“Something Happened Here, But We’re Not Quite Sure What It Was” by Paul McAuley is a complex sf story about politics and xenophobia when human colonists on an Earth-like planet are faced with the possibility of reaching out to alien cultures, especially when a big organization that has previously done harm is in charge of the operation.
A week after putting out the first teaser trailer for Jessica Jones, Netflix has tweeted out several first-look photos of the cast! (Hat-tip to Decider for finding a few more.) Already the style looks a bit different from the gritty Daredevil, but judging from what we know, it’ll be no less dark. While superhero-turned-private-eye Jessica Jones’ (Krysten Ritter) story is more than enough to draw you in, her friends, support system, and enemies are just as engaging.
Tor.com is seeking an in-house publicity coordinator. This person will work with publicity and editorial departments and contacts throughout all of genre publishing, developing plans for comprehensive book coverage on Tor.com and assisting with publisher and author outreach. They will also be responsible for encouraging and moderating conversation between readers on the site and on social media.
This is a full-time position working in our New York office. Ideally, we are looking for a candidate with at least 2 years of publishing experience, who is outgoing, extremely organized, and detail-oriented. Applicants should be both highly enthusiastic and knowledgeable about science fiction and fantasy across a range of media.
While they fall on somewhat different points of the morality spectrum, both the Imperial Radch and the Empire of Masks share the same goal: to colonize other alien (whether foreign lands or planets) cultures and convert these peoples into ideal citizens. Here, “ideal” doesn’t necessarily mean “right,” it means one who embodies the culture: uniformity among the many conquered peoples, with clearly-defined codes of conduct, and an aesthetic that sums up the society’s core values. It also comes at the expense of the varied cultures over which they steamroll, condemning and erasing diverse identities.
It’s horrifying and engrossing, and keeps us reading despite the revulsion that bubbles up. But what most keeps us engaged in Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice and Seth Dickinson’s The Traitor Baru Cormorant is the fact that both series’ protagonists—Justice of Toren One Esk, a.k.a. Breq, and Baru Cormorant—have personal vendettas against their systems while they’re in the process of trying to destroy them from the inside. Yet for all their rebellion, they are both on their way to becoming ideal citizens themselves.
Tor Books is storming New York Comic-Con! The big news this year is that the “Tor: The Next Generation!” stage from BEA has been picked up for a panel, so we can introduce you to a great new group of debut Tor authors. As always, Tor Books will be at Booth #2223, offering you a chance to meet your favorite authors and pick up free books. We’ve got a great line up with appearances by John Scalzi, Catherynne M. Valente, Charlie Jane Anders, and more!
Read on for the full schedule!
For hundreds of years, high-born nobles have competed for the chance to learn of the Myst. Powerful, revered, and often reclusive, Mystics have the unique ability to summon and manipulate the Myst: the underlying energy that lives at the heart of the universe. Once in a very great while, they take an apprentice, always from the most privileged sects of society. Such has always been the tradition—until a new High Mystic takes her seat and chooses Pomella AnDone, a restless, low-born teenager, as a candidate.
Commoners have never been welcomed among the select few given the opportunity to rise beyond even the highest nobility. So when Pomella chooses to accept the summons and journey to Kelt Apar, she knows that she will have more to contend with than the competition for the apprenticeship.
Breaking both law and tradition, Pomella undergoes three trials against the other candidates to prove her worthiness. As the trials unfold, Pomella navigates a deadly world of intolerance and betrayal, unaware that ruthless conspirators intend to make her suffer for having the audacity to seek to unravel the secrets of the Myst.
Available November 3rd from Tor Books, Mystic is the start of an enchanting new epic fantasy series from Jason Denzel!
Artist Mark Eastwood‘s “Uncanny Cards” take us to the river and give us a flop full of mutants! Go check them out: Wolverine is spearing a tiny heart, Nightcrawler’s buckling a swash, and Cyclops is using his laser eyebeams to make Jean feel bad about herself! Um, probably. Eastwood has tackled other pop cultural icons, but these cards may be our favorite of his work so far. Although we do have two questions! First: why no Gambit? And second: are these cards already energized throwable weapons that can be used in battle with Magneto, or is that something we’d have to specifically request if we ordered a set?
Morning Roundup brings you a tale of clocks mistaken for bombs, metaphorical shag carpeting, and plutonium sales gone wrong.
Sarah McCarry is a writer and publisher whose Metamorphoses Trilogy, a YA series loosely based on tales from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, was completed this year. The novels—All Our Pretty Songs, Dirty Wings, and About a Girl—follow three generations of a family through a kaleidoscopic whirl of myth, fantasy, goth and grunge. In addition to writing beautiful and addictive fantasies, Sarah publishes innovative writing through Guillotine Press.
The two of us sat down for an online chat one afternoon, me in California, Sarah in New York.
Welcome back to the Rocket Talk podcast!
Fran Wilde, author of Updraft, joins the show this week. Of course, Justin asks her about feast scenes. They also talk about Nature magazine, her editorial process, and debut novel. There’s even a borderline engineering talk, in which Wilde confirms intellectual superiority over the host.
Series: Rocket Talk: A Tor.com Podcast
Michael Livingston’s The Shards of Heaven is out November 17th from Tor Books, and we want to send you a galley now!
Julius Caesar is dead, assassinated on the senate floor, and the glory that is Rome has been torn in two. Octavian, Caesar’s ambitious great-nephew and adopted son, vies with Marc Antony and Cleopatra for control of Caesar’s legacy. As civil war rages from Rome to Alexandria, and vast armies and navies battle for supremacy, a secret conflict may shape the course of history.
Juba, Numidian prince and adopted brother of Octavian, has embarked on a ruthless quest for the Shards of Heaven, lost treasures said to possess the very power of the gods-or the one God. Driven by vengeance, Juba has already attained the fabled Trident of Poseidon, which may also be the staff once wielded by Moses. Now he will stop at nothing to obtain the other Shards, even if it means burning the entire world to the ground.
Caught up in these cataclysmic events, and the hunt for the Shards, are a pair of exiled Roman legionnaires, a Greek librarian of uncertain loyalties, assassins, spies, slaves… and the ten-year-old daughter of Cleopatra herself.
Michael Livingston’s The Shards of Heaven reveals the hidden magic behind the history we know, and commences a war greater than any mere mortal battle.
Check for the rules below!
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 Nnedi Okorafor, a novelist of African-based science fiction, fantasy and magical realism for both children and adults. Her novels include Who Fears Death, Akata Witch, Zahrah the Windseeker, and The Shadow Speaker. Her upcoming novella, Binti, follows a young woman who leaves her family to attend the largest university in the universe, only to be caught up in a strange and terrifying diplomatic mission—read an excerpt here!
Join us as we cover subjects ranging from Martians to cranky monsters, and more!
For all those who say girls and boys have to stay on either end of the princess/superhero spectrum, we present to you Redditor NobodyLikesASmartAss, whose four-year-old twin girls wanted a Princess Hulk cake for their birthdays—”so I made one!” Easy as that. We just hope that these girls took Hulk Smash to heart when digging into this masterpiece.
Afternoon Roundup brings you Picard channeling Taylor Swift, bummer news for Pacific Rim 2, and Kate Beaton on comics!
Welcome to the weekly Wednesday read of The Dragon Token!
Another hundred pages, another chunk o’ chapters. Part Three comes to a close in a tangle of complex politics, pitched warfare, new and significant losses on both sides, and a surprising show of strength from a hitherto very weak character.
Series: Rereading Melanie Rawn
If you’ve ever played a tabletop RPG, you’ve felt that golden moment—you’ve just made a quip or a clever move, you’ve turned the tables on a cunning adversary, you’ve committed the most hilarious mistake, and the room lights up. Friends laugh, or stare in horror. You’ve compelled.
This isn’t just a gamer thing, either. We—humans, I mean—started telling stories long before we committed them to so crude a medium as paper. That instant audience feedback is built into the rhythms of our conversation. This makes writing novels (which I spend most of my time doing) a little awkward, since for the most part the writer’s deprived of that experience. Yes, there are compensations—but you don’t get that great moment when you can swerve in a weird direction and double down on awesome precisely because you feel how much the audience is into your jam.
While the character has always had his fans in the comics world, it’s pretty safe to say that the general mainstream population had no idea who Tony Stark was until he burst into theaters in 2008’s Iron Man—garnering both great reviews and Marvel-Cinematic-Universe-founding box office numbers. And much of that success is due to the man playing him; while Nicolas Cage and Tom Cruise were both considered/vying for the part, it’s hard to imagine that the character would be quite as captivating without Robert Downey Jr.’s brand of swagger and rambling snark.
Marvel was understandably concerned that Stark would come across as a Batman knockoff (the characters do have a large number of similarities) when they were building the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and as a result allowed quite a bit of freedom in his on-screen development. The endgame leaves us with a host of funny details that make the MCU version of Tony Stark more of a stand-out than your average action hero….
“I never asked for this,” Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) tells President Snow in the new trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2. “I just wanted to save my sister, and keep Peeta alive.” We all know that the Peeta mention was just an afterthought—poor boy can’t help but trigger every Games trap in his stumblings—because the real relationship at the core of the Hunger Games trilogy isn’t Team Peeta or Team Gale, but Team Everdeen. Everything Katniss has done, from her blurted-out “I volunteer as tribute!” to storming the Capitol, was for her little sister Primrose.