Tor.com content by

Christina Orlando

“I’ve Never Been Prouder of a Book”: The Ambitious Life of V.E. Schwab

In another timeline, Victoria “V.E.” Schwab is in a bookstore in Manhattan, signing books for fans right this very second. But once Macmillan (the parent company for Tor Books) issued a travel advisory, Schwab’s book launch plans had to change. Like many authors, the stay-at-home orders impacted the release plans for The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, Schwab’s new adult novel. It feels contradictory to talk about Addie’s 300-year-long journey during a year which feels halted in so many ways; to chat with a woman who moves through life with such speed while both of us are stuck behind laptop screens.

I first met Victoria Schwab in 2017, just before the release of A Conjuring of Light, and her work has been a constant in my life ever since. Her signature red bob is a familiar and welcome sight on the other end of a video call, and despite understandable frustrations with life under quarantine, she’s passionate and effusive when talking about her upcoming release.

[Read more]

Rescuing the Lost Desk: A Letter From the Books Editor

There once was a brave knight—

No, wait. Let’s not call me a knight, that’s not right. Let’s try…

There once was some weirdo.

Yes, that’s better.

There once was some weirdo who broke into the cursed tower. There was a sickness going around too, but the tower had always been cursed, because a bunch of wizards and witches worked inside of it, and every once in a while a spell went off on its own, and that’s just life inside the tower…

[Read more]

Hugo Spotlight: Forgetting Is Not the Same as Healing in Rivers Solomon’s The Deep

In the lead-up to the 2020 Hugo Awards, we’re taking time to appreciate this year’s best novella Finalists, and what makes each of them great.

This is a story about pain and burden. This is a story about love, family, community. This is a story about carrying all of those things inside you, all at once, and feeling all of it intensely.

Rivers Solomon’s The Deep, a novella written after a song of the same name by clipping, centers around Yetu—a historian of the wajinru, water-dwelling creatures with scales and fins but human-like faces. Yetu’s position as historian is sacred, but a burden for her. It is her task to hold all the memories of her people inside her, forced to re-live both pain and joy seemingly against her will, while the others are free to live impulsive, easy-going lives.

[Read more]

Claim Your Power at the Own Your Magic Panel at Comic-Con!

How often do you question who has the power in your world? Four Tor Teen authors—Bethany C. Morrow (A Song Below Water), TJ Klune (The Extraordinaries), Mark Oshiro (Each of Us a Desert), and Sarah Henning (The Princess Will Save You) came together along with moderator Charlie Jane Anders to discuss just that. Each of their young adult novels tackle the question of magic, power, and privilege from different angles. So when Charlie Jane asked the question about why telling stories about owning your own power is important, these authors had a lot to say. Check out their answers below, and watch the entire panel for more!

[Read more]

Avatar Creators Discuss the Legacy of Avatar: The Last Airbender

One of the most popular animated series of all time, Avatar: The Last Airbender, is having something of a resurgence due to being added to Netflix’s library of shows. With the news that the sequel series Legend of Korra, would be joining Netflix in August, we’re all thinking about how the Avatar universe influenced our world. During today’s [email protected] 2020 panel, one of the original creators of the show, Michael DiMartino, sat down with comics creators Faith Erin Hicks and Gene Luen Yang, as well as author F.C. Yee to discuss Avatar‘s lasting influence.

[Read more]

23 Retellings of Classic Stories From SFF Authors

We love a good retelling—whether it’s a favorite fairy tale, ancient myth, or epic tale, it’s always great to see old things made new. Part of the reason we love these stories is because they’re so malleable; with themes that span the breadth of the human experience, tales of love, revenge, and adventure can find a home in any place and time, with characters that feel both familiar and fresh at the same time.

As we started thinking about of favorite retellings of classic stories, so many brilliant adaptations, updates, and re-workings came to mind. Here are just a few that we adore! Please feel free to add your own in the comments.

[Read more]

Tales From the Lost Desk: A Love Letter From the Books Editor

Once upon a time, there was a glorious city with towers that stretched into the sky, roads that stretched long into the beyond. The city had existed for many many years, and would continue to stand for years after, ancient and forever and steadfast. It was a city that cradled its inhabitants, that vibrated with energy and life.

Within one particular tower was a group of creative, clever people who were working very hard bringing art to the people of the world. This group of people cared so deeply about their work, and about each other. Every day was a joy.

And in a small corner of the tower was a desk covered in books from all corners of the world, each one loved and cared for by the desk’s keeper, who did their best to help brilliant works of fiction reach readers who needed them the most…

[Read more]

The 25 Most Anticipated SFF Books for the Rest of 2020

It feels like centuries ago that I sat down to write my 25 Most Anticipated SFF Books of 2020 at the end of last year, right before we had our break for the holidays. But things have radically changed. Generally, since then, I’ve taken the stance of escapism—Tor.com is a unique platform on which we can be as nerdy and weird as we want. And I believe it is part of our mission to be a source of joy in the world, where readers and SFF enthusiasts can come to talk about things they love. For a while, I was avoiding The Thing(s). That is now impossible to do. As one of this website’s contributors told me, escapism through science-fiction and fantasy is good until it’s all we have. Personally, I think we can’t be running away from things, but towards something better.

[Read more]

Creating a Queer Hopepunk Canon: Lady Gaga, Janelle Monae, Lil Nas X, and the Visual Narration of Joyful Queer Futurism

The world rots in conflict. Many tribes battle for dominance. While the Spiritual ones pray and sleep for peace, the Kindness punks fight for Chromatica…

Against a desolate landscape, five factions come together to fight. Each group represented by a signature color, they carry weapons and scream at each other in attempts to intimidate. But a new collective enters the battle, dressed in bright pink, carrying a message of hope and joy.

Lead by Lady Gaga, her third eye open, the Kindness Punks are here to fight for love.

[Read more]

About Time: Fashion and the Space-Time Continuum, an SFF Met Gala

Every year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art hosts a large fundraising gala in partnership with Vogue to celebrate the opening of the Costume Institute’s themed exhibit. Dubbed “fashion’s biggest night out”, the Met Gala draws celebrities, socialites, fashionistas, and anyone able to secure a coveted invite from Dame Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue. This year’s event has been postponed, so instead we imagined what the Met Gala would be with all of our favorite fashion-forward characters from fiction.

We humbly present About Time: Fashion and the Space-Time Continuum, a galaxy of fashion, hosted by Master of Ceremonies Cesar Flickerman & Effie Trinket.

[Read more]

In Pursuit of Visual Escapism: 8 Beautifully Designed Films to Watch Now

A lonesome figure walks down a dark road, dwarfed by the tall buildings of a future metropolis, and around him advertisements play in bright pinks and blues, the light breaking through the dark smoggy night. A blood-covered woman runs through the snow in a billowing white dress, buttoned in lace from toe to chin, the clay turning over under her feet and leaving red footprints in her wake. A beautiful young woman peels away a section of her skin revealing mesh and mechanics underneath.

As humans, we are predisposed to crave beauty in our lives—you know, even in the most dire of circumstances, we seek out spring flowers, blue skies, a dazzling smile. When it comes to film, visual excellence can enhance the story in ways we, as an audience, might not even notice upon first watch. The lighting may shift towards a darker color palette as the plot thickens. The fabrics and dress style of our heroine may indicate something about her character. And then sometimes the camera is fully focused on Harley Quinn’s breakfast sandwich cooking on a bodega griddle and it’s just gorgeous. We can’t explain why, but it is. But all of these elements combine to takes us out of the real world. When it hits right, the movie screen is a portal.

Visuals have the capability to move us in undetectable ways, and sometimes we just want to escape into a beautiful, hyper-realistic world that’s a feast for our eyes. Here are a selection of visually immersive films you can stream now.

[Read more]

Five Spooky Fiction Podcasts That Go Bump in the Night

Halloween may be eight months away, but we’re declaring Friday the 13th honorary spooky season! It’s time to plug your headphones in to haunted houses, creepy townspeople, and terrifying alien invasions. The music fades in, a soft piano, but maybe just slightly out of tune. The wind blows by your ear. The footsteps of a tall, mysterious figure draw closer and closer. A twig snaps somewhere off in the distance. And suddenly, there are chills racing up your spine.

Ready to get lost? Here are a few great places to start.

[Read more]

23 Retellings of Classic Stories From Science Fiction & Fantasy Authors

We love a good retelling—whether it’s a favorite fairy tale, ancient myth, or epic tale, it’s always great to see old things made new. Part of the reason we love these stories is because they’re so malleable; with themes that span the breadth of the human experience, tales of love, revenge, and adventure can find a home in any place and time, with characters that feel both familiar and fresh at the same time.

As we started thinking about of favorite retellings of classic stories, so many brilliant adaptations, updates, and re-workings came to mind. Here are just a few that we adore! Please feel free to add your own in the comments.

[Read more]

2010-2019: A Decade of Change in Science Fiction & Fantasy

This December brings us to the close of a truly extraordinary and transformative decade for SFF. Epic series like The Wheel of Time finally concluded as A Song of Ice and Fire rose to mainstream prominence on television (with Wheel of Time to follow suit?). Newer stars like N.K. Jemisin rose, while familiar faces like Neil Gaiman published some of their most innovative work yet. We saw the rise of fiction that dealt directly with the ongoing Climate Crisis, works that wrestled with the tumultuous political shifts, cozy space opera, gritty space opera, and literal space opera, with like, actual singing. Zombies faded from favor while orcs and goblins and fishmen found their time to shine. Readers went from celebrating Strong Female Characters to asking for Complicated Female Characters, and the literary landscape became much more inclusive for writers who had previously been marginalized. And, as in every decade, the villains threatened to steal the show entirely.

Four members of the Tor.com fam, Publicity Coordinator Christina Orlando, Tor.com writers Leah Schnelbach and Natalie Zutter, and Tor Books’ Senior Marketing Manager Renata Sweeney sat down for a rollicking, five-hour-long conversation about the decade in genre, discussing trends, favorite books, the heroes and villains who have stuck with them, and even a look forward to some titles that will help define the next decade.

[Read more]

The 25 Most Anticipated SFF Books of 2020

2019 was a really good year for genre fiction. I mean, really good. Between new epics from Leigh Bardugo, Erin Morgenstern, Chuck Wendig, Sarah Gailey, Paul Krueger, Annalee Newitz, and other favorites, we were given the gift of Tamsyn Muir’s lesbian necromancers in Gideon the Ninth, brought through to new worlds in Alix E. Harrow’s The Ten Thousand Doors of January, and introduced to several new shining stars in the galaxy of Science-Fiction and Fantasy books. But as the year comes to a close, we’re starting to look forward to the start of a new decade. After all, a to-be-read pile can never be tall enough—our bookshelves might be starting to cave in, but that’s not going to stop us!

[Read more]

Our Privacy Notice has been updated to explain how we use cookies, which you accept by continuing to use this website. To withdraw your consent, see Your Choices.