The Peripheral Sweepstakes!

The Peripheral by William Gibson is available in trade paperback from Berkley on October 6th, and we want to send you a copy!

Flynne Fisher lives down a country road, in a rural near-future America where jobs are scarce, unless you count illegal drug manufacture, which she’s trying to avoid. Her brother Burton lives, or tries to, on money from the Veterans Administration, for neurological damage suffered in the Marines’ elite Haptic Recon unit. Flynne earns what she can by assembling product at the local 3D printshop. She made more as a combat scout in an online game, playing for a rich man, but she’s had to let the shooter games go.

Wilf Netherton lives in London, seventy-some years later, on the far side of decades of slow-motion apocalypse. Things are pretty good now, for the haves, and there aren’t many have-nots left. Wilf, a high-powered publicist and celebrity-minder, fancies himself a romantic misfit, in a society where reaching into the past is just another hobby.

Burton’s been moonlighting online, secretly working security in some game prototype, a virtual world that looks vaguely like London, but a lot weirder. He’s got Flynne taking over shifts, promised her the game’s not a shooter. Still, the crime she witnesses there is plenty bad.

Flynne and Wilf are about to meet one another. Her world will be altered utterly, irrevocably, and Wilf’s, for all its decadence and power, will learn that some of these third-world types from the past can be badass.

Comment in the post to enter!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States and D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec). To enter, comment on this post beginning at 3:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on October 3rd. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on October 7th. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor:, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

Fiction Affliction: October Releases in Paranormal Romance

Twenty new paranormal romance books steam up the shelves in October (note that due to space limitations, this list does not include all of the small-press and self-pubbed paranormal romances for the month). Look for series additions from, among others, Delilah S. Dawson (Blud), Terry Spear (Heart of the Wolf), Terri Brisbin (Stone Circles), Alyssa Cole (Off the Grid), Debra Mullins (Truth Seers), Eve Langlais (Welcome to Hell), and Molly Harper (Half-Moon Hollow).

[[Read about this month’s paranormal romance.]]

Five Books About Characters Who Turn Disability Into Superpowers

As the parent of a 19-year-old with autism and one of the founders a center for children and young adults with disabilities in Western Massachusetts, I know first-hand that kids with disabilities may not have bodies that work or brains that pick up on social cues. I also know we live in a world with people who too often see a person with a disability and think, “Oh, that’s sad…” But these kids have lived with difference all their lives—and the stares that go along with this—so they tend to be surprisingly less self-conscious than their peers. For most of them, their life stopped feeling like a tragedy a long time ago. The children often lead the way in teaching their parent this lesson: I’m not sad about what I can’t do so you shouldn’t be either—now let’s get on with life and do what I can…  

Not caring what others think—especially in the world of teens—is a form of empowerment. So is living outside the stifling norms of society’s expectations (witness every superhero who is relegated to living in a cave or a sewer). Because I write realistic fiction and therefore read mostly realistic fiction, and because I often feature characters with disabilities at the center of my stories, I sometimes wonder if the idea of having a character empowered by their disability springs from this determination to live a full life in spite of what might look like serious limitations.

[Read more]

Series: Five Books About…

Holy Rewatch, Batman! “Hi Diddle Riddle” / “Smack in the Middle”

“Hi Diddle Riddle”/ “Smack in the Middle”
Written by Lorenzo Semple Jr.
Directed by Robert Butler
Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2
Production code 6028
Original air dates: January 12 & 13, 1966

The Bat-signal: We open at the Gotham City World’s Fair, specifically at the exhibit for the Republic of Moldavia, where the prime minister is holding a “friendship luncheon.” A cake is brought out, which is adorned with two figurines, one of a guy in a silly hat and overalls that is, I guess, supposed to symbolize Moldavia, shaking hands with Uncle Sam.

However, as the PM cuts into the cake, it explodes. It’s a small explosion, enough to ruin the cake (too bad, it looked yummy) and also shoot a message into the air, which then parachutes down. It’s a piece of paper with a riddle on it: “Why is an orange like a bell?”

[I’ll stand at the bar. I shouldn’t wish to attract attention.]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Our Apocalyptic Missions, Ourselves: Sleepy Hollow Returns with “I, Witness”

Sleepy Hollow’s back! Is that something we should care about? I just don’t know! I’ve been telling my colleagues at that I expected this season to suck. I assumed the magic would be gone, and after all the last-minute deaths, narrative shifts, and the disappearance of Orlando Jones, I felt too jerked around to care anymore. But this Season 3 premiere seemed dedicated to getting back to basics, and strengthening the core relationships that were the whole reason the show became a surprise hit in the first place.

[I want to believe.]

Lemony Snicket’s Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights? is a Bittersweet Masterpiece

As a book critic, I’d say that few authors have the unique voice and quirky prose-styling of Daniel Handler. But as a reader and super-fan of both A Series of Unfortunate Events, and the newer series—All the Wrong Questions—I am convinced that the ability to casually break my heart is a dark super-power held only by Handler’s alter-ego: the author/fictional character known as Lemony Snicket.

And even though I know he’s not real, I’m weeping about Lemony Snicket right now. In his new book, the last in All the Wrong Questions—Why is this Night Different From All Other Nights? he’s really outdone himself.

[Read more]

Usher in October with All the Morticias!

Horror pin-up enthusiasts Coffin Cuties shared this fabulous photoshop of three generations of Morticia Addams on Instagram, and we can think of few better ways to usher in the month-that-is-mostly-just-Halloween-as-far-as-we’re-concerned, than staring at Morticia Addams. We’ll warn you that some of the Coffin Cuties’ stuff is NSFW, depending on where you happen to W.

Afternoon Roundup wants to take you to Mars, but promises not to leave you there. Also George R.R. Martin rhapsodizes about the Red Planet, and Rick & Morty offer relief from a modern nerd problem.

[Plus a history is saved from deletion!]

Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, Last Argument of Kings: “Questions” and “The Day of Judgement”

Remember that promise that I wouldn’t miss anymore weeks after my long break? I’m sorry! I have a really good excuse. Speaker John Boehner resigned last week and it absolutely decimated my attention for anything else. I work a politically associated field, and I spent the rest of the week figuring out who is likely to succeed him. As I trolled through the delegation to find the answer, I was finding myself looking at a lot of folks who reminded me of Bayaz, a few whom called up associates to Jezal, and one-or-two that might be best put alongside Glokta. Sadly, I found few even as well oriented for the job as Collem West might be.

It was at this point that I realized, that like the characters in the First Law Trilogy are not qualified to be magnanimous leaders, there not be any leaders in Congress ready to assume the Speaker’s gavel in the House of Representatives. Of course, then I found myself considering the American political system as a classic case of grimdark. I think this analogy may hit disconcertingly close to the truth.

[On to this week’s chapters.]

Series: The Joe Abercrombie First Law Trilogy Reread

Need More Monsters? Watch Earth Beasts Awaken

Godzilla gave me a fondness for man-in-rubber-suit monsters. It seemed that at least one basic cable television station ran a couple of the classic kaiju films during my childhood, and, always anxious for the all-out brawls saved for the last act, I watched as many as I possibly could. Now those summer afternoons feel like ancient history. Computer-generated monstrosities have largely put an end to such practical effects spectacles. But not entirely. The joy I felt at watching the “King of the Monsters” repeatedly pummel his mechanical counterpart has recently been rekindled by Earth Beasts Awaken.

[Read more]

The Fall of the House of West

Aurora West is on the verge of solving the mystery of her mother’s death, but it’s hard keeping her efforts a secret from her grieving father, the legendary monster-hunter Haggard West. Between her school work and her hours training and hunting with her dad, Aurora is hard-pressed to find time to be a secret sleuth. But she’s nothing if not persistent.

What Aurora doesn’t realize is that she’s about to blow open a secret that may very well destroy what’s left of her family…and, indeed, all of Arcopolis.

From writer Paul Pope and artists JT Petty and David Rubín comes The Fall of the House of West, the nail-biting sequel to The Rise of Aurora West! Available October 13th from First Second.

[Read an excerpt]

Modern Folk Horror: The Witch

If you use the words “horror” and “New England” together in a sentence, most aficionados of the genre will think first of H.P. Lovecraft and the Salem witch trials. You should now include The Witch in that list, a tightly crafted and deeply unsettling film that was a hit at Sundance and Fantastic Fest, and which has a very strong claim to being one of the best horror films of the year.

[Spoiler-free review]

The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Dragons of Winter Night Part I, Chapters 6 and 7

Welcome back! Last week, our intrepid band of adventurers stepped into the city of Tarsis, where they failed to remain as inconspicuous as they’d hoped. Our heroes were introduced to a captive elf princess, Alhana Starbreeze, and the whole lot were sent off to jail when Sturm sprang to defend her honor.

This week, the party gets some help from an unexpected gang of hooded figures before all hell breaks loose…

[Read more]

Series: Dragonlance Reread

Joint US and UK Cover Reveal for Laura Lam’s False Hearts

We’re pleased to reveal both the Tor Books and Tor UK covers for Laura Lam’s upcoming novel, False Hearts. It’s Orphan Black meets Inception: Two formerly conjoined sisters are ensnared in a murderous plot involving psychoactive drugs, shared dreaming, organized crime, and a sinister cult. Learn more about the novel and check out the full cover art for both the US and UK editions below!

[Read more]

A Helpful Reminder

Women at Warp shared this fantastic image on their Facebook page! Inspired by WaW‘s episode, “Pulaski Pulls No Punches“, Aaron Harvey of wanted to remind us all that sometimes the relationships in Starfleet get a little…convoluted. This image neatly encapsulates many of the issues Riker seems to have with his father, while correctly keeping the focus on Pulaski herself. Come on, Riker, your dad put up with you for thirteen years, right? Spare him the pain of your childhood, and don’t be weird when you find out he used to date one of your friends!

Fiction Affliction: October Releases in Urban Fantasy and Horror

There’s a surprising abundance of adult titles in this month’s thirty-one urban fantasy and horror releases….guess the teens are busy with schoolwork. Look for new series titles or shorts from, among others, Thomas E. Sniegoski (Remy Chandler), Darynda Jones (Charley Davidson), Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden (The Cemetery Girl Trilogy), MaryJanice Davidson (Undead), Diana Rowland (White Trash Zombie), Jennifer Estep (Black Blade), and Laura Bickle (Dark Alchemy). Don’t like your vampires warm and sexy? Check out this month’s new vampire horror anthology edited by Christopher Golden.

[Read about this month’s releases!]

Monster Mixtape: Arachnid Warriors

It’s that time of the year again. There’s a slight chill to the late summer evenings. Leaves are starting to bring out their fall colors. Each day is just a bit shorter than the last. We can all feel what these changes signify. No, not going back to school, but that it’s the season for monster movies! Between now and Halloween I’ll be highlighting ten of the best toothy, sharp-clawed, and mutated aberrations to shred the silver screen. Some are old classics, others are newcomers, but all are awesome.

“Your basic Arachnid warrior isn’t too smart, but you can blow off a limb and it’s still 86 percent combat effective.” Let’s talk about the bugs from Starship Troopers.

[Read more]

The Harry Potter Reread: The Half-Blood Prince, Chapters 7 and 8

The Harry Potter Reread forgot its umbrella and is going to end up like that MacArthur Park song… “Someone left a cake out in the rain/Well I don’t think I can take it/’Cause it took so long to bake it/And I’ll never have that recipe again”

This week we’re back to school, and have a highly uncomfortable Defense Against the Dark Arts lesson. It’s chapters 7 and 8 of The Half-Blood Prince–The Slug Club and Snape Victorious.

Index to the reread can be located here! Other Harry Potter and Potter-related pieces can be found under their appropriate tag. And of course, since we know this is a reread, all posts might contain spoilers for the entire series. If you haven’t read all the Potter books, be warned.

[Read more]

Series: The Harry Potter Reread

Slasher Girls & Monster Boys Sweepstakes!

YA horror anthology Slasher Girls and Monster Boys is now available from Dial, and we want to send you a copy and a T-shirt!

For fans of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, American Horror Story and The Walking Dead comes a powerhouse anthology featuring some of the best thriller and horror writers in YA.

A host of the sharpest young adult authors (including Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Jonathan Maberry, and April Genieveve Tucholke) come together in this collection of terrifying tales and psychological thrillers. Each author draws from a mix of literature, film, television, and music to create something new and fresh and unsettling. Clever readers will love teasing out the references and can satisfy their curiosity at the end of each tale, where the inspiration is revealed. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From blood horror, to the supernatural, to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for anyone looking for an absolute thrill.

Comment in the post to enter!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States and D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec). To enter, comment on this post beginning at 3:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on October 1st. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on October 5th. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor:, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

What is This Strange Planet You Call “America”?

My seventh novel is titled Carter & Lovecraft and marks something of a departure for me in a variety of ways. Firstly, it is contemporary and fits into what you might call “Urban Fantasy.” Secondly, it’s a work-for-hire gig insofar as, while I get royalties (thank heavens), I don’t own the copyright. I’ve worked in the video games industry, so I’m quite used to not owning copyright on a project, but this is the first time I’ve written a novel like that. It’s a strange feeling, looking at the rights page in the book and not seeing my name there. Thirdly, the novel is set in a sort of shared fantasy world called “America.” You may have heard of it.

[Read more]