The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn April 22, 2015 The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn Usman Malik He will inherit the Unseen. The Ways of Walls and Words April 15, 2015 The Ways of Walls and Words Sabrina Vourvoulias Can the spirit truly be imprisoned? Ballroom Blitz April 1, 2015 Ballroom Blitz Veronica Schanoes Can't stop drinking, can't stop dancing, can't stop smoking, can't even die. Dog March 25, 2015 Dog Bruce McAllister "Watch the dogs when you're down there, David."
From The Blog
April 22, 2015
Daredevil, Catholicism, and the Marvel Moral Universe
Leah Schnelbach
April 22, 2015
The Old Guy Action Comeback: I’m Getting Too Old for This Sh*t
Ryan Britt
April 20, 2015
The Net is the Meat: Bruce Holsinger’s Middle Ages
David Perry
April 17, 2015
Spring 2015 Anime Preview: The Hellish Life of a Pizza Delivery Boy
Kelly Quinn
April 16, 2015
The Disney Read-Watch: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Mari Ness
Thu
Apr 23 2015 11:00am

Djinnthology Joy

Aladdin Genie

By way of The Book Smugglers, Mahvesh Murad of the kickass Midnight in Karachi podcast and Jurassic London’s Jared Shurin (never forget The Folding Knife reread!) announced yesterday that they’d signed up with Solaris—the purveyors of so very many of the best genre anthologies in recent years that it’s getting a little ridiculous—to curate and co-edit “the first-ever anthology of original fiction inspired by the Djinn.”

It’s, em... ages away. Expect to see it sometime in spring 2017. But hey, that just means we’ve got all the more of time to get excited.

[Read More]

Tue
Apr 21 2015 10:45am

Gollancz Can’t Get Enough S.N.U.F.F.

SNUFF Victor Pelevin

Last week, Gollancz quite rightly delighted in announcing its acquisition of a pair of postmodern novels by “the leading Russian novelist of the new generation.” Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Little Booker Prize-winner Victor Pelevin: one of the precious few authors “who writes seriously about what is happening in contemporary Russia,” albeit through a speculative fiction filter.

It’s needful to note that his work has heretofore been translated—into fifteen languages, including English. Omon Ra, The Life of Insects, The Clay Machine-Gun, Babylon and The Sacred Book of the Werewolf and two collections of short stories by said have been published in the UK by Faber & Faber to great acclaim, not least from The Independent, who fell for the “unruly, suggestive energy” of Pelvin’s prose.

I’ll be honest: I’ve never read the fella. But now that Gollancz have got him—for not one but two new books—I’m going to.

[Read More]

Mon
Apr 20 2015 2:30pm

Tom Fletcher Does the Devil’s Work

Thin Places Tom Fletcher

Last year, one of the most promising young horror authors of the past decade turned his stark talents to fantasy, conjuring up “a devastated landscape equal parts Ambergris and Fallout 3” to typically excellent effect. I’m talking, of course, about Tom Fletcher, whose Factory trilogy got off to a tantalising start with Gleam—reviewed right here—in 2014.

Fast forward to last week, when the author confirmed that 2015 will indeed see the release of the sequel. It’s called Idle Hands, and it should be published sometime in September or October. The cover’s coming up under the cut—plus, I’ve bagged a blurb! But that’s not all the Tom Fletcher news I have to share with you today. Far from it, in fact. Firstly, there’s Thin Places: a bumper ebook edition of Fletcher’s first three novels, namely The Leaping, The Thing on the Shore, and The Ravenglass Eye.

[Read More]

Mon
Apr 20 2015 11:30am

Half a War and Beyond

Half a War Joe Abercrombie

Is it just me, or has someone been fast-forwarding 2015?

Case in point: it can’t possibly have been more than a week or three since I blogged about Half the World by Joe Abercrombie, and yet the next volume—“the third and (for the time being) final book” of the aforementioned author’s Shattered Sea series—is almost upon us. Half a War is so very nearly here that we’ve got copy and the cover coming up, in addition to an overview of what Abercrombie is turning his attention to now that his work on the trilogy is pretty much finished.

But before we get ahead of ourselves again—as if that’s even feasible this year—behold the blurb. Slight spoilers ahead if you aren’t yet up to speed on the series so far!

[Read More]

Wed
Apr 15 2015 1:19pm

Orbit to Serialize New K.J. Parker Fantasy!

Orbit, the science fiction and fantasy imprint of the Hachette Book Group, will serialize The Two of Swords! The new story by fantasy novelist K.J. Parker will premiere its first three episodes on April 21, with new installments coming in monthly e-book editions. The series will be collected in both print and digital editions after it’s complete.

Parker, whose epic stories center around complex politics and personalities, said the full story of The Two Swords isn’t finished yet. The story will feature a large cast of characters and, “a broad, unified sweep of significant events, witnessed by a wide spectrum of diverse characters—farm boys, soldiers, spies, tradesmen and emperors” with “a sort of relay-race structure, passing the narrative baton from observer to observer,” which will allow the author to “quite literally, make history.”

Parker is the author of the novellas “A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong” and “Let Maps to Others,” consecutive winners of the World Fantasy Award in 2012 and 2013, respectively. You can find the e-book installments at all major e-book retailers, and look for more information (and a readers’ discussion forum) at TwoOfSwords.net. Plus, for more of Parker’s ingenious storytelling, check out Tor.com’s reread of The Folding Knife!

Wed
Apr 8 2015 12:30pm

Announcing the 2014 BSFA Award Winners

Did someone say science fiction prize?

Someone did! But to be sure, it wouldn’t do, in the wake of this morning’s announcement of the shortlist for this year’s Arthur C. Clarke Award, to forget the British Science Fiction Association’s assortment of awards, the winners of which were unveiled at a ceremony held at Dysprosium, aka Eastercon, on Sunday.

[Read More]

Wed
Apr 8 2015 7:15am

Announcing the 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award Shortlist

With award season upon us and already feasting like the beast it can be, it shouldn’t shock anyone that this morning saw the announcement of the six novels shortlisted for what has been described as the UK’s “most prestigious science fiction prize.”

“The Arthur C. Clarke Award is given for the best science fiction novel first published in the United Kingdom during the previous year.” The contenders this year include:

  • The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey (Orbit)
  • The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber (Canongate)
  • Europe in Autumn by Dave Hutchinson (Solaris)
  • Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta (HarperVoyager)
  • The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (Orbit)
  • Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel (Picador)

[Read more...]

Tue
Apr 7 2015 10:45am

The Horror of the Herberts

Announced on this day a year ago “to celebrate the life and career of one of the world’s best and most loved horror writers,” the James Herbert Award for Horror Writing aims to bring deserved attention to the boldest books by a new generation of authors working in the same genre on which Herbert himself made such a lasting mark.

The winner of the inaugural award—open as it was “to horror novels written in English and published in the UK and Ireland between 1st January 2014 and 31st December 2014”—was revealed over Easter. As chair of judges Tom Hunter noted in The Guardian’s write-up, “the first winner of a new prize can set expectations for years to come.”

The victor was picked from a shortlist of six books, including M.R. Carey’s The Girl With All The Gifts, Frances Hardinge’s Cuckoo Song, Andrew Michael Hurley’s The Loney, Bird Box by Josh Malerman, and An English Ghost Story by Kim Newman. But there can be only one; and the one, ultimately, was Nick Cutter, whose pseudonymous debut The Troop I called “a twisted coming-of-age tale, more Koryta than King, which I quite liked despite its disappointing dependence on disgust.”

[Read more]

Wed
Mar 25 2015 9:45am

Announcing Europe at Midnight by Dave Hutchinson

Europe in Autumn Dave Hutchison

Europe in Autumn was among my favourite books of 2014. An “awesome concoction of sci-fi and spies,” I called it in the spring, that reminded me of “John le Carré meets Christopher Priest.”

What I didn’t know then, and what has only deepened my appreciation of Dave Hutchinson’s tremendous debut, is how incredibly prescient it would prove. When the summer came and went, and with it the Scottish Independence Referendum, the separatist prospect it posited—of a world in which “pocket nations” proliferate— suddenly seemed real. All too real, to tell the truth. That said, if this is the way we’re headed, then I’d rather know what’s to be expected before we get there.

Ask and ye shall receive, it seems! Because there’s more where Europe in Autumn came from—much more, according to Hutchinson. To wit, today, it gives me immeasurable pleasure to reveal the cover art and a few key details about the surprise sequel: Europe at Midnight.

[Read More]

Tue
Mar 24 2015 12:00pm

BookCon is Excited to Announce an Evil SFF Panel!

Darth Vader

It’s a question philosophers have been asking since philosophizing became a thing: why does evil exist? And maybe more importantly, why do humans seem to love a good villain so much? Later this spring, BookCon plans to get us one step closer to answering these questions with a panel featuring some of our favorite authors!

[Full panel details below!]

Mon
Mar 23 2015 1:15pm

Jerusalem in the Spring

Late last year, Alan Moore, author of the 1996 novel Voice of the Fire (amongst a number of other things) finally finished the first draft of his second prose piece: an expansive speculative study of his hometown of Northampton.

You must be wondering why it took him so gosh-darned long. Well, Leah Moore—who kept fans apprised of her father’s progress on Facebook—explained that it ran “to more than a million words in draft form.” A nonsense number without proper context, so let me make sense of the insensible: Jerusalem is bigger than the Bible, and fully twice the length of War and Peace.

[Read More]

Fri
Mar 20 2015 10:30am

And the Winner of the Inaugural YA Book Prize Is...

Only Ever Yours

The inaugural YA Book Prize was awarded to Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill: a “startling and refreshing” dystopian debut described as The Handmaid’s Tale meets Mean Girls.

The book had some stiff competition—from The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick, A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond and seven other shortlisted novels.

The award, which welcomed nominations of any and all YA titles written by authors living in either the UK or Ireland and was supported by World Book Day and The Reading Agency, “was launched by The Bookseller at its Children’s Conference in September 2014 after publishers and booksellers bemoaned the lack of recognition for YA in current book awards.” Ironically in light of its intent, the prize ultimately went to a previous award-winner, Louise O’Neill having been named Newcomer of the Year at the 2014 Irish Book Awards.

[Read More]

Thu
Mar 19 2015 1:30pm

Hunting Rebecca Levene’s The Hollow Gods

Hunter's Kind

The Hunter’s Kind is coming! Book Two of Rebecca Levene’s Hollow Gods quartet, which began with a bang last July, is to be released less than a year since Smiler’s Fair sunk its hooks into more than a few folks, including yours truly. As I concluded in my review:

Fans of either Abraham or Abercrombie—fans of fantasy full stop, in fact—will find lots to like in Smiler’s Fair. Its setting, its narrative, its characters—unlikeable though they may be—all impress immensely, developed as they are with depth and discerning detail. In truth, the only complaint I’d make about the book is that there isn’t more of it.

Well, there will be in just a couple of months. Time to start getting excited, right? Not least because this week saw the release of some cracking cover art and a tantalising plot synopsis.

[Read More]

Tue
Mar 17 2015 11:30am

Margaret Atwood’s Heart Goes Last

The Heart Goes Last Margaret Atwood

Per The Bookseller, which clearly doesn’t care enough to count The Penelopiad, it’s been fifteen years since Margaret Atwood’s last new standalone novel—the Man Booker Prize-winning The Blind Assassin—so for those folks who didn’t dig the MaddAddam saga, the long wait is almost over, as this autumn Bloomsbury plans to publish The Heart Goes Last.

A “wickedly funny and deeply disturbing” story set in the near future, The Heart Goes Last “combines the powerful irony of The Handmaid’s Tale with the wicked playfulness of The Edible Woman,” and, according to Bloomsbury’s editor-in-chief Alexandra Pringle, represents the author “at the tip top of her form—stylish, witty, dark and delicious.”

[Read More]

Tue
Mar 17 2015 10:30am

The Blades of Robert Jackson Bennett

City of Blades

City of Stairs is an awesome novel. That much shouldn’t be news to you. Here on Tor.com, Kameron Hurley confessed to falling a little in love with it, and in last year’s Reviewers’ Choice, Justin Landon and Rob H. Bedford both sang the praises of Robert Jackson Bennett’s first fantasy. I only read it recently, or I’d have made mention of it in my contribution too.

But better late than never! And it turns out my timing wasn’t too terrible, because today, it’s my tremendous pleasure to tell you that the Shirley Jackson Award-winning author’s first fantasy won’t be his last.

[Read More]

Mon
Mar 16 2015 12:15pm

Terry Pratchett: The Legend Lives On

When Sir Terry Pratchett passed away last week, we lost so much more than an inspiring author and razor-sharp satirist. We lost a husband, a son, a father, a friend. We lost, at the last, a living legend... but only in life.

Legends, after all, are not born but made, thus they do not die as men and women must. On the contrary, they live on as long as their stories are still told; perhaps for even longer than that, because of course stories can take on lives of their own.

Today, to wit, let’s leave behind the particulars of Pratchett’s last battle with the blasted embuggerance, the better to turn instead to the tributes of those storytellers whose stories tell of his tale in turn.

[Read More]

Mon
Mar 9 2015 4:00pm

Aurora Australis: February was the BEST Month

She Walks in Shadow crop

So much exciting stuff is happening! I always thought of February as the Tuesday of the year (you know it’s the worst day of the week), but turns out no! Not this year, not in Australia/NZ.

[Read More]

Thu
Mar 5 2015 11:50am

The Thorn of Emberlain at Last

Scott Lynch Locke Lamora

The Lies of Locke Lamora enlivened a whole lot of lives upon its publication in 2006, such that the sequel, Red Seas Under Red Skies, was held to a hella high standard when it sailed into bookstores a matter of months later. The mixed feelings it met with then may well have played a part in the circumstances surrounding the six-year delay fans of the Gentleman Bastards were made to bear, but since the eventual release of The Republic of Thieves in late 2013, every indication has been given that the wait for the next volume of Scott Lynch’s fantasy saga would be rather more reasonable.

And readers.... it appears it will be. Gollancz plan to publish The Thorn of Emberlain before 2015 is over.

[I can hear the sighs of relief from here!]

Tue
Mar 3 2015 1:30pm

The Skull Throne Shown

Demon Cycle Peter V Brett

Hotly anticipated doesn’t quite cut the mustard as a means of describing the excitement surrounding the publication of The Skull Throne, and though the fourth volume of Peter V. Brett’s bestselling fantasy saga is almost upon us, it wasn’t until this week that we knew what it would look like.

The design isn’t quite as striking as I’d like, but it’s what happens under the covers that counts, and from the synopsis it sounds as if The Skull Throne stands a chance of making up for the momentum The Demon Cycle lost in The Daylight War.

[The Skull Throne of Krasia stands empty.]

Mon
Feb 23 2015 5:35pm

The Horror Writers Association Has Announced the Ballot for the 2014 Bram Stoker Awards!

The Horror Writers Association, the premier organization of writers and publishers of horror and dark fantasy, today announced the 2014 nominees for the iconic Bram Stoker Award®. Named in honor of the author of the seminal horror novel Dracula, the Bram Stoker Awards® are presented annually for superior writing in eleven categories including traditional fiction of various lengths, poetry, screenplays and non-fiction. Previous winners include Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, George R. R. Martin, Joyce Carol Oates and Neil Gaiman.

The HWA also presents a Lifetime Achievement Award to living individuals who have made a substantial and enduring contribution to the genre. This year’s Lifetime Achievement recipients are Jack Ketchum and Tanith Lee.

[Click through for the full ballot!]