Tor.com content by

Mahvesh Murad

The Trouble With Being Queen: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Marisa Meyer is known for her Young Adult fairy tale retellings. Her first novel was the NaNoWriMo phenomenon Cinder, the story of a cyborg sort-of Cinderella and the start of the Lunar Chronicles sequence, which includes new versions of Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White. Meyer’s work, however, is very loosely based on the fairy tales—she develops new worlds, brings in new characters and does not use the classic familiar plot lines. With Heartless, her first stand alone novel, Meyer takes us back to when the violent, furious Queen of Hearts was a warm, sweet young girl who wanted something more—albeit smaller, simpler and full of sugar and butter—than what was on offer for her.

Catherine is just another young well to do girl with hopes and dreams. Society demands that her hopes and dreams be specifically about getting married to the wealthiest man she can, but she has other ideas. Even though it seems that the most eligible bachelor in the kingdom is rather interested in her, Catherine would rather be baking professionally. She and her best friend and lady’s maid have grand plans of running a bakery in town, though they have yet to work out just how they will manage this financially and remain socially acceptable—this is the Kingdom of Hearts, where societal norms are Victorian, where magic is part of the every day, where Catherine’s most vivid dreams lead to great trees of fruits and roses growing in her room, and where the King would very much like her to be the Queen of Hearts, and give up this silly nonsense of selling cakes for ever.

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Midnight in Karachi Episode 69: Sami Shah’s “Fire Boy Interlude C”

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.

This week’s episode is a reading of a story from the world of Fire Boy—an urban fantasy set in contemporary Karachi, and writer and comedian Sami Shah’s first novel. Sami’s memoir I, Migrant, was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Award and the Russell Prize for Humour Writing. You can find more of his writing here.

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Series: Midnight in Karachi Podcast

Midnight in Karachi Episode 68: Naomi Alderman

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.

Zombies Run! co-creator and one of Granta’s Best of British Novelists Naomi Alderman is on the podcast this week to talk about her new novel The Power, in which women develop the ability to electrocute at will. She talks about Sultana’s Dream, whether violence is gendered, writing both games and ‘literary’ fiction, Bob Dylan and the Nobel, and that permanent question—The Patriarchy: why?

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Series: Midnight in Karachi Podcast

Midnight in Karachi Episode 67: Fran Wilde

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.

Andre Norton award winner and Nebula Award nominee Fran Wilde joins the podcast this week to talk about her Bone Universe novels, Updraft and Cloudbound. Both are available now from Tor Books—you can read excerpts from each novel here.

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Series: Midnight in Karachi Podcast

Sam Spade Vs Cthulhu: Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw

What does it take to hunt demons and monsters gone mad? A bigger monster, of course.

John Persons is a private investigator in modern day London. In the way of the best PIs in noir fiction, he’s caustic, bitter and jaded. But even he’s surprised when eleven year old Abel walks into his office with a loaded piggy bank and asks Persons to kill his stepfather, ‘because he’s a monster’. Though Persons a PI, not an assassin for hire, Abel is certain he’s the only man for the job, ‘because you’re a monster too’. What does Abel know about Persons that we don’t? A lot, it seems, because Persons isn’t an ordinary man, he’s something else, something older and much more frightening than man.

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Midnight in Karachi Episode 66: Genevieve Valentine

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.

Genevieve Valentine—writer of Catwoman, Xena, The Girls At the Kingfisher Club, Persona, and Icon—is on the podcast this week, talking about constructed relationships, killing off characters, weaponised young women, Taylor Swift, and whether red carpet fashion is fantasy or not.

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Series: Midnight in Karachi Podcast

Sing Your Own Special Song: Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley

Aerie picks up a year after Magonia. Aza Ray is alive, though hiding in the body of someone new, pretending to be someone else. She’s been to Magonia and back – she knows now who she is, and what she’s meant to be doing. But she’s run away from it. Maria Dahvana Headley’s follow up to Magonia is another wild ride into a fantastical alternate word in the sky, one full of adventure, intrigue, darkness and beauty.

(Minor spoilers follow and can’t be helped, since this is a direct sequel.)

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Midnight in Karachi Episode 65: Marie Brennan

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 Marie Brennan is on the podcast this week, talking about dragons, amnesiacs and her new epic fantasy novella, Cold-Forged Flame. Available now from Tor.com Publishing, you can read an excerpt here.

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Series: Midnight in Karachi Podcast

Midnight in Karachi Episode 64: Nisi Shawl

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.

This week, Mahvesh talks with writer Nisi Shawl about the Samuel Delany tribute anthology Stories for Chip, and her new alternate history novel Everfair—available now from Tor Books, you can read an excerpt here. Their discussion touches on the writers Nisi admires, and the things steampunk has the potential to be.

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Series: Midnight in Karachi Podcast

Midnight in Karachi Episode 63: Laure Eve

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.

Writer Laure Eve joins Mahvesh this week to talk about The Graces—available now from Amulet Books. In discussing the novel, the Laure and Mahvesh touch upon power plays between female characters, The Craft, and the ’90s.

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Series: Midnight in Karachi Podcast

Maybe it’s Witchcraft: The Graces by Laure Eve

A stranger comes to a town. A young woman, her past a mystery, her present a blank slate waiting to be filled. She doesn’t have any friends, she has a strained relationship with her mother and an absentee father, but she’s quick to pick up on the most popular, most elusive trio at her high school—the Graces. Thalia, Fenrin, and Summer Grace are siblings rumoured to be witches in Laure Eve’s YA urban fantasy The Graces, set in a small coastal town that could be anyplace, anywhere and almost anytime.

Our narrator is the strange new girl, who wants very much to befriend the Graces, especially Summer, and is also in love with Fenrin. She catches on to the rumours about the Graces fast—not just about those that suggest they have magical abilities that help them remain rich and powerful as a family, but also to the information that the Graces aren’t very good at keeping friends.

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Midnight in Karachi Episode 62: Indra Das

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.

Writer and editor Indra Das is on the podcast this week, talking about his novel The Devourers, which published earlier this summer from Del Rey—you can read an excerpt here. Das also discusses being rejected on the basis on being ‘too Indian’, the diversity factor, and ComicCon.

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Series: Midnight in Karachi Podcast

The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

Thank you for sticking with us for eighteen months, three books, sixty posts (75,000 words!), and seven guest posts! We’ve fought dragons, marvelled at Goldmoon’s hair, escaped death knights and (endlessly) argued over Laurana’s agency. WE’RE ALL THE REAL HEROES.

To wrap things up in a fun—and hopefully interactive—way, we’ve decided to interview ourselves. A simple 10 (+1) question discussion, easily numbered, so you can take part in the comments! Please chime in, and answer the questions you want, or make any other comment you’d like. We’re easy!

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Series: Dragonlance Reread

Midnight in Karachi Episode 61: Victoria Schwab

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.

This week Mahvesh speaks with writer Victoria Schwab on her novel This Savage Song. The pair discuss balancing life and growing as a writer, and establishing who you are to survive in the industry.

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Series: Midnight in Karachi Podcast

The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Dragons of Spring Dawning: Homecoming

Bad news, good news. Bad news: a super-short week, with a denouement and another (steel yourself) poem. Good news: it’s all Raistlin!

Join us for the last dying moments of the Dragonlance Chronicles. And, fair warning—next week, we’ll be doing our big rambling overview, so get ready to share your own favourite moments and monsters!

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Series: Dragonlance Reread