Mary Robinette Kowal will Return to Space with Two New Lady Astronaut Novels!

Mary Robinette Kowal is giving us more stories from her punch-card punk universe! Kowal has signed a six-figure deal with Tor Books to continue the alternate history series with two more books about mathematician/astronaut Elma York and her colleagues: The Relentless Moon and The Derivative Base will follow The Calculating Stars and The Fated Sky in 2020 and 2022, respectively.

As if that wasn’t enough, Kowal’s sparkling standalone SF murder mystery, that she describes as “The Thin Man in Space,” will hit shelves in 2021!

Kowal recently spoke about her series with The Verge, sharing details about the future of the series, and a look at a brand new character.

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The Sacred Throne Series Sweepstakes!

The second book in Myke Cole’s Sacred Throne series, The Queen of Crows, is available now from Tor.com Publishing—and to celebrate, we want to send you a copy of it, along with a copy of the first book in the series, The Armored Saint!

In this epic fantasy sequel, Heloise stands tall against overwhelming odds—crippling injuries, religious tyrants—and continues her journey from obscurity to greatness with the help of alchemically-empowered armor and an unbreakable spirit.

No longer just a shell-shocked girl, she is now a figure of revolution whose cause grows ever stronger. But the time for hiding underground is over. Heloise must face the tyrannical Order and win freedom for her people.

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 3:30 /PM Eastern Time (ET) on September 18th. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on September 22nd. 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.

Trauma and Triumph: Myke Cole’s The Queen of Crows

Myke Cole surprised readers last year when the author of primarily military fantasy fiction told the grim but complex story of a young woman named Heloise, living in a world where wizardry would summon devils into the world, and only the tyrannical Order could keep the people of the world safe.

In The Armored Saint, Heloise lives in Lutet with her mother and father, and does her best to obey them, help the town where she can, and spend time with her friend Basina, for whom she harbors a love beyond friendship. But throughout the book, we see time and again the brutality of this world: how the Order cuts down any who oppose them, no matter how small the infraction, and how they force other civilians to aid them in “the knitting,” a fancy name for utter destruction of a town and its citizens who they fear have been touched by wizardry.

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Netflix Announces Live-Action Avatar: The Last Airbender Series is Incoming! [Update]

Back in between 2005 and 2008, a truly exceptional children’s television series aired on Nickelodeon titled Avatar: The Last Airbender. Four years later, a sequel series was produced titled The Legend of Korra. Between those two series, M. Night Shyamalan made a live-action adaptation of The Last Airbender, which was universally panned by fans and critics alike.

Today, we learn that we’re getting another shot at a live-action Last Airbender—and a good one at that.

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Five Devil-Worshiping Pulp Novels of the 1970s

Satan sure is a popular fellow! People are constantly praising him, praying to him, worrying about him, gossiping about him, cursing him, and sacrificing virgins to him. God’s pretty powerful, but Satan’s got cults, horror movies, the Smurfs, most children’s toys, and heavy metal music in his corner.

But how does Satan work? Where does he go? What does he do? Can he be washed with water or do you need a fast-evaporating alcohol-based spray to get the grime out from between his wings? All the following books have something to say about Satan and so I’m going to run through them quickly to make sure you get as much useful info as possible in the smallest amount of space.

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Everything You Need to Know Before Reading V.E. Schwab’s Vengeful

It’s been five years since V.E. Schwab’s Vicious gave us the story of Victor Vale and Eli Ever, friends-turned-enemies after a complicated series of events granted them both super powers. Their private war takes on mythic proportions, dragging other people along in its wake. But when the curtain falls, it’s clear that it’s not the end of the story.

The long-awaited sequel, Vengeful, arrives next week, leaving precious little time for a reread. Not to worry—here’s a handy refresher of what’s come before…

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Six Stories That Find the Drama in Utopian Settings

Imagine a nightmarish future in which the essentials of life are ruthlessly supplied to all—one where each citizen is brutally denied the cliffhanging entertainment of recurrent life-and-death crises, and where there is not even a single genetically engineered hyper-intelligent carnivorous flightless parrot roaming daycare facilities. Benevolent providence has so far protected us from such hellishly stable futures, but it cannot prevent authors from imagining them. But once such utopias are imagined, how is the poor author to squeeze an interesting story out of a world lacking everything that makes life precious (as well as precarious)?

I recently reviewed a series in which this challenge was successfully met and found myself wondering how other authors have handled the problem. Here are a few such works—doubtless there are more, which readers may feel free to suggest in comments.

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Reading the Wheel of Time: Many Worlds, One Wheel in Robert Jordan’s The Great Hunt (Part 8)

This week while I was reading the Wheel of Time, I learned that I didn’t understand the Schrödinger’s cat theorem as well as I thought it did. Granted, I am not really a math and science person, and I’m still not sure I understand what quantum superposition is except in the very broadest sense, but what I do now understand is that Schrödinger’s thought experiment ultimately suggests the many worlds interpretation of physics over the idea of waveform collapse; Basically, Schrödinger was trying to say that every possible outcome of an event creates a new universe, and that there are an infinite number of universes created by every possible outcome.

How does this relate to The Great Hunt? you might ask. (Well, you’re probably not asking that because you’ve already read this weeks’ chapters, but please permit me the rhetorical device.) This week, Rand, Loial, and Hurin have accidentally traveled to a universe outside their own—an “if” world—and they have no idea how to get back.

[From Stone to Stone run the lines of “if,” between the worlds that might be.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

Daemon Voices Sweepstakes!

We want to send you a copy of Philip Pullman’s Daemon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling, available September 18th from Knopf!

From the internationally best-selling author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, a spellbinding journey into the secrets of his art—the narratives that have shaped his vision, his experience of writing, and the keys to mastering the art of storytelling.

One of the most highly acclaimed authors of our time now gives us a book that charts the history of his own enchantment with story—from his own books to those of Blake, Milton, Dickens, and the Brothers Grimm, among others—and delves into the role of story in education, religion, and science. At once personal and wide-ranging, Daemon Voices is both a revelation of the writing mind and the methods of a great contemporary master, and a fascinating exploration of storytelling itself.

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 3:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on September 17th. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on September 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.

Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga: Diplomatic Immunity, Chapters 17 – Epilogue

In chapter 17 of Diplomatic Immunity, Miles is confined to the Idris’s infirmary, strapped down (seizure precautions!) and transported in the general direction of Cetagandan space.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Miles this week—as is my habit, now, two-and-a-half years in to this reread, but more than usual because Miles is on his honeymoon, and I’m working on planning my twentieth anniversary. If there is anything worse than a life in ruins with vomiting, it is surely a life finally gotten into perfect working order but with a high probability of imminent death and/or the termination of all sexual contact due to Weaponized Cetagandan Death Plague. I have twenty years of what Miles is could so easily miss: Eating cheese, folding laundry, and making bad jokes about the domestic architecture of New England. I’ve been very fortunate on the Weaponized Cetagandan Death Plague front.

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