Midway Relics and Dying Breeds September 24, 2014 Midway Relics and Dying Breeds Seanan McGuire Between the roots and the sky. The Golden Apple of Shangri-La September 23, 2014 The Golden Apple of Shangri-La David Barnett A Gideon Smith story. Selfies September 17, 2014 Selfies Lavie Tidhar Smile for the camera. When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami September 16, 2014 When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami Kendare Blake A Goddess Wars story
From The Blog
September 25, 2014
After Paris: Meta, Irony, Narrative, Frames, and The Princess Bride
Jo Walton
September 23, 2014
It’s All About the Benjamins in Sleepy Hollow: “This is War”
Leah Schnelbach
September 23, 2014
The Death of Adulthood in American Culture: Nerd Culture Edition
Lindsay Ellis
September 22, 2014
Five Brilliant Things About Doctor Who “Time Heist”
Paul Cornell
September 19, 2014
“WCKD is Good,” But The Maze Runner is Bad
Natalie Zutter
Sep 30 2014 5:00pm

Popcorn Reading: The Lost Stars: Imperfect Sword by Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell Lost Stars Imperfect Sword review I have a small wee habit of complaining about the difficulties of reviewing series books. And yet I still find myself saying “Oh yes, definitely, I’ll review that! Love to!”

If you’re already familiar with Jack Campbell’s The Lost Stars series, a spin-off to his ever-longer-running The Lost Fleet sequence, you already know whether or not you’re interested in reading this one. You also know what you can expect: Campbell is nothing if not predictable. If you’re not familiar with this series, here isn’t the place to start: The Lost Stars: Imperfect Sword is the third book in a series that began with The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight and continued in The Lost Stars: Perilous Shield.

[Read More]

Sep 30 2014 4:30pm

Laika’s The Boxtrolls Will Knock Your Box Off

The Boxtrolls

The latest film from the brilliant minds and hands at animation studio Laika (Coraline, ParaNorman), The Boxtrolls comes to the big screen laden with quite a set of expectations. With Pixar now apparently passé (what, no one liked Cars 2?), animation fans seem to have pinned their collective hopes and dreams on Portland-based Laika as the shiny new face of original storytelling in animated features. Frankly, that’s a lot of weight for one little film to bear, and in the face of mixed early reviews, I’ll admit that I braced myself for crushing disappointment as I walked into the theater this weekend.

Well good news, boys and girls, your hopes and dreams are safe with Laika for one day more: The Boxtrolls is charming, inventive, and beautifully realized in gorgeous stop-motion animation.

[Read more]

Sep 30 2014 4:00pm

Fiction Affliction: October Releases in Science Fiction

Fiction Affliction new releases science fiction OctoberTwenty-nine new releases appear on the science fiction shelves this month, with space making a comeback and the young-adult takeover continuing. (Missing a favorite? Check tomorrow’s “Genre-Bender” column.)

Look for new series releases from, among others, Ann Leckie (Imperial Radch), Jack Campbell (The Lost Stars), Dan Krokos (The Planet Thieves), Ramez Naam (Nexus), and Mike Shepherd (Kris Longknife). Also check out new anthologies edited by Rick Wilber (Field of Fantasies: Baseball Stories), Ellen Datlow (Nightmare Carnival), and Hank Davis (The Baen Big Book of Monsters).

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.]

Sep 30 2014 3:20pm

Visit Tor Books at New York Comic-Con and New York Super Week!

Tor Books NYCC schedule 2014

Celebrating the 27th year in a row of being named LOCUS Magazine's Best Publisher, Tor Books has tons of exciting programming for both New York Comic-Con 2014 and the first-ever New York Super Week!

Visit them at booth #2223 for author signings and giveaways, and check out our geeky game show at the Javits Center. Plus, you can swing by Barnes & Noble for a Family Feud-style showdown between sci-fi and fantasy authors, and check out an erotic fanfiction showdown at The Bell House!

[Check out the full Tor Books schedule for Super Week and NYCC!]

Sep 30 2014 3:05pm

Cleaning Up After George Washington: Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution

Sleepy Hollow Children of the Revolution Keith R A DeCandido review

Keith R.A. DeCandido, our faithful Tor.com Deep Space 9 Rewatcher, has had a long and fabulous career writing SFF. In addition to original work like The Klingon Art of War and Dragon Precinct, he has written tie-in novels for shows including Star Trek, Buffy, Supernatural, Doctor Who. This week he adds to his fictional family with the first Sleepy Hollow tie-in novel: Children of the Revolution.

The narrative travels from Sleepy Hollow to the Astor Court of the Met, from Fort Ticonderoga to the Bronx. It ranges over New York’s history from 1776 all the way up to last January, and fills in some great bits of Ichabod’s backstory, as well as giving us a more emotional portrait of Ichabod, Abbie, Capt. Irving, and Jenny. But, most important, there’s a new mystery, and it involves Irving’s past!

[Read more]

Sep 30 2014 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “Honor Among Thieves”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Honor Among Thieves“Honor Among Thieves”
Written by Philip Kim and Rene Echevarria
Directed by Allan Eastman
Season 6, Episode 15
Production episode 40510-539
Original air date: February 21, 1998
Stardate: unknown

Station log: O’Brien is sitting in a bar on Farius Prime, in shabby civilian clothes. He’s been there for several weeks, under the name “Connolly,” eavesdropping on three members of the Orion Syndicate: Liam Bilby, Flith, and Krole. Today, they’re discussing how Raimus is going to be disappointed about the faulty merchandise. They get hungry and decide to order food via a com-booth. Krole hacks into the booth so they can charge the food to someone else, but before he can finish the transaction, O’Brien touches a control on a device, which immediately hits Krole with a nasty electric charge. O’Brien then runs up to “save” Krole from being “spiked.” It also fuses Krole’s implant that he used. O’Brien offers to fix the implant. He professes ignorance as to who Bilby and the others are, but Bilby has seen him tinkering with junk for weeks, so he’s obviously down on his luck.

O’Brien then meets with his handler, Chadwick. Five Starfleet Intelligence operatives have been killed by the Syndicate, so there’s obviously a mole in SI. O’Brien’s job is to find the mole, and he got the gig because he’s not in SI.

[Back home, wherever that is, do you have a family?]

Sep 30 2014 2:53pm

Brandon Sanderson Reveals Longer First Chapter From Stormlight Archive Book 3

Stormlight Archive book 3 chapter

If you receive Brandon Sanderson’s newsletter then you were in for a treat this week, as a longer more polished version of the opening chapter of Stormlight Archive book 3 was included in the email!

Sanderson originally read a rough draft of this chapter at Salt Lake City’s FantasyCon in July. The most recent version is twice as long, and can be read below.

It’s a Kaladin chapter and Words of Radiance spoilers are immediately present. Proceed with caution!

[Read an opening chapter from Stormlight Archive book 3]

Sep 30 2014 2:30pm

Gotham: “Selina Kyle”

Gotham Selina Kyle

This week on Batman Minus Batman Gotham: self-harm! Child trafficking! Drunk driving! Lots of creepos being creepy! Metal \m/ ! And an adolescent homeless girl who insists on calling herself “Cat.”

[SPOILERS ahead]

Sep 30 2014 2:00pm

Short Fiction Spotlight: The Dream Sequence

Dream London Tony Ballantyne

Welcome back to the Short Fiction Spotlight, a weekly column dedicated to doing exactly what it says in the header: shining a light on the some of the best and most relevant fiction of the aforementioned form.

“Smart, stylish, and as alarming as it is indubitably alluring, Dream London deftly demonstrates that the weird still has a thing or two to prove.” So reads the conclusion of my review, which was followed, in short order, by acclaim from Arthur C. Clarke Award-winner Chris Beckett, who spoke highly of the author’s “combination of humour, intelligence and deep darkness” in this That Was Awesome! piece.

That same April, Solaris announced that Tony Ballantyne was doubling down on his darkling dreamscape with a sequel set in “the metropolis dubbed the most romantic city on Earth—but its connection to the lost souls of London is anything but idyllic.” The bad news: Dream Paris isn’t expected till next September.

[But I’ve got good news too!]

Sep 30 2014 1:30pm

Ghostwritten: The End of the Sentence by Maria Dahvana Headley & Kat Howard

The End of the Sentence Maria Dahvana Headley Kat Howard review

In the aftermath of a tragic accident that made a mess of his marriage, Malcolm Mays retreats to rural Oregon in an attempt to begin again, however he gets more than he bargained for when he moves into a foreclosed home in Ione.

In a sense he inherits its former occupant, a convicted criminal called Dusha Chuchonnyhoof, who—having been unjustly jailed for two lifetimes and a day, he says—is preparing to reclaim his property. “The homeowner is only absent, you must understand. Not gone. The end of the sentence approaches [...] and when it comes, I will return.”

[Read More]

Sep 30 2014 1:00pm

The Wheel of Time Reread Redux: The Eye of the World, Part 2

Robert Jordan The Eye of the World rereadGreetings, salutations, and what up: Welcome back to the Wheel of Time Reread Redux!

Today’s Redux post will cover Chapters 1 and 2 of The Eye of the World, originally reread in this post.

All original posts are listed in The Wheel of Time Reread Index here, and all Redux posts will also be archived there as well. (The Wheel of Time Master Index, as always, is here, which has links to news, reviews, interviews, and all manner of information about the Wheel of Time in general on Tor.com.)

The Wheel of Time reread is also now available as an ebook series, except for the portion covering A Memory of Light, which should become available soon.

All Reread Redux posts will contain spoilers for the entire Wheel of Time series, so if you haven’t read, read at your own risk.

And now, the post!

[HuffPo says wearing silver and gold together is no longer a faux pas. Of course, HuffPo also claims we’ve “embraced neon” so color me extremely skeptical]

Sep 30 2014 12:30pm

George R. R. Martin’s The Ice Dragon: “Secret in the Snow” (Excerpt)

George R. R. Martin

George R. R. Martin The Ice Dragon Luis Royo

The Ice Dragon is an enchanting tale of courage and sacrifice for young readers and adults by the wildly popular author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Song of Ice and Fire series, George R.R. Martin. Lavish illustrations by acclaimed artist Luis Royo enrich this captivating and heartwarming story of a young girl and her dragon.

The ice dragon was a creature of legend and fear, for no man had ever tamed one. When it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate cold and frozen land. But Adara was not afraid. For Adara was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone, even the Old Ones, could remember. 

Adara could not remember the first time she had seen the ice dragon. It seemed that it had always been in her life, glimpsed from afar as she played in the frigid snow long after the other children had fled the cold.

Read “Secret in the Snow,” an excerpt from The Ice Dragon, with richly detailed interior illustrations by Luis Royo.

[George R. R. Martin's The Ice Dragon, “Secret in the Snow”]

Sep 30 2014 12:00pm

Cheat Death the Benjamin Franklin Way in Sleepy Hollow: “The Kindred”

Sleepy Hollow Kindred

All right, I need to get something off my chest. The Sleepy Hollow theme song is driving me crazy. Really, truly crazy, because it loops in my head, but, you know the point where it sort of fades into a deeper note and then ends? In my head, it segues into “The Theme from Arthur.” I don’t even think I’ve ever seen Arthur. Why is this happening to me? Is the show trying to get me into the correct state of lunacy to enjoy it? Is my brain trying to murder me? What the hell motive could my brain have for murdering me?

Lets try to recap this sucker.

[I’ve always been good to you, brain!]

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.”]

Sep 30 2014 11:00am

Sleeps With Monsters: Books, Redux

So here we are again, as summer slides towards autumn in the northern hemisphere. Another week, another column. Let me know if you guys are getting bored or anything with all this talk about books: I’m sure I could find a controversy to stick my oar in on if I really tried...

(On second thought, let’s not.)

So, books! Let me tell you about some more of them! Specifically, let me tell you about four titles marketed as Young Adult, and one book aimed at a slightly different audience...

[Read More]

Sep 30 2014 10:00am

The Three-Body Problem: “Silent Spring” (Excerpt, Chapters 1-3)

Cixin Liu

The Three-Body Problem Cixin Liu Silent Spring

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth.

The Three-Body Problem is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multiple award-winning phenomenon from China’s most beloved science fiction author, Cixin Liu. The English edition, available November 11th from Tor Books, was translated by Ken Liu. Learn more about Stephan Martinière’s cover art, and read Cixin Liu’s article about Chinese science fiction here on Tor.com.

[Read an excerpt]

Sep 30 2014 9:30am

Angry Robot Books Purchased by Etan Ilfeld

Angry Robot books Caroline Lambe, Angry Robot Books’ Publicity Manager, announced that on Thursday, 25 September 2014, American entrepreneur Etan Ilfeld bought Angry Robot Books, as well as Watkins Publishing (mind, body and spirit books) and Nourish (wellbeing cookbooks) from administration. In addition to saving the jobs of all the employees, Ilfeld is intent on combining these imprints to form a diverse media company, Watkins Media Limited, which includes magazine publishing, a flagship retail store, and mobile apps.

As a die-hard sci-fi fan, Ilfeld is “thrilled about purchasing Angry Robot,” delight which Marc Gascoigne, Angry Robot MD, shares:

“I’m absolutely delighted to be able to share this great news. There were several companies in the running to buy Angry Robot, but we’re so pleased that our new owner is someone who shares our vision for the imprint, and modern, innovate science fiction publishing. After the brief hiatus while we change hands, we look forward to Angry Robot resuming publication from March of next year, bring you new books from many familiar names and of course some amazing new talent too.”

This purchase reunites Watkins Books and Watkins Publishing after they were split two decades ago. Ilfeld bought Watkins Books from administration in 2010, and has followed suit by acquiring Watkins Publishing last week. Both the Watkins bookshop and publishing imprint were founded by John Watkins in 1893.

Sep 30 2014 9:00am
Original Comic


Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

Con Game Cory Doctorow Jen Wang

Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It’s a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends. Gaming is, for Anda, entirely a good thing. 

But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer—and Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s real livelihood is at stake. 

From acclaimed teen author Cory Doctorow and rising star cartoonist Jen Wang, Con/Game is an original comic story set in the world of Doctorow and Wang's In Real Life, a sensitive, thoughtful look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture-clash.

[Read Con/Game]

Sep 30 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: A Heron Sword Fit for Rand al’Thor!

Imgur-er Moonspider shared this lovely creation: a Heron-Marked Warder Sword made by Brendan Olszowy of Fableblades! In Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series, this sword may only be wielded by those who have attained complete mastery over the weapon, but we’re guessing even non-masters can attain one of these in our world. We’d also advise you to skip the part where you brand the heron into your hands...

Today’s Morning Roundup brings you Sleepy Hollow actors being cute, Jeff VanderMeer being thoughtful, and childhood being over!


Sep 29 2014 6:25pm

Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar trailer

Could you decide between seeing your family again or the future of the human race? Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, starring Rust Cohle Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, follows a group of people that give up their own Earth timelines to save the planet.

Interstellar opens November 7th.

[Check out the latest trailer.]