Netflix’s First Original Anime Series Knights of Sidonia Is Mechas in Space

Netflix is upping the ante on its original programming, going from beloved cult shows of yesteryear (Arrested Development) and new cult darlings (Orange Is the New Black) to anime—specifically, a mecha space opera set on a generation ship. Yep, Netflix is exploring all sorts of new territory with Knights of Sidonia, premiering this summer.

[Check out the synopsis and haunting trailer]

Monsters Love Cupcakes! On Creating the Cover For Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula

Tor.com is pleased to reveal the cover for Andi Watson’s graphic novel Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula, available February 2015 from First Second Books!

Colleen A.F. Venable, the Senior Designer for First Second, was kind enough to share her thoughts on the cover design process, including tons of early sketches and alternate designs from Andi.

[See the full cover below!]

Cataloging the World Sweepstakes!

When it comes to information technology, you know all the big names—Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, Melvil Dewey. But what about Paul Otlet, the librarian who created a mechanical collective brain called the Mundaneum that would house and disseminate everything ever commited to paper? This “steampunk version of hypertext” was Otlet’s greatest vision, but its conception, and the man himself, often go overlooked. 

Out now from Oxford University Press, Cataloging the World attempts to give Otlet his due. Author Alex Wright shows that the years since Otlet’s death have proven that his predictions about the possibilities, and perils, of networked information were right all along.

Check out the excerpt now and then enter for your chance to win one of three copies! 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 10:30 AM Eastern Time (ET) on June 27. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on July 1. 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.

Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem Finally Has a U.S. Release Date

We finally know when we’ll get to see Zero Theorem! Terry Gilliam’s latest film was formerly slated for this August but then vanished after debuting a trailer last summer. Now it appears that the U.S. will get to see the film in limited release starting September 19th. The good news for the not-New-York portion of the country is that the film will also come out via On Demand and iTunes, so those of you who feel despair when you see the words  “limited release” and “Terry Gilliam” in the same sentence, take heart.

The film promises to be the Gilliam-est of Gilliam movies, with Christoph Waltz playing a computer genius named Qohen Leth who is tasked with either discovering the meaning of life, or finally proving that life has no meaning. Matt Damon and Tilda Swinton will most likely speak in improbable accents, and, this is just a guess, but True Love might make an appearance.

Liveblogging Season Five of Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Season 5 of The Clone Wars was going along fine and dandy (though with a distinct lack of Padmé) until the very end when suddenly EVERYTHING WAS RUINED. I mean, they made good narrative choices, but I am cry. And the sixth season only has 13 episodes, which is not enough time to do anything, so I have a feeling that some of this stuff is going to leave me hanging forever, and I will always be upset. Just… great job failing, Jedi Order. Not saying this is why you’re about to be wiped out, except for the part where it really is.

By which I mean to say… um, here’s a liveblog?

[Someone get Darth Maul a drink.]

Series: Star Wars on Tor.com

Summer of Sleaze: Graham Masterton’s Feast

Summer of Sleaze is 2014’s turbo-charged trash safari where Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction and Grady Hendrix of The Great Stephen King Reread plunge into the bowels of vintage paperback horror fiction, unearthing treasures and trauma in equal measure.

So far this year I’ve read the powerful Thank You For Your Service, David Finkel’s look at the shattered lives of servicemen returning home from Iraq. I’ve read Donna Tart’s The Goldfinch, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. I’ve read Austin Grossman’s deceptively experimental You that transmutes the lead of early computer gaming into the gold of transcendence. I’ve read Allie Brosh’s so-personal-it-hurts Hyperbole and a Half, Neil Gaiman’s emotional and revealing The Ocean At the End of the Lane, and two new books by Stephen King, one of America’s greatest storytellers. None of them—none of them—has provided me as many moments of pure joy as a little mass market paperback from 1988 called Feast by Graham Masterton. John Waters once said, “Good taste is the enemy of art.” If that’s true, and I believe it is, then Feast is the Mona Lisa.

[Read more]

Morning Roundup: Someone Get this Hiccup a Toothless!

How awesome is this Hiccup cosplay?!! Somebody needs to figure out how to genetically engineer a Night Fury, so Liui Aquino can complete the look. And then they need to genetically engineer every other dragon in the film, so we can all live in the world we deserve.

Morning Roundup must soldier on in this wretched, dragon-less world. There are still wonders to behold, after all…like the robots that host Entertainment Weekly trying to make sense of Guardians of the Galaxy. And The New Yorker noticing that Frozen is a thing!

[Plus, Nobody Brings It Home Like the Starks on HBO.]

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Jacqueline West

Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on Tor.com featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!

Today we’re joined by Jacqueline West, author of the award-winning middle grade series The Books of Elsewhere. Volume five in the series, Still Life, is available July 1st from Dial Books for Young Readers (a division of Penguin Random House). Jacqueline’s short fiction for adults and children has appeared in a variety of publications, and her poetry has received many honors, including two Pushcart nominations, a Rhysling Award nomination, and a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg prize. If you are sharing a pizza, she will ask for the crust pieces. Don’t get her talking about Kurt Vonnegut, Tori Amos, Northern Exposure, or Sylvia Plath, or you’ll be sorry.

Join us as we cover topics ranging from Kurt Vonnegut (uh-oh!) to secret candy-based shame, and more!

[Read More]

Series: The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe

The Ultra Thin Man Sweepstakes!

Patrick Swenson’s latest novel The Ultra Thin Man introduces contract detectives Dave Crowell and Alan Brindos. Their latest assignment leads them in opposite directions, with Brindos chasing down the shadow leader of a terrorist group while Crowell uncovers a plot that will put them both on the hook for treason. They’re placed at the center of an interstellar conspiracy while attempting to find out exactly who, and what, is the Ultra Thin Man?

Out on August 12th from Tor Books, we’re excited to share ten galley copies of this thrilling new novel with you! 

Check for the rules below!

[Read more]

Entertainment Weekly Gets Some Winds of Winter Spoilers Out of George R. R. Martin

The Shelf Life column on Entertainment Weekly’s website just posted a quick interview with George R. R. Martin that features lots of hints about the events of The Winds of Winter, the ever-forthcoming book in A Song of Ice and Fire.

Most of them devoted readers will already know, or be able to infer, but some add some specificity to previous hints, and may confirm other speculation. SPOILERS AHEAD.

[Read more]

Ghosts or Time Travel? Tom’s Midnight Garden

Last time, I chatted about a ghost story book masquerading as a time travel. And now for the flipside: a time travel book masquerading as a ghost story: Tom’s Midnight Garden, by Philippa Pearce.

As the book opens, Tom is sulking, since his parents are sending him to the home of a not much liked aunt and uncle, just because his younger brother has the measles. Tom would rather have the measles than stay with Uncle Alan and Aunt Gwen. His parents, on the other hand, are firm: one kid in the house with the measles is quite enough, thanks, even if Tom is yelling at them. His arrival at his aunt and uncle’s place does nothing to cheer him up; it’s one of many gloomy and depressing flats carved out from one of those huge old English family homes. He sulks some more.

Until, that is, the clock strikes thirteen.

[And, suddenly, bonus magical garden. Spoilery.]

The Entire History of A Song of Ice and Fire Explained in 9 Maps

BY THE VARIOUS GODS! Reddit user HotbrownDoubleDouble has created a series of maps based on the known history of the world of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire which tracks the movement of the various groups and Houses in the series, from the millennia-old Children of the Forest and the First Men all the way to present day.

[Read more. No spoilers.]

Series: A Song of Ice and Fire

Gaming Roundup: No Man’s Sky Soars Through the Boundaries of Genre

No Man’s Sky was, in many ways, the revelation of E3 to gamers around the world. The PS4 exclusive has managed to push its way to the forefront of industry intrigue via tantalizing previews and a spectacular showing at gaming’s biggest event of the year. But what is it about this game that makes it so exciting, really? We’ve seen open world games before. We’ve seen space fighters before. What makes No Man’s Sky stand out?

[Forget open world. We’re entering open universe territory.]

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Feast for Crows, Part 20

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 20 of A Feast for Crows, in which we cover Chapter 28 (“Cersei”).

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!

[“Stop saying that!”]

Series: A Read of Ice and Fire

Everything We Know About Mad Max: Fury Road

Right when you were starting to think that maybe Mad Max: Fury Road wasn’t coming out, or maybe wasn’t even real, Entertainment Weekly whips out this cover story about the near-mythical fourth Mad Max film. Consider it a “we’re still here!” with badass leather outfits and bionic arms.

Seeing as it’s been a while since there’s been Mad Max news, let’s refresh our memories on everything we know about Fury Road so far.

[Read more]

Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 2

Welcome back to the Words of Radiance reread! Last week I was on vacation, so I missed the enormous tsunami of comments from you guys, but I’m ready to go back in. Eyes closed, head first, can’t lose! This week I’m covering Chapter Two, in which we are finally reunited with a certain stormblessed sourpuss, and get the hottest tattoo design for summer! (First one to get a Bridge Four tattoo gets points, and also an indelible mark on their body that we take no responsiblity for whatsoever.)

This article will contain spoilers for The Way of Kings and the end of Words of Radiance.

[Read more]

Series: Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com

The Harry Potter Reread: The Chamber of Secrets, Chapters 7 and 8

The Harry Potter Reread would be more excited about the football/soccer World Cup if people could fly in it. Not that it isn’t plenty exciting, it could just use some oomph. Perhaps if they introduce bludgers? Could you make a real bludger without magic? These are the questions that plague the reread at night.

This week’s chapters show us how nasty little rich kids always get their way, how some wizard curses are different from Muggle ones, and most importantly—THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS HAS BEEN OPENED. We’re onto chapters 7 and 8: Mudbloods and Murmurs and The Deathday Party.

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.

[Can I have a pumpkin big enough to sit in?]

Series: The Harry Potter Reread