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
Wed
Nov 19 2014 3:30pm

Night Shift Sweepstakes!

Four masters of urban fantasy and paranormal romance plunge readers into the dangerous, captivating world unearthed beyond the dark in Night Shift, out on November 25th from Berkley!

With four novellas from Nalini Singh, Illona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, and Milla Vane, Night Shift delivers thrilling urban fantasy that fans of Mercy Thompson and Kitty Norville will love.

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 November 19. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on November 23. 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.

Wed
Nov 19 2014 3:00pm

We Could Be Happy Underground. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: “The Things We Bury”

Agents of SHIELD The Things We Bury

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. really pulled one over on me in this week’s episode “The Things We Bury.” With all the back and forth drama between Coulson’s mental state, Talbot and his haircut, Skye’s SkyeDad, the alien writing, the Divinery Obelisk, Hydra, Fitz’s recovery, Ward vs Ward, Mockingbird and Hance Lunter... I didn’t focus so much on Daniel Whitehall.

It’s not like the show has been hiding how weird Whitehall is, even. He was there in the season’s very first episode, hassling Our Agent Carter and being perpetually ageless, and he’s been masterminding Hydra’s efforts since then. Obviously something is up with him, it’s just that he’s so quiet in comparison to everyone else.

Now, though...now...don’t you just want him to die?

[Read more]

Wed
Nov 19 2014 2:20pm

Neil Gaiman and Daniel Handler in the Great Book Giveaway!

Neil Gaiman Daniel Handler Great Book Giveaway

What’s the perfect way to pit acclaimed authors Neil Gaiman and Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket) against each other? Challenge them to give away the most books to a park full of eager fans, while also fending off the biting New York City cold! Gaiman and Handler came to Washington Square Park’s Garibaldi Plaza early this morning to take part in the the National Book Foundation’s Great Book Giveaway, alongside a portable reading room provided by the Uni Project.

Check out more photos from the event, plus a quick clip of Neil and Daniel facing off in their quest to give away the most books, below!

[Read More]

Wed
Nov 19 2014 2:00pm

Rich and Strange: “Without Faith, Without Law, Without Joy” by Saladin Ahmed

The Faerie Queene

I love Spenser’s The Faerie Queen. I love it with a geeky, earnest passion for its bleeding trees, its book-vomiting serpents, its undefeatable shield-maiden and her rescue of a woman named Love.

That said, I always read it with double vision—one eye always redacting, reading Duessa and the Saracen Knights against their ergot-laden grain. Of course the first really interesting female character we meet is a duplicitous evil-doer; of course being friends with the Queen of Night and getting her to spirit your boyfriend away before some (quite literal) kill-joy murders him means you’re a villain instead of a resourceful badass. It was strange, reading a book and loving it enough to spontaneously compose explanatory fanfic for its ugly parts, but that was most of my undergraduate English degree.

When I saw the title of Saladin Ahmed’s “Without Faith, Without Law, Without Joy,” I straightened up out of a slouch. I felt my eyes brighten with hope. He’s going to do it, I thought. He’s going to write my fanfic.

[SPOILER: he’s the one with the beard.]

Wed
Nov 19 2014 1:30pm

Avengers: Age of Pinocchio is a Scarily Good Mashup

Avengers: Age of Pinocchio trailer mashup

The Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer gave us all sorts of chills due in part to its creepy use of “I’ve Got No Strings” from Pinocchio—which, when you really think about it, is the most disturbing Disney movie. How to make both even creepier? Combine them!

[“You’re all puppets, tangled in... strings.”]

Wed
Nov 19 2014 1:10pm

Cover Reveal for Elizabeth Bear’s Karen Memory

Karen Memory Elizabeth Bear

I’m very excited to show-off the cover to Elizabeth Bear’s upcoming novel Karen Memorypublishing February 2015 from Tor Books. The art is by Cynthia Sheppard. She’s done a brilliant job of depicting a strong and resourceful character, someone that you believe has a story to tell. This is only the second time I have worked with Cynthia, I’m looking forward to many more covers from her in the future.

Head below the cut for the full cover art, and to learn more about Elizabeth Bear's new novel!

[Read More]

Wed
Nov 19 2014 1:00pm

Rereading Melanie Rawn: The Star Scroll, Chapters 1 and 2

WelMelanie Rawn Dragon Prince Star Scroll rereadcome to the weekly Wednesday reread of Melanie Rawn’s Dragon Prince trilogy! This week we start book two, The Star Scroll. It’s been fourteen years since the end of the first book when we reunite with old friends and enemies and meet new ones, and the intrigue and the politics fly fast and furious.

Part One: The Scroll
Chapter 1

So This Happens: This new installment in the Dragon Prince saga begins at Graypearl, Prince Lleyn’s palace on the island of Dorval. The camera zooms in to focus on a fourteen-year-old boy playing in the garden. We learn immediately that this is the High Prince’s heir.

[Read More]

Wed
Nov 19 2014 12:00pm

This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Moral Ambiguity, YA Literature, and The Princess Bride

I’ve been thinking a lot about the movie The Princess Bride. Which, really, has been sort of a semi-consistent thing since childhood. Lately, though, something has occurred to me, and really, I don’t know why I didn’t think about this before. It’s about Westley. Namely, it’s the Dread Pirate Roberts problem.

Now, farm boy Westley is great—don’t get me wrong, but he’s a bit doormat-ish: sweet and kind, but lacking a little…something. Even as a child I though Buttercup was kind of a brat in the beginning and I wanted Westley to stick up for himself a little. So Farm Boy Westley wasn’t my thing. However, later in the film when he shows back up dressed all in black, expertly wielding a sword and full of swagger? We as the audience can’t help but love him.

[Except...the Dread Pirate Roberts takes no survivors, right?]

Wed
Nov 19 2014 11:45am

Watch the First Trailer for Disney’s Live-Action Cinderella

Cinderella trailer live-action Disney Kenneth Branagh Cate Blanchett Helena Bonham Carter

Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella, being backed by Disney, looks to be a pretty faithful remake of the animated classic. (No songs from the Brandy/Whitney Houston musical, or the complete reimagining of Ever After.) Downton Abbey's Lily James is poor Ella, forced to serve her evil stepmother (Cate Blanchett, who looks like she will be delightfully mean) and awful stepsisters. Until, that is, Ella's fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter) reveals herself and whips up a pumpkin carriage, blue dress, and glass slippers for Ella to enjoy the ball.

[Watch the trailer]

Wed
Nov 19 2014 11:00am

Rocket Talk Episode 35: Rob H. Bedford

Rocket Talk

Featuring blogger Rob Bedford, this week’s Rocket Talk podcast episode delves into the relationship between the author and reviewer.

In light of all the recent challenges with this dynamic, Justin asks questions ranging from how Rob views his own relationship to reviewing, how things have changed in the decade plus he’s been in the business, and whether or not there’s something we can do to improve it moving forward.

[Listen here!]

Wed
Nov 19 2014 10:00am

The Time Traveler’s Wife Provides the Perfect Way to Rewrite Your Favorite Pairing in Fanfic

The Time Traveler's Wife fanfiction crossovers Supernatural Sherlock Star Trek The Vampire Diaries

A funny thing happened the other day when I decided, on a whim, to look up The Time Traveler’s Wife fanfiction. It’s one of my favorite books, and while there are several years to wait until Audrey Niffenegger writes the sequel, I figured I would bide my time by revisiting Clare and Henry in their out-of-order time-spanning romance.

Except, at least half of the fanfics tagged with “The Time Traveler’s Wife” on Archive of Our Own aren’t from the world of TTTW. They just use the book’s structure to retell the love stories of Kirk/Spock, Sherlock/John, Dean/Castiel, and more.

[Read more]

Wed
Nov 19 2014 9:00am
Original Story

Where the Trains Turn

I don’t like to think about the past. But I cannot stop remembering my son.

Emma Nightingale prefers to remain grounded in reality as much as possible. Yet she’s willing to indulge her nine year-old son Rupert’s fascination with trains, as it brings him closer to his father, Gunnar, from whom she is separated. Once a month, Gunnar and Rupert venture out to follow the rails and watch the trains pass. Their trips have been pleasant, if uneventful, until one afternoon Rupert returns in tears. “The train tried to kill us,” he tells her.

Rupert’s terror strikes Emma as merely the product of an overactive imagination. After all, his fears could not be based in reality, could they?

Published here for the first time in English, “Where the Trains Turn” won first prize in the Finnish science-fiction magazine Portti’s annual short story competition and then went on to win the Atorox Award for best Finnish science fiction or fantasy short story.

This novella was acquired and edited for Tor.com by Peter Joseph. Translation by Liisa Rantalaiho.

[Read “Where the Trains Turn” by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen]

Wed
Nov 19 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Bizarre Love Triangle

So every once in a while, more treasure troves of behind-the-scenes Star Wars photos pop up. And while they’re always delightful, The Mary Sue led us to Dorkly’s collection of 50 amazing shots, which contain what may be our favorite yet. Look at that. Proof that everyone in their right mind has a crush on Han.

Morning Roundup asks if you would like to receive a book from one Neil Gaiman or one Daniel Handler, then suggests possible cockatil party conversation starters—just in time for the holidays! We also have an ludicrously long interview with Benedict Cumberbatch below the cut.

[Plus, a piece of Internet nostalgia that will make you long for the days of dial-up!]

Tue
Nov 18 2014 5:00pm

Jurassic World Launches Viral Website With New Images and Plot Hints

Jurassic World viral website photos skeleton

Last we heard of Jurassic World, a “leaked” brochure hinted at which dinosaurs we’ll see in the new film. Now, Universal Pictures has upped its viral marketing game by launching a website for Masrani Global, the company responsible for bringing to life John Hammond’s dreams of a dinosaur theme park.

[Welcome to the new Isla Nublar!]

Tue
Nov 18 2014 4:30pm

Unbreakable Sweepstakes!

Unbreakable by W.C. Bauers hits shelves on January 13th, and we want to send you a galley right now!

The colonists of the planet Montana are accustomed to being ignored. Situated in the buffer zone between two rival human empires, their world is a backwater: remote, provincial, independently minded. Even as a provisional member of the Republic of Aligned Worlds, Montana merits little consideration—until it becomes the flashpoint in an impending interstellar war.

Check for the rules below!

[Read more]

Tue
Nov 18 2014 4:00pm

It’s a Hard Knock Life: Gotham, “Harvey Dent”

Gotham Harvey Dent

“Harvey Dent” is the latest in a longstanding tradition of Gotham episodes that introduce the title character but otherwise have very little to do with said character—okay so this is only the second time out of nine episodes that’s happened, but still. The show probably could have gotten away with a Two-Face-related title to offer some kind of thematic unity, as one could argue that this week’s various plots did relate in some way to a conflict of opposites.

That being said: as an episode, “Harvey Dent” was all right, offering viewers a standard case-of-the-week that tied in well with the overarching storyline, and sub-plots that were mostly contained and impactful. I’ll take it!

[Read More]

Tue
Nov 18 2014 2:50pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: Sixth Season Overview

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Sixth Season
Original air dates: September 1997 – June 1998
Executive Producer: Rick Berman
Executive Producer: Ira Steven Behr

Station log: DS9 had already dedicated itself to serialized storytelling by the time the sixth season rolled around, but at the end of the fifth they committed themselves to something more significant: a war. The Dominion War commenced at the end of season 5 and did not stop until the show did at the end of the seventh. To show that this was serious business, they didn’t even resolve the Federation losing control of Deep Space 9/Terok Nor until the sixth episode of the season, and the Federation didn’t even manage to make a strike in Dominion territory until the season finale.

[The Prophets don’t see me as a Starfleet captain, they see me as their Emissary.]

Tue
Nov 18 2014 2:30pm

The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare’s Histories in the Age of Netflix

The Hollow Crown

Most genre fans who know about the 2012 BBC television film series The Hollow Crown know it because of its big name cast: Jeremy Irons, Tom Hiddleston, John Hurt, Patrick Stewart, Ben Whishaw (Cloud Atlas and Skyfall Bond’s new Q) and Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey). And now that series 2 has signed Benedict Cumberbatch and Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville, the fan squeal almost threatens to drown out the writer credit: Shakespeare.

There have been many discussions of how Netflix, Tivo and their ilk have transformed TV consumption, production and money flow, but I spent the last year watching a pile of different (filmed and live) versions of Shakespeare’s Richard/Henry sequence in order to focus in on how the Netflix era has directly impacted, of all things, our interpretations of Shakespeare, and what that tells us about historical and fantasy TV in general.

[Read More]

Tue
Nov 18 2014 2:00pm

How We Met Abbie and Jenny’s Mother: Sleepy Hollow, “Mama”

Oh man a lot happened in this episode! Like a lot! There was a huge misdirection, a lot of healing, some possible resolution of a giant plot arc from last year, setup for the second half of this season, and a Captain Irving-based twist! But that’s not even the thing that impressed me the most. You know what impressed me the most? Everybody loves a good abandoned mental hospital. They are probably the greatest modern horror setting, having handily replaced cemeteries and abandoned carnival grounds. Well, Sleepy Hollow just gave us a whole episode of “abandoned mental hospital” vibe within a currently functional mental hospital.

[Read More]

Tue
Nov 18 2014 1:10pm

Best Car Mechanic Ever Leaves Note from the Doctor for Whovian Car Owner

Doctor, Amy, car

Tumblr user thetraciwho went to get their car fixed, and received a delightful surprise from the mechanic. Or should we say, a Time Lord in disguise?

[Where does this person fix cars? We want in on the fun.]