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. When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami September 16, 2014 When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami Kendare Blake A Goddess Wars story
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
Mon
Sep 29 2014 11:00am

A Read of the Dark Tower Redux: Constant Reader Tackles The Wind Through the Keyhole: “The Wind Through the Keyhole,” Part 4

Stephen King The Wind Through the KeyholeOnce upon a time, a ka-tet of readers found themselves at tor.com on a long quest to reach Stephen King’s Dark Tower. During the journey, the author (or perhaps it was simply ka) tried to throw our hardy band of pilgrims into confusion by telling a new story. Undeterred, their path followed the Beam until the end, and only now, when we know what is at the clearing at the end of the path, do we return to Mid-World once again, to join our old friends for The Wind Through the Keyhole (Dark Tower 4.5, if it do ya). Welcome. There be spoilers ahead.

When we last left our story, eleven-year-old Tim had found the Covenant Man’s wand, seen a vision of himself finding a magical blindfold to cure his blind mother, and taken off for the Endless Forest.

[Read this week’s post.]

Mon
Sep 29 2014 10:00am

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Paul Pope

Interview Paul Pope The Rise of Aurora WestWelcome 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 Paul Pope, the acclaimed author-illustrator of Batman: Year 100, Heavy Liquid, and 100%. Known for his frenetic, high-energy artwork and action-packed, genre-bending storytelling, Pope has won three Eisner Awards and his latest work The Rise of Aurora West, part of the Battling Boy series of graphic novels, is out on September 30th from First Second Books. Check out some of the comic here.

Read his answers below and get a rough sketch of how Paul directs his life. The term “lone wolf” seems apt here.

[Read more]

Mon
Sep 29 2014 9:00am

Slarom, the Backward Morals of Fairytales

Beauty and the Beast

“I think the poets have made a mistake: because the world of the fairy-tales is a brighter and more varied world than ours, they have fancied it less moral; really it is brighter and more varied because it is more moral.”

-G.K. Chesterton

I am going to do something very dangerous, I am going to debate a point—posthumously—with arguably one of the most influential and well-respected commentators and moralists of the Western world, G.K. Chesterton, who wrote extensively and eloquently on many subjects, among them fairytales. (And also had a great head of hair.) You may not have heard of Chesterton, but if you are a fan of fairytales, which, if you’re reading this you probably are, then you have almost certainly stumbled across a quote of his that has been often repeated without attribution:

Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.

[Read on]

Mon
Sep 29 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: The Hulk Will SMASH All His Blocked Chi!

Hulk Yoga Maris Wicks

Reddit user chaths shared artist Maris Wicks’s wonderfully sweet take on destressing the Hulk. We imagine this will be a plot point in Age of Ultron - will Tony send Hulk to his corner yoga mat after battles? Will there be scented candles? Perhaps a battle in Lululemon?

Morning Roundup brings you the past and futures of the Game of Thrones’ cast, an update on Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, and a reconsideration of Hancock!

[Plus LIGHTSHOW!]

Sun
Sep 28 2014 10:00am

British Fiction Hitlist: Early October New Releases

British Fiction Focus new releases October

It’s almost October, I’m told. That means we’re this close to the spooky season—and there are a couple of spooky books coming. Most, however, have been held for Halloween, which leaves us looking lustily at a solid fortnight of science fiction and fantasy.

The most notable new releases of the next two weeks include Clariel, Garth Nix’s greatly anticipated return to The Old Kingdom; Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie, the sequel to the only novel ever to win the Hugo, the Nebula and the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and my personal pick of the period; alongside A Vision of Fire by Jeff Rovin and Gillian Anderson—yes, that Gillian Anderson; and The Abyss Beyond Dreams, the first volume of a new duology by Britain’s bestselling sf author, Peter F. Hamilton.

This edition of the Hitlist also features new books by Madeline Ashby, Ferrett Steinmetz, Marcus Sedgwick, Katherine Howe, Susan Murray, Becca Fitzpatrick, James Frey, Nils Johnson-Shelton, J. R. Ward, Justin Richards, Jonathan Strahan, Jem Roberts, Douglas Adams, Alexander Maskill, Megan Spooner, Christopher Fowler, Rebecca Alexander, Tricia Sullivan, Scott K. Andrews, David Thomas Moore, Kim Harrison and Kim Newman.

[Read More]

Sat
Sep 27 2014 10:30am

Revolution Sweepstakes!

Revolution, the third installment in Jenna Black’s Replica Trilogy, hits shelves on November 11th from Tor Books, and we want to send you a galley now!

In Revolution, Nadia Lake and Nate Hayes find themselves at the center of a horrifying conspiracy, when Dorothy Hayes claims to be the secret daughter of the recently-assassinated Chairman. She also claims that Nate Hayes, the true heir and her supposed brother, was the one who murdered their father.

Nate and his best friend, Nadia Lake, are the only ones who know the truth about what really happened to the Chairman, and more importantly, the truth about Dorothy. But with Dorothy in power, Nate and Nadia know their days are numbered. They have nowhere to run except the Basement, Paxco’s perilous and lawless slums. But Dorothy is far from content with driving her enemies into hiding. She wants them dead.

Check for the rules below!

[Read more]

Fri
Sep 26 2014 5:00pm
Excerpt

The Tree of Water (Excerpt)

Elizabeth Haydon

The Tree of Water Elizabeth Haydon excerpt As Royal Reporter of the land of Serendair, it is the duty of young Charles Magnus “Ven” Polypheme to travel the world and seek out magic hiding in plain sight. But Ven needs to escape the clutches of the nefarious Thief Queen, ruler of the Gated City, whose minions are hunting for him. His friend, the merrow Amariel, has the perfect solution to his dilemma: Ven and Char will join her to explore the world beneath the sea.

As they journey through the sea, Ven finds himself surrounded by wonders greater than he could have ever imagined. But the beauty of the ocean is more than matched by the dangers lurking within its depths, and Ven and his friends soon realize that in order to save thousands of innocent lives, they may have to sacrifice their own. For everything in the ocean needs to eat…

The epic voyages continue in The Tree of Water, the fourth adventure in bestselling author Elizabeth Haydon’s acclaimed fantasy series for young readers, The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme. Look for it October 28th from Starscape!

[Read an excerpt]

Fri
Sep 26 2014 4:05pm

The Legend of Korra: Book 4 Trailer is Here!

Avatar: The Legend of Korra: Book 4 trailer

With mere weeks to go until the new (and final) season of Avatar: The Legend of Korra, we finally get a trailer for Book 4! Three years have passed since the Red Lotus poisoned Korra—leading to some awesome metalbending but leaving the Avatar wheelchair-bound—and boy, is there a lot to take in.

[Watch the trailer!]

Fri
Sep 26 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

Retribution (Excerpt)

Mark Charan Newton

Retribution Lucan Drakenfeld Mark Charon Newton Having just solved a difficult case in his home city of Tryum, Sun Chamber Officer Lucan Drakenfeld and his associate Leana are ordered to journey to the exotic city of Kuvash in Koton, where a revered priest has gone missing. When they arrive, they discover the priest has already been found—or at least parts of him have.

But investigating the unusual death isn’t a priority for the legislature of Kuvash; there’s a kingdom to run, a census to create and a dictatorial Queen to placate. Soon Drakenfeld finds that he is suddenly in charge of an investigation in a strange city, whose customs and politics are as complex as they are dangerous.

When several more bodies are discovered mutilated and dumped in a public place, Drakenfeld realizes there’s a killer at work who seems to delight in torture and pain. With no motive, no leads and no suspects, he feels like he’s running out of options. And in a city where nothing is as it seems, seeking the truth is likely to get him killed…

Mark Charan Newton’s Retribution is the second novel in the Lucan Drakenfeld fantasy crime series, available October 23rd from Tor Books UK.

[Read an excerpt]

Fri
Sep 26 2014 3:07pm

The New Jupiter Ascending Trailer Outlines Its Epic Story

Jupiter Ascending new trailer

The first few trailers for the Wachowski siblings’ new sci-fi film Jupiter Ascending showed us a lot of CGI without really communicating the plot. Sure, we knew that elf-eared Channing Tatum rescues secret intergalactic princess Mila Kunis from everyone who’s trying to kill her... But that’s about as much as we could glean.

Now, the latest trailer delves more into how Earth was “seeded” 100,000 years ago, the Dune-like politics of succession, and how Jupiter, despite her propensity for hurtling helplessly off tall buildings, is actually the reincarnation of the Queen of the Universe.

[Read more]

Fri
Sep 26 2014 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “One Little Ship”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: One Little Ship“One Little Ship”
Written by Bradley Thompson & David Weddle
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Season 6, Episode 14
Production episode 40510-537
Original air date: February 14, 1998
Stardate: 51474.2

Station log: The Defiant is investigating a subspace compression phenomenon. Dax, O’Brien, and Bashir take the Rubicon into the phenomenon, tethered to the Defiant via a tractor beam. The runabout shrinks when it hits the accretion disc, which makes O’Brien more than a little nervous.

A Jem’Hadar ship attacks the Defiant, using the phenomenon to mask their arrival. They trash the Defiant and board it, while the Rubicon goes hurtling into the phenomenon once the tractor beam is lost in battle.

[Mr. Worf, I think your wife is here.]

Fri
Sep 26 2014 2:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Beth Cato

Beth Cato pop quiz interview 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 author Beth Cato! Beth hails from Hanford, California, but currently writes and bakes cookies in a lair outside of Phoenix, Arizona. She shares the household with a hockey-loving husband, a numbers-obsessed son, and a cat the size of a canned ham. Beth's debut novel, The Clockwork Dagger, is available now from HarperVoyager. Check out an excerpt from the steampunk fantasy here on Tor.com!

[Read More]

Fri
Sep 26 2014 1:00pm

Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, Before They Are Hanged: “To the Last Man” and “Jewel of Cities”

Before They Are Hanged Joe Abercrombie rereadLast week I encouraged commenters to comment on Tolomei, daughter of the Maker and lover(?) of Bayaz. You ignored me and told me it was too soon! Cue the shaking and rattling of a rereader gone drunk with power, calling down the heavens for your impudence. Or, you know, you were right. Whatever.

This week’s chapters are a little more pedestrian in terms of information reveals compared to last week’s, but I can assure you that they are the calm before the storm. We’re starting to get into the home stretch of Before They Are Hanged. Get ready to run!

[Read More...]

Fri
Sep 26 2014 12:30pm

Relive All of the Batman Theme Songs With This Amazing Cello/Piano Medley

Batman Evolution piano cello medley

Would you believe that the most epic Batman theme you’ll ever hear is on piano and cello? YouTube group ThePianoGuys have adapted everything from The Hobbit’s theme to “Let It Go” into stunning piano/cello combinations, and now they’ve set their sights on the Caped Crusader—no doubt to coincide with the massive Adam West Batman DVD/Blu-ray rerelease this November.

[Read more]

Fri
Sep 26 2014 12:00pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: The Crippled God, Chapter Twenty (Part Two)

Malazan Crippled God rereadWelcome 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 the second part of chapter twenty 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]

Fri
Sep 26 2014 11:00am

Awesome Aliens: Jim Cambias’s A Darkling Sea

A Darkling Sea James L CambiasWhat’s better than a first novel with awesome aliens that includes really well done alien points of view? A first novel with two lots of different awesome aliens that includes two different alien points of view!

I’ve been enjoying James Cambias’s short work for years, and I was excited to hear about A Darkling Sea. When I was asked to read it to see if I wanted to blurb it I agreed—and at that point I didn’t know anything about it but the title and author. Then I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I enjoyed it even more reading it again now. I’d have loved this book when I was twelve, and I still love it. This is an old-fashioned science fiction novel with today’s science—biology and physics and astronomy.

[Read more: no spoilers]

Fri
Sep 26 2014 10:30am

Get The Way of Kings for Free from iBooks!

Brandon Sanderson The Way of Kings

Are you looking for a new bestselling epic fantasy series? Are you interested in The Stormlight Archive, but are still looking for a sign that now is the time to jump in? Are you just tired of lugging a gigantic physical book around? We have triply-good news for you!

Apple is launching an initiative in tandem with their new iOS 8 system, and in addition to some other fine books, they’re making Brandon Sanderson’s novel The Way of Kings available as a free download from iBooks. Brandon Sanderson was excited to be part of this Apple promotion and was happy to offer the book to readers for free, saying “I believe that people’s investment of time in a book like The Way of Kings is worth more than their investment of money.”

The book will be available for free through the end of the year, so head over to iBooks to download. Note: Unfortunately, it appears that iBooks is offering this only to U.S. users right now.

Fri
Sep 26 2014 10:00am

10 Reasons to Read and Love Peter F. Hamilton

The Abyss Beyond Dreams UK coverIn just a few short weeks, Peter F. Hamilton’s The Abyss Beyond Dreams (surely a most perfect title) will be published by Tor UK! (The US edition is published by Del Rey.). I’m in the very fortunate position to have read it already and not only did I adore it, but it also reaffirmed all of the reasons why PFH proves himself, time after time, to be my favourite author.

Here are just ten of the reasons why—although, given enough time and internet paper, there would have been far more reasons than that. If you were to cut me in half, it’s quite possible you would see ‘PFH fangirl’ written across the section as if I were a big stick of moonrock.

[Read More]

Fri
Sep 26 2014 9:30am

The Three-Body Problem Sweepstakes!

The Three-Body Problem finally arrives on November 11th from Tor Books, and we want to send you a galley right now! Read our first excerpt from the book here and the second one here, plus this article from author Cixin Liu discussing Chinese science fiction and his experience writing The Three-Body Problem. And while you’re at it, check out the cover for the sequel, The Dark Forest!

Check for the rules below!

[Read more]

Fri
Sep 26 2014 9:00am

This Chinese Comic Bootleg of Star Wars is Full of Droid Kissing and Booze

Star Wars Chinese Comic

Ah, the bootleg DVD. In China, this manner of receiving entertainment is all but an enterprise. (I have a particular memory of a friend’s father bringing home a pirated copy of Pirates of the Caribbean from a business trip to China, where the subtitles were clearly from a different film—during their duel, Will Turner accused Jack of never coming home: “All you want to do is go disco disco with your friends!”)

But before that, did you know that there were lianhuanhua? Meaning the equivalent of “linked picture book,” these were an early form of comic in China—many of which were adapted from popular films that the public didn’t have access to.

And you need to look at this Star Wars one.

[Check it.]