Where the Trains Turn November 19, 2014 Where the Trains Turn Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen His imagination runs wild. The Walk November 12, 2014 The Walk Dennis Etchison Creative differences can be brutal. Where the Lost Things Are November 5, 2014 Where the Lost Things Are Rudy Rucker and Terry Bisson Everything has to wind up somewhere. A Kiss with Teeth October 29, 2014 A Kiss with Teeth Max Gladstone Happy Halloween.
From The Blog
November 21, 2014
Never Wait for a Sequel Again: 17 Standalone Fantasy Novels
Stubby the Rocket
November 18, 2014
The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare’s Histories in the Age of Netflix
Ada Palmer
November 17, 2014
In Defense of Indiana Jones, Archaeologist
Max Gladstone
November 14, 2014
An Uncut and Non-Remastered List of Star Wars Editions!
Leah Schnelbach
November 13, 2014
Why Do We Reject Love as a Powerful Force in Interstellar?
Natalie Zutter
Mon
Nov 24 2014 9:30am

Dead but Not Forgotten Sweepstakes!

Out tomorrow from Ace, Dead but Not Forgotten collects stories from authors like Rachel Caine, MaryJanice Davidson, Jonathan Maberry, and Seanan McGuire set in the world of Sookie Stackhouse. Edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner, this anthology contains fifteen all-new stories about the residents of Bon Temps, and we want to send you a copy today!

If you want to brush up on your Sookie Stackhouse lore, check out our reread of the series. Then comment in the post below 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 9:30 AM Eastern Time (ET) on November 24. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on November 28. 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.

Mon
Nov 24 2014 9:00am

A Non-Comprehensive-But-Awesome Accounting of Your Favorite Books of 2014

Steles of the Sky best books of 2014

As we come to the end of 2014, we’re looking back on this year’s books, and asking ourselves some important questions: which ones were our favorites? Why did some resonate more than others? And what do our picks say about the state of SFF as we head into 2015? We took to Twitter to ask the hivemind for their best of the year, and you responded with a wonderful avalanche of reading suggestions! While there were too many for one post, we’ve gathered up twenty five of your picks in the non-scientific and non-comprehensive-because-seriously-2014-ain’t-even-over list below!

[Read more! WE MEAN IT.]

Mon
Nov 24 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: If We Jump Off Of This Swing, Will Groot Catch Us?

One of the best things about Guardians of the Galaxy is the way it’s inspired creativity. From homemade dancing Groots to roughly a billion t-shirts, there seems to be no aspect of life that can’t have some Guardians added to it. And now, Gizmodo has shared the greatest swing ever! We can only hope an entire Xandarian playground will soon follow.

Morning Roundup brings you news of Stephen King’s post-apocalyptic epic, thoughts on the modern American blockbuster, and our suggestion for season two of Serial!

[Oh yeah plus Billy Boyd has come to DESTROY US ALL.]

Fri
Nov 21 2014 5:00pm

We’re So Wonderfully Wonderfully Wonderfully Wonderfully Pretty! SharkCats!

Brynn Metheney is a professional creature designer and fantasy illustrator. She has designed for Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, and Numenera, and each of these projects is filled with wonders. However, our favorite are her Sharkcats. A whole year’s worth of these lovely creatures can be found in her calendar! Look at their pretty eyes. Like a doll’s eyes.

[“We missed you,” hissed the SharkCats! La, la la, la, la, la...]

Fri
Nov 21 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

Spoil the Kill (Excerpt)

Oisín McGann

Spoil the Kill prequel novella Rat RunnersIn the future of Oisín McGann's Spoil the Kill, WatchWorld owns the city of London, tracking its inhabitants' every move with cameras, drones, and heat sensors.

Teenage self-proclaimed criminal nerd Scope and her friends work for Move-Easy, the city's biggest thug. When Easy wants an old enemy found, his rat-runners search through social media and by slipping in and out of the city's Voids, or blind spots where they can't be detected by Safe-Guards—the part-human, part-robot police.

Scope and her fellow rat-runners know not to make an enemy out of Move-Easy. But what if the target is innocent? Can Scope spoil the kill, or will doing so make her Easy's next mark? Spoil the Kill is a prequel novella to Rat Runners, out January 13, 2015 from Open Road Media.

[Read the excerpt]

Fri
Nov 21 2014 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “Image in the Sand”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Image in the Sand“Image in the Sand”
Written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by Les Landau
Season 7, Episode 1
Production episode 40510-551
Original air date: September 30, 1998
Stardate: unknown

Station log: After a summary of “Tears of the Prophets,” we jump ahead three months. Kira has been promoted to colonel, and is apprehensive about her upcoming meeting with Ross, as the admiral has been unusually nice and polite. Turns out he’s there to tell Kira that a Romulan senator, Cretak, will have a presence on the station, along with staff, guards, and a few ships. Kira isn’t happy, but isn’t given a choice.

[“Imagine what it must be like—hordes of rampaging Klingons, fighting and singing, sweating and belching.” “Sounds like this place on a Saturday night.” “Would you want to spend eternity here?”]

Fri
Nov 21 2014 2:00pm

How Titan Books and Dark Horse Ended Up Creating an Aliens Expanded Universe

Aliens Fire and Stone Christopher Roberson Aliens River of Pain Christopher Golden Scott Allie interview

In late 2014, Dark Horse Comics and Titan Books are each releasing new stories spun off from James Cameron’s 1986 Aliens film. Dark Horse’s Fire and Stone, written by Chris Roberson, was part of a larger story connected to new Prometheus, Predator, and Aliens vs. Predator comics. Christopher Golden wrote the standalone River of Pain novel for Titan. The stories have a location in common—the doomed mining colony of Hadley’s Hope, where Ellen Ripley and her crew save Newt and confront the Alien Queen...

[Read more]

Fri
Nov 21 2014 1:00pm

Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, Before They Are Hanged: “A Fitting Punishment”

Joe Abercrombie reread Before They Are HangedI’m writing this from a bus. Any typos are the failt [sic] of my zany driver Harvey. He’s got salt and pepper hair and a weird proclivity for loudly snorting to clear his nasal passages. All in all he seems like a swell fellow. The neon green vest he’s wearing is particularly charming. This is neither here nor there. Just trust me when I say you’re better off than I am right now.

You know who’s not better off? Everyone in Before They Are Hanged. We’ve got three chapters left, which for the sake of sanity, I’m breaking into one chapter this week and two next week. I apologize for the shorter post this week, but we’ll have a nice explosive finish coming up.

[This week’s chapter…]

Fri
Nov 21 2014 12:40pm

Marvel and Netflix’s Jessica Jones Candidates Include Krysten Ritter, Teresa Palmer, and More

Jessica Jones casting Marvel Netflix

Marvel and Netflix are hot on the search for their Jessica Jones! Deadline reports that producers have already lined up at least five very different candidates to play the superhero-turned-gumshoe. (No surprise, seeing as the casting breakdown includes an age range of 25-33.)

[Meet the candidates]

Fri
Nov 21 2014 12:00pm

Fire is Catching: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part I

Hunger Games, Mockingjay, Jennifer Lawrence

While the choice to split Mockingjay, the final Hunger Games book, into two movies was clearly a move to make more money (ala Harry Potter and The Hobbit), the real question was always going to be whether or not Mockingjay had enough material to create two films. Interestingly, the filmmakers seem to have pulled it off with very little effort—simply by focusing on the fire that stokes a rebellion.

[And if we burn, you burn with us.]

Fri
Nov 21 2014 11:00am

“How Guardians of the Galaxy Should Have Ended” is Even Sassier Than the Movie

How Guardians of the Galaxy Should Have Ended video

Most “How It Should Have Ended” videos follow the series’ name and rewrite the conclusions of movies like Frozen and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. However, the latest installment takes exception with several different plot points of Guardians of the Galaxy, pointing out a variety of alternate endings. Just one change could lead to Ronan drinking with the Joker and Sheev Palpatine, or with him basically deciding “if you can't beat ’em, join ’em” at the final battle.

[Watch the video]

Fri
Nov 21 2014 10:30am

Superheroes Anonymous Sweepstakes!

Everybody in Chicago has a “superhero sighting” story. So when a villain attacks editorial assistant Gail Godwin and she's rescued by superhero Blaze, it's a great story, and nothing more. Until it happens again. And again. Now the media has dubbed her Hostage Girl, nobody remembers her real name, and people are convinced that Blaze is just her boyfriend, Jeremy, in disguise.

Find out what happens next by winning one of our three copies of Superheroes Anonymous by Lexie Dunne, out now as an ebook and available in print next Tuesday from Harper Voyager Impulse!

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 9:30 AM Eastern Time (ET) on November 21. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on November 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.

Fri
Nov 21 2014 10:00am

Never Wait for a Sequel Again: 17 Standalone Fantasy Novels

One of the things you get used to as a fantasy fan is that each new book is a commitment. Some people commit to other people, marriages, children, careers.... When fantasy fans start a new book, they do it knowing that they may still have to be reading about these characters 20 years later.

As a guide for those who maybe want a fling rather than a marriage, we asked Twitter to suggest standalone fantasies, and you did not disappoint: From Goblin Emperors to Fox Women to Raven Kings, here are 17 of your favorites!

[Read more]

Fri
Nov 21 2014 9:00am

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Reread: Part 7

Hello, everyone! Welcome back to the reread of Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. You can find the full schedule for the reread in the introduction post; catch up on past posts at the reread index; or check out Tor.com’s other posts about this book through its tag.

Please note that these reread posts will contain spoilers for all of JS&MN plus The Ladies of Grace Adieu. There’s accordingly no need to warn for spoilers in the comments—and comments are highly encouraged.

This week, the reread covers chapters 31 to 34, in which there are seventeen dead Neapolitans and one ill King. But before we get started, check out the first promotional photo from the upcoming BBC miniseries—and compare it to these illustrations. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited.

[“Place the moon at his eyes and her whiteness shall devour the false sights the deceiver has placed there.”]

Fri
Nov 21 2014 9:00am
Original Story

Prompt. Professional. Pop!

The Wild Cards universe has been thrilling readers for over 25 years. Walter Jon Williams' “Prompt. Professional. Pop!” shows that to make it in Hollywood, it’s not enough to be beautiful and talented; you’ve also got to take advantage of every opportunity that pops up.

This novelette was acquired and edited for Tor.com by George R. R. Martin.

[Read “Prompt. Professional. Pop!” by Walter Jon Williams]

Fri
Nov 21 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Lightning. Fire. The Power of God or... Something

So you all remember Major Arnold Ernst Toht, right? The extra-evil Nazi who (in addition to being a freaking Nazi) threatens Marion Ravenwood with torture in Raiders of the Lost Ark, and then gets his face very deservedly melted off by the power of YHWH at the end? Well, thanks to the geniuses at Firebox, you can now own the sucker in candle form, and use the power of ZPPO to melt his awful Nazi face off yourself!

Morning Roundup has news of Chris Pratt’s future, Guardians of the Galaxy’s ending, and the terrifying fate of some doomed cups of water.

[Plus, we might be getting a confusing new Highlander!]

Thu
Nov 20 2014 5:30pm

Ticker Sweepstakes!

In Lisa Mantchev’s Ticker, a girl with the clockwork heart must make every second count. Penny Farthing's life is saved when brilliant surgeon Calvin Warwick implants a brass “Ticker” into her chest, making her the first of the Augmented. But when it comes to light that Warwick’s experimentation methods involve murder, things get much more complicated for Penny, her brother, Nic, and their parents, who have just disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

Ticker is available now on Kindle First, and releases in print on December 1st. We have three paperback copies for you to win today!

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 November 20. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on November 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.

Thu
Nov 20 2014 4:00pm

Dungeons & Dragons’ 5th Edition is Built on the Lessons Learned from Past Editions

Well, this is the edition to play. Dungeons & Dragons has gone through some vicissitudes over the last few years, but I think the 5th edition of the Player's Handbook puts any edition controversy to bed.

The 3rd edition, its Open Game License, and its 3.5th revision were a golden age for the hobby, but the more tactical combat-oriented 4th edition turned a lot of folks off; and it all went down while Pathfinder, the unofficial 3.75th edition, was coming on strong.

We all remember the dark days of the Edition Wars; they never left some dark corners of the Internet, but 5e seems to be largely immune. I playtested it in early versions and have been playing it with folks from around the Tor offices since then... and now it's bound and printed and finalized! It's different enough from rivals to be its own thing, and it's learned smart lessons from previous editions, combining AD&D 2e's relative simplicity with 3e's customization. There's more of 4e in there then some people will want to admit, too: at-wills, short rests, hit dice, all the bonus actions, races and powers.

[Read more]

Thu
Nov 20 2014 2:35pm

“A Giant of Literature”: Ursula K. Le Guin and Neil Gaiman at the 2014 National Book Awards

Ursula K. Le Guin National Book Awards

Last night at the 2014 National Book Awards in New York City, Neil Gaiman presented science fiction and fantasy legend Ursula K. Le Guin with the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, an honor that has previously gone to such luminaries as Joan Didion, Ray Bradbury, and Toni Morrison.

Gaiman spoke of the debt he owes Le Guin, who was a major influence on him as a young writer, while Le Guin’s acceptance speech highlighted the importance of the award as a recognition of the place of science fiction and fantasy in literature. She also called upon the next generation of writers to push for the liberation of their art from corporate demands and profiteering.

[Read more]

Thu
Nov 20 2014 2:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Dragon Age: Inquisition Takes Flight This Week

Gaming Roundup Dragon Age: Inqusition

With Dragon Age: Inquisition, industry heavyweight BioWare is diving back into the gaming waters with their first full-fledged RPG since 2012’s fantastic Mass Effect 3.

Dragon Age: Origins was a revelation to gamers in 2009 (two years after the launch of the first Mass Effect), helping to firmly establish its developer as a founding father of the modern RPG—as though the creators of Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights really needed any further cred. While Dragon Age II was widely viewed as a step backward for the franchise, BioWare promised to take the criticism (most commonly, repetitive gameplay and a distinct lack of environmental variety) to heart and put to rest any outstanding concerns in Inquisition. Did they succeed?

[Lead them or fall.]