A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star July 20, 2014 A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star Kathleen Ann Goonan A rocket story. The Angelus Guns July 16, 2014 The Angelus Guns Max Gladstone There's a war in heaven, outside of time. Sleep Walking Now and Then July 9, 2014 Sleep Walking Now and Then Richard Bowes A tragedy in three acts. The Devil in the Details July 2, 2014 The Devil in the Details Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald A Peter Crossman adventure.
From The Blog
July 18, 2014
Summer 2014 Anime Preview: In the Name of the Moon!
Kelly Quinn
July 16, 2014
Picturing Dragons
Irene Gallo
July 15, 2014
Who Should Play The Magicians?
Ryan Britt
July 14, 2014
A Long Overdue Nod to SciFi and Fantasy’s Best Librarians
Stubby the Rocket
July 11, 2014
For Love or Money (And If You Do It Right, BOTH): Choosing a Career in Art
Greg Ruth
Mon
Jul 21 2014 1:45pm

Benedict Cumberbatch Breaks Nazi Codes, Hearts in The Imitation Game Trailer

The Imitation Game first trailer Benedict Cumberbatch Alan Turing Matthew Goode Keira Knightley Nazis crack codes gay

Alan Turing’s story is so tragic and yet inspiring on so many levels that it’s no surprise that the first trailer for the upcoming biopic The Imitation Game tugs at our heartstrings. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the prickly mathematician, enlisted to help crack the Nazis’ infamous Enigma code during World War II. To do so, they had to create an early prototype for the computer.

[“Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of, who do the things that no one can imagine”]

Mon
Jul 21 2014 1:30pm

Where’s Avengers 3 in the New Marvel Studios 2019 Line-Up?

As this year’s San Diego Comic Con gears up, Marvel Studios has released a list of its upcoming movie premiere dates up through 2019. Although the dates are currently without titles, there are a few guesses we can make as to what movies will fill which slots. One of the bigger questions may be...where is Avengers 3 going to go?

[Marvel Studios release dates through 2019]

Mon
Jul 21 2014 1:00pm

Working at the Spice Mines—Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights: Jedi Bounty

You know when you have that one friend who is really great, but they hang out with some bad people and kind of get brainwashed into wanting to kill you and your other friends? No? Man, those young Jedi do. And worst of all, that one really cool friend is a giant Wookiee. Not the sort of person you want off your side in a galactic crisis.

But don’t worry because everything will be alright by the end of Jedi Bounty! Sort of? Maybe? At least we’ll get a glimpse of that Diversity Alliance operation. There are drugs involved, so maybe that will smooth things over… actually, considering the effects of spice, probably not.

[Read more]

Mon
Jul 21 2014 12:10pm

Meet the Most Under-Appreciated Actor in Showbiz: The Human Lens Flare

human lens flare video funny J.J. Abrams Star Trek Into Darkness Star Wars: Episode VII Lorenzo Flarius

What—you didn’t think J.J. Abrams skimped and just used a lighting crew to produce all of those headache-inducing lens flares in the Star Trek movies, did you? He’s been nurturing the career of Lorenzo Flarius, a hot young talent whose unique look has earned him a spot in nearly every frame of Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness. Forget the recently-announced cast of Star Wars: Episode VII—Lorenzo will be the biggest talent in the new trilogy.

[Betcha feel really bad for making fun of lens flares now, huh?]

Mon
Jul 21 2014 12:00pm

True Blood Season 7, Episode 5: “Lost Cause”

True Blood Lost Cause

I’m a sucker for a TV party, so, as unexpected as last night’s big memorial party was, seeing as it’s only been three in-show days since the last Bon Temps gathering ended in mass casualties, any chance for lots of characters to bump up against (and/or stab) one another is cause for celebration.

So, yes, this was another human-centric and mostly not terrible episode of True Blood. And, like Andy Bellefleur, life in Louisiana marches forward. Just some people won’t be marching much longer.

And then the freaking Yakuza showed up. And True Blood was nauseating again.

Spoilers and saucy hand gestures after the katana cut...

[Read more...]

Mon
Jul 21 2014 11:00am

A Read of the Dark Tower: Constant Reader Tackles The Dark Tower, Epilogue and Coda

Stephen King The Dark Tower

“There they stood, ranged along the hillsides, met
To view the last of me, a living frame
For one more picture! In a sheet of flame
I saw them and I knew them all.”

—Robert Browning, “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came”

Welcome to A Read of the Dark Tower series. Join me each week as I, Constant Reader, tackle the magnum opus of Stephen King’s career for the first time. If you want to discuss in general terms or talk about these or preceding sections, join me by commenting here.

Last week, we left Patrick behind and faced an end to the story as we began it: with the gunslinger alone.

[Read this week’s post.]

Mon
Jul 21 2014 10:10am

Check Out the New X-Wing from Star Wars: Episode VII!

Star Wars Episode VII X-Wing

X-Wing! X-Wing X-Wing X-WING.

Once again J.J. Abrams has promoted the Force for Change charity through a clever Star Wars: Episode VII reveal. This time, in case this wasn’t clear, we get to see an X-Wing! (And we are jumping up and down with excitement, in case that wasn’t clear either.) Look how dented and dusty it is! Look how not-CGI it is! This is a ship with personality.

There’s also a fabulous cameo at the very end, but we won’t spoil it. Go watch!

[click through for the reveal!]

Mon
Jul 21 2014 10:00am

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Charles Stross

Charles StrossWelcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on Tor.com featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!

Today we’re joined by Charles Stross, full-time science fiction writer and resident of Edinburgh, Scotland. The author of six Hugo-nominated novels and winner of the 2005 and 2010 Hugo awards for best novella, he has won numerous other awards and been translated into at least 12 other languages. Book five in Stross’ Laundry Files series, The Rhesus Chart, is available now from Ace. You can also get Three Tales from the Laundry Files, a collection of short fiction set in the Laundry Files universe, from Tor.com.

Charlie is extremely specific about his favorite sandwich, which might be a bit of an acquired taste...

[Read More]

Mon
Jul 21 2014 9:30am

Messenger of Fear Book Trailer and Sweepstakes!

New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant brings you the story of Mara, a teenage girl whose life is about to change. She wakes up in a field alone, not knowing where she is or how she got there. Until she finds a boy in the mist, dressed in black, able to move effortlessly through space and time. He is the Messenger of Fear, and he brings justice to those who do evil.

The Messenger knows the darkness that human hearts are capable of. He sees the destructive lies, the cruelty, bullying, and violence. He offers justice to an unjust world through a game: if the player wins, they go free, but if they lose, they will live their greatest fear. And Mara has been chosen to become his Apprentice.

We want to give you your first look at the chilling book trailer and give you a chance to win a copy of Messenger of Fear before it hits shelves on September 23rd from Katherine Tegen Books! 

Check for the rules and the trailer below! 

[If you are wicked, the Messenger will find you...]

Mon
Jul 21 2014 9:00am

The Deluge Myth: Snowpiercer and Noah

Snowpiercer

It’s impossible to know who first told the story of a great flood that destroys most of the world, but the deluge myth appeared early and often in various cultures. The most famous account of the flood is, of course, the sketch of Noah’s Ark from Genesis, but the great deluge also figures prominently in the Mesopotamian epics of Gilgamesh and Atrahasis, in the Shatapatha Brahmana story of Manu, and in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Variations abound, but the germ of the story is the same: the last vestiges of humanity huddle aboard a massive vessel while the rest of the world drowns.

In our eschatology-obsessed times, we’ve seen renewed interest in the deluge myth. This summer alone has given us two prominent variations in Darren Aronofsky’s Noah and Joon-ho Bong’s Snowpiercer. These two films present a natural and compelling contrast—while Noah portrays the deluge as religious retribution for wickedness, Snowpiercer presents it as a scientific calamity. In both cases, it would seem, humanity had it coming.

[Read More]

Mon
Jul 21 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Cookie Monster Not Yet Al Dente

Is Cookie Monster our new Jesus? Will other Muppets begin appearing randomly in peoples’ foodstuffs? Cause if so we can totally work with that. If we happen to see a water-stained wall, and the stain forms itself into an image of Piggy? That’d be great. If we tear open a bag of potato chips, and find ourselves staring into the loving face of Grover? Best day ever. Children venture into a cave, only to find a vision of Kermit predicting the future? This is a world we’ll be happy to inhabit.

Morning Roundup has Star Wars news! And thoughts on Hercules’ writer, Spider-Man’s amazing future, and Kamala Khan’s cultural compromises!

[Plus a lesson in how to internet from Weird Al.]

Sun
Jul 20 2014 9:00am
Original Story

A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star

In honor of Tor.com’s sixth birthday, please enjoy this original rocket story. “A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon a Star”, by Kathleen Ann Goonan, is about the daughter of a rocket scientist in the post 1950s who wants to go to the moon, despite being discouraged because “girls don’t do that.” A novelette that’s science fiction by association.

This novelette was acquired and edited for Tor.com by consulting editor Ellen Datlow.

[Read “A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon a Star” by Kathleen Ann Goonan]

Sun
Jul 20 2014 8:00am

British Genre Fiction Hitlist: Late July New Releases

british genre fiction focus new releases UK July 2014

From the fold of the British Genre Fiction Focus comes the British Genre Fiction Hitlist: your biweekly breakdown of the most notable new releases out of the United Kingdom’s thriving speculative fiction industry.

The British genre fiction industry is on fire! But whatever you do, don’t put it out, because me? I appreciate the heat—and what with all that there is to look forward to in late July, you should do too.

There are new beginnings in abundance, such as Smiler’s Fair by Rebecca Levene, The Queen of the Tearling by Erica Johansen and The Seventh Miss Hatfield by Anna Caltabiano. Ahoy endings, as well, including The Casual Angel by Hannu Rajaniemi, which concludes the story started in The Quantum Thief, whilst Deborah Harkness’ All Souls saga wraps up by way of The Book of Life.And that’snot to mention a marvellous miscellany of new books by Lauren Beukes, Ben Aaronovitch, Charlie Human, Mitch Benn, Nicola Griffith, Eric Brown, and—last but not least—the one and only Lisa Tuttle.

[Read More]

Sat
Jul 19 2014 1:30pm

Not So Super Sweepstakes!

From writer Jacques Nyemb and artist Joe Hunter comes Not So Super, the story of the weird turn Daniel Douglas’ life takes when he wakes up with an assortment of powers. The list of powers keeps growing and he never knows when they will appear or disappear. His life begins to spiral into chaos as he tries to navigate an unforgiving, modern world while discovering what made him this way.

You can check out the preview now and then enter for your chance to win one of three copies of Not So Super

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 1:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on July 19. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on July 23. 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
Jul 18 2014 5:00pm

We’re Off To Sue The Wizard: The Outsorcerer’s Apprentice by Tom Holt

Tom Holt The Outsorcerer's Apprentice review

An affectionate send-up of the fairytale from the author of such sarcastic tracts as Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Sausages and May Contain Traces of Magic, The Outsorcerer’s Apprentice features overlords and underlings, self-aware wolves and woodcutters, plus a prince from another world: ours.

Benny isn’t a prince of anything hereabouts, however. Point of fact, he’s in a bit of a pickle when the book begins. He has his final exams at Uni in a few weeks, and with his whole future before him, all of a sudden he doesn’t have a clue what he’s been doing. Studying to be a mathematician, maybe? In a moment of inspiration that some might mistake for laziness, he realises what he really needs is a good, long break to take stock of his situation. To that end, he borrows his Uncle’s “omniphasic Multiverse portal” and travels to a parallel reality where he can pretend to be a powerful person... because of course.

[Wouldn’t you if you could?]

Fri
Jul 18 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

Soda Pop Soldier (Excerpt)

Nick Cole

Soda Pop Soldier Nick Cole excerpt

Gamer PerfectQuestion fights for ColaCorp in WarWorld, an online combat-sport arena where megacorporations field entire armies in the battle for dominance over real-world global-advertising space. Within the immense virtual battlefield, players and bots are high-tech grunts, using dropships and state-of-the-art assault rifles to attack the enemy.

But when times are tough, there’s always the Black, an illegal open-source tournament where the sick and twisted desires of the future are given free reign. And what begins as PerfectQuestion’s onetime effort to make some cash quickly turns dangerous.

All too soon, the real and virtual worlds collide when PerfectQuestion refuses to become the tool of a madman intent on hacking the global economy for himself and fights to stay alive—in WarWorld, in the Black, and in the real world.

Check out an excerpt from Nick Cole’s Soda Pop Soldier, available August 12th from HarperVoyager!

[Read an Excerpt]

Fri
Jul 18 2014 3:20pm

Cool Sherlock-Inspired Dresses Promise to Burn the Heart Out of Us

Sherlock fashion Gold Bubble dresses leggings deduction bored smiley face 221b baker street

If you think sporting a deerstalker is amateur hour for Sherlock Holmes-inspired fashion, then you should check out the new line of leggings and dresses from Gold Bubble, inspired by the BBC’s Sherlock. We’re chuffed to see that the designers got rather creative, pulling specific elements, quotes, and imagery unique to Steven Moffat’s series. (Not Elementary, sorry. Maybe they’ll tackle that later?)

We love the “Deduction” dress over on the right here (it also comes as leggings and a poncho). Click the photo to enlarge.

[Check out more of the dresses]

Fri
Jul 18 2014 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “Children of Time”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Children of Time“Children of Time”
Written by Gary Holland and Ethan H. Calk and Rene Echevarria
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Season 5, Episode 22
Production episode 40510-520
Original air date: May 5, 1997
Stardate: 50814.2

Station log: The Defiant is en route home following a week-long reconnaissance mission in the Gamma Quadrant. Dax, Kira, and Odo are talking in the mess hall and Kira reveals that she and Shakaar broke up a week earlier, which is news that hits Odo pretty hard on several levels.

Dax discovers a planet that has a strange energy field around it, but also the possibility of life signs. After a week in the GQ everyone wants to go home, but Dax talks Sisko into a quick survey. However, the field has an adverse effect on the ship, sending a massive shock through Kira, and damaging the ship enough that they’re not going to be able to move for a couple of days. Everyone’s a little peeved at Dax, but then Worf reveals that they’re being hailed by a settlement of about 8000 people, who appear to be mostly human—which is odd in the GQ.

[“If all we detect is some fungus, we’re not beaming down.” “What if it’s smart fungus?”]

Fri
Jul 18 2014 2:30pm

Frozen on Once Upon a Time: Elsa Won’t Get a Love Interest and What Else to Expect

Frozen Once Upon a Time crossover what to expect Elsa love interest Anna Kristoff Sven Olaf Disney ABC

To the delight of some TV viewers and the chagrin of others, Frozen is the latest Disney film that ABC’s Once Upon a Time is cribbing from for season 4. They ended last season with a shot of Elsa’s retreating back, signaling that winter was indeed coming (sorry, had to) in Storybrooke. A recent paparazzi shot gave us a clearer look at Elsa in her signature dress; OUAT has also cast Anna and Kristoff.

But what will compel the royal sisters and ice harvester to leave Arendelle? And, more importantly, are we going to see some sort of twist on their recent-but-by-now-very-familiar story? OUAT’s creators sat down with Entertainment Weekly to hint at what to expect. (We’re gonna break the news to you now—no Olaf.)

[Read more]

Fri
Jul 18 2014 2:00pm

Summer of Sleaze: James Herbert’s The Rats and The Fog

James Herbert The RatsSummer of Sleaze is 2014’s turbo-charged trash safari where Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction and Grady Hendrix of The Great Stephen King Reread plunge into the bowels of vintage paperback horror fiction, unearthing treasures and trauma in equal measure.

Books win awards. Books drink white wine. Books are discussed in hushed tones by earnest scholars. Books are genteel, books are mellow, books are housed in libraries where there is no talking. It’s hard to remember that books can be a punch in the nose, a bottle of beer broken over the head, a gob spat in the eye. Amiri Baraka’s in-your-face plays, Tom Wolfe’s go-go new journalism, Kathy Acker’s punk poetry. These writers set literature on fire and readers could either get on board or fuck off. James Herbert was one of them.

By the time he died last year he was a mainstream success, but his two earliest books are nasty, mean, angry pieces of anti-establishment sleaze torn straight out of his id, redeemed by Herbert’s complete conviction to Go There. That conviction is what keeps these two books in your hands long after you might otherwise throw them across the room. Read Herbert and you’re like a baby gripping a 10,000 volt cable, hands smoking, unable to tear them away even as your brain turns to cinders.

[Read More]