A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star July 20, 2014 A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star Kathleen Ann Goonan A rocket story. The Angelus Guns July 16, 2014 The Angelus Guns Max Gladstone There's a war in heaven, outside of time. Sleep Walking Now and Then July 9, 2014 Sleep Walking Now and Then Richard Bowes A tragedy in three acts. The Devil in the Details July 2, 2014 The Devil in the Details Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald A Peter Crossman adventure.
From The Blog
July 18, 2014
Summer 2014 Anime Preview: In the Name of the Moon!
Kelly Quinn
July 16, 2014
Picturing Dragons
Irene Gallo
July 15, 2014
Who Should Play The Magicians?
Ryan Britt
July 14, 2014
A Long Overdue Nod to SciFi and Fantasy’s Best Librarians
Stubby the Rocket
July 11, 2014
For Love or Money (And If You Do It Right, BOTH): Choosing a Career in Art
Greg Ruth
Jul 21 2014 5:00pm

The YA Roundup: Goosebumps to Scare Again

Welcome to the YA Roundup, giving you the inside scoop on bookish news, book deals, new releases and cover reveals for the YA genre!

This week covers the YA musical being penned by David Leviathan, a preview of Jack Black as R.L. Stine in Goosebumps, Stuff YA Readers Say, and more!

[Read More]

Jul 21 2014 4:24pm

Dwayne Johnson’s DC Character Is Probably Most Likely Shazam

Dwayne Johnson The Rock Shazam DC Comics Captain Marvel hints interview clues video Green Lantern John Stewart

Why hasn’t Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson—who’s made a name for himself as an intense action star able to run down bad guys and deliver great quips—ever gotten to play around in the DC Cinematic Universe? Simply because they haven’t found the absolute best role for him, it turns out.

But that’s about to change. On the press tour for his current film Hercules, the man formerly known as The Rock not only confirmed that he’s playing a DC Comics character, but he also dropped a lot of obvious hints that give us a pretty good idea who that is.

[“Just say the word.”]

Jul 21 2014 4:10pm

Competing J.R.R. Tolkien Biopics Present Different Takes on the Lord of the Rings Author

competing J.R.R. Tolkien biopics Tolkien & Lewis C.S. Lewis The Chronicles of Narnia The Lord of the Rings religion paranoia jealousy writers block Simon West

What if we were to tell you that there are two J.R.R. Tolkien movies coming to theaters around 2015, and it's not further splitting up the third Hobbit film?

We've already written about the Tolkien origin story (appopriately titled) Tolkien, but now there's a competing biopic that has snagged an Easter 2015 release. Because while Tolkien is about how the author's World War I service influenced his writing, this new contender Tolkien & Lewis delves into religion, and a rivalry that goes even deeper than Gandalf vs. Saruman.

[Read more]

Jul 21 2014 4:00pm

The Sovereign Hand (Excerpt)

Paul Gilbert

The Sovereign Hand Paul Gilbert excerpt

Thorn, the gilded capital: bedecked in steam and the dust of convoys bearing riches from all across the earth. From here, wise and ruling hands have ensnared all Aurawn in a great story, a Primacy of Peace. A land where every person—human, gobelin, or drake—can dream, toil hard and succeed.

Of course, not everyone sees things that way. But when Alexa Temperen stands above Crucible Square and denounces the First and all his government for their injustices, the last thing she imagines is that she’ll soon be working for them, as a champion: one of the Sovereign Hand.

Because prophecy has spoken. Evil is stirring, and Alexa is just one of five unlikely heroes chosen to face it. They each have their doubts, and in her darkest moment Alexa still must decide: put pride aside and fight for a government she despises, or turn her back on her calling, leaving millions at the mercy of an unimaginable terror...

The Sovereign Hand is the debut novel from Paul Gilbert, available in August from New Zealand publisher Steam Press.

[Read an Excerpt]

Jul 21 2014 3:30pm

A Love Letter to Carl Kolchak: The Night Stalker

Darren McGavin Carl Kolchak the Night Stalker

Carl Kolchak: Anybody important here today?
Receptionist: No, just a bunch of reporters.

—from “The Energy Eater” episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker

A lot of things contributed to me ultimately being a writer, but one of the most crucial was a guy in a bad suit and straw hat, with a camera and tape recorder slung over his shoulder. Yep, I mean the night stalker himself, Carl Kolchak, played by Darren McGavin.

[Read More]

Jul 21 2014 3:05pm

Harry Potter and the Midlife Crises You Didn’t See in J.K. Rowling’s New Story

Harry Potter middle-aged books funny someecards Cho Chang Facebook request Mirror of Erised Hogwarts tuition J.K. Rowling new Harry Potter short story

A mysterious new scar and Rita Skeeter’s Dumbledore’s Army biography are just the beginning of Harry Potter’s middle-aged woes. Defeating Voldemort and becoming The Boy Who’s Still Living brings with it a certain ennui.

Sure, you can rest on your laurels, but where are the childhood thrills of prophecies and Quidditch matches and the revolving door of Defense Against the Dark Arts professors?

But even the most mundane conflicts are funny, in these faux-book covers dreamed up by someecards.

[Interestingly, there’s no Harry Potter and Having to Give Teddy Lupin “The Talk”]

Jul 21 2014 3:00pm

US Cover Reveal and Excerpt for Amy McCulloch’s The Oathbreaker’s Shadow

The Oathbreakers Shadow

Two completely different looks. One book.

The Oathbreaker’s Shadow came out in June 2013 in the UK and Canada, but is finally getting its US debut in Feburary 2015 from Flux Books! To give this edition its own unique spin, my publisher has chosen to do something a bit different for my cover. Whereas the UK and Canada went for a character-led cover, with Raim—my protagonist—looking ready for action on the front, the US have gone with something more iconic and more appealing to the crossover market.

[See the full cover and read an excerpt from the novel below!]

Jul 21 2014 2:30pm

Ken Liu has Won a Seiun Award!

Ken Liu has won a Seiun Award! His 2013 work, “The Paper Menagerie,” won in the “Best Translated Short Story” category.

The Seiun Awards were founded in 1970, and are voted on by the participants of the annual Japan Science Fiction Convention. (While Seiun literally means “nebula” in Japanese, the award is not affiliated with the Nebulas.) Previous award winners in the translated short story category include Thomas Disch, Roger Zelazny, and Greg Bear.

“The Paper Menagerie” has already been awarded the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards, and you can read it over at io9! You can also find original short fiction by Ken Liu here on Tor.com.

Jul 21 2014 2:15pm

If This is the Plot for Star Wars: Episode VII, I Will Be Sad

Luke Skywalker, return of the jedi, hand

Badass Digest claims to have a leak who has given them information on the plot of Star Wars Episode VII. Take this with a grain of salt, of course, (THE BIGGEST GRAIN) as the details are unconfirmed. But honestly... if it’s real?

I will not be happy.

[Details below]

Jul 21 2014 2:00pm

The Legend of Korra Keeps Kicking Butt and Taking Names with “Old Wounds” and “Original Airbenders”

Avatar Legend of Korra

I’m incredibly impressed with this season of The Legend of Korra. No more shaky footing, no more “well, lets see how it plays out,” none of that, no doubt, no wait-and-see, just constant high-quality action. If you have friends who drifted away from the show, or if you are that friend? Grab them (or yourself) by the scruff of the neck and drag them back. I admit, I’m a little worried about Nickelodeon’s commitment; this “let’s air two episodes at a time” doesn’t strike me as a good sign. The show is firing on all cylinders, but I’m worried it will be too late for some of the fans... so trust me, Book Three: Change is pure perfection. “Old Wounds” and “Original Airbenders” really continue the tradition at the heart of what made Avatar: The Last Airbender so great: focusing on character conflict and growth.

[Read More]

Jul 21 2014 1:45pm

Benedict Cumberbatch Breaks Nazi Codes, Hearts in The Imitation Game Trailer

The Imitation Game first trailer Benedict Cumberbatch Alan Turing Matthew Goode Keira Knightley Nazis crack codes gay

Alan Turing’s story is so tragic and yet inspiring on so many levels that it’s no surprise that the first trailer for the upcoming biopic The Imitation Game tugs at our heartstrings. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the prickly mathematician, enlisted to help crack the Nazis’ infamous Enigma code during World War II. To do so, they had to create an early prototype for the computer.

[“Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of, who do the things that no one can imagine”]

Jul 21 2014 1:30pm

Where’s Avengers 3 in the New Marvel Studios 2019 Line-Up?

As this year’s San Diego Comic Con gears up, Marvel Studios has released a list of its upcoming movie premiere dates up through 2019. Although the dates are currently without titles, there are a few guesses we can make as to what movies will fill which slots. One of the bigger questions may be...where is Avengers 3 going to go?

[Marvel Studios release dates through 2019]

Jul 21 2014 1:00pm

Working at the Spice Mines—Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights: Jedi Bounty

You know when you have that one friend who is really great, but they hang out with some bad people and kind of get brainwashed into wanting to kill you and your other friends? No? Man, those young Jedi do. And worst of all, that one really cool friend is a giant Wookiee. Not the sort of person you want off your side in a galactic crisis.

But don’t worry because everything will be alright by the end of Jedi Bounty! Sort of? Maybe? At least we’ll get a glimpse of that Diversity Alliance operation. There are drugs involved, so maybe that will smooth things over… actually, considering the effects of spice, probably not.

[Read more]

Jul 21 2014 12:10pm

Meet the Most Under-Appreciated Actor in Showbiz: The Human Lens Flare

human lens flare video funny J.J. Abrams Star Trek Into Darkness Star Wars: Episode VII Lorenzo Flarius

What—you didn’t think J.J. Abrams skimped and just used a lighting crew to produce all of those headache-inducing lens flares in the Star Trek movies, did you? He’s been nurturing the career of Lorenzo Flarius, a hot young talent whose unique look has earned him a spot in nearly every frame of Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness. Forget the recently-announced cast of Star Wars: Episode VII—Lorenzo will be the biggest talent in the new trilogy.

[Betcha feel really bad for making fun of lens flares now, huh?]

Jul 21 2014 12:00pm

True Blood Season 7, Episode 5: “Lost Cause”

True Blood Lost Cause

I’m a sucker for a TV party, so, as unexpected as last night’s big memorial party was, seeing as it’s only been three in-show days since the last Bon Temps gathering ended in mass casualties, any chance for lots of characters to bump up against (and/or stab) one another is cause for celebration.

So, yes, this was another human-centric and mostly not terrible episode of True Blood. And, like Andy Bellefleur, life in Louisiana marches forward. Just some people won’t be marching much longer.

And then the freaking Yakuza showed up. And True Blood was nauseating again.

Spoilers and saucy hand gestures after the katana cut...

[Read more...]

Jul 21 2014 11:00am

A Read of the Dark Tower: Constant Reader Tackles The Dark Tower, Epilogue and Coda

Stephen King The Dark Tower

“There they stood, ranged along the hillsides, met
To view the last of me, a living frame
For one more picture! In a sheet of flame
I saw them and I knew them all.”

—Robert Browning, “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came”

Welcome to A Read of the Dark Tower series. Join me each week as I, Constant Reader, tackle the magnum opus of Stephen King’s career for the first time. If you want to discuss in general terms or talk about these or preceding sections, join me by commenting here.

Last week, we left Patrick behind and faced an end to the story as we began it: with the gunslinger alone.

[Read this week’s post.]

Jul 21 2014 10:10am

Check Out the New X-Wing from Star Wars: Episode VII!

Star Wars Episode VII X-Wing

X-Wing! X-Wing X-Wing X-WING.

Once again J.J. Abrams has promoted the Force for Change charity through a clever Star Wars: Episode VII reveal. This time, in case this wasn’t clear, we get to see an X-Wing! (And we are jumping up and down with excitement, in case that wasn’t clear either.) Look how dented and dusty it is! Look how not-CGI it is! This is a ship with personality.

There’s also a fabulous cameo at the very end, but we won’t spoil it. Go watch!

[click through for the reveal!]

Jul 21 2014 10:00am

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Charles Stross

Charles StrossWelcome 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 Charles Stross, full-time science fiction writer and resident of Edinburgh, Scotland. The author of six Hugo-nominated novels and winner of the 2005 and 2010 Hugo awards for best novella, he has won numerous other awards and been translated into at least 12 other languages. Book five in Stross’ Laundry Files series, The Rhesus Chart, is available now from Ace. You can also get Three Tales from the Laundry Files, a collection of short fiction set in the Laundry Files universe, from Tor.com.

Charlie is extremely specific about his favorite sandwich, which might be a bit of an acquired taste...

[Read More]

Jul 21 2014 9:30am

Messenger of Fear Book Trailer and Sweepstakes!

New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant brings you the story of Mara, a teenage girl whose life is about to change. She wakes up in a field alone, not knowing where she is or how she got there. Until she finds a boy in the mist, dressed in black, able to move effortlessly through space and time. He is the Messenger of Fear, and he brings justice to those who do evil.

The Messenger knows the darkness that human hearts are capable of. He sees the destructive lies, the cruelty, bullying, and violence. He offers justice to an unjust world through a game: if the player wins, they go free, but if they lose, they will live their greatest fear. And Mara has been chosen to become his Apprentice.

We want to give you your first look at the chilling book trailer and give you a chance to win a copy of Messenger of Fear before it hits shelves on September 23rd from Katherine Tegen Books! 

Check for the rules and the trailer below! 

[If you are wicked, the Messenger will find you...]

Jul 21 2014 9:00am

The Deluge Myth: Snowpiercer and Noah


It’s impossible to know who first told the story of a great flood that destroys most of the world, but the deluge myth appeared early and often in various cultures. The most famous account of the flood is, of course, the sketch of Noah’s Ark from Genesis, but the great deluge also figures prominently in the Mesopotamian epics of Gilgamesh and Atrahasis, in the Shatapatha Brahmana story of Manu, and in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Variations abound, but the germ of the story is the same: the last vestiges of humanity huddle aboard a massive vessel while the rest of the world drowns.

In our eschatology-obsessed times, we’ve seen renewed interest in the deluge myth. This summer alone has given us two prominent variations in Darren Aronofsky’s Noah and Joon-ho Bong’s Snowpiercer. These two films present a natural and compelling contrast—while Noah portrays the deluge as religious retribution for wickedness, Snowpiercer presents it as a scientific calamity. In both cases, it would seem, humanity had it coming.

[Read More]