Damage January 21, 2015 Damage David D. Levine Concerning a spaceship's conscience. And the Burned Moths Remain January 14, 2015 And the Burned Moths Remain Benjanun Sriduangkaew Treason is a trunk of thorns. A Beautiful Accident January 7, 2015 A Beautiful Accident Peter Orullian A Sheason story. Kia and Gio January 6, 2015 Kia and Gio Daniel José Older Seven years ago, they went on a secret mission.
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Jan 22 2015 5:00pm

Delicate and Sincere: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

The Darkest Part of the Forest review Holly Black In her newest stand-alone young adult novel, The Darkest Part of the Forest, Holly Black returns to familiar and exciting territory: faeries and dark magic at the crossing between human and nonhuman worlds. Most folks are familiar with Black’s series “A Modern Tale of Faerie” (Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside) which ran from 2002 to 2007; that series set up Black as a daring and clever writer of young adult stories that tend to feature queer kids and deal honestly with complex emotional and social issues.

The Darkest Part of the Forest follows also on the heels of Black’s last young adult novel, another stand-alone (The Coldest Girl in Coldtown)—and I like the trend that these two books have been setting for her work going forward. Both are solid, well-paced and play interesting games with the tropes of the genre of supernatural YA; both star girls who make fucked-up decisions and are trying to learn to care about themselves and others in the aftermath. The shared narrative of growth here is more complex than just “getting older” and instead deals more with “learning to cope and be whole.”

[That’s the sort of thing I’m interested in seeing…]

Jan 22 2015 3:00pm

A Question of Humanity: Keeper of the Isis Light

Monica Hughes The Keeper of the Isis LightDepending upon what calendar you use, Olwen is either ten (Isis years) or sixteen (Earth years.) She thinks and remembers in Isis years, however, so let’s go with that. Despite this very young age, she actually has a fairly important, responsible job: transmitting various reports from the planet she lives on back to Earth.

She does this not because she is qualified, exactly, but because everyone else on the planet is either dead, unable to speak in words, or a not-completely trusted AI. And because, for various reasons, she can. That ability—well, strangeness, really—is what makes her The Keeper of the Isis Light.

[How much can you be changed, and still stay human? Mildly spoilery.]

Jan 16 2015 9:30am

Great British Bestsellers

The Fault in Our Stars

Figures collected by The Bookseller show that 2014 was a banner year for children’s fiction in Britain:

Led by hits from David Walliams, Jeff Kinney and Egmont’s Minecraft stable, the UK children’s market hit an all-time high in revenue and market share in 2014, and exceeded sales of Adult Fiction for the first time since accurate records began.

In case you were wondering, as I was, The Bookseller’s idea of “accurate records” began in 1998, when Nielsen Bookscan started analysing UK sales.

The news that the next generation is not only reading, but reading proportionately more than ever before, and reading real books in addition to digital editions has got to be good news... but where there’s good news, there’s usually bad news too. And what do you know? The market for adult fiction is failing.

[Read More]

Jan 15 2015 4:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Stephanie Diaz

Stephanie DiazWelcome 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 Stephanie Diaz, who wrote her debut novel, Extraction, when she should've been making short films and listening to college lectures at San Diego State University. Its sequel, Rebellion, is available February 10th from St. Martin's Press. When she isn't lost in books, Stephanie can be found singing, marveling at the night sky, or fan-girling over TV shows.

Join us!

[Read More]

Jan 15 2015 3:00pm

It’s Not Always Easy on the Moon: Earthdark

Monica Hughes EarthdarkEarthdark starts up immediately after the events of Crisis on Conshelf Ten, featuring the same first person narrator, Kepler Masterman, now edging very close to age 16. Kepler has now returned to his home on the Moon, ready to readjust back into his life and his relationship with his fiancée, Ann.

Things, however, are not that simple. The lack of gravity feels right, but everything else is frustrating and wrong. Kepler finds himself unhappy with the food, the blandness, the regulations—nearly everything, actually, constantly comparing his surroundings to better things on Earth, even after Ann sharply reminds him that in his six month stay on Earth, his intolerance of gravity meant that he didn’t see much of it.

This doesn’t help.

And even apart from culture shock, Kepler has a number of other issues to deal with: namely, spies, saboteurs, and the realization that he may not be able to trust his father.

[Also excitements with solar storms, which in the Moon environment can be deadly.]

Jan 14 2015 4:00pm

The Glass Arrow (Excerpt)

Kristen Simmons

The Glass Arrow Kristen Simmons Once there was a time when men and women lived as equals, when girl babies were valued, and women could belong only to themselves. But that was ten generations ago. Now women are property, to be sold and owned and bred, while a strict census keeps their numbers manageable and under control. The best any girl can hope for is to end up as some man’s forever wife, but most are simply sold and resold until they’re all used up.

Only in the wilderness, away from the city, can true freedom be found. Aya has spent her whole life in the mountains, looking out for her family and hiding from the world, until the day the Trackers finally catch her.

Stolen from her home, and being groomed for auction, Aya is desperate to escape her fate and return to her family, but her only allies are a loyal wolf she’s raised from a pup and a strange mute boy who may be her best hope for freedom… if she can truly trust him.

The Glass Arrow, a haunting new novel from Kristen Simmons, is available February 10th from Tor Teen!

[Read an Excerpt]

Jan 13 2015 4:00pm

Great Fanfic Pairing, or Greatest Fanfic Pairing? Oisín McGann Takes Our Pop Quiz!

Oisin McGannWelcome 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 Oisín McGann, a writer and illustrator who lives somewhere in the Irish countryside. Before becoming an author, he worked as a freelance illustrator, serving time along the way as a pizza chef, security guard, background artist for an animation company, and art director and copywriter in an advertising agency.

McGann has written several novels for young adults, including the Wildenstern Saga, a steampunk trilogy set in nineteenth-century Ireland, and the thrillers Strangled Silence and Rat Runners—all available now as ebooks from Open Road Media.

Join us as Oisín suggests a Muppet fanfic pairing that will either leave you laughing or cringing!

[Read More]

Jan 12 2015 3:21pm

Authors’ Favorite YA Books Include The Westing Game and Choose Your Own Adventure

The Westing Game Ellen Raskin Gilian FlynnTime.com recently asked 17 authors to recall when they were onc young readers, and talk about the young adult novels that left lasting impressions on them. Some of the writers polled, including Ann Brashares and James Patterson, have written popular YA series; others, like Gillian Flynn, admit to trying their hand at the genre with less success.

In recalling the funny, scary, touching books of their youth, their answers drew from an assortment of classics: “mind-expanding” adventures to Choose Your Own Adventure stories, surrealism to mystery, illegitimate princesses to precocious tween sleuths.

[Read more]

Jan 8 2015 3:00pm

From One Problem Colony to Another: Crisis on Conshelf Ten

Crisis on Conshelf TenEnglish-Canadian author Monica Hughes is yet another author that I somehow managed to miss while growing up, despite my endless quest for more robot books. Possibly because I was reading too much Enid Blyton. It’s a pity; although Hughes could be repetitive and uneven, and wrote at least one novel that left me sputtering (not the one in this post), she also wrote some deeply thoughtful, provocative works of speculative fiction for children and young adults, works that include one of her earliest novels, Crisis on Conshelf Ten.

As with her later books, Crisis on Conshelf Ten pulls deeply from Hughes’ experience of living in multiple countries and cultures, as well as her ongoing concern with—later near obsession with—overpopulation, resource exploitation, and the environment. Fortunately, in this book, plot and character still remains paramount.


[Shifting between a life on the Moon and a life deep in the sea.]

Jan 8 2015 9:00am

Fifty-Three Years On: Would A Wrinkle in Time Make the Grade Today?

Wrinkle in Time

“You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.”

–Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

I remember as a young kid being intrigued by the dust cover to my older sister’s first edition copy of A Wrinkle in Time. The dark, storm blue background with a series of concentric circles surrounding three silhouetted figures may have been simple, but it set up a beguiling whirl of mystery.

Where were they and what was going on? And the equally enticing title… what could A Wrinkle in Time epitomize except adventure? Adding to the allure was the author’s name, Madeleine L’Engle, which to my seven-year-old ears sounded somewhat exotic. All these components added up to a promising read, though—until now—I never got any farther than the well-worn and off-putting opening throwback line, “It was a dark and stormy night…”

[Read more ...]

Jan 6 2015 4:30pm

Three (Excerpt)

Kristen Simmons

Three Article 5 Kristen Simmons excerpt Ember Miller and Chase Jennings are ready to stop running. After weeks spent in hiding as two of the Bureau of Reformation’s most wanted criminals, they have finally arrived at the safe house, where they hope to live a safe and quiet existence. But all that’s left is smoking ruins.

Devastated by the demolition of their last hope, Ember and Chase follow the only thing left to them—tracks leading away from the wreckage. The only sign that there may have been survivors. With their high profile, they know they can’t stay out in the open for long. They take shelter in the wilderness and amidst the ruins of abandoned cities as they follow the tracks down the coast, eventually finding refugees from the destroyed safe house. Among them is someone from Chase’s past—someone he never thought he’d see again.

Banding together, they search for a place to hide, aiming for a settlement a few of them have heard about…a settlement that is rumored to house the nebulous organization known as Three. The very group that has provided Ember with a tiny ray of hope ever since she was first forced on the run.

Three is responsible for the huge network of underground safe houses and resistance groups across the country. And they may offer Ember her only chance at telling the world her story.

Kristen Simmons' fast-paced, gripping YA dystopian series continues in Three—available in paperback January 20th from Tor Teen!

[Read an Excerpt]

Dec 19 2014 2:00pm

“Can’t Live with Magic, Can’t Destroy Humanity Without it”: A Hero at the End of the World, by Erin Claiborne

A Hero at the End of the World Erin Claiborne review

When Ewan Mao was a kid, a prophecy foretold that he would save the world from evil overlord Duff Slan. He reacted just like you’d expect any other kid in a YA fantasy would: he trained (occasionally), he slacked off in school, and he got into a lot of fights with powerful men three or four times his age. And then… and then he didn’t defeat Slan at all. Ewan’s best friend Oliver did.

Erin Claiborne’s YA fantasy novel A Hero at the End of the World opens five years later, with Oliver working his dream job, and Ewan living with his parents and slinging coffee as a barista in West London (he’s not bitter though, really). A chance encounter with a charismatic customer introduces Ewan to a new, radical form of magic, that just might help him show Oliver what it really means to thwart destiny. Charming, self-aware, and hilarious, Hero is the frontliner of the new Big Bang Press, and is everything we can ask for from a press dedicated to fan writers and culture.

[The universe exploded. It was the second-worst day of Ewan’s life.]

Dec 18 2014 3:00pm

When Ghosts Want You in a Small Town: Gallows Hill

Gallows Hill Lois DuncanGetting spare cash in high school can be difficult, especially if you live in a relatively small town with very few available after school jobs, and you are living with a single, unemployed mother.

So it’s probably not too surprising that Sarah Zoltanne reluctantly agrees to work with her not-particularly-well liked, probably-soon-to-be stepsister Kyra and Kyra’s boyfriend Eric in a fake fortune telling business. Only one small, small problem: as it turns out, Sarah can sometimes see the real future. And that’s terrifying for a lot of people, including Sarah, and might even lead everyone to Gallows Hill.

[Plus, for no real apparent reasons, the Salem Witches are going to get involved. Very spoilery.]

Dec 15 2014 9:00am

Seventh Day of the Seventh Moon

Kaleidoscope Anthology Tor.com is pleased to reprint “Seventh Day of the Seventh Moon,” a story by Ken Liu originally published in Kaleidoscope—an anthology published by Twelfth Planet Press.

Edited by Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios, Kaleidoscope collects fun, edgy, meditative, and hopeful YA science fiction and fantasy with diverse leads. The anthology features twenty original stories focusing on scary futures, magical adventures, and the joys and heartbreaks of teenage life.

Ken Liu’s “Seventh Day of the Seventh Moon,” tells the story of Jing and Yuan, a pair of young women in love for the first time in their lives, who’re about to be parted by circumstances beyond their control. On Qixi, the Festival of the Cowherd and Weaver Girl, the legendary lovers give the young women some help and advice.

[Read “Seventh Day of the Seventh Moon”]

Dec 12 2014 4:00pm

Briar Queen (Excerpt)

Katherine Harbour

Katherine Harbour Briar Queen excerpt Serafina Sullivan and her father left San Francisco to escape the painful memory of her older sister Lily Rose’s suicide. But soon after she arrived in bohemian Fair Hollow, New York, Finn discovered a terrifying secret connected to Lily Rose. The placid surface of this picture-perfect town concealed an eerie supernatural world—and at its center, the wealthy, beautiful, and terrifying Fata family.

After the events of Thorn Jack, the rhythm of life in Fair Hollow is beginning to feel a little closer to ordinary. But Finn knows better than to be lulled by this comfortable sense of normalcy. It’s just the calm before the storm. For soon, a chance encounter outside the magical Brambleberry Books will lead her down a rabbit hole, into a fairy world of secrets and legacies… straight towards the shocking truth about her sister’s death.

Night and Nothing, Katherine Harbour’s dark, moody, and mystical fantasy series, continues with Briar Queen—available June 2015 from HarperVoyager. Tor.com is pleased to reveal the cover design, plus an excerpt below!

[Read an Excerpt]

Dec 12 2014 1:16pm

New Insurgent Trailer Pits Tris vs. Tris

Insurgent movie trailer Divergent Shailene Woodley Kate Winslet

If you weren’t satisfied by the odd Insurgent teaser trailer that was released about a month ago, you’ll appreciate this more straightforward trailer for the second film based on Veronica Roth's dystopian YA trilogy.

For the most part, Insurgent looks to be following the plot of the book, picking up where Divergent left off: Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) and her fellow Dauntless boyfriend Four (Theo James) are on the run from the Erudite faction, whose leader Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet) is using simulations and other methods to turn the rest of Dauntless into her own personal army. But there are a few plot tweaks to up the stakes in the movie version.

[Watch the trailer]

Dec 11 2014 3:00pm

It’s the Social Security Numbers That Get You: Locked in Time

Lois Duncan Locked in TimeNore is still trying to recover from the unexpected death of her mother when she receives still more shocking news: her father has just remarried, and is planning to spend the summer with his new wife and their two children in their old plantation home in Louisiana. He invites Nore to stay, partly because, now that the school year is out, Nore has nowhere else to go, but also because he wants Nore to get to know their new family. Nore is angry and uncertain at best—especially after she meets her new stepmother, Lisette, and gets a distinct sense of DEATH DOOM DEATH.

Which is particularly odd since, as it will soon become clear, Lisette’s major issue isn’t death, but rather that she’s Locked in Time.

[Which creates all kinds of issues with Social Security numbers.]

Dec 10 2014 9:38am

Rainbow Rowell’s Next Book Carry On is a Fangirl Spinoff Starring Simon Snow

Rainbow Rowell Carry On fantasy Fangirl spinoff Simon Snow Baz

Rainbow Rowell’s next book, Carry On, will not only be a spinoff of her 2013 YA novel Fangirl, but it's also a fantasy set in the magical world of Simon Snow! Which is basically Harry Potter, but if Harry and a Draco/Snape hybrid were roommates. And fell in love. Yes.

[Read more]

Dec 4 2014 3:00pm

Psychic Responsiblity: The Third Eye

The Third Eye Lois DuncanKaren doesn’t want to be different, but she is. Every once in awhile, she knows things, or has visions. And when she has a vision of a lost boy trapped in the trunk of a car—a boy that she was supposed to be supervising—others start to realize it too. Which leads to a cop asking for her assistance in a missing child’s case—and publicity she really doesn’t like.

Which, I guess, is one of the major negatives with having The Third Eye.

[You might not see the spoilers hiding under the cut, but they are there.]

Nov 28 2014 12:00pm

Evil Astral Twins: Stranger With My Face

One horrible day, Laurie Stratton comes down with one of those awful 24-hour bugs.  (Or is it?)  This means that she has to, gasp, cancel going to a party, which since she’s only seventeen, and still on fairly uncertain terms with her hot, popular, new boyfriend, seriously sucks.

Still, she figures that everything will be all right—until, that is, her annoying friends tell her that if she didn’t want to come to the party, she should have just said so, instead of going to the beach. Where they certainly saw her, even if Laurie knows—knows—she was sick in bed at the time. And the idea, she thinks, of A Stranger With My Face is just, well, ridiculous.


[When evil twins start mastering astral projection.]