A Cup of Salt Tears August 27, 2014 A Cup of Salt Tears Isabel Yap They say women in grief are beautiful. Strongest Conjuration August 26, 2014 Strongest Conjuration Skyler White A story of the Incrementalists. Seven Commentaries on an Imperfect Land August 20, 2014 Seven Commentaries on an Imperfect Land Ruthanna Emrys Stories of Tikanu. Hero of the Five Points August 19, 2014 Hero of the Five Points Alan Gratz A League of Seven story.
From The Blog
August 25, 2014
Animorphs: Why the Series Rocked and Why You Should Still Care
Sam Riedel
August 20, 2014
The Welcome Return of the Impatient and Cantankerous Doctor Who
David Cranmer
August 19, 2014
The Wheel of Time Reread Redux: Introductory Post
Leigh Butler
August 19, 2014
Whatever Happened to the Boy Wonder? Bring Robin Back to the Big Screen
Emily Asher-Perrin
August 15, 2014
“Perhaps It Was Only an Echo”: The Giver
Natalie Zutter
Fri
Aug 29 2014 10:00am

Power Plays and Indian Steampunk in Eric Brown’s Jani and the Greater Game

Jani and the Greater Game Eric BrownJanisha Chatterjee is a woman tangled up in layered identities. She lives during the heyday of British imperial rule, which is powered by mysterious technology known as Annapurnite. The privileged daughter of an Indian government official, Jani is an accomplished citizen of Empire—modern, secular, and studying medicine at Cambridge. She feels increasingly at odds, however, with the world around her: not fully fitting in as a mixed-race woman on the streets of London or in the market squares of Delhi. She also has growing reservations about the Raj, despite her father’s accomplishments as Minister of Security.

When her father falls gravely ill, she takes the first dirigible back east. The Rudyard Kipling’s journey, unfortunately, is cut short by a Russian attack that kills nearly everyone on board. One of the few survivors amongst the wreckage, Jani discovers that the airship had been transporting a most unusual prisoner. This stranger bestows a dangerous gift to Jani that reveals the British Empire’s source of military might…. and a dire warning about a threat which endangers the entire world.

[An account of certain dramatic events and several amazing revelations about the nature of reality]

Fri
Aug 29 2014 9:00am

Werewolf Mercenaries and Mentors: Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs

Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson Shifting Shadows Patricia Briggs switched to writing urban fantasy after her first eight novels—which took place in various different second-world contexts—and has achieved no small measure of success with them. The Mercy Thompson series—about a coyote shapeshifter car mechanic set in a world where werewolves, vampires, and fae live among humans—has many flaws, but Briggs knows how to tell an entertaining story.

Shifting Shadows is her first short fiction collection, and consists of stories set in the Mercy Thompson continuum.

[A review]

Fri
Aug 29 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Love Makes Superheroes of Us All!

Captain American and Iron Man Cake Topper

Last weekend, two members of the Tor.com extended family combined, Voltron style, to become Kemelsey Basher-Parrot. (At least, we think that’s how marriage works…) So we thought the best way to kick off a holiday weekend was by sharing their EPIC CAKE. Please note that the topper of said cake homages the EARTH 3490 Universe, in which Tony Stark was born female (and for some reason named Natasha Stark? What’s wrong with Antonia?) and Stark’s marriage to Steve Rogers averted the Civil War.

Morning Roundup gives you a definitive ranking of Firefly episodes that we’re sure everyone will agree with 100%! Plus a look at the history of Star Wars edits, and Ridley Scott’s answer to people quite reasonable questions about Exodus.

[And MICE IN SPAAAAAACE]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: September Releases in Paranormal and Urban Fantasy

fiction affliction paranormal romance september new releasesTake a deep, deep breath, haul out your wallet, and get ready for forty-nine new titles in paranormal fantasy, urban fantasy, and fantastical horror this month.

Topping the wish list this month is the final novel (number thirteen, of course) in Kim Harrison’s Hollows series, a story collection in Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson world, and a new series from Cherie Priest, but also look for series additions from, among others, Jonathan Maberry (Dead of Night), Robin D. Owens (Ghost Seer), Kay Hooper (Bishop/Special Crimes Unit), Benedict Jacka (Alex Verus), Tad Williams (Bobby Dollar), Seanan McGuire (October Daye), Wen Spencer (Elfhome), Amanda Carlson (Jessica McClain), Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock), Sarah Rees Brennan (Lynburn Legacy), Anton Strout (Spellmason Chronicles), and Yasmine Galenorn (Otherworld).

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.]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 4:00pm

Steampunk Events for September 2014

Steampunk events September 2014

Autumn approaches, and along with copper, brass, and brown colors of the foliage, there are many steampunk events of note happening across the globe. Eurosteamcon prepares to take the entire continent by storm. Electro-swing inserts some retrofuturistic jazz into the Atlanta music scene. A murder mystery of sepia proportions is happening in Ohio. The steampunk band Abney Park takes the stage in New York City, along with Unwoman and Frenchy & the Punk. All of these events and more are featured this month, gathered together with the help of Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador and Arthur Morgan, the proprietor of French Steampunk.

[September Steampunk!]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 3:00pm

Time Travelling Through Your Earlier Books: The Stones of Green Knowe

Stones of Green Knowe LM BostonThe Stones of Green Knowe starts in the distant past, shortly after the death of William II, aka William Rufus, just decades after the Norman invastion, when the countryside is still using two languages: Anglo-Saxon (which author Lucy Boston, for simplicity’s sake, calls English) and French.

Osmund d’Aulneaux is building the great stone house that will eventually be known as Green Knowe on the estate he holds from his father-in-law. The house has several purposes: it will, of course, be more comfortable than the old wooden house the family currently uses; it will be more appropriate to their rank; it will prove that they are very stylish and up to date (a few paragraphs of the book are dedicated to discussing the most fashionable place to build a fireplace) and it will offer the higher ranking members of the d’Aulneaux family some privacy. Most of all, it will offer safety and security, not just to the family, but to the nearby villagers, who will be able to shelter inside when, not if, war returns. As Ormond bluntly explains, he does not expect peace. But he can expect this solid, carefully built stone house to survive.

As readers of the previous books in the series already know, it has.

[But if you haven’t read the previous books, this book will go ahead and introduce you to all of its characters anyway.]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 2:30pm

Amy Pond is Dressed as the Pink Ranger and it Gets Even Better From There

Karen Gillan Pink Ranger ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The past few weeks have seen countless celebrities dump buckets of frigid water over their heads as part of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, with all of the videos undoubtedly going viral. But as much as we liked seeing Patrick Stewart’s classy take on the challenge, or George R. R. Martin screaming and calling Neil Gaiman a bastard, or Benedict Cumberbatch getting doused five different times, we have a special place in our hearts for Karen Gillan’s video.

[Because Power Rangers]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 2:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Grab a Friend or Four to Play Dragon Age: Inquisition

BioWare’s upcoming Dragon Age: Inquisition is looking better and better as its launch date nears. With each passing month the developer has teased a little more of the game, and this last week brought us news of a particularly tantalizing nature: the latest entry in the Dragon Age franchise will feature a four-player online cooperative play mode.

[“Lead them or fall...”]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 1:12pm

Infinite Jest Comes to the Greatest Medium: LEGO!

Infnite Jest in LEGO

First published in 1996, David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest is already accepted as a classic work of literature. The book is set in a dystopic future, where the years themselves have been subsidized, Upper New England is toxic waste dump, and giant feral hamsters roam the land in ravenous packs. The action mostly revolves around life at an elite tennis academy, ETA, and life at the much-less-elite rehab down the road. The book, which is famously 1,079 pages long, endnoted to infinity, not to mention highly unwieldy, plot-wise, has been adapted into music videos and avant garde art shows. But now it has come to possibly the greatest medium of all: LEGO.

[Click through for the Prettiest LEGO of All Time.]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 1:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Feast for Crows, Part 28

George R R Martin A Song of Ice and Fire A Feast for CrowsWelcome 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 28 of A Feast for Crows, in which we cover Chapter 39 (“Cersei”).

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!

[“Leal” in Old French is “loial.” HAHAHAHAHAHA]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 12:30pm
Reprint

Read “Night’s Slow Poison,” from the World of Hugo-Winning Novel Ancillary Justice

Ann Leckie

Acillary Justice Ann Leckie

As the first novel to ever win the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke awards in the same year, it’s no stretch to call Ann Leckie’s debut space opera Ancillary Justice (Orbit, 2013) a phenomenon. While you’re waiting for the sequel, Ancillary Sword, please enjoy this reprint of “Night’s Slow Poison,” a short story by Ann Leckie from the world of the Imperial Radch. “Night’s Slow Poison” is a rich, claustrophobic story of a galactic voyage that forces one guardsmen to confront his uneasy family history through the lens of a passenger with his lost lover’s eyes.

 

[Read “Night's Slow Poison,” by Ann Leckie]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 12:00pm

Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 11

Welcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com! Last week, we got our first look into Shallan’s past, with the flashback to Red Carpet, Once White, and the accompanying debates about where Pattern went, who killed Brightlady Davar’s friend, and whether sympathy for Brightlord Davar is in order. This week, we return to the present where Shallan, waterlogged from having Soulcast her ride in the middle of the ocean, struggles to use what she’s learned to somehow survive.

This reread will contain spoilers for The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance (a.k.a. TWoK and WoR, respectively), 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. Come join us as we learn how important perception is, and how satisfactory a flameless life can be.

[“I am a stick.”]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 12:10pm

Where Is Katniss in the Latest Mockingjay Rebel Posters?

Mockingjay rebel posters District 13 Cressida Gale Katniss Pollux

The latest batch of posters for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 have the rebels of District 13 looking more like members of the Expendables movies than a propaganda camera crew. Which is to say, super badass, though we would’ve liked to see some camera equipment along with the rifles and crossbows.

But the most interesting thing to note about the Mockingjay posters so far is that none of them have featured Katniss Everdeen. Sure, she’s in the trailer, but the first round of teasers starred Peeta and Johanna; and the recent print ads focused on the leaders of District 13, like President Coin and Gale. Our Mockingjay is nowhere to be seen, and we think they planned it that way.

[Read more]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 11:00am

The Soft Apocalypse of The Getaway God

The Getaway God Richard KadreyWhat do you do when the Old Gods are returning to Earth after millennia, and you have the thing that will open the door? That’s what Stark has to figure out in The Getaway God, the sixth book in Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim series. The enemies are at the door and he has no idea how to stop them.

That Stark even wants to stop the apocalypse and willingly enlists in the cause is a sign of growth in the character. Over the course of six books, Stark has come to care not only for the people in his life, but for the world. Additionally, he’s a bit wiser, not so quick to pull the trigger or make things go boom. The Stark of The Getaway God is at least a little more thoughtful...

[So how do you get Elder Gods to go away? Trick or treat doesn’t seem to cut it...]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 10:00am

Darth Vader is Kind of a Time Traveler

Even though Han never leaps through a donut-shaped pulsating portal, Luke doesn’t twirl a cool hourglass necklace around, and Leia never hits 88 mph in a Delorean; time travel might still exist in one specific way in the Star Wars galaxy. Clairvoyance—that wonderful ability to see or sense the future—totally does exist, and in three specific incidents impacts the plots of the films. And if you can send messages into the past from the future, then clairvoyance (or precognition) in Star Wars suddenly becomes a timey-wimey plot device that (kind of?) brings balance to the Force.

[Read more]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 9:00am

Tasty, Tasty Angst: Sarah J. Maas’s Heir of Fire

Throne of Glass Heir of Fire Sarah J Maas review I have a confession to make. A guilty secret, if you like: Sarah J. Maas’s first two novels, Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, are the kind of books I love to hate. Implausible, inconsistent in characterisation, populated by protagonists who are all in their own way some variety of Mary Sue, operating according to Opposite World logic, and with the kind of scattershot worldbuilding and wrongness-in-small-details that makes me bang my head against walls, they nonetheless possess an indefinable quality that keeps me reading all the way to the end. I think it may be the tasty tasty angst.

Heir of Fire is the third volume in Maas’s ongoing series about youthful assassin Celaena Sardothien. It marks the first occasion where I feel that Maas may one day mature into a writer whose work I enjoy in its own right, and not mainly for the pleasure I find in taking it apart.

[Read More]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: OMG Star Trek: Next Gen Cast Please Just Reunite on TV

Star Trek Universe shared a selfie!

Morning Roundup has a giant teetering pile of links for you! We’ve got Hugo vote breakdowns, free stories, musings on the newest novels by David Mitchell and Haruki Murakami, and banned cartoons!

[Plus ]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 7:00am

The Varied Life of Jack Vance

Jack Vance Art by David A. JohnsonThere’s one thing I’ve learned from researching our founding SFF authors: writers used to be a hell of a lot cooler. Not to insult any of our modern masters—far from it! They’re doing their best with the era they were dealt. But skim over Ryan Britt’s article about Harlan Ellison. Take a look at Robert Heinlein’s life, or Kurt Vonnegut’s, or Frank Herbert’s or Philip K. Dick’s. You’ll find stories of street brawls, epic rivalries, tumultuous love lives, hallucinations. And then you get to Jack Vance, and the more you read the more you expect to learn that the man wrestled tigers for fun.

[Actually, he wrestled with more interesting things than tigers...]

Wed
Aug 27 2014 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: Genre-Benders for September

fiction affliction new releases september genre bendersTwenty-six books wander between genres this month, from alternative histories to steampunk mysteries. Look for series additions from, among others, Kat Zhang (Hybrid Chronicles), Bec McMaster (London Steampunk), and David Barnett (Gideon Smith), as well as story collections from Margaret Atwood, Terry Pratchett, and the late Jay Lake.

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
Aug 27 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

Unraveled (Excerpt)

Gennifer Albin Crewel World Unraveled excerpt Things have changed behind the walls of the Coventry, and new threats lurk in its twisted corridors. When Adelice returns to Arras, she quickly learns that something rotten has taken hold of the world, and now Cormac Patton needs her to help him reestablish order.

However, peace comes at a terrible price. As the Guild manipulates the citizens of Arras, Adelice discovers that she’s not alone, and she must let go of her past to fight for mankind’s future. She will have to choose between an unimaginable alliance and a deadly war that could destroy everyone she loves.

Gennifer Albin’s Crewel World series continues in Unraveled, available October 7th from Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Read an excerpt below!

[Read an excerpt]