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
Thu
Sep 18 2014 5:00pm

Dungeon World Puts Narrative First

Dungeon World is having a very real, meaningful impact on how I look at games, and how I look at my game.

I’m a big believer in cross-product, system-neutral play, which is to say that I encourage everyone to steal from every game they own when building a campaign or creating an adventure. If the mechanical crunch doesn’t work, ignore it and take the story ideas or abstract rule concepts that you like. If flavor and genre don’t match, use the mechanical parts you like and just reskin the rest. I’ll use Pathfinder’s GameMastery Guide to roll up a random location for my World of Darkness game just as easily as I’ll repurpose the time travel rules from Transdimensional TMNT with a heaping serving of cosmic horror for my Great Race of Yith themed Call of Cthulhu mini-series.

No matter what, I’m always on the lookout for the next mechanical innovation to inspire my own homebrew campaign; last time is was Mouse Guard’s Trait system, and those are now being tempered by Dungeon World’s similar Tags and complications. I like this game enough to...already be thinking about how I could rebuild it from the ground up to suit my play style.

[Read More]

Thu
Sep 18 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

Broken Soul (Excerpt)

Faith Hunter

Faith Hunter Broken Soul Jane Yellowrock excerpt When the Master of the city of New Orleans asks Jane Yellowrock to improve security for a future visit from a delegation of European vampires, she names an exorbitant price—and Leo is willing to pay. That’s because the European vamps want Leo’s territory, and he knows that he needs Jane to prevent a total bloodbath.

But Leo doesn’t mention how this new job will change Jane’s life or the danger it will bring her and her team. Jane has more to worry about than some greedy vampires. There’s a vicious creature stalking the streets of New Orleans, and its agenda seems to be ripping Leo and her to pieces. Now Jane just has to figure out how to kill something she can’t even see…

Check out Faith Hunter’s new novel Broken Soul, the eighth installment in her Jane Yellowrock urban fantasy series—available October 7th from Roc.

[Read an excerpt]

Thu
Sep 18 2014 3:30pm

Moffat Admits Clara Oswald Was “Not A Participant” in Her Own Story Until Season 8 of Doctor Who

Clara Oswald, Doctor Who, Jena Coleman

Clara Oswald seems to be getting her due this season on Doctor Who, with more agency, her own personal storyline outside her orbit of the Doctor, and a far clearer picture of her character. And it would seem that Steven Moffat is ready to admit that she wasn’t done right by in the previous season, if a recent interview in Doctor Who Magazine is anything to go by...

[Read more]

Thu
Sep 18 2014 3:10pm

Matt Smith Will Fend Off the Undead in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Matt Smith Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

The film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has been in development hell since 2009, before Matt Smith became the Doctor. But now that he's ended his run, he's all freed up to fight unmentionables and try to win Lizzie Bennet's hand!

Twist: He's not playing Mr. Darcy.

[Read more]

Thu
Sep 18 2014 3:00pm

Immigration and Bears: Paddington Abroad

Paddington Abroad Michael BondYou might think that a lengthy sea voyage across the Atlantic in a lifeboat with only a jar of marmalade might be enough to convince anyone, and especially a small and highly accident prone bear, to never ever leave home again. If so, you haven’t encountered Paddington Bear, who has never been on a real holiday before—only day trips, and who is very excited about the mere idea of travelling to France.

The real question, of course, is not whether Paddington will survive France, but whether France—not to mention the Tour de France—will survive him in Paddington Abroad.

[And whether or not Paddington has the correct papers.]

Thu
Sep 18 2014 2:30pm

The Harry Potter Reread: The Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapters 9 and 10

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban coverThe Harry Potter Reread would learn to knit, but it would probably dream too big and start by trying to make a kraken, and that would probably end in knotted yarn and the destruction of many bottled ships, so… it’s probably just as well that knitting will never be a skill that the reread attempts.

This week we’re going to wonder why anyone would allow children to play sports in a massive thunderstorm and taste our first glass of butterbeer! It’s chapters 9 and 10 of The Prisoner of Azkaban—Grim Defeat and The Marauder’s Map.

Index to the reread can be located here! Other Harry Potter and Potter-related pieces can be found under their appropriate tag. And of course, since we know this is a reread, all posts might contain spoilers for the entire series. If you haven’t read all the Potter books, be warned.

[Read more]

Thu
Sep 18 2014 2:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Visit Hyrule as You’ve Never Seen it Before in Hyrule Warriors

At first glance, one might be forgiven for mistaking Hyrule Warriors for another entry in Nintendo’s iconic Zelda series. The game is set in Hyrule. Zelda’s in it. Link’s in it. Everyone from Ganondorf to Princess Ruto to the Great Deku Tree is present and accounted for. But this isn’t your father’s Zelda, oh no. While Hyrule Warriors adds what Nintendo hopes will become another A-List title to the Wii U’s arsenal, those expecting anything akin to a classic Zelda experience will be in for a surprise.

[Prepare to save Hyrule... again.]

Thu
Sep 18 2014 1:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Feast for Crows, Part 31

George RR Martin Song of Ice and Fire A Feast for CrowsWelcome 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 31 of A Feast for Crows, in which we cover Chapter 43 (“Cersei”).

 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!

[Pride goeth…]

Thu
Sep 18 2014 12:54pm

Fox is Bringing Sandman’s Lucifer to Pilot

Lucifer TV show Sandman Fox

FOX has ordered a put pilot for Lucifer, a TV series focusing on Sandman’s version of the Devil. And if you’re at all familiar with the storyline in which Lucifer is featured in the Sandman series alone then you’re probably raising an eyebrow right about now. If you’re familiar with Mike Carey’s Lucifer comic itself, well, you’ve probably got both eyebrows reaching for the sky.

[Read more]

Thu
Sep 18 2014 12:36pm

Gwen Stacy is Spider-Woman and Has an All-Girl Band Called The Mary Janes

Gwen Stacy Spider-Man The Mary Janes band

So it’s already cool that Gwen Stacy (embodiment of one of the saddest twists in comics history) gets to be Spider-Woman in a new alternate-universe comic, Edge of Spider-Verse #2 out this week, jumping off buildings instead of falling off them. She rocks a rad costume, saves Peter Parker from bullies, and has a much more emotionally grounded reason to hide her secret identity from her police chief dad.

But the best part? She’s in an all-girl band with Mary Jane Watson called—what else—The Mary Janes.

[FACE IT TIGER]

Thu
Sep 18 2014 12:00pm

Words of Radiance Reread: Interlude 2

Welcome back to the Words of Radiance reread on Tor.com! This week we continue to plow through the interludes, exploring the far reaches of Roshar.

Our second interlude chapter takes us to Iri, a country on the far side of the world from the Shattered Plains, where a simple cobbler is wrestling with some big ideas. We will also meet one of the more sinister figures in Words of Radiance. I hope you’re ready for some hard justice.

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. Read on, and join us in the comments.

[Read more]

Thu
Sep 18 2014 11:00am

Love as Contest in the Work of Mary Renault

Mary Renault

Mary Renault (1905-1983) wrote six contemporary novels between 1938 and 1955 and then The Last of the Wine (1956) and the other Greek novels that are what she is best known for. Like most Renault readers I’m aware of, I came to her Greek novels first, and read her contemporary novels later. For most of my life her Greek novels have been in print and easy to find, while her contemporary novels have been almost impossible to get hold of. Now they are all available as e-books, and this makes me really happy as it means it is possible to recommend them in good conscience.

The Greek novels are historical novels set in Ancient Greece, and I love them. It’s possible to argue that they’re fantasy because the characters believe in the gods and see their hands at work in the world, but that’s a fairly feeble argument. They do however appeal to readers of fantasy and SF because they provide a completely immersive world that feels real and different and solid, and characters who completely belong in that world. I recommend them wholeheartedly to anyone who likes fantasy not because they are fantasy but because they scratch the same kind of itch. I’ve written about The Mask of Apollo and The King Must Die here on Tor.com before.

[Read more]

Thu
Sep 18 2014 10:30am

In Real Life Sweepstakes!

Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang’s In Real Life hits shelves on October 14th, and we want to send you one of our five copies right now! Check out our excerpt of this new graphic novel from First Second about gaming, adolescence, and the complications that arise when real world problems cross the boundaries of virtual worlds.

Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. Things become complicated, though, 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.

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 10:30 AM Eastern Time (ET) on September 18. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on September 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.

Thu
Sep 18 2014 10:00am

Cast As Thou Wilt: Kushiel’s Dart Dream Cast

Kushiel's Dart Legacy dream cast Jacqueline CareyEarlier this summer, author Jacqueline Carey put hope in the hearts of fans of her Kushiel’s Legacy trilogy when she said that Game of Thrones had opened the door for a potential adaptation of her sexy, brilliant, fantasy series. Now, there’s no specific project in the works right now, due (somewhat ironically) to the current glut of fantasy series. But now that we know television audiences like their courtly intrigue served with a generous helping of alternate fantasy and sexposition, it’s only a matter of time.

To that end, we couldn’t resist fantasizing about who should star in the hypothetical Kushiel’s Legacy TV show—starting with book one, Kushiel’s Dart. Check out our picks for Phèdre herself, the men who love and serve her, her teacher—the “Whoremaster of Spies”—and the dangerously alluring woman whose grip she can never quite escape.

[Read more]

Thu
Sep 18 2014 9:00am

Cultivating Wonder: Robert J. Bennett’s City of Stairs

City of StairsI’ve been trying to read Robert Jackson Bennett’s books for some time. He’s got one of the most entertaining Twitter feeds around—a blend of absurdist, weird, nonsensical , and occasionally on the edge of off-color humor (I’ll sometimes find myself laughing at a tweet while thinking, “I don’t dare retweet this”). But there are all sorts of writers I like in other venues whose fiction just doesn’t do it for me.

Bennett writes a variety of books in a variety of genres, and is a two-time Shirley Jackson Award winner and winner of the Sydney J. Bounds Awards for Best Newcomer. Yet I’m not much of a horror or gothic fan outside a few classics, and thus his previous work was not quite up my alley. I’m terribly particular about what I read: lush writing, secondary world or seriously far-out science fiction, strong worldbuilding, dynamic characters. I need to have it all for it to work for me.

So when I heard Bennett was writing a secondary world fantasy—City of Stairs—I was intrigued. When early reviewers compared its themes to those in my own new epic fantasy, The Mirror Empire, I was doubly intrigued.

[Read More]

Thu
Sep 18 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Cheeewwwwbacca! What a Yorkie!

Chewbacca Dog Costume

At least, we think that’s a Yorkie? Whatever he is, he’s the cutest little Wookiee EVER. We’d be totally fine with having some sort of life-debt situation with him, because then he could ride shotgun in our cars, his cute little Wookiee head sticking out the window...Pull your head in Li’l Chewy! We’re about to make the jump to light speed!

...what? Oh, right, Morning Roundup. Well, there’s nothing as CUTE as that picture in here, we can assure you of that. But we do have a giant frozen squid! And a giant archaeological discovery!

[read more]

Wed
Sep 17 2014 5:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Alys Arden

Alys Arden 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 Alys Arden, debut author of The Casquette Girls, a Southern Gothic tale of history, magic, and vampires, set in the city of New Orleans. Alys grew up in the Vieux Carré, cut her teeth on the streets of New York, and has worked all around the world since. She tends to talk a lot. Travel a lot. And obsessively document things. She still plans to run away with the circus one day.

[Join us!]

Wed
Sep 17 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

Falling Sky (Excerpt)

Rajan Khanna

Falling Sky Rajan Khanna excerpt Ben Gold lives in dangerous times. Two generations ago, a virulent disease turned the population of most of North America into little more than beasts called Ferals. Some of those who survived took to the air, scratching out a living on airships and dirigibles soaring over the dangerous ground.

Ben has his own airship, a family heirloom, and has signed up to help a group of scientists looking for a cure. But that’s not as easy as it sounds, especially with a power-hungry air city looking to raid any nearby settlements.

To make matters worse, his airship, the only home he’s ever known, is stolen. Ben finds himself in Gastown, a city in the air recently conquered by belligerent and expansionist pirates. When events turn deadly, Ben must decide what really matters—whether to risk it all on a desperate chance for a better future or to truly remain on his own.

Check out an excerpt from Rajan Khanna’s debut novel, Falling Skyavailable October 7th from Prometheus Books.

[Read an excerpt]

Wed
Sep 17 2014 3:00pm

Devouring a Book from Cover to Cover: Monstrous Affections, Edited by Kelly Link and Gavin Grant

Monstrous Affections anthology review Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales is an original anthology edited by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant, containing over four-hundred pages of stories—some dark, some silly, some intense—that approach the theme of the “monster” from a variety of angles. It’s a hefty tome featuring popular names like Paolo Bacigalupi, Nathan Ballingrud, Holly Black, Nalo Hopkinson, Alice Sola Kim and more, as well as several folks who are fresh to me. It’s even got one short graphic story by Kathleen Jennings.

Link and Grant are a dynamic and talented editorial pair—their press, Small Beer, publishes books I love with a statistically significant success rate; their previous anthology work is also strong—and Monstrous Affections is a solid addition to their oeuvre. It’s equal parts playful and sharp-edged, fooling around with tropes and clichés here while weaving disturbing and intimate fictions there. And as a part of a conversation on the generic conventions of “young adult” fiction, this is also a fascinating text—in part a challenge, in part a celebration.

[A review.]