The Shape of My Name March 4, 2015 The Shape of My Name Nino Cipri How far can you travel to claim yourself? The Hell of It February 25, 2015 The Hell of It Peter Orullian What will he wager? Schrödinger’s Gun February 18, 2015 Schrödinger’s Gun Ray Wood Maybe in some other timeline it would have gone smooth. Acrobatic Duality February 11, 2015 Acrobatic Duality Tamara Vardomskaya The two of her are perfectly synchronized.
From The Blog
March 4, 2015
Writing Women Characters as Human Beings
Kate Elliott
March 2, 2015
A Ranking of 1980s Fantasy That Would Please Crom Himself!
Leah Schnelbach
February 27, 2015
Goodbye, Mr. Nimoy — What Spock Meant to One Geeky 12-Year-Old Girl
Emily Asher-Perrin
February 26, 2015
Introducing the Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch
Keith DeCandido
February 23, 2015
Oh No, She Didn’t: The Strong Female Character, Deconstructed
Ilana C. Myer
Showing posts by: Bella Pagan click to see Bella Pagan's profile
Oct 22 2014 9:00am

Fantasy’s Raw Materials: Five Questions with Brian Staveley

The Emperor's Blades Brian Staveley

With The Emperor’s Blades now out in paperback in both the US and the UK, we wanted to check in with author Brian Staveley. We wanted to find out how it feels to have two books out (even if they are the HB and PB of the same book) and interrogate him about his Machiavellian mind! Here is what he said...

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Oct 14 2014 7:00am

UK Cover Reveal for Brian Staveley’s The Providence of Fire

I was absolutely blown away by the truly epic fantasy debut that is The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley. And so I’m delighted to share the UK cover design for his next book, The Providence of Fire, publishing January 15th from Tor UK. See below for the full cover in all its glory—this book might even be, gasp, better than book one! You might think us editors are lucky to read books before everyone else, but my wait until book three will still seem interminable!

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Jun 10 2014 2:00pm

Designing the Cover for The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide

The Thackery T. Lambshead Guide to Eccentric and Discredited DiseasesThe Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases is a uniquely entertaining collection, containing work by Neil Gaiman, China Miéville, Rachel Pollack, Liz Williams, and many others—and it’s been painstakingly put together by talented editors Jeff VanderMeer and Mark Roberts. The editors have also contributed submitted their own weird and wonderful pieces.

TorUK reissued the ebook with a fabulous new cover on 5th June. Learn more about the collection and see the full cover below!

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Jun 5 2014 11:30am

The Cover Art Briefing Process: Designing the Look of Banished

Banished Liz de Jager cover art It’s so exciting as an author when you are asked to contribute to the cover art briefing process for your book. So much rides on the cover and of course I wanted to give all the help I could for Banished, my debut novel. Also, I was really impressed at how early these discussions took place—we were talking about cover art almost before we spoke about edits and I felt flattered that Bella wanted to include me in the process.

Bella asked me to supply detailed descriptions of the characters, including what they wore and how they moved. She was also interested in any images I could provide which might give an idea of where the book took place, the weapons they’d use etc. She also asked me to think about the book as a whole and to let her know if there was any imagery I thought stood out particularly.

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May 16 2014 8:00am

An Interview with Jeff VanderMeer About His Early Work

Jeff VanderMeer interviewThis month, Tor UK is reissuing three of Jeff VanderMeer’s wonderful early novels, including his first novel, with stylish new covers. The books are as fantastic as ever and Jeff has told me all manner of interesting things about them below—ranging from alternate titles and unusual editorial input to a narrowly avoided fake squid exposé. He also has some wise words on social media which I’d love to follow—but am not sure I can! So on to the interview itself…

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May 6 2014 10:10am

New UK Cover Art for Brandon Sanderson’s The Rithmatist

Brandon Sanderson The RithmatistTor UK is about to reissue Brandon Sanderson’s The Rithmatist—and you can see the full stunning cover art for the ebook below.

In the book, Joel studies in a school attended by his country’s best magic users. But he doesn’t have the gift - and that’s got to hurt, hasn’t it?! The magic is based on geometry, its users drawing powerful workings in chalk, and Joel would do anything to have it. That’s even when some of the most promising students start disappearing in suspicious circumstances. Soon it’s clear their gift could cost them their lives—unless Joel and his professor can unravel this crime and stop yet more murders taking place.

See the full cover and get more plot details below!

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Apr 29 2014 8:00am

Getting That Book Deal: Pitching Banished to Tor UK

Nothing quite prepares you (in a good way) for an agent pitching your novel. For me, this was signalled by my agent emailing me to say she’d put together a submissions list for my novel. I had no idea what that meant, so I asked Juliet (my agent) to talk me through the process.

She’d drawn up a list of editors to whom she’d already spoken about The Blackhart Legacy. These were editors who had in turn expressed interest in reading the completed manuscript. This would be the first tranche of people to get the manuscript. And if no offers were on the table by her deadline for a response, we would go to the next tranche of publishers and editors she’d approached.

Okay, I thought to myself. People—editors—will be reading my book. Complete strangers who I don’t know from Adam, will be reading my words and considering my novel for their list!? As if I knew what I was talking about!? It was terrifying and exciting, but mostly just terrifying.

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Apr 17 2014 9:00am

Dangerously Good Fantasy and New Jacqueline Carey Ebook Art

I remember when I first read Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey, years ago now. It was a rare treat, an immersive, compulsive treat of a book of the sort that comes along oh so rarely. It’s a lyrically written (and at times rather racy!) epic of intrigue and power-politics, set in a fantasy world with the feel of Renaissance Italy. I was therefore delighted to have the opportunity to brief fabulous new ebook covers for the trilogy, which you can see below.

Bearing in mind the beautifully written eroticism that permeates the book, I guess it’s pretty reductive to say that it conjurers up Game of Thrones with a hint of Fifty Shades of Grey! But whatever the comparisons, it’s a damn fine, beautifully imagined read.

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Jan 29 2014 11:00am

An Interview with Brian Staveley, Author of The Emperor’s Blades

The Emperor's Blades Brian Staveley

This month Tor and Tor UK have published The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley, and we’ve been delighted by the response so far. It’s been wonderfully reviewed, fans seem so excited on twitter, etc., and it’s made a flurry of “Best of...” and “Most anticipated...” lists. We could just say - “it’s brilliant, read it.” Only we work with words, so we feel we have license to be a lot more verbose than that! Indeed, we’ve put together a list of questions no less, which Brian has been kind enough to answer.

See below for the best bits of writing a book while in Asia, what’s surprised him about the publishing process, and other insights into what being a debut author is all about. You can also get hold of the first seven chapters of the book for free here in the US and via SFX Magazine here if you’re in the UK. Now over to Brian...

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Nov 13 2013 5:00pm

Crafting a Steampunk Espionage Thriller: An Interview with Cherie Priest

Fiddlehead Cherie Priest Clockwork Century This month, Tor Books publishes the wonderful Fiddlehead by Cherie Priest, the last of her Clockwork Century novels, which have attracted so much critical acclaim over the last few years. Fiddlehead is a spy-packed standalone story, with a brilliant protagonist in the form of Belle Boyd. This irresistible alternative history adventure features spies, Abraham Lincoln, political machinations and one woman who can save the world from a deadly menace! (Read an excerpt here.)

Basically, it’s glorious, and Cherie has been kind enough to answer a few questions about her historical research, where the idea for Fiddlehead originated and her favourite “steampunk experience.”

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Oct 11 2013 1:00pm

Publishing Jargon Buster: Production Definitions Unlocked!

The UK bound proof (or ARC) of Brian Staveley's The Emperor's BladesMany of the best bits of publishing jargon lie within the production process. So, being utter word-nerds all, we were delighted when Konrad and Rachael from the Pan Macmillan UK Production Department put together this handy glossary. If you were previously unacquainted with the delights of debossing, snot-glue, kiss-cutting or Sherpas, look no further. Jargon warning though—sometimes jargon does vary between the US and UK, and you do find some differences between different publishing houses. And if you like this, you may also enjoy our more general publishing jargon-buster here.

If you have any favourites from the list, feel free to let us know in the comments. Or if you have any other bits of publishing or work jargon you’d like to share, we’d love to hear it!

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May 24 2013 1:00pm

Publishing Jargon-Buster: Ten Words Unpacked

Publishing Jargon-Buster Ten Words UnpackedIn publishing, as in any other industry, we scatter our days with curious and unusual words which we take for granted. But even for us, new ones pop up to surprise us every now and then. Thinking of Blippar and Wibalin here—though I thought for a while that our books were bound with wibbling. Which made me laugh! Here to entertain and explain are ten bits of jargon, don’t use them all at once....

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May 16 2013 9:00am

Jeff Noon and his Cover Art: A Designer’s Perspective

Jeff Noon Cover Art

Tor UK’s 20th anniversary edition of Jeff Noon’s Vurt was published last month. And, as Jeff won the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Vurt in 1994, last week’s Arthur C. Clarke Award ceremony was a great time to look back. But as they say you judge a book by its cover, we wanted to take a look at the huge amount of work that went into this new cover look for Vurt, Pollen and Jeff Noon’s entire backlist. Curtis McFee is one of Jeff’s oldest fans and supporters, and has championed his work for years—immersing himself in Jeff’s books, designing his website and even creating a Vurt-based role-playing game.

Curtis McFee also put together a really fabulous new Vurt trailer for us. But here, we want to take a look at the new covers—look at the inspiration behind them, the creative process and various early drafts, plus what messages Curtis was trying to convey. We also wanted to find out how this creative duo met and forged the links that would lead us to this body of work today.

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Apr 29 2013 8:00am

Jeff Noon’s Vurt: Audio Clips and Competition

Jeff Noon Vurt Audio Clips Competition Tor UKA few weeks ago, Jeff Noon came into the office to record some audio snippets of him reading from the imaginative thrill-ride that is Vurt. This was fun, as I’d only vaguely been aware that we had a recording studio! Cue wandering down some maze-like corridors to a part of the office I’d never even known was there, to a tiny cupboard-like room with (to my untutored eye) some rather retro-looking looking recording paraphernalia. But, this is where the magic happens! Jeff’s reading was rich, gritty and massively atmospheric. The surroundings fell away and I saw what his agent had meant, when she said his readings were really something special. I hope you enjoy the audio snippets embedded below (Audible has produced an audio version of the book itself). And there are pictures and links to other Jeff Noon content below that.

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Apr 19 2013 12:00pm

The London Book Fair: An Editor’s Introduction

The London Book FairThe London Book Fair is a trade fair, meaning it’s primarily aimed at bookish professionals of various stripes. But, for those interested in discovering a bit more about publishing, there is also a lot of merit in wandering around the various stands and picking up on the atmosphere and seeing which publishers do what. There are sometimes free books or catalogues to be had. Also, and I never get time to see any of this, but there is also a huge programme of publishing industry talks, workshops and seminars that’s really worth checking out. There’s more info here.

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Mar 26 2013 8:00am

The Role of Commissioning Editor and the Ongoing Impact of Social Media

Commissioning Editor Team Tor UKAs part of our ongoing series on Team Tor jobs, I’m going to shine a bright light on some dark corners of publishing, perhaps banish a few myths and reveal some alternate realities. Or in other words, talk about being a senior commissioning editor in the field of science fiction and fantasy publishing. You’d think the clue would be in the job title, but these days “commissioning editor” implies a range of duties besides commissioning and editing. Some of those may even involve eating cake.

Tor UK’s editorial director Julie Crisp has already gone into the various aspects to being a commissioning editor, so I’ll run through these quickly here, before going into some more detail about some lesser-known parts of the job. The role does consist of many different aspects, so some rapid dashing from the left to right sides of the brain is needed on a daily (hourly?!) basis. It’s a position that combines creativity with the need to strategize and plan—as well as requiring you to unleash your inner pedant and pay attention to the details. But this is what keeps it exciting and every day is different.

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Mar 18 2013 3:00pm

Jeff Noon: On Experiments in Writing

Jeff Noon Vurt Writing InterviewTor UK is publishing an anniversary edition of Jeff Noon’s extraordinary Vurt out next month, so I wanted to post up something in advance to whet appetites. If it’s not enough that this edition contains a foreword by Lauren Beukes and three original Noon short stories.

Vurt was published twenty years ago, won the Arthur C. Clarke Award and has attracted praise from everyone from William Gibson to Geoff Ryman and Lauren Beukes, with fantastic reviews also received from The Times, Independent and many others. Vurt is a powerful story set in a near-future Manchester, where the barriers between dream and reality are mutable—and this leads its protagonists into more dangers than we could ever know.

Jeff is a true wordsmith and is known for his innovative approach to writing, so I asked him a few questions about writing, experimenting with prose and how he keeps himself fresh. Although as says, “Vurt was a breath of fresh air at the time it was published and it remains so today.” So over to Jeff....

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Mar 2 2013 12:00pm

An Evening at the Kitschies Awards

An Evening at the Kitschies AwardsLast night, Tor in the UK were delighted to attend the fabulous Kitschies Awards, now in their fourth year. As usual the shortlists were interesting and informed and a great night was had by all—helped by that very fine Kraken rum of course. And you can see photos from the evening below. We were particularly delighted that author Frances Hardinge was shortlisted for the Red Tentacle: Best Novel category with her wonderful A Face Like Glass! And those great winning choices for 2012 were of course:

[Winners below]

Nov 27 2012 3:30pm

Five Questions With Cherie Priest

Five Questions With Cherie PriestThis month saw the U.S. release of The Inexplicables, the latest in Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century series, out in the U.K. on Valentine’s Day 2013. High time we caught up with the Queen of Steampunk herself to ask a few whys and wherefores regarding her world. You can see the insights we gathered below. Cherie has also put together a wonderful collection of steampunk images for us here. If you haven’t seen it yet, it comes highly recommended. And now on to those questions....

1.) Why did you call your first Clockwork Century novel “Boneshaker”?

Because it’s a fun word. I saw it in passing, attached to a .gif of a friend of mine riding an old-fashioned bicycle—a “boneshaker” as they were called, for they were so hard on the rider. And I thought…man, if you didn’t know it was a bicycle, that word could reference all kinds of things! A weapon, a vehicle, a blend of coffee. And that’s when I realized what the name for Dr. Minnericht’s mining device ought to be. It was perfect! And even though the device itself barely appears in the book, everything that happens—to Briar or Zeke alike—happens because of it. So it only seemed right and fair to name my story after it.

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