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Stubby the Rocket

Find Your Necromantic Family Among the Houses of the Locked Tomb

There’s no shortage of things to love about Tamsyn Muir’s Locked Tomb series—Gideon the Ninth, Harrow the Ninth, and the upcoming Nona the Ninth—but if we had to pick just two: (1) it is full of necromancers, and (2) there are nine separate Houses dedicated to their Undead Emperor, each with a purpose, and necromantic talents all their own.

Want to know where you’d belong? You can take our highly scientific quiz (Warning: the quiz contains spoilers for Gideon and Harrow!), or simply head below and pick the house that suits you best.

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Ten Expansive SFF Worlds to Fall Into

You can tell an epic story at any length; sometimes a standalone fantasy can traverse just as much narrative space as an entire trilogy. But when it comes to fantasy worlds that we can explore every inch of, we are particularly fond of series with nine books or more. Yep, you heard us: we want trilogies upon trilogies (with the occasional side duology/quartet) in our favorite long-running SFF series. From alternate histories to fantasy that slowly becomes science fiction, from lady knights to more than a few telepathic dragons, from sagas that span one generation to multiple centuries, these series are so expansive and immersive that reading them feels not just like visiting a new world, but like coming home.

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11 Unique SF Tales Involving the Education of Clones

Whether you’ve got a replica, a doppelgänger, or a straight-up clone, having a duplicate of some sort certainly helps you move through life a little bit easier, from a temporary stand-in to a more permanent kind of donor. But they have to know how to successfully emulate their source material, right? Which means that you probably have to train them up. Here are a few of those times that training your duplicate (knowingly or unintentionally, closely or indirectly) came in handy…

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8 Stories to Help You Rebuild After an Ecological Catastrophe

So you’ve lived through an ecological disaster that’s drastically changed the world (or at least some corner of it): the water’s dried up, the bees have disappeared, temperatures are soaring, multiple pandemics ravaged the earth, and the oil reserves have gone poof. Now what? Here are eight books that not only take climate change as a given, but that skip ahead a bit and show us the aftermath of environmental cataclysm. A few even offer some possible solutions…

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8 SFF Green Man Characters Ready for Springtime

The forest calls to us. It is at once breathtaking and mystical, yet foreboding and dangerous. We go “into the woods” and come out of it changed people. So it is any surprise that our ever-watchful guardian of the forest, a certain Green Man, crops up everywhere in artwork and fiction? They come with poetry, with history, with songs of old. Don’t forget that they’re waiting in the woods…

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Our Favorite Fictional Superfans

It’s safe to assume that if you’re here on this site you’re a huge fan of something. Maybe it’s Brandon Sanderson’s writing, or V.E. Schwab’s. Maybe it’s DC Comics, or Marvel’s Netflix shows. Maybe it’s all things Star Wars, or maybe it’s the sci-fi genre as a whole. Fandoms can be enriching, they can be found families, they can be outlets of boundless creativity.

And one of of our very favorite things in modern pop culture is that after many years of fans being derided for being too nerdy or even creepy, many films and TV shows have started including characters that are themselves fans, to create a meta Greek chorus.

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23 Modern SFF Twists on Familiar Stories

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.

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“90% of Space is Crap” and Other Mixed-Up SFF Aphorisms

The Tor.com office’s favorite thing on the Internet today is this brilliant chart from Twitter user @crunchleaf a.k.a. Alex, one half of the Hamsteak Podcast. Combining Chekhov’s gun, Pavlov’s dog, Frankenstein’s monster, and other well-known sayings/writing rules/random movie synopses, the intersections become beautifully weird new rules to live by. And after laughing ourselves silly at “Actually, Pavlov was the dog,” we knew that we had to apply the same logic to other SFF aphorisms/catchphrases/what-have-you.

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The Non-Holiday Movies and TV We Watch Over the Holidays

There are plenty of holiday films that we adore, favorites that we screen every year to great applause (or groans) from family and friends. But don’t we all have a few films or TV shows that we associate with the holidays, despite them having nothing to do with the season?

Here are a few of our go-tos while we’re holed up with cocoa, gingerbread, and mulled wine.

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‘Tis The Season to Snuggle Up With Some Crackling Themed Fireplaces

It’s the holidays! And with the holidays comes that much-heralded tradition of cozying up next to a YouTube video of a crackling fire. While there are straightforward fireplace videos out there, there are also several themed ones that make you feel like you’re in one of your favorite fantastical worlds. Here are just a few of themed fireplaces to warm you with holiday cheer this season.

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The Most Important Books We’ve Received as Gifts

The right book can stay with you forever, especially one given as a thoughtfully chosen gift. Whether it’s your first childhood foray into fantasy, or a new adventure found later in life, these are the books that shape us as readers, and lead us to our next literary discoveries.

Below, some of the Tor.com staff remember the books that they’ve received that have gone on to shape (or reshape) their lives. What will you unwrap this year, and what paths will it lead you down? Let us know your own memorable book-gifting experiences in the comments!

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A Few Things That Brought Us Nerdy Joy in 2021

When the calendar first rolled over into 2021, many of us were hoping for a clean break from the worst parts of 2020—of course many of the challenges carried over, but there were also bright spots throughout.

We here at Tor.com like to end the year by reflecting on the things we’ve enjoyed—particularly in the realm of speculative fiction and adjacent pop culture. Join us for the TV episodes, books, music videos, and other stabs of creativity that made us laugh, connected us, and helped us make it through the year—and tell us about yours in the comments!

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Ten Expansive SFF Worlds Worth Exploring

You can tell an epic story at any length; sometimes a standalone fantasy can traverse just as much narrative space as an entire trilogy. But when it comes to fantasy worlds that we can explore every inch of, we are particularly fond of series with nine books or more. Yep, you heard us: we want trilogies upon trilogies (with the occasional side duology/quartet) in our favorite long-running SFF series. From alternate histories to fantasy that slowly becomes science fiction, from lady knights to more than a few telepathic dragons, from sagas that span one generation to multiple centuries, these series are so expansive and immersive that reading them feels not just like visiting a new world, but like coming home.

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Celebrating the Librarians of SFF

Across fantasy and science fiction (with the occasional stop in horror), there are any number of amazing fictional libraries we’d love to visit—especially to meet up with the guardians of the stacks! After all, what’s a fantasy story without an awe-inspiring tower full of potentially curséd books? Or a sci-fi adventure without the cumulative knowledge of civilization stored somewhere to guide our heroes on their quest?

We decided it was time for an overdue celebration of the keepers of knowledge, from experts in Egyptology to far-future book-lovers fighting tyrannical governments to sword-wielding barbarians, we have a librarian for every occasion.

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