The Future Tornadoes Want: Twister

When Jan de Bont released Twister in May of 1996, he probably thought he was being sneaky. He probably didn’t expect anyone to figure out that he’d made a horror film in which the monster represents the death of heteronormativity in the American nuclear family structure. He probably thought he got away with it. Well, I’ve got bad news for you, Jan…

(Oh, did you think Jan de Bont was safe from this essay series? Did you think I wouldn’t come after the director of Speed 2: Cruise Control? Did you think that just because he also directed Speed 1: It’s Actually Just Called Speed, I wouldn’t force a too-small hand-knit sweater of literary analysis over the narrow shoulders of one of his summer blockbusters? Welcome to Hell, where the essays are long and the tornadoes are feminists. The only way out is through. Let’s do this. Twister.)

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Luke Cage’s Queer Characters Are a Good Starting Point — But We Deserve More

For a connected universe that confidently approaches its violence and criminality bluntly and with little embellishment, the Netflix fraction of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is surprisingly big on symbolism and poetics. Luke Cage, a show that wavered in its first season between being so much better and suddenly so much worse than its Netflix peers, has actually become a much more interesting show in its second season.

[Spoilers for Season 2 of Luke Cage follow.]

[Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the new season are the character relationships that centre around love]

Announcing a Pair of Solarpunk Novellas from Becky Chambers

In 2014 Becky Chambers burst onto the science fiction scene with her debut novel, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. Nominated for pretty much every major science fiction award, it took the SF world by storm.

We are absolutely thrilled to be able to announce that Becky will be writing a new solarpunk novella series for Tor.com Publishing, though you’re going to have to wait a little while for them (sorry!).

Ever since I read The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet I’ve wanted to work with Becky. She has a lightness of touch that makes you want to keep turning the page. So, when I contacted her and she suggested we work together on a couple of solarpunk books I was delighted. There’s a lot of darkness in the world, today, and I can’t wait to bring you Becky‘s trademark adventure style, wrapped up in a bundle of positive SF. It’s what we need, right now.

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It’s Time to Remake the Star Wars Holiday Special

Box office analysts all over the galaxy have blamed Solo’s disappointing earnings on poor marketing and oversaturation of Star Wars movies. Personally, I believe these theories are (and forgive my French) a whole lot of hooey. The problem with Star Wars these days is that there are too many new ideas, new characters. Why enjoy something fresh and exciting and possibly even challenging, when you can watch the same old thing over and over?

With all this in mind, I’m sure you will agree that what Star Wars truly needs is a remake. Search your feelings. You will know it to be true. You probably already know what film I’m going to recommend that they reimagine, and that is the beloved sequel to A New Hope.

I am, of course, speaking of The Star Wars Holiday Special.

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Every Day was Another Body: Apocalypse Nyx by Kameron Hurley

Nyxnissa so Dasheem—ex-soldier, ex-assassin—is a disreputable and legally questionable bounty hunter, hurtling toward her own demise by way of as much whiskey and as many poor choices as she can manage. Apocalypse Nyx collects five original stories about her, four of which were previously published on Hurley’s Patreon for subscribers. All of the stories in Apocalypse Nyx take place prior to the events of God’s War (2011) and often gesture toward latter events in the Bel Dame Apocrypha series, sometimes with grim foreshadowing.

The world of the Bel Dame Apocrypha is as compelling as ever: biotechnological warfare, magic-oriented bugs on all surfaces, collapsing social order, matriarchal control, the list goes on. These novellas, however, are more concerned with action-adventure than continued development of the milieu—each follows one job that Nyx takes on for herself and her crew, from start to finish.

[A review.]

The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins Sweepstakes!

The graphic novel adaptation of the podcast The Adventure Zone is available today from First Second Books! To celebrate, we want to send you a copy of The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins, along with a set of fun postcards and trading cards!

Welcome to the Adventure Zone!

SEE! The illustrated exploits of three lovable dummies set loose in a classic fantasy adventure!

READ! Their journey from small-time bodyguards to world-class artifact hunters!

MARVEL! At the sheer metafictional chutzpah of a graphic novel based on a story created in a podcast where three dudes and their dad play a tabletop role playing game in real time!

Join Taako the elf wizard, Merle the dwarf cleric, and Magnus the human warrior for an adventure they are poorly equipped to handle AT BEST, guided (“guided”) by their snarky DM, in a graphic novel that, like the smash-hit podcast it’s based on, will tickle your funny bone, tug your heartstrings, and probably pants you if you give it half a chance.

With endearingly off-kilter storytelling from master goofballs Clint McElroy and the McElroy brothers, and vivid, adorable art by Carey Pietsch, The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins is the comics equivalent of role-playing in your friend’s basement at 2am, eating Cheetos and laughing your ass off as she rolls critical failure after critical failure.

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 2:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on July 17th. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on July 21st. 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.

Kill the Farm Boy

Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom, a hero, the Chosen One, was born . . . and so begins every fairy tale ever told.
            
This is not that fairy tale.
            
There is a Chosen One, but he is unlike any One who has ever been Chosened.
            
And there is a faraway kingdom, but you have never been to a magical world quite like the land of Pell.
            
There, a plucky farm boy will find more than he’s bargained for on his quest to awaken the sleeping princess in her cursed tower. First there’s the Dark Lord, who wishes for the boy’s untimely death . . . and also very fine cheese. Then there’s a bard without a song in her heart but with a very adorable and fuzzy tail, an assassin who fears not the night but is terrified of chickens, and a mighty fighter more frightened of her sword than of her chain-mail bikini. This journey will lead to sinister umlauts, a trash-talking goat, the Dread Necromancer Steve, and a strange and wondrous journey to the most peculiar “happily ever after” that ever once-upon-a-timed.

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Sleeps With Monsters: Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver

There’s a strange phenomenon whereby one truly enjoys a novel, admires it for its craft and emotional impact, and still finds one element painfully frustrating.

Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver is just such a novel, a glittering jewel of a novel influenced by fairytale and by—as far as I can tell—the history of medieval Hungary. Miryem is a moneylender’s daughter, who takes over her father’s business because he’s too soft-hearted to actually demand repayment. She’s so good at it that the Staryk—beings of winter who covet gold—come to believe she can turn silver into gold, and one of them sets her a challenge with her life as the stakes. Victory won’t bring her any joy, either: if she wins, the Staryk king will take her to be his queen, far from home.

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Download Rocket Fuel: Some of the Best of Tor.com Non-Fiction for Free!

On Friday, July 20, 2018, Tor.com will turn 10 years old.

In that span of time we have published, along with over 700 pieces of award-winning original fiction, more than 30,000 articles. To commemorate this exceptional, intense, unicorn-dappled run of non-fiction, we have assembled Rocket Fuel, a free collection of some of the best feature articles from Tor.com’s 10-year history as an online sci-fi/fantasy literature magazine!

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5 Things I Missed in Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World (Until Now)

You’d think that—1. Having read the entirety of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time fantasy saga. 2. Working at Tor.com, home of Leigh Butler’s amazing Wheel of Time Reread. 3. And writing deep-dives that wonder just how far Aviendha saw into her future—that the very first book in the series wouldn’t hold any surprises for me.

Sylas K. Barrett’s Reading The Wheel of Time has shown me the error in my thinking.

[Read more]

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