Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 70

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!

[Storms. She must look like the aftereffect of a lightning bolt hitting a jar of red ink.]

Series: Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com

Midnight in Karachi Episode 43: Sarah Pinborough

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).

[Read more]

Series: Midnight in Karachi Podcast

Far-Flung Destinations for the Fantasy Tourist

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.

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United States of Japan

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

[Read an Excerpt]

What Are You Reading (When You’re Not Reading Science Fiction/Fantasy)?

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!

[A whole slew of staff recommendations below…]

Visit Beautiful Atmospheric Venus

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 Expanseall 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!

[Best vacation ever.]

Jane Yellowrock Prize Pack Sweepstakes!

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.

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 February 10th. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on February 14th. 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.

The Butler Did It. Agent Carter: “The Atomic Job”

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?

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Reinvent Fantasy with Tor.com Publishing!

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!

The Tiger and the Wolf

Adrian Tchaikovsky’s The Tiger and the Wolfavailable 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?

[Read an Excerpt]

How Do You Think The Force Awakens Should Have Ended?

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.

[Stick around for the post-credits scene!]

Lovecraft’s Most Bigoted Collaboration, No Really: “Medusa’s Coil”

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 “Medusa’s Coil,” a Lovecraft and Zealia Bishop collaboration written in 1930 and first published in the January 1939 issue of Weird Tales. Read the story at your own peril, bracing for lots of use of of the n-word.

Spoilers ahead, and bigotry.

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Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: Blood and Bone, Chapter Three (Part One)

Welcome back to the Malazan Reread of the Fallen! Every post will start off with a summary of events, followed by reaction and commentary by your hosts Bill and Amanda (with Amanda, new to the series, going first), and finally comments from Tor.com readers. In this article, we’ll cover Chapter Three (Part One) of Ian Cameron Esslemont’s Blood and Bone.

A fair warning before we get started: We’ll be discussing both novel and whole-series themes, narrative arcs that run across the entire series, and foreshadowing. Note: The summary of events will be free of major spoilers and we’re going to try keeping the reader comments the same. A spoiler thread has been set up for outright Malazan spoiler discussion.

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Series: Malazan Reread of the Fallen

The Star Wars Universe’s Idea of Love is a Lot Healthier Now

Force-ghosts jumping from Imperial warships into apprentices’ bodies. Assassins falling in love with the Jedi they’re programmed to kill. Hapan queens trading one-night-stands for heirs. Reptilian crime lords spraying unsuspecting princesses with pheromones to broker a (eyebrow wiggle) trade. Jedi/Yuuzhan Vong hybrids caught between dead best friends/unrequited loves and their new, fallen-to-the-dark-side masters. Love—or, at least, sex and sometimes romance—in the Star Wars universe used to be a hot mess.

But what I grew up with as the Expanded Universe has now been mostly struck from the record—or, rather, redefined as “Star Wars Legends,” with an entirely new canon built around The Force Awakens. The introduction of new characters, through adventures in tie-in novels and comics as well as the new big-screen trilogy, brings new romantic dramas. And the surprising thing is, they’re all a lot more stable.

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