“Orphan Pirates of the Spanish Main” by Dennis Danvers is a science-fiction novelette that follows Stan and his brother Ollie, children of alien (or crazy) parents who receive a mysterious postcard from their father, who with their mother, disappeared decades earlier into the “Abyss” in New Mexico.
Moogfest began as a one-day music festival celebrating both Robert Moog and electronic music in general. Over the last decade, it has grown into a multi-day symposium/festival with a scope that goes well beyond music and the circuit-driven gear that is used to make it. The daytime programming now includes discussions about transhumanism, cyborgs, race, and gender—and this year, the Afrofuturism programming track included a conversation with musician Janelle Monae and screenwriter Allison Schroeder, moderated by Kimberly Drew, who is Associate Online Community Producer at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Their conversation was billed as “Women and Afrofuturism”, but much of the discussion centered on the forthcoming film Hidden Figures, written by Schroeder and starring Monae, Taraji P. Henderson, and Olivia Spencer. The film is a look at a little-known piece of space exploration history: the African-American women who worked for NASA during the Gemini and Apollo missions. In telling this story from the past, Schroeder, Monae, and the rest of the film’s team find a way forward; by revealing this untold story of women of color, they want to demonstrate the possibilities for others, whether in art, science, or both.
Joe Hill has been giving the world inventive horror stories for twenty years now, but his latest, The Fireman, will be a landmark for the author:
My God. THE FIREMAN will enter the New York Times hardcover list at #1. So happy. So staggered. So grateful to everyone who bought it.
— Joe Hill (@joe_hill) May 25, 2016
Hill spent the first decade of his career quietly writing superb short fiction, gradually making a name for himself without ever letting on that he was the son of Stephen King. It was only in 2007 that that bit of his biography came to light, startling even longtime friends like Neil Gaiman.
Hill also took a moment to honor his literary agent, Michael “Mickey” Choate, who passed away in 2015:
There’s a little sadness in any stunningly happy moment. This is my friend and agent Mickey Choate’s first #1 too. Miss him very much.
— Joe Hill (@joe_hill) May 25, 2016
The Fireman is Hill’s fourth novel, following the Bram Stoker Award-winning collection Twentieth Century Ghosts, Heart-Shaped Box, a comic, Locke & Key, Horns, which was adapted into a film starring Daniel Radcliffe, and NOS4A2. You can read Niall Alexander’s review of The Fireman here!
We’re excited to share the cover for Walkaway, Cory Doctorow’s first adult novel in eight years! Available in April 2017 from Tor Books, Walkaway is an epic tale of revolution, love, post-scarcity, and the end of death. In this multi-generation SF thriller Doctorow describes as “a utopian disaster novel,” he envisions a near-future in which technological advancements allow humans to simply walk away from oppressive economic and authority systems.
Learn more about the novel below, and check out the full cover by artist Will Staehle!
Roger Zelazny’s biographer and friend, Ted Krulik, is sharing insights and anecdotes from the author. Previously, Zelazny spoke about his own writing style; today Krulik curates some of Zelazny’s thoughts on his fellow authors…
I was a program participant at Lunacon in Tarrytown, New York in March of 1989. It was a memorable convention and one well-attended. One of its major events took place in the grand ballroom of the hotel at 7PM on Saturday night. Prime time. Over two hundred people filled the hall. It was a one-on-one interview with Writer Guest-of-Honor Roger Zelazny, and I was the interviewer.
Roger came down the aisle to rousing applause. I was already seated but I stood to greet him and we shook hands. When the two of us settled in at a cloth-covered table on the stage, I addressed the large audience. “We are here to have a small, intimate conversation with Roger Zelazny,” I said. “And you are all eavesdroppers.”
Born on this day in 1951, Sally Ride initially pursued tennis seriously, becoming a nationally ranked player before college. She also double majored at Stanford, earning BAs in both English (she loved Shakespeare) and Physics (she also loved lasers). But physics won out, and she earned her PhD in 1978—the same year that she earned a place in NASA’s astronaut program, in an application process that included 1,000 women, and eventually selected six female applicants.
Series: On This Day
Considering all of the deaths (and other tragedies) that have kicked off season 6 of Game of Thrones, it’s no surprise that viewers glommed on to the show’s darling new ‘ship: Briemund, for Brienne of Tarth and her heart-eyed admirer, Tormund Giantsbane. While we’ll never know exactly what was going through Tormund’s head in that amazing GIF, this Titanic mashup from The Pixel Factor is a pretty great guess. (Seriously, look at how excited he is and how over this Brienne is.) And if you can’t watch that GIF without now hearing “YOUUU’RE HEEERE THERE’S NOOOOTHIIING I FEEEEAAAR” in your head, check out twelve other great Briemund memes, thanks to MTV.
If the words “Small Beer Press” don’t make your eyes tingle in excitement… well, we’re not sure what to tell you. Since 2000, SBP has been publishing some of the coolest genre-bending stories we’ve ever read. Now the good folks of Humble Bundle are offering a package of “Intoxicating, Extraordinary Fiction”, featuring some of the best books from Small Beer’s history!
For the next 13 days, you can pay what you wish to get $184 worth of digital books, including Kelly Link’s all-time classic Stranger Things Happen, Joan Aiken’s The Monkey’s Wedding and Other Stories, and The Liminal People by Ayize Jama-Everett. For a larger donation you can get North American Lake Monsters and A Stranger in Olondria, and for even (slightly) more The Archivist Wasp could be yours forever.
Head on over to the Humble Bundle to support the charity of your choice in the best way possible – by reading fantastic fiction!
Hello, everyone! Welcome back to the Temeraire Reread, in which I recap and review Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series, one novel a week, leading up to the release of the final volume, League of Dragons, on June 14, 2016. We continue this week with the sixth novel, Tongues of Serpents, in which we go to Australia. You can catch up on past posts at the reread index, or check out Tor.com’s other posts about Naomi Novik’s works through her tag.
Reminder: these posts may contain spoilers through all currently-published novels, but will contain no spoilers for the forthcoming League of Dragons (I’ve read it, but I’m pretending I haven’t). If you have read League, absolutely no spoilers! But there’s no need to warn for spoilers about the published books, so spoil—and comment!—away.
Series: The Temeraire Reread
Let’s be honest: the line between history and fiction doesn’t really exist. After all, history is just stories we tell ourselves. The way we tell those stories says more about our time than about the times we’re examining. Reading about decades- or even centuries-old events in contemporary sources and then comparing how we talk—or don’t talk—about them now is a sobering insight into how writing history shifts what happened into what we think happened and how we process it long after the fact.
So when we write fantasy using history as our playground, we aren’t really rewriting history. We’re writing our own questions played out on a historical background. Fortunately for us, history is cyclical, and we keep needing the same questions answered again and again and again.
Series: Five Books About…
Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.
Today we’re looking at Lord Dunsany’s “Poor Old Bill,” first published in A Dreamer’s Tales in 1910. Spoilers ahead.
Series: The Lovecraft Reread
While we’ve only known for about a year or so that M.R. Carey’s The Girl With All the Gifts was coming to the big screen, it turns out that Carey was writing the screenplay while plotting out the novel years ago! Which means that the movie—set to be released later this year in the UK, and hopefully soon in the U.S.—plays with perspective in a way that the novel didn’t, making for a different telling of a celebrated addition to the zombie genre. This is just one tidbit from Carey’s recent AMA (Ask Me Anything) thread in Reddit’s r/books subreddit, which covered plenty about the movie (including diverse casting choices) and the next form the book should take (Carey is all for a graphic novel version).
Carey also discussed his new novel Fellside: how he came up with this ghostly prison story, and what similarities its protagonist Jess shares with young Melanie. Not to mention some nostalgic musings on his work on Lucifer and The Unwritten… Read on for the highlights! (Beware, there are some spoilers for The Girl With All the Gifts in the questions and answers.)
Our brand new Spider-Man, as introduced in Captain America: Civil War, is only fifteen years old. Take that in for a moment. He is fifteen. A decade-and-a-half old. He wasn’t even born in the 20th century, which is pretty much a first for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It’s exciting because none of the previous screen Spider-Mans have been truly teenage-like (mostly because they were being portrayed by adults). And it’ll be great for the current audience of kids, who can view Peter as more of an avatar. But the really cool part? This Spider-Man grew up in an age full of superheroes—and it’s bound to shape his worldview in a way that these films have never been able to address before.
We want to send you a galley copy of Larry Niven and Steven Barnes’s The Seascape Tattoo, available June 28th from Tor Books!
Aros of Azteca and Neoloth-Pteor are the deadliest of enemies: Swordsman and Sorcerer, locked in mortal combat, who have tried to kill each other more times than either can count. But when the princess Neoloth loves is kidnapped, there is only one plan that offers any hope of rescue . . . and that requires passing off the barbarian Aros as a lost princeling and infiltrating the deadliest cabal of necromancers the world has ever seen. They cannot trust each other. They will betray or kill each other the first chance they get. But they’re all each other has.
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Of course in the future, when we’ve colonized other planets, the thing connecting humans will be the Internet. Asa Butterfield (who we last saw as Ender Wiggin in Ender’s Game) stars as Gardner, the only human ever born on Mars, while Tulsa (Tomorrowland‘s Britt Robertson) is an average Earthling, and they meet-cute through instant-messaging. But when he escapes to Earth in a reverse take on The Martian, all of the astronauts and scientists who have kept him alive (and secret) on a distant planet have to deal with the publicity nightmare of a “Martian” wandering around Earth in search of his true love.
John Crowley, the author of classic Little, Big, believes he’s found the strongest contender for “oldest SF story,” and he loves the story so much, he’s working on a new translation of it for Small Beer Press. The story, The Chemical Wedding, appeared in Germany in 1616 and purported to be the work of Christian Rosencreutz, the legendary founder of Rosicrucianism. A theologian and utopian named Johann Valentin Andreae admitted to authorship years later, and called the book a “ludibrium”—which can mean hoax or joke—but by then it had already become one of the foundational texts of the Rosicrucian movement. And Crowley thinks the book is much more than that.