A Cup of Salt Tears August 27, 2014 A Cup of Salt Tears Isabel Yap They say women in grief are beautiful. Strongest Conjuration August 26, 2014 Strongest Conjuration Skyler White A story of the Incrementalists. Seven Commentaries on an Imperfect Land August 20, 2014 Seven Commentaries on an Imperfect Land Ruthanna Emrys Stories of Tikanu. Hero of the Five Points August 19, 2014 Hero of the Five Points Alan Gratz A League of Seven story.
From The Blog
August 25, 2014
Animorphs: Why the Series Rocked and Why You Should Still Care
Sam Riedel
August 20, 2014
The Welcome Return of the Impatient and Cantankerous Doctor Who
David Cranmer
August 19, 2014
The Wheel of Time Reread Redux: Introductory Post
Leigh Butler
August 19, 2014
Whatever Happened to the Boy Wonder? Bring Robin Back to the Big Screen
Emily Asher-Perrin
August 15, 2014
“Perhaps It Was Only an Echo”: The Giver
Natalie Zutter
Aug 30 2014 10:00pm

Locked in a Room With His Greatest Enemy. Doctor Who: “Into the Dalek”

Doctor Who Into the Dalek Peter Capaldi

If you want to find out who the Doctor really is then lock him in a room with his greatest enemy: the Daleks.

This has been one of the few truths of Doctor Who as a show, even more so after its return in 2005 and the introduction of the Time War plot establishing that the Doctor sacrificed his own people to rid the universe of the Daleks once and for all. As an unyielding trickster, the Doctor thrills in subverting the universe’s expectations and inspiring others to do the same. This trait is embedded deeply in the Doctor’s fictional history. He’s not going to bow to the constraints of Time Lord society, he’s going to steal a TARDIS and get the hell out of there. He’s not [whatever his Gallifreyan birthname is], he’s the Doctor. Just the Doctor. And you can’t force him do anything he doesn’t want to do.

Unless you’re the Daleks.

[Doctor Who: “Into the Dalek.” Spoilers ahead.]

Aug 29 2014 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: September Releases in Paranormal Romance

fiction affliction paranormal romance septemberNineteen new paranormal romance titles promise lots of love among the furred and fanged this month, including new series additions from, among others, Christine Feehan (Dark), Alexis Morgan (Warriors of the Mist), Dianne Duvall (Immortal Guardians), Thea Harrison (Elder Races), Sherrilyn Kenyon (Hellchaser), Jeffe Kennedy (Covenant of Thorns), Donna Grant (Dark Kings), and Larissa Ione (Moonbound Clan Vampire).

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.]

Aug 29 2014 4:00pm

Heir of Fire (Excerpt)

Sarah J Maas

Sarah J Maas Heir of Fire Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever.

Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

Sarah J. Maas’s bestselling Throne of Glass series continues with Heir of Fire, available September 2nd from Bloomsbury. Packed with heart-pounding action, fierce new characters, and swoon-worthy romance, this third book will enthrall readers from start to finish. Read an excerpt below!

[Read an excerpt]

Aug 29 2014 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “You Are Cordially Invited”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: You Are Cordially Invited“You Are Cordially Invited...”
Written by Ronald D. Moore
Directed by David Livingston
Season 6, Episode 7
Production number 40510-531
Original air date: November 10, 1997
Stardate: 51247.5

Station log: DS9 is now the headquarters for the Ninth Fleet. Sisko and Kira are both happy to have things getting back to something like normal. Martok is less happy about being put in charge of the Ninth Fleet, as it means a crapton more paperwork.

Alexander is being transferred to the Ya’Vang, along with most of the Rotarran crew. Dax suggests to Worf that they get married right away on the station, instead of waiting until the end of the war to have it on Qo’noS. Worf agrees, and asks Alexander to be his sword-bearer.

[We don’t embrace other cultures, we conquer them!]

Aug 29 2014 2:00pm

Descend Pathfinder’s The Emerald Spire

Pathfinder’s The Emerald Spire is a true megadungeon. Rise of the Runelords was a campaign, but Emerald Spire is an big old fashioned dungeon that just keeps on going and going. I like boutique, meticulously DM-crafted worldbuilding. I like open, sandbox games in unique homebrew settings. I also really like giant, out of the box, hardcore superdungeons. There is no need to be forced into some “new school versus old school” rivalry here. Have some cake. Eat it, too! Then throw it at opponents for d3 non-lethal damage in a giant food fight, that’s what I’m saying.

If you have talked to me at any length in the past year, you’ve probably heard me go off on a rant about defeating The Temple of Elemental Evil; one of the perks of playing one of the great classic dungeons is that you can brag about it, as well as share war stories with other survivors. The Emerald Spire belongs up there with your Tombs of Horrors and Castle Ravenlofts; PCs are going to be delving into the Spire for a long time, and I’ve no doubt it will generate its same share of shaggy dog stories.

[Read More]

Aug 29 2014 1:00pm

Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, Before They Are Hanged: “So This is Pain” and “One Step at a Time”

Welcome back to the First Law Trilogy reread! I normally write a creative introduction with clever anecdotes. Not today. What can I say, I’m all clevered out.

Today’s post covers the chapters “So This is Pain” and “One Step at a Time,” from Jezal and West’s points of view, respectively.

[This week’s post...]

Aug 29 2014 12:00pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: The Crippled God, Chapter Fifteen

Welcome to the Malazan Reread of the Fallen! Every post will start off with a summary of events, followed by reaction and commentary by your hosts Bill and Amanda (with Amanda, new to the series, going first), and finally comments from Tor.com readers. In this article, we’ll cover chapter fifteen of The Crippled God.

A fair warning before we get started: We’ll be discussing both novel and whole-series themes, narrative arcs that run across the entire series, and foreshadowing. Note: The summary of events will be free of major spoilers and we’re going to try keeping the reader comments the same. A spoiler thread has been set up for outright Malazan spoiler discussion.

[Read More]

Aug 29 2014 11:00am

Summer of Sleaze: The Exploitation of James Dallas Egbert III

The Dungeon Master William DearSummer of Sleaze is 2014’s turbo-charged trash safari where Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction and Grady Hendrix of The Great Stephen King Reread plunge into the bowels of vintage paperback horror fiction, unearthing treasures and trauma in equal measure.

“Last night I cast my first spell…this is real power!” Debbie gloats.

“Which spell did you cast, Debbie?” Ms. Frost asks.

“I used the mind bondage spell on my father. He was trying to stop me from playing D&D…He just bought me $200 worth of new D&D figures and manuals. It was great!”

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to 1984, the year Jack Chick published his famous anti-RPG tract, Dark Dungeons, revealing the shocking truth behind D&D: it is a gateway to Satanism and suicide! If you have rolled the polyhedral die, the only way to save your immortal soul is to burn all your monster manuals and player handbooks for Jesus. Underneath all its bluster, the moral lather B.A.D.D. (Bothered About Dungeons and Dragons) worked itself into over RPGs had a very real nougaty center: the very sad suicide of a child prodigy named James Dallas Egbert III.

[Read More]

Aug 29 2014 10:00am

Power Plays and Indian Steampunk in Eric Brown’s Jani and the Greater Game

Jani and the Greater Game Eric BrownJanisha Chatterjee is a woman tangled up in layered identities. She lives during the heyday of British imperial rule, which is powered by mysterious technology known as Annapurnite. The privileged daughter of an Indian government official, Jani is an accomplished citizen of Empire—modern, secular, and studying medicine at Cambridge. She feels increasingly at odds, however, with the world around her: not fully fitting in as a mixed-race woman on the streets of London or in the market squares of Delhi. She also has growing reservations about the Raj, despite her father’s accomplishments as Minister of Security.

When her father falls gravely ill, she takes the first dirigible back east. The Rudyard Kipling’s journey, unfortunately, is cut short by a Russian attack that kills nearly everyone on board. One of the few survivors amongst the wreckage, Jani discovers that the airship had been transporting a most unusual prisoner. This stranger bestows a dangerous gift to Jani that reveals the British Empire’s source of military might…. and a dire warning about a threat which endangers the entire world.

[An account of certain dramatic events and several amazing revelations about the nature of reality]

Aug 29 2014 9:00am

Werewolf Mercenaries and Mentors: Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs

Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson Shifting Shadows Patricia Briggs switched to writing urban fantasy after her first eight novels—which took place in various different second-world contexts—and has achieved no small measure of success with them. The Mercy Thompson series—about a coyote shapeshifter car mechanic set in a world where werewolves, vampires, and fae live among humans—has many flaws, but Briggs knows how to tell an entertaining story.

Shifting Shadows is her first short fiction collection, and consists of stories set in the Mercy Thompson continuum.

[A review]

Aug 29 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Love Makes Superheroes of Us All!

Captain American and Iron Man Cake Topper

Last weekend, two members of the Tor.com extended family combined, Voltron style, to become Kemelsey Basher-Parrot. (At least, we think that’s how marriage works…) So we thought the best way to kick off a holiday weekend was by sharing their EPIC CAKE. Please note that the topper of said cake homages the EARTH 3490 Universe, in which Tony Stark was born female (and for some reason named Natasha Stark? What’s wrong with Antonia?) and Stark’s marriage to Steve Rogers averted the Civil War.

Morning Roundup gives you a definitive ranking of Firefly episodes that we’re sure everyone will agree with 100%! Plus a look at the history of Star Wars edits, and Ridley Scott’s answer to people quite reasonable questions about Exodus.


Aug 28 2014 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: September Releases in Paranormal and Urban Fantasy

fiction affliction paranormal romance september new releasesTake a deep, deep breath, haul out your wallet, and get ready for forty-nine new titles in paranormal fantasy, urban fantasy, and fantastical horror this month.

Topping the wish list this month is the final novel (number thirteen, of course) in Kim Harrison’s Hollows series, a story collection in Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson world, and a new series from Cherie Priest, but also look for series additions from, among others, Jonathan Maberry (Dead of Night), Robin D. Owens (Ghost Seer), Kay Hooper (Bishop/Special Crimes Unit), Benedict Jacka (Alex Verus), Tad Williams (Bobby Dollar), Seanan McGuire (October Daye), Wen Spencer (Elfhome), Amanda Carlson (Jessica McClain), Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock), Sarah Rees Brennan (Lynburn Legacy), Anton Strout (Spellmason Chronicles), and Yasmine Galenorn (Otherworld).

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.]

Aug 28 2014 4:00pm

Steampunk Events for September 2014

Steampunk events September 2014

Autumn approaches, and along with copper, brass, and brown colors of the foliage, there are many steampunk events of note happening across the globe. Eurosteamcon prepares to take the entire continent by storm. Electro-swing inserts some retrofuturistic jazz into the Atlanta music scene. A murder mystery of sepia proportions is happening in Ohio. The steampunk band Abney Park takes the stage in New York City, along with Unwoman and Frenchy & the Punk. All of these events and more are featured this month, gathered together with the help of Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador and Arthur Morgan, the proprietor of French Steampunk.

[September Steampunk!]

Aug 28 2014 3:00pm

Time Travelling Through Your Earlier Books: The Stones of Green Knowe

Stones of Green Knowe LM BostonThe Stones of Green Knowe starts in the distant past, shortly after the death of William II, aka William Rufus, just decades after the Norman invastion, when the countryside is still using two languages: Anglo-Saxon (which author Lucy Boston, for simplicity’s sake, calls English) and French.

Osmund d’Aulneaux is building the great stone house that will eventually be known as Green Knowe on the estate he holds from his father-in-law. The house has several purposes: it will, of course, be more comfortable than the old wooden house the family currently uses; it will be more appropriate to their rank; it will prove that they are very stylish and up to date (a few paragraphs of the book are dedicated to discussing the most fashionable place to build a fireplace) and it will offer the higher ranking members of the d’Aulneaux family some privacy. Most of all, it will offer safety and security, not just to the family, but to the nearby villagers, who will be able to shelter inside when, not if, war returns. As Ormond bluntly explains, he does not expect peace. But he can expect this solid, carefully built stone house to survive.

As readers of the previous books in the series already know, it has.

[But if you haven’t read the previous books, this book will go ahead and introduce you to all of its characters anyway.]

Aug 28 2014 2:30pm

Amy Pond is Dressed as the Pink Ranger and it Gets Even Better From There

Karen Gillan Pink Ranger ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The past few weeks have seen countless celebrities dump buckets of frigid water over their heads as part of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, with all of the videos undoubtedly going viral. But as much as we liked seeing Patrick Stewart’s classy take on the challenge, or George R. R. Martin screaming and calling Neil Gaiman a bastard, or Benedict Cumberbatch getting doused five different times, we have a special place in our hearts for Karen Gillan’s video.

[Because Power Rangers]

Aug 28 2014 2:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Grab a Friend or Four to Play Dragon Age: Inquisition

BioWare’s upcoming Dragon Age: Inquisition is looking better and better as its launch date nears. With each passing month the developer has teased a little more of the game, and this last week brought us news of a particularly tantalizing nature: the latest entry in the Dragon Age franchise will feature a four-player online cooperative play mode.

[“Lead them or fall...”]

Aug 28 2014 1:12pm

Infinite Jest Comes to the Greatest Medium: LEGO!

Infnite Jest in LEGO

First published in 1996, David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest is already accepted as a classic work of literature. The book is set in a dystopic future, where the years themselves have been subsidized, Upper New England is toxic waste dump, and giant feral hamsters roam the land in ravenous packs. The action mostly revolves around life at an elite tennis academy, ETA, and life at the much-less-elite rehab down the road. The book, which is famously 1,079 pages long, endnoted to infinity, not to mention highly unwieldy, plot-wise, has been adapted into music videos and avant garde art shows. But now it has come to possibly the greatest medium of all: LEGO.

[Click through for the Prettiest LEGO of All Time.]

Aug 28 2014 1:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Feast for Crows, Part 28

George R R Martin A 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 28 of A Feast for Crows, in which we cover Chapter 39 (“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!

[“Leal” in Old French is “loial.” HAHAHAHAHAHA]

Aug 28 2014 12:30pm

Read “Night’s Slow Poison,” from the World of Hugo-Winning Novel Ancillary Justice

Ann Leckie

Acillary Justice Ann Leckie

As the first novel to ever win the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke awards in the same year, it’s no stretch to call Ann Leckie’s debut space opera Ancillary Justice (Orbit, 2013) a phenomenon. While you’re waiting for the sequel, Ancillary Sword, please enjoy this reprint of “Night’s Slow Poison,” a short story by Ann Leckie from the world of the Imperial Radch. “Night’s Slow Poison” is a rich, claustrophobic story of a galactic voyage that forces one guardsmen to confront his uneasy family history through the lens of a passenger with his lost lover’s eyes.


[Read “Night's Slow Poison,” by Ann Leckie]

Aug 28 2014 12:00pm

Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 11

Welcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com! Last week, we got our first look into Shallan’s past, with the flashback to Red Carpet, Once White, and the accompanying debates about where Pattern went, who killed Brightlady Davar’s friend, and whether sympathy for Brightlord Davar is in order. This week, we return to the present where Shallan, waterlogged from having Soulcast her ride in the middle of the ocean, struggles to use what she’s learned to somehow survive.

This reread will contain spoilers for The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance (a.k.a. TWoK and WoR, respectively), 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. Come join us as we learn how important perception is, and how satisfactory a flameless life can be.

[“I am a stick.”]