Brandon Sanderson Sampler: The Way of Kings & Mistborn

Brandon Sandeson SamplerBrandon Sanderson is one of the most innovative and prolific authors writing today, and Tor Books is proud to share with you two of his most exciting series: The Stormlight Archive and Mistborn.

This electronic sampler contains part one of The Way of Kings, book one in The Stormlight archive, and the first five chapters of Mistborn, book one of the Mistborn series.

We hope that you’ll enjoy this look into the rich imagination of #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson.

Download this free sampler today:
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People of the Morning Star & Cahokia

About People of the Morning Star: Bestselling authors and archaeologists Michael and Kathleen Gear begin the stunning saga of the North American equivalent of ancient Rome in People of the Morning Star.

The city of Cahokia, at its height, covered more than six square miles around what is now St. Louis and included structures more than ten stories high. Cahokian warriors and traders roamed from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. What force on earth would motivate hundreds of thousands of people to pick up, move hundreds of miles, and once plopped down amidst a polyglot of strangers, build an incredible city?

A religious miracle: the Cahokians believed that the divine hero Morning Star had been resurrected in the flesh. But not all is fine and stable in glorious Cahokia. To the astonishment of the ruling clan, an attempt is made on the living god’s life. Now it is up to Morning Star’s aunt, Matron Blue Heron, to keep it quiet until she can uncover the plot and bring the culprits to justice. If she fails, Cahokia will be torn asunder in warfare, rage, and blood as civil war consumes them all.

Goodreads Sweepstakes: Exo by Steven Gould

Exo by Steven Gould

About Exo: Award-winning author, Steven Gould, returns to the world of his classic novel Jumper in Exo, the sequel to Impulse, blending the drama of high school with world shattering consequences.

Cent can teleport. So can her parents, but they are the only people in the world who can. This is not as great as you might think it would be—sure, you can go shopping in Japan and then have tea in London, but it’s hard to keep a secret like that. And there are people, dangerous people, who work for governments and have guns, who want to make you do just this one thing for them. And when you’re a teenage girl things get even more complicated. High school. Boys. Global climate change, refugees, and genocide. Orbital mechanics.

But Cent isn’t easily daunted, and neither are Davy and Millie, her parents. She’s going to make some changes in the world.

Enter for a chance to win here!

(Ends August 11)

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Throwback Thursdays: The Bar Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Welcome to Throwback Thursdays on the Tor/Forge blog! Every other week, we’re delving into our newsletter archives and sharing some of our favorite posts.

Back in June of 2009, the first book in author Alex Bledsoe’s Eddie LaCrosse series, The Sword-Edged Blonde, published. To celebrate the start of this fun and exciting series, Alex explained in the July Newsletter that his priorities, in writing a fantasy novel, are a little…flipped from most authors’. We hope you enjoy this blast from the past, and be sure to check back every other Thursday for more!

By Alex Bledsoe

A man walks into a bar.

If this happens in a science fiction or fantasy novel, the author has his job cut out for him. Not only does he have to describe the bar physically, but also its patrons. They might include aliens, ogres, trolls or elves, all of which can have any number of permutations. Then the drinks have to be laid out, and the money system enumerated. When all that’s done, the author might have enough imagination left to finally describe the man who walked in.

I’m unusual as a fantasy or science fiction reader, in that the details of made-up societies, worlds and cultures hold far less interest for me than the people (I include non-humans in that term) who inhabit them. I remember listening in wonder to another well-regarded fantasy author describe the elaborate monetary system he’d designed, and for which so far he’d had no use. It’s something I could never do.

When I wrote The Sword-Edged Blonde, I wanted to pare it down to the things I, as a reader, cared most about: namely, the people. Anything that distracted from them, and from the reader’s emotional commitment to them, I either left out or minimized. For example, many fantasy characters have names that, if not literally unpronounceable, at least challenge the tongue; I named my hero Eddie LaCrosse. Eddie’s office is, in fact, above a bar, one that is no different in feel and atmosphere from any you might walk into today. Eddie uses swords that, like modern guns, have make and model names, and the people speak in rhythms, patterns and tones that don’t try to sound “otherworldly.” There’s no time spent digressing into societal details that don’t apply to the immediate situation; this is not to belittle authors who do that sort of thing well, it’s just something I neither crave as a reader or excel at as a writer.

I did invent one term. Eddie is essentially a private investigator functioning in an Iron Age world. In our world, PI’s are known by various, vaguely derogatory terms: shamus, dick, peeper, etc. I decided that Eddie’s reality needed a similar term, and came up with “sword jockey.” To me it rings with the same thinly-veiled contempt as “gumshoe” or “snooper.”

The Sword-Edged Blonde (and its upcoming sequel, Burn Me Deadly) have been called high-fantasy stories written as if they were Forties pulp detective novels. That’s exactly my intent, but it’s not just an ironic stylistic choice; rather, it’s a sincere attempt to let readers connect with the characters by letting as few things as possible get in the way.

So the man (or woman) who walks into a bar in Eddie’s world could, hopefully, be you. And you’d be right at home there.

This article is originally from the July 2009 Tor/Forge Newsletter. Sign up for the Tor/Forge newsletter now, and get similar content in your inbox every month!

Goodreads Sweepstakes: Hellhole Inferno by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

Hellhole Inferno by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. AndersonAbout Hellhole Inferno: After the events of Hellhole Awakening, the people of Hellhole and the shadow-Xayans scramble to rally against the threat from the still-living rogue Xayans. Back on Sonjeera, the Monarchy is in an uproar after their surprising defeat and the breakaway of the Deep Zone planets. The dowager Queen decides to go to Hellhole on a diplomatic mission, hoping to keep her power. But after touring Hellhole, Queen Michella is shaken, and begins to realize that she can never have the old Monarchy back.

Before the Queen can return to Sonjeera, she’s captured by the rogue Xayans and learns the reason for their attack: the orthodox Xayans had developed their minds to the point where they could evolve and, in so doing, trigger another Big Bang, wiping out everything.

The rogue Xayans thought they succeeded in stopping the ascension, but the orthodox Xayans on Hellhole are nearly ready. Now, twenty-two huge asteroids from the outer reaches of the solar system are bearing towards Hellhole, summoned by the rogue sect as a last resort. Can all these lives and the planet itself be saved?

Hellhole Inferno is the thrilling conclusion to Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson’s Hellhole trilogy.

Enter for a chance to win here!

(Ends July 22)

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Craft Sequence Sweepstakes

Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone Full Fathom Five, the third book in Craft Sequence series, went on sale today! To celebrate, we’re giving you the chance to win Three Parts Dead, Two Serpents Rise, AND Full Fathom Five. We’ve got five sets to give away. Comment below to enter for a chance to win. 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, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 or older as of the date of entry. To enter, comment on this blog post beginning at 10:00 AM Eastern Time (ET) July 15, 2014. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET July 21, 2014. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

Tor Finalists for the World Fantasy Awards

A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS and THE LAND ACROSS are finalists in the Novel category, and QUEEN VICTORIA’S BOOK OF SPELLS and DANGEROUS WOMEN are a finalists in the Anthology category.

Two Tor authors are being awarded the Life Achievement Award: Ellen Datlow and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and Irene Gallo is a finalist for the Special Award–Professional for art direction for Tor.com.

Tor.com also has two finalists in the Novella category and one in the Short Story category.

Here is the complete list of Tor’s finalists:

This year’s judges are Andy Duncan, Kij Johnson, Oliver Johnson, John Klima, and Liz Williams. Winners will be announced at the 2014 World Fantasy Convention held in Washington, D.C. in November.

Get a free, signed bookplate by Terry Goodkind!

Severed Souls by Terry GoodkindPre-order Severed Souls, the next Richard and Kahlan novel, by Terry Goodkind and you could be eligible to receive a signed bookplate.

Fill out the form here to provide proof of purchase.

LIMITED TIME OFFER. You must electronically submit proof of purchase of Severed Souls by Tuesday, August 12, 2014 to take advantage of this offer. Offer limited to residents of 50 US states, DC and Canada (excluding Quebec). Void in Quebec, Puerto Rico and where prohibited by law. For Official Rules, go here beginning on Monday, July 14, 2014. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates.

Pre-order Severed Souls today and be eligible to receive your signed bookplate!

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