“La beauté sans vertu” by Genevieve Valentine is a vicious little swipe at the fashion industry as certain disturbing trends are amplified in the future and a famous fashion House prepares for an important show.
Welcome to this week’s installment of the Kage Baker Company series reread! In today’s post, we will cover chapters 11 and 12 of In the Garden of Iden.
You can find the reread’s introduction (including the reading order we’ll be following) here, and the index of previous posts here. Please be aware that this reread will contain spoilers for the entire series.
For this week’s post, I decided to try something different and do a separate summary and commentary for each chapter, rather than dealing with both chapters at the same time.
Series: Rereading Kage Baker
Claudia Gray’s Star Wars: Bloodline is unmissable. Her previous Star Wars book, the young adult novel Lost Stars, was thoroughly enjoyable, but Bloodline’s tense politics, vivid new characters, and perfectly characterized Leia make it feel as central to the Star Wars universe as one of the films. It’s a vital piece of connective tissue, a story that takes place at a key moment in the life of Leia Organa while reflecting on all she’s done—and giving us the rich backstory to the events we know are coming.
Almost 25 years after the defeat of the Empire, the New Republic is at a stalemate, the Senate divided between Centrists and Populists. The fractious government can’t agree on anything except that the other side is wrong. (Sound familiar?) At the dedication of a statue of Bail Organa, Leia watches the crowd, sharply observing the invisible divide between her political peers. She is the person we know—the temperamental, intuitive, impatient, sympathetic, brilliant woman we met in A New Hope, grown into adulthood with a huge weight on her shoulders. She’s done this for so long that when one of her smart young staffers asks what she wants to do, she answers honestly: She wants to quit.
Book Riot has done us all a great service by sharing a fantastic list of one hundred science fiction and fantasy novels written by women across nearly every subgenre and category imaginable! YA classics from Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce to Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time are represented, with stops along the way for everything from the swashbuckling Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner, to Mary Doria Russell’s haunting spiritual journey in The Sparrow, to the twisted fairy tale of Helen Oyeyemi’s Mr. Fox, to Cherie Priest’s steampunk extravaganza Boneshaker!
Head over to Book Riot for the full list, and be sure to check out further suggestions in the comments! One word of caution, though: you may feel the need to drop everything and read your way through this entire list.
In this monthly series reviewing classic science fiction books, Alan Brown will look at the front lines and frontiers of science fiction; books about soldiers and spacers, explorers and adventurers. Stories full of what Shakespeare used to refer to as “alarums and excursions”: battles, chases, clashes, and the stuff of excitement.
Science fiction opens a universe of possibilities for the author and the reader. New worlds, new creatures, and new civilizations can all be created to serve the story. And this broad canvas, in the right hands, can be used to paint stories of grand adventure: spaceships can roar through the cosmos, crewed by space pirates armed with ray guns, encountering strange beings. The term “space opera” was coined to describe this type of adventure story. Some authors writing in this sub-genre became lazy, and let their stories become as fanciful as the settings, but others were able to capture that sense of adventure and wonder, and still write stories that felt real, rooted in well-drawn characters and thoughtful backdrops.
One such author was James H. Schmitz. If you were reading Analog and Galaxy magazines in the 1960s and 70s, as I was, you were bound to encounter his work, and bound to remember it fondly.
Tor.com Publishing is proud to announce that consulting editor Ann VanderMeer has acquired her first novella from us. Scheduled for publication this fall, Brian Evenson’s novella The Warren is a tense, thoughtful exploration of a battle for survival between two beings with competing claims to humanity. Ann VanderMeer is a Hugo Award winning editor who has acquired wonderful short fiction for Tor.com over the past few years, and we’re honored to have her on board with another amazing project.
Brian Evenson is the author of a dozen books of fiction, most recently the story collection A Collapse of Horses. His collection Windeye and the novel Immobility were both finalists for a Shirley Jackson Award. His novel Last Days won the American Library Association’s award for Best Horror Novel of 2009). His novel The Open Curtain was a finalist for an Edgar Award and an International Horror Guild Award. He is the recipient of three O. Henry Prizes as well as an NEA fellowship.
Series: Editorially Speaking
Tom Hardy posted this shot with the jubilant message: “Found Furiosa negotiating London traffic”, and we have to agree, this London lorry driver is awesomely Furiosa-esque. We wonder who initiated the photo, though? Did the Furiosa doppelgänger glance to the right and say something along the lines of, “Holy crumpets, that’s Tom bleedin’ Hardy!” and then get his attention? Or did Tom Hardy spot her first, mumble a series of incoherent syllables, and then dig through the pile of pit bull puppies we’re assuming surround him at all times to find his phone for the pic? And what could the passengers possibly have been thinking during this exchange?
Click through for another, slightly-more-dangerous-looking shot!
It was a quiet April for speculative fiction in Australia and New Zealand. I can only think that the exhaustion of the Aurealis Awards and Ditmars and all of the exciting news from March has sent a bunch of authors and publishers scurrying into their (invasive, feral) rabbitholes to recuperate. Nonetheless, a few brave souls were still making some waves…
Series: Aurora Australis
Tansy Rayner Roberts is rereading The Cheysuli Chronicles, an epic fantasy series and family saga by Jennifer Roberson which combines war, magic and prophecy with domestic politics, romance and issues to do with cultural appropriation and colonialism.
Another concise, fast-paced read which manages to pack several volumes worth of Epic Fantasy Plot into a single volume—but this one, quite startlingly, is told in 1st person instead of 3rd, as well as having a different protagonist to Book 1. (Oh, fantasy series made up of single narratively satisfying volumes, where did you go?) This time it’s Carillon, Alix’s cousin and the dispossessed Mujhar of Homana, who takes centre stage.
Artist Tommy Arnold has worked on a wide range of titles in science fiction and fantasy, from Krista D. Ball’s The Demons We See to David Dalglish’s Fireborn—he’s also illustrated some of Tor.com’s original short fiction, including Jennifer Fallon’s “First Kill” and John Chu’s “Hold Time Violations“.
We’re thrilled that Arnold has also turned his talents to Fran Wilde’s The Jewel and Her Lapidary, an epic fantasy novella forthcoming from Tor.com Publishing on May 3rd. Below, Arnold walks us through his process for capturing the novella’s central characters Lin and Sima, from early sketches through the final cover result!
The nominees for the 2015 Shirley Jackson Award have been announced! Awarded every year in recognition of Shirley Jackson’s legacy, the awards honor exceptional work in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and dark fantasy. Tor.com is pleased to announce that two Tor.com Originals are among the nominees: Priya Sharma’s “Fabulous Beasts” and Jeffrey Ford’s “The Thyme Fiend” were nominated for Best Novelette; in addition, The Doll Collection (edited by Ellen Datlow) is up for Best Edited Anthology. Congratulations to all of the nominees!
The 2015 Shirley Jackson Awards will be presented on Sunday, July 10, at Readercon 27.
We want to send you a galley copy of Simone Zelitch’s alternate history Judenstaat, available June 21 from Tor Books!
On April 4th, 1948 the sovereign state of Judenstaat was created in the territory of Saxony, bordering Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia.
Forty years later, Jewish historian Judit Klemmer is making a documentary portraying Judenstaat’s history from the time of its founding to the present. She is haunted by the ghost of her dead husband, Hans, a Saxon, shot by a sniper as he conducted the National Symphony. With the grief always fresh, Judit lives a half-life, until confronted by a mysterious, flesh-and-blood ghost from her past who leaves her controversial footage on one of Judenstaat’s founding fathers—and a note:
“They lied about the murder.”
Judit’s research into the footage, and what really happened to Hans, embroils her in controversy and conspiracy, collective memory and national amnesia, and answers far more horrific than she imagined.
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 2nd. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on May 6th. 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.
Specifically, we’re looking at Martin Kornmesser’s depiction of an Earth-like plant orbiting the ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1—a dim, Jupiter-sized star roughly 40 light years away. Using the Belgian TRAPPIST telescope*, ESO astronomers were able to detect the presence of three planets as they passed between us and TRAPPIST-1’s bloody glow—thus promoting such “red worlds” from the realm of theoretical to confirmed astronomy.
Welcome to the weekly reread of High Deryni!
Last time, Morgan engaged Warin in a semi-scholastic debate on the divine origins of the healing gift, revealing that he, a Deryni, can also heal. GASP! This week sees a miraculous conversion, a dramatic reversal, and a very long council of war. And Morgan finally learns the identity of the beautiful lady with the red-gold hair.
Series: Rereading Katherine Kurtz
To be honest, we would watch David Tennant and Stephen Colbert reenact any famous comedy moment in pop culture history, but they gave a beloved routine a wonderfully geeky spin on Tennant’s recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. And they even managed to squeeze in two Benedict Cumberbatch references in thirty seconds!
Fear The Walking Dead: a show where exciting stuff happens to people I hardly care about. The writers give me an interracial gay romance—yay!—and a gaggle of angsty, obnoxious, selfish teenagers with few redeeming qualities—boo! Nick levels up by mimicking the walkers but apparently uses up the jar of smarts because everyone else makes the world’s worst choices without pausing to consider the consequences. At least the water zombies are cool.