Iä! Iä! Cthulhu Colors!

Doesn’t this look like a page from the most disturbing coloring book? Artist Andrey Fetisov illustrates the madness-inducing horror of some of H.P. Lovecraft’s best stories, including “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath,” “The Dunwich Horror,” “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” and (of course) “The Call of Cthulhu.” Just look at those colors! As vivid as our nightmares.

[via Imgur]

Pick a Door, Any Door…

As this excellent comic from SlugBooks demonstrates, magical doors come in many shapes and sizes, and inspire hours of endless debate over which fantastical world (some portal fantasies, others not) you’d like to visit. We can’t help but think of Seanan McGuire’s Every Heart a Doorway, with endless possible worlds into which you can tumble. But who says you have to pick just one? As we already discovered, nearly all magical worlds can be mapped into a multiverse—so why not take the TARDIS to Hogwarts, Narnia, and 221 Baker Street?

We’d recommend avoiding Westeros, but we know our own Emily Asher-Perrin would definitely pick Neverland. Which doorway(s) would you choose?

Legends of Tomorrow’s Wibbly Wobbly First Season

Even if you don’t find much else to praise in Legends of Tomorrow’s first season, you have to admit that it’s consistent on at least one front: from week to week, the show had a lot of promise that it didn’t quite live up to. Somewhere under the surface—beneath the bland sets, the clunky exposition, the placeholder feel of some episodes—is a really interesting show about different kinds of heroism, the things that drive people to drastic actions, and the way we take care of ourselves and others. But a poorly chosen central plot and a tendency to tell rather than show make Legends’ first season often more fun to pick apart than it is to watch.

That is, until the end.

Spoilers for the entire first season follow.

[Read more]

The Great Catastrophe: The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

The epic journey that began in The Passage finally comes full circle in The City of Mirrors, a proper doorstopper of a novel that satisfies somewhat in spite of its sheer size and a hell of a hammy bad guy.

I have such fond memories of the beginning of this trilogy, which paired an awesome and expansive apocalypse—one up there, in my estimation, with the end of the world in Swan Song and The Stand—with a truly heartbreaking tale of loss on the small scale. By the denouement of that book, I had no idea where the story as a whole was going to go, but I knew that I wanted to know. And then… well.

The Twelve wasn’t terrible. It had a couple of a kick-ass action scenes, and some stirring slower moments that allowed Justin Cronin to explore the emotions of his vast cast of characters. But almost every other inch of that many-inched monolith of a novel felt like filler; texture at best and time-wasting at worst. In that respect, The City of Mirrors splits the difference. It doesn’t meander as much as its messy predecessor did, but nor, on the back of such bloat, and with more of its own to add to the tally, can it recapture the magic of The Passage.

[Read more]

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Enterprise Incident”

“The Enterprise Incident”
Written by D.C. Fontana
Directed by John Meredyth Lucas
Season 3, Episode 4
Production episode 60043-59
Original air date: September 27, 1968
Stardate: 5027.3

Captain’s log. Kirk is acting irrationally, being snappish with both Chekov and Spock and then ordering the ship to head for the Romulan Neutral Zone, in violation of treaty, and entirely on his own authority, as no order from Starfleet has come in that Uhura is aware of. They go through the Zone and into Romulan space. Three ships decloak: Romulan ships, albeit of Klingon design. The Enterprise is surrounded.

Sub-commander Tal contacts them, asking them to surrender or be destroyed, giving them an hour to comply. Kirk and Spock theorize that they would’ve just destroyed them right off normally, but they must want the ship.

[Captain, please go. Somehow they do not look aesthetically pleasing on a human…]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

False Hearts Sweepstakes!

We want to send you a galley copy of Laura Lam’s False Hearts, available June 14th from Tor Books!

Twin sisters Taema and Tila, conjoined until the age of sixteen, are in their mid-twenties when they’re drawn into a deadly battle for control of a drug that facilitates a disturbing form of lucid dreaming.

One night Tila stumbles home, terrified and covered in blood. She’s arrested for murder, the first homicide by a civilian in decades. The San Francisco police suspect involvement with Verve, an illicit narcotic that allows violent minds to enact their darkest desires in a terrifying dreamscape, and they offer her twin Taema a chilling deal. If Taema assumes Tila’s identity and obtains the information needed to take down the city’s drug syndicate, the police may let her sister live. But Taema’s investigation stirs up ghosts from the twins’ past.

Raised in the closed cult of Mana’s Hearth and denied access to modern technology, Taema and Tila dared to dream of a life beyond the walls of the compound. When the heart they shared began to fail, the twins escaped to San Francisco, where they were surgically separated and given new artificial hearts. From then on they pursued lives beyond anything they could have previously imagined.

But that freedom comes with a price; once unable to keep secrets from each other, Taema and Tila learn the true cost of lies.

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 2:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on May 24th. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on May 28th. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Tor.com, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

The Weaver’s Lament

Author Elizabeth Haydon returns with a heartbreaking tale of love and valor in The Weaver’s Lament, the ninth and final installment of her Symphony of Ages series—available June 21st from Tor Books!

For a thousand years, the lands ruled by the Cymrian Alliance have been at peace. When the brutal death of a dear friend catapults the kingdom to the brink of civil war, Rhapsody finds herself in an impossible situation: forced to choose between her beloved husband, Ashe, and her two oldest friends, Grunthor and Achmed. Choosing her husband will mean the death of thousands of innocents. Siding against him will cost Rhapsody the other half of her soul, both in this life and the next.

In The Weaver’s Lament, the lines between the past and future are irrevocably blurred, and the strength of true love is tested in unthinkable ways.

[Read more]

See Every Heart a Doorway Author Seanan McGuire in New York City!

We’re excited to announce that Seanan McGuire will appear at Kinokuniya Bookstore in Midtown Manhattan on Saturday, June 11th at 3 p.m. to discuss Every Heart a Doorway, her Tor.com Publishing novella about what becomes of the children who step through to other realities, only to lose the portals to the fantastical homes they’ve found. (Read an excerpt here.) Copies of Every Heart a Doorway, as well as many of Seanan’s other titles, will be available for buying and signing!

Come spend a summer afternoon with Seanan and the Tor.com crew talking about portal fantasies, Narnia vs. Neverland, and the multiverse of magical worlds near beautiful Bryant Park. RSVP here!

The Wheel of Time Reread Redux: The Dragon Reborn, Part 21

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day, Wheel of Time Reread Redux? Thou art more wordy and argumentative – just how I like it!

Today’s Redux post will cover Chapters 43 and 44 of The Dragon Reborn, originally reread in this post.

All original posts are listed in The Wheel of Time Reread Index here, and all Redux posts will also be archived there as well. (The Wheel of Time Master Index, as always, is here, which has links to news, reviews, interviews, and all manner of information about the Wheel of Time in general on Tor.com.)

The Wheel of Time Reread is also available as an e-book series! Yay!

All Reread Redux posts will contain spoilers for the entire Wheel of Time series, so if you haven’t read, read at your own risk.

And now, the post!

[In happier times, it would be all angsty sestinas about the difficulty of getting fur out of one’s teeth]

Series: The Wheel of Time Reread

Go Behind the Fiction in These 17 Essay Collections and Biographies

Non-fiction is often overlooked for its flashier fictional counterpart, especially in the varied alien worlds and magical kingdoms of science fiction and fantasy. But with upcoming essay collections from genre authors Neil Gaiman and Kameron Hurley, we’re getting more excited for great works of non-fiction—sometimes there’s nothing better than a smart SFF fan writing critically about how and why genre works, or reading firsthand about the real lives and motivations behind our favorite stories.

To that end, we’ve gathered a compendium of essays, literary criticism, and biography that explore the craft of science fiction and fantasy, and the lives of luminaries from Hugo Gernsback to Samuel Delany. We’re sure we missed some great books, so please tell us about your favorite SFF non-fiction in the comments!

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Rereading Kage Baker’s Company Series: In the Garden of Iden, Chapters 19-21

Welcome to this week’s installment of the Kage Baker Company series reread! In today’s post, we’ll cover chapters 19-21 of In the Garden of Iden.

Before we get started, the usual warning: this reread contains spoilers for the entire series, so be careful unless you don’t mind finding out plot elements and major revelations from later books. Gentle reader, thou hast been warned. The reread’s introduction (including the reading order we’ll be following) can be found here, and the index of all previous posts here.

And with that, we’re off!

[Arrows you may dodge and fever you may antibody for, but mortal grief is a misfortune you cannot escape.]

Series: Rereading Kage Baker

Dory Searches for Her Home in the Latest Finding Dory Trailer

Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory looks to be that rare sequel that builds on all the great stuff from the first film: Instead of Nemo being separated from his dad, Dory gets scooped up and dumped into the Marine Life Institute (a.k.a. a fish hospital); there’s a whole new cast of undersea creatures to help her in her journey; plenty of whale-speak; the fearsome angler fish of the original gets replaced by a scary squid… there’s even an update to the “MINE MINE MINE MINE” seagulls with two bleating sea lions.

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Black Holes and 4-D Wars: The Doctor Who Stories of Alan Moore

Doctor Who has a fine comic tradition, one stretching right back to the First Doctor’s debut in the pages of TV Comic in November 1964. Sixteen years later, the first bona fide professional work of writer Alan Moore—who would go on to become one of the most important and iconic comic creators of the modern era—appeared in the pages of the new Doctor Who Weekly magazine.

Moore wrote just five back-up strips for Doctor Who Weekly between June 1980 and October 1981—a grand total of just 28 pages, each (save four) rendered in beautiful monochrome by David Lloyd. Lloyd would later collaborate with Moore on what can be argued as the latter’s first truly great work, V for Vendetta, which first appeared in the pages of the weekly anthology, Warrior, in March 1982.

Although Moore never worked on Doctor Who Weekly’s primary comic strip, his work in the back-up pages represents some of the best of that Golden Age of British comics, a period of around a decade that began with the publication of the short-lived Action in the mid 1970s, and was followed by many others, including Starlord, Tornado, and of course, the legendary SF anthology, 2000AD. While Alan Moore is well known for his contributions to 2000AD, his work on Doctor Who Weekly, while largely overlooked, provides a fascinating look at his early development as a writer.

[Read more]