Ranking the Corpse Art of Hannibal!

From the depths of my mourning for Hannibal’s cancellation, I wanted to think about the good times, and focus on some of the show’s best corpse sculpture.

See that picture up there where Will Graham is happily fixing a boat motor, surrounded by his loving puppies? That is the last happy picture you will see in this post. This post is literally made of (fictional) dead people. So proceed with caution. Also, there will be spoilers for the ENTIRE SERIES.

[So, so many dead people.]

Ungodly Sweepstakes!

We have five galleys of Kendare Blake’s thrilling conclusion of the Goddess War series, Ungodly, coming out September 22nd. We are thrilled for the final book of this trilogy and we want to give it to you!

For the Goddess of Wisdom, what Athena didn’t know could fill a book. That’s what Ares said.

So she was wrong about some things. So the assault on Olympus left them beaten and scattered and possibly dead. So they have to fight the Fates themselves, who, it turns out, are the source of the gods’ illness. And sure, Athena is stuck in the underworld, holding the body of the only hero she has ever loved.

But Hermes is still topside, trying to power up Andie and Henry before he runs out of time and dies, or the Fates arrive to eat their faces.

And Cassandra is up there somewhere too. On a quest for death. With the god of death.

Just because things haven’t gone exactly according to plan, it doesn’t mean they’ve lost. They’ve only mostly lost. And there’s a big difference.

Check for the rules below!

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Announcing the Winners of the First Annual Dinosaur Awards!

Tor.com is proud to announce the winners of the first annual Dinosaur Awards! The proud tradition of the Dinosaur Awards began in 2015 when local malcontent Chris Lough mispronounced the title of Victor Milán’s The Dinosaur Lords. The awards were presented on whatever day this article goes up, during a short, respectful ceremony up in the Tor.com production office.

Congratulations to the winners and nominees! You’ve all been dead for millions of years.

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Finally Stained Glass Artistry Reaches its Full Potential!

Who rule the stained glass equivalent of BarterTown? Why, Master Glasster of course! Nerd Approved shared this gorgeous R2-D2/Tiffany glass mashup, which is available in Master Glasster’s Etsy shop, along with a beautiful glass TARDIS, and art inspired by Avatar and Pokemon.

Morning Roundup brings you the future of viewing pleasure, an awesome British rock/Pluto connection, and Neil Gaiman’s time-tested cure for writer’s block!

[Plus, a brief history of Tilda Swinton]

Even Eviller: The Good, the Bad and the Smug by Tom Holt

Evil just isn’t what it was.

Used to be, you could slaughter a dwarf and gnaw his gnarly bones all the way home without attracting any undesirable attention. Now? Not so much. It’s a new world, you know? And it might just be that the new world needs a new breed of evil.

In The Good, the Bad and the Smug, Tom Holt—aka K. J. Parker—proposes exactly that as the premise of a satirical and sublimely self-aware fairytale that brings together the wit and the wickedness of the author’s alter ego with the whimsy and the nefarious wordplay which have made the YouSpace series such a sweet treat so far.

[Readers, meet Mordak: King of the Goblins]

Who’s There? Max Gladstone Reads Hamlet in Bryant Park!

If you’re wondering who would brave the midday heat in New York City to discuss revenge dramas on a Tuesday, the answer is Max Gladstone, author of Last First Snow! (We have to say, any kind of snow seems appealing right now.) He teamed up with the Bryant Park BookClub and Oxford University Press to lead a discussion on Shakespeare’s famous text at the Reading Room, an open air library in Midtown Manhattan.

Check below the cut for Gladstone’s thoughts on Hamlet, the reluctant avenger!

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Series: Shakespeare on Tor.com

6 Crazy SF Books Featuring Dinos that are Somehow NOT Jurassic Park

If you’re like me, the best way to get ready for Jurassic World is not to binge-watching Parks and Recreation while wearing a Velociraptor mask, but instead to do some reading—while wearing a Velociraptor mask. But what are you going to do when you’ve finished re-reading Michael Crichton’s science-heavy page-turners Jurassic Park and The Lost World? Luckily there are still plenty of insane science fiction books with dinos running through them for you to devour and then blabber about about endlessly.

[Here are a few.]

Five Books About Awful, Awful People

A likeable, relatable protagonist. It’s what every writer is taught that all books, comics, movies, and TV shows must have. But if Breaking Bad and the Hannibal Lecter novels by Thomas Harris have shown us anything, it’s that we don’t have to admire or even like awful characters to want to spend time with them.

[Five novels with fascinatingly awful protagonists]

Series: Five Books About…

Everything in the Marvel Universe Really is Connected!

Forget multiple universes and Battleworld—what really unites all the members of the Marvel Universe are the fictional businesses that make up their lives, superpowered and not. Empire Flippers (via The A.V. Club) has created this impressive infographic mapping every tech company, restaurant, and newspaper across the United States that has played a role in Marvel Comics. (Does that mean no Avengers shawarma place?) Start planning your road trips accordingly…

Afternoon Roundup brings you a partnership between Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking for our own good, how time travel (sort of) led to Rogue One, and an exhaustive list of every time Lois Lane has discovered Clark Kent’s identity!

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Reading Melanie Rawn: Stronghold, Chapters 11-15

Welcome to the weekly Wednesday read of Stronghold! I yield to public pleading and bite off smaller bits here and henceforth—five chapters at a time. It’s easier on me, too, so we’re on the same page there.

So here we are in the middle of the book, and the middle of the war. The invasion continues, ditto the evacuations—and the good guys fight back.

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Series: Rereading Melanie Rawn

The Essential Clive Barker

No one gives voice to monsters and misfits quite as well as author Clive Barker. Since his short fiction first bled across the genre landscape thirty years ago, he has become synonymous with a particularly beautiful and horrific brand of dark fantasy. He’s enjoying a bit of a cultural revival this year thanks to the releases of the long-awaited final novel in the Hellraiser universe and the equally anticipated director’s cut edition of his cult film, Nightbreed.

Nightbreed and the novella it was adapted from, Cabal, are so enduring, editors Joe Nassise and Del Howison have just released Midian Unmade, an anthology of short fiction told from the perspective of—and in the empathetic spirit of—Clive Barker’s misunderstood creations. While entertaining on its own merits, as any anthology containing original stories from Seanan McGuire, Nancy Holder and David J. Schow would naturally be, Midian Unmade is best appreciated by Barker fans.

So where can one begin an education in all things Barker? By going back to the beginning, of course.

[“Everybody is a book of blood. Wherever we’re opened, we’re red.”]

Witches of Lychford

The villagers in the sleepy hamlet of Lychford are divided. A supermarket wants to build a major branch on their border. Some welcome the employment opportunities, while some object to the modernization of the local environment.

Judith Mawson (local crank) knows the truth—that Lychford lies on the boundary between two worlds, and that the destruction of the border will open wide the gateways to malevolent beings beyond imagination. But if she is to have her voice heard, she’s going to need the assistance of some unlikely allies…

We’re pleased to present an excerpt from Paul Cornell’s Witches of Lychford, publishing in paperback and ebook September 8th from Tor.com!

[Read an excerpt]

Gwyneth Jones, Walter Jon Williams and Kij Johnson Sign with Tor.com Publishing!

Welcome back to Editorially Speaking. Last week we told you about some books coming from Fran Wilde and Adrian Tchaikovsky. Consulting Editor Jonathan Strahan has acquired three new novellas for us by Gwyneth Jones, Walter Jon Williams, and Kij Johnson. Strahan is a World Fantasy and Locus Award winner and multiple Hugo Award nominated editor and podcaster.

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Series: Editorially Speaking

How Far Into the Future Did Aviendha See?

Towers of Midnight, the second to last book in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time saga, is brimming over with amazing moments, from Perrin’s battles with Slayer, Egwene’s machinations in the Tower, Rand’s defense of Maradon, the forging of Perrin’s hammer, Mat’s rescue of Moiraine, and onward. To Wheel of Time readers, these moments were somewhat expected. They’re all main characters, after all, so of course they’re all going to do something fantastic.

What really took readers and fans like myself by surprise were the two gut-wrenching chapters near the end of the book where Aviendha watches the slow unraveling of the Aiel people. Shortly after the publication of Towers of Midnight there was some question as to whether Aviendha had actually seen the future past The Last Battle and, if so, if that future was fluid. A Memory of Light answered both of these questions, but it left a smaller one behind. Namely: Exactly how far in time did Aviendha see?

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Hodor Hooray! Oh! Hey! Oh!

Autocorrect is usually pretty infuriating, but every once in a while it yields something wonderful. James Chapman typed Game of Thrones‘ character names into his phone, and then illustrated the results, he may have succeeded in the nigh-impossible task of making GoT fun again. Check out Santa Stark, Throne Greyhound, and Karl Frogs here!

Morning Roundup brings you thoughtful meditations on fandom, news of The Defenders, plus a road trip on the Enterprise, a pocket-sized Cumberbatch, and a shiny new Star Trek character!

[Plus, Star Wars, through the ages!]

Five Books About The Monstrous

Earlier this year, I wrote about gravity being monstrous. Above the clouds, gravity is that unreasonable force always waiting for someone to make a mistake.

When thinking about monsters for Updraft, I wanted to explore variety and opposites. Not all monsters take a quasi-human form, not all devour (though some of the great ones do). I looked at how monsters occur—whether from the dark corners of our subconscious, or from a darker side of our conscience. My research built a catalogue of characteristics that began with Grendel’s startling appearances and his mother’s grief in Beowulf, and reached all the way to black holes out at the wobbly edge of space. I did a lot of reading.

[Chimeras, krakens, yetis, rocs and more!]

Series: Five Books About…

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Alternative Factor”

“The Alternative Factor”
Written by Don Ingalls
Directed by Gerd Oswald
Season 1, Episodes 20
Production episode 6149-20
Original air date: March 30, 1967
Stardate: 3087.6

Captain’s log. The Enterprise is finishing up an orbital survey of an uninhabited planet, when they’re buffeted by some kind of force. According to Spock, for an instant the magnetic field of the solar system disappeared and the planet below had no mass—it was as if reality winked out of existence for a second. As soon as the phenomenon abated, a humanoid life sign reading appeared on the planet out of nowhere.

Kirk, Spock, and a four-person security detail beam down to investigate. They find a small, one-person ship—which, weirdly, Spock’s sensors did not pick up—and its pilot, who is ranting and raving and then faints.

[“Coffee?” “Is that an order, Lieutenant?”]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Nixon’s The One: Crooked by Austin Grossman

Austin Grossman’s new novel, Crooked, features a very different Richard Nixon from the one you may remember from history class. To illustrate, allow me to start this review with a brief quote from the book’s opening chapter, showing Nixon in the Oval Office:

I closed the blinds, knelt down, and rolled back the carpeting to reveal the great seal of the office, set just beneath the public one. I rolled up my left sleeve and cut twice with the dagger as prescribed, to release the blood of the Democratically Elected, the Duly Sworn and Consecrated. I began to chant in stilted, precise seventeenth-century English prose from the the Twelfth and Thirteenth Secret Articles of the United States Constitution. These were not the duties of the U.S. presidency as I had once conceived of them, nor as most of the citizens of this country still do. But really. Ask yourself if everything in your life is the way they told you it would be.

Well, the man has a point.

[Spiro, we’re not in Washington anymore.]