Category Archives: Totally Tor

Totally Tor: New Ken Scholes Short Story & Best SFF of the Decade

Hey Guys and Girls, got some news -brand new 2011 news- from Irene Gallo regarding the goings on at 🙂

First off, the 12 Doctors of Christmas, which began last month (hehe, last year, 😉 ) is finishing up and you can catch all the posts here.

Next up, Tor will be giving you a chance to vote for your Best SFF Novels of the Decade – yep, not just 2010, but 2000 to 2010. 🙂 The post will be going up shortly (my maths sucks, so don’t ask me what time it’ll be here in South Africa), at 11:30 US time, so don’t forget to check it out. 🙂

Here’s a bit more info:

For science fiction readers, witnessing the clock turn over to the year 2000 was a special feeling indeed. The divide had been crossed, the next century was here, and distant years bandied about solely in sci fi classics would now play out in reality.

Passing into 2011 echoes that feeling, as we now have an entire decade of the future that exists primarily in memory. We’ve done the work, so to speak, and can better appreciate the future in which we live.

In the spirit of appreciation, we now ask readers to choose the best science fiction and fantasy novels of the first decade of the 21st century! Any novel published from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2010 is eligible* and there’s no limit to how many you can pick.**

We’ll tabulate the novels mentioned in the comments until 11:59 PM EST on Friday, January 14and the ten with the highest number of votes will be featured in a short series of appreciation posts here on the site, featuring an array of guest writers! We’ll be updating the votes regularly here on and on through our Twitter and Facebook accounts until the end of voting, so keep checking back. And rally your friends to vote on your favorite!

Next up, mark your calendars: the 12th of January (Wednesday) will see a new short story by Ken Scholes – “Making My Entrance Again With My Usual Flare”. I’m told is a science fiction romp with clowns. 😉 (Title sounds wayyy cooler now, huh?)

Here’s the cover, done by Ellen Weinstein:

And here, to whet your appetite, is an excerpt:


No one ever asks a clown at the end of his life what he really wanted to be when he grew up. It’s fairly obvious. No one gets hijacked into the circus. We race to it, the smell of hotdogs leading us in, our fingers aching for the sticky pull of taffy, the electric shock of pink cotton on our tongue. Ask a lawyer and he’ll say when he was a kid he wanted to be an astronaut. Ask an accountant; he’ll say he wanted to be fireman.

I am a clown. I have always wanted to be a clown. And I will die a clown if I have my way.

My name is Merton D. Kamal.

The Kamal comes from my father. I never met the man so I have no idea how he came by it. Mom got the Merton bit from some monk she used to read who wrote something like this: We learn humility by being humiliated often. Given how easily (and how frequently) Kamal is pronounced Camel, and given how the D just stands for D, you can see that she wanted her only child to be absolutely filled to the brim with humility.

My Mom is a deeply spiritual woman.

But enough about her. This is my story.

“Merton,” the ringmaster and owner Rufus P. Stowell said, “it’s just not working out.”

I was pushing forty. I’d lost some weight and everyone knows kids love a chubby clown. I’d also taken up drinking which didn’t go over well right before a show. So suddenly, I found myself without prospects and I turned myself towards home, riding into Seattle by bus on a cold November night.

Mom met me at the bus stop. She had no business driving but she came out anyway. She was standing on the sidewalk next to the station wagon when she saw me. We hugged.

“I’m glad you’re home,” she said.

I lifted my bag into the back. “Thanks.”

“Are you hungry?”

“Not really.”

We went to Denny’s anyway. Whenever my Mom wanted to talk, we went to Denny’s. It’s where she took me to tell me about boys and girls, it’s where she took me to tell me that my dog had been hit by a car.

“So what are you going to do now?” She cut and speared a chunk of meatloaf, then dipped it into her mashed potatoes and gravy before raising it to her mouth.

“I don’t know,” I said. “I guess I’ll fatten up, quit drinking, get back into the business.” I watched her left eyebrow twitch—a sure sign of disapproval. I hefted my double bacon cheeseburger, then paused. “Why? What do you think I should do?”

She leaned forward. She brought her wrinkled hand up and cupped my cheek with it. Then she smiled. “I think you’ve already tried the clown thing, Merton. Why don’t you try something different?”

I grinned. “I always wanted to be a sword-swallower but you wouldn’t let me.”

“What about . . . insurance?”

“Well, it gets steep. The swords are real, Mom.”

The eyebrow twitched again. “I’m being serious. Remember Nancy Keller?”

Of course I did. I’d lost my virginity with her back in eleventh grade. It was my second most defining moment that year. Three days later, Rufus P. Stowell’s Traveling Big Top rolled into town and my first most defining moment occurred. They said I was a natural, I had the look and the girth. Would I be interested in an internship? I left a note for Nancy in her mailbox thanking her for everything in great detail, hugged my Mom goodbye and dropped out of high school to join the circus.

Mom was still waiting for me to answer. “Yes, I remember her.”

“Well, she’s some big mucky-muck now at CARECO.”

“And?” I took a bite of the cheeseburger.

“And I told her you were coming home and asked her if she’d interview you.”

I nearly choked. “You did what?”

“I asked her if she’d interview you. For a job.”

I had no idea what to say.

So the next morning, Mom took me down to J.C. Penney’s and bought me my first suit in thirty years. That afternoon, she dropped me downtown in front of the CARECO building, waved goodbye and drove away.

The CARECO building was new. I’d visited a few times over the years, had watched buildings come and buildings go. But I had never seen anything like this. It looked like a glass Rubik’s Cube tilted precariously in a martini glass full of green jello. Inside, each floor took on the color coding of the various policies they offered. Life insurance was green. Auto, a deep blue. I can’t remember what color Long-Term Disability was. Each color had been painfully worked out, according to a plaque near the door, by a team of eminent European corporate psychologists. Supposedly, it would enhance productivity by reducing the depression inherent within the insurance industry.

While I was reading the plaque, a man stepped up to me. He was as tan as a Californian, wearing sunglasses and a Hawaiian shirt despite impending rain. I went back to reading. “Excuse me,” he said.


“Have you seen a monkey around here?”

I shook my head, not really paying attention to the question. “Sorry.”

He smiled. “Thanks anyway.”

I went inside. I rode three escalators, two elevators and talked to seven receptionists. I sat in a chair that looked like plastic but was really made of foam. I filled out long and complicated application forms.

An hour later, someone took me up into an office at the top of the highest point of the inside of the glass Rubik’s Cube.

Nancy Keller looked up. She smiled until my escort closed the door on her way out.

“Merton D. Camel,” she said, stretching each syllable.

“Kamal. Hi Nancy.” The view from her office was spectacular. The walls were glass framed in steel and I could see the city spread out around me in a wide view that pulled at my stomach. The office had a modern-looking desk in the middle of it, a few chairs and some potted plants.

“I’m surprised to see you after so long. Back from clowning around?”

“I am.” I smiled. “You look good.” And she did. Her legs were still long but her hair was short and she’d traded her Van Halen tank top for a crisp blue suit.

She ignored my compliment and pointed to another of those foam chairs. “Let’s get this over with.”

I sat. She sat. I waited, trying to ignore the places where my wool suit created urgent itching.

She studied my application, then she studied me. I kept waiting. Finally, she spoke. “This interview,” she said, “consists of two questions.” She leaned forward and I realized the button on her suit coat had popped open to reveal more cleavage than I remembered her having. “First question. Do you remember the day you left for the circus, three days after our . . . special moment.” She made little quote marks in the air when she said “special.”

I nodded. “I do. I left you a note.” I grinned. “I think I even said thank you. In some detail.”

She nodded, too. “Second question. Did you ever stop to think that maybe . . . just maybe . . . my father would be the one getting the mail?” She stood and pushed a button on her desk. I stood, too. “Thank you for coming, Mr. Camel. Patrice will see you out.” She extended her hand. I shook it and it was cold.

Later, I was working on my third bowl of ice cream and looking over the Twelve Steps when her assistant called with the offer.


There we go, some pretty cool stuff to look forward to on! 🙂


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Posted by on January 6, 2011 in Totally Tor


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Totally Tor: Twelve Days and Twelve Doctors!

Hey Everyone! 🙂

The story I sneak-peeked for you in the last Totally Tor post, The Trains that Climb the Winter Tree, has gone live over at, so go ahead and read the tale in its entirety – you know you want to… 😉

And thanks to Irene Gallo, I’ve got some news for you about an awesome celebration of Dr Who – just click on the logo below to get all the details, and don’t forget to mark your calendars!

I’ll be winding down soon as we move towards the year; look out for a guest-review of Jasper Fforde‘s Shades of Grey and hopefully a final-2010 review of the Jordan-Sanderson epic, Towers of Midnight. 🙂


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Posted by on December 22, 2010 in Totally Tor


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Totally Tor: News and How to Take Over The Genresphere!

Hehehe did I just coin a phrase? 😉 Anyway, let’s get into it!

First off, is bringing us a new story by Michael Swanwick and Eileen Gunn; it’ll go live on the site on the 21st of December, but registered users (yep, I’m one of them) will have the story in their inboxes a week early. 🙂 Here’s editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden to tell you a bit more:

“Our Christmas story for 2010, “The Trains that Climb the Winter Tree” by Michael Swanwick and Eileen Gunn, is shocking, lyrical, inventive, and as you might guess, a little mad. It will appear on the site on December 21st, but if you were a registered member, you’d be getting it a week early, personally emailed to you by elves and wood sprites laboring in the vast network operations center.”

And here’s a short excerpt of the story to whet your imagination:

It was the middle of the night when the elves came out of the mirrors.

Everyone in the house was asleep. Outside, the city slumbered. Silent as shadows, the warriors went from room to room. Their knives were so sharp they could slit a throat without awakening their victim.

They killed all the adults.

The children they spared.

The bodies were carried away, back through the mirrors. Four of the elves swiftly stripped naked. They put on the adults’ nightclothes over their sexless bodies. Their own clothing they hid at the bottom of dresser drawers where the children never went. Then each one slowly and carefully assumed the form and features, down to the most intimate details, of Father, Mother, Grandmother, and Great-Aunt Adelaide.

Meanwhile, the other warriors were fetching boxes from the far side of the parlor mirror. With preternatural grace they removed from them tiny, toy-sized locomotives and passenger cars, boxcars, coal hoppers, refrigerator cars, gondolas, tank cars, flatbeds piled high with logs, floodlight cars, mail cars, ore cars, cabooses, and a tiny string of circus cars with gorillas in cages and giraffes poking through the roofs. . . .

Unwrapped tissue paper foamed up into drifts, which were then whisked magically away. Clever elfin fingers assembled tracks and placed alongside them stations, houses, bungalows, garages, churches, restaurants, fruit and vegetable stands, a roller rink, a grain elevator, a lumberyard, a coaling station, factories, water towers, and a central roundhouse with a turntable. Bridges spanned imaginary rivers. Tunnels split papier-mâché mountains. The transformers were hooked up, the electrical connections made, and the trains set in motion.

Then the elves left. The four who remained went to three separate bedrooms where they lay down and pretended to sleep. The one who was not Father pretended to snore.

It was Christmas Eve, and nobody outside the house knew that life inside it had changed forever.

Here’s the artwork commisioned for the story, done by the excellent Gary Kelly:

Next up, is taking over the Genresphere! 🙂 has already launched Fantasy (run by the excellent Aidan of A Dribble of Ink) and Steampunk (Ay-leen the Peacemaker does the honours here), but the latest news (which hit today) is that has also started Science Fiction, run by none other than Mark Chitty from Walker of Worlds! 🙂

This is really great to see – sure, it’s a endeavour but the news covered by each satellite will not be limited to or, for that matter, Tor; there’s something to be said for a big publisher realizing that readers everywhere read widely, not limiting themselves to specific authors or publishing houses – these endeavours are squarely about getting the news out there. 🙂 So a hearty well-done to everyone involved!

Here are the links you need: Fantasy – Facebook / Twitter Steampunk – Facebook / Twitter Science Fiction – Facebook / Twitter

And finally, the Solstice Giveaway is still running, so make sure of your entry! 🙂 (Note – I *hope* it’s still running – couldn’t get into to verify, seems I’m having a problem with my connection)

That’s it for now, see you back here tomorrow. 🙂


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Posted by on December 13, 2010 in Totally Tor


Croatian Rights for Rod Rees and Totally Tor News

Got some news for you from John Jarrold and news from Irene Gallo. 🙂



Following last week’s deals with Jota in the Czech Republic and Infodar in Bulgaria Flora McMichael, Rights Manager at Quercus, has sold Croatian rights in the four-novel DEMI-MONDE series by UK novelist Rod Rees to Fraktura, after receiving offers from two houses.

World rights in Rod’s series were acquired pre-emptively by Quercus (who publish the first volume in January 2011) from agent John Jarrold for a major advance in 2009. Rights have now been sold in eight territories, also including the US, Germany, Russia, Poland and Italy.

THE DEMI-MONDE is set in a wonderfully imagined virtual world – the Demi-Monde of the title. Originally conceived by the US military as a training ground for their troops in the twenty-first century facing street fighting and enemies who use guerrilla tactics, rather than modern technology-based armies, the Demi-Monde was created by the world’s first quantum computer. Young singer Ella Thomas is sent there to rescue a VIP (she ticks all the boxes to blend into the world, which has a late-Victorian technology base) and discovers the world and its thirty million inhabitants, or ‘avatars’, are all too real. Especially those who run the world’s city-states, based on famous human monsters such as Reinhard Heydrich, Shaka Zulu, Empress Wu, Godfrey de Bouillon, Selim the Grim and Lavrentii Beria, with whom the world was seeded to make it more of a test…and that is only the beginning. There is already a fascinating website at


Seems like Rod is well on the way to taking over Europe! Let’s hope there’ll be more announcements soon. 🙂 Congrats to Rod and all the SFF readers in Croatia!

Next up, Totally Tor: released an excerpt of Orson Scott Card‘s latest Fantasy novel, The Lost Gate (read it here), here’s the press release for you:


From The LOST GATE editor, Beth Meacham:

One of the delights of my working life is watching writers like Orson Scott Card create a new world and new characters to populate it. So when I first saw the synopsis for this new series, The Mither Mages, I was thrilled. And as the first of the trilogy, THE LOST GATE, emerged from Card’s mind and word processor, I was enthralled. Card is creating not one magical world for this series, but two – an Earth where the exiles of Westil have lived in isolation for almost 1500 years, and Westil itself, also cut off from the power of the Great Gates, dwindling but holding the memory of a time when greater magic was possible. For this first book, the two worlds remain separate – but there is a promise implicit in the birth or rebirth of a gatemage in each world. It starts small, one boy in the hills of Virginia. It won’t stay that way.

Danny North thought he was drekka, a child of the Families of Westil who has no magical talent. Even though he was the son of Odin, the current chief of the North Family, he showed no ability at all – he formed no clant , he worked no stone, he had no affinity for beast or plant. All he could do was run and hide, and try to stay out of the way of his grandfather, who thought that drekka should be culled from the family. But Danny is not drekka. He is something far more dangerous…dangerous to himself, and dangerous to his family. Danny is a gatemage, the forbidden talent. All the Families are sworn to kill any child who proves to be a gatemage, as part of the treaty that ended the wars between them hundreds of years ago. Danny’s discovery of his talent has doomed him to death, more surely than any lack of talent ever could have….

From the Press Release:

Orson Scott Card needs no introduction . . . One of the true stars of science fiction and fantasy writing, Card is an international bestselling author best known for the beloved classic Ender’s Game, which was widely read by millions of adults and young readers.

Card’s work has won multiple awards. His novel Ender’s Game (1985) and its sequel Speaker for the Dead (1986), both won the coveted Hugo and the Nebula Awards—making Card the only author to win both of America’s science fiction’s top prizes in consecutive years. He’s also won four Locus Awards and a Hugo for the short story “Eye for An Eye.” And now the award-winning New York Times bestselling author launches the first book in a new fantasy series with THE LOST GATE (A Tor Hardcover; January 4, 2011; $24.99).

All of this is why I’m thrilled to reveal’s exclusive first excerpt, along with a note from the editor Beth Meacham, which goes live NOVEMBER 30th at noon! With free registration, users will have first access to Chapter 2. To view this early, special preview of THE LOST GATE, please click on the following link: There will be lots more to come between now and January 4th – additional excerpts, blog posts, tour dates and other exciting materials – but for now this should whet a few appetites for this amazing original fantasy epic.


And here’s the cover:

The novel will be released on the 11th of January and you can pre-order your copies here.

Next up, will be posting Ellen Kushner‘s The Man with Knives – that should be up soon, so keep an eye on the site. 🙂 Here’s the artwork, from Tom Canty: are also running a giveaway for ARCs of John Scalzi’s Fuzzy Nation on Facebook and Twitter; I know I’m taking my chances and entering! 🙂

And finally, next week Wednesday will be posting an original story by Abby Mei Ottis titled ‘Sweetheart’; I’ll have an excerpt from ‘Sweetheart’ for you later this week. 🙂 Here’s the cover by Greg Ruth:

Until next time,



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Totally Tor:Songs of the Dying Earth

Got some more news for you from Irene Gallo about the going’s on over at 🙂

First off, I’d love to get my hands on this! (Yes, that’s a hint! 😉 )

The book will be available on the 7th of December (Pre-order from Amazon US here), and Tor is hosting a very special story from the anthology: Kage Baker’s ‘The Green Bird’

Here’s an excerpt of the story for you:

It amused Justice Rhabdion of Kaiin to dispose of malefactors by dropping them down a certain chasm located at the edge of his palace gardens.

Deep and steep-sided the chasm was, bottomed with soft sand, so that more often than not the objects of Justice Rhabdion’s displeasure survived the fall. This was all to the good, as far as Rhabdion was concerned, since it provided him with further subject for mirth. On claret-colored summer afternoons, he used to have his Chair of Office moved out on the balcony that overlooked his garden pleasaunce, and which, incidentally, gave him an excellent view into the chasm as well. There he would smile to watch the antics of the enchasmates, as they fruitlessly sought to escape or quarreled with one another.

Read the full story here.

I really need to read Kage’s work. 😦

On December 1st, will be posting Ellen Kushner’s, “The Man with Knives”, which continues on from the events in her novel, Swordpoint.

That’s all for now, hope you all have an awesome day!


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Posted by on November 24, 2010 in Totally Tor


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Totally Tor & John Jarrold’s Corner: News!

So, other than being attacked by a snake on the way home this afternoon (read this post to get the story behind that!), I’ve got some news for you from Irene Gallo and John Jarrold. 🙂

First up, Adam Nevill has got himself another 2-book deal!



Julie Crisp, Editorial Director of Pan Macmillan in London, has concluded a World Rights deal for two further horror novels by British author Adam Nevill with agent John Jarrold, for a very good five-figure sum.

Adam Nevill’s novel APARTMENT 16 was published very successfully by Pan in May this year, reprinting three times and spending many weeks as’s bestselling horror title, and THE RITUAL will follow in 2011. The two new books are, as yet, untitled. They will be published by Macmillan in 2012 and 2013.

Adam Nevill said: “Since my early contact with books, no other kind of fiction has captivated me, or transported me, in the same way as supernatural horror. Many years ago, the idea of contributing to this great field of the weird tale became a dream. To interpret my influences and to add something fresh, became my main purpose as a writer. The dream has been realised; the purpose continues. It’s genuinely a wondrous thing to receive another opportunity to create original works of disquiet, that will be given flight by the engines of a major publisher.”

Julie Crisp said: “Pan Macmillan has a tradition of publishing great British horror and so we’re thrilled to be working with Adam on his next two books. APARTMENT 16 and THE RITUAL were both terrifying and exciting adventures into the macabre and I can’t wait to see what nightmare scenarios he comes up with next to chill his readers.”


Awesome news for Adam and Horror fans! 🙂 I’ve still got to get his work read and will hopefully get there soon. 🙂

Next up, some news from Irene Gallo regarding the going’s on over at


First up, today us story day on and the latest story is written by Kij Johnson, titled ‘Ponies”; here’s a sneak peek for you, as well as the story-artwork (by Chris Buzelli):


The invitation card has a Western theme. Along its margins, cartoon girls in cowboy hats chase a herd of wild Ponies. The Ponies are no taller than the girls, bright as butterflies, fat, with short round-tipped unicorn horns and small fluffy wings. At the bottom of the card, newly caught Ponies mill about in a corral. The girls have lassoed a pink-and-white Pony. Its eyes and mouth are surprised round Os. There is an exclamation mark over its head.

The little girls are cutting off its horn with curved knives. Its wings are already removed, part of a pile beside the corral.

You and your Pony ___[and Sunny’s name is handwritten here, in puffy letters]___ are invited to a cutting-out party with TheOtherGirls! If we like you, and if your Pony does okay, we’ll let you hang out with us.

Sunny says, “I can’t wait to have friends!” She reads over Barbara’s shoulder, rose-scented breath woofling through Barbara’s hair. They are in the backyard next to Sunny’s pink stable.

Barbara says, “Do you know what you want to keep?”

Sunny’s tiny wings are a blur as she hops into the air, loops, and then hovers, legs curled under her. “Oh, being able to talk, absolutely! Flying is great, but talking is way better!” She drops to the grass. “I don’t know why any Pony would keep her horn! It’s not like it does anything!”


It’s Kij’s second story for Tor – the first, The Cat Who Walked a Thousand Miles, can be found and enjoyed here.

There’s also an Index Page available now for Jo Walton‘s ‘Revisiting the Hugo’s’ series, which can be found here, and Jo’s got a novel coming out soon, Among Others. I was one of the lucky bloggers chosen to receive a copy, so I’ll be reviewing it, too. 🙂 Here’s the cover for you:’s also got a holiday story coming up (their 2nd Annual story), and this story will be coming from Michael Swanwick and Eileen Gunn; I’ll have the details for you when I receive them. 🙂

Until then,

Stay away from snakes and Be EPIC!

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Posted by on November 17, 2010 in John Jarrold's Corner, Totally Tor


Totally Tor & What They’re Reading

Hey Guys and Girls, so more info for you from Irene Gallo. 🙂

I hope you’ve been enjoying Steampunk Fortnight over at Torit ended on Tuesday, but you can count on Steampunk still being covered at 🙂 So check out this link for anything you may have missed.

Also, Towers of Midnight has been on sale since the second! I’m not going to give you links to reviews – there are plenty out there already (and some of them spoilery, too), but Leigh Butler has reviewed Towers of Midnight at Tor. Leigh’s been doing the re-reads of the series, in case you have no idea who I’m talking about. 😉

A new story has been released on Tor – Peter Orullian‘s Sacrifice of the First Sheason (with artwork by Kekai Kotaki); here’s a taster for you:

James Frenkel‘s Introduction:

The story that follows is the first work of fiction set in the Vault of Heaven universe by a new epic fantasy writer named Peter Orullian. Peter has had a few short stories published, but “The Sacrifice of the First Sheason” introduces a world of long, tragic history in which there are no easy answers, and many mysteries that will be revealed, each in its own time, many of them in The Vault of Heaven, a series of novels which Tor will begin publishing with The Unremembered, this coming April.

Following “Sacrifice of the First Sheason,” will publish two more stories set in this universe, and another nine tales will appear on the author’s website, Each of these stories is independent of the novels and of the other stories, though they share the same background.

This first tale takes place long before the action of The Unremembered. Other stories to come will deal with historical events that helped to shape later events in the world’s development that are keys to one or another element of the narrative of The Unremembered or a subsequent novel in the series. But each online story stands completely on its own.
At Tor, we have published quite a number of epic fantasy authors, and I personally have edited a lot of different series, from the multi-layered epics of Kate Elliott’s Crossroads books to the early heroic tales of Terry Goodkind; from David B. Coe’s Forelands and Southlands sagas to the Long Price Quartet of Daniel Abraham…and many others equally memorable. At SF conventions, readers will often ask me which is the epic fantasy that I love the most, but that’s a question I have never been able to answer. It’s like asking a parent which is his favorite child. It’s an impossible question.

They’re all different, of course, each with its own pleasures and rewards. The other question readers ask is what attracts me to the work or one author or another. And that’s not quite as hard to answer: I like what I like. Editors are readers first, and what we like as readers is…well, like any reader, we know when we see something we really like.

When I first read Peter Orullian’s early draft of The Unremembered, I was attracted by the characters, and then by mysteries in the story that made me feel I absolutely had to find out what was going on. Then, as I read more, I realized that I was hooked on his world, which has a rich history and culture, as well as some surprises I couldn’t have anticipated.

I also was fascinated by the unique connection of music to the magic of the world, something that readers will discover in The Unremembered. And there is a passion running through his narrative that is the hallmark of great storytelling. Without the excitement of great storytelling, there is no great epic fantasy.
So here’s the very first story set in Peter Orullian’s world, a tale from early in that world’s history. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Click this link to read the story. 🙂

And here’s the cover to Paul’s forthcoming The Unremembered:

What’s coming up next on Well, for starters, Kij Johnson and her story “Ponies”, coming on November 17th.

There’s plenty more happening on so if you don’t find something interesting to read, you’re probably dead. 😉

As always, check out The Art Department blog for more info about Irene.

Next up, I asked a question this afternoon on Twitter and got some really cool answers – I asked what everyone was reading:

Curtis Jobling is reading The Dead by Charlie Higson, and has Joe Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box and Jonathan Maberry’s The Dragon Factory coming up;

MD Lachlan is reading China Mieville’s The City and the City (a book I need to get to sometime, too);

Matthew Imrie is reading Warren Ellis’ Plague Widow (actually have some of this, need to get to it ASAP);

Paul Smith is reading Cities of the Red Night by William S Burroughs;

Mihai from Dark Wolf’s Fantasy Reviews is reading Jose Eduardo Aqualusa’s The Book of Chameleons and Angelica Gorodischer’s Kalpa Imperial;

Fabio Fernandes is reading what looks like some awesome stuff – Robert J Sawyer’s Calculating God, Nazi Literature in the Americas by Roberto Bolano and A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham (have had this on the TBR pile for a while);

Amanda Rutter (Floor to Ceiling Books) is reading The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson (need to read this series, too);

and finally, Mark Chitty from Walker of Worlds is reading Black Lung Captain by Chris Wooding as well as Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch (ah, did you hear that creaking sound? That’s my TBR pile…).

A wide range of books being enjoyed (hopefully!). 🙂

At the moment I’m reading Paul Crilley’s The Invisible Order, MD Lachlan’s Wolfsangel and Steve Augarde’s X Isle, and I’m a happy reader since all the books are great!



Posted by on November 4, 2010 in Announcements, Totally Tor


Totally Tor: Steampunk Fortnight Continues & More!

Hey Huys and Girls, got some more info and news for you straight from Irene Gallo. 🙂 Let’s launch into it, shall we?

First up, Steampunk Fortnight is still happening, and by now there’s plenty to catch up on if you’ve missed anything. Check out the link for the low-down!

Also, on Wednesday a new story was posted – Felix Gilman’s Lightbringer’s and Rainmakers (click the link to read it), set in the same world as his The Half-Made World.

Here’s the cover for you to enjoy (the work of the excellent Jon Foster):

Last week saw the release of Cat Rambo‘s story, Clockwork Fairies, and here’s a taste of the story for you:

Mary the Irish girl let me in when I knocked at the door in my Sunday best, smelling of incense and evening fog. Gaslight flickered over the narrow hall. The mahogany banister’s curve gleamed with beeswax polish, and a rosewood hat rack and umbrella stand squatted to my left.

I nodded to Mary, taking off my top hat. Snuff and baking butter mingled with my own pomade to battle the smell of steel and sulfur from below.

“Don’t be startled, Mr. Claude, sir.”

Before I could speak further, a whir of creatures surrounded me.
At first I thought them hummingbirds or large dragonflies. One hung poised before my eyes in a flutter of metallic skin and isinglass wings. Delicate gears spun in the wrist of a pinioned hand holding a needle-sharp sword. Desiree had created another marvel. Clockwork fairies, bee-winged, glittering like tinsel. Who would have dreamed such things, let alone made them real? Only Desiree.

Mary chattered, “They’re hers. They won’t harm ye. Only burglars and the like.”

She swatted at one hovering too close, its hair floating like candy floss in the air. Mary had been with the Southland household for three years now and was inured to scientific marvels. “I’ll tell her ladyship yer here.”
She left. I eyed the fairies that hung in the air around me. Despite Mary’s assurance, I did not know what they would do if I stepped forward. I had never witnessed clockwork creations so capable of independent movement.

Footsteps sounded downstairs, coming closer. Desiree appeared in the doorway that led to her basement workshop. A pair of protective lenses dangled around her neck and she wore gloves. Not the dainty kidskin gloves of fashionable women, but thick pig leather, to shield her clever brown fingers from sparks. One hand clutched a brass oval studded with tiny buttons.

Desiree’s skin color made her almost as much an oddity in upper London society as the fairies. My intended. I smiled at her.

“Claude,” she said with evident pleasure.

She clicked the device in her hand and the fairies swirled away, disappearing to God knows where. “I’m almost done. I’ll meet you in the parlor in a few minutes. Go ahead and ring for tea.”

Read the rest of it here. 🙂

Eileen Gunn’s got a ‘ quartet of steampunk pastiches’ coming up soon, so keep an eye out for that: A Different Engine, Day After the Cooters, The Perdito Project, and Internal Devices.

What else is happening on Tor? Plenty, as always!

Jo Walton is covering the Hugo Nominations, starting from 1953 and going up to 2000; you can find the introduction here, and the first post here. Definitely a series I’ll be following – it’ll be interesting to see how the Hugo’s have changed over the years and decades.

Also, set your reminders for November 3rd: Tor will be posting a story by Fantasy author Peter Orullian (check out this link to get the low-down on him and what he’ll be bringing us), and here’s the cover for you:

Awesome artwork by Kekai Kotaki.

Oh, and are you guys ready?

Thanks to Irene Gallo for the for the info; check out The Art Department blog here, and follow Irene on Twitter here. 🙂


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Posted by on October 29, 2010 in Announcements, Totally Tor


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Totally Tor: Heaven’s Shadow & The Walking Dead

Some great and exciting news from Tor UK via Chloe Healey:

Press Release 18th October 2010 – Tor UK announces two exciting new acquisitions



From filmmaker/writer/producer David S. Goyer and author Michael Cassutt comes The Heavens Trilogy, an epic science fiction/adventure series that finds mankind fighting for survival in a new world plagued by an alien menace. Heaven’s Shadow begins with the discovery of an object of unknown origin headed toward Earth. Speculation as to what it might be runs high, and leads to an international competition to be the first to land on it, to claim both the prestige and whatever other benefits there might be. Thus, two rival teams of astronauts begin a thrilling and dangerous race – but what they find when they reach their goal will turn out to be unlike anything they could have imagined…

David S. Goyer is a screenwriter, film director and comic book writer. He has written several screenplays based on numerous comic book series, among them Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Flash. He is currently working on writing the third instalment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman film series and the new Superman movie. Michael Cassutt is a television producer, screenwriter, and author. His notable TV work includes producing or writing, or both, for The Outer Limits, Eerie Indiana , Beverly Hills 90210, and The Twilight Zone.

The first book has already received high praise from Guillermo Del Toro, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Strain and writer-director of Pan’s Labyrinth: ‘David Goyer always delivers thoroughly imagined, minutely researched worlds, spun around the most outlandish premises. Goyer acknowledges and understands genre while turning it over its head in this trippy, pulse-pounding tale’. The film rights to the trilogy have been optioned to Warner Bros in a seven figure deal.

Julie Crisp, Editorial Director of Tor UK, pre-empted UK and Commonwealth rights in the trilogy from Penguin US in a mid-Frankfurt deal. ‘Heaven’s Shadow reads like Michael Crichton channelling Arthur C Clarke. It’s everything I loved about science fiction written in the 1950s bought up-to-date for a contemporary audience. We’re thrilled to add such an exciting trilogy and these hugely talented authors to the Tor UK list’.

The first book in the trilogy HEAVEN’S SHADOW will be published in hardback in July 2011.

Tor UK recently pre-empted a trilogy of zombie novels based on Robert Kirkman’s successful and critically acclaimed Walking Dead comic book series. The books were acquired in a mid-Frankfurt deal by Julie Crisp, Editorial Director of Tor UK, from Thomas Dunne books in the US . A TV series based on the comics will be released in the US on the AMC network on 31st October 2010 and on the FX channel in the UK on 5th November 2010. The series, starring UK’s Andrew Lincoln (Love Actually, Teachers and This Life) and written, directed and produced by Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption and Green Mile), follows small town sheriff Rick Grimes as he travels across a post-apocalyptic US plagued by zombies in an attempt to find his wife and son. Watch the The Walking Dead trailer:

Based on entirely new stories, Robert Kirkman is co-writing the books with horror novelist Jay Bonansinga, author of Perfect Victim and Shattered. The first book, The Walking Dead, will be released in November 2012 alongside the second season of the TV series.

Julie Crisp said, ‘From George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead through to Simon Pegg’s Shaun of the Dead, Zombies have always held a unique place in contemporary culture. Robert Kirkman has offered a fresh and exciting perspective on the zombie storyline through his series of comics and Tor UK is hugely excited to be able to work with him on the novelizations based on the world and characters he created in The Walking Dead’.


Very exciting stuff! The Walking Dead is still something that needs to grow on me (when I watched the trailer for the incoming TV series I honestly thought, “Okay, we’ve seen this all before, what’s the fuss all about?”) and I admittedly haven’t read the comics, but I’m very excited for Heaven’s Shadow – David Goyer has proved that he can write awesome scripts and it’ll be interesting see what this project can come up with. 🙂


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Posted by on October 20, 2010 in Announcements, Totally Tor


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Totally Tor: News and Info from Irene Gallo

Hey everyone, this’ll be the start of a new feature on the blog which I’ve named, as you saw above, Totally Tor. 🙂

A couple of weeks ago Irene Gallo called for bloggers to help spread the news of what would be happening on Tor’s website, and I answered the call. 🙂 Without further a-do, let’s get into it:

Steampunk Fortnight starts tomorrow!

Curated by Tor’s amazing Liz Gorinsky, the next two weeks will feature:

Musings on the genre from a host of esteemed guest bloggers, including Tim Akers, Jared Axelrod, S. J. Chambers, Amal El-Mohtar, G. D. Falksen, Fábio Fernandes, Chris Garcia, Jaymee Goh, Theodora Goss, Clay and Susan Griffith, Mark Hodder, Stephen Hunt, Evelyn Kriete, Dexter Palmer, Mike Perschon, Diana Pho, Mike Resnick, Nisi Shawl, and Diana Vick.

Original steampunk fiction from Felix Gilman, Eileen Gunn, and Cat Rambo. exclusive wallpaper by Sydney Padua ( of “The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage” ( fame.

Coverage of the steampunk events such as Webster Hall’s The Anachronism.

Process posts from steampunk writers, artists, designers, costumers, and tinkerers.

An absurd amount of giveaways, including books, costume elements, gadgets, and HMS Stubbington dirigible tattoos.

Here’s the cover for Cat Rambo‘s Clockwork Fairies, which will be appearing on Tor on the 27th (artwork by Greg Manchess):

Also coming on the 27th is this, by Felix Gilman (cover by Jon Foster):

There’s also more steampunk stuff coming up:

Flash-fiction stories from Eileen Gunn, Dates not finalized yet.

Original Comic:
Clockwork Cowboy, title and date not finalized;
A new comic from Teetering Bulb (it will be awesome!)

We’ll also be hosting giveaways from various steampunk craftsmen.

Non-steampunk stuff on Tor:

Matheson, Storyteller:
We’ve started a series of posts exploring the work of Richard Matheson through various media. Hosted by Mathew Bradley. We will publish a reprint story from him in the next 4-6 weeks. Details when they are nailed down.

Jo Walton recently started a re-read of the entire Patrick O’Brian Aubrey/Maturin series.
Not science fiction but certainly a “related subject.”

Star Trek rewatch will continue next Thursday, the with two Star Trek novelists: David Mack and Dayton Ward. They will kick off season three with the anticipated/dreaded “Spock’s Brain”

We’ll be starting a smaller celebration of Ringworld at 40 soon. Details as I get them.

And finally, here’s a quick look at November:

Original fiction by:
Peter Orullian
Kij Johnson
Mathew Sandborn Smith.
…and more

That’s it for this week! Irene’ll have more news for us soon!



Posted by on October 19, 2010 in Announcements, Totally Tor


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