Tor.com content by

Jared Shurin

Under Neon and Starlight: Revealing the Table of Contents for The Outcast Hours

The Outcast Hours is only our second anthology, but it is fair to say we already have a bit of a shtick: we like diverse thinking on universal themes.

With The Djinn Falls in Love, it was, well—djinn. One of the few truly global ‘creatures’ of lore. With The Outcast Hours, we wanted something that was equally relevant: something that every culture experiences. Rather than raid the bestiary again, we went higher concept—not to a particular myth, but to the source of myths. Something that everyone, everywhere, shares: the night. We all experience it; it affects everyone, everywhere, in every culture.

So that’s half the shtick: the universal theme.

The other half is where the real work comes in. To us, there’s no point in reading the same story two dozen times. The joy of something universal is that everyone approaches it from a different angle. To capture the breadth, the depth, the vastness that is the ‘night’, we needed wildly different perspectives. The Table of Contents represents our best efforts to capture this range.

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Fight With a Vim and You’re Dead Sure to Win: Adam Nemett’s We Can Save Us All

If there’s not an official sub-genre for “edgy, dissolute fantasy set at elite American universities,” we should step into the void and name it ourselves. Ivorypunk. GrimIvy. Because, let’s face it—the New England university setting is an immensely popular secondary world. Think of remote towns filled with disengaged, drug-addled youths: screwing their brains out, dodging classes, lazily committing felonies, also as part of their search for some sort of greater existential purpose. Add a touch of fantasy into the mix and the metaphoric stew gets all the thicker. From The Secret History to The Magicians (and the former is a fantasy novel, bring it), there’s a long, quasi-nihilistic-and-deeply-enjoyable tradition of reading about America’s best and brightest, snorting and bonking their way through a Quest for Meaning.

We Can Save Us All is the latest entry to this tradition. All the Bacchanalian misadventures and soul-searching, but, this time, caped and cloaked as superheroes. Adam Nemett’s debut novel features a group of disillusioned and dissolute Princeton students, groping around for their place in the universe. Our ostensible hero is David Fuffman, a sort of bearded (neckbearded, in fact!) everygeek. Committed to a (largely conceptual) love of comic books, romantic angst and the “cooler” parts of his grandfather’s wardrobe, David’s an oddball, even by Princeton standards.

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Why Was 2006 Such An Epic Year for Epic Fantasy?

If you’re a fantasy reader (and, if you’re reading this, I suspect you are), 2006 was a vintage year. One for the ages, like 2005 for Bordeaux, or 1994 for Magic: The Gathering. The Class of 2006 includes Joe Abercrombie’s The Blade Itself, Naomi Novik’s His Majesty’s Dragon, Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora and Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn: The Final Empire. All of which, remarkably, are debuts (except Mistborn, but Elantris was only the year before and Mistborn was the breakout hit, so we’ll roll with it). And hey, if we stretch the strict definition of “2006,” we can even include Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind in the mix as well.

These are five authors that have dominated the contemporary fantasy scene, and to think that they all published more or less simultaneously is, well, kind of ridiculous.

[So how did it happen?]

The Jinn Are Everywhere (Including In These 6 Books)

Jinn are everywhere. Every culture has them; they lurk in every literary tradition.

On one hand, it makes collecting a list of “jinn” reading an impossible challenge—there’s simply no way to represent all the ways in which the jinn appear. It is the sort of task that, in a classic story, the feisty protagonist would trick a jinn into solving instead.

On the other hand, the size of the task is so impossible that we needn’t even attempt it. Wherever you are, whatever you read—rest assured that there’s a jinn for you.

So rather than trying to cover the vast range of jinn in books, we’ve selected a few of our very favourites—fiction and non-fiction, old and new, fantastical and literary.

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The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

Thank you for sticking with us for eighteen months, three books, sixty posts (75,000 words!), and seven guest posts! We’ve fought dragons, marvelled at Goldmoon’s hair, escaped death knights and (endlessly) argued over Laurana’s agency. WE’RE ALL THE REAL HEROES.

To wrap things up in a fun—and hopefully interactive—way, we’ve decided to interview ourselves. A simple 10 (+1) question discussion, easily numbered, so you can take part in the comments! Please chime in, and answer the questions you want, or make any other comment you’d like. We’re easy!

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Series: Dragonlance Reread

The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Dragons of Spring Dawning: Homecoming

Bad news, good news. Bad news: a super-short week, with a denouement and another (steel yourself) poem. Good news: it’s all Raistlin!

Join us for the last dying moments of the Dragonlance Chronicles. And, fair warning—next week, we’ll be doing our big rambling overview, so get ready to share your own favourite moments and monsters!

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Series: Dragonlance Reread

The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Dragons of Spring Dawning Part 3, Chapters 13 and 14

Welcome back to the Dragonlance Reread!

Last week, Raistlin showed up draped in black velvet and used the dragon orb to save everyone (but not before toying with Caramon, of course) while Laurana turned her back on Tanis. But now we’ve reached the big, epic, Michael Bay-sized conclusion, so let’s get on with it!

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Series: Dragonlance Reread

The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Dragons of Spring Dawning Part 3, Chapters 9 and 10

Welcome back to the Dragonlance Reread!

Last time, Berem was revealed as the Green Gemstone Man as he and the rest of our imprisoned party were busy trying to escape the dungeons. We also met the Queen of Darkness not-quite in the flesh, and—at Kitiara’s urging—Tannis knelt before her to pledge himself to her service. This week, the pell-mell continues as Kit schemes, trumpets blare, and everyone’s conflicted wizard makes his return…

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Series: Dragonlance Reread

The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Dragons of Spring Dawning Part 3, Chapters 7 and 8

We’re back!

Well, Flint isn’t. (Too soon?)

And Fizban is off doing Fizban things (SPOILER: GOD-STUFF). And Raistlin is off doing Raistlin things (SPOILER: They’re probably really cool things.) And Laurana’s in a fridge. And Goldmoon and Riverwind are pretty much forgotten. Oh, and Silvara and Gilthanas are off fighting a war in the background.

But the rest of us? We’re back!

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Series: Dragonlance Reread

The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Dragons of Spring Dawning Part 3, Chapters 5 and 6

Welcome back to the Dragonlance Reread!

Last week, the party reached Godshome—which turned out to be a barren, empty, rock bowl, surrounded by boulders. Berem revealed that he had inadvertently opened a portal that unleashed the Dark Queen, and the party agrees to help him break into Neraka on his quest to see the portal shut for good. This time, the gang runs into trouble almost immediately, and Tanis catches up with an old flame…

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Series: Dragonlance Reread

The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Dragons of Spring Dawning Part 3, Chapters 3 and 4

Welcome back to the Dragonlance Reread!

Draconians behind them, the Dark Queen ahead. The party presses on with their final march into darkness, the enigmatic ‘Everman’ a part of their company. This week, they visit a forgotten ruin called Godshome… and you know that’s not going to be uneventful.

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Series: Dragonlance Reread

The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Dragons of Spring Dawning Part 3, Chapters 1 and 2

Last week we closed off Part 2. Well, re-closed. We tidied things up two weeks ago and last week was more of a denouement, as we shed our friendly barbarian party members, lit candles, and headed out into the great unknown. But now—we’ve got a party, we’ve got a quest, we’ve got a half-elf on a mission, and a grumpy McGuffin with a gem in his chest… What else could we need? Oh, how about a pocket-sized deus ex machina?

Welcome to the third and final part of Dragons of Spring Dawning!

[I guess I must be dumb / ‘Cause you had a pocket full of horses]

Series: Dragonlance Reread

The Dragonlance Chronicles Reread: Dragons of Spring Dawning Part 2, Chapters 7 and 8

Welcome back to the Dragonlance Reread!

Last week things were very damp. The previous week, they were just plain dark. So where are we now? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Will #TeamTanis leave the sunken city? Will #TeamLaurana just be #Team?! All this and more in DRAGONLANCE!

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Series: Dragonlance Reread

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