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. Headache September 3, 2014 Headache Julio Cortázar Translated by Michael Cisco. A Cup of Salt Tears August 27, 2014 A Cup of Salt Tears Isabel Yap They say women in grief are beautiful.
From The Blog
September 11, 2014
The Ghostbusters are an Antidote to Lovecraft’s Dismal Worldview
Max Gladstone
September 11, 2014
Five Underrated Doctor Who Companions (And One Scoundrel)
David Cranmer
September 9, 2014
My Favourite Apocalypses, or, How to End the World for Fun and Profit
Gary Gibson
September 9, 2014
Sleeps With Monsters: Another Post About Some Books
Liz Bourke
September 8, 2014
Come With Us to All the Magical Londons!
Leah Schnelbach
Thu
Sep 11 2014 5:30pm

Here’s Your First Full Look at the Batman v Superman Batmobile

first look Batmobile Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Although we glimpsed the shiny new Batmobile for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice a few months ago, we’re finally getting a close-up, detailed look at the thing without Sad Batman crying all over it. After some grainy Instagram photos (albeit featuring some cool, gull-wing-esque doors) circulated online, director Zack Snyder tweeted the actual photo, above.

Though at first we thought that the new Batmobile might share some inspiration with Tim Burton’s highly stylized take, we realize now that it hews much more closely to Christopher Nolan’s tumbler. Even so, it’s more armored tank than sleek car, especially the way it seems to extend out to either side. It’s the kind of car you’d notice on the street—which is interesting, considering the rumors that in the world of Batman v Superman, the Caped Crusader is an urban legend who no one has ever actually seen.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice comes to theaters March 25, 2016.

Photo: Twitter/@ZackSnyder

Thu
Sep 11 2014 5:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

Cristin Aptowicz 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 Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, the award-winning writer of Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam and popular touring poet and spoken word performer. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Her second nonfiction book is a mesmerizing biography of the brilliant and eccentric medical innovator who revolutionized American surgery and founded the country’s most famous museum of medical oddities. Dr. Mütter's Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine, will be released by Gotham Books in Fall 2014.

[Join us!]

Thu
Sep 11 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

Silverblind (Excerpt)

Silverblind Tina Connolly excerptDorie Rochart has been hiding her fey side for a long time. Now, finished with University, she plans to study magical creatures and plants in the wild, bringing long-forgotten cures to those in need. But when no one will hire a girl to fight basilisks, she releases her shape-changing fey powers—to disguise herself as a boy.

While hunting for wyvern eggs, she saves a young scientist who’s about to get steamed by a silvertail—and finds her childhood friend Tam Grimsby, to whom she hasn’t spoken in seven years. Not since she traded him to the fey.

The wyverns are being hunted to extinction for the powerful compounds in their eggs. The fey are dying out as humans grow in power. Now Tam and Dorie will have to decide which side they will fight for. And if they end up on opposite sides, can their returning friendship survive?

Tina Connolly’s historical fantasy series Ironskin continues with Silverblind, available October 7th from Tor Books.

[Read an excerpt]

Thu
Sep 11 2014 3:37pm

3D-Printed Prosthetic Hands Turn Little Kids Into Superheroes

3D prosthetic hand Wolverine kid

This might be the best thing to come out of 3D printing. First you’ve got Enabling the Future, an organization that utilizes this technology to create prosthetic fingers and hands for people in need. Then you have the creative, geeky types who have hacked Enable’s prosthetic hand model to create specialized, superhero-themed prosthetics for children whose hands aren’t fully developed. Two lucky little boys can now call themselves Wolverine and Iron Man.

[We just have something in our eye...]

Thu
Sep 11 2014 3:00pm

The Harry Potter Reread: The Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapters 7 and 8

Harry Potter and Prisoner of AzkabanThe Harry Potter Reread is going to undergo hypnosis therapy to conquer its fear of tipping over while riding a bike, and magical spoons. These are legitimate concerns, it swears. And hypnosis seems like such a nice way of getting rid of all that worry…

This week there is so much pet abuse! Also the first trip to Hogsmeade for all children lucky enough to attend. (Hint: Not Harry.) We’ve got Chapters 7 and 8 of The Prisoner of Azkaban—The Boggart in the Wardrobe and Flight of the Fat Lady.

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 11 2014 2:00pm
Excerpt

The Accidental Highwayman (Excerpt, Chapters 7 and 8)

Ben Tripp

Ben Tripp The Accidental Highwayman In eighteenth-century England, young Christopher “Kit” Bristol is the unwitting servant of notorious highwayman Whistling Jack. One dark night, Kit finds his master bleeding from a mortal wound, dons the man’s riding cloak to seek help, and changes the course of his life forever. Mistaken for Whistling Jack and on the run from redcoats, Kit is catapulted into a world of magic and wonders he thought the stuff of fairy tales.

Bound by magical law, Kit takes up his master’s quest to rescue a rebellious fairy princess from an arranged marriage to King George III of England. But his task is not an easy one, for Kit must contend with the feisty Princess Morgana, goblin attacks, and a magical map that portends his destiny: as a hanged man upon the gallows...

The Accidental Highwayman is author and illustrator Ben Tripp’s swashbuckling YA debut. Look for it October 14th from Tor Books, and find additional excerpts from the novel here on Tor.com!

[Read an excerpt]

Thu
Sep 11 2014 1:48pm

Rumor Has It Drax the Destroyer Will Join Avengers 3 to Put Fingers to Throats

Dave Bautista Drax Avengers 3

This is not a metaphor: Wrestling site PW Mania (via Slashfilm) claims that pro wrestler Dave Bautista is banking on his success as literal antihero Drax the Destroyer by signing on for more Marvel movies than just Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Specifically, rumor has it that he’ll play “a significant role” in Avengers 3.

Considering that (if the rumors are to be believed) Thanos will dominate the third Avengers film with his continuing search for the Infinity Stones/Gems, this makes a lot of sense. After all, Drax has the biggest bone to pick. Although he would probably ask why we think he should waste his time picking bones, and just use his bare hands on Thanos.

Really, we’re expecting all of the Guardians to appear in Avengers 3, especially after James Gunn confirmed that the two films were definitely connected.

Photo: Marvel Studios

Thu
Sep 11 2014 1:30pm
Reprint

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Washington Irving

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow art by Greg Manchess

 

FOUND AMONG THE PAPERS
OF THE LATE DIEDRICH KNICKERBOCKER

A pleasing land of drowsy head it was,
Of dreams that wave before the half-shut eye;
And of gay castles in the clouds that pass,
For ever flushing round a summer sky.

Castle of Indolence

 

IN THE BOSOM OF one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, at that broad expansion of the river denominated by the ancient Dutch navigators the Tappan Zee, and where they always prudently shortened sail, and implored the protection of St. Nicholas when they crossed, there lies a small market town or rural port, which by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry Town. This name was given, we are told, in former days, by the good housewives of the adjacent country, from the inveterate propensity of their husbands to linger about the village tavern on market days. Be that as it may, I do not vouch for the fact, but merely advert to it, for the sake of being precise and authentic. Not far from this village, perhaps about two miles, there is a little valley, or rather lap of land, among high hills, which is one of the quietest places in the whole world. A small brook glides through it, with just murmur enough to lull one to repose; and the occasional whistle of a quail or tapping of a woodpecker is almost the only sound that ever breaks in upon the uniform tranquillity.

[Continue reading The Legend of Sleepy Hollow]

Thu
Sep 11 2014 1:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Feast for Crows, Part 30

George R R 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 30 of A Feast for Crows, in which we cover Chapter 41 (“Alayne”) and Chapter 42 (“Brienne”).

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!

[“Your head looks like a really clean carrot. Poit!”]

Thu
Sep 11 2014 12:12pm

RoboCop Just Got His Doctorate in Art History

Peter Weller RoboCop doctorate art history

Or, you know, Buckaroo Banzai, or Admiral Alexander Marcus, if you prefer. Deciding that his (frankly epic) acting career just wasn’t enough for him, Peter Weller has also pursued art history studies for over a decade. As reported by the UCLA Alumni Facebook page, he just earned his doctorate in Italian Renaissance Art History and Ancient Roman History at UCLA! We would like to imagine that he showed up to his dissertation defense dressed as Robocop, and said something like, “Give me my doctorate. You have 20 seconds to comply.” but more likely he just presented a thoroughly-researched lecture, filled with relevant visuals, to underscore his theory that Padua was responsible for much of the glory of the Italian Renaissance, and that the assumed Florentine dominance of that period is overrated.

But we still like our version better.

Go Bruins! Stay out of trouble!

Thu
Sep 11 2014 12:00pm

Words of Radiance Reread: Interlude 1

Welcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com! Last week, we finished Part One, “Alight,” as Kaladin finally began to formally practice his Windrunner skills and was surprised by the arrival of a “hero.” This week, we’re moving into the Interludes, beginning with our very first Parshendi point of view.

 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—there’s a lot to discuss this week.

[They had named it Narak—exile—for it was where they had come to be separated from their gods.]

Thu
Sep 11 2014 11:30am

Please Look After This Bear: A Bear Called Paddington

Michael Bond A Bear Called Paddington“A bear? On Paddington station?” Mrs Brown looked at her husband in amazement. “Don’t be silly, Henry. There can’t be!”

In general, I am inclined to agree with Mrs Brown: There can’t be a bear on Paddington Station. Then again, as I know all too well from personal experience, alas, Paddington Station can be a bewildering and terrifying place. Which means, I suppose, that if you are going to find a bear on a train station anywhere in the world, it might well be this one. Perhaps especially if the bear in question is—gasp—a stowaway from Darkest Peru, carefully tagged with “Please look after this bear. Thank you.”

Certainly, someone has to look after this bear, however polite he is, and equally certainly, those someones are going to be the first family that happen to encounter him, the Browns. And given the bewildering nature of Paddington Station, and the bear’s own apparent belief that most people are inherently good, it’s perhaps not surprising that the bear immediately takes up the first available invitation he gets to leave the place, and happily agrees to drop his incomprehensible name and instead become known as A Bear Called Paddington.

[Paddington Bear: making triumph out of disaster.]

Thu
Sep 11 2014 11:00am

The Ghostbusters are an Antidote to Lovecraft’s Dismal Worldview

Ghostbusters Lovecraft Max Gladstone

Ghostbusters is the best comedy ever made about the limits of the Lovecraftian worldview.

The movie’s back in theaters for its 30th anniversary, so my wife Steph, our friend Dan and I all went to see it last weekend. It’s perfectly structured. Desire lines are clear scene by scene. Act breaks are sharp and propulsive. Every payoff is set up early in the film, including Mr. Stay-Puft. The film even bothers to make sure we know why ghosts are appearing at this particular point in human history—the dead rise as Gozer approaches.

I remembered this movie being funny, but a lot of lines that skipped over my head when I was a kid bit deep this time—Tully’s “You’re the Ghostbusters? Who does your taxes?” (Honestly, everything Rick Moranis says or does on screen is hilarious.) Young Max also didn’t appreciate the sheer amount of damage the Ghostbusters do to the hotel in their first outing. I got the joke of Slimer dodging neutron beams, sure; I didn’t have the running cost-of-repair tally in the back of my head. The cake they blow up used to be a prop; now I know that cake. I’ve been to weddings with that cake. Its explosion is a lot more than an excuse to shower people with frosting. It’s a wonderful, visceral, hilarious film, with a great soundtrack, and y’all should go see it in theaters while you have the chance.

But, leaving the theater, all three of us kept saying one word in particular: heart. We all mentioned how much heart the movie had, how modern films we’d seen recently seemed heartless by comparison. But what is this strange, ephemeral “heart”? The Potter Stewart test is, as always, unsatisfying—we know it when we see it, sure, but what is it that we’re seeing? Why does Winston’s “I love this town!” at the end strike home, even though the question of whether he loves this town or not is never raised in the movie before this moment?

[As usual, I’m kicking about a theory.]

Thu
Sep 11 2014 10:00am

Great Opening Lines: God’s War by Kameron Hurley

God's War Kameron Hurley I didn’t have to wait very long for the—as the Tor.com guidelines for the That Was Awesome series phrase it—“small and/or crystallizing moment that [I] absolutely loved in a fellow author’s book or story” in Kameron Hurley’s God's War.

It came on the very first line.

In case you haven’t read it yet, here it is: “Nyx sold her womb somewhere between Punjai and Faleen, on the edge of the desert.”

[Read More]

Thu
Sep 11 2014 9:00am

Five Underrated Doctor Who Companions (And One Scoundrel)

Doctor Who Companions

Doctor Who has seen many different faces over the years, and I’m not talking about his own new countenance after regenerating. I’m talking about the numerous companions and individuals who’ve helped the good Doctor through thick and thin.

[Read More]

Thu
Sep 11 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Patrick Stewart Grants a Vulcan Wish!

So, we’ll give you the bullet points on James Barker’s photo here. The young Vulcan got in touch with Make-A-Wish, and asked to meet Sir Patrick Stewart. They arranged for a meeting at DragonCon. Patrick Stewart, being Patrick Stewart, crushed the young Vulcan in this bear hug. Gaze upon this, humanity.

Morning Roundup brings you a yummy Benedict Cumberbatch, film recommendations from Bill Hader, and Phillip K. Dick on sex! Huh. Uh-huh.

[And, finally, do you know me now?]

Wed
Sep 10 2014 5:00pm

Teen Wolf: Evolution

Teen Wolf

Previously on Teen Wolf: Everything happens all at once, nothing is satisfactorily explained, and all hell breaks loose.

[“What the hell is so special about Scott McCall?”]

Wed
Sep 10 2014 4:30pm

What If? Sweepstakes!

What If?Randall Munroe, former NASA roboticist and creator of the beloved webcomic xkcd,  answers questions about the universe you probably never thought to ask in What If?: Serious Scientific Questions to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, out now from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. With his signature stick figures and superior research skills, Munroe provides hilarious and informative answers to queries about robot apocalypses, soul mates, and the structural stability of billion-story buildings.

We have three copies of What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions to send your way right now!

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 4:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on September 10. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on September 14. 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.

Wed
Sep 10 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

Channel Blue (Excerpt)

Jay Martel

Channel Blue Jay Martel excerpt Earth used to be Galaxy Entertainment’s most lucrative show. The inhabitants of the Western Galaxy—the savviest, richest demographic in the Milky Way—just couldn’t get enough of the day-to-day details of the average Earthling’s life.

But now Channel Blue’s ratings are flagging and its producers are planning a spectacular finale. In just three weeks, their TV show will go out with a bang. The trouble is, so will Earth. Only one man can save our planet, and he’s hardly a likely hero.

Available now from Head of Zeus, Jay Martel’s debut novel Channel Blue is a look at the absurdities of modern-day America in the tradition of Douglas Adams and Kurt Vonnegut.

[Read an excerpt]

Wed
Sep 10 2014 3:55pm

Peggy Carter Looks Badass in Her First Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Appearance

first look Peggy Carter Hayley Atwell Agent Carter Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Ever since we heard about the return of Peggy Carter (yay!) in ABC’s midseason show Agent Carter, we wondered how the network would weave in her story with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., especially considering how S.H.I.E.L.D. itself has been blown apart from the inside. Now, TV Guide has the first look at Peggy (Hayley Atwell) from the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2 premiere, plus more explanation about what impact she’ll have on the season to come.

[Read more]