Tor.com has been publishing short fiction on its website for years, but now Tor’s online publisher is moving into books in a big way, with short novels. And we’ve got the first look at their four launch titles. Nnedi Okorafor goes into space! Paul Cornell writes witches! And more! Check out the covers and synopses below...
To find out more about Tor.com’s move into publishing novellas for the e-book market, check out our interview from back in February. [Full disclosure: Tor.com has published some of my fiction, and Tor Books is publishing my novel.] And here, for the first time, are the covers and details:
Kai Ashante Wilson’s The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, cover by Karla Ortiz, design by Christine Foltzer
The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, Nebula-nominated author Kai Ashante Wilson’s first commercial book, follows the wandering demigod and reluctant caravan guard Demane on a path through corrosive civilization and the untamed wilds. Despite his occasionally miraculous powers and the assistance of his Captain and lover, another descendant of the long-absent gods, it’s all Demane can do to keep his fellow guardsman from falling to desperate bandits, bloodthirsty soldiers, and their own destructive habits. But his power and skill might not be enough. The one safe road between the northern oasis and southern kingdom is stalked by an evil creature that will push Demane and his Captain to the limits, and may force him to trade his humanity away.
Since leaving his homeland, the earthbound demigod Demane has been labeled a sorcerer. With his ancestors’ artifacts in hand, the Sorcerer follows the Captain, a beautiful man with song for a voice and hair that drinks the sunlight.
The two of them are the descendants of the gods who abandoned the Earth for Heaven, and they will need all the gifts those divine ancestors left to them to keep their caravan brothers alive.
The one safe road between the northern oasis and southern kingdom is stalked by a necromantic terror. Demane may have to master his wild powers and trade humanity for godhood if he is to keep his brothers and his beloved captain alive.
Kai Ashante Wilson’s stories “Super Bass” and the Nebula-nominated “The Devil in America” can be read online gratis at Tor.com. His story «Légendaire.» can be read in the anthology Stories for Chip, which celebrates the legacy of science fiction grandmaster Samuel Delany. Kai Ashante Wilson lives in New York City.
Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti, cover by David Palumbo, design by Christine Foltzer
Binti is the first story that World Fantasy Award winner Nnedi Okorafor has written which is set in space.
The eponymous Binti is the first of her people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs. Oomza has previously wronged the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares, and Binti’s interplanetary travel will bring her within their deadly reach.
If she hopes to survive the legacy of this ancient conflict, she will need both the the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself - but first she has to make it there, alive.
Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.
Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti’s stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.
If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself - but first she has to make it there, alive.
Nnedi Okorafor was born in the United States to two Igbo (Nigerian) immigrant parents. She holds a PhD in English and is an associate professor of creative writing, currently teaching at the University at Buffalo. Her first novel written for the adult market, Who Fears Death, won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel. She has been the winner of many more awards for her short stories and young adult books, including the Wole Soyinka Africa Prize for Literature, the Macmillan Writer’s Prize for Africa, the Carl Brandon Parallax Award, the Black Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature, the Margin: Exploring Modern Magical Realism Short Story Contest, and the Strange Horizons Readers Choice Award for Nonfiction. She has also been a finalist for the Essence Magazine Literary Award, Tiptree Award, a British Science Fiction Association Award (Best Novel) and the Theodore Sturgeon Award. She was also a nominee for the NAACP Imagine Award, among others. Nnedi’s books are inspired by her Nigerian heritage and her many trips there. Nnedi lives in Illinois with her daughter Anyaugo and family.
Coming Sept. 22.
Paul Cornell’s Witches of Lychford, cover design by Fort.
Any book which prompts Bill Willingham to write about the inclusion of a “fearful little scene, almost terrible in its brevity, the best description of necromancy and its aftereffects I’ve ever read” is one to take notice of. Witches of Lychford is one of the first books we commissioned, and we know our readers are going to love this tale of demons, corporate evil and unlikely friendships.
Traveler, Cleric, Witch.
The villagers in the sleepy hamlet of Lychford are divided. A supermarket wants to build a major branch on their border. Some welcome the employment opportunities, while some object to the modernization of the local environment.
Judith Mawson (local crank) knows the truth — that Lychford lies on the boundary between two worlds, and that the destruction of the border will open wide the gateways to malevolent beings beyond imagination.
Paul Cornell is a writer of science fiction and fantasy in prose, comics and television, one of only two people to be Hugo Award nominated for all three media. A New York Times #1 Bestselling author, he’s written Doctor Who for the BBC, Wolverine for Marvel, and Batman & Robin for DC. He’s won the BSFA Award for his short fiction, an Eagle Award for his comics, and shares in Writer’s Guild Award for his TV work.
Michael R. Underwood’s The Shootout Solution, cover by Peter Lutjen.
Tomorrowland meets Jasper Fforde with a pinch of Leverage thrown in for good measure. This first instalment of a hugely entertaining new science fiction series by Michael R. Underwood will have you moseying on down to your local store to pre-order the next book quicker than you can say “gunfight at noon”.
The Genrenauts are an team of interdimensional fixer-uppers, who travel to other worlds, correcting off-track stories that ripple through to Earth, destabilising our reality. So much fun!
Leah Tang just died on stage. Well, not literally. Not yet.
Leah’s stand-up career isn’t going well. But she understands the power of fiction, and when she’s offered employment with the mysterious Genrenauts Foundation, she soon discovers that literally dying on stage is a hazard of the job!
Her first assignment takes her to a Western world. When a cowboy tale slips off its rails, and the outlaws start to win, it’s up to Leah - and the Genrenauts team - to nudge the story back on track and prevent a catastrophe on Earth.
But the story’s hero isn’t interested in winning, and the safety of Earth hangs in the balance...
Michael Underwood has circumnavigated the globe, danced the tango with legends and knows why Tybalt cancels out Capo Ferro. He also rolls a mean d20. His novels include Geekomancy, Celebromancy and Shield and Crocus. He lives in Baltimore with his fiancé and an ever-growing library, and when he’s not writing/gaming/living the dream he’s the North American Sales and Marketing Manager for Angry Robot Books. He’s also part of the Hugo-nominated podcast, The Skiffy and Fanty Show.