A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Proposed Trade-Offs for the Overhaul of the Barricade July 30, 2014 A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Proposed Trade-Offs for the Overhaul of the Barricade John Chu Fighting Turbulence requires sacrifices. The Colonel July 29, 2014 The Colonel Peter Watts The hives are sleeping giants. <em>To Eternity</em> July 24, 2014 To Eternity Wesley Allsbrook and Barrie Potter If all things were normal, Stuart would be considered quite a catch. Brisk Money July 23, 2014 Brisk Money Adam Christopher It's hard out there for a robotic detective.
From The Blog
July 29, 2014
Introduction to the H. P. Lovecraft Reread
Ruthanna Emrys and Anne M. Pillsworth
July 25, 2014
Huge New Cast and Bloopers. Highlights from the San Diego Comic Con Game of Thrones Panel
Chris Lough
July 22, 2014
What Makes Chinese Science Fiction Chinese?
Xia Jia
July 22, 2014
Everything I Learned from the Buffy Rewatch
Alyx Dellamonica
July 21, 2014
If This is the Plot for Star Wars: Episode VII, I Will Be Sad
Emily Asher-Perrin
Wed
Jul 30 2014 11:30am

Lock In Sweepstakes!

John Scalzi’s highly anticipated new novel is out now from Tor Books! Lock In takes place twenty-five years after a highly contagious virus swept across the globe, leaving more than five million people locked in: fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. When a murder involving one of the locked in takes place, it’s up to FBI agents Chris Shane and Leslie Vann to navigate from the halls of corporate power to the virtual spaces of the locked in to the very heart of an emerging, surprising new human culture.

Even if you can’t catch Scalzi on tour, you can still enter for your chance to win one of five galley copies of Lock In now! Check for the rules below! 

[Read more]

Wed
Jul 30 2014 11:00am

Rocket Talk Episode 20: Kameron Hurley and Liz Bourke

Rocket Talk

In this episode of Rocket Talk, Justin brings Kameron Hurley and Liz Bourke on to talk about an enormous range of topics. Ostensibly inspired by Hurley's soon to be released The Mirror Empire, the discussion also covers the Hugo Awards, blog post writing, bad marketing jargon, and why The Mirror Empire kicks ass.

[Listen here!]

Wed
Jul 30 2014 10:30am

Under the Dome: “Reconciliation”

Under the Dome Reconciliation

This week, something new popped up under the dome. “Folks,” Julia Shumway said, delivering a speech at the end of this episode. “I said this morning that I thought it was time for us Millers to focus on our future.” I did a doubletake. Millers? Does Chester’s Mill have an actual family who own an actual mill that grinds their precious crops into flour? And there it was again in the end credits, “Scared Miller - Samantha Worthen.”

And suddenly I realized, the Millers are what the residents of Chester’s Mill call themselves. The way people from New York call themselves New Yorkers or people from France call themselves Francers. And this episode was all about their quest. Whether they’re credited as “Scared Miller,” or “Townsperson,” “Chester’s Mill Resident,” “Chester’s Mill Local,” “Diner Patron,” or even “Townsfolk” they’re all Millers, each and every one of them, and what they all yearn for is...a name.

[Read More]

Wed
Jul 30 2014 10:00am

Rereading Melanie Rawn: Dragon Prince, Chapters 3 and 4

Welcome back to the weekly Wednesday Reread of Dragon Prince! This week we’re doing a pair of chapters, and meeting our villain. Plus there’s some action-heroing.

Chapter 3

So This Happens: Chapter 3 introduces yet another cast of characters in a new setting. After all the setup and background, we finally see Castle Crag, and start to get a sense of Roelstra’s court and surroundings through the eyes of his mistress, Palila. Palila is a royal broodmare, working on pregnancy number five, and bound and determined that this one will be the High Prince’s first and only living son and heir.

[Read More]

Wed
Jul 30 2014 9:30am

Yes, Women Want to Be Thor—So Why is the New Avengers Line-up Cause For Ire?

Mjolnir, Thor's hammer

Oh, the fury. The rage of fans who rally against change, across the board. There are so many reasons for the anger, too. There’s the academic “I don’t like where my media is going, so this specific move is a harbinger of everything that’s wrong!” There’s the over-concerned “I just think they should be more creative when trying to open up properties to groups that have classically been overlooked.” There’s the brazen “Diversity is just pandering, and if that’s what my favorites stories have become, I’m out of here.”

[What’s wrong with Thor being a woman, again?]

Wed
Jul 30 2014 9:00am
Original Story

A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Proposed Trade-Offs for the Overhaul of the Barricade

Generation after generation, engineers have maintained the barricade, a shield that protects civilization against Turbulence, this strange force that destroys both minds and machines. As Turbulence grows ever more intense and the barricade begins to fail, can Ritter live up to the demands of his father, an engineer the equal of any hero in the Five Great Classical Novels, as they struggle to prevent this civilization from falling like every civilization has before it?

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

[Read “A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Proposed Trade-Offs for the Overhaul of the Barricade” by John Chu]

Wed
Jul 30 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Sif From Thor Cosplays as Wolverine

Buzzfeed shared this amazing whosay post from Lady Sif herself! We’re not sure if Jaime Alexander walked the Con floor as Wolverine, but we’re glad she recorded this moment for history. And hey, Hugh Jackman’s going to retire eventually...

Morning Roundup has yet more news of Guardians of the Galaxy! Plus some thoughts on Gene Wolfe’s greatness, the next big heores from Stan Lee, and the future of moose-based horror!

[And speaking of horror, there’s some Cronenberg down there somewhere...]

Tue
Jul 29 2014 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: August Releases in Science Fiction

fiction affliction new releases scifi AugustAliens are busting out all over, with twenty-six new releases in science fiction this month. (Missing a favorite? Check tomorrow’s “Genre-Bender” column.) Look for new series releases from, among others, Whitley Strieber (Alien Hunter), John Varley (Thunder and Lightning), John Ringo (Black Tide Rising), Charles E. Gannon (Tales of the Terran Republic), Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson (Hellhole Trilogy), James Rollins (Sigma Force), Ann Aguirre (Dred Chronicles), and Pittacus Lore (Lorien Legacies).

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]

Tue
Jul 29 2014 4:30pm

Rothfuss, Hobb, Abercrombie, and More Put the Epic in Epic Fantasy!

The “Putting the Epic in Epic Fantasy” panel at San Diego Comic-Con brought some of our greatest fantasy names together! Brent Weeks moderated, with authors Django Wexler, Sam Sykes, Joe Abercrombie, Robin Hobb, Morgan Rhodes, Raymond E. Feist, and Patrick Rothfuss discussing influences (GRRM comes up...), “sketchy Dumbledore” scenarios, and the conventions of banking in Hyrule. Check out the full panel below!

[Why does everyone store their money in pots?]

Tue
Jul 29 2014 4:00pm

Diversity Beyond Borders: A Conversation with Charles Tan

Charles Tan Lauriat It’s been great to see a renewed media and reader focus on diversity in literature lately, but when we talk about diversity in the United States we typically focus on writers based in the US and UK.

I talked with writer and editor Charles Tan, who lives and works in the Philippines, about what issues around diversity look like from an international perspective.

[Read more...]

Tue
Jul 29 2014 3:30pm

Magic Breaks Sweepstakes!

In a world filled with werewolves, witches, necromancers, and mercenaries, Kate Daniels is still one of the most dangerous people around. Unfortunately, her father is even more dangerous and now that he knows about her existence, he’s coming for her. Kate has to balance this threat to her life and her pack against the murder of a Master of the Dead at the Conclave, a gathering of supernatural leaders in Atlanta. Kate’s been given twenty-four hours to track down the murderer. If she fails at either task, Kate finds herself on the brink of a war that will destroy everything that she holds dear. 

Out now from Ace, we have three copies of Magic Breaks that we want to share with you! 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 3:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on July 29. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on August 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
Jul 29 2014 3:30pm

Now You Can Read Lev Grossman’s Annotations on The Magician King

Lev Grossman annotations The Magician King excerpt The Magician's Land pub date August 5 Lit Genius

Have you heard of Genius? It’s a cool website with the tagline “Annotate the world”—where users can annotate rap lyrics, videos, and (of course) novels. Consider it an even more hyper-focused version of Wikipedia, where you’re getting down to the granular level in discussing the inspirations and meanings behind all manner of text.

Where Genius differs from Wikipedia is in how a given excerpt—like, say, Lev Grossman’s novel The Magician King—can include notes and asides from readers and published authors. Like, say, Grossman himself.

[Read more]

Tue
Jul 29 2014 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “In the Cards”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: In the Cards“In the Cards”
Written by Truly Barr Clark & Scott Neal and Ronald D. Moore
Directed by Michael Dorn
Season 5, Episode 25
Production episode 40510-523
Original air date: June 9, 1997
Stardate: 50929.4

Station log: Dinner at the Sisko cabin is a morbid affair. The U.S.S. Tian An Men has gone missing, the latest in a series of ships to disappear near the Cardassian border. Sisko’s attempts to change the subject are an abject failure. The mood is oppressive and awkward and depressing and maudlin, and the cherry on top of the whole thing: after everyone leaves, Sisko is informed that Winn is coming to the station in the morning.

Jake, meanwhile, is worried about his father. Usually the captain is the one who cheers everyone up when they’re down, but he’s just as worried about the Dominion as everyone else.

[Maybe the soulless minions of orthodoxy finally caught up with him.]

Tue
Jul 29 2014 2:30pm

Finally, Stephen Colbert’s SDCC Super-Fan Hobbit Speech in Full

Stephen Colbert The Hobbit panel San Diego Comic-Con read transcript watch video

You do not mess with Stephen Colbert when it comes to knowing his Tolkien. (James Franco learned that the hard way.) It made perfect sense, then, that the Colbert Report host would moderate San Diego Comic-Con’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies panel.

That he did it dressed up as his Middle-earth character the Laketown Spy was even sweeter. And now you can watch a video of the event and read Colbert’s entire pre-panel speech—which will touch all fannish hearts—in its entirety.

[“If only I could go back in time and show this to my 13-year-old self!”]

Tue
Jul 29 2014 2:00pm

Post-Binary Gender in SF: Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette Winterson Written on the BodyThis book is beautiful. I could sink into its words.

“I cannot think of the double curve lithe and flowing with movement as a bony ridge, I think of it as the musical instrument that bears the same root. Clavis. Key. Clavichord. The first stringed instrument with a keyboard. Your clavicle is both keyboard and key. If I push my fingers into the recesses behind the bone I find you like a soft shell crab. I find the openings between the springs of muscle where I can press myself into the chords of your neck. The bone runs in perfect scale from sternum to scapula. It feels lathe-turned. Why should a bone be balletic?”

Jeanette Winterson’s Written on the Body returns to a question raised in a previous post: what does it mean to leave a character’s gender unknown?

[The narrator could be either gender. The question is: could the narrator be neither?]

Tue
Jul 29 2014 1:11pm

Holy Nostalgia! Harlan Ellison Wrote an Episode for Adam West’s Batman

Adam West Batman Harlan Ellison

If you’re a fan of alternate universes that specifically relate to pop culture, then you know Harlan Ellison is a very important figure when asking the question “what if?” From Star Trek, to I, Robot, to the infamous “Starlost,” Ellison’s filmed projects are sometimes equally as famous as his unfilmed ones. Now it turns out that Ellison wrote an episode for the light-hearted 1960s Adam West Batman that would have introduced Two-Face and…Clint Eastwood?

[Na na na na na…Ellison!]

Tue
Jul 29 2014 1:00pm

Introduction to the H. P. Lovecraft Reread

The Lovecraft Reread

Welcome to the H. P. Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s original stories. We hope to explore both the awesome and the problematic, both the deliberately and accidentally horrific. Reading order will be more or less random. As the Great Race of Yith would point out, if they cared enough to do so, linear time is merely an illusion anyway.

We’ll start today with a discussion of what drew us to Lovecraft in the first place, and what we’ve found there since.

[Read more...]

Tue
Jul 29 2014 12:30pm

Short Fiction Spotlight: The Man Who Was A Monster

Stephen Volk Whitstable

Welcome back to the Short Fiction Spotlight, a weekly column dedicated to doing exactly what it says in the header: shining a light on the some of the best and most relevant fiction of the aforementioned form.

Seems like Spectral Press has been in the news a whole lot lately; at least, the news I read—and write. A few Focuses ago we heard about The Spectral Book of Horror Stories, an exciting new anthology inspired by the cult classic Pan and Fontana annuals of the 60s and 70s. Simon Marshall-Jones’ indie outfit was also acknowledged by the British Fantasy Society with a number of award nominations, most notably for Best Small Press—this for the third time in a row, I think—but also for several stories by Steven Volk.

You might not know the name—he hasn’t written a whole lot of prose fiction—but Brits in particular will be familiar with his notorious Halloween hoax show, Ghostwatch, as well as the tremendous ITV series Afterlife. Afterlife’s cancellation was a Bad Thing, believe you me, but it did come with something of a silver lining: in the aftermath, Volk took to the short fiction form like a fella possessed. To wit, this week, we’re going to be reading Whitstable, his British Fantasy Award-nominated novella.

[Read More]

Tue
Jul 29 2014 12:06pm

Witness the Alternate Reality Where We Got Deadpool Instead of Green Lantern

Deadpool movie test footage Ryan Reynolds break the fourth wall meta

Ever since Deadpool had a bit part in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, there have been rumors of the “Merc with a Mouth” getting his own film. The movie has languished in development hell for years, likely due in part to fans’ negative reaction to X-Men’s portrayal of Deadpool as very different from the comics, then how much X-Men Origins and Green Lantern kind of stunk...

Some test footage from the Deadpool film has leaked, and we’re here to tell you—this is the Deadpool you fell in love with oh those many years ago. The character’s personality, and especially his propensity to break the fourth wall, come through loud and clear.

[Watch the footage before it gets yanked]

Tue
Jul 29 2014 12:00pm

Fiction Affliction: August Releases in Fantasy

Fiction Affliction fantasy new releases august

Twenty-five new fantasies bring war and magic to imaginary worlds this month, including series additions from, among others, Ian C. Esslemont (Malazan Empire), Lev Grossman (The Magicians), Irene Radford (Children of the Dragon Nimbus), Daniel Abraham (The Dagger and the Coin), Brent Weeks (Lightbringer), and James Maxwell (Evermen Saga).

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.]