Tor.com content by

Emily Asher-Perrin

Here Are the Most Notable Kloo Horn Players in Star Wars, Don’t Argue With Me

I’m sure when you were a kid watching Star Wars, you just assumed that the instruments being played by Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes (note: if you just called them “the cantina band” I’m really not sure what to do with you) were variants on instruments that you have already seen or played upon. Look, it’s an oboe! That one’s a space saxophone! How wrong you were, my young friend. How misguided. That instrument that Figrin D’an is playing is called a kloo horn. It’s totally different from our lousy Earth instruments. (It’s not.) And the Star Wars universe is full of musicians who loved that instrument, at least according to the Legends canon.

Here are eight of their stories. Eight. There are eight whole stories here, somehow. Eight’s gotta be a magic number somewhere, right?

[Read more]

Rereading Frank Herbert’s Dune: Dune, Part Twelve

This week we’re going to have an encounter with drum sand, take a peek at a pre-spice mass (up close), and make friends with the Fremen. Sort of.

Index to the reread can be located here! And don’t forget this is a reread, which means that any and all of these posts will contain spoilers for all of Frank Herbert’s Dune series. If you’re not caught up, keep that in mind.

[Read more]

Series: Rereading Frank Herbert’s Dune

Jules Verne’s Love of Adventure Took Us From the Center of the Earth to the Surface of the Moon

Jules Verne, born today in 1828, is often called one of the “Fathers of Science Fiction.” But what was more impressive about him, as a person, was his inability to let anyone or anything stop him from writing.

Sent to Paris to study law, it wasn’t long before Verne began writing for the theater, but it was his flair for penning tales about travel that quickly came to the forefront. His father eventually found out about his son’s extracurriculars and withdrew all financial support from him. So Verne began to support himself, doing work he despised as a stockbroker, then marrying a woman who encouraged him to look for a publisher. He sent manuscripts to many who rejected his work, but eventually met Pierre-Jules Hetzel. The two became a stellar team, and Jules Verne was soon a name that few lovers of literature were likely to forget.

[Read more]

Series: On This Day

Rereading Frank Herbert’s Dune: Dune, Part Eleven

This week we’re going to take a harrowing trek through the desert, nearly drown in some sand, and sing a man to his death. Just your typically perilous Tuesday.

Index to the reread can be located here! And don’t forget this is a reread, which means that any and all of these posts will contain spoilers for all of Frank Herbert’s Dune series. If you’re not caught up, keep that in mind.

[Read more]

Series: Rereading Frank Herbert’s Dune

Rereading Frank Herbert’s Dune: Dune, Part Ten

This week we’re going to pilot our way through a sandstorm after winning the loyalty of an Imperial Planetologist. We’re also going to combine our tribes’ water together.

Index to the reread can be located here! And don’t forget this is a reread, which means that any and all of these posts will contain spoilers for all of Frank Herbert’s Dune series. If you’re not caught up, keep that in mind.

[Read more]

Series: Rereading Frank Herbert’s Dune

Peter Capaldi is Leaving Doctor Who This Christmas

As all good Who fans know, the coming and going of the Doctor is built into the fabric of the fandom. There was rapid speculation as to whether or not Peter Capaldi would stay on as the Twelfth Doctor following Steven Moffat’s departure as showrunner, and the answer is finally here: Peter Capaldi will bow out in Christmas 2017.

This appears to be a choice on Capaldi’s part, not the BBC; they asked him to continue on after Moffat’s tenure. But that means that casting for the new Doctor is underway, and that betting pool is sure to be a fierce one.

What do you think, Whovians? Who should take up the screwdriver next?

Lloyd Alexander’s Parents Never Read Books

On January 30th in 1924 Lloyd Chudley Alexander was born in Pennsylvania to two parents who read newspapers… but never books. Though his family was hit hard by the Great Depression (his father was a stockbroker), his parents did have books on their shelves to fill space, and young Lloyd was all too happy to pick them up even if they would not.

And a good thing too, or he probably never would have decided to become a writer at the tender age of fifteen.

[The adventuring life of a writer…]

Series: On This Day

Artist Creates Best Possible Titles For Paintings

Artists of all stripes will tell you that titling a work is one of the hardest tasks they encounter. How does one convey what their art is meant to express with a few choice words? Should they be pithy or soulful? Will the title capture someone’s imagination?

Artist and illustrator Tomislav Jagnjic has it all figured out. The piece above is titled: “yo bro is it safe down there in the woods? yeah man it’s cool”

[Read more]

Rereading Frank Herbert’s Dune: Dune, Part Nine

The Dune Reread is about to kill a very important man, then arrive at an awakening of our psychic abilities! That sounds like fun, right? Well… that’s where you’d be wrong.

Index to the reread can be located here! And don’t forget this is a reread, which means that any and all of these posts will contain spoilers for all of Frank Herbert’s Dune series. If you’re not caught up, keep that in mind.

[Read more]

Series: Rereading Frank Herbert’s Dune