Chasers of the Wind (Excerpt)

Check out Chasers of the Wind, the first book in a new series from Alexey Pehov, translated by Elinor Huntington and available June 17th from Tor Books!

Centuries after the disastrous War of the Necromancers, the Nabatorians, aligned with the evil necromancers of Sdis, mount an invasion of the Empire. Luk, a soldier, and Ga-Nor, a Northern barbarian, are thrown together as they attempt to escape the Nabatorian hordes and find their way back to their comrades.

Gray and Layan are a married couple, master thieves who are hiding out and trying to escape their former gang. They hope to evade the bounty hunters that hound them and retire to a faraway land in peace. Unfortunately, for Gray and Layan, they unwittingly hold the key to a powerful magical weapon that could bring The Damned back to power.

Hounded by the killers on their trail and by the fearsome creatures sent by The Damned, Gray and Layan are aided by Luk and Ga-Nor—and Harold, the hero of The Chronicles of Siala. Realizing what’s at stake they decide that, against all odds, they must stop The Damned.

[Read an Excerpt]

When We Wake and While We Run Sweepstakes!

Out today from Little, Brown, Karen Healey’s While We Run continues the story of Tegan Oglietti, the teenage girl who died in 2027, only to wake up a hundred years in the future, locked in a government facility after being cryonically frozen and revived, in When We Wake.

We want to send five lucky winners a copy of When We Wake and While We Run right now. Check out our excerpt from When We Wake to get started!

Comment below 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 May 27. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on June 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.

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Justin Somper

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 author Justin Somper, the author of the Vampirates and Allies & Assassins children’s novel series. The first book in the series is out on May 27th from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and has been styled as “Game of Thrones for teens.”

Join us to discover how crime fiction, margaritas, and children’s fiction can shape a Game of Thrones-esque world!

[Read on]

Series: The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe

This Week at Book Expo America, Douglas Preston, John Scalzi, and Tom Doherty Discuss the Future

The publishing industry’s annual convention Book Expo America is this week and Tor Books will be there to discuss…the future!

Read below for information on panels featuring science fiction authors Douglas Preston and John Scalzi. The pair will be discussing the similarities behind their near-future A.I.(-ish) techno-thrillers: Preston’s The Kraken Project and Scalzi’s upcoming Lock In.

Read the beginning of The Kraken Project.

Read the first five chapters of Lock In.

That’s not all! Read on for information on more panels, speeches, and book signings at Book Expo America 2014.

[Tor Books at Book Expo America]

You Are Not a Digital Native: Privacy in the Age of the Internet

They say that the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II ordered a group of children to be raised without any human interaction so that he could observe their “natural” behavior, untainted by human culture, and find out the true, deep nature of the human animal.

If you were born around the turn of the 21st century, you’ve probably had to endure someone calling you a “digital native” at least once. At first, this kind of sounds like a good thing to be—raised without the taint of the offline world, and so imbued with a kind of mystic sixth sense about how the Internet should be.

But children aren’t mystic innocents. They’re young people, learning how to be adult people, and they learn how to be adults the way all humans learn: by making mistakes. All humans screw up, but kids have an excuse: they haven’t yet learned the lessons the screw-ups can impart. If you want to double your success rate, you have to triple your failure rate.

[Read More]

Keats and Frankenstein Are On Your Side: Penny Dreadful Episode 3 “Resurrection”

I really hope Morrissey is watching Penny Dreadful. Even better, I really hope Morrissey shows up as a character on Penny Dreadful, because though a slew of classic Victorian novels are being homaged throughout, I also feel like the brooding and literary lyrics from the Smiths belong here, too. In “Resurrection,” the questions of modernity versus a romantic aesthetic are aired as we begin to learn the dark past and creepy deeds of Victor Frankenstein.

[Read more, spoilers]

Friends ‘Til the End

In “Friends ’Til the End,” death isn’t the end for Emily Winstead, not even close. She died with a wrong to make right, and she’s been given a second chance to set things straight. The only problem: her memories are hazy, she doesn’t know who to trust or even why she’s back, but she does know something about how she died broke the course of fate and it’s her ghostly mission to mend it.

This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by FSG editor Janine O’Malley.

[Read “Friends ‘Til the End” by Bethany Neal]

Morning Roundup: Maleficent Hasn’t Quite Grown Into Her Horns…

The Mary Sue shared this adorable Li’l Maleficent from artist Vivianne du Bois, and we just don’t know where to start! Look at those horns! And that sweet, nervous raven! Check out more of du Bois’ art on her Tumblr

So, how was everyone’s weekend? We trust you all saw Days of Future Past? Pretty sweet, huh? Morning Roundup has some thoughts on X-Men continuity, a consideration of mutant geneology from Magneto himself, and Sleepy Hollow news! 

[Plus more worldbuilding!]

Puppets, Dragon Bones, and Regency Dress: Just Mary Robinette Kowal and Marie Brennan on Tour

Earlier this month, Marie Brennan and Mary Robinette Kowal struck out on an author tour together. (For their new books Tropic of Serpents and Valour & Vanity, respectively. You can read excerpts from those books at the links!)

As the below video footage reveals, this was no normal author tour, featuring period dress, dragon bones, puppet shows, and…well, take a couple minutes to watch and see!

[Velociraptor puppet: Great idea or greatest idea?]

This is How I Numbered My Books and I’m Sorry

I owe the readers of my Craft Sequence a brief apology.

When I wrote Three Parts Dead, I knew it was one piece of a larger mosaic—that while the characters I’d introduced were awesome, I wanted to tell the story of a larger world across many times and cultures. The epic fantasy tradition’s usual approach to this sort of challenge is to send Our Heroes on a road trip that would put Sal Paradise to shame, ping-ponging around a killer, super-detailed map with stops in every port roughly proportional to that port’s political or geomantic influence. Or the number of Pokemon you can catch in the neighboring forest, or whatever.

[Read more]

Rereading The Empire Trilogy: Daughter of the Empire, Part 2

Welcome back to the reread of Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts’ Daughter of the Empire. In this installment, we get political commentary, business advice, and Mara starts figuring out how to be Lady of the Acoma. Meanwhile, her old nurse gives her a sex talk.

Chapter 2: Evaluations

SUMMARY:

Mara awakes in the glade to find the assassin dead at her feet. Her throat is bruised, but she has been rescued by her Strike Commander, Papewaio.

[Read more…]

Series: Rereading The Empire Trilogy

Lock In by John Scalzi: Chapter 5

Read a free excerpt from Lock In, John Scalzi’s new novel, out on August 26 from Tor Books! And check back every morning for another chapter from Scalzi’s new science fiction thriller.

Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent—nearly five million souls in the United States alone—the disease causes “lock in”: Victims are fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to any stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.  

A quarter of a century later, in a world shaped by what’s now known as “Haden’s syndrome,” rookie FBI agent Chris Shane is paired with veteran agent Leslie Vann. They are assigned what appears to be a Haden-related murder at the Watergate Hotel, with a suspect who is an “Integrator”—someone who can let the locked in borrow their bodies for a time. If the Integrator was carrying a Haden client, then naming the suspect for the murder will be that much more complicated.  

But “complicated” doesn’t begin to describe the puzzle that ensues. As Shane and Vann begin to unravel the threads of the murder, it becomes clear that the real mystery—and the real crime—is bigger than anyone could have imagined. The world of the locked in is changing, and with change comes opportunity that the ambitious will seize at any cost. The investigation takes Shane and Vann from the halls of corporate power to the virtual spaces of the locked in, and to the very heart of an emerging, surprising new human culture.  

[Read chapter 5 of Lock In by John Scalzi]

Series: John Scalzi’s Lock In

Lock In by John Scalzi: Chapter 4

Read a free excerpt from Lock In, John Scalzi’s new novel, out on August 26 from Tor Books! And check back every morning for another chapter from Scalzi’s new science fiction thriller.

Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent—nearly five million souls in the United States alone—the disease causes “lock in”: Victims are fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to any stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.  

A quarter of a century later, in a world shaped by what’s now known as “Haden’s syndrome,” rookie FBI agent Chris Shane is paired with veteran agent Leslie Vann. They are assigned what appears to be a Haden-related murder at the Watergate Hotel, with a suspect who is an “Integrator”—someone who can let the locked in borrow their bodies for a time. If the Integrator was carrying a Haden client, then naming the suspect for the murder will be that much more complicated.  

But “complicated” doesn’t begin to describe the puzzle that ensues. As Shane and Vann begin to unravel the threads of the murder, it becomes clear that the real mystery—and the real crime—is bigger than anyone could have imagined. The world of the locked in is changing, and with change comes opportunity that the ambitious will seize at any cost. The investigation takes Shane and Vann from the halls of corporate power to the virtual spaces of the locked in, and to the very heart of an emerging, surprising new human culture.  

[Read chapter 4 of Lock In by John Scalzi]

Series: John Scalzi’s Lock In

Steampunk Events for June 2014

Steampunk conventions are rolling in like wildfire this June. Take a trip to Scandinavia to attend festivals in Iceland or Sweden, or head further south for convivials in the UK or Italy. Stateside, party during a retro-futuristic club night in Los Angeles, check out the newest steampunk artworks in Colorado, or attend your nearest local event in Washington, Michigan, or North Carolina.

With the help of Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador, and our guest contributor steampunk DJ and director of The Artifice Club, Doctor Q, check out some of the most exciting happenings to kick off the summer.

[June 2014 Steampunk Events]

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “Let He Who is Without Sin…”

“Let He Who is Without Sin…”
Written by Ira Steven Behr & Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Directed by Rene Auberjonois
Season 5, Episode 7
Production episode 40510-505
Original air date: November 11, 1996
Stardate: unknown

Station log: Dax joins Odo and Sisko for a drink. Dax and Worf are planning a trip to Risa. Their relationship is developing in fits and starts, and Worf isn’t thrilled with Dax having lunch with Captain Boday—nor with her telling everyone on the station about their personal lives. Worf’s mood is not improved by Bashir and Leeta asking to come along, though he can’t see any objection to sharing a runabout with them—however his mood gets downright foul when Quark announces that he’s joining them. He wouldn’t give Leeta the time off unless he got to come along, and he’s always wanted to go to Risa.

Quark gives everyone, except Worf, a hor’gahn. Worf, because he’s twelve, refuses to even speak to Quark, instead telling Dax to “tell the Ferengi” to stay in the aft cabin.

[Tell the Ferengi to return to his cabin.]

Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch

Game of Thrones Season 5 Cast Sheet Reveals Focus on Dorne

Note: Spoilers ahead.

WinterisComing.net has obtained a partial casting breakdown for Game of Thrones season 5, which is slated to begin shooting this summer. The fifth season promises to be a notable one for book readers, since it is still unclear how the show will tackle the concurrent timelines of A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons. One thing now appears to be confirmed: We’ll be seeing a lot of Dorne.

[Partial casting breakdowns for Game of Thrones season 5]