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. La Signora August 13, 2014 La Signora Bruce McAllister If love is not enough, then maybe death... Sleeper August 12, 2014 Sleeper Jo Walton It is best to embrace subjectivity.
From The Blog
August 22, 2014
Mercy Thompson Series Sweepstakes!
Sweepstakes
August 15, 2014
“Perhaps It Was Only an Echo”: The Giver
Natalie Zutter
August 15, 2014
We’re Holding Out for a (New) Hero: How Heroes and Villains are Evolving
Leah Schnelbach
August 14, 2014
Doctor Who: “Deep Breath” (Non-spoiler Review)
Chris Lough
August 13, 2014
Eight Essential Science Fiction Detective Mash-Ups
David Cranmer
Thu
Aug 21 2014 5:00pm

Answers from Brandon Sanderson at the When Words Collide Festival!

Tor.com reader/dedicated Sanderson fan Jeremy Guebert recently attended the When Words Collide festival in Calgary, and was not only gracious enough to crowdsource questions to ask Brandon, but has offered to share his notes from the Q&A, so that we can pore over and pick apart Brandon’s answers to our hearts’ delight! Topics include how we can help with the Mistborn movie, thoughts on worldhopping in the cosmere, and what might happen if Szeth wielded Nightblood from Warbreaker, nothing too spoilery as long as you’re all caught up on Words of Radiance, so check out Jeremy’s notes on the Q&A below, and his full con report here!

[Read More]

Thu
Aug 21 2014 4:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Sarah J. Maas

Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on Tor.com featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!

Today we’re joined by Sarah J. Maas, the New York Times bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series, including Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and five novellas. A New York native, Sarah currently lives in Southern California with her husband and dog.

Sarah’s patronus suggests that she is a very clever girl indeed...

[Join us!]

Thu
Aug 21 2014 3:30pm

Does Evangeline Lilly’s New Hairdo Mean She’s Playing Wasp in Ant-Man?

Evangeline Lilly Ant-Man haircut Wasp Hope Janet van Dyne Hank Pym backstory

When Marvel’s Ant-Man kicked off production earlier this week, they shared an official photo that was pretty snoozeville. Not so with the cast and crew’s Instagram shots, which give us a lot more to work with.

Take, for instance, this Instagram pic Evangeline Lilly shared yesterday. “How’s my new do?” she coyly asked fans, who immediately set to speculating that her blunt bob is looking very Wasp-ish.

[How the movie is tweaking Ant-Man’s backstory]

Thu
Aug 21 2014 3:00pm
Excerpt

The Seventh Sigil (Excerpt)

Margaret Weis and Robert Krammes

The Seventh Sigil Margaret Weis Robert Krammes excerpt Margaret Weis and co-author Robert Krammes bring the enthralling Dragon Brigade trilogy to a thrilling conclusion in The Seventh Sigil, a sweeping novel of worldwide war and personal redemption.

Five hundred years ago, a clan of rebels was banished to the bottom of the enchanted world of Aeronne; ever since, these Bottom Dwellers have sought revenge, and now they are waging all-out war on the rest of humanity. Their deadly “contramagic” beams destroy buildings and attack naval airships, and their demonic drumming brings terrible storms and disrupts the magic of the people and dragons Above. The attack of their full contramagic power will create a magical armageddon.

In an effort to prevent further death, Captain Stephano de Guichen leads the Dragon Brigade, taking the fight to the Bottom. But strength of arms alone will not be enough to conquer their foe.

As the Bottom Dwellers’ blood magic eats away at the world, those Above realize their only possible defense lies in the heretical secrets of contramagic. Loyal priests must decide whether to protect the Church, or risk its destruction in pursuit of the truth.

[Read an excerpt]

Thu
Aug 21 2014 2:30pm

Who Wants to Play Two Truths and A Lie with John Scalzi?

John Scalzi is celebrating the release of Lock In with a rousing game of Two Truths and a Lie! The game is simple: Scalzi tells three stories, and you guess which are the truths and which one is the big fat fib. Google Play is hosting the game, and that’s not all: they’re also offering e-books of the whole Scalzi backlist for 50% off!

Check out the video below, and then head over to Google Play to guess play along and and pick up Lock In or one of Scalzi’s other fine titles!

[Click through for LIES.]

Thu
Aug 21 2014 2:00pm

When Even Magic isn’t Enough: A Stranger at Green Knowe

A Stranger at Green Knowe does, I must say, start out on a strange note for a Green Knowe book, given that it starts not at that old and magical house, but rather deep in the African jungle with a family of gorillas.

A few jumps, roars, mildly questionable if well meaning descriptions of human African natives, and enthralled descriptions of the African jungles later, and poor little Hanno the Gorilla finds himself captured by a white hunter and taken to the London Zoo. His little sister gorilla doesn’t make it.

[It only gets slightly more cheerful from here.]

Thu
Aug 21 2014 1:30pm

Brandon Sanderson Takes the Ice Bucket Challenge!

Brandon Sanderson has taken the Ice Bucket Challenge! But he won’t let a few ice cubes get in the way of editing. And like Vin Diesel, who used his Ice Bucket Challenge to suggest that people also Plant a Tree for Groot, Sanderson is promoting another charity along with the ALSA: he’s donating additional money to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, in Sir Terry Pratchett’s name. Check out the video below! 

[ICESPREN.]

Thu
Aug 21 2014 1:20pm

In an Alternate Universe, Pierce Brosnan Was Tim Burton’s Batman

Pierce Brosnan almost Batman Tim Burton Reddit AMA

You think Pierce Brosnan, you think 1990s-to-early-2000s Bond, James Bond. But did you know that he almost helmed a very different franchise with a B-named character?

[Read more]

Thu
Aug 21 2014 1:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Feast for Crows, Part 27

Song of Ice and Fire A Feast For CrowsWelcome back to A Read of Ice and Fire! Please join me as I read and react, for the very first time, to George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.

Today’s entry is Part 27 of A Feast for Crows, in which we cover Chapter 37 (“Brienne”) and Chapter 38 (“Jaime”).

Previous entries are located in the Index. The only spoilers in the post itself will be for the actual chapters covered and for the chapters previous to them. As for the comments, please note that the Powers That Be have provided you a lovely spoiler thread here on Tor.com. Any spoileriffic discussion should go there, where I won’t see it. Non-spoiler comments go below, in the comments to the post itself.

And now, the post!

[“Best thing for him, really. His therapy was going nowhere.”]

Thu
Aug 21 2014 12:00pm

Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 10

Welcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com! Last week Kaladin returned to the chasms to initiate new bridgemen and find out something about his own powers. While he was exploring himself, I was experiencing London during this year’s Worldcon. That was a fantastic experience, and contained a lot of triumph for Tor.com, but it means that I only got back to the states yesterday and haven’t had a lot of time for the reread. Luckily, this week’s chapter is extremely short.

This reread will contain spoilers for The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and any other Cosmere books that become relevant. Be ye aware. This post only spoils the later parts of this book, but who knows what might appear in the comments section?

[Read More]

Thu
Aug 21 2014 11:00am

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: John Scalzi (Part Two)

Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on Tor.com featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!

We’re joined once again by John Scalzi, one of the most popular and acclaimed SF authors to emerge in the last decade. His massively successful debut Old Man’s War won him science fiction’s John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and Redshirts won 2013’s Hugo Award for Best Novel. Material from his widely read blog The Whatever has also earned him two other Hugo Awards.

Scalzi’s new science fiction thriller, Lock In, is available August 26th from Tor Books! Read the first five chapters here on Tor.com for free, and listen to audiobook excerpts narrated by Amber Benson and Wil Wheaton!

Check out the first part of Scalzi’s pop quiz, then read on!

[Read More]

Thu
Aug 21 2014 10:00am

The Harry Potter Reread: The Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapters 3 and 4

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban coverThe Harry Potter reread is thinking about infusing some liquor to make firewhiskey a reality—but what would it taste like? (Don’t say Fireball, that is wrong.) Does infusing whiskey with Adobo peppers sound like a good idea? With cinnamon or without? How much fun were American wizard speakeasies back during Prohibition?

The plot is thickening in a mysterious manner on the reread! We’re about to take tea with the Minister of Magic and get a peek and the newly minted Firebolt broom line! It’s Chapters 3 and 4 of The Prisoner of Azkaban—The Knight Bus and The Leaky Cauldron.

Index to the reread can be located here! Other Harry Potter and Potter-related pieces can be found under their appropriate tag. And of course, since we know this is a reread, all posts might contain spoilers for the entire series. If you haven’t read all the Potter books, be warned.

[Read more]

Thu
Aug 21 2014 9:30am

Thirty Years On: Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman and the Legacy of Mortality

Dragons of Winter Night Margaret Weis Tracy Hickman The best thing Sturm Brightblade ever did was die.

I did not discover literature of any kind until I was about eleven, or ten. I was, without a sliver of a doubt, a no good, lazy slacker of a child, and after I discovered literature, I was totally and utterly a no good, lazy slacker of a child who read books. A lot of books, good and bad, but my favourite—the books I read and reread in my teens—were by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. Specifically, I had a deep and complete love for the Dragonlance Chronicles. First published in 1984 when I was nothing more than sticks of bone at seven, Dragons of Autumn Twilight began what would be one of the icons of my grunge stained disenchanted childhood. I know it all, back and front, left and right and, thirty years after the first book began the series, I still remember the scenes at the end of Dragons of Winter Night, where Sturm Brightblade slowly and surely, walked to the top of a tower to fight a dragon with little more than the sword his father left him.

[He died, of course.]

Thu
Aug 21 2014 9:00am

Highlights from a Conversation Between George R.R. Martin and Robin Hobb

George R R Martin Robin Hobb

George R.R. Martin and Robin Hobb appeared earlier this week at an event hosted by HarperVoyager UK, discussing how they build their fictional universes, create their characters and balance fantasy and reality; about their influences and inspirations, their struggles and successes. Jane Johnson, the editor for both Robin Hobb and George R. R. Martin, hosted the conversation.

From a trio of gilded thrones at the front of Freemason’s Hall in London, Martin, Hobb, and Johnson imparted wisdom to a packed crowd. Johnson started the event with some thrilling news: Game of Thrones had recently won a Hugo Award for the “Rains of Castamere” episode, and Hobb’s latest novel Fool’s Assassin will debut on the bestseller list at #4!

[Highlights from the evening]

Thu
Aug 21 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Jean Grey Knows We’re Miserable Now

Poor Cyclops

We know, we know. It’s serious.

Morning Roundup barrels toward you in a double-decker bus full of links! Every day is Arbor Day if you’re Groot, the burly Rocket is just kinda weird, and Margaret Atwood talks about Maddaddam!

[Oh, and LEGO GHOSTBUSTERS.]

Wed
Aug 20 2014 5:00pm

Short and to the Point: We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory

We Are All Completely Fine Daryl Gregory review We Are All Completely Fine, recently released by Tachyon Publications, is a fresh novella from Daryl Gregory—clocking in at under two-hundred pages, it’s more or less an afternoon’s reading. The conceit of the piece is that the characters are all part of a therapy group for the “last survivor” (read: Final Girl, Final Boy) of supernatural catastrophe or violence; it’s a fairly metafictional mashup between a Lovecraftian universe and the more staid/predictable world of horror film.

I’m generally pleased to see presses—generally independent or small, like Tachyon—tackling the work of publishing stand-alone novellas; it’s an interesting length and form that doesn’t get as much show-room as it could use. So, while I’m perhaps outside of the general audience for much straight-up horror fiction, I thought I’d give this one a look; the story’s self-referential slyness and Gregory’s talented prose were also motivating factors.

[A review.]

Wed
Aug 20 2014 4:30pm

Mortal Gods Sweepstakes!

Win a galley of Mortal Gods by Kendare Blake, out from Tor Books on October 14th!

Cassandra Weaver is a weapon of fate. The girl who kills gods. But all she wants is for the god she loved and lost to return to life. If she can’t have that, then the other gods will burn, starting with his murderer, Aphrodite.

The ensuing war takes her and her uncertain ally, the goddess Athena, across the globe, searching for lost gods, old enemies, and Achilles, the greatest warrior the world has ever seen. As the struggle escalates, Athena and Cassandra must find a way to work together. Because if they can’t, fates far worse than death await.

 Check for the rules below! 

[Read more]

Wed
Aug 20 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

City of Stairs (Excerpt)

Robert Jackson Bennett

Robert Jackson Bennett City of Stairs excerptThe city of Bulikov once wielded the powers of the gods to conquer the world, enslaving and brutalizing millions—until its divine protectors were killed. Now Bulikov has become just another colonial outpost of the world’s new geopolitical power, but the surreal landscape of the city itself—first shaped, now shattered, by the thousands of miracles its guardians once worked upon it—stands as a constant, haunting reminder of its former supremacy.

Into this broken city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the unassuming young woman is just another junior diplomat sent by Bulikov’s oppressors. Unofficially, she is one of her country’s most accomplished spies, dispatched to catch a murderer. But as Shara pursues the killer, she starts to suspect that the beings who ruled this terrible place may not be as dead as they seem—and that Bulikov’s cruel reign may not yet be over.

An atmospheric and intrigue-filled novel of dead gods, buried histories, and a mysterious, protean city—Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Stairs is available September 9th from Crown Publishing.

[Read an excerpt]

Wed
Aug 20 2014 3:00pm

Second Sight: Visions by Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong Visions reviewOlivia Taylor-Jones is back and just as kick-ass as ever in Visions, Kelley Armstrong’s bewitching second entry in her Cainsville series. When we first met Liv, her whole life was shattered with the revelation that her wealthy parents had adopted her after her bio parents were sent to jail as notorious serial killers. Her mundane world got a helluva lot more magical once she realized her weird little superstitions were really omens and portents of death and despair. Suddenly, the former socialite found herself at the center of an epic, timeless battle between Team Fate and Team Free Will.

After the deadly events of Omens, Liv, formerly Eden Larsen, takes a part time gig as an investigator with Gabriel Walsh, her hulking defense attorney. Ostensibly they’re looking into her parents’ convictions - the Larsens maintain their innocence, the courts say otherwise, and the evidence is circumstantial and ambiguous - but it wouldn’t be Cainsville if there weren’t a million plays and counter plays roiling around under the surface.

[“There’s a dead woman in my car.”]

Wed
Aug 20 2014 2:00pm

Under the Dome: “Awakening”

Under the Dome Awakening

That darn Dome has been over Chester’s Mill for two weeks, and in just 14 days it has been magnetized, rained acid blood, gotten clogged with dust, been infested with butterflies, Barbie has almost been hung, Big Jim has almost been hung, Sheriff DJ Phil has been shot, Wendell has been shot, Sheriff Linda has been crushed, Angie has been chopped, a dead girl has come back to life, a plane has hit the Dome, a fire station has exploded, a locker has exploded, a pig virus has been viraled, a food shortage has shorted, a lite genocide has been planned (then canceled), and a windmill has been milled.

To better wrap your brain around these events, redditor u/Wadam1230 has edited every “previously on Under the Dome” recap into a single supercut of madness. But as Big Jim has taught us, people can change, and this week we discover...so can Under the Dome.

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