Tor.com content by

Molly Templeton

Nightfire Announces Season 2 of Audio Horror Anthology Come Join Us By the Fire

Last year, new horror imprint Nightfire released Come Join Us By the Fire, an audio-only anthology of horror shorts just right for October reading. Now, they’re doing it again with Come Join Us By the Fire Season 2! The new collection features 27 horror shorts, and will be available for free on Google Play Books starting October 15th. (That’s today!)

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Life Has a Complicated Interview Process in the Trailer for Nine Days

In the upcoming film Nine Days, Will (Black Panthers Winston Duke) sits in a lonely house, watching video feeds of people going about their lives. When one of them dies, it’s Will’s job to interview candidates to determine who will experience life. “If you are selected,” he explains, “you will be born in a fruitful environment where you can grow, develop, and accomplish.”

This is a very unusual job interview.

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Space Chickens and Electrocution: SFF Authors Talk the Highs and Lows of Research

This afternoon at NYCC, authors Ken Liu (The Grace of Kings), Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (This is How You Lose the Time War), Kat Leyh (Thirsty Mermaids), and Rebecca Roanhorse (Black Sun), along with moderator SB Divya (Runtime) discussed the weirdest and most dangerous things they’ve researched in the pursuit of fiction. As Roanhorse put it, “I imagine that every science fiction and fantasy author has Googled how to get rid of a body, or how fast does a body deteriorate, or, you know, what do I do with my neighbor…”

The panel had to dig a little deeper, and what did they find? The question of space chickens. Some weird details about clowns. And a shared experience of near-electrocution. Watch the panel above, and check out some highlights below!

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Leigh Bardugo and Showrunner Eric Heisserer Talk Shadow and Bone

Set your expectations, friends: author/executive producer Leigh Bardugo and showrunner Eric Heisserer weren’t able to show a Shadow and Bone trailer during their NYCC panel, because as Bardugo said, “the trailer doesn’t exist yet.” But they gave viewers a taste of the Grisha theme and talked about the making of the show in a wide-ranging, enthusiastic conversation that’s absolutely worth a watch.

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Daimon Helstrom Is Not Here For Your Exorcism Tropes

Tis the season for creepy kids, dark hallways, demonic parents, and possession—all of which you’ll find on Marvel’s spooky side project, Helstrom, which premieres on Hulu on October 16th. An NYCC panel with the stars and showrunner showed off the opening ten minutes of the show right at the start, in which an exorcism doesn’t go quite like anyone expects.

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Ernest Cline and Wil Wheaton Reveal the Plot for Ready Player Two

Day two of this year’s virtual NYCC kicked off this morning with a conversation between Ready Player One author Ernest Cline and his pal Wil Wheaton, who just so happens to be the narrator of the Ready Player One and Two audiobooks. Cline’s DeLorean was also a special guest.

In a bit that was definitely totally impromptu and not at all planned, Cline emailed the summary of his upcoming (and until now very mysterious) sequel Ready Player Two to Wheaton, who read the text to virtual panel attendees.

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On a Wing and a Prayer: Gregory Maguire’s A Wild Winter Swan

Here we are again: at Christmastime with Gregory Maguire. Three years ago, with Hiddensee, Maguire dallied in the world of the Nutcracker, that absolute holiday staple for the would-be ballet dancers among us. (Me? Always a dancing flower, never a Sugar Plum Fairy.) With his new novel, A Wild Winter Swan, we’re back in the land of Grimm and Andersen, where boys might turn into swans, leaving brave, resourceful girls with little choice but to save them. 

There is no shortage of retellings of “The Wild Swans,” as Rachel Ayers noted recently. Maguire sets his in a crumbling Upper East Side townhouse where a lonely girl in a cold upstairs room tells herself stories. She knows the one about the boy with one swan’s wing. But knowing a story and finding yourself living in it are different things entirely.

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The Cave on Dagobah Finally Gets a Say: More Details on From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back

The Empire Strikes Back turned 40 this year, which means it’s time for the film to get a book exploring side characters, the lives of space creatures, and the perspective of the cave on Dagobah where Luke Skywalker sees his face in Darth Vader’s helmet. (Seriously. It sounds kind of amazing.) In June, Del Rey announced the 40 authors participating in From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back, the follow-up to From a Certain Point of View: Star Wars. Today, the publisher shared a few more details about the characters and settings on which these new stories focus. And there are some real good ones.

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