Tor.com content by

Chris Lough

Fiction and Excerpts [1]
All

Fiction and Excerpts [1]

Does The Geek’s Guide to Dating Work on a Real Date?

, || Finding someone to date shouldn't be like trying to party up in an MMORPG: running around, repeatedly spamming chat channels for a group, and anxiously seeking a random encounter. (Random casual encounters are for Craigslist. This isn't that kind of book.) No, seeking out Player Two is more like an old-school RPG: a gradual progression that, with the right walkthrough, becomes much, much easier.

Only Seven Miles to Neptune: How to Run the Solar System

Running is so boring.

That’s why you bring a phone full of music, Zombies Run episodes, and audio books. (At least you do if you’re me.) Because while running makes you feel great, reaching your mileage goal for the day, especially on a route you’ve done hundreds of times before, can leave you with a lot of contemplative airtime.

Midpoint goals can help alleviate this a lot. The other day I stumbled across this video in which a group built a 7 mile-wide scale model of the solar system. 7 miles is a pretty common distance for a lot of runners, whether they’re striving past the 10K barrier or training for a marathon.

It can take an hour or more to run 7 miles, though, so what if we alleviate that boredom a bit by running the solar system? Here’s how!

[Read more]

Hey, It Turns Out Dinosaurs Had Lips

It’s funny how a small detail can utterly redefine something enormous. The collective consciousness of humanity imagines dinosaurs as scaly, leathery beasts with fangs constantly protruding through lipless sneers. And considering how many Jurassic Parks/Worlds/Boat Shows we line up for, that visualization isn’t going to change. We like our ancient killing machines fast, cold, and inhuman, no matter how much proof we find that most of them had fuzzy down feathers, or colorful skin patterns.

[Read more]

You Can Buy Max Gladstone’s Entire Craft Sequence For a $20

Every character in Max Gladstone’s “Craft Sequence” series wants to make their world better and this leads to such tremendous problems.

Real talk: I love this series. It follows people who actually put the hard, day-to-day, work in making their environment function better. There’s a king who’s made himself into an immortal ghoul just so he can continue overseeing the urban development of his city. There’s a community leader who fights an undead dragon to keep his under-served neighborhood from being gentrified. There are old dead gods who have become key pieces of infrastructure in a modern metropolis. And there’s more, so much more.

Tor Books just put all four of the books on sale for $5 each. That’s only $20 for a very entertaining book series. I recommend starting with Last First Snow. It’s extremely relevant to today’s political and economic discussions, and the magic fights in it are bonkers, totally bonkers.

Grab a $20, buy an entire book series. And tell Max I sent ya, because he doesn’t know who I am and it will confuse him greatly.

Runtime: Proof That Even an Exoskeleton Wouldn’t Make Running Any Easier

S.B. Divya’s new novella Runtime is a very personal story about poverty and caste systems that takes place in a not-too-distant future where marathon runners (like myself) are able to legally enhance their personal abilities through the addition of exoskeletons, microchips, and other cyborg enhancements. It also does a great job of incorporating the weird little problems and lifestyle changes that no one ever talks about when they talk about running.

[Read more]

What’s Next for the Nebula Award Winners?

What can readers expect next from this year’s Nebula Award winners?

Every year the members of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) honor notable authors and their works through the Nebula Awards, highlighting promising new voices and commemorating authors whose legacies have defined the entire field of speculative fiction. The list of Nebula nominees and winners also communicates the stories that we as readers were excited about in the previous year, and it looks like there’s a lot yet to come from this year’s roster of Nebula winners!

[Read more]

Is It Time to Update Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger?

In early April, Marvel Entertainment announced that their television universe would be expanding to include a live-action adaptation of teen heroes Cloak and Dagger, to be broadcast on Freeform, ABC’s family-oriented cable network. And that’s great! Marvel has a big roster of entertaining “young adult” characters, and a TV show could give oft-neglected characters like Cloak and Dagger the space to grow into their potential.

There’s just one big problem.

[Read more]

An Interesting Theory About How Game of Thrones Will Decide the Iron Throne

Theories about Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire fill the internet’s backseat like fast food containers and jewel cases, but occasionally a theory in this mess, much like the “RT+LS” theory of Jon Snow’s parentage, makes too much sense to ignore.

Chris Taylor posted a strong contender for “Best Game of Thrones Theory of the Year” over on Mashable on May 3. It starts by asking a simple question: Now that Tommen is the only “Baratheon” left on Game of Thrones,* who’s next in the lineage if he dies?

(*This applies to Game of Thrones only. The books are unfolding in a different manner.)

[Spoilers ahead up to the first episode of season 6]

[Read more]

TV Rights to The Wheel of Time Optioned by New Studio, With Jordan Estate’s Approval

Harriet McDougal, wife of the late Robert Jordan, dropped some exciting news late Thursday: the TV rights to Jordan’s Wheel of Time fantasy epic have been acquired by a major studio.

In the wake of the success of Game of Thrones, and considering the staggering amount of fantasy and sci-fi book properties that have been optioned for TV and film, the absence of The Wheel of Time has been eyebrow-raising. (Or in the parlance of the series itself, perhaps the better term is “sniff producing”?) Fans of the series were given a glimpse into the legal tangle preventing WOT’s emergence onto the small screen on February 9, 2015, when a sudden pilot episode dubbed “Winter Dragon” aired in the early A.M. hours on the FXX Network. McDougal released a statement clarifying that the pilot was made without her knowledge, prompting Red Eagle Entertainment, the production company behind the pilot, to issue a lawsuit. (Which they later withdrew.) A more detailed account of the behind-the-scenes machinations can be found at io9, but regardless of the details, overall it seemed as if fans would have to wait a very long time to see Jordan’s work on screen in a large-scale production.

Now, the wait is seemingly over.

[Read more]

Is This Our First Look at a New Cinematic Team of X-Men?

io9, Comic Book Resources, and other online nerd news sources are picking up on a new image from X-Men: Apocalypse that was recently posted to Reddit Comic Books. The image appears to show a new team of X-Men emerging from the chaos of the forthcoming movie, a team that looks more like their comic book counterparts than ever before.

This is potentially spoilery, so if you want to check out the line-up, take a peek below the cut.

[Read more]

A Sci-Fi Story As Told Through 9 Innings of Baseball

Baseball and science fiction share more of a fanbase than one might suspect, and every couple years or so a new sci-fi/fantasy baseball story piles into the dugout. Inspired by Harry Turtledove’s House of Daniel, the latest novel in this grand tradition, we wondered… could you tell a brand new story using bits from sci-fi baseball stories both new and old?

You can. And the result is suitably weird. (Anything can happen in the second half of the game. Anything.) Thanks go to Justin Landon for piling us high with sci-fi/fantasy baseball literature recommendations. We also pulled suggestions from Steven Silver’s impressive list of baseball-themed genre stories over on SF Site.

[Read more]

The Sort-Of Pyramids of King Sneferu

Amongst the sands of Egypt stands the Great Pyramid of Giza, a monument to the architectural and artistic achievements of the Egyptian Empire, and a sight that withstands the enraptured gazes of generations of humanity. Even though the religion that birthed it is long dead, the Great Pyramid still exudes a holy sanctity that defies the countless wars fought in its shadow. Barring the endless drift of Voyager I, the Great Pyramid, built under the auspices of Pharaoh Khufu, is the closest our species has yet come to creating something that preserves our vast imagination across the eras.

But man, did Khufu’s dad build some goofy pyramids before that.

[Read more]