A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star July 20, 2014 A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star Kathleen Ann Goonan A rocket story. The Angelus Guns July 16, 2014 The Angelus Guns Max Gladstone There's a war in heaven, outside of time. Sleep Walking Now and Then July 9, 2014 Sleep Walking Now and Then Richard Bowes A tragedy in three acts. The Devil in the Details July 2, 2014 The Devil in the Details Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald A Peter Crossman adventure.
From The Blog
July 18, 2014
Summer 2014 Anime Preview: In the Name of the Moon!
Kelly Quinn
July 16, 2014
Picturing Dragons
Irene Gallo
July 15, 2014
Who Should Play The Magicians?
Ryan Britt
July 14, 2014
A Long Overdue Nod to SciFi and Fantasy’s Best Librarians
Stubby the Rocket
July 11, 2014
For Love or Money (And If You Do It Right, BOTH): Choosing a Career in Art
Greg Ruth
Jul 16 2014 2:30pm

Under the Dome: “Force Majeure”

Under the Dome Force Majeure

Finally! While Lost squandered viewer patience by asking too many questions it never answered, Under the Dome just proved that it’s not going to play that game. After a full season of mystery, we finally started getting answers in this episode! Who shaves Big Jim’s head? Where are all these new characters coming from? Who has the best product placement? Are resources the new crops? What is email? And finally, what does it taste like when God cries? (Answer: Acid-flavored cherry Kool-Aid.)

“Those are pretty provocative questions,” says new character Lyle Chumley. Well, I’ve got some pretty provocative answers! Let’s start with the biggest!

[Was this week’s episode better than last week’s episode?]

Jul 16 2014 2:00pm

Voting the Categories: A Guide to the 2014 Hugo Novella Finalists

Hugo Awards The Hugo ballot is officially open, and the time has come to perform the laborious task of deciding among excellence. And, while much of the attention of the voting community tends to concentrate on the Best Novel finalists, we at Tor.com all felt that this year’s short fiction field was equally deserving of attention. I’ve decided to help guide readers through the short story, novelette, and novella finalists in preparation for voting. You can find the short story discussion here.

This week I discuss the novella category. The five finalists display an impressive range of styles and genres, and since two of the entries were also nominated for both the Nebula and the World Fantasy Award, the competition is fierce.

[Read more]

Jul 16 2014 1:00pm

Rereading Melanie Rawn: Dragon Prince, Chapter 1

Rereading Melanie Rawn Dragon PrinceDragon Prince
Book 1
Part One: Faces in Fire
Chapter 1

So This Happens:

Prince Zehava is out hunting dragons with his son-in-law, Chaynal (Chay). The old Prince and the old dragon in rut are a great match—in spite of the disparity in size. Prince Zehava has the gift of understanding dragons; and he loves a good fight.

[Read More]

Jul 16 2014 1:00pm

Welcome to Rereading Melanie Rawn: The Dragon Prince Trilogy!

Melanie Rawn Dragon Prince trilogy

Not too long ago some of us Lady Writers were talking on twitter about the Invisible Woman phenomenon—about how women are so often disappeared from the arts, the sciences, and everywhere else. Their inventions are credited to the men who worked with them or who came later. Their contributions to literature are dismissed or elided. They just don’t count.

And of course, since we are Lady Writers, and many of us write fantasy, we all made ritual signs and spat on one of our, ahem, favorites: “Women don’t write epic fantasy. That’s a men’s genre.”

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Jul 16 2014 12:40pm

Ingmar Bergman Directs The Flash!

Filmmaker Patrick Willems dares to ask the question: “What if Ingmar Bergman directed The Flash?” In Willems’ pitch-perfect reimagining, the existential auteur hijacks DC’s speediest hero for a meditation on speed, fate, and mortality. Can even the fastest man alive outrun the terrors of consciousness? 

[Am I too fast? Or not fast enough?]

Jul 16 2014 12:00pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: The Crippled God, Chapter Four

Welcome 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 four of The Crippled God.

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]

Jul 16 2014 11:30am

Fun with Outbreaks!

Epidemics can take many forms. Sometimes, they can be quite serious, like when all of your friends suddenly start posting their 2048 scores on Facebook, or transforming themselves into Bitstrips. You have to step back and wait for the symptoms to die down before you can expect the usual updates about food and the antics of children.

There are, of course, real outbreaks that have changed the course of history. The Black Death backpacked across Europe for about 200 years, killing 30–60% of Europe’s population, and reducing the world population from an estimated 450 million down to 350–375 million. Smallpox ravaged America after Europeans ran amok across the continents, killing entire tribes in New England and decimating the Aztec civilization. Cholera, Influenza, Typhus, polio, AIDs, swine flu, bird flu, SARS, Ebola, dengue fever—the list goes ever on.

As with all terrifying things, humans have taken these experiences and turned them into stories, trying to make sense of illness, and figure out what our reactions to plague say about us as a species. The real diseases have informed plenty of fiction throughout the centuries, inspiring classic works like The Decameron and, well, less classic works like Outbreak. While it’s hard to talk about favorite diseases, I’ve tried to pick out some of the greatest fictional outbreaks, fake diseases that provide a unique way to comment on society and human nature.

[Click through for contagious social commentary!]

Jul 16 2014 11:00am

Rocket Talk Episode 18: “The Cage” by A.M. Dellamonica

Rocket Talk podcast

In this episode of Rocket Talk, we take a break to present an original audio story by A.M. Dellamonica! “The Cage” tells the story of a lesbian couple and their adopted baby werewolf, as read by Emily Asher-Perrin.

The short story can be read online for free here.

[Listen to “The Cage”]

Jul 16 2014 11:00am

Child of a Hidden Sea Sweepstakes!

One minute Sophie is in a San Francisco alley trying to save the life of an aunt she’s never known, and the next she finds herself flung into the warm and salty waters of Stormwrack. It’s a world she’s never seen before, but the people know her by name and she’s been forbidden to stay. But Sophie won’t let anything stop her search for answers. She’s determined to decide for herself if she wants to call Stormwrack home or be exiled from this strange and wondrous place forever. 

You’ve read the excerpt of A.M. Dellamonica’s latest novel, Child of a Hidden Sea, and now we want to help one lucky winner finish the rest of the story! 

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 11:00 AM Eastern Time (ET) on July 16. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on July 20. 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.

Jul 16 2014 10:00am

Picturing Dragons

Picturing Dragons

Dragons are arguably the most ubiquitous and most beloved fantastical creature. Initially I shied away from dragons as a theme—they’re everywhere, where do you even start!? But they are everywhere because they are cool, and seeking out dragon images meant going down a delightful rabbit-hole through all ages, cultures, styles, and dispositions. So without further ado, welcome to Picturing Dragons, at 170 drawings and paintings, it is perhaps the largest installment of the Picturing series yet!

We start off (above) with one of the most beautiful renditions of one of the most famous dragons of them all, Alan Lee’s Smaug.

[See More]

Jul 16 2014 9:30am

Robert Downey Jr.’s Face on Pin-Up Girls’ Bodies Is Oddly Captivating

Robert Downey Jr. face pin-up girls bodies Tumblr wtf


Look, we all agree that Robert Downey, Jr. is a pretty man. And yet, none of us could have anticipated what a lovely pin-up model the man otherwise known as Tony Stark would make. Thanks to the twisted but brilliant mind behind the Pin-Up RDJ Tumblr, we now have these beauties to stare at. And we can’t look away.

[Genius billionaire playboy philanthropist... pin-up]

Jul 16 2014 9:00am
Original Story

The Angelus Guns

During a celestial civil war, an angel-like soldier searches for her missing brother in the Crystal City.

This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by editor Marco Palmieri.

[Read “The Angelus Guns” by Max Gladstone]

Jul 16 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup Wouldn’t “Voom” if You Put 4,000 Volts Through It

It’s just restin’! British TV channel Gold is honoring Monty Python’s farewell show with a giant deceased parrot. Lead sculptor Iain Prendergast talked about his process, saying “The key challenge for us was capturing the comedy value of the dead parrot, keeping the realism of the bird whilst also adding touches like the bloodshot, stunned eyes“ which is, um, terrifying? But also great. Check out more shots of beautiful plumage over at Buzzfeed. Having said all of this, and with all deserved love for dead parrots, the Third Parachute Brigade Amateur Dramatic Society’s rendition of ”The Oscar Wilde Skit" wins everything. 

Morning Roundup is decidedly not resting. We have links and news and stuff! Fantastic Four might diverge wildly from all known comic history! Lucy continues to get science wrong! And Rainbow Brite returns for some reason! 

[Plus a turning point in the world of noir.]

Jul 16 2014 7:30am

And Finally, For Now, the Fall of the Novel

Young Adult Literature Convention

Welcome back to the British Genre Fiction Focus, Tor.com’s regular round-up of book news from the United Kingdom’s thriving speculative fiction industry.

In this, the last edition of the British Genre Fiction Focus before the column goes on hiatus over the holidays—more on which in a moment—we’ve got some pretty Patrick Rothfuss cover art, a round-up of some of the conversations to come from the UK’s first Young Adult Literature Convention, and an argument that the modern novel may be “losing the narrative arms race.”

All that, plus the Waterstones Children’s Laureate comes over all Klingon, author Allan Ahlberg takes a stand against Amazon, the first male Queen of Teen is crowned, and more.

[Read More]

Jul 15 2014 5:40pm

Thomas Jane to Star in James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse TV Series

Thomas Jane star The Expanse Syfy James S.A. Corey Daniel Abraham Ty Franck Leviathan's Wake

In addition to angels declaring war on mankind in Dominion and college-age wizards in The Magicians, Syfy’s slate of new shows also includes The Expanse, based on the space opera series written by James S.A. Corey. Billed as “Game of Thrones in space,” the series (which has been picked up in a 10-episode deal) promises to be one of Syfy’s more ambitious endeavors.

Aside from the plot of the books that was all we knew, until today’s update from Daniel Abraham (one half of the James S. A. Corey writing duo with Ty Franck) on the challenges of making a mainstream genre show and who The Punisher star Thomas Jane will play on The Expanse.

[Read more]

Jul 15 2014 5:00pm

Advice to Aspiring Comic Book Creators

Gene Luen Yang The Shadow Hero

I turned forty last year.

When I was a kid, forty seemed like a lifetime away. I didn’t think about forty all that much, but when I did I imagined I’d have life figured out. By the time I got that old, I’d have cracked the code.

My actual fortieth year has been a blur of ink and airplane trips and diapers. Most days feel chaotic, but it’s a satisfying sort of chaos. And while I definitely haven’t cracked the code, I have learned a few things along the way.

That’s why, when I get asked for advice by aspiring cartoonists, I feel that I have something to offer. The following is for those of you considering a career in comic books. I hope you find it helpful.

[Read More]

Jul 15 2014 4:45pm

A Few More Details About Heroes: Reborn Emerge

Heroes: Reborn reboot Tim Kring interview new characters Noah Bennet Zachary Quinto Ali Larter

We've known about NBC's Heroes: Reborn reboot for some time now, but we still don't know a lot about what story arcs to expect, and how the miniseries will build on the landmark 2006 TV series. In fact, a recent Entertainment Weekly interview with creator Tim Kring only made us more cynically wonder at the real motivations behind reincarnating Heroes.

[Save the franchise, save the ratings]

Jul 15 2014 4:00pm

Black Ice (Excerpt)

Black Ice Midgard series Susan Krinard excerpt

Centuries ago, all was lost in the Last Battle when the Norse gods and goddesses went to war. The elves, the giants, and the gods and goddesses themselves were all destroyed, leaving the Valkyrie known as Mist one of the only survivors.

Or so she thought.

The trickster god Loki has reappeared in San Francisco, and he has big plans for modern-day Earth. With few allies and fewer resources—but the eyes of the gods and goddesses of an old world upon her—it’s up to Mist to stop him before history repeats itself.

Susan Krinard continues the thrilling urban fantasy series that began with Mist in Black Ice, available August 12th from Tor Books!

[Read an Excerpt]

Jul 15 2014 3:45pm

Joss Whedon Revives Wash! On...Single Page Firefly “Sequel”

Joss Whedon Firefly doodle napkin Buffy doodle Wash not dead Mal River Coulson

Remember that time Joss Whedon summed up Buffy the Vampire Slayer in a doodle for a fan who asked him to bring the show back? Now Joss has one-upped himself and revived another beloved series—this time a certain space opera, and this time on a piece of notebook paper.


Jul 15 2014 3:30pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Tiphanie Yanique

Tiphanie Yanique pop quiz interviewWelcome 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 Tiphanie Yanique, author of the short story collection How to Escape from a Leper Colony, and the picture book I Am the Virgin Islands. Her first novel, Land of Love and Drowning, is available now from Riverhead. Her writing has won the 2011 BOCAS Prize for Caribbean Fiction, Boston Review Prize in Fiction, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award, a Pushcart Prize, and an Academy of American Poet’s Prize. Tiphanie was born in the Virgin Islands and today splits her time between Brooklyn and St. Thomas.

Join us to learn what personal quirk Tiphanie shares with one of her characters!

[Read More]