The Sound of Useless Wings January 28, 2015 The Sound of Useless Wings Cecil Castellucci Of insect dreams and breaking hearts. Damage January 21, 2015 Damage David D. Levine Concerning a spaceship's conscience. And the Burned Moths Remain January 14, 2015 And the Burned Moths Remain Benjanun Sriduangkaew Treason is a trunk of thorns. A Beautiful Accident January 7, 2015 A Beautiful Accident Peter Orullian A Sheason story.
From The Blog
January 28, 2015
Heists and Capers Redux!
Stubby the Rocket
January 26, 2015
Why Obi-Wan Lied to Luke Skywalker
Emily Asher-Perrin
January 23, 2015
11 Winter’s Tales For Your Chilly Reading Needs!
Stubby the Rocket
January 23, 2015
Winter 2015 Anime Preview: Season of Sequels
Kelly Quinn
January 21, 2015
Don’t Touch That Dial: Midseason SFF
Alex Brown
Fri
Jan 30 2015 12:00pm

Dream Dates: Kelly Link’s Get in Trouble

Get in Trouble Kelly Link review I have long maintained that there are only two kinds of readers: those who are obsessed with Kelly Link’s work, and those who have yet to discover it. If you number among that pathetically bereft latter category, you can console yourself with the thought that the delights that lie in store for you are, quite literally, unimaginable, because there is no possible way any ordinary person can imagine something as rare and strange as a Kelly Link story.

Beloved by her peers and treasured by her readers, Link’s stories serve as portals into worlds both familiar and dazzlingly bizarre, and her latest collection—her first in six years, and her first for adults in nearly a decade—is, if anything, even more assured and wise and fantastically weird than her previous books. Her characters here are, many of them, older and sadder and a little more cynical than in her previous books, but they have lost none of the wicked charm and sleight-of-hand that mark them distinctly as hers.

[Read More]

Fri
Jan 30 2015 11:31am

Scott Westerfeld’s New Trilogy Will Turn Teen Zeroes Into Superheroes

Zero to Hero Hercules

Simon Pulse announced today that it will publish a new young adult superhero trilogy written by Scott Westerfeld (Afterworlds), Margo Lanagan (The Brides of Rollrock Island), and Deborah Biancotti (A Book of Endings). In a press release, Simon & Schuster shared the title and synopsis for the first book, Zeroes, out later this year. (Above, our concept of what the cover should be. JUST SAYIN'.)

[Who are the Zeroes?]

Fri
Jan 30 2015 11:00am

Song of the Shennachie: The Visitors by Simon Sylvester

The Visitors Simon Sylvester review

A contemporary twist on an old fisherman’s myth complete with an immensely atmospheric setting, a strong yet sympathetic central character and a missing persons mystery that’ll keep you guessing till all is said and done—and then some—The Visitors by Simon Sylvester has everything including the girl going for it.

For all it has to offer, Bancree has seen better days. As a remote island off the coast of Scotland—bleakly beautiful, to be sure, but truly brutal too—it and its inhabitants have been hit hard by the economy’s catastrophic collapse. “There was nothing on the island that wasn’t already dying. Half the houses were for sale. The island population numbered only a few hundred, and that dripped away, year on year.”

Little wonder, as the only booming business on Bancree is whisky, and Lachlan Crane, the son set to inherit the local distillery, is at best “a bully and a womaniser,” and at worst? Well. Time will tell. For him and for Flo.

[Read More]

Fri
Jan 30 2015 10:30am

Regarding the Relevance of Rushdie

Salman Rushdie Enchantress of Florence

A staggering seven years since his last novel for adults, The Enchantress of Florence, Salman Rushdie—winner of a bunch of Booker Prizes, including the Best Of and the Booker of Bookers—is ready to re-enter the literary fiction fray with a book said to blend “history, mythology and a timeless love story to bring alive a world that has been plunged into an age of unreason.”

Based on the Arabian Nights, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is “a rich and multifaceted work [inspired by] 2,000 years of storytelling tradition yet rooted in the concerns of our present moment.”

[Read More]

Fri
Jan 30 2015 10:00am
Excerpt

“The Great Speck” (Excerpt)

Terry Pratchett

Dragons at Crumbling Castle excerpt Terry Pratchett This never-before-published collection of fourteen funny and inventive tales by acclaimed author Sir Terry Pratchett features a memorable cast of inept wizards, sensible heroes, and unusually adventuresome tortoises.

Available February 3rd from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Dragons at Crumbling Castle celebrates Pratchett’s inimitable wordplay and irreverent approach to the conventions of storytelling, and includes more than one hundred black-and-white illustrations by Mark Beech.

These accessible and mischievous tales are an ideal introduction for young readers to this beloved author, while established fans of Pratchett’s work will savor the playful presentation of the themes and ideas that inform his best-selling novels. Below, read “The Great Speck,” a story about the tiny people living on a grain of dust.

[Read More]

Fri
Jan 30 2015 9:30am

“Turn to Page 394, Watson”: Did You Know Alan Rickman Once Played Sherlock Holmes?

Alan Rickman Sherlock Holmes theater photo

We found this gem via Rainbow Rowell’s Tumblr: A photo from a 1976 production of Sherlock Holmes at the Birminghan Repertory Theatre in Birmingham, England. And who is that young, acerbic detective? Why, a 30-year-old Alan Rickman before he was famous.

[Read more]

Fri
Jan 30 2015 9:00am

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Reread: Part 14

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Hello, everyone! Welcome back to the reread of Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. You can find the full schedule for the reread in the introduction post; catch up on past posts at the reread index; or check out Tor.com’s other posts about this book through its tag.

Please note that these reread posts will contain spoilers for all of JS&MN plus The Ladies of Grace Adieu. There’s accordingly no need to warn for spoilers in the comments—and comments are highly encouraged.

This week, the reread finishes JS&MN with chapters 65-69, but does not itself conclude, as we will cover The Ladies of Grace Adieu for dessert.

[“Briefly, the snow and the shadows seemed to form a picture of a thin, dark man in a greatcoat and boots. The next moment the illusion was gone.”]

Fri
Jan 30 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Don’t Miss the Left Turn at Minas Morgul!

Frodo Google Map

Frodo and Sam would have had a much easier time if Middle-earth had Google Maps! They probably would have been given more options for their trip, too, rather than just having to rely on Gandalf and Strider. Maybe Waze would have warned them about the goblins in the mines of Moria? mbingcrosby posted this map on reddit, you can see a larger, zoomable version here!

Morning Roundup brings you the passing of a ghost-torch, reading suggestions from Kelly Link, and a whole constellation of fashion!

[Plus a fantastic easter egg in Agent Carter!]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: February Releases in Paranormal/Urban Fantasy and Horror

new releases urban fantasy Thirty-five new releases in these mega-genres make your valentine all furry and fanged, including new series titles from, among others, Kait Ballenger (Execution Underground), Kathleen Tierney (Siobhan Quinn), Jaye Wells (Prospero’s War), J.D. Robb (In Death), Kylie Chan (Celestial Battle), and Bob Mayer (Area 51).

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.]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 4:00pm

Gaming Roundup: The First Must-Have Game of 2015 is from 1998

Grim Fandango Remastered

For over a decade after its critically-acclaimed release in 1998, Grim Fandango was viewed as a lost classic—a forgotten disk that remained only attainable enough to affirm its scarcity throughout the 2000s. The game languished in the clutches of outdated OSes for years, and physical copies were banished to the furthest corners of eBay, where they were sold at inordinate prices. When GOG.com began turning yesteryear’s classics into digitized, DRM-free treasure troves, Grim Fandango quickly became their most-requested game. Rumors of the game’s return occasionally surfaced, but for so long, were never anything more than shadows and dust.

Until last year.

[“Buenos dias!”]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 3:30pm

The Harry Potter Reread: The Goblet of Fire, Chapters 19 and 20

The Harry Potter Reread is gonna take the bull by the horns, walk it straight over to the castle gate, have it sing the guards a song, then rush the throne room and install the bull as the new monarch. It seems a reasonable way to conduct one’s business affairs.

This week we’re gonna read is really annoying article and probably fight some dragons or whatever. It’s chapters 19 and 20 of The Goblet of Fire—The Hungarian Horntail and The First Task.

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
Jan 29 2015 3:00pm

Rejecting Technology for Taboo: The Guardian of Isis

Four generations—or at least sixty years—have passed on Isis since The Keeper of the Isis Light. For the colony that mutually rejected Olwen, the Keeper, and her AI Guardian years ago, however, things have not been going all that well. The colony is still trapped in the same valley, and, probably because this is a Monica Hughes book, is starting to run short on food.

Far worse, apparently in reaction to the events in the previous book, the colonists have deliberately gone backwards. They’ve discarded technology (including rather important elements like water gauges to track just how high the lake is getting), turned Guardian and Olwen into mythological figures to be worshipped instead of approached for technological assistance, discarded literacy, and added elements like “taboo” and sexism. I knew rejecting Olwen was going to be a bad thing, but this bad? Harsh.

See what your meddling led to, Guardian of Isis?

[A sequel that doesn’t quite live up to its introduction. Spoilery.]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 2:40pm

It Is Possible You Will See Hooded Figures at Worldcon. DO NOT APPROACH THEM

Starry Night Vale

Worldcon has taken place in many fine cities over the years, including London, New York, Montreal, Yokohama, and this year's selection, Spokane, Washington (Sasquan, wooo!!!), but there's now a petition to bring it to a very special place next year: Night Vale. This bid makes perfect sense, as the colorful attendees of Worldcon would fit right into that most Lovecraftian of desert towns.

[Perhaps Cecil could emcee?]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 2:15pm

The Terminator: Genisys Super Bowl Trailer Flips School Buses and Pits Arnold vs. Arnold

Terminator: Genisys Super Bowl trailer

Plenty of movie trailers will be rolling out during the Super Bowl this Sunday, but some studios are already putting their TV spots online. Case in point, the latest trailer for Terminator: Genisys, which opens with a motorcycle on a train and a schoolbus flipping end over end on the Golden Gate Bridge.

[“Where is he?!”]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 2:00pm
Excerpt

Dark Intelligence (Excerpt)

Neal Asher

Neal Asher Dark Intelligence US cover Thorvald Spear wakes in a hospital to find he’s been brought back from the dead. What’s more, he died in a human vs. alien war that ended a century ago. Spear had been trapped on a world surrounded by hostile Prador forces, but Penny Royal, the AI inside the rescue ship sent to provide backup, turned rogue, annihilating friendly forces in a frenzy of destruction and killing Spear. One hundred years later the AI is still on the loose, and Spear vows for revenge at any cost.

Isobel Satomi ran a successful crime syndicate, but after competitors attacked she needed power and protection. Negotiating with Penny Royal, she got more than she bargained for: Turning part-AI herself gave Isobel frightening power, but the upgrades hid a horrifying secret, and the dark AI triggered a transformation that has been turning her into something far from human…

Spear hires Isobel to track Penny Royal across worlds to its last known whereabouts. But he cheats her in the process and quickly finds himself in her crosshairs. As Isobel continues to evolve into a monstrous predator, it’s clear her rage will eventually win out over reason. Will Spear finish his hunt before he himself becomes the hunted?

Dark Intelligence is the explosive first novel in a brand new trilogy from military SF master Neal Asher and a new chapter in his epic Polity universe. Dark Intelligence is available now in the UK from Tor UK, and publishes February 3rd in the US from Night Shade Books.

[Read an Excerpt]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 1:30pm

Afternoon Roundup: The One Time We’d Suggest Putting Your Hands in Front of a Dragon’s Mouth

dragon faucet cool photo

Washing your hands has never been so majestic as with this rad dragon bathroom sink faucet spotted by Offbeat Home. And lookit those handles! It’s like a badass, water-spouting, T-Rex-handed beast keeping you clean and germ-free.

Afternoon Roundup double-checks it didn’t forget its chemise; is impatient for The Vision to show up already; and preps for the Super Bowl in the bloodiest way possible.

[Read more]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 1:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Dance with Dragons, Part 8

A Dance with DragonsWelcome back to A Read of Ice and Fire! Please join me as I read and react, for the very first time, to George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.

Today’s entry is Part 8 of A Dance With Dragons, in which we cover Chapter 12 (“Reek”) and Chapter 13 (“Bran”).

Previous entries are located in the Index. The only spoilers in the post itself will be for the actual chapters covered and for the chapters previous to them. As for the comments, please note that the Powers That Be have provided you a lovely spoiler thread here on Tor.com. Any spoileriffic discussion should go there, where I won’t see it. Non-spoiler comments go below, in the comments to the post itself.

And now, the post!

[I’ve heard of putting down roots, but this is ridiculous]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 12:00pm

Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 26

Words of Radiance reread Chapter 26Welcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com! Last week, Alice got to play with all the pretty ponies. This week, having drawn the short straw, I only get to play with one of the pretty ponies. Luckily, Sureblood is the prettiest of them all, and he likes to have his ears scritched. Additional fun fact: Microsoft Word doesn’t want me to use the word “scritched.” I WILL BREAK ITS SPIRIT.

This reread will contain spoilers for The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and any other Cosmere book that becomes relevant to the discussion. The index for this reread can be found here, and more Stormlight Archive goodies are indexed here. Click on through to join the discussion.

[Read More]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 11:00am

Making Art in a Tilting City: The Sculptor by Scott McCloud

Scott McCloud The Sculptor review

David Smith has two hundred days to live. More specifically, he has two hundred days to create a work of art that will embody his memories and his dreams, one that will stand in his place once he’s gone. In a city with hundreds of other David Smiths listed in the phone book, David’s desire to be remembered will be hard-won at best. Then he meets Meg, and his new-found superpower to bend any material to his will seems like the least of his worries.

Scott McCloud—best known for his seminal work, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art—combines Faustian myth with brilliant visual storytelling in his new graphic novel The Sculptor. Using panel after panel of towering cityscapes and crowds of anonymous faces, McCloud sets a stage that will be familiar to many readers, especially those with creative ambitions.

[Read More]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 10:30am

Poison Fairies: The Landfill War Sweepstakes!

Acheron Books is the first publishing house that produces Italian fantasy, science fiction, and horror and distributes it worldwide in the English language in ebook format.

We want to send you one of Acheron’s recent releases, Poison Fairies: The Landfill War by Luca Tarenzi in a DRM-free format! Read an excerpt here. Under the pen name Giovanni Anastasi, Luca has also released the historical fantasy Demon Hunter Severian: Lady of the Night Gates.

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 10:30 AM Eastern Time (ET) on January 29. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on February 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.