Dreamquest, Take 1: “Celephais”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s original stories.

Today we’re looking at “Celephais,” written in November 1920 and first published in the November 1922 issue of Rainbow. You can read it here.

Spoilers ahead.

[“Kuranes had awaked the very moment he beheld the city”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

The Shootout Solution

Leah Tang just died on stage. Well, not literally. Not yet.

Leah’s stand-up career isn’t going well. But she understands the power of fiction, and when she’s offered employment with the mysterious Genrenauts Foundation, she soon discovers that literally dying on stage is a hazard of the job!

Her first assignment takes her to a Western world. When a cowboy tale slips off its rails, and the outlaws start to win, it’s up to Leah – and the Genrenauts team – to nudge the story back on track and prevent a catastrophe on Earth. But the story’s hero isn’t interested in winning, and the safety of Earth hangs in the balance…

We’re pleased to present an excerpt from The Shootout Solution, episode one of Michael R. Underwood’s new novella series, Genrenauts—available in paperback, ebook, and audio format November 17th from Tor.com!

[Read an excerpt]

The New Trailer for The Good Dinosaur is Here to Make You Weep

As if Inside Out wasn’t enough tear duct exercise for one year, Pixar will give us another “I’m not crying, you’re crying!” opportunity this November, when The Good Dinosaur stomps into our hearts. The new trailer introduces us to the relationship between the dinosaur and his human pet, as they travel across the primordial landscape looking for a new home. Check it out below!

[Check out the full trailer below!]

Sleeps With Monsters: Jaime Lee Moyer Answers Seven Questions

The third volume in Jaime Lee Moyer’s debut trilogy, Against A Brightening Sky, comes out this month. It brings to a close the sequence begun in Delia’s Shadow and continued in A Barricade in Hell. Full of ghosts and consequence, and set in San Francisco in the early 1920s, it’s a fun ride. With murder in.

I thought it might be interesting to ask Jaime a few questions about genre, murder, history, and her attraction to ghost stories. She graciously agreed to answer them.

Onwards to the questions!

[Read more]

Series: Sleeps With Monsters

I Tell Lies About Last Song Before Night

Stories about truth begin with a lie.

Let me tell you a lie: Last Song Before Night is an epic fantasy about a band of young poets on a quest to uncover an ancient secret and save the world from absolute evil.

The archvillain of Last Song is a censor (and he could be nothing else). His trade is the mutilation of truth. I like to think he’d appreciate this lie I’ve told you, just there. It’s a very good lie, because Last Song is about all those things, they’re in the story, it’s true!

[But that is not the true shape of the story…]

The Many Ways the Hero of K.J. Parker’s The Last Witness is Doomed

The main character of K.J. Parker’s new novella The Last Witness has a special ability: he can wipe and transfer…actually you know what? I’ll just let him explain it.

When you need a memory to be wiped, call me.

Transferring unwanted memories to my own mind is the only form of magic I’ve ever mastered. But now, I’m holding so many memories I’m not always sure which ones are actually mine, any more. Some of them are sensitive; all of them are private. And there are those who are willing to kill to access the secrets I’m trying to bury…


I’m being silly. There is a complex story behind Parker’s character in The Last Witness, but what I kept coming back to were the astounding number of ways that the main character invited personal misery and certain peril! Ways like…

[Read more]

Is This the Face of a Man Who Just Walked on the Moon?

Why yes, yes it is! The Project Apollo Archive has just uploaded thousands of hi-res photos into their Flickr account, including this endearing shot of Neil Armstrong fresh from his moonwalk. There’s also a Facebook page which you should all go and like and look at forever. Kipp Teague, the founder of the Archive, has uploaded over 8,000 photos so far, and is hoping to get all 13,000 images up soon, and we can’t wait to see every single one of them!

[Humans. In. SPAAAAAAACE.]

Getting Out of Your Headspace at 120 MPH

In this ongoing series, we ask SF/F authors to descibe a speciality in their lives that has nothing (or very little) to do with writing. Join us as we discover what draws authors to their various hobbies, how they fit into their daily lives, and how and they inform the author’s literary identity!

The truth is writing has always been my passion and I’ve never really found a hobby to do in my down time that competes with it. I am always looking though. Every time I finish a book and have a little breathing space, I try out a different hobby. I’ve tried the more sedate ones like needlepoint, sewing, puzzles, and taking up piano again, but I’ve also tried more exciting things like zip lining as well, which was surprisingly disappointing.

[But I LOVE amusement park rides…]

Fear the Walking Dead, S1 E6: “The Good Man”

The first season of Fear the Walking Dead has been quite the ride. Not an especially good one, mind, but at least I don’t regret giving up 6 hours of my life to it. High praise, indeed. Most of the season arcs were wrapped up in a neat little bow by the end of “The Good Man,” with strong hints to where they’re headed next year. I’ll be there waiting, but not with bated breath.

[“You can get out, but there’s nowhere to go.”]

Old, Familiar Tropes: Last Song Before Night by Ilana C. Myer

Last Song Before Night is Ilana C. Myer’s debut novel, out last month from Tor Books. It is a novel of music, magic, and a darkness at the heart of a kingdom. Unusually among debut fantasy novels with an epic bent, it stands alone. And I wanted to like it a lot more than, it turns out, I actually did.

Maybe it’s just that I’m getting more jaded as I get older. Maybe it’s that Last Song Before Night feels like a version of a story I’ve seen many hundreds of times before: a more adult and more elevated version of one of those Mercedes Lackey novels with bards and evil magic. There’s nothing particularly wrong with writing a new story that uses old tropes in familiar configurations. Indeed, in many cases I’m quite fond of them, and Last Song Before Night is confidently written, with a solid touch for evoking believable characters.

[Read more]

Mistborn Map Sweepstakes!

A few months ago, we gave away the Mistborn Trilogy boxed set, which came with a foldout poster map of Luthadel. We’ve got 10 extra maps, and we want to give you one!

In the Mistborn trilogy, Luthadel is the capital of the Central Dominance and of the Final Empire, and the heart of the Lord Ruler’s power. Yet all is not as it seems: Luthadel was once known as Terris, and houses the Well of Ascension. Most interestingly, this updated map comes with a mysterious (and slightly cheeky) note from Nazh, whose writings have appeared in Alloy of Law and Words of Radiance.

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 5th. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on October 9th. 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 Coode Street Podcast Episode 252: Cecelia Holland

Welcome to The Coode Street Podcast, an informal weekly discussion about science fiction and fantasy featuring award-winning critics and editors Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe. The Coode Street Podcast debuted in 2010 and has been nominated for the Hugo, British Science Fiction, and Aurealis awards.

This week we welcome distinguished historical novelist Cecelia Holland back to the podcast to discuss her new fantasy novel Dragon Heart, her classic SF novel Floating Worlds, the relationships between SF, fantasy, and historical fiction, and historical and political themes in the work of writers like Kim Stanley Robinson and George R.R. Martin.

[Read more]

Series: The Coode Street Podcast

Dobby is A Free Elf (For the Suggested Donation of One Sock)

OK, there’s a lot to unpack here. Apparently the people behind the WB Studios tour decided it was perfectly cool to prop up a dead Dobby in a glass case, because you want people on the tour to burst into unending tears before they’re allowed to go on to the Bug Bunny exhibit or whatever. But, because Harry Potter fans are amazing, people have been leaving socks. For Dobby’s corpse. To free him.

We may need a minute.

Morning Roundup brings you deep thoughts on Lex Luthor’s motivations, an argument for Rick Sanchez’ scientific method, and so much Mars!

[All the Mars. All of it.]

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

Taking place nearly a century before the events of A Game of Thrones, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms compiles the first three official prequel novellas to George R. R. Martin’s ongoing masterwork, A Song of Ice and Fire. These never-before-collected adventures recount an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne, and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living consciousness.

Before Tyrion Lannister and Podrick Payne, there was Dunk and Egg. A young, naïve but ultimately courageous hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall towers above his rivals—in stature if not experience. Tagging along is his diminutive squire, a boy called Egg—whose true name (hidden from all he and Dunk encounter) is Aegon Targaryen. Though more improbable heroes may not be found in all of Westeros, great destinies lay ahead for these two… as do powerful foes, royal intrigue, and outrageous exploits.

Featuring more than 160 all-new illustrations by Gary Gianni, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a must-have collection that proves chivalry isn’t dead—yet. Available October 6th from Bantam!

[Read an excerpt]

More Fine Dining at Matt Wallace’s Sin du Jour!

The first in Matt Wallace’s hilarious Sin du Jour series—Envy of Angels—comes out in a month’s time. When we commissioned Matt to write this, plus the sequel (Lustlocked—January 2016), we always hoped that others would get as big a kick out of them as we do. And it seems they are. As the reviews start to roll in, it’s becoming obvious that Matt’s series is something special (seriously—go read a sample here).

So, it’s with great delight that we’re able to announce that—even before Book 1 is out—we’ve asked Matt to write books 3 and 4 for us! To no-one’s great surprise (because Matt is awesome, and he loves these books just as much as us) he said yes!

[Read more]

Series: Editorially Speaking

The Martian will Restore Your Faith in Science

Let me begin with the obvious: The Martian is a great, tense, often terrifying tale of survival and ingenuity. It’s a celebration of the human desire to explore in the face of doom, and it makes me wish I was better at science. It’s also hilarious. While the book was considered a little too techie at times (NASA loves it, astronauts love it, and if you watch Andy Weir’s Author Talk at Google you’ll see that the nerds over there really really love it) the story has been turned into a film that is accessible and often fun, without sacrificing scientific accuracy.

[Read more]

Monster Mixtape: The Tusseladd

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.

“Fairy tales are for kids. Trolls are animals. Predators. They eat, shit, and mate. Eat anything they can.” Let’s talk about the Tosserlad from Troll Hunter.

[Read more]

John Hurt Will Return as the War Doctor!

Didn’t get enough of John Hurt’s grizzled War Doctor? The acting icon is returning to the role in a new audio series from Big Finish! The War Doctor’s audio adventures will be stretch over four box sets, each containing three linked hour-long episodes. The first box set, Only The Monstrous, will be written and directed by Nicholas Briggs, whose previous work includes the BBC Audio Award-winning masterpiece Doctor Who: Dark Eyes.

[More War!]