The USO announced this week the 5 thriller authors who make up Operation Thriller 2013, and will be participating in the annual USO Gala in Washington DC on October 25, and making tour stops to multiple locations including Virginia (including a visit to the new USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir), Maryland, the District of Columbia, Germany, military bases in the Middle East and the United Kingdom from October 24-Nov 1. The authors are: F.Paul Wilson, Harlan Coben, Phillip Margolin, Kathleen Antrim, and Heather Graham.
From Wilson: “I am honored to be included on this tour. I’ve spent more years than I care to number spinning tales about fictional men and women who face down threats to their values and way of life. Now I get the chance to mix with the genuine article and thank them for putting themselves in harm’s way.”
Full press release attached or available on: PR Web
In addition, Wilson will be making the following tour stops for Dark City when he returns:
November 14 – Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego
November 15 – Dark Delicacies, Los Angeles
November 16 – Poisoned Pen, Scottsdale
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.
- 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!
- Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit comes out today! Over on io9, there’s a fun list of 12 things you probably didn’t know about the epic new movie.
- 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.
- A well deserved award: SFWA has named Gene Wolfe the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award Winner for 2012. If you want to check out some of the award-winning author’s earlier works, we’ve just announced 19 of his backlist titles are now available as ebooks.
- 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.
- In November, science fiction author Frederik Pohl made a rare appearance at Windycon, where he did an interview with ChicagoScope.
- Finally, io9 has their impressions of the first nine minutes of Star Trek: Into Darkness. Is anyone else ridiculously excited for this movie? I know I am, but I’m a bit of a Trekker, so…
The Tor/Forge newsletter went out this week! Check out these fascinating articles from our authors:
- The Toughest Part of Writing Cold City by F. Paul Wilson
- A Letter from Harry Ransom by Felix Gilman
- Crying Bully by J. A. Souders
- What if? Two little words that created S. J. Day’s Eve of Darkess by Sylvia Day
And, just to make Friday that much sweeter, here’s a list of sweepstakes and sales we have going on!
- Newsletter Sweepstakes: Big Fat Books for the Holidays (Ends 12/16)
- Goodreads First Reads: Impulse by Steven Gould (Ends 12/18)
- Goodreads First Reads: The Sixth Station by Linda Stasi (Ends 12/19)
- eBook Sale: People of the Earth by Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear is on sale for $2.99 (Ends 1/2)
- eBook Sale: Count to a Trillion by John C. Wright is on sale for $2.99 (Ends 1/2)
- eBook Sale: Larry Bond’s Red Dragon Rising: Edge of War by Larry Bond and Jim DeFelice is on sale for $2.99 (Ends 1/2)
- eBook Sale: Imager by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. is on sale for $2.99 (Ends 1/2)
- Goodreads First Reads: Homeland by Cory Doctorow (Ends 1/9)
- Goodreads First Reads: Kalimpura by Jay Lake (Ends 1/9)
- Goodreads First Reads: A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan (Ends 1/9)
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:
About The Tomb: Much to the chagrin of his girlfriend, Gia, Repairman Jack doesn’t deal with electronic appliances—he fixes situations for people, situations that usually involve putting himself in deadly danger. His latest project is recovering a stolen necklace, which carries with it an ancient curse that may unleash a horde of Bengali demons. Jack is used to danger, but this time Gia’s daughter Vicky is threatened. Can Jack overcome the curse of the yellow necklace and bring Vicky safely back home?
*sale ends November 7
Celebrating LOCUS Magazine’s Best Publisher for the 25th year in a row!
Once again, we continue our popular *in-booth signings and giveaways, offering you a chance to meet your favorite authors up close and personal! There will also be panels, autographings and spotlight stages including New York Times Bestselling author CORY DOCTOROW!
Stop by Tor’s Booth (#920), and pick up a schedule for a full listing of events!
Thursday, October 11
5pm – 6pm | JUSTICE IS SERVED | Room 1A14
Cops, P.I.’s, government agents and regular Joe’s fight for all that is good and just in these Science-Fiction and Fantasy tales, even if the villains are vam | pires, telepaths, and the magically gifted. These protagonists solve crimes, kick-ass, and don’t let anyone – supernatural or otherwise – stand in the way of justice.
With Christopher L. Bennett (Only Superhuman), moderated by Michael P. Spradlin.
Friday, October 12
11am | CHARACTERS: HARDCORE vs. BADASS | Author Spotlight Stage
What makes one character HARDCORE and another BADASS? Is there really a difference? Novelist Max Gladstone breaks it down by dissecting some of the greatest heroes and villains from books, gaming, comics, film, and television, revealing the unique alchemy of each one and what every writer needs to think about in order to create truly unforgettable characters.
With Max Gladstone (Three Parts Dead).
4pm – 5pm | PUBLISHER’S PARADISE: ADULT PUBLISHER SPOTLIGHT | Room 1A06
Get the inside scoop on upcoming SF/F novels publishing houses are buzzing about! Editors from Harper Voyager, Orbit, Del Rey Spectra, Ace and Roc, and Tor dish on forthcoming books from our exciting authors and licensed properties. You can expect lots of giveaways you won’t see anywhere else at the convention, including free advance reading copies!
With Tor’s own Melissa Frain.
SIGNINGS & GIVEAWAYS
2pm – Tor Booth Way of Kings (by #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson) giveaway! First 25 fans in line will receive a Wheel of Time® bag.
3:30pm – Tor Booth signing with Max Gladstone, signing copies of Three Parts Dead, his brilliant debut novel (October).
5pm – Tor Booth signing with Christopher L. Bennett, signing copies of Only Superhuman, described by Kevin J. Anderson as a “heady comic book fix for the discerning SF reader” (October).
5pm – You can also head over to the autographing area and meet New York Times bestselling author, Cory Doctorow. Barnes and Noble will be on hand with a variety of books from his back list.
Saturday, October 13
12pm | INFORMATION DOESN’T WANT TO BE FREE, BUT KIDS DO | Author Spotlight Stage
Every single kid in America is a presumed copyright criminal. We spy on them in school, we raid their parents’ life savings, we censor their creative works. And oh, how we LIE to them: “It’s not creative if you’re copying something else.” “All great art starts with permission and ends with a lawyer.” “Giving more money to the record industry will make musicians richer.” Kids are in the streets over SOPA, PIPA and ACTA. They know that the locks we put on their information aren’t for their benefit – because we won’t give them the keys.
With Cory Doctorow (Pirate Cinema).
12:15pm – 1:15pm | MYTH MIXOLOGY: HOW URBAN FANTASISTS CREATE THE PERFECT COCKTAIL | Room 1A08
Many New Yorkers know their Manhattans, Cosmos, and Long Island Iced Teas. While the average happy hour drink takes gin, rum, or vodka, these authors spice things up with mystics, witches, daemons, Celtic gods, and other magical beings. Join top-shelf authors, F. Paul Wilson, Kevin Hearne, Theo Lawrence, Anton Strout, Faith Hunter, Nancy Holzner, Allison Pang, and Nicole Peeler, as they discuss the elements of mythology that go into making your favorite cocktails of urban fantasy.
With F. Paul Wilson (Repairman Jack Series), moderated by Kim Alexander.
1:30pm – 2:30pm | HOCUS POCUS: MAGIC & MONSTERS IN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY | Room 1A08
Science-Fiction and Fantasy authors discuss the costs and consequences of “magic” in their novels. Moderator Beth Revis will have authors Andrea Cremer, Jacqueline Carey, Jocelynn Drake, Kim Harrison, Max Gladstone, Cecil Castellucci, Victoria Schwab, and Richard Kadrey dishing about the the scary, hairy, and dangerous creatures that lurk in the worlds they have created.
With Max Gladstone (Three Parts Dead), moderated by Beth Revis. (Signing from 2:45pm – 3:45pm at autographing tables 2, 3, and 4.)
2:45pm – 3:45pm | GENRE BENDERS: OUT-OF-THE-BOX SCIENCE-FICTION AND FANTASY NOVELS THAT BLUR THE LINES OF FANTASY, SF, HORROR, ROMANCE, STEAMPUNK, YOU NAME IT! | Room 1A01
Join authors in a discussion about stories that can’t be bound by the constraints of any genre. Whether mixing elements of romance with horror, or fantasy with thrillers, these authors show that a good tale can be spun from multiple traditions.
With Steven Walker (The Battle of Blood and Ink), moderator Cici James of Singularity & Co. (Signing from 4:45pm – 5:45pm at the autographing area.)
5:15pm – 6:15pm | HERO’S QUEST: SWORDS AND SORCERY IN FANTASY FICTION | Room 1A08
Some of the most unforgettable heroes in literature are characters that embark on a fantastical journey. Whether their tales tell of slaying dragons, overthrowing regimes, or magical lands, these authors put the EPIC in Fantasy fiction. Join authors Joanne Bertin, Peter Brett, Rae Carson, Peter Lerangis, Steve Bein, Stefan Bachmann, Sarah Beth Durst, and Matt Myklush as they discuss all things fantastical, from swords and sorcery to horselords and warlords.
With Joanne Bertin (Bard’s Oath), moderated by Gwen Reyes. (Signing from 11:45am – 12:45pm at autographing tables 2, 3, and 4.)
5:15pm – 6:15pm | GEEK THOUGHTS: TOP BLOGS DISCUSS WRITING ABOUT SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY AND FANDOM | Room 1A01 (otherwise known as The Sauce)
Your favorite Geek Blogs: Live! Join Tor.com, Boing Boing, The Mary Sue, io9, The Beat, and Bleeding Cool as they discuss how their blogs approach the conversation of science fiction, fantasy, genre and fandom online.
With Cyriaque Lamar, Heidi McDonald, Jamie Frevele, Jill Pantozzi, Rich Johnston. Moderated by Ryan Britt of Tor.com.
7:45pm – 8:45pm | THE WORLD OF GRAPHIC NOVELS | Room 1A06
Restaurants, outer space, fantastical worlds, high school – graphic novels today will take readers to all these places and more! How do graphic novelists combine words and pictures to create the worlds within their books? Authors discuss how world-building works in the world of comics.
With Fred Chao (Johnny Hiro: Half Asian, All Hero), moderated by Scott Robins. (Signing from 3:45pm – 4:45pm at autographing tables 4 and 5.)
SIGNINGS & GIVEAWAYS
11am – Tor Booth Dead Space: Martyr (by B. K. Evenson) giveaway!
3pm – Tor Booth signing with Cory Doctorow, signing copies of For the Win, which Scott Westerfeld has called “a rousing tale of techno-geek rebellion.”
5pm – Tor Booth signing with F. Paul Wilson, signing copies of The Tomb, the first in his Repairman Jack series.
Sunday, October 14
12:15pm – 1:15pm | OTHERWORLDLY WEENIES, TIME TRAVELING TWEENS, UNEXPECTED ADVENTURE, AND OTHER THINGS KIDS LOVE | Room 1A01
From creepy tales set in a spooky pet cemetery, to dreamy stories of time-traveling in style, to epic journeys featuring dynamic young heroes (with swords!), these middle grade authors know the secrets to entertaining the tween set. Join the group as they discuss superpowers, supervillians, and super-hilarious storytelling.
1:30pm – 2:30pm | KIDS/YA PUBLISHER SPOTLIGHT | Room 1A07
Come hear the advance buzz about what’s coming up from Disney-Hyperion, First Second, Macmillan Kids, HarperCollins, Little, Brown, Random House, Penguin Young Readers, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, and Tor! Editors and marketing staff come together to recommend their favorite upcoming books by exciting new authors and illustrators – accompanied with giveaways, trivia, and most of all, FUN!
With Tor’s own Susan Chang.
SIGNINGS & GIVEAWAYS
1pm – Tor Booth signing with Evie Manieri, signing Blood’s Pride, her epic fantasy debut coming in February.
3pm – Tor Booth giveaway of YA dystopian smash hit and series opener Article 5 (by Kristen Simmons)!
*All giveaways are on a first come, first serve basis.