A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Proposed Trade-Offs for the Overhaul of the Barricade July 30, 2014 A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Proposed Trade-Offs for the Overhaul of the Barricade John Chu Fighting Turbulence requires sacrifices. The Colonel July 29, 2014 The Colonel Peter Watts The hives are sleeping giants. <em>To Eternity</em> July 24, 2014 To Eternity Wesley Allsbrook and Barrie Potter If all things were normal, Stuart would be considered quite a catch. Brisk Money July 23, 2014 Brisk Money Adam Christopher It's hard out there for a robotic detective.
From The Blog
July 30, 2014
Pull List: Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel
Alex Brown
July 30, 2014
Concerning Hobbits, On-Screen and Off: Why Jackson and Tolkien Can Peacefully Co-exist
Jeff LaSala
July 30, 2014
Yes, Women Want to Be Thor—So Why is the New Avengers Line-up Cause For Ire?
Emily Asher-Perrin
July 29, 2014
Introduction to the H. P. Lovecraft Reread
Ruthanna Emrys and Anne M. Pillsworth
July 25, 2014
Huge New Cast and Bloopers. Highlights from the San Diego Comic Con Game of Thrones Panel
Chris Lough
Jul 31 2014 7:00am

J. K. Rowling’s Real Life is More Incredible Than Any Fiction

JK Rowling You know what’s really hard for me? Talking about J. K. Rowling objectively (and on her birthday, too—she’s 49 today). And it’s not just because she wrote one of the most successful book series of all time, teaching millions of children to adore reading in the process. Not just because she has used her well-earned gains to promote so many charitable causes. Not just because the world loves a good rags-to-riches story, and hers is one of the best.

It’s because she described herself as “the biggest failure [she] knew” before she sat down to write one of the most beloved fantasy worlds on paper. It’s because she turned the sorrow over her mother’s death into a tale where a mother’s love for her child ultimately saves the world. It’s because all of the first publishers to read her three chapter sample rejected her book. It’s because failing made Jo Rowling push back hard against depression and poverty to find her very best calling.

It’s because she gave us Harry, Ron and Hermione, and so many of us wouldn’t recognize our childhoods without them.

[Meet in the Astronomy Tower…]

Jul 30 2014 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: Genre-Benders for August

fiction affliction new releases AugustNineteen books wander between genres this month, from alternative histories to cozy paranormal mysteries. Look for series additions from, among others, Juliet Blackwell (Witchcraft Mystery), E.C. Ambrose (Dark Apostle), Steve White (Blood of the Heroes), Tom Kratman (Desert Called Peace), Bailey Cates (Magical Bakery), D.B. Jackson (Thieftaker Chronicles), Mark Hodder (Burton and Swinburne), and Harry Turtledove (The War That Came Early).

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.

[Read about this month’s genre-benders.]

Jul 30 2014 4:04pm

McConaughey Looks to the Stars in the New Interstellar Trailer!

Love can transcend time, and Matthew McConaughey's glorious, gravelly voice can transcend a million crappy rom-coms. Are you tired of looking down into the dirt? Gaze up into the stars and ponder your place in the universe with the new Interstellar trailer!

[Do not go gentle into this good trailer.]

Jul 30 2014 4:00pm

“He Wanted Us To Catch Him!” Let’s Retire this Villain Cliché

Joker The Dark Knight

I was just settling into the whole Khan versus Enterprise plot of Star Trek Into Darkness when something started to seem overly familiar to me about the way the story was developing. And I don’t mean familiar in that “Hey, they’re ripping off the Wrath Of Khan” way that began the moment Cumberbatch revealed his true age and identity. No, I mean the familiarly that began when the crew started to speculate that perhaps Khan had wanted to be captured. After all, it had all been so easy…

[Read More]

Jul 30 2014 3:00pm

Dream a Little Dream: Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

Broken Monsters Lauren Beukes review US coverThe urban grit, filth and despair of a city that has come apart at the seams, making it ‘the number-one Death-of-America pilgrimage destination’. Detroit, a city filled with places that are a shadow of what they used to be, a ‘sprawling waste of it. Broken bricks and concrete pillars holding up the sky’ with everything ‘choked with weeds and graffiti.’ The many, many abandoned homes and factories have now become transient spaces, neither living nor dead but just silently waiting in limbo—blighted and lonely.

In Lauren Beukes’ new novel, Broken Monsters, these places are doorways, thresholds between planes; even chalk-drawn outlines of doors on walls are slick membranes between realities and dreams. Amongst the decrepitude of Detroit there remains a desire, a dream trying to break through to the surface though ‘it feels suffocated by the rigidity of the world. And yet…there is evidence of the dreaming everywhere. There is a world beneath the world that is rich and tangled with meaning.’ It is this world that failed sculptor Clayton Boom is trying to bring to life with horrific taxidermy, clay, and murder most foul.

[Read More]

Jul 30 2014 2:00pm

Pull List: Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel

Captin Marvel Carol Danvers Kelly Sue DeConnick

Welcome to Pull List, a new monthly comics column. We’ll look at everything from decades-spanning titles to oneshots and miniseries, from graphic novels to caped crusaders to webcomics. There’ll be a strong focus on works with high marks in diversity and feminism, out-of-the-box artistic creativity, and envelope-pushing, as well as some old school silliness every now and again.

Being a comics fan ain’t easy, especially if you don’t fit the outmoded paradigm of straight white male. As someone who doesn’t meet two thirds of that criteria, I avoided the whole comics thing for ages. I had the joy of growing up with the X-Men, Justice League, Superman, and Batman cartoons, and the supreme displeasure of discovering that comics-on-tv was pretty much the only space in which I was allowed. For years, whenever people asked me my favorite comics characters, my go-to were Lois Lane, Wonder Woman, Jubilee, Storm, and Oracle, but my knowledge of them was strictly television-based.

[The first thing I bought? Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel]

Jul 30 2014 1:00pm

Concerning Hobbits, On-Screen and Off: Why Jackson and Tolkien Can Peacefully Co-exist

The Hobbit

There is nothing so powerful as one’s imagination. We’re readers, we know that. We get it. And yet, sometimes imagination can be offset or complemented by something else. This is, after all, the age of multimedia.

With greed-fueled war on the horizon, and with Smaug, Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities and arguably literature’s most famous dragon, once again on the rampage in the first trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, it’s time to talk about The Hobbits—their juxtaposed film and literary incarnations alike, and why together J.R.R. Tolkien’s and Peter Jackson’s respective legacies are like chocolate and peanut butter combined.

[Read on if you can handle a few spoilers and are not afraid of some fire-drake from the North.]

Jul 30 2014 12:45pm

Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern Series Could Be the Next Big Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movie Franchise

Anne McCaffrey Dragonriders of Pern series optioned movies Warner Bros

Warner Bros. is clearly feeling the heat—and by that, we mean the fearsome fire of fictional dragons including Daenerys Targaryen’s brood on Game of Thrones, and WB’s own Smaug in The Hobbit. Dragons are having a moment, and studios are looking to capitalize on these winged reptiles for as long as possible.

To that end, Warner Bros. has optioned Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series as a potential next sci-fi/fantasy franchise.

[Read more]

Jul 30 2014 12:30pm

Bubble Baths and the Need For Grimdark: Highlights from Joe Abercrombie’s AMA

Joe Abercrombie axe

Joe Abercrombie hopped onto reddit for an AMA earlier this month, and provided fun and informative answers to at least a billion questions. It turns out Lord Grimdark has many pieces of advice to give, on topics including writing (“Never cut out anything cool”), whiskey (detailed below) and cover design (“If there’s one thing that’s always praised about my books, it’s that they’re grip friendly”).

We’ve rounded up some of the highlights below—also be sure to check out our coverage of Abercrombie’s appearance on the Rulers of the Realm panel at SDCC!

[read more]

Jul 30 2014 12:00pm

Magazine Theft and Terrible Cats: Michael Cho at SDCC

Michael Cho Shoplifter Artist and illustrator Michael Cho has done covers for Marvel and DC, but this year he came to SDCC to talk about his new graphic novel Shoplifter, to be released by Pantheon in September. Shoplifter is the quiet, delicately-told story of Corinna Park, a writer in her mid-twenties who went from an English degree and dreams of writing novels to five years of writing copy at an advertising agency, a lonely apartment, and a terrible cat named Anais—with the occasional bit of (very) petty theft. Between panels, Cho took a moment to talk about the origins of Shoplifter, his comics process, and the difficulty of drawing bad-tempered cats.

[Read more]

Jul 30 2014 11:30am

Lock In Sweepstakes!

John Scalzi’s highly anticipated new novel is out now from Tor Books! Lock In takes place twenty-five years after a highly contagious virus swept across the globe, leaving more than five million people locked in: fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. When a murder involving one of the locked in takes place, it’s up to FBI agents Chris Shane and Leslie Vann to navigate from the halls of corporate power to the virtual spaces of the locked in to the very heart of an emerging, surprising new human culture.

Even if you can’t catch Scalzi on tour, you can still enter for your chance to win one of five galley copies of Lock In now! Check for the rules below! 

[Read more]

Jul 30 2014 11:00am

Rocket Talk Episode 20: Kameron Hurley and Liz Bourke

Rocket Talk

In this episode of Rocket Talk, Justin brings Kameron Hurley and Liz Bourke on to talk about an enormous range of topics. Ostensibly inspired by Hurley's soon to be released The Mirror Empire, the discussion also covers the Hugo Awards, blog post writing, bad marketing jargon, and why The Mirror Empire kicks ass.

[Listen here!]

Jul 30 2014 10:30am

Under the Dome: “Reconciliation”

Under the Dome Reconciliation

This week, something new popped up under the dome. “Folks,” Julia Shumway said, delivering a speech at the end of this episode. “I said this morning that I thought it was time for us Millers to focus on our future.” I did a doubletake. Millers? Does Chester’s Mill have an actual family who own an actual mill that grinds their precious crops into flour? And there it was again in the end credits, “Scared Miller - Samantha Worthen.”

And suddenly I realized, the Millers are what the residents of Chester’s Mill call themselves. The way people from New York call themselves New Yorkers or people from France call themselves Francers. And this episode was all about their quest. Whether they’re credited as “Scared Miller,” or “Townsperson,” “Chester’s Mill Resident,” “Chester’s Mill Local,” “Diner Patron,” or even “Townsfolk” they’re all Millers, each and every one of them, and what they all yearn for is...a name.

[Read More]

Jul 30 2014 10:00am

Rereading Melanie Rawn: Dragon Prince, Chapters 3 and 4

Welcome back to the weekly Wednesday Reread of Dragon Prince! This week we’re doing a pair of chapters, and meeting our villain. Plus there’s some action-heroing.

Chapter 3

So This Happens: Chapter 3 introduces yet another cast of characters in a new setting. After all the setup and background, we finally see Castle Crag, and start to get a sense of Roelstra’s court and surroundings through the eyes of his mistress, Palila. Palila is a royal broodmare, working on pregnancy number five, and bound and determined that this one will be the High Prince’s first and only living son and heir.

[Read More]

Jul 30 2014 9:30am

Yes, Women Want to Be Thor—So Why is the New Avengers Line-up Cause For Ire?

Mjolnir, Thor's hammer

Oh, the fury. The rage of fans who rally against change, across the board. There are so many reasons for the anger, too. There’s the academic “I don’t like where my media is going, so this specific move is a harbinger of everything that’s wrong!” There’s the over-concerned “I just think they should be more creative when trying to open up properties to groups that have classically been overlooked.” There’s the brazen “Diversity is just pandering, and if that’s what my favorites stories have become, I’m out of here.”

[What’s wrong with Thor being a woman, again?]

Jul 30 2014 9:00am
Original Story

A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Proposed Trade-Offs for the Overhaul of the Barricade

Generation after generation, engineers have maintained the barricade, a shield that protects civilization against Turbulence, this strange force that destroys both minds and machines. As Turbulence grows ever more intense and the barricade begins to fail, can Ritter live up to the demands of his father, an engineer the equal of any hero in the Five Great Classical Novels, as they struggle to prevent this civilization from falling like every civilization has before it?

This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by consulting editor Ann VanderMeer.

[Read “A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Proposed Trade-Offs for the Overhaul of the Barricade” by John Chu]

Jul 30 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Sif From Thor Cosplays as Wolverine

Buzzfeed shared this amazing whosay post from Lady Sif herself! We’re not sure if Jaime Alexander walked the Con floor as Wolverine, but we’re glad she recorded this moment for history. And hey, Hugh Jackman’s going to retire eventually...

Morning Roundup has yet more news of Guardians of the Galaxy! Plus some thoughts on Gene Wolfe’s greatness, the next big heores from Stan Lee, and the future of moose-based horror!

[And speaking of horror, there’s some Cronenberg down there somewhere...]

Jul 29 2014 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: August Releases in Science Fiction

fiction affliction new releases scifi AugustAliens are busting out all over, with twenty-six new releases in science fiction this month. (Missing a favorite? Check tomorrow’s “Genre-Bender” column.) Look for new series releases from, among others, Whitley Strieber (Alien Hunter), John Varley (Thunder and Lightning), John Ringo (Black Tide Rising), Charles E. Gannon (Tales of the Terran Republic), Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson (Hellhole Trilogy), James Rollins (Sigma Force), Ann Aguirre (Dred Chronicles), and Pittacus Lore (Lorien Legacies).

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.

[Read about this month’s releases]

Jul 29 2014 4:30pm

Rothfuss, Hobb, Abercrombie, and More Put the Epic in Epic Fantasy!

The “Putting the Epic in Epic Fantasy” panel at San Diego Comic-Con brought some of our greatest fantasy names together! Brent Weeks moderated, with authors Django Wexler, Sam Sykes, Joe Abercrombie, Robin Hobb, Morgan Rhodes, Raymond E. Feist, and Patrick Rothfuss discussing influences (GRRM comes up...), “sketchy Dumbledore” scenarios, and the conventions of banking in Hyrule. Check out the full panel below!

[Why does everyone store their money in pots?]

Jul 29 2014 4:00pm

Diversity Beyond Borders: A Conversation with Charles Tan

Charles Tan Lauriat It’s been great to see a renewed media and reader focus on diversity in literature lately, but when we talk about diversity in the United States we typically focus on writers based in the US and UK.

I talked with writer and editor Charles Tan, who lives and works in the Philippines, about what issues around diversity look like from an international perspective.

[Read more...]