Farscape Rewatch: “Peacekeeper Wars—Part 1”

Peacekeeper Wars – Episode One
Written by David Kemper & Rockne S. O’Bannon, directed by Brian Henson

1st UK Transmission Date: 16 January 2005
1st US Transmission Date: 17 October 2004

Synopsis: John and Aeryn are reconstituted by the race that crystalised them, who turn out to be Eidelons. So our gang take one to Arnessk and try to reignite their ability to inspire peace, so as to end the PK-Scarran war. Naturally, this plan goes horribly wrong.

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Series: Farscape Rewatch on Tor.com

The Constant Coureur: Europe in Autumn by Dave Hutchinson

Maps are a way of rationalising landscapes, but what kind of map can help us come to terms with a country that changes every day? With a world that defies definition?

Dave Hutchinson’s vision of Europe in the near future is as plausible as it is novel. In the aftermath of catastrophic economic collapse and a flu pandemic which led to the death of many millions, the Union begins to splinter:

The Union had struggled into the twenty-first century and managed to survive in some style for a few more years of bitching and infighting and cronyism. Then it had spontaneously begun to throw off progressively smaller and crazier nation-states, like a sunburned holidaymaker shedding curls of skin.

Nobody really understood why this had happened.

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Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, The Blade Itself: “The House of the Maker”

This week’s chapter features one of the absolute silliest moments in the series. Abercrombie, in the middle of what should be one of the tensest scenes in The Blade Itself, makes an absolutely obvious Lord of the Rings joke. And yet, it works in large part because of the audience and the scene.

‘…none…shall…pass.’ Bayaz reads from the entrance to the House of the Maker, sitting atop a bridge with Logen, Jezal, and Glokta behind him. Where the same phrase uttered by Gandalf is followed by the moment where the Gray Wizard becomes fallible, in Abercrombie’s version it is followed by a confirmation of Bayaz’s infallibility. Hardly the cleverest trick employed in The Blade Itself, but one that’s perfectly timed…

Of course, I’m getting ahead of myself…

[The House of the Maker…]

Series: The Joe Abercrombie First Law Trilogy Reread

Night Broken Sweepstakes!

Shapeshifter Mercy Thompson is back! Night Broken, the eighth novel in Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series, comes out from Ace on March 11th, and we want to give you one of our three copies right now.

Check out an excerpt from the novel and the story of Dan Dos Santos’s cover, then 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 12:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on February 19. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on February 23. 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.

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: Dust of Dreams, Chapter Seven

Welcome to the Malazan Reread of the Fallen! Every post will start off with a summary of events, followed by reaction and commentary by your hosts Bill and Amanda (with Amanda, new to the series, going first), and finally comments from Tor.com readers. In this article, we’ll cover chapter seven of Dust of Dreams.

A fair warning before we get started: We’ll be discussing both novel and whole-series themes, narrative arcs that run across the entire series, and foreshadowing. Note: The summary of events will be free of major spoilers and we’re going to try keeping the reader comments the same. A spoiler thread has been set up for outright Malazan spoiler discussion.

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Series: Malazan Reread of the Fallen

Jedediah Berry’s “A Window or a Small Box” has been Selected for The Year’s Best SFF!

Congratulations to Jedediah Berry, whose story “A Window or a Small Box” will be included in The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2014! The novelette was originally published on Tor.com on June 5, 2013, after being acquired by editor Ellen Datlow. You can read it here!

This sixth volume of The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy features over thirty stories by some of the genre’s most acclaimed authors, including Yoon Ha Lee, James Patrick Kelly, Ken Liu, Robert Reed, Lavie Tidhar, Carrie Vaughn, selected from venues including Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, F&SF. Congratulations to all the authors included!

Do the Stars Align for Star-Crossed?

Aliens have gotten the short shrift on television in the last few years. As has the science fiction part of SFF, for that matter. Star-Crossed (CW, Mon 8p), loosely inspired by Romeo and Juliet, attempts to rectify that imbalance, with moderate success. As an episode of television, this particular pilot does its job. It introduces the key players and sets up the central conflict—interspecies conflict versus moony love—while hinting at a much larger and more sinister conspiracy looming at the edges. But what you really want to know is if it’s worth watching. All I can tell you is yeah, sure, why not.

[“They’re never going to treat us like equals.”]

Reflections of Radiance: Spoiler-Free Reactions to Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radiance

Closer and closer it comes… Words of Radiance arrives in less than two weeks! Are you excited? Are there anticipationspren around your head right now? Are you enjoying those Glimpses of Radiance? Is Carl having way too much fun? Are his fingers stuck in that steepled position? Do you have a burning need for MOAR?

Today’s tease takes the form of a brief spoiler-free review, accompanied by a list of reflections and reactions to various scenes and events. Cruel torment (but no spoilers) ahead. Enter at your own risk.


Series: The Stormlight Archive

The Price Of Doing Business

Ethan Kaille is a Thieftaker in Boston in the years leading up to the American Revolution. Having suffered losses and reversals in his life, he is neither naive nor without considerable personal resources. He isn’t just a detective; he’s also a conjurer, which makes him someone who lives on the margins of polite society. Some people fear his powers; others merely find him a distasteful rogue who should simply go away . . . but still, he is useful to the powers-that-be when problems arise requiring his unusual skill-set. In the novels Thieftaker and Thieves’ Quarry, as well as in the story “A Spell of Vengeance,” which was published on Tor.com, Kaille has had to deal with a variety of crimes and their perpetrators. The story that follows is one from Kaille’s early days as a thieftaker in Boston. In it, he must face a formidable foe, one of a most unexpected sort, whose own powers, very different from his own, prove the equal of Ethan’s.

[Read “The Price of Doing Business” by D.B. Jackson]

Morning Roundup: It is the Language of Starbucks, Which I Shall Not Utter Here

We found the best coffee ever on Buzzfeed! It…it fills us with a sense of invincibility. The caffeine high sustains us as we walk ever closer to Mordor. It has become…precious to us. We especially enjoy shopping on Amazon while sipping it.

Morning Roundup will caffeinate you with links! Come, listen to tales of J.K. Rowling’s pseudonyms, the return of Constable Reggie, and the rise of Will Arnett’s Batman!

[Plus more Zero Theorem!]

Imagine Shenanigans

Welcome back to the British Genre Fiction Focus, Tor.com’s regular round-up of book news from the United Kingdom’s thriving speculative fiction industry.

In this edition, Patrick Ness—the multiple award-winning author of More Than This and more—makes an impassioned plea about power as it regards reading and writing… a plea which his peer Robert Muchamore describes as “some kind of doom laden literary crisis.”

Who’s in the right? You decide. But the answer is Ness, yes?

Later today, a quick Kitsch, because I couldn’t resist—then this week’s links, in which there’s news of another new Stephen King novel, self-publishing’s poster boy Hugh Howey discusses his specialist subject, and keep your eyes peeled for what must be the best wordplay of the week.

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Series: British Fiction Focus

The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza (Excerpt)

Check out The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza, a new graphic novel by James Kochalka, available March 25th from First Second. You can read more about the process of designing the cover here on Tor.com!

The Glorkian Warrior isn’t the brightest bulb in the box, so it’s good he’s got his trusty talking backpack to advise him as they set out on a perilous journey to deliver a pizza. The pizza’s got clams and peanut butter on it, so it’s not clear who’s going to want it, but deliver it they will.

With bright, lively illustrations and classic prat-falls, this graphic novel for kids is 112 pages of super icky gross-out humor and ludicrously bad decisions—in other words, The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza is a winner!

[Read an Excerpt]

Gilded (Excerpt)

Check out Gilded by Christina Farley, available March 1st from Skyscape. You can watch the new book trailer here!

Sixteen-year-old Jae Hwa Lee is a Korean-American girl with a black belt, a deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows, and a chip on her shoulder the size of Korea itself. When her widowed dad uproots her to Seoul from her home in L.A., Jae thinks her biggest challenges will be fitting into a new school and dealing with her dismissive Korean grandfather. Then she discovers that a Korean demi-god, Haemosu, has been stealing the soul of the oldest daughter of each generation in her family for centuries. And she’s next.

But that’s not Jae’s only problem. There’s also Marc. Irresistible and charming, Marc threatens to break the barriers around Jae’s heart. As the two grow closer, Jae must decide if she can trust him. But Marc has a secret of his own—one that could help Jae overturn the curse on her family for good. It turns out that Jae’s been wrong about a lot of things: her grandfather is her greatest ally, even the tough girl can fall in love, and Korea might just be the home she’s always been looking for.

[Read an Excerpt]