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Tor Authors Take the Ice Bucket Challenge

If you’ve been on social media at all lately, chances are you’ve seen the videos. Someone announces that they’ve accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and promptly gets a bucket full of ice water dumped over their heads. The resulting expressions of surprise and frantic jumping around are great entertainment for those of us watching.

Three Tor authors have accepted the challenge, helping to promote awareness of ALS. We wanted to gather all three of those videos for you in one handy place, so you can enjoy watching Brandon Sanderson, Alex Bledsoe, and David Brin get a dousing!

Brandon Sanderson

First up, Brandon Sanderson, the author of Words of Radiance. After watching this, we’re not entirely certain Brandon’s actually human. But we love an author who can keep working, no matter what!

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From Brandon’s blog:

Now, the point of this challenge is that you either donate $100 to the ALS Association, or you do the ice bucket thing and donate $10. As I did the ice bucket thing, we’re choosing to donate $10 to ALS, and instead give the $100 to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund in the name of Sir Terry Pratchett. I figured it would be worthwhile to spread the love from this charity drive around.

Click through to read the rest, including who Brandon nominated for the challenge!

Alex Bledsoe

Next up, we have Alex Bledsoe, the author of both the Eddie LaCrosse series, and the Tufa novels. For the ALS challenge, Alex got a little help from his boys—who don’t exactly have perfect aim. Close enough, though!

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Our favorite part? “No, you didn’t miss!”

David Brin

Our final video for this roundup features David Brin, the author of Existence. I have to say, I think the way David handles the challenge is almost…Shakespearean. And the replay at the end is great!

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Edited to add:

Dan Wells

And we have another Tor author taking up the challenge! Dan Wells, the author of the John Cleaver series, has a whole group of kids available to dump some very cold water on his head.

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So: who’s going to take the challenge next? Have we missed any of our authors participating? And, finally, find out more about the challenge, ALS, and how to donate on the ALS Association website.

Not at San Diego Comic-Con Sweepstakes

Tor/Forge Blog

Tor Books is heading to San Diego Comic-Con!

Poster Placeholder of - 61We hope to see many of you there. Stop by Booth #2707 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 California, we wanted to offer you the chance to grab some of the same amazing swag and books that we’re promoting at #SDCC. 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. Whether you’re fighting a clone army, rescuing damsels in distress (or princelings in peril), zipping across galaxies at light speed, or just conquering your laundry pile, we hope that you have a great week.

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
  • Signed copy of Redshirts by John Scalzi
  • Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
  • The Battle of Blood and Ink written by Jared Axelrod and illustrated by Steve Walker
  • Dark Companion by Marta Acosta
  • Existence by David Brin
  • 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
  • Eyes to See by Joseph Nassise
  • Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson
  • Girl Genius Omnibus Volume 1 by Phil Foglio and Kaja Foglio
  • Halo: Cryptum by Greg Bear
  • Halo: Glasslands by Karen Traviss
  • Inside Straight edited by George R.R. Martin
  • Johnny Hiro: Half Asian, All Hero written and illustrated by Fred Chao
  • Laddertop: Volume 1 written by Orson Scott Card and Emily Janice Card Art by Honoel A. Ibardolaza
  • Off Armageddon Reef by David Weber
  • The Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind
  • Passion Play by Beth Bernobich
  • Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
  • 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 July 12, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. ET. and ends July 16, 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.

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How to Keep Smiling After the End of the World as We Know It

Existence by David Brin

Written by David Brin

Most of literature and storytelling boils down to one basic issue, how to balance our hopes and our fears. Within a novel we adopt the characters’ yearnings—briefly—as our own, trying them on for size. And when those dreams, those ambitions, are threatened? That drives both empathy and a gripping plot-line. The hopes can be as small-scale as getting invited to a dance and the threat might just be a teen rival…

…or the issues at stake may ramp up to include absolutely everything we value. Our families, nations, civilization, and continuing survival. Our chance to continue existing as a species. Perhaps even the flourishing of life itself in our galaxy?

Is that topic too both broad and heavy for a summer novel? Maybe so! And yet, I found the experience of writing Existence both fun and—at times—even humorous. As they say, nothing quite focuses the mind better than the approaching possibility of the end of the world. While characters hurry about discovering secrets and peeling back layers, with some of my trademark action, there are many breaks between the chapters that offer readers brief, detailed glimpses of the world in 2050.

Here’s one, dealing with that central theme:

Martin Ramer (for the BBC): We’re here with Jonamine Bat Amittai, compiler of Pandora’s Cornucopia—the epibook that’s been scaring and depressing so many of us ever since Awfulday, conveying all the myriad ways that the universe might have it in for us, bringing an end to human existence. Or perhaps only our dreams.

Either way, it’s been a heady ride through the valley of potential failure and plausible death. Jonamine, how do you explain the popularity of your series?

Jonamine Bat Amittai: Men and women have always been attracted to stories about ultimate doom, from the Books of Daniel and Revelation to Ragnarok, from Mayan cycles to Nostradamus, from Doctor Strangelove to Life After People. Perhaps there is an element of schadenfreude, or deriving abstract pleasure from the troubles of others—even if those others will be your own descendants. Or else, some may feel stimulated to relish what they have in the precious here-and-now, especially if our lives and comforts appear to be on temporary loan from a capricious universe. For billions of people, nostalgia fascinates with the notion that the past is always better and preferable to the future.

I like to think that much of our fascination with this topic arises from our heritage as practical problem-solvers. The curiosity that drew our ancestors toward danger, in order to begin puzzling ways around it.

Martin Ramer: But your list is so lengthy, so extensive, so depressingly thorough. Even supposing that we do manage to discover some pitfalls in time, and act prudently to avoid them –

Jonamine Bat Amittai: And we have already. Some of them

Martin Ramer: But dodging one bullet seems always to put us in front of another.

Jonamine Bat Amittai: Is that a question, Mr. Ramer? Or were you merely stating the obvious?

Cheery stuff! And this from an author who is known far and wide for his general optimism. Oh, there is plenty to cheer you up within the pages of Existence. And the main characters never give up.

But for now, let’s conclude with another of those between-chapter interludes. This one is about an online contest in the near future, challenging bright folks all over the planet to compete to come up with the best and most likely way it all might come crashing down.

Cheers!

Okay. All right. Is that enough grist for the old brain-mill, boys and girls and AIs? It should suffice to get you started. Form teams, build your projections, and convince us that you know how it all will end!

We’ll be offering all sorts of intermediate prizes for those of you who come up with the top ten doom scenarios. Those that offer the best combo of scariness and plausibility!

Extra points if your model seems so disturbing and real that it generates action by public officials, politicians, movers n’ shakers! Do that well enough and your forecast might become that rarest of blessings, a self-preventing prophecy! A warning so vivid and persuasive that your fellow citizens all act to make sure it never actually plays out. A pitfall avoided. If so, good for you.

Hey, it could happen. It has happened… now and then. George Orwell did it. Ray Bradbury did.

What’s the grand prize in this gloomy contest?

Why, proving to be right, of course. You’ll have that ironic satisfaction if humanity ever stumbles into the quicksand pit or land-mine that you predicted, in detail.

Only this time, as the ultimate tragedy plays-out, you’ll know that not enough people listened.

As brief as that moment lasts—and it may only be an instant—you’ll have the satisfaction of muttering those most-voluptuously consoling words:

“You fools! I TOLD you – ”

TRANSMISSION CUT-OFF… REASON UNKNOWN –

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More from the July Tor/Forge newsletter:

Tor Books Announces Programming for San Diego Comic-Con 2012

Image Place holder  of - 15 Brandon Sanderson, John Scalzi and Steve Englehart as Comic-Con Special Guests!

This year at Tor’s Booth (#2707), we continue our popular *in-booth signings and giveaways, offering you a chance to meet your favorite authors up close and personal. This year we’re pleased to include the legendary

ORSON SCOTT CARD

author of New York Times Bestselling Ender’s Game, soon to be a major motion picture from Summit Entertainment!

Thursday, July 12th

  • 3pm – 4pm Tor Booth (#2707) New York Times bestselling author and Comic-Con Special Guest, BRANDON SANDERSON, will sign copies of The Way of Kings.
  • 2:30pm – 3:30pm Panel: The Dark Knight Rises: Is Batman Broken? Room 26AB
    Strong, smart, and heroic, he’s the Dark Knight we want on our side. But is Batman also out of his mind? Comic-con Special Guest, STEVE ENGLEHART joins Catwoman herself, Lee Meriwether, to discuss Bruce Wayne’s relationships, strengths and weaknesses. Does the Dark Knight have bats in his belfry?
  • 4:45pm – 5:45pm Panel: The Fiction of Halo 4, Room 6BCF
    Halo 4 heralds the return of one of gaming’s most iconic heroes, the Master Chief, in a new, epic sci-fi saga. Expanding and enriching the narrative, 343 Industries, panelists share how the development of stories across the GREG BEAR Forerunner saga, the KAREN TRAVISS Kilo-Five trilogy, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, Halo 4 Campaign and Halo Infinity Multiplayer have become connective tissue for Halo 4.
  • 5pm – 6pm Tor Booth (#2707) Bestselling, award-winning futurist DAVID BRIN, will sign copies of his new high concept novel Existence, his first major work in over a decade.

Friday, July 13th

  • 10am – 11am Panel: Art of the Thrill Kill, Room 24AB
    From psycho killers and sociopaths to the vast unknowable emptiness of deep space, these authors know that it takes more than just blood and gore to keep their readers awake at night. DAN WELLS joins other top horror and thriller novelists to discuss how they balance ratcheting suspense with perfectly paced creepiness to create stories that are both psychologically and atmospherically disturbing.
  • 12pm – 1pm Signing in the autographing area, AA09
  • 12pm – 1pm Tor Booth (#2707) Legendary science fiction author ORSON SCOTT CARD & co-author AARON JOHNSTON sign Invasive Procedures a taut science fiction medical thriller. Five lucky people will get a chance to receive a signed copy of Earth Unaware: The First Formic War set in the popular Ender’s series, on-sale July 17th!
  • 12pm – 1pm Spotlight on BRANDON SANDERSON, Room 25ABC
    Author, educator, and Comic-Con Special Guest BRANDON SANDERSON talks about his growth from a nonreader in his youth to become one of the most popular fantasy writers working today. Sanderson’s books include his own Mistborn trilogy and his continuation of the late Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Timeseries, which wraps up in January 2013.
  • 2:30pm Duo Paul & Storm join us in the Tor Booth (#2707) to serenade fans as they wait in line to meet New York Times bestselling author and Comic-Con Special Guest JOHN SCALZI! Then at 3pm, John signs copies of Old Man’s War, the book that launched his career!
  • 3:30pm– 4:30pm Panel: Epic Fantasy War, Room 6A
    Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings), joins the top names in fantasy fiction to discuss how the key to writing a real epic fantasy novel lies in the word epic-which doesn’t just mean ambitious in scale, scope, and size.
    5:00pm – 6:00pm Signing in the autographing area, AA09
  • 5pm – 6pm Tor Booth (#2707) DAN WELLS will sign copies of his the book that started it all, I Am Not A Serial Killer.

Saturday, July 14th

  • 10am – 11am That 70s Panel, Room 23ABC.
    STEVE ENGLEHART makes a Comic-con Special Guest Spotlight appearance on this panel. Get out your pet rocks!
  • 12pm – 1pm Comics Arts Conference Focus on STEVE ENGLEHART , Room 26AB
    Travis Langley (Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight) moderates a discussion of Englehart’s stellar career writing the adventures of Captain America, Silver Surfer, Doctor Strange, Coyote, Night Man, the Justice League, and dozens of other characters.
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm Panel: The Naked Truth About Tarzan and Jane: The First 100 Years of Spectacular Tarzan Imagery, and One of Literature’s Best-Loved Couples as They Enter Their Second Century, Room 25ABC
    Bestselling novelist Robin Maxwell (Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan) and author Scott Tracy Griffin (Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration) gather with illustrator Joe Jusko (The Art of Joe Jusko) to discuss these iconic literary characters. Join them for a presentation and Q&A session hosted by Jim Sullos, president of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Incorporated, the official licensing entity for Tarzan and John Carter of Mars.
    Room 25ABC
  • 2pm – 3pm Tor Booth (#2707) Iconic science fiction author GREG BEAR signs copies of Halo: Primordium, Book Two of the Forerunner Saga.
  • 12pm – 1pm Tor Booth (#2707) Father/daughter duo ORSON SCOTT CARD & EMILY SCOTT CARD sign copies of their first writing collaboration, Laddertop, Volume 1.
  • 3pm – 4pm Panel: A Wrinkle in Time, Room 23ABC
    From the far-flung reaches of the Milky Way to the mind-bending possibilities of time travel, let the authors of speculative fiction tell you what they see when they venture to other dimensions. With DAVID BRIN & ORSON SCOTT CARD.
    4:30pm – 5:30pm Signing in the Autographing area, AA09
  • 5pm – 6pm Tor Booth (#2707) STEVE ENGLEHART will sign copies of The Long Man.
  • 5:30pm – 6:30pm Spotlight Panel with JOHN SCALZI, Room 7AB
    Comic-Con special guest JOHN SCALZI (Redshirts) talks about his latest work, his upcoming novel, video game, and film projects, takes questions and generally tries to amuse the hell out of you for an hour. With him as moderator/interviewer/conspirator: Wil Wheaton (Tabletop). It’ll be the most fun you can have while respirating.
    3:30pm – 4:30pm Solo Autographing, AA18

Sunday, July 15th

  • 10pm – 11am Panel: Stunted Fools and Scary-Ass Clowns: Humor in Science Fiction and Fantasy Room 25ABC
    Join in for an irreverent hour celebrating sly wit and unholy humor with some of the most devilish quipsters, wisecrackers, and satirists writing today. JOHN SCALZI (Redshirts) plays ringmaster to some of the best SFF humor writers in the field.
    11:30am – 12:30pm Signing in the autographing area, AA04
  • 2:45pm – 3:45pm Panel: Heroes for the Middle Grade Reader: Books That Will Rock Your Socks Off, Room 5AB
    EMILY JANICE CARD (yes, daughter of THAT Card) teamed up with her famous father to write a science fiction manga, Laddertop, Volume 1 aimed at middle grade readers, and will join a panel discussing adventurers and unexpected champions that we can all cheer for.
    4pm – 5pm Signing in the Autographing area, AA09
  • 12pm Tor Booth (#2707) giveaway, The Omen Machine by New York Times bestselling author, Terry Goodkind.
  • 2pm – 3pm Tor Booth (#2707) giveaway, Dark Companion the YA debut of Marta Acosta.

Make sure to follow @Torbooks on Twitter for up to date information and last minute events!

All Tor Booth signings are on a first come first serve basis and while supplies lasts. Limit one book per person.

#TorChat June 2012 Sweepstakes

Did you participate in today’s #TorChat? We hope you enjoyed it and look forward to your participation in next month’s chat on June 20th!

In the meantime, here’s your chance to win some books. two lucky winners will receive a copy of Existence, KOP Killer, and The Broken Universe, recently published titles from today’s #TorChat guests! Leave a comment below to enter.

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And again, we’d like to thank David Brin, Warren Hammond, and Paul Melko for joining us on Twitter today.

Sweepstakes closes to new entries on June 27th.

To find out who the guests will be for next month’s #TorChat before anyone else, check out the #TorChat sidebar in our newsletter! In the meantime, keep your eye on our Facebook and Twitter where we’ll have details as they’re available. We’ll see you all next month!

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 June 20, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. ET. and ends June 27, 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.

June #TorChat Lineup Revealed

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This month, we’re going back to our roots on #TorChat! Joining us on June 20th from 4 to 5 PM EST are David Brin, Paul Melko, and Warren Hammond, to talk about science, science fiction, and the future!

Tor Books (@torbooks) is thrilled to announce the June #TorChat, part of a monthly series of genre-themed, hour-long chats created by Tor Books and hosted on Twitter.

This month, #TorChat is going back to its roots – we’re talking about science fiction and the future with three amazing sci-fi novelists. Joining us will be David Brin (@DavidBrin1), scientist, futurist, and the author of the just-published novel Existence; Paul Melko (@paulmelko), the author of the Hugo- and Nebula-nominated novella “The Walls of the Universe” that became the novel The Walls of the Universe, as well as its recently released sequel, The Broken Universe; and Warren Hammond (@WHammondAuthor), the author of the gritty, futuristic KOP series, including the just published KOP Killer. These three authors each have their own vision of the future, and they’ll discuss how they compare in Wednesday’s #TorChat!

The chat will be loosely moderated by Annie Gala (@aaaaaaannie), of Macmillan Digital. We hope that science fiction fans will follow the chat and join in using the Twitter hashtag #TorChat!

About the Authors

DAVID BRIN is a scientist, speaker, technical consultant and world-known author. His novels have been New York Times bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula, and other awards. Brin lives near San Diego, California, with his wife and their three children. Existence, his latest novel, publishes on June 19th.

PAUL MELKO’s fiction has appeared in various magazines and anthologies. Singularity’s Ring, his first novel, and Ten Sigmas and Other Unlikelihoods, a science fiction collection, were both published in 2008. Melko’s work has been nominated for the Sturgeon, Nebula, and Hugo Awards. His latest book, The Broken Universe (sequel to 2009’s The Walls of the Universe) published on June 5th.

WARREN HAMMOND is the author of two previous books, KOP and Ex-KOP, which were hailed by the Denver Post as “an addictively readable mix of hard-boiled detective and science fiction.” Hammond lives with his wife in Denver, Colorado, where he is currently developing a new mystery/noir series. His latest book is KOP Killer, published on June 5th.

About #Torchat
#TorChat is a genre-themed, hour-long chat series created by Tor Books and hosted on Twitter. Guest authors join fans in lively, informative and entertaining discussions of all that’s hot in genre fiction, 140 characters at a time, from 4 – 5 PM EST on the third Wednesday of every month. Each #TorChat revolves around a different genre topic of interest, often of a timely nature, and strives to provide a new media opportunity for readers to connect with their favorite authors.

About Tor Books
Tor Books, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, is a New York-based publisher of hardcover and softcover books. Founded in 1980, Tor annually publishes what is arguably the largest and most diverse line of science fiction and fantasy ever produced by a single English-language publisher. In 2002, Tor launched Starscape, an imprint dedicated to publishing quality science fiction and fantasy for young readers, including books by critically acclaimed and award winning authors such as Cory Doctorow, Orson Scott Card, and David Lubar. Between an extensive hardcover and trade-softcover line, an Orb backlist program, and a stronghold in mass-market paperbacks, books from Tor have won every major award in the SF and fantasy fields, and has been named Best Publisher 24 years in a row in the Locus Poll, the largest consumer poll in SF.

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Book Trailer: Existence by David Brin

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Existence by David Brin

Bestselling, award-winning futurist David Brin returns to globe-spanning, high concept SF with Existence.

Gerald Livingston is an orbital garbage collector. For a hundred years, people have been abandoning things in space, and someone has to clean it up. But there’s something spinning a little bit higher than he expects, something that isn’t on the decades’ old orbital maps. An hour after he grabs it and brings it in, rumors fill Earth’s infomesh about an “alien artifact.”

Thrown into the maelstrom of worldwide shared experience, the Artifact is a game-changer. A message in a bottle; an alien capsule that wants to communicate. The world reacts as humans always do: with fear and hope and selfishness and love and violence. And insatiable curiosity.

Existence, by David Brin, publishes on June 19th.

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