Katniss Is Your Mockingjay in New Hunger Games Poster

As predicted, our latest The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 poster finally brings us our first official look at Katniss Everdeen. Well, sorta, since we only get to see the back of the rogue Games victor and icon for the Panem revolution. Since the fateful day she picked up that iconic gold pin at the Hob (if you’re going by the movies), Katniss has had the title and costume of the Mockingjay thrust upon her. Except that where in Catching Fire it was a sassy kind of rebellious, here it looks downright deadly.

[Click through to see the full poster]

The Wrong Track that Leads to the Right One

I was approached by Irene Gallo to do a piece for Tor.com’s “Where the Trains Turn” by Pasi Ilmari Jaaskelainen, and as typical to my previous efforts, (and despite my swearings to be cured of this method) I ended up doing two.

Overall I have always railed against this double work as a poor and time consuming way forward. “Why not just thumbnail it first, you dolt?” is the usual refrain when it comes to confessing this as a recurring event. And I thought for a while that it was true. That my impatience to get right to the piece itself was causing this. But as it turns out, this is not the case. So, I have decided to hug this as a legitimate part of the process, and celebrate its necessity rather than try and undo it. So, in full confession mode, here’s the deal as representative of deals to come and deals long past, and why it’s maybe not such a bad thing.

[Read More]

Captain America and Hawkeye’s Winter Soldier Deleted Scene Would Have Been the Most Tender Fight Sequence Ever

We love these Captain America sound bites that keep cropping up on the internet from director brothers Anthony and Joe Russo. When they’re not hinting at just how much Steve and Bucky will give each other puppy dog eyes in Captain America 3, they’re teasing us with the Hawkeye/Cap faceoff-turned-tender-moment that never was from Winter Soldier.

[Read more]

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Feast for Crows, Part 29

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 29 of A Feast for Crows, in which we cover Chapter 40 (“The Princess in the Tower”).

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.Gideon Smith amazon buy link

And now, the post!

[Probably not the pot of gold you were wishing on that rainbow for]

Series: A Read of Ice and Fire

Hawk (Excerpt)

Years ago, Vlad Taltos came to make his way as a human amidst the impossibly tall, fantastically long-lived natives of the Dragaeran Empire. He joined the Jhereg, the Dragaeran House (of which there are seventeen) that handles the Empire’s vices: gambling, rackets, organized crime. He became a professional assassin. He was good at it.

But that was then, before Vlad and the Jhereg became mortal enemies.

For years, Vlad has run from one end of the Empire to the other, avoiding the Jhereg assassins who pursue him. Now, finally, he’s back in the imperial capital where his family and friends are. He means to stay there this time. Whatever happens. And whatever it takes.

Gideon Smith amazon buy linkHawk, the latest in Steven Brust’s New York Times bestselling Vlad Taltos series, is available October 7th from Tor Books.

[Read an excerpt]

Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 12

Welcome back to the Words of Radiance reread on Tor.com! Last week Alice covered Chapter 11, in which a stick maintained ontological certainty in its stickness and Shallan nevertheless didn’t die of freezing.

This week I’ll tackle Chapter 12, which contains more science, less freezing, and an essentially equal amount of terrible surprises for our heroes.

This reread will contain spoilers for The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance (a.k.a. TWoK and WoR, respectively), 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.Gideon Smith amazon buy link

[Read more]

Series: Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com

The Harry Potter Reread: The Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapters 5 and 6

You guys. Shucks, thank you for all the congrats last post! Back again, and the missus and I are mostly just shocked that it’s over, whoa that was fast awesome. (And yes, she’s definitely a Potterhead. Along with many other nerdly things. Though she’s more of a Tolkien buff—I am constantly schooled on elvish.)

And now we get to the introduction of my favorite character! And death omens. Which are always great. It’s time for Chapters 5 and 6 of The Prisoner of Azkaban—The Dementor and Talons and Tea Leaves.

Gideon Smith amazon buy linkIndex 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.

[Read more]

Series: The Harry Potter Reread

Blood Magic: Crafting Kameron Hurley’s The Mirror Empire

Worlds are colliding. The fabric of time and space is being torn apart and reknit into a mirror that reflects the very worst. A young girl dreams of finding her mother. A warrior questions her loyalties and her empress. A man has no choice but to take over his sister’s role and be a leader. Thousands of the weakest race are mercilessly slaughtered by those who could offer them protection. The satellites rise and fall in the sky, bringing and taking away the powers of those connected to them. There is magic in blood, danger in plants, threats from wild beasts and fear in every breath.

amazon buy link Mortal Danger‘Oma, the dark star, was creeping back into orbit. The worlds were coming together again far sooner than anyone anticipated.’ And that’s just the start of it all.

[Read More]

How The Market for YA Adaptations Killed The Giver

Full disclosure: I was expecting the film adaptation of The Giver to be garbage. Though I was thrilled at the prospect of Jeff Bridges in the nominal lead, the second they cast a 24-year-old Hayden Christensen-alike as Jonas I promptly and irrevocably abandoned all hope (Jonas is twelve, guys. He’s twelve!). I won’t say I was pleased that, in the end, it wasn’t garbage. It was more of a sand-rash of a movie, if you will—irritating but it isn’t exactly going to ruin your day, and hey, at least you got out of the house.

But one thing that did live up to my expectations was that the changes made to the material to make it more marketable as a movie would be changes for the worse. The filmmakers took this quiet, contemplative coming-of-age story and reshaped it for a market it simply wasn’t designed for.

[Read More]

New Tor.com Original Fiction in September and October

At the beginning of each month, we here at Tor.com will post the next two months of our schedule of original short fiction. Check back monthly to get excited for upcoming short stories, novelettes, and novellas on Tor.com! Below the cut you’ll find information on stories in September and October by Julio Cortázar, Seanan McGuire, Charlie Jane Anders, and more.

September and October’s fiction contains crushing headaches, sasquatch(es?), and a dog. To find out all the details, check below the cut.

[Read more]

Barnes & Noble Bookseller’s Picks for September

For over a decade, Barnes & Noble buyer Jim Killen has been a driving force behind Barnes & Noble’s science fiction and fantasy sections. Each month on Tor.com, Mr. Killen curates a list of science fiction & fantasy titles, sometimes focused on upcoming titles and sometimes focused on a theme.

Here are the Barnes & Noble science fiction and fantasy picks for September!

[Read More]

Hodor and Bran Stark Won’t Be in Game of Thrones Season 5

Prepare a “Come back soon” cake for Bran Stark and his loyal ally Hodor. Not because they’re getting the axe! They’re just taking a little break while Game of Thrones catches up to George R.R. Martin’s plans for the beloved duo.

Spoilers ahead for the end of season 4 and all the books.

[Read more]

The Shotgun Arcana (Excerpt)

1870. A haven for the blessed and the damned, including a fallen angel, a mad scientist, a pirate queen, and a deputy who is kin to coyotes, Golgotha has come through many nightmarish trials, but now an army of thirty-two outlaws, lunatics, serial killers, and cannibals are converging on the town, drawn by a grisly relic that dates back to the Donner Party…and the dawn of humanity.

Sheriff Jon Highfather and his deputies already have their hands full dealing with train robbers, a mysterious series of brutal murders, and the usual outbreaks of weirdness. But with thirty-two of the most vicious killers on Earth riding into Golgotha in just a few day’s time, the town and its people will be tested as never before—and some of them will never be the same.

Gideon Smith amazon buy linkR.S. Belcher’s The Shotgun Arcana is the imaginative and ambitious follow-up to The Six-Gun Tarot. Read an excerpt below, and look for The Shotgun Arcana October 7th from Tor Books.

[Read an excerpt]

Is Matthew McConaughey the Devil? (In Stephen King’s The Stand, That Is.)

According to Deadline, Matthew McConaughey is in talks to become The Darkness That Looks Back At Us in Josh Boone’s remake of The Stand! How perfect is it that the man who willed into life a demonic horde of romcoms in the 90s and 00s may now become our new 21st century Devil? The McConaughsaince is nigh!

[Actually, after watching Failure to Launch, we’re pretty sure he already is the Devil.]

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Jay Bonansinga

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 Jay Bonansinga, New York Times bestselling author of twenty books, including the Bram Stoker finalist The Black Mariah (1994), the International Thriller Writers Award finalist Shattered (2007), and the wildly popular Walking Dead novels (based on the original series created by Robert Kirkman). Jay’s work has been translated into eleven languages, and he has been called “one of the most imaginative writers of thrillers” by Chicago Tribune. He lives in the Chicago area with his wife, the photographer Jill Norton, and his two teenage boys.

Gideon Smith amazon buy linkJay’s upcoming novel, The Walking Dead: Descent, follows the events of The Fall of the Governor, and Lilly Caul’s struggles to rebuild Woodbury after the Governor’s shocking demise. Look for it October 14th from Thomas Dunne Books!

[Join us!]

Series: The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe

Here’s Allison Williams as the Boy Who Never Grew Up in NBC’s Peter Pan Live!

Here’s your first look at Girls’ Allison Williams, looking appropriately boyish to play Peter Pan in NBC’s upcoming TV musical Peter Pan Live! You know what else she looks like? Office poll results:

Those shorts! Those armbands! That mesh! To be honest, we’re kinda digging it.

[Read more]

Pull List: Legendary Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon

In case you’ve been under a rock the last month, the Guardians of the Galaxy went from relatively obscure comic book heroes to global superstars. As of August 25, the film has raked in over $500 million worldwide, with more than $94 million of that coming in opening weekend in just North America. 44% of its opening weekend audience was female, beating the last record holder of 40% female audience for The Avengers. It’s by no means perfect, but it’s entertaining as all get out.

Tying in to the film’s release, Marvel released several comics to sate fans looking for more Groot-y goodness. To that end, let’s dive into Legendary Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon.

[“No one calls the Guardians of the Galaxy krutackers!”]

Rereading Melanie Rawn: Dragon Prince, Chapters 12 and 13

Welcome to the weekly Wednesday reread of Dragon Prince! We’re still at the Rialla, still talking about marriage arrangements (and lack thereof), and we spend a day at the races.

Chapter 12

So This Happens: Rohan at the Rialla juggles princely business (including the High Prince and a great deal of paperwork) and the inevitable and constantly vexed question of the High Prince’s daughters. Rohan is already tired of playing the idiot, a fact on which he ruminates for some time.

Gideon Smith amazon buy linkHe is not only not an idiot, he is positive that he is worthy to be Prince of the Desert.

[Read More]

Series: Rereading Melanie Rawn