The Hell of It February 25, 2015 The Hell of It Peter Orullian What will he wager? Schrödinger’s Gun February 18, 2015 Schrödinger’s Gun Ray Wood Maybe in some other timeline it would have gone smooth. Acrobatic Duality February 11, 2015 Acrobatic Duality Tamara Vardomskaya The two of her are perfectly synchronized. The Language of Knives February 4, 2015 The Language of Knives Haralambi Markov They share the rites of death, and grief.
From The Blog
February 26, 2015
Introducing the Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch
Keith DeCandido
February 23, 2015
Oh No, She Didn’t: The Strong Female Character, Deconstructed
Ilana C. Myer
February 20, 2015
Evil Eighties: The Paperback Horrors of Lisa Tuttle
Grady Hendrix
February 19, 2015
The Pinocchio Factor
Jen Williams
February 17, 2015
The Mummy was the Indiana Jones Successor that We Deserved
Emily Asher-Perrin
Showing posts tagged: excerpts click to see more stuff tagged with excerpts
Tue
Feb 24 2015 5:00pm
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 2:00pm
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 2:00pm
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!

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Thu
Feb 19 2015 4:00pm
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 9:30am

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!

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Wed
Feb 18 2015 4:00pm
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 9:00am
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!

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Thu
Feb 12 2015 4:00pm
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 4:00pm
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 2:00pm
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 11:00am
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 4:00pm
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 2:00pm
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 10:00am
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.

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Thu
Jan 29 2015 2:00pm
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 4:00pm
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]

Mon
Jan 26 2015 4:00pm
Excerpt

Classical Antiquity and Western Identity in Battlestar Galactica

Vince Tomasso

Classical Traditions in Science Fiction For all its concern with change in the present and future, science fiction is deeply rooted in the past and, surprisingly, engages especially deeply with the ancient world. Indeed, both as an area in which the meaning of “classics” is actively transformed and as an open-ended set of texts whose own ‘classic' status is a matter of ongoing debate, science fiction reveals much about the roles played by ancient classics in modern times.

Classical Traditions in Science Fiction—edited by Brett M. Rogers and Benjamin Eldon Stevens—is the first collection dedicated to the rich study of science fiction's classical heritage, offering a much-needed mapping of its cultural and intellectual terrain. Available February 9th from Oxford University Press, this volume discusses a wide variety of representative examples from both classical antiquity and the past four hundred years of science fiction, exposing the many levels on which science fiction engages the ideas of the ancient world, from minute matters of language and structure to the larger thematic and philosophical concerns.

Below, Vince Tomasso explores the role of classical antiquity, myths, and tradition in Battlestar Galactica.

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Fri
Jan 23 2015 2:00pm
Excerpt

Shadow (Excerpt)

Will Elliott

Shadow Will Elliott excerpt Eric Albright was a luckless journalist living in London. He had a so-so life, until the day he opened a battered red door that appeared on the graffiti-covered wall of a local bridge, and entered Levaal, a magical world between worlds.

A place populated by power damaged mages, stone giants, pit devils—and dragons, who are imprisoned in a sky prison—Levaal is ruled by the mad Lord Vous. Vous is busy working on a scheme to turn himself into a god, thus far prevented only by the great Wall at World’s End. 

But the Wall at World’s End has been brought down, war is coming to the land, and Eric and his newfound friends are caught in the thick of it. They are forced to flee from the Tormentors, dreadful creatures that have poured through the breach, and there are rumors that one of the great dragons has escaped its sky prison. Worse yet, Vous’s journey to godhood is almost complete, and a mysterious being called Shadow is wandering Levaal with great power but no purpose it yet understands.

Shadow—the second title in Will Elliott’s fantasy Pendulum Trilogy—is available February 24th from Tor Books!

[Read an Excerpt]

Wed
Jan 21 2015 2:00pm
Excerpt

A Darker Shade of Magic (Excerpt)

A Darker Shade of Magic VE Schwab excerpt Tor cover Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, ruled by a mad King George. There’s Red London, where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London, a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London...but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see—a dangerous hobby, and one that has set him up for accidental treason.

Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations, who first robs him, then saves him from a dangerous enemy, and then forces him to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure. But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—and that is proving trickier than they hoped.

From V.E. Schwab comes a new universe of daring adventure, thrilling power, and parallel Londons, beginning with A Darker Shade of Magic—available February 24th from Tor Books (US) and February 27th from Titan (UK).

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Mon
Jan 19 2015 2:00pm
Excerpt

Beyond Redemption Excerpt and Cover Reveal

Michael R. Fletcher

Beyond Redemption Michael R Fletcher

Violent and dark, the world is filled with the Geistrekranken—men and women whose delusions manifest. Sustained by their own belief—and the beliefs of those around them—they can manipulate their surroundings. For the High Priest Konig, that means creating order out of the chaos in his city-state, leading his believers to focus on one thing: helping a young man, Morgen, ascend to become a god. A god they can control.

Trouble is, there are many who would see a god in their thrall, including the High Priest’s own doppelgangers, a Slaver no one can resist, and three slaves led by possibly the only sane man left.

As these forces converge on the boy, there’s one more obstacle: time is running out. Because as the delusions become more powerful, the also become harder to control. The fate of the Geistrekranken is to inevitably find oneself in the Afterdeath. The question, then, is: Who will rule there?

Tor.com is pleased to reveal the cover for Michael R. Fletcher’s Beyond Redemption, a gritty mind-bending fantasy forthcoming from HarperVoyager in June 2015! Check out the full cover image and an excerpt below.

[Read an Excerpt]