The planet of Quányuán is arid to the point of being uninhabitable. Wetness is a concept left back on Earth. That doesn’t stop one elderly woman from stepping outside the safety of the colony whenever she can for the brief opportunity to fully experience the outside world.
Apple’s forthcoming series For All Mankind will already get a second season, according to Deadline. The series is set to debut with the company’s streaming platform, Apple TV + on November 1st, and follows a group of astronauts in an alternate history in which the Soviet Union beats the United States to the Moon.
As a result, the US redoubles its efforts and begins recruiting women to become astronauts in an effort to keep up with the space race. The series comes from Ron Moore, who created SCI FI’s Battlestar Galactica reboot and Starz’s Outlander.
Let’s be honest, we’re here to see live-action puppies kiss by slurping up the same noodle.
Disney knows this. And so they release a trailer with a romantic spaghetti dinner. But then….
The strangest thing about talking about Helen Corcoran’s debut novel is that it’s actually kind of weird that I only met her recently. We’re both from Ireland and we’re both queer women—and we attended the same alma mater—and honestly, this country’s not that big. By that rubric, it’d turn out to be dead awkward if I hated Queen of Coin and Whispers, said debut (coming in April 2020 from Irish publisher O’Brien Press): I’m nearly certain that this is the first queer fantasy with a love story featuring young women to be published from a traditional outfit here, and I have just enough local pride to want the best for it.
Fortunately, Corcoran has written a novel that could have been tailor-made to satisfy my particular narrative kinks.
Series: Sleeps With Monsters
In 2016, Fantastic Stories of the Imagination published my survey “A Crash Course in the History of Black Science Fiction” (now hosted here). Since then, Tor.com has published 29 in-depth essays I wrote about some of the 42 works mentioned, and a thirtieth essay by LaShawn Wanak on my collection Filter House. This time we’re discussing the importance of Brown Girl in the Ring, the first published novel by the wonderful award-winner Nalo Hopkinson.
Highlander meets Seven in Nick Mamatas’s Sabbath – and we want to send you a copy!
The infamous eleventh-century warrior Hexen Sabbath is plucked from death and certain damnation by a being claiming to be an angel of the Lord, and finds himself dropped into contemporary Manhattan with no clothes, no weapons, no resources, and one mission—to track down and kill the living personifications of the Seven Deadly Sins before they bring about Armageddon.
Nino Cipri’s debut book of fabulist queer stories, Homesick, won the Dzanc Short Fiction Collection Prize in 2018—and now the collection has been released, just in time to be an ideal (and mildly haunting) October read. The pieces included are innovative and introspective at turns, often open-ended but evocative in their exploration of liminal spaces in homes, families, and the world at large.
Eight of the nine stories in Homesick are reprints from various publications, including magazines like Tor.com and Nightmare, while the final novella, “Before We Disperse Like Star Stuff,” is original to the book. Cipri’s fiction takes on questions of nationality, neurodivergence, and gender in the context of connection and estrangement, and in doing so, approaches the emotions surrounding complicated and complicating problems in contemporary life.
Series: Queering SFF
I don’t have many memories from before I was six. I don’t think most people do. We have the idea of memories, the stories our families have told us about how cute we were when we were little, the ridiculous things we did or said or believed. It seems weird to me sometimes that I could have forgotten the things people tell me happened, like the time I brought a rattlesnake home to be my new pet, or the time I spent an entire summer taking naps on top of bookcases, but that’s the thing about human memory. It doesn’t play fair.
One of those early memories, though, one of those rare, precious, treasured memories, is walking through a department store with my grandmother. I was four. She was taking me to get a present. I’m not sure why: it may have had something to do with my mother’s impending marriage to the man who would go on to father my two sisters, or maybe she just felt like it. Whatever the reason, she took me to the toy section and told me I could have two things.
I picked Minty and Cotton Candy, two of the original six My Little Ponies, and thus was an obsession born.
Mythic language pervades the work of Ta-Nehisi Coates. In his leviathanic 2015 piece, “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” he invoked The Grey Wastes, hearkening back to a childhood enthrallment with D&D. In “The Case for Reparations,” race relations are recast in the language of plunder and credit, and though he’s writing specifically about housing and redlining and Clyde Ross, he’s also writing about slavery and Jim Crow, state regimes and intergenerational oppression. In his National Book Award-winning letter to his son, Between the World and Me, the epistolary format provides a ribcage for the poetic heart beating inside.
With The Water Dancer, Coates’s first full-length novel, a story about slavery and a superpower, we pay witness to a writer unchained. In the proliferation of subjunctive clauses; the easy moving from waking to dreaming; capitalizations as we see in the Tasked, the Quality, and Low whites; in the very configuration of Lockless manor as two houses—one shown and one hidden—containing liminal spaces through which the Tasked must flit so as to appear at parties to pour a guest’s drink like they were summoned out of thin air, in all of these things lives a writer finally able to marry novelistic tendencies to the form. The faithfully dated prose and the constraints of this story’s form as recitation or testimonial allow Coates ample room to both dramatize his arguments and encapsulate them in single lines of cutting dialogue, to carry an entire longform essay’s worth of insights in the arms of a single paragraph-long interaction between two characters. The result is a powerful, if somewhat bloated, book that seeks to do so much. Sometimes, perhaps, too much. But while the moonshot may be off, the fistfuls of firmament Coates is able to bring back to us are a wonder to behold.
Kali Wallace‘s near-future space thriller Salvation Day is being turned into a movie! The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Karl Gajdusek, executive producer of Stranger Things season 1 and screenwriter of Oblivion, will be writing the feature film adaptation of the novel. Ripley executive producer Ben Forkner will be producing.
The Hokkaran empire has conquered every land within their bold reach—but failed to notice a lurking darkness festering within the people.
Now it is up to two young warriors, raised together across borders since their prophesied birth, to save the world from these encroaching demons.
Each month, the Tor.com eBook Club gives away one (or two, and sometimes five? You can’t pin us down!) free sci-fi/fantasy ebook to club subscribers. For October 2019, the Ebook Club pick is K Arsenault Rivera’s novel THE TIGER’S DAUGHTER.
As book reviewer Natalie Zutter put it after finishing the novel:
Shefali. O-Shizuka. We need to talk.
You’re out of control. You run through palace gardens fending off tigers, and camp out on the Silver Steppes grappling with demons around the fire. You’re so convinced that you’ve been touched by the gods because you’ve been able to escape tiger attacks without getting mauled, just some claws to the shoulder.
Is Marvel gearing up for a Deadpool cameo in Phase 4? As reported by Collider, Ryan Reynolds recently tweeted a photo of his visit to Marvel Studios. While his caption was as airily non-committal as ever, it would actually make a lot of sense for the Merc with a Mouth to show up in the MCU.
Especially with Deadpool’s long-lost love Spider-Man also cameo-ing in Phase 4.
Welcome to Tor.com’s new column on History and SFF!
My name is Erika Harlitz-Kern, and I will be your guide during the coming months in discussing the ways that history is used in fantasy and science fiction. But don’t worry—I won’t be dissecting your favorite story digging for historical inaccuracies and judging its entertainment value based on what I find… The purpose of this column is to take a look at how authors of SFF novels and novellas—with a focus on more recent works, published after the year 2000—use the tools of the trade of historians to tell their stories.
When any scholar does research, they use a set of discipline-specific tools to make sense of their sources and the material and the information they find. Historians are no different. In history, these tools consist of techniques on how to evaluate texts, how to critique the research of other historians, how to think critically about the past, and how to be transparent when presenting research results. This column will delve into how authors use these same tools to tell their stories and build worlds.
Hello, Tor.com! Last week, if you recall, I dazzled you, or at least mildly bounced light off the retinas of you, with my non-spoiler review of Robert Jordan’s newest and yet also oldest novel, Warrior of the Altaii, and also promised I’d be back with a much more spoilery version for your delectation this week.
And as I am a woman of my word, here we are! *throws confetti*
So, obviously, be warned that this post is full of spoilers for Warrior of the Altaii—and, honestly, somewhat spoilery for The Wheel of Time too. If you haven’t read either, proceed with caution… and also go read the Wheel of Time, sheesh.
So There. Onward!
Don’t get dirty. Smile. Be nice. Don’t do this, don’t do that, it’s not ladylike. Don’t, don’t, don’t. Boys can run, climb trees, play and get dirty, but girls aren’t given that same leeway. We’re taught we have to behave a certain way, an acceptable way, and while things are slowly improving, deviation from that norm is still viewed askance by society at large. Then we’re given the conflicting message of girl power! But what exactly do we have power over? Is it any wonder that girlhood is fraught with so much internal chaos?