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Tor’s January eBook Deals of 2024

New year, new books! But also: new chances to read slightly older books!

Kickstart your year with these hot eBook deals!


Three Parts Deadimage-1 by Max Gladstone — $1.99

A god has died, and it’s up to Tara, first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, to bring Him back to life before His city falls apart. Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without Him, the metropolis’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot. Tara’s job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in. Her only help: Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god, who’s having an understandable crisis of faith. When Tara and Abelard discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb’s courts?and their quest for the truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and Alt Coulumb’s slim hope of survival.

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Rise of the Magesimage-1234567890123 by Scott Drakeford — $2.99

Emrael Ire is a student of war with lofty ambitions, despite being so poor his boots are more hole than leather. He and his talented younger brother Ban work hard to build themselves a better life at the Citadel, a school that specializes in both infusori Crafting and military arts. Their lives are upended when the power-hungry Lord Governor of the neighboring province invades the school with the help of a sinister sect of priests devoted to the newly awakened Fallen God of Glory. Many of the infusori Crafter students are captured—Including Ban. Though Emrael stands little chance against the Lord Governor and his armies, he’s desperate to save his brother—even if that means accepting the help of allies with uncertain motives, or becoming a practitioner of a forbidden magic. There is nothing he won’t sacrifice to save his brother, but what happens when the cost of success is not his to pay?

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Probability Moonprobability moon by nancy kress by Nancy Kress — $2.99

Humankind has expanded out into interstellar space using star gates-technological remnants left behind by an ancient, long-vanished race. But the technology comes with a price. Among the stars, humanity encountered the Fallers, a strange alien race bent on nothing short of genocide. It’s all-out war, and humanity is losing. In this fragile situation, a new planet is discovered, inhabited by a pre-industrial race who experience “shared reality”-they’re literally compelled to share the same worldview. A team of human scientists is dispatched-but what they don’t know is that their mission of first contact is actually a covert military operation. For one of the planet’s moons is really a huge mysterious artifact of the same origin as the star gates . . . and it just may be the key to winning the war.

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On Blue’s Waterimage1234 by Gene Wolfe — $2.99

Horn, the narrator of the earlier work, now tells his own story. Though life is hard on the newly settled planet of Blue, Horn and his family have made a decent life for themselves. But Horn is the only one who can locate the great leader Silk, and convince him to return to Blue and lead them all to prosperity. So Horn sets sail in a small boat, on a long and difficult quest across the planet Blue in search of the now legendary Patera Silk. The story continues in In Green’s Jungles and Return to the Whorl.

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Starfishimage-21234567 by Peter Watts — $2.99

A huge international corporation has developed a facility along the Juan de Fuca Ridge at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean to exploit geothermal power. They send a bio-engineered crew–people who have been altered to withstand the pressure and breathe the seawater–down to live and work in this weird, fertile undersea darkness. Unfortunately the only people suitable for long-term employment in these experimental power stations are crazy, some of them in unpleasant ways. How many of them can survive, or will be allowed to survive, while worldwide disaster approaches from below?

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Solider of the Mistimage-212 by Gene Wolfe — $2.99

The first volume of Gene Wolfe’s powerful story of Latro, a Roman mercenary who received a head injury that deprived him of his short-term memory. In return it gave him the ability to converse with supernatural creatures, gods and goddesses who invisibly inhabit the ancient landscape.

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A Cavern of Black Iceimage-31234567 by J. V. Jones — $2.99

As a newborn Ash March was abandoned–left for dead at the foot of a frozen mountain. Found and raised by the Penthero Iss, the mighty Surlord of Spire Vanis, she has always known she is different. Terrible dreams plague her and sometimes in the darkness she hears dread voices from another world. Iss watches her as she grows to womanhood, eager to discover what powers his ward might possess. As his interest quickens, he sends his living blade, Marafice Eye, to guard her night and day. Raif Sevrance, a young man of Clan Blackhail, also knows he is different, with uncanny abilities that distance him from the clan. But when he and his brother survive an ambush that plunges the entire Northern Territories into war, he yet seeks justice for his own . . . even if means he must forsake clan and kin.

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In the Garden of Idenimage-312 by Kage Baker — $2.99

In the 24th century, the Company preserves works of art and extinct forms of life (for profit of course). It recruits orphans from the past, renders them all but immortal, and trains them to serve the Company, Dr. Zeus. One of these is Mendoza the botanist. She is sent to Elizabethan England to collect samples from the garden of Sir Walter Iden. But while there, she meets Nicholas Harpole, with whom she falls in love. And that love sounds great bells of change that will echo down the centuries, and through the succeeding novels of The Company.

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Hominidsimage-41234567890123456 by Robert J. Lawyer — $2.99

Hominids is a strong, stand-alone SF novel, but it’s also the first book of The Neanderthal Parallax, a trilogy that will examine two unique species of people. They are alien to each other, yet bound together by the never-ending quest for knowledge and, beneath their differences, a common humanity. We are one of those species, the other is the Neanderthals of a parallel world where they, not Homo sapiens, became the dominant intelligence. In that world, Neanderthal civilization has reached heights of culture and science comparable to our own, but is very different in history, society, and philosophy.

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The Eye of the World: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1image-41234567890, based on the novel by Robert Jordan, written by Chuck Dixon, and illustrated by Chase Conley — $2.99

Created with the cooperation of the Jordan estate, adapted by well-known comics writer Chuck Dixon and illustrated by the talented Chase Conley, The Eye of the World: The Graphic Novel has been hailed as an exciting interpretation of Robert Jordan’s classic fantasy novel. The Eye of the WorldThe Graphic Novel, Volume One begins Robert Jordan’s epic tale by introducing Rand al’Thor and his friends Matrim and Perrin at home in Emond’s Field, shortly before the spring festival. Moiraine Damodred and Lan Mandragoran appear and almost before Rand knows it, he’s fleeing his home village with Moiraine, Lan, his friends, and Egwene al’Vere, the innkeeper’s daughter, who wishes to become an Aes Sedai. The conclusion of this volume leaves the travelers on the road to Baerlon, barely ahead of the pursuing Trollocs and Draghkar. But even as they run for their lives, Moiraine and Lan begin to teach the young people what they will need to know to survive in this dangerous world.

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Books to Keep You Cozy and (Most Importantly) Inside

by Merlin Hoye

In winter, the TBR is all about vibes (*gestures vaguely with hands*). What is the perfect recipe for a book that will keep you sitting for hours on end in a collapsing armchair covered by a thick blanket (steaming mug of hot chocolate and wood burning fire optional) feeling completely content and cozy? The world may never know. But what we do know is that there is an ineffable quality that some books just have that make them perfect winter reads. Here are some of titles that just have it, that special, winter-y something


a natural history of dragons by marie brennanA Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

Set in a world based on Victorian England, this is the story of Lady Trent, a dragon naturalist struggling to make it in a man’s industry. She’s smart, plucky, and completely obsessed with dragons. Relatable. The illustrations in this series made me feel like a kid again and the whole thing is just so utterly charming that you won’t want to leave Brennan’s world. Luckily, there are plenty more books in the Lady Trent series to keep you occupied on those cold, wintery nights when you just want to read about dragons. And let’s be real – that’s most nights. 


the wolfe at the door by gene wolfeThe Wolfe at the Door by Gene Wolfe

Perhaps it has something to do with the tradition of telling ghost stories during yuletide but I’ve always associated short story collections with winter. Maybe it’s more to do with attention spans shortening along with the days in the winter months, but either way, Wolfe at the Door is the perfect compendium to curl up with for hours or dip in and out of as the desire takes you. Wolfe is one of the most important sci-fi and fantasy writers of our time and this collection has it all – creepy dolls, undead lovers, circus tales, and chilling space horror. The choice is yours.


the library of the dead by tl huchuThe Library of the Dead by T.L. Huchu

Ropa can speak to the dead and she uses this skill to her advantage by carrying messages from them to the living. For a fee of course. When a ghost refuses to cooperate, Ropa gets more than she bargained for. Part gothic mystery, part urban fantasy, The Library of the Dead is the perfect, atmospheric read for a cozy night in.  Huchu conjures the eerie streets of this alternate, crime-torn Edinburgh immaculately and that mysterious library… who can resist a mysterious library?


The Two Doctors Górski by isaac fellmanThe Two Doctors Górski by Isaac Fellman

This is bite-sized dark academia that I gobbled up in a sitting, but don’t be fooled by its slim size – there’s nothing small about the subject matter. The Two Doctors Górski  deals with abuse, mental illness, and sexism in academia, set against the backdrop of one of the coolest magical school settings I’ve ever read. This story of a beautiful, young grad student trying to earn her degree in magical psychology is full of cozy winter vibes and sharp insight on the world of academia. Plus magic. Of course there’s plenty of magic.


from the forest by l.e. modesitt, jr.From the Forest by L. E. Modesitt Jr.

If anything screams winter to me, it’s a big chunky fantasy series and with twenty-three installments, the Saga of Recluce is one of the biggest. If you’ve been wanting to dive into this best-selling, epic fantasy series for a while but didn’t know where to start, From the Forest (releasing 1.23.24) is an excellent entrypoint, telling the story of Alayiakal, a figure found elsewhere in the series as a figure of legend. This is the tale of a man who will be remembered by history, but will history tell a flattering tale? Depends who you ask. 


Mordew by Alex PhebyMordew by Alex Pheby

If Dickens wrote a delightfully weird fantasy novel about talking dogs and a young boy with magical powers he is forced to hide, you would get something like Mordew. When the Master of Mordew refuses to train Nathan Treeves in magic, he joins up with a group of young thieves and struggles to keep his growing powers in check. This story is full of talking dogs, waifs, mud, mystery, and magic. The dark atmosphere is perfect for winter and the sequel, Malarkoi, is the same delicious blend of the gothic and weird. 


Flint & Mirror by John CrowleyFlint & Mirror by John Crowley

Historical fantasy always feels profoundly wintery to me and this dark novel set in Elizabethan England has the perfect cozy vibes for a winter night. This is the story of Hugh O’Neill, a man perpetually estranged both from his childhood home of Ireland and his life as a courtier. The magic is subtle and eerie in this one, the world of faerie always just out of reach though you catch glimpses out of the corner of your eye. Gorgeously written and full of rebellion, folklore, and magic, Flint & Mirror is all you need for the perfect winter night in.  

 

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Every Tor Book Coming in Fall 2023

Hey. Hey, you. Let’s talk about autumn. Let’s talk about all the awesome books releasing this autumn!

They’re all here in this rundown, and you are too, so get scrolling! 


September 5

Exadelic by Jon EvansExadelic by Jon Evans

When an unconventional offshoot of the US military trains an artificial intelligence in the dark arts that humanity calls “black magic,” it learns how to hack the fabric of reality itself. It can teleport matter. It can confer immunity to bullets. And it decides that obscure Silicon Valley middle manager Adrian Ross is the primary threat to its existence. Soon Adrian is on the run, wanted by every authority, with no idea how or why he could be a threat. His predicament seems hopeless; his future, nonexistent. But when he investigates the AI and its creators, he discovers his problems are even stranger than they seem…and unearths revelations that will propel him on a journey—and a love story—across worlds, eras, and everything, everywhere, all at once.


September 19

sandymancer by david edisonSandymancer by David Edison 

All Caralee Vinnet has ever known is dust. Her whole world is made up of the stuff; water is the most precious thing in the cosmos. A privileged few control what elements remain. But the world was not always a dust bowl and the green is not all lost. Caralee has a secret—she has magic in her bones and can draw up power from the sand beneath her feet to do her bidding. But when she does she winds up summoning a monster: the former god-king who broke the world 800 years ago and has stolen the body of her best friend. Caralee will risk the whole world to take back what she’s lost. If her new companion doesn’t kill her first.

starter villain by john scalziStarter Villain by John Scalzi

Charlie’s life is going nowhere fast. A divorced substitute teacher living with his cat in a house his siblings want to sell, all he wants is to open a pub downtown, if only the bank will approve his loan. Then his long-lost uncle Jake dies and leaves his supervillain business (complete with island volcano lair) to Charlie. But becoming a supervillain isn’t all giant laser death rays and lava pits. Jake had enemies, and now they’re coming after Charlie. His uncle might have been a stand-up, old-fashioned kind of villain, but these are the real thing: rich, soulless predators backed by multinational corporations and venture capital. It’s up to Charlie to win the war his uncle started against a league of supervillains. But with unionized dolphins, hyper-intelligent talking spy cats, and a terrifying henchperson at his side, going bad is starting to look pretty good.


September 26

The Fragile Threads of Power by V.E. SchwabThe Fragile Threads of Power by V.E. Schwab

Once, there were four worlds, nestled like pages in a book, each pulsing with fantastical power and connected by a single city: London. Until the magic grew too fast and forced the worlds to seal the doors between them in a desperate gamble to protect their own. The few magicians who could still open the doors grew more rare as time passed and now, only three Antari are known in recent memory—Kell Maresh of Red London, Delilah Bard of Grey London, and Holland Vosijk, of White London. But barely a glimpse of them have been seen in the last seven years—and a new Antari named Kosika has appeared in White London, taking the throne in Holland’s absence. The young queen is willing to feed her city with blood, including her own—but her growing religious fervor has the potential to drown it instead.


October 3

starling house by alix e. harrowStarling House by Alix E. Harrow

Opal is a lot of things–orphan, high school dropout, full-time cynic and part-time cashier–but above all, she’s determined to find a better life for her younger brother Jasper. One that gets them out of Eden, Kentucky, a town remarkable for only two things: bad luck and E. Starling, the reclusive nineteenth century author of The Underland, who disappeared over a hundred years ago. All she left behind were dark rumors–and her home. Everyone agrees that it’s best to ignore the uncanny mansion and its misanthropic heir, Arthur. Almost everyone, anyway. Welcome to Starling House: enter, if you dare.

Image Place holder  of - 83After the Forest by Kell Woods

Twenty years after the witch in the gingerbread house, Greta and Hans are struggling to get by. Their mother and stepmother are long dead, Hans is deeply in debt from gambling, and the countryside lies in ruin, its people starving in the aftermath of a brutal war. Greta has a secret, though: the witch’s grimoire, hidden away and whispering in Greta’s ear for the past two decades, and the recipe inside that makes the best gingerbread you’ve ever tasted. As long as she can bake, Greta can keep her small family afloat. But in a village full of superstition, Greta and her mysteriously addictive gingerbread, not to mention the rumors about her childhood misadventures, is a source of gossip and suspicion. And now, dark magic is returning to the woods and Greta’s magic—magic she is still trying to understand—may be the only thing that can save her. If it doesn’t kill her first.

princess of dune by brian herbert & kevin j. andersonPrincess of Dune by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson

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.

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon SandersonYumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson

Yumi has spent her entire life in strict obedience, granting her the power to summon the spirits that bestow vital aid upon her society—but she longs for even a single day as a normal person. Painter patrols the dark streets dreaming of being a hero—a goal that has led to nothing but heartache and isolation, leaving him always on the outside looking in. In their own ways, both of them face the world alone. Suddenly flung together, Yumi and Painter must strive to right the wrongs in both their lives, reconciling their past and present while maintaining the precarious balance of each of their worlds. If they cannot unravel the mystery of what brought them together before it’s too late, they risk forever losing not only the bond growing between them, but the very worlds they’ve always struggled to protect.

A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor VingeA Deepness In the Sky by Vernor Vinge

This new Tor Essentials edition of Vernor Vinge’s A Deepness In the Sky includes an introduction by the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-winning Jo Walton, author of Among Others.

After thousands of years of searching, humans stand on the verge of first contact with an alien race. Two human groups: the Qeng Ho, a culture of free, innovative traders, and the Emergents, a ruthless society based on the technological enslavement of minds. The group that opens trade with the aliens will reap unimaginable riches. But first, both groups must wait at the aliens’ very doorstep, for their strange star to relight and for the alien planet to reawaken, as it does every two hundred and fifteen years…


October 24

traitor of redwinter by ed mcdonaldTraitor of Redwinter by Ed McDonald

The power of the Sixth Gate grows stronger within Raine each day—to control it, she needs lessons no living Draoihn can teach her. Her fledgling friendships are tested to a breaking point as she tries to face what she has become, and her master Ulovar is struck by a mysterious sickness that slowly saps the vitality from his body, leaving Raine to face her growing darkness alone. There’s only one chance to turn the tide of power surging within her—to learn the secrets the Draoihn themselves purged from the world.

malarkoi by alex phebyMalarkoi by Alex Pheby

Nathan Treeves is dead, murdered by the Master of Mordew, his remains used to create the powerful occult weapon known as the Tinderbox. His companions are scattered, making for Malarkoi, the city of the Mistress, the Master’s enemy. They are hoping to find welcome there, or at least safety. They find neither—and instead become embroiled in a life and death struggle against assassins, demi-gods, and the cunning plans of the Mistress. Only Sirius, Nathan’s faithful magical dog, has not forgotten the boy. Bent on revenge, he returns to the shattered remains of Mordew—only to find the city morphed into an impossible mountain, swarming with monsters. The stage is set for battle, sacrifice, magic and treachery in the stunning sequel to Mordew. Welcome to Malarkoi.


October 31

the wolfe at the door by gene wolfeThe Wolfe at the Door by Gene Wolfe

The circus comes to town… and a man gets to go to the stars. A young girl on a vacation at the sea meets the man of her dreams. Who just happens to be dead. And an immortal pirate. A swordfighter pens his memoirs… and finds his pen is in fact mightier than the sword. Welcome to Gene Wolfe’s playground, a place where genres blend and a genius’s imagination straps you in for the ride of your life. The Wolfe at the Door is a brand new collection from one of America’s premiere literary giants, showcasing some material that’s never been seen before. Short stories, yes, but also poems, essays, and ephemera that gives us a window into the mind of a literary powerhouse whose world view changed generations of readers in their perception of the universe.


November 7

Placeholder of  -82Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree

Viv’s career with the notorious mercenary company Rackam’s Ravens isn’t going as planned. Wounded during the hunt for a powerful necromancer, she’s packed off against her will to recuperate in the sleepy beach town of Murk—so far from the action that she worries she’ll never be able to return to it. What’s a thwarted soldier of fortune to do? Spending her hours at a beleaguered bookshop in the company of its foul-mouthed proprietor is the last thing Viv would have predicted, but it may be both exactly what she needs and the seed of changes she couldn’t possibly imagine. Still, adventure isn’t all that far away. A suspicious traveler in gray, a gnome with a chip on her shoulder, a summer fling, and an improbable number of skeletons prove Murk to be more eventful than Viv could have ever expected.


November 14

the lost cause by cory doctorowThe Lost Cause by Cory Doctorow

It’s thirty years from now. We’re making progress, mitigating climate change, slowly but surely. But what about all the angry old people who can’t let go? For young Americans a generation from now, climate change isn’t controversial. It’s just an overwhelming fact of life. And so are the great efforts to contain and mitigate it. Even when national politics oscillates back to right-wing leaders, the momentum is too great; these vast programs cannot be stopped in their tracks. But there are still those Americans, mostly elderly, who cling to their red baseball caps, their grievances, their huge vehicles, their anger. To their “alternative” news sources that reassure them that their resentment is right and pure and that “climate change” is just a giant scam. And they’re your grandfather, your uncle, your great-aunt. And they’re not going anywhere. And they’re armed to the teeth.


December 5

All the Hidden Paths by Foz MeadowsAll the Hidden Paths by Foz Meadows

With the plot against them foiled and the city of Qi-Katai in safe hands, newlywed and tentative lovers Velasin and Caethari have just begun to test the waters of their relationship. But the wider political ramifications of their marriage are still playing out across two nations, and all too soon, they’re summoned north to Tithena’s capital city, Qi-Xihan, to present themselves to its monarch. With Caethari newly invested as his grandmother’s heir and Velasin’s old ghosts gnawing at his heels, what little peace they’ve managed to find is swiftly put to the test. Cae’s recent losses have left him racked with grief and guilt, while Vel struggles with the disconnect between instincts that have kept him safe in secrecy and what an open life requires of him now. Pursued by unknown assailants and with Qi-Xihan’s court factions jockeying for power, Vel and Cae must use all the skills at their disposal to not only survive, but thrive. 

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Stupendous eBook Deals of September 2023

Oh? Do you hear that sound? It’s the 🚨Book Alarm🚨

Hot eBook deals are on their way! Check them out!


When the Sparrow FallsFalling lineart sparrow and cover text for When the Sparrow Falls by Neil Sharpson by Neil Sharpson — $2.99

Life in the Caspian Republic has taught Agent Nikolai South two rules. Trust No One. And work just hard enough not to make enemies.Here, in the last sanctuary for the dying embers of the human race in a world run by artificial intelligence, if you stray from the path—your life is f orfeit. But when a Party propagandist is killed—and is discovered as a “machine”—he’s given a new mission: chaperone the widow, Lily, who has arrived to claim her husband’s remains. But when South sees that she, the first “machine” ever allowed into the country, bears an uncanny resemblance to his late wife, he’s thrown into a maelstrom of betrayal, murder, and conspiracy that may bring down the Republic for good.

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Daughter of RedwinterCover of Daughter of Redwinter by Ed McDonald by Ed McDonald — $2.99

Raine can see—and speak—to the dead, a gift that comes with a death sentence. All her life she has hidden, lied, and run to save her skin, and she’s made some spectacularly bad choices along the way. But it is a rare act of kindness—rescuing an injured woman in the snow—that becomes the most dangerous decision Raine has ever made. Because the woman is fleeing from Redwinter, the fortress-monastery of the Draoihn, warrior magicians who answer to no king, and who will stop at nothing to reclaim what she’s stolen. A battle, a betrayal, and a horrific revelation force Raine to enter the citadel and live among the Draoihn. She soon finds that her secret ability could be the key to saving an entire nation. Though she might have to die to make it happen . . .

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MordewMordew by Alex Pheby by Alex Pheby — $2.99

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. Great enough to destroy everything the Master has built. If only Nathan can discover how to use it. So it is that the Master begins to scheme against him—and Nathan has to fight his way through the betrayals, secrets, and vendettas of the city where God was murdered, and darkness reigns.

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The Phoenix Unchainedthe phoenix unchained by mercedes lackey & james mallory by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory — $3.99

After a thousand years of peace, much Magick has faded from the world. The Elves live far from humankind. There are no High Mages, and Wild Mages are seen only rarely. Bisochim, a powerful Wild Mage, is determined to reintroduce Darkness to the world, believing that it is out of Balance. Tiercel, a young Armethalian nobleman, is convinced that High Magic is not just philosophy. He attempts a spell—and draws the unwelcome attention of Bisochim. Tiercel survives Bisochim’s attack and begins trying to turn himself into a High Mage. Next in line to be Harbormaster of Armethalieh, Harrier instead finds himself regularly saving Tyr’s life and meeting magickal people and creatures. To Harrier’s dismay, it seems that he must become a hero.

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In the Garden of Idenin the garden of iden by kage baker by Kage Baker — $3.99

In the 24th century, the Company preserves works of art and extinct forms of life (for profit of course). It recruits orphans from the past, renders them all but immortal, and trains them to serve the Company, Dr. Zeus. One of these is Mendoza the botanist. She is sent to Elizabethan England to collect samples from the garden of Sir Walter Iden. But while there, she meets Nicholas Harpole, with whom she falls in love. And that love sounds great bells of change that will echo down the centuries, and through the succeeding novels of The Company.

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The Soprano Sorceressthe soprano sorceress by l.e. modesitt, jr. by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. — $3.99

On Erde, Anna Marshall is no longer just a professional singer. In this world, song is magic, making Anna a sorceress, potentially the strongest in Erde. Here, a wrong note can mean death to a sorcerer, but Anna’s lifetime of training means she can sing more powerfully and precisely than anyone else. Her power does not go unnoticed and makes her a target. To survive, Anna must learn enough song-magic and understand this new world.

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Starfishstarfish by peter watts by Peter Watts — $3.99

A huge international corporation has developed a facility along the Juan de Fuca Ridge at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean to exploit geothermal power. They send a bio-engineered crew–people who have been altered to withstand the pressure and breathe the seawater–down to live and work in this weird, fertile undersea darkness. Unfortunately the only people suitable for long-term employment in these experimental power stations are crazy, some of them in unpleasant ways. How many of them can survive, or will be allowed to survive, while worldwide disaster approaches from below?

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Probability Moonprobability moon by nancy kress by Nancy Kress — $3.99

Humankind has expanded out into interstellar space using star gates-technological remnants left behind by an ancient, long-vanished race. But the technology comes with a price. Among the stars, humanity encountered the Fallers, a strange alien race bent on nothing short of genocide. It’s all-out war, and humanity is losing. In this fragile situation, a new planet is discovered, inhabited by a pre-industrial race who experience “shared reality”-they’re literally compelled to share the same worldview. A team of human scientists is dispatched-but what they don’t know is that their mission of first contact is actually a covert military operation. For one of the planet’s moons is really a huge mysterious artifact of the same origin as the star gates . . . and it just may be the key to winning the war.

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Nightside the Long Sunnightside the long sun by gene wolfe by Gene Wolfe — $3.99

Life on the Whorl, and the struggles and triumphs of Patera Silk to satisfy the demands of the gods, will captivate readers yearning for something new and different in science fiction, for the magic of the future. Enormous in breadth and scope, Wolfe’s ambitious new work opens out into a world of wonders, of gods and humans, aliens and machines, and mysterious adventures far out in space and deep inside the human spirit. It is set on a ship-world whose origins are shrouded in legend, ruled by strange gods who appear infrequently to their worshippers on large screens, and peopled by a human race changed by eons of time, yet familiar.

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On Blue’s Waterson blue's waters by gene wolfe by Gene Wolfe — $3.99

Horn, the narrator of the earlier work, now tells his own story. Though life is hard on the newly settled planet of Blue, Horn and his family have made a decent life for themselves. But Horn is the only one who can locate the great leader Silk, and convince him to return to Blue and lead them all to prosperity. So Horn sets sail in a small boat, on a long and difficult quest across the planet Blue in search of the now legendary Patera Silk. The story continues in In Green’s Jungles and Return to the Whorl.

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Excerpt Reveal: The Wolfe at the Door by Gene Wolfe

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the wolfe at the door by gene wolfe

An all new collection from an American literary icon

The circus comes to town… and a man gets to go to the stars.

A young girl on a vacation at the sea meets the man of her dreams. Who just happens to be dead. And an immortal pirate.

A swordfighter pens his memoirs… and finds his pen is in fact mightier than the sword.

Welcome to Gene Wolfe’s playground, a place where genres blend and a genius’s imagination straps you in for the ride of your life.

The Wolfe at the Door is a brand new collection from one of America’s premiere literary giants, showcasing some material been seen before. Short stories, yes, but also poems, essays, and ephemera that gives us a window into the mind of a literary powerhouse whose world view changed generations of readers in their perception of the universe.

Please enjoy this free excerpt of The Wolfe at the Door by Gene Wolfe, on sale 10/31/23


ON A VACANT FACE A BRUISE

The sounds of the animals drew Tom in. Not the lights nor the music, nor even the smell of food. Not the dolls, for he did not know about the dolls then. Not even the birds, for he did not know about them either. No, it was just the animals, animals in general, the sounds and smells of the animals.

It was a dark night of the sort that seems sacred and perhaps is. He had been tramping along head down, hungry and tired, tramping down a dirt road leading to a town whose name he did not know. He had not seen the lights nor smelled the food yet, but he heard a leopard cough.

The sound stopped him in his tracks. He raised his head and looked around, his fatigue forgotten. A faint radiance glowed behind the hill to his left. He waited, listening.

A pig grunted. He had heard pigs often, and they had been real ones. Leopards, as far as his direct experience went, existed only as digital recordings.

An elephant trumpeted. He walked again, faster now, with longer strides, his head up. A side road appeared to lead behind the hill. A lion roared. After that, all was silence. The sacred stars winked down, unchanged; but it almost seemed that two of Herehome’s circling moons smiled.

There were wagons parked in the fields on either side of the road, many with people sitting silently on the seats. Others stood chatting in small groups. Lanterns hung from every wagon, but rung-oil was expensive, and few of those lanterns were lit. Horses were harnessed to every wagon, scrubby horses that waited in silence for something to happen, for food, water, or sleep, and never thought of freedom.

Tom joined one of the groups for a while, but heard only talk of the weather, and what the weather might do to the price of corn. The odor of horses and horse droppings hung over everything.

Nearer the lights, the breeze was freighted with new smells: sawdust and hay, frying food, roasting peanuts, and a hundred others. He walked faster, his fatigue forgotten.

“Here you are, son!” The prancing figure at the gate wore strange, bright-colored clothes and flourished a long, slender stick with a ribbon at the top. “Just one cred to get in, and there’s lots of free shows. That includes the big one!”

He leaped into the air and seemed to hang there for a moment, mouth and eyes wide, in defiance of gravity. “Just one cred, and you’ll never regret it. Why—”

“I don’t have any money,” Tom said, and the prancing figure lost all interest in him.

The fence was of transparent film supported by steel poles. Touching the film brought a flash of pain, but through it Tom could see milling crowds and high platforms upon which figures far stranger than the one at the gate stood talking. He knew something of fences and walked this one slowly, hoping for a low spot that would let him crawl under.

He found a tree instead. It was on the side opposite the gate, a big white doak someone had been saving until building timber was needed, a towering king among trees—one of whose level limbs stretched above the fence. He knew trees, too, and climbed this one.

It was a show almost better than the circus to sit up there in the dark, seeing while unseen himself. Elephants were lining up to go into the big tent, and the last and biggest had two trunks and four tusks. It raised its huge head, and raised both trunks higher still, and trumpeted again; and for a moment the whole circus fell silent.

Listening.

“Magic,” Tom heard the word before he realized that the voice was his own. “I don’t care if I don’t get a thing to eat here. Magic’s better.”

His voice disturbed a bird higher in the tree. There was a faint moan, like the moaning of a dove.

A naked woman wrapped in a dragon had taken the stage at the tent nearest his tree. The dragon writhed, hissed steam, and a moment later belched smoke and flames. The woman whirled, apparently delighted by her audience’s fear. Mouth to mouth, she kissed it—then wiped her own and said something to the people watching her that made them laugh.

A capering doll, near sister to the showman at the gate, pretended to be angry; her posture spoke louder than any words: YOU OUTRAGE DECENCY!

Leaping into the air, she came to earth in a new position: BEGONE, VILE WENCH!

The audience laughed louder than ever.

Another leap: I SHALL DEAL WITH YOU SUBSEQUENTLY.

The dragon-woman left to applause, and the doll (whose tatterdemalion clothing might once have been a clown’s) bowed with spread hands.

She had no sooner straightened up than three girls in transparent gowns pranced onto the stage. To music Tom could scarcely hear, they danced with disciplined gaiety, skipping with their knees above their waists and kicking their heels higher than their heads, dancing as one at some times, and as three at others.

“Red, Yellow, and Brown,” Tom muttered. And then, “I like Red the best.”

A voice above him muttered, “Are those their names?” It spoke slowly, and a little sadly.

Tom looked up and whispered, “You’re watching, too?”

“Watching you.”

“I’m not doing anything,” Tom said.

“That’s good,” the slow, sad voice told him.

Yellow and Brown gestured gracefully while their feet flew. Red danced with them, and blew Tom a kiss.

The voice above him said, “She saw you.”

He nodded. “Will she tell anybody?”

“She might.”

“Will they chase us?”

“Don’t believe they will.” The voice above Tom sounded thoughtful.

He turned his attention back to the stage. The dancers had gone, replaced by a man who juggled torches, catching them by the burning ends.

“They might chase you,” the voice above Tom said. “Not me. Probably. Do you eat birds?”

Tom, who was very hungry indeed, licked his lips. “I like chicken.”

“Well, if you like chickens you wouldn’t eat chicken, would you? You’d have to kill it to keep it from moving, wouldn’t you? And you wouldn’t want to kill it if you liked it. Are you a cat?”

Tom who had found both earlier questions confusing, answered only the last. “No, I’m not.”

“That’s good. Cats eat birds like me.”

“Magic,” Tom said.

“Magic?” inquired the bird.

Tom nodded without bothering to wonder whether the other could see him. “Yep, magic. I heard one time about a talking bird. Only I didn’t believe it.”

“What about talking cats?”

“I’ve never heard of one. Have you?”

“Have you looked behind you?”

Tom turned, thinking there might be a talking cat there. There was none; but through the leaves, faintly, he could make out something—a squat dome like the lid of a pot made large—so big that it seemed it must certainly occupy the whole of a meadow.

“If ever you go in there,” the bird told him, “you may meet talking cats. Don’t listen to them.”

“I don’t want to go in there,” Tom said. The squat dome seemed dark and threatening. “I want to get into the circus. I could crawl out onto this limb and drop down, but lots of people would see me.”

“The dancers have already seen you,” the bird told him. “So have I.”

“Are you going to tell?”

The bird (if it was a bird) did not reply.

After some minutes had passed, Tom said, “You could just fly down there.”

“Don’t want to.”

The cooking smells were making Tom’s mouth water. He wiped it with his shirtsleeve. “I’d like to get something to eat.”

“So’d I,” the bird told him.

“If I could get down there and not be kicked out, I’d get something and throw some out for you.”

“Would you really do that?” the bird asked.

“Sure!”

“The lights will go off if you wait long enough. When there are fewer people, there will be fewer lights. When there are none, there will be no lights at all. You could drop down then.”

“How long?” Tom asked; but there was no reply.

It seemed a long time, and in the end, Tom did not wait for the last lights to go out. When the circus lot grew dim, and farmers and farmwives, grandparents and tired and irritable children were streaming out the gate, Tom crawled along the limb, hung from it for half a second, and let himself drop.

“I don’t like to hook things,” he told a vendor. “And those sausages you’ve got left aren’t going to be any good after tonight anyhow. If you’ll give me one now—just one, mind—I promise I’ll never, ever, hook anything from you.”

“I’m not giving you a goddam thing,” the vendor told him.

It was what Tom had been expecting. As soon as the words were out of the vendor’s mouth, he snatched two sausages and ran.

He ate one, finding it still warm and very good, and ate half the other more slowly. He threw the remaining half over the fence and into the leaves of the big white doak. It fell out again, stirring the leaves as it came down; but Tom had the satisfaction of seeing a large, dark bird follow it. It seemed (or at least it almost seemed) that the large dark bird was wearing a hat, although Tom knew it could not be true.

After that, he decided that a drink of water would be good, and a place to sleep even better. He recalled the red-haired dancer who had blown him a kiss. She might, he thought, show him kindness. He circled the small tent from which she—with the other dancers, the dragon charmer, and the juggler—had emerged, and crawled beneath the edge of a strange, thin cloth that was certainly not canvas.

It was darker in the tent than it had been outside, and the lot outside was becoming dimmer by the minute. Tom explored with his hands, finding a long box like a coffin and a low and splintery structure that might have been a small stage. When he noticed the hum—a tuneless humming that might have been mechanical—he tried to decide whether it had been there the whole time or had begun after he entered. In the end he decided it had been present the whole time, though he was far from sure of it.

“Hello?” he called softly. Then a little more loudly, “Is there anybody in here?”

There was no answer. The hum persisted.

“I’m just looking for a place to sleep.” Ready to run, he watched the darkness. “I won’t take anything or do any harm if you’ll let me sleep in here. It would be just for tonight.”

There was no answer, as before.

“I—I’m a friend of the bird’s.” Tom wished now that he had asked the strange bird’s name. “I think he’ll tell you I’m a nice person.”

Emboldened by the quiet dark and the flat, unvaried humming, Tom grew almost conversational. “I’ve left home, and I’m never, ever going back. I saw this, and—and it smelled wonderful . . .”

The hum altered, if only by the merest trifle. It was now higher pitched.

“All the lights, so I thought somebody might help me.”

A single blue bulb kindled on the other side of the tent, which was by no means large.

“I’m a hard worker, and I’ll work hard for anybody who’ll help me. I can hoe and milk.”

A green bulb kindled above Tom’s head. And the humming stopped.

By the light of the two bulbs, he could see the interior of the tent quite well. There were indeed long boxes like coffins scattered here and there: five of them, and several other boxes, too. A steep and narrow flight of metal steps led from the entrance up to the stage outside, which was higher than Tom himself. The ground was covered with wood shavings and sawdust, as the ground outside had been. It looked clean, and to Tom (who by that time was very tired) it looked deliciously soft as well.

“The red-headed one . . .” Tom paused, at a loss for words. “She… Well, she looked nice, and I thought maybe she wouldn’t mind if I slept in here. And maybe I could help her tomorrow. Or you, or both of you.”

A red bulb kindled at the middle of the tent. The lid of one of the long boxes flew open and someone who had been inside the box sat up as though jerked upright. It took Tom a second or more to identify the strange person who leaped from the box.

It was Red. “Leave! Go at once, or I’ll call the lion tamer.” Her voice was soft and sweet, belying her words.

“I was watching you from the tree,” Tom explained. “You blew me a kiss and looked so nice and the way you danced was wonderful. So I thought, maybe ”

“Naturally I danced wonderfully.” Red patted her hair and looked down her nose at Tom. “Then I was possessed by Stromboli the Great, the envy of the profession and a man who might make a clothespin dance as well as I. Now, alas . . . Alas . . . At present, alas ” The other hand wiped her eyes with the hem of her transparent gown.

“Don’t cry.”

Red bent until she was not much taller than Tom himself. “Do you know who possesses me now? It’s only the wretched Maria, his wife, a rag empty of all understanding. A fool bereft of talent. Thus you see me for what I am.”

A score of fresh lights kindled.

“A contemptible assemblage of sticks and servos, a poor, vile, mechanical toy.”

“You’re beautiful,” Tom said. His voice rang with sincerity. “You’re really, truly beautiful.”

Another box opened, and the head of the dragon peeped out. “She is not!”

“She is too!”

“Is not!” the dragon roared.

“Is too!”

For a second or more the dragon was silent. Then it said, in a threatening tone, “I’ll bite you…”

Copyright © 2023 from Gene Wolfe

Pre-order The Wolfe at the Door Here:

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The Hottest eBook Deals of August 2023

Looking for some hot ebook deals to coast you through the rest of the summer? We’ve got you covered! Check them out here.


The Calculating Starsthe calculating stars by mary robinette kowal by Mary Robinette Kowal — $3.99

On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, including Washington D.C. The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space, and requires a much larger share of humanity to take part in the process. Elma York’s experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon, as a calculator. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too. Elma’s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions of society may not stand a chance against her.

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Soldier of the Mistsoldier of the mist by gene wolfe by Gene Wolfe — $3.99

The first volume of Gene Wolfe’s powerful story of Latro, a Roman mercenary who received a head injury that deprived him of his short-term memory. In return it gave him the ability to converse with supernatural creatures, gods and goddesses who invisibly inhabit the ancient landscape.

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Daughter of the Forestdaughter of the forest by juliet marillier by Juliet Marillier — $3.99

Lord Colum of Sevenwaters is blessed with six sons: Liam, a natural leader; Diarmid, with his passion for adventure; twins Cormack and Conor, each with a different calling; rebellious Finbar, grown old before his time by his gift of the Sight; and the young, compassionate Padriac. But it is Sorcha, the seventh child and only daughter, who alone is destined to defend her family and protect her land from the Britons and the clan known as Northwoods. For her father has been bewitched, and her brothers bound by a spell that only Sorcha can lift.

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A Shadow in Summera summer in shadow by daniel abraham by Daniel Abraham — $3.99

The powerful city-state of Saraykeht is a bastion of peace and culture, a major center of commerce and trade. Its economy depends on the power of the captive spirit, Seedless, an andat bound to the poet-sorcerer Heshai for life. Enter the Galts, a juggernaut of an empire committed to laying waste to all lands with their ferocious army. Saraykeht, though, has always been too strong for the Galts to attack, but now they see an opportunity. If they can dispose of Heshai, Seedless’s bonded poet-sorcerer, Seedless will perish and the entire city will fall. With secret forces inside the city, the Galts prepare to enact their terrible plan. In the middle is Otah, a simple laborer with a complex past. Recruited to act as a bodyguard for his girlfriend’s boss at a secret meeting, he inadvertently learns of the Galtish plot. Otah finds himself as the sole hope of Saraykeht, either he stops the Galts, or the whole city and everyone in it perishes forever.

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The Wayfarer Redemptionthe wayfarer redemption by sara douglass by Sara Douglass — $3.99

A millennia-old prophecy was given when the Forbidden Ones were driven from Achar. And now, the Acharites witness its manifestation: Achar is under attack by an evil lord from the North, Gorgreal–his ice demons strike from the sky and kill hundreds of brave warriors in the blink of an eye. One young woman, Faraday, betrothed of Duke Borneheld, learns that all she has been told about her people’s history is untrue. While fleeing to safety from the dangerous land, Faraday, rides with Axis, legendary leader of the Axe-Wielders–and hated half-brother of Borneheld–and a man Faraday secretly loves although it would be death to admit it. She embarks on a journey, which will change her life forever, in search of the true nature of her people.

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Death’s Mistress: Sister of Darknessdeath's mistress by terry goodkind by Terry Goodkind — $3.99

One-time lieutenant of the evil Emperor Jagang, known as “Death’s Mistress” and the “Slave Queen”, the deadly Nicci captured Richard Rahl in order to convince him that the Imperial Order stood for the greater good. But it was Richard who converted Nicci instead, and for years thereafter she served Richard and Kahlan as one of their closest friends—and one of their most lethal defenders. Now, with the reign of Richard and Kahlan finally stabilized, Nicci has set out on her own for new adventures. One of her jobs will be to keep her travelling companion, the unworldly prophet Nathan, out of trouble. But her real task will be to scout the far reaches of Richard Rahl’s realm. This will take her and Nathan to visit the mysterious witch-woman Red, to tangle with the street life of the port city of Tanimura, to fight lethal battles on the high seas, and ultimately to a vast magical confrontation far from home…with the future of life itself, in the Old World and the New, at stake.

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The Waking Enginethe waking engine by david edison by David Edison — $2.99

Contrary to popular wisdom, death is not the end, nor is it a passage to some transcendent afterlife. Those who die merely awake as themselves on one of a million worlds, where they are fated to live until they die again, and wake up somewhere new. All are born only once, but die many times . . . until they come at last to the City Unspoken, where the gateway to True Death can be found. Wayfarers and pilgrims are drawn to the City, which is home to murderous aristocrats, disguised gods and goddesses, a sadistic faerie princess, immortal prostitutes and queens, a captive angel, gangs of feral Death Boys and Charnel Girls . . . and one very confused New Yorker. Late of Manhattan, Cooper finds himself in a City that is not what it once was. The gateway to True Death is failing, so that the City is becoming overrun by the Dying, who clot its byzantine streets and alleys . . . and a spreading madness threatens to engulf the entire metaverse.

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The Future is Fantasy: 5 Great Fantasies Set in the Future

The Cradle of Ice by James RollinsImagine a fantasy world set in the distant future, where wizards sail the stars in magically engineered spaceships, or the ruler of an ancient empire waking up from a thousand year slumber to a world run by A.I and nanotechnology? Last year, we dug into five SFF titles that skillfully blend the futurist and the fantastical, and now we’re bringing that list back in celebration of The Cradle of Ice by James Rollins, the continuation of his epic Moonfall series. 

A fellowship was formed to defend the world from lunar apocalypse. Armies wage brutal war around them as they run hunted from hostile forces that would disband them bloodily to prevent what their quest might unleash…

By Kaleb Russell


The Starless CrownPoster Placeholder of - 26 by James Rollins

It’s the start of the Moonfall series, now in paperback! A departure from his thriller works, James Rollins treats fantasy readers to an adventure of epic proportions as a band of four outcasts embark on a journey to uncover an ancient secret that can save the world from a prophesied apocalypse. With flying ships and prophetic gods, The Starless Crown makes for a valued addition to the futuristic fantasy subgenre.

Image Place holder  of - 56Shadow & Claw: The First Half of  ‘Book of the New Sun’ by Gene Wolfe

Gene Wolfe is a Herculean figure in the world of SFF—his Book of the New Sun series a staple of the genre. Set in a distant future composed of aliens the size of mountains and strange sorceries, we follow the life of Severian, the apprentice torturer, as he wanders through the strange corners of one of SFF’s most iconic worlds.

Place holder  of - 81Black Sun Rising by C. S. Friedman

Originally published in 1991, Black Sun Rising tells the story of sorcerers from Earth who travel to the planet Erna to settle their new colony. Upon their arrival, they come into contact with the fae who have inhabited the planet for generations. Friedman transports us into a world of darkness that will surely have readers chomping at the bits for more books of its ilk. 

Placeholder of  -50Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

This book needs no introduction. In the follow up to the earth-shattering Gideon the Ninth, Muir delivers another mad cap science-fantasy epic including, but not limited to, woefully depressed necromancers, the malignant ghost of a murdered planet, and a labyrinthine narrative that will leave your head spinning.

Image Placeholder of - 54The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday by Saad Z. Hossain

In this raunchy and wildly inventive novella, we meet djinn King Melek Ahmar awakened after a millennia long slumber hungry for conquest. With his unshakeable hubris, he sets out to conquer the city state of Kathmandu, ruled by a tyrannical AI known as Karma. Melek Ahmar finds an unlikely ally in the old knife wielding Gurkha soldier, Gurung.  Together, the two vagabonds uncover a deeply hidden secret that, if brought to light, can reshape the city as we know it. This is an absurdly entertaining novella set in a post climate change future made inhabitable by nanotechnology. Despite the dystopian setting, there is ample levity, cheer, and inventiveness to keep any reader engaged.

What is your favorite futuristic fantasy? Let us know in the comments! 

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Fall Into Tor Books This Autumn!

Ready to FALL into some new books this autumn? (*wink*) Get your TBR ready for every book from Tor coming out this fall! Which one are you most excited to read?


September 6

The Atlas Six by Olivie BlakeThe Atlas Six by Olivie Blake (paperback)

Each decade, only the six most uniquely talented magicians are selected to earn a place in the Alexandrian Society, the foremost secret society in the world. The chosen will secure a life of power and prestige beyond their wildest dreams. But at what cost? Each of the six newest recruits has their reasons for accepting the Society’s elusive invitation. Even if it means growing closer than they could have imagined to their most dangerous enemies—or risking unforgivable betrayal from their most trusted allies—they will fight tooth and nail for the right to join the ranks of the Alexandrians. Even if it means they won’t all survive the year. Now available in paperback!

September 20

Poster Placeholder of - 7Mistborn: Secret History by Brandon Sanderson

Kelsier, sentenced to die mining the Pits of Hathsin after attempting to rob the Lord Ruler’s palace, arose as a powerful Mistborn and inspired the revolution that shook the foundations of the Final Empire. His name and deeds passed into legend. But was that truly the end of his tale? Whispered hints to those he called friends suggested there was a lot more going on. If you think you know the story of the Mistborn trilogy, think again—but to say anything more here risks revealing too much. Even knowing of this tale’s existence could be heresy.

September 27

The Genesis of Misery by Neon YangThe Genesis of Misery by Neon Yang

It’s an old, familiar story: a young person hears the voice of an angel saying they have been chosen as a warrior to lead their people to victory in a holy war. But Misery Nomaki (she/they) knows they are a fraud. Raised on a remote moon colony, they don’t believe in any kind of god. Their angel is a delusion, brought on by hereditary space exposure. Yet their survival banks on mastering the holy mech they are supposedly destined for, and convincing the Emperor of the Faithful that they are the real deal. The deeper they get into their charade, however, the more they start to doubt their convictions. What if this, all of it, is real?

Placeholder of  -60Growing Up Weightless by John M. Ford; introduction by Francis Spufford

Matthias Ronay has grown up in the low gravity and great glass citadels of independent Luna—and in the considerable shadow of his father, a member of the council that governs Luna’s increasingly complex society. But Matt feels weighed down on the world where he was born, where there is no more need for exploration, for innovation, for radical ideas—and where his every movement can be tracked by his father on the infonets. Matt and five of his friends, equally brilliant and restless, have planned a secret adventure. Their passage into the expanse of perpetual night will change them in ways they never could have predicted…and bring Matt to the destiny for which he has yearned. With a new introduction by Francis Spufford, author of Red Plenty and Golden Hill.

October 4

Place holder  of - 18The Witch in the Well by Camilla Bruce

Centuries ago, beautiful young Ilsbeth Clark was accused of witchcraft after several children disappeared. Her acquittal did nothing to stop her fellow townsfolk from drowning her in the well where the missing children were last seen. When author and social media influencer Elena returns to the summer paradise of her youth to get her family’s manor house ready to sell, the last thing she expected was connecting with—and feeling inspired to write about—Ilsbeth’s infamous spirit. The very historical figure that her ex-childhood friend, Cathy, has been diligently researching and writing about for years. What begins as a fiercely competitive sense of ownership over Ilsbeth and her story soon turns both women’s worlds into something more haunted and dangerous than they could ever imagine.

October 11

The Spare Man by Mary Robinette KowalThe Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal

Tesla Crane, a brilliant inventor and an heiress, is on her honeymoon on an interplanetary space liner, cruising between the Moon and Mars. She’s traveling incognito and is reveling in her anonymity. Then someone is murdered and the festering chowderheads who run security have the audacity to arrest her spouse. Armed with banter, martinis and her small service dog, Tesla is determined to solve the crime so that the newlyweds can get back to canoodling—and keep the real killer from striking again.

Mystic Skies by Jason DenzelMystic Skies by Jason Denzel

Fifty-four years have passed since Crow Tallin, the catastrophic celestial event that merged Fayün and the human world. One devastating result of that cataclysm is that most human babies are born fused with fay spirits. The Mystics of Kelt Apar, once beloved, are blamed for this worldwide phenomenon. On the island of Moth, the Barons have declared the Myst illegal and imprisoned all Mystics under house arrest. Under the watchful eyes of deadly Hunters, a much-older Pomella AnDone now lives as a prisoner at Kelt Apar with her granddaughter and apprentice Mia, as well as the rapidly declining High Mystic of Moth, Yarina Sineese.

October 25

Image Place holder  of - 31The Atlas Paradox by Olivie Blake

Six magicians were presented with the opportunity of a lifetime. Five are now members of the Society. Two paths lay before them. All must pick a side. Alliances will be tested, hearts will be broken, and The Society of Alexandrians will be revealed for what it is: a secret society with raw, world-changing power, headed by a man whose plans to change life as we know it are already under way.

November 1

Ocean's Echo by Everina MaxwellOcean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell

Rich socialite, inveterate flirt, and walking disaster Tennalhin Halkana can read minds. Tennal, like all neuromodified “readers,” is a security threat on his own. But when controlled, readers are a rare asset. Not only can they read minds, but they can navigate chaotic space, the maelstroms surrounding the gateway to the wider universe. Conscripted into the military under dubious circumstances, Tennal is placed into the care of Lieutenant Surit Yeni, a duty-bound soldier, principled leader, and the son of a notorious traitor general. Whereas Tennal can read minds, Surit can influence them. Surit accepted a suspicious promotion-track request out of desperation, but he refuses to go through with his illegal orders to sync and control an unconsenting Tennal. So they lie: They fake a sync bond and plan Tennal’s escape.

November 8

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.

Origins of the Wheel of Time by Michael Livingston; foreword by Harriet McDougalOrigins of the Wheel of Time by Michael Livingston; foreword by Harriet McDougal

Take a deep dive into the real-world history and mythology that inspired the world of The Wheel of Time®. Origins of The Wheel of Time is written by Michael Livingston, Secretary-General of the United States Commission on Military History and professor of medieval literature at The Citadel, with a Foreword by Harriet McDougal, Robert Jordan’s editor, widow, and executor of his estate. Origins of The Wheel of Time will provide knowledge and insights to new and longtime fans looking to expand their understanding of the series or unearth the real-life influences that Jordan utilized in his world building.

Blood Moon by Heather Graham & Jon LandBlood Moon by Heather Graham and Jon Land

They may have managed to win a major battle against the powerful enemy determined to destroy civilization as we know it. But the war continues, with Alex and Sam embarking on a desperate journey to save mankind, even as their friendship blossoms into something much more. The roadmap for their journey lies in a mysterious book, the language of which has never been deciphered, until Alex finds himself able to translate the words that may hold the keys to saving the future. But an ageless foe, long the guardian of the secrets his race has left behind on Earth, arises to stop them at all costs. At his disposal is a merciless army that has been awaiting this very war, an army as unstoppable as it is relentless.

The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene WolfeThe Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe

Far from Earth, two sister planets, Saint Anne and Saint Croix, circle each other in an eternal dance. It is said a race of shapeshifters once lived here, only to perish when men came. But one man believes they can still be found, somewhere in back of the beyond. In The Fifth Head of Cerberus, Gene Wolfe skillfully interweaves three bizarre tales to create a mesmerizing pattern: the harrowing account of the son of a mad genius who discovers his hideous heritage; a young man’s mythic dreamquest for his darker half; and the bizarre chronicle of a scientist’s nightmarish imprisonment. With a new introduction by O. Henry Award winning author Brian Evenson

November 15

Image Placeholder of - 96The Lost Metal by Brandon Sanderson

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November 29

Alone With You in the Ether by Olivie Blake

Two people meet in the Art Institute by chance. Prior to their encounter, he is a doctoral student who manages his destructive thoughts with compulsive calculations about time travel; she is a bipolar counterfeit artist, undergoing court-ordered psychotherapy. By the end of the story, these things will still be true. But this is not a story about endings. For Regan, people are predictable and tedious, including and perhaps especially herself. To Aldo, the world feels disturbingly chaotic. For Regan and Aldo, life has been a matter of resigning themselves to the blueprints of inevitability—until the two meet. Could six conversations with a stranger be the variable that shakes up the entire simulation?

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Excerpt Reveal: The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe

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The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe

Tor Essentials presents new editions of science fiction and fantasy titles of proven merit and lasting value, each volume introduced by an appropriate literary figure.

Far from Earth, two sister planets, Saint Anne and Saint Croix, circle each other in an eternal dance. It is said a race of shapeshifters once lived here, only to perish when men came. But one man believes they can still be found, somewhere in back of the beyond.

In The Fifth Head of Cerberus, Gene Wolfe skillfully interweaves three bizarre tales to create a mesmerizing pattern: the harrowing account of the son of a mad genius who discovers his hideous heritage; a young man’s mythic dreamquest for his darker half; and the bizarre chronicle of a scientist’s nightmarish imprisonment. Like an intricate, braided knot, the pattern at last unfolds to reveal astonishing truths about this strange and savage alien landscape.

With a new introduction by O. Henry Award winning author Brian Evenson

Please enjoy this free excerpt of The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe, on sale 11/8/22


1

When I was a boy my brother David and I had to go to bed early whether we were sleepy or not. In summer particularly, bedtime often came before sunset; and because our dormitory was in the east wing of the house, with a broad window facing the central courtyard and thus looking west, the hard, pinkish light sometimes streamed in for hours while we lay staring out at my father’s crippled monkey perched on a flaking parapet, or telling stories, one bed to another, with soundless gestures.

Our dormitory was on the uppermost floor of the house, and our window had a shutter of twisted iron which we were forbidden to open. I suppose the theory was that a burglar might, on some rainy morning (this being the only time he could hope to find the roof, which was fitted out as a sort of pleasure garden, deserted) let down a rope and so enter our room unless the shutter was closed.

The object of this hypothetical and very courageous thief would not, of course, be merely to steal us. Children, whether boys or girls, were extraordinarily cheap in Port-Mimizon; and indeed I was once told that my father who had formerly traded in them no longer did so because of the poor market. Whether or not this was true, everyone—or nearly everyone—knew of some professional who would furnish what was wanted, within reason, at a low price. These men made the children of the poor and the careless their study, and should you want, say, a brown-skinned, red-haired little girl or one who was plump or who lisped, a blond boy like David or a pale, brown-haired, brown-eyed boy such as I, they could provide one in a few hours.

Neither, in all probability, would the imaginary burglar seek to hold us for ransom, though my father was thought in some quarters to be immensely rich. There were several reasons for this. Those few people who knew that my brother and I existed knew also, or at least had been led to believe, that my father cared nothing at all for us. Whether this was true or not, I cannot say; certainly I believed it, and my father never gave me the least reason to doubt it, though at the time the thought of killing him had never occurred to me.

And if these reasons were not sufficiently convincing, anyone with an understanding of the stratum in which he had become perhaps the most permanent feature would realize that for him, who was already forced to give large bribes to the secret police, to once disgorge money in that way would leave him open to a thousand ruinous attacks; and this may have been—this and the fear in which he was held—the real reason we were never stolen. The iron shutter is (for I am writing now in my old dormitory room) hammered to resemble in a stif and oversymmetrical way the boughs of a willow. In my boyhood it was overgrown by a silver trumpet vine (since dug up) which had scrambled up the wall from the court below, and I used to wish that it would close the window entirely and thus shut out the sun when we were trying to sleep; but David, whose bed was under the window, was forever reaching up to snap of branches so that he could whistle through the hollow stems, making a sort of panpipe of four or five. The piping, of course, growing louder as David grew bolder, would in time attract the attention of Mr. Million, our tutor. Mr. Million would enter the room in perfect silence, his wide wheels gliding across the uneven floor while David pretended sleep. The panpipe might by this time be concealed under his pillow, in the sheet, or even under the mattress, but Mr. Million would find it.

What he did with those little musical instruments after confiscating them from David I had forgotten until yesterday; although in prison, when we were kept in by storms or heavy snow, I often occupied myself by trying to recall it. To have broken them, or dropped them through the shutter onto the patio below would have been completely unlike him; Mr. Million never broke anything intentionally, and never wasted anything. I could visualize perfectly the half-sorrowing expression with which he drew the tiny pipes out (the face which seemed to float behind his screen was much like my father’s) and the way in which he turned and glided from the room. But what became of them?

Yesterday, as I said (this is the sort of thing that gives me confidence), I remembered. He had been talking to me here while I worked, and when he left it seemed to me—as my glance idly followed his smooth motion through the doorway—that something, a sort of flourish I recalled from my earliest days, was missing. I closed my eyes and tried to remember what the appearance had been, eliminating any skepticism, any attempt to guess in advance what I “must” have seen; and I found that the missing element was a brief flash, the glint of metal, over Mr. Million’s head.

Once I had established this, I knew that it must have come from a swift upward motion of his arm, like a salute, as he left our room. For an hour or more I could not guess the reason for that gesture, and could only suppose it, whatever it had been, to have been destroyed by time. I tried to recall if the corridor outside our dormitory had, in that really not so distant past, held some object now vanished: a curtain or a windowshade, an appliance to be activated, anything that might account for it. There was nothing.

I went into the corridor and examined the floor minutely for marks indicating furniture. I looked for hooks or nails driven into the walls, pushing aside the coarse old tapestries. Craning my neck, I searched the ceiling. Then, after an hour, I looked at the door itself and saw what I had not seen in the thousands of times I had passed through it: that like all the doors in this house, which is very old, it had a massive frame of wooden slabs, and that one of these, forming the lintel, protruded enough from the wall to make a narrow shelf above the door.

I pushed my chair into the hall and stood on the seat. The shelf was thick with dust in which lay forty-seven of my brother’s pipes and a wonderful miscellany of other small objects. Objects many of which I recalled, but some of which still fail to summon any flicker of response from the recesses of my mind . . .

The small blue egg of a songbird, speckled with brown. I suppose the bird must have nested in the vine outside our window, and that David or I despoiled the nest only to be robbed ourselves by Mr. Million. But I do not recall the incident.

And there is a (broken) puzzle made of the bronzed viscera of some small animal, and—wonderfully evocative—one of those large and fancifully decorated keys, sold annually, which during the year of its currency will admit the possessor to certain rooms of the city library after hours. Mr. Million, I suppose, must have confiscated it when, after expiration, he found it doing duty as a toy; but what memories!

My father had his own library, now in my possession; but we were forbidden to go there. I have a dim memory of standing—at how early an age I cannot say—before that huge carved door. Of seeing it swing back, and the crippled monkey on my father’s shoulder pressing itself against his hawk face, with the black scarf and scarlet dressing gown beneath and the rows and rows of shabby books and notebooks behind them, and the sick-sweet smell of formaldehyde coming from the laboratory beyond the sliding mirror.

I do not remember what he said or whether it had been I or another who had knocked, but I do recall that after the door had closed, a woman in pink whom I thought very pretty stooped to bring her face to the level of my own and assured me that my father had written all the books I had just seen, and that I doubted it not at all.

My brother and I, as I have said, were forbidden this room; but when we were a little older Mr. Million used to take us, about twice a week, on expeditions to the city library. These were very nearly the only times we were allowed to leave the house, and since our tutor disliked curling the jointed length of his metal modules into a hire cart, and no sedan chair would have withstood his weight or contained his bulk, these forays were made on foot.

For a long time this route to the library was the only part of the city I knew. Three blocks down Saltimbanque Street where our house stood, right at the Rue d’Asticot to the slave market and a block beyond that to the library. A child, not knowing what is extraordinary and what commonplace, usually lights midway between the two, finds interest in incidents adults consider beneath notice and calmly accepts the most improbable occurrences. My brother and I were fascinated by the spurious antiques and bad bargains of the Rue d’Asticot, but often bored when Mr. Million insisted on stopping for an hour at the slave market.

It was not a large one, Port-Mimizon not being a center of the trade, and the auctioneers and their merchandise were frequently on a most friendly basis—having met several times previously as a succession of owners discovered the same fault. Mr. Million never bid, but watched the bidding, motionless, while we kicked our heels and munched the fried bread he had bought at a stall for us. There were sedan chairmen, their legs knotted with muscle, and simpering bath attendants; fighting slaves in chains, with eyes dulled by drugs or blazing with imbecile ferocity; cooks, house servants, a hundred others—yet David and I used to beg to be allowed to proceed alone to the library.

This library was a wastefully large building which had held government offices in the old French-speaking days. The park in which it had once stood had died of petty corruption, and the library now rose from a clutter of shops and tenements. A narrow thoroughfare led to the main doors, and once we were inside, the squalor of the neighborhood vanished, replaced by a kind of peeling grandeur. The main desk was directly beneath the dome, and this dome, drawing up with it a spiraling walkway lined with the library’s main collection, floated five hundred feet in the air: a stony sky whose least chip falling might kill one of the librarians on the spot.

While Mr. Million browsed his way majestically up the helix, David and I raced ahead until we were several full turns in advance and could do what we liked. When I was still quite young it would often occur to me that, since my father had written (on the testimony of the lady in pink) a roomful of books, some of them should be here; and I would climb resolutely until I had almost reached the dome, and there rummage. Because the librarians were very lax about reshelving, there seemed always a possibility of finding what I had failed to find before. The shelves towered far above my head, but when I felt myself unobserved I climbed them like ladders, stepping on books when there was no room on the shelves themselves for the square toes of my small brown shoes, and occasionally kicking books to the floor where they remained until our next visit and beyond, evidence of the staf’s reluctance to climb that long, coiled slope.

The upper shelves were, if anything, in worse disorder than those more conveniently located, and one glorious day when I attained the highest of all I found occupying that lofty, dusty position (besides a misplaced astronautics text, The Mile-Long Spaceship, by some German) only a lorn copy of Monday or Tuesday leaning against a book about the assassination of Trotsky, and a crumbling volume of Vernor Vinge’s short stories that owed its presence there, or so I suspect, to some long-dead librarian’s mistaking the faded V. Vinge on the spine for “Winge.” I never found any books of my father’s, but I did not regret the long climbs to the top of the dome. If David had come with me, we raced up together, up and down the sloping floor—or peered over the rail at Mr. Million’s slow progress while we debated the feasibility of putting an end to him with one cast of some ponderous work. If David preferred to pursue interests of his own farther down I ascended to the very top where the cap of the dome curved right over my head; and there, from a rusted iron catwalk not much wider than one of the shelves I had been climbing (and I suspect not nearly so strong), opened in turn each of a circle of tiny piercings—piercings in a wall of iron, but so shallow a wall that when I had slid the corroded cover plates out of the way I could thrust my head through and feel myself truly outside, with the wind and the circling birds and the lime-spotted expanse of the dome curving away beneath me.

To the west, since it was taller than the surrounding houses and marked by the orange trees on the roof, I could make out our house. To the south, the masts of the ships in the harbor, and in clear weather—if it was the right time of day—the whitecaps of the tidal race Sainte Anne drew between the peninsulas called First Finger and Thumb. (And once, as I very well recall, while looking south I saw the great geyser of sunlit water when a starcrosser splashed down.) To east and north spread the city proper, the citadel and the grand market and the forests and mountains beyond.

But sooner or later, whether David had accompanied me or gone of on his own, Mr. Million summoned us. Then we were forced to go with him to one of the wings to visit this or that science collection. This meant books for lessons. My father insisted that we learn biology, anatomy, and chemistry thoroughly, and under Mr. Million’s tutelage, learn them we did—he never considering a subject mastered until we could discuss every topic mentioned in every book catalogued under the heading. The life sciences were my own favorites, but David preferred languages, literature, and law; for we got a smattering of these as well as anthropology, cybernetics, and psychology.

When he had selected the books that would form our study for the next few days and urged us to choose more for ourselves, Mr. Million would retire with us to some quiet corner of one of the science reading rooms, where there were chairs and a table and room sufficient for him to curl the jointed length of his body or align it against a wall or bookcase in a way that left the aisles clear. To designate the formal beginning of our class he used to begin by calling roll, my own name always coming first.

I would say, “Here,” to show that he had my attention. “And David.”

“Here.” (David has an illustrated Tales From The Odyssey open on his lap where Mr. Million cannot see it, but he looks at Mr. Million with bright, feigned interest. Sunshine slants down to the table from a high window, and shows the air aswarm with dust.)

“I wonder if either of you noticed the stone implements in the room through which we passed a few moments ago?”

We nod, each hoping the other will speak.

“Were they made on Earth, or here on our own planet?”

This is a trick question, but an easy one. David says, “Neither one. They’re plastic.” And we giggle.

Mr. Million says patiently, “Yes, they’re plastic reproductions, but from where did the originals come?” His face, so similar to my father’s, but which I thought of at this time as belonging only to him, so that it seemed a frightening reversal of nature to see it on a living man instead of his screen, was neither interested, nor angry, nor bored; but coolly remote.

David answers, “From Sainte Anne.” Sainte Anne is the sister planet to our own, revolving with us about a common center as we swing around the sun. “The sign said so, and the aborigines made them—there weren’t any abos here.”

Mr. Million nods, and turns his impalpable face toward me. “Do you feel these stone implements occupied a central place in the lives of their makers? Say no.”

“No.”

“Why not?”

I think frantically, not helped by David, who is kicking my shins under the table. A glimmering comes.

“Talk. Answer at once.”

“It’s obvious, isn’t it?” (Always a good thing to say when you’re not even sure “it” is even possible.) “In the first place, they can’t have been very good tools, so why would the abos have relied on them? You might say they needed those obsidian arrowheads and bone fishhooks for getting food, but that’s not true. They could poison the water with the juices of certain plants, and for primitive people the most efective way to fish is probably with weirs, or with nets of rawhide or vegetable fiber. Just the same way, trapping or driving animals with fire would be more efective than hunting; and anyway stone tools wouldn’t be needed at all for gathering berries and the shoots of edible plants and things like that, which were probably their most important foods— those stone things got in the glass case here because the snares and nets rotted away and they’re all that’s left, so the people that make their living that way pretend they were important.”

“Good. David? Be original, please. Don’t repeat what you’ve just heard.”

David looks up from his book, his blue eyes scornful of both of us. “If you could have asked them, they would have told you that their magic and their religion, the songs they sang and the traditions of their people were what were important. They killed their sacrificial animals with flails of seashells that cut like razors, and they didn’t let their men father children until they had stood enough fire to cripple them for life. They mated with trees and drowned the children to honor their rivers. That was what was important.”

With no neck, Mr. Million’s face nodded. “Now we will debate the humanity of those aborigines. David negative and first.” (I kick him, but he has pulled his hard, freckled legs up be- neath him, or hidden them behind the legs of his chair, which is cheating.) “Humanity,” he says in his most objectionable voice, “in the history of human thought implies descent from what we may conveniently call Adam; that is, the original Terrestrial

stock, and if the two of you don’t see that, you’re idiots.”

I wait for him to continue, but he is finished. To give myself time to think, I say, “Mr. Million, it’s not fair to let him call me names in a debate. Tell him that’s not debating, it’s fighting, isn’t it?”

Mr. Million says, “No personalities, David.” (David is already peeking at Polyphemus the Cyclops and Odysseus, hoping I’ll go on for a long time. I feel challenged and decide to do so.)

I begin, “The argument which holds descent from Terrestrial stock pivotal is neither valid nor conclusive. Not conclusive because it is distinctly possible that the aborigines of Sainte Anne were descendants of some earlier wave of human expansion— one, perhaps, even predating The Homeric Greeks.

Mr. Million says mildly, “I would confine myself to arguments of higher probability if I were you.”

I nevertheless gloss upon the Etruscans, Atlantis, and the tenacity and expansionist tendencies of a hypothetical technological culture occupying Gondwanaland. When I have finished Mr. Million says, “Now reverse. David, affirmative without repeating.”

My brother, of course, has been looking at his book instead of listening, and I kick him with enthusiasm, expecting him to be stuck; but he says, “The abos are human because they’re all dead.”

“Explain.”

“If they were alive it would be dangerous to let them be human because they’d ask for things, but with them dead it makes it more interesting if they were, and the settlers killed them all.”

And so it goes. The spot of sunlight travels across the blackstreaked red of the tabletop—traveled across it a hundred times. We would leave through one of the side doors and walk through a neglected areaway between two wings. There would be empty bottles there and wind-scattered papers of all kinds, and once a dead man in bright rags over whose legs we boys skipped while Mr. Million rolled silently around him. As we left the areaway for a narrow street, the bugles of the garrison at the citadel (sounding so far away) would call the troopers to their evening mess. In the Rue d’Asticot the lamplighter would be at work, and the shops shut behind their iron grilles. The sidewalks magically clear of old furniture would seem broad and bare.

Our own Saltimbanque Street would be very diferent, with the first revelers arriving. White-haired, hearty men guiding very young men and boys, men and boys handsome and muscular but a shade overfed; young men who made diffident jokes and smiled with excellent teeth at them. These were always the early ones, and when I was a little older I sometimes wondered if they were early only because the white-haired men wished to have their pleasure and yet a good night’s sleep as well, or if it were because they knew the young men they were introducing to my father’s establishment would be drowsy and irritable after midnight, like children who have been kept up too late.

Because Mr. Million did not want us to use the alleys after dark we came in the front entrance with the white-haired men and their nephews and sons. There was a garden there, not much bigger than a small room and recessed into the windowless front of the house. In it were beds of ferns the size of graves; a little fountain whose water fell upon rods of glass to make a continual tinkling, and which had to be protected from the street boys; and, with his feet firmly planted, indeed almost buried in moss, an iron statue of a dog with three heads.

It was this statue, I suppose, that gave our house its popular name of Maison du Chien, though there may have been a reference to our surname as well. The three heads were sleekly powerful with pointed muzzles and ears. One was snarling and one, the center head, regarded the world of garden and street with a look of tolerant interest. The third, the one nearest the brick path that led to our door, was—there is no other term for it— frankly grinning; and it was the custom for my father’s patrons to pat this head between the ears as they came up the path. Their fingers had polished the spot to the consistency of black glass.

Copyright © 2022 from Gene Wolfe

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Six Essential Titles Coming from Tor in 2022

Tor Essentials’ goal is to provide readers with fresh new editions to science fiction and fantasy works of lasting value and merit, and we’ve got a whole collection of vital titles that the modern genre fan shouldn’t miss! So read on below for all the Tor Essentials coming in 2022, and once you’re through the list, take a trip to your local bookstore and/or library and read on, and on, and on.


Cover of The Black Company by Glen CookThe Black Company by Glen Cook

With a new introduction by Steven Erikson, author of The Malazan Book of the Fallen.

Some feel the Lady, newly risen from centuries in thrall, stands between humankind and evil. Some feel she is evil itself. The hard-bitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must, burying their doubts with their dead. Until the prophesy: The White Rose has been reborn, somewhere, to embody good once more. There must be a way for the Black Company to find her…

ON SALE 2/22/22!

Cover of Worlds of Exile and Illusion by Ursula K. Le GuinWorlds of Exile and Illusion by Ursula K. Le Guin

With a new introduction by Amal El-Mohtar, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author.

These three spacefaring adventures mark the beginning of grand master Ursula K. Le Guin’s remarkable career. Set in the same universe as Le Guin’s groundbreaking classics The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed, these first three books of the celebrated Hainish Series follow travelers of many worlds and civilizations in the depths of space. The novels collected in this Tor Essentials edition are the first three ever published by Le Guin, a frequent winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards and one of the greatest science fiction and fantasy writers of all time.

ON SALE 3/15/22!

Cover of Up Against It by Laura J. MixonUp Against It by Laura J. Mixon

With a new introduction by James S. A. Corey, author of the Expanse novels.

Jane Navio is the resource manager of Phoecea, an asteroid colony poised on the knife-edge of a hard vacuum of unforgiving space. A mishap has dumped megatons of water and methane out the colony’s air lock, putting the entire human population at risk. Jane discovers that the crisis may have been engineered by the Martian crime syndicate, as a means of executing a coup that will turn Phocaea into a client-state. And if that wasn’t bad enough, an AI that spawned during the emergency has gone rogue…and there’s a giant x-factor in the form of the transhumanist Viridian cult that lives in Phocaea’s bowels. Jane’s in the prime of her career—she’s only a bit over a century old—but the conflict between politics and life-support is tearing her apart. To save her colony and her career, she’s going to have to solve several mysteries at once—a challenge that will put her up against all the difficulties, contradictions, and awkward compromises entailed in the human colonization of outer space.

ON SALE 4/26/22!

Cover of Mythago Wood by Robert HoldstockMythago Wood by Robert Holdstock

With a new introduction by Michael Swanwick, author of The Iron Dragon’s Daughter.

The mystery of Ryhope Wood, Britain’s last fragment of primeval forest, consumed George Huxley’s entire long life. Now, after his death, his sons have taken up his work. But what they discover is numinous and perilous beyond all expectation. For the Wood, larger inside than out, is a labyrinth full of myths come to life, “mythagos” that can change you forever. A labyrinth where love and beauty haunt your dreams…and may drive you insane.

ON SALE 7/12/22!

Cover of Growing Up Weightless by John M. FordGrowing Up Weightless by John M. Ford

With a new introduction by Francis Spufford, author of Golden Hill.

John M. Ford (1957-2006) was a science fiction and fantasy writer, game designer, and poet whose work was held in high regard by peers ranging from Neil Gaiman to Robert Jordan to Jo Walton to Roger Zelazny, alongside innumerable others. His novels include the World Fantasy Award-winning The Dragon Waiting, the Philip K. Dick Award-winning Growing up Weightless, and the contemporary thriller The Scholars of Night. His debut novel Web of Angels (1980) has been called “cyberpunk before there was cyberpunk.” He spent the latter decade-and-a-half of his writing life in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

ON SALE 9/27/22!

Cover of The Fifth Head of CerberusThe Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe

With a new introduction by Brian Evenson, winner of the O. Henry Award.

Far out from Earth, two sister planets, Saint Anne and Saint Croix, circle each other in an eternal dance. It is said a race of shapeshifters once lived here, only to perish when men came. But one man believes they can still be found, somewhere in back of the beyond. In The Fifth Head of Cerberus, Gene Wolfe skillfully interweaves three bizarre tales to create a mesmerizing pattern: the harrowing account of the son of a mad genius who discovers his hideous heritage; a young man’s mythic dreamquest for his darker half; and the bizarre chronicle of a scientist’s nightmarish imprisonment. Like an intricate, braided knot, the pattern at last unfolds to reveal astonishing truths about this strange and savage alien landscape.

ON SALE 11/8/22!

Which book is at the top of your TBR? Let us know in the comments! 

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