Earthseed - Tor/Forge Blog



Not at New York Comic-Con Sweepstakes

Not at New York Comic-Con Sweepstakes

Tor Books is heading to New York Comic-Con!

Placeholder of  -44We hope to see many of you there. Stop by Booth #920 to say hi or to participate in one of our many events and signings.

But for those of you who couldn’t make it out to New York, we wanted to offer you the chance to grab some of the same amazing swag and books that we’re promoting at #NYCC. To enter for the chance to win one of these five prize bundles, leave a comment on this post telling us one fabulous thing that you’ll be doing this week while you are #NotAtComicCon.

Here’s a look at the prize:

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And here’s a list of what’s included in each prize bundle:

  • Wheel of Time backpack
  • Halo patch
  • Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
  • The Battle of Blood and Ink written by Jared Axelrod and illustrated by Steve Walker
  • The Clockwork Sky Volume One by Madeleine Rosca
  • Dead Space: Martyr by Brian Evenson
  • Earthseed by Pamela Sargent
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  • The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
  • The Eye of the World: Graphic Novel: Volume 2 Based on the novel by Robert Jordan, written by Chuck Dixon, illustrated by Andie Tong
  • For the Win by Cory Doctorow
  • Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson
  • The Gift of Fire/On the Head of a Pin by Walter Mosley
  • Green by Jay Lake
  • Halo: Cryptum by Greg Bear
  • Halo: Glasslands by Karen Traviss
  • Hellhole by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
  • Inside Straight edited by George R.R. Martin
  • Johnny Hiro: Half Asian, All Hero written and illustrated by Fred Chao
  • Off Armageddon Reef by David Weber
  • Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
  • The Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind
  • Only Superhuman by Christopher L. Bennett
  • Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
  • Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone
  • The Way of the Kings by Brandon Sanderson

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. You must be 18 or older and a legal resident of the 50 United States or D.C. to enter. Promotion begins October 11, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. ET. and ends October 15, 2012, 12:00 p.m. ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules go here. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

YA Collection Sweepstakes

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About our newsletter: Every issue of Tor’s monthly email newsletter features original writing by, and interviews with, Tor authors and editors about upcoming new titles from all Tor and Forge imprints. In addition, we occasionally send out “special edition” newsletters to highlight particularly exciting new projects, programs, or events.

If you’re already a newsletter subscriber, you can enter too. We do not automatically enter subscribers into sweepstakes. We promise we won’t send you duplicate copies of the newsletter if you sign up for the newsletter more than once.

Sign up for your chance to win today!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. You must be 18 or older and a legal resident of the 50 United States or D.C. to enter. Promotion begins April 30, 2012 at 12 a.m. ET. and ends June 8, 2012, 11:59 p.m. ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. For Official Rules and to enter, go here. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

Also, don’t forget to check out our other sweepstakes!


Optional Fantasies

Earthseed by Pamela SargentBy Pamela Sargent

Some people prefer to imagine themselves as famous, celebrated, or powerful. My fantasies have generally been more modest. My favorite, as a young writer just starting out, was that I would happen to overhear someone speaking about a book or story she loved and realize that she was talking about something I wrote. A related one, common I suspect to almost all writers, was being on a plane or bus and seeing someone (or maybe several people) reading a novel I’d written. I wouldn’t dare to introduce myself as the author (and who would believe a stranger intruding on one’s reading to proclaim that she was the author?), but would cherish the feeling of knowing that something I’d written had touched someone else.

This is the perfect fantasy for someone as shy as I am who is pursuing an occupation that requires long periods of solitude. Years ago, I had another of those experiences most writers can enjoy; a young man called me up to tell me how much he had enjoyed reading my novel Earthseed, that it was one of his favorite novels, and that he had always hoped to make a movie of Earthseed someday. His commitment to my novel went beyond mere praise; as an aspiring moviemaker, he wanted to option Earthseed, which he did, picking up a year-long option for a small sum. That option eventually expired, but the pleasure of knowing that somebody has responded to your writing never expires.

Fade out and then fade in to a scene years later, which incorporates yet another writerly fantasy: that aspiring filmmaker, Adam Goodman, now the president of Paramount Pictures, again options Earthseed, this time for a significant amount of money. On March 29, 2011, Paramount issues a press release saying that the studio has optioned Earthseed and Melissa Rosenberg, scriptwriter for all of the “Twilight” films, will write the script and produce the film. I read the press release on my monitor in a state of ecstatic shock, but say nothing for a few days afterwards, in case my friends take this news as just another April Fools Day joke. This is a nearly perfect writer’s fantasy, by my standards anyway, as it combines a potential notoriety for my novel with a kind of invisibility for me, at least for the moment. Such disorienting delights as stories in the Wall Street Journal and Entertainment Weekly followed, in which Earthseed was mentioned along with other novels optioned by studios hoping for the next “Twilight.” This was the kind of publicity I could appreciate most, with the spotlight on the work and the writer able to stay in the background.

The actual story of Earthseed’s option is somewhat more complicated than this, but I’ve excised some of the complications, in the manner of a scriptwriter dispensing with an unnecessary subplot. Will this movie ever get made? So far, at least, the signs are good, and in the meantime, I can enjoy yet another shy writer’s fantasy of looking ahead to a time when I might be sitting in the darkness of a movie theater waiting for my novel to come to life on the screen.


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My AI and Miss Jean Brodie

Place holder  of - 91By Pamela Sargent

Ship, the artificial intelligence that unites the three volumes of my Seed trilogy—Earthseed, Farseed, and the just-published Seed Seeker—is the mind inside the space-faring vessel sent out by a far-future Earth to seed other worlds with human life. In Earthseed, Ship is the only parent the young people growing up inside it have ever known. In Farseed, Ship is absent until the last chapter of the book, although still remembered by its children, who have settled the planet they call Home but are still caught in the conflict among them than began aboard Ship. In Seed Seeker, Ship returns to find out what has become of the descendants of its earthseed, who now recall it only as a legendary part of their distant past.

The obvious science-fictional antecedents of Ship include, to mention only one, Robert A. Heinlein’s Universe. What isn’t apparent is that the creation of Ship was also inspired by Muriel Spark’s short novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, originally published in 1961. There were times when I imagined Ship speaking in tones similar to those of, say, HAL in 2001, but maybe just as many when I would hear the voice of Maggie Smith, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Jean Brodie in the 1969 movie based on the novel, or Vanessa Redgrave, who first played the role on the stage, reciting Ship’s lines of dialogue.

A number of my novels and stories were influenced by sources that might seem eccentric. One early novel of mine, Watchstar, was fueled by the writings of both Arthur C. Clarke and Carlos Casteneda (one an sf writer rooted in rationality, the other a self-proclaimed shaman and occult thinker whose supposed anthropological studies were probably fiction). My Venus novels grew out of wanting to write a generational novel like Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks, unlikely as that sounds; using a terraforming project as background provided the appropriate scope for a story of generations, and my fictional family, unlike the Buddenbrooks of Mann’s novel, turned out not to be a family in decline. The characters led me to the story, while the science-fictional elements pushed it in a very different direction from what I had originally intended.

The same thing happened with Ship, who turned out to be not at all like Jean Brodie, the passionate and devoted schoolteacher who is betrayed by one of her students. But without Jean Brodie’s (and Muriel Spark’s) aid in imagining and shaping Ship, I might not have realized (not to give too much away to anyone who hasn’t read my novels) that Ship has been misled by its own creators and is also in danger of being betrayed by them even as it inadvertently misleads the children it carries. Farseed went in another direction, given Ship’s absence, while Seed Seeker depicts two very different and divided human settlements that fear what they think of as Ship’s judgment, but the story had its roots in the mixture of idealism, devotion, and deception that Muriel Spark depicted so well.

Pamela Sargent’s Seed Seeker, third in a trilogy that includes Earthseed and Farseed, is just out from Tor. Her other books include the science fiction novels Venus of Dreams and The Shore of Women, the anthologies Women of Wonder, The Classic Years and Women of Wonder, the Contemporary Years, the alternative history Climb the Wind, and Ruler of the Sky, a historical novel about Genghis Khan that Gary Jennings called “formidably researched and exquisitely written.” She has won the Nebula and Locus Awards and been a finalist for the Hugo.


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