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 4:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Kelly Barnhill

Kelly Barnhill 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 Kelly Barnhill! Kelly writes novels for children and short stories for adults and poetry that she whispers in the dark when no one is listening. Her first novel, The Mostly True Story of Jack, received four-starred reviews, and her second, Iron Hearted Violet, received a Parents’ Choice Gold Award.

Kelly’s latest novel, The Witch's Boy, takes classic fairy tale elements–speaking stones, a friendly wolf, and a spoiled young king–and weaves them into a richly detailed narrative that explores good and evil, love and hate, magic, and the power of friendship. Look for it September 16th from Algonquin Young Readers.

[Join us!]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 3:30pm

Jackaby Sweepstakes!

William Ritter’s debut novel, Jackaby, comes out from Algonquin Young Readers on September 16th. You can find out more about Ritter and his love of lemurs, Fraggle Rock, and LeVar Burton in our Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe!

Jackaby, the first book in a series described as “Doctor Who meets Sherlock,” follows R.F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with an ability to see supernatural beings, and his assistant, Abigail Rook, who is drawn into a case involving a serial killer—who may in fact be a nonhuman creature—her first day on the job.

We have five copies of Jackaby to send your way, so 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 15. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on September 19. 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.

Mon
Sep 15 2014 3:00pm

Highlights from Steven Erikson’s Reddit AMA!

Steven Erikson Malazan Author

Steven Erikson has so much to tell us, reddit could barely contain it all! He’s nearing the end of the second novel in the Kharkanas trilogy, Fall of Light, which he hopes to finish “sometime in the next two months.” Plus, he took a break from working on that book to write a seventy-five thousand word Star Trek spoof called Willful Child (read an excerpt here). From the author himself:

“So here you all thought I’d spend this time writing and talking about Fantasy novels, huh? Wrong. This Trekker’s come out of the wardrobe closet, in public for the first time! Eat tribbles and die!”

In his comprehensive AMA, Erikson talked about Willful Child, the intricacies of Malazan, and his overall writing process. He also mentioned that he’ll be appearing at next year’s World Fantasy Awards Con in Saratoga Springs, so mark your calendars now!

[Check out the AMA highlights!]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 2:00pm

The Retrospective: The Relic Guild by Edward Cox

The Relic Guild Edward Cox

The end result of more than a decade of obsessive endeavour, The Relic Guild by Edward Cox is the first part of a fine fantasy saga mixing gods and monsters that promises a lot, but delivers on too little to linger long after its last page.

Be that as it may, it’s engrossing in the early-going, as the author thrusts us into the midst of a magical battle between Marney, an out-of-practice empath; a goodly number of golems in service of someone called Fabian Moor: an evil Genii determined to bring his banished master back from the blackest corners of beyond; and Old Man Sam, a bounty hunter unburdened by the little things in life, like what’s right.

The good, the bad and the ugly are all searching for the same thing, in this instance: a girl called Peppercorn Clara. “Barely eighteen, she was a whore rumoured to have a libido as spicy as it was insatiable. The story was that [she] had killed a client halfway through a job.” Needless to say, this is a fabrication. Clara’s only crime is that she’s different from most of the million mere mortals who live in Labrys Town, being the first magical being born within its walls in a generation.

[Read More]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 1:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 1

Here we go again! Welcome to the Servant of the Empire Reread.

The good news for those of you who remember the Great Whitewashed Cover of Daughter of the Empire is that the edition I have of Servant of the Empire from my teen reading years does not feature a blonde Mara on the front cover.

This Mara looks more Arabic than Asian, but as she is portrayed largely in shadow and with a setting sun behind her, the overall effect is racially non-specific, and not especially white, which allows the reader to make their own call. The lack of blondness is a definite improvement! It probably doesn’t hurt that the artist of this particular cover is Don Maitz, husband of one of the book’s authors.

But never mind the wrapping, let’s get to the contents of the second volume.

[Read More]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 12:29pm

Watch the First Full Trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1!

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 full trailer

It's serious business times in the first full trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1. In typical “last-book-of-the-trilogy” fashion, we've got battles galore, fiery (and watery) explosions, and poor Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark forced to act as puppets weapons for District 13 and the Capitol, respectively. But because we're always looking ahead to Mockingjay, Part 2 next year, we've also got loads of ominous foreshadowing.

[Watch]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 12:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Tad Williams

Tad Williams 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 Tad Williams. Tad is co-founder of an interactive television company, and is currently writing comic books and film and television scripts as well as novels. Sleeping Late on Judgement Day, available now from DAW, is the third installment of Tad Williams’s urban fantasy Bobby Dollar series.

[Join us!]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 11:00am

A Read of the Dark Tower Redux: Constant Reader Tackles The Wind Through the Keyhole: “The Wind Through the Keyhole,” Part 2

Once upon a time, a ka-tet of readers found themselves at tor.com on a long quest to reach Stephen King’s Dark Tower. During the journey, the author (or perhaps it was simply ka) tried to throw our hardy band of pilgrims into confusion by telling a new story. Undeterred, their path followed the Beam until the end, and only now, when we know what is at the clearing at the end of the path, do we return to Mid-World once again, to join our old friends for The Wind Through the Keyhole (Dark Tower 4.5, if it do ya). Welcome. There be spoilers ahead.

When we last left our story, we were lost in Roland’s telling of his story of Debaria and, within that, his retelling of his childhood story, The Wind Through the Keyhole. In the story, young Tim Ross’s mother has remarried after her husband’s death, and the new husband, Big Kells, is abusive and secretive.

[Read this week’s post.]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 10:00am

Bigger on the Inside: Talking with Robert Jackson Bennett about City of Stairs

City of Stairs Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Stairs—available now in the US (Crown Publishing) and October 2nd in the UK (Jo Fletcher Books), and excerpted here on Tor.com—is both a murder mystery and fantasy novel.

A spy from Saypur, a colonial power, is investigating the murder of a historian in Bulikov, an old city that is one of Saypur’s colonies. The murder investigation, however, requires the spy to deal with the histories of Saypur and Bulikov themselves; along the way, she discovers that Bulikov’s dead gods—deities on earth defeated in warfare when Bulikov fell to Saypur—may not be exactly dead after all.

I recently talked to Robert Jackson about this new direction in his writing.

[Read More]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 9:00am
Excerpt

In Real Life (Comic Excerpt)

Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

Cory Doctorow Jen Wang In Real LifeAnda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It’s a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends. Gaming is, for Anda, entirely a good thing. 

But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer—a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s real livelihood is at stake. 

From acclaimed teen author Cory Doctorow and rising star cartoonist Jen Wang, In Real Life is a sensitive, thoughtful look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture-clash.

[Read In Real Life]

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!]