Chris would rather be anywhere but here, cleaning out his deceased, hateful grandparents’ house with his relatives. Each room he visits takes him back in time to another traumatic memory. To escape this house and his grandparents and his past, he’ll need to take time travel into his own hands.
Content warning for fictional depictions of verbal, physical, and sexual child abuse.
The world doesn’t make sense. All rain has moved indoors, wrecking houses from the inside out while the skies remain cloudless. With ever greater devotion, people worship giant, inert, humanoid bodies as gods as civilization falls apart.
Lucy, who has never been religious, has no way to properly mourn her brother after his untimely death. Now, a year later, she will travel south on a makeshift pilgrimage with the help of her best friend Carve, who was once himself a believer, trying to find peace and some better means of understanding the world.
Justin C. Key’s “The Perfection of Theresa Watkins” is a skillful speculative exploration of the intersection of race, mental illness, and the American prison system.
Darius and Theresa Watkins confronted death once as fellow cancer survivors. Their lives are full and productive, their love a shield against Darius’s bouts of anxiety and Theresa’s occasional flare-ups. Yet when tragedy strikes, Darius will try everything to save his wife…even against his fears that she may have transformed into an entirely different person—literally.
Following the death of her mother, Fiona buys a new house in order to start a new chapter of her life, one with fewer reminders of painful memories. Unbeknownst to Fiona, this house has a melancholy history, and slightly more ghosts than she anticipated. In learning to live with her unexpected companions and their losses, Fiona might find a way to make peace with her own.
Humanity has settled space and left Earth to its destruction. Connor and Ines have traveled back to Earth on a preservation project to find the human “jacks” that sacrificed their bodies to prop up the United States’s failing infrastructure. But the jacks hold a secret, one Connor would rather keep hidden than risk the truth being made public.
At this point in 2020, I’m not sure if Nandor, Nadja, and Lazlo taking over Staten Island would help with everything that’s going on in the world right now… but I’m not not sure it would help. At the very least, I know that watching Taika Waititi’s quirky vampire mockumentary has been bringing some much-needed laughter into my life the past few months. And let’s be honest, we could all use some more of that right now. Trust Taika to deliver.
Some people shriek at the sight of a spider. Others can’t get into elevators. For many contemporary consumers of literature and film, the merest hint of knowing what’s ahead sends them into panic mode. Where did this “spoilerphobia” come from? Is it rational?
Well, like most aesthetic questions, the answer is…complicated.
Today, we’re exactly two weeks out from Election Day here in the U.S. Whether you’re voting by mail, in person, or absentee ballot, your vote is so incredibly important, and we’re asking you to please do everything you can to make it count—and encourage everyone you know to do the same!
If you’re eligible to vote, you can find all the resources you need—including instructions, deadlines, voting guides, and personalized ballot information—at VOTE411.org, a nonpartisan website brought to you by the League of Women Voters Education Fund.
As always, thanks for reading, and thank you for making your voice heard this November 3rd!
Usually, plots are populated by the alive or alive-adjacent. (I was going to say “alive and breathing,” but then I remembered that some vampire characters don’t breathe.) Nothing facilitates plot like living people. Most corpses are poor conversationalists and don’t do much besides just lie there. Hence most authors choose to populate their books with the living.
As always, there are exceptions. A few fictional corpses are very interesting. Take, for example, these five dead people…
Charlie Jane Anders is writing a nonfiction book—and Tor.com is publishing it as she does so. Never Say You Can’t Survive is a how-to book about the storytelling craft, but it’s also full of memoir, personal anecdote, and insight about how to flourish in the present emergency.
Below is the twenty-second chapter, “A Strong Narrator Can Help You Weave a Spell of Protection”. You can find all previous chapters here. New chapters will appear every Tuesday. Enjoy!
Often books are like tides. The plot comes in waves, leaving characters half-buried in the sand. In order to find the seashells, skulls, strangely twisted driftwood amid the seaweed and salt, you must have a keen eye. It might take a few passes across a small, strange stretch of beach or stone or mud but these liminal places are the only place a sea, or a story, willingly lets go of its dead.
The Fourth Island is like a dark tide. It flows in and out of time, history, and myth, creating a picture of the Aran Islands that is deeply enmeshed in Irish culture.
This week in Reading The Wheel of Time, Nynaeve and Elayne encounter a secret signal meant for the Yellow Ajah, almost get kidnapped, and learn a valuable lesson from the experience. We the readers learn a lot too, including that there is a tea that can inhibit one’s ability to channel and that the eyes-and-ears networks of the Aes Sedai aren’t always as competent and cautious as one might wish. Also, Elayne is apparently trying to get with her mother’s former lover?
Trouble the Saints cover art by Charlie Davis (Tor, 2020)
I kept trying to write about alternate history, but the concept turned slippery and strange in my grasp. Alternate history, I thought, over and over, until it became six syllables in an arcane language, a mantra, a riddle. This is just your Covid brain, I thought. I told my editor I’d get it to her in a week. I told her that many weeks ago, and I’m still here, trying to figure out why what ought to be a simple sub-genre label has begun to strike me as a fundamental category error.
It invites a simple definition: alternate history is history that isn’t real. But how is it not real? It diverged from a specific point that we know to be real? It explores history? Or it explores the present through the lens of history? Why do we draw a line between those two things, “present” and “history,” as though there were some clear demarcation between them? If we are living downstream from history, then what is our relationship to imagined history? Is it the same as an imagined present? Are our alternate timelines running alongside us, tumbling forward in our collective memories, yearnings and resentments, constantly reflecting and forming counterpoint to our actual stream?
Last night during Monday Night Football, Lucasfilm dropped a new teaser for its upcoming second season of The Mandalorian, showing that while Din Djarin and the Child evaded Moff Gideon’s forces last season, there are still plenty of people after them.
We are thrilled to share the cover for Sun-Daughters, Sea-Daughters, the debut novella from Aimee Ogden! One woman will travel to the stars and beyond to save her beloved in this lyrical space opera that reimagines The Little Mermaid.
P. Djèlí Clark returns to the historical fantasy universe of “A Dead Djinn in Cairo”, with the otherworldly adventure novella The Haunting of Tram Car 015.
Finalist for the 2020 Hugo Award
Finalist for the 2020 Nebula Award
Finalist for the 2020 Locus Award
How it works: Subscribers to the Tor.com eBook Club get a free sci-fi/fantasy book at least once a month (lately it’s been much more than that) just by signing up with a valid email address. You’ll get an email when the download window is open.
This week, the Tor.com eBook Club is offering The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djèlí Clark.
Well, look at you! You figured out that it’s Tuesday already, and here you are. We’ve got a new chapter of Rhythm of War, which you’ve obviously read, and you’re ready to share your reactions, right? Let’s rejoin Navani, then, and get on with it!
If you run a search on “horse training,” a lot of what will come up will have to do with overcoming the horse’s natural instincts. There’s also quite a bit about dominating him, and being the dominant herd member. But is this really what works, or what is actually happening in the mind of this alien species?
Calling all Brandon Sanderson fans and DnD enthusiasts! You can now enter to win a swag bundle to celebrate the release of Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson, the latest in the Stormlight Archive. The Rhythm of War Explorer Pack features everything for all your DnD needs, including a dice tray, a beautiful D20, and a copy of Rhythm of War. Enter here by November 16th, 2020 for your chance to win!