Announcing the Solstice Countdown on Tor.com

Beginning today, December 1st, Tor.com will be hosting a giveaway every day until this year’s winter solstice!

For 2010 in the northern hemisphere, the winter solstice takes place on December 21st and marks the longest night of the year. (Here’s the quick science behind that.) There are scores of traditional celebrations involving the winter solstice, but what resonated the most with us was the spirit behind those celebrations; an overarching theme of revelry amidst shortening days and a railing against the loss of light and warmth.

The solstice also represents a rare peaceful synthesis between hard science and spiritual health in being a measurable astronomical phenomenon that affects us all on an emotional level. Being a site that mostly features content on how science fiction, fantasy, and other genre media make us feel, that appealed to us.

(The Too Lofty; Didn’t Read version: We just like it.)

These are a little different than our usual giveaways, in that we’ll be posting the giveaway at a random time each day and you’ll only have a limited time (specified in the giveaway post itself) to comment within them before the giveaway has expired. So you’ll have to be watchful.

There are some handy tools you can use to be notified when a giveaway is posted:

  • Follow Tor.com on Twitter. A notification will be tweeted at the same time a giveaway post goes up, so that’s a good realtime way to keep tabs.
  • Follow Tor.com on Facebook. Same as on Twitter, the giveaway posts will be simultaneously fed to our Facebook page.
  • Subscribe to the Tor.com RSS feed. We fixed up our RSS feed lately if you prefer to aggregate our content into one RSS reader. The giveaway posts should appear in the feed a few minutes after going live on the site. We recommend the “front page partial” view for the sake of update speed.

Winners will be chosen randomly and notified shortly afterwards. As usual with our giveaways, we ask that winners please respond within 24 hours of being contacted or a new winner will be chosen.

We’ve got lots of fun prizes in the queue. Some that are a little bit of light fun and some so awesome we can barely stand to give them away. Keep your eyes peeled later today for the very first giveaway!

Photo of phoenix at Burning the Clocks solstice festival © John Varah

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