Hero of the Five Points August 19, 2014 Hero of the Five Points Alan Gratz A League of Seven story. La Signora August 13, 2014 La Signora Bruce McAllister If love is not enough, then maybe death... Sleeper August 12, 2014 Sleeper Jo Walton It is best to embrace subjectivity. <em>Remainder</em>: A Wrenchies Story August 6, 2014 Remainder: A Wrenchies Story Farel Dalrymple Leking Snipes has been turned into a bug. A bug with a gun.
From The Blog
August 15, 2014
“Perhaps It Was Only an Echo”: The Giver
Natalie Zutter
August 15, 2014
We’re Holding Out for a (New) Hero: How Heroes and Villains are Evolving
Leah Schnelbach
August 14, 2014
Doctor Who: “Deep Breath” (Non-spoiler Review)
Chris Lough
August 13, 2014
Eight Essential Science Fiction Detective Mash-Ups
David Cranmer
August 12, 2014
Robin Williams Taught Us the Joy of Being Weird
Stubby the Rocket
Aug 18 2014 4:00pm

Salt & Storm (Excerpt)

Kendall Kulper

Salt & Storm Kendall Kulper Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island’s whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she’s to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.

Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane—a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.

Salt & Storm, Kendall Kulper’s magical historical romance, publishes September 23rd from Little, Brown Books for Your Readers. Check out an excerpt below!

[Read an excerpt]

Aug 18 2014 3:30pm

Read a Transcript and See Storyboards of the Avengers: Age of Ultron SDCC Trailer

Avengers: Age of Ultron SDCC trailer footage full transcript storyboards spoilers Avengers dead Tony Stark Ultron

Marvel utterly shocked fans at San Diego Comic-Con last month when they unveiled the first trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron. If you read our liveblog, you know why. But if tweet reactions aren’t detailed enough for you, we’ve found a few videos giving the blow-by-blow (literally) of the insane turn Joss Whedon’s sequel is taking, including one that, in the absence of visuals, sketches out the action via storyboard.


[Ultron! Hulkbuster! Creepy Disney music! STRINGS!]

Aug 18 2014 3:30pm

We Are All Completely Fine Sweepstakes!

Win one of our five copies of Daryl Gregory’s We Are All Completely Fine, out now from Tachyon!

Harrison was the Monster Detective, a storybook hero. Now he’s in his mid-thirties and spends most of his time popping pills and not sleeping. Stan became a minor celebrity after being partially eaten by cannibals. Barbara is haunted by unreadable messages carved upon her bones. Greta may or may not be a mass-murdering arsonist. Martin never takes off his sunglasses. Never.

No one believes the extent of their horrific tales, not until they are sought out by psychotherapist Dr. Jan Sayer. What happens when these seemingly-insane outcasts form a support group? Together they must discover which monsters they face are within—and which are lurking in plain sight.

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 August 18. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on August 22. 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.

Aug 18 2014 3:00pm

Is The Legend of Korra’s “The Ultimatum” the End of the Line?

Avatar Legend of Korra Ultimatum

Let’s not everyone freak out at once. Just last episode we talked about the knife edge of doubt that an “all-ages” show like The Legend of Korra has been able to walk when it comes to violence. The Earth Queen’s demise could have been the Earth Queen’s defeat until the burden of context clues pushed it over. Heck, this episode we see a number of seemingly fatal falls turn out to be misdirection, on all sides, so I guess my point is: all we can do is speculate about the ultimate fate of one of our favorite characters.

One thing I’ve said this entire season is that the stakes and the tension are high; it feels like anything can happen. I’m hoping the fallout from this recent turn of events is more of a melancholy sad, with more of an “Appa’s Lost Days” feel to the consequences than what the worst case scenario could be. Enough of all of this vague spoiler-free mummery; let’s talk brass tacks, below the cut.

[Read More]

Aug 18 2014 2:18pm

Rian Johnson Doesn’t Feel As Much Pressure to Make Star Wars: Episode VIII As You Would Think

Rian Johnson Star Wars Episode VIII pressure interview quotes practical effects special effects CGI

It’s got to be an odd position as the director of the second new Star Wars film, waiting in the wings to really get into the nitty-gritty of the new trilogy. Speaking with the Girls in Hoodies podcast recently, Rian Johnson said that visiting the set of Episode VII is both helpful and not, since he feels a bit out of place not actually working on the film. But as for looking ahead to his own stint in the director’s chair, he says, “I don’t have the terror I expected I would, at least not yet. I’m sure I will at some point.”

[Ohh, you will be. YOU WILL BE.]

Aug 18 2014 2:00pm

Something in Red: Scarlett Johansson’s SciFi Appeal

Black Widow Scarlett Johansson

While we’re waiting to see whether or not Marvel will finally give Black Widow her own stand alone film, we can take this moment to look at the place Scarlett Johansson plays in the current universe of cinematic science fiction.

It’s interesting to recall that just a few years ago, Johansson was known primarily as an indie darling. After cutting her teeth as a child star in the 90s (most notably in Robert Redford’s The Horse Whisperer), she transitioned into more adult roles in 2001 with the one-two punch of Ghost World and The Man Who Wasn’t There. Though those two films were miles apart in subject matter, they had some tonal similarities—focusing on the existential ennui of a harried protagonist—Ghost World’s caustic high schooler Enid (Thora Birch) and Man’s laconic barber Ed (Billy Bob Thornton). Playing a supporting role in both films, Johansson’s character is inaccessible—a vision that the protagonist can’t reach. In Ghost World, she’s the childhood friend who grows up and away, lost to young adulthood. In The Man Who Wasn’t There, she’s the underage object of an older man’s shy desire, a would-be Lolita for a near-mute Humbert Humbert.

[Read More]

Aug 18 2014 1:00pm

Looking For Spice in All the Wrong Places: Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights: Crisis at Crystal Reef

Star Wars, Young Jedi Knights, Crisis at Crystal ReefIt’s time for the Very Special Episode of the Young Jedi Knight books. It is also, unfortunately, the final installment of this series. Natalie and I are going to miss looking back on these weirdly formative adventures with all of you. They were a significant part of our childhood, and a funny corner of the Star Wars universe before everything went all… dark and stormy with the New Jedi Order.

So we finish on Crisis at Crystal Reef! Jacen still looks like Jonathan Taylor Thomas on the cover (seriously, what is going on?) and we’re going to be spending some time in the spice mines of Kessel (though he won’t be smashed into anything). People will get trapped in ice caps, but emerge much sooner than Captain America or Aang did in their respective narratives.

[Read more]

Aug 18 2014 12:50pm

Syfy’s Childhood’s End Adaptation is Moving Forward Once More

Syfy adaptation Childhood's End Arthur C. Clarke Akiva Goldsman Michael De Luca Nick Hurran Matthew Graham Doctor Who writer director producers

Syfy has been teasing an adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke’s sci-fi classic Childhood’s End since 2013, but the project stalled when the network made some programming changes. But according to Deadline, Syfy is gearing back up on what will be a six-hour miniseries.

Producer Michael De Luca (The Social Network) is joined by Akiva Goldsman, who worked on I Am Legend and (the Keanu Reeves) Constantine, as well as contributed to the screenplay for I, Robot. Syfy has also roped in two Doctor Who alums to write and direct—respectively, Matthew Graham (“Fear Her”) and Nick Hurran (“The Angels Take Manhattan” and “The Day of the Doctor,” among other episodes).

Published in 1953, Childhood’s End tells how the peaceful alien Overlords took over Earth to erase war and create a near-utopia... but at global personal cost. Though several adaptations have been attempted, none have yet come to the big screen. Stanley Kubrick was at one point interested, but he and Clarke ended up collaborating on what would become 2001: A Space Odyssey. We’ve got our fingers crossed that Syfy finally gives Childhood’s End the greenlight.

Aug 18 2014 12:15pm

Congratulations to Tor.com’s Hugo Award-Winners!

Hugo Awards

The 2014 Hugos were awarded at LonCon3 this past weekend, and, out of an extremely strong field, we’re thrilled that several pieces of Tor.com original short fiction were honored.

Congratulations to all of this year’s nominees and winners, in particular to Best Short Story Winner John Chu (“The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere”), Best Novelette Winner Mary Robinette Kowal (“The Lady Astronaut of Mars”), and Best Novella Winner Charles Stross (“Equoid”)! Learn more about each of the winning entries below, and check out more of Tor.com’s Original fiction!

[Fabulous stories await!]

Aug 18 2014 12:10pm

J.K. Rowling Releases New Story About Harry Potter Chanteuse

Celestina Warbeck

J.K. Rowling has released a new little gem over at Pottermore, giving fans more information about Celestina Warbeck, a famous singer in the Potterverse... because it’s her birthday. And with that bio, she has released an actual musical track—one of Celestina’s hits!

[Read more]

Aug 18 2014 12:00pm

Lock In (Audio Excerpt)

John Scalzi Lock in audio excerpt audible edition Listen to a free excerpt from Lock In, John Scalzi's new science fiction thriller, coming August 26th from Tor Books! There are two audio editions available from Audible, one narrated by Amber Benson and the other narrated by Wil Wheaton.

Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent—nearly five million souls in the United States alone—the disease causes “lock in”: Victims are fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to any stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

A quarter of a century later, in a world shaped by what’s now known as “Haden’s syndrome,” rookie FBI agent Chris Shane is paired with veteran agent Leslie Vann. They are assigned what appears to be a Haden-related murder at the Watergate Hotel, with a suspect who is an “Integrator”—someone who can let the locked in borrow their bodies for a time. If the Integrator was carrying a Haden client, then naming the suspect for the murder will be that much more complicated…

[Listen to Lock In by John Scalzi, narrated by Amber Benson and Wil Wheaton]

Aug 18 2014 11:13am

Is Jenna Coleman Leaving Doctor Who by Christmas?

Jenna Coleman leaving Doctor Who rumor Clara Christmas special Peter Capaldi Deep Breath

With less than a week to go til the Doctor Who season 8 premiere (read our spoiler-free review of “Deep Breath”), outlets are reporting that this may be the last season for Clara Oswald. Could we be losing Jenna Coleman for Christmas?

[Read more]

Aug 18 2014 11:00am

A Read of The Dark Tower Redux: Constant Reader Tackles The Wind Through the Keyhole: Starkblast

Once 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.

[Read this week’s post.]

Aug 18 2014 10:00am

True Blood Season 7, Episode 9: “Love is to Die”

True Blood Love is to Die

Tonight’s episode of True Blood was the second to last. And I’m not just talking about Ginger.

I’ll be here all week, folks. Until next week, when it is the coffin of this mouldering show is lowered into the ground, never to rise again. We hope. The best I can say is that this week’s episode wasn’t outright offensive like last week’s and that it focused more on the romance than the plot. I like character moments, especially if the character is Jessica, but really, this hour was a whole lot of rehashing things that were already spelled out for us two seasons ago.

So while Jason and Eric suffered through some blue balls, True Blood itself couldn’t even tease us with anything truly fun for the finale.

Spoilers and a supernatural deathpools after the cut...

[Read more...]

Aug 18 2014 9:00am

Rereading The Empire Trilogy: Daughter of the Empire, Part 13

Welcome back to the reread of Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts’ Daughter of the Empire! This week, the birthday party from hell continues with an impromptu Elvis impersonation (you can argue that’s not what the Warlord is doing, but I won’t ever believe you) and a whole lot of snark as Mara faces off against her greatest enemy.

Chapter 15: Arrival

Summary: Almecho the Warlord finally arrives at his own birthday party, with a literal fanfare of music, accompanied by two dark-robed Great Ones (magicians). The Great Ones put a bit of a dampener on the festivities, as they make everyone extremely nervous.

[Read More]

Aug 18 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Every Guinea Pig Could Use Some Steampunk Swag

Is your guinea pig boring? Is being cute just not enough anymore? Transform your cavy into a mystical creature, capable of leaping between a fantasy Middle Ages and a fantasy Victorian London with but one flap of his mighty, clockwork wings. Skypirate Creations designed these wings because they hate boring pets!

Morning Roundup brings you links that even a fire-breathing guinea pig would love! Joss Whedon explains why he’s a Marvel, not a DC, girls play D&D cause it’s awesome, and Domhnall Gleeson says a few tiny sentences about Star Wars before he’s bundled into a burlap sack and tossed into the back of J.J. Abrams’ car.

[Plus, learn how you, too can become The Hulk!]

Aug 17 2014 3:00pm

Announcing the 2014 Hugo Award Winners

2014 Hugo Award nominees The winners of the 2014 Hugo Awards have been announced!

The Hugo Awards have been given since 1953, and every year since 1955, by the annual World Science Fiction Convention (the “Worldcon”). The first Worldcon occurred in New York City in 1939, and Worldcons have been held annually since then, except during World War II. This year’s Worldcon, LonCon 3, was held in London, England.

Congratulations to all the 2014 winners and nominees!

[2014 Hugo nominees]

Aug 17 2014 12:30pm

Sherlock Holmes: The Spirit Box Sweepstakes!

We gave you an excerpt from George Mann's Sherlock Holmes: The Spirit Box, and now we want to give you a chance to win one of our three copies of the book! Out on August 19th from Titan Books, the story follows an aged Mycroft Holmes, who, in an act of desperation, must send for the help of his estranged brother when a series of bizarre events begin to plague the luminaries and leaders of London.

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 12:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on August 17. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on August 21. 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.

Aug 17 2014 10:00am

British Genre Fiction Hitlist: Late August New Releases

British Genre new releases August

From the fold of the British Genre Fiction Focus comes the British Genre Fiction Hitlist: your biweekly breakdown of the most notable new releases out of the United Kingdom’s thriving speculative fiction industry.

There’s lots to look forward to in late August if you’re itching for a genre fiction fix. There are the big hitters—books like The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks, Lock In by John Scalzi and Jo Walton’s new novel, My Real Children—and there are a good few little books that could, including the revised version of Marcher by Arthur C. Clarke Award-winner Chris Beckett, The Race by Nina Allan, and the finale of Ben H. Winter’s underrated Last Policeman series.

This edition of the Hitlist also features new books by Kanae Minato, Mark Walden, Ian Whates, Lilite Saintcrow, George Mann, Salome Jones, D. J. Molles, Michael Grant, Lloyd Shepherd, Josephine Angelini and Dana Fredsti.

[Read More]

Aug 16 2014 12:30pm

Exo Sweepstakes!

Award-winning author Steven Gould returns to the world of his classic novel Jumper in Exo, the sequel to Impulse, blending the drama of high school with world shattering consequences. We want to send you a galley of Exo, out on September 9th from Tor Books, right now!

Cent can teleport. This is not as great as you might think it would be—sure, you can go shopping in Japan and then have tea in London, but it’s hard—and dangerous—to keep a secret like that.

But Cent isn’t easily daunted. She’s going to make some changes in the world.

Check for the rules below! 

[Read more]