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
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
Dec 19 2014 11:50am

The 2015 World Fantasy Award Judges Have Been Announced!

The 2015 World Fantasy Awards have their five judges!

Gemma Files, Nina K. Hoffman, Bénédicte Lombardo, Bruce McAllister, and Robert Shearman will award top honors in Life Achievement, Best Novel, Best Novella, Best Short Story, Best Anthology, Best Collection, and Best Artist, as well as Special Awards in both the Professional and Non-Professional categories.

The judges read and consider eligible materials between the date of this letter and June 1, 2015, so it is best for them to receive materials between now and June 1, the earlier the better. The trophies will be presented to the winners at the World Fantasy Convention, to be held Thursday, November 5 through Sunday, November 8, 2015 at the Saratoga City Center and Saratoga Hilton, Saratoga Springs, NY USA.

Dec 18 2014 3:15pm

Swiftly Does It

Osiris Project EJ Swift Tamaruq

As curator of the British Fiction Focus, I have a kind of cause—to bring word of the best genre fiction from my neck of the woods to you fine folks in yours—but sometimes, sadly, a series slips through the cracks.

Now I don’t have any inside information about how well they’re selling, but neither do I see nearly as many people talking about The Osiris Project as I believe there should be, so consider this a call to arms, all: E. J. Swift is an awesome author. She writes “proper grown-up SF,” as her fellow proper grown-up SF author Adam Roberts says; SF that is at once “stylish, memorable, beautifully written and utterly distinctive.” The failed utopia of her fiction—“a future ocean metropolis [...] whose inhabitants believe they live on the last city on earth”—mightn’t be explosive in the mode of most such stories, but by gum, it’s stunning.

She just so happens to have a new book coming out, too...

[Read More]

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!]

Dec 17 2014 10:20am

Philip Pullman Releases New His Dark Materials Story for Christmas

Philip Pullman The Collectors audio story

Hot on the heels of the “wonderland of new writing by J. K. Rowling” being released over at Pottermore, I’ve got good Philip Pullman news and bad Philip Pullman news for you. All we need now is for Suzanne Collins to unveil an exclusive new tale about The Hunger Games’ Gale and this Christmas will be complete.

We’re going to begin today with the bad, because that way we can conclude on the good: the long-awaited companion piece to His Dark Materials, The Book of Dust, isn’t even nearly here.

[Read More]

Dec 11 2014 9:40am

A Pottermore Christmas

Harry Potter snow

I don’t know what it is about them, but the Harry Potter films have become a kind of Christmas tradition for me and mine. There’s rarely enough time to reread the books or I dare say I’d do that too. This year, that said, I may have to make time, because Pottermore.com has announced that a fortnight of festive fun is forthcoming, including “a wonderland of new writing by J. K. Rowling,” and I’m already hankering to hear a bit more about Harry and his.

Starting Friday, December 12, we’ll be releasing a new surprise for you every day at 1pm GMT (8am EST). With brand new writing by J.K. Rowling and even a new potion or two, make sure you don’t miss out on these daily treats.

Oh, I won’t. Nor should you! That said, I’d counsel caution. At least one outlet is erroneously reporting that Rowling plans to “put out 12 additional Harry Potter stories” over advent, which is not at all what the originating email and accompanying press release teased.

[Read More]

Dec 9 2014 10:15am

World Book Night is Back

World Book Night 2015

65% of the population of Great Britain read for pleasure regularly. Not a bad number, compared with some countries. On the other hand, that leaves 22.4m folks who don’t even dream of reading—and that’s just not on. Not according to the minds behind World Book Night.

Since 2011, World Book Night has brought together “a powerful collaboration of [...] partners—publishers, printers, distributors, libraries, booksellers, private donors, trusts and foundations—to inspire more people to read.”

To that end, many millions of books have been given out over the years by teams of volunteers... yet in 2015, World Book Night will be a decidedly less worldly event than it once was, with the United States having had to “suspend operations after failing to secure outside funding.”

[Read More]

Dec 4 2014 11:32am

Bond 24’s Title and Cast Announced—Sherlock’s Moriarty to Play the Villain!

Spectre, Bond 24

Bond fans have been waiting on pins and needles to hear about the next film, directed by Sam Mendes. Now we have a name, a cast, and a villain! And they all give pretty clear hints about what we can expect from... Spectre.

[You know that name.]

Dec 4 2014 9:00am

If Then What When?

The Red Men

I’ll come right out and say it: for a moment there, I thought we’d lost Angry Robot.

Obviously not. Recently they’ve re-signed Wesley Chu, bought two books by Alyc Helms, saved Danielle L. Jensen’s Malediction trilogy—Strange Chemistry’s biggest success story—from the ashes of that much-missed imprint, and now, news of another new arrival: Will Self’s erstwhile amanuensis, author Matthew de Abaitua, has enrolled in the reenergised Angry Robot Army.

Abaitua is of course known for rather more than taking dictation: his debut, The Red Men, was nominated for an Arthur C. Clarke Award, and in 2013, the first chapter was turned into a sensational short film. You do remember Dr. Easy, don’t you?

[Read More]

Dec 1 2014 9:40am

Remembering P. D. James

PD James

P. D. James, born Phyllis Dorothy James on the 3rd of August 1920, passed away peacefully at her home in Oxford last Thursday morning. She was 94 years old.

She was “a much-loved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother,” according to a statement from her family, and the author of twenty-odd tremendously successful novels, most notably the many mysteries starring Scotland Yard’s Adam Dalgliesh.

It was with the first of these, Cover Her Face, that James made her debut in 1962, and though she took a few momentous detours over the years, she was to return to her prized poet and police chief repeatedly until 2008’s The Private Patient.

[Read More]

Nov 20 2014 1:20pm

Aliette de Bodard Shatters Paris

Like Gollancz’s Gillian Redfearn, “I’ve long admired Aliette [de Bodard]’s writing,” as I asserted in this early edition of the Short Fiction Spotlight. So the news that the aforementioned author—which is to say “the winner of two Nebula Awards, a Locus Award and a BSFA Award”—has sold two new novels makes me a very happy chappy.

The two-book deal encompasses House of Shattered Wings and an as-yet untitled sequel. I dare say it marks the dawn of a new day for de Bodard, whose previous novels—the Obsidian and Blood trilogy comprising Servant of the Underworld, Harbinger of the Storm, and Master of the House of Darts—were published by Angry Robot Books. House of Shattered Wings, however—which is said to be “comparable to works of China Mieville and Iain M. Banks in epic scale and in delivering its ambitions”—will be in Gollancz’s hands.

So what are these new books about?

[Read more]

Nov 17 2014 2:15pm

Robson Returns

Justina Robson Silver Screen

I have a real soft spot for Justina Robson.

I don’t know exactly what it was about Silver Screen that caught my eye. It might have been the Giger-esque qualities of the art on the first edition’s front cover; it might have been the thoughtful concepts the synopsis suggested; it might merely have been because I fancied some sci-fi—a much rarer impulse in those days than these—and the South African bookshop I bought it in didn’t exactly specialise in speculative fiction.

Whatever it was, I spent the next few nights with my nose buried in that book, and I knew, even sixteen or so years ago, that I’d read something remarkable. I remember feeling oddly fulfilled when the markedly more informed minds behind the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the BSFAs agreed with me.

Justina Robson has been busy since: with Mappa Mundi, the Natural History novels, and the five volumes of the Quantum Gravity saga. The last we heard from her, however, was with respect to her short story collection, Heliotrope, in early 2011. Only recently have there been rumblings about her next novel.

[Read More]

Nov 13 2014 11:25am

The BFI Celebrates Sci-Fi

BFI Virtual SciFi Festival

Love science fiction?

Then you’re in luck, because the British Film Institute does too. As a matter of fact, they’re in the middle of “a major celebration of film and TV’s original blockbuster genre.” Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder is a season-long salute to the tales of tomorrow we here at Tor.com spend much of our time trumpeting. The programme is primarily arranged around a series of screenings—over a thousand at last count—but it also takes in talks with some of our favourite creators; discussions with directors, actors, screenwriters and the like.

Which is all well and good... but what about the books?

Once again, the BFI has our back. In partnership with HarperCollins’ hallowed genre fiction imprint Voyager, they’re staging the first #BFIVoyager Virtual Sci-Fi Festival this weekend, which proposes to explore “the link between science fiction literature and film with events on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other platforms.”

[Read More]

Nov 10 2014 1:30pm

David Ramirez and the Disc of Apocalypse

David Ramirez The Black Disc

David Ramirez’s debut novel The Forever Watch was a lot of things: a dystopian murder mystery, a skiffy conspiracy thriller, a book about human rights and revolution, and an exploration of the emergence of artificial intelligence. The Forever Watch bit off more than it could chew, to be sure, but I admired its ambition, its ideas and its phenomenal finale. “If [Ramirez] can strike a better balance between quantity and quality in his next novel,” I concluded in my review, “it’s easy to see him taking pride of place alongside the greats of speculative storytelling today.”

Have I got news for you, previous me!

Last week, the Hodderscape blog let slip a bit about The Black Disc, complete with a synopsis of its story and another stunning cover by Raid71, aka Chris Thornley, to complement his work on The Forever Watch. As if that weren’t enough, I went one further, and annoyed a couple of supplementary comments out of the author.

[Read more]

Nov 6 2014 12:18pm

Star Wars: Episode VII Has a Title!

Alright, everyone. There were rumors, and suggestions, and we've all had our opinions on the matter, but this is it. The real title for Episode VII.

[Read more]

Nov 6 2014 11:45am

Half the World at War

Sometimes a girl is touched by mother war. Sometimes a woman becomes a warrior. Sometimes a warrior becomes a weapon. And weapons are made for one purpose...

To decorate the walls of dank taverns, perhaps? To display in glittering glass cases? Or maybe, just maybe... they’re made for murdering.

That sounds rather more like it!

Seems like only yesterday we were talking about Joe Abercrombie’s new novel, Half a King—and now the sequel is nearly here! So very nearly here, indeed, that today I’m able to share with you the sharp cover art teased at the top, some key story details about the second book of The Shattered Sea’s three and a report on the progress of Half a War.

[Read More]

Nov 2 2014 5:50pm

Brace Yourselves — Loki and Heimdall Will Appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron

Loki and Heimdal, Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston

You know we wouldn’t lie to you, and neither would Idris Elba. (We’re pretty sure he’s incapable, on account of him being so entirely badass.) Turns out there are a few surprising cameos coming up in the Avengers sequel, and these two might be the most exciting so far.

[Read more]

Oct 31 2014 9:40am

The Good Wolf

Wolf in the Attic

Next week sees the release of Riding the Unicorn, the third of three resplendent reissues of Paul Kearney’s very earliest efforts. Like A Different Kingdom and The Way to Babylon before it, Riding the Unicorn in enrapturing—and hats off to the folks at Solaris for giving it and its previously out-of-print predecessors space in today’s marketplace, complete with clever new cover art by the fabulous Pye Parr.

“Like Robert Holdstock, Ursula [K.] Le Guin and Philip Pullman, Kearney pushes back the boundaries of what fantasy can actually do,” explains the aforementioned imprint’s Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Oliver. “Yes these stories are strange, yes they are speculative—but they are also very human, and that is what makes Kearney one of the most vital authors in genre.”

And hot on the heels of these repackaged classics comes The Wolf in the Attic: “a poignant and touching story” which marks “an exciting new chapter in Kearney’s career.”

[Read more]

Oct 30 2014 11:40am

Pan Macmillan to Publish Naomi Novik’s New Novel, Uprooted!!

Uprooted cover Naomi Novik

Naomi Novik, the author of the much-loved Temeraire series, has a new novel coming out! Uprooted, a dark fairy tale, was acquired by Pan MacMillan’s Editorial Director Julie Crisp for the UK and Commonwealth. Crisp said of the deal: “I have been a huge fan of Naomi’s since reading the first novel in her thrilling Temeraire series. When I read her fantasy Uprooted I was absolutely blown away by the beautifully-written and richly-imagined world - it is in every way an enchanting read.”

Uprooted tells the story of Agnieszka, whose village is surrounded by a terrible enchanted wood. While a grim local wizard can keep the horrors at bay, he demands a high fee: ten years of service from a young girl of his choosing. Now the choosing is approaching, and Agnieszka fears that her best friend, the lovely Kasia, will be taken. But what if the wizard makes a different choice?

Oct 24 2014 10:55am

Tributaries of Rivers of London

Ben Aaronovitch

You can take the copper out of London—you can take him, to wit, to “a small village in Herefordshire where the local police are reluctant to admit that there might be a supernatural element to the disappearance of some local children”—but you can’t take the London out of urban fantasy’s favourite copper, can you?

Foxglove Summer, the fifth of the bestselling PC Peter Grant series—which began with the wonderful Rivers of London—is, at long last, almost upon us. With the hardcover out hereabouts in early November, news of a tour in support of said text, and the announcement of an upcoming comic based on the books, I borrowed Ben Aaronovitch and Andrew Cartmel, his partner in sequential art, for a chat about Body Work and beyond.

[Read More]

Oct 23 2014 11:50am

Those Lost Lovegroves

James Lovegrove

Think you know James Lovegrove? Think again.

Having read Redlaw, large parts of the punchy Pantheon saga and several of his Sherlock Holmes stories, including The Stuff of Nightmares—highly recommended, by the by, to those looking to spend some time with the great detective after his absence from Anthony Horowitz’s Moriarty—I thought I knew him too. I may have been... mistaken.

He’s the author, as it happens, of an alarming number of novels—almost forty if you figure in his fiction for children—which predate by decades this wave of his work. A fair few of those lost Lovegroves were nominated for prestigious prizes, too: Days and Untied Kingdom, for instance.

Both books have fallen out of print since. A sad thing, that. A happy thing, then, that The James Lovegrove Collection—a series of three volumes collecting the early work of the aforementioned bestseller—is poised to resolve the problem posited.

[Read More]