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Rocket Fuel: Some of the Best From Tor.com Non-Fiction

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A collection of some of the best feature articles from Tor.com’s 10 year history as an online sci-fi/fantasy literature magazine. Read: - An intimate moment under the covers that bloomed into a lifetime lived through sci-fi/fantasy. - A fierce defense of fan fiction. - The history of Wheel of Time author Robert Jordan, and the story of the reader who had her future rewritten A collection of some of the best feature articles from Tor.com’s 10 year history as an online sci-fi/fantasy literature magazine. Read: - An intimate moment under the covers that bloomed into a lifetime lived through sci-fi/fantasy. - A fierce defense of fan fiction. - The history of Wheel of Time author Robert Jordan, and the story of the reader who had her future rewritten in turn. - A deeply unwise thought experiment that explains how centaurs eat. - The story of one writer’s amazing day, starting out on her last dime and ending with her somehow hugging her idol, Terry Pratchett. - And much more! Rocket Fuel: Some of the Best From Tor.com Non-Fiction features essays from Seanan McGuire, Ursula Vernon, Jo Walton, Nisi Shawl, Kate Elliott, Becky Chambers, Kai Ashante Wilson, Sarah Gailey, Grady Hendrix, Judith Tarr, Lish McBride, Emily Asher-Perrin, Ryan Britt, Leah Schnelbach, Natalie Zutter, Molly Templeton, and more! At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.


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A collection of some of the best feature articles from Tor.com’s 10 year history as an online sci-fi/fantasy literature magazine. Read: - An intimate moment under the covers that bloomed into a lifetime lived through sci-fi/fantasy. - A fierce defense of fan fiction. - The history of Wheel of Time author Robert Jordan, and the story of the reader who had her future rewritten A collection of some of the best feature articles from Tor.com’s 10 year history as an online sci-fi/fantasy literature magazine. Read: - An intimate moment under the covers that bloomed into a lifetime lived through sci-fi/fantasy. - A fierce defense of fan fiction. - The history of Wheel of Time author Robert Jordan, and the story of the reader who had her future rewritten in turn. - A deeply unwise thought experiment that explains how centaurs eat. - The story of one writer’s amazing day, starting out on her last dime and ending with her somehow hugging her idol, Terry Pratchett. - And much more! Rocket Fuel: Some of the Best From Tor.com Non-Fiction features essays from Seanan McGuire, Ursula Vernon, Jo Walton, Nisi Shawl, Kate Elliott, Becky Chambers, Kai Ashante Wilson, Sarah Gailey, Grady Hendrix, Judith Tarr, Lish McBride, Emily Asher-Perrin, Ryan Britt, Leah Schnelbach, Natalie Zutter, Molly Templeton, and more! At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

30 review for Rocket Fuel: Some of the Best From Tor.com Non-Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sana

    This sounds so good and is also currently free on Kindle, B&N and iBooks This sounds so good and is also currently free on Kindle, B&N and iBooks

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gerd

    Fun, for the most part, as most essays primarily talk about the respective writers love of reading and writing. I would say, however, it's been a very bad editorial decision to put two essays on Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" back to back. While the first is effectively piquing interest in the series by not much talking about it but rather focusing on how it affected the essayist, the second just as effectively squelched that interest when the (different from first) essayist tries to compare Jor Fun, for the most part, as most essays primarily talk about the respective writers love of reading and writing. I would say, however, it's been a very bad editorial decision to put two essays on Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" back to back. While the first is effectively piquing interest in the series by not much talking about it but rather focusing on how it affected the essayist, the second just as effectively squelched that interest when the (different from first) essayist tries to compare Jordan to Tolkien but only succeds to make the author's story sound to be a rather bland brand of juvenile fanfiction (with no disrespect to either juveniles or fanfiction, both of which surely can produce better stories than what the essayist describes there) freely mixing elements of various mythological origin, with a mainly white Christian focus. That makes Robert Jordan's work definitely "American", yes, but it sounds a far cry from being the work of an "American" Tolkien. On the things I really enjoyed reading side, there's a long history of everybody's fave Tolkien character, Galadriel. Really wants me go back to Tolkien. Then there's a fabulous 40 page essay on the complicated realtionships in Maggie Stiefvater's Raven Boys cycle. Even if the articla left me unsure if the series itself would be to my taste, the essay itself is such a glowing love declaration to, well, love in all its unfair complication, I can't help but recommend reading it. The greatest disappointment IMO, are the two essays included that focus primarily on African-American culture, both give you no basis where they come from or where they intend to head to and just leave you confused if you haven't already a solid backdrop to the matter - in which case both essays become superfluous. I'm sure there stood better on offer. So, some of the best is a misleading subtitle in a ways, or an honest one, depends on which ever way you want to read it. Because some of the articles included are best, but the majority is just there to give us broad overview of the rich variety of essay written on Tor.com regarding reading, writing, books, novels, movies, TV and society and every imaginable aspect of culture inbetween...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sibil

    This is really a book for readers by readers. You can really feel the passion and the love behind every single essay in this book. And there are so many topics in there, and so many different books/authors/series/movies and more mentioned in there. I think that everyone would find something of interest in there, and it is always amazing when you can really see the passion shine from the words. And this is the case. It was a wonderful experience. And again, you can really find everything in there, This is really a book for readers by readers. You can really feel the passion and the love behind every single essay in this book. And there are so many topics in there, and so many different books/authors/series/movies and more mentioned in there. I think that everyone would find something of interest in there, and it is always amazing when you can really see the passion shine from the words. And this is the case. It was a wonderful experience. And again, you can really find everything in there, from essays about the passion that link us as bookworms, to essays about the representation in books. From advice on how to write characters to characters examination in series and movies. From the amazing experience that reading something good give us to what we can really take away from books. And it was glorious. I have not loved all the essays, but I loved most of them, and this is a record in itself. And I loved not only the ones that were speaking about books or authors that I love, but also the ones about books or authors that I don’t like. And again, this was glorious! I think that I would try and talk really really shortly about all the ones that for me were 5 stars pieces. To make them justice I should write a proper review for each of them, but… sadly, I haven’t the time so I’ll try and do my best! Under the covers with a flashlight: Our Lives as Readers by Emily Asher Perrin. The title says it all, really. This short article has brought me back when I first discovered reading. The magic of it, the marvel and the wonder of it. And of the time spent with my new friends when I should have been sleeping. It is something that I think it talks at the little bookworm that we all have been. Sometimes, Horror is the Only Fiction That Understand You by Leah Schnelbach. This is an essay about King and about the importance that this author and his books had on the author when she was growing. I am not a fan of King. But I loved this article for a lot of different reasons. The minor one is that thanks to it I learned something more about King as an author, and as a person too, and it was mighty interesting. And the major one is that the author talks to us about the importance of having the right words to express what you are feeling or what you are experience. And this is one of the best gift that books can give us. A way to express, and hence elaborate and really make a part of our life that we can manage, something that is happening to us. Because making all that we experience, feel and do a part of our life, of our narration as people, is what make us able to cope. And this short essay was amazing and deep and interesting. And I think that it should be read everywhere! The Bodies of the Girls Who Made Me: Fanfic and the Modern World by Seanan McGuire. I am not a fan of fanfiction. I don’t have anything against it, but I never read it. I get that in theory fanfic is right up my alley, because fandom are an amazing thing, and spending more time with characters that we love is a great thing. But I prefer to read books and even if I keep telling myself that I should read some fanfic, I never do it. But this essay was really interesting. It talks about the importance of fanfic as a way to find/write a representation right for you. Because it is true that in books you always see the same kind of hero (and okay, lately things are getting better because we don’t get to see always the same kind of MC), and not everybody felt represented by him/her. To be honest, the majority is not properly represented by it, but society presses us to identify with that model. And fanfic is a way, a fantastic way, to rebel to society and to this unjust pressure. And it was a point of view that I never considered but that it is just so on point! There is more to this than just that, obviously, and the fanfic community seems to be not so inclusive as it should be, and this is really a shame. And this article really made me think. Writing Women Characters as Human Being by Kate Elliott. What she wrote about women characters in there is brilliant. On one hand what she wrote is something that, at least in some parts, should be obvious, but seeing representation of women in books, it isn’t. I am not a writer, but I am a reader, and what she wrote made me pause and think. And it was good. Meet My Alien Family: Writing Across Cultures in Science Fiction by Becky Chambers. This was precious. We get to see where Chambers get inspiration for her amazing characters. And it is just good! The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (and why you should read it) by Leigh Butler. This was just so so interesting! I have started Jordan’s series ages ago and then life happened and I dropped it. It was just for a bit but… the bit became years and years. And so here I am. But I hope to go back to that series soon. And in the mean time I have consoled myself with this beautiful piece. It is deep, and interesting and it is also informative. I loved it, and if you are a fan of the series or if you are interested in starting it, you should read this one! Robert Jordan: The American Tolkien by Michael Livingston. If you should read the previous one, you must read this one. Absolutely! It is interesting, a lot, and it would give you some new food for thoughts! It was an experience that I enjoyed a lot! Good Idols: Terry Pratchett & the Appropriate Hug by Lish McBride. I may be a bit biased here, because I love Terry Pratchett, but it is a really intimate article about a lot of things. Even if it was more on the human side, and about the fact that authors are people and it is a personal anecdote, it was a feeling good reading. The Peril of Being Disbelieved: Horror and the Intuition of Women by Emily Asher-Perrin. This was horrifying because it was so true, and I never saw it before. And it was quite… wow! How could I have missed it? And it is pretty on point. I think this is another one of those that everyone should read. For personal growth, at least, and to get a new point of view on something so mainstream. What Rape Apologists Need to Learn From Jessica Jones by Natalie Zutter. I have never watched a Jessica Jones episode, and I never read the comics. But this is another essay that everyone should read. It is something pretty ordinary, at least, to me and to a lot of people (luckily), but it is not enough ordinary for other, or so it seems. And we need to read this. And everybody need to read this. Because “Rape Apologists” are two words that should never go together. In Defense of Villainesses by Sarah Gailey. This one was my favorite. Without any doubts. (And keep in mind that all the pieces in this list are pieces that I have rated 5 out of 5!). This was so empowering, and so true. And just so so good. Apologize to No One: V for Vendetta is More Important Today Than It Ever Was by Emily Asher-Perrin. Sometimes it is strange to see how something that was a critic for something in the past is so acutely actual today, too. To me sometimes it felt like in all our progress, in all our going forward, we really didn’t go anywhere. And this is one of those time, but we have also hope in there, and this is as important as all the rest! Nobody Gets Mad About Hamlet Remakes: Why Superheroes Are the New Cultural Mythology by Ryan Britt. I didn’t agree on all it was said here, but it was interesting all the same. Nothing exceptional or life changing, but I enjoyed reading it, and it gave me some new POV. And this is worth something! Not Saving the World? How Does That Even Work? by Jo Walton. This is a short essay, but it has a point. It is also informative, and I enjoyed it quite a lot. I know this is not really a comment at all, but the title is self-explicative! Bouncy Prose and Distant Threats: An Appreciation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (or Sorcerer’s) Stone by Mari Ness. This piece took me back in time, when I first discovered Harry Potter. The magic of it, and the feeling that all was new and amazing. It was precious, that’s for sure! In this anthology there are 34 essays. And I have rated of them stars. A lot of the others to me were or 3.5 stars, and just a couple of them didn’t interested me. This is something huge! And as I was saying before, to really make them all justice, every single one of them deserves a proper review. I hope to have at least interested you in this book, and I really hope for more people to read it (or to read the essays on Tor.com) because, really, there is something for everyone in there, and feeling in all of them the love for books, words and stories was something priceless!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Marina

    La recopilación es interesante. Pero cojea un poco por la diferencia de temas entre los artículos. Algunos me han parecido muy interesantes y otros no tanto ( incluso alguno he leído en diagonal). Pero se agradece estás recopilaciones y deseosa que hagan más.

  5. 4 out of 5

    BookBlerd

    Good collection of essays on various sci-fi and fantasy related topics that range from fan fiction to Harry Potter to Back To The Future. I skipped those whose subjects didn't interest me, but I did enjoy most of the essays. I want to visit Tor's website more often after reading this. Good collection of essays on various sci-fi and fantasy related topics that range from fan fiction to Harry Potter to Back To The Future. I skipped those whose subjects didn't interest me, but I did enjoy most of the essays. I want to visit Tor's website more often after reading this.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Fitzgerald

    A bit hit-and-miss, as most anthologies are. There were a bunch of things I'd already read on the Tor.com website, some of which were fantastic. Some essays really drilled into the specifics of a particular work or piece of media, and these largely depended on my familiarity with the work in question. For example, I enjoyed the overview of Galadriel's history in Tolkein's work, but the one on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was too deep in the weeds for my knowledge of that show. A bit hit-and-miss, as most anthologies are. There were a bunch of things I'd already read on the Tor.com website, some of which were fantastic. Some essays really drilled into the specifics of a particular work or piece of media, and these largely depended on my familiarity with the work in question. For example, I enjoyed the overview of Galadriel's history in Tolkein's work, but the one on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was too deep in the weeds for my knowledge of that show.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Joel

    There are a lot of good essays here. My favorite is the one about Joe Vs. the Volcano, which ought to tell you everything you need to know about the topics on hand. However, to be a little more descriptive - the essays collected here began life on Tor.com and were written by a diverse array of talent from across the science-fiction and fantasy world. Topics include everything from Star Wars to LotR to Harry Potter to, well, Joe and his Volcano and how they relate, or can be related to, modern iss There are a lot of good essays here. My favorite is the one about Joe Vs. the Volcano, which ought to tell you everything you need to know about the topics on hand. However, to be a little more descriptive - the essays collected here began life on Tor.com and were written by a diverse array of talent from across the science-fiction and fantasy world. Topics include everything from Star Wars to LotR to Harry Potter to, well, Joe and his Volcano and how they relate, or can be related to, modern issues and questions of inclusion, gender, race, othering, and the meaning of life and death. It’s a good collection fit for both bite-size reads while waiting line or for measured chunks of enforced downtime. Recommended.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stas

    Has its good moments but not enough to be truly worthwhile IMO. My favourites and bits I care about in no particular order: Galadriel, Valente's Fairyland, Ursula Vernon piece, "In Defense of Villainesses" (YES), "Meet My Alien Family", "Writing Women Characters as Human Beings", as well as pieces about V for Vendetta and Jessica Jones. Special mention goes to the wondrous centaurs - talk about curiosity, science and stuff of nightmares. (I sure am NOT sorry the question was asked) Book's redeeming Has its good moments but not enough to be truly worthwhile IMO. My favourites and bits I care about in no particular order: Galadriel, Valente's Fairyland, Ursula Vernon piece, "In Defense of Villainesses" (YES), "Meet My Alien Family", "Writing Women Characters as Human Beings", as well as pieces about V for Vendetta and Jessica Jones. Special mention goes to the wondrous centaurs - talk about curiosity, science and stuff of nightmares. (I sure am NOT sorry the question was asked) Book's redeeming feature - it is free on amazon.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I love Tor essays, so this was a no-brainer. Since it's a collection, some were more to my liking than others. I fully skipped at least two to avoid spoilers, and one that I had absolutely zero interest in. My favorite was The Peril of Being Disbelieved: Horror and the Intuition of Women by Emily Asher-Perrin. Personally, I preferred the ones that taught me something over the ones that were fandom-based, but both were well-written and engaging. I love Tor essays, so this was a no-brainer. Since it's a collection, some were more to my liking than others. I fully skipped at least two to avoid spoilers, and one that I had absolutely zero interest in. My favorite was The Peril of Being Disbelieved: Horror and the Intuition of Women by Emily Asher-Perrin. Personally, I preferred the ones that taught me something over the ones that were fandom-based, but both were well-written and engaging.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Pearse Anderson

    This was a mixed-bag of essays, I don't think it constitutes Tor.com's best work or can often be of much use if one hasn't read the required SFF they're discussing. I went through this quick and mostly came away with a better sense of the discourse around SFF and the larger community of critics and analysts, which feels good. This was a mixed-bag of essays, I don't think it constitutes Tor.com's best work or can often be of much use if one hasn't read the required SFF they're discussing. I went through this quick and mostly came away with a better sense of the discourse around SFF and the larger community of critics and analysts, which feels good.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Thesincouch

    An anthology with a wide range of articles and as such there were some that I liked more and those I didn't have any interest in. This is the reason why it doesn't get a higher rating because there are some articles that I skipped. I in particular loved Grady Hendrix's article on Beloved by Toni Morrison. An anthology with a wide range of articles and as such there were some that I liked more and those I didn't have any interest in. This is the reason why it doesn't get a higher rating because there are some articles that I skipped. I in particular loved Grady Hendrix's article on Beloved by Toni Morrison.

  12. 5 out of 5

    SM

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is a collection of articles on the Tor website written by numerous authors. Some articles were very interesting and thought provoking. Other articles I couldn't even get into. Thus my middle of the road rating, not to discourage anyone from giving it a read. This is a collection of articles on the Tor website written by numerous authors. Some articles were very interesting and thought provoking. Other articles I couldn't even get into. Thus my middle of the road rating, not to discourage anyone from giving it a read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Mixed bag Some of the essays were more interesting than others, and some were about fandoms that I'm not part of. I particularly liked the essay about villainesses, but found the one about the Raven Cycle to be much too long and completely overwrought. Mixed bag Some of the essays were more interesting than others, and some were about fandoms that I'm not part of. I particularly liked the essay about villainesses, but found the one about the Raven Cycle to be much too long and completely overwrought.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Stahl

    Exactly what it says on the tin. I gave it three stars because the essays were a little hit or miss for me. But: the good stuff was quite good, the rest wasn't so much "bad" as it was just not for me. I skimmed several essays, but I had a good time reading this. Exactly what it says on the tin. I gave it three stars because the essays were a little hit or miss for me. But: the good stuff was quite good, the rest wasn't so much "bad" as it was just not for me. I skimmed several essays, but I had a good time reading this.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    Rating compilations is always challenging because they are often a mixed bag. There were a few essays I skipped because they were putting me to sleep and a few that were really really engaging and thought provoking.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    I loved almost every entry in Rocket Fuel. This is a great collection of non-fiction articles from Tor.com, often discussing favorite fantasy and science fiction books and authors at length. The in-depth essays added to my understanding of great books that I have loved for years.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Babsidi

    A lovely collection of essays from people who love genre work as much as I do. There were some draggy essays, as someone with no interest in Robert Jordan's work the double feature of Jordan works was a lot for me, but overall I really enjoyed this read. A lovely collection of essays from people who love genre work as much as I do. There were some draggy essays, as someone with no interest in Robert Jordan's work the double feature of Jordan works was a lot for me, but overall I really enjoyed this read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Adam Shake

    This is a collection of essays and sci-fi book reviews. There's not a lot of original fiction here. It's fun to read if you're a writer as it's kind of like a "writers on writers" kind of thing. This is a collection of essays and sci-fi book reviews. There's not a lot of original fiction here. It's fun to read if you're a writer as it's kind of like a "writers on writers" kind of thing.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Szymon

    A mixed bag of sci-fi essays.

  20. 5 out of 5

    David Hermann

    Some good, some terrible A few of these essays are really interesting and thoughtful. But overall the book is spoiled by the abundance of queer and extreme feminist opinions which at best are uninteresting but can be offensive to some.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Mullen

  22. 5 out of 5

    Simone

  23. 5 out of 5

    Raul R

  24. 5 out of 5

    Punk

    Download Rocket Fuel: Some of the Best of Tor.com Non-Fiction for Free. I got my DRM-free copy at Kobo. Download Rocket Fuel: Some of the Best of Tor.com Non-Fiction for Free. I got my DRM-free copy at Kobo.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Juli Cowan

  26. 5 out of 5

    Erica

  27. 4 out of 5

    Monte

  28. 4 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sally

  30. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

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