Nightshades Sweepstakes!

We want to send you a galley copy of Melissa F. Olson’s Nightshades, available July 19th from Tor.com Publishing!

Alex McKenna is the new Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago office of the Bureau of Paranormal Investigations—the division tasked with investigating crimes involving shades.

Or vampires, as they’re more widely known.

Children have been going missing, and agents are routinely being slaughtered. It’s up to McKenna, and some unlikely allies, to get to the bottom of the problem, and find the kids before it’s too late.

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 12:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on June 28th. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on July 2nd. 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.

Our Predictions for Game of Thrones Season 7

Winter is Here! The winds of winter are blowing! Season 6 of Game of Thrones is over and now the long wait for Season 7 has begun. FireandLunch has had a blast discussing this season via the lens of book-readers with you all at Tor and we’re here again to help you endure the wait for Season 7.

We’re scrying into our fires and scouring the books to present our predictions for HBO’s Game of Thrones Season 7. As always, tons of book spoilers will be found below. Tell us your own predictions in the comments!

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Series: HBO’s Game of Thrones

The Fifty-Year Mission is the People’s History of Star Trek

In 1967 when Gene Roddenberry was accused of personally organizing scores of protesting fans who physically demonstrated in front of NBC Studios to keep Star Trek on the air he said “That’s very flattering, because if I could start demonstrations around the country from this desk, I’d get the hell out of science fiction and into politics.” This quote is one of thousands found in the new book, The Fifty-Year Mission: The Complete Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek: Volume One: The First 25 Years by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman. It’s the first volume of two, and like that Roddenberry quip; the entire text shines a bright light on the chasm between what you think you know about the history of Star Trek and what the history of Star Trek really was.

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Sleeps With Monsters: Urban Fantasy, Space Opera, and Historical Mystery All Walk Into A Bar

There are days when I wish I didn’t need sleep. If I didn’t need sleep, my to-be-read pile might grow at a slower rate. And I might finally come within striking distance of catching up.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t have a few books I’d like to tell you about today. One urban fantasy set in the north of England, one historical murder mystery set in 1839 Mississippi, and one debut space opera, set in a matriarchal empire beset by enemies foreign and domestic…

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Series: Sleeps With Monsters

Mur Lafferty’s The Shambling Guide to New York City to Become a Netflix Movie

Netflix’s latest foray into the feature film game is an intriguing one: Tracking Board announces that the streaming service will adapt Mur Lafferty’s The Shambling Guide to New York City, about a travel writer who must write a guide to the Big Apple… for monsters and the undead. Sarah Bowen, Netflix’s Director of Content Acquisition, will oversee the project; she was a producer on two of Netflix’s recent features, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny and Pee-wee’s Big Holiday.

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Five Books In Which Superpowers Have Unfortunate Side Effects

I’ve always been drawn to books with characters whose abilities represent a classic double-edged sword, both blessing and curse. Think Incredible Hulk—unbelievably strong, capable of protecting both himself and others, but also out of control, unable to clearly remember who he is or what he’s doing when he’s in that transformed state. When it comes to such powerful characters, the double-edged ability is a great way to explore the dark-side of awesomeness, to render someone who is untouchable painfully relatable. The unfortunate side effects and consequences of special powers also bring balance and tension into a story, where power alone would limit the tale to simple answers and quick resolution.

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Series: Five Books About…

The Fifty-Year Mission

Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman’s The Fifty-Year Mission: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek: The First 25 Years is the unauthorized, uncensored and unbelievable true story behind the making of a pop culture phenomenon. The original Star Trek series debuted in 1966 and has spawned five TV series spin-offs and a dozen feature films, with an upcoming one from Paramount arriving in 2016. The Fifty-Year Mission is a no-holds-barred oral history of five decades of Star Trek, told by the people who were there. Hear from the hundreds of television and film executives, programmers, writers, creators and cast as they unveil the oftentimes shocking story of Star Trek‘s ongoing fifty-year mission—a mission that has spanned from the classic series to the animated show, the many attempts at a relaunch through the beloved feature films.

Make no mistake, this isn’t just a book for Star Trek fans. Here is a volume for all fans of pop culture and anyone interested in the nuts and bolts of a television touchstone. In this exclusive excerpt from the new book (courtesy of Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press), Gross and Altman reveal the secret of the lost Star Trek movie, Planet of the Titans.

The Fifty-Year Mission: The First 25 Years, the definitive and exhaustive oral history of Star Trek, is available as of June 28 at bookstores everywhere and online. The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years will be published on August 30.

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Independence Day: Resurgence is Just Happy to Be Back, You Guys

One of the very first classes I took in high school was a required English comp course, one that every student, including myself, was dreading. To break the ice on that nervous, greasy-eyed day in late 1996, the teacher asked each of us what movie we had most enjoyed seeing over the summer. Most of us answered: Independence Day. Sure, it was loud and simplistic, but we had never before seen entire cities being wiped out, never been able to conceptualize massive and realistic alien craft, never had to consider being confronted with such an inescapable threat until that movie came out.

I answered Independence Day, as well, of course. Not so much because of the spectacle, but because I loved imagining where the story could go after the ending. What would humanity do with all that new technology? Would we be able to live in harmony with the surviving aliens? Would the planetary alliance last beyond the great battle? Independence Day was fun, but I really wanted to know what came next after such a civilization-altering event.

I would have to wait twenty years.

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Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga: Barrayar, Chapters 1-2

Last week, we finished with Shards of Honor and its unofficial epilogue, “Aftermaths.” This week, we’re staring Barrayar! The third book in the Vorkosigan Saga in chronological order, but the fourth in publication order, Barrayar won both the Hugo Award for best novel and the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction novel in 1992. The book has been through a number of publishing formats in a lot of places, and it has a lot of cover art.

If you’d like to catch up on previous posts in the reread, the index is here. At this time, the spoiler policy permits discussion of all books EXCEPT Gentlemen Jole and the Red Queen. Discussion of any and all revelations from or about that book should be whited out.

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Series: Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga

City of Wolves

Alexander Drake, Investigator for Hire, doesn’t like working for the Nobility, and doesn’t prefer to take jobs from strange men who accost him in alleyways. A combination of hired muscle and ready silver have a way of changing a man’s mind.

A lord has been killed, his body found covered in bite marks. Even worse, the late lord’s will is missing, and not everyone wants Drake to find it. Solving the case might plunge Drake into deeper danger.

City of Wolves is a gaslamp fantasy noir from debut author Willow Palecek—available July 26th from Tor.com Publishing!

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The Last Adventure of Constance Verity Sweepstakes!

We want to send you a copy of A. Lee Martinez’s The Last Adventure of Constance Verity, available July 5th from Saga Press!

Constance Verity has been saving the world since she was seven, and she’s sick of it. She sets off on one last adventure to reset her destiny and become the one thing she’s never been: ordinary.

Ever since she was granted a wish at birth by her fairy godmother, Constance Verity has become the world’s great adventurer. She is a master of martial arts, a keen detective, and possesses a collection of strange artifacts. Constance has spent the past twenty-eight years saving the world, and she’s tired of it. All she wants is to work in an office and date a nice, normal guy. And she’s figured a way out. The only problem is that saving the world is Constance’s destiny. She’s great at it, and there are forces at work to make sure she stays in the job.

Then again, it’s also her destiny to have a glorious death.

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 1:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on June 27th. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on July 1st. 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.