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
Mon
Apr 27 2015 10:00am

Message Fiction: Politics in Sci-Fi and Fantasy Literature

Black Company

I want to talk about politics in science fiction and fantasy. But first, a story…

I spent the summer of 2000 in Croatia, a country most people now associate with sun, wine, seafood—fun stuff. But in those days the first thing that sprung to mind, for most people at least, was war. And an ugly war at that—one that pitted neighbor against neighbor; the one that gave us the term “ethnic cleansing.” But the war was over, and Croatia in 2000 was an undeniably nice place—full of all that fun stuff people think of now. And I loved it. People were incredibly hospitable, the food was fresh and delicious, and the Dalmatian coast…well, it’s something everyone should see in their lifetimes. But the war still cast a long shadow.

[Warning: unexploded ordinance in vicinity.]

Mon
Apr 27 2015 9:00am

Game of Thrones Season 5, Episode 3: “The High Sparrow”

Game of Thrones The High Sparrow

This week’s divisive episode departs significantly from the books, meaning readers have a choice to make about Game of Thrones: keep playing or take yourself off the board to wait for more novels.

Personally, I enjoy both incarnations of Martin’s materials and recognize that each medium has its own strengths and weaknesses. Tonight’s big changes from A Dance with Dragons put a significant number of new players together and into harm’s way in the coming weeks, while in another region of the world, we seem to get confirmation that a big character from the fifth novel will not be making an appearance. There are a lot of interesting implications to chew on.

Also in this hour: All hail Queen Margaery. Again. First of Her Name and Ruler of Disgruntled Daughter-in-Laws everywhere.

Spoiler alert: Major episode spoilers for the currently aired season. Spoilers for the currently published George R. R. Martin novels are discussed in the review and fair game in the comments. We highly suggest not discussing spoilers for leaked episodes or early preview chapters, but if you must, white it out. Have courtesy for the patient among us who are waiting for next week’s airing or waiting and waiting (and waiting) for The Winds of Winter. Play nice. Thanks.

[“The North remembers.”...]

Mon
Apr 27 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Alton Brown Has the Nerdiest Celebrity Crush

Alton Brown celebrity crush Terminator 2 compactor

We should have expected that Alton Brown, the nerdiest cook and cooking show host there is, would have a unique answer to Who’s your celebrity crush? For BuzzFeed’s tongue-in-cheek Q&A, he drew his ode to the compactor that helps saves the day in The Terminator. Check out the rest of his answers, which include the best word association for Voldemort (“hug” before he corrects it with “nose”—you didn’t have to correct it, Alton, knew).

Morning Roundup ponders The Force Awakens theories and another Spider-Man movie, while reminding you that it takes a lot to make a stew.

[Read more]

Fri
Apr 24 2015 2:00pm

Afternoon Roundup: Creating New Life is Exhausting Work

first look Frankenstein Igor James McAvoy Daniel Radcliffe

Our first look at the latest take on Frankenstein sees hot young Viktor von Frankenstein (James McAvoy) and his less aesthetically-blessed assistant Igor (Daniel Radcliffe) looking by turns bemused and concerned about their little lab experiment. We don’t know much about the movie, aside from the fact that it’s from Igor’s point of view.

Afternoon Roundup brings you Neil deGrasse Tyson’s geeky rallying cry; Oregon Trail as a determiner of generaton status; and more horror movies with dizzying camera angles to make you more nauseous than scared.

[Read more]

Fri
Apr 24 2015 1:00pm

5 Extremely Accurate Predictions For Star Trek Beyond

Remember Star Trek? It was your favorite before you started freaking out about the new Star Wars movies. Sure, things have been a little bumpy since Star Trek Into Darkness made its googly-eyed way across the screen, and some have worried that it may have cast a dismal pall over the entire franchise, stalling it completely. The story of Star Trek 3's development didn't help in that regard: one director left (J. J. Abrams) and the next got kind of fired (Roberto Orci), and for awhile nobody seemed to have a clue as to what would happen next.

But our faith holds strong! More recently, Simon Pegg was brought on as a co-writer for Star Trek 3 and things have started looking up. The movie now has a rumored-to-be-true title—Star Trek Beyondwhich matches stylistically with Simon Pegg's statement that the next Star Trek film will return the series to its explorative roots. What could all of this mean? Here are five predictions based on nothing but circumstantial evidence, hunches, and my own Trekkie excitement.

[Read more]

Fri
Apr 24 2015 12:00pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: Orb Sceptre Throne, Chapter Seventeen

Ian C Esslemont Orb Sceptre Throne Malazan rereadWelcome back to the Malazan Reread of the Fallen! Every post will start off with a summary of events, followed by reaction and commentary by your hosts Bill and Amanda (with Amanda, new to the series, going first), and finally comments from Tor.com readers. In this article, we’ll cover chapter seventeen of Ian Cameron Esslemont’s Orb Sceptre Throne.

A fair warning before we get started: We’ll be discussing both novel and whole-series themes, narrative arcs that run across the entire series, and foreshadowing. Note: The summary of events will be free of major spoilers and we’re going to try keeping the reader comments the same. A spoiler thread has been set up for outright Malazan spoiler discussion.

[Read More]

Fri
Apr 24 2015 11:00am

Five Books About Magical Realism

Rockwell Kent Moby Dick

What do we want when we write fiction? We want to explode heads, to break hearts, to wring tears and terror from our readers. We want to make magic.

I co-created, co-write and draw Concrete Park, the graphic novel series from Dark Horse Comics (with Erika Alexander). It’s an epic set on a distant, desert planet where young human exiles, Earth’s unwanted poor, must build a new world or perish. We set out to make sci-fi that was gritty and real.

Then the magic in our story snuck up on us.

[Read More]

Fri
Apr 24 2015 10:00am

The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Guest Highlord Kamila Shamsie on Kitiara

Dragons of Winter Night

Things were getting way too exciting in the Chronicles—what with a unicorn, some magic stools and the fiery fate of the Que-Shu village. This means it is time for our irregularly-scheduled guest post.

Our Guest Highlord this month is Kamila Shamsie. Kamila has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction and her latest novel, A God in Every Stone, is currently a finalist for the Baileys Women’s Prize. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and in 2013 was named as one of Granta’s Best Young Novelists. And, like any properly celebrated literary novelist, she’s a huge fan of Dragonlance.

Caution: unlike our normal reread posts, this contains spoilers for the rest of the Chronicles. But you probably would’ve gathered that from the title.

[Read More]

Fri
Apr 24 2015 9:00am

Breakout Female Voices of the British Fantasy Scene

British female fantasy authors

In a recent interview, I was asked about fantasy writing in Britain today and specifically whether I thought there was a female fantasy scene. If there is, who are the authors, what are they writing and how are their works contributing to fantasy as a genre? To answer the first question, you don’t have to go far afield. The future of British fantasy looks bright thanks to a host of new authors, each of whom is bringing a fresh perspective to some well-mined tropes—tropes we all know and love. In January, I embarked on a quest to read as many of their books as I could. I wanted to get a sense of the themes that women deem important in fantasy fiction and how their exploration of those themes enriches the genre as a whole.

What follows is not a ‘best of’ list. It’s an honest look at the books that just a few women are writing today in Britain. Some names you’ll know, others perhaps you won’t, but I hope one or two will strike a chord and convince you to give their books a try.

[Read More]

Fri
Apr 24 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Aren’t You a Little Underdressed For A Stormtrooper?

Star Wars Celebration, John Boyega

In fine convention tradition, new Star Wars family member John Boyega walked the floor of Star Wars Celebration in a masterful disguise! That’s him, on the right, in the helmet. He posted the picture on his incredibly charming Instagram account, which all of you should follow post-haste.

Morning Roundup brings you news of the greatest battle of our time, thoughts on the second season of Daredevil, and more on the world of Tomorrowland!

[Plus environmental fiction and environmental fact!]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 4:00pm

The Harry Potter Reread: The Order of the Phoenix, Chapters 3 and 4

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix coverThe Harry Potter Reread has typed “Harry” so many times that it’s starting to mess up from sheer repetition and accidentally type “Haryr” instead. Which just looks hilarious.

We’re about to meet our very first Metapmorphmagus and visit the worse house in all of wizardom. It’s Chapters 3 and 4 of The Order of the Phoenix—The Advance Guard and Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place.

Index to the reread can be located here! Other Harry Potter and Potter-related pieces can be found under their appropriate tag. And of course, since we know this is a reread, all posts might contain spoilers for the entire series. If you haven’t read all the Potter books, be warned.

[Read more]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 3:00pm

Tiamat’s Terrain: Building Bridges with SFF

Pablo graphic novel

In Tiamat’s Terrain’s latest roundup I’ve scoured high and low for all forms of SFF and genre fiction coming out this spring. From small publishers to dedicated teams behind niche websites, from an uncommon short-story to the glitz of the Cannes Film Festival, this round up really underlines what I’ve been noticing these meager six months on the job: that there are people all around the globe working hard to build bridges and connect the world to this region’s fascination with SFF and graphic novels. The creators, the publishers, the event organizers, and the website administrators are (sometimes even unwittingly) all part of an amalgamation that I am just constantly amazed by.

So when you’re reading through today’s roundup, spare a thought for the people behind IslamSciFi, for the editors at Interlink who decided to publish a magic realist Arabian novel, for the people at Self Made Hero who insist on publishing best-selling European graphic novels in English, for the organizers in Dubai who manage the Middle East’s most anticipated ComicCon for the 4th year running. Tiamat’s Terrain tips its hat to them all.

[Read More]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 2:00pm

To Be a Ghost-Fly on the Wall: Our Pop Quiz Interview with Mike Johnson

Mike JohnsonWelcome 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 Mike Johnson, a comics author who has worked on DC’s Supergirl and the current run of IDW’s Star Trek. He also works with co-creator and illustrator Rafael Albuquerque on the original series EI8HT, published by Dark Horse. Issues 1-3 are available now, with a collected edition forthcoming in October 2015.

Join us as we uncover the strange, alchemical secret to Mike’s writing, and he reveals his thoughts on who’s really the most Force-sensitive character in a galaxy far, far away. Plus, check out some preview pages below from the upcoming issue of EI8HT!

[Read More]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 1:34pm

Nick Offerman to Host Most Rugged Nebula Awards Ceremony Ever

Nick Offerman Nebula Awards

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have announced that the Toastmaster for this year's Nebula Awards ceremony is none other than Nick Offerman, who is best known for appearing in the collective mind of humanity as the oaken pinnacle of manhood dubbed Ron F#$%ing Swanson.

Nick Offerman is an actor, woodworker and author, best known for his Walnut Blanket Chest (2003) and also the role of Ron Swanson on NBC’s Parks and Recreation. He has written an adequately humorous memoir entitled Paddle Your Own Canoe, as well as his new release, Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom With America’s Gutsiest Troublemakers. He’s hoping that subtitle will be nominated for its girth at next year’s Nebula Awards. A lifelong fan of the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres, Mr. Offerman is veritably bursting his buttons to be asked to participate in celebrating this year’s best talent.

This year's Nebula Awards Showcase takes place from June 4 to 7 at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. Register to attend here and try not to cry during the ceremony. Crying is only acceptable during funerals and at the Grand Canyon.

Thu
Apr 23 2015 1:00pm

Afternoon Roundup: Jaime Lannister’s House Sigil Should Be a Party Animal

Game of Thrones behind the scenes photos

When he’s not getting his hand chopped off, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau proves that House Lannister knows how to party. During downtime at what would come to be known as the Purple Wedding, the actor had some fun with special musical guest Sigur Rós. Entertainment Weekly has a whole gallery of similarly funny and interesting behind-the-scenes photos, including another great Jaime one where he gets a birthday cupcake while in jail.

Afternoon Roundup is flailing over the new take on The Muppets, pondering the beginning of Spectre, and enjoying a world where Weird Al and Patton Oswalt nerd out together.

[Read more]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 12:00pm

Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 35

Words of Radiance rereadWelcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com! Last week, Alice watched madness blossom in two interlude chapters. This week, I watch science (and maybe also some madness?) flourish on the Shattered Plains. I also make an announcement. You’ll get to it in time.

This reread will contain spoilers for The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and any other Cosmere book that becomes relevant to the discussion. This week’s chapter also contains spoilers for Carl’s career trajectory...

The index for this reread can be found here, and more Stormlight Archive goodies are indexed here. Click on through to join the discussion.

[It was not an ending WAIT NO WRONG SERIES]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 11:45am

Shakespeare Died 399 Years Ago Today and Sci-Fi/Fantasy Still Can’t Get Enough of Him

Shakespeare roundup

If you're reading this on April 23rd then we urge you to take a moment and consider how we sci-fi/fantasy readers and writers still can't get enough of William Shakespeare, even though he died 399 years ago today!

The classic figure provided a wealth of material in his lifetime, grounding epic tales with very human passions and packing them with dialogue that sparkles even today. Shakespeare's works are a standard that all writers yearn to achieve, and a richly rewarding experience that all readers yearn to have, regardless of form or even genre.

SFF readers and writers joyously pore through the worlds hiding in the words, and that focus produces some interesting interpretations of Shakespeare's works! A couple months ago, Tor.com began featuring them regularly on the site...

[What are we saying 'bout Shakespeare?]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 11:00am

Djinnthology Joy

Aladdin Genie

By way of The Book Smugglers, Mahvesh Murad of the kickass Midnight in Karachi podcast and Jurassic London’s Jared Shurin (never forget The Folding Knife reread!) announced yesterday that they’d signed up with Solaris—the purveyors of so very many of the best genre anthologies in recent years that it’s getting a little ridiculous—to curate and co-edit “the first-ever anthology of original fiction inspired by the Djinn.”

It’s, em... ages away. Expect to see it sometime in spring 2017. But hey, that just means we’ve got all the more of time to get excited.

[Read More]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 10:00am

The Disney Read-Watch: Carlo Collodi’s The Adventures of Pinocchio

Pinocchio Carlo Collodi Enrico Mazzanti

Italian author Carlo Collodi had gained a minor name for himself as a satirist and translator of fairy tales when he was asked to write a serial novel for children. It was a rather odd choice: Collodi, bitter and angry over Italian politics—he fought in two different independence wars, but was unhappy with the resulting unified government, a feeling many of his fellow citizens shared—was perhaps not the first person most would have chosen to write an adorable, child-friendly book, especially since many of the fairy tales he had translated were those aimed at an adult audience. But he needed either the money, or the distraction, or both, and sat down to write a quick story about a puppet.

Somewhere along the way—that is, by page two—it turned into a the sort of story that demonstrated just why Collodi was not the sort of person anyone would hire to write an adorable, child-friendly book, but would hire to write the sort of tale where everyone hits each other a lot, suffers a lot, and dies horribly. With the occasional “Oh, right, I need a moral message for the kiddies.”

[If you hate donkeys, then guys, do I have a book for you. Also, mean things done to puppets.]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 9:00am

Iceman Already Kinda Sorta Tried to Come Out as Gay in the 1990s

Bobby Drake Iceman gay

I imagine that all the recent hubbub about Iceman coming out as gay in this week’s #40 issue of All New X-Men (and by hubbub I mean “Oh, Facebook Trending updated itself again”) is interesting to comic book fans who grew up reading X-Men comics. Perhaps not because it’s astonishing or new or uncanny, but maybe because it represents the return of a plotline that cropped up in a little-remembered Almost Very Special Issue of Uncanny X-Men published in 1994, more than 20 years ago.

[“Bobby... ...is there anything you want to say?”]