Happy Birthday to Tor.com! We Turn 11 Today and…Hey, What’s This?


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Stubby the Rocket Hogwarts letter Tor.com 11th birthday

Stubby the Rocket launched Tor.com 11 years ago today, on July 20, 2008! And after last year’s raucous 10 year birthday party we’re really looking forward to a cupcake or six and a nice quiet year ahea…

Erm, what’s this?

That envelope was definitely not there before.

(The unicorn definitely was.)

Stubby the Rocket Hogwarts letter Tor.com 11th birthday

 

We guess it could be a check from mom and dad, which is nice. We’re 11 so who knows how we’ll cash it, but…woah.

Stubby the Rocket Hogwarts letter Tor.com 11th birthday

 

WOAH.

Stubby the Rocket Hogwarts letter Tor.com 11th birthday

 

MINERVA.

Stubby the Rocket Hogwarts letter Tor.com 11th birthday

 

We suppose a rocket landing in Diagon Alley probably wouldn’t be the weirdest thing that happened there…

Stubby the Rocket Hogwarts letter Tor.com 11th birthday

 

Wait.

This explains a lot.

Stubby the Rocket Hogwarts letter Tor.com 11th birthday

 

We’re off to school! We’re going to be so good at Magical Creatures, you guys.

….

How’d the owl get in here?

8 Fantasy Tales That Indulge Our Sweet Tooth


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Fantasy fiction has a sweet tooth. It seems that worlds full of magic and mayhem need sugar to keep their denizens powered through endless winters, strange adventures, and harrowing school years. We’ve assembled a brief chronology of tales with a sugary bite (eschewing video games for the time being—the Mario games alone could fill a book with candy worlds) that contain our favorite (and often very magical) cakes, cookies, and candies—from an edible cottage set deep in the woods, to the enchanted sweets hidden in the robes of our favorite Headmaster…

 

“Hansel and Gretel” (1812)

Illustration by Arthur Rackham (The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, 1909)

Hansel and Gretel live with their parents at the edge of a deep, dark, extremely Germanic forest. Their parents decide it costs too much to feed them, and concoct a plan to take the siblings into the forest and abandon ...

Alice in Wonderland fantasy confections drink me eat me Mad Hatter Tea Party

8 Fantasy Tales That Indulge Our Sweet Tooth


This post is by Stubby the Rocket from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Fantasy fiction has a sweet tooth. It seems that worlds full of magic and mayhem need sugar to keep their denizens powered through endless winters, strange adventures, and harrowing school years. We’ve assembled a brief chronology of tales with a sugary bite (eschewing video games for the time being—the Mario games alone could fill a book with candy worlds) that contain our favorite (and often very magical) cakes, cookies, and candies—from an edible cottage set deep in the woods, to the enchanted sweets hidden in the robes of our favorite Headmaster…

 

“Hansel and Gretel” (1812)

Illustration by Arthur Rackham (The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, 1909)

Hansel and Gretel live with their parents at the edge of a deep, dark, extremely Germanic forest. Their parents decide it costs too much to feed them, and concoct a plan to take the siblings into the forest and abandon ...

Alice in Wonderland fantasy confections drink me eat me Mad Hatter Tea Party

5 Unexpected Continuations of Beloved Stories


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It’s always hard to believe the words “The End”, isn’t it? Seems like there should always be room for another sentence after that. A paragraph. A chapter. And then sometimes… there’s another book. A whole story you weren’t anticipating. Here are a few of those surprises…

 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Harry Potter #8) by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child cover

J.K. Rowling insisted that while there was more of the wizarding world to explore, the story of Harry Potter was complete at the end of The Deathly Hallows. There was an encyclopedia that she intended to write for Harry’s world, which eventually became Pottermore, and it seemed that was that for several years. But by 2013, Rowling was said to be working on a Potter play, and 2015 came with more information and a title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The show premiered ...

Peter Pan in Scarlet cover
The Redemption of Time by Baoshu translated by Ken Liu, cover
And Another Thing...by Eion Colfer
Hunger Games Prequel

5 Unexpected Continuations of Beloved Stories


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It’s always hard to believe the words “The End”, isn’t it? Seems like there should always be room for another sentence after that. A paragraph. A chapter. And then sometimes… there’s another book. A whole story you weren’t anticipating. Here are a few of those surprises…

 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Harry Potter #8) by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child cover

J.K. Rowling insisted that while there was more of the wizarding world to explore, the story of Harry Potter was complete at the end of The Deathly Hallows. There was an encyclopedia that she intended to write for Harry’s world, which eventually became Pottermore, and it seemed that was that for several years. But by 2013, Rowling was said to be working on a Potter play, and 2015 came with more information and a title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The show premiered ...

Peter Pan in Scarlet cover
The Redemption of Time by Baoshu translated by Ken Liu, cover
And Another Thing...by Eion Colfer
Hunger Games Prequel

Clones Are For Educating: 12 Times SFF Characters Trained Their Own Duplicates


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Whether you’ve got a replica, a doppelgänger, or a straight-up clone, having a duplicate of some sort certainly helps you move through life a little bit easier, from a temporary stand-in to a more permanent kind of donor. But they have to know how to successfully emulate their source material, right? Which means that you probably have to train them up. Here are a few of those times that training your duplicate (knowingly or unintentionally, closely or indirectly) came in handy…

 

Battlestar Galactica’s Cylons

Battlestar Galactica training duplicates clones Cylons Number Eights

Screenshot: Syfy

When your entire society is made up of only 12 models, the average Cylon is bound to run into dozens of others with their face, if not their identical personality. The Number Six and Number Eight models in particular find that they range from sweet to savage, empathetic to humanity’s struggle or fervently worshipping the Cylon cause. To manage these disparate personas, ...

The Murders of Molly Southbourne The Survival of Molly Southbourne Tade Thompson
training duplicates Never Let Me Go clones organ donors
training duplicates clones The Island

Here’s How Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Connects to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child


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It turns out that you can use clues from the new Harry Potter mobile game Wizards Unite to place it precisely within the timeline of the main books and their follow-up “eighth story” play. So when does Wizards Unite take place?

Right now.

(Spoilers for Wizards Unite and the Cursed Child apply.)

We’re still digging through the game here in the Tor dot com office, but a few things are apparent in the game right from the beginning. We’re getting our orders from an adult Hermione and getting advice from an adult Harry, so we’re clearly somewhere between Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. But now that Cursed Child has given us greater detail about the wizarding world in the late 2010s, we couldn’t help but wonder when the time-shattering storyline of Wizards Unite takes place.

 

The timeline

Okay, SO! Here’s ...

7 Mothers, Mentors, and Matriarchs of SFF Who Are Probably Very Disappointed With Us Right Now


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Harry Potter, Molly Weasley, Julie Walters

If you need something done, there’s usually only one person for the job… and no, we’re not talking about a chosen one. We’re talking about the women who roll up their sleeves and get sh*t done, whether it’s holding down the fort in a wizarding resistance, or standing at the right hand of power in a planetary Empire—these mothers, mentors, and matriarchs are some of the most imposing figures the world (or universe) over, and they really don’t have time for our crap right now…

 

Molly Weasley—Harry Potter series

Harry Potter, Molly Weasley, Julie Walters

Screenshot: Warner Bros. Pictures

Molly Weasley is everyone’s mother, intent on keeping the entire wizarding resistance against Voldemort fed and clothed and well cared for. She establishes her own clan as Harry’s de facto family once he makes friends with her youngest son Ron in their first year at Hogwarts, and is certain to send him Christmas presents and invite ...

Discworld covers, The Fifth Elephant, Thud, The Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
Cordelia's Honor cover, Lois McMaster Bujold, Vorkosigan Saga
Aunt May, Into the Spiderverse

Rainbow Rowell Talks Wayward Son Headcanons and Harry Potter at BookCon


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In the four years since her Harry Potter-inspired fantasy Carry On was published, author Rainbow Rowell said at BookCon, even when she was immersed in other projects, “the back of my brain never leaves Baz Pitch.” And who could blame her? For all that Carry On is an excellent subversion of the Chosen One archetype, its most memorable character is cranky queer vampire Tyrannus “Baz” Basilton Grimm-Pitch, who finds himself in love with his roommate/enemy, the aforementioned Chosen One Simon Snow. And with this fall’s follow-up Wayward Son, readers get more of Baz’s story.

Wayward Son represents many things for Rowell: her first sequel, the first book that readers were clamoring for during the writing of it, a genre crossover of the fantasy world she’s slowly been exploring with an all-American road trip story.

Speaking of fantasy, there is some ineffable magic to a Rainbow ...

Rainbow Rowell Talks Wayward Son Headcanons and Harry Potter at BookCon


This post is by Natalie Zutter from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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In the four years since her Harry Potter-inspired fantasy Carry On was published, author Rainbow Rowell said at BookCon, even when she was immersed in other projects, “the back of my brain never leaves Baz Pitch.” And who could blame her? For all that Carry On is an excellent subversion of the Chosen One archetype, its most memorable character is cranky queer vampire Tyrannus “Baz” Basilton Grimm-Pitch, who finds himself in love with his roommate/enemy, the aforementioned Chosen One Simon Snow. And with this fall’s follow-up Wayward Son, readers get more of Baz’s story.

Wayward Son represents many things for Rowell: her first sequel, the first book that readers were clamoring for during the writing of it, a genre crossover of the fantasy world she’s slowly been exploring with an all-American road trip story.

Speaking of fantasy, there is some ineffable magic to a Rainbow ...

Rainbow Rowell Talks Wayward Son Headcanons and Harry Potter at BookCon


This post is by Natalie Zutter from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




In the four years since her Harry Potter-inspired fantasy Carry On was published, author Rainbow Rowell said at BookCon, even when she was immersed in other projects, “the back of my brain never leaves Baz Pitch.” And who could blame her? For all that Carry On is an excellent subversion of the Chosen One archetype, its most memorable character is cranky queer vampire Tyrannus “Baz” Basilton Grimm-Pitch, who finds himself in love with his roommate/enemy, the aforementioned Chosen One Simon Snow. And with this fall’s follow-up Wayward Son, readers get more of Baz’s story.

Wayward Son represents many things for Rowell: her first sequel, the first book that readers were clamoring for during the writing of it, a genre crossover of the fantasy world she’s slowly been exploring with an all-American road trip story.

Speaking of fantasy, there is some ineffable magic to a Rainbow ...

JK Rowling’s Pottermore to publish four short books on the history of magic


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


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Pottermore Publishing due to release non-fiction ebooks, modelled on the curriculum followed by Harry Potter

Harry Potter fans are due to be given new insight into the “rich history” of JK Rowling’s wizarding world in a new series of four short books exploring the origins of magic.

Rowling’s Pottermore Publishing will release four ebooks next month, “bitesize” non-fiction that the publisher said will explore “the traditional folklore and magic at the heart of the Harry Potter stories”. Each is themed on a subject on the Hogwarts curriculum, with A Journey Through Charms and Defence Against the Dark Arts, A Journey Through Potions and Herbology, A Journey Through Divination and Astronomy, and A Journey Through Care of Magical Creatures all on the way.

Continue reading...

4 Great Post-Harry Potter Works (That Aren’t Harry Potter)


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I still remember finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in the middle of the night in summer 2007, crying as I turned the final page, mostly out of the catharsis of a solid series ending. Harry’s seven years at Hogwarts—which I spent about seven years experiencing in real time, between reading and waiting for the books from 2000 to 2007—is a compelling chapter of the larger wizarding world of J.K. Rowling. And while the series has since spun into a multimedia franchise, exploring both the past in the Fantastic Beasts movies and the future in Cursed Child, I’ve never felt the same connection to the expanded universe as I did to the original novels. But as someone who grew up writing fanfiction for a variety of fandoms—including, yes, 100-word Harry Potter drabbles—I feel that the real successors of Rowling’s incredible imagination are the variety of responses from ...

JK Rowling’s ex-PA must repay author £18,734 in fraud case


This post is by Severin Carrell Scotland editor from Books | The Guardian


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Novelist sought damages against Amanda Donaldson to protect her staff’s reputation

A former personal assistant to novelist JK Rowling has been ordered to repay nearly £19,000 after fraudulently misusing the money to buy herself lavish gifts and meals.

Using her married name Joanne Murray, the Harry Potter author sued her former assistant Amanda Donaldson for damages for using Rowling’s business credit cards and petty cash without approval over three years.

Continue reading...

JK Rowling’s ex-PA must repay author £18,734 in fraud case


This post is by Severin Carrell Scotland editor from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Novelist sought damages against Amanda Donaldson to protect her staff’s reputation

A former personal assistant to novelist JK Rowling has been ordered to repay nearly £19,000 after fraudulently misusing the money to buy herself lavish gifts and meals.

Using her married name Joanne Murray, the Harry Potter author sued her former assistant Amanda Donaldson for damages for using Rowling’s business credit cards and petty cash without approval over three years.

Continue reading...

Polish priest apologises for Harry Potter book burning


This post is by Monika Scislowska, Associated Press from Books | The Guardian


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Priest says the public destruction of ‘evil’ items, including JK Rowling’s books and Buddhist figurines, was not intended to condemn specific authors or religions

A priest in northern Poland who led a public burning of books that included Harry Potter titles and other “evil” items parishioners wanted destroyed has apologised.

Father Rafał Jarosiewicz called the burning of objects thought to be connected to magic and the occult, and deemed by their owners to be an evil force, “unfortunate”. Images from the burning last Sunday at the Catholic parish of Our Lady Mother of the Church and St Catherine of Sweden, in Gdansk, were originally posted on the Facebook page of SMS z Nieba (SMS from Heaven) , a foundation that uses unconventional means to carry out religious work across Poland.

Continue reading...

5 SFF Stories About Surviving the Dangers of Boarding School


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J.K. Rowling has done much to revive the literary genre of boarding school stories, which achieved its greatest (pre-Potter) popularity in the period between Tom Brown’s Schooldays (1857) and the mid-twentieth century. As a setting, boarding schools allow for the construction of thrilling narratives: concerned parents are replaced by teachers who may well prioritize student achievement over student welfare, e.g. maximizing points for Gryffindor over the survival of the students earning those points. Because the students cannot easily walk away from the school, they must deal with teachers and other students, some of whom may be vividly villainous (Miss Minchin, for example—the antagonist in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess).

Are there any SFF novels featuring boarding schools? Why yes! I am glad you asked—there are more than I can list in a single article. Here are just a few.

 

Joe and Jack ...

JK Rowling’s writing advice: be a Gryffindor


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


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On her website, the Harry Potter author has listed essential qualities for budding authors – including resilience, humility and courage

JK Rowling has taken time off from a recent (and inexplicable) venture into laying out wizards’ toilet habits from days of yore to give her readers a glimpse into the thinking behind the writing that has made her one of the world’s best loved and highest paid authors.

Steering clear of what she calls “lists of must do’s”, Rowling points out that she found success as an author “by stumbling off alone in a direction most people thought was a dead end, breaking all the 1990s shibboleths about children’s books in the process. Male protagonists are unfashionable. Boarding schools are anathema. No kids’ book should be longer than 45,000 words.” So instead of advising would-be writers what they have to do, she tells them instead what qualities they can’t ...

Queering Hogwarts: Fantasy Books That Succeed Where Harry Potter Fails


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Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy aren’t queer, but their counterparts in Rainbow Rowell’s novel Carry On, Simon Snow and Basilton “Baz” Grimm-Pitch, are.

In our current “post-Potter” age, a new crop of published queer magic boarding school novels has emerged that directly challenge the lack of LGBT representation in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Collectively, they reimagine a series that was quintessential for the childhood and teenaged years of many young queer people, by giving them center stage.

These published stories are expanding the limited space for queer people in the magical boarding school genre by taking core elements of Harry Potter—what it means to be a Chosen One, tropes of villainy, magical societies, living in boarding school, school romance—and making it queer.

The publication dates of these new novels all occur after the end of the Harry Potter series in 2007, and this is no coincidence. Why ...

A Realtime Breakdown On How Pottermore Made the Chamber of Secrets Weird For Me


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Leah dropped a tweet into Slack with an “ummmm” affixed beforehand:

I did some telltale nerdly throat-clearing and gamely told her that this information was not new; it had been published on Pottermore in a larger piece about the history of the Chamber of Secrets several months ago, and I kept avoiding it because of how angry it made me. Because it makes no sense, and also, it ruins one of my favorite headcanons about the Potter series.

See, the thing I always assumed was that the castle magically rearranged around the Chamber as it was reconstructed over the years. Which would be hilarious because nothing is better than the idea of Salazar Slytherin being such ...