Selfies September 17, 2014 Selfies Lavie Tidhar Smile for the camera. When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami September 16, 2014 When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami Kendare Blake A Goddess Wars story As Good As New September 10, 2014 As Good As New Charlie Jane Anders She has three chances to save the world. Tuckitor’s Last Swim September 9, 2014 Tuckitor’s Last Swim Edith Cohn A hurricane is coming.
From The Blog
September 18, 2014
Cast As Thou Wilt: Kushiel’s Dart Dream Cast
Natalie Zutter
September 17, 2014
How Goldfinger Bound Sci-Fi to James Bond
Ryan Britt
September 15, 2014
Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 1
Tansy Rayner Roberts
September 13, 2014
If You Want a Monster to Hunt, You’ll Get It. Doctor Who: “Listen”
Chris Lough
September 11, 2014
The Ghostbusters are an Antidote to Lovecraft’s Dismal Worldview
Max Gladstone
Wed
Jun 18 2014 3:20pm

These Existential Godzilla Haikus Make Him King of the Feels

Godzilla just wants to be understood, you guys. Did you ever stop to think that, even as he was smashing the coast to pieces in his latest reboot, maybe he’s just trying to connect? After all, he knows that no matter who he’s facing off against in a given Godzilla film, humans are still going to feel strangely guilty about his path of destruction.

So of course there’s a Godzilla Haiku Tumblr for the big G to unleash his angst and tail-whip you with his sensitive side in seventeen syllables.

[Godzilla must go / So you cannot see the depth / Of his loneliness]

Wed
Apr 23 2014 2:00pm

“Trust the Story”: A Conversation with Sofia Samatar

Sofia Samatar I’ve been more or less obsessed with Sofia Samatar since I first read her debut novel, A Stranger in Olondria (2013). Her work is gorgeous and innovative, breaking new ground while evoking the best of classic SFF. And I’m not the only one to think so; Sofia has recently been nominated for the John W. Campbell Award For Best New Writer.

She was kind enough to answer a few questions about her writing, below.

[Read more...]

Thu
Apr 17 2014 12:10pm

Now We Know How to Make Tom Hiddleston Cry

Not that we would ever want to make Tom Hiddleston cry! It's just that now we know we can. The actor was asked to contribute to an anthology called Poems That Make Grown Men Cry, and he chose “Love After Love” by Derek Walcott as the work that turns him to mush. It's an excellent, unexpected choice—not simply a love poem, but a meditation on the difficulty of retaining a sense of self in the face of, well, life.

[click through for the poem!]

Tue
Apr 15 2014 2:00pm

The Retrospective: Mythic Delirium #30

Since it happens to be poetry month, the time seems more or less just right for talking about the transitional last print issue of long-running speculative poetry magazine Mythic Delirium. It’s issue #30, and in honor the magazine’s Kickstarter funded shift to digital publication and a new format, editor Mike Allen had gathered up a retrospective from the past fifteen years’ worth of issues—poems ranging from the first from their first issue, to the most recent MD poem to win a Rhysling Award.

It is an interesting sort of project, a goodbye to the old and a remembrance of the past that also happens to be signaling a fresh start for the magazine, with different guiding principles and a radically different format. I look forward to seeing what the Allens (Mike and Anita) do with the upcoming magazine, but for now, there’s the retrospective issue and the poems in it.

[A review.]

Sun
Apr 13 2014 10:00am
Poetry

The Death of Araweilo

Sofia Samatar Poem National Poetry Month The Death of AraweiloPresenting “The Death of Araweilo,” an original poem by Sofia Samatar in celebration of National Poetry Month, acquired for Tor.com by editor Liz Gorinsky.

Tor.com is celebrating National Poetry Month by featuring science fiction and fantasy poetry from a variety of SFF authors. You’ll find classic works, hidden gems, and new commissions featured on the site throughout the month. Check out the Poetry Month index for more poems!

[Read More]

Sun
Apr 6 2014 10:00am
Poetry

Hades and Persephone

Jo Walton photo by John W. MacDonaldPresenting “Hades and Persephone,” an original poem by Jo Walton in celebration of National Poetry Month, acquired for Tor.com by senior editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden.

Tor.com is celebrating National Poetry Month by featuring science fiction and fantasy poetry from a variety of SFF authors. You’ll find classic works, hidden gems, and new commissions featured on the site throughout the month. Check out the Poetry Month index for more poems!

[Read “Hades and Persephone” by Jo Walton]

Tue
Apr 1 2014 9:00am
Poetry

My Garden

Theodora Goss

Theodora Goss

Presenting “My Garden,” an original poem by Theodora Goss in celebration of National Poetry Month, acquired for Tor.com by consulting editor Ellen Datlow.

Tor.com is celebrating National Poetry Month by featuring science fiction and fantasy poetry from a variety of SFF authors. You’ll find classic works, hidden gems, and new commissions featured on the site throughout the month. Check out the Poetry Month index for more poems!

[Read More]

Tue
Apr 1 2014 9:00am

National Poetry Month on Tor.com Features New Pieces from Jo Walton, Theodora Goss, and More

National Poetry Month science fiction fantasy Neil Gaiman Jane Yolen Theodora GossApril is National Poetry Month and to celebrate we’re taking the opportunity to showcase poetry written by notable names in the science fiction and fantasy fields.

When thinking of the mediums that deliver SFF, one invariably visualizes descriptive prose, be it in doorstopper hardcover or dog-eared paperback form, but poetry is well-entrenched within the SFF genres and often pops up with surprising regularity.

This year, Tor.com has acquired new poems from Theodora Goss, Jo Walton, Sofia Samatar, and Catherynne M. Valente!

[National Poetry Month on Tor.com]

Tue
Mar 18 2014 11:00am

Post-Binary Gender in SF: Poetry’s Potential for Voice

Here We Cross Rose LembergWhat I love most about poetry is its potential for voice: when I’m reading my favourite poetry, it feels like I’m being spoken to. The brevity of most poetry brings that voice to precision, “a way to whittle down to this direct voice, to make it the only thing—to amplify it by way of having nothing else around it.” (Quoting myself.)

This isn’t the only way to read poetry—there is no ‘one’ way. Amal El-Mohtar wrote about how to read poetry on this site last year, stressing the many possible approaches. An English Literature degree is one. Another, prisoners in Lebanon listening to her grandfather’s spoken poetry to survive. Poetry is many-faceted, many voices speaking in many ways. It can intersect with speculative fiction—I really recommend a conversation between Lavie Tidhar and Shimon Adaf in Strange Horizons on this subject. I know a lot of people are wary of poetry, but it’s this easy: if you read a poem and find something—a turn of phrase, an idea, a voice that hooks on your ear—you’ve gained something from it. Poetry isn’t for everyone, of course, but it’s varied and more vast than many people know.

[It’s a place for post-binary voices to speak in other ways.]

Mon
Dec 16 2013 11:00am

Patrick Stewart’s Monologues on the Nightmare Before Christmas Soundtrack Make Perfect Bookends to the Tale

The Nightmare Before Christmas poem illustration

All fans of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas know that the film begins with a few words of rhyme: “’Twas a long time ago, longer now than it seems/in a place that perhaps you have seen in your dreams…” This is fitting because Burton’s inspiration for the entire project was a full parody he wrote of The Night Before Christmas.

But did you know that opening rhyme was longer at first? Those who have the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack get a special treat: Patrick Stewart reading the opening monologue, and then another to close out the tale. And they sort of make the movie perfect.

[“And he smiled like the old Pumpkin King that I knew…”]

Tue
Sep 24 2013 9:30am
Poetry

It Was A Day

Ursula Vernon

It Was a Day poem Ursula Vernon Mirrormask Dave McKean

From author Ursula Vernon, we invite you to read a very moving ode: “It Was A Day.” An insightful encapsulation of what it is like to grow up believing in magic and other worlds, this poem examines what happens the day we all inevitably learn that we cannot dive into fiction and stay there, and how the act of writing might help make up for that fact. It is also the journey of a female fan and creator, one that many may recognize in their own experiences, brimming with the self-perception and self-actualization required to make your voice heard. “It Was A Day” was originally posted on Vernon's blog on September 5.

[“It Was A Day” by Ursula Vernon]

Sat
Jul 20 2013 10:00am

A Song for Stubby

A Song for Stubby
(With apologies to William Carlos Williams.)

Among the rain
and Tyrell Co. billboards
I saw the figure 5
in gold
on a red
Stubby
rocketship
moving
at about light speed
unheeded
to klaxons
siren howls
and engines rumbling
above the dark city.

Mon
Jul 8 2013 10:00am

The Melancholy of Mechagirl, by Catherynne M. Valente

The Melancholy of Mechagirl Catherynne Valente’s The Melancholy of Mechagirl compiles Valente’s poetry and short fiction tied to Japan and Japanese culture. As Teruyuki Hashimoto points out in the collection’s introduction, however, many of these connections to Japan are subtle, even tenuous; instead (or perhaps in addition), we find the pieces united by recurring images and themes. Houses and families, as Hashimoto points out, weave their way through the text, and so too do the subjects of birth, isolation, and creeping uncanniness.

Melancholy could have easily fallen into appropriative narrative or become what Valente herself describes as culturally “fraught.” However, Valente continues to write with grace and cognizance. Her afterword on the matter (echoed to some degree on her blog, here) explains her interest in Japan as a matter beyond scholastics or fan culture; she lived alone there for some time, and the experience affected her to the point that, as she says, “Japan is everywhere in my work.” The collection’s thematic elements build upon one another as the reader progresses, but they’re brought into stark focus with the addition of her autobiographical note. The book itself is full and rich in the author’s characteristic style, but this time, it feels personal—in the best possible way.

[Read more.]

Tue
Apr 23 2013 12:00pm
Poetry

Snowmelt

Mari Ness

Mari Ness National Poetry Month SnowmeltPresenting “Snowmelt,” a reprint of an original poem by Mari Ness in celebration of National Poetry Month on Tor.com, originally published on Goblin Fruit.

Tor.com is celebrating National Poetry Month by featuring science fiction and fantasy poetry from a variety of SFF authors. You’ll find classic works, hidden gems, and new commissions featured on the site throughout the month. Bookmark the Poetry Month index for easy reading.

[Read “Snowmelt”]

Wed
Apr 17 2013 12:45pm

“To JK Rowling, from Cho Chang”

Rachel Rostad poem To JK Rowling from Cho Chang

Rachel Rostad’s 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational performance piece, “To JK Rowling, from Cho Chang,” was an indictment of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series; specifically charging her with tokenism, of adding minor characters like Cho Chang and Lee Jordan without giving them the same depth other characters got, in order to create the appearance of diversity without actually including any. It is a personal, impassioned performance, rather than a strictly cerebral approach, which gives it immediacy and accessibility. This isn’t just a discussion of structural biases, some lecture or intellectual analysis; this is someone who rightfully has feelings that stem from the text.

[Watch Rachel Rostad’s “To JK Rowling, from Cho Chang”]

Tue
Apr 16 2013 9:15am
Poetry

The Fox Wife

Theodora Goss

The Fox Wife by Theodora GossPresenting “The Fox Wife,” an original poem by Theodora Goss in celebration of National Poetry Month on Tor.com, acquired for Tor.com by consulting editor Ellen Datlow.

Tor.com is celebrating National Poetry Month by featuring science fiction and fantasy poetry from a variety of SFF authors. You’ll find classic works, hidden gems, and new commissions featured on the site throughout the month. Bookmark the Poetry Month index for easy reading.

[Read “The Fox Wife” by Theodora Goss]

Tue
Apr 9 2013 1:20pm
Poetry

Portrait of the Book As Golem

Jane Yolen

Portrait of the Book As Golem Jane Yolen poem

Presenting “Portrait of the Book As Golem,” an original poem by Jane Yolen in celebration of National Poetry Month on Tor.com, acquired for Tor.com by Tor Books senior editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden.

Tor.com is celebrating National Poetry Month by featuring science fiction and fantasy poetry from a variety of SFF authors. You’ll find classic works, hidden gems, and new commissions featured on the site throughout the month. Bookmark the Poetry Month index for easy reading.

[“Portrait of the Book As Golem”]

Thu
Apr 4 2013 1:00pm

How to Read Poetry 101: Whys and Wherefores

Amal El-Mohtar How to read poetryWelcome, dear readers, to April, a month variously named sweet and cruel in poetry across the ages, and therefore uniquely appropriate to a series on How to Read Poetry. Over the next four weeks I want to transform you from a sheepish non-reader of poetry into a curious appreciator of it by doing the following:

  • Demonstrating that poetry is more than the dry dusty stuff people tried to cram down your throats in high school, and that you’re missing out on something awesome and important by shunning it wholesale.
  • Suggesting different ways of approaching poems you’re not understanding to help you figure out whether there’s something in here for you to enjoy or not.
  • Introducing you to the fantastic poetry of the authors whose fiction you may already love.

What I won’t do is hold forth about things like the difference between synecdoche and metonymy or why some bits of Shakespeare are written in iambic pentameter while others are written in trochaic tetrameter. I love that stuff, but for my purposes here it’s besides the point. You don’t need to know these things to enjoy poetry; you don’t need to be able to tell the difference between a sonnet and a sestina to be spellbound by them. Rhyme schemes, verse forms and prosody are fascinating things, but my sense is that they’re also intricate and elaborate window dressing that has for too long obscured the window itself.

[Read more]

Tue
Apr 2 2013 10:00am
Original Story

House

Presenting “House,” an original poem by Neil Gaiman in celebration of National Poetry Month on Tor.com, acquired for Tor.com by consulting editor Ellen Datlow.

[“House” by Neil Gaiman]

Tue
Apr 2 2013 10:00am

National Poetry Month on Tor.com Features New Pieces From Neil Gaiman, Jane Yolen, and More

National Poetry Month science fiction fantasy Neil Gaiman Jane Yolen Theodora GossApril is National Poetry Month and to celebrate we’re taking the opportunity to showcase poetry written by notable names in the science fiction and fantasy fields.

When thinking of the mediums that deliver SFF, one invariably visualizes descriptive prose, be it in doorstopper hardcover or dog-eared paperback form, but poetry is well-entrenched within the SFF genres and often pops up with surprising regularity.

This year, Tor.com has commissioned new poems from Neil Gaiman, Jane Yolen, and Theodora Goss, and will feature a piece from Tor.com’s very own Mari Ness!

[National Poetry Month on Tor.com]