Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza October 15, 2014 Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza Carrie Vaughn A Wild Cards story. The Girl in the High Tower October 14, 2014 The Girl in the High Tower Gennifer Albin A Crewel story. Mrs. Sorensen and the Sasquatch October 8, 2014 Mrs. Sorensen and the Sasquatch Kelly Barnhill An unconventional romance. Daughter of Necessity October 1, 2014 Daughter of Necessity Marie Brennan Tell me, O Muse, of that ingenious heroine...
From The Blog
October 14, 2014
A Category Unto Himself: The Works of China Miéville
Jared Shurin
October 10, 2014
Don’t Touch That Dial: Fall 2014 TV
Alex Brown
October 10, 2014
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Reread: Part 1
Kate Nepveu
October 7, 2014
Shell Shock and Eldritch Horror: “Dagon”
Ruthanna Emrys and Anne M. Pillsworth
October 3, 2014
The Bloody Books of Halloween: William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist
Will Errickson
Mon
Oct 20 2014 12:00pm

Snow White: The Blankest Slate of Them All

Snow White reimaginings The Sleeper and the Spindle

The Internet is abuzz over Neil Gaiman's newest children's book, The Sleeper and the Spindle, in which “a sort-of Snow White” rescues “an almost Sleeping Beauty” from her enchanted sleep with a kiss. Yet that boundary-busting kiss is just the bookend to an adventure that sees the raven-haired Snow trading her wedding dress for chain mail and racing through tunnels to get to the imprisoned Princess.

Sounds pretty rad, right? Well, it's not pop culture's first instance of Ready-for-Action Snow White—not by far. Mirror, mirror, on the wall, why is Snow White the most reimagined of them all? Because, when you boil it down, she has no personality—you can project anything you want onto her.

[Read more]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 11:30am

Download a Free Romulus Buckle Story from The Steampunk User’s Manual!

Desirina Boskovich pop quiz interviewIn discussing Steampunk fiction and wondering how to show readers an example of “thinking big,” one way was to illustrate a high-octane action scene. Richard Ellis Preston, Jr.’s Romulus Buckle series always tends to “go big” in terms of being fearless in that arena, so we thought a scene involving an airship and a giant squid made a lot of sense to include in the book. The books partake of an old-time pulp sense-of-wonder but with modern underpinnings. We’re also happy Preston’s been generous enough to offer his latest short story set in that universe for free to readers for two weeks, in conjunction with The Steampunk User’s Manual’s release.
 
Thinking big can also, of course, be conceptual or about innovation or experimentation and we cover that in the Storytelling chapter as well. In addition to Preston’s diagram we’ve included words of wisdom from Nisi Shawl, Amal El-Mohtar, and more—some of which originated right here at Tor.com.

Find out more about the story and how to download it below!

[Plus the art from the giant squid battle!]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 11:00am

A Read of the Dark Tower: Constant Reader Tackles The Wind Through the Keyhole: “The Skin-Man (Part 2)” and “Storm’s Over”

Stephen King The Wind Through the KeyholeOnce 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, Tim had restored his mother’s sight with Maerlyn’s magic elixir, and Nell had killed Big Kells in order to save her son.

[Read this week’s post.]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 10:50am

British Fiction Hitlist: Late October New Releases

Jeepers creepers—the spooky season is here! A fact that figures into a few of the books due to be released in the next two weeks, including Prince Lestat, the latest Vampire Chronicles novel by Anne Rice; and—as if reality TV wasn’t already horrifying enough—the next Phil Rickman, Night After Night, wonders what could possibly go wrong when you stuff seven pseudo-celebrities into a haunted house.

Luckily, late October has more than ghosts going for it. Look out, too, for The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss; and my personal pick of the period, A Man Lies Dreaming by Lavie Tidhar, in which a pulp fiction author held in history’s most infamous concentration camp finds some small solace in his overactive imagination.

This edition of the Hitlist also features new books by Brian Ruckley, Gideon Defoe, Simon Spurrier, Gavin Smith, Stephen Deas, Maggie Stiefvater, Neil Gaiman, Chris Riddell, Jay Bonansinga, Sam Sykes and Phil Rickman.

[Read More]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 10:30am

The Walking Dead, S5 E2: “Strangers”

To the surprise of no one, The Walking Dead continues to shatter its own ratings records, with more than 17 million people tuning in for the premiere, or over 22 million counting the live + same day. But to the surprise of at least this reviewer, the show continued its great quality streak. While the premiere was its usual action and gore-packed self, the second episode was a little quieter, a little calmer, and a little more pensive.

TWD really has only two speeds: EVERYTHING HAPPENS ALL AT ONCE or not much happens at all. The key to making the show work is not letting busy episodes overflow to the point where none of it means anything since the audience doesn’t have time to digest any of it, and having interesting enough characters to prevent the slow pace from dulling into a snooze fest of cliched dialogue and nonsense. The premiere and last night’s “Strangers” successfully avoided the pitfalls their predecessors succumbed to, which has me hopeful for the future while simultaneously waiting for the other shoe to drop.

[“YOU’LL BURN FOR THIS”]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 10:00am
Excerpt

Willful Child (Excerpt)

Steven Erikson

Steven Erikson Willful Child excerpt These are the voyages of the starship A.S.F. Willful Child. Its ongoing mission: to seek out strange new worlds on which to plant the Terran flag, to subjugate and if necessary obliterate new life-forms, to boldly blow the...

And so we join the not-terribly-bright but exceedingly cock-sure Captain Hadrian Sawback and his motley crew on board the Starship Willful Child for a series of devil-may-care, near-calamitous and downright chaotic adventures through ‘the infinite vastness of interstellar space.’

Willful Child is available November 11th from Tor Books. Steven Erikson—New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Malazan Book of the Fallen sequence—has taken his lifelong passion for Star Trek and transformed it into a smart, inventive, and hugely entertaining spoof on the whole mankind-exploring-space-for-the-good-of-all-species-but-trashing-stuff-with-a-lot-of-high-tech-gadgets-along-the-way, overblown adventure.

[Read an Excerpt]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 9:00am

A False Premise: Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz

Moriarty Anthony Horowitz US review

The great detective and his greatest enemy are dead—or so it is said. “After the confrontation that the world has come to know as ‘The Final Problem,’ [though] there was nothing final about it, as we now know,” Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty have absented their respective roles, each for his own secretive reasons. So what’s Scotland Yard to do when London is rocked by a series of crimes so indescribably violent that they rival the Ripper’s?

Why, hand over Holmes’ role to Inspector Athelney Jones: a man, you might remember, much maligned by Dr Watson’s depiction of him as a total dolt in ‘The Sign of the Four.’ Since then, however, Jones has “read everything that Mr Holmes has ever written. He has studied his methods and replicated his experiments. He has consulted with every inspector who ever worked with him. He has, in short, made Sherlock Holmes the very paradigm of his own life.”

And in our narrator, Frederick Chase—apparently the pick of Pinkerton’s Detective Agency—Jones’ Holmes has his Watson.

[Read More]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Horror on the Half Shell!

Teeneage Mutant Ninja Turtles Slasher action figures

Have we mentioned that we love Halloween? And that the mere presence of Halloween makes October the best month? And that part of October being the best month is that suddenly horror movies and horror movie accessories are everywhere? Here, for example, are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, made even better through the miracle of modern kit-bashing in Dan Polydoris’s Sewer Slashin’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Really, the only thing this collection lacks is April O’Neill as Asami Yamazaki...

Morning Roundup has so much to tell you! There are thoughts on the mathematical truths to be found in The Simpsons, explorations of the state of the gaming world from Cory Doctorow and Anita Sarkeesian, and a studio tour with a comics master!

[Plus, Bill Murray Explains it All!]

Sun
Oct 19 2014 3:15pm

You made a mighty fine Doctor. Doctor Who: “Flatline”

Doctor Who, Flatline

You may never look at murals the same way. “Flatline” is here to remind you that while two dimensions may seem harmless to the average three-dimensional being… there are many possibilities for what lies beyond our senses.

[Read more]

Fri
Oct 17 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

Gifts for the One Who Comes After (Excerpt)

Gifts for the One Who Comes After Helen Marshall Ghost thumbs. Microscopic dogs. One very sad can of tomato soup. Helen Marshall’s second collection offers a series of twisted surrealities that explore the legacies we pass on to our children. A son seeks to reconnect with his father through a telescope that sees into the past. A young girl discovers what lies on the other side of her mother’s bellybutton. Death’s wife prepares for a very special funeral.

In Gifts for the One Who Comes After, Marshall delivers eighteen tales of love and loss that cement her as a powerful voice in dark fantasy and the New Weird. Dazzling, disturbing, and deeply moving, the collection is available now from Chi Zine.

Below, read an excerpt from “Ship House.”

[Read an Excerpt]

Fri
Oct 17 2014 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “In the Pale Moonlight”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: In the Pale Moonlight“In the Pale Moonlight”
Written by Peter Allan Fields and Michael Taylor
Directed by Victor Lobl
Season 6, Episode 19
Production episode 40510-543
Original air date: April 15, 1998
Stardate: 51721.3

Station log: Sisko is dictating a personal log. It’s been two weeks since something happened that he needs to justify to himself, and that he can’t talk to anyone about it, not even Dax—but maybe he can work it through if he spells it out in his log.

Every Friday morning for the past three months, Sisko has posted a casualty list. On one particular Friday, Dax sees one of her Academy instructors, Leslie Wong, now captain of the Cairo, on the list. The Cairo went missing near the Romulan Neutral Zone, the latest in a series of attacks that have happened because the Jem’Hadar has brazenly gone through Romulan space to attack, thanks to the non-aggression pact Romulus has with the Dominion. Bashir mentions how useful it would be to get the Romulans into the war, but Dax points out that they have no reason. They’re not being threatened, and their two biggest rivals—the Klingons and the Federation—are getting their asses kicked.

[“You would have made a decent Romulan.” “I prefer the spots to the pointed ears.”]

Fri
Oct 17 2014 2:00pm

Nostalgic Space Opera: Empire of Dust by Jacey Bedford

Empire of Dust Jacey Bedford review Empire of Dust is Jacey Bedford’s debut novel. When I consider how to describe it, the first word that comes to mind is “old-fashioned”: there is little to say this space opera novel could not have been published two decades ago, or even three, and it suffers by comparison to the flourishing inventiveness of Ann Leckie and Elizabeth Bear, James S.A. Corey and Alastair Reynolds.

Though it may be unfair to judge it by those standards.

[Read More]

Fri
Oct 17 2014 1:52pm

Congratulations to the storySouth Million Writers Award Nominees!

storySouth nominees

The 2014 storySouth Million Writers Award nominees have been announced, and we're pleased that the Tor.com stories “A Rumor of Angels” by Dale Bailey, “A Window or a Small Box” by Jedediah Berry, “Burning Girls” by Veronica Schanoes, “Jack of Coins” by Christopher Rowe, and “Rag and Bone” by Priya Sharma have all been nominated!

storySouth, an online journal founded in 2001, publishes Southern fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Past winners of the Million Writers Award include Richard Bowes and Catherynne M. Valente, and in 2012, storySouth published an anthology of their SFF publications, Million Writers Award: The Best Online Science Fiction and Fantasy.

You can find links to all the nominated stories here. Happy reading, and congratulations to all the nominees!

Fri
Oct 17 2014 1:00pm

Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, Before They Are Hanged: “Cold Comfort” and “The High Places”

Before They Are Hanged Joe Abercrombie rereadOnce Joe Abercrombie decided it was time for the sex he didn’t bandy about. He jumped right in. We saw this last week with the most deliciously awkward sex scene I’ve ever read. Naturally, once wasn’t enough, and this week’s chapters give us a sex scene each! It’s like we’re living in Van Nuys.

Where Logen and Ferro had their moment in private, the scenes this week are voyeuristic. Does that change things?

[Let’s find out...]

Fri
Oct 17 2014 12:07pm

For the Love of Those Above

She Who Waits Daniel Polansky

Over the course of the brillaint Low Town trilogy, which came to a suitably brutal conclusion in She Who Waits twelve months or so ago, I dare say Daniel Polansky established himself as one of the greats of grimdark.

Project Polansky has been paving the way for his next novel for some time. To wit, we’ve known its name for a bit: Those Above is the first half of The Empty Throne, an epic fantasy duology about race hatred.

“In a mountain stronghold amidst objects and architecture of great beauty and craftsmanship [lives] a sort of super-human elvish race,” and then there’s “the humans themselves, a subjugated race who live on the lower slopes of the mountain. Twenty-five years before [Those Above begins], the humans rose up against the Others, and were defeated. A single man, Bas, defeated one of the Others in combat, and took the sword of his foe as a trophy.”

That same sword plays a central part in the “truly iconic cover” released this week.

[Read more]

Fri
Oct 17 2014 12:00pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: The Crippled God, Chapter Twenty-three (Part Three)

Malazan Crippled God rereadWelcome 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 part three of chapter twenty-three 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]

Fri
Oct 17 2014 11:46am

MST3K Alums Return to Space!

Paul Feig is sort of becoming our favorite person. Not only is he potentially expanding the Ghostbusters universe with a female-centric reboot, but now he’s creating a space comedy with his veteran Freak and Geeks co-stars, Joel Hodgson and Trace Beaulieu! Oh, they also starred on a different space comedy together once, too...

[We might have discussed it on this site once or twice before.]

Thu
Oct 16 2014 11:24am

They’re Sending Thor to Kill the White Whale!

Chris Hemsworth In the Heart of the Sea Moby Dick

When Chris Hemsworth isn’t daring the other Avengers to try and lift his hammer, he’s racing fast cars and shouting into the stormy waves at the white whale. To be clear, he’s not playing Captain Ahab in his new movie In the Heart of the Sea, but we are talking about the white whale.

[Watch the first trailer]

Fri
Oct 17 2014 11:00am

Under the Radar: Sultana’s Dream

Sultana's Dream Rokeya Sekhawat Hossain

There are a few texts that come up again and again in discussions of early feminist utopian fiction—Man’s Rights by Annie Denton Cridge from 1870, Mizora, by Mary E Bradley Lane from 1880-81, Arqtiq by Anna Adolph from 1899 and perhaps most famously, Charlotte Gilman’s Herland from 1905.

But these were all stories from the western world, stories that were part of a surge of utopian fiction written by women leading up to the women’s Suffrage movement of the early twentieth century. But what of the east? What of the countries that were not just weighed down by patriarchy, but colonialism as well? Did any of them create any important feminist narratives?

[As it happens, they did.]

Fri
Oct 17 2014 10:30am

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Reread Sweepstakes!

Want to jump into our Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell reread? Here's your chance! We've got twenty brand-new, paperback copies so that you can follow along and discuss Kate Nepveu's analysis of the book in anticipation of the forthcoming BBC adaptation.

We'll get your books out to you right away, so you’ll have plenty of time to catch up on Part 1 and Part 2 of the reread!

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 10:30 AM Eastern Time (ET) on October 17. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on October 21. 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.