A Long Spoon December 18, 2014 A Long Spoon Jonathan L. Howard A Johannes Cabal story. Burnt Sugar December 10, 2014 Burnt Sugar Lish McBride Everyone knows about gingerbread houses. Father Christmas: A Wonder Tale of the North December 9, 2014 Father Christmas: A Wonder Tale of the North Charles Vess Happy Holidays from Tor.com Skin in the Game December 3, 2014 Skin in the Game Sabrina Vourvoulias Some monsters learn how to pass.
From The Blog
December 22, 2014
What is it Like to be a Malfoy Post-Battle of Hogwarts? Rowling Reveals All on Pottermore
Stubby the Rocket
December 18, 2014
Mistborn Fans Will Get TWO New Novels Next Year!
Tor.com
December 15, 2014
Steven Erikson: On Completing Malazan
Tor.com
December 12, 2014
When My Wife Put Her Face in a Fireball for Epic Fantasy
Brian Staveley
December 10, 2014
Even More Standalone Fantasy Fiction!
Stubby the Rocket
Wed
Dec 24 2014 1:00pm

Tor.com Wishes You a Merry Cthulhumas!

Illustration by Scott Brundage. Merry Christmas! May your holidays be free of overwhelming terror.

A quick note: We’ll be posting at a reduced rate over the next week, but we’ll still be offering up great material. Some of your favorite series may be on break until the new year, but we hope you’ll enjoy our encore posts of some of our favorite essays from throughout the year!

Wed
Dec 24 2014 12:20pm

This Little Kid’s The Princess Bride Dread Pirate Roberts Theory Just Blew Our Minds

The Princess Bride fan theory Dread Pirate Roberts grandfather as you wish

We’ve got all the little-known facts about The Princess Bride handled, but a recent Facebook post from Astronauts in Trouble author Larry Young uncovered a dimension of the movie we’d never considered. Young sat down for a recent viewing of The Princess Bride with his young son, who came up with a perfect fan theory about the Dread Pirate Roberts that beats the Sherlock same-plot theory.

[“Have you ever considered piracy? You’d make a wonderful Dread Pirate Roberts.”]

Wed
Dec 24 2014 12:00pm

Rereading Melanie Rawn: The Star Scroll, Chapters 10 and 11

Melanie Rawn Dragon Prince Star Scroll rereadWelcome to the weekly Wednesday reread of The Star Scroll! At last we get a serious dragon fix. The bad guys get their innings, and Andrade gets hers.

Chapter 10

So This Happens: The Desert crew are skipping rocks in the lake at Skybowl. Sionell defeats Pol resoundingly. Pol is not amused.

A dragon mistakes one of Walvis’ stones for a fish. A flight of young ones settles to drink, and seems to mock the one who made the mistake.

Sionell wants to go closer. She doesn’t think they’ll hurt her.

[Read more]

Wed
Dec 24 2014 11:00am

Toys Are People, Too

Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne, e.h. shepard

It’s that time of year when lots of people take their families and loved ones to the ballet and celebrate that relevatory Tchaikovsky work (that he actually didn’t think was all that great), The Nutcracker. Which got me thinking about toys, and how toys are often made into people, or at least people-like beings with thoughts and feelings of their own. And how heartbreaking that can often be.

So I thought I’d count down some of the best. The ones that stayed with us and played with us and made certain that, although we packed them up tight in cardboard boxes, we would never truly leave them behind.

[“He’ll never give up on you… ever.”]

Wed
Dec 24 2014 10:00am

All I Want For Christmas is an Evil Snowman: Christmas Tales of Terror

Christmas Tales of Terror Christ PriestleyBy now, it’s safe to say that some of you might be harboring certain, shall we say, thoughts about the holiday season, and especially Christmas. Irritated thoughts. Cynical thoughts. Angry thoughts. Even—dare I say it—horrified thoughts.

If so, you might be in the mood for Chris Priestley’s Christmas Tales of Terror, where all kinds of terrible, nasty, awful things happen to adorable and not so adorable children on Christmas.

Also, ghosts.

[And, naturally, an evil snowman powered by BLOOD because why not? Spoilers.]

Wed
Dec 24 2014 9:30am

MacKids End of the Year Sweepstakes!

‘Tis the season for gift giving, and Stubby wants to get in the spirit by sending one lucky winner a prize pack of excellent novels published by MacKids in 2014!

The prize pack includes Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo; The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander; Sekret by Lindsay Smith; The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh O’Brien; The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutoski; Centaur Rising by Jane Yolen; Hungry by H.A. Swain; Of Neptune by Anna Banks; Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci; She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick; and Monument 14: Savage Drift by Emmy Laybourne.

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 December 24. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on December 29. 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.

Wed
Dec 24 2014 9:00am

“I, Cthulhu, or, What’s A Tentacle-Faced Thing Like Me Doing In A Sunken City Like This (Latitude 47° 9’ S, Longitude 126° 43’ W)?”

I, Cthulhu, or, What’s A Tentacle-Faced Thing Like Me Doing In A Sunken City Like This (Latitude 47° 9’ S, Longitude 126° 43’ W) by Neil Gaiman

Please enjoy what has fast become a quiet Christmas tradition in the Tor.com offices: the reading of Neil Gaiman’s original story: “I, Cthulhu, or, What’s A Tentacle-Faced Thing Like Me Doing In A Sunken City Like This (Latitude 47° 9’ S, Longitude 126° 43’ W)?”

Merry Christmas!

 

I.

Cthulhu, they call me. Great Cthulhu.

Nobody can pronounce it right.

Are you writing this down? Every word? Good. Where shall I start—mm?

Very well, then. The beginning. Write this down, Whateley.

[Read more]

Wed
Dec 24 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: All Groot Needs is a Little Love

Peanuts as Guardians of the Galaxy

Artist Lar deSouza created this sweet mashup of Guardians of the Galaxy and Peanuts, and naturally Groot becomes the tree that just needs a little love. A Merry Happy Christmas to those who celebrate! To everyone else, we hope you have a wonderful break to get to the reading and binge-watching you've been promising yourself all year.

Morning Roundup drains another glass of eggnog, and brings you links! We have holiday reading suggestions, a literary pastiche from the 1920s, and reminiscences from Mel Brooks! Plus Tim Burton talks about not being George Lucas, and Björk takes us all to Bethlehem.

[And tips for those of you planning to hunt the elusive Santa!]

Tue
Dec 23 2014 4:00pm

Some of Your Favorite Short Sci-Fi/Fantasy Fiction of 2014

Color of Paradox Art

As 2014 comes to a close, we wanted to make sure that this year’s short fiction didn’t get lost in the shuffle of all the other year-end “best-of” lists. We took to Twitter to ask for your favorite short pieces of 2014, and as usual you gave us a wonderful list! We’ve compiled the stories below, and we encourage you to tell us about more favorites in the comments.

[Click through for reading suggestions!]

Tue
Dec 23 2014 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “Covenant”

Rewatcher’s note: There will be no DS9 Rewatch on Friday the 26th of December. We’ll be back on Tuesday the 30th with “It’s Only a Paper Moon.” Happy holidays!

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Covenant“Covenant”
Written by Rene Echevarria
Directed by John Kretchmer
Season 7, Episode 9
Production episode 40510-559
Original air date: November 25, 1998
Stardate: unknown

Station log: Kira joins Odo, Bashir, and Dax for a drink after services. They talk about faith and religions and stuff for a while, and then Kira goes back to her quarters, where she’s visited by Vedek Fala, who was her religion teacher growing up in the refugee camp. He gives Kira a present, which turns out to be a homing beacon that transports her to Empok Nor. The station has been taken over by the Pah-wraith cult, under the guidance of their new master, Dukat.

[I’ve always found that when people try to convince others of their beliefs it’s because they’re really just trying to convince themselves.]

Tue
Dec 23 2014 2:00pm

Ghoulish Aesthetes: “The Hound”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s original stories. Today we’re looking at “The Hound,” written in September 1922 and first published in the February 1924 issue of Weird Tales. You can read the story here. Spoilers ahead.

[“I remembered how we delved in this ghoul’s grave with our spades, and how we thrilled at the picture of ourselves”]

Tue
Dec 23 2014 1:43pm

Fast & Furious Director Justin Lin to Direct Star Trek 3

Justin Lin Star Trek 3 director Roberto Orci

After the game of musical chairs that has been securing a director for Star Trek 3, Deadline reports that Paramount Pictures has nailed down Justin Lin to helm the third rebooted Trek film.

Roberto Orci stepped down from the project earlier this month amid rumors that studio executives didn’t like his script. Lin’s was one of the five names that cropped up after Orci’s exit; so far, the response in the blogosphere has been tepid, as Lin is best known for the Fast and Furious movies, and because he isn't Edgar Wright.

[Read more]

Tue
Dec 23 2014 1:00pm

The Wheel of Time Reread Redux: The Eye of the World, Part 13

Nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky, y’all, but until then, have another Wheel of Time Reread Redux!

Today’s Redux post will cover Chapter 24 of The Eye of the World, originally reread in this post.

All original posts are listed in The Wheel of Time Reread Index here, and all Redux posts will also be archived there as well. (The Wheel of Time Master Index, as always, is here, which has links to news, reviews, interviews, and all manner of information about the Wheel of Time in general on Tor.com.)

The Wheel of Time reread is also now available as an ebook series, except for the portion covering A Memory of Light, which should become available soon.

All Reread Redux posts will contain spoilers for the entire Wheel of Time series, so if you haven’t read, read at your own risk.

And now, the post!

[“Great power and majesty they still wore, the silent wardens of the long-vanished kingdom.”]

Tue
Dec 23 2014 12:00pm

Christmas in the Stars: Aliens Encounter the Holidays!

He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special

Lots of shows decide they need a little Christmas come December, but they’re not quite sure how to do it. Do you talk about the big Jesus-shaped elephant in the room? Do you just focus on Santa? Do you, I don’t know, cast Juliana Hatfield as an angel or make miracles happen on Walker, Texas Ranger?

This late-December urge becomes extra fun when sci-fi shows try it—they don’t actually want to deal with the religious aspect of Christmas, but they still have to find a way to explain Santa and presents (and maybe just a dash of Christianity) to aliens who are already confused enough just trying to deal with humans. So most of them fall back on humans teaching aliens about “goodwill” or “being kind to others.” This leads to some amazing moments, as we’ll see.

[Click through for special holiday times with ALF!]

Tue
Dec 23 2014 11:00am

Sleeps With Monsters: Looking Back On 2014

sleeps with monsters 2014 year in review

At the time of writing, I’ve read approximately 230 new-to-me books in the past calendar year. Twenty-seven, according to my records, were nonfiction, and maybe another half-dozen were ARCs for books that won’t be out until next year. Of what’s left, a little over eighty were novels written or co-written by women published prior to 2014, and something over fifty were novels written or co-written by people who identify themselves as women and published in 2014.

[What I want to do in this post is talk a little about the kinds of new books I read in 2014, and what I think were the best of them.]

Tue
Dec 23 2014 10:00am

God Bless Pastiche! The 7 Best Non-Traditional Christmas Carols of Film and TV

If I had a pet reindeer, or any kind of creature that resembled a fawn or Bambi-style animal, I’d name it Dickens. Come on. How adorable would it be to have a little pet deer named Dickens? Here Dickens! Come have a sugar cube! That’s a good little Dickens. What’s your favorite story? What’s that you say, “A Christmas Carol?” Well, I don’t feel like reading to you, because you’re a little deer, so let’s watch a movie or a TV special instead. Whatyda say?

And then, as a gift to Dickens, I would have to compile a list of movie and TV adaptations of Charles Dickens’s awesome book—A Christmas Carol—and I’d want those adaptations to be somehow a little bit different from their source material, because deers like stuff that’s new.

What are the best non-traditional versions of A Christmas Carol? These.

[Read more]

Tue
Dec 23 2014 9:00am

Legends & Lairs in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition’s “Monster Manual”

D&D monster manual 5th editionMost “monster manuals” are a perfect blend of “fluff and crunch,” of ideas and mechanics. I say perfect, because there is enough material in a decent monster book to satisfy those who are just looking for rules—perhaps just intending to re-skin the monster and call it something else to suit their homebrew campaign, even—and there is enough description and inspiration to interest someone who doesn’t even run the system but is enjoying the art, the ecology, the mythology and inspiration.

I think the Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual is a triumph of fluff, with story hooks that synthesize past edition’s mythology into well-packaged blocks. There is also a lot of great crunch here, but I am ready for the mechanics to go to the next level—they just need a little house ruling to get there, if you ask me.

[Read More]

Tue
Dec 23 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Gracepoint Throws Out Doctor Who Easter Eggs for David Tennant Fans

David Tennant Gracepoint Easter egg Doctor Who

The folks at Gracepoint are rewarding David Tennant for watching the Tenth Doctor growl his way through their remake of Broadchurch. The show’s creator Chris Chibnall—who has also written for Doctor Who—tweeted these great props from the desk of Tennant’s protagonist Detective Carver. The TARDIS phone must get great reception.

Morning Roundup radically reimagines an Octavia E. Butler classic, makes holiday wreaths from old books, cheers over the Empire Strikes Back live read’s special guest, and is super jealous of Bill Gates’ reddit Secret Santa gift recipient.

[Read more]

Mon
Dec 22 2014 5:00pm

I’ll Just Have a Little Lava, Thanks: The Top of the Volcano: The Award Winning Stories of Harlan Ellison

The Top of the Volcano Harlan Ellison A few weeks ago, I participated in a big marathon reading of Moby Dick in New York City and while many people read from ornately bound editions of the giant novel, I was thrilled to be using my dog-eared paperback copy with totally pulpy cover art and a corny plot summary to match—a MADMAN DRIVEN INSANE BY A WHALE!

What I’m saying is, I’m not crazy about “classy” reissues, so I’ve had a hard time with the new Harlan Ellison omnibus: The Top of the Volcano. It’s such a freaking tome. Ellison is the bomb, and I love (most) of these stories. But should he be read like this? All fancy?

[Read more]

Mon
Dec 22 2014 4:30pm

Mike Colter Cast as Marvel’s Luke Cage!

Mike Colter, Luke Cage, Marvel

It was rumored a while back, but now it’s been confirmed: Mike Colter has been cast as Luke Cage!

[Read more]