Midian Unmade Sweepstakes!

Midian Unmade: Tales of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed comes out from Tor Books on July 28th, and we want to send you a galley now!

Midian Unmade tells the stories of the Nightbreed after the fall of their city, Midian. Driven from their homes, their friends and family members slain before their eyes, the monsters become a mostly-hidden diaspora. Some are hunted; others, hunters. Some seek refuge. Others want revenge. The collection is edited by Joseph Nassise and Del Howison, with stories by Seanan McGuire, Amber Benson, and many more, and an introduction by Clive Barker himself.

Check for the rules below!

[Read more]

Fiction Affliction: June Releases in Science Fiction

Technology threatens to be the end of us all this month as twenty-two science fiction titles hit the shelves in June! New series titles from, among others, Kevin J. Anderson, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, James S.A. Corey, and Jane Lindskold. Also look for weekly installments to begin in John Scalzi’s newest serial release in his Old Man’s War series, and a new anthology from Baen of military science fiction and space opera short stories.

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.

[Read about this month’s releases]

Aurora Australis: Stories, Stories, and More Stories!

Welcome back to Aurora Australis, a monthly round-up of publishing news and highlights from Australia and New Zealand! Since our last installment, the weather is getting chilly in most parts and New Zealand has had a wee earthquake. And Australia has cut a bunch of funding to the arts, so that’s fun. ANYWAY: there’s also a whole bunch of story submission-opening-periods ahead, plus a new award and announcements of new collections of stories!

[Read more]

Series: Aurora Australis

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Conscience of the King”

“The Conscience of the King”
Written by Barry Trivers
Directed by Gerd Oswald
Season 1, Episode 12
Production episode 6149-13
Original air date: December 8, 1966
Stardate: 2817.6

Captain’s log. We open with Kirk and an old friend of his named Dr. Thomas Leighton watching a production of Macbeth. Leighton insists that Anton Karidian, the leader of the theatre company, who’s playing the title role, is Kodos the Executioner. Leighton is so sure that he lied to Kirk, telling him he’d discovered a synthetic food that could end famine, diverting the Enterprise. Kirk is sure that Kodos is dead, but Leighton is convinced that Karidian is Kodos, and he’s going to prove it by inviting the theatre company to a cocktail reception at his house that night. Kirk, though, just goes back to the Enterprise.

[Caesar, beware the ides of March!]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Five Books About Dead People That Don’t Stay Dead

I have the interesting conundrum of loving scary things and being absolutely terrified by them. The first time my dad read me “The Tell-Tale Heart” (As a bedtime story! Thanks, Dad!) I couldn’t sleep until I took my ticking clock off the wall and buried it under towels in the hall closet. Yet on our next trip to the bookstore, I begged for my parents to buy me the complete works of Poe, ready to be scared again.

That’s because, despite my inherent wimpiness, I love nothing more than a good spooky story…

[Read more]

Series: Five Books About…

Your D&D Adventures Out of Context and in Comic Form

A lot of retelling Dungeons & Dragons campaigns is that “you had to be there” mentality. Now, A.C. Stuart is bridging that gap with Your D&D Stories, illustrated comics depicting the kookiest moments from tabletop quests. This dragon comic comes from a challenge he put out, asking for one-sentence, out-of-context D&D quotes. (via MetaFilter)

Afternoon Roundup trains for alien invasion through video games, practices making illuminated manuscripts, and gets inspired by Shia LaBeouf.

[Read more]

The Wheel of Time Reread Redux: The Great Hunt, Part 3

Am I just paranoid, or is this yet another Wheel of Time Reread Redux? No reason it can’t be both! Today’s Redux post will cover Chapter 3 of The Great Hunt, originally reread in this post.

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!

[I always feel like somebody’s watching me / And I have no privacy / Whoa-oh-oh]

Series: The Wheel of Time Reread

Friendly Ghouls and Truant Gods: “Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath,” Part 2

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 the second half of “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath,” written in 1926 and 1927, and published posthumously in 1943 by Arkham House. You can read the story here and get caught up with our previous post—this week we pick up at “One starlight evening when the Pharos shone splendid over the harbour the longed-for ship put in.”

Spoilers ahead.

[“For another minute suspense was keen, and then the brief instant of full silhouette and revelation came.”]

Series: The Lovecraft Reread

Sleeps With Monsters: Amanda Downum Answers Six Relatively Short Questions

Amanda Downum’s most recent novel, Dreams of Shreds and Tatters (out now from Solaris Books), is a book I unexpectedly loved. Downum has previously written an excellent trilogy, the Necromancer Chronicles, which I can also highly recommend.

Today she’s joined us to talk about unpronounceable cults, nightgaunts, and the difference between writing contemporary and second-world fantasy.

[Read more]

Series: Sleeps With Monsters

We Want More of This Homage to Hayao Miyazaki!

If we could live in any world, it would be a Hayao Miyazaki world. But a Miyazaki world that also includes just a hint of legendary designers Syd Mead and Mœbius? Well, that’s just an embarrassment of imaginary world riches. French animation student Gwenn Germain has created just such a world, told a complete story, and homaged the heck out of Miyazaki all in under three minutes in his short, “Celles et Ceux des Cimes et Cieux”. The short, created for his final project at Créapole, features the reverence for nature and sense of looming ecological disaster common to early Miyazaki works, along with some scenes that celebrate the sheer joy of flight…and that’s all before you get to the character in the Mononoke Hime mask. We don’t just want to see this as a feature, we want to live in this movie.

Check it out below!

[There’s also cameo by the animator himself!]

Celebrate June with Young Heroes!

Somewhere in the liminal space between YA fiction and fiction, there exist books with young protagonists who are dearly beloved of full-fledged grownups! Books like Huckleberry Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird, and IT give us adult levels of emotional depth and world-weary truth, but seen through the eyes of youth. From Mia Havero to Kvothe, we’re excited to present a rambunctious gathering of young SFF protagonists…most of whom are in over their heads! And be sure to add your favorite young protagonists in the comments!

[Read more]

The Life of the Mind

Humans expanded into space…only to find a universe populated with multiple alien species bent on their destruction. Thus was the Colonial Union formed, to help protect us from from a hostile universe. The Colonial Union used the Earth and its excess population for colonists and soldiers. It was a good arrangement… for the Colonial Union. Then the Earth said: no more.

Now the Colonial Union is living on borrowed time—a couple of decades at most, before the ranks of the Colonial Defense Forces are depleted and the struggling human colonies are vulnerable to the alien species who have been waiting for the first sign of weakness, to drive humanity to ruin. And there’s another problem: A group, lurking in the darkness of space, playing human and alien against each other—and against their own kind—for their own unknown reasons.

In this collapsing universe, CDF Lieutenant Harry Wilson and the Colonial Union diplomats he works with race against against the clock to discover who is behind attacks on the Union and on alien races, to seek peace with a suspicious, angry Earth, and keep humanity’s union intact… or else risk oblivion, and extinction—and the end of all things.

Hugo-award winning author, John Scalzi returns to his best-selling Old Man’s War universe with The End of All Things, the direct sequel to 2013’s The Human Division. The End of All Things will be published by Tor Books in four ebook-only episodes throughout the month of June, beginning with The Life of the Mind on June 9th. Preview John Harris’ cover art for all four episodes here, and read an excerpt below!

[Read an excerpt]

Mad Max: Fury Road Trip!

Mad Max: Fury Road keeps inspiring wonderful memes, and art, and picture of Tom Hardy with puppies! Here’s one of our favorites so far, from Tumblr-er Joanne Kwan. Truly, Max and Furiosa would plan the most epic family vacation ever… maybe we can get them in a remake of Grapes of Wrath next?

Morning Roundup brings you the fascinating life of GRRM’s editor, Patrick Rothfuss’ endearing childhood crush, and some of the strangest deities of D&D!

[Plus, a unicycle, a bagpipe, and the Holy Grail.]

Fiction Affliction: June Releases in Fantasy

Twenty-one new fantasies launch in June, with political takeovers galore. New releases including series additions from, among others, Danielle L. Jensen (The Malediction Trilogy), Mercedes Lackey (Elemental Masters), Jon Sprunk (The Book of the Black Earth), Mark Lawrence (The Red Queen’s War), J.F. Lewis (The Grudgebearer Trilogy), Terry Brooks (The Defenders of Shannara), Elizabeth Haydon (Symphony of Ages), and Jo Walton (Thessaly).

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.

[Read about this month’s releases]

Meet Your Favorite Authors at the Tor Author Drinkup!

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!

[Read more]

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: “The Education of a Magician”

This week’s episode of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is concerned with the appropriate use of magic, the affects of war, and importance of silence and speaking amongst many other things.

(There are spoilers for the novel in this review, for the record, even past the point where the episode ends. So if you haven’t read the book, this might not be for you?) [Read more]

The Flicker Men Sweepstakes!

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.

The Coode Street Podcast Episode 236: Books to Look Forward to in 2015

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.

[Listen to Coode Street]

Series: The Coode Street Podcast

Vote on the 2015 David Gemmell Award for Fantasy Shortlist

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.

[Read more]

Talking Villainy at BEA: The Big Bad Theory with Charlie Jane Anders!

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.

[Panels need more Villainous Mwahahahas]