Morning Roundup has news of Man of Steel 2 and Fantastic Four, alternate versions of Game of Thrones characters, and a comparison of Caps!
It’s not hard to idolize Albert Einstein on his pi day birthday, or any day. The man is responsible for the general and special theories of relativity, a cornerstone of physics and a way of understanding our universe that has proven so consistently reliable that it is probably the closest humanity will ever get to a decisive cosmic capital-T Truth. He’s the scientist you first learn about when you are introduced to the very concept of science. Mere decades after his death, his name is synonymous with the term “genius.” Even if you don’t know who Einstein is, you’ve still heard the term “Einstein.”
And how he came to that point is by exploring the world in exactly the same way we do when we write or talk about science fiction and fantasy.
In 1934, the East Wind blew Mary Poppins, a thin woman with an upturned nose, small blue eyes and shining black hair right into the house of the not that well to do Banks family. Initially, everyone is delighted: Mr. Banks because he has just saved some money; Mrs. Banks because Mary Poppins is so fashionable; the servants because it means less work, and the children, because Mary Poppins not only slides up banisters (apparently having no interest in the cardiac benefits of climbing the stairs) but also administers medicine that tastes utterly delightful.
The rest of the world, particularly an enthusiastic movie producer named Walt Disney, would soon be delighted as well.
Humans beware. As the robotic revolution continues to creep into our lives, it brings with it an impending sense of doom. What horrifying scenarios might unfold if our technology were to go awry? From self-aware robotic toys to intelligent machines violently malfunctioning, Robot Uprisings brings to life the half-formed questions and fears we all have about the increasing presence of robots in our lives.
With contributions from a mix of bestselling, award-winning, and up-and-coming writers, this anthology from editors Daniel H Wilson and John Joseph Adams meticulously describes the exhilarating and terrifying near-future in which humans can only survive by being cleverer than the rebellious machines they have created.
Robot Uprisings is available April 8th from Vintage Books. Read an excerpt from Daniel H Wilson’s novella “Small Things”—one of the stories in the anthology—below!
Transcendence isn't just a film about Johnny Depp uploading his brain and kicking off The Singularity: it's also a film in which a sentient computer sasses Morgan Freman. Safe to say, we're on board. Click through to watch a surprisingly philosophical featurette!
Fans of BioWare’s Dragon Age franchise have a lot to look forward to later this year as the series returns to gaming screens everywhere via the upcoming Dragon Age: Inquisition. The story-focused medieval fantasy RPG series is, along with Mass Effect, one of BioWare’s flagship franchises, and Inquisition marks the developer’s first foray into next-gen consoles. So what can we expect from BioWare’s latest?
All Captain Abraham Idaho “Ida” Cleveland and his robotic knee want is to retire with honor. The Fleet has other ideas, however, and shunt him off to a space station orbiting a toxic purple star on the outer reaches of charted space to supervise its disassembly.
When he arrives, he’s met with derision and mocking rather than respect and praise. The marines on the U-Star Coast City decide he’s lying about his great victory against the Spiders, a race of planet-destroying sentient machines in arachnoid shape. Ida sulks but doesn’t dwell. Instead he seeks solace in Izanami, a medic left behind to tend to the few and far between crew, and his hobby of building space radios from scratch.
He may not be allowed to smoke, but new Constantine actor Matt Ryan certainly looks like a working-class Helblazer in this still. Ryan has previously appeared in Torchwood, The Tudors, and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, and voiced Edward Kenway in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.
David Goyer elaborated on his plans for the series, saying:
“He will have his signature trench coat and skinny tie. I would say that the show clings more closely to the source material then the film did. Even though the film was interesting.
“Quite a few other characters from the comic books and possibly from the DC Universe should we move forward will be showing up… I think we would try to bring in some of the other occult figures.”
Yes! More occult figures! More close-clinging to comics! We’re so excited for this show—it looks like they’re getting it right. We’re still hoping for the cigs, though....
Welcome 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 7 of A Feast for Crows, in which we cover Chapter 10 (“Sansa”) and Chapter 11 (“The Kraken’s Daughter”).
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!
Have you had enough of Words of Radiance yet? No? Didn’t think so. Isn’t it amazing? And so well worth the wait! We’ve been having a blast already in the discussions, and there’s plenty more discussion to be done. Which is good, because we’ve got to find something to do while we’re waiting for the third book
A long, long time ago (well, a couple of weeks, which seems like a long time!) I promised to give you the key to the Reflections of Radiance post. The time has come to reveal the answers, meaning there will be plenty of spoilers ahead!
Barbara Hambly’s Planet of Twilight features a rocking cover by film poster extraordinaire Drew Struzan that is primarily awesome due to Leia’s wielding a lightsaber on it.
Is it weird that I’m starting out by talking about the cover? Yes. It’s mostly because thinking of how to explain this novel is basically me standing at the foot of a monstrous, craggy mountain with no climbing gear at my disposal—there is no way to do it in a safe, expedient manner. There are bugs. And sentient crystals. The end of Callista by and large. And a former Hutt Jedi? Don’t ask.
But you’re here. So you are effectively asking.
We’re back for the first time in the Harry Potter Reread! Two whole installments, ma! (I should probably stop getting so excited—we’ve got a ways to go….)
Today we’re taking a look at Chapter Two of The Philosopher’s Stone, The Vanishing Glass. The Snakey Snake Chapter. Just picture me making lots of embarrassing hissing sounds, which is probably how I will torture my coworkers as I’m writing this.
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.
Last week I talked about the A-Team. The comments derailed a bit after discussing Logen as B.A. Baraccus, when someone asked, who would actually play Logen in a film? My proposal, of course, was Mickey Rourke.
Why? Like Logen, Rourke has been through the wringer. Addiction, scarring, and hard living has left his face looking sufficiently rearranged to pull off Ninefingers. Not to mention, despite being 61 years old, he’s managed to keep his body in relatively good shape. While Logen isn’t that old, he’s probably closer to 40 than 30 and often described as being older looking than he is. Thus, Rourke. More importantly though, Logen and Rourke’s character from The Wrestler are similar enough that I’ve got proof he can pull it off.
So, if we’ve got Logen cast, who plays everyone else? I’m glad I asked!
The Borribles by Michael de Larrabeiti is a classic piece of writing and a rebellious adventure for readers of all ages. Originally released in 1976, Tor UK has published new ebook editions of the entire series!
In 2001, author China Miéville wrote a tribute from to Michael de Larrabeiti’s feral heroes, which serves as the introduction to the new ebook editions. Check out Miéville’s piece below, and read an excerpt from The Borribles here on Tor.com!
We already loved Lucy Knisley, but then she did this. We demand a whole book of this! Do you hear us, Knisley??!! Our lives will be a broken grey wasteland unless you depict John Watson as a cat throughout all 9 episodes of Sherlock!
Morning Roundup is jumping up and down in excitement for Captain America! Man of Steel 2 is...almost ready? Remember that Game of Thrones mixtape? Let’s rate the songs!
Words of Radiance, the second book in Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive fantasy series, has debuted at #1 on the New York Times Hardcover Fiction Bestseller list! We are bursting with Stormlight (in a good way) at the news.
The placement speaks highly of the excitement that Sanderson's new series has generated amongst fans of epic fantasy. Words of Radiance provides a satisfying and deep journey into the complex world that Sanderson has only just begun to unveil, and it's exciting to be here watching the series' readership grow alongside that world.
Last night’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode “Yes Men” saw the world of Asgard intersect once more with our puny Midgardian pebble and the results were catastrophic, although probably not in the way viewers had hoped they would be. The fill-in-the-blanks plot was a parade of missed opportunities, one of which was particularly egregious, and what resulted was one of the lowest points in the show’s struggling first season. Let’s recap where it went wrong.
Tor Books’ own David Edison recently took to Reddit to have even less of a filter than usual! Edison seemed positively ebullient as he participated in an AMA, answering questions about his debut novel, The Waking Engine, his work as co-founder of Gaygamer.net, and his familiar, the beautiful Lena. (She’s the one with black fur.) Several people in the thread confused him with David Eddings, so it was touching to see that Eddings’ work was actually Edison’s introduction to fantasy, and he “always wanted to be near him on a bookshelf!”
The most fantastical aspect of A Country of Ghosts is how it’s an earnest tale about an alternative society when dystopias fill today’s bookshelves. Full disclosure here: the author has written for Tor.com, and I did hold interest in reading his book once he described it to me as an “anarchist utopia.”
With that seed in mind, I couldn’t help but view A Country of Ghosts as the latest in a long tradition of utopian novels, starting with Thomas More’s as the most well-known early example (and a fantastic open source annotated edition can be read here).