Cixin Liu - Tor/Forge Blog

Fun (?) In The Sun! 7 Literally Sunny Reads

by Julia Bergen & a cat

Who doesn’t love fun in the sun? But also, who wants to read about people just being happy in the sun all the time without anything going horribly wrong? Gross. So, get rid of the fun, but keep the sun. Or at least, keep the fun for the reader, but not for the characters. No fun for them. Only sun.

she who became the sun by shelley parker-chanShe Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

Boom! Right there in the title. Sun. But also, son? See, She Who Became the Sun is the story of Zhu Chongba. Nevermind the fact that the original Zhu Chongba died in drought and famine. Prior to this death, a soothsayer delivered unto him a great destiny. After the death, his sister assumes his identity and dares to claim that destiny—a destiny that might be great enough to see her become the sun, as in the emperor. Zhu Chongba’s destined road is fraught with danger and costly decisions, but Zhu is not afraid of a little murder. Or a lot. 

the three body problem by cixin liuThe Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

Not just one sun. Not just two suns. But three whole sun’s worth of fun. Or not fun, as it turns out. Because three suns does not actually mean three times the pool parties, it means a civilization forced to rebuild itself every time there’s a global catastrophe, which happens a lot.

And if you haven’t watched the Netflix series, summer is the perfect time to hide in the air conditioning and binge a good show. And then read the trilogy it’s based on! These books are pretty thick, so we’re thinking this could be your summer of ultimate sun-times.

paul of dune by brian herbert & kevin j andersonPaul of Dune by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson

The cast of the movies? Hot.

Arrakis? Hot. 

Reading Paul of Dune on a beach this summer? Hot—especially because it takes place immediately after the events of Dune, so if you’ve seen Dune Part Two and need to know what happens next this is the enlightening (see what we did there) that you need.

the sunlit man by brandon sandersonThe Sunlit Man by Brandon Sanderson

Sun in the Cosmere! Think the Cosmere is going to have some happy fun sun times? Think again. Because this is Cosmere in the future, on a planet where the sun is hot enough to melt stone. Ouch. And there’s a tyrant using the not-so-fun sun to control the planet’s population. Only the Nomad, a man on the run, has the potential to stop him. And of course since it’s Brandon Sanderson you know the world-building will be scorching.

unconquerable sun by kate elliottUnconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott

Princess Sun has finally come of age to become a major political player in the space empire previously helmed by her mother. Just her name is enough to solidly lay claim to a spot on this list, but Unconquerable Sun is actually a gender-spun science fiction reimagining of the conquest of Alexander the Great, a guy with a penchant for sun imagery. 


7 Sci-fi/Horror Books To Give You Nightmares

Like your sci-fi a lil spooky? Wish your horror had more astronauts, black holes, and existential dread? There are very few things in this world better than a really good genre mashup and we’re here with some of our favorite horror-flavored sci-fi novels! 

by Merlin Hoye

Fractal Noise Fractal Noise by Christopher Paolini

Now out in paperback, Paolini’s Fractal Noise is a nailbiter of a sci-fi tale. When a space crew travels to a harsh planet to investigate a mysterious dark hole called the Anomaly, they get more than they bargained for. Set in the same universe as the bestselling To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, this book is a perfect entry point to the series and may very well be entering your nightmares as well.

9780765382924Glass Houses by Madeline Ashby

If there’s anything harder than being a woman in tech, it’s being a woman in tech stranded on a deserted tropical island. With your egotistical, millionaire boss. And the rest of your stranded start-up tech company. With a mysterious AI run mansion. As your team members slowly start to disappear one by one. Glass Houses is what you’d get if you combined Black Mirror with an Agatha Christie novel and added a sense of humor as black at pitch. This bingeable near-future whodunnit is on sale 8.13.24.

the echo wife by sarah gaileyThe Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey

Literature is rife with terrible, cheating husbands, but what if your husband was cheating on you with a genetically cloned replica? When Evelyn Caldwell discovers that this is what her husband has been up to, she is forced to reevaluate her entire life. The Echo Wife explores themes of gender dynamics, toxic masculinity, infidelity, and abuse. This is a page turning domestic thriller with a scary, sci-fi twist. 


9781250811202Leech by Hiron Ennes

You’ve never read a book with a narrator quite like this one. The main character is a parasite who has been switching hosts for years. Its current body is a doctor called out to a crumbling, gothic manor filled with the maddest people you’ll ever meet. There’s body horror and chills aplenty here but we won’t say too much about this fever dream of a book because the less you know about Leech going in, the better. 

The Scourge Between Stars The Scourge Between Stars by Ness Brown

There’s something wrong with the Calypso. After a mission to a nearby planet fails, Jacklyn Albright tries her best to keep the final dregs of humanity alive. Earth is no longer inhabitable so there’s no escape from the cold darkness of space and as people are killed off in horrible ways one by one by a mysterious enemy, Jacklyn is forced to confront the fact that there is something on the spaceship other than humans. Something dangerous. 

the three body problem by cixin liuThe Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

We couldn’t possibly write a list like this and not include The Three-Body Problem. Afterall, what’s scarier than “you are bugs”? This gripping sci-fi tale has all the real life horror of China’s Cultural Revolution as well as the bone chilling horror of a first contact story. Science, video games, history, technology, aliens… what more could you ask for?

9781250884923Ghost Station by S.A. Barnes

Atmospheric and terrifying, this slow burn of a thriller set on an ancient, alien planet will have you flipping through the pages far past your bedtime. Ophelia Bray has spent her life training to combat a horrifying illness that only occurs in space and eventually drives people mad. Tasked with looking after a crew after landing on an abandoned planet, she soon begins to suspect that things are not all as they seem.


5 Earth Day Reads for Earthlings & Otherwise

Yay Earth Day! In celebration of our planet, we’ve put together a list of Earth-relevant literary must-reads. 

Check them out!


9781250228024The Terraformers by Annalee Newitz

It might seem odd to kick off a list about Earth with a book set elsewhere, but hear us out. Destry has dedicated her life to the process of terraforming Sask-E. The act of terraforming is of course defined as to transform (a planet) so as to resemble the earth, especially so that it can support human life. But when Destry discovers a city full of people that shouldn’t exist inside a massive volcano, the core assumptions of terraforming must be challenged. What does it mean for a planet to achieve optimal conditions? Must we incessantly replicate a past in places that do not share it? 


The Three-Body Problem by Cixin LiuThe Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

No one will ever make the serious claim that life on Earth is easy. We’ve got problems squared. But one problem we don’t have is the three-body one. We orbit a single sun, and that works pretty well for us, actually. If there were say, three of them… Well. It’d be total civilization reset every time the predestined vectors make us too hot or too cold. So it goes for the Trisolarans. They want what we have: namely, relative safety from the sun, because Earth is pretty cool. They want to take it. They’re on their way. 


The Library of the Deadby T. L. HuchuThe Library of the Dead by T. L. Huchu

So we’ve been kind of looking at Earth in the planetary sense for the start of this list, and it’s time for us to drill down and lock in. Ropa is a teenage ghost talker who employs her abilities to eke a living in the mean streets of Edinburgh, Scotland. And mean streets is correct, because something is stalking them and leaving huskified children in its wake. This runs counter to Ropa’s goals of general survival and is just pretty messed up. Cue, the adventure. Enter, the mystery.


Just Like Home by Sarah GaileyJust Like Home by Sarah Gailey

At the time this listicle is written, Earth is home. Optimistically, the reader of this list (you) could be located elsewhere in the far future of ours or someone else’s galaxy, but probably you’re earthbound too. It’s normal to have a complicated relationship with your home, and Sarah Gailey knows that. Maybe we’ll leave Earth someday, but home is still home, so check out Just Like Home, an eerie novel that blends the commonplace and the strange to unsettling effect. 


Kushiels Legacy SeriesThe Kushiel’s Legacy Series by Jacqueline Carey

Carey’s Kushiel’s Legacy is a web of sensually dangerous tales that take place in a location that is almost our familiar Earth. The land of Terre d’Ange that these stories revolve around is approximately located in what we would point to on a map as France. This is the epic saga of a besieged Queen, a warrior-priest, the Prince of Travelers, barbarian warlords, heroic traitors, and a truly Machiavellian villainess, and begins with Kushiel’s Dart, followed by Kushiel’s Chosen and Kushiel’s Avatar. Retelling the start of the series from a different perspective is Cassiel’s Servant


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  -57When 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 - 22Semiosis 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)

Image Placeholder of - 6How 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)

Poster Placeholder of - 59On 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 - 47As 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.


Every New Book from Tor this Spring

We’ve got something to put a spring in your step this season! Check out this rundown of every new title from Tor over the next few months 😎

April 2, 2024

a view from the stars by cixin liuA View from the Stars by Cixin Liu

A View from the Stars features a range of short works from the past three decades of New York Times bestselling author Cixin Liu’s prolific career, putting his nonfiction essays and short stories side-by-side for the first time. This collection includes essays and interviews that shed light on Liu’s experiences as a reader, writer, and lover of science fiction throughout his life, as well as short fiction that gives glimpses into the evolution of his imaginative voice over the years.

April 9, 2024

lyorn by steven brustLyorn by Steven Brust

Another Opening…Another Cataclysm? Vlad Taltos is on the run. Again. This time from one of the most powerful forces in his world, the Left Hand, who are intent on ending his very lucrative career. Permanently. He finds a hidey-hole in a theatre where the players are putting on a show that was banned centuries ago…and is trying to be shut down by the House that once literally killed to keep it from being played. Vlad will take on a number of roles to save his own skin. And the skins of those he loves. And along the way, he might find a part that was tailor-made for him. One that he might not want…but was always his destiny.

forge of the high mage by ian c. esslemontForge of the High Mage by Ian C. Esslemont

After decades of warfare, Malazan forces are poised to consolidate the Quon Tali mainland. Yet it is at this moment that Emperor Kellanved orders a new, some believe foolhardy campaign: the invasion of Falar that lies far to the north . . . And to fight on this new front, a rag-tag army raised from orphaned units and broken squads is been brought together under Fist Dujek, and joined by a similarly motley fleet under the command of the Emperor himself. So the Malazans head north, only to encounter an unlooked-for and most unwelcome threat. Something unspeakable and born of legend has awoken and will destroy all who stand in its way. 

April 23, 2024

necrobane by daniel m. fordNecrobane by Daniel M. Ford

Aelis de Lenti, Lone Pine’s newly assigned Warden, is in deep trouble. She has just opened the crypts of Mahlgren, releasing an army of the undead into the unprotected backwoods of Ystain. To protect her village, she must unearth a source of immense Necromantic power at the heart of Mahlgren. The journey will wind through waves of undead, untamed wilderness, and curses far older than anything Aelis has ever encountered. But as strong as Aelis is, this is one quest she cannot face alone. Along with the brilliant mercenary she’s fallen for, her half-orc friend, and a dwarven merchant, Aelis must race the clock to unravel mysteries, slay dread creatures, and stop what she has set in motion before the flames of a bloody war are re-ignited.

April 30, 2024

web of angels by john m fordWeb of Angels by John M. Ford

Originally published in 1980, the legendary John M. Ford’s first published novel was an uncannily brilliant anticipation of the later cyberpunk genre—and of the internet itself. The Web links the many worlds of humanity. Most people can only use it to communicate. Some can retrieve and store data, as well as use simple precoded programs. Only a privileged few are able to create their own software, within proscribed limits. And then there are the Webspinners. Grailer is Fourth Literate, able to manipulate the Web at will—and use it for purposes unintended and impossible for anyone but the most talented Webspinner. Obviously, he cannot be allowed to live. Condemned to death at the age of nine, Grailer must go underground, hiding his skills, testing his powers- until he is ready to do battle with the Web itself. With a new introduction from Cory Doctorow, written especially for this edition.

May 7, 2024

the silverblood promise by james loganThe Silverblood Promise by James Logan

Lukan Gardova is a cardsharp, academy dropout, and—thanks to a duel that ended badly—the disgraced heir to an ancient noble house. His days consist of cheap wine, rigged card games, and wondering how he might win back the life he threw away. When Lukan discovers that his estranged father has been murdered in strange circumstances, he finds fresh purpose. Deprived of his chance to make amends for his mistakes, he vows to unravel the mystery behind his father’s death. His search for answers leads him to Saphrona, fabled city of merchant princes, where anything can be bought if one has the coin. Lukan only seeks the truth, but instead he finds danger and secrets in every shadow. For in Saphrona, everything has a price—and the price of truth is the deadliest of all.

May 14, 2024

when among crows by veronica rothWhen Among Crows by Veronica Roth

We bear the sword, and we bear the pain of the sword. Pain is Dymitr’s calling. His family is one in a long line of hunters who sacrifice their souls to slay monsters. Now he’s tasked with a deadly mission: find the legendary witch Baba Jaga. To reach her, Dymitr must ally with the ones he’s sworn to kill. Pain is Ala’s inheritance. A fear-eating zmora with little left to lose, Ala awaits death from the curse she carries. When Dymitr offers her a cure in exchange for her help, she has no choice but to agree. Together they must fight against time and the wrath of the Chicago underworld. But Dymitr’s secrets—and his true motives—may be the thing that actually destroys them.

June 11, 2024

rogue sequence by zac toppingRogue Sequence by Zac Topping

Ander Rade is a super-soldier, a genetically engineered living weapon, and has been dutifully following orders since he gave himself to Xyphos Industries’ Gene-Mod Program several years ago. But when a mission goes sideways, he’s captured, imprisoned, and forced into brutally violent fighting pits for the better part of the next decade…until agents from the Genetic Compliance Department of the United American Provinces appear in the visiting room. Things have changed since Rade was captured. Shortly after his incarceration, the World Unity Council banned human genetic engineering and deemed all modified individuals a threat to society. Overnight, an entire subculture of people became outlaws simply for existing. But instead of leaving Rade locked behind bars, the GCD agents have come with an offer: Freedom in exchange for his help tracking down one of his former teammates from that ill-fated mission all those years ago.

icehenge by kim stanley robinsonIcehenge by Kim Stanley Robinson

SF titan Kim Stanley Robinson’s breakout novel, now in a Tor Essentials edition with a new introduction by Henry Farrell

Decades before his massively successful The Ministry for the Future, Kim Stanley Robinson wrote one of SF’s greatest meditations on extended human lifespan, the limitations of human memory, and the haunted confabulations that go with forgetting. On the North Pole of Pluto there stands an enigma: a huge circle of standing blocks of ice, built on the pattern of Earth’s Stonehenge—but ten times the size, standing alone at the edge of the Solar System. What is it? Who could have built it? The secret lies in the chaotic decades of the Martian Revolution, in the lost memories of those who have lived for centuries.

June 18, 2024

craft: stories i wrote for the devil by ananda limaCraft: Stories I Wrote for the Devil by Ananda Lima

At a Halloween party in 1999, a writer slept with the devil. She sees him again and again throughout her life and she writes stories for him about things that are both impossible and true.

Lima lures readers into surreal pockets of the United States and Brazil where they’ll find bite-size Americans in vending machines and the ghosts of people who are not dead. Once there, she speaks to modern Brazilian-American immigrant experiences–of ambition, fear, longing, and belonging—and reveals the porousness of storytelling and of the places we call home. With humor, an exquisite imagination, and a voice praised as “singular and wise and fresh” (Cathy Park Hong), Lima joins the literary lineage of Bulgakov and Lispector and the company of writers today like Ted Chiang, Carmen Maria Machado, and Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah.

June 25, 2024

the daughter's war by christopher buehlmanThe Daughter’s War by Christopher Buehlman

Galva — Galvicha to her three brothers, two of whom the goblins will kill — has defied her family’s wishes and joined the army’s untested new unit, the Raven Knights. They march toward a once-beautiful city overrun by the goblin horde, accompanied by scores of giant war corvids. Made with the darkest magics, these fearsome black birds may hold the key to stopping the goblins in their war to make cattle of mankind. The road to victory is bloody, and goblins are clever and merciless. The Raven Knights can take nothing for granted — not the bonds of family, nor the wisdom of their leaders, nor their own safety against the dangerous war birds at their side. But some hopes are worth any risk.

foul days by genoveva dimovaFoul Days by Genoveva Dimova

As a witch in the walled city of Chernograd, Kosara has plenty of practice treating lycanthrope bites, bargaining with kikimoras, and slaying bloodsucking upirs. There’s only one monster she can’t defeat: her ex, the Zmey, known as the Tsar of Monsters. She’s defied him one too many times and now he’s hunting her. Betrayed by someone close to her, Kosara’s only choice is to trade her shadow—the source of her powers—for a quick escape. Unfortunately, Kosara soon develops the deadly sickness that plagues shadowless witches—and only reclaiming her magic can cure her. To find it, she’s forced to team up with a suspiciously honorable detective. Even worse, all the clues point in a single direction: To get her shadow back, Kosara will have to face the Foul Days’ biggest threats without it. And she’s only got twelve days. But in a city where everyone is out for themselves, who can Kosara trust to assist her in outwitting the biggest monster from her past?


6 Stories You Can Enjoy on Page and Screen

Don’t you just love it when books leap off the page? And onto the screen? Here’s a list of exciting titles with series and movie accompaniments! 

The Three-Body Problemthe three body problem by cixin liu by Cixin Liu

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. 

Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.

And meanwhile, on Netflix, you’ll soon be able to watch their adaption of Liu’s work! 

I Am Legendi am legend by richard matheson, cover to be revealed by Richard Matheson

This New York Times bestselling classic tale of Earth’s last survivor of a vampire plague inspired the hit film I Am Legend (2007), and if you haven’t gotten around to reading the book yet, now is seriously the time, because I Am Legend 2 is set to release in 2025. 

The Caladan Trilogydune: the heir of caladan by brian herbert & kevin j. anderson by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson

Dune and Dune: Part Two have been all the rage in the box offices of recent years, and decades before that, David Lynch’s Dune (1984) captivated fans of epic science fiction. And all these movies beg a new question: What if there were more Dune books? Answer: There are. The Caladan Trilogy adds more detail to the lives of Duke Leto, Lady Jessica, and Paul. And if you want even more Dune, we’re thrilled to share even more with Princess of Dune and Sands of Dune

The Wheel of Time Seriesthe great hunt by robert jordan by Robert Jordan

How epic do you like your fantasy? If you said “Very!” then The Wheel of Time is for you. All 14 books in the series (plus a prequel!). And if once you’re done with those stacks and stacks of epic writing, or honestly at whatever point you prefer, check out The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime, starring Rosamund Pike. The first two seasons cover Jordan’s first two books, The Eye of the World and The Great Hunt

Dark HarvestDark Harvest by Norman Partridge by Norman Partridge

Halloween, 1963. They call him the October Boy, or Ol’ Hacksaw Face, or Sawtooth Jack. Whatever the name, everybody in this small Midwestern town knows who he is. How he rises from the cornfields every Halloween, a butcher knife in his hand, and makes his way toward town, where gangs of teenage boys eagerly await their chance to confront the legendary nightmare. Both the hunter and the hunted, the October Boy is the prize in an annual rite of life and death.

Pete McCormick knows that killing the October Boy is his one chance to escape a dead-end future in this one-horse town. He’s willing to risk everything, including his life, to be a winner for once. But before the night is over, Pete will look into the saw-toothed face of horror—and discover the terrifying true secret of the October Boy.

You too can discover this secret, in the pages and now on screen with David Slade’s Dark Harvest (2023)

PinocchioPinocchio with Introduction by Guillermo del Toro; Illustrated by Gris Grimly; written by Carlo Collodi with Introduction by Guillermo del Toro; Illustrated by Gris Grimly; written by Carlo Collodi

This edition of the timeless classic Pinocchio has the full text with a mixture of full-page and spot illustrations in black and white integrated in the text, in pen-and-ink style. The ink is sepia brown, and the introduction is from Guillermo del Toro, the director of Netflix’s adaptation of Pinocchio

You’ll love it, no lie! 


Six Bookish Betrayals to Beware on the Ides of March!

Caesar: “What sayst thou to me now? Speak once again.” 

Soothsayer: “Beware the Ides of March.”

Caesar: “He is a dreamer. Let us leave him. Pass.”

This snippet from Act 1, Scene 2 of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is quite famous. Often the clues that nod to a fate we don’t want to see are so clear, in retrospect. Even with this prophecy, Shakespeare’s subject perished in terrible surprise when he was betrayed by his besties. 

Here are six reading suggestions full of betrayals that you’ll never see coming!

the silverblood promise by james loganThe Silverblood Promise by James Logan

Ah, Saphrona! Fabled city of merchant princes! You can find anything you might like here, for a price, and loyalty? Well. That can be very cheap. Saphrona is the destination of Lukan Gardova, a disgraced noble scion on a quest to unravel the mysterious murder of his father. It’s a good thing Lukan is an excellent cheat in his own right (cardsharp) because in this investigation, a single lie could spell death. 

one for my enemy by olivie blakeOne for My Enemy by Olivie Blake

Sometimes love is betrayal. In this modern speculative reimagining of Romeo & Juliet, the two sparring factions are rival corners of the Manhattan magic underworld. The Antonova sisters are the daughters of the elusive chemical supplier Baba Yaga. The Federov brothers are the sons of the shadow kingpin Koschei the Deathless. 

To fall in love would constitute a betrayal of their families. To act for your family would be a betrayal of your lover. 

Uh oh. 

she who became the sun by shelley parker-chanShe Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

This book is actually the most amount of betrayal one can fit in a book, probably. There’s so much. Literally so much. Our protagonist Zhu’s engagement with both betrayal and murder is well above average, but General Ouyang is the real revenge warrior. His entire life is revenged and the only person he loves is his target. Ouch. 

Daughter of RedwinterDaughter of Redwinter by ed mcdonald by Ed McDonald

After so many shocking betrayals, here’s a new angle: Our main character Raine is the one doing the betraying. Kind of. Her primary goal is to accumulate power so she can stay alive, and she’s staying true to that, even if it means lying to everyone else. Here’s the thing: Raine can see the dead. Everyone around her would just hate that if they found out. Probably to a lethal degree. 

So they never will. 

the echo wife by sarah gaileyThe Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey

In marriage, you’re supposed to have your partner’s back. Evelyn’s husband goes behind her back when he steals her cloning research to create a gentler replicant of his wife. He’s the worst. Luckily, he’s soon dead. Evelyn and her clone, Martine, have a mess to clean. 

the three body problem by cixin liuThe Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

Sha stared at Wang for a long time and then nodded. “I understand. Strange things have been happening to scientists lately…” 

“Yes.” Wang ducked into the car. He didn’t want to discuss the subject any further. 

“Is it our turn?” 

“It’s my turn, at least.” Wang started the engine. 

The Trisolarans are coming. They have inside help. 

The Three-Body Problem will release soon as a Netflix series!


Tor’s March eBook Deals of 2024

The close of winter is a wild time. Hot eBook deals are springing up left and right!

Check ’em out!

The Wardenthe warden by daniel m. ford by Daniel M. Ford — $2.99

There was a plan. She had the money, the connections, even the brains. It was simple: become one of the only female necromancers, earn as many degrees as possible, get a post in one of the grand cities, then prove she’s capable of greatness. The funny thing about plans is that they are seldom under your control. Now Aelis de Lenti, a daughter of a noble house and recent graduate of the esteemed Magisters’ Lyceum, finds herself in the far-removed village of Lone Pine. Mending fences, matching wits with goats, and serving people who want nothing to do with her. But, not all is well in Lone Pine, and as the villagers Aelis is reluctantly getting to know start to behave strangely, Aelis begins to suspect that there is far greater need for a Warden of her talents than she previously thought. Old magics are restless, and an insignificant village on the farthest border of the kingdom might hold secrets far beyond what anyone expected. Aelis might be the only person standing between one of the greatest evils ever known and the rest of the world.

kindle one nook one ebooks one google play one ibooks2 55 kobo one

To Hold Up the Skyto hold up the sky by cixin liu by Cixin Liu — $2.99

In To Hold Up the Sky, Cixin Liu takes us across time and space, from a rural mountain community where elementary students must use physicas to prevent an alien invasion; to coal mines in northern China where new technology will either save lives of unleash a fire that will burn for centuries; to a time very much like our own, when superstring computers predict our every move; to 10,000 years in the future, when humanity is finally able to begin anew; to the very collapse of the universe itself. Written between 1999 and 2017 and never before published in English, these stories came into being during decades of major change in China and will take you across time and space through the eyes of one of science fiction’s most visionary writers.

kindle two nook two ebooks two google play two ibooks2 33 kobo two

Princess of Duneprincess of dune by brian herbert & kevin j. anderson by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson — $2.99

Raised in the Imperial court and born to be a political bargaining chip, Irulan was sent at an early age to be trained as a Bene Gesserit Sister. As Princess Royal, she also learned important lessons from her father—the Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV. Now of marriageable age, Princess Irulan sees the machinations of the many factions vying for power—the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood, the Spacing Guild, the Imperial throne, and a ruthless rebellion in the Imperial military. The young woman has a wise and independent streak and is determined to become much more than a pawn to be moved about on anyone’s gameboard. Meanwhile, on Arrakis, Chani—the daughter of Liet-Kynes, the Imperial Planetologist who serves under the harsh rule of House Harkonnen—is trained in the Fremen mystical ways by an ancient Reverend Mother. Brought up to believe in her father’s ecological dream of a green Arrakis, she follows Liet around to Imperial testing stations, surviving the many hazards of desert life. Chani soon learns the harsh cost of Fremen dreams and obligations under the oppressive boot heel of the long Harkonnen occupation.

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Tsalmothtsalmoth by steven brust by Steven Brust — $2.99

First comes love. Then comes marriage… Vlad Taltos is in love. With a former assassin who may just be better than he is at the Game. Women like this don’t come along every day and no way is he passing up a sure bet. So a wedding is being planned. Along with a shady deal gone wrong and a dead man who owes Vlad money. Setting up the first and trying to deal with the second is bad enough. And then bigger powers decide that Vlad is the perfect patsy to shake the power structure of the kingdom. More’s the pity that his soul is sent walkabout to do it. How might Vlad get his soul back and have any shot at a happy ending? Well, there’s the tale…

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Dancer’s Lamentdancer's lament by ian c. esslemont by Ian C. Esslemont — $2.99

The first book of the Path to Ascendancy trilogy, Dancer’s Lament, focuses on the genesis of the empire and features Dancer, the skilled assassin, who, alongside the mage Kellanved, would found the Malazan empire.

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Impactimpact by douglas preston by Douglas Preston — $2.99

A brilliant meteor lights up the Maine coast… and two young women borrow a boat and set out for a distant island to find the impact crater. A scientist at the National Propulsion Facility discovers an inexplicable source of gamma rays in the outer Solar System. He is found decapitated, the data missing. High resolution NASA images reveal an unnatural feature hidden in the depths of a crater on Mars… and it appears to have been activated. Sixty hours and counting.

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Excerpt Reveal: A View from the Stars by Cixin Liu

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a view from the stars by cixin liu

“We’re mysterious aliens in the crowd. We jump like fleas from future to past and back again, and float like clouds of gas between nebulae; in a flash, we can reach the edge of the universe, or tunnel into a quark, or swim within a star-core. . . . We’re as unassuming as fireflies, yet our numbers grow like grass in spring. We sci-fi fans are people from the future.”—Cixin Liu, from the essay “We’re Sci-Fi Fans”

A VIEW FROM THE STARS features a range of short works from the past three decades of New York Times bestselling author Cixin Liu’s prolific career, putting his nonfiction essays and short stories side-by-side for the first time. This collection includes essays and interviews that shed light on Liu’s experiences as a reader, writer, and lover of science fiction throughout his life, as well as short fiction that gives glimpses into the evolution of his imaginative voice over the years.

Please enjoy this free excerpt of A View from the Stars by Cixin Liu, on sale 4/2/24

“We’re Sci-Fi Fans”

We’re mysterious aliens in the crowd. We jump like fleas from future to past and back again, and float like clouds of gas between nebulae; in a flash, we can reach the edge of the universe, or tunnel into a quark, or swim within a star-core . . . We’re now as weak and unassuming as fireflies, yet our numbers are growing like grass in spring.

Chinese sci-fi has peaked twice, once in the 1950s and again in the eighties. But no clear boundary then existed between sci-fi and main- stream literature, so no legitimate fan base formed around the genre. After sci-fi came under siege in China in the eighties,* it was abandoned by science and literature alike and left for dead. Then, in an incredible turn, a sci-fi fan base quietly emerged in China. We gave shelter to that half-dead outcast and kept it alive. It went on to sever its umbilical cord to literature and science, establishing an independent identity for itself. This happened in the early nineties, when sci-fi fans were still few and far between.

The third bloom of Chinese sci-fi is currently underway, and though our fan base has expanded dramatically, we’re still much smaller than other, comparable communities. Science Fiction World, which most of us read, sells between four and five hundred thousand copies each month, which are read by somewhere between one and fifteen million people. Excluding casual readers, we can put the total number of sci-fi fans in China somewhere in the range of five to eight hundred thousand people. This figure includes its share of senior citizens, but secondary school and university students make up its vast majority.

We scrupulously follow the Chinese sci-fi endeavor and hope for it to thrive and achieve liftoff. Many of us read each new story as soon as it’s published, regardless of its quality, as if we were duty-bound to do so. Such a phenomenon is rare for other forms of literature. In this regard, we’re a lot like China’s soccer fans—except they seldom kick a ball themselves, whereas most sci-fi fans, at a certain point, feel com- pelled to write stories of their own. Very few of us are lucky enough to have our work published; we post most of our stuff online. In dim internet cafés, we type word after word of our very own works of sci-fi, some of which are as long as War and Peace. We’re the bards errant of the electronic era.

But what’s truly essential about our group is this: To us, sci-fi is not merely a genre of literature, but a cohesive world of the spirit—a way of life. We’re an advance party, a team of explorers; we travel ahead of oth- ers to all manner of future worlds, some foreseeable, others far beyond humanity’s potential. We begin with what’s real, and from there, our experience radiates outward to every possibility. We’re a lot like Alice, there at that convoluted fork in the road: She asks the Cheshire Cat which road to take, and he asks her where she wants to go.

I don’t know, she says.

Then it doesn’t matter.

Twenty years before all the hype around cloning technology, we’d already tracked down twenty-four young Adolf Hitlers in the world of sci-fi. Now, the sort of life that interests us exists in the form of force fields and light. And it was as many years before nanotechnol- ogy entered popular consciousness that a nanosubmarine in sci-fi took its fantastic voyage through the veins of the human body. Now, we’re occupied with whether each fundamental particle is its own universe, replete with trillions of galaxies—or whether our universe itself is a fundamental particle. When we’re at a newsstand, deciding whether to spend our five yuan on breakfast or a copy of Science Fiction World, our spirit has gone to a world of infinite abundance, where each household has a planet of its own. When we’re cramming for our final exam, our other self in the spiritual world is on a hundred-billion-light-year expe- dition into the deep end of the universe. The spiritual world of sci-fi fans is not that of scientists, whose feelers stop far short of where we go. Neither is it that of philosophers, whose world is much less vivid and dynamic than ours. And less still is it the world of myth, as everything in the spiritual world of sci-fi fans might someday come to pass—if it hasn’t already, somewhere out there in the far reaches of the universe.

Other people, they don’t care for us aliens. When one of us gradu- ates and enters society, we find ourselves surrounded at once by for- eign gazes. In this increasingly practical world, lovers of fantasy inspire intense loathing in others. We’re forced to hide ourselves deep inside shells of normalcy.

This group of ours may be weak today, but whoever underestimates it is taking their life in their hands. These kids and teenagers are grow- ing up fast. Already, there are Ph.D.s from Beijing and Tsinghua Uni- versities in our midst. More importantly, ours are the most vivacious intellects in society. Ideas that might blow a normal person’s mind are nothing but insipid old clichés to us. No one is better prepared than we for the shocking concepts the future holds. We stand far off in the dis- tance and wait impatiently for the world to catch up—and we’ll create more astonishing things yet, things that will shake the world.

We sci-fi fans are people from the future.

Copyright © 2024 from Cixin Liu

Pre-order A View from the Stars Here:

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Top 12 Books to Use as Bludgeoning Weapons in a Pinch

We’ve all been there: sometimes you’re peacefully reading your newest novel, only to see a cockroach scuttle by in front of your cozy armchair. Or you’ve got something that needs some light percussive recalibration to fix. Or your cousin has insulted your reading taste at Thanksgiving dinner, and all you have is the book you brought to the gathering to avoid talking to anyone. We’ve all had to use our books as bludgeoning weapons before, so here’s a list of SF/F doorstoppers that you can pitch in a pinch, now updated to include The First Binding by R. R. Virdi—on sale in paperback now!

By Yvonne Ye

The First Binding by R. R. Virdi#1: The First Binding by R. R. Virdi

Volume one of R. R. Virdi’s new Tales of Tremaine series, The First Binding, is a fresh face on the “books large enough to qualify as a two-hand weapon” scene. With 832 pages of epic fantasy contained within, The First Binding is professionally rated to block everything from sword-strikes to gamma lasers, and is guaranteed to OHKO any mortal-class adversary. Use this book to win your next grudge match, and then dive into this exciting and expansive new series with all the time you’ve saved by making it your go-to armament for close combat. Find the paperback in stores now!

Poster Placeholder of - 34#2: Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson

Weighing in at a hefty 1232 pages, this latest installment in the Stormlight Archive will be sure to beat up your feelings while bludgeoning your enemies. Follow the Knights Radiant to war as tactical subterfuge, political maneuvering, and scientific innovation collide to change the very shape of Roshar’s future. For conducting guerilla warfare and internal sabotage in an occupied tower, the hardcover will be sure to deal maximum damage. For a stealth invasion of said tower, we suggest utilizing the paperback for its dexterity and flexibility. Find the paperback in stores now!

Place holder  of - 28#3: Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

Book three of the Stormlight Archive actually outweighs book 4, coming in at an impressive 1248 pages. Add some psychic damage to your bludgeoning attack by shouting “YOU CANNOT HAVE MY PAIN” at your foes in time-honored Kholin tradition while hurling this brick.

Image Place holder  of - 9#4: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

Fervent collectors of Stormlight hardcover editions noticed that Words of Radiance, despite only having 1088 pages, is actually quite a bit chunkier than Oathbringer. This is because the paper weight dropped from a 45# stock to a 35# stock between printings (we could go on about book production and paper weight, but we’ll spare you for now). At any rate, this book lives up to its working title, The Book of Endless Pages, and comes pre-equipped with the best one-liner in the series (so far): “Honor is dead, but I’ll see what I can do.”

Image Placeholder of - 29#5: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini 

You thought we were going to go all the way with Stormlight titles, didn’t you? We thought about it, but decided to branch out to Christopher Paolini’s debut adult novel, To Sleep in a Sea of Stars. This galaxy-spanning odyssey of first contact and apocalypse earns its hefty page-count with its complexity and scope, and yes, if you were wondering, it outweighs each of the Eragon books at 880 pages. Bonus: you can also get it in paperback to realize your dual-wielding potential!

exordia by seth dickinson#6: Exordia by Seth Dickinson

Clocking in at a chonkin’ 544 pages, Exordia by Seth Dickinson is a double-edged threat as a bludgeoning weapon. Not only will it physically clobber you with it’s rounds-up-to-quadruple-digits page count, but this book will also emotionally destroy you. This book will wreck you body and soul, and for that reason demands to be read.

Placeholder of  -60#7: Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan

The longest book in the Wheel of Time series, we think this book could also be a strong contender for any therapeutic smashin’ you might need (goodness knows Rand could use some therapeutic smashin’ throughout this book). But if you’re new to the Wheel of Time series, we recommend starting with the first book, The Eye of the World. We know that media tie-in covers can be somewhat divisive, but with the new edition of The Eye of the World coming in at 784 pages, it is an undisputed tome and thus highly suitable for a spot of bludgeoning when necessary.

the ruin of kings by jenn lyons#8: The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons

Come see the book that Lev Grossman called “rich, cruel, gorgeous, brilliant, enthralling and deeply, deeply satisfying” — much like how you will both look and feel if you come to a book fight prepared with Jenn Lyons. With all five of the Chorus of Dragons series on hand, you’ll be well-stocked for either hurling or bludgeoning, or just curling up in a corner and reading all 2,784 pages (cumulative!) while the melee rages about you.

#9: Death’s End by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu

Clocking in at only 608 pages, this series-ender makes up for its lower page count with its absolutely badass title. We recommend this book for the aura of awe it will generate in your foes, along with its special Area-of-Effect abilities of inducing existential dread in your opponents and cautious hope in your allies.

#10: Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

At a respectable 512 pages, Harrow is well-suited to fighters of smaller statures, delicate wrists, and a deeply murderous streak. Seriously, look me in the eyes and tell me that you wouldn’t bring a necromancer to a fight.

#11: Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw

“But wait,” you say. “This is a novella, with only a measly 128 pages!” you scoff. “How can this be a good bludgeoning weapon?” you laugh.

Just as there is a time and a place for every door-stopping saga, one must never underestimate the lethal capabilities of a well-crafted novella, and Cassandra Khaw’s latest is an exquisite weapon for the task. Lyrical, unflinching, dreadful, and vicious, Nothing But Blackened Teeth is a haunted-house novella perfectly-matched for those who are both courageous and deadly. A few well-placed bonks with this novella at high speed might just win your fight, and that book jacket alone may be enough to terrify most opponents into submission.

#12: Dawnshard by Brandon Sanderson

We’re not done with Sanderson yet! With Dawnshard’s upcoming release for the first time in hardcover, it felt right to finish this list where we began — with the Stormlight Archive. At a petite 4.25” x 6.7” (and a healthy… 304 pages), Dawnshard may be small but it packs a punch. Its size makes it the perfect handbag bludgeoning weapon, featuring finely-tapered print-over-board corners and some truly earth-shattering Cosmere reveals. And come on — wouldn’t you want the Lopen by your side in a fight?

Disclaimer: Tor does not actually encourage you to use your books as bludgeoning weapons. Please consider deploying your house slipper instead, as we cannot issue replacements should your copy become tragically stained by cockroach innards.

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