Ballroom Blitz April 1, 2015 Ballroom Blitz Veronica Schanoes Can't stop drinking, can't stop dancing, can't stop smoking, can't even die. Dog March 25, 2015 Dog Bruce McAllister "Watch the dogs when you're down there, David." The Museum and the Music Box March 18, 2015 The Museum and the Music Box Noah Keller History is rotting away, just like the museum. The Thyme Fiend March 11, 2015 The Thyme Fiend Jeffrey Ford It's not all in his head.
From The Blog
March 31, 2015
The Legend of Korra Saved My Sanity
Liz Bourke
March 31, 2015
Creative Works Inspired by Your RPG Campaign
Caitlyn Paxson
March 30, 2015
The Stargate Rewatch: SG-1 Season One
Keith DeCandido
March 30, 2015
Pull List: Getting Emotional Over Bitch Planet
Alex Brown
March 24, 2015
Protecting What You Love: On the Difference Between Criticism, Rage, and Vilification
Emily Asher-Perrin
Wed
Apr 1 2015 11:00am

Rocket Talk, Episode 49: Peter V. Brett

Peter V Brett

In this episode of Rocket Talk, Justin brings fantasy author Peter V. Brett to the show to talk about his newest novel, The Skull Throne. The conversation touches on nerd fashion, politics, and how Brett’s real life happenings influence the words on the page.

[Listen now!]

Wed
Apr 1 2015 10:00am

Shakespeare’s King: Some Thoughts on Henry V, Part 2

Henry V art by Kinuko Craft

On the one hand Prince Hal, who became King Henry V, is undoubtedly England’s greatest king, so it’s perfectly reasonable that he’s the only person Shakespeare used as a protagonist in four plays. On the other hand, would anybody remember him today if Shakespeare hadn’t immortalised him? Hal’s empire lasted a mere four hundred years. Shakespeare’s work is going with us to the stars.

It wasn’t the greatness that drew Shakespeare to Hal. If it had been, he wouldn’t have written two plays set before Hal even achieved the throne. It was his complexity, the combination of his greatness and his tricks—he’s drawn to Falstaff and his foolery, and when he becomes king and turns his back on that he continues to play tricks on his lords and ministers and on his enemies. The first play (Henry IV, Part 1) ends with Hal having done what his father wanted and conquered Hotspur, the first of his victories. The second play (Henry IV, Part 2) ends with his father’s death and Hal turning his back on Falstaff. (And that’s an amazing scene. “I do not know you, old man.”) The third play (Henry V, Part 1) ends after the triumph of Agincourt with Hal winning the daughter of the king of France and being made heir to France, at the cusp of his real achievement. If it had been his glory that drew Shakespeare he’d have gone on to make his “cockpit” show the rest of Europe and the Middle East and all Hal’s conquests there. Instead, he begins again with Hal an old man himself at eighty-five, king of all he surveys, but with nobody to love, both his sons dead, tricked to the last, and his grandson and heir afraid of him.

[Read more]

Wed
Apr 1 2015 9:00am
Original Story

Ballroom Blitz

“Ballroom Blitz” by Veronica Schanoes is a contemporary fairy tale about a young man, who with his eleven brothers, have been cursed to remain in a rock club for their bad behavior. Their only shot at freedom might be the twelve sisters who one day enter the club.

This novelette was acquired and edited for Tor.com by consulting editor Ellen Datlow.

[Read “Ballroom Blitz” by Veronica Schanoes]

Wed
Apr 1 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Darth Vader Wants You to Join Him and Rule This Action Figure Galaxy

Darth Vader Japanese action figure Square Enix

Square Enix is remixing classic Star Wars action figures to make them more badass—by adding more detailed armor, plumes of fire, and Force energy. Just look at Vader’s lightsaber, which is a lot more menacing than the colored sticks these figures have traditionally come with.

Morning Roundup brings you today’s head-scratcher of a remake, James Gunn’s next project, and a pop culture-centric card game.

[Read more]

Wed
Apr 1 2015 7:00am

Anne McCaffrey Gave Us All Our Own Dragons to Ride

Anne McCaffreyToday marks what would have been the 89th birthday of the incomparable author Anne Inez McCaffrey. Not only one of the most prolific science fiction and fantasy writers of all time, McCaffrey’s lasting contributions changed the way the way we regard the most beloved of magical creatures of all; dragons. And thankfully, the world  has forever been enriched by the unique imagination of McCaffrey, an author who gave us new places we wanted to escape into.

[Read more]

Wed
Apr 1 2015 7:00am

There’s Not Been Enough of Samuel R. Delany

Samuel R. DelanySamuel Delany was born in New York on April 1st 1942, which makes today his seventy-third birthday. Happy birthday, Chip!

I could write a considered post about Delany’s significance to the field, but I’m just too enthusiastic about his work to do it in a properly calm way. Delany’s just one of the best writers out there, and he always has been, from his emergence with The Jewels of Aptor (1962) and The Fall of the Towers. (1963-5) to last year’s Through The Valley of the Nest of Spiders. His major work—Babel 17 (1966) (post), The Einstein Intersection (1967), Nova (1968) (post), Dhalgren (1974) (post), Tales of Neveryon (1975), Triton (1976) and Stars In My Pocket Like Grains of Sand (1984) (post)—is right at the top of what science fiction has ever achieved.

[Read more]

Tue
Mar 31 2015 4:30pm

City of Stairs Sweepstakes!

On April 2nd, Jo Fletcher Books is releasing their edition of Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Stairs in paperback, and we want to send you a copy of right now! This edition also includes a sneak peek at City of Blades.

Right here on Tor.com, you can find out why Kameron Hurley thought City of Stairs was awesome, read an excerpt from the book, and check out interviews with Robert Jackson Bennett here and here.

We have three copies, so 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 4:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on March 31. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on April 4. 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.

Tue
Mar 31 2015 4:00pm

Love Storytelling? New Convention NerdCon: Stories is for You!

NerdCon: Stories Hank Green convention Welcome to Night ValeWhat makes humans truly uniquee? It’s not opposable thumbs or the ability to make tools or self-awareness. What sets us apart is stories.

Or, more accurately, our ability to communicate, teach, and evolve via storytelling. Hank Green—brother of YA author John Green, one half of Vlogbrothers, cofounder of VidCon—decided that it’s about time we celebrated this treasured art, and he’s rounded up some amazing authors, storytellers, podcasters, and performers to help him do so. The resulting convention, NerdCon: Stories, will celebrate how we change storytelling, and how stories change us.

[Read more]

Tue
Mar 31 2015 3:00pm

Short Fiction Spotlight: Some Classic Bradbury

Bradbury Stories Welcome back to the Short Fiction Spotlight, a space for conversation about recent and not-so-recent short stories. It’s been a while since we’ve tackled the “not-so-recent” portion, and as the spring starts to—well, spring—here in Louisville, I’ve felt a little nostalgic. Standing in front of the bookshelves, then, it seemed inevitable to pick up some Ray Bradbury; who else fits so well with that particular pleasant ache for the past?

The collection Bradbury Stories: 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales is a hefty book, and certainly we won’t be talking about one-hundred pieces of short fiction in this column. So, instead of choosing particular stories to read (or re-read), I thought I’d just flip through and see where that led me—one piece here, another there, and the end result is a satisfying range of reading. The four stories I ended up perusing were “The Drummer Boy of Shiloh” (1960), “Another Fine Mess” (1995), “The Cold Wind and the Warm” (1964), and “The Witch Door” (1995).

[Onward.]

Tue
Mar 31 2015 2:34pm

Brandon Sanderson Releases New Novella Perfect State

Perfect State Brandon Sanderson novella

Today marks the release of Brandon Sanderson’s new novella, Perfect State, which answers the question “What do you do when you’ve conquered the world?” In the case of God-Emperor Kairominas, you start with a quick robot fight and then tackle something even more daunting: a date with the woman who is your total equal in every way.

[Read more]

Tue
Mar 31 2015 2:00pm

Afternoon Roundup: Waka Waka Your Way Across Google Maps

Pac Man Google Maps April Fools

Google has rolled out one of their April Fool’s pranks early (which makes us wonder what else is coming tomorrow!), where you can play Pac Man on Google Maps. As Kotaku demonstrates, you’ll have the most fun in cities, where Pac Man can chase Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde over crisscrossing streets and distract you from work until the next bit of Internet April Fool’s fun goes up.

Afternoon Roundup contemplates wizard-born children’s advantages over Muggleborns; imagines Helen Mirren and Vin Diesel in conversation; and gets down to business to defeat the Huns.

[Read more]

Tue
Mar 31 2015 1:00pm

The Wheel of Time Reread Redux: The Eye of the World, Part 24

With unspeakable horror, the Wheel of Time Reread Redux comes howling FOR YOUR SOUL. Yay!

Today’s Redux post will cover Chapters 44 and 45 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 available as an e-book series!

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!

[“I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the reader. But if I find that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if I find that I cannot horrify, I’ll go for the gross-out. I’m not proud.”]

Tue
Mar 31 2015 12:00pm

Things Man Was Not Meant to Buy: Lovecraftiana Faves and Wish Lists

plush Cthulhu

Your hosts are feeling a bit overwhelmed with life stuff—medical appointments, colicky babies, the vast unknowability of an uncaring cosmos, that sort of thing. We’re therefore taking a break from story summaries to share our favorite bits of Lovecraftiana, and to send out a prayer to the gods of commerce and time travel for a few things we wish existed.

[Read on if you dare...]

Tue
Mar 31 2015 11:00am

Sleeps With Monsters: The Legend of Korra Saved My Sanity

Legend of Korra

It is possible that The Legend of Korra saved my sanity in March.

At the end of February, I finished writing a postgraduate thesis. As many former PhD candidates can attest, that’s the end of a process that can leave you worn out and broken, mentally—and sometimes physically, too. In my case, there were three weeks immediately afterwards where I couldn’t concentrate enough to read anything longer than a blog post. (And then a period of time where all I wanted to read were terrible queer romances.) But I needed something to keep my mind occupied.

[Read More]

Tue
Mar 31 2015 10:30am

The Coode Street Podcast Episode 227: Ken Liu and Joe Monti

Ken Liu The Grace of Kings

Welcome to The Coode Street Podcast, an informal weekly discussion about science fiction and fantasy featuring award-winning critics and editors Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe. The Coode Street Podcast debuted in 2010 and has been nominated for the Hugo, British Science Fiction, and Aurealis awards.

This week Gary* is joined by award-winning author Ken Liu and Joe Monti, Executive Editor at Saga Press, to discuss Ken’s exciting debut novel The Grace of Kings, his forthcoming collection The Paper Menagerie, and much more.

[Listen to Coode Street]

Tue
Mar 31 2015 10:00am

A Time of Transformation: The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall

The Wolf Border Sarah Hall

Between land and sea, day and night, life and death and the like, there lie those borders that, much as we might try, we cannot deny. Equally, though, there are those we impose: make-believe borders drawn to defend against that which we fear, as well as to keep what we want for ourselves within.

Set in the pristine wilderness split down the middle by the border between Scotland and England—as powerful a haunt here as it’s ever been—in the run-up to and the aftermath of 2014’s hotly fought Independence Referendum, Sarah Hall’s fifth work of fiction is a sumptuous study of truth and trust some are sure to slight because it seems slow... but no. The Wolf Border takes longer than I’d like to find its feet, but before long it’s toddling confidently, then running rampant—not unlike the near-mythical infant its protagonist produces.

[Read More]

Tue
Mar 31 2015 9:30am

Creative Works Inspired by your RPG Campaign

Seventh Son

Recently, a movie called Seventh Son flopped its way through theatres. As soon as I saw the trailer, I remarked loudly that it looked like somebody turned their Dungeons and Dragons campaign into a screenplay. I said this with scorn, and I did not go to see the film. This seems to have worked in my favor, as one reviewer from the Chicago Reader called it “a loud, joyless mess.”

I read slush for a poetry quarterly called Goblin Fruit, and, being that our submission guidelines request poems of the fantastic, we get occasional submissions that smack slightly of D&D. These pieces often feel like they were written in-game by someone’s half-elf bard character, probably while drunk off his ass at Ye Olde Inn and Taverna.

[But I’m in no position to judge.]

Tue
Mar 31 2015 9:00am

Fiction Affliction: April Releases in Science Fiction

new releases scifi AprilSeventeen new releases join the dystopian science fiction shelves this month, with titles from, among others, Jonathan Maberry (Joe Ledger), David Walton, Wesley Chu (Tao), Robert Charles Wilson, John C. Wright (Count to a Trillion), and Adam Christopher (Spider Wars).

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.]

Tue
Mar 31 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Regramming Some Replicants

Blade Runner Reality Instagram account

The Instagram account Blade Runner Reality documents little moments in cityscapes (primarily New York City, it seems) that resemble moments from Blade Runner, bringing us closer and closer to that dystopia with each photo. It’s a bit of a trip. (Hat-tip to Complex for finding it!)

Morning Roundup defends your fiddlesticks right to free speech; gets scared about zombies all over again; and has only one question for you: A/S/L?

[Read more]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 4:00pm

A Dalek Goes Walkies in Seattle

Dalek in Seattle

Per-am-bu-late!

Come on, Dalek, we just took you for a walk and it’s cold out and we just took our shoes off and...fine. FINE.

Intrepid agent Ashley Reed forwarded us this picture from her adventures around Seattle’s Emerald City Comic Con this past weekend of this life-sized moving Dalek just kind of...strolling...around the streets of Seattle. (But not the bike lanes! Very considerate.)

Dalek: Caff-ein-ate!
Barista: I’m sorry, sir, we only have decaf at the moment.
Dalek: ...
Barista: We do have some Teavana if you like...
Dalek: You would make a good Dalek.

This is, of course, the kind of world we’ve always wanted to live in.