Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza October 15, 2014 Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza Carrie Vaughn A Wild Cards story. The Girl in the High Tower October 14, 2014 The Girl in the High Tower Gennifer Albin A Crewel story. Mrs. Sorensen and the Sasquatch October 8, 2014 Mrs. Sorensen and the Sasquatch Kelly Barnhill An unconventional romance. Daughter of Necessity October 1, 2014 Daughter of Necessity Marie Brennan Tell me, O Muse, of that ingenious heroine...
From The Blog
October 14, 2014
A Category Unto Himself: The Works of China Miéville
Jared Shurin
October 10, 2014
Don’t Touch That Dial: Fall 2014 TV
Alex Brown
October 10, 2014
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Reread: Part 1
Kate Nepveu
October 7, 2014
Shell Shock and Eldritch Horror: “Dagon”
Ruthanna Emrys and Anne M. Pillsworth
October 3, 2014
The Bloody Books of Halloween: William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist
Will Errickson
Tue
Oct 21 2014 12:00pm

The Most Merciful Thing in the World: “The Call of Cthulhu”

The Call of Cthulhu HP Lovecraft rereadWelcome 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 Call of Cthulhu,” written in Summer 1926 and first published in the February 1928 issue of Weird Tales. You can read the story here. Spoilers ahead.

Summary: This manuscript was found among the papers of Francis Wayland Thurston, deceased.

Thurston’s grand-uncle Angell leaves everything to him when he dies, apparently after being jostled by a “nautical-looking negro.” These possessions include a disturbing bas-relief and a series of notes and clippings.

[“I shall never sleep calmly again when I think of the horrors that lurk ceaselessly behind life in time and in space, and of those unhallowed blasphemies from elder stars which dream beneath the sea, known and favoured by a nightmare cult ready and eager to loose them on the world whenever another earthquake shall heave their monstrous stone city again to the sun and air.”]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 11:30am

Got Milk? Gotham: “Viper”

Gotham Viper

This week’s episode of Gotham was all about the good things in life: food, sex, and drugs. And also Lil’ Baby Brucy doing detective work like a real grown-up Batman, plus the kind of drug-addled super-villainy that you expect find with a real grown-up Batman. But mostly it’s about food, sex, and drugs.

[Read More]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 11:00am

Everyone is Trying to Prove They’re Relevant: Birdman

Birdman movie, Michael Keaton, Riggan

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, as it says) was an experience. One that I will try to parse out below. But frankly, though I can go on about the true merits of the film, I expect my take to be wildly different from anyone else’s—it is a piece of art designed to speak to many people, in many walks of life, and much of what it has to say is dependent entirely on who is watching.

Minor spoilers for the film below.

[Read more]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 10:00am

Fall 2014 Anime Preview: Symbiotic Alien Hands Don’t Make Good Pets

Time rolls on and it’s fall once again. You could go out and enjoy the changing leaves, or carve a jack-o-lantern, or try to block out all the inexplicably pumpkin spice-flavored products that spontaneously appear at this time of year like snails on the sidewalk after a rainy night. Or you could avoid the whole mess and watch a brand new roster of Japanese cartoons.

After bidding a fond farewell to an exceptionally good summer season (I miss you already, Nozaki-kun), we’ve got quite an eclectic fall. Highly anticipated adaptions of Parasyte, Your Lie in April, and Fate/stay night debut, and so far manage to not suck. Rage of Bahamut stomps onto the scene with CG dragons and a rooftop chase on horseback. If you fancy a bit of time travel, Tomino’s Gundam Reconguista in G will take you straight back to 1979; or if you’re looking for a more recent nostalgia, The Seven Deadly Sins and Akatsuki no Yona both recall nineties favorites. And let’s not forget sequels: For those looking for their cyberpunk fix, Psycho-Pass returns with a new cast and a new writer. For lovers of robots and fun, Gundam Build Fighters Try delivers both just as effortlessly as the first season. For the sports crowd, Yowamushi Pedal is back and feels like it never left, while Log Horizon returns for the RPG fans. And for those who like good anime, the always lovely Mushishi returns for its final season.

With simulcasts a click away, there’s no need to wait—here are five of the best new anime premiering this fall that you can watch right now.

[Read more]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 9:00am

Happily Remixed and Mashed-Up Ever After: Modern Fairy Tales!

Enchanted

Fairy tales aren’t just a great way to pass an evening in front of the fire, they’re also an excellent way to examine our culture. Looking at the ways we adapt and parody fairy tales can show us the ways our society is changing. The rise of bad-ass versions of Snow White and Hansel and Gretel speak to the ways modern pop culture wants to empower the powerless, while the popularity of Once Upon A Time allows adolescent and adult fairy tale fans to revel in romantic combinations that were impossible in the original versions.

The best thing about these stories, though, is the way they can provide modern artists with building blocks to create something new! I've collected a by-no-means-exhaustive list below that covers everything from a hitchhiking Little Red Riding Hood to a cyberpunk Cinderella!

[And yes, some helpful animals get a cameo.]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Daily Affirmations With the Hulk!

Kehinki gives us the greatest motivational posters! What could be more motivating than an enraged Bruce Banner? Or Black Widow threatening to pull your still-beating heart right from your chest? But really, it’s the wise words of Tony Stark who give us the greatest leg-up in life. You can check out more of the images over on io9!

Morning Roundup brings you... nightmares! Mwahaha! No, not really. Just a history of A Nightmare on Elm Street, thoughts on prog rock, and a stern lecture for Benedict Cumberbatch! 

[Plus, they’re taking us back to Germany!]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 7:00am

Imaginative Anthropology: In Celebration of Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K Le Guin Art by David A JohnsonUrsula K. Le Guin was raised by an anthropologist and a writer. Not just any anthropologist: her father Alfred L. Kroeber, was the first person to earn a Ph.D. in anthropology in the United States, and after graduating from Columbia University he founded the first anthropology program at Berkeley.

This was where Le Guin grew up, in a redwood house near the school, and spending summers in Napa Valley. The descriptions of it sound idyllic, actually like something out of one of Madeleine L’Engle’s novels. She sent her first story to Astounding Science Fiction when she was 11, but was unfortunately rejected. During World War II her three brothers were away in the military, and she spent the summers of her teen years sharing the house with her parents.

[Read More]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 5:30pm

Mistborn Adventure Game Prize Pack Sweepstakes!

Brandon Sanderson fans, we have an excellent prize pack for you today: a chance to win the Mistborn Adventure Game, plus the new Alloy of Law campaign setting and game supplement, both available from Crafty Games! We’ll also include a copy of the Tor Teen edition of Mistborn with new cover art by Sam Weber!

Three lucky winners will win a prize pack, 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 5:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on October 20. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on October 24. 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
Oct 20 2014 3:18pm

Disney’s Sea Voyage Film Moana Will Come to Theaters in 2016

Disney Moana 2016 Polynesia Maui

The last we had heard of Disney’s forthcoming CG-animated film Moana, it was set to be released in 2018. However, Disney has just announced (via Entertainment Weekly) that Moana will be sailing into theaters in 2016, two years early. The studio has also released a more detailed synopsis about the Polynesian heroine and her journey, including the gods and sea creatures she encounters along the way.

[Read more]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 5:00pm

The YA Roundup: Predicting Con Artists and Road Trips in 2015

young adult road trips

Welcome to the YA Roundup, the best source of movie news, bookish gossip, new releases and cover reveals from the YA genre!

This week covers predictions for upcoming trends in YA, more casting news for the film adaptation of Paper Towns, the Black Widow YA novel announcement, a new clip from Mockingjay, and more!

[Read More]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 4:11pm

Lost’s Mr. Eko Joins Game of Thrones As a Brand New Character

Mr Eko Game of Thrones Lost Adewale Akinnuoye-Abgaje Malko

Buried in a Hollywood Reporter article about a Hollywood biopic is the interesting news that Lost’s Adewale Akkinuoye-Abgaje is joining Game of Thrones season 5 as a character not found in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. The only thing we know right now is his character’s name, “Malko.”

[So... who could he be?]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 4:00pm

Enter the Mouse: Once Upon a Time, “The Apprentice”

Once Upon a Time The Apprentice

True Love! Magic with a price, if almost never an actual price tag attached to it that would let you know whether it’s a bargain or not! Bad puns! Extremely convoluted family relationships! A sexy pirate and the savior who gives him a cell phone! And now, a reindeer! Yes, it’s another fantastic episode of ABC-Disney’s Once Upon a Time.

Ahem.

[After the cut, the spoilers will no longer be hiding under a hat.]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 3:30pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Elizabeth Bradley

Elizabeth Bradley pop quiz interviewWelcome 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 Elizabeth Bradley, a Brooklyn-based historian and journalist who has written widely on the literature and history of New York. She also provides the introduction to a new Penguin Classics edition of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories. Told true to the original, the tale of the Headless Horseman and his effect on Ichabod Crane is enhanced by brooding, fitting folk-art illustrations.

Join us!

[Read More]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 3:00pm

Kuvira Always Gets What She Wants: The Legend of Korra’s “The Coronation”

Legend of Korra The Coronation

The politics in The Legend of Korra are getting down to brass tacks. It’s hard not to see Kuvira as a net positive. There is no reason whatsoever to support the royal dynasty. Heck, as far as I’m concerned, there was every reason to support its overthrow. An actual caste system, an apartheid of rings that is so culturally ingrained that even the mall in Republic City’s “Little Ba Sing Se” is segregated by class. A powerful secret police, kidnapping and press-gangs. Propaganda and cruel whim and extortion. I’m with Bolin on this one.

I think Kuvira should hold an election—why wouldn’t she, she’s beloved—and then just claim authority thus. President Raiko sets a precedent for it. Then there you go. We should be so lucky: I kind of want to see Bolin succeed at keeping her on the strait and narrow...even as tensions increase.

[Read More]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 2:00pm

Let’s Speculate About That Star Wars: Episode VII Concept Art

Star Wars Episode VII leaked concept art

Recently a huge batch of alleged Star Wars: Episode VII concept art was found hiding in plain sight in an ImageShack album. Though no one from Disney or Lucasfilm has commented either denying or verifying the images, we’ve got several reasons to believe that they’re real.

For one, you can no longer access the album. If you caught a glimpse, you would’ve seen that the images are gorgeous, but don’t give too much away—excellent speculation fodder. For another, several pieces of art match set photos we’ve already glimped, including the Greenwood Hangar we think is standing in for a Yavin 4 base, the AT-AT foot above, and several pieces starring newcomer Daisy Ridley. If these pieces are fake, someone went to a lot of trouble to craft them.

So, assuming these are real... let’s get speculating on what they tell us about the new trilogy!

[Read more]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 1:22pm

Is Jena Malone Playing Robin in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice?

Jena Malone Carrie Kelley Robin Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice rumor

We've already detailed why Robin is integral to the semi-rebooted Batman story in Zack Snyder's new superhero mashup film, and now there's a chance that the filmmakers feel the same. A local news report from the Batman v Superman set is claiming that The Hunger Games actress Jena Malone is joining the film... as Carrie Kelley, a.k.a. Robin!

[Holy surprise casting, Batman!]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 1:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 6

Servant of the Empire rereadWelcome back to the reread of Servant of the Empire by Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts.

This one embraces its 80s heritage by inspiring nostalgia for a certain sitcom based on a sexist premise (I know, that doesn’t narrow the field much, does it?) and pays off a lot of set up, mostly involving market prices and commercial guilds. But I’m sure there’s a whole lot more horrible murders just around the corner...

Chapter 7—Target

SUMMARY: It’s the morning after, though months have passed. Mara is still in the happy honeymoon phase of her relationship with Kevin, enjoying his intelligent conversation and contribution to her work as well as his sexy bedroom skills.

On this particular drowsy post-coital morning, however, Kevin decides to bring up the matter of poverty in the cities like Sulan-Q, which totally kills the mood. He is disturbed by the lack of alms and charity work to help deal with the homeless and the dispossessed.

[Read More]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 12:30pm

5 Brilliant Things About Doctor Who Series 8, Episode 9: “Flatline”

Doctor Who Flatline Paul Cornell

Every week Tor Books UK rounds up the thoughts of author and Whovian Paul Cornell on this week's episode of Doctor Who. This week: 5 brilliant things about “Flatline.”

[Read more]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 12:00pm

Snow White: The Blankest Slate of Them All

Snow White reimaginings The Sleeper and the Spindle

The Internet is abuzz over Neil Gaiman's newest children's book, The Sleeper and the Spindle, in which “a sort-of Snow White” rescues “an almost Sleeping Beauty” from her enchanted sleep with a kiss. Yet that boundary-busting kiss is just the bookend to an adventure that sees the raven-haired Snow trading her wedding dress for chain mail and racing through tunnels to get to the imprisoned Princess.

Sounds pretty rad, right? Well, it's not pop culture's first instance of Ready-for-Action Snow White—not by far. Mirror, mirror, on the wall, why is Snow White the most reimagined of them all? Because, when you boil it down, she has no personality—you can project anything you want onto her.

[Read more]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 11:30am

Download a Free Romulus Buckle Story from The Steampunk User’s Manual!

Desirina Boskovich pop quiz interviewIn discussing Steampunk fiction and wondering how to show readers an example of “thinking big,” one way was to illustrate a high-octane action scene. Richard Ellis Preston, Jr.’s Romulus Buckle series always tends to “go big” in terms of being fearless in that arena, so we thought a scene involving an airship and a giant squid made a lot of sense to include in the book. The books partake of an old-time pulp sense-of-wonder but with modern underpinnings. We’re also happy Preston’s been generous enough to offer his latest short story set in that universe for free to readers for two weeks, in conjunction with The Steampunk User’s Manual’s release.
 
Thinking big can also, of course, be conceptual or about innovation or experimentation and we cover that in the Storytelling chapter as well. In addition to Preston’s diagram we’ve included words of wisdom from Nisi Shawl, Amal El-Mohtar, and more—some of which originated right here at Tor.com.

Find out more about the story and how to download it below!

[Plus the art from the giant squid battle!]