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
Thu
Jul 31 2014 12:15pm

“You Did Me and My Dragons Real Proud” Anne McCaffrey on John Schoenherr’s Illustrations

Anne McCaffrey Pern dragon John Schoenherr

Illustrator Ian Schoenherr recently published a letter Anne McCaffrey wrote to his father, John Schoenherr, thanking him for his dragons! The elder Schoenherr provided some wonderful illustrations to accompany two of McCaffrey’s early Pern stories in Analog Magazine, making these the earliest depiction of F’lar, Lessa, and Mnementh! “Weyr Search” and “Dragonrider” were published in October and December of 1967, respectively, and each served as the magazine’s cover story.

[DRAGONNNNS]

Thu
Jul 31 2014 12:00pm

Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 7

Welcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com! Last week we got some interesting perspectives on human activity from a spren viewpoint, and ended in screams, shouts, and smoke. This week, we’ll find out what all the shouting was about and witness… well… Oh, nothing could go wrong here, could it? No tragedies, or anything. Not here.

This reread will contain spoilers for The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and any other Cosmere book that become relevant. Most of those will be in the comments, though. At least this week.

[It really wanted to stay a ship.]

Thu
Jul 31 2014 11:40am

Hey, Anyone Live in Atlanta and Want to Play Hank Pym in Ant-Man?

Ant-Man casting call Hank Pym Michael Douglas stand-in

Don’t worry, Ant-Man hasn’t lost another cast member. But if you’re a 5’ 10" (“not an inch shorter or an inch taller”) man between the ages of 30 and 60 living in Atlanta, you could be Michael Douglas’ stand-in.

Answer this casting call and you’ll get to be scientist Hank Pym, who enlists the help of con man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) to protect the secrets of his shrinking Ant-Man suit, but also to become the titular hero himself, by pulling off the world’s greatest heist.

Well, you’ll get to play Hank Pym before the cameras start rolling, at least.

Poster: Marvel Studios

Thu
Jul 31 2014 11:25am

Suitcase of Pain! Read Tom Hiddleston’s Adorable Avengers Thank-You Letter to Joss Whedon

read Tom Hiddleston adorable sweet thank you email Joss Whedon The Avengers draft script

A new excerpt from Joss Whedon: The Biography (out August 1) reveals that, after reading the first draft of the Avengers screenplay, Tom Hiddleston wrote Joss Whedon a heartfelt, effusive, funny, adorable email thanking Whedon for writing the part of Loki for him.

Wait, it’s Tom Hiddleston. Why are we even surprised? Read the entire letter—plus Whedon’s response—and get ready for the feels.

[“His closely guarded suitcase of pain” is our new favorite Loki phrase]

Thu
Jul 31 2014 11:00am

Dovebuckets and Face-Crabs: The Sandman: Overture Issue 3

Sandman Overture #3 Neil GaimanThe Sandman: Overture Issue #3 has finally arrived! I’ll skip over the part where I snark about how long it’s taking, because the art is so amazing I’m cool with it taking three times this long. I’ll also say upfront that I think some of the writing is shaky in this issue, but that I’m still happy to be along for Morpheus’ journey to try to save the universe. Again.

I am faced with my usual conundrum of how much to say here… I want to talk about the issue, but I also want to stay as non-spoilery as possible. Let’s start off with the basic plot...

[Read More]

Thu
Jul 31 2014 10:30am

Fairy Tale Remix: “What Else is Disney Not Telling Us?”

What gives fairy tales such power? Why do writers return to them, again and again? And what do fairy tales reveal about the people who love, hate, and choose to retell them?

Thursday’s Fairy Tale Remix panel at San Diego Comic-Con explored all of these questions, with an entertaining, well-matched panel of new and veteran authors who have all put their own spin on traditional tales. Moderated by Shannon Hale (Ever After High series), the panel brought together Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles), Cornelia Funke (The Inkheart trilogy), Ben Tripp (The Accidental Highwayman), Tony DiTerlizzi (The Spiderwick Chronicles), Danielle Page (Dorothy Must Die), John Peck (Charming series), and Katherine Harbour (Thorn Jack) to talk character development, genre mashing, and their particular approaches to reclaiming and reinterpreting fairy tales.

[Read more]

Thu
Jul 31 2014 10:00am

The Best, Funniest, and Most Ridiculous Harry Potter Memes to Come Out of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World

best Harry Potter memes birthday July 31 J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter turns 34 today, while the Potter fandom is about half as old. We decided that the best way to honor The Boy Who Lived, and the wizarding world in which he lives, is with a best-of list of all the Internet memes the series has inspired—videos, GIFs, crossovers, and mashups.

Now, we’re never going to track down every meme, because they keep popping up with the same frequency as Harry’s Hogwarts letters. But these are our favorites. Some came about from the movies, while others only needed the books for inspiration. Some originated the meme, while others elevated preexisting ones. And should we really be surprised that Severus Snape is at the center of most of them? Nope.

[“What is that mysterious ticking noise?”]

Thu
Jul 31 2014 9:00am

Ten Awesome Prehistoric Crocs

Kaprosuchus Primeval

All of today’s crocs look more or less the same. Alligators, gharials, crocodiles, and their cousins are all armored ambush predators that spend much of their time lurking in rivers and swamps. But the greater group to which they belong—the crocodylomorphs—evolved in dramatically-different ways. There were dinosaur-hunters, short-skulled herbivores, and marine hypercarnivores, just to name a few, within the group’s prehistoric ranks. If you’re looking for inspiration for a monster or fearsome creature from another world, prehistory’s crocs can be excellent muses.

[See you later, alligator...]

Thu
Jul 31 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: The Map is Right. The Ennui is Killing Us...

Tor.com contributor Thom Dunn shared this map of how to die in each state! We like the Florida is its own cause of death, and we definitely second Hastur as the biggest danger in Louisiana. But are vampires really that bad in Alaska?

Morning Roundup has some more prep for those of you going to Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend, or, as we like to call you: EVERYONE. (End Gary Oldman voice.) We also have worldbuilding advice, and a Facehugger!

[Plus Chris Pratt talks about dinosaurs!]

Thu
Jul 31 2014 7:00am

J. K. Rowling’s Real Life is More Incredible Than Any Fiction

JK Rowling You know what’s really hard for me? Talking about J. K. Rowling objectively (and on her birthday, too—she’s 49 today). And it’s not just because she wrote one of the most successful book series of all time, teaching millions of children to adore reading in the process. Not just because she has used her well-earned gains to promote so many charitable causes. Not just because the world loves a good rags-to-riches story, and hers is one of the best.

It’s because she described herself as “the biggest failure [she] knew” before she sat down to write one of the most beloved fantasy worlds on paper. It’s because she turned the sorrow over her mother’s death into a tale where a mother’s love for her child ultimately saves the world. It’s because all of the first publishers to read her three chapter sample rejected her book. It’s because failing made Jo Rowling push back hard against depression and poverty to find her very best calling.

It’s because she gave us Harry, Ron and Hermione, and so many of us wouldn’t recognize our childhoods without them.

[Meet in the Astronomy Tower…]

Wed
Jul 30 2014 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: Genre-Benders for August

fiction affliction new releases AugustNineteen books wander between genres this month, from alternative histories to cozy paranormal mysteries. Look for series additions from, among others, Juliet Blackwell (Witchcraft Mystery), E.C. Ambrose (Dark Apostle), Steve White (Blood of the Heroes), Tom Kratman (Desert Called Peace), Bailey Cates (Magical Bakery), D.B. Jackson (Thieftaker Chronicles), Mark Hodder (Burton and Swinburne), and Harry Turtledove (The War That Came Early).

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 genre-benders.]

Wed
Jul 30 2014 4:04pm

McConaughey Looks to the Stars in the New Interstellar Trailer!

Love can transcend time, and Matthew McConaughey's glorious, gravelly voice can transcend a million crappy rom-coms. Are you tired of looking down into the dirt? Gaze up into the stars and ponder your place in the universe with the new Interstellar trailer!

[Do not go gentle into this good trailer.]

Wed
Jul 30 2014 4:00pm

“He Wanted Us To Catch Him!” Let’s Retire this Villain Cliché

Joker The Dark Knight

I was just settling into the whole Khan versus Enterprise plot of Star Trek Into Darkness when something started to seem overly familiar to me about the way the story was developing. And I don’t mean familiar in that “Hey, they’re ripping off the Wrath Of Khan” way that began the moment Cumberbatch revealed his true age and identity. No, I mean the familiarly that began when the crew started to speculate that perhaps Khan had wanted to be captured. After all, it had all been so easy…

[Read More]

Wed
Jul 30 2014 3:00pm

Dream a Little Dream: Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

Broken Monsters Lauren Beukes review US coverThe urban grit, filth and despair of a city that has come apart at the seams, making it ‘the number-one Death-of-America pilgrimage destination’. Detroit, a city filled with places that are a shadow of what they used to be, a ‘sprawling waste of it. Broken bricks and concrete pillars holding up the sky’ with everything ‘choked with weeds and graffiti.’ The many, many abandoned homes and factories have now become transient spaces, neither living nor dead but just silently waiting in limbo—blighted and lonely.

In Lauren Beukes’ new novel, Broken Monsters, these places are doorways, thresholds between planes; even chalk-drawn outlines of doors on walls are slick membranes between realities and dreams. Amongst the decrepitude of Detroit there remains a desire, a dream trying to break through to the surface though ‘it feels suffocated by the rigidity of the world. And yet…there is evidence of the dreaming everywhere. There is a world beneath the world that is rich and tangled with meaning.’ It is this world that failed sculptor Clayton Boom is trying to bring to life with horrific taxidermy, clay, and murder most foul.

[Read More]

Wed
Jul 30 2014 2:00pm

Pull List: Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel

Captin Marvel Carol Danvers Kelly Sue DeConnick

Welcome to Pull List, a new monthly comics column. We’ll look at everything from decades-spanning titles to oneshots and miniseries, from graphic novels to caped crusaders to webcomics. There’ll be a strong focus on works with high marks in diversity and feminism, out-of-the-box artistic creativity, and envelope-pushing, as well as some old school silliness every now and again.

Being a comics fan ain’t easy, especially if you don’t fit the outmoded paradigm of straight white male. As someone who doesn’t meet two thirds of that criteria, I avoided the whole comics thing for ages. I had the joy of growing up with the X-Men, Justice League, Superman, and Batman cartoons, and the supreme displeasure of discovering that comics-on-tv was pretty much the only space in which I was allowed. For years, whenever people asked me my favorite comics characters, my go-to were Lois Lane, Wonder Woman, Jubilee, Storm, and Oracle, but my knowledge of them was strictly television-based.

[The first thing I bought? Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel]

Wed
Jul 30 2014 1:00pm

Concerning Hobbits, On-Screen and Off: Why Jackson and Tolkien Can Peacefully Co-exist

The Hobbit

There is nothing so powerful as one’s imagination. We’re readers, we know that. We get it. And yet, sometimes imagination can be offset or complemented by something else. This is, after all, the age of multimedia.

With greed-fueled war on the horizon, and with Smaug, Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities and arguably literature’s most famous dragon, once again on the rampage in the first trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, it’s time to talk about The Hobbits—their juxtaposed film and literary incarnations alike, and why together J.R.R. Tolkien’s and Peter Jackson’s respective legacies are like chocolate and peanut butter combined.

[Read on if you can handle a few spoilers and are not afraid of some fire-drake from the North.]

Wed
Jul 30 2014 12:45pm

Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern Series Could Be the Next Big Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movie Franchise

Anne McCaffrey Dragonriders of Pern series optioned movies Warner Bros

Warner Bros. is clearly feeling the heat—and by that, we mean the fearsome fire of fictional dragons including Daenerys Targaryen’s brood on Game of Thrones, and WB’s own Smaug in The Hobbit. Dragons are having a moment, and studios are looking to capitalize on these winged reptiles for as long as possible.

To that end, Warner Bros. has optioned Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series as a potential next sci-fi/fantasy franchise.

[Read more]

Wed
Jul 30 2014 12:30pm

Bubble Baths and the Need For Grimdark: Highlights from Joe Abercrombie’s AMA

Joe Abercrombie axe

Joe Abercrombie hopped onto reddit for an AMA earlier this month, and provided fun and informative answers to at least a billion questions. It turns out Lord Grimdark has many pieces of advice to give, on topics including writing (“Never cut out anything cool”), whiskey (detailed below) and cover design (“If there’s one thing that’s always praised about my books, it’s that they’re grip friendly”).

We’ve rounded up some of the highlights below—also be sure to check out our coverage of Abercrombie’s appearance on the Rulers of the Realm panel at SDCC!

[read more]

Wed
Jul 30 2014 12:00pm

Magazine Theft and Terrible Cats: Michael Cho at SDCC

Michael Cho Shoplifter Artist and illustrator Michael Cho has done covers for Marvel and DC, but this year he came to SDCC to talk about his new graphic novel Shoplifter, to be released by Pantheon in September. Shoplifter is the quiet, delicately-told story of Corinna Park, a writer in her mid-twenties who went from an English degree and dreams of writing novels to five years of writing copy at an advertising agency, a lonely apartment, and a terrible cat named Anais—with the occasional bit of (very) petty theft. Between panels, Cho took a moment to talk about the origins of Shoplifter, his comics process, and the difficulty of drawing bad-tempered cats.

[Read more]

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]