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The Week in Review

September 27, 2013 Leave a comment

Welcome to the week in review! Every Friday, we comb through the links and images we found and shared this week, and pull the very best for this post. Consider it concentrated genre goodness from all around the web.

  • MIT and Harvard have made a real life lightsaber. I want one. Immediately. I promise not to point it at my eyes first thing.
  • Want to see a bit more of the Formics from Ender’s Game? Check out the new TV spot! Not long until November 1st now…
  • Over at Tor.com, The Cure author Douglas E. Richards has taken a two part look at science fiction’s greatest movie villains, asking whether or not they’re psychopaths. It’s a great, fun read. Check out Part One and Part Two.
  • And finally, the full video of Flight From Shadow, a fan-made short film set in the world of The Wheel of Time, has arrived!

 
The Tor/Forge newsletter went out this week! Check out these fascinating articles from our authors:

 
And, just to make Friday that much sweeter, here’s a list of sweepstakes and sales we have going on!

Starred Review: Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

September 11, 2013 Leave a comment

“Blake presents a gory, thrilling vision of the twilight of the gods, in all their pettiness and power, while letting readers draw their own messages and conclusions.”

Kendare Blake’s Antigoddess got a starred review in Publishers Weekly!

Here’s the full review, from the August 5th issue:

 Blake has a real affinity for the way history shapes the present. In Anna Dressed in Blood, a ghost from the 1950s touched an alienated teen in the present; here, the gods of ancient Greece are living out their final days in agony and war, and taking modern mortals down with them. Cassandra Weaver is an ordinary teenager, aside from her psychic abilities, and she struggles to understand the bloody visions that plague her. She senses a connection with the dying characters in them, but why? And why does her boyfriend, Aidan, so readily accept what’s going on? The action is riveting as tattooed and pierced incarnations of Athena and Hermes close in on Cassandra and Aidan; the more context one brings to the images, the eerier they become. Demeter as a leathery skin stretched across the American desert is creepy; in the context of climate change, she is tragic. Blake presents a gory, thrilling vision of the twilight of the gods, in all their pettiness and power, while letting readers draw their own messages and conclusions. Ages 12–up. Agent: Adriann Ranta, Wolf Literary Services. (Sept.)

Antigoddess published on September 10th.

The Gods are Monsters

September 9, 2013 3 comments

Written by Kendare Blake

Greek gods have always been a source of fascination to me. They are on the one hand, gods, with all that descriptor entails: extreme power, knowledge, immortality. On the other hand, they are oddly human, with more flaws than even their mortal subjects. They’re childish, petty, violent and not above backstabbing. When they do try to help they often do more harm than good (hiding someone by turning them into a tree is not a solution based on good judgment). And considering the oppressive way they ruled, and the punishments doled out at the slightest infraction, “god” probably isn’t the best word for them.

In Antigoddess, the Greek gods are dying. Their deaths seem to come from their very core, their own corruption manifesting itself physically: Poseidon is overtaken by barnacles and slicing coral, his blood turned black as an oil spill. Aphrodite burns with fever and madness, all the love she’s wielded like a weapon on mortals rebounded on her a hundredfold. They’re monsters now, certainly. But weren’t they always? The Greek gods would curse you as soon as look at you. They crushed cities with earthquakes. They waged wars for amusement, treated mortals as if they were plastic soldiers rather than flesh and blood, and held grudges for generations. Sure, they spared some. They even loved some. But with all that red in the bad column, you have to wonder if what’s killing them isn’t just karma.

Or perhaps it isn’t fair to judge them so harshly. Their flaws are our flaws. It’s just that they have the luxury of being untouchable. There’s a scene in Homer’s The Iliad, where the gods, who have been orchestrating the Trojan War, finally grow incensed enough to join the battle physically. They face off. Ares boxes Athena in the ears and she goes crying to Zeus. None sustain real injuries or score real progress in the battle. It’s a temper tantrum. It’s a farce. There will be no lasting scars.

Invulnerability is the monster’s crutch, as it would be for most flawed creatures. Power corrupts, as they say. And absolute power…well. You know. Take it away and you’re left with a panicked, grasping, desperate being with all of a human’s emotional issues and enough muscle to toss a Mack truck.

So when a god of Antigoddess knocks on the door of teenager Cassandra Weaver, it isn’t a savior she sees but a monster. A powerful, frightened monster who has spent an eternity mowing down mortals with no concept of consequence, no concept of time, and no understanding of after. Cassandra sees a god bearing scars, a being that isn’t a force or an embodied idea. It isn’t divine. It walks like a human and bleeds like a human. It wants like a human. But it isn’t human. And Cassandra knows by instinct that it’s going to hurt everyone around her, even when it’s trying to help. That’s just what monsters do.

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From the Tor/Forge September 9th newsletter. Sign up to receive our newsletter via email.

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Waiting on Wednesday: Antigoddess Sweepstakes

July 31, 2013 56 comments

Kendare Blake’s Antigoddess doesn’t hit shelves until September 10, but we have a chance for you to win a copy now!

We have four copies to give away. To enter for the chance to win one, comment below and tell us what your Waiting on Wednesday pick is this week.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. You must be 18 or older and a legal resident of the 50 United States or D.C. to enter. Promotion begins July 31, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. ET. and ends August 6, 2013 12:00 p.m. ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules go here. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

Identity Crisis

July 22, 2013 12 comments

Written by Jenna Black

In the world of Replica, it is possible for the very rich and very privileged to make what amounts to backup copies of themselves. Periodically, they have scans made of their bodies, and if they should ever die of preventable causes, a Replica can be made based on those scans. That Replica will have all the original person’s thoughts and memories up until the time that the backup was made, and is in all other ways identical to the original.

One of the things that intrigues me most about this premise is the question of identity. One of the protagonists of the series, Nate Hayes, is murdered in the opening , and it is left to his Replica to try to solve the mystery of who killed him. So who, exactly, is Nate’s Replica? If he is identical to the original Nate in every way except for a few missing memories, does that mean he actually is Nate? According to the legal system in my story, yes, he is the real Nate Hayes; but is that how people would see him? Is that how he would see himself? After all, he feels identical to the original, even though he knows he’s a Replica.

I expect the answers to these questions will be very different for different individuals, but I tried to imagine how I would feel if, after one of my loved ones had died, a person appeared who looked and acted exactly like them and had their memories. My conclusion was that for me, at least, it would be very hard not to be completely taken in by the illusion. If, for example, I were faced with a Replica of my father, I suspect that although the relationship would be weird and awkward at first, eventually I would begin treating him and thinking about him as if he really were my father. Which then made me wonder: would I still grieve for the death of my real father?

There is something very appealing and tempting about the idea of being able to make backup copies, about not having the specter of loss always hovering over us. But it’s a disturbing idea, too. Just because I wouldn’t suffer the loss of my father wouldn’t mean that my father hadn’t died. Would the man who died not deserve to be mourned? How would I feel about the prospect of my loved ones having an identical copy of me available if I died? Obviously, I’d want my loved ones to be happy and to spare them any hurt I could, but there’s also something uncomfortably dehumanizing about the idea. Who am I, as an individual, if I can be copied and replaced so easily?

I won’t pretend I came up with any answers for these questions during the writing of Replica. I thought about them a lot, and came up with hypothetical answers from the points of view of my various characters, but most of them still struggle with some amount of confusion and mixed feelings.

Asking “what if” questions of this sort is one of my favorite things about writing science fiction and fantasy. And for me, it isn’t the actual answering of the questions that is fun, it’s the posing of them and the thinking about them in the first place.

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From the Tor/Forge July 22nd newsletter. Sign up to receive our newsletter via email.

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Tor Books Announces Programming for San Diego Comic-Con 2013

July 8, 2013 7 comments

Celebrating LOCUS Magazine’s Best Publisher for the 26th year in a row!

Once again Tor (Booth# 2707) continues our wildly popular *in-booth signings and giveaways, offering you a chance to meet your favorite authors up close and personal and pick up free books.

We’ve got a great line up including appearances by CORY DOCTOROW, BRANDON SANDERSON, and a special appearance and celebration for beloved Tor author JAY LAKE, author of Mainspring, Escapement, Green, Pinion, Endurance, and Kalimpura.

The big news this year is Summit Entertainment’s showcase for the highly anticipated film adaptation of

ENDER’S GAME

Coming to theaters November 1, 2013!

 
Summit will present never-before-seen new footage, appearances by cast members and filmmakers, and several massive, interactive fan events. A full slate of activities related to the film to be unveiled at this year’s Comic-Con, including:

Hall H Panel – The studio’s panel on Thursday, July 18th 3:50-4:50pm will feature ENDER’S GAME filmmakers and cast, including producer Bob Orci, director Gavin Hood, and cast members Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld and Abigail Breslin.

Exclusive Fan Experience – Attendees will be able to visit an elaborate, specially constructed ENDER’S GAME exhibit outside of the Hilton Gaslamp, featuring 8 unique rooms representing the most iconic environments of Ender’s world, complete with original film props and set pieces used in the movie. Throughout the experience, attendees will be able to see exclusive film footage on LED screens, interact with new digital content, integrate photos of themselves into the highly anticipated Battle Room, and register to win a home make over.

Convention Floor Booth – Summit Entertainment’s booth located within the Grand Hall will highlight ENDER’S GAME footage. Premium promotional items will be distributed to the 120,000 attendees walking the convention floor, and booth visitors will be given the opportunity to win “fast passes” to the ENDER’S Game Exclusive Fan Experience, granting them entry without having to wait in line.
 
Thursday, July 18th

  • 10:30 – 11:30am Panel: Paranormal Passion, Room 24ABC
    Tor Teen favorite Kendare Blake (Antigoddess) joins Maryelizabeth Hart of Mysterious Galaxy for a discussion with Christine Feehan (Guest of Honor), Claudia Gray (Spellcaster) and others to discuss the inclusion of romantic elements in their action-packed novels.
  • 12 – 1pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA09
  • 12pm Tor Booth (#2707) Giveaway! The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe, a Kirkus Reviews Top Pick for 2011!
  • 1:45 – 2:45pm Panel: Ode to Nerds, Room 6A
    Everyone knows that published science fiction authors reign on the Geek Heirarchy charts because the Internet tells us so! Join us on this epic panel as the genre’s top names in publishing celebrate all things geeky and nerdy with Charlie Jane Anders of io9.com! Geek out with Charlie Jane and Cory Doctorow (The Rapture of the Nerds), Chuck Palahniuk (Doomed), Austin Grossman and others.
  • 3:15 – 4:15pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA09
  • 2pm Tor Booth (#2707) KENDARE BLAKE will sign advanced copies of Antigoddess
  • 5pm Tor Booth (#2707) Bestselling author CORY DOCTOROW will sign copies of Pirate Cinema

 
Friday, July 19th

  • 12pm Tor Booth (#2707) JAY LAKE has candidly documented his battle with cancer on his blog and will appear at Comic-Con thanks to the kindness of friends and family. Tor is proud to host an in-booth signing and will offer copies of Green.
  • 2pm Tor Booth (#2707) Dr. Who writer, PAUL CORNELL will sign copies of London Falling
  • 2:30 – 3:30pm Panel: Epic Fantasy, Room 24ABC
    Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn and the Wheel of Time series) joins genre’s biggest authors as they discuss the worlds of their own creation and what fantasy has to say about our own world: Robin Hobb (Blood of Dragons), Christopher Paolini (the Inheritance cycle), and Daniel Abraham (The Tyrant’s Law) and others.
  • 4 – 5pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA09
  • 5pm Tor Booth (#2707) New York Times bestselling author BRANDON SANDERSON will sign copies of The Way of Kings
  • 7 – 8pm Panel: Publishing SF/F in the Digital Age, Room 25ABC
    Moderated by Timothy Travaglini (Open Road Integrated Media); authors Kevin J. Anderson (Sisterhood of Dune), Rebecca Moesta (WordFire Press), Cory Doctorow (Homeland), Andy Briggs (Tarzan: The Greystoke Legacy), Sherri L. Smith (Orleans), and Nick Cole (The Old Man and the Wasteland), and bookseller Maggie Tokuda-Hall (Books, Inc) discuss impact of the digital age on writing, publishing, reading, bookselling, and the traditional book as we know it.

 
Saturday, July 20th

  • 10 – 11am Panel: Urban Fantasy, Room 7AB
    Paris, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Tucson, and cities of our own imagination come to life when tales of myth and magic are blended with the urban landscape. These stories are collectively known as Urban Fantasy, and many of today’s popular authors are adding their otherworldly ingredients to the melting pots of modern (and not-so-modern) society. Join authors Max Gladstone (Three Parts Dead), Jim Butcher (Cold Days), Kevin J. Anderson (Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I.) and others.
  • 11:30 – 12:30am Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA09
  • 12pm Tor Booth (#2707) Giveaway of signed copies of the Ender’s Game movie tie-in novel
  • 5pm Tor Booth (#2707) MAX GLADSTONE will sign advanced copies of Two Serpents Rise

 
Sunday, July 21st

  • 12pm Tor Booth (#2707) S. M. WHEELER burst on the scene this year with her critically acclaimed debut novel, Sea Change. Meet the author and get a signed copy while supplies last.
  • 2 – 3pm Panel: Witches and Fey, Room 24ABC
    That vamp’s a tramp; this witch is a real bitch. Pixies will pinch; and the fey go beyond fairly frightening. The ghouls are ghastly, and we mere mortals are growing testy. S. M. Wheeler (Sea Change) joins Brom (Krampus), Amber Benson (The Calliope Reaper-Jones series), Seanan McGuire (The October Daye series) and Rachel Caine (the Morganville Vampires series) to provide perspective on the monsters of myth.
  • 3:30 – 4:30pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA08

Make sure to follow @Torbooks on Twitter for up to date information and last minute events!

*All Tor Booth signings are on a first come first serve basis and while supplies lasts. Limit one book per person.

Book Trailer: Replica by Jenna Black

June 27, 2013 1 comment


 
Replica by Jenna Black

Replica is the breathtaking new science fiction novel from Jenna Black, the author of the Faeriewalker series.

Sixteen-year-old Nadia Lake’s marriage has been arranged with the most powerful family in the Corporate States. She lives a life of privilege even if she has to put up with paparazzi tracking her every move, every detail of her private life tabloid fodder. But her future is assured, as long as she can maintain her flawless public image—no easy feat when your betrothed is a notorious playboy.

Nathaniel Hayes is the heir to the company that pioneered human replication: a technology that every state and every country in the world would kill to have. Except he’s more interested in sneaking around the seedy underbelly of the state formerly known as New York than he is in learning to run his future company or courting his bride-to-be. She’s not exactly his type…not that he can tell anyone that.

But then Nate turns up dead, and Nadia was the last person to see him alive.

When the new Nate wakes up in the replication tanks, he knows he must have died, but with a memory that only reaches to his last memory back-up, he doesn’t know what — or rather, who — killed him.

Together, Nadia and Nate must discover what really happened without revealing the secrets that those who run their world would kill to protect.

Replica, by Jenna Black, releases July 16th!