Tobias Buckell - Tor/Forge Blog



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SFF Holiday Sweeps Collections

Want to make your shelves the envy of genre fans everywhere this holiday season? We’re offering the chance to win your choice of boxes of sci-fi or fantasy novels, from authors like John Scalzi, Brandon Sanderson, Elizabeth Bear, and more. Sign up for the Tor Newsletter for you chance to win now!

And don’t forget to let us know which collection you’d like to win below.


Tor Books Announces Programming for San Diego Comic-Con 2014

Tor Books is heading to San Diego Comic-Con!

Image Place holder  of - 87 Once again Tor (Booth# 2707) continues our wildly popular *in-booth signings and giveaways, offering you a chance to meet your favorite authors up close and personal and pick up free books. We’ve got a great line up including appearances by: John ScalziGreg van EekhoutTobias Buckell, and Tor Teen debut author Ben Tripp.


Thursday, July 24th

  • 12:00 – 1:00am Panel: Fairy Tale Remix, Room 32AB
    Tor Teen author Ben Tripp (The Accidental Highwayman) joins Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles) and others that will give insight to the fairy tales of old, and new!
  • 1:30pm – 2:30 pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA09
  • 1:30pm – Author Reading Spotlight – John Scalzi, Science Fiction Author Cosplay, Horton Grand Theater, 444 4th Ave, between Island and J Street.
    John Scalzi reads from his forthcoming near-future thriller, Lock In, answers audience questions and maybe even serenades them on the ukulele!
  • 3:00pm – 4:00pm Panel: When Magic & Myth Meet Main Street, Room 25ABC
    When stories mix modern cities like Paris, LA, New York with magic, myth and demon spawn they are collectively known as Urban Fantasy, and many of today’s popular authors are adding their otherworldly ingredients to the melting pots of modern (and not-so-modern) society. Join some of today’s top urban fantasy authors, including Greg van Eekhout (California Bones), Jim Butcher, Seanan McGuire and others as they discuss why something old with something new equals gold.
  • 4:30pm – 5:30pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA09

Friday, July 25th

  • 1:00pm – 2:00pm Panel: 101 Ways to Kill a Man, Room 32AB
    Coming up with creative ways to commit mayhem and murder is the lifeblood of these talented thriller authors. A fatal chimera virus; hybridized bioengineered parasites; murderous microchips; lethal electric stimuli; deathstrike via satellite targeting. How many ways can you kill someone? Join top thriller authors Tobias Buckell (Hurricane Fever)Greg Hurwitz (Don’t Look Back) and others as they discuss the art of delivering deadly thrills. But don’t worry too much. A little light reading never killed anyone.
  • 2:30pm – 3:30pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA09

Saturday, July 26th

  • 12:00pm Tor Booth (#2707) Signing: Hurricane Fever – Tobias Buckell
  • 2:30pm – 3:30pm Panel: The Art of Fear, Room 8
    Horror novels have been keeping us at night for years. From puppets that come to life, to creepy-crawly worm, haunted towns, demons out for blood, killer wolves, possible possessions, to the apocalypse, these authors give you goosebumps while you read. Glen Hirschberg (Motherless Child), moderates this panel featuring, Mira Grant and others as they discuss their novels, the writing process, and why you keep the light on while you read.
  • 4:00pm – 5:00pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA09

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

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

On the Road: Tor/Forge Author Events in July

Hurricane Fever by Tobias BuckellA Plunder of Souls by D. B. JacksonThe Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. AndersonFull Fathom Five by Max Gladstone

Tor/Forge authors are on the road in July! Once a month, we’re collecting info about all of our upcoming author events. Check and see who’ll be coming to a city near you:

Thursday, July 3

Jo Walton, My Real Children
Flights of Fantasy
Albany, NY
7:00 PM

Thursday, July 10

Kevin J. Anderson, The Dark Between the Stars
Connecticon, July 10-13
Connecticut Convention Center
Hartford, CT

Saturday, July 12

Jane Lindskold, Artemis Awakening
Albuquerque, NM
3:00 PM

Sunday, July 13

Paul Park, All Those Vanished Engines
Brian Staveley, The Emperor’s Blades
Max Gladstone, Full Fathom Five
Felix Gilman, The Revolutions
Barnes & Noble
Burlington, MA
3:30 PM

Monday, July 14

D. B. Jackson, A Plunder of Souls
Rock Hill, SC
6:00 PM

Tuesday, July 15

D. B. Jackson, A Plunder of Souls
Books A Million
With authors Faith Hunter and A. J. Hartley
Gastonia, NC
6:30 PM

Max Gladstone, Full Fathom Five
Pandemonium Books & Games
Cambridge, MA
7:00 PM

Thursday, July 17

D. B. Jackson, A Plunder of Souls
Fountain Bookstore
Richmond, VA
6:30 PM

Paul Park, All Those Vanished Engines
Barnes & Noble
Holyoke, MA
7:00 PM

Friday, July 18

Tracy and Laura Hickman, Unwept
Barnes & Noble
Orem, UT
7:00 PM

Paul Park, All Those Vanished Engines
Amherst Bookstore
Amherst, MA
7:00 PM

Monday, July 21

Glen Hirshberg, Motherless Child
Literati Bookstore
Ann Arbor, MI
7:00 PM

D. B. Jackson, A Plunder of Souls
Quail Ridge Books
Raleigh, NC
7:30 PM

Wednesday, July 23

Max Gladstone, Full Fathom Five
Barnes & Noble
Framingham, MA
7:00 PM

Saturday, July 26

Jane Lindskold, Artemis Awakening
Steven Gould, Impulse
Barnes & Noble, Coronado Mall
Albuquerque, NM
2:00 PM

Julia Mary Gibson, Copper Magic
Benzie Shores District Library
Frankfort, MI
3:00 PM

Sunday, July 27

Tobias Buckell, Hurricane Fever
Borderlands Books
San Francisco, CA
3:00 PM

Monday, July 28

Tobias Buckell, Hurricane Fever
University Book Store
Seattle, WA
7:00 PM

Tuesday, July 29

Tobias Buckell, Hurricane Fever
Mysterious Galaxy
San Diego, CA
7:00 PM


Hurricane Fever and the Caribbean’s Forgotten Space Program

Hurricane Fever
Written by Tobias Buckell

It is, without doubt, the biggest gun I’ve ever seen.

I’m in Barbados doing research, and I’m standing under a 100 caliber barrel. The thing looks big enough to crawl into, but not quite. And the barrel just keeps going and going. Big enough that I have to trudge through the wet grass a ways to get some perspective on the whole thing. This cannon is so damn big it has a structure around the barrel to keep it rigid. It’s mounted on a concrete pad the size of an office building’s foundation. And there’s this huge space for recoil: a dark pit that I don’t want to fall down into, because it’s filled now with stagnant water.

I’m on the coast of Barbados, so there’s a pleasant, salty wind kicking up that’s cutting the heat as I walk around the 119 foot long barrel. It’s pitted with exposure to the corrosive Atlantic, but still majestically aims off over the Atlantic crashing against the low cliffs not too far away. Credit Tobias Buckell

I was born in Grenada, an island further to the west of Barbados, both of us at the southern tip of the sweep of the Caribbean as it curves down toward South America. Only Trinidad and Tobago lie between Venezuela and us. And all that time growing up, I had no idea that a lost, but no less major and fascinating chapter of humanity’s early attempts to get into orbit lay just one island over from me.

Jules Verne first tinkered with the idea of just shooting things into space with a giant enough gun. In the 1950s and 60s, some scientists actually did the math and realized that, hey, it wasn’t as crazy as you might think. Sure, human beings would get turned to toothpaste. But maybe you could get a satellite up there.

A Canadian scientist named Gerard Bull, the US military, and Barbados all collaborated together to actually try to launch small satellites into orbit from Barbados. They achieved the world record, shooting a micro-satellite up to 110 miles. Alas, the program was shut down due to a too-real-to-fictionalize stew of inter-personal and inter-country politics, and the creation of the rocket-oriented NASA. Gerard Bull, in a sadly-fascinating-maybe-ready-for-film twist, sold his idea to Saddam Hussein and prepared to build the largest cannon in the world for the dictator, and then was assassinated by parties unknown in 1990.
When I set out to write Hurricane Fever, my follow up novel to Arctic Rising, I wanted to explore the role of the Caribbean in a larger world. As someone who grew up in the islands, it was always dispiriting to see the world view my homeland as only a beach, a cocktail, and an exotic location. I enjoyed the James Bond films, but they had a habit of disregarding the people actually living in the far flung regions of the Commonwealth the spies had their adventures in.

I created Prudence Jones to push back at that. A Caribbean spy, trying to help the Caribbean deal with the larger nations throwing their weight around in his backyard, he’s stepping it up. And when I found out about the HARP gun project in Barbados, I knew I had to revive the program, bigger and better, and feature it as the capstone of the book.

Bond has always featured rockets and mega-projects. It’s part of the discussion. And when I walked around the HARP gun project, I thought this was a project a villain would love to take over.

As for what they’re planning to do with one, you’ll have to read Hurricane Fever to find out!


From the Tor/Forge June 16th newsletter. Sign up to receive our newsletter via email.


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Grab Bag Sweepstakes

Grab Bag Sweepstakes

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We are offering the chance to win a copy of the following titles: The Six-Gun Tarot by R. S. Belcher, Touchstone by Melanie Rawn, Arctic Rising by Tobias Buckell, Impulse by Steven Gould, Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear, and Wide Open by Deborah Coates.

Comment below to enter for a chance to win.

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 February 4, 2013 at 7:00 a.m. ET. and ends February 8, 2013, 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.

Sweepstakes: HALO Books & Audiobooks

Sign up for the Tor/Forge Newsletter for a chance to win a set of HALO books and audiobooks

Halo Ghosts of Onyx by Eric Nylund1 Haol: Contact Harvest by Joseph Staten Halo The Cole Protocol by Tobias  Buckell Halo Evolutions Volume I Halo Evolutions Volume II Halo The Fall of Reach by Eric Nylund Halo The Flood by William C. Dietz Halo First Strike by Eric Nylund Halo Cryptum by Greg Bear Halo Ghosts of Onyx by Eric Nylund Halo The Cole Protocol by Tobias S. Buckell Halo Evolutions

Plus one Halo Crytpum audiobook by Greg Bear

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 giveaways. We promise we won’t send you duplicate copies of the newsletter if you sign up 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 January 7, 2011 at 12 a.m. ET. and ends February 15, 2011, 11:59 p.m. ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. For Official Rules and to enter, go to Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.


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The Ultimate Writing Group

Metatropolis edited by John ScalziJohn Scalzi, Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell, Elizabeth Bear and Karl Schroeder … who wouldn’t want to be in their writing group? With their powers combined, they bring you these five original tales set in a shared urban future. Originally published as an audiobook with a limited small-press edition, Metatropolis is now available for the first time to the general trade. Read on for John Scalzi’s introduction to this work of shared brilliance:

If this book is not a first, then it’s something very close to it, because it’s a book that was originally an audiobook, rather than the more typical other way around. Early in 2008, audiobook seller and producer contacted me and asked me if I would be interested in putting together an audiobook anthology. I thought it was a really interesting idea; I’ve had novels performed as audiobooks, but writing directly for the form was new to me and seemed like an interesting challenge, especially if I had some willing collaborators.

But what I didn’t want to do was the usual anthology idea, in which writers are given a theme and then set off to work in isolation. It’s been done, and sometimes the authors and the ideas are a bad fit together. What I thought would be more interesting would be to collect a set of smart, engaged authors and have them build a world together, and having established the world, then go off and write their stories. We would get the advantages of a communally-created setting—everyone in the same world—and all the advantages of the individual writers, creating stories in their own style. The notable previous example of this is Harlan Ellison’s classic anthology, Medea: Harlan’s World. Plus, we know the writers would be well-matched with the world, because, after all, they helped create it.

The key would be the writers themselves, because they would provide the ideas that would build the world. And in this we were very fortunate to have the group we had: Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, Jay Lake and Karl Schroeder (as well as myself, since I was penning a story as well as acting as editor of the project). If you’re a current reader of science fiction, these names need no introduction, but I’m going to rag on them anyway: Our little group has three previous John W. Campbell Award winners (and four nominees), a multiple Aurora Award winner (that being Canada’s highest SF award), two Hugo winners, two authors who have showed up on the New York Times Bestseller list and one who has had his novel listed as a New York Times Notable Book.

And, to top it all off, they’re all smart as hell and fun to brainstorm with. As the project editor, I have to say these writers were my “A”-list—my first choices for the project—and I was delighted to get them. I figured that would make me look like a much smarter editor than I really was.

I was right about that. Karl Schroeder got the ball rolling by proposing the general idea of “future cities”—but not just the standard-issue Jetsons future cities, or another take on the city states of medieval times, gussied up with technology, but the idea that the cities would be something like an “interstitial nation”—that the people of a future Detroit or Portland might have more in common with the people in Hong Kong or Johannesburg than they might with the people right down the road—and what it would mean for the way we lived if city dwellers acted on that.

This was the starting point for the conversation, but as you’ll read in these stories, it definitely wasn’t the end of the conversation. The title of this anthology is “Metatropolis,” which means, more or less, “the city beyond.” The cities you’ll be reading about here are meant to be just that–a step beyond what you know, or what you may have expected.

Being the editor, I’m biased here, but I think these authors have done a really amazing job of opening up what the possibilities of cities are, and what they will be. The stories, separate but interconnected, create a world I think you’re going to really enjoy visiting. All I ask is that you pay attention—this could be your future. I hope you’re ready for it.


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