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Celebrating Valentines with our Favorite SFF Ships

Celebrating Valentines with our Favorite SFF Ships

The term “shipping” has a lot of different meanings: riding a boat, getting a package from Point A to Point B, to name a few. But in the world of fandoms, shipping has an entirely different contextthe wanting/support of two people in a romantic relationship, be is canonly blessed by the creator or subtext brought to full fruition through the wonders of Ao3.

With all the love we’re feeling in the air (or something like that…), we decided on a mission around the office―to discover the Tor staff’s favorite science fiction and fantasy pairings and SHARE THEM WITH THE ENTIRE WORLD! From Delilah Bard and her knives, to Drarry and beyond, things got…wild.

WARNING: Here there be spoilers. Enter at your own risk


Lila and her knives-1Lila and her knives from The Shades of Magic series

Let me start off by saying I would die for/at the hands of Lila Bard, that #StabbyKingBitch. Sure, Lila cares very deeply for Kell, they’ve been through a lot together and she owes him a lot for taking her to Red London and introducing her to magic. But her knives have been with her even longer, are always at her side, and are firmly the things she loves most in the world. Schwab’s series gives us many a scene in which Lila is sharpening/tending to the knives she has, or lustfully admiring new ones with that playfully wicked glint in her eye. There is no love that ever transcends what Lila knows to be true — that at the end of the day, she only has herself, and she has to be able to defend that. Lila has found true independence and strength with her knives, and with them in her hand, she became the person she wanted to be. Could you ask for a better love story than that? I think not.

Christina Orlando, Books Editor & Publicity Coordinator, Tor.com

networkMurderbot and ART from The Murderbot Diaries

Can the grumpy one love the other grumpy one? The answer is a resounding “yes” in Martha Wells’ crushingly relatable protagonist, who just wants to close the door to have a feeling in private. Wells finds an astonishingly deep well of humanity in her proudly non-human narrator, and the books only get better when ART (the terrifyingly intelligent transport vessel who serves as the series’ answer to HAL 9000) comes on the scene and the two begin their grudging partners-to-“wait are we dating now?” partnership. ART understands what all of us in the internet age already know: love is watching the person (or Murderbot) you love watch their favorite media so you can roll around in the refracted joy. Network Effect (May 2020), the first novel-length entry in the series, is the most satisfyingly romantic of them all.

Ruoxi Chen, Associate Editor, Tor.com Publishing

A-Memory-Called-Empire

Three Seagrass and Mahit Dzmare from <>A Memory Called Empire

Spoilers.*
Sometimes you’re an overwhelmed young ambassador in the heart of a hostile space empire that might just manifest destiny you right out of a home, but you can still find a little comfort in poetry and smooches with your political attache.

a bunch of raccoons in a trench coat, Senior Marketing Manager, Tor Books 

UNSPOKEN-1Csorwe and Shuthmili from The Unspoken Name

A flinty orc priestess jock with great arms who survived some sensationally bad wizard parenting and a Seems Delicate, Actually Ineffably Powerful femme sorceress who has zero (0) sense of self-preservation and very pretty hair? Uh, sign me up, every time. Csorwe and Shuthmili share troubled pasts and upbringings as young women raised to a greater purpose at the cost of their personal happiness. The Unspoken Name knows how to bring the hurt down on you like a hammer, but their romance—and their slow discovery of how to value themselves and each other—will leave you happily wallowing in a sea of joyful, queer comfort.

Ruoxi Chen, Associate Editor, Tor.com Publishing

sunmoon
The book Unconquerable Sun and the book Relentless Moon.

Both of these Tor books are coming out in the same month, they’re both sci-fi and they have sun and moon in the title! They have so much in common! They should kiss. Wait, hold on, I have an Instagram idea.

Renata Sweeney, Senior Marketing Manager, Tor Books 

ceruleansea

Linus Baker and Arthur Parnassus from The House in the Cerulean Sea

Linus and Arthur in The House in the Cerulean Sea have a quiet, soft sort of love, like a mug of perfectly warm hot cocoa topped with whipped cream and sprinkles. There’s a secret touch of cinnamon that adds a subtle spiciness. Honestly, this ship is charming, heartwarming, and delights me to no end. Sometimes a family is a by-the-book caseworker, the master of an orphanage, and six magical children. Applicable tropes: #slowburn #pining #fluff #foundfamily

Rebecca Yeager, Ad Promo Manager, Tor Books

goodomens
Crowley and Aziraphale from Good Omens

One is an ex-angel who “did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards.” The other is a Principality that gave away the sword guarding the Garden of Eden to Adam and Eve because he was afraid of them getting cold. Together, they make the dumbass Ineffable Husbands of my literary dreams whose well-meaning but disastrous shenanigans will make this ship sail until the end of times.

Rachel Taylor, Marketing Manager, Tor Books

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7 Sci-Fi Novels for When You Want to Laugh

When characters discover new worlds, take on galactic invaders, time travel or gain extraordinary powers, it can lead to heroic, epic adventures—or everything going hilariously wrong. Or, even better, some combination of both. So from not-so-super heroes to socially-anxious killer robots, here are seven humorous stories of people who are in over their heads.

Gate Crashers by Patrick S. Tomlinson

Placeholder of  -95 When the crew of the exploration vessel Magellan discovers an alien artifact during humanity’s furthest trip into space, they decide to bring it back to Earth so they can study the technology. Unfortunately, the aliens happened to be rather fond of this artifact. As the people of Earth put themselves on a collision course with the rest of the potentially hostile galaxy, they find the only thing as infinite as the universe is humanity’s ability to mess up.

Super Extra Grande by Yoss

Image Placeholder of - 37 Bizarre, hilarious, and a scathing critique of Western politics, Cuban author Yoss’s satire follows Dr. Jan Amos Sangan Dongo, a veterinarian who specializes in treating large alien animals. When Earth faces colonial conflicts with the other intelligent species, Dr. Sangan is forced to embark on a mission to rescue two ambassadors from the belly of an enormous creature. It’s intergalactic road trip meets raunchy satire and you need it in your life.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Place holder  of - 1 In this first book in the Murderbot Diaries, a self-aware security android hacks its settings and dubs itself “Murderbot”… because it sort of killed several people. Now free of restraints and bugs that might send them on another killing spree, the introverted droid has discovered soap operas and just wants to be left alone. But when something goes wrong on a mission to protect scientists on an alien planet, Murderbot gets strangely attached to their pesky humans and decides to risk discovery to protect them all—even if humans are much more complicated than they look on TV.

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

Image Place holder  of - 32 The good news is humans have made it to interplanetary space and discovered inhabitable planets. The bad news is that aliens want these planets too, and humans, led by the Colonial Defense Force, will have to fight for them. But the Defense Force doesn’t take young recruits—it enlists the elderly and transfers their experienced minds into younger bodies. John Perry joins the military on his 75th birthday. And while there’s plenty of drama and battle, there’s also a lot of old dudes making fart jokes and getting excited about their new abs. Old Man’s War is another one of the books on this list that show an outer space is full of sarcasm and witty rejoinders.

All Those Explosions Were Someone Else’s Fault by James Alan Gardner

Poster Placeholder of - 43 When dark creatures start to offer immortality in exchange for money (and maybe your soul) and magic and science combine to create beings with extraordinary powers, a battle ensues between the Dark and the Light. Caught in the middle of it all are Kim Lam, our snarky, gender-fluid hero, and their three roommates, turned into the super-powered Sparks by a freak accident. Equipped with capes and costumes, the friends use their new-found abilities to seek truth and justice…for the most part. The explosions were definitely someone else’s fault.

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

This Hugo and Locus-award winning comedic novel begins in the year 2057, where they use time machines to study history. Ned Henry, suffering from time-lag due to jumping back and forth to often from the 1940s, is in desperate need of a rest. But when a historian takes something from Victorian times that could upset the results of World War II and destabilize the timeline, Ned is the only available man to go back and set things right. Hijinks, mischievous butlers, boating accidents and social snafus ensue as the historians of Oxford pop back and forth in time and search for a gaudy artifact of dubious proportions.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

A classic when it comes to humorous science fiction, this story follows Arthur Dent and his best friend and actual alien Ford Prefect. They, and of course all the dolphins and mice, survive when Vogons destroy Earth to make way for an intergalactic highway. Joined by a two-headed alien, a human woman, a depressed robot, and a graduate student obsessed with the disappearance of his pens, they begin a journey full of wit and lunacy to discover the answer to some of life’s most important questions.

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