At Fantasy Literature, we love fearless women!

SFF, fantasy literature, science fiction, horror, YA, and comic book and audiobook reviewsWomen are shining in every genre of speculative fiction, and it is no longer enough to say “Women are here.” Instead, #FearlessWomen everywhere are taking a stand to say “Women will thrive here.”

Highlighting major titles from bestselling authors V.E. Schwab, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jacqueline Carey as well as titles from acclaimed and debut authors such as Mary Robinette Kowal, Tessa Gratton, Sam Hawke, and Robyn Bennis, #FearlessWomen is a coordinated social media celebration encouraging fans to start a dialogue about women in publishing, their worlds, their voices, and their unique stories.

Tor Books’ handles across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@torbooks) are using the hashtags #FearlessWomen (and #FearlessFantasy and #FearlessSF) to promote excerpts, exclusive content, quizzes and giveaways. There will also be exclusive giveaways at BookCon, San Diego Comic-Con, and New York Comic Con. Follow Tor Books online, join the conversation — and get reading!

Today, we’ve got a special treat for you — an excerpt from a new science-fiction novel and an excerpt from a new fantasy novel!

The Calculating Stars is the first book in Mary Robinette Kowal’s new LADY ASTRONAUT series, which should ring a few bells for anyone who read Kowal’s bittersweet 2012 novelette “The Lady Astronaut of Mars.” 

On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, including Washington D.C. The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space, and requires a much larger share of humanity to take part in the process.

Elma York’s experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon, as a calculator. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too.

Elma’s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions of society may not stand a chance against her.

And now, Fantasy Literature’s exclusive excerpt from The Calculating Stars

“In 1824, Joseph Fourier described an effect that Alexander Bell later called ‘the greenhouse effect.’ In it, particles in the air cause the atmosphere to retain heat. If the Meteor had struck land, the winter would have been longer. The fireball would have been larger. We thought it was fortunate that it struck water, but it’s worse. The Earth is going to come out of winter and get hotter. In fifty years, there will be no snow in North America.”


The pudgy man who had complained about snow in California laughed. “Coming from Chicago, I gotta say this doesn’t strike me as a problem.”


“How do you feel about one hundred percent humidity and summers with a low of one hundred and twenty degrees?”


“Still. Weathermen can’t predict if it’s going to rain tomorrow. Fifty years is a long time out.”

SFF, fantasy literature, science fiction, horror, YA, and comic book and audiobook reviews

Author photo credit: Rod Searcey


President Brannan raised his hand again. He was staring at me. No. At the board. I stepped to the side so he could see it better. “Dr. York. What does the upturn on that chart represent?”


“That … that is when the oceans begin to boil.”

About Mary Robinette Kowal:
Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of the historical fantasy novel Ghost Talkers and the five books in THE GLAMOURIST HISTORY series. She is also a multiple Hugo Award winner. Her short fiction has appeared in Uncanny,, and Asimov’s. Mary, a professional puppeteer, lives in Chicago with her husband Robert and over a dozen manual typewriters.

The next book brings poison. Treachery. Ancient spirits. Sieges. The POISON WARS begin now with City of Lies, a fabulous epic fantasy debut by Sam Hawke.

I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me… 

Outwardly, Jovan is the lifelong friend of the Chancellor’s charming, irresponsible Heir. Quiet. Forgettable. In secret, he’s a master of poisons and chemicals, trained to protect the Chancellor’s family from treachery. When the Chancellor succumbs to an unknown poison and an army lays siege to the city, Jovan and his sister Kalina must protect the Heir and save their city-state.

But treachery lurks in every corner, and the ancient spirits of the land are rising … and angry.

And now, Fantasy Literature’s exclusive excerpt from City of Lies

My sister was awake — thanks, no doubt, to the unwelcome visitor — her eyes bruised and sunken, skin dull. I made her tea and a portion of rations; she argued, but feebly, and eventually ate a small amount. I held her hand as we talked over the day. She refused my offer of a numbing agent but didn’t comment on the low-level sedative in her tea, though I suspected she had noticed. Without sleep, things could get worse rapidly, and we lacked our usual luxury of a physic on demand.


While she drank I unfolded the clothes I’d picked up earlier from the Manor, and turned them inside out. I took out the naftate powder, one of the few substances that didn’t need to be hidden away, and began dusting the insides of Tain’s clothes.


SFF, fantasy literature, science fiction, horror, YA, and comic book and audiobook reviews

Author Photo Credit: Kris Arnold Photography

“What are you doing?” Kalina asked. She would know naftate powder as the drying agent that absorbed geraslin ink, allowing papers to be reused after the text had been removed — or, as in our old games, brought back to life under heat in a “secret” message. It had another use to a proofer.

About Sam Hawke:
A black belt in jujitsu, Sam Hawke lives with her husband and children in Australia. City of Lies is her first novel.

And if you’re interested in seeing the exclusive excerpts featured at other blogs participating in the #FearlessWomen campaign, you can find their links here: This is a Metaphor, Dark Faerie Tales, Cherry Blossoms & Maple Syrup, SciFiChick, Books, Bones, & Buffy, The BiblioSanctum, Tenacious Reader, Itching for Books, and Across the Words.


  • Jana Nyman

    JANA NYMAN, with us since January 2015, is a freelance copy-editor who has lived all over the United States, but now makes her home in Colorado with her dog and a Wookiee. Jana was exposed to science fiction and fantasy at an early age, watching Star Wars and Star Trek movie marathons with her family and reading works by Robert Heinlein and Ray Bradbury WAY before she was old enough to understand them; thus began a lifelong fascination with what it means to be human. Jana enjoys reading all kinds of books, but her particular favorites are fairy- and folktales (old and new), fantasy involving dragons or other mythological beasties, contemporary science fiction, and superhero fiction. Some of her favorite authors are James Tiptree, Jr., Madeleine L'Engle, Ann Leckie, N.K. Jemisin, and Seanan McGuire.

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