Tor.com content by

Claudia Gray

Fiction and Excerpts [1]
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Fiction and Excerpts [1]

Five Essential Books About Plagues and Pandemics

So, when people want to know what subjects you’re interested in, they’re probably expecting to hear something like “art” or “the Boston Red Sox” or “Batman.” Not “ways in which thousands or even millions of people die.” Which is why I usually keep this fascination to myself—it sounds a little weird.

But I’ve been intrigued by plagues, pandemics, and epidemiology for decades now. Plague, Inc. was on my phone until I realized that this game was taking up time I needed to reserve for things like “work,” “eating,” and “sleep.” The Pandemic board game is played more frequently than any other at my house. And yes, I get a flu shot every year (and if you don’t have specific medical reasons to avoid it, you should too).

It was a book that first got me intrigued—infected me, you might say (if you have a weakness for puns, which I do). Books have taught me the facts of these diseases and about the incredible drama surrounding them, both in fiction and in reality.

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Series: Five Books About…

Discovering History Through Pop Culture

It all began with my lust for Patrick Stewart.

Many of my interests originate there. Star Trek: The Next Generation led me to Patrick Stewart, but if I hadn’t loved him so much, would I have been as maniacal a Trekkie? The world will never know. Then came the X-Men films, at a time when my knowledge of that canon was limited purely to the 1990s Saturday-morning cartoon, with which I was content. (That cartoon is in fact totally rad, but I digress.) After watching Stewart’s Professor X, I turned into a person who scoured comic-book shops until I had a nearly complete early Claremont run. My curiosity about stagecraft became sharpened after seeing Stewart as Macbeth on Broadway and the ingenious staging tricks used to make the witches appear truly spectral. For all the enjoyment I’ve derived from these things, I must thank him.

But no favor this man did me comes close to the fact that he led me to I, Claudius.

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A Thousand Pieces of You (Excerpt)

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the killer—her parent’s handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul’s guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is far more sinister than she expected.

A Thousand Pieces of You, the first book in Claudia Gray’s Firebird trilogy, explores an amazingly intricate multiverse where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all. Available now from HarperTeen!

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