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 9, 2014
The Eleventh Doctor’s Legacy Was Loss and Failure
Emily Asher-Perrin
December 9, 2014
Tor.com Reviewers’ Choice: The Best Books of 2014
December 8, 2014
How Fast is the Millennium Falcon? A Thought Experiment.
Chris Lough
December 8, 2014
Tiamat’s Terrain: Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange
Alex Mangles
December 4, 2014
Potential Spoiler Leak for Star Wars: The Force Awakens Reveals Awesome Details
Emily Asher-Perrin
Dec 12 2014 11:43am

Could Jennifer Lawrence Join the All-Female Ghostbusters 3?

Jennifer Lawrence Ghostbusters 3 casting rumor Sony hack

The Sony hack brings more and more intel on highly anticipated movies! Just as leaked emails revealed a potential Spider-Man/MCU crossover, today brings hints at the casting for Paul Feig’s all-female Ghostbusters 3. A recent email from Amy Pascal (co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment) to Ivan Reitman throws out a couple of casting possibilities, including The Hunger Games’ Jennifer Lawrence.

[Read more]

Dec 12 2014 11:00am

The Coode Street Podcast is Coming to Tor.com!

Coode Street Podcast

We are happy to announce that starting in January 2015, the Coode Street Podcast is coming to Tor.com! Launched in May of 2010, Coode Street quickly became an excellent source for intelligent and lively SFF discussion, and we’re excited to be their new home.

Find out more about our newest podcast below!

[Read More]

Dec 12 2014 10:00am

When My Wife Put Her Face in a Fireball for Epic Fantasy

The Providence of Fire

I won’t say I was happy when my wife opened the oven of our brand new stove and her head was engulfed in a fireball because (1) I wasn’t, and (2) She would punch me very hard in the eyeball if I said that. Still, I will admit to thinking, as we sat in the emergency room—me trying to keep our toddler from firing up the defibrillator, her looking miserable with a goopy looking salve all over her face—that the experience could be professionally useful. Not for nothing is my second book called The Providence of Fire. People get burned, literally and figuratively, and here I had first-hand experience with a burn victim.

[Read More]

Dec 12 2014 9:45am

Beta Testers Wanted to Break Our Website (Very Meticulously)

We’re excited to announce that Tor.com is undergoing a redesign!

Our last shape-up was in 2011 and since then we’ve been thinking up ways to keep our content easier to find and better organized, regardless of whether you’re viewing the site on a computer or on a mobile device. Towards that end we’ve been hard at work behind the scenes and we’re nearly ready to launch a spiffier, improved Tor.com.

[And we’d like your help]

Dec 12 2014 9:30am

Metrophage Sweepstakes!

The cult-classic dystopian cyberpunk tale from New York Times bestselling author Richard Kadrey, Metrophage, comes back in print on January 14th in a special signed, collectible edition from HarperCollins!

Welcome to our future: L.A. in the late twenty-first century—a segregated city of haves and have-nots, where morality is dead and technology rules. Here, a small wealthy group secludes themselves in gilded cages. Beyond their high-security compounds, far from their pretty comforts, lies a lawless wasteland where the angry masses battle hunger, rampant disease, and their own despair in order to survive.

Jonny was born into this Hobbesian paradise. A streetwise hustler who deals drugs on the black market—narcotics that heal the body and cool the mind—he looks out for nobody but himself. Until a terrifying plague sweeps through L.A., wreaking death and panic, and no one, not even a clever operator like Jonny, is safe.

We want to send you one of our three copies, so 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 12. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on December 16. 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.

Dec 12 2014 9:00am

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Reread: Part 9

Hello, everyone! Welcome back to the reread of Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. You can find the full schedule for the reread in the introduction post; catch up on past posts at the reread index; or check out Tor.com’s other posts about this book through its tag.

Please note that these reread posts will contain spoilers for all of JS&MN plus The Ladies of Grace Adieu. There’s accordingly no need to warn for spoilers in the comments—and comments are highly encouraged.

This week, the reread covers chapters 40 through 44, which include Waterloo, a significant action by the gentleman with the thistle-down hair, and the end of Volume II. (Also: the BBC has released the tiniest clip from the upcoming TV adaptation, which alas still does not have a release date; so, if you’re interested, step this way to whet your appetite.)

[“And indeed it is not much like a hallucination brought on by drunkenness. It is more the sort of thing one might imagine if one took opium after reading one of Mrs Radcliffe’s novels.”]

Dec 12 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Floating Candles are not just for Hogwarts Anymore!

Harry Potter Christmas Tree

Yesterday we gave you the eldritch instructions you needed to create a Cthulhumas wreath. Today, for those of you who like having a charming, less fishmen-infested holiday, we offer a Harry Potter tree, complete with floating candles! You can find instructions for your own floating candles here, and we’re guessing these could also work for a pretty unique Menorah...

Morning Roundup brings you a discussion of The Force Awakens and that pesky cross-hilt, a look at cosplay and conventions, and a handy guide to all the sci-fi books that are coming to a theatre and/or TV near you!

[Plus, is this the end of zombie academic Shakespeare? ]

Dec 11 2014 4:44pm

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Character Names Revealed Through Trading Cards!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens character names BB-8 rolling droid

The Star Wars: Episode VII teaser trailer introduced us to a Stormtrooper protagonist, a girl with a cool landspeeder and rolling droid, and a mysterious cloaked figure wielding a controversial new lightsaber. Now we have their names!

Director J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy chose a very vintage way to introduce the new generation of Star Wars heroes and villains and those in-between: They’re releasing Topps trading cards, made to look like the old Topps cards sold with Episode IV back in 1977, with the new characters’ names.

[Meet some of the Force Awakens cast!]

Dec 11 2014 4:00pm

Mort(e) (Excerpt)

Robert Repino

Robert Repino Morte excerptThe “war with no name” has begun, with human extinction as its goal. The instigator of this war is the Colony, a race of intelligent ants who, for thousands of years, have been silently building an army that would forever eradicate the destructive, oppressive humans. The final step in the Colony’s war effort is transforming the surface animals into high-functioning two-legged beings who rise up to kill their masters.

Former housecat turned war hero, Mort(e) is famous for taking on the most dangerous missions and fighting the dreaded human bio-weapon EMSAH. But the true motivation behind his recklessness is his ongoing search for a pre-transformation friend—a dog named Sheba. When he receives a mysterious message from the dwindling human resistance claiming Sheba is alive, he begins a journey that will take him from the remaining human strongholds to the heart of the Colony, where he will discover the source of EMSAH and the ultimate fate of all of earth’s creatures.

Robert Repino’s debut novel, Mort(e) is available January 20th from Soho Press. Check out an excerpt below, and learn more about the author in our Pop Quiz interview!

[Read an Excerpt]

Dec 11 2014 3:29pm

It’s Yuletide and You Are Dying: Watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special Trailer

Doctor Who Christmas special trailer alien

While the most recent teaser clip for the Doctor Who Christmas special definitely scared us into staying off Santa’s Naughty list, the official trailer guarantees that this will be a very creepy Christmas. We’ve got mysterious bodies rising up from sleep (or death), an alien infestation, and a chalkboard that won’t let you erase the message “You Are Dying.”

[Watch the trailer]

Dec 11 2014 3:00pm

It’s the Social Security Numbers That Get You: Locked in Time

Lois Duncan Locked in TimeNore is still trying to recover from the unexpected death of her mother when she receives still more shocking news: her father has just remarried, and is planning to spend the summer with his new wife and their two children in their old plantation home in Louisiana. He invites Nore to stay, partly because, now that the school year is out, Nore has nowhere else to go, but also because he wants Nore to get to know their new family. Nore is angry and uncertain at best—especially after she meets her new stepmother, Lisette, and gets a distinct sense of DEATH DOOM DEATH.

Which is particularly odd since, as it will soon become clear, Lisette’s major issue isn’t death, but rather that she’s Locked in Time.

[Which creates all kinds of issues with Social Security numbers.]

Dec 11 2014 2:50pm

Trailer for Song of the Sea, From the Same Team that Brought Us The Secret of Kells

Song of the Sea

The Secret of Kells was pretty much the greatest in feature length animation in the 21st Century. (I know! Fighting words for Miyazaki and Pixar fans...) So I really can’t tell you how excited I am to see that the same team is bringing us Song of the Sea, a selkie story, later this month. It’s a limited release but judging from this trailer and the screen shots below, it’ll be well worth seeking out!

[Watch the Trailer]

Dec 11 2014 2:00pm

5 Times Stephen Colbert Was Declared the Ultimate Fanboy

Stephen Colbert Gandalf The Hobbit Entertainment Weekly

As Entertainment Weekly observed in their upcoming Stephen Colbert/The Hobbit cover story, the host of The Colbert Report plays a satire of a conservative windbag—but when he geeks out, that’s never an act.

Since the Report premiered on Comedy Central in 2005—and even before that, when he was a correspondent on The Daily Show—Colbert has unabashedly indulged his nerdy side, alternately poking at and showing off his own extensive knowledge of various properties. Getting his own series was a platform to lampoon right-wing pundits, but it also served to show America what a proud nerd looks like. Whether defending the new crossguard lightsaber or dominating at Tolkien trivia, Colbert taps into his endless knowledge and enthusiasm for all things geek in a way no one else can.

[Read more]

Dec 11 2014 1:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Dance With Dragons, Part 3

George R R Martin A Dance With DragonsWelcome back to A Read of Ice and Fire! Please join me as I read and react, for the very first time, to George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.

Today’s entry is Part 3 of A Dance With Dragons, in which we cover Chapter 4 (“Bran”) and Chapter 5 (“Tyrion”).

Previous entries are located in the Index. The only spoilers in the post itself will be for the actual chapters covered and for the chapters previous to them. As for the comments, please note that the Powers That Be have provided you a lovely spoiler thread here on Tor.com. Any spoileriffic discussion should go there, where I won’t see it. Non-spoiler comments go below, in the comments to the post itself.

And now, the post!

[He is a Partially Frozen Syndrome Sufferer, and what he did in his untreated state was… well, I have no idea if it’s his fault or not]

Dec 11 2014 12:30pm

The Harry Potter Reread: The Goblet of Fire, Chapters 7 and 8

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire coverThe Harry Potter Reread has this problem where every time someone asks it what part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art they should visit, it automatically says “The Egypt stuff!” And then everyone gives it the side-eye and asks about paintings, and the Reread sadly mutters, “But… Egypt stuff…” to itself for the next hour.

This week we’re going to try playing with matches and watch a very important game. It’s Chapters 7 and 8 of The Goblet of Fire—Bagman and Crouch and The Quidditch World Cup.

Index to the reread can be located here! Other Harry Potter and Potter-related pieces can be found under their appropriate tag. And of course, since we know this is a reread, all posts might contain spoilers for the entire series. If you haven’t read all the Potter books, be warned.

[Read more]

Dec 11 2014 12:00pm

Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 21

Words of Radiance reread Chapter 21Welcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com! Last week, Carl explored the relationship of “friends” old and new and the unexpected appearance of mink on Roshar. This week, we examine the aftermath of the conflux of caravans, converts and crooks.

This reread will contain spoilers for The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and any other Cosmere book that becomes relevant to the discussion. The index for this reread can be found here, and more Stormlight Archive goodies are indexed here. Click on through to join the discussion.

[What separates the heroes from the villains? One speech in the night?]

Dec 11 2014 11:50am

We Need Diverse Books Returns to BookCon for an SFF Panel!

We Need Diverse Books

The We Need Diverse Books campaign is partnering with ReedPOP for a pair of excellent panels at this year’s BookCon!

The panels are scheduled May 30th and 31st, and will feature some extraordinary talent from worlds of SFF and children’s literature including Jacqueline Woodson and Sherman Alexie. The Saturday panel will feature Hugo Award winners Kameron Hurley (The Mirror Empire) and Ken Liu (The Paper Menagerie), World Fantasy Award winner Nnedi Okorafor (Who Fears Death), Daniel Jose Older (Shadowshaper), and the Executive Editor of Saga Press, Joe Monti, will come together to discuss diversity in genre fiction.

Brien McDonald, Show Manager of BookCon, expressed excitement for both the program, and WNDB movement as a whole:

“We’re thrilled that BookCon and We Need Diverse Books are teaming up once again to connect fans with a broader range of voices in the publishing industry. These panels will once again move the conversation of diversity in books forward and highlight authors who are addressing this head on with their fantastic work.”

BookCon will be held at the Javitz Center in New York on May 30th and 31st of 2015.

Dec 11 2014 11:00am

Gaming Roundup: Uncharted 4 Makes the Leap to PS4

gaming roundup uncharted 4

Sony’s PlayStation Experience rolled through Las Vegas this past weekend, bringing with it a number of exciting tidbits on several hotly-anticipated titles set to release in 2015—including the company’s first potential console-defining game, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. When last we left Nate Drake, he was wandering Colombia, France, Syria, and Yemen in search of yet another of Sir Francis Drake’s treasures, before getting hitched (again) to his wife, Elena. While anyone familiar with the previous 3 games of the series will have a fairly accurate sense of the game’s atmosphere and action, Uncharted 4 will still have its fair share of surprises on the PS4—including a new member of the Drake family.

[“It’s good to see you’re alive, little brother.”]

Dec 11 2014 10:00am

Under the Radar: Things We Found During the Autopsy

Things We Found During the Autopsy Kuzhali ManickavelSometimes you come across stories that are so beautiful and unsettling and weird and wonderful, stories that defy description and explanation, that you wonder why you’ve never read Kuzhali Manickavel before. A writer of short fiction (so far), who is based in Bangalore, Manickavel seems to excel at balancing strange, bizarre scenarios with turbulent, fraught emotion.

Her most recent collection of shorts, Things We Found During the Autopsy, has been published by Chennai indie press Blaft, and it’s just really, really intriguing in the best possible way.

[Read More]

Dec 11 2014 9:40am

A Pottermore Christmas

Harry Potter snow

I don’t know what it is about them, but the Harry Potter films have become a kind of Christmas tradition for me and mine. There’s rarely enough time to reread the books or I dare say I’d do that too. This year, that said, I may have to make time, because Pottermore.com has announced that a fortnight of festive fun is forthcoming, including “a wonderland of new writing by J. K. Rowling,” and I’m already hankering to hear a bit more about Harry and his.

Starting Friday, December 12, we’ll be releasing a new surprise for you every day at 1pm GMT (8am EST). With brand new writing by J.K. Rowling and even a new potion or two, make sure you don’t miss out on these daily treats.

Oh, I won’t. Nor should you! That said, I’d counsel caution. At least one outlet is erroneously reporting that Rowling plans to “put out 12 additional Harry Potter stories” over advent, which is not at all what the originating email and accompanying press release teased.

[Read More]