Daughter of Necessity October 1, 2014 Daughter of Necessity Marie Brennan Tell me, O Muse, of that ingenious heroine... Midway Relics and Dying Breeds September 24, 2014 Midway Relics and Dying Breeds Seanan McGuire Between the roots and the sky. The Golden Apple of Shangri-La September 23, 2014 The Golden Apple of Shangri-La David Barnett A Gideon Smith story. Selfies September 17, 2014 Selfies Lavie Tidhar Smile for the camera.
From The Blog
September 25, 2014
After Paris: Meta, Irony, Narrative, Frames, and The Princess Bride
Jo Walton
September 23, 2014
It’s All About the Benjamins in Sleepy Hollow: “This is War”
Leah Schnelbach
September 23, 2014
The Death of Adulthood in American Culture: Nerd Culture Edition
Lindsay Ellis
September 22, 2014
Five Brilliant Things About Doctor Who “Time Heist”
Paul Cornell
September 19, 2014
“WCKD is Good,” But The Maze Runner is Bad
Natalie Zutter
Tue
Sep 23 2014 3:30pm

Short Fiction Spotlight: The James Tiptree Award Anthology (Part 1)

Welcome back to the Short Fiction Spotlight, a space for conversation about recent and not-so-recent short stories. In our last installment, we discussed the final issue of Subterranean Magazine and were sad to see it go.

This time around, I thought I’d switch gears; we’ve been covering a lot of recent magazine publications, but less on the “not-so-recent stories” front. So, for the next two installments, I want to talk about some of the stories collected in The James Tiptree Award Anthology 1 (2005)—edited by Karen Joy Fowler, Pat Murphy, Debbie Notkin and Jeffrey D. Smith, it collects a variety of stories that “expand and explore gender” along the lines of the titular annual award.

[Onward.]

Tue
Sep 23 2014 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “Far Beyond the Stars”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Far Beyond the Stars“Far Beyond the Stars”
Written by Marc Scott Zicree and Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by Avery Brooks
Season 6, Episode 13
Production episode 40510-538
Original air date: February 11, 1998
Stardate: unknown

Station log: Kira reports to Sisko that the Defiant has found no sign of the Cortez, lost while patrolling the Cardassian border. The captain was an old friend of Sisko’s, which makes him less than enthusiastic about his father Joseph visiting the station. Sisko doesn’t know how much more he can take, how many more friends he can lose. Joseph tries to comfort him, then goes off for a dinner date with Jake. Sisko talks with Yates, failing to convince her to cut back on her cargo runs for fear of Jem’Hadar attack.

Sisko also sees a man in a suit and hat and glasses (who looks a lot like Odo), as well as a man in a New York Giants baseball uniform (who looks a lot like Worf), but nobody else sees them. He follows the latter into a cabin, only to find himself on a street in 1953 New York City, where he promptly is hit by a cab. He wakes up in the infirmary, surrounded by Yates, Joseph, and Jake. Bashir says he’s got odd synaptic patterns, similar to what he experienced when the wormhole aliens gave him visions of Bajor.

[Did you hear the game last night?]

Tue
Sep 23 2014 2:00pm

All That’s Gold Does Not Glitter: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

Sarah Rees Brennan UnmadeFirst up, let me warn you that it’s impossible to talk about Sarah Rees Brennan’s Unmade without revealing some of what went down in the two previous books of The Lynburn Legacy. Consider yourself warned for SPOILERS.

We zoom in on Sorry-in-the-Vale after the cliffhanger of Untold with Jared buried alive in his priest hole and everyone but Kami convinced he’s dead. Repeated forays to the Lynburn evil layer result in rescues, deadly plans, ritual sacrifice, and of course some great quips. Kami and the gang have a modicum of time available to save their town, or to convince the town to save themselves, before Rob Lynburn’s nefarious plotting can be put into action. Can they do it before their hormones take control?

Unmade is rife with broken hearts, broken homes, and a few broken bones, and Sarah Rees Brennan delivers fist pumping moments of awesomeness in a series ending that’ll keep readers glued to the page.

[Why be broken when you can be gold?]

Tue
Sep 23 2014 1:30pm

It’s All About the Benjamins in Sleepy Hollow: “This is War”

So how was everyone’s summer? Do we all remember where Sleepy Hollow left us last year? Ichabod’s buried alive, Abbie’s in Purgatory, Purgatory continues to deviate from every catechism class I ever avoided, Henry is actually War and also actually Ichabod’s son Jeremy, and—hang on, there’s waaaay too much to cover here. Check out Fox’s recap to get up to speed.

So for the season premiere, “This is War,” you want to see Ichabod and Abbie attempting to bust out of their respective prisons, right? And you want to see Henry savoring evil witticisms like they were… I don’t know, cherry tomatoes or something? And you want to see Jennie being her usual BAMF self? What if I told you, dear friends, that not only do you get all of that, but that ICHABOD SNARKS ON BEN FRANKLIN THE WHOLE TIME?

[This is a great day to a sleepyhead. Read on!]

Tue
Sep 23 2014 1:00pm

The Wheel of Time Reread Redux: The Eye of the World, Part 1

The Eye of the World reread reduxGreetings, my peoples! Welcome back to the Wheel of Time Reread Redux!

Today’s Redux post will cover the (official) Prologue 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!

[Kill your darlings]

Tue
Sep 23 2014 12:30pm

The Death of Adulthood in American Culture: Nerd Culture Edition

When Pokémon XY was released, my Twitter list exploded with excitement. Who wanted to trade? What was your battle team of choice, and how did you choose to balance out your team’s skills? What goofy names are you giving your Pokémon?

My Twitter list does not consist of children and teenagers, by the by. These were adults, all spreading the gospel of the pocket monster. Granted, I deal with a lot of gaming and nerd culture videographers and bloggers so it wasn’t too shocking, but it wasn’t just them; people who had nothing to do with gaming—successful authors, bloggers, film critics—all playing this game, discussing the trading of their digital beasties and posting share codes. But the remarkable thing to me was the lack of shame in these adult consumers. They weren’t consuming their children’s media in secret, the way a fifth grader in the 90’s might have hidden away to indulge in watching some Power Rangers despite knowing they were “too old” for it (I may or may not be speaking from experience), but rather they were sharing in a community, enjoying it openly and shamelessly.

[Read More]

Tue
Sep 23 2014 12:15pm

Welcome to Gotham — Hope You Survive The Experience!

Gotham

And yes, I realize the title of this post is an X-Men reference; no, I don’t care.

Last night was the world premiere of the highly-anticipated Gotham on the Fox network, a police-procedural-slash-superhero-origin-story about the fabled Gotham City in the days before the Batman—because what’s more populist than a cop drama and comic book show combined? The show tries to be a lot of things at the same time and for the most part succeeds, but its catch-all strengths are also its shortcoming as it can’t quite decide if it’s Dick Tracy, Batman Begins, SVU, or a Raymond Chandler novel. But if you’re a fan of camp and/or noir (which I am), you should be pleased.

Let’s head back to Crime Alley and take a look at what happened in last night’s episode

[SPOILERS to follow, obviously]

Tue
Sep 23 2014 12:00pm

Finding the Other Within: “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”

Shadow Over Innsmouth HP Lovecraft RereadWelcome 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 Shadow Over Innsmouth,” written in November-December 1931 and first published as a bound booklet by Visionary Publishing in April 1936. You can read the story here. Spoilers ahead.

Summary: During the winter of 1927-1928, the government raided Innsmouth, MA. Afterwards there were no trials, only rumors of concentration camps. Innsmouth’s neighbors didn’t complain: they’d never liked the place. It’s our narrator whose reports led to the crackdown. Now he wants to tell his story, as he makes up his mind about a terrible step that lies ahead of him.

[“The patterns all hinted of remote secrets and unimaginable abysses in time and space, and the monotonously aquatic nature of the reliefs became almost sinister. Among these reliefs were fabulous monsters of abhorrent grotesqueness and malignity—half ichthyic and half batrachian in suggestion—which one could not dissociate from a certain haunting and uncomfortable sense of pseudo-memory, as if they called up some image from deep cells and tissues whose retentive functions are wholly primal and awesomely ancestral.”]

Tue
Sep 23 2014 11:28am

J.J. Abrams is Bringing Stephen King’s Time Travel Novel 11/22/63 to Hulu

Hulu J.J. Abrams Stephen King 11/22/63Hulu’s latest original series will be an adaptation of 11/22/63, Stephen King’s novel about a schoolteacher who journeys back to the 1960s to try and prevent President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

Hulu has ordered the series from J.J. Abrams’ production company Bad Robot. Bridget Carpenter, a former writer and co-executive producer on Friday Night Lights and Parenthood, is joining as writer and executive producer.

“If I ever wrote a book that cries out for long-form, event TV programming, 11/22/63 is it,” King said in a press release. We’re hoping that the final product will be a bit tighter and not as cheesy as King’s other current TV series, Under the Dome, which is currently driving Grady Hendrix insane.

Tue
Sep 23 2014 11:00am

Post-Binary Gender in SF: What Gender is an Alien? What Gender is a Human?

Octavia Butler Lilith's BroodI’ve been asked a few times, in general or in reference to specific books: what do I think of the depiction of non-binary gender systems in aliens? Though I’ve mentioned it in passing at least once, I realised I’ve never given the question—and its answer—a post of its own.

Alien life—is it out there? what will it look like? what will meeting it be like?—lies at the heart of not only science fiction but the popular imagination, whether in farmer-abducting flying saucers or the real possibility of microbial life in our solar system. I find it fascinating. I edited Aliens: Recent Encounters out of that fascination. In fiction, alien life is a very revealing subject-matter: what is the author capable of imagining beyond the confines of human (and wider Earth) biology and cultures?

[The problem is that the “confines” of human cultures are too tightly written.]

Tue
Sep 23 2014 10:43am

Could Star Trek 3 Reunite Original Kirk and Spock?

Star Trek 3 William Shatner cameo

So far all we know about Star Trek 3 is that the crew of the Enterprise is going into DEEP SPACE. But you know who they might find? William Shatner, playing Captain James T. Kirk for the first time in canon since 1991’s Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

[But what does this mean for Kirk Prime/Spock Prime?]

Tue
Sep 23 2014 10:00am
Excerpt

The Three-Body Problem: “The Universe Flickers”

Cixin Liu

The Three-Body Problem Cixin Liu King Wen of Zhou and the Long Night

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth.

The Three-Body Problem is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multiple award-winning phenomenon from China’s most beloved science fiction author, Cixin Liu. The English edition, available November 11th from Tor Books, was translated by Ken Liu. Learn more about Stephan Martinière’s cover art, and read Cixin Liu’s article about Chinese science fiction here on Tor.com.

[Read an excerpt]

Tue
Sep 23 2014 9:00am
Original Story

The Golden Apple of Shangri-La

Flying straight from the pages of the Gideon Smith steampunk novels is airship pilot Rowena Fanshawe, who in this tale pre-dating the books discovers that heroes do not necessarily always behave with honor.

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

[Read “The Golden Apple of Shangri-La” by David Barnett]

Tue
Sep 23 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Orlando Jones is a Human Emoji Machine!

Good morning! This lovely image is the amazing Orlando Jones (star of the just-returned Sleepy Hollow!) acting out the “Grimacing Face” emoji. But wait, perhaps you don’t like “Grimacing Face”? Perhaps you prefer “Baby With A Crescent Moon On Its Head”? Or Even “Flexed Bicep”? Well, you’re in luck, human! Mr. Jones has acted out a whole universe of emoji over on Buzzfeed. And that’s not all! He has also founded the iROC Emoji App, which will give you and your beloved phone diverse emoji! So perhaps there can be a tiny pocket of this world that doesn’t default to white, blonde, and skinny. And that tiny pocket of the world can live in your very own pocket! Unless you have a new iPhone, in which case it won’t fit in your pocket...

Morning Roundup brings you more special stuff from Guardians of the Galaxy! (Between this and James Gunn’s Facebook page, is there going to be anything left for the Blu-Ray?) The minds behind Daredevil offer reassurances! And the mind behind Bone offers us musings on controversial comics!

[There’s also some weird sex beneath the cut.]

Mon
Sep 22 2014 5:00pm

The YA Roundup: John Green’s “Very Exciting Announcement”

Cara Delevingne John Green

Welcome to the YA Roundup, keeping you in the know with the latest YA news, book deals, releases and cover reveals!

This week covers YA movie news (featuring—who else?—John Green), the lack of diversity in YA books, and the effect of film adaptations on childrens’ reading habits.

[Read More]

Mon
Sep 22 2014 4:30pm

Willful Child Sweepstakes!

From the New York Times Bestselling author Steven Erikson comes a new science fiction novel of devil-may-care, near calamitous and downright chaotic adventures through the infinite vastness of interstellar space. Out on November 11th from Tor Books, Willful Child follows the adventures of Captain Hadrian Sawback and his motley crew on board the A.S.F. Willful Child, and we want to send you a galley right now!

Check for the rules below!

[Read more]

Mon
Sep 22 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

Horrorstör (Excerpt)

Grady Hendrix

Grady Hendrix Horrorstor Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking. To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they’ll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination.

Grady Hendrix’s latest novel, Horrorstör, is traditional haunted house story in a thoroughly contemporary setting—available September 23rd from Quirk Books. It comes packaged in the form of a glossy mail order catalog, complete with product illustrations, a home delivery order form, and a map of Orsk’s labyrinthine showroom.

[Read an excerpt]

Mon
Sep 22 2014 3:00pm

Book Two, Make Out: Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

Sarah Rees Brennan Untold reviewOh Sarah Rees Brennan, you wily little fox, you. Here I thought reading Untold would be safe. Because I had waited. Waited until I also had Unmade in my hands and could reasonably expect to forgo the emotional torture that was sure to come at the end of such a book if I had to wait for the third, but nooooo.

No, you couldn’t let me have that solace. Instead you had to wring my heart out like the emotional equivalent of a Brawny paper towel throughout the entirety of Untold. It’s a miracle my heart’s not full of holes yet. The truly frightening thing is that you still have plenty of time to torture me further.

[Read More]

Mon
Sep 22 2014 2:50pm

Can We Do it Better? Writing Last First Snow

Last First Snow Craft Sequence Max Gladstone

Fantasy is the genre of hope.

It’s the genre of the Grail Quest, where the King is the Land, where Lancelot can heal with a touch, where nine walkers just might stand against the nine riders that are evil, where a few farm kids set out from a small town between two rivers to stop the Dark One, where no man can defeat the Nazgul lord so good thing Eowyn’s on our side, where Aerin bests Agsded and Maur to free her city, where Tenar finds her name and Aang can save the world.

But if fantasy is the genre of hope, it’s also the genre of a particular kind of danger. To hope is to commit, and commitment’s scary because we’re never hurt so much as when we care. Saving the world is hard. You lose people along the way.

[Read More]

Mon
Sep 22 2014 2:15pm

Colin Farrell Joins True Detective Season 2!

Having dealt with the flat circle-ish-ness of time in Bruges, Belgium, Colin Farrell will now bring his existential musings to season 2 of True Detective! The actor confirmed that he'll be joining the show, telling The Sunday World that he was “so excited” and then giving them these tiny, tiny, tantalizing details:

“I know it will be eight episodes and take around four or five months to shoot,” he said. “I know very little about it, but we’re shooting in the environs of Los Angeles which is great.”

That's not enough, Colin Farrell! You have giant Texan shoes to fill! Quick, give us some sub-dorm-room philosophy, or a story about your dad cooking with beer in his underwear! Make shit up! Will there be a new Yellow King? Is this talk of The Crying of Lot 49 on the mark? Are we getting Jessica Chastain or Elisabeth Moss? Or both? Both would be great! At least explain what the hell the “secret occult history of the United States transportation system” is supposed to mean!

Come on, man. Lead us into the Farrellaissance.