This Chance Planet October 22, 2014 This Chance Planet Elizabeth Bear We are alone, except for the dog. Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza October 15, 2014 Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza Carrie Vaughn A Wild Cards story. The Girl in the High Tower October 14, 2014 The Girl in the High Tower Gennifer Albin A Crewel story. Mrs. Sorensen and the Sasquatch October 8, 2014 Mrs. Sorensen and the Sasquatch Kelly Barnhill An unconventional romance.
From The Blog
October 14, 2014
A Category Unto Himself: The Works of China Miéville
Jared Shurin
October 10, 2014
Don’t Touch That Dial: Fall 2014 TV
Alex Brown
October 10, 2014
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Reread: Part 1
Kate Nepveu
October 7, 2014
Shell Shock and Eldritch Horror: “Dagon”
Ruthanna Emrys and Anne M. Pillsworth
October 3, 2014
The Bloody Books of Halloween: William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist
Will Errickson
Wed
Oct 22 2014 9:00am
Original Story

This Chance Planet

“This Chance Planet” by Elizabeth Bear is a near future science fiction story about a young Russian waitress with ambitions to become an engineer and her musician boyfriend, who wants her to gestate a liver for money so his band can tour. Plus, there’s a dog.

This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by consulting editor Ellen Datlow.

[Read “This Chance Planet” by Elizabeth Bear]

Wed
Oct 22 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: We’ve Found the Purrfect Friend for Spot!

Oh god the kitty’s name is Levar Purrton and we can’t handle this it’s just too cute and too perfect and we need to look at something else now.

Morning Roundup has soooo much horror to balance out the cute! We’ve got a definitive list of Horrific Treehouses, the feminist ethos of Resident Evil, and a history of the greatest pea soup movie of the 70s!

[Plus, a real-life Horrorstör!]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 5:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Karen Akins

Karen Akins pop quiz interviewWelcome 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 YA author Karen Akins! When not writing or reading, she loves taking care of her son and hanging out with her husband. And watching Downton Abbey. Karen has been many things in her life: an archery instructor, drummer for the shortest-lived garage band in history, and a shockingly bad tic-tac-toe player. Karen’s debut novel, Loop, is available now from St. Martin’s Press. At a school for time travelers, sixteen-year old Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage... Read an excerpt here on Tor.com!

Karen may just be the smartest person to have around in our hypothetical SFF duel. Find out why below!

[Read More]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 4:00pm

Cosmic Chaos: Bathing the Lion by Jonathan Carroll

Jonathan Carroll Bathing the Lion

Jonathan Carroll’s first full-length work of fiction in six years is as rooted in the real as it is the surreal its synopsis suggests. Bathing the Lion is about a quintet of cosmic mechanics who can read minds and remake the mundane recovering their talents in advance of the arrival of a fearsome force called Chaos—which seems, I’m sure, like a properly science fictional plot. But it’s not.

To wit, the World Fantasy Award-winning author evidences precious little interest in the ultimate result of this clash between... not good and evil, exactly, but order and its opposite. Rather, Carroll restrains his tale to the strictly small scale, in the process pointedly refusing the reader’s needs.

[Read More]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 3:30pm

Star Wars: Imperial Handbook Poster Sweepstakes!

Out now, Star Wars: Imperial Handbook offers a rare glimpse into the military governance and philosophy of the Empire, complete with mission reports, classified documents, illustrations, and annotations from members of the Rebel Alliance, who managed to intercept a copy of this top-secret manual. We want to send you a poster with this image from the book, of stormtroopers ready to strike!

Five lucky winners will receive a poster, so 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 October 21. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on October 25. 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
Oct 21 2014 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “His Way”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: His Way“His Way”
Written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Season 6, Episode 20
Production episode 40510-544
Original air date: April 22, 1998
Stardate: unknown

Station log: Bashir’s latest holosuite program from Felix—the guy who put together his secret agent program—is Las Vegas, 1962, and he invites Kira, Odo, Worf, Dax, and O’Brien to join him in watching Vic Fontaine perform. Fontaine is a self-aware hologram; he knows full well that he’s a “light bulb.” (“If you’re gonna work Vegas in the 60s, you’re gonna have to know the score. Otherwise you’re gonna look like a Clyde.”) He also immediately picks up on the fact that Worf and Dax are married, can tell that O’Brien is also married and misses his wife, and cops to the romantic tension between Kira and Odo, but decides to remain discreet in terms of mentioning it.

[Cool!]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 2:30pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Nicholas Sansbury Smith

p> Nicholas Sansbury Smith pop quiz interviewWelcome 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 Nicholas Sansbury Smith, author of several post-apocalyptic books and short stories. When he isn’t daydreaming about the apocalypse he’s likely racing in triathlons around the Midwest. He lives in Des Moines, Iowa with his family and several rescued animals. Smith’s latest apocalyptic sci-fi novels, Orbs and Orbs II: Stranded, are available now from Simon451, a new ebook imprint from Simon & Schuster. The third book in the trilogy, Orbs III: Redemption, is forthcoming in March 2015.

Join us!

[Read More]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 2:17pm

Dave and HAL Just Can’t Work Things Out in the New Trailer for 2001: A Space Odyssey!

For the first time in 40 years, Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey has gotten a new trailer! The trailer was made to promote the digitally restored film’s special limited U.K. release, part of the British Film Institute's “Sci-Fi: Days of Fears and Wonder” series. The new trailer highlights the battle of wills between Dave and HAL, to great, chilling effect.

[Click through for the new trailer!]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 2:15pm

The Walking Dead Fans Sure Hope Robert Kirkman Doesn’t End the Series With “It Was All a Dream”

The Walking Dead fan conspiracy theory Rick coma dream

Uproxx recently shed light on a troubling conspiracy theory put out by fans of The Walking Dead: What if the whole thing was Rick Grimes' coma fever dream? What if the ending of the series is him either waking up or flatlining in the hospital with Carl, Lori, and Shane by his side, and the zombie apocalypse never happened?

However, as much time and speculation as fans have put into this as a possible ending, no one seems to actually want Kirkman to follow through with this  story trope.

[Read more]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 2:00pm

Witchy Woman vs. Weeping Woman! Sleepy Hollow: “The Weeping Lady”

Sleepy Hollow The Weeping Lady

In this week’s episode we meet a Weeping Lady of the Hudson, and we get more complicated backstory for Ichabod and Katrina! These two are slowly being revealed to be the, I don’t know, Kanye and Kim? of the colonial Northeast. So much drama! Plus Abbie once again finds herself in danger!

[Read More]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 1:00pm

The Wheel of Time Reread Redux: The Eye of the World, Part 5

Γειά σου! Welcome back to the Wheel of Time Reread Redux!

Today’s Redux post will cover Chapters 7 and 8 of The Eye of the World, originally reread in this post.

All original posts are listed in The Wheel of Time Reread Index here, and all Redux posts will also be archived there as well. (The Wheel of Time Master Index, as always, is here, which has links to news, reviews, interviews, and all manner of information about the Wheel of Time in general on Tor.com.)

The Wheel of Time reread is also now available as an ebook series, except for the portion covering A Memory of Light, which should become available soon.

All Reread Redux posts will contain spoilers for the entire Wheel of Time series, so if you haven’t read, read at your own risk.

And now, the post!

[“Now keep in mind that the typical Greek myth goes something like this: innocent shepherd boy is minding his own business, an overflying god spies him and gets a hard-on, swoops down and rapes him silly; while the victim is still staggering around in a daze, that god’s wife or lover, in a jealous rage, turns him—the helpless, innocent victim, that is—into let’s say an immortal turtle and e.g. power-staples him to a sheet of plywood with a dish of turtle food just out of his reach and leaves him out in the sun forever to be repeatedly disemboweled by army ants and stung by hornets or something.”]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 12:54pm

The Way James Cameron Worked Arnold Schwarzenegger Into Terminator: Genisys is Very Sweet

Terminator: Genisys alternate universe Arnold Schwarzenegger James Cameron

With nine months left until Terminator: Genisys comes to theaters (wait really?), the title is still dumb, but at least one part of the movie sounds fascinating. In a recent interview, James Cameron shared his alternate-universe take on how Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 fits into the latest film, and it’s surprisingly sweet.

[“I’ll be back... and here’s how.”]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 12:00pm

The Most Merciful Thing in the World: “The Call of Cthulhu”

The Call of Cthulhu HP Lovecraft rereadWelcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s original stories. Today we’re looking at “The Call of Cthulhu,” written in Summer 1926 and first published in the February 1928 issue of Weird Tales. You can read the story here. Spoilers ahead.

Summary: This manuscript was found among the papers of Francis Wayland Thurston, deceased.

Thurston’s grand-uncle Angell leaves everything to him when he dies, apparently after being jostled by a “nautical-looking negro.” These possessions include a disturbing bas-relief and a series of notes and clippings.

[“I shall never sleep calmly again when I think of the horrors that lurk ceaselessly behind life in time and in space, and of those unhallowed blasphemies from elder stars which dream beneath the sea, known and favoured by a nightmare cult ready and eager to loose them on the world whenever another earthquake shall heave their monstrous stone city again to the sun and air.”]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 11:30am

Got Milk? Gotham: “Viper”

Gotham Viper

This week’s episode of Gotham was all about the good things in life: food, sex, and drugs. And also Lil’ Baby Brucy doing detective work like a real grown-up Batman, plus the kind of drug-addled super-villainy that you expect find with a real grown-up Batman. But mostly it’s about food, sex, and drugs.

[Read More]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 11:00am

Everyone is Trying to Prove They’re Relevant: Birdman

Birdman movie, Michael Keaton, Riggan

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, as it says) was an experience. One that I will try to parse out below. But frankly, though I can go on about the true merits of the film, I expect my take to be wildly different from anyone else’s—it is a piece of art designed to speak to many people, in many walks of life, and much of what it has to say is dependent entirely on who is watching.

Minor spoilers for the film below.

[Read more]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 10:00am

Fall 2014 Anime Preview: Symbiotic Alien Hands Don’t Make Good Pets

Time rolls on and it’s fall once again. You could go out and enjoy the changing leaves, or carve a jack-o-lantern, or try to block out all the inexplicably pumpkin spice-flavored products that spontaneously appear at this time of year like snails on the sidewalk after a rainy night. Or you could avoid the whole mess and watch a brand new roster of Japanese cartoons.

After bidding a fond farewell to an exceptionally good summer season (I miss you already, Nozaki-kun), we’ve got quite an eclectic fall. Highly anticipated adaptions of Parasyte, Your Lie in April, and Fate/stay night debut, and so far manage to not suck. Rage of Bahamut stomps onto the scene with CG dragons and a rooftop chase on horseback. If you fancy a bit of time travel, Tomino’s Gundam Reconguista in G will take you straight back to 1979; or if you’re looking for a more recent nostalgia, The Seven Deadly Sins and Akatsuki no Yona both recall nineties favorites. And let’s not forget sequels: For those looking for their cyberpunk fix, Psycho-Pass returns with a new cast and a new writer. For lovers of robots and fun, Gundam Build Fighters Try delivers both just as effortlessly as the first season. For the sports crowd, Yowamushi Pedal is back and feels like it never left, while Log Horizon returns for the RPG fans. And for those who like good anime, the always lovely Mushishi returns for its final season.

With simulcasts a click away, there’s no need to wait—here are five of the best new anime premiering this fall that you can watch right now.

[Read more]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 9:00am

Happily Remixed and Mashed-Up Ever After: Modern Fairy Tales!

Enchanted

Fairy tales aren’t just a great way to pass an evening in front of the fire, they’re also an excellent way to examine our culture. Looking at the ways we adapt and parody fairy tales can show us the ways our society is changing. The rise of bad-ass versions of Snow White and Hansel and Gretel speak to the ways modern pop culture wants to empower the powerless, while the popularity of Once Upon A Time allows adolescent and adult fairy tale fans to revel in romantic combinations that were impossible in the original versions.

The best thing about these stories, though, is the way they can provide modern artists with building blocks to create something new! I've collected a by-no-means-exhaustive list below that covers everything from a hitchhiking Little Red Riding Hood to a cyberpunk Cinderella!

[And yes, some helpful animals get a cameo.]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Daily Affirmations With the Hulk!

Kehinki gives us the greatest motivational posters! What could be more motivating than an enraged Bruce Banner? Or Black Widow threatening to pull your still-beating heart right from your chest? But really, it’s the wise words of Tony Stark who give us the greatest leg-up in life. You can check out more of the images over on io9!

Morning Roundup brings you... nightmares! Mwahaha! No, not really. Just a history of A Nightmare on Elm Street, thoughts on prog rock, and a stern lecture for Benedict Cumberbatch! 

[Plus, they’re taking us back to Germany!]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 7:00am

Imaginative Anthropology: In Celebration of Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K Le Guin Art by David A JohnsonUrsula K. Le Guin was raised by an anthropologist and a writer. Not just any anthropologist: her father Alfred L. Kroeber, was the first person to earn a Ph.D. in anthropology in the United States, and after graduating from Columbia University he founded the first anthropology program at Berkeley.

This was where Le Guin grew up, in a redwood house near the school, and spending summers in Napa Valley. The descriptions of it sound idyllic, actually like something out of one of Madeleine L’Engle’s novels. She sent her first story to Astounding Science Fiction when she was 11, but was unfortunately rejected. During World War II her three brothers were away in the military, and she spent the summers of her teen years sharing the house with her parents.

[Read More]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 5:30pm

Mistborn Adventure Game Prize Pack Sweepstakes!

Brandon Sanderson fans, we have an excellent prize pack for you today: a chance to win the Mistborn Adventure Game, plus the new Alloy of Law campaign setting and game supplement, both available from Crafty Games! We’ll also include a copy of the Tor Teen edition of Mistborn with new cover art by Sam Weber!

Three lucky winners will win a prize pack, so 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 5:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on October 20. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on October 24. 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.