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. When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami September 16, 2014 When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami Kendare Blake A Goddess Wars story
From The Blog
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
September 22, 2014
Five Brilliant Things About Doctor Who “Time Heist”
Paul Cornell
September 19, 2014
“WCKD is Good,” But The Maze Runner is Bad
Natalie Zutter
Sep 26 2014 5:00pm

The Tree of Water (Excerpt)

Elizabeth Haydon

The Tree of Water Elizabeth Haydon excerpt As Royal Reporter of the land of Serendair, it is the duty of young Charles Magnus “Ven” Polypheme to travel the world and seek out magic hiding in plain sight. But Ven needs to escape the clutches of the nefarious Thief Queen, ruler of the Gated City, whose minions are hunting for him. His friend, the merrow Amariel, has the perfect solution to his dilemma: Ven and Char will join her to explore the world beneath the sea.

As they journey through the sea, Ven finds himself surrounded by wonders greater than he could have ever imagined. But the beauty of the ocean is more than matched by the dangers lurking within its depths, and Ven and his friends soon realize that in order to save thousands of innocent lives, they may have to sacrifice their own. For everything in the ocean needs to eat…

The epic voyages continue in The Tree of Water, the fourth adventure in bestselling author Elizabeth Haydon’s acclaimed fantasy series for young readers, The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme. Look for it October 28th from Starscape!

[Read an excerpt]

Sep 26 2014 4:05pm

The Legend of Korra: Book 4 Trailer is Here!

Avatar: The Legend of Korra: Book 4 trailer

With mere weeks to go until the new (and final) season of Avatar: The Legend of Korra, we finally get a trailer for Book 4! Three years have passed since the Red Lotus poisoned Korra—leading to some awesome metalbending but leaving the Avatar wheelchair-bound—and boy, is there a lot to take in.

[Watch the trailer!]

Sep 26 2014 4:00pm

Retribution (Excerpt)

Mark Charan Newton

Retribution Lucan Drakenfeld Mark Charon Newton Having just solved a difficult case in his home city of Tryum, Sun Chamber Officer Lucan Drakenfeld and his associate Leana are ordered to journey to the exotic city of Kuvash in Koton, where a revered priest has gone missing. When they arrive, they discover the priest has already been found—or at least parts of him have.

But investigating the unusual death isn’t a priority for the legislature of Kuvash; there’s a kingdom to run, a census to create and a dictatorial Queen to placate. Soon Drakenfeld finds that he is suddenly in charge of an investigation in a strange city, whose customs and politics are as complex as they are dangerous.

When several more bodies are discovered mutilated and dumped in a public place, Drakenfeld realizes there’s a killer at work who seems to delight in torture and pain. With no motive, no leads and no suspects, he feels like he’s running out of options. And in a city where nothing is as it seems, seeking the truth is likely to get him killed…

Mark Charan Newton’s Retribution is the second novel in the Lucan Drakenfeld fantasy crime series, available October 23rd from Tor Books UK.

[Read an excerpt]

Sep 26 2014 3:07pm

The New Jupiter Ascending Trailer Outlines Its Epic Story

Jupiter Ascending new trailer

The first few trailers for the Wachowski siblings’ new sci-fi film Jupiter Ascending showed us a lot of CGI without really communicating the plot. Sure, we knew that elf-eared Channing Tatum rescues secret intergalactic princess Mila Kunis from everyone who’s trying to kill her... But that’s about as much as we could glean.

Now, the latest trailer delves more into how Earth was “seeded” 100,000 years ago, the Dune-like politics of succession, and how Jupiter, despite her propensity for hurtling helplessly off tall buildings, is actually the reincarnation of the Queen of the Universe.

[Read more]

Sep 26 2014 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “One Little Ship”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: One Little Ship“One Little Ship”
Written by Bradley Thompson & David Weddle
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Season 6, Episode 14
Production episode 40510-537
Original air date: February 14, 1998
Stardate: 51474.2

Station log: The Defiant is investigating a subspace compression phenomenon. Dax, O’Brien, and Bashir take the Rubicon into the phenomenon, tethered to the Defiant via a tractor beam. The runabout shrinks when it hits the accretion disc, which makes O’Brien more than a little nervous.

A Jem’Hadar ship attacks the Defiant, using the phenomenon to mask their arrival. They trash the Defiant and board it, while the Rubicon goes hurtling into the phenomenon once the tractor beam is lost in battle.

[Mr. Worf, I think your wife is here.]

Sep 26 2014 2:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Beth Cato

Beth Cato 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 author Beth Cato! Beth hails from Hanford, California, but currently writes and bakes cookies in a lair outside of Phoenix, Arizona. She shares the household with a hockey-loving husband, a numbers-obsessed son, and a cat the size of a canned ham. Beth's debut novel, The Clockwork Dagger, is available now from HarperVoyager. Check out an excerpt from the steampunk fantasy here on Tor.com!

[Read More]

Sep 26 2014 1:00pm

Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, Before They Are Hanged: “To the Last Man” and “Jewel of Cities”

Before They Are Hanged Joe Abercrombie rereadLast week I encouraged commenters to comment on Tolomei, daughter of the Maker and lover(?) of Bayaz. You ignored me and told me it was too soon! Cue the shaking and rattling of a rereader gone drunk with power, calling down the heavens for your impudence. Or, you know, you were right. Whatever.

This week’s chapters are a little more pedestrian in terms of information reveals compared to last week’s, but I can assure you that they are the calm before the storm. We’re starting to get into the home stretch of Before They Are Hanged. Get ready to run!

[Read More...]

Sep 26 2014 12:30pm

Relive All of the Batman Theme Songs With This Amazing Cello/Piano Medley

Batman Evolution piano cello medley

Would you believe that the most epic Batman theme you’ll ever hear is on piano and cello? YouTube group ThePianoGuys have adapted everything from The Hobbit’s theme to “Let It Go” into stunning piano/cello combinations, and now they’ve set their sights on the Caped Crusader—no doubt to coincide with the massive Adam West Batman DVD/Blu-ray rerelease this November.

[Read more]

Sep 26 2014 12:00pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: The Crippled God, Chapter Twenty (Part Two)

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]

Sep 26 2014 11:00am

Awesome Aliens: Jim Cambias’s A Darkling Sea

A Darkling Sea James L CambiasWhat’s better than a first novel with awesome aliens that includes really well done alien points of view? A first novel with two lots of different awesome aliens that includes two different alien points of view!

I’ve been enjoying James Cambias’s short work for years, and I was excited to hear about A Darkling Sea. When I was asked to read it to see if I wanted to blurb it I agreed—and at that point I didn’t know anything about it but the title and author. Then I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I enjoyed it even more reading it again now. I’d have loved this book when I was twelve, and I still love it. This is an old-fashioned science fiction novel with today’s science—biology and physics and astronomy.

[Read more: no spoilers]

Sep 26 2014 10:30am

Get The Way of Kings for Free from iBooks!

Brandon Sanderson The Way of Kings

Are you looking for a new bestselling epic fantasy series? Are you interested in The Stormlight Archive, but are still looking for a sign that now is the time to jump in? Are you just tired of lugging a gigantic physical book around? We have triply-good news for you!

Apple is launching an initiative in tandem with their new iOS 8 system, and in addition to some other fine books, they’re making Brandon Sanderson’s novel The Way of Kings available as a free download from iBooks. Brandon Sanderson was excited to be part of this Apple promotion and was happy to offer the book to readers for free, saying “I believe that people’s investment of time in a book like The Way of Kings is worth more than their investment of money.”

The book will be available for free through the end of the year, so head over to iBooks to download. Note: Unfortunately, it appears that iBooks is offering this only to U.S. users right now.

Sep 26 2014 10:00am

10 Reasons to Read and Love Peter F. Hamilton

The Abyss Beyond Dreams UK coverIn just a few short weeks, Peter F. Hamilton’s The Abyss Beyond Dreams (surely a most perfect title) will be published by Tor UK! (The US edition is published by Del Rey.). I’m in the very fortunate position to have read it already and not only did I adore it, but it also reaffirmed all of the reasons why PFH proves himself, time after time, to be my favourite author.

Here are just ten of the reasons why—although, given enough time and internet paper, there would have been far more reasons than that. If you were to cut me in half, it’s quite possible you would see ‘PFH fangirl’ written across the section as if I were a big stick of moonrock.

[Read More]

Sep 26 2014 9:30am

The Three-Body Problem Sweepstakes!

The Three-Body Problem finally arrives on November 11th from Tor Books, and we want to send you a galley right now! Read our first excerpt from the book here and the second one here, plus this article from author Cixin Liu discussing Chinese science fiction and his experience writing The Three-Body Problem. And while you’re at it, check out the cover for the sequel, The Dark Forest!

Check for the rules below!

[Read more]

Sep 26 2014 9:00am

This Chinese Comic Bootleg of Star Wars is Full of Droid Kissing and Booze

Star Wars Chinese Comic

Ah, the bootleg DVD. In China, this manner of receiving entertainment is all but an enterprise. (I have a particular memory of a friend’s father bringing home a pirated copy of Pirates of the Caribbean from a business trip to China, where the subtitles were clearly from a different film—during their duel, Will Turner accused Jack of never coming home: “All you want to do is go disco disco with your friends!”)

But before that, did you know that there were lianhuanhua? Meaning the equivalent of “linked picture book,” these were an early form of comic in China—many of which were adapted from popular films that the public didn’t have access to.

And you need to look at this Star Wars one.

[Check it.]

Sep 26 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Generally You Don’t See That Kind of Behavior From a Major Beverage Company...

Sharing a Coke with Zuul seems like a very bad idea. Zuul doesn’t seem like a sharer. But no matter. One of Bill Murray’s Facebook fan pages posted this, and we think it would be an excellent accompaniment to the large quantity of roasted marshmallows. Or Twinkies.

Morning Roundup is looking at some particularly questionable book-banning explanations, a few alien hoaxes that made us want to believe, and the next step in the career of Margaery Tyrell!

[Plus science facts!]

Sep 26 2014 7:00am

A Dangerous Game

solaris anthologies

In recent years, no one publisher has done as much for the short form of speculative fiction in Britain as Solaris. Since the summer, they’ve released Reach for Infinity (in the US and in the UK), the latest volume of Jonathan Strahan’s continuing chronicle of the future history of humanity—reviewed right here by yours truly—alongside the eighth edition of The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year (US/UK) and the third in the superb Solaris Rising series (US/UK).

And there’s much more to come in the coming months. Fearsome Magics (US/UK), the follow-up to The New Solaris Book of Fantasy, is out in early October—on the same day, indeed, as Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets (US/UK) from Solaris’ sister imprint Abaddon, which proposes to showcase the great detective through a decidedly unlikely lens.

[Read More]

Sep 25 2014 5:00pm

A Financially Minded Bear: Paddington at Work

Paddington at Work Michael BondAt first glance, the title Paddington at Work (1966) might seem just a little misleading, and not just because it's rather difficult to imagine the accident prone bear from Darkest Peru managing to settle down to full time work.  No, the real issue is that as the book starts, Paddington is a passenger on a cruise ship, which is more or less the antithesis of work, something the bear continues to do for the first couple of chapters.

And it's a good thing the bear has a chance for a bit of a rest—even if it's the sort of rest interrupted by possible hallucinations, encounters with ship entertainers, and cries of “Bear Overboard!” Because for the rest of the book, Paddington is going to be focused on a new concern: money, making the title feel rather appropriate after all.

[Stock investments, Scotland Yard, antiques, and the difficulties of finding good help even in a world with a talking bears]

Sep 25 2014 4:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Death of a Titan

Titan gaming roundup

Blizzard Entertainment finally pulled the plug on their not-so-secret secret MMO this week. News of their venture, codenamed Titan for the last several years, first leaked as far back as 2007, sending the gaming world into a frenzy as players salivated over the possibility of a new IP from the masters of modern MMO. Sadly, it was not to be, as Blizzard officially cancelled the game after seven long years of development, citing a lack of passion and drive for the project.

[Where does Blizzard go from here?]

Sep 25 2014 3:00pm

Dave Palumbo Paints (on the) Classics

Dave Palumbo book art

IlluxCon, an annual science fiction and fantasy illustration showcase, was held this past weekend in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Among all the debuted paintings and drawings was a new series from Dave Palumbo inspired by some of his favorite books, painted straight on those books. According to the artist:

“This series, like most of my personal projects, began almost as an accident. [...] Another artist had given me some drawings and I wanted to return the favor, but he said he’d be fine with just some books to read. That seemed unfair to me and ultimately I decided to paint on a book cover (a 1963 American edition of Planet of the Apes) and meet him in the middle. The piece was so much fun, I began thinking of other books I might enjoy working with and, before I knew it, I had a monster list which strangely just seems to get longer the more that I do.”

Dave tries to obtain as early a printing as possible at a reasonable price. The history of a vintage copy, even if it isn’t a first edition, adds something to the piece. He is, clearly, as much of fan of the literature as he is of genre painting and has developed a deeply personal way of exploring a love of both. Check out some of the book paintings below!

[Read More]

Sep 25 2014 2:15pm

Get Ender’s Shadow, Mistborn, and Emperor’s Blades for $2.99 from Google Play

Google Play Emperor's Blades Mistborn Ender's Shadow

From today until September 28th, Google Play is offering the ebooks of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Shadow, Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn, and Brian Staveley's The Emperor's Blades for $2.99 each. Click through for the sale links.

[Read more]