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
Fri
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.]

Thu
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.]

Mon
Dec 15 2014 9:00am
Reprint

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”]

Fri
Dec 12 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

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]

Fri
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]

Thu
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.]

Wed
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]

Thu
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.]

Fri
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.

Right?

[When evil twins start mastering astral projection.]

Wed
Nov 19 2014 12:00pm

This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Moral Ambiguity, YA Literature, and The Princess Bride

I’ve been thinking a lot about the movie The Princess Bride. Which, really, has been sort of a semi-consistent thing since childhood. Lately, though, something has occurred to me, and really, I don’t know why I didn’t think about this before. It’s about Westley. Namely, it’s the Dread Pirate Roberts problem.

Now, farm boy Westley is great—don’t get me wrong, but he’s a bit doormat-ish: sweet and kind, but lacking a little…something. Even as a child I though Buttercup was kind of a brat in the beginning and I wanted Westley to stick up for himself a little. So Farm Boy Westley wasn’t my thing. However, later in the film when he shows back up dressed all in black, expertly wielding a sword and full of swagger? We as the audience can’t help but love him.

[Except...the Dread Pirate Roberts takes no survivors, right?]

Thu
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.]

Thu
Nov 13 2014 4:30pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Greg D’Alessandro and Anne Beatrice Jarmain

Greg D'Alessandro pop quiz Welcome 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 Greg D’Alessandro and Anne Beatrice Jarmain, authors of Ava Blue, the first novel in the Seaspell series—available from Principio. Ava, abadoned as a baby on the shore of Lake Superior, is surprised to discover that she is the last surviving member of a great mermaid tribe.

Greg has had a prolific career of writing, directing and performing for theatre, TV, music and stand up comedy. He holds dual MFAs in screenwriting from USC and UCLA, and he currently lives in New York City. Anne is a native of Toronto, Canada. She has written for film and television in both Los Angeles and New York City, and she currently lives with her husband and two small children in Venice Beach, California.

Join us!

[Read More]

Thu
Nov 13 2014 3:00pm

Rewriting After Three Decades: A Gift of Magic

A Gift of MagicLois Duncan’s A Gift of Magic is a revised 2012 edition of her 1971 novel of the same title. But instead of simply updating the book to reflect current computer, internet and cell phone usage (something she did for other reissues of her older novels), Duncan used this opportunity to make some fairly significant changes to the original text, changing not just the names of a few characters, but their ages.

The result is a switch from a book which, to be honest, I can barely remember in its original form (“Oh, yeah, the one with the psychic dancer, right?” Spoiler—WRONG.) to a stronger work.

[A dancer who isn’t psychic, her twin who is, and a sideplot of please do not ever do this in Gulf of Mexico waters, thanks.]

Wed
Nov 12 2014 11:40am

Tris Faces New Fears in the First Insurgent Teaser Trailer

Insurgent trailer Shailene Woodley Tris Prior

Summit Entertainment has released the first teaser trailer for Insurgent, the sequel to last year’s YA dystopian movie Divergent. There’s not much to see yet, aside from Tris’ (Shailene Woodley) cool new haircut and a trippy sequence in which she tries to save her mother from a burning building that then detaches and flies through the air.

[Read More]

Tue
Nov 11 2014 5:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Karina Sumner-Smith

Karina Sumner-Smith 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 Karina Sumner-Smith, a Canadian fantasy author. Her short fiction has appeared in The Living Dead 2, The Best Horror of the Year Volume Three, and Children of Magic, and her work has been nominated for the Nebula Award. Her new novel, Radiant, is the first book in the Towers trilogy—available now from Talos!

We definitely want to visit Karina’s dream-shop in Diagon Alley. Join us to find out why we love it so much!

[Read More]

Mon
Nov 10 2014 5:00pm

The YA Roundup: YALLFest Announces West Coast Sister Event, YALLWest

YALLFest YALLWest Santa Monica 2015

Welcome to The YA Roundup, the best source of movie news, bookish gossip, new releases, and cover reveals from the YA genre!

This week covers a new west coast YA event, a trio of hilarious Hunger Games parody songs, one famous author’s failed attempts at writing YA as a teenager, and upcoming adaptions for The Scorpio Races, Tiger’s Curse, and A Series of Unfortunate Events.

[Read More]

Thu
Nov 6 2014 11:45am

Half the World at War

Sometimes a girl is touched by mother war. Sometimes a woman becomes a warrior. Sometimes a warrior becomes a weapon. And weapons are made for one purpose...

To decorate the walls of dank taverns, perhaps? To display in glittering glass cases? Or maybe, just maybe... they’re made for murdering.

That sounds rather more like it!

Seems like only yesterday we were talking about Joe Abercrombie’s new novel, Half a King—and now the sequel is nearly here! So very nearly here, indeed, that today I’m able to share with you the sharp cover art teased at the top, some key story details about the second book of The Shattered Sea’s three and a report on the progress of Half a War.

[Read More]

Tue
Nov 4 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

A Thousand Pieces of You (Excerpt)

Claudia Gray

A Thousand Pieces of You excerpt Claudia Gray Marguerite Caine's physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite's father is murdered, and the killer—her parent's handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul's guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father's death is far more sinister than she expected.

A Thousand Pieces of You, the first book in Claudia Gray's Firebird trilogy, explores an amazingly intricate multiverse where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all. Available now from HarperTeen!

[Read More]

Mon
Nov 3 2014 5:00pm

The YA Roundup: Muppet Potter, R.L. Stine’s Twitter Horror Story, and More!

Welcome to the YA Roundup, the best source of movie news, bookish gossip, new releases, and cover reveals from the YA genre!

This week covers “Furry Potter and the Goblet of Cookies,” R.L. Stine’s Twitter horror story, John Green’s contribution to the We Need Diverse Books campaign, the final Mockingjay, Part 1 trailer, and the flop that is Rebels: City of Indra!

[Read more]

Mon
Nov 3 2014 4:00pm

The Unhappening of Genesis Lee (Excerpt)

The Unhappening of Genesis Lee excerpt Shallee McArthur Seventeen-year-old Genesis Lee has never forgotten anything. As one of the Mementi—a small group of genetically enhanced humans—Gena remembers everything with the help of her Link bracelets, which preserve them perfectly. But Links can be stolen, and six people have already lost their lives to a memory thief, including Gena’s best friend. Anyone could be next. That’s why Gena is less than pleased to meet a strange but charming boy named Kalan who claims not only that they have met before, but also that Gena knows who the thief is.

The problem is that Gena doesn’t remember Kalan, she doesn’t remember seeing the thief, and she doesn’t know why she’s forgetting things—or how much else she might forget. As growing tensions between Mementi and ordinary humans drive the city of Havendale into chaos, Gena and Kalan team up to search for the thief. And as Gena loses more memories, they realize they have to solve the mystery fast…because Gena’s life is unhappening around her.

Shallee McArthur's debut YA novel, The Unhappening of Genesis Lee, is available November 18th from Sky Pony Press. Read an excerpt below!

[Read an Excerpt]