On the Head of a Pin - Tor/Forge Blog

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Not at New York Comic-Con Sweepstakes

Not at New York Comic-Con Sweepstakes

Tor Books is heading to New York Comic-Con!

Image Place holder  of - 35We hope to see many of you there. Stop by Booth #920 to say hi or to participate in one of our many events and signings.

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

Here’s a look at the prize:

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

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

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

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The Case for Genre

Gift of Fire / On the Head of a Pin by Walter Mosley

Written by Walter Mosley

In my opinion science fiction and fantasy writing has the potential to be the most intelligent, spiritual, inventive, and the most challenging of all literary writing. A good book of alternative reality creates an entire world, a skin that one can walk into and inhabit just as surely as we might walk out on the street in front our home.

All books create character and place but not all writing invents worlds. From Michael Moorcock’s Eternal Champion to Arthur C. Clark’s billion future(s) we are taken by this literature so far afield that our minds fill with realities that just moments ago were not possible; not even imaginable.
When Octavia Butler takes the world away from those who believe they were the most important; when Roger Zelazny takes my mind and makes it the subject, and object, of supposition and transmogrification; when A. A. Attanasio plants the alien seed in my breast allowing it to grow and to change me into something not human but still thrumming with the ambivalent and persistent urgings of Life – this is when solid creativity challenges the mind and spirit, heart and home.

In another way these many forms of alternative fiction take the political and turn it inside out. From Asimov’s Foundation trilogy to Collins’s The Hunger Games we are forced to see economics and technology as the motivating forces that are secretly, unconsciously, organizing and reorganizing our lives.

Harry Potter teaches us about racism and Samuel Delaney takes sex and makes it like the complex scentual system of a mysterious, maybe alien, flower and the bees that it enslaves to assure its survival.

Alternative fiction is not comfortable, not expected. There are heroes, yes, but the world they bring us stinks of change and betrays all the faith that we once had in the sky above our heads and the ground below our feet.

This is what I call realistic fiction; the kind of writing that prepares us for the necessary mutations brought about in society from an ever changing technological world. It is no different than when Marx warns us of an economic infrastructure designing our social relations; when Freud tells us that our most important mental functions are unconscious and nearly unapproachable; when Einstein says that what we see, believe, and even what we’ve proven is all made up when piled next to the real God of existence – Relativity; when Darwin says that we are cousins to the redwood and fruit fly, the woodpecker and wolf. This is what science fiction is all about. It’s our world under an alien light that allows us to question what we see and who we are seeing it.

And so I try, now and again, to enter the strange zone of the possible world that denies the rules set down by professors, confessors, priests, presidents, and wartime generals. Only in this world can I question my humanity in a universe that has made me smaller than nothing, beyond redemption, but still breathing, still hoping.

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