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 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?]

Nov 18 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Why So Flemish?

Sacha Goldberger is a French photographer whose latest project is a series of photos called “Super Flemish.” These photos, which were exhibited in Paris in September, combine the iconic images of superheroes and Star Wars characters with the clothing and muted lighting of the Flemish School of the 17th Century. You can see more of the images here!

Morning Roundup comes to you with amazing gifts! Would you like to see Ronan the Accuser dance? Would you like to buy a Batmobile? Or possibly learn new tips for thriving in the coming Zombocalypse? We can give you all these riches, and so many more.

[Or perhaps...try living life as a goat?]

Nov 17 2014 5:00pm

Constantine: A “Feast” of Burden

Constantine Feast of Friends

This week’s Constantine goes back to the well and pulls its plot straight from the pages of the very first Hellblazer storyline, in which one of Constantine’s old drug buddies bites off more than he can chew with a hunger demon named Mnemoth and a raging heroin addiction—both of which require help from our reluctant anti-hero.

(There’s also probably an ebola metaphor somewhere in there but I suspect that was entirely coincidental.)

[Read More]

Nov 17 2014 4:00pm

The The Legend of Korra’s “Reunion” is All About the Ties that Bind

Avatar Legend of Korra Reunion

Well okay, with this episode of The Legend of Korra, Kuvira seems to be well and truly beyond the pale. Ethnic concentration camps, Kuvira? Yep, you’ve gone and Godwin’d yourself. Not to mention that all the guys have the sides of their heads shaved, all Hitler Youth style. It’s a good look in Sleep No More, but here it is frankly just ominous. There is no doubt in my mind that the next stage in Kuvira’s plan is the “re-unite” the Earth “Empire” is marching to conquering Republic City. It looks like she’ll be in black-and-white by the time she gets there, though this season’s theme of “Balance” still gives me hope of some nuance in the final ethical calculus.

Worry not: this is a fun episode; a nice change from last week’s episode that features Asami’s stun glove, Bolin’s hot lava, the Noah’s Ark of Bumju, Naga, Pabu and some sky bison & flying lemurs, and Korra back in Water Tribe duds.

[Read More]

Nov 17 2014 3:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: James Luceno

James Luceno 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 James Luceno, bestselling author of a number of Star Wars novels, including Darth Plagueis, Millennium Falcon, Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, Cloak of Deception, and Labyrinth of Evil, as well as The Visual Dictionary of Star Wars. His latest Star Wars novel, Tarkin, follows the dedicated soldier and distinguished legislator through the early days of the Empire—available now from Del Rey!

Join us!

[Read More]

Nov 17 2014 2:15pm

Robson Returns

Justina Robson Silver Screen

I have a real soft spot for Justina Robson.

I don’t know exactly what it was about Silver Screen that caught my eye. It might have been the Giger-esque qualities of the art on the first edition’s front cover; it might have been the thoughtful concepts the synopsis suggested; it might merely have been because I fancied some sci-fi—a much rarer impulse in those days than these—and the South African bookshop I bought it in didn’t exactly specialise in speculative fiction.

Whatever it was, I spent the next few nights with my nose buried in that book, and I knew, even sixteen or so years ago, that I’d read something remarkable. I remember feeling oddly fulfilled when the markedly more informed minds behind the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the BSFAs agreed with me.

Justina Robson has been busy since: with Mappa Mundi, the Natural History novels, and the five volumes of the Quantum Gravity saga. The last we heard from her, however, was with respect to her short story collection, Heliotrope, in early 2011. Only recently have there been rumblings about her next novel.

[Read More]

Nov 17 2014 2:05pm

Santa is a Bad Man in the First Clip from the Doctor Who Christmas Special

Doctor Who Christmas special Santa clip preview

We already got a pretty creepy vibe from this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special (with Nick Frost as Santa!) when we saw the first preview. But a new clip gives more insight into just what kind of game Old St. Nick is playing.

[Read more]