Tor.com content by

Nicky Drayden

Fiction and Excerpts [1]
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Fiction and Excerpts [1]

French Fries, Spandex, and Other Surefire Ways to Kill a Werewolf

Silver bullets. Wolfsbane. We’ve seen them in just about every werewolf story out there, but in Stephen Graham Jones’s Mongrels, it turns out those tried and true methods of killing are the least of a werewolf’s worries. In this novel, a family of werewolves living on the fringes of society carves out a place for themselves in a world where gruesome death is a constant threat. It’s not the pitchforks and torches of incensed mobs that they have to watch out for—well, sometimes it is, but mostly their survival hinges upon seemingly trivial matters, like avoiding junk food and road rage, and knowing what not to wear.

This entire novel is charming beyond belief, but it’s the several-page stretch where our young narrator imparts upon us the four biggest threats to a werewolf’s existence that made me an instant believer. Both ingenious and crisp, these evocative details drew me deeper into this suddenly all-too-plausible story, locking me there with words sharper than lycanthrope teeth.

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Series: That Was Awesome! Writers on Writing

The Prey of Gods

In South Africa, the future looks promising. Personal robots are making life easier for the working class. The government is harnessing renewable energy to provide infrastructure for the poor. And in the bustling coastal town of Port Elizabeth, the economy is booming thanks to the genetic engineering industry which has found a welcome home there. Yes—the days to come are looking very good for South Africans.

That is, if they can survive the present challenges: a new hallucinogenic drug sweeping the country; an emerging AI uprising; and an ancient demigoddess hellbent on regaining her former status by preying on the blood and sweat (but mostly blood) of every human she encounters.

It’s up to a young Zulu girl powerful enough to destroy her entire township, a queer teen plagued with the ability to control minds, a pop diva with serious daddy issues, and a politician with even more serious mommy issues to band together to ensure there’s a future left to worry about.

Nicky Drayden’s debut novel The Prey of Gods will capture your heart… even as one particular demigoddess threatens to rip it out. Available June 13th from Harper Voyager.

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From Robby to Roomba: Robots, AIs, and the Minds of Tomorrow

In honor of Earth Day, Harper Voyager authors are sharing their scientific knowledge in the form of the virtual science fair—follow the conversation on Twitter at #HVsciencefair.

Artificial intelligence has long been a staple of science fiction, but now we’re at the turning point where it’s quickly becoming our reality. Marvin, the mopey robot from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, was probably once considered by readers to be a laugh-fetching gag, but now it’s prudent to ask how modeling such emotions can affect how AI is perceived. Johnny Cabs and Rosie the Robots are practically on our doorsteps, but what will their presence mean for our economy? Certainly, some human job loss will occur, but will having AI in the workforce be a boon to other entrepreneurs and creators?

Authors Marina J. Lostetter (Noumenon) and Nicky Drayden (The Prey of Gods) set out to answer these questions and more. Both of their novels feature sentient AIs—Lostetter’s a super intelligent interstellar convoy charged with the transport and care of a volatile crew, and Drayden’s a secretly sentient personal robot whose misguided antics might spark a liberation movement. In an attempt to separate science from science fiction, these two AI fanatics gathered an engineer, a hacker, and a futurist to pick their brains about the minds of tomorrow.

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