Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, Last Argument of Kings: “Sweet Victory” and “Rude Awakenings”

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. [Read more]

Series: The Joe Abercrombie First Law Trilogy Reread

The Stargate Rewatch: SG-1 Season Eight

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.

[“Didn’t that tape say there was no fish in your pond?” “Close enough.”]

Series: Stargate Rewatch

Enroll in the Princess Academy That Never Existed

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.

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Tanith Lee — A Brief Retrospective

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.

[Onward.]

Series: Queering SFF

A History of Feminist Speculative Fiction: Sisters of the Revolution

The stories in Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology does exactly what you’d want them to—they tear apart cliches, they question gender and it’s implications, they look at identity using satire and humour and darkness with a sharp intellectual examination of stigma and society’s rules.

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.

[Read more]

Rocket Talk Episode 55: Aidan Moher

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.

[Read more]

Series: Rocket Talk: A Tor.com Podcast

The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Chapters 21 and 22

Welcome back to the Dragonlance Reread!  Last week: Tanis’ LiveJournal updates! This week: The city falls! The Twins save the day! Raistlin is fantastic!

We’re up to Chapters 21 and 22 of Dragons of Autumn Twilight: “The Sacrifice. The Twice-Dead City.” and “Bupu’s Gift. An Ominous Sight.” As always, we’re going to keep the reread post spoiler-free, but the comments are open to any and all discussion, so proceed with caution!

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Series: Dragonlance Reread

Debut Tor Authors Play “Would You Rather: SFF Edition”

The “Tor Books class of 2015″ (a.k.a. Tor Books’ next generation of debut authors) took to the stage at this year’s BookExpo America to talk about their forthcoming books. In keeping things college-themed, moderator John “Principal” Scalzi asked each panelist a series of Would You Rather questions—all about shadowy cabals, magical music, and sentient animals, of course.

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This is The Joker’s Weirdest Origin Story Yet!

Anne Foucher has found a way to improve nature! The French artist recycles pieces of driftwood and creates whimsical sculptures of Vikings, pirate, superheroes, and the occasional villain, as you can see in the evolution of this Joker. You can see more of her work here!

Morning Roundup has news on American Gods and The Expanse, Tom Hardy making perfect sense, and THE HUMAN CLAW.

[Plus, THE SCARIEST THING WE’VE EVER SEEN, which is much worse than THE HUMAN CLAW]

The Harry Potter Reread: The Order of the Phoenix, Chapters 13 and 14

The Harry Potter Reread was told that this coffee was lightly sweeten with brown-sugar syrup, and is perplexed to find that this coffee is not sweet at all. Mutiny. On the upside, this coffee is still pretty delicious.

Today we’re going to watch our fifteen-year-old hero suffer through torture and have an unfortunately tense conversation with a fugitive animagus. It’s chapters 13 and 14 of The Order of the Phoenix—Detention With Dolores and Percy and Padfoot.

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

Please Won’t You Be My Huge Green Rage Neighbor

Long before Bruce Banner was fighting Chitauri and Ultron robots, he paid a visit to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe to talk to kids about fears and superheroes. And take adorable photos like this one with Bill Bixby and Mister Rogers himself. Forget lullabies—Mister Rogers is the man to help you stop from Hulking out.

Afternoon Roundup is sitting in a lunch box, far above the world—home space ball is blue, and there’s nothing we can do. In the meantime, we bring you the Fury Road art that demanded to be drawn, and one way to count down to The Force Awakens.

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Imagination and Wish Fulfillment in Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story

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.

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Series: That Was Awesome! Writers on Writing

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Dance With Dragons, Part 22

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 22 of A Dance With Dragons, in which we cover Chapter 37 (“The Prince of Winterfell”) and Chapter 38 (“The Watcher”).

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!

[SERIOUSLY, I WILL GO AND BUY THE FAVA BEANS AND CHIANTI]

Series: A Read of Ice and Fire

Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 40

Welcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com! Last week, feasting in the Davar home was less than agreeable for all parties. This week, things are much more congenial as Shallan finds her temporary home in the warcamps.

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.

[What had they made the thing out of? Air and wishes?]

Series: Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com

The SFF Book Covers You Remember Most Vividly

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.

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What the Devil? Announcing a second Tor.com novella from K.J. Parker

K.J. Parker’s upcoming novella The Last Witness, out October 10th from Tor.com, was one of the first books we bought for the new novella line, and it’s so much fun. Parker is pretty much universally loved here in the Tor.com Tower, so when I was asked if we’d like another novella from the great man himself, I jumped at the chance.

The new book has the working title of The Devil You Know, and is due to be published in  spring of next year.

Want to know more about The Devil You Know? You know you want to, you devil…

[Read more about The Devil You Know by K. J. Parker]

Series: Editorially Speaking

A Pair of Magical Shoes: Variations on “Cinderella”

What do you do when you find yourself downtrodden, turned into a servant by trusted family members, dressed in mud and rags, without, apparently, a friend in the world? Get some magical footwear—and go dancing.

It’s the sort of tale that could easily seize a world. And for the most part, has.

[Social climbing in elegant footwear]

Godzilla Is a Big Responsibility!

Are you sure you want a baby Godzilla? He’s going to be your responsibility. You’ll have to clean his tank, feed him, and apologize to the city of Tokyo every time he destroys it! …Yes, every time he destroys it. And if you show us you can take good care of him, then we’ll talk about adopting a Ninja Turtle.

Morning Roundup brings you a call to literary arms form Nicola Griffith, the most depressing theme park ever, and thoughts on the awesomeness of Akira!

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