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
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
August 15, 2014
“Perhaps It Was Only an Echo”: The Giver
Natalie Zutter
Thu
Aug 28 2014 10:00am

Darth Vader is Kind of a Time Traveler

Even though Han never leaps through a donut-shaped pulsating portal, Luke doesn’t twirl a cool hourglass necklace around, and Leia never hits 88 mph in a Delorean; time travel might still exist in one specific way in the Star Wars galaxy. Clairvoyance—that wonderful ability to see or sense the future—totally does exist, and in three specific incidents impacts the plots of the films. And if you can send messages into the past from the future, then clairvoyance (or precognition) in Star Wars suddenly becomes a timey-wimey plot device that (kind of?) brings balance to the Force.

[Read more]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 9:00am

Tasty, Tasty Angst: Sarah J. Maas’s Heir of Fire

Throne of Glass Heir of Fire Sarah J Maas review I have a confession to make. A guilty secret, if you like: Sarah J. Maas’s first two novels, Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, are the kind of books I love to hate. Implausible, inconsistent in characterisation, populated by protagonists who are all in their own way some variety of Mary Sue, operating according to Opposite World logic, and with the kind of scattershot worldbuilding and wrongness-in-small-details that makes me bang my head against walls, they nonetheless possess an indefinable quality that keeps me reading all the way to the end. I think it may be the tasty tasty angst.

Heir of Fire is the third volume in Maas’s ongoing series about youthful assassin Celaena Sardothien. It marks the first occasion where I feel that Maas may one day mature into a writer whose work I enjoy in its own right, and not mainly for the pleasure I find in taking it apart.

[Read More]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: OMG Star Trek: Next Gen Cast Please Just Reunite on TV

Star Trek Universe shared a selfie!

Morning Roundup has a giant teetering pile of links for you! We’ve got Hugo vote breakdowns, free stories, musings on the newest novels by David Mitchell and Haruki Murakami, and banned cartoons!

[Plus ]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 7:00am

The Varied Life of Jack Vance

Jack Vance Art by David A. JohnsonThere’s one thing I’ve learned from researching our founding SFF authors: writers used to be a hell of a lot cooler. Not to insult any of our modern masters—far from it! They’re doing their best with the era they were dealt. But skim over Ryan Britt’s article about Harlan Ellison. Take a look at Robert Heinlein’s life, or Kurt Vonnegut’s, or Frank Herbert’s or Philip K. Dick’s. You’ll find stories of street brawls, epic rivalries, tumultuous love lives, hallucinations. And then you get to Jack Vance, and the more you read the more you expect to learn that the man wrestled tigers for fun.

[Actually, he wrestled with more interesting things than tigers...]

Wed
Aug 27 2014 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: Genre-Benders for September

fiction affliction new releases september genre bendersTwenty-six books wander between genres this month, from alternative histories to steampunk mysteries. Look for series additions from, among others, Kat Zhang (Hybrid Chronicles), Bec McMaster (London Steampunk), and David Barnett (Gideon Smith), as well as story collections from Margaret Atwood, Terry Pratchett, and the late Jay Lake.

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.]

Wed
Aug 27 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

Unraveled (Excerpt)

Gennifer Albin Crewel World Unraveled excerpt Things have changed behind the walls of the Coventry, and new threats lurk in its twisted corridors. When Adelice returns to Arras, she quickly learns that something rotten has taken hold of the world, and now Cormac Patton needs her to help him reestablish order.

However, peace comes at a terrible price. As the Guild manipulates the citizens of Arras, Adelice discovers that she’s not alone, and she must let go of her past to fight for mankind’s future. She will have to choose between an unimaginable alliance and a deadly war that could destroy everyone she loves.

Gennifer Albin’s Crewel World series continues in Unraveled, available October 7th from Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Read an excerpt below!

[Read an excerpt]

Wed
Aug 27 2014 3:30pm

The Brothers Cabal Sweepstakes!

We want to send one of our ten galleys of The Brothers Cabal by Jonathan L. Howard, out on September 30th!

 Horst Cabal has risen from the dead. Again. Horst, the most affable vampire one is ever likely to meet, is resurrected by an occult conspiracy that wants him as a general in a monstrous army. Their plan: to create a country of horrors, a supernatural homeland. As Horst sees the lengths to which they are prepared to go and the evil they cultivate, he realizes that he cannot fight them alone. What he really needs on his side is a sarcastic, amoral, heavily armed necromancer.

As luck would have it, this exactly describes his brother.

Comment in the post to enter!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States and D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec). To enter, comment on this post beginning at 3:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on August 27. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on August 31. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Tor.com, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

Wed
Aug 27 2014 3:00pm

Lois Lane Gets Her Own YA Novel With Virtual Reality Video Games and Internet Romance

Lois Lane young adult YA novel Fallout virtual reality video games cyberbullying Instant Messenger Clark Kent Superman DC Comics

When DC Comics publisher Dan DiDio hinted last year that “we have big plans for Lois Lane in 2014,” we assumed that meant her own comic, in time for Superman’s 75th anniversary. Instead, Lois’ first real solo project will be a young adult novel called Fallout, by Gwenda Bond.

Much like Dean Trippe’s excellent (and, sadly, rejected) Lois Lane: Girl Reporter pitch, Fallout aims to introduce Lois to an entirely new generation of comics fans and reporter wannabes. And they’re doing so in the most Millennial way possible.

[Read more]

Wed
Aug 27 2014 2:00pm

Under the Dome: “The Red Door”

Under the Dome The Red Door

One day in the not-too-distant future someone will stand trial for illegally downloading Under the Dome and the judge will ask, “Is this the television program that features grown men standing in a room shouting about a make believe egg? Ham-handed Guantanamo Bay metaphors? A woman drawing pictures with poo? Dwight Yoakam in an ill-fitting white undershirt? And a gang of imbeciles running across a lawn and hiding in a root cellar?” And the prosecutor will say, “Yes, your honor. That would be episode 9.” And the judge will say, “I dismiss all charges. By watching this episode the accused has been punished enough.” And everyone in the world will cheer.

As Sam Verdreaux says, buckle up kids, it’s about to get a lot weirder. Welcome to episode 9 of Under the Dome.

[Read More]

Wed
Aug 27 2014 1:00pm

Rereading Melanie Rawn: Dragon Prince, Chapters 10 and 11

Melanie Rawn Dragon Prince rereadWelcome to the weekly Wednesday reread of Dragon Prince! This week we begin a new section, with two new chapters. Rohan and Roelstra finally meet, Sioned and Tobin go to the Fair, and Sioned attracts attention in dangerous places.

Part Two: The Rialla
Chapter 10

So This Happens: Rohan sets out for the Rialla with a relatively small retinue and no great state. Tobin and Chay, having left the children behind with their grandmother in Stronghold, are taking a sort of second honeymoon. Sioned is not in good condition, but Rohan can’t afford to single her out. He concentrates instead on his three new vassals, and on the remarkable virtues of Camigwen and Ostvel as organizers of the expedition.

[Read More]

Wed
Aug 27 2014 12:53pm

Oh Crap, Shadows That Eat People are Real and They’ve Been Protecting Our Books For Centuries

Vashta Nerada Doctor Who

No, you’re overreacting.

So, a few years ago Steven Moffat introduced a monster to Doctor Who called the Vashta Nerada who were basically a cloud of microscopic carnivores and who you could only tell were around because suddenly you had an extra shadow and oh crap they’re going to eat you they ARE eating you and there’s nothing you can do.

We find out that these critters actually live in books because their natural habitat is trees and book paper and oh look, this guy over at Scientific American is pointing out that there are REAL animals on Earth who are basically this annnnd they’re scorpions. Book scorpions.

[BOOK SCORPIONS, PEOPLE]

Wed
Aug 27 2014 12:00pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: The Crippled God, Chapter Fourteen

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 chapter fourteen 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
Aug 27 2014 11:30am

Why We’re Creating Uncanny, a Real Magazine with a Fake History (and a Space Unicorn)

In the late 1930s, a group of dissatisfied SF/F fans pooled their resources and pitched a magazine to a dubious magazine publisher recently released from prison after serving time for seditious activities with some degenerate marmots. That magazine was called Uncanny. He loved their idea and immediately stole it. Known for its literary quality, Space Unicorn mascot, off-kilter stories, and letter column where fans argued books, politics, and cabbage roll recipes, Uncanny ran for decades as the seventh most popular pulp magazine.

When not arguing about the proper fillings for a cabbage roll, the readers found themselves developing a sense of community. As one bright woman in the letter column opined, even mythical creatures in space need to hang out with other friends on occasion to swap and discuss great stories. Uncanny readers began referring to themselves as members of the Space Unicorn Rangers Corps, reflecting the inclusivity and originality of perspectives inherent in its readership.

[Read More]

Wed
Aug 27 2014 11:00am

Rocket Talk Episode 24: Foz Meadows and Aidan Moher Recap WorldCon

Rocket Talk

In this episode of Rocket Talk, Justin invites Hugo-nominated blogger Foz Meadows and Hugo-winning blogger Aidan Moher on the show to talk about their experience at Loncon3 and the Hugo Awards ceremony. Their conversation covers the convention itself, the winners and losers of the Hugo Award, the nature of fandom, how fandom is evolving, and finishes with a few book recommendations for the voracious genre reader.

[Listen here!]

Wed
Aug 27 2014 10:00am

Mary Poppins is a Wizard Who Literally Sings Her Spells

Mary Poppins

Some might say science fiction or fantasy is inaccessible because the settings are unrealistic or the characters exhibit extraordinary or magical abilities. And yet, alternate realities in which people, creatures, and sometimes inanimate objects break into song are totally mainstream. Musicals like West Side Story or The Sound of Music might not qualify as fantasy just for existing in these singing-heavy dimensions, but what about when there’s overt magic involved too?

The film version of Mary Poppins is lousy with magical singing, by which I mean singing that is actually magic-inducing. She’s casting spells in a bizarro dimension using only the power of her perfectly on-key voice. No, really.

[Read more]

Wed
Aug 27 2014 9:30am

Trigger Warning, Neil Gaiman’s New Short Fiction Collection, Coming in February

Mediabistro is reporting that Neil Gaiman's newest short story collection is nigh! Gaiman responded to a question on his Tumblr, saying “I’m finishing the very last short story of the next collection RIGHT NOW. Everything else has been written: the stories, the introduction, all that…” The collection, which will be titled Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances, is scheduled to come out February 3rd—which gives us plenty of time to speculate about which genre a “disturbance” belongs to, exactly—but also YAY new Neil Gaiman short fiction collection! Smoke & Mirrors and Fragile Things are still our go-to comfort food.

Wed
Aug 27 2014 9:15am

Read “Unlocked,” the Free Prequel Novella to John Scalzi’s Lock In

Lock In John Scalzi Unlocked prequel

At first it seems like the flu. Then you’re permanently trapped inside your body. Awake and unable to scream. You’re “locked in.”

Read “Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden’s Syndrome,” the FREE science fiction novella prequel to John Scalzi’s new book Lock In and learn how humanity began to transform itself as it slowly learned how to become free from the bonds of its own flesh.

Wed
Aug 27 2014 9:00am
Original Story

A Cup of Salt Tears

Makino’s mother taught her caution, showed her how to carve her name into cucumbers, and insisted that she never let a kappa touch her. But when she grows up and her husband Tetsuya falls deathly ill, a kappa that claims to know her comes calling with a barbed promise. “A Cup of Salt Tears” is a dark fantasy leaning towards horror that asks how much someone should sacrifice for the one she loves.

This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by acquiring editor Carl Engle-Laird.

[Read “A Cup of Salt Tears” by Isabel Yap]

Wed
Aug 27 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: In the Name of the Moon, He Will Rock You!

Hugh Casey shared T@KUTO’s amazing Sailor Mercury! If you’re looking for somebody to love, we’re guessing he’ll be your champion. Radio Ga-Ga.

Morning Roundup delves into Weird Al’s Emmy’s medley, takes a serious look at a clash of fandoms, and calls out a few treacherous 20-sided dice!

[Plus Jibber Jabber with the Simpsons writers!]

Tue
Aug 26 2014 5:35pm

John Scalzi and Apple Answer All the Things! (About Lock In)

John Scalzi Twitter Apple Chat Lock In

John Scalzi took to Twitter in conjunction with Apple iBooks for a chat during Tuesday afternoon, answering questions about his new novel, Lock In under the hashtag #AskScalzi. Apple started things off, asking questions about Scalzi’s blog, the ideas behind Lock In, and the possibilities of a follow up! Then they turned things over to the fans, who asked about everything from Old Man’s War to Redshirts. Check out the recap below, and head over to iBooks to order your copy of Lock In.

[Snark as far as the eye can see...]