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tordotcom July 25 2014, 21:20

Hurricane Fever by Tobias S. Buckell



Hurricane Fever Tobias Buckell review Hurricane Fever is the second of Tobias Buckell’s near-future thrillers, set in a world where global warming has had its inevitable effects and competition for natural resources is even more cut-throat than it is today. It’s a loose sequel to Arctic Rising, in that one of Arctic Rising’s secondary characters, Caribbean intelligence operative Prudence (“Roo”) Jones, takes centre stage. But Hurricane Fever stands alone: it’s not a series novel. Frankly, that’s always something of a relief.

Roo’s been out of the espionage game for a while. Now he tools around the Caribbean on his catamaran, dodging hurricanes and taking care of his nephew, the orphaned adolescent Delroy. He stays under the radar and out of trouble—at least, until he receives a message from an old friend and former colleague, Zee. But this isn’t your average message: no, this is a voicemail asking Roo to investigate Zee’s death. From Zee, Roo inherits some information, some puzzles, and a whole lot of peril. Peril that only gets worse once a woman accosts him, demanding answers—a woman who claims to be Zee’s sister.

[Full review, with some spoilers...]

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tordotcom July 25 2014, 21:20

The Walking Dead Season 5 Trailer Promises a Jaunty Road Trip!



The Walking Dead Season 5

So the wacky misadventures The Walking Dead continue in this special SDCC 2014 trailer for Season 5! The tattered remains of the non-zom population try to shamble their way toward Washington D.C., but, well, let's just say there may be some obstacles on the Beltway...

[click through for the trailer!]

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tordotcom July 25 2014, 20:50

What Time is it? Time for a 7th Season of Adventure Time!



Adventure Time has just made history by being the first Cartoon Network show to be picked up for a seventh season! The show’s Comic-Con panel was the usual mixture of animation sneak peeks, virtuosic voice acting, and occasional bursts into song. Check out the highlights below!


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tordotcom July 25 2014, 20:50

iZombie is More Buffy Than Veronica Mars: Rob Thomas Gives Hints at SDCC!



iZombie promo, Rose McIver, Liv Moore

Helmed by Veronica Mars’ Rob Thomas, iZombie has been causing its fair share of buzz this year as part of the new CW lineup. Fan were saddened to hear that the pilot, set to screen on preview night, was not making an appearance, but today’s panels had plenty of peeks in store for eager fans.

[Read more]

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tordotcom July 25 2014, 20:20

Tower Bored... I Mean Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan



Tower Lord Anthony Ryan review

Books have rhythm. Narratives have rhythm. When that rhythm is disrupted things fall apart very quickly. Tower Lord by Anthony has the rhythm of Kevin James in Hitch (2003). Which is weird, because Ryan’s debut novel, Blood Song, was like a breakdancer standing on his head with a beatbox accompaniment.

Blood Song, while a little clichéd, was digestible and addicting and incapable of being put down because the rhythm of it hooked the reader like an ear worm. Without that, Tower Lord falls apart, with a brutally benign first act and a dislocating sense of time and pace.

[Read more]

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tordotcom July 25 2014, 20:20

Maisie Williams to Play Ellie in The Last of Us Movie?



The Last of Us movie Sam Raimi producing Maisie Williams to play Ellie casting rumor Neil Druckmann Naughty Dog

All morning we’ve been wondering what the mysterious “sneak peek” would be in San Diego Comic-Con’s infamous (it has its own Twitter account) Hall H—what treat would greet the fans who’d waited hours in line. It took only a few minutes to find out: Sam Raimi and Neil Druckmann appeared to talk the movie adaptation of video game The Last of Us! Including a very promising meeting with a certain Game of Thrones star.

[Read on for plot details and casting rumors]

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tordotcom July 25 2014, 20:20

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “Empok Nor”



Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Empok Nor“Empok Nor”
Written by Bryan Fuller and Hans Beimler
Directed by Mike Vejar
Season 5, Episode 24
Production episode 40510-522
Original air date: May 19, 1997
Stardate: 50901.7

Station log: O’Brien and Nog are working on repairing a conduit, using tools that are sufficiently loud that it’s driving business away from Quark’s. (Kira, Dax, and Worf take all of three seconds’ worth of noise to decide to go to the Klingon restaurant instead.) Unfortunately, the problem is worse than O’Brien thought. They need to replace the plasma manifolds, which can’t be replicated, and relations with Cardassia these days preclude the notion of acquiring spares from them.

O’Brien leads a salvage team to Empok Nor, a station of the same design as Deep Space 9 (formerly Terok Nor) in the Trivas system, a sector that the Cardassians abandoned a year ago and have shown no interest in reacquiring since they became part of the Dominion. Odo warns of booby traps geared toward non-Cardassians, so Sisko convinces Garak to go along. The rest of the team includes Nog, two engineers (Pechetti and Boq’ta) and two security guards (Stolzoff and Amaro).

[“I can’t believe I let you talk me into volunteering for this.” “Beats working on the waste extraction system.”]

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tordotcom July 25 2014, 20:20

SymboGen Cares About Your Hugo Vote: Parasite by Mira Grant



Mira Grant—a penname for Seanan McGuire—can often be found on the Hugo ballot, and this year is no different. Admittedly, the central conceit of Parasite is a large pill to swallow, and takes a bit of handwaving to gloss over the details.

In Grant’s near future thriller, the majority of the world has willingly ingested an Intestinal Bodyguard, a designer parasite intended to aid our weakened immune systems. On top of that, all the parasites are all owned by a single company—SymboGen. But once you’re on board, Grant unfurls an interesting and briskly-paced narrative.

[SymboGen cares about your health…]

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tordotcom July 25 2014, 20:20

The Shadow Hero Poster Sweepstakes!



Does your neighborhood have a problem with corrupt corporations? Are villains in brightly colored onesies terrorizing your streets? Then this Green Turtle poster from First Second Books is just what you need to keep all those bad guys at bay! 

Written by Gene Luen Yang and illustrated by Sonny Liew, The Shadow Hero gives new life to a story that was lost to obscurity not long after it began. Not only did the Green Turtle solve crimes, fight injustice, and keep his true identity secret, but he was also the first Asian American super hero!

You’ve checked out the preview, and now’s your chance to get your hands on one of these five awesome posters! Comment in the post to enter! 

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 and D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec). To enter, comment on this post beginning at 3:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on July 25. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on July 29. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Tor.com, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

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tordotcom July 25 2014, 20:20

Korra Isn’t Cancelled! The Legend of Korra at SDCC



Avatar Legend of Korra SDCCIt’s been a troubling week for fans of Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Legend of Korra. On Wednesday it came out that Nickelodeon had pulled five episodes of the show from its schedule, following particularly low viewership numbers.

Prophecies of doom were immediate. Assurances came from show creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko that the show wasn’t cancelled, and was instead moving to a digital-only release schedule. Speculation remained hot going into today’s San Diego Comic-Con panel, where they promised additional info.

[Here’s what they had to say.]

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tordotcom July 25 2014, 20:20

What You’ll See in the First Mockingjay, Part 1 Trailer



Mockingjay trailer

The first trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 is being screened at the Samsung booth at San Diego Comic Con this weekend. It will be released online next week but if you’re curious, here’s what we know about what the trailer features. Spoilers ahead.

[Mockingjay trailer]

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tordotcom July 25 2014, 20:20

SDCC 2014: Lois Lowry Wishes She Had a Cameo in The Giver



The Giver SDCC posters

“When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong.” So says The Giver’s Chief Elder, who is played to chilling effect by Meryl Streep in the film adaptation of the classic work.

Lois Lowry came to Comic-Con to talk about the book and the film, and was regarded with “reverence and respect,” as she damn well should be. Given that her YA dystopia predates (and probably inspired) successes like Divergent and The Hunger Games, why did it take so long to get a film adaptation?

[Highlights from The Giver panel]

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tordotcom July 25 2014, 20:20

Peter Jackson Wants to Tackle Doctor Who After Hobbit Wraps Up



Peter Jackson Doctor Who

The Hollywood Reporter has uncovered a recent interview with Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat that brings a little more confirmation to the idea of Peter Jackson directing a future episode of the series. The director is apparently hoping to jump onto the series as soon as he’s done wrapping up The Hobbit trilogy of films this year.

The episode would be based in New Zealand and Jackson has revealed two elements that would have to be in his episode: Daleks, and the national rugby team the All Blacks. You can read more about the idea at the above link.

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tordotcom July 25 2014, 20:20

No One Accuses Bruce Wayne of Being “Vulnerable”—SDCC and Strong Female Characters



“The Most Dangerous Women at Comic-Con” focused primarily on—and spent a lot of time dissecting—the idea of the “strong female character.” Moderated by Katrina Hill, the panel included stuntwoman Lesley Aletter, Legion of Leia founder Jenna Busch, model Adrienne Curry, and writers Jane Espenson, Jennifer Stuller, Allen Kistler, and Brian Q. Miller.

Hill kicked off the discussion with a question for the panel: which female character would you partner with for the zombie apocalypse? The answers—Katniss Everdeen, Ripley, Zoe from Firefly, Buffy Summers, Starbuck, Peggy Carter, and Starfire—were largely what you would expect people to cite when talking about “strong female characters.” Hill went on to ask what else makes a female character strong other than the ability to kick ass.

[Read More]

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tordotcom July 25 2014, 20:20

Scott McCloud and Gene Luen Yang Talk Comics, Religion, and Racism at San Diego Comic-Con!



Gene Luen Yang Scott McCloud

Two comics masters, Gene Luen Yang and Scott McCloud, sat down for a wide-ranging conversation at SDCC, covering everything from the Gospel of Thomas to the white-washed cast of The Last Airbender film adaptation.

[Check out the highlights of their talk below!]

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tordotcom July 25 2014, 20:20

The Island of Excess Love (Excerpt)



The Island of Excess Love Francesca Lia Block excerpt Pen has lost her parents. She’s lost her eye. But she has fought Kronen; she has won back her fragile friends and her beloved brother. Now Pen, Hex, Ash, Ez, and Venice are living in the pink house by the sea, getting by on hard work, companionship, and dreams. Until the day a foreboding ship appears in the harbor across from their home. As soon as the ship arrives, they all start having strange visions of destruction and violence. Trance-like, they head for the ship and their new battles begin.

Francesca Lia Block’s The Island of Excess Love is available August 26th from Henry Holt & Co. This companion to Love in the Time of Global Warming follows Pen as she searches for love among the ruins, this time using Virgil’s epic Aeneid as her guide.

[Read an Excerpt]

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tordotcom July 25 2014, 20:20

Real Life Batgirl Ziplines Over Gotham at SDCC



Batgirl over Gotham San Diego Comic Con Philiana Ng

Fox has a zipline at San Diego Comic Con set up that allows you to soar over the skyline of Gotham. So you know that at some point the Bat-Family cosplayers were going to show convention goers how it’s done.

Hollywood Reporter correspondent Philiana Ng caught this awesome shot of Batgirl plunging towards Gotham. Check out her Twitter for more of the Bat-Family in Gotham, including the big man himself.

All of our ongoing San Diego Comic Con 2014 coverage can be found here.

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sararyan July 25 2014, 19:59

Beach best practices

Bring lots of books, but remember that you’ll also want to watch beach TV. Reliable channels include Waves, Clouds, Dogs, and Children. Sometimes you can get Horses or Storms; occasionally Sparklers.


Someone’s going to be Beach-Fire-Building Alpha. If that’s not you, assist them by gathering kindling, carrying foodstuffs to be carbonized, and not complaining when smoke drifts your way. If you’re the Beach-Fire-Building Alpha, rule benevolently, and gracefully accept all praise of your skills.


Consider not taking sunset photos because geez, aren’t there enough of them in the world already?




Feel grateful.


Originally published at sararyan.com. You can comment here or there.

athgarvan July 25 2014, 19:35


The beautiful sunny weather continues T.G.

Today I visited the lovely town of Arklow between here and Dublin on the east coast. The town has an attractive main street and a charming riverside walk. It was along this lovely walk by the river Avoca I spent my afternoon.

The Avoca starts life as two rivers, the Avonmore ("Big River") and the Avonbeg ("Small River"). These join together at a spot called the Meeting of the Waters in the Vale of Avoca, a local beauty spot that was celebrated by Thomas Moore in his song of the same name.

Fans of the Irish folk and ballad group Wolfe Tones, will recognise their rendering of the song:


The river flows by one of the most scenic villages in Wicklow, Avoca, which is the setting for the very popular B.B.C television series 'Ballykissangel'. Some may remember the series.


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