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 4:30pm

Some Things You Can’t Get From a Man in a Blue Box. Doctor Who: “The Caretaker”

Doctor Who season 8, episode 6: The Caretaker

If Clara takes care of the Doctor, who takes care of Clara?

You notice it in the way the Doctor suddenly sees Courtney Wood as real when she proudly touts that she’s a “Disruptive Influence.” You know it in the way Clara and the Doctor now casually joke about how she’s his conscience. And once Danny Pink meets the Doctor and discovers the other half of Clara’s life, you see it in the choice he has to make. This is who Clara is, Danny, and if your life with her is to go forward then you don’t have to be a soldier, but you do have to be a caretaker.

[Doctor Who: “The Caretaker”]

Mon
Sep 29 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

The Brothers Cabal (Excerpt)

Jonathan L. Howard

The Brothers Cabal Jonathan L Howard excerpt Horst Cabal has risen from the dead. Again. Horst, the most affable vampire one is ever likely to meet, is resurrected by an occult conspiracy that wants him as a general in a monstrous army. Their plan: to create a country of horrors, a supernatural homeland. As Horst sees the lengths to which they are prepared to go and the evil they cultivate, he realizes that he cannot fight them alone. What he really needs on his side is a sarcastic, amoral, heavily armed necromancer.

As luck would have it, this exactly describes his brother.

Join the brothers Cabal as they fearlessly lie quietly in bed, fight dreadful monsters from beyond reality, make soup, feel slightly sorry for zombies, banter lightly with secret societies that wish to destroy them, and—in passing—set out to save the world.

Read an excerpt below from The Brothers Cabal, the fourth installment in Jonathan L. Howard’s Johannes Cabal series—available September 30th from Thomas Dunne Books!

[Read an excerpt]

Mon
Sep 29 2014 3:00pm

Fiction Affliction: October Releases in Fantasy

Fiction Affliction fantasy new releases OctoberThirty new fantasies hit the shelves this month, including a few that were actually written for adult readers and a nonfiction title that promises to fill us in on everything Song of Ice and Fire.

Look for new series additions from, among others, Steven Brust (Vlad Taltos), Richard K. Morgan (A Land Fit for Heroes), Jasper Fforde (The Last Dragonslayer), Jeff Somers (Ustari Cycle), Garth Nix (Abhorsen), Kendare Blake (Goddess War), David Dalglish and Robert Duperre (The Breaking World), Debra Mullins (Truth Seers), and Kelly McCullough (Fallen Blade). Also look for new anthologies edited by Jonathan Strahan (Fearsome Magics) and George R.R. Martin and Gardner R. Dozois (Dangerous Women 2).

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
Sep 29 2014 2:00pm

Steampunk Events for October 2014

Photo credit: subversively

Finally! Welcome to the only time of the year where mainstream society thinks it’s okay to walk down the street in steampunk gear (not that many steampunks care about mainstream society anyway). To celebrate dropping temperatures, changing leaves, commercially-sponsored sugar-highs, and retrofuturist-gothic adventures, take a gander at events gathered with the help of Kevin Steil (the Airship Ambassador) and author S.J. Chambers.

This month, attend a Girl Genius-themed ball in California, party with Lord Saint Germain in Japan, or spend an evening with Edgar Allen Poe wherever he may pop up!

[October 2014 Steampunk Events]

Mon
Sep 29 2014 1:30pm

Outlander’s Mid-Season Finale: “Both Sides Now”

Outlander was one of those shows I had high hopes for, but more than a few reservations about. Plenty of shows have burst through the gate in a cloud of thrilling excitement only to stumble the rest of the season until a rallying finale (I’m looking at you, The Walking Dead). Could Starz, a channel not exactly known for its subtlety and depth, continue to balance the male and female perspectives without pandering or objectifying? Could Ronald D. Moore smooth out Diana Gabaldon’s clunkier subplots while still branching out and making something wholly new?

[“Last I was here, I was Claire Randall. Then Claire Beauchamp. Then Claire Fraser.”]

Mon
Sep 29 2014 1:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 3

Servant of the Empire rereadWelcome back to the Servant of the Empire Reread. If discussion of human sacrifice and general gore is distressing to you, you might want to skip this one. I kind of wish I had. But even a queasy stomach won’t stop me from bring the snark to House Acoma!

Not nearly enough making out in this chapter.

Chapter 4: Vows

SUMMARY:
Turakamu is punk rock. Otherwise known as the Red God of Death, his priests are all about skulls, blood, nude dancing with skeletons, and let’s face it, probably sticking safety pins through their noses. The worship of Turakamu is hardcore.

Desio of the Minwanabi is desperately hoping to achieve vengeance on Mara and a reputation for being seriously ruthless. Having invited a group of guests over for a party, he surprises them with a blood ritual. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that no one ever wants to be SURPRISED by a blood ritual.

[Read More]

Mon
Sep 29 2014 12:45pm

Let’s Get Cold Together: Once Upon a Time, “A Tale of Two Sisters”

Once Upon a Time Frozen

Princesses! Saviors! Princes! Sympathetic evil queens! Unsympathetic evil queens! Witches! A sexy pirate! A young actor looking increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of staying on this show! Magic! Time Travel! Distortions of every fairy tale and story you’ve ever know! Plot holes that no magic can fix! That’s right, it’s time once again for fairy tale Sundays, as the fourth season of ABC’s Once Upon a Time takes on Frozen.

[Extremely, extremely, spoilery. Did I mention spoilery? Because, SPOILERY.]

Mon
Sep 29 2014 12:30pm

Powerful Words: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Douglass Adams Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy There are words and phrases from what one reads that stick with you throughout your entire life. From the moment you read them they inspired or changed you. As a teen, the now clichéd “Carpe Diem, Seize the Day” from the film Dead Poet’s Society was life changing, but it was reading that always struck to the core of my heart when it came to shaping who I was as both a person and as a writer of the fantastical.

No one was as pivotal to who I became in both respects than Douglas Adams. My first exposure was to the PBS import of the BBC television series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Immediately I HAD TO HAVE the books and made my mother take me to buy what was then just the Hitchhiker’s Trilogy. I still have the broken spined, falling apart hardcover, coated in dried green slime from a toy accident years ago. Then I consumed the radio plays on cassette, and bought the annotated transcripts to read along with.

[Read More]

Mon
Sep 29 2014 12:00pm

Cosplay is Not Killing Comic Con, and Neither are Selfies and “New” Fans

Superman costumes, Comic Con

Denise Dorman, wife of comics illustrator Dave Dorman recently made some waves with a piece she posted on her own blog ComicBookWife.com, which then appeared on Bleeding Cool. She was pointing to a very real problem at current conventions—that creators, writers, and illustrators are no longer making enough money at conventions to justify the expense of going in the first place. Her belief is that a new brand of convention-goer—the sort who worships cosplayers over creative talents—are largely to blame for this issue.

And... no. No, they’re not.

[But what is?]

Mon
Sep 29 2014 11:45am

The YA Book Prize

YA Book prize

Late last week, following an article examining the array of awards on offer to Young Adult authors, The Bookseller—in association with Movellas, a “story-sharing start-up”—announced another: the YA Book Prize.

Its unique selling point? It’s only open to authors who have lived for six months or more in the UK or Ireland.

Nigel Roby, publisher and chief executive of The Bookseller Group, explained that the YA Book Prize came into being after close consultation with a number of publishers: “We have one simple desire that underpins everything we do: we want more readers reading more books. The YA Book Prize gives us a wonderful opportunity to put that desire into practice.”

[But as we all know by now, the devil’s in the details...]

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]