Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza October 15, 2014 Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza Carrie Vaughn A Wild Cards story. The Girl in the High Tower October 14, 2014 The Girl in the High Tower Gennifer Albin A Crewel story. Mrs. Sorensen and the Sasquatch October 8, 2014 Mrs. Sorensen and the Sasquatch Kelly Barnhill An unconventional romance. Daughter of Necessity October 1, 2014 Daughter of Necessity Marie Brennan Tell me, O Muse, of that ingenious heroine...
From The Blog
October 14, 2014
A Category Unto Himself: The Works of China Miéville
Jared Shurin
October 10, 2014
Don’t Touch That Dial: Fall 2014 TV
Alex Brown
October 10, 2014
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Reread: Part 1
Kate Nepveu
October 7, 2014
Shell Shock and Eldritch Horror: “Dagon”
Ruthanna Emrys and Anne M. Pillsworth
October 3, 2014
The Bloody Books of Halloween: William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist
Will Errickson
Tue
Oct 21 2014 12:00pm

The Most Merciful Thing in the World: “The Call of Cthulhu”

The Call of Cthulhu HP Lovecraft rereadWelcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s original stories. Today we’re looking at “The Call of Cthulhu,” written in Summer 1926 and first published in the February 1928 issue of Weird Tales. You can read the story here. Spoilers ahead.

Summary: This manuscript was found among the papers of Francis Wayland Thurston, deceased.

Thurston’s grand-uncle Angell leaves everything to him when he dies, apparently after being jostled by a “nautical-looking negro.” These possessions include a disturbing bas-relief and a series of notes and clippings.

[“I shall never sleep calmly again when I think of the horrors that lurk ceaselessly behind life in time and in space, and of those unhallowed blasphemies from elder stars which dream beneath the sea, known and favoured by a nightmare cult ready and eager to loose them on the world whenever another earthquake shall heave their monstrous stone city again to the sun and air.”]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 1:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 6

Servant of the Empire rereadWelcome back to the reread of Servant of the Empire by Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts.

This one embraces its 80s heritage by inspiring nostalgia for a certain sitcom based on a sexist premise (I know, that doesn’t narrow the field much, does it?) and pays off a lot of set up, mostly involving market prices and commercial guilds. But I’m sure there’s a whole lot more horrible murders just around the corner...

Chapter 7—Target

SUMMARY: It’s the morning after, though months have passed. Mara is still in the happy honeymoon phase of her relationship with Kevin, enjoying his intelligent conversation and contribution to her work as well as his sexy bedroom skills.

On this particular drowsy post-coital morning, however, Kevin decides to bring up the matter of poverty in the cities like Sulan-Q, which totally kills the mood. He is disturbed by the lack of alms and charity work to help deal with the homeless and the dispossessed.

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Wed
Oct 15 2014 1:00pm

Rereading Melanie Rawn: Dragon Prince, Chapters 23 and 24

dragon prince reread melanie rawnWelcome to the weekly Wednesday reread of Dragon Prince! This week Rohan suffers a fate worse than death, Sioned deals with her many responsibilities as Princess and Chosen lover, and the war gets seriously under way.

Chapter 23

So This Happens: Rohan wakes from a drugged stupor to the sound of a man and a woman bickering. He can’t quite place the voices. It’s clear from context that they’re Ianthe and Beliaev.

Sioned meanwhile prepares to ride in search of Rohan, over her brother’s objections.

[Read More]

Wed
Oct 15 2014 12:00pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: The Crippled God, Chapter Twenty-three (Part Two)

Malazan Crippled God rereadWelcome to the Malazan Reread of the Fallen! Every post will start off with a summary of events, followed by reaction and commentary by your hosts Bill and Amanda (with Amanda, new to the series, going first), and finally comments from Tor.com readers. In this article, we’ll cover part two of chapter twenty-three of The Crippled God.

A fair warning before we get started: We’ll be discussing both novel and whole-series themes, narrative arcs that run across the entire series, and foreshadowing.

Note: The summary of events will be free of major spoilers and we’re going to try keeping the reader comments the same. A spoiler thread has been set up for outright Malazan spoiler discussion.

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Tue
Oct 14 2014 2:00pm

Unnatural Annals: “The Lurking Fear”

HP Lovecraft reread The Lurking FearWelcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s original stories. Today we’re looking at “The Lurking Fear,” written in November 1922 and first published in the January-April 1923 issues of Home Brew. You can read the story here. Spoilers ahead.

Summary: Unnamed narrator of the week seems to be an independently wealthy bachelor with an obsessive taste for the weird. Today he’d have a ghost-hunting reality show. In 1921, he must settle for motoring to the Catskills to investigate a massacre near Tempest Mountain.

[“Sometimes, in the throes of a nightmare when unseen powers whirl one over the roofs of strange dead cities toward the grinning chasm of Nis, it is a relief and even a delight to shriek wildly and throw oneself voluntarily along with the hideous vortex of dream-doom into whatever bottomless gulf may yawn.”]

Fri
Oct 10 2014 1:00pm

Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, Before They Are Hanged: “No Good for Each Other” and “The Hero’s Welcome”

Before They Are Hanged Joe Abercrombie rereadThe moment we’ve all been waiting for has arrived. Ferro and Logen get horizontal. If this surprises any first time readers it’s because there’s been almost nothing to suggest such a thing might happen. Our lovers aren’t exactly the flirtatious sort. In fact, they seem to mostly hate one another.

So in “No Good for Each Other” something happens we never expected to, while in “The Hero’s Welcome” the thing we expect to happen comes to naught. It’s like bizarro narrative!

Fair warning: onomatopoetic sex quotes to follow.

[Squelch]

Fri
Oct 10 2014 12:00pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: The Crippled God, Chapter Twenty-three (Part One)

Malazan Crippled God rereadWelcome to the Malazan Reread of the Fallen! Every post will start off with a summary of events, followed by reaction and commentary by your hosts Bill and Amanda (with Amanda, new to the series, going first), and finally comments from Tor.com readers. In this article, we’ll cover part one of chapter twenty-three of The Crippled God.

A fair warning before we get started: We’ll be discussing both novel and whole-series themes, narrative arcs that run across the entire series, and foreshadowing.

Note: The summary of events will be free of major spoilers and we’re going to try keeping the reader comments the same. A spoiler thread has been set up for outright Malazan spoiler discussion.

[Read More]

Wed
Oct 8 2014 1:00pm

Rereading Melanie Rawn: Dragon Prince, Chapters 21 and 22

dragon prince reread melanie rawnWelcome to the weekly Wednesday reread of Dragon Prince! This week we get a close-up view of dragons, Rohan runs himself into serious trouble, and Sioned catches fire.

Chapter 21

So This Happens: Rohan congratulates himself on his machinations at Remagev—the old Lord is happy to consider Walvis as his successor. Meanwhile, Rohan arrives at Skybowl, a crater lake with a Keep on the shore and dragon caves above.

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Wed
Oct 8 2014 12:00pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: The Crippled God, Chapter Twenty-two

Malazan Crippled God rereadWelcome to the Malazan Reread of the Fallen! Every post will start off with a summary of events, followed by reaction and commentary by your hosts Bill and Amanda (with Amanda, new to the series, going first), and finally comments from Tor.com readers. In this article, we’ll cover chapter twenty-two of The Crippled God.

A fair warning before we get started: We’ll be discussing both novel and whole-series themes, narrative arcs that run across the entire series, and foreshadowing.

Note: The summary of events will be free of major spoilers and we’re going to try keeping the reader comments the same. A spoiler thread has been set up for outright Malazan spoiler discussion.

[Read More]

Tue
Oct 7 2014 2:00pm

Shell Shock and Eldritch Horror: “Dagon”

HP Lovecraft reread DagonWelcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s original stories. Today we’re looking at “Dagon,” written in July 1917 and first published in the November 1919 issue of The Vagrant. You can read the story here. Spoilers ahead.

Summary: The narrator is about to run out of morphine, and unable to afford more. Rather than face life without it, he plans to hurl himself from his garret window. He’s no weakling: when he tells his story, you’ll understand why he must have forgetfulness or death.

[“I felt myself on the edge of the world; peering over the rim into a fathomless chaos of eternal night. Through my terror ran curious reminiscences of Paradise Lost, and of Satan’s hideous climb through the unfashioned realms of darkness.”]

Fri
Oct 3 2014 1:00pm

Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, Before They Are Hanged: “Luck” and “Beneath the Ruins”

Before They Are Hanged Joe Abercrombie rereadThis week’s chapters are mostly action. Bayaz and the gang being attacked by the Shanka to be precise. They get separated. Bayaz does some magic. Jezal feels better about his messed up body. Quai and Longfoot are afterthoughts. However...

It’s also foreplay. Trust me. As you read these two chapters pay special attention to how Logen and Ferro interact with one another. I won’t be discussing it much in my analysis, but it’s there. It should be observed as we move into the more intimate portion of the pair’s relationship. I say intimate, but if this is actually a reread you know that intimacy is something a little foreign to Ferro and Logen.

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Wed
Oct 1 2014 1:00pm

Rereading Melanie Rawn: Dragon Prince, Chapters 19 and 20

Wdragon prince reread melanie rawnelcome to the weekly Wednesday reread of Dragon Prince! We’re six years down the plotline now, with some fast filling in and some new (and not so new) plots and schemes. Rohan’s still utterly sexy, I mean clever, Sioned’s still making magic out on the edge, and Ianthe is back, badder than ever.

Part Three: Vengeance
Chapter 19

So This Happens: Six years after the events at the end of Part Two, three years after the Plague summarized in the Interlude, Rohan receives a secret letter from Feylin of Skybowl, presenting a census of dragons and indicating that the dragons are intelligent enough to avoid the places where they’ve suffered disaster, including plague, and will not be mating in their usual places. He recommends that Rohan ban the killing of dragons.

[Read More]

Wed
Oct 1 2014 12:00pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: The Crippled God, Chapter Twenty-One

Malazan Crippled God rereadWelcome to the Malazan Reread of the Fallen! Every post will start off with a summary of events, followed by reaction and commentary by your hosts Bill and Amanda (with Amanda, new to the series, going first), and finally comments from Tor.com readers. In this article, we’ll cover the second part of chapter twenty of The Crippled God.

A fair warning before we get started: We’ll be discussing both novel and whole-series themes, narrative arcs that run across the entire series, and foreshadowing.

Note: The summary of events will be free of major spoilers and we’re going to try keeping the reader comments the same. A spoiler thread has been set up for outright Malazan spoiler discussion.

[Read More]

Tue
Sep 30 2014 11:30am

Old-fashioned Cemetery Horror: “In the Vault”

Swampscott Cemetery receiving tomb

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s original stories. Today we’re looking at “In the Vault,” written in September 1925 and first published in the November 1925 issue of Tryout. You can read the story here. Spoilers ahead.

Summary: An unnamed physician relates the story of a deceased patient, George Birch—long-suppressed details of the incident that left the man physically maimed and spiritually shaken. Birch, undertaker for the village of Peck Valley, was little concerned with the dignity of his “customers” and not above pilfering laying-out apparel. He knocked together flimsy coffins and was sometimes inexact about matching corpses to headstones. He also neglected the receiving tomb at Peck Valley Cemetery, where the dead abided aboveground through the region’s earth-freezing winters. He was not an evil man, the narrator opines, just “thoughtless, careless and liquorish...without that modicum of imagination that holds the average citizen within certain limits fixed by taste.”

[“It is doubtful whether he was touched at all by the horror and exquisite weirdness of his position, but the bald fact of imprisonment so far from the daily paths of men was enough to exasperate him thoroughly.”]

Mon
Sep 29 2014 1:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 3

Servant of the Empire rereadWelcome back to the Servant of the Empire Reread. If discussion of human sacrifice and general gore is distressing to you, you might want to skip this one. I kind of wish I had. But even a queasy stomach won’t stop me from bring the snark to House Acoma!

Not nearly enough making out in this chapter.

Chapter 4: Vows

SUMMARY:
Turakamu is punk rock. Otherwise known as the Red God of Death, his priests are all about skulls, blood, nude dancing with skeletons, and let’s face it, probably sticking safety pins through their noses. The worship of Turakamu is hardcore.

Desio of the Minwanabi is desperately hoping to achieve vengeance on Mara and a reputation for being seriously ruthless. Having invited a group of guests over for a party, he surprises them with a blood ritual. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that no one ever wants to be SURPRISED by a blood ritual.

[Read More]

Fri
Sep 26 2014 1:00pm

Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, Before They Are Hanged: “To the Last Man” and “Jewel of Cities”

Before They Are Hanged Joe Abercrombie rereadLast week I encouraged commenters to comment on Tolomei, daughter of the Maker and lover(?) of Bayaz. You ignored me and told me it was too soon! Cue the shaking and rattling of a rereader gone drunk with power, calling down the heavens for your impudence. Or, you know, you were right. Whatever.

This week’s chapters are a little more pedestrian in terms of information reveals compared to last week’s, but I can assure you that they are the calm before the storm. We’re starting to get into the home stretch of Before They Are Hanged. Get ready to run!

[Read More...]

Fri
Sep 26 2014 12:00pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: The Crippled God, Chapter Twenty (Part Two)

Malazan Crippled God rereadWelcome to the Malazan Reread of the Fallen! Every post will start off with a summary of events, followed by reaction and commentary by your hosts Bill and Amanda (with Amanda, new to the series, going first), and finally comments from Tor.com readers. In this article, we’ll cover the second part of chapter twenty of The Crippled God.

A fair warning before we get started: We’ll be discussing both novel and whole-series themes, narrative arcs that run across the entire series, and foreshadowing.

Note: The summary of events will be free of major spoilers and we’re going to try keeping the reader comments the same. A spoiler thread has been set up for outright Malazan spoiler discussion.

[Read More]

Wed
Sep 24 2014 1:00pm

Rereading Melanie Rawn: Dragon Prince, Chapter 18 and Interlude

dragon prince reread melanie rawnWelcome to the weekly Wednesday reread of Dragon Prince! We’re capping off the Rialla with one last chapter, then a brief Interlude. Weddings and banquets and intrigues and enmities—we see them all, along with a glimpse of some difficult and deadly developments to come.

Chapter 18

So This Happens: The last day of the festival opens with a flurry of rumors about the burning of the High Prince’s barge, followed by a flurry of weddings. We see a wedding of nobles, then the wedding of Camigwen and Ostvel, complete with gowns and jewels and sacred chants. Rohan is present, as is a suspiciously pale and subdued Sioned.

[Read More]

Wed
Sep 24 2014 12:00pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: The Crippled God, Chapter Twenty (Part One)

Welcome to the Malazan Reread of the Fallen! Every post will start off with a summary of events, followed by reaction and commentary by your hosts Bill and Amanda (with Amanda, new to the series, going first), and finally comments from Tor.com readers. In this article, we’ll cover the first part of chapter twenty of The Crippled God.

A fair warning before we get started: We’ll be discussing both novel and whole-series themes, narrative arcs that run across the entire series, and foreshadowing.

Note: The summary of events will be free of major spoilers and we’re going to try keeping the reader comments the same. A spoiler thread has been set up for outright Malazan spoiler discussion.

[Read More]

Tue
Sep 23 2014 12:00pm

Finding the Other Within: “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”

Shadow Over Innsmouth HP Lovecraft RereadWelcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s original stories. Today we’re looking at “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” written in November-December 1931 and first published as a bound booklet by Visionary Publishing in April 1936. You can read the story here. Spoilers ahead.

Summary: During the winter of 1927-1928, the government raided Innsmouth, MA. Afterwards there were no trials, only rumors of concentration camps. Innsmouth’s neighbors didn’t complain: they’d never liked the place. It’s our narrator whose reports led to the crackdown. Now he wants to tell his story, as he makes up his mind about a terrible step that lies ahead of him.

[“The patterns all hinted of remote secrets and unimaginable abysses in time and space, and the monotonously aquatic nature of the reliefs became almost sinister. Among these reliefs were fabulous monsters of abhorrent grotesqueness and malignity—half ichthyic and half batrachian in suggestion—which one could not dissociate from a certain haunting and uncomfortable sense of pseudo-memory, as if they called up some image from deep cells and tissues whose retentive functions are wholly primal and awesomely ancestral.”]