The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn April 22, 2015 The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn Usman Malik He will inherit the Unseen. The Ways of Walls and Words April 15, 2015 The Ways of Walls and Words Sabrina Vourvoulias Can the spirit truly be imprisoned? Ballroom Blitz April 1, 2015 Ballroom Blitz Veronica Schanoes Can't stop drinking, can't stop dancing, can't stop smoking, can't even die. Dog March 25, 2015 Dog Bruce McAllister "Watch the dogs when you're down there, David."
From The Blog
April 22, 2015
Daredevil, Catholicism, and the Marvel Moral Universe
Leah Schnelbach
April 22, 2015
The Old Guy Action Comeback: I’m Getting Too Old for This Sh*t
Ryan Britt
April 20, 2015
The Net is the Meat: Bruce Holsinger’s Middle Ages
David Perry
April 17, 2015
Spring 2015 Anime Preview: The Hellish Life of a Pizza Delivery Boy
Kelly Quinn
April 16, 2015
The Disney Read-Watch: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Mari Ness
Thu
Apr 23 2015 3:00pm

Tiamat’s Terrain: Building Bridges with SFF

Pablo graphic novel

In Tiamat’s Terrain’s latest roundup I’ve scoured high and low for all forms of SFF and genre fiction coming out this spring. From small publishers to dedicated teams behind niche websites, from an uncommon short-story to the glitz of the Cannes Film Festival, this round up really underlines what I’ve been noticing these meager six months on the job: that there are people all around the globe working hard to build bridges and connect the world to this region’s fascination with SFF and graphic novels. The creators, the publishers, the event organizers, and the website administrators are (sometimes even unwittingly) all part of an amalgamation that I am just constantly amazed by.

So when you’re reading through today’s roundup, spare a thought for the people behind IslamSciFi, for the editors at Interlink who decided to publish a magic realist Arabian novel, for the people at Self Made Hero who insist on publishing best-selling European graphic novels in English, for the organizers in Dubai who manage the Middle East’s most anticipated ComicCon for the 4th year running. Tiamat’s Terrain tips its hat to them all.

[Read More]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 2:00pm

To Be a Ghost-Fly on the Wall: Our Pop Quiz Interview with Mike Johnson

Mike JohnsonWelcome 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 Mike Johnson, a comics author who has worked on DC’s Supergirl and the current run of IDW’s Star Trek. He also works with co-creator and illustrator Rafael Albuquerque on the original series EI8HT, published by Dark Horse. Issues 1-3 are available now, with a collected edition forthcoming in October 2015.

Join us as we uncover the strange, alchemical secret to Mike’s writing, and he reveals his thoughts on who’s really the most Force-sensitive character in a galaxy far, far away. Plus, check out some preview pages below from the upcoming issue of EI8HT!

[Read More]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 1:34pm

Nick Offerman to Host Most Rugged Nebula Awards Ceremony Ever

Nick Offerman Nebula Awards

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have announced that the Toastmaster for this year's Nebula Awards ceremony is none other than Nick Offerman, who is best known for appearing in the collective mind of humanity as the oaken pinnacle of manhood dubbed Ron F#$%ing Swanson.

Nick Offerman is an actor, woodworker and author, best known for his Walnut Blanket Chest (2003) and also the role of Ron Swanson on NBC’s Parks and Recreation. He has written an adequately humorous memoir entitled Paddle Your Own Canoe, as well as his new release, Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom With America’s Gutsiest Troublemakers. He’s hoping that subtitle will be nominated for its girth at next year’s Nebula Awards. A lifelong fan of the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres, Mr. Offerman is veritably bursting his buttons to be asked to participate in celebrating this year’s best talent.

This year's Nebula Awards Showcase takes place from June 4 to 7 at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. Register to attend here and try not to cry during the ceremony. Crying is only acceptable during funerals and at the Grand Canyon.

Thu
Apr 23 2015 1:00pm

Afternoon Roundup: Jaime Lannister’s House Sigil Should Be a Party Animal

Game of Thrones behind the scenes photos

When he’s not getting his hand chopped off, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau proves that House Lannister knows how to party. During downtime at what would come to be known as the Purple Wedding, the actor had some fun with special musical guest Sigur Rós. Entertainment Weekly has a whole gallery of similarly funny and interesting behind-the-scenes photos, including another great Jaime one where he gets a birthday cupcake while in jail.

Afternoon Roundup is flailing over the new take on The Muppets, pondering the beginning of Spectre, and enjoying a world where Weird Al and Patton Oswalt nerd out together.

[Read more]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 12:00pm

Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 35

Words of Radiance rereadWelcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com! Last week, Alice watched madness blossom in two interlude chapters. This week, I watch science (and maybe also some madness?) flourish on the Shattered Plains. I also make an announcement. You’ll get to it in time.

This reread will contain spoilers for The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and any other Cosmere book that becomes relevant to the discussion. This week’s chapter also contains spoilers for Carl’s career trajectory...

The index for this reread can be found here, and more Stormlight Archive goodies are indexed here. Click on through to join the discussion.

[It was not an ending WAIT NO WRONG SERIES]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 11:45am

Shakespeare Died 399 Years Ago Today and Sci-Fi/Fantasy Still Can’t Get Enough of Him

Shakespeare roundup

If you're reading this on April 23rd then we urge you to take a moment and consider how we sci-fi/fantasy readers and writers still can't get enough of William Shakespeare, even though he died 399 years ago today!

The classic figure provided a wealth of material in his lifetime, grounding epic tales with very human passions and packing them with dialogue that sparkles even today. Shakespeare's works are a standard that all writers yearn to achieve, and a richly rewarding experience that all readers yearn to have, regardless of form or even genre.

SFF readers and writers joyously pore through the worlds hiding in the words, and that focus produces some interesting interpretations of Shakespeare's works! A couple months ago, Tor.com began featuring them regularly on the site...

[What are we saying 'bout Shakespeare?]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 11:00am

Djinnthology Joy

Aladdin Genie

By way of The Book Smugglers, Mahvesh Murad of the kickass Midnight in Karachi podcast and Jurassic London’s Jared Shurin (never forget The Folding Knife reread!) announced yesterday that they’d signed up with Solaris—the purveyors of so very many of the best genre anthologies in recent years that it’s getting a little ridiculous—to curate and co-edit “the first-ever anthology of original fiction inspired by the Djinn.”

It’s, em... ages away. Expect to see it sometime in spring 2017. But hey, that just means we’ve got all the more of time to get excited.

[Read More]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 10:00am

The Disney Read-Watch: Carlo Collodi’s The Adventures of Pinocchio

Pinocchio Carlo Collodi Enrico Mazzanti

Italian author Carlo Collodi had gained a minor name for himself as a satirist and translator of fairy tales when he was asked to write a serial novel for children. It was a rather odd choice: Collodi, bitter and angry over Italian politics—he fought in two different independence wars, but was unhappy with the resulting unified government, a feeling many of his fellow citizens shared—was perhaps not the first person most would have chosen to write an adorable, child-friendly book, especially since many of the fairy tales he had translated were those aimed at an adult audience. But he needed either the money, or the distraction, or both, and sat down to write a quick story about a puppet.

Somewhere along the way—that is, by page two—it turned into a the sort of story that demonstrated just why Collodi was not the sort of person anyone would hire to write an adorable, child-friendly book, but would hire to write the sort of tale where everyone hits each other a lot, suffers a lot, and dies horribly. With the occasional “Oh, right, I need a moral message for the kiddies.”

[If you hate donkeys, then guys, do I have a book for you. Also, mean things done to puppets.]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 9:00am

Iceman Already Kinda Sorta Tried to Come Out as Gay in the 1990s

Bobby Drake Iceman gay

I imagine that all the recent hubbub about Iceman coming out as gay in this week’s #40 issue of All New X-Men (and by hubbub I mean “Oh, Facebook Trending updated itself again”) is interesting to comic book fans who grew up reading X-Men comics. Perhaps not because it’s astonishing or new or uncanny, but maybe because it represents the return of a plotline that cropped up in a little-remembered Almost Very Special Issue of Uncanny X-Men published in 1994, more than 20 years ago.

[“Bobby... ...is there anything you want to say?”]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: VeggieTales: Nights!

We already thought the Matt Murdock/Foggy Nelson friendship was pretty adorable, but Tumblr-er MissMuggle has taken things to a whole new level. Look how cute they are! And so determined to use the law to bring down the Kingpin!

Morning Roundup brings you thoughts on comics’ conquest of the universe, the changing colors of The Avengers, and the classiest version of the Doctor Who theme ever!

[Plus William Gibson predicts the future!]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 7:00am

More Than Thirty Years Later, Tom Doherty is Still Curating New Worlds

Tom Doherty On This DayOn this day in 1935, one of the great figures in science fiction publishing was born: Tom Doherty, president and publisher of Tor Books.

His career in books began in the late 1950s, when he worked as a salesman for Pocket Books, eventually rising to National Sales Manager. He was an avid SF and fantasy reader from an early age, and he paid particular attention to our genres even when he was responsible for selling all kinds of books. His first contact with science fiction’s social world was probably in the early 1960s, when his selling territory included Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, home of the longtime SF writer (and reviewer for Analog) P. Schuyler Miller, with whom Tom became friends.

[Read more]

Wed
Apr 22 2015 4:00pm

Five Epic Fantasies with Gender Equal Societies

Korra gender equality

I love heroic epic fantasy novels. If I immerse myself in the writing, I can be the hero and explore a new, different world. Most epic fantasy novels are set in a medieval style setting, pre-technology. And the gender roles from our own medieval history are standard in these new worlds.

But some authors spin an entirely new world, with gender equality seamlessly woven into the fabric of the culture. This type of thoughtful worldbuilding is my go-to for enjoyment.

[Read More]

Wed
Apr 22 2015 3:00pm

The Ogre is Groot: Gotham’s “Under the Knife”

Gotham Under the Knife

I suppose it makes sense that, for a show about Gotham City before the Batman, Bruce Wayne remains the most consistently engaging character. In fact, all of the subplots that moved forward in “Under the Knife” had their moments. But just as predicted, it was the Ogre / Don Juan Killer storyline that felt flat and padded out—probably because it was. Leave it to Gotham, a show which has dreadfully mishandled all of its female characters, to build up towards a “climactic finale” about a misogynistic serial killer—and make the audience actually wish that his latest victim would die and go away for good.

[Read More]

Wed
Apr 22 2015 2:46pm

2016’s Star Trek 3 Movie Has a Title

Star Trek Beyond

TrekMovie is reporting that Paramount Pictures have registered the title Star Trek Beyond with the Motion Picture Association of America for the forthcoming film, written by Simon Pegg, which hits theaters on July 8, 2016.

The Guardian reports that the film will see the crew exploring uncharted territory in an attempt to bring the reboot crew back into line with the spirit of the 1960s TV show. Above is our artist's conception at what that probably entails.

Spock unicorn art by Tim O'Brien

Wed
Apr 22 2015 2:00pm

What Does George R. R. Martin Have to do With Dinosaur Lords?

The Dinosaur Lords George R. R. Martin

The key thing to know is that New Mexico hosts a large and fairly tight-knit community of science fiction and fantasy writers. Some of us older ones have been friends for decades.

George R. R. Martin and I have been friends since he moved to Santa Fe in the late Seventies. Since the mid-Eighties I’ve also worked with him on the abidingly popular Wild Cards shared-world anthology series, along with several other players of the role-playing game campaign GRRM ran which became that series, including Melinda M. Snodgrass, John Jos Miller, and Walter Jon Williams.

[All of whom happened to be present at a party George threw in 2013]

Wed
Apr 22 2015 1:30pm

Afternoon Roundup: Awkward Skywalker Family Portait

Mark Hamill Carrie Fisher Darth Vader Skywalker family portrait

At Star Wars Celebration, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher took the opportunity to pose with dear ol’ Dad. And look! Luke even showed off his Force lightning skills. Vader is so proud. But shouldn’t there be another Skywalker in this family portrait...? (Nudge nudge, J.J. Abrams.)

Afternoon Roundup brings you Rick Astley and RPGs, dystopian fiction on reading and books, and Tatiana Maslany’s most daunting impression yet.

[Read more]

Wed
Apr 22 2015 1:00pm

Rereading Melanie Rawn: Sunrunner’s Fire, Chapters 10 and 11

Sunrunner's Fire rereadWelcome to the weekly Wednesday reread of Sunrunner’s Fire! This week the stakes get real. Important characters finally meet (and various kinds of sparks fly), a secret is discovered, and the Desert contingent suffers a grievous loss.

Chapter 10
Elktrap Manor: 5 Spring

So This Happens: Pol comes to Elktrap after a grueling ride, to be met by the beautiful Lady Ruala with a large goblet of wine. Pol pauses to admire the scenery, with a bit of small talk and chuckling.

[Read More]

Wed
Apr 22 2015 12:30pm

Rocket Talk Episode 51: Sam Sykes and Delilah S. Dawson

Sam Sykes Delilah S Dawson

In this week’s podcast episode, Justin checks in with fantasy authors Sam Sykes and Delilah S. Dawson on feast scenes in epic fantasy, along with other things we leave out, or don’t leave out, of our favorite sprawling subgenre. Be warned: there is talk of bathroom activity.

[Listen now!]

Wed
Apr 22 2015 12:00pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: Orb Sceptre Throne, Chapter Sixteen

Ian C Esslemont Orb Sceptre Throne Malazan rereadWelcome back 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 sixteen of Ian Cameron Esslemont’s Orb Sceptre Throne.

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]

Wed
Apr 22 2015 11:00am

Daredevil, Catholicism, and the Marvel Moral Universe

Daredevil

One of the things reviewers have commented on is Daredevil’s unexpected grittiness. The violence is real, and the consequences of that violence are also real. When Matt Murdock snaps a man’s arm, the femur (ulna?) bone breaks through the skin. When Karen Page is choked with a sheet, the welt shows on her neck for several episodes afterwards. People make their choices, and then they face the consequences. This realism quickly made Daredevil one of my favorite elements of the MCU.

The other thing that I love is how the show’s brutal world is informed by the particularly Catholic morality of its hero. There have been a few conversations online about whether this show gives us an accurate portrayal of Matt’s religion, and I would argue not only that it does, but that by taking his religious beliefs seriously, and weaving Catholicism into the fabric of the show, Netflix has given us the deepest, most emotionally resonant version of Daredevil we’ve ever had.

Warning: this post comes with SPOILERS for the ENTIRE SEASON.

[Plus confession comes with a latte!]