

Tue
Apr 28 2015 1:30pm

The Memory Painter Sweepstakes!

The Memory Painter by Gwendolyn Womack arrives from Picador today, and we want to send you one of our three copies now! Check out our excerpt here.

Bryan Pierce is an internationally famous artist whose paintings have dazzled the world. But there's a secret to his success: Every canvas is inspired by an unusually vivid dream. When Bryan awakes, he possesses extraordinary new skills...like the ability to speak obscure languages and an inexplicable genius for chess. All his life, he has wondered if his dreams are recollections, if he is re-experiencing other people's lives. When he meets Linz Jacobs, a brilliant neurogeneticist, the mystery deepens as they begin to discern the pattern linking his deeply detailed (and sometimes disturbing) visions.

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 April 28. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on May 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.

Tue
Apr 28 2015 1:30pm

Afternoon Roundup: Heeeere’s I-Rex!

Jurassic World Indominus Rex I-Rex first look photo

After skulking through several Jurassic World trailers, the big bad of the new movie finally bares its face. Meet the Indominus Rex. While this genetically-engineered dino resembles the T-Rex, its scaly head and, you know, unquenchable thirst for blood sets it apart. (Hat-tip to Blastr and Empire for this first photo.) Here’s more info on the I-Rex!

Afternoon Roundup misquotes Disney, pulls out the leg warmers, and practices Shakespeare with Brian Cox.

[Read more]

Tue
Apr 28 2015 1:15pm

Watch the First Trailer for Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell!

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell trailer BBC One

BBC One’s adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is getting closer to an actual premiere date! BBC One has released the first full-length trailer for the miniseries, and according to The A.V. Club, it will begin airing next month.

The trailer sees Mr. Norrell summoning the man with the thistle-down hair, setting into motion the faeries’ havoc-wreaking plan; and Jonathan Strange pledging himself as Norrell’s friend and assistant, only for something to come between the two magicians.

[“You’ve opened the door to hell and invited the devil into England!”]

Tue
Apr 28 2015 1:00pm

The Wheel of Time Reread Redux: The Eye of the World, Part 27

THE WHEEL OF TIME REREAD REDUX IS NOT HERE. EVEN THOUGH IT IS. I WILL TAKE NO PART. EVEN THOUGH I OBVIOUSLY AM.

#helping

Today’s Redux post will cover Chapters 50 and 51 of The Eye of the World, originally reread in this post.

All original posts are listed in The Wheel of Time Reread Index here, and all Redux posts will also be archived there as well. The Wheel of Time Master Index, as always, is here, which has links to news, reviews, interviews, and all manner of information about the Wheel of Time in general on Tor.com. The Wheel of Time Reread is also available as an e-book series! Yay!

All Reread Redux posts will contain spoilers for the entire Wheel of Time series, so if you haven’t read, read at your own risk. And now, the post!

[“If in the present work I have dwelt at some length on the worship of trees, it is not, I trust, because I exaggerate its importance in the history of religion, still less because I would deduce from it a whole system of mythology; it is simply because I could not ignore the subject” –James Frazer, The Golden Bough]

Tue
Apr 28 2015 1:00pm

JordanCon 2015: Bride of Con Report, Part 2

What up, party people? Have you come to see Part 2 of my stupendous and no-doubt-soon-to-be-award-winning-cough report on JordanCon 2015? If so, then, look no further, for you have found it!

And if not, click here to read Part 1 first, and then come back, because by then you will be looking for it, I confidently predict!

Once again, many pictures lurk below. Like, no, really. Sacrifice incense and/or vintage Beanie Babies to your modem as necessary to weather the onslaught.

And then, click!

[Make a dragon wanna retire, man]

Tue
Apr 28 2015 12:00pm

When You’re Dead Ye’ll Ne’er Drink to Your King or Your Lass: “The Tomb”

Lovecraft The Tomb

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s original stories.

Today we’re looking at “The Tomb,” written in June 1917 and first published in the March 1922 issue of The Vagrant. You can read it here.

Spoilers ahead.

[“I must have fallen asleep from fatigue, for it was with a distinct sense of awakening that I heard the voices.”]

Tue
Apr 28 2015 11:00am

Sleeps With Monsters: Ecology and Politics

Sleeps with Monsters

There are two books I’ve read recently that seem worth recommending to your attention. Although the authors and their works hardly to lack for people in conversation about them—at least in the first case, I seem to be quite late to the game, in internet time.

[Persona and Pocket Apocalypse]

Tue
Apr 28 2015 10:30am

Cover Reveal for Cixin Liu’s Death’s End

Tor Books is proud to present the cover for Death’s End, the concluding book in the tour de force near-future adventure trilogy from China’s best-selling and most beloved science fiction writer, with yet another beautiful image from Stephan Martinière!

Cixin Liu’s first book in the series, The Three-Body Problem, came out last year and is currently on the Hugo and Nebula Awards ballot. Book two, The Dark Forest, will be out this summer. Death’s End, the exciting concluding volume, will be out January 2016.

[Read more]

Tue
Apr 28 2015 10:00am

Bending Shakespeare

Gender bending Shakespeare

As a woman of color who spends an absolutely ludicrous amount of time reading fanfic, I’m a huge nerd for gender, queer, and racebending. I’ve read some amazing fem!Destiel, adore racebent Harry Potter fanart, and to the OP who first came up with the brilliant idea to cast Taylor Swift and Kristen Stewart in an all-girl remake of Grease, I love you. In a lot of cases, I tend to prefer the bent versions over the original canon. I mean, if you don’t think Lucy Liu is the greatest Watson to ever Watson, well, I’m here to tell you that you’re just plain wrong.

I’m also someone who grew up in the 90s, which means I was drowning in a sea of hormones and emotions during the peak of America’s Shakespeare movie adaptation phase. To this day the soundtracks to Romeo + Juliet and 10 Things I Hate About You are on my iPod...and I still have the original CDs, even if they’re too scratched to ever play again. Julia Stiles’ Kat made me fall in love with Shakespeare, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Romeo sealed the deal, Ethan Hawke’s Hamlet made me reconsider my life choices, and Mekhi Phifer’s O set my heart a’flutter once again. And now, with the magic of the internet and several streaming services with extensive catalogues, I can combine my obsession with Shakespeare with my passion for bending.

[“Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.”]

Tue
Apr 28 2015 9:00am
Excerpt

Women of Wonder (Introduction)

Lauren Panepinto

Women of Wonder Illustration and gallery markets have traditionally been seen as a largely male profession, but women have always been active participants—from Kewpie creator Rose O’Neill in the early 20th Century, to 1950s Disney film designer Mary Blair to Spectrum Grand Masters Diane Dillon and Kinuko Y. Craft. Increasingly, women are impacting the world of contemporary fantastic art and inspiring new generations of illustrators, designers, sculptors, and painters.

Women of Wonder, edited by Cathy Fenner, reflects of the expanding numbers of women artists featured in Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art. This full-color collection, complete with artist statements and photos, acknowledges their presence and influence. Women of Wonder is available May 19th from Underwood Books. Below, read Lauren Panepinto’s introduction, and preview some of the gorgeous artwork featured in the collection.

[Read an Excerpt]

Tue
Apr 28 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye

Captain America Beard Farewell

Awww... Chris Evans’ beard got him through his first directing gig, Snowpiercer, and THE WORST WINTER EVER, but now the time has come for them to go their separate ways: Chris to the set of Captain America: Civil War, and his beard to the trashcan presumably, since you know someone as awesome as Chris Evans would never just rinse his discarded beard down a cloggable sink.

Morning Roundup brings you an homage to Game of Thrones that’s even more upsetting than the show itself, the inevitability of being entertained by Joss Whedon, and a virtual tour with a serious amount of WoW factor.

[We’re so, so sorry.]

Tue
Apr 28 2015 7:00am

Terry Pratchett is (Supposedly) the Most Shoplifted Author in Great Britain for a Reason

Terry PratchettToday, April 28th, marks Sir Terrence David John Pratchett’s birthday, and along with being appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2009 (an honor that caused him to forge his very own sword from iron that he dug out of the ground), he was also once reputed to be the most shoplifted author in Britain. And what that tells us is actually very simple: Terry Pratchett writes wonderful books and we love to read them.

An only child and self-described “nondescript student,” Pratchett was first commercially published at age 15, and claimed to have received his true education from the Beaconsfield Public Library. He was an astronomy enthusiast all his life, and had an observatory in his home garden. There is an asteroid named after him. He had a love of wide-brimmed black fedoras, and a wit welcome among the likes of Twain and Wilde. While a great deal of fantasy spends its time displaying the grimmer aspects of life, the world loves Terry Pratchett for his ability to tell the truth in ways that make us laugh.

[Read more]

Mon
Apr 27 2015 4:00pm

Dress Up in Books: Maria Dahvana Headley’s Pop Quiz Interview

Maria Dahvana Headley

Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on Tor.com featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!

Today we’re joined by Maria Dahvana Headley, author of the young adult fantasy novel Magonia, available from HarperCollins. With Neil Gaiman, she is the New York Times-bestselling co-editor of the anthology Unnatural Creatures, and with Kat Howard, she is the author of the novella The End of the Sentence—one of NPR’s Best Books of 2014. She lives in Brooklyn with a seven-foot stuffed crocodile and a collection of star charts from the 1700s.

Join us to find out which classic monster fuels Maria’s creative fires, and which bizarre sandwiches help get her through the long nights of endless writing.

[Join us!]

Mon
Apr 27 2015 3:00pm

The Coode Street Podcast Episode 231: James Bradley and Ian Mond

Coode Street Hugo Awards

Welcome to The Coode Street Podcast, an informal weekly discussion about science fiction and fantasy featuring award-winning critics and editors Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe. The Coode Street Podcast debuted in 2010 and has been nominated for the Hugo, British Science Fiction, and Aurealis awards.

This week James Bradley and Ian Mond join Jonathan to discuss the five novels that have made the final Hugo Awards ballot. The shortlisted novels are:

  • Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson (Tor Books)
  • The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette) (Tor Books)
  • The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu (Tor Books)
  • Skin Game by Jim Butcher (Roc Books)

We almost completely avoid issues surrounding the ballot, and instead focus on discussing the novels and what might make them interesting to read.

[Listen to Coode Street]

Mon
Apr 27 2015 2:00pm

JordanCon 2015: Bride of Con Report, Part 1

Another year, another JordanCon, amirite? I AM.

Haaaay, it’s your Auntie Leigh, Tor.commers! And as is my annual wont, I have sallied forth to the rather unreasonably rainy depths of surburban Atlanta to experience the joys (and woes, it develops) of JordanCon Numero Seveno, aka “Con of the Red Hand”, and no one can say I didn’t, because I have photographic evidence. Dun!

Most of which are stuffed into this post and the one after it, so ‘ware, ye of slow and/or stingy internet connections. Ye of speedy and/or free connections, have no fear. But whatever speed of data you be, I be here to verbose your ear off about it, so click on to see! IF YE DARE.

[Yo listen up here’s a story]

Mon
Apr 27 2015 1:30pm

Afternoon Roundup: Batman Takes Inspiration from the Joker’s New Look

Joker meme Batman tattoos

After seeing the Joker’s supposed new look for Suicide Squad, Bruce Wayne obviously felt like he needed to up his game. We’re just imagining Alfred sighing and pulling on the latex gloves (“Are you absolutely sure you want me to write ’I’m Batman’ over and over on your ribcage, Master Wayne?”). Though we’re surprised he forgot the most obvious recent one—“Do you bleed?”

In actuality, the tatting up of the Dark Knight by Twitter user @DrinkingQuest is just one of many wonderful memes that the Internet dreamed up in reaction to this first look at Jared Leto’s Joker. (Related: “What if other cinematic characters had forehead tattoos?”) According to some insiders and on-set photos, that image was just a promo shot and does not depict the actual Suicide Squad Joker.

Now that that’s cleared up, Afternoon Roundup brings you Hannibal spoilers, Disney’s staggering film slate, and Stephen Hawking using his powers for the well-being of teenage girls everywhere.

[Read more]

Mon
Apr 27 2015 1:30pm

No One Gets Out Alive Sweepstakes!

Enter to win one of our three copies of No One Gets Out Alive by Adam Nevill, out in the U.S. tomorrow from St. Martin’s Press!

When Stephanie moves to the notoriously cheap Perry Bar neighborhood of Birmingham, she’s just happy to find an affordable room for rent. The eccentric landlord seems nice and welcoming enough, the ceilings are high, and all of the other tenants are also girls. Things aren't great, but they're stable. Or at least that's what she tells herself when she impulsively hands over enough money to cover the first month’s rent and decides to give it a go.

But soon after she becomes uneasy about her rash decision. She hears things in the night. Feels them. Things...or people...who aren't there in the light.

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 April 27. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on May 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.

Mon
Apr 27 2015 1:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Mistress of the Empire, Part 7

Mistress of the EmpireWelcome back to the reread of Mistress of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts! This week, it’s CSI: Tsuranuanni, with Detective Arakasi and Detective Shinzawai on the case.

Spoiler: the assassins did it.

Chapter 7: Culprit

Oh come now, Feist and Wurts, you know you wanted to call this chapter ‘Near Death by Chocolate.’

[Read More]

Mon
Apr 27 2015 12:00pm

Why Minority Settings in RPGs Matter

Never Alone

Role-playing games offer participants limitless opportunities to explore new places, characters, and ideas. Do you want to be a vampire pirate? Cool! A cyberpunk android? All right! Do you want your game to take place in a medieval fantasy kingdom, a post-apocalyptic dystopian wasteland, or even other galaxies? No problem! With imagination the only barrier for what can be created, there should be a vast field of narratives told through games. Yet, role-playing games are often more narrowly defined.

Role-playing games have an established history of leaving setting and characters a blank slate, while often loosely drawing inspiration from Western themes. For example, when I was a kid and I played Dungeons and Dragons with my friends, we came in with unexamined expectations—the city we saved was always filled with white people, the mayor of the town was always a man, the kingdom was always vaguely built around an imagined medieval Europe. As an adult, I still see these elements and themes repeated in games today.

This is a common pitfall that minority advocates in gaming have come to call “defaultism.”

[Read More]