When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami September 16, 2014 When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami Kendare Blake A Goddess Wars story 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.
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
Mon
Sep 15 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Are We All the MacGuffins of Our Own Lives?

Who knew MacGuffins could be so cute? So, as you probably know, a MacGuffin is an object of desire in a movie where the desire for the thing is more important than the thing itself. So, um, spoiler alert, but Rosebud fuels the plot of Citizen Kane even though the sled itself is barely in the movie, thus, MacGuffin. Same with the eponymous Maltese Falcon. Artist 100% Soft has immortalized the greatest film MacGuffins, including the Infinity Stone from Guardians of the Galaxy with this adorable art! His “Lil MacGuffins” series will be featured in a three-person art show with Glen Brogan and Russ Moore at the Bottleneck Gallery in Brooklyn, so go buy some art!

Morning Roundup is its own McGuffin! We have links to the Prattiest of all PrattPratts! Also, a cameo appearance by Grandmaster Flash, and math porn!

[plus some creepy Star Wars stuff.]

Sun
Sep 14 2014 10:00am

British Genre Fiction Hitlist: Late September New Releases

From the fold of the British Genre Fiction Focus comes the British Genre Fiction Hitlist: your biweekly breakdown of the most notable new releases out of the United Kingdom’s thriving speculative fiction industry.

The summer may be coming to a close, but don’t despair, readers dear... because it’s a fine fortnight to be a genre fiction fan. Look forward to a few exciting sequels—not least The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey, which takes place after The 5th Wave, Day 21 of The 100’s expedition to Earth and Sarah Rees Brennan’s latest Lynburn Legacy—as well as several new series, such as Pierre Pevel’s Tales from the High Kingdom, but if I’m honest, the standalones have it. Standalones like Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld, Eren by Simon P. Clark, Horrorstor by our own Grady Hendrix and The Golem of Hollywood by Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman. Then there’s Bête by Adam Roberts, The Revolutions by Felix Gilman, Rooms by Lauren Oliver and another Man Booker Prize-longlisted novel: namely J by Howard Jacobson.

This edition of the Hitlist also features new books by Ekaterina Sedia, Sean Wallace, Ed Cox, Robert Rankin, Chris Riddell, Alexander Maskill, S. J. (aka Stephen) Deas, James Dashner, John Jackson Miller and Garth Stein.

[Read More]

Sat
Sep 13 2014 10:00pm

If You Want a Monster to Hunt, You’ll Get It. Doctor Who: “Listen”

Doctor Who season 8, episode 4: Listen

We just saw one of the greatest episodes of Doctor Who, or one of its worst. And I can’t decide where “Listen” ultimately falls.

It’s an uneven episode of television, juxtaposing tense and imaginative scenes against long, drowsy passages of banal writing. Its ending is magnificent, managing to shock while tying together the emotional journeys of all the characters involved. But it also feels like cheating. Like we didn’t quite earn the peek behind the curtain that we got.

“Listen” is impactful, that’s for sure. But I need to parse these mixed feelings about the episode, as I suspect their origins are grown from being a viewer who is perhaps too familiar with the subject matter. I’d like to end this analysis on a positive note, so we’ll start by getting the bad bits out of the way.

[Doctor Who: “Listen”]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 5:00pm

Support Your New Faves with the Awkward Robots’ The Red Volume Anthology

Awkward Robots the Red Volume

Earlier this week, Clarion class of 2012 (the self-proclaimed Awkward Robots) released a pay what you can anthology to support the work of the Clarion Foundation, the non-profit parent group to the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop.

Clarion has a long career of turning out the newest generations of vibrant and talented SFF writers, including the likes of Octavia Butler and Cory Doctorow. The Awkward Robots are no exception. If Clarion’s illustrious alumni and educational MO haven’t convinced you to throw a few dollars (or more) at The Red Volume, the stories from these up-and-coming writers should certainly do the trick.

[Read More]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 4:35pm

Sesame Street Star Wars Asks: What If Han Solo Was Constantly Devouring Chewbacca?

Sesame Street Star Wars parody S'mores

While we wait for the new Star Wars movies, Sesame Street is tapping into the original trilogy to teach us an important lesson about cookie moderation. But mostly our takeaway from this video is that Han Solo is a remorseless cannibal who would constantly be eating Chewbacca if he had the chance.

[Watch the madness]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 4:05pm

Cosplaying as Bruce Wayne’s Parents Sure Looks Comfy

Bruce Wayne parents cartoon

There are some cosplayers who slave over their costumes recreating every single tiny detail with stunning accuracy. There are other cosplayers who, on the convention floor, truly commit to staying in-character. Then there are those few who excel at both. We’ve got to applaud this couple—the clear winners of Oz Comic-Con, held in Brisbane, Australia, last week—for their Bruce Wayne parents cosplay.

[Read more]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 4:00pm

“I Want It All” — A Conversation with Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven Emily St John Mandel I’ve been a fan of Emily St. John Mandel ever since her first novel, Last Night in Montreal, came out in 2009; she’s a stunningly beautiful writer whose complex, flawed, and well-drawn characters linger with you long after you set her books down.

Now, with the release of Station Eleven—a big, brilliant, ambitious, genre-bending novel that follows a traveling troupe of Shakespearean actors roaming a postapocalyptic world­—she’s poised for blockbuster success. Effortlessly combining her flawless craftsmanship, rich insights, and compelling characters with big-budget visions of the end of the world, Station Eleven is hands-down one of my favorite books of the year.

[After the jump: An interview with Emily St. John Mandel.]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 3:35pm

Join Farel Dalrymple and The Wrenchies on Tour!

Farel Dalrymple The Wrenchies

Farel Dalrymple is going on tour this autumn for his graphic novel, The Wrenchies! The book takes us to a most unusual apocalypse:

Leking Snipes has been turned into a bug. A bug with a gun. This isn’t making the apocalypse—already filled with nightmarish soul-sucking creatures, loss, and abandonment—any easier to deal with. But at least in the apocalypse, there’s always something new to fight—whether it’s demons or the insanity of the world he lives in.

You can check out a Tor.com Original comic set in the world of The Wrenchies, and see Dalrymple on tour in one of the following cities. The tour kicks off this weekend at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland!

[Full Tour Schedule]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 3:30pm

The Copernicus Complex Sweepstakes!

The Copernicus Complex by Caleb Scharf, out now from Scientific American/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, examines our place in the cosmic order. Renowned astrophysicist Scharf takes readers on a scientific adventure, from tiny microbes within the Earth to distant expoplanets, probability theory, and beyond, to explore the question of whether our existence in the universe is unique, insignificant, or far more complicated than either of those possibilities suggest.

Take a look at our excerpt, then enter to win one of our five copies of the book!

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 3:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on September 12. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on September 16. 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.

Fri
Sep 12 2014 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “The Magnificent Ferengi”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Magnificent Ferengi“The Magnificent Ferengi”
Written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by Chip Chalmers
Season 6, Episode 10
Production number 40510-534
Original air date: December 17, 1997
Stardate: unknown

Station log: Quark proudly announces that he has obtained syrup of squill. Odo thinks that means the drought is over on Balancar—but it turns out that there was never a drought, it was a story to allow the stockpiling of squill to drive the price up. But Quark heard that a prominent person on Balancar ordered a pair of Ferengi rain slippers, which he wouldn’t need if there was a drought. So Quark ordered several cases at a cheaper price, threatening to expose the scheme to the entire quadrant if they didn’t. (Of course, he just exposed it to the entire bar...)

Everyone’s thrilled with this story, right up until Dax, Bashir, and O’Brien walk in, having just returned from a dangerous mission on the Defiant. Quark is cranky because Starfleet just stole his audience.

[A child, a moron, a failure, and a psychopath. Quite a little team you’ve put together!]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 2:00pm
Excerpt

Mortal Gods (Excerpt)

Mortal Gods Goddess War Kendare Blake excerpt Ares, god of war, is leading the other dying gods into battle. Which is just fine with Athena. She’s ready to wage a war of her own, and she’s never liked him anyway. If Athena is lucky, the winning gods will have their immortality restored. If not, at least she’ll have killed the bloody lot of them, and she and Hermes can die in peace.

Cassandra Weaver is a weapon of fate. The girl who kills gods. But all she wants is for the god she loved and lost to return to life. If she can’t have that, then the other gods will burn, starting with his murderer, Aphrodite. The alliance between Cassandra and Athena is fragile. Cassandra suspects Athena lacks the will to truly kill her own family. And Athena fears that Cassandra’s hate will get them all killed.

The war takes them across the globe, searching for lost gods, old enemies, and Achilles, the greatest warrior the world has ever seen. As the struggle escalates, Athena and Cassandra must find a way to work together. Because if they can’t, fates far worse than death await.

Mortal Gods, the second Goddess War novel by Kendare Blake, is available October 14th from Tor Teen.

[Read an excerpt]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 1:30pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Djibril al-Ayad

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 Djibril al-Ayad, a French-born historian and archaeologist with research interests including ancient magic and futuristic technology. He runs The Future Fire, an online magazine of social-political speculative fiction, and is the co-editor of the anthologies Outlaw Bodies (with Lori Selke) and We See a Different Frontier (with Fabio Fernandes), and the forthcoming Accessing the Future (with Kathryn Allan).

Read on for one of the best slashfic cross-over SFF pairings we’ve ever encountered...

[Join us!]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 1:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Next-Gen Gaming Meets its Destiny

There was plenty going on this week in gaming—from the Xbox’s abject failure in Japan to the 15th anniversary of the Dreamcast—but one story pretty clearly stood out from all the rest. Destiny, Bungie’s much-anticipated post-Halo IP, launched, finally giving both next-gen (or is it current-gen? I feel like we can call them current-gen now) consoles their first true killer app (with apologies to the Xbox-exclusive Titanfall).

[“It doesn’t matter who you are. Only what you will become.”]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 12:07pm

New Star Wars: Episode VII Set Photos Reveal the Millennium Falcon and Maybe a Rebel Base?

Star Wars: Episode VII set photos

It’s wonderfully fitting that the latest Star Wars: Episode VII set photos come to us via drone. Latino-Review got their hands on a number of exciting images taken over RAF Greenham Common, a former airfield in Berkshire, England. Not only is the airfield housing several key ships from the new Star Wars film—including the beloved Millennium Falcon and some unusual-looking X-wings—but it appears to be an actual set for a battle scene, if the rumors are to be believed.

[See for yourself]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 12:00pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: The Crippled God, Chapter Eighteen

Welcome 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 eighteen 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]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 11:00am

Summer of Sleaze: Guy Smith’s The Sucking Pit and The Walking Dead

The Sucking Pit Guy SmithSummer of Sleaze is 2014’s turbo-charged trash safari where Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction and Grady Hendrix of The Great Stephen King Reread plunge into the bowels of vintage paperback horror fiction, unearthing treasures and trauma in equal measure.

He enjoys tobacco. He loves guns. He does not like street lights. Truly, Guy N. Smith is a man of many facets, but he’s best known for his crabs. From 1976 until 2012 he wrote Night of the Crabs, Killer Crabs, The Origin of the Crabs, Crabs on the Rampage, Crabs’ Moon, Crabs: The Human Sacrifice, and Killer Crabs: The Return. Along with about 93 other books. But apart from being a prolific writer of all things crab, what does Guy N. Smith have to offer the modern reader?

[Read More]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 10:05am

Bryan Fuller Has No Plans to Whitewash American Gods’ Shadow for TV

American Gods Bryan Fuller Shadow

It’s pretty common for Hollywood to whitewash characters from books when their races are not explicitly stated in very exacting language. American Gods’ leading man is one of those characters—Shadow’s parentage is half-white in the form of Norse god Odin, and though it seems clear in the narrative that his mother is not white, she is never said to be black or any other ethnicity in particular.

Which is why it was so relieving to hear Byran Fuller—showrunner for the upcoming American Gods television series—assure fans that he has no intention of whitewashing the character.

[Read more]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 10:00am

Liveblogging Season Six of Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Yoda

You know, I really didn’t want to finish this. At all. I think the only way I’m alright with it ending is knowing that Star Wars Rebels is coming, but even so, I’m going to miss these characters. I’m going to miss the prequels. If TCW has given me any great gift, that has to be the biggest of all.

[Read more]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 9:30am

The Accidental Highwayman Sweepstakes!

We've given you a sneak peek at some of the rollicking adventure you can look forward to in The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp, out from Tor Books on October 14th, and now we want to send you a galley, complete with footnotes and illustrations!

 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.

Check for the rules below! 

[Read more]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 9:00am

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Giacomo Cimini

Giacomo Cimini pop quiz interview 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 Giacomo Cimini, director of The Nostalgist, a short sci fi film based on a Tor.com original story by New York Times best-selling author Daniel H. Wilson (Robopocalypse, Amped). In the futuristic city of Vanille, with properly tuned ImmerSyst Eyes & Ears the world can look and sound like a paradise. But the life of a father and his young son threatens to disintegrate when the father’s device begins to fail. Desperate to avoid facing his own traumatic reality, the man must venture outside to find a replacement, into a city where violence and danger lurk beneath a skim of beautiful illusion. The film is available for pre-order at We Are Colony.

Find out Giacomo’s very simple solution to Jeff Goldblum’s fly problem, and watch the trailer for The Nostalgist below!

[Join us!]