Tor.com content by

Mahvesh Murad

The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Dragons of Spring Dawning Part 3, Chapters 7 and 8

We’re back!

Well, Flint isn’t. (Too soon?)

And Fizban is off doing Fizban things (SPOILER: GOD-STUFF). And Raistlin is off doing Raistlin things (SPOILER: They’re probably really cool things.) And Laurana’s in a fridge. And Goldmoon and Riverwind are pretty much forgotten. Oh, and Silvara and Gilthanas are off fighting a war in the background.

But the rest of us? We’re back!

[Read more]

Series: Dragonlance Reread

Midnight in Karachi Returns with an Exclusive Interview with Margaret Atwood!

It’s been a couple of months of radio silence from my end, with some major life changes and relocations included but I’m pleased to report that Midnight in Karachi will officially return on August 4th with a very special interview of a writer who has been a personal hero of mine for years. I first read her seminal novel when I was 17, and it’s been a love affair since then. I never thought I’d ever have the chance to speak with her, but when she wont a Kitschies award earlier this year, director Glen Mehn put in a request with her people for my podcast and amazingly, she agreed.

This left me wondering, how does one address Margaret Atwood? I asked her over Twitter, and she said Aunty Peggy would be just fine, but you’ll notice I avoid addressing her by name anyway. Maybe we can get to Aunty Peggy levels of familiarity a few interviews down the line. In case you’re wondering, Margaret Atwood is just as sharp, funny and charming as you’d want your literary hero to be. I may have gushed off air a bit, but that remains mercifully off the record.

Other guests who’ll be appearing on Midnight in Karachi for August are Malka Older, Laura Lam, Sami Shah and Victoria Schwab! In the meantime, please enjoy this “Where to Begin” piece from October 2015, which offers some suggestions for places to dive into the amazing worlds of Margaret Atwood. Jump right in, and then please join us Thursday August 4th on the Midnight in Karachi podcast to hear from Atwood herself!

[Here are some suggestions for where to start with Margaret Atwood…]

The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Dragons of Spring Dawning Part 3, Chapters 5 and 6

Welcome back to the Dragonlance Reread!

Last week, the party reached Godshome—which turned out to be a barren, empty, rock bowl, surrounded by boulders. Berem revealed that he had inadvertently opened a portal that unleashed the Dark Queen, and the party agrees to help him break into Neraka on his quest to see the portal shut for good. This time, the gang runs into trouble almost immediately, and Tanis catches up with an old flame…

[Read more]

Series: Dragonlance Reread

The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Dragons of Spring Dawning Part 3, Chapters 3 and 4

Welcome back to the Dragonlance Reread!

Draconians behind them, the Dark Queen ahead. The party presses on with their final march into darkness, the enigmatic ‘Everman’ a part of their company. This week, they visit a forgotten ruin called Godshome… and you know that’s not going to be uneventful.

[Read more]

Series: Dragonlance Reread

Intimacy as Magic: The Devourers by Indra Das

Indra Das’ first novel, The Devourers, is one told in layers. It is a stranger’s story as told to Alok, a lonely college professor whom he meets one night, outside a performance by Bengali minstrels in Kolkata. The stranger is a hypnotic storyteller, who says he is half-werewolf and captivates Alok. “I am going to tell you a story, and it is true’, says the stranger, hypnotising Alok with his words and manner, ‘…his voice, soothing, guiding [him] as the dark becomes deeper.’ But is also the story Alok transcribes for the stranger, who becomes a friend of sorts, drifting in and out of Alok’s life until the words on the scrolls he gives him are typed up and preserved for the modern age. And it is also the story of an older, much more frightening and hypnotic shapeshifter called Fenrir and a woman called Cyrah.

The narrative switches between Mughal India and modern day Kolkata, with the shape shifter’s life extending much beyond those of human ones, though we encounter him during the time he encounters Cyrah, a young woman entirely alone, trying to get by whatever way she can during the reign of Shah Jahan.

[Read more]

The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Dragons of Spring Dawning Part 3, Chapters 1 and 2

Last week we closed off Part 2. Well, re-closed. We tidied things up two weeks ago and last week was more of a denouement, as we shed our friendly barbarian party members, lit candles, and headed out into the great unknown. But now—we’ve got a party, we’ve got a quest, we’ve got a half-elf on a mission, and a grumpy McGuffin with a gem in his chest… What else could we need? Oh, how about a pocket-sized deus ex machina?

Welcome to the third and final part of Dragons of Spring Dawning!

[I guess I must be dumb / ‘Cause you had a pocket full of horses]

Series: Dragonlance Reread

Political Popularity and World Peace: Icon by Genevieve Valentine

Last time we met Suyana Sapaki she had managed to survive an assassination attempt that lead to her popularity soaring amongst the general public, but falling to extremely dubious and complicated levels among the other Faces—official diplomats in a celebrity-obsessed near-future society.

The young woman who, it turns out, had always been a double agent of sorts, is back in Genevieve Valentine’s Icon, the follow up to last year’s wonderful Persona.

[Read more]

Hearts on Fire: False Hearts by Laura Lam

In Laura Lam’s False Hearts, identical twins Tila and Taema are raised as part of a cult hidden away from modern civilisation called Manna’s Hearth. Eventually, accidentally, they discover that there is a different, bigger world outside of the Hearth and leave for the big city lights. In this near future San Francisco, they are surgically separated, given mechanical hearts, biotech and soon learn to live their own, very different, very individual lives.

Taema works for a large tech firm, developing a product that generates energy from the constant fog shrouding the city, the same company that also creates a drug that allows people to live out their fantasies in a dreamscape with no harm coming to anyone involved. Tila works as an escort at a swanky club that allows people to do just that—live out their fantasies, safely. But one night, instead of showing up for a regular weekly dinner, Tila shows up in a panic, covered in blood, insisting to Taema that she hasn’t committed the crime she’s about to be arrested for. It’s been decades since there was a murder in the largely crime free city, with every person’s even faint possibly violent urges are taken care of by Zeal, a drug that ‘enacts fantasies, becoming catharsis for pent-up emotions’. But it really does seem as if Tila has committed a murder, and is dragged away by the police, leaving Taema in shock.

[Read more]

The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Dragons of Spring Dawning Part 2, Chapters 4 and 5

Welcome back to the Dragonlance Reread! And this week’s chapter titles have ellipses, so you know they’re exciting.

Last week we detoured to EVIL HQ, where we had a villain-off where everyone took turns billowing their capes and reciting their tragic backstories at one another.

We’re going to leave Evil to it this week, and return to our heroes. Is Laurana really going to walk into this painfully obvious trap? And what happened to #TeamTanis?!

[C’mon raise your hand]

Series: Dragonlance Reread

The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Dragons of Spring Dawning Part 2, Chapters 2 and 3

Welcome back to the Dragonlance Reread. Last week was pretty epic. The tide, she hath turned! Disco dragons and Dragonlances and Golden Generals and Knights and Palanthians are reclaiming Krynn from the Dragonarmies, and, as they say in every bad television episode ever, “nothing can go wrong!”.

Except, well, it can. Because Kit is clever… so what are the forces of Evil up to? Let’s have a looksee.

[Read more]

Series: Dragonlance Reread

Midnight in Karachi Episode 56: James Smythe

Welcome back to Midnight in Karachi, a weekly podcast about writers, publishers, editors, illustrators, their books and the worlds they create, hosted by Mahvesh Murad.

Author James Smythe—recently nominated for a Clarke Award for Way Down Dark—joins the podcast this week to talk about trigger warnings, middle book syndrome, and his potential fantasy series ‘Dragatha Christie’. Smythe’s Australia trilogy continues with Long Dark Dusk (available now) and Dark Made Dawn, publishing October 2016 from Hodder & Stoughton.

[Read more]

Series: Midnight in Karachi Podcast

The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Dragons of Spring Dawning Part 1, Chapter 9 and Part 2, Chapter 1

Welcome back to the Dragonlance Reread!

Last time, Laurana was named commander of the Knights of Solamnia just in time to welcome a flight of friendly dragons led by Gilthanas and Silvara—having recently escaped from the Highlord at Sanction, they had some bad news for Laurana regarding Tannis and Kitiara… This week, Tas and Flint ride into battle, and the citizens of Kalaman celebrate the ‘Spring Dawning Festival’ (convenient!).

[Read more]

Series: Dragonlance Reread