The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Dragons of Spring Dawning Part 2, Chapters 2 and 3

Welcome back to the Dragonlance Reread. Last week was pretty epic. The tide, she hath turned! Disco dragons and Dragonlances and Golden Generals and Knights and Palanthians are reclaiming Krynn from the Dragonarmies, and, as they say in every bad television episode ever, “nothing can go wrong!”.

Except, well, it can. Because Kit is clever… so what are the forces of Evil up to? Let’s have a looksee.

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Series: Dragonlance Reread

Five Books About Prophecy

The prophecy of the chosen one is considered to be a tired trope by many fantasy readers. Indeed, many books use prophecy as a crutch to make it easier on the characters and push the plot along. But when done well, prophecy makes it harder on the characters, not easier, and enhances the mythic quality of the novel.

I love prophecy and the tale of the chosen one. I love when I realize a new book will detail another hero’s journey, and I break out in goosebumps when the prophecy sends our hero forth. The Lord of the Rings teems with prophecy—most of the main characters have legends attached to them. Harry Potter’s entire dilemma would not exist if a prophet hadn’t spewed her ambiguous foretelling, setting Voldemort against him. When in the hands of a master, a prophecy can be devastating. It can wring the chosen one dry, even crushing her spirit and leaving her quest shrouded in doom. A prophecy can add a lyricism to the novel, which makes the writing sing. It cloaks a novel with a hint of ancient folklore. Before you give up on prophecy, read one of these five masterfully prophetic books.

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Series: Five Books About…

The Harry Potter Reread: The Deathly Hallows, Epilogue

The Harry Potter Reread is gonna cry because how did we actually reach the end of this? Sure, we’ve got a couple movies left, but this is sad! It’s a time for handkerchiefs and toasts!

This week we’re going to deal with one of the most contentious pieces of the Potter mythos. It’s time for the Epilogue….

Index to the reread can be located here! Other Harry Potter and Potter-related pieces can be found under their appropriate tag. And of course, since we know this is a reread, all posts might contain spoilers for the entire series. If you haven’t read all the Potter books, be warned.

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Series: The Harry Potter Reread

Pull List: Star Wars: Poe Dameron

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Oscar Isaac took off his helmet, his tousled hair cascading around his face, and Finn and the internet collectively fell in love. And now thanks to the Disney merchandising machine we all have a chance to spend a little more quality time with the greatest addition to Star Wars canon since Mara Jade. Who I guess is technically not canon anymore thanks to The Force Awakens. So…um…how ‘bout the galaxy’s best pilot, eh?

[“Okay, okay…we can do this! Probably!”]

Evil Captain America, DC Rebirth, and the Dubious Arms Race of Mainstream Comics

It’s been an interesting 24 hours in mainstream comics. Both Marvel and DC have made massive changes to big parts of their respective universes, and the comics internet is still reeling from both. Neither change has gone down particularly well—with many readers crying foul over what they perceive as an intentional misdirect or a cheap gimmick—but both tell us an awful lot about the tensions inherent in writing mainstream comics right now.

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Wait. What Happened to the KISSING Part? “The Frog King, or Iron Henry”

You probably think you know the story: the girl, the well, the golden ball, the frog, and that kiss.

You’ve almost certainly heard the saying: “You’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs before you can find your prince.”

What you might not know is that in the original German versions, and even the first English translations, the princess doesn’t kiss the frog at all.

And it’s not exactly clear when the two of them managed to make things, well, legal.

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False Hearts

Twin sisters Taema and Tila, conjoined until the age of sixteen, are in their mid-twenties when they’re drawn into a deadly battle for control of a drug that facilitates a disturbing form of lucid dreaming.

One night Tila stumbles home, terrified and covered in blood. She’s arrested for murder, the first homicide by a civilian in decades. The San Francisco police suspect involvement with Verve, an illicit narcotic that allows violent minds to enact their darkest desires in a terrifying dreamscape, and they offer her twin Taema a chilling deal. If Taema assumes Tila’s identity and obtains the information needed to take down the city’s drug syndicate, the police may let her sister live. But Taema’s investigation stirs up ghosts from the twins’ past.

Raised in the closed cult of Mana’s Hearth and denied access to modern technology, Taema and Tila dared to dream of a life beyond the walls of the compound. When the heart they shared began to fail, the twins escaped to San Francisco, where they were surgically separated and given new artificial hearts. From then on they pursued lives beyond anything they could have previously imagined.

But that freedom comes with a price; once unable to keep secrets from each other, Taema and Tila learn the true cost of lies.

Laura Lam’s adult sci-fi debut False Hearts is available June 14th from Tor Books. Read an excerpt below, and check out “Through the Eyes of a Bluebird,” a companion story set in the mysterious commune of Mana’s Hearth.

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Wolf’s Empire: Gladiator Sweepstakes!

We want to send you a galley copy of Claudia Christian and Morgan Grant Buchanan’s Wolf’s Empire: Gladiator, available June 28 from Tor Books!

When her mother and brother are murdered, young noblewoman Accala Viridius cries out for vengeance. But the empire is being torn apart by a galactic civil war, and her demands fall on deaf ears. Undeterred, Accala sacrifices privilege and status to train as a common gladiator. Mastering the one weapon available to her—a razor-sharp discus that always returns when thrown—she enters the deadly imperial games, the only arena where she can face her enemies.

But Fortune’s wheel grants Accala no favors—the emperor decrees that the games will be used to settle the civil war, the indigenous lifeforms of the arena-world are staging a violent revolt, and Accala finds herself drugged, cast into slavery and forced to fight on the side of the men she set out to kill.

Set in a future Rome that never fell, but instead expanded to become a galaxy-spanning empire, Accala’s struggle to survive and exact her revenge will take her on a dark journey that will cost her more than she ever 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 12:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on May 26th. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on May 30th. 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.

Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 82

Welcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com! Last week, Dalinar’s forces finally joined battle against the red-eyed Parshendi at the center of the Shattered Plains. This week, Kaladin reaches a difficult decision back at the warcamp, while Dalinar and Adolin continue to press the battle.

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!

[“For glory lit, and life alive, for goals unreached and aims to strive. All men must try, the wind did see. It is the test, it is the dream.”]

Series: Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com

Let This Amazing, Gigantic Star Wars: A New Hope Infographic Flow Through You Like the Force

With Star Wars: A New Hope so ingrained in our pop culture for almost 40 years, it would seem as if there are no new ways to retell it, right? Well, illustrator and graphic novelist Martin Panchaud has given new life to a classic story: He recently gifted the Internet with SWANH, a 403-foot infographic adapting A New Hope into a form that is both simpler and more complex than the movie version. The style was drawn from Chinese culture, as Panchaud explains on the website: “This long ribbon reminds the ancient Chinese script rolls that had to be rolled in and rolled out simultaneously in order to be read. I like this stretch between ages, cultures, and technologies. However, internet likes short stories and summaries, quickly understandable contents. With my work I aimed to create a contrast to that.”

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Midnight in Karachi Episode 56: James Smythe

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.

Author James Smythe—recently nominated for a Clarke Award for Way Down Dark—joins the podcast this week to talk about trigger warnings, middle book syndrome, and his potential fantasy series ‘Dragatha Christie’. Smythe’s Australia trilogy continues with Long Dark Dusk (available now) and Dark Made Dawn, publishing October 2016 from Hodder & Stoughton.

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Series: Midnight in Karachi Podcast

Who Tells Your Story: The Hidden Figures of NASA History

Moogfest began as a one-day music festival celebrating both Robert Moog and electronic music in general. Over the last decade, it has grown into a multi-day symposium/festival with a scope that goes well beyond music and the circuit-driven gear that is used to make it. The daytime programming now includes discussions about transhumanism, cyborgs, race, and gender—and this year, the Afrofuturism programming track included a conversation with musician Janelle Monae and screenwriter Allison Schroeder, moderated by Kimberly Drew, who is Associate Online Community Producer at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Their conversation was billed as “Women and Afrofuturism”, but much of the discussion centered on the forthcoming film Hidden Figures, written by Schroeder and starring Monae, Taraji P. Henson, and Octavia Spencer. The film is a look at a little-known piece of space exploration history: the African-American women who worked for NASA during the Gemini and Apollo missions. In telling this story from the past, Schroeder, Monae, and the rest of the film’s team find a way forward; by revealing this untold story of women of color, they want to demonstrate the possibilities for others, whether in art, science, or both.

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Joe Hill’s The Fireman Burns Up the Bestseller List!

Joe Hill has been giving the world inventive horror stories for twenty years now, but his latest, The Fireman, will be a landmark for the author:

Hill spent the first decade of his career quietly writing superb short fiction, gradually making a name for himself without ever letting on that he was the son of Stephen King. It was only in 2007 that that bit of his biography came to light, startling even longtime friends like Neil Gaiman.

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Revealing the Cover for Cory Doctorow’s Walkaway

We’re excited to share the cover for Walkaway, Cory Doctorow’s first adult novel in eight years! Available in April 2017 from Tor Books, Walkaway is an epic tale of revolution, love, post-scarcity, and the end of death. In this multi-generation SF thriller Doctorow describes as “a utopian disaster novel,” he envisions a near-future in which technological advancements allow humans to simply walk away from oppressive economic and authority systems.

Learn more about the novel below, and check out the full cover by artist Will Staehle!

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