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.


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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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Five Hippie-ish SF Novels Inspired by Sixties Counterculture

From time to time, humanity’s powers of kidding itself have produced short-lived crops of deluded optimists. Half a century ago, for example, young people not yet reconciled to grim reality pushed back at society’s constraints… Free love! Communes! Bold hairstyle choices suitable for those who have not yet experienced male pattern baldness!

Unsurprisingly, hippiedom and the counterculture leaked into science fiction, with various degrees of optimism. Here are five examples.

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Subterranean Press Announces Kelly Robson Collection

Since publishing her first short story in 2015, Kelly Robson has gained considerable critical acclaim for her work, earning nominations for the Aurora, Nebula, and Hugo awards—earning wins in each category.

Now, she’s collecting most of her shorter work into a collection, Alias Space and Other Stories, set to come out from Subterranean Press in March 2021.

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Sing Me a Song: Ruinsong by Julia Ember

Do you want a book with an ownvoices fat main character? With a diverse cast including queer, racial, disability, and polyamourous rep? With vivid descriptions and an intriguing world? Where tropes find deeper meaning in the current political climate? And where two girls from different worlds can’t stop sneaking lusty glances? Then you absolutely need to pick up Julia Ember’s The Phantom of the Opera-inspired YA fantasy Ruinsong.

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Gideon, Harrow, and the Value of Problematic Relationships in Fiction

When I was growing up in an evangelical home, there was a faction of parents who wanted media to never portray bad behavior, not even for the purposes of showing that it was bad. This led to such censorship as VeggieTales changing The Bunny Song so he’s singing about foods he doesn’t like instead of singing about not going to church or school. It rendered the song meaningless, but hey, the parents were mollified.

Not many in the book community today would be offended by an animated zucchini singing “I won’t go to church,” but I find myself thinking of those parents when I witness controversies like Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth being condemned as a slavery romance. There’s a sizeable subculture in the book world that doesn’t want to see bad behavior portrayed in books at all, not even if it’s being explicitly addressed and interrogated.

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Reading the Wheel of Time: Morgase Breaks Free in Robert Jordan’s The Fires of Heaven (Part 13)

Last week in Reading the Wheel of Time, we covered Chapter 18 and just the end of Chapter 19, so that I could talk about all our Black Ajah and Darkfriend problems at once. I always enjoy Liandrin chapters, and when the character of Fain is at his best and most political and scheme-y he’s fascinating too. I have so many questions about what influence he may have had on Elaida—I had assumed he’d be sticking around the White Tower causing problems for a lot longer. But he has Rand to worry about anyway, and Elaida has more than enough problems that she doesn’t know she has with Alviarin at her side.

But that’s not what we’re here to talk about today. Today we’re going back to the beginning of Chapter 19, in which Morgase’s resistance to Rahvin’s compulsions finally comes to a head. Also this is the thirteenth post for The Fires of Heaven, so hurray for lucky number 13! Let’s hope it brings some lucky to Morgase, because she really needs it.

[I won the Lion Throne. I will not give it up, and I will not see a man take it.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

Answers to the Beta-Readers’ Reactions to Brandon Sanderson’s Rhythm of War

And we’re back at long last, with the solution to the teasers posed a few weeks ago in the Spoiler-Free Reactions to Beta Reading Brandon Sanderson’s Rhythm of War. We hope you had fun with it all!

Well, here it is. The answer key, as it were. How did you do? [Obviously, there are tons of spoilers below—if you haven’t finished the book yet, you may want to save this post for later!]

[Of course the Parshendi wanted to play their drums.]

Aspects of History and Future: Announcing Five Books From Andrea Hairston

Tordotcom Publishing is excited to announce an exciting deal with the incredible Andrea Hairston.

Andrea’s most recent book, Master of Poisons, was chosen by Kirkus as one of the Ten Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2020, saying: “This book’s lyrical language and unsparing vision make it a mind-expanding must-read.”

Andrea is a major talent. So, when her agent asked  if we’d like more books from her, we jumped at the chance. And not only have be commissioned two new novels, we’re also going to be republishing her incredible backlist! We’re going to be shouting about how great Andrea is for quite some time to come!

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