This Week: Tor.com NYC Meet-Up! Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 6 PM.

It’s been a while, but we’re having a meet-up! This week! Wednesday, September 28th. 6 PM to 9 PM. Second floor of Professor Thom’s bar in NYC, 2nd Ave between 13th and 14th. No cover, obviously. You can get the full details and RSVP over on Facebook! See you there?

One other thing: We tend to leave lots and lots and lots of books laying around our meet-ups, free for the taking. Tote as you will.

(An other, other thing: We’ve had questions regarding bringing tabletop games. We are SUPER INTO THAT but there’s not really gonna be any room for it. Sorry!)

Pathfinder Tales: Shy Knives Sweepstakes!

We want to send you a galley copy of Sam Sykes’s Pathfinder Tales: Shy Knives, available October 18th from Tor Books!

Shaia “Shy” Ratani is a clever rogue who makes her living outside of strictly legal methods. While hiding out in the frontier city of Yanmass, she accepts a job solving a nobleman’s murder, only to find herself sucked into a plot involving an invading centaur army that could see the whole city burned to the ground. Shy could stop that from happening, but doing so would involve revealing herself to the former friends who now want her dead. Add in an aristocratic partner with the literal blood of angels in her veins, and Shy quickly remembers why she swore off doing good deeds in the first place.

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 September 26th. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on September 30th. 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.

Sanctioned Sororicide: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Into every generation a slay— wait, let’s try that again. Into every generation triplet queens are born. Each sister specializes in one of three magics: Mirabelle is a fiery elemental with the ability to command earth, wind, fire, and water; Arsinoe a naturalist who communes with plants and animals; and Katharine a cunning poisoner able to consume toxins as if they were sugar pills. Or at least that’s how it’s supposed to be. Instead, Mirabelle is the one with all the power and her younger sisters more or less giftless.

For decades, the poisoner faction has defeated the naturalists and elementals and retained control of the throne, yet with the backing the Temple of the Goddess and her priestesses, this year the elemental is the favored champion. No one thinks Arsinoe, the plain country mouse of the trio, even stands a chance. Nevertheless, all three will square off at Beltane on their sixteenth birthday. Three queens enter, only one will survive. Years of training in their arts has brought them to this moment, yet none of them are prepared for the chaos that ensues. Hearts are broken, loyalties tested, schemes foiled, and friendships betrayed. The queens must decide if they want to play by the rules and murder the only family they have left or take matters into their own hands and defy the Goddess and their kingdom.

[“Two to devour, and one to be queen.”]

Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga: The Warrior’s Apprentice, Chapters 10-12

This week, the re-read delves into chapters 10-12 of The Warrior’s Apprentice. The Dendarii go recruiting, and their new trainees have some very important questions. Miles does his best to distract them with an air of authority, a rigorous training schedule, and some fortuitous rumors about Betan rejuvenation treatments.

If you’d like to catch up on previous posts in the re-read, the index is here. At this time, the spoiler policy permits discussion of all books EXCEPT Gentlemen Jole and the Red Queen. Discussion of any and all revelations from or about that book should be whited out.

[Read more]

Series: Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga

The Rains

In one terrifying night, the peaceful community of Creek’s Cause turns into a war zone. No one under the age of eighteen is safe. Chance Rain and his older brother, Patrick, have already fended off multiple attacks from infected adults by the time they arrive at the school where other young survivors are hiding.

Most of the kids they know have been dragged away by once-trusted adults who are now ferocious, inhuman beings. The parasite that transformed them takes hold after people turn eighteen—and Patrick’s birthday is only a few days away.

Determined to save Patrick’s life and the lives of the remaining kids, the brothers embark on a mission to uncover the truth about the parasites—and what they find is horrifying. Battling an enemy not of this earth, Chance and Patrick become humanity’s only hope for salvation.

The Rains is the first young adult page-turner from New York Times bestselling author Gregg Hurwitz—available October 18th from Tor Teen.

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Five Books That Force Me To Buy Multiple Copies

I love to read. I know, what a shocking statement to make on a guest blog about books. For Tor.com. From an author. I might as well have said, I breathe air or I like Doritos. But I do love to read and I have always loved to read and that was the sole reason the only thing I ever wanted to be in life was an author. And along that journey of reading so many countless books, some have just stood out amongst the others.

I should also say that I like to buy books. There is nothing in this world that I enjoy more than holding a brand new book, flipping through its pages, shoving my nose in there and smelling whatever the hell that smell is that’s inside a book. My kids make fun of me all the time. “Dad, why are you smelling that book? Again?”

Combine all of this and you have a guy who has willingly thrown his money at poor cashier clerks within many different bookstores—often to buy a book of which I already own more than one copy. Yes, publishers are evil this way. “Ooh!” they say. “Let’s hire a new artist and do a new cover for this oldie but goodie and everyone will have to buy it all over again!” Yes, these are the actions of an evil empire, and I’m so glad they do it.

[Read more]

Series: Five Books About…

Our Malazan Rereaders Look Back at Gardens of the Moon: Favorite Moments and Tips for New Readers

As part of the Tor.com eBook Club for September, we’ve asked Bill and Amanda, our intrepid Malazan Rereaders of the Fallen, to look back to the very beginning and discuss their favorite aspects of Book One, Gardens of the Moon, as well as offering some helpful advice to first-time readers…

Bill: So Amanda, here we are, six years and two months after our first post in the Malazan Reread on Tor.com, which has covered (so far!) 15 books, 4 novellas, roughly 400 posts and who knows how many thousands of pages. And now they want us to talk about Book One, Gardens of the Moon again? I confess it’s not only difficult but downright painful to cast my mind back to when I reread Gardens for this blog, picturing that boyish (emphasis on the “ish”) lad I was when we began there all those years ago: Look at those bright eyes! That spring in the step. All that hair! (Let’s not even bring up the even earlier first-time reader me; I may just break out in tears).

I suppose, though, that all that—the challenge of recollecting details, the painful acknowledgement of the inevitability of time’s passage, the constancy of change—is wholly appropriate for this task, since those are after all some of the major themes in this work. But maybe that’s a little deep for an entry point. Let’s start with something a bit lighter and simpler.

[Since this is the internet, that must mean a list.]

Where to Start? Choosing Between the Original Story and the Screen Adaptation

This is the trailer for Arrival.

It’s based on “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang. It’s directed by Denis Villeneuve whose last two movies, Prisoners and Sicario, have varied between ambitious and astonishing. It stars Amy Adams, consistently one of the most impressive and least well-utilized actresses of her generation. It’s a science fiction story that’s based entirely around language, the perils of not communicating clearly, and the personal costs of first contact.

It looks great. Advanced word is that it IS great. And it places me on the horns of a dilemma.

Do I read the story first or not?

[Time to face the chicken/egg dilemma head on…]

Holy Rewatch Batman! “The Joker’s Last Laugh” / “The Joker’s Epitaph”

“The Joker’s Last Laugh” / “The Joker’s Epitaph”
Written by Peter Rabe and Lorenzo Semple Jr.
Directed by Oscar Rudolph
Season 2, Episodes 47 and 48
Production code 9747
Original air dates: February 15 and 16, 1967

The Bat-signal: The Gotham City bank is providing counterfeit $100 bills for withdrawal, which results in law-abiding citizens passing fake money. The bills are perfect on one side, but blank on the other. Haunted by the insanity of the crime—and Joker’s laughter, which is echoing in Gordon’s office from an indeterminate source—Gordon and O’Hara call Batman, which interrupts Dick’s economics homework, to the boy’s delight and Bruce’s chagrin. (Bruce waxes rhapsodic about how awesome the subject of economics is, a diatribe that could only come from someone independently wealthy…)

[Alert your anti-lunatic squad!]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!