Daughter of Necessity October 1, 2014 Daughter of Necessity Marie Brennan Tell me, O Muse, of that ingenious heroine... Midway Relics and Dying Breeds September 24, 2014 Midway Relics and Dying Breeds Seanan McGuire Between the roots and the sky. The Golden Apple of Shangri-La September 23, 2014 The Golden Apple of Shangri-La David Barnett A Gideon Smith story. Selfies September 17, 2014 Selfies Lavie Tidhar Smile for the camera.
From The Blog
September 29, 2014
Powerful Words:The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Anton Strout
September 29, 2014
Slarom, the Backward Morals of Fairytales
Jack Heckel
September 25, 2014
After Paris: Meta, Irony, Narrative, Frames, and The Princess Bride
Jo Walton
September 23, 2014
It’s All About the Benjamins in Sleepy Hollow: “This is War”
Leah Schnelbach
September 23, 2014
The Death of Adulthood in American Culture: Nerd Culture Edition
Lindsay Ellis
Oct 1 2014 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: Genre-Benders for October

Fiction Affliction new releases genre-bending OctoberNot all who wander are lost, said the great sage Tolkien. Seventeen books wander with purpose between genres this month, from time traveling to airship tales.

Look for series additions from, among others, Carolyn Hart (Bailey Ruth Ghost), Weston Ochse (Seal Team 666), Sheri S. Tepper (Plague of Angels), Liesel Schwarz (The Chronicles of Light and Shadow), and April Taylor (The Tudor Enigma), plus anthologies edited by Paula Guran (time travel), David Thomas Moore (Holmesian tales), and Ellen Datlow (Silver Screen).

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.]

Oct 1 2014 4:00pm

Parallel Apocalypses: Extinction Game by Gary Gibson

Gary Gibson Extinction GameOne of the most popular types of science fiction narratives is the apocalypse or post-apocalypse story—a world in ruins with few survivors eking out a threadbare existence in a world (seemingly/mostly) devoid of civilization. Told from the point of view of Jerry Beche, Extinction Game, is Gary Gibson’s foray into this subgenre after a string of successful Space Opera novels.

Through Jerry’s first person voice, we get an intimate portrait of a man losing his sanity despite surviving the initial apocalypse. He speaks with his dead wife, he wants to make sure the people responsible for her death, Red Harvest, get their just desserts. When Jerry finally ventures out of his ramshackle hovel, he finds other people. Unfortunately for Jerry, these people capture and interrogate him, and we soon learn they are from a parallel Earth—Jerry is one of many people extracted from an apocalyptic world to be trained as Pathfinders, specialists who plunder other Earths for hints of salvation.

[It’s the End of the Worlds as We Know Them…]

Oct 1 2014 3:00pm

No Sleep Till Ever. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: “Heavy is the Head”

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2, episode 2: Heavy is the Head

“Heavy is the Head” is essentially the part 2 to the season’s premiere episode “Shadows” and while the plot is mostly concerned with mopping up the mess from the events of the premiere, during its quieter moments it builds a flickering tension in regards to Coulson’s new role as the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Last season saw him progressing to a more open approach with his team, to where you could feasibly see him thinking of them as his teammates rather than his subordinates. Now that his vista is greatly expanded, he’s forced to think of them as subordinates once more, and that could edge Coulson out of a show that’s meant to be centered around him.

[Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: “Heavy is the Head”]

Oct 1 2014 2:00pm

The End of the Sentence: A Conversation with Kat Howard and Maria Dahvana Headley

The End of the Sentence Maria Dahvana Headley Kat HowardI’ve long been a fan of Kat Howard and Maria Dahvana Headley’s fiction; both writers have a magician’s knack for mixing up the uncanny with the real, resulting in haunting stories that stick with you for a long time. I was thrilled to hear they’d joined forces for The End of the Sentence, a collaboratively written novella available now from Subterranean Press—and even more thrilled upon reading it to discover that it was every bit as deliciously creepy and gorgeously terrifying as I’d hoped.

I chatted a bit with Kat and Maria about monsters, love, co-writing, and kissing scenes.

[Read more...]

Oct 1 2014 1:00pm

Rereading Melanie Rawn: Dragon Prince, Chapters 19 and 20

Wdragon prince reread melanie rawnelcome to the weekly Wednesday reread of Dragon Prince! We’re six years down the plotline now, with some fast filling in and some new (and not so new) plots and schemes. Rohan’s still utterly sexy, I mean clever, Sioned’s still making magic out on the edge, and Ianthe is back, badder than ever.

Part Three: Vengeance
Chapter 19

So This Happens: Six years after the events at the end of Part Two, three years after the Plague summarized in the Interlude, Rohan receives a secret letter from Feylin of Skybowl, presenting a census of dragons and indicating that the dragons are intelligent enough to avoid the places where they’ve suffered disaster, including plague, and will not be mating in their usual places. He recommends that Rohan ban the killing of dragons.

[Read More]

Oct 1 2014 12:55pm

The First Full Trailer For Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings is Here

The first full-length trailer for Exodus has been released and while it hits all the expected notes of a blockbuster, it still seems like it’s treating the time period and the geographical area it conveys as a British fable.

[Click through for the trailer]

Oct 1 2014 12:30pm

It’s Dark Down Under

James Smythe

Pay attention, people: James Smythe is one of the most exciting new science fiction writers to debut in decades. He’s also been amongst the most productive, releasing two books a year since The Testimony in 2012. In between volumes of the ongoing Anomaly Quartet the English author has treated readers to The Machine—a darkly fantastic Frankenstein story for the 21st century—and No Harm Can Come to a Good Man—a paranoid power play about predictive politics.

Alongside The Explorer and The Echo, these superlative speculative texts demonstrate the breadth and depth of Smythe’s abilities, so I wasn’t surprised to hear that his next book would be something unusual too. This was back in January, when Hodder & Stoughton announced that they’d acquired the rights to a three part Young Adult series by said.

The song remains the same this week, but the lyrics are significantly different. First and foremost, the novel formerly known as The Burning Depths has a new title. Coming up: Way Down Dark’s incredible cover art, plus comments about the book from its Arthur C. Clarke shortlisted author and editor extraordinaire Anne Perry.

[Read More]

Oct 1 2014 12:00pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: The Crippled God, Chapter Twenty-One

Malazan Crippled God rereadWelcome to the Malazan Reread of the Fallen! Every post will start off with a summary of events, followed by reaction and commentary by your hosts Bill and Amanda (with Amanda, new to the series, going first), and finally comments from Tor.com readers. In this article, we’ll cover the second part of chapter twenty of The Crippled God.

A fair warning before we get started: We’ll be discussing both novel and whole-series themes, narrative arcs that run across the entire series, and foreshadowing.

Note: The summary of events will be free of major spoilers and we’re going to try keeping the reader comments the same. A spoiler thread has been set up for outright Malazan spoiler discussion.

[Read More]

Oct 1 2014 11:00am

Millennial Tension: Selfie Does Everything Wrong, Generates Negative Feels


OK, let me say this first: I love John Cho. I have spoken before about his excellent stretched-neck acting in Sleepy Hollow. I love Karen Gillan. While I had many, god, so many some issues with Amy Pond, I always thought she did a great job with the character, and she was fun as Nebula in GoTG. And here, again, they do their best, but this thing was doomed from the start. Do we seriously need a new version of Pygmalion? Do we need “older stuffy dude angrily mansplains life to a young woman who’s trying to figure herself out”?

[Has Lena Dunham accomplished nothing?]

Oct 1 2014 10:30am

Tell Us How You Use the Site and Win Some Neat Stuff

How do you use Tor.com? What do you come here to read? Every so often we like to check in with our readers to get a more up to date idea of how you’re using the site. Towards that end, we’re asking you to take part in this brief survey.

Bonus: Participating in the survey also enters you in a sweepstakes for a prize pack including Tor.com tote bags and glasses, plus copies of Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem, Jo Walton’s The Just City, Brian Staveley’s The Providence of Fire, and V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic! Five winners will be drawn randomly from everyone who takes the survey, regardless of entry point. The full rules are listed here.

(Note: Commenting on this post does NOT enter you into the sweepstakes.)

Oct 1 2014 10:00am

Pull List: Lumberjanes

From the first page of the first issue, I knew Lumberjanes was going to be my new favorite thing. All the girls are awesome—I absolutely adore Mal, probably more than is healthy—the story is easy but engaging, and the dialogue is sharp, cheerful, and pleasantly down to earth. But it wasn’t until page 9 that I fell in love.

The girls use famous/important women as interjections, and on that page Molly referenced a woman who has been my hero since I was a little girl: Bessie “Queen Bess” Coleman. She was the first African American person of any gender to have an international license, and the first Black female pilot in the world, and it’s a rare day when I encounter someone who not only knows of her but treats her with the respect she deserves. This is probably going to be less review and more love letter, because there’s just so much greatness bundled up in such a little comic.

[“What the junk?!”]

Oct 1 2014 9:00am
Original Story

Daughter of Necessity

By day she crafts; by night she unmakes. Surely somewhere, in all the myriad crossings of the threads, there is a future in which all will be well. Marie Brennan offers an intriguing new spin on a classic tale.

This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by editor Paul Stevens.

[Read “Daughter of Necessity” by Marie Brennan]

Oct 1 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: NASA Knows Where Its Towel Is

Blastr shared our favorite thing we&’ve seen today - NASA&’s poster for their 42nd trip to the International Space Station! With the number 42 hovering symbolically over the mission, they couldn&’t help but homage Hitchhiker&’s Guide to the Galaxy, and it&’s adorable. Check out more info on the mission, plus a roundup of some of NASA&’s best SFF-themed posters!

Morning Roundup brings you a very special edition of A Song of Ice and Fire, thoughts on Interstellar&’s influences, a look at the nerdiest court cases of all time, plus news on Batman V. Superman and Clerks 3!

[Pangolin? Are you trying to say pangolin?]

Sep 30 2014 5:00pm

Popcorn Reading: The Lost Stars: Imperfect Sword by Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell Lost Stars Imperfect Sword review I have a small wee habit of complaining about the difficulties of reviewing series books. And yet I still find myself saying “Oh yes, definitely, I’ll review that! Love to!”

If you’re already familiar with Jack Campbell’s The Lost Stars series, a spin-off to his ever-longer-running The Lost Fleet sequence, you already know whether or not you’re interested in reading this one. You also know what you can expect: Campbell is nothing if not predictable. If you’re not familiar with this series, here isn’t the place to start: The Lost Stars: Imperfect Sword is the third book in a series that began with The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight and continued in The Lost Stars: Perilous Shield.

[Read More]

Sep 30 2014 4:30pm

Laika’s The Boxtrolls Will Knock Your Box Off

The Boxtrolls

The latest film from the brilliant minds and hands at animation studio Laika (Coraline, ParaNorman), The Boxtrolls comes to the big screen laden with quite a set of expectations. With Pixar now apparently passé (what, no one liked Cars 2?), animation fans seem to have pinned their collective hopes and dreams on Portland-based Laika as the shiny new face of original storytelling in animated features. Frankly, that’s a lot of weight for one little film to bear, and in the face of mixed early reviews, I’ll admit that I braced myself for crushing disappointment as I walked into the theater this weekend.

Well good news, boys and girls, your hopes and dreams are safe with Laika for one day more: The Boxtrolls is charming, inventive, and beautifully realized in gorgeous stop-motion animation.

[Read more]

Sep 30 2014 4:00pm

Fiction Affliction: October Releases in Science Fiction

Fiction Affliction new releases science fiction OctoberTwenty-nine new releases appear on the science fiction shelves this month, with space making a comeback and the young-adult takeover continuing. (Missing a favorite? Check tomorrow’s “Genre-Bender” column.)

Look for new series releases from, among others, Ann Leckie (Imperial Radch), Jack Campbell (The Lost Stars), Dan Krokos (The Planet Thieves), Ramez Naam (Nexus), and Mike Shepherd (Kris Longknife). Also check out new anthologies edited by Rick Wilber (Field of Fantasies: Baseball Stories), Ellen Datlow (Nightmare Carnival), and Hank Davis (The Baen Big Book of Monsters).

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.]

Sep 30 2014 3:20pm

Visit Tor Books at New York Comic-Con and New York Super Week!

Tor Books NYCC schedule 2014

Celebrating the 27th year in a row of being named LOCUS Magazine's Best Publisher, Tor Books has tons of exciting programming for both New York Comic-Con 2014 and the first-ever New York Super Week!

Visit them at booth #2223 for author signings and giveaways, and check out our geeky game show at the Javits Center. Plus, you can swing by Barnes & Noble for a Family Feud-style showdown between sci-fi and fantasy authors, and check out an erotic fanfiction showdown at The Bell House!

[Check out the full Tor Books schedule for Super Week and NYCC!]

Sep 30 2014 3:05pm

Cleaning Up After George Washington: Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution

Sleepy Hollow Children of the Revolution Keith R A DeCandido review

Keith R.A. DeCandido, our faithful Tor.com Deep Space 9 Rewatcher, has had a long and fabulous career writing SFF. In addition to original work like The Klingon Art of War and Dragon Precinct, he has written tie-in novels for shows including Star Trek, Buffy, Supernatural, Doctor Who. This week he adds to his fictional family with the first Sleepy Hollow tie-in novel: Children of the Revolution.

The narrative travels from Sleepy Hollow to the Astor Court of the Met, from Fort Ticonderoga to the Bronx. It ranges over New York’s history from 1776 all the way up to last January, and fills in some great bits of Ichabod’s backstory, as well as giving us a more emotional portrait of Ichabod, Abbie, Capt. Irving, and Jenny. But, most important, there’s a new mystery, and it involves Irving’s past!

[Read more]

Sep 30 2014 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “Honor Among Thieves”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Honor Among Thieves“Honor Among Thieves”
Written by Philip Kim and Rene Echevarria
Directed by Allan Eastman
Season 6, Episode 15
Production episode 40510-539
Original air date: February 21, 1998
Stardate: unknown

Station log: O’Brien is sitting in a bar on Farius Prime, in shabby civilian clothes. He’s been there for several weeks, under the name “Connolly,” eavesdropping on three members of the Orion Syndicate: Liam Bilby, Flith, and Krole. Today, they’re discussing how Raimus is going to be disappointed about the faulty merchandise. They get hungry and decide to order food via a com-booth. Krole hacks into the booth so they can charge the food to someone else, but before he can finish the transaction, O’Brien touches a control on a device, which immediately hits Krole with a nasty electric charge. O’Brien then runs up to “save” Krole from being “spiked.” It also fuses Krole’s implant that he used. O’Brien offers to fix the implant. He professes ignorance as to who Bilby and the others are, but Bilby has seen him tinkering with junk for weeks, so he’s obviously down on his luck.

O’Brien then meets with his handler, Chadwick. Five Starfleet Intelligence operatives have been killed by the Syndicate, so there’s obviously a mole in SI. O’Brien’s job is to find the mole, and he got the gig because he’s not in SI.

[Back home, wherever that is, do you have a family?]

Sep 30 2014 2:53pm

Brandon Sanderson Reveals Longer First Chapter From Stormlight Archive Book 3

Stormlight Archive book 3 chapter

If you receive Brandon Sanderson’s newsletter then you were in for a treat this week, as a longer more polished version of the opening chapter of Stormlight Archive book 3 was included in the email!

Sanderson originally read a rough draft of this chapter at Salt Lake City’s FantasyCon in July. The most recent version is twice as long, and can be read below.

It’s a Kaladin chapter and Words of Radiance spoilers are immediately present. Proceed with caution!

[Read an opening chapter from Stormlight Archive book 3]