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 As Good As New September 10, 2014 As Good As New Charlie Jane Anders She has three chances to save the world.
From The Blog
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
September 17, 2014
How Goldfinger Bound Sci-Fi to James Bond
Ryan Britt
Sep 22 2014 3:00pm

Book Two, Make Out: Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

Sarah Rees Brennan Untold reviewOh Sarah Rees Brennan, you wily little fox, you. Here I thought reading Untold would be safe. Because I had waited. Waited until I also had Unmade in my hands and could reasonably expect to forgo the emotional torture that was sure to come at the end of such a book if I had to wait for the third, but nooooo.

No, you couldn’t let me have that solace. Instead you had to wring my heart out like the emotional equivalent of a Brawny paper towel throughout the entirety of Untold. It’s a miracle my heart’s not full of holes yet. The truly frightening thing is that you still have plenty of time to torture me further.

[Read More]

Sep 22 2014 2:50pm

Can We Do it Better? Writing Last First Snow

Last First Snow Craft Sequence Max Gladstone

Fantasy is the genre of hope.

It’s the genre of the Grail Quest, where the King is the Land, where Lancelot can heal with a touch, where nine walkers just might stand against the nine riders that are evil, where a few farm kids set out from a small town between two rivers to stop the Dark One, where no man can defeat the Nazgul lord so good thing Eowyn’s on our side, where Aerin bests Agsded and Maur to free her city, where Tenar finds her name and Aang can save the world.

But if fantasy is the genre of hope, it’s also the genre of a particular kind of danger. To hope is to commit, and commitment’s scary because we’re never hurt so much as when we care. Saving the world is hard. You lose people along the way.

[Read More]

Sep 22 2014 2:15pm

Colin Farrell Joins True Detective Season 2!

Having dealt with the flat circle-ish-ness of time in Bruges, Belgium, Colin Farrell will now bring his existential musings to season 2 of True Detective! The actor confirmed that he'll be joining the show, telling The Sunday World that he was “so excited” and then giving them these tiny, tiny, tantalizing details:

“I know it will be eight episodes and take around four or five months to shoot,” he said. “I know very little about it, but we’re shooting in the environs of Los Angeles which is great.”

That's not enough, Colin Farrell! You have giant Texan shoes to fill! Quick, give us some sub-dorm-room philosophy, or a story about your dad cooking with beer in his underwear! Make shit up! Will there be a new Yellow King? Is this talk of The Crying of Lot 49 on the mark? Are we getting Jessica Chastain or Elisabeth Moss? Or both? Both would be great! At least explain what the hell the “secret occult history of the United States transportation system” is supposed to mean!

Come on, man. Lead us into the Farrellaissance.

Sep 22 2014 2:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Grady Hendrix

Grady Hendrix pop quiz interview Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!

Today we’re joined by writer and journalist Grady Hendrix, who heads up The Great Stephen King Reread and Under the Dome recaps, plus co-writes the Summer of Sleaze pulp fiction reread here on A former film critic for the New York Sun, Grady has also written for Slate, the Village Voice, Time Out New York, Playboy, and Variety.

Grady’s latest novel, Horrorstör, is traditional haunted house story in a thoroughly contemporary setting—available September 23rd from Quirk Books. While researching the novel, Grady learned some weird Ikea facts, which he happily shares with us below!

[Join us!]

Sep 22 2014 1:30pm

Five Brilliant Things About Doctor Who “Time Heist”

Doctor Who Time Heist

It has taken us a whole week to get out from behind the sofa following last week’s terrifying Doctor Who Episode “Listen” and so we welcomed this fun and enjoyable episode of Doctor Who, “Time Heist.” This time the action revolved around a robbery of the greatest bank in the galaxy, a riff on the classic Heist movies with echoes of Ocean’s Eleven and Mission Impossible.

It was great to see an episode where the Doctor takes centre stage at last (as both hero and villain), but for us it was his two extra companions Saibra and Psi who really stole the show. But what did Tor UK’s resident Whovian Paul Cornell think?

[Read More]

Sep 22 2014 1:10pm

Tywin Lannister Said Some Things About Game of Thrones Season 5

Tywin Lannister Game of Thrones season 5 rumor

Spoilers for Game of Thrones season 4 immediately ahead.

Charles “Tywin Lannister” Dance got to talking last week during the press tour for Dracula Untold and said some weird things to MTV UK about the forthcoming fifth season of Game of Thrones, which is largely expected to cover events that take place in A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons.

[Read at your own risk!]

Sep 22 2014 1:00pm

Lock In and the Vacuum That Gender Creates

Lock In John Scalzi gender

John Scalzi’s near-future thriller Lock In throws out plenty of larger issues to consider in regards to robotics technology: where the consciousness truly sits, the civil and legal rights of non-human humans, the definitions of disability, and how current societal expectations of class and wealth affect these issues. What may not become immediately apparent to the reader, even after finishing the book, is what Lock In has to say about how the fluidity of gender would evolve in a world where one can exist separately from one's body.

By virtue of being a procedural thriller, Lock In is a quick read, and it’s easy to miss this aspect of the book, especially because the reason it is notable is primarily due to its absence. We see the main character, FBI detective Chris Shane, in a variety of mechanical bodies, avatars, and briefly in the flesh. We are given a multitude of perspectives with which to define Chris.

Spoilers ahead for Lock In. Make sure you've read the book before proceeding.

[Read more]

Sep 22 2014 12:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire Part 2

Welcome back to the Servant of the Empire Reread.

This week in the ongoing adventures of Mara of the Acoma, it’s all about admin, flirting with sexy redhead barbarians, and the vengeance of her enemies. But mostly it’s about admin. Also you get two chapters, because one of them is full of nothing much happening at all!

Chapter 2: Planning

SUMMARY: Desio of the Minwanabi is not a happy man. He’s angry, scared, paranoid, mostly drunk and oh yes, regularly abusing the women who are sent to him as stress relief.

Incomo, the First Advisor of the Minwanabi, isn’t having a great time either, mostly because he has to deal with Desio. Desio is no fun to work with.

[Read More]

Sep 22 2014 11:37am

Jeremy Renner Took Black Widow’s Face Oh God Give It Back

Jeremy Renner Scarlett Johansson mask

Are you ready for a combination of OTP glee and nightmare fodder? Because Jeremy Renner decided to wear Scarlett Johansson’s face, and now we can’t unsee it.

[Read more]

Sep 22 2014 11:00am

A Read of the Dark Tower Redux: Constant Reader Tackles The Wind Through the Keyhole: “The Wind Through the Keyhole,” Part 3

Once upon a time, a ka-tet of readers found themselves at 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. Young Tim Ross was concluding a disturbing visit in the Endless Forest to see the Covenant Man, and had discovered his father’s body in the water.

[Read this week’s post.]

Sep 22 2014 10:00am

A Map of Comic Book Burnings Across the U.S.

Comic book burnings map banned books Bad For You

In Bad for You, available from Henry Holt, authors Kevin C. Pyle and Scott Cunningham expose the long-standing campaign against fun for what it really is: a bunch of anxious adults grasping at straws, ignoring scientific data, and blindly yearning for the good old days that never were.

As part of our recognition of Banned Books Week, we’ve pulled this map of all known comic book burnings across the U.S. for perusal. Many date from before Fredric Wertham’s “classic” Seduction of the Innocent, and all of them seem almost-quaint considering how movies based on comic books now bring in billions of dollars every year.

[A map of comic book burnings across the U.S.]

Sep 22 2014 9:15am

Flintlocks and Freedom: Check Out these Revolutionary War Fantasies!

With the second season of Sleepy Hollow premiering tonight (yay!), we’re noticing a recent trend in popular fantasy. Gaslamp and Flintlock subgenres have begun to gain traction in the SFF world, so we’ve rounded up some of the historical fantasies that eschew the Napoleonic Wars or the dark alleys of London to focus instead on the American Revolution!

[Read More]

Sep 22 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Let Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, and Weird Al Yankovic Tell You What Week It Is

Banned Books Week Neil Gaiman George R.R. Martin Weird Al Yankovic

Neil Gaiman and his literary/parody posse want to make sure that you spend this week reading banned books and comics. They’ll know if you don’t. They’ll know. (It’s well known that Weird Al can see into our minds. Oh hey, did George R.R. Martin return that typewriter?)

Morning Roundup brings you 3D-printed superhero action figures with your (yes, your) face, a new and easier way to watch MST3K, and Doctor Who Christmas special casting news!

[Read more]

Sep 21 2014 1:30pm

Robbed A Bank. Robbed A Whole Bank. Doctor Who: “Time Heist”

Doctor Who, Time Heist

You’ve gotta have a heist episode, right?

It’s sort of remarkable that Who has avoided the heist play for this long, but perhaps you just need the right sort of Doctor for it. So, how does a robbery go when time travel is involved?

[Bow tie, embarrassing.]

Sep 21 2014 10:30am

Silverblind Sweepstakes!

Read our excerpt from Silverblind, the newest installment in Tina Connolly's historical fantasy series Ironskin, then enter to win a galley of the book!

Dorie Rochart has been hiding her fey side for a long time. Now, finished with University, she plans to study magical creatures and plants in the wild, bringing long-forgotten cures to those in need. But when no one will hire a girl to fight basilisks, she releases her shape-changing fey powers to disguise herself as a boy, and becomes a hunter of wyvern eggs. She encounters old friends, new threats, and basilisks and silvertails in this alternate 1930s England where human and fey co-exist.

Check for the rules below!

[Read more]

Sep 21 2014 10:00am

H.G. Wells Invented Everything You Love

HG Wells Art by David A. Johnson H.G. Wells is considered one of the fathers of science fiction, and if you look at a brief timeline you’ll see why he’s so extraordinary:

  • 1895: The Time Machine
  • 1896: The Island of Doctor Moreau
  • 1897: The Invisible Man
  • 1898: The War of the Worlds
  • 1901: The First Men in the Moon

So basically for four consecutive years Wells got out of bed on New Year’s Day and said, “What ho! I think I’ll invent a new subgenre of scientific fiction!” And then he took a year off, only to return with a story about a moon landing. If it wasn’t for that gap in 1900, he probably would have invented cyberpunk, too.

[Read More]

Sep 21 2014 10:00am

The Great Stephen King Birthday Cinema Celebration!

Stephen King Art by David A. JohnsonI love Stephen King, as a writer, as a proclaimer of the greatness of genre literature, and, maybe most of all, as a guy. He was the first author I knew who—actually, scratch that. Stephen King was the first author I knew.

I recognized the names of children’s authors, and some of the bigger pulpy adult authors that my parents read (my mother was a huge Dick Francis fan, and our house had the requisite copies of Clan of the Cave Bear and Shogun) but King was the first author I saw being interviewed on TV. He was the only author I knew who wrote introductions to his own books, and I got a real sense of him as a person form reading them.

Later, when I read Danse Macabre and On Writing, I discovered that he could carry that conversational, regular-guy writing style through an entire book, and the more I write myself, the more impressed I am. I think what really came through, more so even than in his fiction, was his weird, dark sense of humor.

It is in this spirit that I present to you, oh my brothers and sisters and neithers and others, a Stephen King Movie Moment Retrospective.

[Including the second-funniest moment in Maximum Overdrive.]

Sep 20 2014 10:30am

Lowball: A Wild Cards Novel Sweepstakes!

ILowball sweepst’s George R.R. Martin’s birthday, and we want to send you a galley of Lowball, out on November 4th, to celebrate! Edited by Martin and Melinda Snodgrass, Lowball is the latest mosaic novel in the acclaimed Wild Cards universe, featuring original fiction by Carrie Vaughn, Ian Tregillis, David Anthony Durham, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Mary Anne Mohanraj, David D. Levine, Michael Cassutt, and Walter John Williams.

Decades after an alien virus changed the course of history, the surviving population of Manhattan still struggles to understand the new world left in its wake. Natural humans share the rough city with those given extraordinary—and sometimes terrifying—traits. While most manage to coexist in an uneasy peace, not everyone is willing to adapt.

Check for the rules below!

[Read more]

Sep 20 2014 10:00am

George R. R. Martin: The Rock Star of Genre Fiction

George R R Martin Art by David A. JohnsonOn this day 66 years ago, George Raymond Martin (the second R, for Richard, was added by him at his Confirmation) was born in Bayonne, New Jersey. As a child, between writing monster stories for the local kids (at a nickel a story), sending away “sticky quarters” for the earliest comic fanzines, and taking care of the turtles—which were the only pets he was allowed in the projects—George R.R. Martin dreamed of far-off places.

The Kill van Kull could be seen outside his window, ships constantly flowing up and down, and he would learn what countries the flags they flew represented and he would imagine what it was like to sail away to distant nations. That hunger for unseen vistas has served him well over the years as he went from fan to pro to... well, there’s nothing else for it but to say that he’s now at rockstar-like levels of fame.

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Sep 19 2014 5:00pm

The Horrifying Truth About the Matt Smith Years of Doctor Who

Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Amy and Rory, Doctor Who

We found this on Tumblr, and now we cannot un-think it, and it hurts.

[Don’t say we didn’t warn you.]