Between her obscenely muscular new capoeira teacher, her crush going off with a new girl in their favorite park, and trigonometry homework, Kia figures she has enough going on without some creepy ghost causing car crashes and hit-and-runs in her neighborhood. Carlos Delacruz, the half-dead half-resurrected soulcatcher for the New York Council of the Dead, would love to keep her out of it, but things don’t usually go the way he intends. From the world of Daniel José Older’s immensely popular Bone Street Rumba series.
The corpse-jumping body mercenary Nev is used to filling other people’s shoes. When his assistant Tera recognizes the most recent waterlogged cadaver they bought off the street, though, he finds that his new body is carrying more trouble than he bargained for.
This tale is an unusual take on an engineering exam that explores new concepts in machine design and function. All new machine discoveries must be investigated and classified. This is the story of three such machines and the truth or lie of their existence.
This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by consulting editor Ann VanderMeer.
Last year, I became a parent. The birth of my child was a transformative experience, and, since then, I’ve been drawn to stories about parents — their relationships with their children, the way parenthood affects their decisions, the endless possibilities for familial relationships. The day your first child is born, you wake up as Bilbo Baggins — naive, selfish — but then, suddenly, you are thrust into the role of Gandalf — teacher, protector.
Science Fiction and Fantasy is full of parents — loving parents (Lily Potter) and awful parents (King Robert Baratheon), incredible parents (Cordelia Vorkosigan) and mysterious parents (Tam al’Thor), and all around kickass parents (Zamira Drakasha). Parenthood affects them all differently, challenges their motivations, and changes the way they interact with the world around them. Without children, they would all be dramatically different people (even King Robert).
What is it about a cover that grabs you? Maybe it’s a glimpse into a fantastical land, or a style of art you’ve never seen before, or a figure on the cover who is particularly compelling (or hilarious). We asked you to share the SFF book covers dynamic, unexpected, and baffling enough that they’ve remained imprinted in your memories decades after you first picked them up off the shelf.
Show of hands—who’s seen The Neverending Story? Okay, great. Now, who’s actually read the book?
An 80s children’s classic, chances are you’ve seen the movie or at least heard of it. And if you’re a child of the 80s like me, it may very well have a treasured place in the corner of your heart reserved for your favorite childhood nostalgia. While I loved the movie as a kid, it was only years later as an adult, when I chanced to pick up a copy of the book at my local library, that I learned there’s far more to the story than what I saw on the screen.
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s (SFWA) 50th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend will be held at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, Illinois, from June 4-7. The weekend will include tours, autographing sessions, legal workshops, and the Nebula Awards ceremony on June 6.
One particularly fun bit of programming is the Tor Author Drinkup, held at Chicago’s Geek Bar Beta on June 6 from 2-5 p.m. Attendees will have the rare chance to hang out (and maybe grab a beer) with Tor Books and Tor.com authors including John Joseph Adams, Ellen Datlow, Cixin Liu, Ken Liu, Fran Wilde, and more!
We have five galleys of The Flicker Men, out from Henry Holt on July 21st, and we want to send you one now!
Eric Argus is a washout. His prodigious early work clouded his reputation and strained his sanity. But an old friend gives him another chance, an opportunity to step back into the light. With three months to produce new research, Eric replicates the paradoxical double-slit experiment to see for himself the mysterious dual nature of light and matter. A simple but unprecedented inference blooms into a staggering discovery about human consciousness and the structure of the universe. His findings are celebrated and condemned in equal measure. But no one can predict where the truth will lead. And as Eric seeks to understand the unfolding revelations, he must evade shadowy pursuers who believe he knows entirely too much already.
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 June 1. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on June 5. 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.
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.
Every year there are thousands of books published and any one of them could appeal to you. To help you find great new books, Locus publishes a list of forthcoming titles every three months. And to help you navigate through that, each quarter we invite Locus Editor-in-Chief Liza Groen Trombi to join us and discuss the books that we think might be most interesting that are due out between now and the end of 2015. This month, unfortunately, Liza was not able to join us. However, we have persevered and have some recommendations for you. Of course, we strongly recommend you pick up a copy of the June issue of Locus and see the full list, which goes through to March 2016.
Voting on the shortlist for the 2015 David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy is now open. The award, established in memory of David Gemmell and first awarded in 2009, honors fantasy novels that adhere to the “heroic” or “epic” subgenre that Gemmell himself worked in. Awards are given for Best Novel, Best Debut Novel, and Best Cover Art. Past honorees include Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, and Helen Lowe.
You might expect a late-Sunday BEA panel to be a sedate affair, but The Big Bad Theory was anything but! Charlie Jane Anders, author of All the Birds in the Sky, moderated a lively discussion on the tropes of villainy with authors Ilana C. Myer, Scott Westerfeld, David Wellington, and Michael Buckley. If you’re trying to write a villain, these panelists have some excellent advice for you! Anders kicked things off by asking the audience to give her their best “villainous mwahahaha” – and the room responded with a truly terrifying enthusiasm.
When he’s not art directing Teen Titans GO!, artist Dan Hipp draws pop culture comics on his Tumblr. And while he’s gotten us in the feels before, today’s comic, “Boy Wonders,” was especially emotional: An injured Batman reading to an even more beaten-up Robin (Dick Grayson, that is) from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows after an especially harrowing battle. Great, now we’re gonna be sniffling all day…
Afternoon Roundup eagerly awaits the Lumberjanes movie, mourns the loss of Tron 3, and pays a visit to The Grand Overlook Hotel:
The city of Phoenix in The Water Knife is a grim place. Paolo Bacigalupi’s second novel for adults takes us to a Phoenix that is derelict, poverty-ridden and lawless, a place where most of the population have to get by surviving the dust storms and relentless heat with no constant access to electricity or water. Those who are lucky—or ruthless—get to live in the Chinese-built high rise arcologies, where ‘zoners’ aren’t allowed access, unless they’re the Texas ‘bangbang girls’ escorting richer men for the price of a meal and a shower.
The situation outside the arcologies is dire, with mafias controlling society by brute force. With water rights under corporate control, entire neighbourhoods have been rendered desolate with water being been cut off. ‘The Queen of the Colorado had slaughtered the hell out of these neighbourhoods: her first graveyards, created in seconds when she shut off the water in their pipes.’ The Queen of course, is well beyond the reach of these gangs, though everyone else must eke out a living around them, often by paying them taxes on all earnings just to stay alive. Water is more than just currency here, it’s the most valuable commodity around.
A year after its establishment, the We Need Diverse Books movement brought two engaging panels to BookCon 2015, partnering with bestselling authors to address the need for greater diversity in sci-fi and fantasy and children’s literature. In the panel In Our World and Beyond, SFF authors Kameron Hurley, Ken Liu, Nnedi Okorafor, and Daniel José Older, along with Saga Press Executive Editor Joe Monti, discussed the obstacles to depicting full representation of marginalized characters in SFF.
There are a lot of books where a character runs away from home and sells their sword. There are a lot of books where a teenage character finds a mentor. The world of fantasy is full of magical artifacts that compel characters into interesting and improbable situations. And people fall in love and then back out of it every day of the week.
And then there’s this section of By the Sword, which has all of those things in the best possible way.
After last week’s dramatic meetings and departures (and boobs, always boobs) Game of Thrones brings its all-new plot developments Beyond the Wall, where Jon goes on a diplomatic mission even stupider than Jaime’s in Dorne, but at least contains exciting things like White Walkers and jerky Thenns and my pretend soul mate Dolorous Edd. So I’m not even mad.
Many of my favorite stories in science fiction and fantasy deal with exploring an alien culture. I really like to see different species learning to communicate with each other, or an alien viewpoint on a more familiar human culture. It often requires the writer to step outside the box and create a point of view that takes into account different physical and mental abilities, a different environment, a different way of thinking.
I’ve always been drawn to these kinds of stories, especially the ones that are told through alien viewpoints, especially non-human aliens. I’ve always liked getting into the point of view of characters that are different from me, and seeing the world through their eyes.
This week marks the end of Part I of Last Argument of Kings. Each part of Abercrombie’s books begin with a pithy quote, and this part began with Paul Gauguin’s: “Life being what it is, one dreams of revenge.” Thus, it would seem, that Part I is about how crappy life is and how our characters might want to take revenge on fate for making things so shitty. Pretty accurate summary I’d say.
All of our characters have seen a down hill trend in their life. Logen has become the Bloody-Nine in truth once more. Jezal is trapped in a loveless marriage. Glokta is being squeezed between two powerful factions. Perhaps Collem West has seen an improvement, but really he’s just been asked to take on a responsibility he isn’t ready for. Will Part II give them the revenge on life they desire? It remains to be seen. In the meantime, let’s finish up Part I with this week’s chapters.
Stargate SG-1 Season 8
Executive producers: Robert C. Cooper, Brad Wright, Michael Greenburg, Richard Dean Anderson
Executive producers (“Gemini” onward): Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie Original air dates: July 9, 2004 – March 25, 2005
Mission briefing. The fallout from the battle with Anubis is both immediate and far-reaching. In the short term, the location of the battle in Antarctica may have kept it out of the public eye, but the governments who signed the Antarctic Treaty became aware of it, and the terms of that treaty meant that all the signatories had to agree on how to proceed to investigate the Ancient outpost—a problem insofar as O’Neill is still in stasis down there with the Ancient repository downloaded into his head.
The Daily Dot has a fascinating in-depth look at Princess Academy, a proposed short film that would have brought all of the Disney princesses and other female leads into one story. Though it sounds as if the cancelled short would have more balls and fewer adventures, it still would have been a dream for Disney fans to see all of these women interacting with one another. Check out The Daily Dot’s story for more fan art, including the gorgeous group shot above by David Kawena.
Afternoon Roundup brings you your Mad Max moniker, cosplay so epic even the setting is authentic, and the survival tactics we’ve learned from disaster movies.
As many folks have reported by this time, Tanith Lee—a familiar name in science fiction and fantasy circles, prolific writer for both children and adults—is no longer with us. Charlie Jane Anders noted in her commemorative post at io9 that Lee wrote so much and in such different ways that she has multiple circles of fandom; she has been nominated for awards ranging from the World Fantasy to the World Horror Grandmaster—and also the Lambda for LGBT speculative fiction.
So, while Lee’s astounding oeuvre covered a multitude of themes, styles, and approaches, the reason I first heard of her work—true for many people, I’d suspect—was because of that common concern with gender and sexuality.
Put together by well known and highly regarded award winning editors Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, it’s a solid collection for anyone who wants to see how far feminist SF has come, with stories spread across the last 40 years or so.
Welcome back to the Rocket Talk Podcast! This week, Justin invites blogger and author Aidan Moher on to discuss his new self-published book, Tide of Shadows and Other Stories. The two discuss the state of self-publishing and why Moher chose that route. Afterward, they have a frank discussion about the state of blogging and a few books coming out later this year.