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 29, 2014
Powerful Words:The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Anton Strout
September 29, 2014
Slarom, the Backward Morals of Fairytales
Jack Heckel
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
Oct 2 2014 11:05am

City of Stairs (Excerpt)

Robert Jackson Bennett

Robert Jackson Bennett City of Stairs excerptThe city of Bulikov once wielded the powers of the gods to conquer the world, enslaving and brutalizing millions—until its divine protectors were killed. Now Bulikov has become just another colonial outpost of the world’s new geopolitical power, but the surreal landscape of the city itself—first shaped, now shattered, by the thousands of miracles its guardians once worked upon it—stands as a constant, haunting reminder of its former supremacy.

Into this broken city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the unassuming young woman is just another junior diplomat sent by Bulikov’s oppressors. Unofficially, she is one of her country’s most accomplished spies, dispatched to catch a murderer. But as Shara pursues the killer, she starts to suspect that the beings who ruled this terrible place may not be as dead as they seem—and that Bulikov’s cruel reign may not yet be over.

An atmospheric and intrigue-filled novel of dead gods, buried histories, and a mysterious, protean city—Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Stairs is available now in the US from Crown Publishing in the UK from Jo Fletcher Books.

[Read an excerpt]

Oct 2 2014 11:00am

Magic and a Little Bit of Luck: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Susanna Clarke In 2009, I made what at first seemed to be a very bad decision: I purchased the novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

The reason this decision seemed to be quite bad was that I bought this book for airplane reading: my girlfriend and I were going to be flying to Spain, and as anyone can tell you, carrying an absolute cinderblock of a book around international airports is about one of the most Sisyphean tasks one can imagine.

But I soon decided that I had, in fact, made the right decision. Because this book quickly shot to my list of the top ten fantasy novels of the 2000s.

[Read More]

Oct 2 2014 10:00am

Twelve Doctor Who Villains and Why They Hate Him So Damn Much

Doctor Who Villains

The Doctor has been battling with some of his enemies for hundreds (thousands?) of years, and I’m sure he hasn’t forgotten the reason for the individual conflicts and how they got started. But, for the rest of us, here’s a brief guide to a few villains that rattle the Time Lord’s cage.

[Read more]

Oct 2 2014 9:30am

New Tor.com Original Fiction in October and November

upcoming tor.com fiction october november

At the beginning of each month, we here at Tor.com will post the next two months of our schedule of original short fiction. Check back monthly to get excited for upcoming short stories, novelettes, and novellas on Tor.com! Below the cut you’ll find information on stories in October and November by Carrie Vaughn, Max Gladstone, Elizabeth Bear, and more.

October and November’s fiction contains a Parish Council, a vampire dad, tons of birds, and a dog. To find out all the details, check below the cut.

[Read more]

Oct 2 2014 9:00am

A Barry Allen Primer: What You Need to Know Ahead of The Flash’s Series Debut

The Flash is racing to a screen near you on October 7th. If you haven’t been watching Arrow, where Barry Allen/The Flash was first introduced, then here’s a quick primer to get you started. I am only, more or less, covering plot points revolving around Barry Allen so these aren’t complete Arrow episode wrap-ups, though—beware—SPOILERS are lobbed throughout.

[Read more]

Oct 2 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: OK, OK! We’ll Stop Haunting Your Sister’s Steps!

Eeek! Karl Urban is attacking! This shot really should have been included in one of the Lord of the Rings films. Or possibly in all of the Lord of the Rings films, whether it was appropriate to the plot or not. Join_You_In_The_Sun shared a whole collection of unedited publicity photos from The Two Towers, and they’re pretty fun! Sean Astin looks like he’s in a trance state as Sam, and Viggo Mortensen’s hair apparently just always does the thing where it’s all windswept and epic all the time. And Elijah Wood looked so young...hey. Waaaait a minute. He still looks exactly like that! What the heck, genetics??!

Morning Roundup goes behind-the-scenes with some cantankerous Boxtrolls, gathers a list to provide you with all you Every-Day-in-October-is-Halloween needs, and an extended interview with novelist David Mitchell!

[Plus an irascible Jedi Knight!]

Oct 1 2014 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: Genre-Benders for October

Fiction Affliction new releases genre-bending OctoberNot all who wander are lost, said the great sage Tolkien. Seventeen books wander with purpose between genres this month, from time traveling to airship tales.

Look for series additions from, among others, Carolyn Hart (Bailey Ruth Ghost), Weston Ochse (Seal Team 666), Sheri S. Tepper (Plague of Angels), Liesel Schwarz (The Chronicles of Light and Shadow), and April Taylor (The Tudor Enigma), plus anthologies edited by Paula Guran (time travel), David Thomas Moore (Holmesian tales), and Ellen Datlow (Silver Screen).

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 Genre-Benders.]

Oct 1 2014 4:00pm

Parallel Apocalypses: Extinction Game by Gary Gibson

Gary Gibson Extinction GameOne of the most popular types of science fiction narratives is the apocalypse or post-apocalypse story—a world in ruins with few survivors eking out a threadbare existence in a world (seemingly/mostly) devoid of civilization. Told from the point of view of Jerry Beche, Extinction Game, is Gary Gibson’s foray into this subgenre after a string of successful Space Opera novels.

Through Jerry’s first person voice, we get an intimate portrait of a man losing his sanity despite surviving the initial apocalypse. He speaks with his dead wife, he wants to make sure the people responsible for her death, Red Harvest, get their just desserts. When Jerry finally ventures out of his ramshackle hovel, he finds other people. Unfortunately for Jerry, these people capture and interrogate him, and we soon learn they are from a parallel Earth—Jerry is one of many people extracted from an apocalyptic world to be trained as Pathfinders, specialists who plunder other Earths for hints of salvation.

[It’s the End of the Worlds as We Know Them…]

Oct 1 2014 3:00pm

No Sleep Till Ever. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: “Heavy is the Head”

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2, episode 2: Heavy is the Head

“Heavy is the Head” is essentially the part 2 to the season’s premiere episode “Shadows” and while the plot is mostly concerned with mopping up the mess from the events of the premiere, during its quieter moments it builds a flickering tension in regards to Coulson’s new role as the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Last season saw him progressing to a more open approach with his team, to where you could feasibly see him thinking of them as his teammates rather than his subordinates. Now that his vista is greatly expanded, he’s forced to think of them as subordinates once more, and that could edge Coulson out of a show that’s meant to be centered around him.

[Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: “Heavy is the Head”]

Oct 1 2014 2:00pm

The End of the Sentence: A Conversation with Kat Howard and Maria Dahvana Headley

The End of the Sentence Maria Dahvana Headley Kat HowardI’ve long been a fan of Kat Howard and Maria Dahvana Headley’s fiction; both writers have a magician’s knack for mixing up the uncanny with the real, resulting in haunting stories that stick with you for a long time. I was thrilled to hear they’d joined forces for The End of the Sentence, a collaboratively written novella available now from Subterranean Press—and even more thrilled upon reading it to discover that it was every bit as deliciously creepy and gorgeously terrifying as I’d hoped.

I chatted a bit with Kat and Maria about monsters, love, co-writing, and kissing scenes.

[Read more...]

Oct 1 2014 1:00pm

Rereading Melanie Rawn: Dragon Prince, Chapters 19 and 20

Wdragon prince reread melanie rawnelcome to the weekly Wednesday reread of Dragon Prince! We’re six years down the plotline now, with some fast filling in and some new (and not so new) plots and schemes. Rohan’s still utterly sexy, I mean clever, Sioned’s still making magic out on the edge, and Ianthe is back, badder than ever.

Part Three: Vengeance
Chapter 19

So This Happens: Six years after the events at the end of Part Two, three years after the Plague summarized in the Interlude, Rohan receives a secret letter from Feylin of Skybowl, presenting a census of dragons and indicating that the dragons are intelligent enough to avoid the places where they’ve suffered disaster, including plague, and will not be mating in their usual places. He recommends that Rohan ban the killing of dragons.

[Read More]

Oct 1 2014 12:55pm

The First Full Trailer For Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings is Here

The first full-length trailer for Exodus has been released and while it hits all the expected notes of a blockbuster, it still seems like it’s treating the time period and the geographical area it conveys as a British fable.

[Click through for the trailer]

Oct 1 2014 12:30pm

It’s Dark Down Under

James Smythe

Pay attention, people: James Smythe is one of the most exciting new science fiction writers to debut in decades. He’s also been amongst the most productive, releasing two books a year since The Testimony in 2012. In between volumes of the ongoing Anomaly Quartet the English author has treated readers to The Machine—a darkly fantastic Frankenstein story for the 21st century—and No Harm Can Come to a Good Man—a paranoid power play about predictive politics.

Alongside The Explorer and The Echo, these superlative speculative texts demonstrate the breadth and depth of Smythe’s abilities, so I wasn’t surprised to hear that his next book would be something unusual too. This was back in January, when Hodder & Stoughton announced that they’d acquired the rights to a three part Young Adult series by said.

The song remains the same this week, but the lyrics are significantly different. First and foremost, the novel formerly known as The Burning Depths has a new title. Coming up: Way Down Dark’s incredible cover art, plus comments about the book from its Arthur C. Clarke shortlisted author and editor extraordinaire Anne Perry.

[Read More]

Oct 1 2014 12:00pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: The Crippled God, Chapter Twenty-One

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 the second part of chapter twenty 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]

Oct 1 2014 11:00am

Millennial Tension: Selfie Does Everything Wrong, Generates Negative Feels


OK, let me say this first: I love John Cho. I have spoken before about his excellent stretched-neck acting in Sleepy Hollow. I love Karen Gillan. While I had many, god, so many some issues with Amy Pond, I always thought she did a great job with the character, and she was fun as Nebula in GoTG. And here, again, they do their best, but this thing was doomed from the start. Do we seriously need a new version of Pygmalion? Do we need “older stuffy dude angrily mansplains life to a young woman who’s trying to figure herself out”?

[Has Lena Dunham accomplished nothing?]

Oct 1 2014 10:30am

Tell Us How You Use the Site and Win Some Neat Stuff

How do you use Tor.com? What do you come here to read? Every so often we like to check in with our readers to get a more up to date idea of how you’re using the site. Towards that end, we’re asking you to take part in this brief survey.

Bonus: Participating in the survey also enters you in a sweepstakes for a prize pack including Tor.com tote bags and glasses, plus copies of Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem, Jo Walton’s The Just City, Brian Staveley’s The Providence of Fire, and V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic! Five winners will be drawn randomly from everyone who takes the survey, regardless of entry point. The full rules are listed here.

(Note: Commenting on this post does NOT enter you into the sweepstakes.)

Oct 1 2014 10:00am

Pull List: Lumberjanes

From the first page of the first issue, I knew Lumberjanes was going to be my new favorite thing. All the girls are awesome—I absolutely adore Mal, probably more than is healthy—the story is easy but engaging, and the dialogue is sharp, cheerful, and pleasantly down to earth. But it wasn’t until page 9 that I fell in love.

The girls use famous/important women as interjections, and on that page Molly referenced a woman who has been my hero since I was a little girl: Bessie “Queen Bess” Coleman. She was the first African American person of any gender to have an international license, and the first Black female pilot in the world, and it’s a rare day when I encounter someone who not only knows of her but treats her with the respect she deserves. This is probably going to be less review and more love letter, because there’s just so much greatness bundled up in such a little comic.

[“What the junk?!”]

Oct 1 2014 9:00am
Original Story

Daughter of Necessity

By day she crafts; by night she unmakes. Surely somewhere, in all the myriad crossings of the threads, there is a future in which all will be well. Marie Brennan offers an intriguing new spin on a classic tale.

This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by editor Paul Stevens.

[Read “Daughter of Necessity” by Marie Brennan]

Oct 1 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: NASA Knows Where Its Towel Is

Blastr shared our favorite thing we&’ve seen today - NASA&’s poster for their 42nd trip to the International Space Station! With the number 42 hovering symbolically over the mission, they couldn&’t help but homage Hitchhiker&’s Guide to the Galaxy, and it&’s adorable. Check out more info on the mission, plus a roundup of some of NASA&’s best SFF-themed posters!

Morning Roundup brings you a very special edition of A Song of Ice and Fire, thoughts on Interstellar&’s influences, a look at the nerdiest court cases of all time, plus news on Batman V. Superman and Clerks 3!

[Pangolin? Are you trying to say pangolin?]

Sep 30 2014 5:00pm

Popcorn Reading: The Lost Stars: Imperfect Sword by Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell Lost Stars Imperfect Sword review I have a small wee habit of complaining about the difficulties of reviewing series books. And yet I still find myself saying “Oh yes, definitely, I’ll review that! Love to!”

If you’re already familiar with Jack Campbell’s The Lost Stars series, a spin-off to his ever-longer-running The Lost Fleet sequence, you already know whether or not you’re interested in reading this one. You also know what you can expect: Campbell is nothing if not predictable. If you’re not familiar with this series, here isn’t the place to start: The Lost Stars: Imperfect Sword is the third book in a series that began with The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight and continued in The Lost Stars: Perilous Shield.

[Read More]