Throwback Thursdays: Something new on the Web: Tor.com!

Welcome to Throwback Thursdays, a new feature on the Tor/Forge blog! Every other week, we’re delving into our newsletter archives and sharing some of our favorite posts. In honor of Tor.com’s fifth birthday, we thought we’d start with the announcement of the site’s launch. Enjoy this blast from the past, and be sure to check back every other Thursday for more!

Written by Torie Atkinson

On July 20th, 2008, we at Tor celebrated two things: the 39th anniversary of the man setting foot on the moon, and the launch of Tor.com.

For those of you who have not yet stumbled across our red rocket, Tor.com is devoted to news and discussion about science fiction, fantasy, and all the things that interest SF and fantasy readers. It is an initiative of Tor Books and Macmillan but those writing for the site include a wide range of bloggers, editors, and authors published by many other houses and from all corners of the science fiction and fantasy field.

Each month, we offer a free electronic download of a science fiction or fantasy novel, without DRM and in a variety of formats. Our September giveaway honored the first married couple to both be nominated for the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel: Emma Bull (for Territory) and Will Shetterly (for The Gospel of the Knife). We gave away a pair of classics: Bull’s War for the Oaks and Shetterly’s Dogland. The current book available for free download is Jane Lindskold’s The Buried Pyramid. These books are only available to registered users for a limited time, so sign up today!

In addition to our ebooks, we publish original short fiction from award-winning authors in speculative fiction, each accompanied by one or more beautiful illustrations. So far we have published stories by such luminaries as Elizabeth Bear, Terry Bisson, Cory Doctorow, Steven Gould, Rudy Rucker, John Scalzi, and Charles Stross. Our most recent story, “A Water Matter,” comes from Jay Lake, the 2004 Campbell Award winner for Best New Writer. Each story can also be downloaded in a variety of ebook formats or as an mp3 read by the author.

And fiction is only the beginning: Tor.com presents original comics and sequential art ranging from webcomics stars such as Emily Horne and Joey Comeau of A Softer World fame, and relative newcomers like Wesley Allsbrook. We just wrapped up a six week serial titled “Better Zombies Through Physics,” by Jim Ottaviani and Sean Bieri, a comic that Schrödinger himself would have enjoyed. Comics are only a fraction of the art available in Tor.com’s extensive galleries, which feature impressive illustrators of the fantastic like Dan Dos Santos, Eric Fortune, John Harris, and Greg Ruth.

And finally: our blog. Tor.com is the only place where you can see Jo Walton, Jane Lindskold, and John Joseph Adams rubbing elbows on the front page, bringing you news and commentary on everything from cute robots to the rise of Twitter, from a review of the latest Pratchett novel to the future of the Singularity in fiction. But most importantly, Tor.com is a community of fans and readers of science fiction and fantasy. Stop by for a while. You can comment on our blogs and stories, talk to the authors, connect to other fans, and even start your own conversations. What do you have to say?

The aim of Tor.com is to provoke, encourage, and enable interesting and rewarding conversations with and among its readers. We hope that you’ll join us, and that you enjoy the many things we have to offer.

This article is originally from the December 2008 Tor/Forge newsletter. Sign up for the Tor/Forge newsletter now, and get similar content in your inbox twice a month!