Dog March 25, 2015 Dog Bruce McAllister "Watch the dogs when you're down there, David." The Museum and the Music Box March 18, 2015 The Museum and the Music Box Noah Keller History is rotting away, just like the museum. The Thyme Fiend March 11, 2015 The Thyme Fiend Jeffrey Ford It's not all in his head. The Shape of My Name March 4, 2015 The Shape of My Name Nino Cipri How far can you travel to claim yourself?
From The Blog
March 24, 2015
Protecting What You Love: On the Difference Between Criticism, Rage, and Vilification
Emily Asher-Perrin
March 23, 2015
Language as Power in Shakespeare’s The Tempest
Katharine Duckett
March 16, 2015
What Changes To Expect in Game of Thrones Season Five
Bridget McGovern
March 13, 2015
Five Books with Fantastic Horses
Patricia Briggs
March 13, 2015
Is Ladyhawke the Best Fairy Tale of Them All?
Leah Schnelbach
Mon
Mar 30 2015 2:00pm

The Walking Dead, Season 5 Finale: “Conquer”

The Walking Dead season 5 finale Conquer

Season 5 has had a lot of ups, but even more downs. Where season 4 looked to be turning the ship in the right direction, now we’re right back where we started with repetitive main arcs, stalled subplots, cipher personalities, and unresolved questions. Between Father Gabriel and Sasha’s descents into madness, Michonne and Tyreese’s recovery from violence, Rick and Carol solidifying their brutal plans, Glenn and Maggie keeping everyone from killing everyone else, and Abraham, Eugene, Rosita, and Tara, um, existing, The Walking Dead keeps on keeping on. Like the rest of the series, “Conquer” looked great and effectively teased out tension, but ultimately the whole thing just sorta sat there.

[“We had to stop being out there.”]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 1:30pm

Afternoon Roundup: Flash Dance... What a Feeling

The Flash dance set photos Grant Gustin Tom Cavanagh

Well, isn’t this delightful: While shooting an episode of The Flash earlier this month, Grant Gustin and Tom Cavanagh (in-costume as The Flash and Reverse Flash) realized they had attracted an audience. What better reaction than to break into an impromptu waltz! Check out the whole gallery at ImageBam (via The Flash Spoilers).

Afternoon Roundup brings you a new Spock documentary; what happens when “the cloud” bursts; and the most badass deer to get caught in your headlights.

[Read more]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 1:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Mistress of the Empire, Part 3

Mistress of the EmpireWelcome back to the reread of Mistress of the Empire by Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts! This is the one where the Magicians decide to get their sticky fingers all over Mara’s war of vengeance.

Chapter 3: War

Summary: Mara has completely lost it. As she collapses in her grief, the men of her household gather around her to shield her from the curious and thoroughly judgy eyes of the Ruling Lords and associated hangers on.

As Lujan removes all edged weapons from his person before picking his mistress up, Lady Isashani of the Xacatecas comes forward to advise Hokanu in what to do next, and to volunteer her services in calming and protecting Mara.

[Read More]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 12:15pm

James Bond is a Kite Dancing in a Hurricane in the First Spectre Trailer

James Bond Spectre trailer Daniel Craig Christoph Waltz Blofeld

When Skyfall director Sam Mendes began talking about returning to the world of James Bond for the franchise’s 24th film—which we now know is Spectre—he said that it would act as a thematic, but not narrative, continuation of Skyfall. Judging from the first trailer, however, Spectre seems to have pulled a lot of its plot threads from the destruction of Skyfall itself.

[Watch the trailer]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 12:00pm

Shakespeare Adaptations That Best Speak to Teens

Romeo + Juliet

Later in our Shakespeare on Tor.com essay series, Emily Asher-Perrin will tell you about a high school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that was engineered to get teens excited about Shakespeare. It did not work. It also wasn’t the only scheme of its kind: There’s always some well-meaning drama teacher—or movie director—who wants to make Shakespeare speak to the youth of today. Whether that involves playing up the sex, drugs, and violence that characterize various works; dropping Shakespearean verse into a modern setting; or building something entirely new off the framework of a play—many have tried.

In the best of these adaptations, Shakespeare’s work serves as a jumping-off point for meditations on race, sexuality, and gender roles, with films that embrace diversity in more meaningful ways than just colorblind casting or genderswapping, and instead try to get to core truths about the human condition. (Often with outrageous musical numbers.)

[Read more]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 11:45am

No Joke — Adam West and Burt Ward Will Play Batman and Robin Again!

The New Adventures of Batman Adam West Burt Ward

Ben Affleck already has competition for the bat-cowl! In 2016, sometime around/before/after Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice premiers in theatres, another classic Batman will be returning. And this Batman isn’t dark and brooding, but he is really good at lecturing you about littering, germs, and his belief in criminal rehabilitation. That’s right! The most hyperbolic and deadpan Batman is back! Adam West and his faithful companion, Burt Ward, will play Batman and Robin again in a brand new animated film.

Over this past weekend, West and Ward announced the project at event called Mad Monster Party in Charlotte, NC. Holy unexpected treat! Few details are available, but the film will be a 90-minute length feature and will serve as a 50th anniversary special, commemorating 1966’s debut of Batman.

Never forget: West and Ward have done this before; back in 1977 there was brief cartoon called The New Adventures of Batman in which they also did the voices. No word yet on whether Bat-Mite will show up to “help” the dynamic duo in the new film.

[News via Consequence of Sound]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 11:15am

Maisie Williams to Give Peter Capaldi “Exactly the Right Sort of Hell” on Doctor Who

Maisie Williams guest star Doctor Who

We get double the Maisie Williams this year! In addition to new intrigues (and familiar Needle stabbing) as Arya Stark on the upcoming fifth season of Game of Thrones, Williams will also be guest starring on Doctor Who. The BBC tweeted the news over the weekend, including this great photo of Williams posing in the TARDIS.

[Read more]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 11:00am

The Last Herald Mage: Family

Mercedes Lackey Magic's PromiseWhen we left Vanyel last week, he was riding to Forst Reach for some R&R and an opportunity to catch up with his family. The last time we saw Vanyel’s family, Van was an emotionally intense teenager, and his family were agents of The Man, bent on destroying his dreams of becoming a rock star.

In chapters 4-6 of Magic’s Promise, Vanyel is a mature and rational 28-year-old, and we need to get to know his family as real people. Unfortunately for Vanyel, he’s getting reacquainted while recovering from the fatigue that is the result of his recent deployment to the Karsite border. He’s on a short fuse.

[All happy families are alike, but Vanyel’s family is unhappy about horses and sheep.]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 10:00am

Pull List: Getting Emotional Over Bitch Planet

Originally, this edition of Pull List was supposed to be all Kelly Sue DeConnick all the time as a co-review of Bitch Planet and Pretty Deadly. And then I read issue #3 and curled up in a cuddle puddle with my pet rat and cried for half an hour. I don’t even know how to explain everything, all the emotions that Penny’s history flooded up inside me, and even if I could it’s far more than this post could sustain. This review is rambling and wandering, but if you could manage to talk about a series like Bitch Planet and not get worked up emotionally then there is something terribly wrong with you.

[“...and you bastards ain’t never gonna break me.”]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 9:00am

Fiction Affliction: April Releases in Fantasy

new releases fantasy april 2015Twenty-three new fantasies unleash their swords on bookshelves in April, with another set of Clan of the Claw novellas plus series additions from, among others, Kelley Armstrong (Age of Legends), C.J. Cherryh (Foreigner), Angus Watson (Iron Age), Melanie Rawn (Glass Thorns), Gail Z. Martin (Ascendant Kingdoms), and Kelly McCullough (Fallen Blade).

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.

[Read about this month’s releases.]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Hello, I Am Baymax, Your Flight Attendant

Baymax flight attendant training China Air

Baymax wasn’t kidding when he said that flying makes him a better health care provider! Or maybe it’s that Baymax makes flying better. According to Kotaku, the Sichuan Southwest Vocational College of Aviation trains its aspiring flight attendants by stuffing them in Baymax suits and making them shimmy down the already-cramped aisle of a typical airplane. Does that mean your soda and pretzels come with free fist-bumps?

Morning Roundup ponders a Doctor Who/Outlander crossover, how dark Sherlock season 4 will get, and Will Ferrell’s lovely singing voice.

[Read more]

Sat
Mar 28 2015 10:30am

The Tragedy Series Sweepstakes!

Out now from St. Martin’s Press, The Tragedy Series by Benjamin Dewey is a guide to avoiding the more common pitfalls that appear after parting ways with lady luck. You need not be duped by a collection of rats in an elaborate costume, dressed as a handsome suitor, or experience the embarrassment so many have already endured after bringing their ordinarily well-behaved, large sea mammal to an art gallery only to see cultural treasures defiled by inadvertent clumsiness arising from a frame better built for the confines of Poseidon's realm. More than five hundred unfortunate results of the manifold paths our life may offer have been helpfully diagramed for you along with positive affirmations of this veil's wonders and much more!

We have three signed copies, so comment in the post below 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 10:30 AM Eastern Time (ET) on March 28. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on April 1. 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
Mar 27 2015 5:12pm

See the First Pages from the Illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

illustrated Harry Potter Jim Kay

About a month ago, Imgur user SteampunkBrit got their hands on a preview copy of Bloomsbury’s fully-illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. They’ve shared several pages of Jim Kay’s fantastic illustrations; we’ve already seen a few previews, but this shows how the renderings of beloved wizarding world characters and locations actually interact with the text.

[Click through for pretty pages]

Fri
Mar 27 2015 4:00pm

The First Photo of Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool is Appropriately Racy

The great thing about 20th Century Fox’s upcoming Deadpool movie is that every bit of news and every update almost sounds like it’s come from the mouthy mercenary himself: The leaked test footage that reignited the interest in a standalone film; the snarky tweet that all-but-confirmed it; and now, the hilarious first image of Ryan Reynolds in costume as Deadpool.

[Read more]

Fri
Mar 27 2015 3:00pm

Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, The Last Argument of Kings: “Prepared for the Worst” and “The Habit of Command”

Joe Abercrombie reread The Last Argument of KingsWell, last week I lamented Ferro’s absence and although we don’t see her this week, we get some suggestion that she will soon be back on screen. So, with that in mind, take the following statement for what it’s worth: I really can’t help but be frustrated by the lack of Hulk Hogan in Last Argument of Kings.

Alright? Everyone see what I did there? Let’s see how powerful this reread really is. In the meantime, I wrote up some chapters.

[Read more...]

Fri
Mar 27 2015 2:00pm

Afternoon Roundup: Re-Opening the X-Files with Social Media!

Mulder Scully X-Files tweets

Aww. Our hearts were already fit to bursting when we learned that there will be new X-Files episodes, but then Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny had to go ahead and get back into character—and on Twitter for all of us to see, no less! #OhMyGod

Afternoon Roundup trades Snapchats with the Joker; is warily optimistic about Star Trek 3’s optimism; and ranks the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.

[Read more]

Fri
Mar 27 2015 1:15pm

How Navigating the Louvre with a Nintendo 3DS Made Me Rethink the Future of Gaming, Art, and Virtual Reality

Mona Lisa Nintendo 3DS louvre

The Louvre Museum in Paris is an architectural marvel, a palace built upon, renovated, and expanded from its origins as a fortress. Even awe would be an understatement to describe the feeling exploring its vast wings, its incredible Pyramide du Louvre, not to mention the most epic collection of artwork on display in the world. The first time I visited, I got completely lost, in part, because it’s one of the world’s largest museums at over 652,000 square feet. In between trying to track down the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and the Egyptian antiquities, my legs gave out after a half a day of hapless wandering.

The second time I visited (which was almost ten years later), I had a much better experience, knowing exactly where I wanted to go, even getting a good grasp of its layout. This wasn’t the result of having learned my way around during my first visit, but rather because I had the official Nintendo DS Louvre Guide to lead me, complete with a GPS and 3D Imaging designed specifically for the museum (on rent for just five Euros at any of the booths).

[Read More]

Fri
Mar 27 2015 12:00pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: Orb Sceptre Throne, Chapter Eleven

Ian C Esslemont Orb Sceptre Throne Malazan rereadWelcome back to the Malazan Reread of the Fallen! Every post will start off with a summary of events, followed by reaction and commentary by your hosts Bill and Amanda (with Amanda, new to the series, going first), and finally comments from Tor.com readers. In this article, we’ll cover chapter eleven of Ian Cameron Esslemont’s Orb Sceptre Throne.

A fair warning before we get started: We’ll be discussing both novel and whole-series themes, narrative arcs that run across the entire series, and foreshadowing. Note: The summary of events will be free of major spoilers and we’re going to try keeping the reader comments the same. A spoiler thread has been set up for outright Malazan spoiler discussion.

[Read More]

Fri
Mar 27 2015 11:00am

Evil Eighties: The Face That Must Die by Ramsey Campbell

The Face that Must Die

In this series, Grady Hendrix, author of Horrorstör, and Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction are back to uncover the best (and worst) horror paperbacks from the 1980s.

Ramsey Campbell wrote one of the most convincing psychological horror novels of the 1980s with The Face That Must Die. A horror writer since the 1960s (his first collection of short stories was published by the venerable Arkham House when he was still a teenager), Campbell is virtually a brand-name writer in the genre. His allusive and oblique prose lends his stories a hallucinatory tone, a feeling of something not quite right, slightly askew and vaguely malevolent, as Lovecraftian monstrosities flitter just out of eyesight.

But the horror found in The Face That Must Die is an all too real kind. Indeed, the introductory essay included with the 1985 Tor edition, “At the Back of My Mind: A Guided Tour,” is Campbell’s account of his worsening relationship with his mother as she sank into dementia over many years. These days mainstream memoirs and fiction of life with crazy parents are a dime a dozen, but Campbell’s piece has no distancing irony or comic effect. Harrowing and sad and enlightening, it is Campbell’s explanation for “why I write what I write,” and readers can come to their own conclusions about how this influenced The Face That Must Die.

[Read More]

Fri
Mar 27 2015 10:00am

Five Stories About Cannibalism

The Green Butchers

Stories of cooking humans have been around pretty much forever. In most cultures it symbolizes a horrific and transgressive act, and we can’t seem to leave it alone. We scratch at the theme like a scab: from witches popping children in their cauldrons, to Hannibal Lecter dining on liver with fava beans, to lurid re-tellings of real life cannibalism.

I picked the titles below for a range of cooking methods, reasons for cooking, and the ways in which the author deals with the subject. Bon appétit.

[People: it’s what’s for dinner]