A Long Spoon December 18, 2014 A Long Spoon Jonathan L. Howard A Johannes Cabal story. Burnt Sugar December 10, 2014 Burnt Sugar Lish McBride Everyone knows about gingerbread houses. Father Christmas: A Wonder Tale of the North December 9, 2014 Father Christmas: A Wonder Tale of the North Charles Vess Happy Holidays from Tor.com Skin in the Game December 3, 2014 Skin in the Game Sabrina Vourvoulias Some monsters learn how to pass.
From The Blog
December 9, 2014
The Eleventh Doctor’s Legacy Was Loss and Failure
Emily Asher-Perrin
December 9, 2014
Tor.com Reviewers’ Choice: The Best Books of 2014
Tor.com
December 8, 2014
How Fast is the Millennium Falcon? A Thought Experiment.
Chris Lough
December 8, 2014
Tiamat’s Terrain: Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange
Alex Mangles
December 4, 2014
Potential Spoiler Leak for Star Wars: The Force Awakens Reveals Awesome Details
Emily Asher-Perrin
Mon
Oct 20 2014 3:11pm

Lost’s Mr. Eko Joins Game of Thrones As a Brand New Character

Mr Eko Game of Thrones Lost Adewale Akinnuoye-Abgaje Malko

Buried in a Hollywood Reporter article about a Hollywood biopic is the interesting news that Lost’s Adewale Akkinuoye-Abgaje is joining Game of Thrones season 5 as a character not found in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. The only thing we know right now is his character’s name, “Malko.”

[So... who could he be?]

Thu
Mar 6 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: We’ve Got Your Morning Multipass!

The Fifth Element was a pretty fantastic movie, with a wonderfully claustrophobic view of future New York. Redditor J0BE recently posted this gallery of concept art from the film, all sketches contributed by French artist Jean-Claude Mezieres, and they show a slightly expanded world, and best of all, a gorgeous, truly alien Diva. Yay, concept art!

Morning Roundup has news about The Age of Ultron, the Constantine TV series, and a dark and gritty Santa Claus movie!

Wait, what?

[Plus, the Wolf of Wall Street remake we deserve.]

Wed
Nov 6 2013 12:00pm

How to Time Travel (Without Destroying the Universe) Part One

Back to the Future Story Worlds Time Travel

So you want to travel through time, but you’re worried about the consequences. Perhaps you’ve heard of time travelers erasing their family trees, or screwing up world history, or destroying the universe altogether. You’re curious about the fourth dimension, but you don’t want to be “that guy” (or “that gal”) whose obsession with meeting King Tut ruins the future for the rest of us. Well, good news: when it comes to time travel, you’ve got options.

[Read more]

Fri
Sep 20 2013 7:00am

Morning Roundup Has Found the Replacement for the Hamburger Phone

iphone sushi

It’s so sleek! And thin! And delicious! With this excellent upgrade to the iphone via tumblr-user crazy with a capital k, you’ll never have to ask Siri to look for sushi restaurants again. We’re not sure about the mapping software, though. And you know that as soon as you go out and get this one, they’ll just release an even newer version that comes with salmon roe and a spicy mayonnaise sauce...

Morning Roundup gives you some Star Wars rumors, some shots of Benedict Cumberbatch in a snazzy suit, and an introduction to the fine art of fencing! 

[Plus a brief trip back to the Lost island!]

Mon
Sep 9 2013 7:00am

Morning Roundup: Deadpool’s Common Sense Should be Tingling Right About Now

Sherlock has grown tired of your relentless breakage of the fourth wall, Deadpool! The world’s greatest detective (non-Batman division) doesn’t give a damn that you’re popular with fans, or that you keep Ryan Reynolds awake at night! Sherlock wants answers, and he wants them now! Artist Berlynn Wohl is correct: we didn’t know we needed this image till just now, and now that we have it, we don’t know how we’ve lived without it. (Life-altering image via Baker Street Babes.)

Morning Roundup brings you news about the state of the Doctor’s hair, an epic superhero documentary, and more Batmans than Gotham can possibly hold!

[Plus DiCaprio may be gearing up for some mad science]

Tue
Apr 30 2013 9:00am

Satisfying Plot Resolutions: Happy Ever After Isn’t the Only Option

Happily Ever After isn't the only option

There’s a standard theory that seems to crop up whenever one starts talking about what makes a good story. It doesn’t just affect books, either, trickling its way through film and TV shows. This theory suggests that every story should end with a Happily Ever After (or HEA, for short). In a romance, your main characters find love, commit, and when the book ends, you know they’ll be happy and in love forever—in fact, there should be very little doubt.

If we’re talking classic action movie, it’s all but demanded that the hero survive the chaos, achieve his goals in the end, bring down the bad guy, and then (let’s face it) meet the hot chick he rescued for drinks at a Baja bar. If we’re talking science fiction action, it’s usually about overcoming whatever alien threat is plaguing the main characters and exterminating it. Hooray! We win, minimal casualties, and somebody gets the girl.

Chick flick? Obvious answer: it’s always about the HEA.

[Read more]

Wed
Jan 30 2013 10:00am

Ewoks and Nerdery Sluts: 30 Rock’s Geekiest Moments

Tina Fey and the writers of 30 Rock have never been shy about letting their geek flag fly, both in extended parodies and homages and in delightfully random, obscure references peppered throughout the rapid-fire dialogue. Liz Lemon’s affection for/obsession with Star Wars, for example, is undeniable—as she insists to Jack in a recent episode, “I am not some kind of nerdery slut—I like Star Wars!”—and not since Spaced has a show featured quite so many jokes about Leia, Jedi, Sith Lords, and Admiral Ackbar.

Liz’s deep-seated fan loyalties aside, the show itself has always played the field when it comes to nerdery, gleefully getting down and dirty with everything from Batman and Lost to Ghostbusters and Game of Thrones. So in honor of the series’ finale this Thursday, here are some of our absolute favorite geeky references from all seven seasons of 30 Rock:

[BY THE HAMMER OF THOR!]

Thu
May 3 2012 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Laser Shark vs. the Cumberbatch Rumors

This shark is wielding an actual laser, and we are sending it to track down all the Benedict Cumberbatch rumors. Today, Cumberbatch told MTV he doesn’t even know what the S.S. Botany Bay is! Maybe he’s not playing Khan after all. Laser shark!

Here’s our Cumberbatch rumor: Sherlock series 3 will feature Justin Bieber as one of the Baker Street Irregulars. Oh man, here comes the laser shark! It’s turned on us! (We saw the laser shark here.)

Your offsite links have lasers attached to them.

Highlights include:

  1. Val Kilmer takes off his glasses. So much.
  2. Why the 1980s Twilight Zone was actually good.
  3. Cumber-watch.

[Read more]

Mon
Apr 30 2012 4:00pm

Totally Rockin’ SFF Bands

Is there anything more science fictional, more fantastical, than rock’n’roll? From Puff the Magic Dragon to Ziggy Stardust, from Coheed & Cambria to the classical mythologies that inspire countless Heavy Metal subgenres (who needs Satan when you have Viking Power Metal?), rock’n’roll has often taken its cues from genre fiction, because only the larger-than-life worlds of science fiction and fantasy can compete with (and/or compliment) its larger-than-life bravado.

Naturally, because art imitates life imitates art and so on, it was only a matter of time before fiction started taking its cues from rock’n’roll in turn. Below are some of my (personal) favorite pop/rock groups from the realms of science fiction and fantasy (in no discernible order), whether it’s TV, comic books, film, or novels.

[Read more]

Mon
May 16 2011 3:26pm

The Handy-Dandy Survival Guide to Shipping Doomed Couples

You know who you are. You thought that in Little Women, Laurie should have married Jo instead of Amy; and in Romeo and Juliet, Juliet seemed all right but you always wondered why Romeo never worked it out with Rosalind; and you’re still (still) disappointed that Luke and Leia turned out to be related. You’ve got an uncanny knack for rooting for doomed couples and I know your pain. I feel your angst. So I’ve come up with this handy-dandy survival guide for those romance fans like you who always seem to find themselves on the wrong side of fate (be warned, there be spoilers ahead):

[Read more]

Thu
May 5 2011 4:04pm

Translation is the Other Side of the Tapestry

Henri Parisot translated Jabberwocky into French three times. The translations are similar but for a few details, most important among them being the name of the eponymonster itself. He chose Jabberwock, Jabberwoc and lastly, Bredoulochs (as well as changing le fatal bandersnatch to pinçmacaque). Forgetting any illustrations you have seen, do the words Jabberwock, Jabberwoc and Bredoulochs conjure the same image? While none are a match for either the glaive vorpalin or the vorpaline épée, which one would win in a fight? And how would the winner fare against the Romanian Traxncaxvici

In Ranier Maria Rilke’s poem Klage, he says: “Ich glaube, im Boot, /das vorüberfuhr, / hörte ich etwas Banges sagen.” Stephen Mitchell translates this as follows: “I think there were tears / in the car I heard pass/ and something terrible was said.”

Mitchell’s choice of translating boot into car rather than the more likely boat has always puzzled me. This changes not only the word but also the location of the action. In one poem, the narrator is near a body of water. Rilke wrote it in Berlin so I presume this means a river, which could then mean the argument happened in a small punt. I see a romantic afternoon gone wrong. In Mitchell’s version, a car. The narrator could be walking along any street. The poem was written in 1900. How common were cars in Berlin at that point, anyhow? (Perhaps Mitchell is a fan of They Might Be Giants.)

My understanding of German is negligible. I’m not bringing this up to criticize Mitchell as a translator but rather to show how a slight change in translation can have a significant effect.

All of which has me thinking, of course, about alternate universes.

[Take your practiced powers and stretch them out until they span the chasm between two contradictions]

Tue
Jan 4 2011 10:14am

Thoughts on the Unreal, Part 1: Anticipation

Fantasy fictionI love fantasy fiction.

This is not, it must be said, a particularly bold statement on this site. I doubt that anyone reading Tor.com is likely to disagree, unless you are here by accident whilst browsing for information on Cornish Hills.

I should point out, that I’m using the term “fantasy” to encompass the whole of the Tor.com tagline: “Science Fiction. Fantasy. The Universe. And related subjects.” For me, the most ethereal faerie enchantments have just as much charm as a solid piece of sci-fi hardware. I love the unreal: the power, and wonder, and delight of worlds where nothing can be taken for granted, and everything is new.

The only question is...why?

[Read more for at least one answer, and a lot of questions...]

Wed
Oct 13 2010 2:14pm

Damon Lindelof/Ridley Scott Alien prequel on its way

Alien prequel looking for Natalie PortmanThe Alien prequel—one of dozens of in-development Ridley Scott projects—is another step closer to a theater near you. Damon Lindelof, of Lost fame, submitted his latest draft to Fox executives, who apparently “flipped” and are trying to secure Natalie Portman to star. Portman recently dropped out of both Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Alfonso (Children of Men) Cuaron’s troubled SF opus Gravity, so she’s free, but whether she’s in the mood to work is another question.

[Read more]

Fri
Jul 2 2010 1:07pm

Spin-offs I’d like to see

Some shows have an overabundance of good characters and you can’t help but feel there’s never enough time for your favorite. This is where spin-off shows come in. They range in quality from successes such as Angel or Frasier on down to, say, Joanie Loves Chachi. That’s a pretty wide spread. I’m going to propose a few spin-off shows I think would have been good fun. Feel free to add your own or tell me I’m crazy, or both. (Special thanks to Aimee Stewart for her photoshoppery!*)

[Geriatrics, greed, guitarists and goofiness]

Fri
May 28 2010 4:04pm

Lost “The End”: On finality

The Lost Round Table disbanded this week so we can give our individual reactions to the finale. You can find Rajan’s and Bridget’s here and here respectively. I am sure we will gather together again one day and swap war stories about the late nights we struggled to find new words for Smocke/Flocke/Silas/Esau/the Smoke Monster, to plumb the depths of Kate-hate, and collectively swoon over Jeff Fahey’s raw masculinity. (Perhaps that was really just me.) But we’ll meet in a dark and dusty bar for old sailors, not a Unitarian church of some kind. First round’s on me.

But for now, it’s time to say goodbye to Lost.

[And then they all woke up... but it doesn’t end there.]

Thu
May 27 2010 4:15pm

Lost: Myths, Legends, Star Wars and Daddy Issues

As Raj mentioned in his post yesterday, we’ve decided to abandon the round table format and give our individual takes on the season finale of Lost. I’d like to begin by noting that I haven’t read any responses, criticism or summaries of the show this week, since I wanted to get my own thoughts in order before jumping into the backlash/lovefest/stony silence/whathaveyou currently flooding the Internets; so please bear with me if I’m out of the loop of conventional wisdom, but here are my thoughts:

[George Lucas, intertextuality, Bigfoot and magic leprechauns, below the fold...]

Thu
May 27 2010 10:26am

Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Lost

My YA novel The Gardener was released this week. It’s hard to celebrate when I’m still in my I can’t-believe-Lost-is-over-forever mode. And then I realized something. Everything I need to know about writing a novel I learned from Lost.

1. You need a hero. Or two. Or four. Make them likeable. But give them flaws, because your reader will care about them more if they aren’t perfect. Include quirky and outlandish back stories if you can.
2. Make your heroes thirsty. And hungry. They will bond faster. A token pregnant woman is a guaranteed instant win-win. Everyone loves an impending birth.
3. Have a villain. Or two. Or four. Make them real meanies. This will also progress the bonding of the heroes. Good and evil ambiguity is always a plus because it makes your reader feel smarter for figuring out who the bad guy really is.
4. Make the setting and surrounding area plausible. (Don’t put polar bears in a tropical jungle. That would just be silly.)

[More below the fold]

Wed
May 26 2010 4:04pm

Lost Finale Reaction “The End”

Unless you’ve been living on a mystical island you probably know that this past Sunday, the final episode of Lost aired. Such an event was too big for one Round Table, so instead we’re each sharing our own reactions separately (my co-bloggers Theresa DeLucci and Bridget McGovern will be weighing in later in the week). You know what they say, blog together, mourn alone.

[Read on for my thoughts and PLENTY OF SPOILERS...]

Mon
May 24 2010 8:46am

The State of Genre TV

So, the periodic slice-and-dice of show schedules has happened. Fall and midseason schedules are shaping up, and the network-TV roster is more of the same. Perhaps the only surprising element is the dearth of speculative shows that have been picked up.

Just a few months ago, a Push-inspired series was in the works and being shopped to networks, an American Torchwood remake was commissioned by Fox, FlashForward and V were midseason, and all the networks were scrambling to find the show that would replace the departing Lost.

Now, the Torchwood remake has already been scrapped, Push is nowhere to be seen, FlashForward has been canceled, and Heroes has finally been put out of its misery. Someone even came to their senses and canned Ghost Whisperer. Fringe has been renewed, and V just barely scraped by for another season, but neither show has seen much promo support by their networks.  The only new sci-fi shows in the network lineup for this fall are ABC’s maybe-vampire drama The Gates, NBC’s comic-book-noir The Cape and Steven Spielberg’s suspiciously-familiar-looking Terra Nova on Fox.

So, what happened?

[Either a postmortem or a premortem, you tell me.]

Thu
May 20 2010 4:08pm

Lost Round Table “What They Died For”

The penultimate (I love that word) episode of Lost has come, which brings us to the penultimate Lost Round Table. Bloggers Theresa DeLucci, Bridget McGovern and Rajan Khanna offer their penultimate Lost thoughts and invite you to do the same (penultimately). This is your penultimate Lost Spoiler Warning.

[Penultimate!]