Not at New York Comic-Con Sweepstakes

Tor Books is heading to New York Comic-Con!

We hope to see many of you there. Stop by Booth #2223 to say hi or to participate in one of our many events and signings.

But for those of you who couldn’t make it out to New York, we wanted to offer you the chance to grab some of the same amazing swag and books that we’re promoting at #NYCC. To enter for the chance to win one of these three prize bundles, leave a comment on this post telling us one fabulous thing that you’ll be doing this week while you are #NotAtComicCon.

Here’s a look at the prize:

And here’s a list of what’s included in each prize bundle:

  • Wheel of Time iPhone cover
  • The Way of Kings quote magnets
  • After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn
  • Among Others by Jo Walton
  • Antigoddess by Kendare Blake
  • Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
  • Attack of the Vampire Weenies by David Lubar
  • The Clockwork Sky by Madeleine Rosca
  • Cold City by F. Paul Wilson
  • Dragon Age Asunder by David Gaider
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  • The Eye of the World: The Graphic Novel: Vol One
  • The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
  • Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson
  • Girl Genius Omnibus Volume One by Phil Foglio and Kaja Foglio
  • Halo: The Thursday War by Nancy Traviss
  • Ironskin by Tina Connolly
  • Johnny Hiro: The Skills to Pay the Bills by Fred Chao
  • Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
  • The Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind
  • Paul of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
  • Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear
  • Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone
  • Vicious by V.E. Schwab
  • The Waking Engine by David Edison
  • The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
  • Wide Open by Deborah Coates
  • Wild Cards I edited by George R. R. Martin

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 as of the date of entry. To enter, leave a comment below beginning at 10:00 AM Eastern Time (ET) Wednesday, October 10, 2013. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET Monday, October 14, 2013. 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.

New Releases: 10/1/2013

See upcoming releases.

The Week in Review

Welcome to the week in review! Every Friday, we comb through the links and images we found and shared this week, and pull the very best for this post. Consider it concentrated genre goodness from all around the web.

AMoL Being Printed

  • Because we love tormenting fans (and ourselves, let’s be honest), check out this post from Irene Gallo of Tor.com, who went behind the scenes to watch A Memory of Light being printed at the bindery. Also: Tor.com is having a NYC midnight launch for the final Wheel of Time book!
  • Looking for new reading material for the holidays? Tor.com has you covered. They’ve invited some of their regular reviews to share their favorite reads of 2012. The result is an eclectic list of books sure to please almost any genre fan.
  • Tor.com has launched a new series: Talking with Tom. In this initial conversation, the legendary founder of Tor chats with L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

The Tor/Forge newsletter went out this week! Check out these fascinating articles from our authors:

And, just to make Friday that much sweeter, here’s a list of sweepstakes and sales we have going on!

The Toughest Part of Writing Cold City

Cold City by F. Paul Wilson

Written by F. Paul Wilson

That would be researching Manhattan in 1990.

Why 1990? Because that’s the year a twenty-one-year old who will go on to become an urban mercenary known as Repairman Jack arrives in New York. Cold City is the first of a trilogy that will chronicle his early years there.

We’re talking less than a quarter century ago, so you wouldn’t think it would require much research. Especially for a guy who’s in and out of Manhattan all the time. My agent is there, my publisher is there, plus I go to conventions, writer gatherings, even an occasional play (no musicals, thank you). I was in Manhattan many, many times during 1990, so what’s the big deal?

Because over the years, all the images stored in your memory bank tend to bleed into each other. I knew 1990 preceded the Disneyfication of Times Square, but what exactly was it like? I Googled, I Binged, I tried all sorts of search strings, but kept coming up with bupkis. Old New York is easy. If I want to know how deep the mud ran in Five Points after a heavy rain in 1850, no problemo.

Top songs of 1990 – easy. Top films – simps. Top TV shows – cake. Technology… that took extra effort. The Internet? Not much going on there. The World Wide Web was still years away, and online activities were limited to bulletin boards and proprietary services like Genie and Prodigy via 14.4 kbs modems through a phone line. As for home entertainment, this was pre-DVD and Netflix, so all movies were on tape, and mom-and-pop videostores were everywhere.

Cellular phones (called car phones or mobile phones back then) existed for the most part in bags or briefcases. The state-of-the-art self-contained models were the size of a brick with a big antenna. (A nifty online article, “The Evolution of Cell Phone Design Between 1983-2009,” answered a lot of questions.) All those bricks did was make calls (no email, no GPS, no Yelp, no Angry Birds) and hardly anyone had them. So if you wanted to make a call, you had to dig out some change and find a phone kiosk. We’re talking less than a quarter century ago but, compared to today, communication was like smoke signals.

All that data was pretty easy to gather, but figuring out what stores lined Times Square in 1990? Fuhgeddaboudit.

Finally one of my search strings got a YouTube hit. YouTube? What the hell, I clicked it and found that someone had posted a home movie of a car or bus ride through Times Square in 1991. Not 1990, but damn close enough. So I started searching for other videos and found one professionally shot right in Times Square in 1990. Happy dance time.

Memories of pre-Disney, pre-Giuliani midtown flooded back. I remembered the now-extinct grindhouse theaters that lined the Deuce (42nd Street) between Eighth Avenue and Broadway, all the XXX peep shows in Times Square and on Eighth Avenue, and the prostitutes on Ninth behind the Port Authority who’d lift their tops as you drove past to show they were really female.

(Altogether now: “Those were the days, my friend, we’d thought they’d never end…”)

So here’s the moral to this tale: Don’t neglect videos in your research. They’re gold mines. They allowed me revisit the grit of 1990 Manhattan and translate it to the page. Just for you.

…………………………

From the Tor/Forge December newsletter. Sign up to receive our newsletter via email.

…………………………

More from the December Tor/Forge newsletter:

New Releases: 11/27/2012

See upcoming releases.