An Open Letter to Our Readers:

In an effort to distance ourselves from our fellow Macmillan property, Tor Books, Tor.com is hereby announcing that our website will henceforth be known as TÖRdötCÖM. While this move may come as a surprise to some in the SF/Fantasy community, we believe that the name change will allow us to maintain a link with the success and history of Tor, the largest publisher of Science Fiction and Fantasy, while moving forward into the 21st Century without the baggage of musty, old, outdated, disease-carrying books (and the musty, old, outdated fandom who love them).

 

Our new look says, simply, “Either let us drag you willingly into the future, or be impaled upon the shiny, metallic spikes of our awesomeness. We will bludgeon all resistance with our second generation Kindles and Sony PRC 505s, slicing and dicing holdouts and naysayers with our sleek, sexy MacBook Airs. Now bow before our awesome new lögö.” Note the umlaut—it’s totally Spinal Tap, “but way cooler,” according to our latest focus group, a culturally diverse assortment of popular sixth graders (twelve-year-olds being widely recognized as the eternal harbingers of Cool).

It must be understood that we’re not cutting ties with the geek community—rather, we like to think of ourselves as ultra-modern alchemists, painstakingly turning geek into chic. We would never attempt to trivialize the concerns of fandom. At least the fandom we care about—the kind that hangs out at the Apple Store, and look like those kids from Twilight. Young, pasty, sexy, tech-savvy, secret vampires…yes, that pretty much sums up our new target audience.

A common reaction to the new TÖRdötCÖM revolution has been to point out that our new name is actually pronounced exactly the same as our old name, a criticism which must be addressed in two parts:

First, the pronunciation is indeed the same, but the ATTITUDE is totally different. It’s all about the Extreme Vibe embodied by the concept of TÖRdötCÖM-ness. It’s a feeling. It’s almost a flavor, if you will. If Tor was a bowl of Doritos snack chips, TÖRdötCÖM is a family size sack of super-delicious Doritos Extreme Kickin’ Chili, served to you in a space jacuzzi by sexy fire-aliens. We trust that this distinction is clear.

Secondly, pronunciation is only problematic in meatspace. Let’s face it, people: all the conversations that matter transcended spoken communication a long time ago. As the old saying goes, if it’s not on our Twitter feed, it didn’t actually happen. Q.E.D.

Lest you think that this was some kind of cold-blooded, calculated, misguided corporate move on our part, let us assure you that this is not the case. Full disclosure: last week, after mixing up a batch of signature “Rocket Fuel” cocktails here at our plush Manhattan offices, our head of Marketing passed out while watching a block of Ronnie James Dio videos on VH1 Classics. Several hours later she woke up from a dream (some would call it a vision) in which a leather-clad Isaac Asimov appeared to her from the back of a roaring Harley, driven by Joan Jett. Leaping up from her beanbag, she immediately grabbed the nearest available glitter pen and scribbled “TÖRdötCÖM” across the giant zombie print hanging in the main office. Instantly, we all knew it was meant to be.

 

Fandom, Original Flavor: Dusty malcontent

Call it what you want: fate? divine providence? half-drunken dream scrawl? We see it as a manifest call to slough off the lame, comic book-collecting mouthbreathers clinging like barnacles to our spaceship of futuristic chic, and blast off into the rarified air of commercial hipness.

 

 

Fandom, Mach Two: Sexy, vampire-flavored, extreme

 

Hey, listen: We’re not “selling out.” We’re offering you, the fans, a chance to buy in to what we’re all about: the hottest, raddest, totally bitchinest trends in SäïPhäï/Phäntysee. Let us lift you up from the dankness of your mothers’ basements to the cutting edge of hipster cool. It is time to evolve, and we are the HAL 9000 to your enraged, screechy, poo-throwing apes…um, or maybe we’re the Monolith? Anyway, we’re sure you get our point.

Thank you. By which we mean, YOU’RE WELCOME. Welcome…to TÖRdötCÖM.

(All comments and complaints should be directed to our new head of PR, Mr. Ted McGinley, at [email protected]).

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