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
Tue
Nov 25 2014 9:30am

A Magic Synergy: The Cover Art of Kathleen Jennings

When a new book is sold, the first question (after “When is it coming out?” and “Will there be a movie?”) is, “What’s the cover going to be?”

The easy answer is “Beautiful,” because, like babies, all book covers should be beautiful in the eyes of their doting authors. The truth is, some book covers are more beautiful (and true to the book) than others. Some cover art originates with stock the publisher already owns, or marketing departments’ notions of what sells, or the current fashion in best sellers—a thousand things that have nothing to do with art or the book or the magic synergy that marries two disparate art forms into a single object. In most instances, the first a writer (or at least this writer) sees of their covers is a finished mockup of art and type accompanied by a note containing some variation of “Isn’t this beautiful? We’re so pleased with it; hope you are, too!”

[Read More]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 9:20am

Catherine Tregenna is Doctor Who’s First Female Writer in Six Years! Party Time!

It’s been a long time since Helena Raynor’s Sontaran two-parter in the Tenth Doctor’s Era, and fans have been pushing for more diversity in the Doctor Who writing line-up for some time now. Happily, the first step has been made—Catherine Tregenna will be writing for Doctor’s Who’s ninth season next year!

[Read more]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 9:00am
Excerpt

The Providence of Fire: Chapter One (Excerpt)

Brian Staveley

The Providence of Fire excerpt prologue Brian StaveleyThe Providence of Fire, the second volume in Brian Staveley’s Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, sees the heirs of the assassinated Emperor of Annur fighting one another as well as the forces that conspired against their father.

Adare has learned the identity of her father’s killer, but she has few allies to challenge the coup against her family. While she rallies the people—who believe her touched by Intarra, patron goddess of the empire—to help her retake the city, she must face her brother Valyn’s rebel forces. Having allied with nomad forces, he brings war to the Annurian Empire.

Caught in the middle is Adare and Valyn’s brother Kaden, rightful heir to the throne. He has infiltrated the capital with the help of two strange companions, who possess knowledge that may save Annur... or destroy it.

The Providence of Fire publishes January 13, 2015 from Tor Books. Read chapter one below, and check back every day this week for additional excerpts!

[Read Chapter One]

Tue
Nov 25 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Gleaming the Batcube!

Unreality Magazine shared this shot of The Joker, um, kickflipping over Batman. Yes, this is probably just photoshopped, but we prefer the reality where Heath Ledger—a known skateboard-enthusiast—decided to add a little X-TREME flair to his Dark Knight character. Bottom line: it made us happy, so here you go.

Morning Roundup reminds you that no one can take the sky from you! Also, we’ve got adventures in cloning, and reading suggestions for film lovers.

[Plus: ROBOT DRAGON.]

Mon
Nov 24 2014 5:39pm

Oscar Isaac Will Be Apocalypse in X-Men: Apocalypse

Oscar Isaac cast X-Men: Apocalypse

We may not yet know who Oscar Isaac is playing in Star Wars Episode VII, but we do know that he’ll play a major role in another big release! Variety reports that Isaac has signed on to play Apocalypse in 20th Century Fox’s X-Men: Apocalypse, which won’t be out until May 18, 2016.

[Read more]

Mon
Nov 24 2014 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: December Releases in Fantasy

new releases fantasy december 2014Ten new fantasies hit the shelves this month in time to fill holiday stockings (digital or textile), including series additions from, among others, Katherine Kurtz, K.V. Johansen, and K.J. Taylor. Also look for an all-star charity anthology to benefit colon cancer research, and Shannon Page’s completion of the late Jay Lake’s unfinished novel, Our Lady of the Islands.

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.

[Read about this month’s releases.]

Mon
Nov 24 2014 4:00pm

Jim Parsons and Rihanna Are the Unlikeliest of Friends in the Home Trailer

Home movie trailer Jim Parsons Rihanna Oh Boov

20th Century Fox and DreamWorks’ newest animated feature Home stars The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons and Rihanna (one of the best parts of Battleship) as an alien and a human who go on something of an intergalactic roadtrip when his race tries to take over her planet.

[Watch the trailer]

Mon
Nov 24 2014 3:00pm

Follow Your Arrow: Hail and Farewell

Arrows of the Queen Valdemar RereadThis blog post covers chapters 10-12 of Arrows of the Queen, the end of the book. This is the first book in a trilogy, so Lackey will be tying up some of the plot threads while strategically leaving others hanging. We’ll be starting Arrow’s Flight next week.

This section begins with Sherrill knocking on Talia’s dorm room door. Sherrill has been promoted from Trainee to Herald and has chosen this occasion to tell Talia about birth control. This is a handy reminder that Sherrill is an adult, and also an occasion for Lackey to remind us that Heralds are sworn to service, not to celibacy. These things are useful to keep in mind in this section of the book, which is about growing up and saying good-bye.

[Read More]

Mon
Nov 24 2014 2:00pm

Dear, Star Trek — Please Pay Attention to Doctor McCoy Now

McCoy, Spokc, Star Trek, Wrath of Khan

With the third Star Trek reboot film on the way, fans have their fingers crossed hard. Everyone has been pushing for a film that does what Star Trek has always said on the tin—explore the final frontier. And fans have been promised exploration is part of the bargain. But you know what I’ve been holding out for?

More Doctor McCoy. Because if McCoy is important to the film, then all those other problems kind of solve themselves automatically.

[Just once I’d like to land someplace and say “Behold, I am the archangel Gabriel!”]

Mon
Nov 24 2014 1:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 11

Empire Trilogy reread Servant of the EmpireWelcome back to the reread of Servant of the Empire by Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts. We’re still in the desert, and it’s still a trap.

Chapter 12 Snares

Summary: The desert tribes attack the forces of the Xacatecas (with supporting cho-ja). Tasaio of the Minwanabi is standing by with his own back up troops (TOLD YOU IT WAS A TRAP) but does not immediately send them in to battle—as he promised the desert tribes that he would.

His Strike Leader is trying hard not to be judgy about this, because Tasaio gets cranky when he thinks people are judging him.

[Read More]

Mon
Nov 24 2014 12:00pm

I Love Writing Books, So I Need to Get Better at Writing Them

War Kameron Hurley

I read a really spectacular Advance Reader Copy yesterday of a book called The Traitor Baru Cormorant (out Sept 2015. I’ll talk more about it then). I was hooked from the first page and cried through the first 40 pages. It’s a tragedy in the traditional sense, like Madame Bovary or Macbeth (or Mass Effect 3!). You know everyone is fucking doomed. You know it from the first forty pages, and the inevitability of that, of knowing that to “win” in this book, for the protagonist, means the endurance of staggering, brutal losses, was actually terribly comforting for me.

I dreamed about it when I went to sleep—about being stuck in these horrible political nightmares, of trying to untangle plots through bank notes and accounting, and desiring the wrong people, for all the right reasons, in a society that kept close watch on me, like a secondary world fantasy Big Brother, marching me inevitably toward my doom. I dreamed of trying to fight a system within a system that was horribly corrupt, and trying to retain my own sanity, my own decency, my own sense of self, while knowing the only way to win was to give all that up.

Horrible choices. A terrible bind.

And I admit that sometimes this is what is feels like to be a career novelist.

[Read More]

Mon
Nov 24 2014 11:21am

Warren Ellis’ Crowdsourcing Crime Fighters Comic Global Frequency is Being Adapted for Television

Global Frequency TV show Warren Ellis

Already looking ahead to the next television season, Warner Bros TV continues to look to comic books for new series. Deadline reports that producer Jerry Bruckheimer is looking to bring Warren Ellis’ early-2000s techno-thriller comic Global Frequency to TV, with Farscape creator Rockne S. O’Bannon adapting. Fox has made a pilot production commitment for the drama, which Bruckheimer, O’Bannon, and Ellis will all co-produce.

[Read more]

Mon
Nov 24 2014 11:00am

The Walking Dead, S5 E7: “Crossed”

The Walking Dead Crossed

The end is nigh and all the pieces are moving into place. In seasons past, an episode like this would’ve triggered an entire post railing against yet another time-killing episode. Now, however, episodes like this work well. It’s one thing to understand that sometimes you have to spend time setting the table and another when you realize it’s only happening because the people in the kitchen don’t know what they’re doing and are delaying the inevitable as long as possible. “Crossed” is functional but endearing, and if nothing else, at least we got to see Tara’s face light up as she played with that yo-yo.

[“So, what’s next on the agenda?”]

Mon
Nov 24 2014 9:30am

Dead but Not Forgotten Sweepstakes!

Out tomorrow from Ace, Dead but Not Forgotten collects stories from authors like Rachel Caine, MaryJanice Davidson, Jonathan Maberry, and Seanan McGuire set in the world of Sookie Stackhouse. Edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner, this anthology contains fifteen all-new stories about the residents of Bon Temps, and we want to send you a copy today!

If you want to brush up on your Sookie Stackhouse lore, check out our reread of the series. Then comment in the post below 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 9:30 AM Eastern Time (ET) on November 24. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on November 28. 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.

Mon
Nov 24 2014 10:00am
Excerpt

The Providence of Fire: Prologue (Excerpt)

Brian Staveley

The Providence of Fire excerpt prologue Brian StaveleyThe Providence of Fire , the second volume in Brian Staveley's Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, sees the heirs of the assassinated Emperor of Annur fighting one another as well as the forces that conspired against their father.

Adare has learned the identity of her father's killer, but she has few allies to challenge the coup against her family. While she rallies the people—who believe her touched by Intarra, patron goddess of the empire—to help her retake the city, she must face her brother Valyn's rebel forces. Having allied with nomad forces, he brings war to the Annurian Empire.

Caught in the middle is Adare and Valyn's brother Kaden, rightful heir to the throne. He has infiltrated the capital with the help of two strange companions, who possess knowledge that may save Annur... or destroy it.

Read the prologue of The Providence of Fire, coming January 13, 2015 from Tor Books  and Tor UK!

 

[Read the Prologue]

Mon
Nov 24 2014 9:00am

A Non-Comprehensive-But-Awesome Accounting of Your Favorite Books of 2014

Steles of the Sky best books of 2014

As we come to the end of 2014, we’re looking back on this year’s books, and asking ourselves some important questions: which ones were our favorites? Why did some resonate more than others? And what do our picks say about the state of SFF as we head into 2015? We took to Twitter to ask the hivemind for their best of the year, and you responded with a wonderful avalanche of reading suggestions! While there were too many for one post, we’ve gathered up twenty five of your picks in the non-scientific and non-comprehensive-because-seriously-2014-ain’t-even-over list below!

[Read more! WE MEAN IT.]

Mon
Nov 24 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: If We Jump Off Of This Swing, Will Groot Catch Us?

One of the best things about Guardians of the Galaxy is the way it’s inspired creativity. From homemade dancing Groots to roughly a billion t-shirts, there seems to be no aspect of life that can’t have some Guardians added to it. And now, Gizmodo has shared the greatest swing ever! We can only hope an entire Xandarian playground will soon follow.

Morning Roundup brings you news of Stephen King’s post-apocalyptic epic, thoughts on the modern American blockbuster, and our suggestion for season two of Serial!

[Oh yeah plus Billy Boyd has come to DESTROY US ALL.]

Fri
Nov 21 2014 5:00pm

We’re So Wonderfully Wonderfully Wonderfully Wonderfully Pretty! SharkCats!

Brynn Metheney is a professional creature designer and fantasy illustrator. She has designed for Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, and Numenera, and each of these projects is filled with wonders. However, our favorite are her Sharkcats. A whole year’s worth of these lovely creatures can be found in her calendar! Look at their pretty eyes. Like a doll’s eyes.

[“We missed you,” hissed the SharkCats! La, la la, la, la, la...]

Fri
Nov 21 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

Spoil the Kill (Excerpt)

Oisín McGann

Spoil the Kill prequel novella Rat RunnersIn the future of Oisín McGann's Spoil the Kill, WatchWorld owns the city of London, tracking its inhabitants' every move with cameras, drones, and heat sensors.

Teenage self-proclaimed criminal nerd Scope and her friends work for Move-Easy, the city's biggest thug. When Easy wants an old enemy found, his rat-runners search through social media and by slipping in and out of the city's Voids, or blind spots where they can't be detected by Safe-Guards—the part-human, part-robot police.

Scope and her fellow rat-runners know not to make an enemy out of Move-Easy. But what if the target is innocent? Can Scope spoil the kill, or will doing so make her Easy's next mark? Spoil the Kill is a prequel novella to Rat Runners, out January 13, 2015 from Open Road Media.

[Read the excerpt]

Fri
Nov 21 2014 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “Image in the Sand”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Image in the Sand“Image in the Sand”
Written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by Les Landau
Season 7, Episode 1
Production episode 40510-551
Original air date: September 30, 1998
Stardate: unknown

Station log: After a summary of “Tears of the Prophets,” we jump ahead three months. Kira has been promoted to colonel, and is apprehensive about her upcoming meeting with Ross, as the admiral has been unusually nice and polite. Turns out he’s there to tell Kira that a Romulan senator, Cretak, will have a presence on the station, along with staff, guards, and a few ships. Kira isn’t happy, but isn’t given a choice.

[“Imagine what it must be like—hordes of rampaging Klingons, fighting and singing, sweating and belching.” “Sounds like this place on a Saturday night.” “Would you want to spend eternity here?”]