The Hell of It February 25, 2015 The Hell of It Peter Orullian What will he wager? Schrödinger’s Gun February 18, 2015 Schrödinger’s Gun Ray Wood Maybe in some other timeline it would have gone smooth. Acrobatic Duality February 11, 2015 Acrobatic Duality Tamara Vardomskaya The two of her are perfectly synchronized. The Language of Knives February 4, 2015 The Language of Knives Haralambi Markov They share the rites of death, and grief.
From The Blog
February 26, 2015
Introducing the Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch
Keith DeCandido
February 23, 2015
Oh No, She Didn’t: The Strong Female Character, Deconstructed
Ilana C. Myer
February 20, 2015
Evil Eighties: The Paperback Horrors of Lisa Tuttle
Grady Hendrix
February 19, 2015
The Pinocchio Factor
Jen Williams
February 17, 2015
The Mummy was the Indiana Jones Successor that We Deserved
Emily Asher-Perrin
Wed
Feb 25 2015 11:00am

Of Masks and Mary Sues: Kushiel’s Chosen, Part 1

Kushiel's Reread Tor.com Kushiel's Chosen Jacqueline CareyWe’re continuing Kushiel’s Reread with Kushiel’s Chosen, the perennial middle book: It has to recapture the magic of the original, while upping its stakes without getting ludicrous. In many ways, Chosen tracks Phèdre nó Delaunay’s development into a better Servant of Naamah, spy, and peer of the realm. In other ways, the book is the weakest of the trilogy by dint of being a bridge between the naïve girl of Kushiel’s Dart and the worldly woman of Kushiel’s Avatar. But first, let’s find out what happens when Phèdre rededicates herself to serving and spying!

We’re going to get spoilery—because it turns out there is a ton of foreshadowing for later books and trilogies—so feel free to do the same in the comments. As Shemhazai said, all knowledge is worth having. And as he might have said… Reread as thou wilt!

[Read more]

Wed
Feb 25 2015 10:00am

Pull List: Sex Criminals

Can this whole intro just be the lyrics to “Fat Bottomed Girls”? No? Fine. In that case, let’s talk about sex, baby. Specifically, sex involving bank-robbing, library-saving, relationship-ruining criminals as written by the kind of comics creators who do great work in the mainstream and off-the-wall-awesome work at Image Comics. This is the story of a fledgling relationship, of two young people struggling with the whole “adulthood” thing, of people who can stop time, of sex scientists and sex cops and sex criminals, of the ways we live and love and screw and screw up. So put down that street muffin, brimpers. This is about to get weird.*

*But not that weird. This review is totally SFW. Unless you click the links. So maybe wait to do that until you get home. Ok? Ok.

[“Anyway, so… Freddie Mercury huh?”]

Wed
Feb 25 2015 9:00am
Original Story

The Hell of It

Peter Orullian

Some heroes don't carry blades or go to war. Some heroes are fathers desperately trying not to fail their sons.

Like some other stories published on Tor.com, “The Hell of It” contains scenes and situations some readers will find upsetting and/or repellent. [—The Editors]

 

This novelette was acquired and edited for Tor.com by senior editor Claire Eddy.

[Read “The Hell of It” by Peter Orullian]

Wed
Feb 25 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Where Does Tony Stark Get Those Wonderful Toys?

Tony Stark fixing his Batmobile

Photographer Hrjoe has created some great scenes with his superhero toys, but our favorite has to be getting to see Tony Stark tuning up his awesome Batmobile toy. You can see more of his work here! But a few of these are slightly NSFW, so exercise caution.

Morning Roundup brings you the happy fate of a Batsuit, a farewell to Parks, Recreation, and The Greatest Mini-Horse of All Time, and reading suggestions from SF Signal!

[Plus, the return of an American Hero.]

Tue
Feb 24 2015 5:30pm

The Exile Sweepstakes!

In The Exile by C.T. Adams, Brianna Hai runs an occult shop that sells useless trinkets to tourists—and real magic supplies to witches and warlocks. The magical painting that hangs in Brianna's apartment is the last portal between the fae and human worlds.

A shocking magical assault on her home reveals to Brianna that her father, High King Liu of the Fae, is under attack. With the help of her gargoyle, Pug, her friend David, and Angelo, a police detective who doesn't believe in magic, Brianna recovers what was stolen from her and becomes an unwilling potential heir to the throne.

We want to send you a galley now, so check for the rules below!

[Read more]

Tue
Feb 24 2015 5:00pm
Excerpt

Persona (Excerpt)

Genevieve Valentine

Persona Genevieve Valentine In a world where diplomacy has become celebrity, a young ambassador survives an assassination attempt and must join with an undercover paparazzo in a race to save her life, spin the story, and secure the future of her young country in Persona, a near-future political thriller from Genevieve Valentine—publishing March 10th from Saga Press.

When Suyana, Face of the United Amazonia Rainforest Confederation, is secretly meeting Ethan of the United States for a date that can solidify a relationship for the struggling UARC, the last thing she expected was an assassination attempt.

Daniel, a teen runaway turned paparazzi out for his big break, witnesses the first shot hit Suyana, and before he can think about it, he jumps into the fray, telling himself it’s not altruism, it’s the scoop. Now Suyana and Daniel are on the run—and if they don’t keep one step ahead, they’ll lose it all.

[Read an Excerpt]

Tue
Feb 24 2015 4:00pm

The Skin I’m In: Touch by Claire North

Claire North Touch

Fresh from the success of The First Fifteen Live of Harry August, Claire North—the second pseudonym (after Kate Griffin) of prose prodigy Catherine Webb—returns with Touch, a tremendously well-travelled science-fictional thriller that’s as disturbing as its predecessor was delightful.

From word one we follow an ancient entity christened Kepler by its enemies; a continuous consciousness of some sort that at the moment of its first host’s murder moved—much to its own amazement—into its murderer’s mind, and took over his body to boot. Several so-called “skins” later, Kepler has a basic understanding of its situation; of its ability, in particular, to essentially possess a person—any person—with but a touch.

“I walk through people’s lives and I steal what I find,” Kepler confesses. “Their bodies, their time, their money, their friends, their lovers, their wives—I’ll take it all, if I want to.”

[Read More]

Tue
Feb 24 2015 3:30pm

Gritty Power/Rangers Fan Film is a Wonderfully Dark Reboot

Power/Rangers Joseph Kahn Katee Sackhoff James van der Beek

Last year, Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackhoff teased a secret project that many assumed was her playing Carol Danvers in Marvel’s Captain Marvel movie. While fans still wait on that casting, it turns out that Sackhoff has been spending her time recently playing a gritty, grown-up take on many Millennials’ childhood female role model: Kimberly, the Pink Ranger.

While the Power Rangers reboot chugs along, Joseph Kahn, Adi Shankar, and James Van Der Beek have enlisted Sackhoff and other talents to create the wonderfully dark fan film Power/Rangers. The teenagers with attitude are now the adults with PTSD, living in a world where an uneasy truce with the Machine Empire has combined humans with machines and has torn apart the Power Rangers.

[Watch Power/Rangers]

Tue
Feb 24 2015 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “What You Leave Behind”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: What You Leave Behind“What You Leave Behind”
Written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Season 7, Episode 25
Production episode 40510-575
Original air date: June 2, 1999
Stardate: unknown

Station log: It’s the eve of the big push into Dominion territory. Bashir wakes up with Dax, the pair having spent the night together, with the inevitable reference to how far down her spots go. O’Brien is nervously making sure Keiko has everything under control with the family (which of course she does), and we find out that he’s received an offer to teach at Starfleet Academy when the war’s over, which he’s going to accept (though Molly is dubious about whether or not he’s really accepted given that he hasn’t actually told Bashir about it). Sisko ministers to his pregnant wife, promising to come home to her, and then Jake walks him to the Defiant. Odo walks with Worf to the Defiant, both expressing the hope that they find Kira on Cardassia.

[FOR CARDASSIA!]

Tue
Feb 24 2015 2:30pm

Fiction Affliction: March Releases in Science Fiction

Twenty new releases teleport to the science fiction shelves this month, with a new series edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois and new series additions from, among others, Peter Liney (Detainee Trilogy), David Drake and John Lambshead (Citizen), Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs (Virals), Christian Cantrell (Containment), and Nicholas Sansbury Smith (Orbs). Prefer your SF to be YA. You’re in luck this month…again.

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.

[Read about this month’s releases.]

Tue
Feb 24 2015 2:00pm

Time Flies, and So Do Heads! Sleepy Hollow: “Tempus Fugit”

Sleepy Hollow Tempus Fugit

So. There was a scene, in Season One, that made me love this show. It was a scene in “The Sin Eater” (Remember? When we met Henry?) and in it Ichabod agreed to poison himself for the greater good, and tried to get Abbie to leave him, so she’d be spared watching him die. But she refused to let him die alone, and held his hand, with every intention of staying there to the end. This was a great moment for many reasons: the show opened itself up in a way to see the depth of love and trust between these two characters, and allowed you to imagine an entire world around them in the process.

Last night’s episode, “Tempus Fugit,” gave us another moment like that.

[The show is finally good again!]

Tue
Feb 24 2015 1:45pm

Afternoon Roundup: When You Play Game of Thrones Monopoly, You Win or You Die

Game of Thrones Monopoly

There have been several fan editions of Game of Thrones Monopoly, but now an official version is on the horizon! We’re talking Iron Throne and dragon egg tokens, and probably also ways to sabotage and murder your fellow players? Go directly to the Wall, do not pass Go, do not collect 200 gold—but you can pre-order it now, for June.

Afternoon Roundup brings you sci-fi clichés from a Hugo winner; baby’s first Stormlight Archive quote; and historically accurate Disney princesses in the flesh.

[Read more]

Tue
Feb 24 2015 1:31pm

Tor Books to Publish Pathfinder Tales Novels Based on Paizo’s Tabletop Games

Pathfinder Tales Tor Books Paizo Lord of Runes Dave Gross

Tor Books, a leading global publisher of science fiction and fantasy, announced today that it will publish Pathfinder Tales, a series of novels based on Paizo Inc.’s best-selling Pathfinder tabletop adventure games. The first Tor Pathfinder Tales book, Lord of Runes, by Dave Gross, releases June 16th, 2015, with additional releases to follow bi-monthly.

[Read more]

Tue
Feb 24 2015 1:00pm

The Wheel of Time Reread Redux: The Eye of the World, Part 19

Hail WOTers, full of grace! Or possibly Fritos, I don’t judge. Whatever you’re full of, welcome back to the Wheel of Time Reread Redux!

Today’s Redux post will cover Chapters 34 and 35 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 available as an e-book series! Yay!

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!

[“Where would King Arthur be without Guinevere?” “Happily married, probably.” “Well, that’s a bad... that’s a bad example.”]

Tue
Feb 24 2015 12:00pm

Harry Houdini Versus Cosmic Horror: “Under the Pyramids”

Lovecraft Under the Pyramids Weird Tales

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 “Under the Pyramids,” written in February 1924 and first published (as “Imprisoned With the Pharaohs” by Harry Houdini) in the May-July 1924 issue of Weird Tales. You can read the story here. Spoilers ahead.

[“It was the ecstasy of nightmare and the summation of the fiendish.”]

Tue
Feb 24 2015 11:20am

Gotham: Under “The Red Hood”

Gotham The Red Hood

This week’s episode of Gotham is a thematic continuation of “The Blind Fortune Teller” in the way that it continually trolled the true identity of the Clown Prince of Crime. What makes “The Red Hood” stand out is that it had stakes, drama, subtlety, emotion, genuine character interactions, and plenty of surprises.

“The Red Hood” was so good that I didn’t even hate the Barbara scene (that much).

[Read More]

Tue
Feb 24 2015 11:00am

Fake Moustaches and Fabulous Coats: V.E. Schwab’s Pop Quiz Interview

V.E. SchwabWelcome 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 V.E. Schwab, author of YA novels  The Near Witch, The Archived, and The Unbound. Schwab’s first adult novel, Vicious, debuted to critical praise and reader accolades. Her latest novel, A Darker Shade of Magic, takes us on a journey through parallel Londons—available now in the US from Tor Books and publishing February 27th in the UK by Titan. You can read an excerpt here, and check out an in depth look at the US cover art by Will Staehle. You can also check out Schwab’s digital tour dates, as she stops by various blogs to answer your questions!

Join us!

[Read More]

Tue
Feb 24 2015 10:00am

Sleeps With Monsters: WE WUZ PUSHED — Brit Mandelo on Joanna Russ and Radical Truth-Telling

Sleeps With Monsters: WE WUZ PUSHED. Brit Mandelo on Joanna Russ and Radical Truth-Telling

Please enjoy this Sleeps With Monsters encore post, originally published July 31, 2012.

“If silence is starvation, and silence is looking into a mirror and seeing nothing, the only way to fix this erasure is to speak radical truths.” [Mandelo 2012, 48.]

It’s hard to engage analytically with the ongoing conversation of a genre without reading its critical voices.[1][2] Often, it’s hard to read those critical voices. Sometimes they’re hard to find. Sometimes they’re just hard to read, since any continuing conversation soon acquires its own implicit assumptions and—on occasion—its own technical vocabulary.

[But WE WUZ PUSHED is a joy to read.]

Tue
Feb 24 2015 9:00am

The Coode Street Podcast: Episode 221: Joe Abercrombie and Sean Williams

Joe Abercrombie Sean Williams Coode Street

Welcome to The Coode Street Podcast, an informal weekly discussion about science fiction and fantasy featuring award-winning critics and editors Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe. The Coode Street Podcast debuted in 2010 and has been nominated for the Hugo, British Science Fiction, and Aurealis awards.

Is there a difference to writing for younger readers? Do they want or need different kinds of stories? Do they have different expectations from older readers? How do you structure a series? What makes for a rewarding reading experience and how do genre expectations relate to that?

With new young adult novels published recently, Joe Abercrombie (whose Half the World, second volume in the Shattered Sea series, is just out) and Sean Williams (whose second Twinmaker novel, Crashland, came out late last year) sit down with Jonathan to discuss this and more during a fascinating conversation recorded during the Perth Writer’s Festival.

[Listen to Coode Street]

Tue
Feb 24 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Isn’t This Dalek a Little Young to Be In the Cult of Skaro?

Dalek Cann Baby

Gallifrey One is an annual Doctor Who con, and this year, amidst all the fezzes and brown pinstriped suits, writer and comedian Rye Silverman found the cutest thing to happen to an alien race bent on the universe’s total extermination! This baby and carriage ensemble has been turned into Dalek Caan, the wacky Dalek who turned on his own kind in “The Stolen Earth.”

Morning Roundup brings you post-Oscar stories of Birdman and The Theory of Everything, plus an interview with the creator of The Sculptor, and the technology you’ll need to become a LEGO award winner.

[And we have a video that might just blow your mind.]