A Cup of Salt Tears August 27, 2014 A Cup of Salt Tears Isabel Yap They say women in grief are beautiful. Strongest Conjuration August 26, 2014 Strongest Conjuration Skyler White A story of the Incrementalists. Seven Commentaries on an Imperfect Land August 20, 2014 Seven Commentaries on an Imperfect Land Ruthanna Emrys Stories of Tikanu. Hero of the Five Points August 19, 2014 Hero of the Five Points Alan Gratz A League of Seven story.
From The Blog
September 1, 2014
Feuds Sweepstakes Rules
Sweepstakes
August 25, 2014
Animorphs: Why the Series Rocked and Why You Should Still Care
Sam Riedel
August 20, 2014
The Welcome Return of the Impatient and Cantankerous Doctor Who
David Cranmer
August 19, 2014
The Wheel of Time Reread Redux: Introductory Post
Leigh Butler
August 19, 2014
Whatever Happened to the Boy Wonder? Bring Robin Back to the Big Screen
Emily Asher-Perrin
Tue
Aug 12 2014 11:52am

This Video Perfectly Illustrates Why We Don’t Have a Female-Led Superhero Movie

female superhero pitches female-led superhero movie video parody Angelfire Alison Vingiano

Female superheroes have no problem kicking ass in ensemble movies, but when it comes to pitching their own solo ventures, they can’t stand up to rampant Hollywood sexism about what does and doesn’t sell. That’s the premise of this funny-but-also-too-real video from the web series Adventures of Angelfire. In Angelfire’s first adventure, the redheaded crimefighter tries to pitch her life story to the big studios, only to come up against more resistance than a vengeful rogues’ gallery.

[“Picture the tagline: ‘Justice is a bitch.’”]

Thu
Jul 24 2014 4:30pm

Space Station 76 Trailer: Where Space Opera Meets Spaceballs

watch Space Station 76 trailer Patrick Wilson Liv Tyler Matt Bomer Ron Burgundy Galaxy Quest 1970s robot pills marriages affairs

If Galaxy Quest had had a Ron Burgundy-esque character, you’d get Patrick Wilson’s mustachioed, Harvey Wallbanger-swilling captain of the 1970s-spoofing, dark interstellar comedy Space Station 76. This bleak movie, which debuted at South by Southwest earlier this year, follows the dramatic and profoundly unhappy inhabitants of the ship Omega 76.

But Wilson is not the only fun member of the crew: Liv Tyler plays the new assistant captain—you can guess how well his Burgundy-like character takes that appointment—while Matt Bomer looks to be a married cyborg with literal wandering hands. Because you can’t have a space opera without a bit of soapiness.

[Watch the first trailer!]

Tue
Apr 22 2014 4:00pm

Visit Neo-Hogwarts in Harry Potter’s Cyberpunk Adventure!

We weren’t sure at first, but now we want these Nacho Punch people to transform every single page of Harry Potter’s adventures into 1980s anime. From Neo-Hogsmeade to Harry’s sweet red bike to Hermione’s kitty ears, this parody is a perfect love note to both J.K. Rowling’s world and Katsuhiro Otomo’s—all that’s missing is Harry screaming “RON WEASLEYYYYY!!!” repeatedly while stuffed animals explode. And the final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort is perfect, but we don’t want to spoil it. Watch below!

[Click through for the full anime experience!]

Fri
Jan 17 2014 1:30pm

Once More, With Feeling: Red Delicious by Kathleen Tierney

As Red Delicious makes abundantly clear from the start, Siobhan Quinn the werepire has a lot of problems: monster hunting ex-priests, succubi, and her own mile-wide self-destructive streak to name a few. When her handler and keeper, Mr. B, tells her to look into the missing daughter of one of Providence’s oldest necromantic families, things do not go well, possibly because she’s no detective and possibly because there’s far more at stake than the apparent disappearance. The story that follows is, of course, of questionable provenance—as Quinn frequently reminds the reader, she lies constantly—but it is entertaining.

Red Delicious follows on the heels of 2013’s Blood Oranges (reviewed here), of which I was fairly fond. These novels are a fine balance between parodying urban fantasy and being urban fantasy: a little grim and a lot tongue-in-cheek, Quinn as narrator never allows the reader to forget for particularly long that they’re reading a book, with all of the regular fourth-wall breaking that that implies.

And she’s not particularly fond of the genre that her book falls in, either.

[Read More]

Fri
Nov 15 2013 11:00am

Classic Doctor Who: Parodies

Over the past couple of months I have been honored and humbled to bring to the Tor community a rundown of what I consider to be the most essential stories of Classic Doctor Who (choices not greeted with universal approbation, it must be said—but what is, nowadays?). In these pages I’ve treated with the works of the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors, as well as visited with the short-lived Eighth (amongst some other special presentations), and so one might at last think my task complete. But, no!

There can never be too much discussion of Doctor Who, and so now it is my very great pleasure to move onto that most essential element of any popular science fiction show: its parodies.

[Read More]

Fri
Jan 25 2013 3:00pm

Doesn’t Come with a How-To Manual: Blood Oranges by Kathleen Tierney

Doesn’t Come with a How-To Manual: Blood Oranges by Kathleen TierneyThe flap copy of Blood Oranges, the first novel by Caitlin R. Kiernan writing as Kathleen Tierney, reads like the copy for a fistful of other contemporary paranormal novels—if they had been put through a refracting lens and reduced to their component parts, pointing up the ridiculousness imbricated in their very terms. Siobhan Quinn, our protagonist and narrator, is a junky and an at-first-accidental “demon hunter” who gets bitten by a werewolf and a vampire in the same night; her life doesn’t really pick up from there.

Blood Oranges is a strange (and unmistakably fun) project, a parodic urban fantasy that at once vivisects the tropes of the genre as it currently stands and also employs them with vigor and a backhanded, wild immersion. Kiernan has described the trilogy that Blood Oranges begins as a sort of pause—between The Drowning Girl and the next Kiernan project, there are these books, by “Kathleen Tierney.” This is not a useless description; in fact, it makes a great deal of sense, because this is quite firmly not a Kiernan story, though Quinn’s opinions on her own genre frequently reflect those of her creator. The introductory author’s note makes that hilariously obvious.

[A review.]

Thu
Jul 5 2012 10:00am

Lady Gaga Has Decreed It: Don’t Ever Be Ashamed to Be A Hufflepuff

Thanks to The Mary Sue for this one—In the battle over who’s house is greatest, we all know the truth: it’s Hufflepuff. So, in the interest of telling it like it is, some very talented people got together to make sure we all remember. Just trust us, this parody (set to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”) is lyrically solid, hilarious, and looks so darn good. And they have a dog! Who’s name is Hufflepup! We love you, Hufflepup!


Stubby the Rocket is the Tor.com mascot. Stubby was born this way, which is the way that all rockets are born.

Thu
Jun 28 2012 3:30pm

This Star Wars Music Video Sings What We’re Feeling

Teddie Films recently unveiled this parody of the currently-everywhere video for Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know,” reframing the conversation to talk about the wonderful days when there were only three Star Wars movies. (This isn’t their first go-round. They’ve also done Ke$ha and Rebecca Black Star Wars parodies.)

Star Wars commentary is legion these days, but damn if this is not spot-on in every detail. Take a look above, because really, when else are you going to see George Lucas in body paint?


Stubby the Rocket is the mascot of Tor.com and knows of a planet where Gotye’s video plays non-stop everywhere. That planet? EARTH.

Thu
Sep 15 2011 12:53pm

New Muppets Teaser: The Pig With The Froggy Tattoo

Okay, whoever is doing the trailers for the new Muppet movie is a genius. A genius, I say! Watch gentle fun be poked at the The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trailer. And man that song is good. Are you as stoked as Stubby and I are?

Thu
Jul 21 2011 4:02pm

“Firebolt” - A Harry Potter Parody With Meaning

So, it has been about a week since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two left us with catharsis, regret, closure, and a vague itchy feeling between your shoulder blades you just can’t reach. What now? Well, several other bloggers have put it well, but I just wanted to add my two cents. I saw this shortly after I saw the movie, and it kind of hits home. On the same token, I’m not entirely sure I find the portrayal of Harry Potter and Geek culture amusing, but it is still a meaningful play on the already meaningful “Firework” song by Katy Perry, just with less sparkly boobs and more sparkly wands. What do you think?

Thanks to Peter Ahlstrom for linking this at me.


Richard Fife is a writer, blogger, and, sadly, a muggle-born. He has written an illustrated steampunk serial novel called The Tijervyn Chronicles that you can read for free, and you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Wed
Jul 6 2011 10:38am

Star Fox: Space Oddity — Yes, Really

On occasion, I come across a fan-made video for something that’s so ridiculous it’s impossible not to pass it along. This is a song about Star Fox, put to the tune of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” acted out by puppets with papercrafts for starships.

It’s completely ridiculous. Therefore, I share it.

Possibly, the most amusing bits are the pictures/notes hanging in the cockpits.


Brit Mandelo is a multi-fandom geek with a special love for comics and queer literature. She can be found on Twitter and Livejournal.

Fri
Dec 10 2010 4:35pm

Five Science Fiction Children’s Books

The Battlestar Bears Learn About Cylons

CollegeHumor’s Caldwell Tanner has successfully taken our collective childhood and upgraded it thanks to his Five Sci-Fi Children’s Books (none of which actually exist...yet. But they totally should).

For everyone who’s ever secretly wished they could score a copy of Horton Hears a Timelord or introduce the kids to Curious George Orwell, please enjoy the entire gallery at the above link...in the meantime, we’ll be pondering our next great literary masterpiece, Marty McFly Meets the Phantom Tollbooth.

Mon
Nov 1 2010 5:50pm

ABC Cancels The Cleveland Steamers

Steampunk Fortnight

ABC finally pulled the plug on the limping Drew Carey vehicle The Cleveland Steamers after a six-season run. Initially a mid-season replacement, it was Carey’s follow-up after the long-expected cancellation of The Drew Carey Show earlier in the year. The Cleveland Steamers reunited Carey with long-time collaborator Ryan Stiles and a multi-ethnic cast that won them an NAACP Image Award and the first cast album a Latin Grammy.

[Read more]

Mon
Oct 25 2010 2:13pm

Gaslight: The First Steampunk Amusement Park

Steampunk Fortnight

Dateline, April 1, 2008: It really was a grand announcement. Not since the world premiere of the world-wide epic film of Alan Moore’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen had so many gathered in steampunk costumes to parade in front of the world-wide media. Three hundred people in costumes, another hundred in suits, and a few in full-blown tuxedos. They mingled with a crowd of a few thousand in the parking lot that had served as a FEMA staging ground in New Orleans for more than a year. Fake Cockney, western, German, and other accents mingled with the Louisiana banter. The attendees wore bright vests, fanciful pocket watches, pinstripes, corsets, bowlers, bustles, and goggles—always goggles. At exactly three o’clock, several costumed men and women with large, fanciful guns made their way up to the massive, temporary stage. The people in suits got the chairs. The costumed folk had to stand, the sweat starting to show around the collars of some of the gentlemen. Towering above them was the entry sign that once greeted drivers coming to Six Flags New Orleans. Mayor-for-Life Ray Nagin took the podium at 3:07 PM.

[Read more]

Thu
May 20 2010 6:23pm

Look around you. Here comes science!

Here are two short reviews of entertaining and entirely dissimilar takes on science.

Here Comes Science by They Might Be Giants

It’s been said a million times that They Might Be Giants has always written children’s songs for adults, so it’s no surprise that they are good at writing children’s songs for children. I don’t entirely agree with that sentiment, since some of their songs in no way speak to children’s experiences. I suggest you listen to “They’ll Need a Crane,” if you don’t concur. That song is not for children, except perhaps if you want to give a kid a musical explanation for why Daddy’s been sleeping on the couch.

[Science is real]

Sun
Dec 13 2009 11:05am

Sense, Sensibility, Sea Monsters: Rendered Insensible

By now, most of you would have noticed the Jane Austen re-writes on the market. Pride & Prejudice & Zombies started the whole thing. Then came Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters. (Separate from the Quirk Classics, but in a similar vein, is Mansfield Park & Mummies.)

I picked up Pride & Prejudice & Zombies (henceforth called PPZ) on a lark. The concept of marrying Jane Austen’s story to one of today’s most favourite literary trends sounded like an exercise in being clever. Although for some, “being clever” is tantamount to “being a jerk,” I generally have more trust in my fellow creatures than that, and looked forward to a thoroughly enjoyable read.

[A general rant and possible spoilers ahead, but PPZ was good]

Tue
Jan 27 2009 2:28pm

Around the Web: faux Doc Savage covers, R.I.P. Kim Manners, and no zombie child left behind (part deux)

Wonderful faux Doc Savage Covers -  If you missed these before, the covers, designed by Keith “Kez” Wilson, are brilliant.

“Shine on Me” Star discusses his newfound cult celebrity - I missed this when it happened last month, but it’s a great interview. Alas, the story the video tells is apparently much different from the story our own Tor.com blogger, Megan Messinger, had imagined.

Machines beating the Turing Test - I’m not sure 20 volunteers is a large enough sample size to really go by, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

R.I.P. Kim Manners - The prolific director of The X-Files and Supernatural passed away on Sunday. As an obsessive X-Files fan back in the day, I remember his episodes to be superb—tight, well-paced, and masterful. I will miss his work.

[Below the fold: no zombie child left behind, an interview with Ken Scholes, and reassurance that gaming doesn’t turn you into a heartless monster (you may have been that way beforehand!).]