Useless Wings January 28, 2015 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 21, 2015
Don’t Touch That Dial: Midseason SFF
Alex Brown
January 21, 2015
Agent Carter, I Think I’m in Love
Liz Bourke
January 21, 2015
The Illogic of Fairy Tales
Genevieve Cogman
January 16, 2015
Birdman is Actually Just a Muppet Movie
Max Gladstone
January 15, 2015
What Are Your Favorite Non-Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Shows?
Stubby the Rocket
Wed
Jan 28 2015 2:00pm

Sewing Machine Battles: Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

Karen Memory Elizabeth Bear reviewElizabeth Bear’s newest novel Karen Memory takes a different direction than her last several projects: it’s a steampunk romp set on the west coast during the late 19th century, narrated by the titular character, a young woman who works as a “seamstress” in a high end bordello.

One night, she helps (along with her housemates) to rescue two young women who have escaped the crib brothels down by the port—one the rescuer, one the rescue-ee. The incident brings the already-strained relationship between our antagonist, Peter Bantle, and the house’s Madame to a head; and, not long after, murdered women begin appearing around the city—also bringing to town the Federal Marshal Bass Reeves.

There are also dirigibles and steam-powered sewing machines like exoskeletons, of course, and the wider conflict over the future of the West lingers in the submerged layers of the narrative as well. There’s a mix of actual history and invented, real places and people and imaginary, that adds a certain depth to the fun—plus, there’s also a diverse cast, from our protagonist’s love interest Priya to the Marshal and his posseman.

[A review.]

Wed
Jan 28 2015 1:45pm

These DIY Labyrinth Barbies Will Make You Do the Magic Dance

DIY Labyrinth Barbies photos

We’re not sure who to award the title of “coolest ever” to: The father who hacked Barbie dolls to turn them into Jareth the Goblin King and Sarah Williams; or his seven-year-old daughter, who asked for Labyrinth dolls in the first place. Redditor just_s0me_guy shared his fantastic DIY work on Imgur, explaining how in the absence of Labyrinth toys, he got creative.

[Read more]

Wed
Jan 28 2015 1:15pm

Afternoon Roundup: It’s Dangerous to Go Alone! Take This Caffeine Boost

Sleevebucks pop culture geeky Starbucks sleeves Link Legend of Zelda Instagram

Welcome to the first-ever Afternoon Roundup! Right around the time you’re flagging and getting your afternoon caffeine fix, we’re here with more great links from around the Web. And once you have your hot drink in hand, maybe you’ll be inspired by the Instagram account Sleevebucks to turn the Starbucks mermaid into every pop culture character imaginable! Although they’ve already done a bang-up job of transforming her into Zorro, Thor, and even Sherlock Holmes himself.

Afternoon Roundup ponders Chris Pratt ruling two big action-adventure franchises; connects the dots on Legend of Korra; and tries to get you to watch Black Mirror already—you’ll really like it!

[Read more]

Wed
Jan 28 2015 1:00pm

Rereading Melanie Rawn: The Star Scroll, Chapters 19 and 20

Melanie Rawn Dragon Prince Star Scroll rereadWelcome to the weekly reread of The Star Scroll! In this week’s adventure, the Rialla continues, both the marriage market and the races get (sometimes literally) heated, and a midnight meeting raises lots of questions but few answers.

Chapter 19

So This Happens: Princess Alasen is an escape artist when it comes to guards and escorts. Today she’s at the rail for the races. The young men are showing off the horses, and she has her eye on a particularly nice mare, which she intends to ask her father to buy for her.

She knows she’s been brought here to choose a husband. She’s watching the mare’s rider, her father’s squire, Sorin of Radzyn Keep—but she’s not thinking of him as husband material. They’re just good friends.

[Read More]

Wed
Jan 28 2015 12:30pm

The Mime Order Sweepstakes!

Samantha Shannon, author of The Mime Order, dropped by yesterday to take our Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, and now we want to send you a copy of her book! 

The Mime Order is the second installment in Shannon’s seven-book series that follows dreamwalker Paige Mahoney, a gifted clairvoyant living in London’s future, whose natural talents are considered treasonous under the current regime.

We have three copies for you to win, 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 12:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on January 28. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on February 1. 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.

Wed
Jan 28 2015 12:00pm

Pull List: Nimona

Once upon a time, a bored blogger was endlessly scrolling through Tumblr when she came across some really awesome fanart. She checked out the OP and was pleased to discover a gem of a webcomic. The blogger was immediately hooked and spent the next few hours devouring everything the artist had ever created. She reblogged the artist’s mini-comics, bought copies of her fanart, and devoured her webcomic with the kind of single-minded intensity she usually reserved for 40,000+ word fanfics. Even though the webcomic has come to an end, the blogger still keeps the RSS feed on her bookmarks toolbar, because every now and again she gets a craving.

And now it’s time for you, dear reader, to fall in love with Nimona, Ballister, and Goldenloin just as your fair blogger did...

[“Aw yeah! Let’s make some evil plans!”]

Wed
Jan 28 2015 11:20am

Covering Crashing Heaven

Crashing Heaven Al Robertson

Bought eighteen months or so ago in what The Bookseller describes as “a major pre-empt ahead of an auction” that would probably have been hotly fought, Crashing Heaven is for my money among the most exciting debuts of the coming months.

According to Gollancz’s Simon Spanton, “Al Robertson [is] a writer completely in command of his material and totally at home in his chosen genre”—which is to say science fiction. “To find all this, fully formed, in the work of a debut writer is special indeed. It’s a long time since I’ve read a book that takes the familiar and fashions it into something that feels so fresh.”

[Read More]

Wed
Jan 28 2015 11:00am

Rocket Talk Episode 41: Myke Cole

Rocket Talk Myke Cole

In this episode, Myke Cole visits Rocket Talk to discuss the challenges of writing things outside his experience. He and Justin discuss Cole’s newest release, Gemini Cell, and how a writer can and should push themselves.

[Listen Now!]

Wed
Jan 28 2015 10:00am

Heists and Capers Redux!

heist caper movies The Brothers Bloom

We here at Tor.com love any excuse for a heist! Last year we rounded up some classic caper stories; now, in order to assemble the best possible team, we’ve turned to Twitter to ask for your favorites. Check out this stellar list, and be sure to let us know if we missed any indispensable titles.

It’s like our very own version of Ocean’s Eleven!

[We wanted to dream a bit bigger, darlings.]

Wed
Jan 28 2015 9:30am

Joint US and UK Cover Reveal for The Traitor Baru Cormorant

The Traitor Baru Cormorant cover reveal

There’s already a lot of buzz around Seth Dickinson’s debut fantasy novel, The Traitor Baru Cormorant, and we are pleased to reveal both the Tor Books and Tor UK covers! Dickinson’s epic fantasy centers on Baru Cormorant, a character who rivals the entire Lannister clan in wit, cunning, and ambition.

“Seth Dickinson’s novel has everything I look for as an editor,” said Tor Books editor Marco Palmieri, “focusing on issues any 21st century reader can relate to: having to hide who you really are in a world that disapproves of you; becoming part of a monstrous system that oppresses those less powerful; and the moral compromises that are sometimes made for the sake of a greater good. It’s strong stuff, beautifully told, transcending genre, and it rips my heart out every time I read it.”

[Read More]

Wed
Jan 28 2015 9:00am
Original Story

Useless Wings

In this prequel to Tin Star, we meet Heckleck, the Hort alien who befriends Tula Bane on the space station Yertina Feray in her fight for survival. In his modest beginnings, Heckleck is raised to understand that breeding and propagating his own kind is the sole reason for living. When he is called upon to settle on a new planet, he meets the daughter of a politician, Goglu, with whom he falls helplessly in love, and is determined to win over. But nothing is easy in love and space exploration, and when his plans become thwarted, he must find a new way of life.

This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by Connie Hsu.

[Read “Useless Wings” by Cecil Castellucci]

Wed
Jan 28 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Who Needs Gold When You Have Books?

Dragon Hoard

We stumbled upon a gorgeous treasure pile on imgur!

Dont’WorryImMedicated posted a group of dragons who have chosen to hoard far more interesting things than gold. You see...knowledge is their treasure. Well, knowledge, pastries, and bunnies!

Morning Roundup brings you the best anti-prejudice statement we’ve seen in a while, news on Deadpool’s big screen adventures, and lessons from some of the best villains working today!

[plus]

Tue
Jan 27 2015 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: February Releases in Science Fiction

science fiction new releases February Nineteen new releases appear on the science fiction shelves this month, with adult series additions from, among others, Eric Flint and Ryk E. Spoor (Boundary), Timothy Zahn (Cobra Rebellion), and D.J. Molles (The Remaining), and young adult titles galore.

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.]

Tue
Jan 27 2015 4:55pm

Paul Feig’s All-Female Ghostbusters Cast Announced!

The Hollywood Reporter has announced—and Paul Feig has confirmed—the all-female cast for the new Ghostbusters movie! According to THR, Melissa McCarthy has officially signed on, while Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon are in negotiations

[Read more]

Tue
Jan 27 2015 4:00pm
Excerpt

The Sculptor (Comic Excerpt)

Scott McCloud

The Sculptor Scott McCloud David Smith is giving his life for his art—literally. Thanks to a deal with Death, the young sculptor gets his childhood wish: to sculpt anything he can imagine with his bare hands. But now that he only has 200 days to live, deciding what to create is harder than he thought, and discovering the love of his life at the 11th hour isn't making it any easier! 

This is a story of desire taken to the edge of reason and beyond; of the frantic, clumsy dance steps of young love; and a gorgeous, street-level portrait of the world's greatest city. It's about the small, warm, human moments of everyday life…and the great surging forces that lie just under the surface. Scott McCloud wrote the book on how comics work; now he vaults into great fiction with a breathtaking, funny, and unforgettable new work—The Sculptor, available February 3rd from First Second.

[Read an Excerpt]

Tue
Jan 27 2015 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “’Til Death Do Us Part”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Til Death Do Us Part“’Til Death Do Us Part”
Written by David Weddle & Bradley Thompson
Directed by Winrich Kolbe
Season 7, Episode 18
Production episode 40510-568
Original air date: April 14, 1999
Stardate: unknown

Station log: After a summary of the high points of “Penumbra,” we see Sisko telling Jake about his vision from the Prophets, which is interrupted by the arrival of Winn, along with two ranjens. The kai has come to assist in the preparations for the Emissary’s wedding. Sisko confides in Winn that the Prophets have warned him about a great trial ahead. (He doesn’t mention about them wanting him not to get married.)

As Winn enters Ops, she has a vision of her own. She is told that Emissary is faltering and that she must guide Bajor in the Restoration. A guide will come to her—she’ll know him because he will be a man of the land. Winn recovers, and waxes rhapsodic about the Prophets finally speaking to her after all her years of service and dedication.

[“Didn’t think you were going to make it.” “I just heard about it twenty minutes ago.” “Me too, and I’m the caterer! I can’t work under these conditions...”]

Tue
Jan 27 2015 2:30pm

Surgically Removing The Onions: Gotham “Welcome Back, Jim Gordon”

Gotham Welcome Back Jim Gordon

“Welcome Back, Jim Gordon,” is an interesting title choice for this episode, but not in the way that “Selina Kyle” or “Harvey Dent” or “Lovecraft” were. “Welcome Back, Jim Gordon” feels like almost a re-pilot for the entire Gotham series. It contains all of the show’s trademark elements, both good and bad, and presents them in a mostly adequate package. If you combined every single episode of Gotham up until this point and then divided to find the median, you’d probably end up with ‘Welcome Back, Jim Gordon.” In true Gotham fashion, the exposition re-hashes just about everything we already know about the world of the show, and even though it kind of does technically advance the overall plot, it also feels (with the exception of a few details) like it could have been slotted in at any point in the series, just to fill up space.

Still, it makes for a decent hour of procedural television—which, coming from me is some of the highest praise that I can offer this show.

[Read More]

Tue
Jan 27 2015 2:00pm

Don’t Stop Believin’! Sleepy Hollow: “Kali Yuga”

Sleepy Hollow Kali Yuga

Oh what is this emotion? Could this be happiness? Or relief? I think it’s relief! Gentle reader, I think Sleepy Hollow might be back! It was pretty good! There was wit, and chemistry, and the Hawley subplot actually worked as part of a larger arc, and it was like the show that I used to love had returned to me! Which was also commented upon multiple times by the episode itself!

[More Sleepy Hollow comeback joy!]

Tue
Jan 27 2015 1:20pm

Tor.com is Seeking an Associate Art Director

Last summer, we announced the expansion of Tor.com’s fiction publishing to include commercially sold novellas. Since then our editors have been hard at work acquiring stories and it is now time to hire an Associate Art Director to help shape the look of Tor.com novellas.

Tor.com is seeking an associate art director with 4-5 years of experience to conceptualize and execute approximately 30 book covers and mechanicals a year, along with related advertising and promotional materials. The Tor.com imprint emphasizes ebooks but will include print and audio editions as well.

This position will have a strong influence on the look and feel of a complete line of titles. Candidates should have an extensive knowledge of science fiction and fantasy publishing and book design. We are looking for someone enthusiastic about the possibilities that working in a digital space can bring, someone that wants to try new ideas, learn, innovate, and adapt as the program develops. They will be part of a small creative team fully dedicated to the Tor.com imprint. This is a full-time position working in our New York office.

To apply, please contact Macmillan Human Resources.

For more information, see the posting on Macmillan’s job board.

Tue
Jan 27 2015 1:00pm

The Wheel of Time Reread Redux: The Eye of the World, Part 16

Look on my Wheel of Time Reread Redux, ye mighty, and despair! Or at least feel mildly bad about yourselves! Today’s Redux post will cover Chapter 29 and 30 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!

[Nothing beside remains. Round the decay / Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare / The lone and level sands stretch far away.]