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Our Favorite Non-Humanoid Aliens

Our Favorite Non-Humanoid Aliens

the three body problem by cixin liuA while back, we put together a kickin’ list of aliens who might not be able to ‘kick’ in the traditional ‘human’ sense of the word, because they are not humanoids. Now, with the new Netflix series of Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem captivating audiences across the galaxy, we thought it’d be a great time to bring this important piece of literary listicle writing back to the forefront. Because it’s an important piece of science fiction but also because of the Trisolarans, a notably unhuman species of extraterrestrial entities.

Check that list out below!


by Emily Hughes

The idea that any aliens the human race might encounter will look even vaguely humanoid is so tired. While the proliferation of humanoid aliens in science fiction is understandable – it can be hard to conceive of creatures so foreign we might not even recognize them as sentient. But it does happen! Here are five more of our favorite non-humanoid aliens in sci-fi.

The Ghorf (Knight by Timothy Zahn)

Placeholder of  -88When Nicole first wakes up on board the ship Fyrantha, she’s understandably a little unsettled by the appearance of Kahkitah, a bipedal shark-like alien who seems to be made of melted down glass marbles. But these chondrichthian creatures aren’t nearly as fierce as they look – mostly they serve as counsel and muscle on the densely-populated, living spacecraft.

Rainbow Bamboo (Semiosis by Sue Burke)

Image Place holder  of - 32Semiosis is a first-contact novel about plants, and at its heart is the relationship between the human settlers on the planet Pax, and a species of plant known as rainbow bamboo, which has a collective consciousness that takes the name Stevland (long story). Stevland’s voice, once it and the settlers have figured out how to communicate, is fascinating – it has awareness of all parts of its root network at once, and can manipulate its chemical reactions to grow faster, slower, in new places, or to communicate danger or opportunity to its human friends and other plants alike.

Sandworms (The Dune series by Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert, and Kevin J. Anderson)

Poster Placeholder of - 63How could we not include Sandworms, honestly? They’re iconic in the science fiction world, and for good reason. These leviathans, indigenous to the planet Arrakis, are instrumental to the production of the highly valued spice melange, though they’re intermittently dangerous to the people who harvest said spice. And though the sandworms can be managed and (occasionally) ridden, they can never truly be tamed.

The Gelet (The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders)

Image Placeholder of - 64On the planet January, human settlers are limited to two habitable cities – but outside those cities, in the planet’s dark, cold hemisphere, live a species reviled and feared by humans: the furry, tentacled Gelet.

The Gelet are a species of individuals who share a telepathic group mind and a collective memory. They’re sentient, empathetic, and ambitious, aiming for a goal as lofty as saving their dying planet. And when Sophie, the protagonist, befriends them, they introduce her to a future filled with one thing she never anticipated: hope.

Aunt Beast (A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle)

Place holder  of - 15As Meg Murry recovers from her confrontation with IT, she’s nursed back to health by the four-armed, eyeless, furry creature she comes to think of as Aunt Beast. Aunt Beast is a gift, a being who writer Jaime Green calls “the embodiment of grace.” She loves Meg while creating space for Meg’s pain and anger – and we all need that sometimes.

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Announcing Tor Books Programming at San Diego Comic-Con 2023!

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We’re thrilled to join you all at San Diego Comic-Con 2023! Check out all the awesome panels and booth events we’ve got slated for this epic weekend. And don’t forget to join our SDCC 2023 ARC Bundle Sweepstakes (you don’t actually have to be at con to enter. This is a celebratory sweepstakes for everyone)!

Please note that giveaways and drops do not indicate author attendance at San Diego Comic Con. For attending authors, please check out panels and signing events. 


Thursday — July 20

Panels

Welcome to Fantasy Land

Room 9
10:00 – 11:00 AM

Darcie Little Badger, Terry J. Benton-Walker, Rachel Griffin, Adalyn Grace, Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Michelle Bucud (moderator)

Robots and Aliens and Blasters, Oh My

Room 24ABC
10:30 – 11:30 AM

Emma Mieko Candon, Sylvain Neuvel, and Julia Vee and Ken Bebelle, Charlie Jane Anders (Moderator)

In the Beginning…There was Worldbuilding

Room 32AB
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

TJ Klune, Comic-Con Special Guest Holly Black, Wesley Chu, LR Lam, Victoria Aveyard, Dr. Jeanelle Horcasitas (moderator)

A Different Type of Romance

Room 21AB
2:00 – 3:00 PM

Holly Black, Becky Cloonan, Linda Sejic, Stjepan Sejic, and Rachel Smythe. Tina Horn (moderator)

Booth 2802 Events

Giveaway: After the Forest by Kell Woods

10:00 – 11:00 AM

Giveaway: One Blood by Denene Millner

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Author Signing: Terry J. Benton-Walker*

12:00 – 1:00 PM
Blood Debts

Giveaway: Exadelic by Jon Evans

1:00 – 2:00 PM

Author Signing: Chuck Tingle*

2:00 – 3:00 PM
Camp Damascus

Author Signing: Charlie Jane Anders*

3:00 – 4:00 PM
Victories Greater Than Death

Author Signing: Paul Cornell*

3:00 – 4:00 PM
Rosebud 

Author Signing: Cory Doctorow*

4:00 – 5:00 PM
The Lost Cause


Friday — July 21

Panels

Wish They All Could be CA MCs

Room 24ABC
10:30 – 11:30 AM

Diane Marie Brown, Nidhi Chanani, Mike Chen , Cory Doctorow, and Julia Vee and Ken Bebelle, Maryelizabeth Yturralde (moderator)

Love in all the Fantastic Places

Room 32AB
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Olivie Blake, Jacqueline Carey, Piper J. Drake,  Laura Thalassa, Mia Tsai, Rachel Smythe, Dr. Jenni Marchisotto (moderator), Haydee Smith (moderator)

Spotlight on Martha Wells

Room 28DE
1:00 – 1:00 PM

Comic Con Special Guest Martha Wells

SF in Comics

Room 29AB
3:00 – 4:00 PM

John Barber, Andrew Griffin, Charlie Jane Anders , Nicholas Tana,  Maryelizabeth Yturralde (moderator)

Boundless Adventures: San Diego Festival of Books

Room 10
4:30 – 5:30 PM

Charlie Jane Anders, John Jennings, TJ Klune, Jarrod Shusterman and Sofia Lapuente, Alonso Nunez (moderator)

Tor Presents:Calling All Book Lovers

Room 29CD
5:30 – 6:30 PM

TPG staff: Saraciea J. Fennell (Senior Publicity Manager), Giselle Gonzalez (Publicist), Emily Mlynek (Director of Marketing), Rachel Taylor (Senior Marketing Manager)

Booth 2802 Events

Giveaway: Starling House by Alix E. Harrow

10:00 – 11:00 AM

Author Signing: Martha Wells*

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Witch King

Giveaway: The Fragile Threads of Power by V. E. Schwab audiobook excerpt with special item

12:00 – 1:00 PM

Author Signing: Liz Kerin*

1:00 – 2:00 PM
Night’s Edge

Author Signing: Sarah Gailey*

2:00 – 3:00 PM
Just Like Home 

Author Signing: Nina Nesseth*

2:00 – 3:00 PM
Nightmare Fuel

Author Signing: Julia Vee & Ken Bebelle*

3:00 – 4:00 PM
Ebony Gate

Author Signing: Holly Black

4:00 – 5:00 PM
Book of Night


Saturday — July 22

Panels

Mysteries, Magic, & Mayhem

Room 7AB
10:00 – 11:00 AM

Holly Black, Johnny Compton, Martha Wells, Catriona Ward, and Philip Fracassi, Liz Kerin (moderator)

A Scare is Born

Room 7AB
12:00 – 1:00 PM

Silvia Moreno Garcia, Junji Ito, Johnny Compton, Chuck Tingle, Catriona Ward, Erin A. Craig, Judy Prince-Neeb (moderator)

Science Fiction (At Least for Now)

Room 29AB
1:00 – 2:00 PM

Emma Mieko Candon, Pierce Brown, Nnedi Okorafor, Comic Con Special Guest Martha Wells

The Worlds We Return To

Room 23ABC
3:00 – 4:00 PM

Stephen Blackmoore, Jacqueline Carey, Cory Doctorow, Chloe Gong, E.K. Johnston, Matthew Berger (moderator)

Things Could Be Worse

Room 25ABC
8:00 – 9:00 PM

Tananarive Due, CJ Leede, Meriam Metoui, Chuck Tingle, and Danielle Valentine, Maryelizabeth Yturralde (moderator)

Booth 2802 Events

Giveaway: The Hunting Moon by Susan Dennard

10:00 – 11:00 AM

Author Signing: Emma Mieko Candon*

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
The Archive Undying

Author Signing: J.R. Dawson*

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
The First Bright Thing

Giveaway: Starter Villain by John Scalzi

12:00 – 1:00 PM

Author Signing: Sylvain Neuvel*

1:00 – 2:00 PM
A History of What Comes Next

Author Signing: Phillip Fracassi*

1:00 – 2:00 PM
Boys in the Valley

Author Signing: TJ Klune*

2:00 – 3:00 PM
Wolfsong

Author Signing: Johnny Compton*

3:00 – 4:00 PM
The Spite House

Author Signing: CJ Leede*

3:00 – 4:00 PM
Maeve Fly

Author Signing: Catriona Ward*

4:30 – 5:30 PM
Looking Glass Sound


Sunday — July 23

Panels

Spotlight on Holly Black

Room 29AB
10:00 – 11:00 AM

Comic Con Special Guest Holly Black

Let’s Hit Critical

Room 29AB
12:00 – 1:00 PM

Jef Aldrich, Travis Baldree, James D’Amato, E.K. Johnston, Jon Taylor, Cecil Castellucci (moderator)

Romantasy: When SFF & Romance Kiss

Room 23ABC
2:30 – 3:30 PM

Jacqueline Carey, Olivie Blake, J.R. Dawson, Travis Baldree, TJ Klune (moderator)

Booth 2802 Events

Giveaway: The Jinn-Bot of Shantiport by Samit Basu

10:00 – 10:30 AM

Author Signing: Travis Baldree*

10:30 – 11:30 AM
Bookshops & Bonedust 

Author Signing: Jacqueline Carey*

12:00 – 1:00 PM
Kushiel’s Dart 

Author Signing: Olivie Blake*

1:00 – 2:00 PM
The Atlas Six 

Giveaway: Fall of Ruin and Wrath by Jennifer L. Armentrout audiobook excerpt with special item

2:00 – 3:00 PM

Giveaway: Mammoths at the Gates by Nghi Vo

3:00 – 4:00 PM

Free author signing with tickets to be given away at 10:00 AM each day in the booth. Other titles will be available for purchase in the booth.

Panelists and giveaways subject to change

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Heartwarming Books to Keep You Toasty This Winter

Are you looking for some cozy books to light up the winter darkness this season? Can only the delight of a warm, comfy novel beat back the holiday blues? Don’t worry, we have you covered. Check out our round-up of heartwarming books here!


Legends & Lattes by Travis BaldreeLegends & Lattes by Travis Baldree

After a lifetime of bounties and bloodshed, Viv is hanging up her sword for the last time. The battle-weary orc aims to start fresh, opening the first ever coffee shop in the city of Thune. But old and new rivals stand in the way of success — not to mention the fact that no one has the faintest idea what coffee actually is. If Viv wants to put the blade behind her and make her plans a reality, she won’t be able to go it alone. But the true rewards of the uncharted path are the travelers you meet along the way. And whether drawn together by ancient magic, flaky pastry, or a freshly brewed cup, they may become partners, family, and something deeper than she ever could have dreamed.

Image Place holder  of - 72The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an “accident,” he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir. Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment. Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ KluneThe House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages. When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps….

Image Placeholder of - 36Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell

Prince Kiem, a famously disappointing minor royal and the Emperor’s least favorite grandchild, has been called upon to be useful for once. He’s commanded to fulfill an obligation of marriage to the representative of the Empire’s newest and most rebellious vassal planet. His future husband, Count Jainan, is a widower and murder suspect. Neither wants to be wed, but with a conspiracy unfolding around them and the fate of the empire at stake they will have to navigate the thorns and barbs of court intrigue, the machinations of war, and the long shadows of Jainan’s past, and they’ll have to do it together.

Placeholder of  -68Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders

Tina never worries about being ‘ordinary’–she doesn’t have to, since she’s known practically forever that she’s not just Tina Mains, average teenager and beloved daughter. She’s also the keeper of an interplanetary rescue beacon, and one day soon, it’s going to activate, and then her dreams of saving all the worlds and adventuring among the stars will finally be possible. Tina’s legacy, after all, is intergalactic–she is the hidden clone of a famed alien hero, left on Earth disguised as a human to give the universe another chance to defeat a terrible evil.

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Sweet Author and Donut Pairings from Ryka Aoki

Place holder  of - 54By Ryka Aoki

I’m super excited right now because my book, Light From Uncommon Stars, is finally out in the world! I’m still trying to comprehend that a press like Tor would get behind a book about the San Gabriel Valley, trans and queer folk, refugee space aliens, classical music, and donuts.

Also, so many amazing authors have given their time and wisdom to guide me in this still-quite-mind-blowing process. I’m sure they had much better things to do, yet each of the following authors had one-on-one conversations with me to help promote Light From Uncommon Stars.

Being Asian, it’s hard to say thank you without giving food—that’s just the way we are. However, since COVID makes this impossible, I wanted to list the Los Angeles/San Gabriel Valley donuts that I think of when I imagine each of these sweet and brilliant writers!


Charlie Jane Anders: Charlie Jane is a cake donut, lots of sprinkles. From the radiant splendor of Randy’s Donuts on La Cienega. I have never been with Charlie Jane and not seen colorful sprinkles. Rainbow sprinkles. If we’re lucky some of them will match her hair.

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Cadwell Turnbull: Cadwell? Cadwell definitely gets a maple donut from Trejo’s Coffee and Donuts in Hollywood, maybe with bacon. Something that seems familiar yet sophisticated and a little intimidating—but is really amazing and delicious.

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Jenn Lyons: We are so sharing a dozen glazed donuts in from Krispy Kreme in Burbank, grabbing our Oculus Quests, and spending an afternoon in virtual space playing Beat Saber. And I’d give her another dozen to save for later because she’s been just that good to me.

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John Scalzi: Easy. A chocolate glazed Dunkin’ Donut with coffee. Yes, there is a Dunkin’ Donuts in Hollywood, but there’s something very non-Hollywood about it. Timeless, uncompromising—there’s a reason it’s classic. When John noticed my book, suddenly I felt legit.

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Becky Chambers: A strawberry donut from Donut Man that’s still warm even after the drive back from Glendora because Becky’s work reminds me that no matter what the universe throws at you, there is sweetness to live for, so take it easy and remember to hug myself.

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Everina Maxwell: Sending Everina an apple fritter from Uncle Joe’s in San Gabriel. I’ve been in awe of Uncles Joe’s apple fritters since high school. They are sweet and chunky and perfect for Everina to nosh on while waiting for me to fix my latest Internet issue.

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TJ Klune: A Japanese matcha donut from Donatsu in Little Tokyo. With an iced coffee or tea and garnished with rose petals, I think it might make you cry a little, TJ—it’s just so beautiful.

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Sarah Gailey: A mango (or maybe an ube, or perhaps a banana milk) donut from Mochinut in Arcadia. Made a little differently from the others, rice-flour Mochinuts are perfect with good friends old and new, enhancing our conversation in the tastiest, fruitiest, and most colorful ways.

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And to each of you reading this, I send a giant Texas donut from Kindle’s Do-nuts on Normandie Ave. They are magnificent and otherworldly and just like these sweet and generous authors, they are so larger-than-life that they don’t seem quite real. But real they are.

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I am so grateful to each of them, and to you.

Now, all you need to do is reach for one and take a bite.

<3

Ryka

Ryka Aoki (she/her) is a poet, composer, teacher, and novelist whose books include He Mele a Hilo and two Lambda Award finalists, Seasonal Velocities and Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul. Her latest work, Light From Uncommon Stars, is available through Tor Books now.

Order Light From Uncommon Stars Here:

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Our Favorite SFF Short Story Collections of 2021

Books come in all forms and lengths, from short novellas to sprawling epic series. Today, we’re taking a look at one of our favorite ways to consume SFF stories—short story anthologies! Check out some of our favorite ones coming out this year.


Poster Placeholder of - 85Even Greater Mistakes by Charlie Jane Anders

In her short story collection, Even Greater Mistakes, Charlie Jane Anders upends genre cliches and revitalizes classic tropes with heartfelt and pants-wettingly funny social commentary. The stories in this collection, by their very outrageousness, achieve a heightened realism unlike any other. Anders once again proves she is one of the strongest voices in modern science fiction, the writer called by Andrew Sean Greer, “this generation’s Le Guin.”

Place holder  of - 76Never Say You Can’t Survive by Charlie Jane Anders

Things are scary right now. We’re all being swept along by a tidal wave of history, and it’s easy to feel helpless. But we’re not helpless: we have minds, and imaginations, and the ability to visualize other worlds and valiant struggles. And writing can be an act of resistance that reminds us that other futures and other ways of living are possible. Full of memoir, personal anecdote, and insight about how to flourish during the present emergency, Never Say You Can’t Survive is the perfect manual for creativity in unprecedented times.

Image Placeholder of - 80The Wandering Earth by Cixin Liu

These ten stories, including five Chinese Galaxy Award-winners, are a blazingly original ode to planet Earth, its pasts, and its futures. Liu’s fiction takes the reader to the edge of the universe and the end of time, to meet stranger fates than we could have ever imagined. With a melancholic and keen understanding of human nature, Liu’s stories show humanity’s attempts to reason, navigate, and above all, survive in a desolate cosmos.

Image Place holder  of - 69Burning Girls and Other Stories by Veronica Schanoes

In Burning Girls and Other Stories, Veronica Schanoes crosses borders and genres with stories of fierce women at the margins of society burning their way toward the center. Emma Goldman—yes, that Emma Goldman—takes tea with the Baba Yaga and truths unfold inside of exquisitely crafted lies. In “Among the Thorns,” a young woman in seventeenth century Germany is intent on avenging the brutal murder of her peddler father, but discovers that vengeance may consume all that it touches. Dreamy, dangerous, and precise, with the weight of the very oldest tales we tell, Burning Girls and Other Stories introduces a writer pushing the boundaries of both fantasy and contemporary fiction.

Placeholder of  -62Alias Space and Other Stories by Kelly Robson

Alias Space and Other Stories is the first fiction collection from Nebula Award-winning writer Kelly Robson, who vaulted onto the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror stage in 2015, earning spots in multiple Year’s Best anthologies. This volume collects Robson’s best stories to date, along with exciting new work, and notes to accompany each piece.

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Every Tor Book Coming Fall 2021

What is that in the air? Freshly fallen leaves? The smell of pumpkin spice? Oh wait, it’s the sound of brand new books dropping! Check out every book coming from Tor Books this fall here.


September 14

Image Placeholder of - 14Mordew by Alex Pheby

God is dead, his corpse hidden in the catacombs beneath Mordew. In the slums of the sea-battered city, a young boy called Nathan Treeves lives with his parents, eking out a meagre existence by picking treasures from the Living Mud and the half-formed, short-lived creatures it spawns. Until one day his desperate mother sells him to the mysterious Master of Mordew. The Master derives his magical power from feeding on the corpse of God. But Nathan, despite his fear and lowly station, has his own strength—and it is greater than the Master has ever known.

September 21

Place holder  of - 79Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead. And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he’s definitely dead. But even in death he’s not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days. Hilarious, haunting, and kind, Under the Whispering Door is an uplifting story about a life spent at the office and a death spent building a home.

Placeholder of  -57Dune: The Lady of Caladan by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

Lady Jessica, mother of Paul, and consort to Leto Atreides. The choices she made shaped an empire, but first the Lady of Caladan must reckon with her own betrayal of the Bene Gesserit. She has already betrayed her ancient order, but now she must decide if her loyalty to the Sisterhood is more important than the love of her own family. Meanwhile, events in the greater empire are accelerating beyond the control of even the Reverend Mother, and Lady Jessica’s family is on a collision course with destiny.

September 28

Poster Placeholder of - 67Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka’s ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. She’s found her final candidate. But in a donut shop off a bustling highway in the San Gabriel Valley, Shizuka meets Lan Tran, retired starship captain, interstellar refugee, and mother of four. Shizuka doesn’t have time for crushes or coffee dates, what with her very soul on the line, but Lan’s kind smile and eyes like stars might just redefine a soul’s worth.

Image Place holder  of - 85Invisible Sun by Charles Stross

An inter-timeline coup d’état gone awry. A renegade British monarch on the run through the streets of Berlin. And robotic alien invaders from a distant timeline flood through a wormhole, wreaking havoc in the USA. Can disgraced worldwalker Rita and her intertemporal extraordaire agent of a mother neutralize the livewire contention before it’s too late?

October 5

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, Special Edition by V. E. Schwab

A gorgeous new collector’s edition of V. E. Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, including: six new pieces of art from Addie’s story never-before-seen to North America readers; designed alternate debossed stamp under the cover; ribbon bookmark; an exclusive note from the author. In the vein of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Life After LifeThe Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab’s genre-defying tour de force.

The Eye of the World, TV Tie-In by Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow. When The Two Rivers is attacked by Trollocs–a savage tribe of half-men, half-beasts–five villagers flee that night into a world they barely imagined, with new dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light. Soon to be an original series starring Rosamund Pike as Moiraine!

October 12

Destroyer of Light by Jennifer Marie Brissett

Having destroyed Earth, the alien conquerors resettle the remains of humanity on the planet of Eleusis. In the three habitable areas of the planet–Day, Dusk, and Night–the haves and have nots, criminals and dissidents, and former alien conquerors irrevocably bind three stories, skating across years, building to a single confrontation when the fate of all—human and alien—balances upon a knife’s-edge. Warning: This book is designed for audiences 18+ due to scenes of physical and sexual violence, and themes that some may find disturbing.

October 19

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, Paperback by Christopher Paolini 

During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, Kira finds an alien relic. At first she’s delighted, but elation turns to terror when the ancient dust around her begins to move. As war erupts among the stars, Kira is launched into a galaxy-spanning odyssey of discovery and transformation. First contact isn’t at all what she imagined, and events push her to the very limits of what it means to be human. While Kira faces her own horrors, Earth and its colonies stand upon the brink of annihilation. Now, Kira might be humanity’s greatest and final hope . . . New York Times bestseller To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is out in paperback on 10/19!

October 26

Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson

After forming a coalition of human resistance against the enemy invasion, Dalinar Kholin and his Knights Radiant have spent a year fighting a protracted, brutal war. Neither side has gained an advantage, and the threat of a betrayal by Dalinar’s crafty ally Taravangian looms over every strategic move. Now, as new technological discoveries by Navani Kholin’s scholars begin to change the face of the war, the enemy prepares a bold and dangerous operation. The arms race that follows will challenge the very core of the Radiant ideals, and potentially reveal the secrets of the ancient tower that was once the heart of their strength. #1 New York Times bestseller Rhythm of War is out in paperback on 10/26!

The Wandering Earth by Cixin Liu

These eleven stories, including five Chinese Galaxy Award-winners, are a blazingly original ode to planet Earth, its pasts, and its futures. Liu’s fiction takes the reader to the edge of the universe and the end of time, to meet stranger fates than we could have ever imagined. With a melancholic and keen understanding of human nature, Liu’s stories show humanity’s attempts to reason, navigate, and above all, survive in a desolate cosmos.

November 2

Perhaps the Stars by Ada Palmer

In the future, the leaders of Hive nations—nations without fixed location—clandestinely committed nefarious deeds in order to maintain an outward semblance of utopian stability. But the facade could only last so long. The comforts of effortless global travel and worldwide abundance may have tempered humanity’s darkest inclinations, but conflict remains deeply rooted in the human psyche. Now, war spreads throughout the globe, splintering old alliances and awakening sleeping enmities. All transportation systems are in ruins, causing the tyranny of distance to fracture a long-united Earth and threaten to obliterate everything the Hive system built.

November 9

The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Teresa Patterson

In this series companion book, over eighty full color paintings include maps of the world, portraits of the central characters, landscapes, objects of Power, and national flags. The reader will learn about the exotic beasts used by the Seanchan, witness the rise and fall of Artur Hawking, peruse the deeper story of the War of the Shadow, and discover the tale of the founding of the White Tower, and the creation of the Ajahs. In a new hardcover edition with a beautiful updated cover, The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time is a must-buy for devoted fans of the series and newcomers alike.

November 16

The God is Not Willing by Steven Erikson

Many years have passed since three warriors brought carnage and chaos to Silver Lake. Now the tribes of the north no longer venture into the southlands. The town has recovered and yet the legacy remains. Responding to reports of a growing unease among the tribes beyond the border, the Malazan army marches on the new god’s people. They aren’t quite sure what they’re going to be facing. And in those high mountains, a new warleader has risen amongst the Teblor. Scarred by the deeds of Karsa Orlong, he intends to confront his god even if he has to cut a bloody swathe through the Malazan Empire to do so.

Even Greater Mistakes by Charlie Jane Anders

The woman who can see all possible futures is dating the man who can see the one and only foreordained future. A wildly popular slapstick filmmaker is drawn, against his better judgment, into working with a fascist militia, against a background of social collapse. Two friends must embark on an Epic Quest To Capture The Weapon That Threatens The Galaxy, or else they’ll never achieve their dream of opening a restaurant. The stories in this collection, by their very outrageousness, achieve a heightened realism unlike any other. Anders once again proves she is one of the strongest voices in modern science fiction, the writer called by Andrew Sean Greer, “this generation’s Le Guin.”

You Sexy Thing by Cat Rambo

TwiceFar station is at the edge of the known universe, and that’s just how Niko Larson, former Admiral in the Grand Military of the Hive Mind, likes it. Retired and finally free of the continual war of conquest, Niko and the remnants of her former unit are content to spend the rest of their days working at the restaurant they built together, The Last Chance. But, some wars can’t ever be escaped, and unlike the Hive Mind, some enemies aren’t content to let old soldiers go. Niko and her crew are forced onto a sentient ship convinced that it is being stolen and must survive the machinations of a sadistic pirate king if they even hope to keep the dream of The Last Chance alive.

Death Draws Five edited by George R. R. Martin

It’s really quite simple. Mr. Nobody wants to do his job. The Midnight Angel wants to serve her Lord. Billy Ray, dying from boredom, wants some action. John Nighthawk wants to uncover the awful secret behind his mysterious power. Fortunato wants to rescue his son from the clutches of a cryptic Vatican office. John Fortune just wants to catch Siegfried and Ralph’s famous Vegas review. The problem is that all roads, whether they start in Turin, Italy, Las Vegas, Hokkaido, Japan, Jokertown, Snake Hill, the Short Cut, or Yazoo City, Mississippi, lead to Leo Barnett’s Peaceable Kingdom, where the difference between the Apocalypse and Peace on Earth is as thin as a razor’s edge and where Death himself awaits the final, terrible turn of the card.

The Last Shadow by Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card’s The Last Shadow is the long-awaited conclusion to both the original Ender series and the Ender’s Shadow series, as the children of Ender and Bean solve the great problem of the Ender Universe—the deadly virus they call the descolada, which is incurable and will kill all of humanity if it is allowed to escape from Lusitania.

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#ICYMI- A Recap of TorCon 2021

A big THANK YOU to all our amazing friends and fans who joined us for TorCon 2021. We hope you had an amazing time and hope to see you again for our next virtual event!

If you’re bummed you couldn’t make it to all of the activities, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. You can see the recordings of almost all of TorCon PLUS some short recaps here!

Gillian Flynn and Catriona Ward, in conversation

Catriona Ward’s twisty and terrifying The Last House on Needless Street is one of the most anticipated books of the fall–and who better to join her to discuss all things thrilling and chilling than #1 New York Times bestselling author Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl, Dark Places, Sharp Objects)? Check out this powerhouse duo here! Thank you to Den of Geek for co-hosting.

Rewatch below via Facebook:

Chaotic Storytelling–Take 2!

It’s time for Chaotic Storytelling: 2 Chaotic, 2 Furious! Christopher Buehlman (The Blacktongue Thief), J.S. Dewes (The Last Watch), Andrea Hairston (Master of Poisons), Jenn Lyons (The House of Always), and Neil Sharpson (When the Sparrow Falls) incorporated writing prompts from the audience to create a brand new story—and talk about their craft and inspirations along the way. This panel was co-hosted by LitHub and moderated by Drew Broussard.

Rewatch below via Facebook:

Nightfire Family *Blood* Feud

Our new horror imprint, Nightfire, brought together some of your favorite horror and gothic authors as they went head-to-head in a horror-inspired version of the favorite game show… What tropes are fan favorites? Which movie franchise is the scariest? Check out Gretchen Felker-Martin (Manhunt), Cassandra Khaw (Nothing But Blackened Teeth), Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Hex, Echo), Silvia Moreno Garcia (Certain Dark Things), and host Lee Mandelo (Summer Sons) as they found out during Nightfire’s Horror Feud!

Rewatch below via Facebook:

Holly Black & James Rollins in conversation

Holly Black joined James Rollins to discuss his new epic novel, The Starless Crown–plus an exclusive announcement for Holly’s fans! Check out these two #1 New York Times bestsellers as they talked bringing the thrills to fantasy, fighting the moon, stealing a god, new projects…and even a sneak peek at some of their latest work. Holly announced her adult debut from Tor, coming next summer, Book of Night. This panel was co-hosted by Den of Geek.

Rewatch below via Facebook:

All the Feels: Emotional Storytelling in SFF

SFF has the coolest story elements, but the *real* reason we love these books is that they hit us right in the feels. Becky Chambers (A Psalm for the Wild-Built), Kerstin Hall (Star Eater), T.L. Huchu (The Library of the Dead), Alex Pheby (Mordew), Lucinda Roy (The Freedom Race), and moderator TJ Klune (Under the Whispering Door) joined us to discuss making stories more than just words on a page, and mastermind an evil plot to make us have FEELINGS!

Rewatch below via Facebook:

Ethereal & Eerie: A Glimpse at Captivating Fall Reads

Catch a glimpse of fall’s most ethereal and eerie reads from authors Alix E. Harrow (A Spindle Splintered), Freya Marske (A Marvellous Light), Lee Mandelo (Summer Sons), Zin E. Rocklyn (Flowers for the Sea), and Catherynne M. Valente (Comfort Me With Apples). Moderated by Seanan McGuire (Where the Drowned Girls Go).

Rewatch below via Facebook:

Charlie Jane Anders & TJ Klune in conversation

Check out internationally bestselling author Charlie Jane Anders (Victories Greater than Death, Never Say You Can’t Survive) in conversation with New York Times and USA Today bestselling author TJ Klune (The House in the Cerulean Sea, Flash Fire) as they discussed writing SFF for adults and teens, crafting authentic queer narratives, and everlasting fictional characters that stay with readers long after they’ve finished the book. This panel was co-hosted by Den of Geek.

Rewatch below via Facebook:

Space is Gay!

Only two things are infinite: Space and Gay. Check out Charlie Jane Anders (Victories Greater than Death), Ryka Aoki (Light From Uncommon Stars), A.K. Larkwood (The Unspoken Name), Everina Maxwell (Winter’s Orbit), and moderator K.M. Szpara (First, Become Ashes) as they discussed queer science fiction spaces, extraterrestrial OTPs, and how in space, no one can hear your gay pining. Attendees were able to enter for a chance to win one of Tor’s limited edition Space is Gay pins.

Rewatch below via Facebook:

Conjuring the Diaspora: Myths, Legends, and Classics Reimagined

Check out authors Ryka Aoki (Light From Uncommon Stars), Aliette de Bodard (Fireheart Tiger), Shelley Parker-Chan (She Who Became the Sun), and Nghi Vo (The Chosen and the Beautiful) for a discussion of how the Asian diaspora intersects with storytelling in the speculative fiction space. This panel was co-hosted with the Bronx Book Festival.

Rewatch below via Facebook:

Jo Firestone & Joe Pera in conversation

Joe Pera, from the Adult Swim show Joe Pera Talks With You, has been lauded for his warmhearted comedic stylings. Now, check out him and Jo Firestone to present a preview of his first book! A Bathroom Book for People Not Pooping or Peeing but Using the Bathroom as an Escape is a funny and sincere guide to regaining calm and confidence when you’re hiding in the bathroom from life’s stresses. This panel was co-hosted by Den of Geek. It is not available for rewatch.

TorCon 2021 Presents: Cooking the Books!

As a special treat, we asked three of our authors to share some of their favorite food-related tidbits. Check out their choices below!


Becky Chambers, author of A Psalm for the Wild-Built, shared some of her favorite teas with the audience, DRAMATIC READING STYLE.

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J. S. Dewes, author of The Last Watch, shared her quest to find the best gum! Do you agree with her choices?

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Aliette de Bodard, author of Fireheart Tiger, made a strong cup of tea to give a ‘cheers’ to the final day of the convention.

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Queer Books Coming in 2021 🏳️‍🌈

Happy Pride, y’all!!! We are so excited to celebrate the month, starting off with highlighting all of our new queer SFF books out in 2021. Which one is going to the top of your TBR?


Poster Placeholder of - 24Dealbreaker by L. X. Beckett

Rubi Whiting has done the impossible. She has proved that humanity deserves a seat at the galactic table. Well, at least a shot at a seat. Having convinced the galactic governing body that mankind deserves a chance at fixing their own problems, Rubi has done her part to launch the planet into a new golden age of scientific discovery and technological revolution. However, there are still those in the galactic community that think that humanity is too poisonous, too greedy, to be allowed in, and they will stop at nothing to sabotage a species determined to pull itself up.

ON SALE NOW!

Placeholder of  -55Engines of Oblivion by Karen Osborne

Natalie Chan gained her corporate citizenship, but barely survived the battle for Tribulation. Now corporate has big plans for Natalie. Horrible plans. Locked away in Natalie’s missing memory is salvation for the last of an alien civilization and the humans they tried to exterminate. The corporation wants total control of both—or their deletion.

ON SALE NOW!

Place holder  of - 3Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell

Prince Kiem, a famously disappointing minor royal and the Emperor’s least favorite grandchild, has been called upon to be useful for once. He’s commanded to fulfill an obligation of marriage to the representative of the Empire’s newest and most rebellious vassal planet. His future husband, Count Jainan, is a widower and murder suspect. Neither wants to be wed, but with a conspiracy unfolding around them and the fate of the empire at stake they will have to navigate the thorns and barbs of court intrigue, the machinations of war, and the long shadows of Jainan’s past, and they’ll have to do it together. So begins a legendary love story amid the stars.

ON SALE NOW!

Image Place holder  of - 67A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine

An alien armada lurks on the edges of Teixcalaanli space. No one can communicate with it, no one can destroy it, and Fleet Captain Nine Hibiscus is running out of options. In a desperate attempt at diplomacy with the mysterious invaders, the fleet captain has sent for a diplomatic envoy. Now Mahit Dzmare and Three Seagrass—still reeling from the recent upheaval in the Empire—face the impossible task of trying to communicate with a hostile entity. Their failure will guarantee millions of deaths in an endless war. Their success might prevent Teixcalaan’s destruction—and allow the empire to continue its rapacious expansion. Or it might create something far stranger . . .

ON SALE NOW!

Image Placeholder of - 46The House of Always by Jenn Lyons

In the aftermath of the Ritual of Night, everything has changed. The Eight Immortals have catastrophically failed to stop Kihrin’s enemies, who are moving forward with their plans to free Vol Karoth, the King of Demons. Kihrin has his own ideas about how to fight back, but even if he’s willing to sacrifice everything for victory, the cost may prove too high for his allies. Now they face a choice: can they save the world while saving Kihrin, too? Or will they be forced to watch as he becomes the very evil they have all sworn to destroy.

ON SALE NOW!

The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison

When the young half-goblin emperor Maia sought to learn who had set the bombs that killed his father and half-brothers, he turned to an obscure resident of his father’s Court, a Prelate of Ulis and a Witness for the Dead. Thara Celehar found the truth, though it did him no good to discover it. Now Celehar lives in the city of Amalo, far from the Court though not exactly in exile. As a Witness for the Dead, he can, sometimes, speak to the recently dead: see the last thing they saw, know the last thought they had, experience the last thing they felt. Now Celehar’s skills lead him out of the quiet and into a morass of treachery, murder, and injustice.

ON SALE 06/22/2021!

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family’s eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass. The fate of nothingness received by the family’s clever and capable second daughter, on the other hand, is only as expected. When a bandit attack orphans the two children, though, it is Zhu Chongba who succumbs to despair and dies. Desperate to escape her own fated death, the girl uses her brother’s identity to enter a monastery as a young male novice. There, Zhu learns she is capable of doing whatever it takes, no matter how callous, to stay hidden from her fate.

ON SALE 07/20/2021!

You Sexy Thing by Cat Rambo

TwiceFar station is at the edge of the known universe, and that’s just how Niko Larson, former Admiral in the Grand Military of the Hive Mind, likes it. Retired and finally free of the continual war of conquest, Niko and the remnants of her former unit are content to spend the rest of their days working at the restaurant they built together, The Last Chance. But, some wars can’t ever be escaped, and unlike the Hive Mind, some enemies aren’t content to let old soldiers go. Niko and her crew are forced onto a sentient ship convinced that it is being stolen and must survive the machinations of a sadistic pirate king if they even hope to keep the dream of The Last Chance alive.

Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead. Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over. But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life. When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

ON SALE 09/21/2021!

Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six. When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka’s ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. She’s found her final candidate. But in a donut shop off a bustling highway in the San Gabriel Valley, Shizuka meets Lan Tran, retired starship captain, interstellar refugee, and mother of four. Shizuka doesn’t have time for crushes or coffee dates, what with her very soul on the line, but Lan’s kind smile and eyes like stars might just redefine a soul’s worth.

ON SALE 09/28/2021!

Even Greater Mistakes by Charlie Jane Anders

The woman who can see all possible futures is dating the man who can see the one and only foreordained future. A wildly popular slapstick filmmaker is drawn, against his better judgment, into working with a fascist militia, against a background of social collapse. Two friends must embark on an Epic Quest To Capture The Weapon That Threatens The Galaxy, or else they’ll never achieve their dream of opening a restaurant. The stories in this collection, by their very outrageousness, achieve a heightened realism unlike any other. Anders once again proves she is one of the strongest voices in modern science fiction, the writer called by Andrew Sean Greer, “this generation’s Le Guin.”

ON SALE 11/16/2021!

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On the (Digital) Road: Tor Author Events in March

We are in a time of social distancing, but your favorite Tor authors are still coming to screens near you in the month of March! Check out where you can find them here:

Arkady Martine, A Desolation Called Peace

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Tuesday, March 2
New York Public Library, in conversation with Sarah Gailey
Zoom
8:30 PM ET

Wednesday, March 3
Collected Works Books, in conversation with Ann Leckie
Zoom
6:30 PM ET

Friday, March 5
Poisoned Pen
Facebook Live
6:30 PM ET

Wednesday, March 24
Tor After Dark Presents: OTPs After Dark, featuring Vivian Shaw
Instagram Live
7 PM ET

Friday, March 26
Mysterious Galaxy, virtual group event with S.B. Divya, Premee Mohammed, and Adrian Tchaikovsky
TK

Charlie Jane Anders, Even Greater Mistakes and Annalee Newitz, The Future of Another Timeline

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Wednesday, March 10
Tor After Dark Presents: OTPs After Dark
Instagram Live
7 PM ET

A. K. Larkwood, The Unspoken Name

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Sunday, March 14
Towne Book Center Virtual Book Club
TBD

Sarah Gailey, The Echo Wife and Charlie Jane Anders, Even Greater Mistakes

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Wednesday, March 31
Strand Book Store, Trans Visibility Day virtual panel with Bishahk Som, Neon Yang and two other authors (TK), moderated by Daniel Lavery
TK
8 PM ET

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Announcing Tor Books Programming at San Diego Comic-Con @ Home 2020!

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Tor Books is heading to San Diego Comic-Con @ Home 2020!​

San Diego Comic-Con has gone virtual this year, and while we’re sad not to see all of our amazing fans and readers in person, we are so excited to join this year’s virtual convention! Tor Books and Tor.com Publishing are proud to announce our list of virtual programming starting on July 23. See below for our digital panels, and don’t forget to check out our virtual booth at #2701!

To learn more about SDCC @ Home 2020, find the website here, and follow the #TorSDCC2020 hashtag on Twitter for updates from the show!

Thursday, July 23

3:00-4:00 PM PT

Brandon Sanderson Spotlight

#1 New York Times Bestselling author Brandon Sanderson returns with the newest book in his Stormlight Archive series, Rhythm of War, coming in November from Tor Books, and eagerly anticipated by his devoted legions of readers around the world. Join Sanderson as he gives an exclusive preview of this latest volume in the addictive epic fantasy series and answers some burning questions from fans!

Warning: there may be some spoilers!

For more info on Sanderson, Rhythm of War, his upcoming graphic novel from Vault Comics, and what other books might be on the horizon, please visit www.brandonsandeson.com.

Friday, July 24

5:00-6:00 PM PT

The Living Dead: Celebrating the Legacy of George Romero

George A. Romero invented the modern zombie with Night of the Living Dead, creating a monster that has become a key part of pop culture.Unfortunately, when he died, his last, epic story was incomplete. Enter Daniel Kraus, co-author, with Guillermo del Toro, of the New York Times bestseller The Shape of Water (based on the same idea the two created for the Academy Award-winning movie) and many other works of horror and suspense.  A lifelong Romero fan, Kraus was honored to be asked by Romero’s widow Suzanne Desrocher-Romero, to complete The Living Dead. The Living Dead will be released from Tor in August, but come join Kraus, Desrocher-Romero, and moderator Richard Newby (The Hollywood Reporter) for a sneak peak, as they discuss the book and the legacy of George A. Romero.

Visit here for a special poster when you preorder the book.

Saturday, July 25

11:00 AM-12:00 PM PT

The Official Dune Publishing Panel

Bestselling science fiction authors Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson discuss the exciting new Dune graphic novels, comics, and original novels coming out this fall. Joined by their editors, Herbert and Anderson will discuss content from their past and upcoming projects, including Frank Herbert’s masterpiece Dune (Ace) with senior editor Jessica Wade, the graphic novel adaptation of Frank Herbert’s masterpiece, Dune: The Graphic Novel, Book 1 (Abrams ComicArts), with editor Charlotte Greenbaum, the prequel trilogy of books beginning with Dune: House Atreides (Del Rey), with executive editor Anne Groell, the prequel comic series Dune: House Atreides (BOOM! Studios) with company CEO & founder Ross Richie, and Dune: The Duke of Caladan (TOR), with editor Christopher Morgan.

12:00-1:00 PM PT

Calling All Book Lovers: A Sneak Peek at New Books from Tor, Tor Teen and Tor.com Publishing

From Brandon Sanderson to V.E. Schwab, from Tamsyn Muir to Martha Wells, Tor publishes some of the greatest sci-fi, fantasy, and horror stories around. This will be a panel to shine a spotlight on some of the exciting books that Tor, Nightfire, Tor Teen, and Tor.com Publishing have to offer. Join the book lovers from the Tor team as they share a sneak peek at new and upcoming SFF, and updates from fan-favorite authors, as well opportunities to win some fabulous freebies.

Visit bit.ly/torSDCC for more information on our books and authors.

Sunday, July 26

1:00-2:00 PM PT

Tor Teen: Own Your Magic

From journeying under the stars to learning what makes you extraordinary, join Tor Teen authors TJ Klune (The Extraordinaries), Mark Oshiro (Each of Us a Desert), Bethany C. Morrow (A Song Below Water), Sarah Henning (The Princess Will Save You), and Charlie Jane Anders (Victories Greater than Death) as they discuss the power behind owning your magic. There’s no limit to what might happen when one begins to bend the rules.

Visit bit.ly/torSDCC for more on all these authors and some fun surprises!

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