The Rains

In one terrifying night, the peaceful community of Creek’s Cause turns into a war zone. No one under the age of eighteen is safe. Chance Rain and his older brother, Patrick, have already fended off multiple attacks from infected adults by the time they arrive at the school where other young survivors are hiding.

Most of the kids they know have been dragged away by once-trusted adults who are now ferocious, inhuman beings. The parasite that transformed them takes hold after people turn eighteen—and Patrick’s birthday is only a few days away.

Determined to save Patrick’s life and the lives of the remaining kids, the brothers embark on a mission to uncover the truth about the parasites—and what they find is horrifying. Battling an enemy not of this earth, Chance and Patrick become humanity’s only hope for salvation.

The Rains is the first young adult page-turner from New York Times bestselling author Gregg Hurwitz—available October 18th from Tor Teen.

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Five Books That Force Me To Buy Multiple Copies

I love to read. I know, what a shocking statement to make on a guest blog about books. For Tor.com. From an author. I might as well have said, I breathe air or I like Doritos. But I do love to read and I have always loved to read and that was the sole reason the only thing I ever wanted to be in life was an author. And along that journey of reading so many countless books, some have just stood out amongst the others.

I should also say that I like to buy books. There is nothing in this world that I enjoy more than holding a brand new book, flipping through its pages, shoving my nose in there and smelling whatever the hell that smell is that’s inside a book. My kids make fun of me all the time. “Dad, why are you smelling that book? Again?”

Combine all of this and you have a guy who has willingly thrown his money at poor cashier clerks within many different bookstores—often to buy a book of which I already own more than one copy. Yes, publishers are evil this way. “Ooh!” they say. “Let’s hire a new artist and do a new cover for this oldie but goodie and everyone will have to buy it all over again!” Yes, these are the actions of an evil empire, and I’m so glad they do it.

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Series: Five Books About…

Our Malazan Rereaders Look Back at Gardens of the Moon: Favorite Moments and Tips for New Readers

As part of the Tor.com eBook Club for September, we’ve asked Bill and Amanda, our intrepid Malazan Rereaders of the Fallen, to look back to the very beginning and discuss their favorite aspects of Book One, Gardens of the Moon, as well as offering some helpful advice to first-time readers…

Bill: So Amanda, here we are, six years and two months after our first post in the Malazan Reread on Tor.com, which has covered (so far!) 15 books, 4 novellas, roughly 400 posts and who knows how many thousands of pages. And now they want us to talk about Book One, Gardens of the Moon again? I confess it’s not only difficult but downright painful to cast my mind back to when I reread Gardens for this blog, picturing that boyish (emphasis on the “ish”) lad I was when we began there all those years ago: Look at those bright eyes! That spring in the step. All that hair! (Let’s not even bring up the even earlier first-time reader me; I may just break out in tears).

I suppose, though, that all that—the challenge of recollecting details, the painful acknowledgement of the inevitability of time’s passage, the constancy of change—is wholly appropriate for this task, since those are after all some of the major themes in this work. But maybe that’s a little deep for an entry point. Let’s start with something a bit lighter and simpler.

[Since this is the internet, that must mean a list.]

Where to Start? Choosing Between the Original Story and the Screen Adaptation

This is the trailer for Arrival.

It’s based on “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang. It’s directed by Denis Villeneuve whose last two movies, Prisoners and Sicario, have varied between ambitious and astonishing. It stars Amy Adams, consistently one of the most impressive and least well-utilized actresses of her generation. It’s a science fiction story that’s based entirely around language, the perils of not communicating clearly, and the personal costs of first contact.

It looks great. Advanced word is that it IS great. And it places me on the horns of a dilemma.

Do I read the story first or not?

[Time to face the chicken/egg dilemma head on…]

Holy Rewatch Batman! “The Joker’s Last Laugh” / “The Joker’s Epitaph”

“The Joker’s Last Laugh” / “The Joker’s Epitaph”
Written by Peter Rabe and Lorenzo Semple Jr.
Directed by Oscar Rudolph
Season 2, Episodes 47 and 48
Production code 9747
Original air dates: February 15 and 16, 1967

The Bat-signal: The Gotham City bank is providing counterfeit $100 bills for withdrawal, which results in law-abiding citizens passing fake money. The bills are perfect on one side, but blank on the other. Haunted by the insanity of the crime—and Joker’s laughter, which is echoing in Gordon’s office from an indeterminate source—Gordon and O’Hara call Batman, which interrupts Dick’s economics homework, to the boy’s delight and Bruce’s chagrin. (Bruce waxes rhapsodic about how awesome the subject of economics is, a diatribe that could only come from someone independently wealthy…)

[Alert your anti-lunatic squad!]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Jeffrey Alan Love Talks the Art and Words of Notes from the Shadowed City in His Reddit AMA

Despite being a self-described “late bloomer” in entering the art world, Jeffrey Alan Love has created some incredibly distinctive work—from painting J.R.R. Tolkien’s Beowulf for The New Yorker to illustrating Tor.com Originals and Tor.com Publishing novellas. You’ve likely noticed his work on Yoon Ha Lee’s “Combustion Hour” and Andy Remic’s Song for No Man’s Land trilogy (both of which he provides fascinating process posts for). Now, Love is releasing his first book: Notes from the Shadowed City, a fictional travelogue filled with the sketches made by the main character exploring a fantastical world. Here’s the elevator pitch:

An amnesiac finds himself in a strange city over which floats an ominous citadel. The only clue he has to his identity is a journal which leads him to believe he was traveling to research lesser-known magical swords. As the years pass in this strange land he writes and draws his experiences in the journal in the hopes of rediscovering himself and returning home. But then he falls in love.

Love took to Reddit’s r/fantasy to discuss the book, in particular how these strange and compelling drawings inspired the accompanying text.

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This Week in Publishing: Worldcon 75 Guests of Honor and Discovering Your Patronus

This week in science fiction/fantasy (and related subjects) publishing news… All the covers! We’re talking three Neil Gaiman book covers by Robert E. McGinnis, all in different styles; a special edition of Kushiel’s Dart; and John Scalzi’s The Dispatcher. Plus, you can finally find out what your Patronus is (and see if it matches J.K. Rowling’s) while reading up on Worldcon 75’s Guests of Honor and the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius grant” recipients.

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Uncanny Southern Gothic: The Family Plot by Cherie Priest

The Family Plot is the latest novel from Cherie Priest. It’s a Southern Gothic horror set in Chattanooga, and it marks Priest’s return to Southern Gothic sensibilities. Her first three novels (Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Wings to the Kingdom, Not Flesh Nor Feathers) bore some of the hallmarks of the genre, before she spread out to explore zombie steampunk (the acclaimed Boneshaker and its sequels), Lovecraft meets Lizzie Borden (Maplecroft, Chapelwood), and Young Adult (I Am Princess X). Priest has never entirely left horror behind, since most of her work stirs a frisson of uncanny dread, or plays with horror tropes. (Like, for example, zombies.) But The Family Plot wholly embraces the inexplicable and inimical uncanny.

Horror’s never really been my cup of tea, but this is a really good gothic haunted house story. Until the very end, but I’ll get to that.

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