Where the Trains Turn November 19, 2014 Where the Trains Turn Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen His imagination runs wild. The Walk November 12, 2014 The Walk Dennis Etchison Creative differences can be brutal. Where the Lost Things Are November 5, 2014 Where the Lost Things Are Rudy Rucker and Terry Bisson Everything has to wind up somewhere. A Kiss with Teeth October 29, 2014 A Kiss with Teeth Max Gladstone Happy Halloween.
From The Blog
November 21, 2014
Never Wait for a Sequel Again: 17 Standalone Fantasy Novels
Stubby the Rocket
November 18, 2014
The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare’s Histories in the Age of Netflix
Ada Palmer
November 17, 2014
In Defense of Indiana Jones, Archaeologist
Max Gladstone
November 14, 2014
An Uncut and Non-Remastered List of Star Wars Editions!
Leah Schnelbach
November 13, 2014
Why Do We Reject Love as a Powerful Force in Interstellar?
Natalie Zutter
Fri
Nov 14 2014 4:10pm

You Already Love This Eerie Children’s Fantasy/Horror Book

Harry Potter concept art book thestrals

Once there was a little boy who liked to ride around on bone horses. Operating under a clear death wish, this bright-eyed child encountered skeleton monks, watched snakes hatch from human corpses, and swam through seas of grasping bony creatures. If you like fantasy and horror, this is the book for you.

[Click through for more illustrations]

Fri
Nov 14 2014 4:00pm

Collateral Damage: Engines of War by George Mann

Engines of War George Mann Doctor Who

“I’ve faced this in the past, and I didn’t act in time. If I’d only had the guts to do what was necessary back then, things might be very different now. But I’m a different man now. I don’t live by the same ideals. I have a job to do, and this time, I have no such qualms.” —The War Doctor

I used to be a big reader of tie-in novels (In particular: Star Trek, Star Wars, and Doctor Who), but somewhere along the line the continuing onslaught of material (let’s face it, tie-ins/expanded universe books can drop faster than tribbles) wore me down until I only dipped in the pool for something extra special. In the case of Doctor Who some recent exceptions were Gareth Roberts’s tremendous 2012 novelization of “Shada” written by Douglas Adams and, back a little farther, 1995’s “Human Nature” by Paul Cornell.

Mind you, this isn’t a backhanded compliment against buying tie-in novels, it’s just that budget constraints played a major part in being much more selective in my choices, and I’m sure there are plenty of fine adventures I’ve missed along the way as a result. Nevertheless, I got such a big kick out of seeing John Hurt in the role of the disheveled War Doctor in “The Day of The Doctor” that I immediately jumped at the chance to read about more of this incarnation of the Time Lord and his adventures.

[Read More]

Fri
Nov 14 2014 3:30pm

Interstellar: The Movie Novelization Sweepstakes!

Interstellar is here (and is making us think about love’s place in time and space). We want to send you a copy of Interstellar: The Official Movie Novelization by award-winning author Greg Keyes, out now from Titan Books! Check out our review of the film here.

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 3:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on November 14. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on November 18. 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.

Fri
Nov 14 2014 3:17pm

See the Secret Ending That Almost Concluded Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Statue of Liberty Brian Cunningham

This past summer, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes continued the promise of the Planet of the Apes reboot/retelling begun by the surprisingly restrained Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The first film featured a post-credits scene elegantly explaining why humanity dwindles, but originally the post-credits scene was much crazier, connecting the imagery of the new Apes films with the original film’s most memorable scene.

[Read more]

Fri
Nov 14 2014 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “Tears of the Prophets”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Tears of the Prophets“Tears of the Prophets”
Written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Season 6, Episode 26
Production episode 40510-550
Original air date: June 17, 1998
Stardate: unknown

Station log: Another Gratitude Festival has come to an end. Sisko insisted that the festival go on despite the war. And after the festival, Ross presents him with the Christopher Pike Medal of Honor, and then tells him that Starfleet has agreed (finally) to go on the offensive, and has ordered Sisko to come up with a plan to invade Cardassian space.

Worf and Dax leave the holodeck carrying weapons, but are neither sweaty nor bruised. Turns out they were talking about having a baby. Bashir and Quark are stunned and depressed, though they cover it with medical concerns over a Trill and a Klingon procreating (Bashir) and just generally being snotty (Quark).

[“It is a private matter.” “We’re thinking about having a baby.” “It was a private matter.”]

Fri
Nov 14 2014 2:10pm

Samsung Made a Butt Robot (Robutt? Ass-bot?) to Test Smartphones

We suppose someone should have expected this, given the iPhone 6 bend debacle, but somehow, the possibility sailed right by us: Samsung decided to prove their phones wouldn’t bend by creating a robot that could sit on them over and over.

[Just... look.]

Fri
Nov 14 2014 2:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Jack McDevitt

Jack McDevitt pop quizWelcome 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 Jack McDevitt, a former naval officer, taxi driver, English teacher, customs officer, and motivational trainer, and is now a full-time writer. His novel Seeker won a Nebula Award, and he is a multiple Nebula Award finalist. His latest novel, Coming Home, is the seventh book in his Alex Benedict series—available now from Ace!

Join us to read about Jack’s near-miss with American royalty!

[Read More]

Fri
Nov 14 2014 1:30pm

Oldboy’s Park Chan-wook to Direct Sci-Fi Body-Swapping Thriller Second Born

Park Chan-wook sci-fi body-swapping Second Born

South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook, best known for grim, brutal, darkly funny films like Oldboy, Thirst, and Stoker, has signed on for a new sci-fi project. Variety reports that he will be directing and developing Second Born, a futuristic thriller in which humans can download their consciousness onto neural microchip implants.

[Read more]

Fri
Nov 14 2014 1:00pm

Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, Before They Are Hanged: “Questions” and “Holding the Line”

Before They Are Hanged Joe Abercrombie rereadI missed last week’s post. I have an excuse. The power cord to my MacBook Air inexplicably stopped working. One minute I’m the happiest little blogger on earth. The next I’m attempting to resuscitate a cord with mouth to mouth, shouting why over and over again. This screaming continued when I learned that the replacement was $80. This is not a joke.

In any case, I was probably missing the signs for several months that this tragedy was about to befall me. Maybe I had to wiggle the cord to get the light to come on. Maybe little bumps were developing where the internal wires were kinking. Maybe my little cord was constantly burping at serious moments and blaming indigestion. One things leads to another and it’s spewing blood all over the battle plans in the middle of a gods damned war!

Crap. I might be getting a little ahead of myself here.

On to this weeks chapters, one of which contains Lord Marshall Burr doing some things even my MacBook Air cord would be grossed out by.

[Click to find out...]

Fri
Nov 14 2014 12:00pm

Extending The Desolation of Smaug: More Is More

The Desolation of Smaug extended

The final installment of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy—controversial among even Tolkien fans by being a film trilogy at all—is nearly upon us! But although The Battle of the Five Armies is about to begin, the Extended Edition of The Desolation of Smaug has only just arrived.

The theatrical cuts of Jackson’s films are as CliffsNotes to me, where the Extended Editions are the unabridged forms. Marketers tout these editions as “extended,” but you’ll notice these are not called “deleted scenes.” And for good reason. In most cases the Rings and Hobbit “extended” scenes are actually integral to the plot but don’t necessarily provide vital information to the broader movie-going populace. And I get that; many complain that the movies are long enough already, or that they should have been crammed into fewer films. For those of us more invested in Middle-earth—in Jackson’s Middle-earth, to be clear—they’re like comfort food. Tastier and more satisfying.

[Read More]

Fri
Nov 14 2014 11:00am
Excerpt

The Darkest Part of the Forest (Excerpt)

Holly Black

Holly Black The Darkest Part of the Forest Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointy as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking. Until one day, he does...

As the world turns upside down and a hero is needed to save them all, Hazel tries to remember her years spent pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

Holly Black’s The Darkest Part of the Forest publishes January 15th from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers! Check out an exclusive excerpt below!

[Read More]

Fri
Nov 14 2014 10:30am

Gaming Roundup: Blizzard Rebounds with Overwatch

A couple of months ago, the gaming universe mourned the demise of Blizzard Entertainment’s Titan—an ambitious new MMO shooter eight years in the making. The game’s cancellation raised a number of questions—most notably, how it would impact Blizzard’s bottom line and whether the all-star developer had any other strategies by which to foster and develop a new IP.

As it turned out, Blizzard had a plan all along. Meet Overwatch.

[“Don’t worry, loves. Cavalry’s here.”]

Fri
Nov 14 2014 10:00am

An Uncut and Non-Remastered List of Star Wars Editions!

Star Wars Uncut

The thing that makes Star Wars truly great is Greedo shooting first. Wait, come back, I’m being serious! The original Star Wars trilogy was an incredible cultural touchstone, and obviously Star Wars merchandise and expanded universe novels created a whole world for fans to inhabit. However, the moment when Star Wars became truly great was the moment in 1997 when a generation of fans had to examine what this film meant to them, and why it was so important that Han shoot first. This moment galvanized an already fervent fandom to, if you don’t mind me mixing my geek metaphors, play Sam Beckett in the SWU, going back to earlier prints of the films to put right what Lucas had made wrong.

Using the sort of film tech popularized by Lucas himself, the fandom dove in and started making new editions of the original trilogy, and then turned their scalpels on each of the prequels. Rather than accepting anything as “canon,” they made their own. Now, as a flurry of new films loom, causing hope, fear, and trembling, I’ve rounded up nine different ways you can experience Star Wars into one handy list!

[Read More]

Fri
Nov 14 2014 9:00am

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Reread: Part 6

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 27 through 30, in which Arabella meets Lady Pole and Jonathan learns to make magic truly useful to those on the front lines.

[“Can a magician kill a man by magic?” Lord Wellington asked Strange. Strange frowned. He seemed to dislike the question. “I suppose a magician might,” he admitted, “but a gentleman never could.”]

Fri
Nov 14 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Roll for Initiative Against SQUIRREL!

Laughing Squid shared this work, by awesome Austrian artist Johannes Grenzfurthner, which is a much more entertaining play on C.M. Coolidge’s A Friend in Need. Why would you ever play poker when D&D is an option? We really appreciate the detail here, from the bottle of Mountain Dew to the scantily clad warrior astride a majestic unicorn... you can practically smell the Cheetos.

Morning Roundup brings news of the Guardians of the Galaxy, advice on writing enjoyable science fiction, and space movies!

[Plus the science behind Interstellar!]

Thu
Nov 13 2014 4:30pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Greg D’Alessandro and Anne Beatrice Jarmain

Greg D'Alessandro pop quiz Welcome 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 Greg D’Alessandro and Anne Beatrice Jarmain, authors of Ava Blue, the first novel in the Seaspell series—available from Principio. Ava, abadoned as a baby on the shore of Lake Superior, is surprised to discover that she is the last surviving member of a great mermaid tribe.

Greg has had a prolific career of writing, directing and performing for theatre, TV, music and stand up comedy. He holds dual MFAs in screenwriting from USC and UCLA, and he currently lives in New York City. Anne is a native of Toronto, Canada. She has written for film and television in both Los Angeles and New York City, and she currently lives with her husband and two small children in Venice Beach, California.

Join us!

[Read More]

Thu
Nov 13 2014 3:48pm

New Translation of Grimms’ Fairy Tales Will Include the Original, Bloody, Creepy Stories

Grimms' Fairy Tales first edition new translation blood grisly horror detailsJack Zipes, professor emeritus of German and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota, has translated the first edition of Jacob and Wilhelm’s famous fairy tales into English. But unlike past translations, which have watered down the stories, The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition (out now from Princeton University Press) retains all of the grisly details.

Now when you tell people about how Cinderella’s stepsisters cut off their feet to fit into the glass slipper, you’ll have easily-accessible evidence! Not to mention how a clueless Rapunzel gets pregnant after a “merry time” with the prince, or—perhaps the most damning—the reveal that it was Snow White’s mother, not stepmother, who wanted her beautiful daughter’s heart cut out.

[Read more]

Thu
Nov 13 2014 3:00pm

Rewriting After Three Decades: A Gift of Magic

A Gift of MagicLois Duncan’s A Gift of Magic is a revised 2012 edition of her 1971 novel of the same title. But instead of simply updating the book to reflect current computer, internet and cell phone usage (something she did for other reissues of her older novels), Duncan used this opportunity to make some fairly significant changes to the original text, changing not just the names of a few characters, but their ages.

The result is a switch from a book which, to be honest, I can barely remember in its original form (“Oh, yeah, the one with the psychic dancer, right?” Spoiler—WRONG.) to a stronger work.

[A dancer who isn’t psychic, her twin who is, and a sideplot of please do not ever do this in Gulf of Mexico waters, thanks.]

Thu
Nov 13 2014 2:00pm

The Harry Potter Reread: The Goblet of Fire, Chapters 1 and 2

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire coverThe Harry Potter Reread wants to know why sometimes when you hold your breath to get rid of hiccups it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. It seems as though this reveal might be incredibly relevant to the human race’s advancement.

We’ve made it to the middle book! Everything’s about to get crazy! And long! And full of dragons! So let’s start out with Chapters 1 and 2 of The Goblet of Fire—The Riddle House and The Scar.

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]

Thu
Nov 13 2014 1:30pm

This LEGO Version of Matt Smith’s Doctor Who Regeneration is a Silent, Existential Experience

Doctor Who, LEGO regeneration, Eleven Twelve Doctor

Okay, not exactly? But kind of? This LEGO animated version (fanmade, not from the company itself) of the Eleventh Doctor’s swan song has no dialogue, but what it lacks in sound it makes up for in interpretive mime. You’ll just have to see for yourself.

[Take a look]