The Wizard has swallowed more and more of Europe–and inside his shuttered realm are magic and mass death. “The Pyramid of Krakow” is the sixth of Michael Swanwick’s “Mongolian Wizard” tales.
In the suggestive sentence attached to the first chapter of The Rest of Us Just Live Here, “the Messenger of the Immortals arrives in a surprising shape, looking for a permanent Vessel; and after being chased by her through the woods, indie kid Finn meets his final fate.”
The world is ending again, evidently. But never mind the Messenger—the impending apocalypse its presence heralds is not the point of Patrick Ness’ latest revelation. There are indeed dark times ahead for the friends of indie kid Finn—this Immortals nonsense will lead to any number of melodramatic deaths—but the household heroes of The Rest of Us Just Live Here are safely outside of said circle.
As his friend Tom Franklin notes in the intimate introduction with which Little Sister Death begins, the late, great William Gay’s lost horror novel “is the most metafictional thing [he] ever wrote—it’s about a writer, obsessed with a haunting, who moves his family to the site” of said unearthly events.
Gay, for his part, didn’t go quite as far as that, but he had “long been fascinated with the Bell Witch phenomenon in Tennessee, and even had his own encounter with, perhaps, an echo of the Bell Witch herself.” That true tale acts at a capstone on the unsettling story at the centre of Little Sister Death, but there’s a goodly amount of truth, too, in the several hundred posthumously published pages preceding the author’s authentic account of his own eerie experience.
To celebrate the publication of David Wong’s Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits (available October 6th from Thomas Dunne Books), we’re giving away a prize pack featuring all three of Wong’s novels, including John Dies at the End and This Book is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don’t Touch It.! Plus, you’ll get some cool alternate book cover posters for Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits!
Wong’s first two books saw David Wong and John discover the “sauce” that gives you a window into another dimension, fend off intergalactic invaders, and try to warn others of insidious brain spiders. With Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits, he jumps a bit forward in time, to a near-future where social networks track your every move, anyone can be famous, and superhuman villains control what’s happening behind the scenes. When Zoey Ashe gets stalked by a murderous Internet celebrity, she instead uncovers secrets about her father’s disappearance and finds herself the target of a megalomaniac.
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Star Trek First Season
Original air dates: September 1966 – April 1967
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Producer (“Miri” forward): Gene L. Coon
Captain’s log. After a false start with “The Cage,” a more promising pilot in “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” the series settled into something like a rhythm. The Starship Enterprise travelled to the edge of the galaxy, met more than one powerful being—Charlie X and the Thasians, Trelane and his parents, the Metrons, the Organians—made a number of first contacts—the First Federation, the Gorn—and encountered more than its share of dangers—a salt vampire, a bunch of Augments, flying vomit that makes you crazy, more than one machine-run world, a disease that makes you act drunk, a malfunctioning transporter, a quasar-like phenomenon, Harry Mudd.
A “weird tale,” Ann and Jeff VanderMeer tell us in their compendium The Weird, is “fiction in which some other element, like weird ritual or the science fictional, replaces the supernatural while providing the same dark frisson of the unknown.”
Though writers such as Lovecraft have become the face of the Weird tale, many women have written such stories: Joyce Carol Oates, Caitlín R. Kiernan and Shirley Jackson, to name a few. My five selections cannot encompass the whole breath and variety of such writers but I hope they are a delicious samples of the uncanny.
Series: Five Books About…
Ann Leckie, author of the Hugo, Nebula, Arthur C. Clarke, Locus, BSFA and Golden Tentacle Award-winning novel Ancillary Justice, the BSFA and Locus Award-winning sequel to that, Ancillary Sword, and the conclusion to the trilogy, Ancillary Mercy, which is available now! Leckie took to reddit to answer fan questions about gender, her writing process, and the vital importance of tea, and to explain exactly why she once typed out an entire C.J. Cherryh novel. You can read the AMA here, and we’ve rounded up highlights below!
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015, collected by series editor John Joseph Adams and guest editor Joe Hill, has a very important job: it must bring our rocketships, our magic, our monsters, and our hearts to the rest of the reading world. But it has to be more than an olive branch to the world of readers who want to know more about the state of American science fiction and fantasy; it has to be a welcoming present to the neighborhood. And what a present it is: together, Adams and Hill have run through the collective summer forest of our community, coaxed twenty bright, beautiful, and ethereal fireflies into a jar, and given them to the world to enjoy in this collection.
Is one firefly brighter than the others? Does one story cut deeper, or make you feel larger or smaller in your existence? Maybe. All mileage may vary, in the end, but at the core of this collection, Adams and Hill have crafted a wonderful welcome-to-the-neighborhood collection of short stories.
In The Martian, stranded astronaut Mark Watney has to rely on a fragile potato crop for survival, making him the loneliest spud boy. In a truly inspired piece of cross-promotion, Fox Studios partnered with Mail a Spud, you know, that company that sends potatoes through the mail, so that 1000 lucky fans can send each other potatoes with Mark Watney stamps on them. Now, we realize you may ave some questions. First, yes, Mail a Spud is real. Second, if you receive such a potato, do not eat it: “We do not recommend you consume the potato after it has travelled across the country inside of trucks, planes, and postal service bags,” the site’s FAQ pronounces. “It has touched a lot of germs by the time it arrives.” Third, doesn’t this waste food? Well, yes. But Mail a Spud figures it’s OK because “each spud shipped is bringing more awareness to the beauty of the potato.” Fair enough.
Afternoon Roundup brings you the odd naming conventions of Star Wars, thoughts on J.G. Ballard, and could there be new life for Flatliners?
In the year 2015, Marty McFly encounters hoverboards, young Elijah Wood, dust-repellent paper, and a cinema playing the latest blockbuster Jaws 19.
Now, at least one of those things is finally real. Universal Pictures has assembled a trailer for Jaws 19, leading up to the October 21 date in which Marty and Doc (and Jennifer) arrive in the future during the events of Back to the Future Part II.
Who knew the Jaws mythos was so rich? We would watch at least 14 of these movies.
It’s the Wheel of Time Reread Redux, where the term “cloak and dagger”… er, would be applied a little more literally than in some cases. But the segue is, espionage! Capers! Really wild things!
Yeah, I swear this was going to be a wittier intro (or at least one that made actual sense), but then my brain defected… to the Soviets. Look, I got nothing. Sorry!
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!
Series: The Wheel of Time Reread
Cyberpunk literature lit up sci-fi in the early 80s, promising a glowing future of virtual realities and Singularities. From Vernor Vinge and William Gibson’s early foundational forays through recent offerings from Hannu Rajaniemi, James Cambias, and G. Willow Wilson, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite stories.
Forget those losers who still live in meatspace! Come with us and jack into the glorious world of the Net/Matrix/Metaverse/Other Plane…
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.
Series: The Lovecraft Reread
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!
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!
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!
Series: Sleeps With Monsters
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!
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…
MY [LITERARY] BODY IS READY.
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…
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!
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.
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.