A Long Spoon December 18, 2014 A Long Spoon Jonathan L. Howard A Johannes Cabal story. Burnt Sugar December 10, 2014 Burnt Sugar Lish McBride Everyone knows about gingerbread houses. Father Christmas: A Wonder Tale of the North December 9, 2014 Father Christmas: A Wonder Tale of the North Charles Vess Happy Holidays from Tor.com Skin in the Game December 3, 2014 Skin in the Game Sabrina Vourvoulias Some monsters learn how to pass.
From The Blog
December 9, 2014
The Eleventh Doctor’s Legacy Was Loss and Failure
Emily Asher-Perrin
December 9, 2014
Tor.com Reviewers’ Choice: The Best Books of 2014
Tor.com
December 8, 2014
How Fast is the Millennium Falcon? A Thought Experiment.
Chris Lough
December 8, 2014
Tiamat’s Terrain: Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange
Alex Mangles
December 4, 2014
Potential Spoiler Leak for Star Wars: The Force Awakens Reveals Awesome Details
Emily Asher-Perrin
Thu
Dec 18 2014 5:00pm
Excerpt

Unbreakable (Excerpt)

W.C. Bauers

WC Bauers Unbreakable cover excerpt The colonists of the planet Montana are accustomed to being ignored. Situated in the buffer zone between two rival human empires, their world is a backwater: remote, provincial, independently minded. Even as a provisional member of the Republic of Aligned Worlds, Montana merits little consideration—until it becomes the flashpoint in an impending interstellar war.

When pirate raids threaten to destabilize the region, the RAW deploys its mechanized armored infantry to deal with the situation. Leading the assault is Marine Corps Lieutenant and Montanan expatriate Promise Paen of Victor Company. Years earlier, Promise was driven to join the Marines after her father was killed by such a raid. Payback is sweet, but it comes at a tremendous and devastating cost. And Promise is in no way happy to be back on her birthworld, not even when she is hailed as a hero by the planet’s populace, including its colorful president. Making matters even worse: Promise is persistently haunted by the voice of her dead mother...

Check out Unbreakable, W.C. Bauers’ character-driven military science fiction novel—available January 13th from Tor Books!

[Read an Excerpt]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 4:00pm

Mistborn Fans Will Get TWO New Novels Next Year!

Mistborn Shadows of Self Bands of Mourning Brandon Sanderson

Tor Books is eye-wideningly excited to announce that TWO new Mistborn novels by Brandon Sanderson will be released in late 2015 and early 2016!

The novels will continue Wax and Wayne’s adventures in the world of Mistborn, a series begun by 2011’s The Alloy of Law, which was itself a short story that just kept growing and growing until, well, until it grew into a series of novels!

[Read more]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 3:15pm

Swiftly Does It

Osiris Project EJ Swift Tamaruq

As curator of the British Fiction Focus, I have a kind of cause—to bring word of the best genre fiction from my neck of the woods to you fine folks in yours—but sometimes, sadly, a series slips through the cracks.

Now I don’t have any inside information about how well they’re selling, but neither do I see nearly as many people talking about The Osiris Project as I believe there should be, so consider this a call to arms, all: E. J. Swift is an awesome author. She writes “proper grown-up SF,” as her fellow proper grown-up SF author Adam Roberts says; SF that is at once “stylish, memorable, beautifully written and utterly distinctive.” The failed utopia of her fiction—“a future ocean metropolis [...] whose inhabitants believe they live on the last city on earth”—mightn’t be explosive in the mode of most such stories, but by gum, it’s stunning.

She just so happens to have a new book coming out, too...

[Read More]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 3:00pm

When Ghosts Want You in a Small Town: Gallows Hill

Gallows Hill Lois DuncanGetting spare cash in high school can be difficult, especially if you live in a relatively small town with very few available after school jobs, and you are living with a single, unemployed mother.

So it’s probably not too surprising that Sarah Zoltanne reluctantly agrees to work with her not-particularly-well liked, probably-soon-to-be stepsister Kyra and Kyra’s boyfriend Eric in a fake fortune telling business. Only one small, small problem: as it turns out, Sarah can sometimes see the real future. And that’s terrifying for a lot of people, including Sarah, and might even lead everyone to Gallows Hill.

[Plus, for no real apparent reasons, the Salem Witches are going to get involved. Very spoilery.]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 2:30pm

The Globe: The Science of Discworld II Sweepstakes!

We recently brought you an excerpt from Terry Pratchett’s The Globe: The Science of Discworld II, an exploration of the human universe of Roundworld, out in the U.S. from Anchor Books on January 20th. Now we want to send five lucky winners a copy of the book, co-authored by Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen!

When the wizards of Unseen University first created Roundworld, they were so concerned with discovering the rules of this new universe that they overlooked its inhabitants entirely. Now, they have noticed humanity. And humanity has company.

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 2:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on December 18. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on December 22. 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.

Thu
Dec 18 2014 2:00pm

The Harry Potter Reread: The Goblet of Fire, Chapters 9 and 10

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, coverThe Harry Potter Reread has never mastered the art of gift wrapping, but enjoys fancy wrapping paper. This is a problem. It is a waste of fanciness. Unacceptable.

We’ve arrived at the place where everything actually gets scary! It’s Chapters 9 and 10 of The Goblet of Fire—The Dark Mark and Mayhem at the Ministry.

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
Dec 18 2014 1:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Dance With Dragons, Part 4

A Song of Ice and Fire 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 4 of A Dance With Dragons, in which we cover Chapter 6 (“The Merchant’s Man”).

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!

[“Quentyn,” on the other hand, is a perfectly cromulent name]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 12:10pm

BBC America Shares Orphan Black Season 3 Premiere Date and Teaser: “This Is War”

Orphan Black season 3 teaser

Orphan Black returns April 18, 2015! BBC America confirmed the premiere date and released a short new teaser to tide us over. Compared to the first two seasons, which has seen the Clone Club in hiding from the various folks who want to kidnap/experiment on/breed them, now they’re taking a stand with the simple statement: “This is war.”

[Watch the teaser]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 12:00pm

Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 22

Words of Radiance reread Chapter 22Welcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com! Last week, Alice mourned the loss of Bluth and celebrated the impoverishment of Tvlakv. This week, we watch a number of threads plot along, then are surprised by an assassin!

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
Dec 18 2014 11:05am

A Message From John Sargent

Dear Authors, Illustrators, and Agents,

There has been a lot of change in the e-book publishing world of late, so I thought it a good idea to update you on what is going on at Macmillan. The largest single change happens today, December 18th. Today a portion of our agreement with the Department of Justice (called a consent decree) expires, and we will no longer be required to allow retailers to discount e-books.

Unfortunately, the court in the Apple case made matters more complex. In a judgment against Apple, the court determined that publishers would be required to allow Apple unlimited discounting, and for a period that extends beyond the court approved consent decrees. Different time periods were assigned to different publishers. This will ensure a muddled and inefficient market until October 5, 2017 when Macmillan’s term (the last publisher) expires. Simon & Schuster and Macmillan have appealed the court’s decision to extend these dates. This appeal still awaits resolution.

[Read More]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 11:00am

Following Battlestar Galactica’s Lead: Ascension, “Night Three”

Ascension Night Three review

Going into Ascension, I assumed that it was a self-contained miniseries, not unlike the generation ship itself smoothly sailing through space toward its destination. But once we discovered the twist behind the series’ premise—which redefined everything this supposed space opera was commenting on—it also makes sense to learn that Ascension is intended as some sort of sneaky pilot, not unlike Syfy’s 2003 miniseries that spawned the new Battlestar Galactica.

Ascension’s finale forced the ship to face its gravest danger yet; saw characters usurping power in “yay!” ways and killing each other in “no what no!” ways; and upped the ante with a very different sci-fi twist that might guarantee a series pickup but could also wind up alienating future viewers. Basically, Ascension has become a hot mess of a show—but that might not be the worst thing!

[Read more]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 10:30am

Jonathan Strange Meets Georgette Heyer: Pan Macmillan Acquires Zen Cho’s Regency Fantasy Sorcerer to the Crown

Zen Cho

Pan Macmillan has acquired the UK rights to Sorcerer to the Crown, the start of a new trilogy from debut author Zen Cho.

Pan Macmillan's Senior Commissioning editor Bella Pagan is excited for the trilogy, saying “Sorcerer to the Crown is warm, clever and witty. I just adored the characters, their dilemmas and the lively world Zen Cho has created. It’s very special and I just can’t wait to share this wonderful book with as many readers as possible.”

[Regency London and High Magic!]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 10:00am

Midnight in Karachi, Episode 2: Patrick Ness

Midnight in Karachi

Welcome back to Midnight in Karachi, a bi-weekly podcast about writers, publishers, editors, illustrators, their books and the worlds they create, hosted by Mahvesh Murad.

This week Mahvesh is joined by Patrick Ness, author of the Chaos Walking trilogy, A Monster Calls and More Than This. He’s the winner of two Carnegie Medals, a Guardian Children’s Fiction prize, a Tiptree Award and a Costa Book Award, and he's also been on the Clarke Award shortlist in 2011. Patrick’s beautiful, frightening novel A Monster Calls is currently in development as a feature film starring Sigourney Weaver and Liam Neeson, so naturally we gushed about Sigourney on the podcast, as well as Prince. Patrick also tells us about his next book due out in 2015.

And in this week's Under the Radar segment, Mahvesh talks about an early feminist classic from the subcontinent called Sultana’s Dream.

[Listen Now!]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 9:30am

The Gospel of Loki U.S. Cover Reveal!

Joanne M Harris Gospel of Loki US cover Saga Press

Tor.com is excited to reveal the U.S. cover for The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M. Harris, author of Chocolat. The Gospel of Loki was a bestseller in the UK and will be published by Saga Press in the U.S. on May 5, 2015. Check out the full cover below, and read editor Joe Monti’s thoughts on the design!

[Read More]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 9:00am
Original Story

A Long Spoon

You may have heard of Johannes Cabal; he is a necromancer and a little infamous. He is also very sensitive to attempts on his life. When a murder of crows tries to . . . well, murder him, and the contents of his bath are transmuted into hot nitric acid, he suspects someone may mean him harm. The trail leads to one of the less travelled parts of Hell itself, and there Cabal will need a guide.

As Dante had his Virgil, so Cabal employs the services of a devil who is a monster, a predator, and—most alien of all to Cabal—a woman. The devil Zarenyia and he delve deep into Hell, even into Satan’s greatest mistake, to confront challenges quite outside the ken of any mortal. But one should always use a long spoon when supping with a devil, and Cabal soon realises the unthinkable, a horror beyond his experience. He is actually beginning to like her.

This novelette was acquired and edited for Tor.com by St. Martin’s Press editor Peter Joseph.

[Read “A Long Spoon” by Jonathan L. Howard]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Do You Want to Build A Wampa?

Star Wars Wampa Snowflake

In the interest of providing you a non-denominational wintry craft, we present: Wampa-flakes! Anthony Herrera creates culturally relevant snowflakes that can celebrate the winter season itself without any reference to Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa...wait, did we finally decide the Force was a religion?

Morning Roundup brings you the complex inner lives of videogame extras, a 3D-printed puppy, and multiple ways to celebrate the new Hobbit film!

[Plus, Christmas just got a whole lot merrier!]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 7:00am

The Man Who Demolished Boring Science Fiction: Alfred Bester

Alfred Bester art by David A. JohnsonThinking about telepaths when telepaths are in the room is hard because they know you’re thinking about them. This is why—on most days—I’m glad I never actually had the chance to meet science fiction legend Alfred Bester, because my thoughts about him would have been disgustingly gushing and I’m sure he would have heard those thoughts because he was likely a real deal telepath and I would have been embarrassed. I’m kidding. I’m super sad I didn’t get to meet him! (But he was probably a real telepath...)

Today would have been Bester’s 102nd birthday. He won the first Hugo award for a novel ever, and made everything in SF way more fun. Here’s why he’s still the best.

[Read more]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 7:00am

Michael Moorcock is The Eternal Champion

Michael Moorcock Portrait by David A. JohnsonToday marks the 75th birthday of celebrated and influential author and editor Michael John Moorcock. Involving himself in the SF/Fantasy scene practically as soon as he discovered it, Moorcock began editing Tarzan Adventures in 1957 when he was just 17. His love of high adventure, such as the work of Leigh Brackett and Edgar Rice Burroughs, influenced not only his early editorial work but also his own writing.

He is often self-deprecating about his style, saying in the introduction to Elric: The Stealer of Souls:

“I think of myself as a bad writer with big ideas, but I’d rather be that than a big writer with bad ideas”

[Read more]

Wed
Dec 17 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

Half-Resurrection Blues (Excerpt)

Half-Resurrection Blues excerpt Daniel Jose Older Carlos Delacruz is one of the New York Council of the Dead’s most unusual agents—an inbetweener, partially resurrected from a death he barely recalls suffering, after a life that’s missing from his memory. He thinks he is one of a kind—until he encounters other entities walking the fine line between life and death.

One inbetweener is a sorcerer. He’s summoned a horde of implike ngks capable of eliminating spirits, and they’re spreading through the city like a plague. They’ve already taken out some of NYCOD’s finest, leaving Carlos desperate to stop their master before he opens up the entrada to the Underworld—which would destroy the balance between the living and the dead. But in uncovering this man’s identity, Carlos confronts the truth of his own life—and death.…

Daniel José Older's Half-Resurrection Blues is the first Bone Street Rumba novel, a new urban fantasy series publishing January 6th from Roc!

[Read an Excerpt]

Wed
Dec 17 2014 3:00pm

Rich and Strange: “Nkásht íí” by Darcie Little Badger

strange horizonsWelcome back to Rich and Strange, a weekly reading of marvellous short fiction from around the web. Today’s review takes a look at “Nkásht íí” by Darcie Little Badger, published this week in Strange Horizons.

This week in Full Disclosure: nothing to declare! Except that this story is beautiful and hooked me from start to finish.

[Read More]