Say one thing for John Scalzi, he gets some damn fine covers from his publisher. Scalzi describes the book as ‘a near-future thriller involving a disease that causes people to be “locked in” inside their own bodies,’ and indicates that he feels the cover captures this essence. Irene Gallo, Art Director at Tor Books, describes the creation of the cover, ‘You can often describe an art director’s job as being a match-maker for author and designer and the John/Peter pairing has been a good for us. [...] Peter [Lutjen] created a cover that expressed both their isolation and connectivity by painting tiny train model people.’
Tor.com has the first official synopsis of the novel:
Fifteen years from now, a new virus sweeps the globe. 95% of those afflicted experience nothing worse than fever and headaches. Four per cent suffer acute meningitis, creating the largest medical crisis in history. And one percent find themselves “locked in”—fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to Stimulus.
One per cent doesn’t seem like a lot. But in the United States, that’s 1.7 million people “locked in” …including the President’s wife and daughter. Spurred by grief and the sheer magnitude of the suffering, America undertakes a massive scientific initiative. Nothing can restore to the “locked in” the ability to control their own bodies. But two new technologies emerge. One is a virtual reality environment, “The Agora,” in which the locked-in can interact with other humans, both locked-in and not. The other is the discovery that a few rare individuals have brains that are receptive to being controlled by others, meaning that from time to time, those who are locked in can “ride” these people and use their bodies as if they were their own.
This skill is quickly regulated, licensed, bonded, and controlled. Nothing can go wrong. Certainly nobody would be tempted to misuse it, for murder, for political power, or worse…
Lock In, which Scalzi is in the processing of completing at the time this cover was revealed, is due for publication on August 26th, 2014.
Today, Tor.com announced Some of the Best From Tor.com, 2013 Edition, a collection of fiction published on Tor.com over the past year. In a statement about the release, Tor.com said:
We are thrilled to announce the 2013 edition of Some of the Best from Tor.com, an anthology of twenty-one of our favorite stories, selected from the sixty-plus stories we published this year. This anthology is available world-wide through all major ebook retailers.
These stories were acquired and edited for Tor.com by Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Ellen Datlow, Ann VanderMeer, Liz Gorinsky, George R. R. Martin, Noa Wheeler, Melissa Frain, and Claire Eddy. Each story is accompanied by an original illustration.
This is the second volume in Tor.com’s anthology series, the first of which covers the entirety of the site’s first five years. It’s one of the most impressive short fiction collections available.
The table of contents, all of which are available to read for free on Tor.com:
Table of Contents
It’s my opinion that Tor.com is one of the finest publishers of genre short fiction, in print or electronically, and a curated collection of some of their best stories is sure to be full of quality. Get Some of the Best From Tor.com, 2013 Edition: eBook
Despite all my reservations about the first volume of the ‘trilogy’ of films (which, compared to the rest of the Internet, are fairly mild and positive), I can’t help but feel giddy when I watch this trailer. Yeah, it looks nothing like the book, but all hope for a faithful, irreverent adaptation were lost once Jackson announced that he was splitting the films into three parts anyway. It looks beautiful, and fun and I can’t help but become lost in Jackson’s version of Middle Earth.
The most disheartening thing is that, by all indications, the final film is going to comprise solely of the Battle of the Five Armies. Three hours of goblins, dwarves and, elves duking it out in CGI glory. I mean, that’s totally what I want from The Hobbit…
Tor Books announced today that they have acquired two more Mistborn novels from Brandon Sanderson. These two novels will be set in the same timeframe as The Alloy of Law, the standalone sequel to Sanderson’s popular trilogy, and will likely be of similar length. The first of these novels is titled Shadows of Self. According to Tor, the series is about “a team of cowboy detectives who investigate crimes that arise in a Scadrial that is rapidly approaching modernity.”
Sanderson on the upcoming Mistborn novels:
[O]ne thing I’ve wanted from the beginning of the Mistborn series was to show the interactions of magic with technology and society through different eras of that world’s development. There is much more to explore with Waxillium Ladrian, his comrade Wayne, and their time period, so we’re going to stay with them for a couple more books. I think you’re going to like what’s coming.
Moshe Feder, Sanderson’s agent, describes the deal as ‘the biggest’ they’ve done with Sanderson, and reconfirmed that these books are not part of the ‘trilogy of trilogies’ that Sanderson has described on several occasions. Instead, they are ‘bonus books.’
Feder describes the ‘trilogy of trilogies’:
The Mistborn series was conceived as a trilogy of trilogies. The first was set in what will eventually be thought of as Scadrial’s mythological past. The second will be set in Scadrial’s equivalent of Earth’s 20th century. The third will be in its high-tech future, roughly the Mistborn equivalent of Star Trek’s world. Obviously, the second and third trilogies are going to offer exciting opportunities for science and magic to combine and clash. I can’t wait to see what Brandon will do with that!
The Alloy of Law and Shadows of Self take place about 75 years before the second trilogy in the planned ‘trilogy of trilogies.’ There is no release date for the second trilogy.
Shadows of Self is tentatively scheduled for release in Fall, 2014. The third novel will follow in 2015.
One Small Step: An Anthology of Discoveries
Release Date: 20130522
Publisher: FableCroft Publishing
Crafting an anthology is a bit like making a good playlist: it’s not just the selection of pieces that matters, but whether they suit the overall mood and the way they fit together. I’ve also found – though this might just be a personal preference – that anthologies with a too-specific theme tend to fall flat, the individual stories bleeding together into a single, monotone whole. Particularly if the intention is to showcase a trope-heavy subgenre, like dystopian romance, I frequently find myself losing interest: even if most of the offerings are engaging and original, seeing the same devices used and reused in such close proximity wears me out, and once I’ve reached my saturation point, I find it hard to continue. Continue reading