“That Seriously Obnoxious Time I Was Stuck at Witch Rimelda’s One Hundredth Birthday Party” is a seriously funny story set in the world of Seriously Wicked, a young adult fantasy novel by the acclaimed author of Ironskin. Get ready to embrace your angsty inner witch at a pool party teeming with krakens, hexes, and cursed banana bread.
In August 1921, author A.A. Milne bought his one year old son, Christopher Robin, a teddy bear. This did not, perhaps, seem all that momentous at the time either for literary history or for large media conglomerate companies that used a mouse and a fairy as corporate logos. But a few years later, Milne found himself telling stories about his son and the teddy bear, now called “Winnie-the-Pooh,” or, on some pages, “Winnie-ther-Pooh.” Gradually, these turned into stories that Milne was able to sell to Punch Magazine.
For over a decade, Jim Killen has served as the science fiction and fantasy book buyer for Barnes & Noble. Every month on the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog and Tor.com, Jim shares his curated list of the month’s can’t-miss new SF/F releases.
The latest teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes to you via Instagram, which has expanded its photo and video borders to make posts even more cinematic! They’ve certainly achieved that with this awesome (but oh-so-short) spot showing Finn facing off against Kylo Ren. Blue lightsaber versus red… classic.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes to theaters December 18.
While most zombies shamble along, they usually come at you fast enough that you can’t waste time rummaging in a duffle bag for exactly the weapon you need. That’s why wise Instructables member seamster has come up with the perfect zombie-fighting weapon: This souped-up Swiss Army knife includes a machete (obviously), plus a hatchet, two types of wrenches, and more! Though it’s unclear how you’re supposed to hold it… (Hat-tip to Neatorama for finding exactly what we need to defend ourselves in the zombie apocalypse.)
Afternoon Roundup brings you an evil AU Harry Potter, playing with the structure of short stories, and Galaxy Quest news!
Welcome back to A Read of Ice and Fire! Please join me as I read and react, for the very first time, to George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.
Today’s entry is Part 35 of A Dance With Dragons, in which we cover Chapter 59 (“The Discarded Knight”) and Chapter 60 (“The Spurned Suitor”).
Previous entries are located in the Index. The only spoilers in the post itself will be for the actual chapters covered and for the chapters previous to them. As for the comments, please note that the Powers That Be have provided you a lovely spoiler thread here on Tor.com. Any spoileriffic discussion should go there, where I won’t see it. Non-spoiler comments go below, in the comments to the post itself.
And now, the post!
Series: A Read of Ice and Fire
The Moon wants to kill you. Whether it’s being unable to pay your per diem for your allotted food, water, and air, or you just get caught up in a fight between the Moon’s ruling corporations, the Five Dragons. You must fight for every inch you want to gain in the Moon’s near feudal society. And that is just what Adriana Corta did.
As the leader of the Moon’s newest “dragon,” Adriana has wrested control of the Moon’s Helium-3 industry from the Mackenzie Metal corporation and fought to earn her family’s new status. Now, at the twilight of her life, Adriana finds her corporation, Corta Helio, surrounded by the many enemies she made during her meteoric rise. If the Corta family is to survive, Adriana’s five children must defend their mother’s empire from her many enemies… and each other.
Welcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com! Last week, Adolin took Dalinar’s place to meet Eshonai and discuss her proposal, only to find it withdrawn and defiance in its place. This week, Shallan and Kaladin each improve their Radiant skills as they take steps toward their intermediate goals.
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!
Comic book and sci-fi movie review vlogger Mr. Sunday Movies has reportedly scooped a look at the teams for the next Marvel movie Captain America: Civil War.
Mr. Sunday Movies states that the concept art revealing these teams is akin to a stereo that “fell off the back of the truck,” so take this information with many grains of salt. Still, even if they’re just cut-and-pastes from DeviantArt, it’s still fun to speculate on whether these should be the teams!
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.
Fantasy writer Kate Elliot talks to Mahvesh this week about how history and the present affects worldbuilding and how fiction can never be neutral.
Series: Midnight in Karachi Podcast
Fans of Paula Brackston’s audiobooks will recognize a familiar, and appropriately “witchy,” voice when listening to the audio edition of Paul Cornell’s Witches of Lychford as read by voice actress Marisa Calin. Calin is a British actress, screenwriter, and novelist, who has narrated a number of audiobooks, including the aforementioned works from Paula Brackston, Kerstin Geir’s Ruby Red trilogy and Sophie McKenzie’s Close My Eyes.
Please enjoy some helpful advice for some of the best-known heroes and heroines of science fiction and fantasy, courtesy of Baru Cormorant, the brilliant protagonist of one of September’s most hotly anticipated titles. No stranger to sinister villainy and evil empires, Baru is more than capable of helping out everyone from humble hobbits to vengeance-driven superheroes with her unique brand of no-nonsense pragmatism…
Quick, if you look at the house pictured above, can you guess which director’s oeuvre it’s based on? If you guessed Stanley Kubrick, you are correct! Artist Frederico Babina has done a wonderful thing with his Archidirector series: he takes directors and re-imagines their individual styles as houses! This is a unique way to see the essence of an artist. You can check out the whole series here, where he honors Ridley Scott, Jacques Tati, Charlie Chaplin, Tim Burton, and more!
Morning Roundup brings you the latest news from Mars, a tricky conversation between Ryan Britt and Austin Grossman, and the darker side of Banksy!
Last Song Before Night, the debut novel from Ilana C. Myer, arrives from Tor Books on September 29th, and we want to send you a galley now!
Her name was Kimbralin Amaristoth: sister to a cruel brother, daughter of a hateful family. But that name she has forsworn, and now she is simply Lin, a musician and lyricist of uncommon ability in a land where women are forbidden to answer such callings.
On the eve of a great festival, Lin learns that The Red Death, an ancient scourge, has returned to the land of Eivar. Its resurgence brings with it the memory of an apocalypse that transformed half a continent. Long ago, magic was everywhere, rising from artistic expression—from song, from verse, from stories. But in Eivar, where poets once wove enchantments from their words and harps, the power was lost. Forbidden experiments in blood divination unleashed the plague that is remembered as the Red Death, killing thousands before it was stopped. The Red Death’s return can mean only one thing: someone is spilling innocent blood in order to master dark magic.
Read our excerpt here, and then check for the rules below!
Twenty-four books stride between genres in September with a 9/11-related anthology, a futuristic tale from Salman Rushdie, an illustrated standalone edition of Neil Gaiman’s The Sleeper and the Spindle, and new titles from, among others, Jim Butcher, Margaret Atwood, John L. Campbell, Kendare Blake, and Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart.
Welcome back to the Rocket Talk podcast! This week’s episode features first time science fiction and middle grade author, David Liss. Justin asks Liss about what led him to write middle grade science fiction after a decade of publishing historical fiction, before discussing the differences between children’s literature and adult fiction. Ultimately, the conversation concludes with what makes his new novel, Randoms, such a delight.
Series: Rocket Talk: A Tor.com Podcast
The glowing amber crystal floats in the void, then snaps into the console with a sharp click.
“Show me the recorded history of Uncanny Magazine.” The Curator’s voice booms through the chamber, resonant from years of addressing their fellow space unicorns.
Before their eyes, a sparkling cloud solidifies into figures. Distinguished people in mid-21st century suits and gowns mingle as a Theremin orchestra plays early century hits. The Curator recognizes “Space Unicorn,” followed by “All About That Bass.” An older woman motions for quiet, and a distinguished older couple walks vigorously up to a podium, hand in hand.
I have always been drawn to intelligent villains who don’t fall for the Evil Overlord tricks. But even more, I’m drawn to books that keep me up way too late at night, and I can trace this fixation back to 8th grade.
Let me paint the picture. I had borrowed The Elfstones of Shannara from the library. As I started reading it, I made a series of predictions about how the story would end. One by one, the author toppled those assumptions and then jerked me into a perilous journey that left me sitting bolt-upright, eyes wide and straining to read by a humming fluorescent bulb, devouring each scene that got progressively more intense. And this was less than a hundred pages into the book.
“Found this fellow wandering around on Sunset,” John Scalzi tweeted yesterday. “Took him in, fed him lunch. It’s good to be giving.” Does this serendipitous meeting have anything to do with Tom Hanks’ summer reading plans?
Afternoon Roundup brings you reminiscences on Sir Terry Pratchett, more Shannara cast photos, and a new Amy Schumer/Jennifer Lawrence project!
Welcome to the weekly Wednesday read of Melanie Rawn’s Dragon Star Trilogy!
This week we start the second volume: The Dragon Token. The book begins immediately after the end of Stronghold, and gets everybody moving and interacting right away. And for the first time, after four books, we get a summary of the previous book. Maybe there were complaints about the total-immersion beginning of Stronghold? Or was there Editorial Concern about new readers starting here? Because really, these books have to be read in order from the beginning. They’re a full-on, cast-of-thousands, plot-bunnies-proliferating-everywhere, big fat Saga.
Series: Rereading Melanie Rawn
Ten years ago this Saturday, August 28, 2005, I sat at a table in a crowded Cracker Barrel restaurant (don’t judge) in Slidell, Louisiana, eavesdropping. At the next table sat a Louisiana State Police officer, eating with his family. “Drive to Jackson or Birmingham,” he told his wife as he answered a radio call and got up to leave. “I’ll call you as soon as I can.”
His kids cried. His wife cried. The officer had a sheen of tears in his eyes.
Me? I was just scared, reluctantly leaving home four hours before the roads leading out of the New Orleans metro area were to be shut down. All ten lanes of I-10 had been converted to head only north as a monstrous Category 5 hurricane barreled toward us. With an elderly parent, a friend, and three pets, I was headed for what would turn out to be an extended stay in a single hotel room in Bossier City, near Shreveport, then weeks living on the charity of friends.
We were at the beginning of the greatest mass displacement of Americans in history—more than a million people from the Gulf Coast and New Orleans, scattered to every state in the U.S. except the ones we called home.
In case you’ve been under a rock, August 29 is the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Chances are, you’re sick of hearing about it. You’re tired of hearing about the 1,800 people who died, almost 1,600 of them in Louisiana. Tired of the images outside the Louisiana Superdome and New Orleans convention center. Tired of hearing about the $108 billion in damages, still the costliest hurricane in U.S. history. Tired of pondering the failure of government at all levels.
Those of us who lived it are tired of it too, but it changed us. We know about the bad, but there also was good that can be seen a decade later. In speculative fiction, it brought us new authors, new outlooks, and the resurgence of an old genre.