The language of the originators defines reality, every word warping the world to fit its meaning. Its study transforms the mind and body, and is closely guarded by stodgy, paranoid academics. These hidebound men don’t trust many students with their secrets, especially not women, and more especially not “madwomen.” Polymede and her lover Erishti believe they’ve made a discovery that could blow open the field’s unexamined assumptions, and they’re ready to face expulsion to make their mark. Of course, if they’re wrong, the language will make its mark on them instead.
Our new Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, is already proving to be great at an important part of her job: reacting adorably to cosplayers. BBC shared a video of Whittaker seeing some intrepid Whovians who have already begun cosplaying as her 13th incarnation of the Doctor.
Click through for the full video, and get excited for a new season of Doctor Who!
“Infinite diversity in infinite combinations.” That is one of Star Trek’s most prominent mottos (even if it was ultimately created out of a desire to sell merchandise). That is what the spirit of Trek is meant to embody. The wonder of the universe wrapped up in a statement of inspiration and acceptance, a promise to pursue that which we do not understand; to embrace it with optimism and open minds.
They are captivating words that Star Trek has worked hard to advocate, with varying results. But if Trek intends to be relevant long into the 21st century, those words could use re-examination. In this day and age, how can Star Trek renew its commitment to infinite diversity? What should this bright, shining future look like, fifty years after its inception?
Imagine an American frontier infested with feral hippos. Sound outlandish? It’s not: the U.S. government once considered hippos for meat production. Only Sarah Gailey could bring this alternate history of America to life with such humor, depth, and vibrant detail in River of Teeth, her fantastic fiction debut about the hard-living, knife-wielding mercenary cowboys tasked with taking back the Mississippi from the bloodthirsty ferals who have claimed it.
This is the fun, fast-paced alternate vision of America you never knew you needed, packed with a diverse cast, romance, betrayal, and of course, man-eating hippo mayhem. It is the story of Winslow Houndstooth and his crew. It is the story of their fortunes. It is the story of his revenge. Available now, River of Teeth is the first in a duology from Tor.com publishing—its sequel, Taste of Marrow, publishes September 12th.
I’m not exactly well known for my appreciation of the romantic comedy genre—it tends to grate—but like so much else, a really well done example can overcome all my objections. Especially if it’s short.
Series: Sleeps With Monsters
Set your alarm for spring 2019, and the publication of Seanan McGuire’s most ambitious novel to date—Middlegame.
Tor.com Publishing is thrilled to be able to being you one of the most exciting books we’ve read this year. It’s a story of friendship, of family, of designer gods, and of life versus death, good versus evil. You know – pretty major stuff. Middlegame tells the tale of twins separated at birth, who may be destined to become the most powerful beings in the universe, and what comes with great power…?
Atomic Blonde, starring Charlize Theron, is an adaptation of the excellent graphic novel The Coldest City, by Antony Johnston and Sam Hart. Along with its prequel, The Coldest Winter, it’s one of the best period espionage stories you’ll read. The movie, directed by David Leitch, is stylistically very different, but both versions of the story complement one another. Atomic Blonde also provides explosive, highly entertaining proof that action movies have finally begun to evolve again. After years of the hyper-caffeinated shakycam approach pioneered by Paul Greengrass in the Bourne movies, things have begun to change. That change pretty much boils down to three steps:
- Get excellent fight choreographers and stunt drivers in.
- Train your leads to do as much, safely, as they can themselves.
- Sandbag the camera down and let them have some fun.
The fight choreography, in Leitch’s John Wick movies especially, warms the bruised knees of my black little Judoka heart and I’ve been so happy to see that style expand out to Atomic Blonde.
But of course, Atomic Blonde is only the latest outing in Theron’s quietly extensive genre career.
When divorce appears at all in fiction, it usually gets a bad rap. It breaks up families, causes tense arguments between couples, or traumatizes innocent children, like in Judy Blume’s It’s Not The End of The World. In historical or epic fantasy fiction, on the other hand, divorce seems to simply not exist. There are plenty of unhappy marriages, certainly, but the estranged couples either endure unhappily, murder each other, or flee in terror.
I’d like to present a case for the awesomeness of divorce, its historical antecedents, and why it can be a useful tool for creating complexity and drama in speculative fiction and fantasy.
Chapters 1 and 2 are really just barely dipping our toes into Mirror Dance. These opening chapters are simple—almost gentle. Nothing clearly bad has happened yet. Mark gets on the Ariel and no one gets tortured or dies. That’s it. We’re OK. Everyone is OK except Mark.
This reread has an index, which you can consult if you feel like exploring previous books and chapters. Spoilers are welcome in the comments if they are relevant to the discussion at hand. Comments that question the value and dignity of individuals, or that deny anyone’s right to exist, are emphatically NOT welcome. Please take note.
Series: Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga
There are other worlds than these, pilgrim, and The Dark Tower movie tries to be the best of both, bringing Stephen King’s epic dark fantasy novel series to the broadest possible audience. But lots is lost in translation, and neither fans nor newbies to the material will find much to make them happy.
Theresa DeLucci has only read the first two novels and Pritpaul Bains has read them all—so how differently did they both hate this movie?
Spoiler warning: several major plot elements of King’s earlier Dark Tower books are discussed in passing, but nothing major from the final books.
Oh, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. It’s young adult historical fiction set in the Georgian period. It has just enough magic to entertain the magic geeks but not so much to turn off the fantasy naysayers. It’s a will-they-won’t-they romance disguised as an adventure fic with a helping of family drama. And best of all it’s diverse, inclusive, feminist, and wonderfully queer. In case you can’t tell, I absolutely adored this book.
It may only be August, but there’s a strong chance Gentleman’s Guide is going to end up being one of my favorite YA SFF books of the year. It’s the queer YA historical fantasy adventure you’ve been waiting for.
The world is full wise old men who will tell you all the important bits of information that you need to complete your world-saving quest… if you live in a fictional epic about that sort of thing. Problem is, these wise old men never tell you the whole story, do they? They give you half. Or a quarter. They tell you the truth, but they reframe it like it’s an old story, or a play that they saw at this really good theatre once. They teach you lessons like they are doling out candy—too good to eat all at once.
But surely that can’t always be true.
Albus Dumbledore kept a lot of things from Harry Potter throughout his years at Hogwarts, and even after his death. But the hardest part about these secrets is that they were often revealed strategically, or Harry had to find them out for himself in the most traumatizing way possible. Here are the worst five. Well, maybe the worst. You can decide where your mileage is on that.
When Infomocracy was accepted for publication, I decided I would donate a percentage of my earnings from the book to a non-profit working in an area related to the book’s themes. This was partly because I feel so lucky/privileged/blessed to be able to earn money doing something I love (especially since I already have another career I’m pretty happy with as well). The other reason was because I wanted to ground the fictional, futurist world of the book with the real present of its readers. My hope is that knowing a percentage of each purchase goes to support work in a specific area will help readers connect to the issues in the book, and see their relevance—and the potential for changing the status quo—in the world around them.
The Accountability Lab was the perfect fit for Infomocracy, reflecting the novel’s concerns with governance and transparency through their innovative work with young people around the world. I’m proud to have been able to support their programs—like Accountability Incubators and Integrity Idol, and if you’ve bought a copy of Infomocracy I hope you are too.
We’ve been building a spacefaring species of equinoid for a while now, but one thing we haven’t done is introduce the human element. I’ve had that in the back of my mind, as I’m sure many of you have. Now it’s time to see what might happen if our doughty space explorers of both species happen to meet.
I’ve got my own ideas about how that would play out, but there are so many options. I hope people will weigh in in comments with what they think would happen. So, I’m leading off, with what I hope will be the catalyst for some nice, chewy exchange of ideas.
Hot DAMN. Emphasis on the “hot.”
That was one of the shortest episodes in Game of Thrones history, but I’m glad because my heart couldn’t take any more.
Let’s all take a moment to cool down and then unpack what’s going on in Westeros.
Series: HBO’s Game of Thrones
We’re delighted to announce that we have signed the incomparable Fran Wilde to write two novella sequels to her 2017 Hugo-nominated novelette, The Jewel and Her Lapidary!