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
Showing posts tagged: excerpts click to see more stuff tagged with excerpts
Wed
Mar 25 2015 4:00pm
Excerpt

The Memory Painter (Excerpt)

Gwendolyn Womack

The Memory Painter Bryan Pierce is an internationally famous artist whose paintings have dazzled the world. But there’s a secret to his success: Every canvas is inspired by an unusually vivid dream.

When Bryan awakes, he possesses extraordinary new skills—the ability to speak obscure languages, or an inexplicable genius for chess. All his life, he has wondered if his dreams are recollections, if he is re-experiencing other people’s lives.

A meeting with neurogeneticist Linz Jacobs triggers Bryan’s most powerful dream yet: visions of a team of scientists who, on the verge of discovering a cure for Alzheimer’s, died in a lab explosion decades ago. As Bryan becomes obsessed with the mysterious circumstances surrounding the scientists’ deaths, his dreams begin to reveal what happened at the lab, as well as a deeper mystery that may lead all the way to ancient Egypt...

Gwendolyn Womack’s riveting debut novel The Memory Painter is available April 28th from Picador.

[Preview Chapter One]

Tue
Mar 24 2015 2:00pm
Excerpt

The Grace of Kings (Excerpt)

The Grace of Kings excerpt Ken Liu Two men rebel together against tyranny—and then become rivals—in The Grace of Kings, the first sweeping book of an epic fantasy series from Ken Liu, available April 7th from Saga Press.

Wily, charming Kuni Garu, a bandit, and stern, fearless Mata Zyndu, the son of a deposed duke, seem like polar opposites. Yet, in the uprising against the emperor, the two quickly become the best of friends after a series of adventures fighting against vast conscripted armies, silk-draped airships, and shapeshifting gods.

Once the emperor has been overthrown, however, they each find themselves the leader of separate factions—two sides with very different ideas about how the world should be run and the meaning of justice.

[Read an Excerpt]

Mon
Mar 9 2015 3:00pm
Excerpt

Superposition (Excerpt)

David Walton

Superposition David Watson Jacob Kelley’s family is turned upside down when an old friend turns up, waving a gun and babbling about an alien quantum intelligence.

The mystery deepens when the friend is found dead in an underground bunker…apparently murdered the night he appeared at Jacob’s house. Jacob is arrested for the murder and put on trial.

As the details of the crime slowly come to light, the weave of reality becomes ever more tangled, twisted by a miraculous new technology and a quantum creature unconstrained by the normal limits of space and matter.

With the help of his daughter, Alessandra, Jacob must find the true murderer before the creature destroys his family and everything he loves.

David Walton’s Superposition, a quantum physics murder mystery, publishes April 7th from Prometheus Books.

[Read an Excerpt]

Wed
Mar 4 2015 5:00pm
Excerpt

Razorhurst (Excerpt)

Justine Larbalestier

Razorhurst Justine Larbalestier Sydney’s deadly Razorhurst neighborhood, 1932. Gloriana Nelson and Mr. Davidson, two ruthless mob bosses, have reached a fragile peace—one maintained by “razor men.” Kelpie, orphaned and homeless, is blessed (and cursed) with the ability to see Razorhurst’s many ghosts. They tell her secrets the living can’t know about the cracks already forming in the mobs’ truce.

Then Kelpie meets Dymphna Campbell, a legendary beauty and prized moll of Gloriana Nelson. She’s earned the nickname “Angel of Death” because none of her beaus has ever survived knowing her. Unbeknownst to Kelpie, Dymphna can see ghosts, too, and she knows that Gloriana’s hold is crumbling one henchman at a time. As loyalties shift and betrayal threatens the two girls at every turn, Dymphna is determined not only to survive, but to rise to the top with Kelpie at her side.

The notoriously bloody history of a mob-run Sydney, Australia neighborhood is fertile ground for Justine Larbalestier’s Razorhurst, a historical thriller with a paranormal twist—available now from Soho Press.

[Read an Excerpt]

Tue
Feb 24 2015 6:00pm
Excerpt

Persona (Excerpt)

Genevieve Valentine

Persona Genevieve Valentine In a world where diplomacy has become celebrity, a young ambassador survives an assassination attempt and must join with an undercover paparazzo in a race to save her life, spin the story, and secure the future of her young country in Persona, a near-future political thriller from Genevieve Valentine—publishing March 10th from Saga Press.

When Suyana, Face of the United Amazonia Rainforest Confederation, is secretly meeting Ethan of the United States for a date that can solidify a relationship for the struggling UARC, the last thing she expected was an assassination attempt.

Daniel, a teen runaway turned paparazzi out for his big break, witnesses the first shot hit Suyana, and before he can think about it, he jumps into the fray, telling himself it’s not altruism, it’s the scoop. Now Suyana and Daniel are on the run—and if they don’t keep one step ahead, they’ll lose it all.

[Read an Excerpt]

Mon
Feb 23 2015 3:00pm
Excerpt

Voyage of the Basilisk (Excerpt)

Marie Brennan

Marie Brennan Voyage of the Basilisk Lady Trent Devoted readers of Lady Trent’s earlier memoirs, A Natural History of Dragons and The Tropic of Serpents, may believe themselves already acquainted with the particulars of her historic voyage aboard the Royal Survey Ship Basilisk, but the true story of that illuminating, harrowing, and scandalous journey has never been revealed—until now.

Six years after her perilous exploits in Eriga, Isabella embarks on her most ambitious expedition yet: a two-year trip around the world to study all manner of dragons in every place they might be found. From feathered serpents sunning themselves in the ruins of a fallen civilization to the mighty sea serpents of the tropics, these creatures are a source of both endless fascination and frequent peril. Accompanying her is not only her young son, Jake, but a chivalrous foreign archaeologist whose interests converge with Isabella’s in ways both professional and personal.

Science is, of course, the primary objective of the voyage, but Isabella’s life is rarely so simple. She must cope with storms, shipwrecks, intrigue, and warfare, even as she makes a discovery that offers a revolutionary new insight into the ancient history of dragons.

The thrilling adventure of Lady Trent continues in Marie Brennan’s Voyage of the Basilisk, available March 31st from Tor Books!

[Read an Excerpt]

Fri
Feb 20 2015 3:00pm
Excerpt

Icefall (Excerpt)

Gillian Philip

Gillian Philip Icefall Death stalks Seth MacGregor’s clan in their otherworld exile. Kate NicNiven is close to ultimate victory, and she is determined that nothing will keep her from it. Not even the thing that took her soul: the horror that lurks in the sea caves.

But Kate still needs Seth’s son Rory, and his power over the Veil. And she’ll go to any lengths to get him. Seth’s own soul is rotting from the wound inflicted by Kate, and survival for his loved ones seems all he can hope for. But might a mortal threat to his brother’s daughter force him to return to his own world to challenge Kate? And will Rory go with him? Because Rory suspects there’s a darkness trapped in the Veil, a darkness that wants to get out. But only one Sithe knows how near it is to getting its way: Seth’s bound lover, the witch Finn. Nobody gets forever. But some are willing to try...

From critically acclaimed author Gillian Philip, Icefall is the final installment in the Rebel Angels series—available March 24th from Tor Books!

[Read an Excerpt]

Thu
Feb 19 2015 5:00pm
Excerpt

Dead Spots (Excerpt)

Rhiannon Frater

Dead Spots Rhiannon Frater The stillbirth of Mackenzie’s son destroyed her marriage. Grieving, Mac reluctantly heads for her childhood home to seek refuge with her mother, who constantly reminds her of life’s dangers.

Driving across Texas, Mac swerves to avoid hitting a deer...and winds up in a dead spot, a frightening place that lies between the worlds of the living and the dead. If they can control their imaginations, people can literally bring their dreams to life—but most are besieged by fears and nightmares which pursue them relentlessly.

Mackenzie’s mother and husband haunt her, driving her to the brink of madness. Then she hears a child call for help and her maternal instincts kick into overdrive. Grant, Mac’s ally in the dead spots, insists Johnny is a phantom, but the boy seems so real, so alive. As the true horrors of the dead spots are slowly revealed, Mackenzie realizes that time is running out. But exits from the dead spots are nearly impossible to find, and defended by things almost beyond imagination.

Horror novelist Rhiannon Frater returns with Dead Spots, available February 24th from Tor Books!

[Read an Excerpt]

Thu
Feb 19 2015 10:30am

Cover Reveal and Excerpt for The Black Cauldron 50th Anniversary Edition

The Black Cauldron 50th anniversary edition cover reveal excerpt Lloyd Alexander

To celebrate the half-century in which Lloyd Alexander’s The Black Cauldron has charmed and enthralled young fantasy readers, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers is releasing a special 50th anniversary edition of the second book in Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain.

Coming in 2015, the new edition will follow the design of The Book of Three anniversary edition, with a black cloth cover and silver foil. It includes a new introduction by Newbery Award winner Rebecca Stead, a short story from Prydain, and three letters from Lloyd Alexander to his editor, Ann Durrell (one in which he expresses his joy at having received a Newbery Honor for the book).

Tor.com is pleased to reveal the new cover for The Black Cauldron! Check out the full image below, plus some thoughts on the book from editor Noa Wheeler. Henry Holt BYR has also provided an excerpt, so prepare to fall in love all over again with Lloyd Alexander’s epic tale!

[Read more]

Wed
Feb 18 2015 5:00pm
Excerpt

The Devil’s Only Friend (Excerpt)

Dan Wells

The Devil's Only Friend Dan Wells John Wayne Cleaver hunts demons: they’ve killed his neighbors, his family, and the girl he loves, but in the end he’s always won. Now he works for a secret government kill team, using his gift to hunt and kill as many monsters as he can. But the monsters have noticed, and the quiet game of cat and mouse is about to erupt into a full scale supernatural war.

John doesn’t want the life he’s stuck with. He doesn’t want the FBI bossing him around, he doesn’t want his only friend imprisoned in a mental ward, and he doesn’t want to face the terrifying cannibal who calls himself The Hunter. John doesn’t want to kill people. But as the song says, you can’t always get what you want. John has learned that the hard way; his clothes have the stains to prove it.

When John again faces evil, he’ll know what he has to do.

The Devil’s Only Friend is the first book in a brand-new John Wayne Cleaver trilogy by bestselling author Dan Wells—available June 16th from Tor Books!

[Read an Excerpt]

Tue
Feb 17 2015 10:00am
Excerpt

Harrison Squared (Excerpt)

Daryl Gregory

Harrison Squared Daryl Gregory Harrison Harrison—H2 to his mom—is a lonely teenager who’s been terrified of the water ever since he was a toddler in California, when a huge sea creature capsized their boat, and his father vanished. One of the “sensitives” who are attuned to the supernatural world, Harrison and his mother have just moved to the worst possible place for a boy like him: Dunnsmouth, a Lovecraftian town perched on rocks above the Atlantic, where strange things go on by night, monsters lurk under the waves, and creepy teachers run the local high school.

On Harrison’s first day at school, his mother, a marine biologist, disappears at sea. Harrison must attempt to solve the mystery of her accident, which puts him in conflict with a strange church, a knife-wielding killer, and the Deep Ones, fish-human hybrids that live in the bay. It will take all his resources—and an unusual host of allies—to defeat the danger and find his mother.

Daryl Gregory’s Harrison Squared is a thrilling and colorful Lovecraftian adventure of a teenage boy searching for his mother, and the macabre creatures he encounters—available March 24th from Tor Books!

[Read an Excerpt]

Thu
Feb 12 2015 5:00pm
Excerpt

The Doll Collection

Ellen Datlow

the doll collection anthology ellen datlow The Doll Collection—available March 10th from Tor Books—is an anthology designed to frighten and delight, featuring all-original dark tales of dolls from bestselling and award-winning authors compiled by one of the top editors in the field, a treasured toy box of all-original dark stories about dolls of all types, including everything from puppets and poppets to mannequins and baby dolls.

Master anthologist Ellen Datlow has assembled a list of beautiful and terrifying stories from bestselling and critically acclaimed authors. Featuring everything from life-sized clockwork dolls to all-too-human Betsy Wetsy-type baby dolls, these stories play into the true creepiness of the doll trope, but avoid the clichés that often show up in stories of this type. The collection is illustrated with photographs of dolls taken by Datlow and other devoted doll collectors from the science fiction and fantasy field. The result is a star-studded collection exploring one of the most primal fears of readers of dark fiction everywhere, and one that every eader will want to add to their own collection.

[Read Ellen Datlow’s Introduction]

Tue
Feb 10 2015 5:00pm
Excerpt

Bones & All (Excerpt)

Camille DeAngelis

Bones & All Camille DeAngelis excerpt Maren Yearly is a young woman who wants the same things we all do. She wants to be someone people admire and respect. She wants to be loved. But her secret, shameful needs have forced her into exile. She hates herself for the bad thing she does, for what it’s done to her family and her sense of identity; for how it dictates her place in the world and how people see her—how they judge her. She didn’t choose to be this way.

Because Maren Yearly doesn’t just break hearts, she devours them. Ever since her mother found Penny Wilson’s eardrum in her mouth when Maren was just two years old, she knew life would never be normal for either of them. Love may come in many shapes and sizes, but for Maren, it always ends the same—with her hiding the evidence and her mother packing up the car.

But when her mother abandons her the day after her sixteenth birthday, Maren goes looking for the father she has never known, and finds much more than she bargained for along the way. Faced with a world of fellow eaters, potential enemies, and the prospect of love, Maren realizes she isn’t only looking for her father—she’s looking for herself.

Camille DeAngelis’ Bones & All—available March 10th from St. Martin’s Press—is an astonishingly original coming-of-age tale that is at once a gorgeously written horror story as well as a mesmerizing meditation on female power and sexuality.

[Read an Excerpt]

Fri
Feb 6 2015 3:00pm
Excerpt

The Violent Century (Excerpt)

The Violent Century Lavie Tidhar excerpt For seventy years they guarded the British Empire. Oblivion and Fogg, inseparable friends, bound together by a shared fate. Until one night in Berlin, in the aftermath of the Second World War, a secret that tore them apart.

Now, recalled to the Retirement Bureau from which no one can retire, Fogg and Oblivion must face up to a past of terrible war and unacknowledged heroism—a life of dusty corridors and secret rooms, of furtive meetings and blood-stained fields—to answer one last, impossible question: What makes a hero?

Lavie Tidhar weaves an alternate history in The Violent Century, available February 24th from St. Martin’s Press.

[Read an Excerpt]

Thu
Feb 5 2015 12:00pm
Excerpt

Madness in Solidar (Excerpt)

L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

L.E. Modesitt Jr Madness in Solidar Imager Portfolio excerpt Four centuries after its founding, Solidar’s Collegium of Imagers is in decline, the exploits of its founder, the legendary Quaeryt, largely forgotten. The Collegium is so lacking in leadership that the dying Maitre must summon Alastar, an obscure but talented senior imager from Westisle far to the south who has little knowledge of politics in the capital, as his successor.

When Alastar arrives in L’Excelsis and becomes the new Maitre, he finds disarray and lack of discipline within the Collegium, and the ruler of Solidar so hated by the High Holders that they openly refer to him as being mad. To make matters worse, neither Rex Ryen, ridiculed as Rex Dafou, nor the High Holders have any respect for the Collegium, and Alastar finds himself in the middle of a power struggle, with Ryen demanding that the Collegium remove the strongest High Holders and the military leadership in turn plotting to topple Ryen and destroy the Collegium.

At the same time, Ryen is demanding the High Holders pay a massive increase in taxes while he initiates a grandiose building project. And all that, Alastar discovers, is only a fraction of the problems he and the Collegium face.

Madness in Solidar—available March 3rd from Tor Books—is the ninth book in L.E. Modesitt, Jr.’s Imager Portfolio.

[Read an Excerpt]

Tue
Feb 3 2015 5:00pm
Excerpt

The Winner’s Crime (Excerpt)

The Winner's Crime Marie Rutkoski A royal wedding is what most girls dream about. It means one celebration after another: balls, fireworks, and revelry until dawn. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making.

As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement: that she agreed to marry the crown prince in exchange for Arin’s freedom. But can Kestrel trust Arin? Can she even trust herself? For Kestrel is becoming very good at deception. She’s working as a spy in the court. If caught, she’ll be exposed as a traitor to her country. Yet she can’t help searching for a way to change her ruthless world… and she is close to uncovering a shocking secret.

Marie Rutkoski’s follow-up to The Winner’s Curse reveals the high price of dangerous lies and untrustworthy alliances. The truth will come out, and when it does, Kestrel and Arin will learn just how much their crimes will cost them. The Winner’s Crime is available March 3rd from Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

[Read an Excerpt]

Mon
Feb 2 2015 3:00pm
Excerpt

Daughter of Gods and Shadows (Excerpt)

Jayde Brooks

Daughter of Gods and Shadows Jayde Brooks excerpt Eden Reid is twenty-four year old ancient god from Brooklyn, New York. But she doesn’t know about the god part. Yet. What she does know is that she’s currently living a paralyzed life. She can’t seem to escape the things that scare her because the things that scare her seem to be everywhere. For instance, the tall thin man reading the Post across from her on the Staten Island ferry has a mouthful of razor-sharp teeth and has eyes like an owl. And the woman standing at the bow of the ferry, wearing the Donna Karan dress and the red-bottom pumps has the face of a cat. That’s not even the biggest problem. The biggest problem is that when she looks at them, they look back…as if they know her.

And life is about to get stranger. An extremely powerful demon is gunning for her; a zombie-like pandemic is spreading across the country, creating creatures who are hungry for flesh, fast on their feet and clever; and there is the mysterious, handsome stranger with powers of his own who claims to have been her lover from a time and a life that Eden cannot remember. He promises to help awaken her powers for the upcoming war. A war where there is only one prize: survival…

Check out Daughter of Gods and Shadows by debut author Jayde Brooks, available February 3rd from St Martin's Press!

[Read an Excerpt]

Fri
Jan 30 2015 11:00am
Excerpt

“The Great Speck” (Excerpt)

Terry Pratchett

Dragons at Crumbling Castle excerpt Terry Pratchett This never-before-published collection of fourteen funny and inventive tales by acclaimed author Sir Terry Pratchett features a memorable cast of inept wizards, sensible heroes, and unusually adventuresome tortoises.

Available February 3rd from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Dragons at Crumbling Castle celebrates Pratchett’s inimitable wordplay and irreverent approach to the conventions of storytelling, and includes more than one hundred black-and-white illustrations by Mark Beech.

These accessible and mischievous tales are an ideal introduction for young readers to this beloved author, while established fans of Pratchett’s work will savor the playful presentation of the themes and ideas that inform his best-selling novels. Below, read “The Great Speck,” a story about the tiny people living on a grain of dust.

[Read More]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 3:00pm
Excerpt

Dark Intelligence (Excerpt)

Neal Asher

Neal Asher Dark Intelligence US cover Thorvald Spear wakes in a hospital to find he’s been brought back from the dead. What’s more, he died in a human vs. alien war that ended a century ago. Spear had been trapped on a world surrounded by hostile Prador forces, but Penny Royal, the AI inside the rescue ship sent to provide backup, turned rogue, annihilating friendly forces in a frenzy of destruction and killing Spear. One hundred years later the AI is still on the loose, and Spear vows for revenge at any cost.

Isobel Satomi ran a successful crime syndicate, but after competitors attacked she needed power and protection. Negotiating with Penny Royal, she got more than she bargained for: Turning part-AI herself gave Isobel frightening power, but the upgrades hid a horrifying secret, and the dark AI triggered a transformation that has been turning her into something far from human…

Spear hires Isobel to track Penny Royal across worlds to its last known whereabouts. But he cheats her in the process and quickly finds himself in her crosshairs. As Isobel continues to evolve into a monstrous predator, it’s clear her rage will eventually win out over reason. Will Spear finish his hunt before he himself becomes the hunted?

Dark Intelligence is the explosive first novel in a brand new trilogy from military SF master Neal Asher and a new chapter in his epic Polity universe. Dark Intelligence is available now in the UK from Tor UK, and publishes February 3rd in the US from Night Shade Books.

[Read an Excerpt]

Tue
Jan 27 2015 5:00pm
Excerpt

The Sculptor (Comic Excerpt)

Scott McCloud

The Sculptor Scott McCloud David Smith is giving his life for his art—literally. Thanks to a deal with Death, the young sculptor gets his childhood wish: to sculpt anything he can imagine with his bare hands. But now that he only has 200 days to live, deciding what to create is harder than he thought, and discovering the love of his life at the 11th hour isn't making it any easier! 

This is a story of desire taken to the edge of reason and beyond; of the frantic, clumsy dance steps of young love; and a gorgeous, street-level portrait of the world's greatest city. It's about the small, warm, human moments of everyday life…and the great surging forces that lie just under the surface. Scott McCloud wrote the book on how comics work; now he vaults into great fiction with a breathtaking, funny, and unforgettable new work—The Sculptor, available February 3rd from First Second.

[Read an Excerpt]