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 As Good As New September 10, 2014 As Good As New Charlie Jane Anders She has three chances to save the world. Tuckitor’s Last Swim September 9, 2014 Tuckitor’s Last Swim Edith Cohn A hurricane is coming.
From The Blog
September 18, 2014
Cast As Thou Wilt: Kushiel’s Dart Dream Cast
Natalie Zutter
September 17, 2014
How Goldfinger Bound Sci-Fi to James Bond
Ryan Britt
September 15, 2014
Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 1
Tansy Rayner Roberts
September 13, 2014
If You Want a Monster to Hunt, You’ll Get It. Doctor Who: “Listen”
Chris Lough
September 11, 2014
The Ghostbusters are an Antidote to Lovecraft’s Dismal Worldview
Max Gladstone
Tue
Sep 16 2014 11:30am

The Witch’s Boy Sweepstakes!

The Witch's BoyKelly Barnhill stopped by to take our Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe yesterday, and now we want to send you a copy of her new book, The Witch's Boy! Out today from Algonquin Young Readers, this richly imagined fantasy story has witches, enchanted forests, and a magic-stealing Bandit King. We’ve got four bewitching copies for you to win!

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 11:30 AM Eastern Time (ET) on September 16. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on September 20. 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
Sep 16 2014 11:00am

Sleeps With Monsters: Laurie R King’s The Beekeeper’s Apprentice

Sleeps With Monsters The Beekeeper's ApprenticeThe Beekeeper's Apprentice, or, On the Segregation of the Queen is the first in a series of mystery novels by Laurie R. King, which feature an elderly Sherlock Holmes and a youthful half-American student of theology, one Mary Russell. It was first published in 1994, and has to date seen eleven novel-length sequels. It’s not science fiction or fantasy—I may have felt the need for a wee break from SFF—except inasmuch as it involves Sherlock Holmes, a character frequently beloved of many people who’re also SFF fans—but it is a brilliant book.

I may be the last person in the world to realise that this book existed, and that it was good. But in case there are any other poor benighted souls out there who, like me, somehow escaped hearing about its virtues in the last couple of decades, I propose to tell you about them.

[It has many admirable virtues.]

Tue
Sep 16 2014 10:30am

Revealing the Cover for Wesley Chu’s Time Salvager

Wesley Chu Time Salvager Richard Anderson

A new Richard Anderson cover is always a pleasure to reveal. This time, especially so, since Wesley Chu, author of Time Salvager, was an Anderson fan to begin with! So when Chu’s editor, Marco Palmieri, said he had a gritty futuristic Chicago to portray and asked if Anderson was free, I couldn’t deny that it was a the perfect match of subject matter and artist.

[Check out the full cover image and original painting below!]

Tue
Sep 16 2014 10:00am
Excerpt

The Three-Body Problem: “King Wen of Zhou and the Long Night”

Cixin Liu

The Three-Body Problem Cixin Liu King Wen of Zhou and the Long Night

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth.

Meanwhile, in “King Wen of Zhou and the Long Night,” a self-contained story within the novel, scientist Wang Miao is encouraged to play an online VR game by the name of “3Body.” He becomes immersed in a planet that is itself a puzzle, a puzzle that, once encountered, may just explain why Earth is such a tempting target for invasion.

The Three-Body Problem is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multiple award-winning phenomenon from China’s most beloved science fiction author, Cixin Liu. The English edition, available November 11th from Tor Books, was translated by Ken Liu. Learn more about Stephan Martiniere’s cover art, and read Cixin Liu’s article about Chinese science fiction here on Tor.com.

[Read an excerpt]

Tue
Sep 16 2014 9:00am
Original Story

When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami

“When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami” is the story of when immortal teen goddess Athena is mistaken for a vampire by a desperate youth who refuses to leave her side until she turns him. This tale takes place in the world of the Goddess Wars series for young adults by award-winning author Kendare Blake.

This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by senior editor Melissa Frain.

[Read “When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami” by Kendare Blake]

Tue
Sep 16 2014 8:35am

Legendary TV Acquires John Scalzi’s Lock In

John Scalzi Lock In TV show

While John Scalzi is still on tour for the release of his near future thriller, Lock In, Legendary TV announced that they have acquired the rights to create a pilot episode and potentially a series adaptation of the novel. Exciting news for Scalzi fans as the SyFy Channel is also developing his Old Man’s War universe as a series.

You can read the first five chapters of Lock In here on Tor.com, as well as the free prequel novella “Unlocked.”

Tue
Sep 16 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: We’ve Found a Delicious Alternative to Fish Fingers and Custard

So we’re good with the Police Box doughnut, and Lime Lord makes a certain kind of sense, although we agree with The Mary Sue that it’s a terrible pun. But what makes the Weeping Angel doughnut a Weeping Angel doughnut? If you blink, does it inch closer to your mouth? If so, we’ll just sit here with our eyes shut until one leaps into our waiting maws... And if you would like a Doctor Who doughnut in your maw, travel to The Donut Whole in Wichita!

Morning Roundup comes to you, fresh from dreams of donuts and time travel, and offers you links. Ben Affleck talks about Batman’s anger! Patrick Rothfuss says enough with the dragons already! And Ursula K. Le Guin puts a bird on it!

[Plus, the transportation system of the future!]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 5:00pm

The YA Roundup: Rowling Will Have None of That

Dumbledore Gay

Welcome to the YA Roundup, giving you the inside scoop on bookish news, book deals, new releases and cover reveals for the YA genre! READ! READ ALL THE YA!

This week, JK Rowling replies to a homophobic tweeter, some YA authors join the wealthiest authors list, Usher partners with Scholastic, and so much more!

[Read more]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 4:15pm

Neil Gaiman Confirms a Multi-Part Anansi Boys Mini-Series

Anansi Boys miniseries confirmed Neil GaimanIt’s a great week to be a Neil Gaiman fan and a TV watcher. Not only did last week give us an update on where American Gods is in pre-production, but now we’re getting new intel on the adaptation of Gaiman’s Anansi Boys, from the man himself.

The last we’d heard about Anansi Boys coming to television came via a blog post from Gaiman in February. At the time, he confirmed that Red Productions would be overseeing the miniseries for the BBC. But with no update since then, when Gaiman was Skyping in to the Bangalore Comic Con, one of Bleeding Cool’s readers had to ask about the status of the adaptation:

He gave me the best answer possible with a resounding “Yes!” and a deep nod as he confirmed a multi part mini-series of hour long episodes is in the works AND it’s not being given the Hollywood treatment and is being made in the UK! Best news all week!

So... it’s still happening! And sounds like it’s all on the right track. Here’s hoping the next update includes some actual details about casting and which divine karaoke numbers we'll see.

Mon
Sep 15 2014 4:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Kelly Barnhill

Kelly Barnhill 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 Kelly Barnhill! Kelly writes novels for children and short stories for adults and poetry that she whispers in the dark when no one is listening. Her first novel, The Mostly True Story of Jack, received four-starred reviews, and her second, Iron Hearted Violet, received a Parents’ Choice Gold Award.

Kelly’s latest novel, The Witch's Boy, takes classic fairy tale elements–speaking stones, a friendly wolf, and a spoiled young king–and weaves them into a richly detailed narrative that explores good and evil, love and hate, magic, and the power of friendship. Look for it September 16th from Algonquin Young Readers.

[Join us!]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 3:30pm

Jackaby Sweepstakes!

William Ritter’s debut novel, Jackaby, comes out from Algonquin Young Readers on September 16th. You can find out more about Ritter and his love of lemurs, Fraggle Rock, and LeVar Burton in our Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe!

Jackaby, the first book in a series described as “Doctor Who meets Sherlock,” follows R.F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with an ability to see supernatural beings, and his assistant, Abigail Rook, who is drawn into a case involving a serial killer—who may in fact be a nonhuman creature—her first day on the job.

We have five copies of Jackaby to send your way, so 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 September 15. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on September 19. 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.

Mon
Sep 15 2014 3:00pm

Highlights from Steven Erikson’s Reddit AMA!

Steven Erikson Malazan Author

Steven Erikson has so much to tell us, reddit could barely contain it all! He’s nearing the end of the second novel in the Kharkanas trilogy, Fall of Light, which he hopes to finish “sometime in the next two months.” Plus, he took a break from working on that book to write a seventy-five thousand word Star Trek spoof called Willful Child (read an excerpt here). From the author himself:

“So here you all thought I’d spend this time writing and talking about Fantasy novels, huh? Wrong. This Trekker’s come out of the wardrobe closet, in public for the first time! Eat tribbles and die!”

In his comprehensive AMA, Erikson talked about Willful Child, the intricacies of Malazan, and his overall writing process. He also mentioned that he’ll be appearing at next year’s World Fantasy Awards Con in Saratoga Springs, so mark your calendars now!

[Check out the AMA highlights!]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 1:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 1

Here we go again! Welcome to the Servant of the Empire Reread.

The good news for those of you who remember the Great Whitewashed Cover of Daughter of the Empire is that the edition I have of Servant of the Empire from my teen reading years does not feature a blonde Mara on the front cover.

This Mara looks more Arabic than Asian, but as she is portrayed largely in shadow and with a setting sun behind her, the overall effect is racially non-specific, and not especially white, which allows the reader to make their own call. The lack of blondness is a definite improvement! It probably doesn’t hurt that the artist of this particular cover is Don Maitz, husband of one of the book’s authors.

But never mind the wrapping, let’s get to the contents of the second volume.

[Read More]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 2:00pm

The Retrospective: The Relic Guild by Edward Cox

The Relic Guild Edward Cox

The end result of more than a decade of obsessive endeavour, The Relic Guild by Edward Cox is the first part of a fine fantasy saga mixing gods and monsters that promises a lot, but delivers on too little to linger long after its last page.

Be that as it may, it’s engrossing in the early-going, as the author thrusts us into the midst of a magical battle between Marney, an out-of-practice empath; a goodly number of golems in service of someone called Fabian Moor: an evil Genii determined to bring his banished master back from the blackest corners of beyond; and Old Man Sam, a bounty hunter unburdened by the little things in life, like what’s right.

The good, the bad and the ugly are all searching for the same thing, in this instance: a girl called Peppercorn Clara. “Barely eighteen, she was a whore rumoured to have a libido as spicy as it was insatiable. The story was that [she] had killed a client halfway through a job.” Needless to say, this is a fabrication. Clara’s only crime is that she’s different from most of the million mere mortals who live in Labrys Town, being the first magical being born within its walls in a generation.

[Read More]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 12:29pm

Watch the First Full Trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1!

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 full trailer

It's serious business times in the first full trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1. In typical “last-book-of-the-trilogy” fashion, we've got battles galore, fiery (and watery) explosions, and poor Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark forced to act as puppets weapons for District 13 and the Capitol, respectively. But because we're always looking ahead to Mockingjay, Part 2 next year, we've also got loads of ominous foreshadowing.

[Watch]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 12:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Tad Williams

Tad Williams 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 Tad Williams. Tad is co-founder of an interactive television company, and is currently writing comic books and film and television scripts as well as novels. Sleeping Late on Judgement Day, available now from DAW, is the third installment of Tad Williams’s urban fantasy Bobby Dollar series.

[Join us!]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 11:00am

A Read of the Dark Tower Redux: Constant Reader Tackles The Wind Through the Keyhole: “The Wind Through the Keyhole,” Part 2

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.

When we last left our story, we were lost in Roland’s telling of his story of Debaria and, within that, his retelling of his childhood story, The Wind Through the Keyhole. In the story, young Tim Ross’s mother has remarried after her husband’s death, and the new husband, Big Kells, is abusive and secretive.

[Read this week’s post.]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 10:00am

Bigger on the Inside: Talking with Robert Jackson Bennett about City of Stairs

City of Stairs Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Stairs—available now in the US (Crown Publishing) and October 2nd in the UK (Jo Fletcher Books), and excerpted here on Tor.com—is both a murder mystery and fantasy novel.

A spy from Saypur, a colonial power, is investigating the murder of a historian in Bulikov, an old city that is one of Saypur’s colonies. The murder investigation, however, requires the spy to deal with the histories of Saypur and Bulikov themselves; along the way, she discovers that Bulikov’s dead gods—deities on earth defeated in warfare when Bulikov fell to Saypur—may not be exactly dead after all.

I recently talked to Robert Jackson about this new direction in his writing.

[Read More]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 9:00am
Excerpt

In Real Life (Comic Excerpt)

Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

Cory Doctorow Jen Wang In Real LifeAnda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It’s a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends. Gaming is, for Anda, entirely a good thing. 

But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer—a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s real livelihood is at stake. 

From acclaimed teen author Cory Doctorow and rising star cartoonist Jen Wang, In Real Life is a sensitive, thoughtful look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture-clash.

[Read In Real Life]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Are We All the MacGuffins of Our Own Lives?

Who knew MacGuffins could be so cute? So, as you probably know, a MacGuffin is an object of desire in a movie where the desire for the thing is more important than the thing itself. So, um, spoiler alert, but Rosebud fuels the plot of Citizen Kane even though the sled itself is barely in the movie, thus, MacGuffin. Same with the eponymous Maltese Falcon. Artist 100% Soft has immortalized the greatest film MacGuffins, including the Infinity Stone from Guardians of the Galaxy with this adorable art! His “Lil MacGuffins” series will be featured in a three-person art show with Glen Brogan and Russ Moore at the Bottleneck Gallery in Brooklyn, so go buy some art!

Morning Roundup is its own McGuffin! We have links to the Prattiest of all PrattPratts! Also, a cameo appearance by Grandmaster Flash, and math porn!

[plus some creepy Star Wars stuff.]