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
Thu
Jun 20 2013 12:30pm

Dance it Up to This Slick Ska Version of the Game of Thrones Theme

Game of Thrones ska theme Pannonia Allstars Ska Orchestra

Hungarian ska band Pannonia Allstars Ska Orchestra just released a very slick ska band version of the insidiously catchy theme song to Game of Thrones and oh man, oh MAN where are my beer-soaked checkered shoes because this puts me right back in the midst of my mid-90s youth.

The song comes complete with a GoT-themed video and if you keep the lounge-y beat going long enough you’ll end up feeling like you’re watching the opening credits to a 70s cop show. None of this is a bad thing.

[Pannonia Allstars Ska Orchestra’s ska version of Game of Thrones]

Tue
May 28 2013 2:00pm

Short Fiction Spotlight: Let’s All Go to the Science Fiction Disco!

Short Fiction Spotlight Let's All Go to the Science Fiction Disco

Welcome back to the Short Fiction Spotlight, a weekly column co-curated by myself and the venerable Brit Mandelo, and dedicated to doing exactly what it says in the header: shining a light on the some of the best and most relevant fiction of the aforementioned form.

Today, we’ve all been invited to the science fiction disco by the inaugural volume of Adventure Rocketship, a moreish new magazine masterminded by prolific critic Jonathan Wright to celebrate genre-oriented essays and short stories both.

We’ll look at two of the latter tales today, namely “Starmen” by Liz Williams and “Between the Notes” by World Fantasy Award winner Lavie Tidhar, but you can find out more about the fascinating first issue here, and place your orders accordingly.

[Read more]

Tue
Apr 30 2013 4:20pm

J.J. Abrams “Believes” John Williams Will Be Back for Star Wars: Episode VII

In a press conference in Germany for Star Trek Into Darkness, J.J. Abrams was needled about his involvement in that other space franchise: Star Wars. While he didn’t reveal much (it seems he doesn’t know much) the director of both Star Trek Into Darkness and the forthcoming Star Wars: Episode VII did say John Williams would likely return. 

“For ‘Star Wars,’ it’s every early days to know, but I believe that going forward, John Williams will be [scoring] that film...”

Though this isn’t total confirmation, it would make sense for the legendary composer return to a universe he arguably made more famous with his score. 

[News via Indiewire]

Mon
Apr 29 2013 2:00pm

Music and magic: Emma Bull’s War for the Oaks

Review Emma Bull War for the Oaks

Whenever I describe my Tufa novels, The Hum and the Shiver and the upcoming Wisp of a Thing, to potential readers, they immediately mention two literary antecedents. One is the Silver John stories and novels by Manly Wade Wellman, which I discussed here. The other is Emma Bull’s 1987 novel War for the Oaks.

Kelly McCullough, author of the WebMage and Fallen Blade series, says, “my first (and forever trunked) novel is pretty much a mashup of Anne Rice and Emma Bull. Interview with the Oaks, or something like it.” Seanan McGuire calls it the first urban fantasy, and it’s easy to see the birth of many tropes now associated with that genre. Eddi McCandry, a young woman struggling to make it as a musician in Minneapolis, is chosen by the denizens of Faerie to help the Seelie Court in its battle against its nemesis, the Unseelies. Once she is initiated into Faerie, she finds that her music now bears a magic that can cause tangible results. She is also romantically torn between two male denizens of Faerie, bad boy Willy Silver and the shapeshifter known only as “phouka.” But Eddi also finds that she has the power to end the war, if her music is good enough.

[Read more]

Mon
Apr 1 2013 8:00am

The Shadow War of the Night Dragons Musical: Is It On Its Way?

Shadow War of the Night Dragons the Musical John ScalziThrough a series of e-mails and a secretly recorded Skype session with the creative principals, Tor.com has learned that New York Times bestselling author John Scalzi is planning a multi-million dollar musical theater version of the Hugo-nominated tale “Shadow War of the Night Dragons: Book One: The Dead City”—and that this planned musical extravaganza may already have reached a creative and financial crisis.

The cache of e-mails obtained by Tor.com show an author at first enthusiastically engaged in the creative process of a show that he optimistically described as “Bigger than Rent and Urinetown combined (as unsanitary as that sounds)” but who then quickly found himself overwhelmed by the demands of his financial backers and locked in struggles with his various creative partners. Observers close to events describe Scalzi as having retreated into a “Nixon-like world of paranoia and delusion,” from which he refuses to emerge.

[It is a dark night, and stormy too]

Thu
Mar 7 2013 2:30pm

Steven Brust Loved His New Incrementalists Cover So Much He Wrote You a Song About It

The Incrementalists Steven Brust Skyler White cover revealHow much did Steven Brust like the cover of his forthcoming collaboration with Skyler White, The Incrementalists? This much: he wrote a song in persona as the author who’s head-over-heels about their cover art.

Current project is miserably failing
Can’t figure out what happens now.
I don’t know to whom it should happen
And I haven’t a clue as to how.
Romantic sub-plot is a problem
Cuz I just killed off the guy’s lover.
It’s a failure as lit
But I don’t give a shit
BECAUSE I JUST SAW MY NEW COVER

[Full cover below. So what is The Incrementalists about?]

Fri
Feb 8 2013 4:30pm

Happy 81st Birthday John Williams!

Today is the 81st birthday of legendary film composer John Williams! Though many alternate universes of pop culture are conceivable, a dimension in which John Williams did not score Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., Jaws, Superman, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, and more, is totally unimaginable. It’s also amazing to think Williams once went by the name of “Johnny Williams” and scored TV shows like The Time Tunnel, Lost in Space, and Land of the Giants.

Science fiction fans, geeks, and moviegoers alike often march to the beat of their own drummers, but really, most of us walk to the beats, rhythms and melodies of John Williams.

Happy birthday, sir and thank you!

[Awesome Williams Medley Below]

Thu
Jan 17 2013 5:00pm

Adam West in Batman: Turn Off the Dark?

Taken from a bizarre live 1966 stage performance, the following brilliant clip features Adam West’s Batman singing his way through a “snappy” number about fighting off bad guys. If you ever heard of (or seen) It’s a Bird...It’s a Plane...It’s Superman, this has a bit of the same weird, flat melody thing going for it. Replete with some well-placed “pows” and “zowies,” you’ve never seen Batman sing more and dance less. Enjoy!

[Batman singing]

Thu
Dec 13 2012 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Your Resistance to Hello Kitty Borg is Futile

Your Resistance to Hello Kitty Borg is Futile

The Borg have selected a new person to speak to the creatures of Earth, and it’s Hello Kitty! And also a cookie! We probably wouldn’t want to eat this cookie if only because we’re afraid we’d be assimilated by too much cutesy-ness.

Your daily offsite links are rolling up on Earth and assimilating it in the past. Highlights include.

  1. Why did these poor ladies get cut from Return of the Jedi?
  2. An unlikely Doctor Who hopeful guest star.
  3. Endless riddles from Star Trek writers about “John Harrison.”

[Read more]

Wed
Nov 28 2012 11:00am

The Complete American Gods Mix Tape

A single epic mix tape inspired by Neil Gaiman’s American Gods If you’re familiar with Neil Gaiman’s work, then you know that music tends to play an important part in his writing, both on and off the page. This is certainly the case with American Gods, a road trip novel with its own offbeat, colorful soundtrack. When we started our American Gods Reread a few months ago, I decided to keep track of each song mentioned or alluded to in the novel, to see how the music fit in with the events of each week’s chapters. Along the way, I added in some song choices of my own, where they seemed to fit in—in part because it’s fun to think ahead to the HBO series (currently expected to debut in late 2013 or early 2014) and what the show’s soundtrack might be like—I, for one, already have my heart set on a theme song….

The songs below range from classical music to classic rock, pop songs to power ballads, show tunes to traditional folk melodies, and each song plays a part in the larger narrative—I’m still surprised by how much the musical references can inform and illuminate one’s reading of the text, once you start paying attention. I’ve covered each song in relative depth, chapter by chapter, but without further ado, here’s the complete American Gods Mega-Mix, for your listening enjoyment!

[A playlist worthy of the gods...as long as the gods like karaoke]

Thu
Nov 15 2012 5:00pm

James Bond Will Ski on Your Lunch if He Wants

James Bond Will Ski on Your Lunch if He Wants

We saw this one a while ago, but we think it’s time to revisit it. Someone has created lyrics for the famous “James Bond Theme,” and they’re hysterical. His name is James Bond and he likes to get plastered! Warning: the video is a little NSFW and contains some crude humor. (Just like a real James Bond movie.)

[He seems to get younger as he gets older..]

Wed
Nov 14 2012 11:00am

American Gods Mix Tape: Chapters 19, 20 and Postscript

Making a mix tape inspired by Neil Gaiman’s American Gods: Chapters 19, 20 and Postscript

As a side project to our  American Gods Reread, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at all the various songs quoted and referenced throughout the novel. Every epic adventure deserves an epic soundtrack, after all, and Neil Gaiman knows a thing or two about great music, so: whenever a song pops up in the text, I’ll be here to discuss each track in the context of the novel and theorize wildly about the connections between song and story.

For the most part, I’m planning to stick with songs that actually appear in the book, but as we progress with the reread I’ll be keeping an ear out for tunes that fit too well to be ignored, and I’m hoping you’ll help me out with suggestions in the comments: if there’s a song or artist that needs to be added to the list, let me know! By the end of the novel, we’ll hopefully have created a divinely inspired mega-mix worthy of Wednesday himself, featuring everything from rock and roll and the blues to show tunes and karaoke standards....

As with the reread, all page numbers mentioned correspond to American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (Author’s Preferred Text) and there are spoilers below the fold. Please feel free to pump up the volume.

[What’s new, pussycat?]

Mon
Nov 12 2012 5:00pm

You Only Sing 23 Times: The James Bond Theme Song Dossier

Bombastic, kitsch, or catchy, there’s something unique about a James Bond theme song. There are a few timeless classics, but most either represent a weird moment in the zeitgeist, or are downright embarassing. Uniquely, James Bond theme songs are often better than the films they kick off, though the reverse can occasionally be true, too. Now that Skyfall is out and we’ve all had a chance to enjoy Adele’s new theme song, it’s time to determine once and for all which 007 tunes are better than their respective films, which ones are worse, and which ones fit just right.

Shake up a martini, and grab your headphones. The James Bond Theme Song Dossier is declassified!

[Read more]

Wed
Nov 7 2012 1:30pm

Listen to Radagast the Brown Before You See Him in The Hobbit

Listen to Radagast the Brown Before You See Him in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

A new track from the soundtrack to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has revealed the movie’s orchestral theme for Radagast the Brown. The orchestration is...surprisingly tense! And weird, and maybe just a tiny bit at war with itself, just like the wizard. Take a listen to Howard Shore’s “Radagast the Brown” in the video below.

[Listen to “Radagast the Brown” from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey soundtrack]

Wed
Nov 7 2012 11:00am

American Gods Mix Tape: Chapters 17 and 18

Making a mix tape from Neil Gaiman’s American Gods: Chapters 17 and 18

As a side project to our  American Gods Reread, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at all the various songs quoted and referenced throughout the novel. Every epic adventure deserves an epic soundtrack, after all, and Neil Gaiman knows a thing or two about great music, so: whenever a song pops up in the text, I’ll be here to discuss each track in the context of the novel and theorize wildly about the connections between song and story.

For the most part, I’m planning to stick with songs that actually appear in the book, but as we progress with the reread I’ll be keeping an ear out for tunes that fit too well to be ignored, and I’m hoping you’ll help me out with suggestions in the comments: if there’s a song or artist that needs to be added to the list, let me know! By the end of the novel, we’ll hopefully have created a divinely inspired mega-mix worthy of Wednesday himself, featuring everything from rock and roll and the blues to show tunes and karaoke standards....

As with the reread, all page numbers mentioned correspond to American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (Author’s Preferred Text) and there are spoilers below the fold. Please feel free to pump up the volume.

[Thunderbirds, Valhalla, Texas outlaws, and Talking Heads.]

Wed
Oct 31 2012 11:00am

American Gods Mix Tape: Chapters 14-16

Making a mix tape out of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. This week, chapters 14 through 16

As a side project to our  American Gods Reread, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at all the various songs quoted and referenced throughout the novel. Every epic adventure deserves an epic soundtrack, after all, and Neil Gaiman knows a thing or two about great music, so: whenever a song pops up in the text, I’ll be here to discuss each track in the context of the novel and theorize wildly about the connections between song and story.

For the most part, I’m planning to stick with songs that actually appear in the book, but as we progress with the reread I’ll be keeping an ear out for tunes that fit too well to be ignored, and I’m hoping you’ll help me out with suggestions in the comments: if there’s a song or artist that needs to be added to the list, let me know! By the end of the novel, we’ll hopefully have created a divinely inspired mega-mix worthy of Wednesday himself, featuring everything from rock and roll and the blues to show tunes and karaoke standards....

As with the reread, all page numbers mentioned correspond to American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (Author’s Preferred Text) and there are spoilers below the fold. Please feel free to pump up the volume.

[Greg Brown, The Who, The Dead, and the Bad Seeds...]

Fri
Oct 26 2012 11:00am

“Our Biggest Challenge” New Symphony of Science

Posted recently, the sixteenth installment of the Symphony of Science project is “Our Biggest Challenge,” a call-to-action about climate change featuring the vocals of Bill Nye, David Attenborough, Richard Alley and, last but not least, our old pal Isaac Asimov. This particular piece makes me take note of how much there was packed into Bill Nye’s programs, which I watched as a kid – there’s a hell of a lot of information, there, told in a very intelligible way. Set to music, it’s pretty neat, too. (I do so miss Carl Sagan in the newer songs, though.)

(Previous posts on the series are collected here.)


Brit Mandelo is a writer, critic, and editor whose primary fields of interest are speculative fiction and queer literature, especially when the two coincide. She can be found on Twitter and her website.

Wed
Oct 24 2012 11:00am

American Gods Mix Tape: Chapters 12 and 13

Neil Gaiman’s American Gods Mix Tape: Chapters 12 & 13

As a side project to our  American Gods Reread, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at all the various songs quoted and referenced throughout the novel. Every epic adventure deserves an epic soundtrack, after all, and Neil Gaiman knows a thing or two about great music, so: whenever a song pops up in the text, I’ll be here to discuss each track in the context of the novel and theorize wildly about the connections between song and story.

For the most part, I’m planning to stick with songs that actually appear in the book, but as we progress with the reread I’ll be keeping an ear out for tunes that fit too well to be ignored, and I’m hoping you’ll help me out with suggestions in the comments: if there’s a song or artist that needs to be added to the list, let me know! By the end of the novel, we’ll hopefully have created a divinely inspired mega-mix worthy of Wednesday himself, featuring everything from rock and roll and the blues to show tunes and karaoke standards....

As with the reread, all page numbers mentioned correspond to American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (Author’s Preferred Text) and there are spoilers below the fold. Please feel free to pump up the volume.

[Life is a Cabernet, old chum. And I love a Cabernet.]

Wed
Oct 17 2012 11:00am

American Gods Mix Tape: Chapters 7 through 11

Neil Gaiman’s American Gods Mix Tape: Chapters 1 & 2

As a side project to our  American Gods Reread, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at all the various songs quoted and referenced throughout the novel. Every epic adventure deserves an epic soundtrack, after all, and Neil Gaiman knows a thing or two about great music, so: whenever a song pops up in the text, I’ll be here to discuss each track in the context of the novel and theorize wildly about the connections between song and story.

For the most part, I’m planning to stick with songs that actually appear in the book, but as we progress with the reread I’ll be keeping an ear out for tunes that fit too well to be ignored, and I’m hoping you’ll help me out with suggestions in the comments: if there’s a song or artist that needs to be added to the list, let me know! By the end of the novel, we’ll hopefully have created a divinely inspired mega-mix worthy of Wednesday himself, featuring everything from rock and roll and the blues to show tunes and karaoke standards....

As with the reread, all page numbers mentioned correspond to American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (Author’s Preferred Text) and there are spoilers below the fold. Please feel free to pump up the volume.

[An Irish wake, Christmas with Grace Jones, Voodoo, Vegas, and the Stooges]

Wed
Oct 3 2012 11:00am

American Gods Mix Tape: Chapters 5 and 6

Neil Gaiman’s American Gods Mix Tape: Chapters 1 & 2

As a side project to our  American Gods Reread, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at all the various songs quoted and referenced throughout the novel. Every epic adventure deserves an epic soundtrack, after all, and Neil Gaiman knows a thing or two about great music, so: whenever a song pops up in the text, I’ll be here to discuss each track in the context of the novel and theorize wildly about the connections between song and story.

For the most part, I’m planning to stick with songs that actually appear in the book, but as we progress with the reread I’ll be keeping an ear out for tunes that fit too well to be ignored, and I’m hoping you’ll help me out with suggestions in the comments: if there’s a song or artist that needs to be added to the list, let me know! By the end of the novel, we’ll hopefully have created a divinely inspired mega-mix worthy of Wednesday himself, featuring everything from rock and roll and the blues to show tunes and karaoke standards....

As with the reread, all page numbers mentioned correspond to American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (Author’s Preferred Text) and there are spoilers below the fold. Please feel free to pump up the volume.

[Waltzes, serious Ringo worship, and two really catchy songs about death...]