Monthly Archives: January 2017

Free Ebook Alert: Some of the Best from Tor.com: 2016 Edition

Tor.com is very excited to offer a free download of the 2016 edition of Some of the Best from Tor.com, an anthology of 25 of our favorite short stories and novelettes from the last year. Readers worldwide can download the ebook for free by signing up for the Tor.com Publishing newsletter from 12:00 P.M. EST on January 10th until 11:59 A.M. EST on January 17th.

Of course, you can always enjoy all of our free weekly short stories by visiting Tor.com’s fiction index. These stories were acquired and edited for Tor.com by Ellen Datlow, Ann VanderMeer, Carl Engle-Laird, Liz Gorinsky, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Justin Landon, Diana Pho, and Miriam Weinberg. Each story is accompanied by an original illustration.

Learn more below!


Table of Contents

  • “Clover” Charlie Jane Anders
  • “The Art of Space Travel” Nina Allan
  • “The Destroyer” Tara Isabella Burton
  • “Traumphysik” Monica Byrne
  • “The High Lonesome Frontier” Rebecca Campbell
  • “Lullaby for a Lost World” Aliette de Bodard
  • “A Dead Djinn in Cairo” P. Djeli Clark
  • “Breaking Water” Indrapramit Das
  • “Autobiography of a Traitor and a Half-Savage” Alix E. Harrow
  • “The City Born Great” N. K. Jemisin
  • “Everything That Isn’t Winter” Margaret Killjoy
  • “The Weight of Memories” Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu
  • “The Maiden Thief” Melissa Marr
  • “The Caretakers” David Nickle
  • “Your Orisons May Be Recorded” Laurie Penny
  • “meat+drink” Daniel Polansky
  • “The Three Lives of Sonata James” Lettie Prell
  • “The Great Detective” Delia Sherman
  • “Finnegan’s Field” Angela Slatter
  • “The Weather” Caighlan Smith
  • “Terminal” Lavie Tidhar
  • “Her Scales Shine Like Music” Rajnar Vajra
  • “La beauté sans vertu” Genevieve Valentine
  • “That Game We Played During the War” Carrie Vaughn
  • “A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers” Alyssa Wong

◊  ◊  ◊

About the Tor.com Publishing Newsletter: 

This monthly newsletter includes the latest updates on Tor.com Publishing titles from authors like Nnedi Okorafor, Seanan McGuire, Malka Older, Charles Stross, and many more, including excerpts, sweepstakes, exclusive content, and author features.

How to Redeem:

To redeem the free ebook edition of Some of the Best from Tor.comVisit this link between noon (12:00 P.M. EST) on Tuesday, January 10th, and 11:59 A.M. EST on Tuesday, January 17th to sign up for the Tor.com Publishing newsletter and download the DRM-free ebook. This offer is available globally.

◊  ◊  ◊
Tagged , ,

Author Interview: Jade Sisti

15175602_10100619275354467_316036013_n

Today I am interviewing Jade Sisti, debut author of the new paranormal novel, Stagnant Souls.

◊  ◊  ◊

DJ: Hey Jade! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Jade Sisti: Sure, I’m an artist called aloneintown. I sell my art as well as teach it. I’ve been writing for as long as I’ve been producing art, forever. They go hand in hand with each other. Aside from articles, this is the first time I ever thought to publish a book.

DJ: What is Stagnant Souls about?

32825028

Jade: It’s a future where most people have died off and no one’s quite sure why. In this future, Melody, who’s only ever known her small community, meets Lucius, a ghost, who has been trapped in an abandoned building ever since his death during a mass shooting.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Stagnant Souls?

Jade: I was once into urban exploring and spent a lot of time sneaking around in places I probably shouldn’t have been. I have a fascination with abandoned places. TVs shows like Life After People helped fuel that interest. The idea of the dead came from a night where I couldn’t sleep. It was terrible. I was so physically exhausted that it actually hurt, but my mind was like in a million places at once. There was no way I was getting any rest that night. I thought about that afterword and for whatever reason I thought of ghosts and what it would be like to haunt the same place for ever. I can’t sit still for too long, so I can only imagine what it would be like to be Lucius. Aww, he needs a hug! Continue reading

Tagged , ,

Excerpt: Rarity from the Hollow by Robert Eggleton

32993259

Summary:

Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. The content addresses social issues. It’s a children’s story for adults, not for the prudish, fainthearted or easily offended.

Lacy Dawn occupies the body of an eleven year old and sounds like one, but she has evolved under the supervision of Universal Management for hundreds of thousand of years. She is not a typical little girl, and if you think of her as such, you may be shocked.

She lives in a hollow with her worn-out mom, her Iraq War disabled dad, and her mutt Brownie, a dog who’s becoming very skilled at laying fiber optic cable. Lacy Dawn’s android boyfriend, for when she’s old enough to have one, has come to the hollow with a mission. He was sent by the Manager of the Mall on planet Shptiludrp (Shop ’till You Drop) to recruit Lacy Dawn to save the universe from an imminent threat to its economic structure. In exchange, Earth would be designated as a planet that is eligible for continued existence – granted immunity. Will Lacy Dawn’s magic enables her to save the universe, Earth, and, most importantly, her own family?


*** Excerpt ***

From chapter 13, Mom I’d Like to Introduce You to My Fiancé:

…..…Jenny (the mother) walked up the hill to Roundabend. She called Lacy Dawn’s name every few yards. Her muddy tennis shoes slipped and slid.

I hear her voice. Why won’t she answer me?  Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

The Bastard Read-Along: The Republic of Thieves (Gentlemen Bastard Sequence #3) by Scott Lynch

Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 8.07.17 PM

The Bastard Read-Along is being hosted by Kaja @ OfDragonsAndHearts and myself. If you are interested please comment down below with your name or like to your review if you have written one, and we will add your name to the list of bastards. We would love for you to join us and read along! 🙂 However, you don’t have write a review to participate. Fell free to just read the the books, and then comeback and read everyone’s review and join in on the discussions 🙂


The Republic of Thieves (Gentlemen Bastard Sequence #3) by Scott Lynch

Publisher: Dey Rey

Publication Date: October 8, 2013

Edition: Hardcover, 650 pages

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Rating: 4.5/5 Rating


Long story short: go read the Gentlemen Bastard Sequence.
Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Author Interview: Norma Hinkens

a1es7w2iyal-_ux250_

Today I am interviewing Norma Hinkens, award-winning author of the new sci-fi, dystopian thriller novel, Girl of Fire, first book in The Expulsion Project trilogy.

◊  ◊  ◊

DJ: Hey Norma! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Norma Hinkens: I grew up in County Donegal in Ireland, land of legends and storytelling. From a young age, I loved writing stories and I was always the kid who got called upon to tell scary stories at sleepovers. Life and career got in the way and I set aside my writing until my kids became teenagers and the hankering to do something creative took over. I live in California now, but I spend a lot of time in Idaho, and I love to travel whenever I have the opportunity.

DJ: What is Girl of Fire about?

33286052

Norma: Girl of Fire is a sci-fi dystopian thriller story about outsiders searching for their true origin in a malevolent galactic underworld featuring space pirates and self-actualizing software taking over planets. Trattora is the adopted daughter of the Chieftain on a primitive frontier planet. Velkan is an indentured serf who has never known a day of freedom. Together they flee a terrifying invasion by Galactic Pirates, and are thrown together on a ramshackle mining vessel that harbors several dark secrets. Fate and chemistry combine when the pair’s matching birth bracelets lead them to a shocking discovery about their true lineage. Trattora and Velkan plunge headlong into a frantic race against time and space to take down the genocidal self-actualizing software threatening their home planet. But first they must navigate the seedy Galactic underworld and a host of malevolent characters. If you are a Firefly or Dark Matter fan, or in Divergent withdrawal, this is the book mashup for you! Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Author Spotlight: Dead Reckoning by William Dresden

About the Book:

Jesse is a bad man. A killer yes. A monster, sometimes. Most often, though, he is a Judge, an ex-gunslinger cursed with a supernatural ability called – the Reckoning.

Now he finds himself hunting the forests of upstate New York for Horse Thieves, Wendigos and other nightmares that lurk in the darkness. Only this time, what he finds will change him in ways he never thought possible, bringing him one step closer to finding the man who murdered his family.

.

.

.

.

.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , ,

Author Interview: Heather Albano

heather01

Today I am interviewing Heather Albano, debut author of the new steampunk, time-travel novel, Timepiece, first book in the Keeping Time series.

◊  ◊  ◊

 

DJ: Hey Heather! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

Heather Albano: Hi, DJ, thanks for having me!

DJ: For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Heather: At the most basic level, I’m a storyteller. The medium isn’t important; in fact, the first thing I do with any new medium I encounter is figure out how to create narrative with it. Sometimes this happens without conscious choice on my part… This means I’ve told stories in live action roleplaying games; in text-based chooseable-path mobile games; in scripts for interactive audio dramas; in pen-and-paper roleplaying games; in ads, back when I was in advertising; and in traditional short and long fiction, i.e. short stories and novels. (Some other time, I’ll talk your ear off about the storytelling potential inherent in the recent developments in virtual and augmented reality tech.) 

Which is to say, I’m a freelance game designer and novelist. Anyone who recognizes my name most likely knows me from my game design work, which most recently included A Study in Steampunk: Choice by Gaslight, released by the Choice of Games Hosted Games program, and contributions to Pelgrane Press’ Dracula Dossier and TimeWatch. I have assorted short fiction credits as well, but Timepiece is my first published non-interactive novel.

DJ: What is Timepiece about?

32672504

Heather: A girl, a time machine, Frankenstein’s monster, the Battle of Waterloo, and giant clockwork robots taking over London.

Seriously.

The slightly more coherent version: In 1815, two young adults stumble upon a mysterious pocket watch that catapults them forward in time to a nightmare steampunk version of 1885, overrun by Frankenstein monsters and giant clockwork robots. This will be their future, unless they do something to stop it.

DJ: Where did you get the idea for Timepiece?

Heather: It started when a friend of mine told me about a dream she’d had, in which a package arrived in the mail for her then-infant son. Inside the package addressed to him was a package addressed to me (how odd, she thought) and inside that was a velvet bag containing a pocket watch. Opening the pocket watch, my friend discovered the period casing contained a futuristic-looking screen cycling through images of different historical times and places. “I think I had your dream, Heather.”

I tried to write a story about me and her son and the pocket watch, including a reason for the nested packages, but I couldn’t get it to gel. A pocket watch seemed to belong to an older era anyway…so maybe this wanted to be a Victorian time travel story. Maybe steampunk—huge mechanical monsters stomping down a gaslit street? Yeah. Stomping after what? What would mechanical Victorian monsters hunt? Something natural run amuck, of course. The Victorians would totally build monstrous scientific artificial things to constrain monstrous natural things.

Okay, so where did the run-amuck natural things come from? And when? It would have to be long enough before the Victorian era for the organic monsters to become a problem, for a solution to be generated, and for the solution to become its own problem. Seventy to eighty years, say? The “Victorian era” spanned a long time, of course, but I meant the Sherlock Holmes / Jack the Ripper / Dracula / H.G. Wells part of it—so call it 1880 to 1895. What was going on in England seventy to eighty years before, say, 1885?

Five seconds later, I was scrambling for Wikipedia to look up the dates of the Battles of Trafalgar and Waterloo. Five seconds after that, I knew exactly what the story was about. Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Author Interview: Rachel Neumeier

519j7kqaool-_ux250_

Today I am interviewing Rachel Neumeier, author of the new fantasy novel, The Mountain of Kept Memory.

◊  ◊  ◊

DJ: Hey Rachel! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Rachel Neumeier: Thanks for asking me over, DJ! It’s a pleasure to be here.

You know how so many authors started writing stories when they were very young, teenagers, perhaps? Not me. I’ve been a *reader* all my life – definitely in a “My Life My Books My Escape” kind of way, in fact (that’s a great motto). But I didn’t start writing until grad school. I started then because I’d just read a book where the protagonist annoyed me and partly to improve my typing speed, but mostly because I needed a hobby that was completely separate from my research project.

Eventually I completed a giant fantasy trilogy. This taught me how to write. After that I wrote a much (much) shorter standalone fantasy novel that I hoped would be publishable. That book, The City in the Lake, was the one that was my debut sale. After City was accepted by Random House, I kind of rearranged my life to accommodate my hobbies instead of the other way around. Now I work part time, but I make sure I always have time for writing and for my herd of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Mountain is my eleventh novel to hit the shelves, but I’ve got a very busy schedule for 2017. If I manage to finish the third Black Dog novel in January, I’ll self-publish that as my twelfth. Then my next YA will come out in March from Random House, and my next adult fantasy next November from Simon and Schuster.

So far all my books are fantasy, but on my agent’s advice, I just finished my first space opera, so I’m hoping to see that find a home. I’m hoping to be like CJ Cherryh, one of my favorite authors, with tons of books published in both fantasy and SF.

DJ: What is The Mountain of Kept Memory about?

9781481448949

Rachel: Mountain is a traditional fantasy . . . or not quite! But it *reads* like a traditional fantasy. Mostly.

Mountain alternates points of view as Oressa and Gulien deal with their rather ambiguous father, the powerful woman he has offended – she used to be a goddess, or so people say – and a foreign invasion. Enemies may not quite stay enemies, friends may not necessarily stay friends, and the truth about the Kieba may be even stranger than the stories people tell about her.

DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits?

Rachel: Well, Oressa spends a good deal of time finding all the secret panels and passages in the palace and ferreting out everyone’s secrets. She learned young that it’s important to know everything and never reveal how much you know! She’s one of my favorite protagonists ever, in fact.

Oressa’s brother Gulien is in a tough spot, torn between loyalty to his father and the awareness that his father is almost certainly catastrophically wrong this time.

Osir himself – their father — is one of the most ambiguous characters I’ve ever written. Oressa is terrified of him, Gulien loves him and wants to earn his good regard, and the complexity of relationships that results is one of the things I enjoyed most about writing this book. I think Osir came out just as I hoped.

Gajdosik, one of the foreign princes who is invading, is actually a very important character. He’s not precisely quirky, but he’s determined, ruthless, clever, and above all steadfast. Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

From DJ to MD: 1 Down, 4 to Go

ST. GEORGE'S UNIVERSITY LOGO

Hello, everybody! Remember me?! It’s DJ!!! 😀

In case any of you happened to miss my announcement last year, I started Medical School last August, and have just completed my first term in December. This is why I have been absent from commenting on everyone else’s blogs, replying to comments on mine, why you no longer see me posting any more book reviews/book collecting, and why you only see/have seen an incredible influx in interviews posts on my page.

I knew my pleasure reading time would go down when I started school, but I severely misjudged how little time I would actually have. I had brought down 4 novels with me to read in my free time… and I read a total of maybe 50 pages and one short story? So yeah, busy, busy, busy. Continue reading

Author Interview: Chrys Cymri

a1v5syormvl-_ux250_

Today I am interviewing Chrys Cymri, author of the fantasy novels The Temptation of Dragons and The Cult of Unicorns, the first two books of the Penny White series.

◊  ◊  ◊

DJ: Hey Chrys! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Chrys Cymri: I grew up in California but emigrated to England when I was twenty years old. I love to travel, and perhaps the most challenging trip I’ve made was spending two weeks in North Korea in August 2016. At home, I live with a small parrot, a green cheek conure called Tilly, who is nearly as destructive as a dragon when she gets going. When I was 35 years old, I gave up my job as a bank manager to go to theological college. So my full time job now is as a Christian minister.

DJ: What is the Penny White series about?

penny-white-and-the-temptation-of-dragons-2

Chrys: Wish fulfillment! The main character is a slightly world weary female priest who stumbles onto a parallel fantasy world. She meets a police inspector who loves science fiction as much as she does, and she’s also being pursued romantically by a darkly beautiful dragon called Raven. A falcon sized gryphon called Morey comes to live with her. I’d love a gryphon. And I’ve long had a fascination with snails, so the other creature in Penny’s life is a snail shark called Clyde. For some reason, readers seem to love these characters as much as I do.

DJ: What were some of your influences for the Penny White series?

Chrys: Partially my own life, but I’d like to make it clear that I don’t drink as much as Penny does! Some of the situations she faces in her church are drawn on things that have happened to me or other ministers, although of course these are much altered so that no confidences have been betrayed. Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,