Daughter of Necessity October 1, 2014 Daughter of Necessity Marie Brennan Tell me, O Muse, of that ingenious heroine... 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.
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
Tue
Sep 30 2014 12:30pm
Excerpt

George R. R. Martin’s The Ice Dragon: “Secret in the Snow” (Excerpt)

George R. R. Martin

George R. R. Martin The Ice Dragon Luis Royo

The Ice Dragon is an enchanting tale of courage and sacrifice for young readers and adults by the wildly popular author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Song of Ice and Fire series, George R.R. Martin. Lavish illustrations by acclaimed artist Luis Royo enrich this captivating and heartwarming story of a young girl and her dragon.

The ice dragon was a creature of legend and fear, for no man had ever tamed one. When it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate cold and frozen land. But Adara was not afraid. For Adara was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone, even the Old Ones, could remember. 

Adara could not remember the first time she had seen the ice dragon. It seemed that it had always been in her life, glimpsed from afar as she played in the frigid snow long after the other children had fled the cold.

Read “Secret in the Snow,” an excerpt from The Ice Dragon, with richly detailed interior illustrations by Luis Royo.

[George R. R. Martin's The Ice Dragon, “Secret in the Snow”]

Tue
Sep 30 2014 12:00pm

Cheat Death the Benjamin Franklin Way in Sleepy Hollow: “The Kindred”

Sleepy Hollow Kindred

All right, I need to get something off my chest. The Sleepy Hollow theme song is driving me crazy. Really, truly crazy, because it loops in my head, but, you know the point where it sort of fades into a deeper note and then ends? In my head, it segues into “The Theme from Arthur.” I don’t even think I’ve ever seen Arthur. Why is this happening to me? Is the show trying to get me into the correct state of lunacy to enjoy it? Is my brain trying to murder me? What the hell motive could my brain have for murdering me?

Lets try to recap this sucker.

[I’ve always been good to you, brain!]

Tue
Sep 30 2014 11:30am

Old-fashioned Cemetery Horror: “In the Vault”

Swampscott Cemetery receiving tomb

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s original stories. Today we’re looking at “In the Vault,” written in September 1925 and first published in the November 1925 issue of Tryout. You can read the story here. Spoilers ahead.

Summary: An unnamed physician relates the story of a deceased patient, George Birch—long-suppressed details of the incident that left the man physically maimed and spiritually shaken. Birch, undertaker for the village of Peck Valley, was little concerned with the dignity of his “customers” and not above pilfering laying-out apparel. He knocked together flimsy coffins and was sometimes inexact about matching corpses to headstones. He also neglected the receiving tomb at Peck Valley Cemetery, where the dead abided aboveground through the region’s earth-freezing winters. He was not an evil man, the narrator opines, just “thoughtless, careless and liquorish...without that modicum of imagination that holds the average citizen within certain limits fixed by taste.”

[“It is doubtful whether he was touched at all by the horror and exquisite weirdness of his position, but the bald fact of imprisonment so far from the daily paths of men was enough to exasperate him thoroughly.”]

Tue
Sep 30 2014 11:00am

Sleeps With Monsters: Books, Redux

So here we are again, as summer slides towards autumn in the northern hemisphere. Another week, another column. Let me know if you guys are getting bored or anything with all this talk about books: I’m sure I could find a controversy to stick my oar in on if I really tried...

(On second thought, let’s not.)

So, books! Let me tell you about some more of them! Specifically, let me tell you about four titles marketed as Young Adult, and one book aimed at a slightly different audience...

[Read More]

Tue
Sep 30 2014 10:00am
Excerpt

The Three-Body Problem: “Silent Spring” (Excerpt, Chapters 1-3)

Cixin Liu

The Three-Body Problem Cixin Liu Silent Spring

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.

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 Martinière’s cover art, and read Cixin Liu’s article about Chinese science fiction here on Tor.com.

[Read an excerpt]

Tue
Sep 30 2014 9:30am

Angry Robot Books Purchased by Etan Ilfeld

Angry Robot books Caroline Lambe, Angry Robot Books’ Publicity Manager, announced that on Thursday, 25 September 2014, American entrepreneur Etan Ilfeld bought Angry Robot Books, as well as Watkins Publishing (mind, body and spirit books) and Nourish (wellbeing cookbooks) from administration. In addition to saving the jobs of all the employees, Ilfeld is intent on combining these imprints to form a diverse media company, Watkins Media Limited, which includes magazine publishing, a flagship retail store, and mobile apps.

As a die-hard sci-fi fan, Ilfeld is “thrilled about purchasing Angry Robot,” delight which Marc Gascoigne, Angry Robot MD, shares:

“I’m absolutely delighted to be able to share this great news. There were several companies in the running to buy Angry Robot, but we’re so pleased that our new owner is someone who shares our vision for the imprint, and modern, innovate science fiction publishing. After the brief hiatus while we change hands, we look forward to Angry Robot resuming publication from March of next year, bring you new books from many familiar names and of course some amazing new talent too.”

This purchase reunites Watkins Books and Watkins Publishing after they were split two decades ago. Ilfeld bought Watkins Books from administration in 2010, and has followed suit by acquiring Watkins Publishing last week. Both the Watkins bookshop and publishing imprint were founded by John Watkins in 1893.

Tue
Sep 30 2014 9:00am
Original Comic

Con/Game

Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

Con Game Cory Doctorow Jen Wang

Anda 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—and 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, Con/Game is an original comic story set in the world of Doctorow and Wang's In Real Life, a sensitive, thoughtful look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture-clash.

[Read Con/Game]

Tue
Sep 30 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: A Heron Sword Fit for Rand al’Thor!

Imgur-er Moonspider shared this lovely creation: a Heron-Marked Warder Sword made by Brendan Olszowy of Fableblades! In Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series, this sword may only be wielded by those who have attained complete mastery over the weapon, but we’re guessing even non-masters can attain one of these in our world. We’d also advise you to skip the part where you brand the heron into your hands...

Today’s Morning Roundup brings you Sleepy Hollow actors being cute, Jeff VanderMeer being thoughtful, and childhood being over!

[BWHAAANG.]

Mon
Sep 29 2014 6:25pm

Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar trailer

Could you decide between seeing your family again or the future of the human race? Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, starring Rust Cohle Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, follows a group of people that give up their own Earth timelines to save the planet.

Interstellar opens November 7th.

[Check out the latest trailer.]

Mon
Sep 29 2014 5:00pm

YA Round Up: Villain Cast for The Maze Runner Sequel

Aidan Gillen

Welcome to the YA Roundup, keeping you in the know with the latest YA news, book deals, releases and cover reveals!

This week covers more YA news for the follow-up to The Maze Runner, plus casting rumors for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and some Harry Potter fan fiction with a Christian twist. Yup. We couldn’t make this stuff up even if we tried.

[Read More]

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...]