The Ways of Walls and Words April 15, 2015 The Ways of Walls and Words Sabrina Vourvoulias Can the spirit truly be imprisoned? Ballroom Blitz April 1, 2015 Ballroom Blitz Veronica Schanoes Can't stop drinking, can't stop dancing, can't stop smoking, can't even die. Dog March 25, 2015 Dog Bruce McAllister "Watch the dogs when you're down there, David." The Museum and the Music Box March 18, 2015 The Museum and the Music Box Noah Keller History is rotting away, just like the museum.
From The Blog
April 17, 2015
Spring 2015 Anime Preview: The Hellish Life of a Pizza Delivery Boy
Kelly Quinn
April 16, 2015
The Disney Read-Watch: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Mari Ness
April 15, 2015
Recasting The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Stubby the Rocket
April 15, 2015
The 10 Strangest Transports in Non-Driving Games
N. Ho Sang and Peter Tieryas
April 14, 2015
An Open Letter to HBO from House Greyjoy
Theresa DeLucci
Thu
Apr 9 2015 1:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Dance with Dragons, Part 17

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 17 of A Dance With Dragons, in which we cover Chapter 28 (“Jon”) and Chapter 29 (“Davos”).

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!

[“There are wild elephants in the country, and numerous unicorns, which are very nearly as big. They have hair like that of a buffalo, feet like those of an elephant, and a horn in the middle of the forehead, which is black and very thick… The head resembles that of a wild boar, and they carry it ever bent towards the ground. They delight much to abide in mire and mud. ’Tis a passing ugly beast to look upon, and is not in the least like that which our stories tell of as being caught in the lap of a virgin; in fact, ’tis altogether different from what we fancied.” –Marco Polo being hilariously disappointed by the lack of glitter or virgins around “real” unicorns]

Thu
Apr 9 2015 12:00pm

Words of Radiance Reread: Interludes 5 and 6

Words of Radiance rereadWelcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com! Last week, Alice attempted to unravel the mysteries of the Listener songs. This week we’ll deal with two of the interludes, which generally involve grumpy old men talking down to young whippersnappers.

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

[I fell in to a storming ring of water.]

Thu
Apr 9 2015 11:00am

Midnight in Karachi Episode 10: Andrew Smith and Musharraf Ali Farooqi

Midnight in Karachi

Welcome back to Midnight in Karachi, a bi-weekly podcast about writers, publishers, editors, illustrators, their books and the worlds they create, hosted by Mahvesh Murad.

In this episode of Midnight in Karachi, Mahvesh speaks with writer Andrew Smith about learning from teenagers, whether YA can be too dark and a certain interview that created a bit of an uproar a few weeks ago. And on Under the Radar we hear from Musharraf Ali Farooqi, translator of the Urdu fantasy epic Hoshruba, which is being serialised right here on Tor.com.

[Listen Now!]

Thu
Apr 9 2015 10:00am

Disney Read-Watch Part One: A Grimm Snow White

Snow White Grimm Walter Crane

Welcome to the Disney Read-Watch, in which we’ll be reading the texts that inspired classic Disney films, then watching the films. Today we’re starting with the prose story of Disney’s very first feature-length film: Snow White, by the Brothers Grimm.

You know the story, right? Girl flees evil stepmother for a life of unending housework with seven little men before falling over from an overconsumption of apples and placed in a coffin until finally a prince swings by to rescue her from all this crap.

Or do you?

[In which I proceed to destroy more childhoods. Spoilery for a story published way back in the early 19th century.]

Thu
Apr 9 2015 9:00am

A Tale to Blow Your Senses Away: Hoshruba: The Land and the Tilism

This article was originally published July 24, 2014 as part of Tor.com’s Under the Radar series.

Imagine a magical realm, an alternate plane called a tilism, with a pre-ordained, limited life span. At its very creation, it is known that one day the land will all be unravelled by one man.

Within the tilism, called Hoshruba, ‘sorcerers exercised powers that defied the laws of God and the physical world. They created illusions, transferred spirits between bodies, transmuted matter, made talismans, and configured and exploited Earth’s inherent physical forces to create extraordinary marvels.’ They did all this knowing it would all come to an end one day. The Emperor Afrasiyab swore to protect the land from its destiny, with all his power.

[Read More]

Thu
Apr 9 2015 8:00am
Excerpt

Hoshruba: The Land and the Tilism: Book 1, Episode 1

Musharraf Ali Farooqi

Hoshruba Volume 1 Episode 1 Tor.com Musharraf Ali FarooqiWhen Tilism-e Hoshruba was first published in Lucknow, India in 1883, it was already a beloved oral history that had been performed for years in public and private. What Hoshruba’s fans did not know, however, was that professional storyteller Mir Ahmed Ali and his disciples had engineered a massive literary hoax, writing Hoshruba themselves and falsely attributing it to the epic poem cycle The Adventures of Amir Hamza. But less important than Hoshruba’s provenance was its impact: The story of the tilism (an inanimate object transformed into its own world) of Hoshruba, defended by Emperor Afrasiyab against rival tilism as well as the trickster Amar Ayyar, has become one of the foremost fantasy tales in Urdu. For a more in-depth look at the epic’s sorcerers, formidable women, and grimdark (long before the genre existed) battles, read Mahvesh Murad’s Under the Radar review.

Hoshruba (which translates to “ravishing the senses”) is part of the dastan tradition of oral storytelling and is being translated into English for the first time as Hoshruba: The Land and the Tilism. In its original form, Hoshruba was published in Urdu, in eight volumes totaling over eight thousand pages. In translating the epic into English, Pakistani-Canadian writer Musharraf Ali Farooqi has split each volume into three, for a total of 24 volumes. Over the next few months, you will be able to read all 50 episodes—the entire first volume of Hoshruba—on Tor.com, with one new episode going up every day. You can also purchase the entire novel through Barnes & Noble or Amazon.

[Read “The Beginning of the History: Of Amir Hamza the Lord of the Auspicious Planetary Conjunction and the False God Laqa”]

Thu
Apr 9 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: This April Fool’s Prank Becomes a Real “Smart Boy”

iPhone 6 Game Boy case Smart Boy April Fool's joke confirmed

This iPhone Game Boy add-on began as an April Fool’s prank, but the Internet has spoken: They want to actually be able to play Game Boy games on their smartphones! Now, the company Hyperkin is actually working to make the “Smart Boy” a reality.

Morning Roundup ponders the meaning behind Captain Cosmos, whether A.I.s will save us or kill us, and how to find our way home using Interstellar.

[Read more]

Wed
Apr 8 2015 3:00pm

Five Books about Time Travel

Back to the Future

I’ve had a love affair with time travel since the first time I saw Back To The Future. I was seven, and my dad took my older sister and me to the theater (on a school night!) to meet the McFlys. I was hooked. I guess you could say time travel was my density.

BttF (Yes, I call it “BttF” because we’re besties like that) is, to this day, my ideal time travel. It’s twisty, fun, and funny—the exact vibe I wanted to infuse into my novels Loop and Twist.

[Here are some my other time travel favorites.]

Wed
Apr 8 2015 2:00pm

Afternoon Roundup: The Lost Holiday a Decade in the Making

Lost Day 4 18 15 16 23 42

Two once-in-a-lifetime numbered holidays in one year! First Pi Day, and now Lost Day: On April 8, 2015, at 16:23:42, you know what you have to do. Well, actually, it’s not at all clear if that specific time of day will inspire a fan celebration, a message from the show’s creators, or a flash-sideways. You should probably just keep punching in those numbers over and over—you know, to be safe.

Afternoon Roundup assesses your TV-watching personality, gets ready for the dodo bird resurgence, and enjoys Nathan Fillion’s seven-layer bean dip.

[Read more]

Wed
Apr 8 2015 1:00pm

Rereading Melanie Rawn: Sunrunner’s Fire, Chapters 6 and 7

Sunrunner's Fire rereadWelcome to the weekly Wednesday reread of Sunrunner’s Fire! This week we meet the final two sets of players in the grand drama of the year 728, and get a last round of backstory and setup for the main act of the novel.

Chapter 6
726: Swalekeep

So This Happens: It’s autumn in Swalekeep, and horribly hot. Ruval and his older female companion ponder the weather and the history of the place, and discuss the fact that Marron is playing servant here, and that he will not be the next High Prince. There is some chuckling and mild gloating, and some reflection on how Chiana barely tolerates magic in her domain. They discuss how Marron might have changed in recent years, as compared to what he was like the last time they were together; with a pause to remember the late Segev.

[Read More]

Wed
Apr 8 2015 12:30pm

Announcing the 2014 BSFA Award Winners

Did someone say science fiction prize?

Someone did! But to be sure, it wouldn’t do, in the wake of this morning’s announcement of the shortlist for this year’s Arthur C. Clarke Award, to forget the British Science Fiction Association’s assortment of awards, the winners of which were unveiled at a ceremony held at Dysprosium, aka Eastercon, on Sunday.

[Read More]

Wed
Apr 8 2015 12:00pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: Orb Sceptre Throne, Chapter Fourteen

Ian C Esslemont Orb Sceptre Throne Malazan rereadWelcome back 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 fourteen of Ian Cameron Esslemont’s Orb Sceptre Throne.

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 8 2015 11:40am

Brontosaurus Was Real All Along

Brontosaurus The Flintstones

Welcome back, thunder lizard! A new study has found that Brontosaurus, the Pluto of dinosaurs, actually does exist. For over a century, paleontologists (well, just one, this guy named Elmer Riggs in 1903) have maintained that the bones belonging to the newfound Brontosaurus were just a mistaken identification of bones from the already-existing Apatosaurus. Since the first name established for a dinosaur is kept as the official name, this wiped Brontosaurus from the official records. (This is also the fate that befell our beloved LukeSkywalkerasaurus, the toy we created by gluing Luke’s action figure head to a Dilophosaurus toy.)

[But now it’s canon again!]

Wed
Apr 8 2015 11:30am

Diversity and Inclusivity at WonderCon 2015

This year was my third year attending WonderCon, and while it’s not my favorite con (that would be Worldcon), it’s still three solid days of geeky fun. As always, I went with my best friend, and she and I went through our usual range of emotions: being bored on Friday; overwhelmed, annoyed, and slightly disappointed on Saturday; and pleased and totally satisfied by Sunday. Prolonged exposure to that many people is equal parts challenging and entertaining for a pair of friends that are basically the 32-year-old versions of Daria and Jane.

We switched from Comic Con to WonderCon a while back for a lot of reasons, but mostly because the former never felt as comfortable as the latter...

[Read more]

Wed
Apr 8 2015 11:15am

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Discussion Thread

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2

Inhumans, two S.H.I.E.L.D.s, and Ultron? The latter half of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2 is slowly becoming the insane Marvel Universe-with-creamy-Coulson-center that show we always hoped it would be.

And since the twists just keep coming, we've set up a single discussion thread so that no one has to wait to talk about the latest surprise in Agents of SHIELD. Spoilers ahead for the latest episode, of course.

To follow Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. recaps and discussion threads on Tor.com, visit the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tag page.

Wed
Apr 8 2015 11:00am

Rocket Talk Episode 50: Ken Liu and Joe Monti

Ken Liu

This week’s podcast episode features author Ken Liu and Saga Press Executive Editor, Joe Monti. Justin asks tough questions about Liu’s newest book, The Grace of Kings, while learning more about where the book began, and where they hope it will end up.

[Listen now!]

Wed
Apr 8 2015 10:00am

Introducing Hoshruba: The Land and the Tilism, a Fantasy Epic Previously Lost to Time

Hoshruba

On the other side of the mountain lies the land of an all-powerful tale—the one you must conquer. It has consumed whole generations of readers before you. And like all great tales, it is still hungry—ravenous, in fact—for more.

The path leading to the heart of this tale is through a dark terrain laid with archaic language and craggy metaphors, strewn with ornate word puzzles that are a challenge to solve. Not many have gone across in the last hundred years. But the tale will not die or be forgotten. It only gets hungrier and hungrier for readers. In the night, when people open up their bedside books, it roars with a terrible challenge, “ARE THERE ANY WHO ARE MY MATCH?”

[Hoshruba: The Land and the Tilism. The greatest epic you’ve never read.]

Wed
Apr 8 2015 9:00am
Poetry

The Ghost Tide Chantey

Fran Wilde

Fran Wilde photo by Dan Magus

In celebration of National Poetry Month, we are pleased to present “The Ghost Tide Chantey,” an original poem by Fran Wilde, acquired for Tor.com by editor Miriam Weinberg.

Tor.com is celebrating National Poetry Month by featuring science fiction and fantasy poetry from a variety of SFF authors. You’ll find classic works, hidden gems, and new commissions over at the Poetry Month index.

[Read More]

Wed
Apr 8 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: “C” is for Carpet!

Cookie Monster Rug

OK, fine, you’ve hunted and skinned a Cookie Monster. We don’t agree with this choice, but as long as it’s Cookie Monster Season, there’s nothing we can do to stop you. Having said that, what are you thinking letting your child eat cookies atop a Cookie Monster pelt??? We think the next time you look in a mirror, you will find the true monster. You can learn how to make your own rug here, sicko.

Morning Roundup brings you discussions of Indiana Bridge Sequences, chats with Bill Nye and Ken Liu, and the physics behind The Greatest Film of Our Time.

[Plus the Avengers travel back to the 90s!]

Wed
Apr 8 2015 7:15am

Announcing the 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award Shortlist

With award season upon us and already feasting like the beast it can be, it shouldn’t shock anyone that this morning saw the announcement of the six novels shortlisted for what has been described as the UK’s “most prestigious science fiction prize.”

“The Arthur C. Clarke Award is given for the best science fiction novel first published in the United Kingdom during the previous year.” The contenders this year include:

  • The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey (Orbit)
  • The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber (Canongate)
  • Europe in Autumn by Dave Hutchinson (Solaris)
  • Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta (HarperVoyager)
  • The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (Orbit)
  • Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel (Picador)

[Read more...]