Cold Wind April 16, 2014 Cold Wind Nicola Griffith Old ways can outlast their usefulness. What Mario Scietto Says April 15, 2014 What Mario Scietto Says Emmy Laybourne An original Monument 14 story. Something Going Around April 9, 2014 Something Going Around Harry Turtledove A tale of love and parasites. The Devil in America April 2, 2014 The Devil in America Kai Ashante Wilson The gold in her pockets is burning a hole.
From The Blog
April 13, 2014
Game of Thrones, Season 4, Episode 2: “The Lion and the Rose”
Theresa DeLucci
April 11, 2014
This Week’s Game-Changing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Was Exactly The Problem With The Show
Thom Dunn
April 8, 2014
Let’s Completely Reimagine Battlestar Galactica! Again. This Time as A Movie!
Emily Asher-Perrin
April 4, 2014
The Age of Heroes is Here. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Chris Lough
April 3, 2014
A Spoonful of Music Makes the Nanny: Disney’s Mary Poppins
Mari Ness
Thu
Apr 17 2014 8:00am

Girls Love Comics made our century with this heartwarming drawing of Agent Coulson as a little boy. Do you think Mama Coulson called him Philly? And we bet he and his friends used to play “Cap vs. Hydra” all the time after school, never dreaming that one day grown up Coulson would... well... that things would get so complicated.

Adulthood sucks.

Morning Roundup has a come-to-Kermit moment, Pharrell lends his songsmithing to a spider, and there is yet another rumor about Days of Future Past!

[Plus, the best second best use of wine glasses we’ve ever seen.]

Thu
Apr 17 2014 7:00am

New Releases British Genre Fiction April

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.

We had more new books than ever before in the last edition of the Hitlist, and late April, I’m afraid, simply can’t compete. At least, not in terms of quantity...

Quality is a whole other question, however, and the next two weeks certainly have their highlights, including the start of a stunning new historical fantasy saga by Mark Adler, a new Destiny Quest—yes!—the third part of Paradox by Rachel Bach, the latest from Lily Herne and the greatly anticipated conclusion of Laini’s Taylor Daughter of Smoke and Bone series.

[Read More]

Wed
Apr 16 2014 5:00pm

Mona Al Marzooqi, a photographer for The National, shared this image from the set of Star Wars Episode VII, which has begun filming without the benefit of a full cast. So, look closely at the image—what do you see? We see a large round pedestal rolling out of a tent... and some people are speculating that it’s the foot of an Imperial Walker! But the National itself is arguing that it’s “a giant, round, grey disc, which bears a striking resemblance to parts of an escape pod on which C3P0 and R2D2 crash-landed on Tatooine in the original, 1977 film.”

[WHAT DOES IT MEEEAAANNNN???]

Wed
Apr 16 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt
Alyssa B Sheinmel

Alyssa B Sheinmel Second StarAlyssa B Sheinmel’s Second Star is a modern summer romance based on J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. It publishes May 13th from Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers.

Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward his nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she’s falling hard for Pete.

[Read an Excerpt]

Wed
Apr 16 2014 3:00pm

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., season 1, episode 18: Providence

“Providence,” this week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., is what it looks like to see a new show commit to itself. No more jumping-on point or one-off episodes for viewers this season. The rollercoaster is no longer boarding, you’re either familiar with the show or not.

This isn’t a bad thing for any show to do, and the embrace of serialization seems to be making Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. downright playful. (This might also be because the show doesn’t have to wait for Captain America: The Winter Soldier anymore. Thom Dunn expertly points out the crumminess about that.) And although we seem destined to bonk around in the Marvel Universe toy box until the end of the season, “Providence” provides hints that we may be seeing more of a transformation than a serialization.

(Spoilers ahead for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.)

[Read more]

Wed
Apr 16 2014 2:00pm

Swamp Thing Alan Moore DC ComicsAlan Moore likes sex. This makes him something of an anomaly in the world of comic book writers. I’m not saying that other scribes don’t enjoy the pleasures of the flesh in their off hours, but relatively few are interested enough in the erotic as a subject to make it a part of their writing.

Of course, there are all kinds of reasons for this prudishness—not the least of which is industry censorship—but the result is that comic books are largely a sex free zone. To the degree that sex does appear in comics, it mostly takes the form of suggestively drawn female characters. At best, that’s an adolescent way of dealing with sex, and at worst it’s something darker—with the sex drive either implicitly rejected or sublimated into violence.

[Alan Moore is the great exception.]

Wed
Apr 16 2014 1:00pm

Joe Abercrombie First Law Trilogy reread The Blade Itself And so we conclude Joe Abercrombie’s The Blade Itself. When I began this project in August, I had no idea it would take this long to get through the first book. Nor did I have any concept of how much I would enjoy the journey.

I wrote a review of Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radiance that described how impressed I was at his ability to maintain the reader’s interest in four people over such a massive span of words and scenes. The same is true here, but with a different twist. Sanderson has lots of events, constant action. Every chapter has some kind of reveal or nugget that urges the reader forward. He’s a master at it. Abercrombie, in The Blade Itself, is something of the opposite.

[Read More]

Wed
Apr 16 2014 12:00pm

Malazan Book of the Fallen reread Steven Erikson Dust of Dreams Welcome to the Malazan Reread of the Fallen! Every post will start off with a summary of events, followed by reaction and commentary by your hosts Bill and Amanda (with Amanda, new to the series, going first), and finally comments from Tor.com readers. In this article, we’ll cover chapter eighteen of Dust of Dreams.

A fair warning before we get started: We’ll be discussing both novel and whole-series themes, narrative arcs that run across the entire series, and foreshadowing. Note: The summary of events will be free of major spoilers and we’re going to try keeping the reader comments the same. A spoiler thread has been set up for outright Malazan spoiler discussion.

[Read More]

Wed
Apr 16 2014 11:00am

People always ask where the ideas for books come from, and it’s usually a hard question to answer. Books don’t have just one idea, and the process of writing is an iterative one in which ideas come and go and don’t work out the way you initially expect. But I can identify at least one of the starting places for the current book.

I was sitting up at night feeding a baby and trying to read, and in a vague and sleepless way I was kicking around a half-dozen ideas for a new book, something science-fictional, or possibly some sort of Magical London Fantasy, why not, something with dueling occultists, when (in Alexandra Owen’s magnificent history The Place of Enchantment: British Occultism and the Culture of the Modern, which I had picked up for research on the latter idea) I read this beautiful sentence: “In September 1898 two respectable Victorians met in a private house in London for the express purpose of traveling to the planets.”

[Well. Did they now.]

Wed
Apr 16 2014 10:00am

Rocket Talk Tor.com podcast

In this episode of Rocket Talk, we take a break to present an original audio story by Mari Ness! “In the Greenwood” is a beautifully told tale of complicated and conflicted love, a look at the folklore of Robin Hood from Marian's point of view, as read by Emily Asher-Perrin.

The short story, acquired and edited by Liz Gorinsky, can be read online for free here.

[Listen to “In the Greenwood” by Mari Ness this week on Rocket Talk]

Wed
Apr 16 2014 9:40am

X-Men Days of Future Past Trailer 3

A plethora of mutants make appearances in the third trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past. Logan tries his best to explain the plot of the movie to past-Charles: essentially it boils down to “the Sentinels are bad,” but we all knew that already, right? We’re still not convinced that Logan is the best choice for this mission, but it sure is fun watching him interact with—and occasionally punch—the old (young?) gang!

[Watch the trailer]

Wed
Apr 16 2014 9:00am
Original Story

“Cold Wind,” by Nicola Griffith, is a dark fantasy tale about a woman who enters a Seattle bar on a cold wintry night in the midst of the Christmas holidays, searching for something . . . or someone.

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

[Read “Cold Wind” by Nicola Griffith]

Wed
Apr 16 2014 8:30am

Apex Magazine is currently wrapping up Operation Fourth Story, their two-week showcase of the best of Apex and push to add an additional story (or longer pieces of fiction) to each issue of the magazine. They're offering a special subscription and renewal deals (plus a free Apex eBook of your choice!) through April 17th in the hopes of bringing readers even more weird, wonderful fiction each month.

We want to help introduce you to Apex by sending three lucky winners The Book of Apex: Volume 4 of Apex Magazine, which includes stories by Catherynne M. Valente, Cat Rambo, Elizabeth Bear, and many more.

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 8:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on April 16. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on April 20. 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
Apr 16 2014 8:00am

Tumblr royalty DesignMischief posted this sparkly Winter Soldier. If the Marvel Universe decides to go in this direction, we will completely support them. Just look at the way that bright pink bow complements his hair!

Morning Roundup ponders the responsibilities of representation, the true nature of time, and Thanos itself. Heavy topics for a Wednesday? Yes. But we owe you nothing less.

[Plus there’s a barbershop quartet waiting for you after all the philosophizing!]

Wed
Apr 16 2014 7:30am

Welcome back to the British Genre Fiction Focus, Tor.com’s regular round-up of book news from the United Kingdom’s thriving speculative fiction industry.

Today, Terry Pratchett does dragons and diaries, Anthony Horowitz moots Moriarty, Damien Walter decries the straightness of science fiction, David Mitchell signs on for a sequel, J. K. Rowling takes over the radio... and that?

That’s just a taste of all that’s to come in this week’s edition of the British Genre Fiction Focus.

[Read More]

Tue
Apr 15 2014 5:00pm

Seanan McGuire InCryptid Sparrow Hill Road I’ve lost track of how many novels the amazingly prolific Seanan McGuire, and her alter ego Mira Grant, have published between them. Suffice to say that at this point, McGuire’s had a great deal of practice, and it shows.

Sparrow Hill Road is her latest book, set in the same universe as her InCryptid series but not featuring any overlap with characters or events introduced in those novels. It is more a collection of linked stories than a single unified novel—which makes sense, because Sparrow Hill Road originated as a series of short stories first published at Edge of Propinquity in 2010. These are the stories of Rose Marshall, dead at the age of sixteen in 1954, killed by a man called Bobby Cross who made a deal at the crossroads to live forever.

She’s been wandering America’s highways as a ghost ever since.

[Read more. Some spoilers for the book.]

Tue
Apr 15 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt
Stephanie Saulter

Gemsigns Stephanie Saulter Revolutions excerpt

Gemsigns, the first novel in Stephanie Saulter’s ®evolition series, will be published for the first time in the US on May 6th by Quercus Books. Read an excerpt from Gemsigns below, and if you’re in the UK you can pick up the sequel, Binary, from Jo Fletcher!

For years the human race was under attack from a deadly Syndrome, but when a cure was found – in the form of genetically engineered human beings, Gems—the line between survival and ethics was radically altered. Now the Gems are fighting for their freedom, from the oppression of the companies that created them, and against the Norms who see them as slaves.

A conference at which Dr Eli Walker has been commissioned to present his findings on the Gems is the key to that freedom. But with the Gemtech companies fighting to keep the Gems enslaved, and the horrifying godgangs determined to rid the earth of these ‘unholy’ creations, the Gems are up against forces that may just be too powerful to oppose.

[Read an Excerpt]

Tue
Apr 15 2014 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Quickening“The Quickening”
Written by Naren Shankar
Directed by Rene Auberjonois
Season 4, Episode 23
Production episode 40514-495
Original air date: May 20, 1996
Stardate: unknown

Station log: Sisko travels to the planet Zeist, and—

Whoops. Wrong The Quickening...

Kira, Dax, and Bashir are doing a bio-survey of a planet in the Gamma Quadrant. En route, they get a distress call from a planet just outside Dominion territory. Dax and Bashir beam down to find a settlement that looks badly wrecked. A woman suffering from an obvious illness collapses in front of them. While Dax tries to find out where the local hospital is, Bashir treats her, and another local tells them to go away now while they still have the chance.

Dax trades her hair clip for a ride to the “hospital”—in truth a near-empty structure that doesn’t seem to have any actual facilities. It turns out that Trevean, the head of the hospital, is in truth running a hospice—and he helps death along by providing a poison once the Blight has quickened. Once the quickening happens, the person is all but dead.

[Come to Quark’s, Quark’s is fun / Come right now, don’t walk, run!]

Tue
Apr 15 2014 2:30pm

The Days of the Deer is the first in an epic trilogy, and Argentinian author Liliana Bodoc’s first work translated into English. In the late 15th century, South America is menaced by a great encroaching darkness, which is linked in some way to the approaching European explorers.

The new edition of this engrossing, vividly imagined novel is out this month from Corvus, and we want to send you one of our three copies right now!

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 2:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on April 15. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on April 19. 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.

Tue
Apr 15 2014 2:15pm

Captain America, Winter Soldier, FrozenThere are lots of Frozen mashups in the world already, but when you have a title character called “The Winter Soldier,” he would seem an apt analog for Queen Elsa, no? And considering Cap's feelings in the newly released sequel, we're just gonna cry a lot and present you with this piece of fanart.

Just... just build a snowman with your Steve. Please? It doesn't have to be a snowman.

Fan art via 9gag.com.