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Not at San Diego Comic-Con Sweepstakes – Swag Bag #2

Tor Books is heading to San Diego Comic-Con!

Image Placeholder of - 35We hope to see many of you there. Stop by Booth #2707 to say hi or to participate in one of our many events and signings.

But for those of you who couldn’t make it out to California, we wanted to offer you the chance to grab some of the same amazing swag and books that we’re promoting at #SDCC. To enter for the chance to win one of these three prize bundles, leave a comment on this post telling us one amazing thing that you’ll be doing this week while you are #NotAtComicCon. Whether you’re training your dragon, building your own TARDIS, or dealing with that pesky deadline at work, we hope you have a wonderful week. Here’s a look at the prize:

SDCC 2014 Swag Bag Prize

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

  • Signed copy of Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
  • ARC of Lowball: A Wild Cards Novel edited by George R.R. Martin and Melinda Snodgrass
  • Audibook of A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
  • Among Others by Jo Walton
  • Blood’s Pride by Evie Manieri
  • Blindsight by Peter Watts
  • Dangerous Women edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois
  • Dragon Age: The Masked Empire by Patrick Weekes
  • The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
  • Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Halo: Cryptum by Greg Bear
  • Kitty’s Greatest Hits by Carrie Vaughn
  • The Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind
  • Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
  • Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson
  • The Thief Queen’s Daughter by Elizabeth Haydon
  • Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone
  • And a tote bag

Plus, one winner will receive this display exclusive – a signed Three Parts Dead booth poster!

Three Parts Dead Poster

And, after you comment below to enter this sweepstakes, head over here to enter for a chance to win our other amazing swag bag!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 or older as of the date of entry. To enter, leave a comment here beginning at 10:00 AM Eastern Time (ET) July 24, 2014. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET July 28, 2014. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

Not at San Diego Comic-Con Sweepstakes – Swag Bag #1

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We hope to see many of you San Diego Comic-Con! If you are there, stop by Booth #2707 to say hi or to participate in one of our many events.

Can’t make it? You can still get some or our swag when you enter our Not at San Diego Comic-Con Sweepstakes! Just sign up for our newsletter, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win this awesome swag bag:

SDCC swag bag

This prize includes:

  • Wheel of Time bag
  • California Bones coaster set
  • Lock In keychain
  • Dragon Age poster
  • The Way of Kings magnet set
  • The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp
  • Among Others by Jo Walton
  • Blindsight by Peter Watts
  • California Bones by Greg van Eekhout
  • Dark Shadows: Wolf Moon Rising by Lara Parker
  • Dragon Age: The Masked Empire by Patrick Weekes
  • Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Lock In by John Scalzi
  • The Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind
  • Hurricane Fever by Tobias S. Buckell
  • Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone
  • The Time Traveler’s Almanac edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer

Sign up for your chance to win today!

And, after you sign up to enter this sweepstakes, head over here to enter for a chance to win our other amazing swag bag!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 or older as of the date of entry. To enter, complete the entry form here beginning at 12:00 AM Eastern Time (ET) July 23, 2014. Sweepstakes ends at 11:59 PM ET July 27, 2014. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

#TorChat May 2012 Sweepstakes

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

In the meantime, here’s your chance to win some books. Three lucky winners will receive a copy of The Weird and Glamour in Glass, recent titles from today’s #TorChat guests! Leave a comment below to enter.

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And again we’d like to thank Ann VanderMeer, Jeff VanderMeer, and Mary Robinette Kowal for joining us on Twitter today.

Sweepstakes closes to new entries on May 23rd.

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

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. You must be 18 or older and a legal resident of the 50 United States or D.C. to enter. Promotion begins May 16, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. ET. and ends May 23, 2012, 12:00 p.m. ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules go here. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

May #TorChat Lineup Revealed

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This month, #TorChat is talking about short stories, with two premier editors and one award-winning short story author. Joining us on May 16th from 4 to 5 PM EST are Ann VanderMeer, Jeff VanderMeer, and Mary Robinette Kowal!

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

#TorChat has been going on for over a year now (where did the time go?!), and we realized that we’ve spent most of our time talking about novels. We love novels, don’t get us wrong, but we thought it was time to give a little love to short stories by chatting with two of the premier anthology editors out there, as well as an award-winning short story writer. Ann VanderMeer (@AnnVanderMeer) and Jeff VanderMeer (@jeffvandermeer) are a husband-and-wife team who have, between them, won a Hugo Award (Ann) and a World Fantasy Award (Jeff), and has edited anthologies such as Best American Fantasy, Steampunk, The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, and most recently, The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories. Jeff is also an accomplished novelist, with his most recent novel, Finch, receiving a nomination for Best Novel for the 2010 World Fantasy Award.

Joining them will be Mary Robinette Kowal (@maryrobinette), who in addition to Shades of Milk and Honey and Glamour in Glass has written a variety of short fiction. Her short story “For Want of a Nail” won the Hugo Award in 2011, and this year her novella “Kiss Me Twice” is a finalist for the Nebula, Hugo, and Locus awards. She’s also a cohost on the podcast “Writing Excuses,” with Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Taylor, and Jordan Sanderson. Mary knows her way in and out of the online world as well as the world of short fiction, so we thought she’d be the perfect choice to chat with the VanderMeers about editing anthologies, short fiction, and the digital world.

The chat will be loosely moderated by Tor Digital Marketing Manager Cassandra Ammerman (@leanoir). We hope that short fiction fans, as well as fans of the VanderMeers and Mary Robinette Kowal, will follow the chat and join in using the Twitter hashtag #TorChat!

About the Authors

ANN VANDERMEER and JEFF VANDERMEER are both active teachers who have taught at the Clarion and Odyssey writing workshops and the teen summer camp Shared Worlds, where Jeff serves as the assistant director. Ann VanderMeer is a Hugo Award-winner, and Jeff VanderMeer has won the World Fantasy Award. They have recently co-edited such anthologies as Best American Fantasy; Best American Fantasy 2; Steampunk; Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded; The New Weird; Last Drink Bird Head; Fast Ships, Black Sails; and The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities. They are the co-authors of The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals: The Evil Monkey Dialogues.

Jeff’s latest books include Finch, a World Fantasy and Nebula Award-finalist; the short story collection The Third Bear; the non-fiction collection Monstrous Creatures; the coffee table book The Steampunk Bible (co-authored with S. J. Chambers); and the writing guide Booklife. Ann is the editor-in-chief of Weird Tales magazine, the oldest fantasy magazine in the world, and is a regular contributor to the popular science fiction and fantasy web-site io9. Together, they have been profiled by National Public Radio and online at Wired.com and the New York Times’s Arts Beat blog. They live in Tallahassee, Florida, with too many books and four cats. Their most recent anthology is The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories.

MARY ROBINETTE KOWAL was the 2008 recipient of the Campbell Award for Best New Writer and a Hugo winner for her story “For Want of a Nail.” Her short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Asimov’s, and several Year’s Best anthologies. Mary is an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and currently serves on the board of directors as vice president. A professional puppeteer and voice actor, Mary grew up in North Carolina and spent twenty years as a professional puppeteer, including several national tours. She recently moved to Chicago with her husband, Rob, their cats, and over a dozen manual typewriters. Her most recent novel, Glamour in Glass, was published in April.

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

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

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Historical Language Can Be Electrifying

Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal

By Mary Robinette Kowal

The goal, with any novel, is to keep the reader engaged in the story. Beyond writing a story that is compelling in the first place, you also have to avoid doing anything that will throw them out of the story. For a novel like Glamour in Glass, which is set in 1815, one of the additional challenges is the use of language. It is very easy to use the wrong word and make a reader pull to a complete halt.

Like the Viking who says, “Okay.” Or the Victorian heroine who says, “Dude.” Or the Regency heroine who says, “nictate.” It is important that the novel “feel” right to a modern reader, but that notion of “feel” can be fairly difficult to pin down.

So let’s look at some ways language can throw a reader out of a novel.

  1.  That word didn’t exist then. As much as I would like to be able to use the word “mesmerize” in Glamour in Glass, it doesn’t exist in 1815. It’s coined from a man named Franz Mesmer and although Mesmerism, as a spiritual movement, existed by then the noun had not yet been verbed.
  2. That word has changed meaning. Take for instance, the word “skittered.” A seemingly innocuous word, which is often used to represent the sound of leaves blowing across pavement, the sound of insect feet on a wall, or any other tiny, dry sound. In 1815? It meant diarrhea. In Glamour in Glass, I had the sentence “the leaves skittered across the pavement,” which… well.
    Or take “leyline” which sounds all old and mysterious, but wasn’t actually proposed as a concept until 1921 and, according to the Oxford English dictionary, the word leyline doesn’t show up until 1972 as the name of a magazine.
  3. That word isn’t in use anymore. Sometimes, while seeking historical accuracy, an author will go the other direction and pick a word that is completely accurate but has fallen so out of use that no one knows what it is any more. Take the word “reddingote.” Now this is a word that Austen readers will recognize, but most other readers require an explanation. It’s basically a long coat. When using period words like this, a writer has to decide if the word is worth the extra effort that a reader will have to put in to understand it. Sometimes, it involves adding a descriptive line to define the word you’ve just used. Sometimes it means deciding to not use the word. Sadly, there are no reddingotes in Glamour in Glass.
  4.  That word sounds too modern. Sometimes a word is completely period correct, but sounds modern. For instance, “electrify.” There is no way I can use that in a novel set in the Regency without tossing my reader from the story, but Jane Austen could and did use the word. Electricity was used for a parlour game in the early 1800s and people would get a thrill out of touching two contacts and getting a little jolt of electricity shooting through them. In the novel Persuasion, Jane Austen writes:

She was quite easy on that head, and consequently full of strength and courage, till for a moment electrified by Mrs Croft’s suddenly saying, “It was you, and not your sister, I find, that my brother had the pleasure of being acquainted with, when he was in this country.

I couldn’t write that, because a modern reader would assume it was a mistake. Remember my example above of the Victorian lady saying “dude?” That’s actually a period correct word. Wacky, huh?

The goal, with all of this, is to use the language as part of building the atmosphere of the story. Language reflects the culture that uses it. By being careful with language, it is possible to create a richer environment, so long as I remember that I am writing for a modern reader.

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From the Tor/Forge April newsletter. Sign up to receive our newsletter via email.

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More from our April newsletter:

Spring Fantasy Collection Sweepstakes

Sign up for the Tor/Forge Newsletter for a chance to win the following prize pack:

Blue Magic by A.M. DellamonicaCrysanthe by Yves MeynardGlamour in Glass by Mary Robinette KowalRange of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear Royal Street by Suzanne JohnsonSongs of the Earth by Elspeth CooperTouchstone by Melanie RawnWide Open by Deborah Coates

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

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

Sign up for your chance to win today!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. You must be 18 or older and a legal resident of the 50 United States or D.C. to enter. Promotion begins March 1, 2012 at 12 a.m. ET. and ends April 6, 2012, 11:59 p.m. ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. For Official Rules and to enter, go here. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

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

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