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 12 2014 1:00pm

On the Masterful Creepiness of Merricat: Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Shirley Jackson We Have Always Lived in the Castle I came to the Shirley Jackson party late. The first thing I read was The Haunting of Hill House, and that was just last year. On my way to the park for a lunchtime walk and brain-clearing, I pulled a parcel from the post box. In the park I didn’t refrain from tearing open said parcel because, well, book. I did laps whilst reading this tremendously weird tale, and by the time I returned home there was a kind of strange translucent wallpaper over my vision, an image of Hill House superimposed on the things of my everyday life. That’s kind of disturbing.

But that’s not what I wanted to talk about—Hill House (not sane, but brilliant) led me to We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and the thoroughly magnificently malignant creation, Mary Katherine Blackwood. Merricat, with her strange acts of sympathetic magic, her even stranger magical thinking, and her almost complete lack of conscience—I say “almost” because she does seem to know she’s doing wrong, but she shrugs and does it anyway because it’s all in the service of what she believes is required.

[Read More]

Thu
Dec 11 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Merry Cthulhumas!

Cthulhu Wreath

Photographer and improver-of-Christmas LiquidNight made this fantastic Cthulhumas wreath, and shared it with GeyserofAwesome! If you’d like to add some tentacles to your own holiday celebrations, there is a step-by-step Elder Guide over on imgur.

Morning Roundup demands more dinosaur hybrids, confirms that (flying cars aside) we are indeed living in the future, and decides to o some hardcore wassailin’ with Christopher Lee!

[Plus, Stephen Colbert will not rest until he has been every LOTR character!]

Fri
Nov 28 2014 4:00pm

Fiction Affliction: December Releases in Paranormal/Urban Fantasy and Horror

new releases urban fantasy December 2014Twenty-three offerings help deplete the holiday pocketbook this month. Look for new titles from, among others, Kristen Painter, Keri Arthur, Dorothy Hearst, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and Carrie Vaughn.

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.

[Read about this month’s releases.]

Mon
Nov 17 2014 11:18am

Universal’s Monsterverse Movies Will Be Action-Adventure, Not Horror

Universal Monsters movies not horror action adventure The Mummy Dracula Frankenstein

In news that shouldn't come as a surprise, Universal Pictures’ Avengers-style Monsterverse will not pull from the original films’ horror roots. Instead, the studio is reimagining Dracula, the Mummy, Frankenstein, and other monsters as action-adventure movies.

[Read more]

Wed
Nov 12 2014 2:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Ethan Reid

Ethan Reid 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 Ethan Reid, member of the Horror Writers Association, the International Thriller Writers and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. Ethan’s debut novel, The Undying, is a post-apocalyptic thriller set in the vampire-infested ruins of Paris—available now as an ebook from Simon451!

Join us!

[Read More]

Wed
Nov 12 2014 11:00am

Rocket Talk Episode 34: “Selfies” by Lavie Tidhar

In this episode of Rocket Talk, we take a break to present an audio edition of “Selfies,” an original story by Lavie Tidhar, as read by Emily Asher-Perrin.

“Selfies” is a creepy little horror tale about the fate of a young woman who makes the mistake of a lifetime when she buys a new phone in the local mall.

The short story can be read online for free here.

[Listen to “Selfies”]

Wed
Nov 12 2014 9:00am
Original Story

The Walk

“The Walk,” by Dennis Etchison, is a neat little horror story about the dog eat dog world of Hollywood in which a director and writer have very different ideas of how their collaboration should proceed.

This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by consulting editor Ellen Datlow.

[Read “The Walk” by Dennis Etchison]

Mon
Nov 10 2014 10:30am
Excerpt

A Head Full of Ghosts Excerpt and Cover Reveal

Paul G. Tremblay

A Head Full of Ghosts Paul Tremblay

Tor.com is pleased to reveal the cover design for A Head Full of Ghosts, Paul G. Tremblay’s chilling thriller that blends domestic drama, psychological suspense, and a touch of modern horror—coming from HarperCollins in June 2015! From the catalog copy:

The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.

To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality TV show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.

Head below the cut for a sneak peek excerpt from A Head Full of Ghosts!

[Read More]

Sat
Nov 8 2014 8:00am

Bram Stoker Created a Horror Classic from the Anxieties of his Age

Bram Stoker Art by David A. Johnson

Bram Stoker’s interest in the macabre seems to have been with him from his youth. While at Trinity College, Dublin, he became a member of the University’s Philosophical Society, and the first paper he presented was “Sensationalism in Fiction and Society.” After graduation, he married his classmate Oscar Wilde’s ex-fiancé (it took a few years for them to mend the friendship, but Stoker ended up being one of the friends who visited Wilde in France after his incarceration) and worked as a theater critic for the Dublin Evening Mail. The paper was owned by Sheridan Le Fanu, who ended up being a far larger influence on Stoker’s creative life a few years later.

[From many influences, Stoker created a unique classic]

Wed
Nov 5 2014 2:00pm

Under the Radar: Gulab by Annie Zaidi

Gulab Annie ZaidiWhile genre literature in the subcontinent is now being published more frequently, it isn’t all that often that you come across a ghost story that reminds you (in the best of ways) of those that filled the pages of Urdu digests and magazines from a couple of decades ago. Bombay-based writer Annie Zaidi’s novella Gulab is one such story—clever, funny, and of course, creepy.

Gulab starts with a very unlikely romantic hero—the lead protagonist Nikunj is a sweaty, whiny man packed tight in a formal suit while attempting to say goodbye to the one true love of his life, Saira. Having assumed she had died in an earthquake many years ago when the building she lived in collapsed, Nikunj is shocked when he receives a telegram informing him of her death and burial.

[Read More]

Tue
Nov 4 2014 2:00pm

Born Again: Wakening the Crow by Stephen Gregory

Wakening the Crow Stephen Gregory

Stephen Gregory pulls precisely none of his punches in Wakening the Crow, a darkly fantastic fiction about family which, like The Waking That Kills before it, is interested in the ties that bind us together largely because these lead to the lies that drive us apart.

Oliver Gooch is “a dabbler and a dilettante,” someone who would “always procrastinate if there was an easier option,” and this past year, there has been. He and Rosie, his hard-working wife, have come into a substantial sum of money—enough, though the numbers go undisclosed, to purchase a church: an old Anglican in one of Nottingham’s nicer suburbs.

“No, not the whole building,” Gooch is quick to qualify. “As the congregation had dwindled to almost nothing, the commissioners had closed the church and sold it as two parcels. The body of the building was now a furniture warehouse. We’d bought the tower,” to live in, and the vestry as well—a very special space our protagonist plans to turn into a bookshop. Specifically “a specialist outlet of strange and occult and arcane books. The shop I’d daydreamed foolishly about having.”

[Read More]

Sat
Nov 1 2014 9:00am

Fiction Affliction: November Releases in Paranormal/Urban Fantasy and Horror

urban fantasy new releasesFollowing a couple of fifty-release months, fans of paranormal fantasy, urban fantasy, and horror have a mere thirty-three offerings this month. Look for new titles from, among others, Stephen King, Karen Chance, M.L. Brennan, Sharon Shinn, Gail Carriger, F. Paul Wilson, Lauren Dane, Molly Harper, and Laura Resnick. Also out this month: a new collection of stories set in the world of Sookie Stackhouse, edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner, and a collection of shorts from Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin and Milla Vane.

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.

[Read about this month’s releases.]

Fri
Oct 31 2014 8:00am
Reprint

Morph

David Lubar

This Halloween, Tor.com is proud to present an exclusive reprint of “Morph,” a short story from David Lubar's horror collection Extremities: Stories of Death, Murder, and Revenge (Tor Teen 2014).

When Andy notices a suspicious character preying on Chinatown smugglers, he follows a path that leads him to horrible, life-threatening discoveries.

[Read “Morph,” by David Lubar]

Fri
Oct 31 2014 7:00am

Morning Roundup: Halloween is the Universal Language!

Happy Halloween everybody! This amazing pumpkin was carved by Mike Matola, and contains the complete text of the Rosetta Stone. He’s used to intricate work—he also creates portraits of artists and movies using only the artists’ words with the Line By Line poster project—but this is an extraordinary feat of carving!

Morning Roundup is possibly a little too excited about Halloween! Below you will find dozens of terrifying horror films, weird fiction, thoughts on Poe, and an exploration of a non-Euclidian city!

[Plus a squirrel gets into the Halloween spirit!]

Wed
Oct 29 2014 8:00am
Original Story

A Kiss with Teeth

Vlad has grown distant from his wife. His son has trouble at school. And he has to keep his sharp teeth hidden.

This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by editor Marco Palmieri.

[Read “A Kiss with Teeth” by Max Gladstone]

Tue
Oct 28 2014 1:15pm

The Lesser Dead is Christopher Buehlman’s Greatest Yet

The Lesser Dead Christopher BuehlmanJoey Peacock looks fourteen... at least, most of the time he does. He’s actually pushing fifty. He was turned by a vampire who used to be his housekeeper, a fearsome Irishwoman named Margaret. The two of them carve out a comfortable existence in 1970s Manhattan, where Margaret is the undisputed alpha of a tight, clean-living vampire crew who inhabit the New York subways, mesmerizing people on the rare occasions when they run into trouble, leaving most of their victims alive.

Sustainable hunting practices aside, these vampires are settled into a comfortable routine with each other. They share a laundry; they’re practically family. Each maintains a set of regular human victims, whom they visit and drink.

Then one day Joey sees a bunch of little undead kids on the subway, using their charm to lure a hapless dad type into the tunnels. Somehow these new arrivals don’t look like they’re playing catch-and-release.

[Read more]

Tue
Oct 28 2014 7:00am

Morning Roundup: This Cookie Would Not Survive the Sarlacc Pit (of Your Mouth)

He’s not just the galaxy’s coolest bounty hunter, he’s also its most delicious cookie! Daily Dot shared the commendable work of StarCookies, a company that makes wonderfully detailed cookie cutters, including this Boba Fett. And while some of the shapes are for standard logos, most of them are perfect for fans of Doctor Who, Pokemon, and the Teen Titans.

Morning Roundup brings you the Starbucks orders of the literary world, reveals where Harry Potter fans go to get down in private, and, whether you want it or not, a love ballad from Ultron!

[Plus there’s a cat on a Roomba.]

Fri
Oct 24 2014 7:00am

Morning Roundup: Jim Henson’s Kitchen Nightmare Babies

Chef Gordon Ramsay has finally met his match! George Takei shared this picture, which we’re assuming was shot during the most important culinary summit of our time. We’re just hoping that Ramsay appreciated the Swedish Chef’s Shredded Wheat and Cranberry Sauce...

Morning Roundup is still to busy watching the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer on a continuous loop to think of much else, but still...links must be gathered and spread! And so, we bring you yet another legacy of the Romans, a list of great modern horror films for your Halloween edification, and a look back at Dragon magazine! 

[Plus, take flight with some Hobbits!]

Thu
Oct 23 2014 7:00am

Morning Roundup: We Bring Apathy from the Night’s Plutonian Shore!

Grammarly shared Jim Benton’s frustrated raven, just in time for Halloween! We’re guessing this bird won’t have much useful news regarding the poet’s lost Lenore...

Morning Roundup brings you a Johnny Depp in wolf’s clothing, real estate tips of the damned, and spooooooky reading suggestions!

[plus, nothing goes with s’mores like a good Bill Murray tale!]

Tue
Oct 21 2014 7:00am

Morning Roundup: Daily Affirmations With the Hulk!

Kehinki gives us the greatest motivational posters! What could be more motivating than an enraged Bruce Banner? Or Black Widow threatening to pull your still-beating heart right from your chest? But really, it’s the wise words of Tony Stark who give us the greatest leg-up in life. You can check out more of the images over on io9!

Morning Roundup brings you... nightmares! Mwahaha! No, not really. Just a history of A Nightmare on Elm Street, thoughts on prog rock, and a stern lecture for Benedict Cumberbatch! 

[Plus, they’re taking us back to Germany!]