Krishna is quite unsettled when he bumps into a woman’s corpse during his morning bath in Kolkata’s Hooghly River, yet declines to do anything about it–after all, why should he take responsibility for a stranger? But when the dead start coming back to life en masse, he rethinks his position and the debate around how to treat these newly risen corpses gets a lot more complicated. In this story from Indrapramit Das, a journalist strives to understand Krishna’s actions and what they say about the rest of society and how we treat our dead.
A Generall Historie of Virginia, or, to give it its correct title, The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: With the Names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from Their First Beginning, Ano: 1584. To This Present 1624. With the Procedings of Those Several Colonies and the Accidents That Befell Them in All Their Journyes and Discoveries. Also the Maps and Descriptions of All Those Countryes, Their Commodities, People, Government, Customes, and Religion Yet Knowne. Divided into Sixe Books, and I think we all need to take a quick breath now. Pause. Better? OK, moving on, by Captaine John Smith sometymes Governour in those Countryes and Admirall of New England, starts off with a fulsome dedication to the Duchess of Richmond and Lennox that even the most ardent aristocrat might find just a touch overdone. It then continues with a preface assuring us that kings are great, before continuing on with no less than ten (count them, I did) poems assuring us that author John Smith is one awesome, awesome guy.
Even by 17th-century standards, this is quite something; several editions of the Bible, Shakespeare and Spenser have more modest introductions. And if, reading this, your first thought was that Captain John Smith had just a few public relations issues and/or really, really really needed money, or both, you’d be right.
The final trailer for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice has been released! In a Bat-centric clip, we finally get to see the Caped Crusader’s fighting style, before Lex Luthor outlines the movie’s theme: the battle between Batman and Superman is “The greatest gladiator match in the history of the world.” We only get a few tantalizing glimpses of said battle, but much more importantly we hear Wonder Woman’s first line!
Check out the full trailer below!
Victorian Britons were deeply culturally invested in the idea of mothers as “Angels In The Home,” providing a gentle moral example to their husbands and children. This fantasy proposed that women could act as agents of reform in the British Empire both despite and because of not having the right to own property or vote. Being deprived of legal and political rights excluded women from effective participation in the public sphere, the realm of all politics and business. But these public matters intruded into the private sphere of the household, and women’s concerns extended out of it. Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan would be appalled by Victorian Britain, and it would be in awe of her. In her career in Barrayar’s empire, Cordelia is intimately familiar with the darkest depths of the overlapping portions of the Venn diagram of public and private.
Lois McMaster Bujold’s announcement of Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen gave rise to both excitement and trepidation, the last coming from readers who wanted more space opera from their Vorkosigans and less romance than other recent volumes in the series have offered. With due respect to readers who prefer public stories to private ones, or space battles to smooching, for Vorkosigans the categories are inextricably intertwined. In space opera, our heroes go to war. In romance, we get to see them come home. In Cordelia’s case, the space opera has had dramatic personal impacts, and the idea of coming home raises complicated questions. Where is home? What does it mean to go there?
Taraji P. Henson (who is killing it on Empire as Cookie Lyon) has signed on to star in director Ted Melfi’s (St. Vincent) adaptation of Margot Lee Shetterly’s book Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race. Set during the Civil Rights era, this is the untold story of NASA’s black female mathematicians, focusing on four in particular; Henson will play Katherine Johnson, with the other roles yet to be cast.
Welcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com! Last week, Kaladin and Shallan acrimoniously began their trek through the chasms back to the warcamps. This week, once Shallan finds a way to distract the chasmfiend from trying to eat them, they plod mistrustfully on together.
This reread will contain spoilers for The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and any other Cosmere book that becomes relevant to the discussion. The index for this reread can be found here, and more Stormlight Archive goodies are indexed here.
Click on through to join the discussion!
Welcome back to Midnight in Karachi, a weekly podcast about writers, publishers, editors, illustrators, their books and the worlds they create, hosted by Mahvesh Murad.
This week British Fantasy Award winner Sarah Pinborough joins the show to talk about YA fiction, whether trigger warnings are needed and her new YA crime thriller 13 Minutes (available February 18 in the UK from Gollancz).
Series: Midnight in Karachi Podcast
Fantasy fiction is a journey to a place nobody has ever been in waking life, a chance to meet the locals (unfriendly), sample their traditional wares (murder) and take in the picturesque scenery (volcanos and blasted wastelands). The most common destinations of fantasy fiction are rooted in Medieval Europe, a tradition that began with romances like Amadis of Gaul and Orlando Furioso and was revivified (with a sizable dash of Germanic and Celtic folklore) by Tolkien’s Middle-earth. Worlds drawing on Europe remain the most popular ports for the fantasy tourist.
The Tiger and the Wolf, my new novel from Tor UK, draws on other times and places—pre-Colombian America, the early bronze age, even palaeontological deep time. Similarly, although it’s always fun to spend a weekend break watching rival kings brain one another and spoil each other’s weddings, there are plenty of worlds off the beaten track for the intrepid tourist.
We’re proud to present an excerpt from Peter Tieryas’ United States of Japan, a spiritual successor to Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, out March 1 from Angry Robot Books.
Most of United States of Japan takes place in 1989 following Captain Beniko Ishimura in the office of the censor and Agent Akiko Tsukino, member of the Tokko (the Japanese secret police). Los Angeles is a technological mecca, a fusion of Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and Tokyo. During WWII, one of the biggest weaknesses the Japanese Empire had was its dependency on oil to which it had very little access. After their shared victory with the Germans, they prioritized developing solar energy and electrical batteries for all their vehicles. That sensibility is reflected in the entire aesthetic of this new Los Angeles, clean, pristine, grand, and gleaming in neon. At the same time, I wanted to contrast this by showing the dark origins of the USJ. To do this, I felt it was important to know what happens in the direct aftermath of the Japanese Empire’s victory in WWII. This was in part influenced by a visit I made to the Japanese American Museum in San Jose, learning about (and being horrified by) the history of what happened back then. This opening chapter takes place forty years before the events of USJ and is about Ben’s parents who were locked away in a Japanese-American Internment Camp, waiting to find out their fate. —Peter Tieryas
One of the best things about working at Tor.com is that we get to spend so much time immersed in the science fictional and fantasy worlds that we love—from the books, comics, and movies that we grew up on through the newest releases of the year, we tend to eat, sleep, and breathe SFF both in and out of the office. As voracious readers, though, we also like to stretch our wings and venture into other literary genres, and so we thought we’d share some recommendations from our recent forays into history and historical fiction, biography, anthropology, criticism, and more. We hope that you’ll share some of your own suggestions in the comments, and let us know what other genres help to round out your TBR pile!
The last few years have seen a heartening spike in people’s love of SPACE. Between Gravity, Interstellar, The Martian, Curiosity’s selfies, the Twitter-based love affair of Rosetta and her Philae Lander, The Expanse, all of the various SpaceX projects, and astronaut Scott Kelly’s #YearinSpace, Earthlings seem to have decided to take space travel seriously again. Now, NASA and JPL have given us a new take on Space Travel – a series of gorgeous posters from Invisible Creature design!
The latest book in Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series, Blood in Her Veins: Nineteen Stories From the World of Jane Yellowrock, is out now from Roc, and we want to send you a copy of it—along with the rest of the books in the series!
In this must-have collection of stories, experience nineteen thrilling adventures from the world of vampire-hunter Jane Yellowrock, including many fan favorites and two all-new novellas. Read about the first time Jane put the pedal to the metal in “The Early Years,” and the last thing a werewolf will ever see as Jane delivers justice in “Beneath a Bloody Moon.” Get a searing look into the pasts of some of the series’ best-loved characters: Beast in “WeSa and the Lumber King,” Rick LaFleur in “Cat Tats,” and Molly Everhart Trueblood in “Haints.”
In the brand-new “Cat Fight,” the witches and vampires of Bayou, Oiseau, are at war over a magical talisman—and Jane must figure out how to keep the mysterious artifact out of the covetous hands of the Master of New Orleans. And in the never-before-published “Bound No More,” Jane welcomes a visit from Molly and her daughter, Angie, who is about to prove she’s the most powerful witch in Everhart history….
From the Big Easy to the bad bayou, from the open road to a vampire’s lair—with Jane Yellowrock, it’s always a given: have stakes, will travel.
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Peggy Carter is in danger! …Of being upstaged on her own show, that is.
Last week on Agent Carter, Whitney Frost stormed in from Oklahoma and straight up ate a dude while Peggy listened alongside the rest of us. Naturally, we just want to keep following Whitney but that would really push Peggy to the sidelines, so “The Atomic Job” offers a compromise: Not so much Whitney this week, but how about a really fun caper with some characters you haven’t seen a lot?
To celebrate the launch of Victor LaValle’s The Ballad of Black Tom (out next Tuesday) and Housing Works’ annual Geek Week, we’re teaming up with WORD Bookstores to bring you a fantastic evening of great books, beer, and conversation with some of your favorite authors! LaValle will join Maria Dahvana Headley (Magonia) and Daniel Polansky (The Builders) in a discussion led by Tor.com’s own Emily Asher-Perrin and Ryan Britt (Luke Skywalker Can’t Read) about the ways they’re taking on, lovingly reimagining, and rewriting the rules of fantasy.
The panel will kick off at 7 p.m. on February 23rd at Housing Works Bookstore Café in Manhattan, and we’ll have your choice of free Brooklyn Lager or Sixpoint Sweet Action for the first 96 people to arrive (while supplies last). RSVP here!
Adrian Tchaikovsky’s The Tiger and the Wolf—available February 11 in the UK from Tor UK—is set in the bleak northern crown of the world, where war is coming.
Maniye’s father is the Wolf clan’s chieftain, but she’s an outcast. Her mother was queen of the Tiger and these tribes have been enemies for generations. Maniye also hides a deadly secret. All can shift into their clan’s animal form, but Maniye can take on tiger and wolf shapes. She refuses to disown half her soul, so escapes, rescuing a prisoner of the Wolf clan in the process. The killer Broken Axe is set on their trail, to drag them back for retribution.
Maniye’s father plots to rule the north and controlling his daughter is crucial to his schemes. However, other tribes also prepare for strife. Strangers from the far south appear too, seeking allies in their own conflict. It’s a season for omens as priests foresee danger, and a darkness falling across the land. Some say a great war is coming, overshadowing even Wolf ambitions. A time of testing and broken laws is near, but what spark will set the world ablaze?
The dust has settled, the thinkpieces have been unleashed, and most people have already seen the film multiple times: the moment is right for How It Should Have Ended to take on The Force Awakens. The best thing about this? Their love for the film glows through like E.T.’s heart (if you don’t mind a mixed-SFF metaphor), the jokes mostly land, and the grizzled-Han-Solo-voice is perfect. The worst thing? Star Wars: Episode VIII is still SO FAR AWAY and this just reminds us of that.
But then, everything reminds us of that. Check out the video below, and obviously beware of spoilers.