Where the Trains Turn November 19, 2014 Where the Trains Turn Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen His imagination runs wild. The Walk November 12, 2014 The Walk Dennis Etchison Creative differences can be brutal. Where the Lost Things Are November 5, 2014 Where the Lost Things Are Rudy Rucker and Terry Bisson Everything has to wind up somewhere. A Kiss with Teeth October 29, 2014 A Kiss with Teeth Max Gladstone Happy Halloween.
From The Blog
November 18, 2014
The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare’s Histories in the Age of Netflix
Ada Palmer
November 17, 2014
In Defense of Indiana Jones, Archaeologist
Max Gladstone
November 14, 2014
An Uncut and Non-Remastered List of Star Wars Editions!
Leah Schnelbach
November 13, 2014
Why Do We Reject Love as a Powerful Force in Interstellar?
Natalie Zutter
November 11, 2014
The Well-Lit Knight Rises: How 1960s Batman Shaped Our Bat-Thoughts Forever
Ryan Britt
Nov 19 2014 11:45am

Watch the First Trailer for Disney’s Live-Action Cinderella

Cinderella trailer live-action Disney Kenneth Branagh Cate Blanchett Helena Bonham Carter

Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella, being backed by Disney, looks to be a pretty faithful remake of the animated classic. (No songs from the Brandy/Whitney Houston musical, or the complete reimagining of Ever After.) Downton Abbey's Lily James is poor Ella, forced to serve her evil stepmother (Cate Blanchett, who looks like she will be delightfully mean) and awful stepsisters. Until, that is, Ella's fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter) reveals herself and whips up a pumpkin carriage, blue dress, and glass slippers for Ella to enjoy the ball.

[Watch the trailer]

Nov 19 2014 11:00am

Rocket Talk Episode 35: Rob H. Bedford

Rocket Talk

Featuring blogger Rob Bedford, this week’s Rocket Talk podcast episode delves into the relationship between the author and reviewer.

In light of all the recent challenges with this dynamic, Justin asks questions ranging from how Rob views his own relationship to reviewing, how things have changed in the decade plus he’s been in the business, and whether or not there’s something we can do to improve it moving forward.

[Listen here!]

Nov 19 2014 10:00am

The Time Traveler’s Wife Provides the Perfect Way to Rewrite Your Favorite Pairing in Fanfic

The Time Traveler's Wife fanfiction crossovers Supernatural Sherlock Star Trek The Vampire Diaries

A funny thing happened the other day when I decided, on a whim, to look up The Time Traveler’s Wife fanfiction. It’s one of my favorite books, and while there are several years to wait until Audrey Niffenegger writes the sequel, I figured I would bide my time by revisiting Clare and Henry in their out-of-order time-spanning romance.

Except, at least half of the fanfics tagged with “The Time Traveler’s Wife” on Archive of Our Own aren’t from the world of TTTW. They just use the book’s structure to retell the love stories of Kirk/Spock, Sherlock/John, Dean/Castiel, and more.

[Read more]

Nov 19 2014 9:00am
Original Story

Where the Trains Turn

I don’t like to think about the past. But I cannot stop remembering my son.

Emma Nightingale prefers to remain grounded in reality as much as possible. Yet she’s willing to indulge her nine year-old son Rupert’s fascination with trains, as it brings him closer to his father, Gunnar, from whom she is separated. Once a month, Gunnar and Rupert venture out to follow the rails and watch the trains pass. Their trips have been pleasant, if uneventful, until one afternoon Rupert returns in tears. “The train tried to kill us,” he tells her.

Rupert’s terror strikes Emma as merely the product of an overactive imagination. After all, his fears could not be based in reality, could they?

Published here for the first time in English, “Where the Trains Turn” won first prize in the Finnish science-fiction magazine Portti’s annual short story competition and then went on to win the Atorox Award for best Finnish science fiction or fantasy short story.

This novella was acquired and edited for Tor.com by Peter Joseph. Translation by Liisa Rantalaiho.

[Read “Where the Trains Turn” by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen]

Nov 19 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Bizarre Love Triangle

So every once in a while, more treasure troves of behind-the-scenes Star Wars photos pop up. And while they’re always delightful, The Mary Sue led us to Dorkly’s collection of 50 amazing shots, which contain what may be our favorite yet. Look at that. Proof that everyone in their right mind has a crush on Han.

Morning Roundup asks if you would like to receive a book from one Neil Gaiman or one Daniel Handler, then suggests possible cockatil party conversation starters—just in time for the holidays! We also have an ludicrously long interview with Benedict Cumberbatch below the cut.

[Plus, a piece of Internet nostalgia that will make you long for the days of dial-up!]

Nov 18 2014 5:00pm

Jurassic World Launches Viral Website With New Images and Plot Hints

Jurassic World viral website photos skeleton

Last we heard of Jurassic World, a “leaked” brochure hinted at which dinosaurs we’ll see in the new film. Now, Universal Pictures has upped its viral marketing game by launching a website for Masrani Global, the company responsible for bringing to life John Hammond’s dreams of a dinosaur theme park.

[Welcome to the new Isla Nublar!]

Nov 18 2014 4:30pm

Unbreakable Sweepstakes!

Unbreakable by W.C. Bauers hits shelves on January 13th, and we want to send you a galley right now!

The colonists of the planet Montana are accustomed to being ignored. Situated in the buffer zone between two rival human empires, their world is a backwater: remote, provincial, independently minded. Even as a provisional member of the Republic of Aligned Worlds, Montana merits little consideration—until it becomes the flashpoint in an impending interstellar war.

Check for the rules below!

[Read more]

Nov 18 2014 4:00pm

It’s a Hard Knock Life: Gotham, “Harvey Dent”

Gotham Harvey Dent

“Harvey Dent” is the latest in a longstanding tradition of Gotham episodes that introduce the title character but otherwise have very little to do with said character—okay so this is only the second time out of nine episodes that’s happened, but still. The show probably could have gotten away with a Two-Face-related title to offer some kind of thematic unity, as one could argue that this week’s various plots did relate in some way to a conflict of opposites.

That being said: as an episode, “Harvey Dent” was all right, offering viewers a standard case-of-the-week that tied in well with the overarching storyline, and sub-plots that were mostly contained and impactful. I’ll take it!

[Read More]

Nov 18 2014 2:50pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: Sixth Season Overview

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Sixth Season
Original air dates: September 1997 – June 1998
Executive Producer: Rick Berman
Executive Producer: Ira Steven Behr

Station log: DS9 had already dedicated itself to serialized storytelling by the time the sixth season rolled around, but at the end of the fifth they committed themselves to something more significant: a war. The Dominion War commenced at the end of season 5 and did not stop until the show did at the end of the seventh. To show that this was serious business, they didn’t even resolve the Federation losing control of Deep Space 9/Terok Nor until the sixth episode of the season, and the Federation didn’t even manage to make a strike in Dominion territory until the season finale.

[The Prophets don’t see me as a Starfleet captain, they see me as their Emissary.]

Nov 18 2014 2:30pm

The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare’s Histories in the Age of Netflix

The Hollow Crown

Most genre fans who know about the 2012 BBC television film series The Hollow Crown know it because of its big name cast: Jeremy Irons, Tom Hiddleston, John Hurt, Patrick Stewart, Ben Whishaw (Cloud Atlas and Skyfall Bond’s new Q) and Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey). And now that series 2 has signed Benedict Cumberbatch and Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville, the fan squeal almost threatens to drown out the writer credit: Shakespeare.

There have been many discussions of how Netflix, Tivo and their ilk have transformed TV consumption, production and money flow, but I spent the last year watching a pile of different (filmed and live) versions of Shakespeare’s Richard/Henry sequence in order to focus in on how the Netflix era has directly impacted, of all things, our interpretations of Shakespeare, and what that tells us about historical and fantasy TV in general.

[Read More]

Nov 18 2014 2:00pm

How We Met Abbie and Jenny’s Mother: Sleepy Hollow, “Mama”

Oh man a lot happened in this episode! Like a lot! There was a huge misdirection, a lot of healing, some possible resolution of a giant plot arc from last year, setup for the second half of this season, and a Captain Irving-based twist! But that’s not even the thing that impressed me the most. You know what impressed me the most? Everybody loves a good abandoned mental hospital. They are probably the greatest modern horror setting, having handily replaced cemeteries and abandoned carnival grounds. Well, Sleepy Hollow just gave us a whole episode of “abandoned mental hospital” vibe within a currently functional mental hospital.

[Read More]

Nov 18 2014 1:10pm

Best Car Mechanic Ever Leaves Note from the Doctor for Whovian Car Owner

Doctor, Amy, car

Tumblr user thetraciwho went to get their car fixed, and received a delightful surprise from the mechanic. Or should we say, a Time Lord in disguise?

[Where does this person fix cars? We want in on the fun.]

Nov 18 2014 1:00pm

The Wheel of Time Reread Redux: The Eye of the World, Part 9

Lay on, Macduff, and welcome back to the Wheel of Time Reread Redux!

Today’s Redux post will cover Chapters 16 and 17 of The Eye of the World, originally reread in this post.

All original posts are listed in The Wheel of Time Reread Index here, and all Redux posts will also be archived there as well. (The Wheel of Time Master Index, as always, is here, which has links to news, reviews, interviews, and all manner of information about the Wheel of Time in general on Tor.com.)

The Wheel of Time reread is also now available as an ebook series, except for the portion covering A Memory of Light, which should become available soon.

All Reread Redux posts will contain spoilers for the entire Wheel of Time series, so if you haven’t read, read at your own risk.

And now, the post!

[Come, you spirits/ That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here]

Nov 18 2014 12:46pm

HBO Teases Westworld With Mysterious Video: “So Our Creatures Have Been Misbehaving”

HBO Westworld teaser Vine video photo Jonathan Nolan

We don’t know too much about HBO’s new Westworld TV series, aside from the fact that it’s a remake of the 1973 film written and directed by Michael Crichton, and that Jonathan Nolan and wife Lisa Joy Nolan are adapting it for television. But now the network has released a mysterious, creepy, oh-so-brief preview for the series.

[Click through to watch]

Nov 20 2014 3:00pm

When the Internet Doesn’t Work With Your 1970s Plot: Down a Dark Hall

From the moment she arrives at the school, Kit Gordy is aware that something is wrong. No, more than wrong—outright evil. These claims could, I suppose, be dismissed as usual teenage angst. But as it turns out, Kit is quite right: The building, the school, and its purpose are all quite, quite evil.

That isn't actually the disturbing part of reading Lois Duncan's Down a Dark Hall (1974/2011) today.

[When updating your book for the Internet age causes all kinds of contrived plot problems in a book that already had contrived plot problems.]

Nov 18 2014 12:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Mallory Ortberg

Mallory Ortberg pop quizWelcome 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 Mallory Ortberg, co-creator of The Toast, a general-interest website geared toward women. She has written for Gawker, New York Magazine, The Hairpin, and The Atlantic. Her new book, Texts from Jane Eyre (available now from Henry Holt), is a collection of hilariously imagined text conversations—the passive aggressive, the clever, and the strange—featuring classic and modern literary figures, from Scarlett O’Hara to Jessica Wakefield.

Join us for a tale of dentistry that is equal parts horrifying and hilarious!

[Read More]

Nov 18 2014 11:00am

Download Chapters 1-7 of Brian Staveley’s The Emperor’s Blades For Free!

The Emperor's Blades Brian Staveley

You can now download Chapters 1-7 of The Emperor’s Blades for Nook, Kindle, iPad, or your preferred e-reader, absolutely free! The Emperor's Blades is the first novel in Brian Staveley’s Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne fantasy series, which continues with The Providence of Fire—publishing January 2015 from Tor Books! We'll be previewing chapters from The Providence of Fire all next week here on Tor.com, so now's your chance to get caught up!

The emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins.

Kaden, the heir to the Unhewn Throne, has spent eight years sequestered in a remote mountain monastery, learning the enigmatic discipline of monks devoted to the Blank God. An ocean away, Valyn endures the brutal training of the Kettral, elite soldiers who fly into battle on gigantic black hawks. At the heart of the empire, Minister Adare, elevated to her station by one of the emperor’s final acts, is determined to prove herself to her people. Will their quest for justice come at the cost of their own destinies?


Chapters 1-7 are available now in the US and many other territories from the retailers below, or your favorite ebook provider!

ibooks | Kindle | Nook

Nov 18 2014 10:37am

Chu’s Day

In something of a show of force, Angry Robot—the British base of “SF, F and WTF?!?” which was bought by Watkins Media in October, shortly after the sudden shuttering of its sister imprint Strange Chemistry—has signed a six-figure deal, reportedly the biggest in its history, for another three novels by Wesley Chu.

Chu might be new—his Young Adult Library Services Association Alex Award-winning debut, The Lives of Tao, was only released in 2013—but according to Angry Robot’s Managing Director Marc Gascoigne, he’s made quite an impression in the brief period he’s been on the scene:

Wesley Chu’s Tao series has been a runaway success for Angry Robot, and we’re delighted that he has re-signed for us for this brand new trilogy of novels. He manages to combine lofty science fiction themes with pure Hollywood pacing, and quite frankly his novels just rock. With Angry Robot recently moving to new owners, Watkins Media Ltd, we’re delighted to have the resources to take Wes’ sales to a whole new level. His world domination is now only a matter of time.

Having read one of Chu’s two Tao books myself, I’d suggest that this isn’t such an improbable possibility. The dude is good!

[Read more]

Nov 18 2014 10:00am

Imperfect Saltes: The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, Part V

Hp lovecraft reread The Case of Charles Dexter WardWelcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s original stories. Today we’re looking at the finale of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. CDW was written in 1927, published in abridged form in the May and July 1941 issues of Weird Tales; and published in full in the 1943 collection Beyond the Wall of Sleep. You can read the story here.

Catch our posts on the earlier parts of the story here, here, and here. Spoilers ahead.

[“It was a godless sound; one of those low-keyed, insidious outrages of Nature which are not meant to be. To call it a dull wail, a doom-dragged whine, or a hopeless howl of chorused anguish and stricken flesh without mind would be to miss its most quintessential loathsomeness and soul-sickening overtones.”]

Nov 18 2014 9:30am

But How Do You Make Mjolnir Like You, Though? — Being Worthy of the Power of Thor

Thor, mjolnir

Heroism is an interesting thing. What makes one person good can be drastically different than what makes another person good. There are a multitude of ways to embody goodness, just as there are many ways to embody evil. But we don’t often talk about the subtleties of goodness the way we do with villainy. You’re either good or you’re not.

Which brings me to a question: what specifically makes Thor good enough to hoist Mjolnir?

[What does being “worthy” entail exactly?]