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
Dec 22 2014 12:15pm

Terry Pratchett Based Crawley on Neil Gaiman, and Other Tidbits from the Writing of Good Omens

how Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett wrote Good OmensWhen Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett published Good Omens in 1990, Gaiman says, they decided to tell people only a little bit about how exactly they collaborated on the beloved fantasy novel. But now, tied to the broadcast of the Good Omens radio play, Gaiman shares an in-depth look at the writing process, from his and Pratchett’s first meeting in a Chinese restaurant in 1985 to who is responsible for which characters.

There are long phone calls we wish we could have listened in on, character genders getting swapped, details borrowed from one of the authors, and doves. Yes, doves.

[Read more]

Fri
Dec 19 2014 4:00pm

Tim Powers Unlocks Another Gate in Nobody’s Home

Nobody's Home The Anubis Gate Tim Powers review The Anubis Gates, by Tim Powers, had been out a good dozen years when I first read it in 1995 or so. Published in 1983 and winner of the Philip K. Dick award, this landmark steampunk novel is the story of Brendan Doyle, an English professor who finds himself trapped in a 19th century alternate London where ghosts lurk in the shadows, magicians vie for power over old gods and time travel gates, and guilds of penniless beggars and confidence tricksters scramble to pick up any crumbs dropped by the wealthier and more magically privileged classes of their intensely stratified society.

In The Anubis Gates, Doyle runs afoul of a magician, Amenophis Fikee, more widely known as Dog-Face Joe. As a side-effect of a magical rituals gone wrong, Joe has become a grotesquely intimate form of serial killer. Every so often he must switch bodies, taking possession of a new victim. His new host immediately begins to grow a dense pelt of all-over body hair.

[Expanding The Anubis Gates universe]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 1:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Dance With Dragons, Part 4

A Song of Ice and Fire A Dance with DragonsWelcome back to A Read of Ice and Fire! Please join me as I read and react, for the very first time, to George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.

Today’s entry is Part 4 of A Dance With Dragons, in which we cover Chapter 6 (“The Merchant’s Man”).

Previous entries are located in the Index. The only spoilers in the post itself will be for the actual chapters covered and for the chapters previous to them. As for the comments, please note that the Powers That Be have provided you a lovely spoiler thread here on Tor.com. Any spoileriffic discussion should go there, where I won’t see it. Non-spoiler comments go below, in the comments to the post itself.

And now, the post!

[“Quentyn,” on the other hand, is a perfectly cromulent name]

Thu
Dec 18 2014 10:30am

Jonathan Strange Meets Georgette Heyer: Pan Macmillan Acquires Zen Cho’s Regency Fantasy Sorcerer to the Crown

Zen Cho

Pan Macmillan has acquired the UK rights to Sorcerer to the Crown, the start of a new trilogy from debut author Zen Cho.

Pan Macmillan's Senior Commissioning editor Bella Pagan is excited for the trilogy, saying “Sorcerer to the Crown is warm, clever and witty. I just adored the characters, their dilemmas and the lively world Zen Cho has created. It’s very special and I just can’t wait to share this wonderful book with as many readers as possible.”

[Regency London and High Magic!]

Tue
Dec 16 2014 1:00pm

The Wheel of Time Reread Redux: The Eye of the World, Part 12

The Eye of the World Robert Jordan rereadWheel of Time Reread Redux! Whoo! Yeah! Whoo! Yeah!

Today’s Redux post will cover Chapters 22 and 23 of The Eye of the World, originally reread in this post.

All original posts are listed in The Wheel of Time Reread Index here, and all Redux posts will also be archived there as well. (The Wheel of Time Master Index, as always, is here, which has links to news, reviews, interviews, and all manner of information about the Wheel of Time in general on Tor.com.)

The Wheel of Time reread is also now available as an ebook series, except for the portion covering A Memory of Light, which should become available soon.

All Reread Redux posts will contain spoilers for the entire Wheel of Time series, so if you haven’t read, read at your own risk.

And now, the post!

[I could sell a mean cookie, though. SAMOAS 4EVR]

Mon
Dec 15 2014 3:15pm

Ancient Textbook Doodles Prove School Has Been Boring for Centuries

medieval doodles

We’re used to thinking of illuminated manuscripts as nearly sacred texts that take a painstakingly long time to create and must have been handled with the utmost care. But medieval book historian Erik Kwakkel, in documenting his various findings on his blog, has discovered that people in medieval times treated their books much the way we do today.

Kwakkel shared several photos of medieval manuscripts from about 700 years ago, their pages filled with doodles by scribes, monks, and bored school children.

[Read more]

Mon
Dec 15 2014 12:24pm

Saga Press to Publish Kameron Hurley’s Standalone Space Opera The Stars Are Legion

Saga Press Kameron Hurley The Stars Are Legion

Saga Press, Simon & Schuster’s new science fiction and fantasy imprint, already counts among its authors Ken Liu and Genevieve Valentine. Now we can add to that list Kameron Hurley, author of the post-binary gender epic fantasy The Mirror Empire. Canadian SFF writer Aidan Moher broke the news on his blog A Dribble of Ink that Saga will publish Hurley’s The Stars Are Legion, a new standalone space opera, in 2016.

The first of two standalone books, The Stars Are Legion takes place within a star system comprised of “world-ships”—think generation ships but bigger—where two feuding matriarchs ultimately incite a war en route to discovering humanity’s new home. Saga Press Executive Editor Joe Monti (who purchased both novels) describes it as “Mad Max meets Henry V but aboard a world-sized [Weyland]-Yutani spaceship.”

[Read more]

Thu
Dec 11 2014 1:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Dance With Dragons, Part 3

George R R Martin A Dance With DragonsWelcome back to A Read of Ice and Fire! Please join me as I read and react, for the very first time, to George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.

Today’s entry is Part 3 of A Dance With Dragons, in which we cover Chapter 4 (“Bran”) and Chapter 5 (“Tyrion”).

Previous entries are located in the Index. The only spoilers in the post itself will be for the actual chapters covered and for the chapters previous to them. As for the comments, please note that the Powers That Be have provided you a lovely spoiler thread here on Tor.com. Any spoileriffic discussion should go there, where I won’t see it. Non-spoiler comments go below, in the comments to the post itself.

And now, the post!

[He is a Partially Frozen Syndrome Sufferer, and what he did in his untreated state was… well, I have no idea if it’s his fault or not]

Wed
Dec 10 2014 10:00am

Even More Standalone Fantasy Fiction!

Gossamer Axe

Yes, we admit it: writing a sequel to our post about stand alone fantasy is a little...ironic. But your reaction to the first post was so enthusiastic and your reading suggestions were so great (LOOK AT THAT COVER OMG) that we decided to unleash our inner Peter Jackson and do another one!

So here’s a roundup of some of your standalone reading suggestions. Sorry if we missed any favorites—mention them in the comments, and we might just expand this into a trilogy!

[Even More Fantasy!]

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]

Tue
Dec 9 2014 1:00pm

The Wheel of Time Reread Redux: The Eye of the World, Part 11

Nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky, y’all, but until then, have another Wheel of Time Reread Redux!

Today’s Redux post will cover Chapters 20 and 21 of The Eye of the World, originally reread in this post.

All original posts are listed in The Wheel of Time Reread Index here, and all Redux posts will also be archived there as well. (The Wheel of Time Master Index, as always, is here, which has links to news, reviews, interviews, and all manner of information about the Wheel of Time in general on Tor.com.)

The Wheel of Time reread is also now available as an ebook series, except for the portion covering A Memory of Light, which should become available soon.

All Reread Redux posts will contain spoilers for the entire Wheel of Time series, so if you haven’t read, read at your own risk.

And now, the post!

[I don’t think we’re playing Kansas anymore, Toto]

Fri
Dec 5 2014 10:00am

Barnes & Noble Bookseller’s Picks for December

Barnes and Noble Bookseller's Picks for February

For over a decade, Barnes & Noble buyer Jim Killen has been a driving force behind Barnes & Noble’s science fiction and fantasy sections. Each month on Tor.com, Mr. Killen curates a list of science fiction & fantasy titles, sometimes focused on upcoming titles and sometimes focused on a theme.

Here are the Barnes & Noble science fiction and fantasy picks for December!

[read more]

Thu
Dec 4 2014 1:30pm

Jeff VanderMeer Talks Ambiguity, the Wilderness, and the New Weird in His Reddit AMA

Jeff VanderMeer Reddit AMA highlightsAuthor, editor, and writing teacher Jeff VanderMeer has been one of the most prolific writers of 2014: Farrar, Straus and Giroux released all three of his Southern Reach trilogy books—Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance—over an eight-month period. Readers eagerly immersed themselves in the creepy, uninhabited land of Area X, abandoned by humans and reclaimed by nature at the start of Annihilation. As a twelfth expedition (narrated by a biologist) attempts to do what their predecessors could not and learn Area X’s mysteries, their own secrets threaten the expedition.

Paramount Pictures has acquired the movie rights for Annihilation, with Ex Machina writer/director Alex Garland adapting the book. Plus, Annihilation was one of your favorite books of 2014. It’s been an exciting year for VanderMeer! This week, he took to Reddit for an AMA discussing ambiguity in the Southern Reach trilogy (including an upcoming novella set in that world), his affinity for the wilderness, and keeping “New Weird” fiction alive. Check out the highlights!

[Read more]

Thu
Dec 4 2014 1:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Dance With Dragons, Part 2

George R R Martin A Dance With DragonsWelcome back to A Read of Ice and Fire! Please join me as I read and react, for the very first time, to George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.

Today’s entry is Part 2 of A Dance With Dragons, in which we cover Chapter 2 (“Daenerys”) and Chapter 3 (“Jon”).

Previous entries are located in the Index. The only spoilers in the post itself will be for the actual chapters covered and for the chapters previous to them. As for the comments, please note that the Powers That Be have provided you a lovely new spoiler thread here on Tor.com. Any spoileriffic discussion should go there, where I won’t see it. Non-spoiler comments go below, in the comments to the post itself.

And now, the post!

[I was going to quote the thing about meddling in the affairs of dragons, but then that seemed to be in really bad… taste. Jeez, I’m going to hell]

Tue
Dec 2 2014 1:00pm

The Wheel of Time Reread Redux: The Eye of the World, Part 10

I been down to the Best Buy on Black Friday, y’all, and lived to tell the tale. Therefore, welcome back to the Wheel of Time Reread Redux!

(Sounds like it should be a folk song, doesn’t it. It probably should. Someone get on that.)

Annnyway, today’s Redux post will cover Chapters 18 and 19 of The Eye of the World, originally reread in this post and this post, respectively.

All original posts are listed in The Wheel of Time Reread Index here, and all Redux posts will also be archived there as well. (The Wheel of Time Master Index, as always, is here, which has links to news, reviews, interviews, and all manner of information about the Wheel of Time in general on Tor.com.)

The Wheel of Time reread is also now available as an ebook series, except for the portion covering A Memory of Light, which should become available soon.

All Reread Redux posts will contain spoilers for the entire Wheel of Time series, so if you haven’t read, read at your own risk.

And now, the post!

[“Oh, my God. Randy I thought you were dead.” “I probably should be. I never thought I’d be so happy to be a virgin.”]

Tue
Dec 2 2014 10:06am

The Goodreads Choice Awards Announce Their Best Books of 2014

Goodreads Choice Awards 2014 winnersGoodreads has announced the winners of its annual Goodreads Choice Awards! Since 2009, “the only major book award decided by readers” has called out the year’s best books in categories including Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Graphic Novels & Comics.

This year 3,317,504 votes were cast, as compared to last year’s 1.9 million votes. Some categories have changed, as well: While this year doesn’t include Paranormal Fantasy, there is a section for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Andy Weir’s The Martian was voted the top sci-fi book of the year; The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness was awarded Best Fantasy; and Anne Rice’s return to the Vampire Chronicles, Prince Lestat, took Best Horror. Congratulations also to Brandon Sanderson, John Scalzi, Gene Luen Yang, Marissa Meyer, Patrick Rothfuss, and Lev Grossman, whose books were all runners-up. Read on for the top five in each category, with the winners bolded.

[So many great recommendations!]

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 26 2014 4:00pm

A Detective Novel Trapped in a Space Opera: Undercity by Catharine Asaro

Undercity Catherine Asaro review Skolian Empire Catharine Asaro is a science fiction writer best known for her Skolian Empire series, a loosely-connected set of books that mixed space opera and romance before SFF Romance became a subgenre in its own right. In Undercity, she returns to the Skolian Empire universe, to a new set of characters and a fresh set of circumstances.

Major Bhaajan used to be a Skolian military officer with the Imperial Space Command. Retired from active service, she’s become a private investigator, a fairly good one. When a mysterious client offers a lot of money for her services, she finds herself returning to Raylicon, the planet of her birth, where a cloistered young man of extremely good family has gone missing. The Majdas are the second most influential family in the empire, even though the empire’s ostensibly democratically ruled, and they’re old-fashioned to boot: they keep their men in seclusion, in the tradition of old Skolian matriarchy. The young man who’s just disappeared from their carefully-guarded household was in line to marry a member of the most influential family in the empire, and the Majdas are understandably eager to get him safely back home.

[Read More]

Mon
Nov 24 2014 9:00am

A Non-Comprehensive-But-Awesome Accounting of Your Favorite Books of 2014

Steles of the Sky best books of 2014

As we come to the end of 2014, we’re looking back on this year’s books, and asking ourselves some important questions: which ones were our favorites? Why did some resonate more than others? And what do our picks say about the state of SFF as we head into 2015? We took to Twitter to ask the hivemind for their best of the year, and you responded with a wonderful avalanche of reading suggestions! While there were too many for one post, we’ve gathered up twenty five of your picks in the non-scientific and non-comprehensive-because-seriously-2014-ain’t-even-over list below!

[Read more! WE MEAN IT.]

Fri
Nov 21 2014 10:00am

Never Wait for a Sequel Again: 17 Standalone Fantasy Novels

One of the things you get used to as a fantasy fan is that each new book is a commitment. Some people commit to other people, marriages, children, careers.... When fantasy fans start a new book, they do it knowing that they may still have to be reading about these characters 20 years later.

As a guide for those who maybe want a fling rather than a marriage, we asked Twitter to suggest standalone fantasies, and you did not disappoint: From Goblin Emperors to Fox Women to Raven Kings, here are 17 of your favorites!

[Read more]