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
Sep 25 2014 1:30pm

These Fan-Made Buffy Credits Are the Animated Series We Wish We’d Gotten

Buffy the Vampire Slayer animated series fan opening credits

Remember how Joss Whedon tried for years to make an animated Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff happen, and no one was biting? The test footage was even eventually leaked online, to tepid interest, and we sort of understood why it never made it off the ground.

Well, we just came across fan-made opening credits for a Buffy animated series, and they’re wonderful.

[Get ready to start rocking out to Nerf Herder’s theme...]

Sep 25 2014 1:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Feast for Crows, Part 32

Song of Ice and Fire A Feast for Crows

Welcome back to A Read of Ice and Fire! Please join me as I read and react, for the very first time, to George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.

Today’s entry is Part 32 of A Feast for Crows, in which we cover Chapter 44 (“Jaime”), Chapter 45 (“Samwell”) and the Epilogue.

Previous entries are located in the Index. The only spoilers in the post itself will be for the actual chapters covered and for the chapters previous to them. As for the comments, please note that the Powers That Be have provided you a lovely spoiler thread here on Tor.com. Any spoileriffic discussion should go there, where I won’t see it. Non-spoiler comments go below, in the comments to the post itself.

And now, the post!

[Not exactly St. George, innit]

Sep 25 2014 12:45pm

Did You Miss John Scalzi’s Lock In Tour? Experience it Virtually!

John Scalzi Twitter Apple Chat Lock In

John Scalzi recently completed his book tour for his futurist thriller Lock In. Each tour stop included a reading and Q&A with the always delightful author.

And because Scalzi realizes that not all of you live in the cities he visited, he’s provided footage from some of the stops so you can experience them in a non-corporeal environment! Given that the main character in Lock In experiences the world through a robot interface, this seems somehow more appropriate than actually meeting Scalzi in person...

Anyway, if you missed the tour, or just want to relive the magic, check out the videos from Scalzi’s readings below!

[Read More]

Sep 25 2014 12:15pm

The Aliens from Alien Won’t Be in Prometheus 2 (And That’s Okay!)

Prometheus 2 xenomorph

If you’re still upset about 2012’s Prometheus not quite-being-the-Alien-prequel you’d hoped for, this news might not help much. Direct from director Ridley Scott, the sequel to Prometheus will not contain the xenomorph aliens from the film Alien, which started this whole thing to begin with.

But maybe that’s okay?

[Read more]

Sep 25 2014 12:00pm

Words of Radiance Reread: Interlude 3

Welcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com! Last week, a gentle and kindly experience ended; this week, a very different experience begins poorly, proceeds badly, and ends… mysteriously.

This reread will contain spoilers for The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and any other Cosmere book that becomes relevant to the discussion. The index for this reread can be found here, and more Stormlight Archive goodies are indexed here. Click on through to join the discussion.

[“Do not let your assumptions about a culture block your ability to perceive the individual, or you will fail.”]

Sep 25 2014 11:45am

Christopher Walken Has Transformed Into Captain Hook, Cheekbones and All

first look Christopher Walken Captain Hook

We... are not sure how to feel about this photo of Allison Williams and Christopher Walken as Peter Pan and Captain Hook in NBC’s upcoming TV musical Peter Pan Live! It’s just so awkward, with the weird posing and flinging of arms and hooks. Also, what is up with Walken’s cheekbones? How did they somehow make those bigger through all the pancake make-up?

[Click through for the full-size photo]

Sep 25 2014 11:15am

Highlights from Robert Jackson Bennett’s Reddit AMA

Robert Jackson Bennett AMA

Robert Jackson Bennett—the award-winning author of American Elsewhere, The Troupe, The Company Man, and Mr. Shivers—recently took to reddit to answer your questions! His latest, City of Stairs, is an atmospheric and intrigue-filled spy novel complete with dead gods, buried histories, and a mysterious, protean city. The novel is available now in the US (Crown Publishing) and publishes October 2nd in the UK (Jo Fletcher Books).

Read an excerpt from City of Stairs here on Tor.com, and be sure to check out Kameron Hurley’s response the novel’s protagonist, the Rocket Talk podcast episode where Bennett discusses the future of genre fiction, Brian Slattery’s interview with the Bennett, and our own Pop Quiz Q&A! Oh, and do yourself a favor—follow Bennet’s hilarious Twitter feed. You’ll thank us later.

Bennett talked about his influences and writing process in a great reddit AMA this week, and we’ve collected the highlights below!

[Read More]

Sep 25 2014 11:00am

Watch Bruce Wayne’s Parents Die Over and Over and Over

supercut Bruce Wayne parents death Gotham

It’s one of the seminal moments in superhero tales, the near-legendary incident that we’ve seen repeated countless times with little variation. It’s less than two minutes, but the repercussions are transformative.

In case you haven’t seen it enough times, here’s a supercut of Bruce Wayne’s parents dying.

[Read more]

Sep 25 2014 10:40am

Amtrak Residency Writers Include Fables Creator Bill Willingham and Other Sci-Fi/Fantasy Authors

Amtrak Residency Program writers Bill Willingham

Amtrak has announced the winners of its inaugural Amtrak Residency Program. Over the next year, these lucky 24 residents will get a free Amtrak train ride during which they can compose their next (or, in some cases, first) great work.

While the full list includes a BuzzFeed editor and a former CIA agent, we took special note of the five writers representing for sci-fi/fantasy and geek culture. That’s about one-fifth of the writers—not too shabby. Read on to learn more about the Amtrak residents—one of whom has already decided what she’s writing about, and it sounds amazing.

[All aboard!]

Sep 25 2014 10:30am

Scripted: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

Scott Westerfeld Afterworlds review

As someone somewhen almost certainly said, the story is the thing... and it is, isn’t it? Most readers read in order to know what happens next—to these characters or that narrative—rather than out of interest in much of anything outwith a given fiction; assuredly not the particular process of authors, though after Afterworlds, I’ve begun to wonder whether we mightn’t be missing a trick.

A twofold story about storytelling, Scott Westerfeld’s insightful new novel alternates between a pair of coming of age tales. In one, we meet Lizzie: a typical teenager, to begin with, who’s too busy texting to notice the start of a terrorist attack.

[Read More]

Sep 25 2014 10:00am

How Old is the Doctor, Really?

Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi, chalkboard

Fun with math! Sort of.

Throughout the history of Doctor Who, the Time Lord has been known to hand out his age willy-nilly, almost as though he enjoys answering such a typically delicate question. But what is the true number? Can it really be calculated, or must it always be a lie? Who wants to play a numbers game?

[1200, give or take, can’t keep it straight…]

Sep 25 2014 9:30am

The Hollows Series Sweepstakes!

Kim Harrison’s Hollows series wrapped up this month with The Witch with No Name, and we want to give you all of Rachel Morgan’s preceding adventures to celebrate! That's right: one lucky winner will receive all twelve books that come before The Witch With No Name in the Hollows series, so that you can immerse yourself in Rachel’s world of witches, werewolves, vampires, pixies, and bounty hunters.

Our grand prize winner will receive Dead Witch Walking; The Good, the Bad, and the Undead; Every Which Way But Dead; A Fistful of Charms; For a Few Demons More; The Outlaw Demon Wails; White Witch, Black Curse; Black Magic Sanction; Pale Demon; A Perfect Blood; Ever After; and The Undead Pool!

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 September 25. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on September 29. 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.

Sep 25 2014 9:00am

After Paris: Meta, Irony, Narrative, Frames, and The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride

I am not the intended audience for William Goldman’s The Princess Bride. Likely you’re not either, as you’re reading this on Tor.com. We read fantasy. We love books about heroes and villains and giants and princesses. We are not so cynical that we have to be coaxed into a story about true love and a wicked prince and a masked pirate. Goldman isn’t a fantasy writer. He’s a literary writer, and his imagined readers are literary readers, and he wrote The Princess Bride with no expectation that it would fit on my shelves between Parke Godwin and Lisa Goldstein. It’s possible he’d be slightly embarrassed if he knew he was rubbing shoulders with them, and he’d be happier to see his work set between William Golding and Nadine Gorimer. He wrote The Princess Bride in 1973, after Tolkien, but before genre fantasy was a publishing phenomenon. And it’s not genre fantasy—though it (or anyway the movie) is part of what has shaped genre fantasy as it is today. Goldman’s novel is a swashbuckling fairytale. I think Goldman wanted to write something like a children’s book with the thrills of a children’s book, but for adults. Many writers have an imaginary reader, and I think Goldman’s imaginary reader for The Princess Bride was a cynic who normally reads John Updike, and a lot of what Goldman is doing in the way he wrote the book is trying to woo that reader. So, with that reader in mind, he wrote it with a very interesting frame. And when he came to make it into a movie, he wrote it with a different and also interesting frame.

[Read more: You’re in the Pit of Despond]

Sep 25 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Baby Gojira Rages Through the Nursery!

Even Baby Gojira is mighty! He just displayed it in more adorable ways. Artist Illuminescent uses his Wordpress page to tell the saga of The Fearsome Godzilla. He also gives us Gojira vs. Baby Smaug, and...Toothless vs. the Ball of Yarn??!! Awww...

Morning Roundup bring you a new perspective on Raiders of the Lost Ark, a new perspective on Disney’s Robin Hood, and a new perspective on the Science of Deduction.

[Plus, you won’t believe this mind-blowing theory about PIXAR!]

Sep 24 2014 5:00pm

Eternal Treblinka of the Spotless Soul: Bête by Adam Roberts

Bete Adam Roberts review

Reading Adam Roberts is like participating in a literary lucky dip. It’s a bit of a gamble, granted, but every one’s a winner, and all of the prizes on offer are awesome.

Different sorts of awesome, I dare say. Always smart, and ever so sharp, but sometimes you get something scathing, and sometimes something sweet. Sometimes his stories are obscenely serious; sometimes they’re ridiculously silly. Bête represents the best of both worlds—the coming together of all the aspects of Adam Roberts: the author, the professor and the satirist, alongside a number of others.

His fifteenth full-length fiction in fifteen years—including neither his punsome parodies nor his several collections—is a book about the rise of animals with intelligence to match man’s, and it begins with a cutting conversation between a cattle farmer and the cow he had thought to slaughter.

[Read More]

Sep 24 2014 4:00pm

Loop (Excerpt)

Karen Akins

Loop Karen Akin excerpt After sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.

Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.

Debut author Karen Akins introduces the intricate world of Shifters in Loop, available October 21st from St. Martin’s Griffin.

[Read an excerpt]

Sep 24 2014 3:30pm

Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Went Well At All. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: “Shadows”

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2 episode 1: Shadows

Is this love? Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I think this might be love. If you keep this up it will almost certainly be love and we will leave New York City and buy a house in Long Island that we hate forever.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back and telling stories about a world where men absorb asphalt for kicks and Coulson wonders what the hell to even do about that. Except this time...this time...Coulson’s got it under control. He’s had months to cobble a new S.H.I.E.L.D. together and he and SkyeBangs, the Skye with the bangs, May, and the rest are so good at their jobs they don’t even talk to Coulson they’ve just got this handled, okay?

[Oh expectations]

Sep 24 2014 3:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Alan Gratz

Alan Gratz 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 Alan Gratz, author of Samurai Shortstop, an ALA 2007 Top Ten Book for Young Adults. His latest book, The League of Seven, begins a new action-packed, steampunk series for middle grade readers—available now from Starscape. Read an excerpt here on Tor.com, and check out Alan’s thoughts on the cover, illustrated by Brett Helquist. (Spoiler: he loves it!) Alan also gives us a brief history lesson on New York City’s pneumatic postal system! And be sure to read “The Hero of Five Points,” a Tor.com Original story set in the world of The League of Seven.

[Join us!]

Sep 24 2014 2:00pm

Under the Dome: “Go Now”

Under the Dome Go Now

In a rousing speech delivered at the edge of what Fivehead Norrie describes as “A Giant Killer Suck Hole,” Dale Barbara tells the residents of Chester’s Mill, “For the last two weeks we have fought together for the survival of this town!” In those 14 days an underground fight club has opened (and closed), there’s been a drought, a food shortage, a missile attack, a terrorist attack, a plague of butterflies, an actual plague, a blood rain, a real rain, war with propane hoarders, a windmill has been built, hoses have been sprayed, gasoline (but not diesel) has run out, and we’ve experienced the drastic depopulation of the entire Chester’s Mill police department.

Is there any way that tonight’s season finale can possibly pack in more nonsense? “I have no idea,” Dale Barbie says about one minute before this episode ends. Dale, you took the words right out of my mouth.

[Read More]

Sep 24 2014 1:15pm

Knights Riding Dinosaurs! Revealing the Cover to The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milán

The Dinosaur Lords cover Victor Milan Richard Anderson

What can be better than just dinosaurs? Knights on dinosaurs! We have a long, proud history of dinsoaur-love on Tor.com. Remember that time we collected nearly a hundered dinosaur paintings into one post? So imagine our delight when Tor Books editor Claire Eddy said she was editing the start of a new book series that basically puts 15th century knights on the backs of dinosaurs.

I have to admit, artist Richard Anderson was the first name that popped into my head when it came time to illustrate the cover.

[See the full cover below]