Dawnshard Reread: Prologue and Chapters 1-7

Lyn: Hello everyone, and welcome to the reread of Brandon Sanderson’s novella/novel, Dawnshard! We’re going to be powering through this one in order to finish up before the holidays and begin on Rhythm of War in January, so buckle in, because it’s going to be a heck of a ride!

Sam: It keeps being said, but it doesn’t become less true, only Brandon could accidentally write a novel. I’m glad to be on board for this and I’m eager to hear yours and other’s thoughts on this story!

[Ah, to be free of the “but why.”]

Series: Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson

Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop — With Pizza Dog! — Confirmed for Hawkeye Disney+ Series

It looks like the MCU officially has a Kate Bishop. And a Lucky, the Pizza Dog.

Behind-the-scenes footage on the Hawkeye set, which recently started filming in Downtown Brooklyn under the name “Anchor Point,” confirms that Hailee Steinfeld will take on the mantle of the Young Avenger. The video also gave us a couple of other key details about the character’s upcoming appearance.

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An Inexhaustible Research Subject: Elizabeth Bear’s “On Safari in R’lyeh and Carcosa With Gun and Camera”

Welcome back to Reading the Weird, in which we get girl cooties all over weird fiction, cosmic horror, and Lovecraftiana—from its historical roots through its most recent branches.

This week, we’re reading Elizabeth Bear’s “On Safari in R’lyeh and Carcosa With Gun and Camera,” first published in the November 2020 on Tor.com. Spoilers ahead—but read it for yourself first.

[“Have you noticed that those are a lot of moons?”]

Series: Reading the Weird

The Costs of Colonization: Cleverman as an Anti-Western

There are hundreds of Westerns, but virtually none which center Native American stories or perspectives. Some movies, like John Ford’s The Searchers (1956) or the Kevin Costner vehicle Dances With Wolves (1990), acknowledge the history of violence against indigenous people, and include native characters or storylines. But these films still feature white stars, and view native people primarily through white eyes. This is so consistent, and so ubiquitous, that the Western as a genre could even be defined as narratives about the American West presented from the point of view of colonizers.

Space westerns have a more abstract relationship to the actual American West, but the tropes are much the same. The Mandalorian and Star Trek ask viewers to identify with explorers and pioneers, not with the explored and pioneered. Movies like Outland are as white as their Western predecessors, set in a landscape pre-emptied of indigenous people. There are only white people in space—just as, in Westerns, there are often, counter-historically, only white people in America.

The 2016-2017 Australian independent television series Cleverman isn’t an exception to the colonial perspective of space Westerns, primarily because it isn’t a Western. Instead, it can be seen as a kind of anti-Western. By focusing on the stories of indigenous people, it turns Western genre pleasures inside-out—and shows why those pleasures are only possible when you strap on the colonizer’s gunbelt.

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Beloved Child of the House: Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi and the Renaissance Memory Palace

“It’s a magical missing persons case in a Renaissance memory palace,” I’ve told one friend. And another, “It’s like Prospero and Ariel, only instead of an enchanted isle, the fantasy world is the cave from Plato’s allegory.” Or to my husband, “It’s dark academia, kind of, since an academic gets so lost in his quest for knowledge he loses his sense of self in an inadvertent Faustian bargain, but it’s also about statues and augury?”

None of these descriptions is quite right, but none of these attempts to explain Susanna Clarke’s new novel Piranesi are quite wrong either.

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5 Books About the Horror of Winter

I live on a rainy peninsular at the edge of Europe. In winter the beaches are bleak, battered by wild storms and overlooked by strange clifftop houses. It’s Daphne Du Maurier country, and you only have to look at the local paper to see that all sorts of things go on round here. Forget the summer when it’s all about swimming in the sea and boats and barbecues: I love it in winter, when the crowds go home and you can walk around the streets noticing that people often leave their curtains open and switch their lights on.

What’s happening in those slices of lit-up room? Anything could be going on.

Anything.

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Series: Five Books About…

All of Tor.com’s Original Short Fiction Published in 2020

Since launching in 2008, Tor.com’s short fiction program has been producing touching, funny, and thought-provoking stories, and this year was no different. In 2020, we published 20 original novelettes and 26 short stories, plus 8 flash fiction stories in collaboration with FIYAH Literary Magazine, that ran the gamut from hard science fiction to epic fantasy, from horror to dystopia, from fairy tales to space opera. We’ve rounded them all up below, and you can also find Tordotcom Publishing’s impressive output of novellas and novels here.

We are tremendously proud of our authors, illustrators, and editors for creating such wonderful short fiction this year. We hope that you will nominate your favorites for the Hugos, Nebulas, and other upcoming awards which honor outstanding works of science fiction, fantasy, and horror—but most of all, we hope that you have enjoyed reading these stories as much as we have!

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We’re Offering a Free Download of Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children Series This Week! Today: Beneath the Sugar Sky

Across the Green Grass Fields, the newest novella in Seanan McGuire’s acclaimed Wayward Children series, arrives on January 12th.

But before that happens, this week Tordotcom Publishing and the Tor.com Ebook Club are offering free downloads of ALL FIVE PREVIOUS NOVELLAS! One per day. Every day a doorway!

Today…a tale of friendship, baking, and derring-do in Beneath the Sugar Sky.

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Hammer and Tongs and a Rusty Nail

For over 25 years, the Wild Cards universe has been entertaining readers with stories of superpowered people in an alternate history.

When a mysterious stranger approaches Wally Gunderson, a.k.a Rustbelt, about running for Jokertown City Council, he doesn’t think twice about it. His first move? Hiring an unlikely campaign manager – Mordecai Albert Jones, the Harlem Hammer. Together they’ll discover the ins and outs of local politics, and whether conspiracy theorist Sparkjob is actually crazy… or just on to something?

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SFWA Names Nalo Hopkinson as the 37th Damon Knight Grand Master

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has named Nalo Hopkinson as the 37th Damon Knight Grand Master.

The award is one of the genre’s highest honors, and Hopkinson joins the ranks of such authors as Robert Heinlein, Joe Haldeman, Connie Willis, Samuel R. Delany, C.J. Cherryh, Ursula K. Le Guin, William Gibson, and Lois McMaster Bujold.

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