The 35th anniversary of Tor Books

5 October 2015


The timeline below serves to remind us of just a few of the wonderful moments we’ve experienced as part of the extended Tor family of readers, authors, editors, artists, and the legions of people working tirelessly behind the scenes to bring each new book to life, year in and year out.

. . . .


  • Tom Doherty founds Tor Books in New York City, with a staff of 12 people


  • Tor’s first book—Forerunner, by Andre Norton—is published; shortly thereafter, Tor publishes The Psycho-Technic League,the first of several Poul Anderson collections published over the next few years

. . . .


  • Ender’s Game, Tor’s first novel by Orson Scott Card, is published


  • Ender’s Game becomes the first Tor novel to win the Nebula and Hugo Awards for best novel

. . . .


  • The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan, the first book in The Wheel of Time® series, and People of the Wolf, the first book in Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear’s North America’s Forgotten Past series are published

. . . .


  • China Mieville’s US debut novel King Rat and The Return, by Buzz Aldrin and John Barnes, are published
  • A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge wins the Hugo Award

. . . .


  • Brandon Sanderson’s debut novel Elantris and John Scalzi’s debut novel Old Man’s War are published
  • Tom Doherty wins the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award

Link to the rest at and thanks to Dale for the tip.

Author Defends Sci-Fi as A “Purely Male Domain” in Cringingly Sexist Review of All-Women Anthology

18 September 2015

From Carolyn Cox at The Mary Sue

. . .

Dark Beyond the Stars, an all-female sci-fi anthology… has a 66% 5-star rating on Amazon overall, but received this 2-star review last Friday (under the title “Space Opera It Ain’t”):

“I’m sorry to offend fifty percent of the population but it has to be said that when it comes to writing Science Fiction, it still remains a purely male domain.

I bought the above book the other day, hoping to be proved wrong. It is a collection of stories under the banner of science fiction by an all female group of writers. They are: Patrice Fitzgerald, Blair C. Babylon, Annie Bellet, Elle Casey, Ann Christy, Autumn Kalquist, Theresa Kay, Susan Kaye Quinn, Sara Reine, Rysa Walker and Jennifer Foehner Wells.

While the stories are expertly edited by David Gatewood, without exception, sadly each one has that special something missing to make them true scifi, let alone memorable. …

For the publisher to make the claim that the anthology is space opera is laughable! Obviously neither Gatewood or anyone else connected with this collection of stories has a clue about what constitutes a space opera. …

For any scifi story to be considered to be a space opera, it should always be a mixture of fast paced action combined with a large measure of the shoot-em-up mentality.

I applaud the ladies for giving it a try, but I would suggest they forget going any further. Leave the genre to those of us who know how to write scifi, being well versed in it’s many nuances…”

The male author ended the “review” with his name and a mention of one of his own books, and later republished the review on his blog and linked to it on Twitter.

. . .

This emphasis on action in sci-fi (and on action’s supposed masculinity) isn’t just an issue in the literary world, of course; director Colin Trevorrow recently made the well-intentioned but still incorrect statement that female filmmakers are inherently less interested in movies that “involve superheroes or spaceships or dinosaurs” than their male peers are.

. . .

A Dark Beyond the Stars author contacted Amazon to ask them to remove the review, and received this response:

“I understand your concerns, but the review doesn’t violate our posted guidelines, so I’m unable to remove it in its current format.

We try to encourage our customers to give their honest opinions on our products while staying within our guidelines. As a retailer we are interested in cultivating a diversity of opinion on our products. Part of that is allowing our customers to air their honest thoughts on items they have received.”

Although it’s irritating that HWSNBN’s egregious mansplaining will remain on Amazon, his review does have the incidental benefit of demonstrating exactly the kind of sexism lady genre authors are up against–if you’re a man who can’t understand why some female writers choose gender neutral or male pseudonyms, allow the Voldemort of book reviews to demonstrate the kind of prejudice they’re trying to avoid.

Posted by vacation blogger Bridget McKenna

Link to the rest at The Mary Sue and thanks to Ryssa for the tip.

Fans Hate The New “Star Wars” Tie-In Novel. So, Naturally, They Must Be Homophobic

13 September 2015

From Chicks on the Right:

I’m certain by now most people are aware that there is a new Star Wars movie coming out this December. And you’re probably also aware that the Disney Company owns the Star Wars franchise.

In the lead-up to the new film, Disney also comissioned a new Star Wars novel to fill in the time gap between where Return of the Jedi ends and where The Force Awakens begins. The novel, entitled Star Wars: Aftermath was written by Chuck Wendig and it came out a few weeks ago.

So far, though, the reviews for the book have been pretty bad – both professional reviews and the myriad of one-star reviews on Amazon. And the consensus is that Aftermath is a hot mess. But does that mean that Wendig wrote a terrible novel? Oh heavens no! That means that the people reading and reviewing it are homophobic!

. . . .

I am dead serious. The Guardian has this article wherein Wendig accuses his critics of being upset that he included gay characters in the novel –

“If you’re upset because I put gay characters and a gay protagonist in the book, I got nothing for you,” Wendig wrote. “Sorry, you squawking saurian — meteor’s coming. And it’s a fabulously gay Nyan Cat meteor with a rainbow trailing behind it and your mode of thought will be extinct.”
“You’re not the Rebel Alliance. You’re not the good guys. You’re the f****** Empire, man. You’re the s*****, oppressive, totalitarian Empire. If you can imagine a world where Luke Skywalker would be irritated that there were gay people around him, you completely missed the point of Star Wars. It’s like trying to picture Jesus kicking lepers in the throat instead of curing them. Stop being the Empire. Join the Rebel Alliance. We have love and inclusion and great music and cute droids.”
He later told a reader who attacked his confrontational approach to his critics that he would not engage in a conversation on the issue. “Because on this, I am not interested in conversation,” he wrote on his blog. “If your problem with the book is only the inclusion of gay characters, then no conversation is possible. Because that’s homophobia, that’s bigotry, and there’s nothing to be done or said. Someone wants to talk to me about the writing style or whatever, sure, I can have that discussion. On this, no.”

But here’s the thing – the reviews that are critical of the book BARELY mention the gay characters in the book (and it’s not like Star Wars novels in the past haven’t had gay or lesbian characters either). The main problem people have with the novel is the writing style Wendig uses. Which is NOTHING like what people expect from good science-fiction, let alone a beloved property like Star Wars.

. . . .

Bad writing style. Unfocused story. Unsympathetic characters. Yup – there’s a surefire recipe for a disaster of a book. Shame that it had to happen to Star Wars.

Link to the rest at Chicks on the Right and thanks to Richard for the tip.

PG says discussions (online or otherwise) that assume everything is political are tedious. Ad hominem attacks have existed for a long time (hence the Latin term), but they are a particular curse of the twenty-teens.

The Martian: how a self-published e-book became a Hollywood blockbuster

13 September 2015

From The Telegraph:

“This is what you do when you’re a nerd who ends up with a bunch of money!’ Andy Weir says gleefully, reaching up to a shelf at his home in Mountain View, near San Francisco, and handing me a small black rock. ‘This is a meteorite that came from Mars. That rock got knocked off the surface by an asteroid impact, then it wandered around in our solar system for God knows how long, and eventually fell to Earth.’

Until recently Weir, 43, was a successful computer programmer, and not given to buying such fripperies. He wrote code for the hugely popular 1995 game Warcraft II, and more recently worked for Mobile­Iron, a company based in Mountain View (where we have met at his home), an hour’s drive from San Francisco, that works with big firms to make sure their employees’ mobile phones synchronise with their corporate systems. Weir is fully aware how boring this sounds, though he also says the job was a lot of fun: the only child of a particle physicist and an electronics engineer, he likes solving problems, and he enjoyed the office banter.

It was his love of problem-solving that changed his life. Just for fun, he began to work out the logistics of a manned mission to Mars. He then started to research what a human would need to survive on the red planet, and this evolved into a story set in the near future, in which Mark Watney, an engineer and botanist on Ares III, the third Nasa mission to Mars, is struck by debris during a fierce dust-storm and left for dead when the rest of his crew are forced into an emergency evacuation. He wakes up to find himself marooned on Mars with no way of contacting Earth, and needing all of his scientific ingenuity to survive. In 2009 Weir began posting the story on his website, chapter by chapter. ‘I wasn’t writing for a mainstream audience,’ he says. ‘I was writing for this core group of extremely technical, science-minded dorks like me. I’m one of those guys that’ll nitpick every little physics problem in a movie. I absolutely am.’

As the serial progressed, he picked up around 3,000 readers, who would send corrections if he got the science slightly wrong. ‘I had chemists, electrical engineers emailing me, and a reactor tech on a US nuclear submarine, just telling me how this stuff works. It was really nice because I didn’t have any contacts in aerospace at the time. I didn’t know anyone in Nasa, so all my research was on Google.’

He called his novel The Martian, and when it was finished he made the whole thing available via his website as a free e-book. In September 2012, after a few requests, he put it up on Amazon’s site for the Kindle reader. Here he wasn’t allowed to give it away, so he charged the minimum allowed, which was 99 cents (about 64p). By December it had sold 35,000 copies and was topping Amazon’s bestseller chart for science fiction. ‘I still have no idea why it has mainstream appeal,’ Weir admits. ‘I guess people liked the snarkiness of the main character.’

. . . .

In 1999 he was one of 800-odd employees made redundant when the internet provider AOL merged with the web-browser creator Netscape. The severance deal was good enough for him to be able to take a break from work and try to make it as a writer. His second book was better, he says. ‘It was a decent plot, with interesting characters that even had depth. But the prose is so bad.’ He sent it to agents and publishers, and accumulated a pile of rejection slips. Then, in 2002, he decided it was time to stop watching daytime TV, and he went back to work in the software industry. This didn’t feel like a crushing failure, he says.

. . . .

He might not have had what it took to be a successful writer, but he no longer had to wonder what might have been. ‘So I went back to a profession I loved.’ He kept writing as a hobby, publishing via his website. He created a couple of successful web-comics and, as well as The Martian, he started a serial about a young mermaid living in New England in the 19th century. In 2009 he posted a short story called The Egg, espousing a Zen-like vision of the afterlife. It went viral, with people translating it into their own language and even making short films of it. He says it was fun to know that millions had read it, but he had long since given up on making a living by writing.

So it came as a surprise when he got a call from an agent who had read The Martian, asking if he wanted representation. As negotiations began to seal a publishing deal with Random House, his new agent called to say Fox wanted to option the film rights. In the end, both deals were signed within four days of each other, in March 2014. ‘At this point I’m still sitting in my cubicle at work, fixing bugs,’ Weir says. ‘Then wandering off to take a call about my movie or book deals.’

. . . .

A studio optioning a book doesn’t mean it will always get made into a film – quite the opposite. But hot Hollywood writer Drew Goddard (Cloverfield, World War Z) got attached to The Martian immediately, with a view to directing the film as well as crafting the screenplay. Keen to preserve the scientific integrity of the story, Goddard – unusually – consulted Weir throughout. The story’s charmed rise continued when Matt Damon expressed interest in playing Mark Watney. Then Goddard was offered the chance to write and direct the new Spider-Man film, and it looked as if the whole thing had stalled.

Restricted by a lifelong fear of flying, Weir had yet to meet his agent, his publisher, or anyone from the film company. So when his agent told him on the phone that Sir Ridley Scott had stepped into the director’s chair and the film was still going ahead with Damon confirmed for the lead, he began to think the whole thing had become an elaborate hoax. ‘I was like, “Are you freaking kidding me?” ’ Weir says with a laugh. ‘I just felt disbelief, really. There must be a moment when people who’ve won the lottery stare at the ticket for a minute and go, “No, I must be misreading this.” ’

Link to the rest at The Telegraph and thanks to Meryl for the tip.



‘Dune’ at 50: Why the Groundbreaking Eco-Conscious Novel Is More Relevant Than Ever

1 September 2015

From Flavorwire:

“Men and their works have been a disease on the surface of their plane… you cannot go on forever stealing what you need without regard to those who come after.”

These are not words recently uttered at the UN headquarters, but rather by a fictional planetologist, Pardot Kynes, in Frank Herbert’s renowned sci-fi novel, Dune. With Dune, Herbert managed a rare feat: he created a gripping page-turner while building a universe every bit as intricate and believable as our own, an achievement in scope and execution that deserves comparison to Tolkien. Dune is replete with fully formed religions, philosophies, wars, and Machiavellian politics. But what was perhaps most groundbreaking when the book was published in 1965 — 50 years ago this month — was its attention to ecology.

Ecology in Dune is a vital pillar, without which the story would fall apart. It is every bit as important as a warrior’s ability in battle or a mystic’s ability to see into the future. It may seem surprising, but at the turn of the 20th century, pollution was a concern in the minds of Americans, though these fears tapered off as the Depression took hold. It wasn’t until the extraordinary rise of affluence during the postwar years that many ecological concerns were reevaluated on a large scale. With Dune, Herbert was at the start of a new wave’s swell, albeit a small one. The instigator of the first ripple was Rachel Carson, with her 1962 book, Silent Spring. It highlighted the detrimental effects of pesticides, and is credited with eventually leading to the ban on DDT. After this, the discussion of environmental issues in print increased, but not as much as you’d expect — and certainly not in a novelistic sense — until Dune.

. . . .

Nowadays, novels that concern life in extreme or altered climates are commonplace, and even have their own subgenre: “cli-fi.” Climate fiction has even been broached by literary darlings like Ian McEwan (Solar) and Margaret Atwood (the MaddAddam trilogy). And it’s not hard to understand the reasons for its growth as a sub-genre, spiking as it has with real life concerns about Earth’s ecological stability. This reality has shifted the timescale of traditional sci-fi works from the dystopian future (such as that in Dune) to the dystopian present. The flooding and/or desertification of major cities, leading to starvation, mass movement of people, and general catastrophe no longer seems a matter of fictitious distance. Ten years ago we got a horrific snapshot of what such devastation could look like with Hurricane Katrina. Before this, many had gotten by under the illusion that such vulnerability wasn’t possible in one of the world’s richest countries.

Link to the rest at Flavorwire

Mutiny at the Hugo Awards

31 August 2015

From Real Clear Politics:

The latest pitched battle in science fiction is not between space pirates and alien monsters but between fandom factions, with the Hugo Awards as the battlefield. Depending on where you stand, this fight pits either forces of progress against reactionary barbarians or the elitist establishment against anti-authoritarian rebels. The progressive elites have decisively won this round; but was it a pyrrhic victory? One thing is certain: this culture war is here to stay.

The Hugos are science fiction’s Oscars, selected by fans—anyone who pays the $40 World Science Fiction Convention membership fee is eligible to nominate and vote—and presented at the annual WorldCon. Earlier this year, a large share of the nominations was captured by the so-called “Sad Puppies” slate, organized by a group of writers opposed to what they saw as a politically correct domination of the Hugos. It was the culmination of an effort that began in 2013.

. . . .

When the nominations were unveiled in April, the science fiction fandom and much of the popular culture media had a meltdown. The Puppies were accused of “gaming the system” by voting as a bloc—and portrayed as a right-wing “white boys’ club” reacting to the growing prominence of female, nonwhite, progressive voices in the field.

At the 73rd WorldCon on August 22, the empire struck back. Not one Puppy nominee won a Hugo. In five all-Puppy categories, the top choice was “No Award,” just as progressive sci-fi bloggers had recommended. At the presentation, each “No Award” was met with applause and cheers, which Puppy supporters saw as unseemly gloating at sticking it to “WrongFans.” Of course, the “Puppy Kickers” (as the Puppies call them) and their mainstream media backers saw it very differently: as a defeat for ballot-stuffing reactionaries and a victory for both quality and diversity.

. . . .

Then there are the politicized “message” stories. Thus, last year’s Best Novel Hugo went to “Ancillary Justice” by Ann Leckie, whose protagonist belongs to a futuristic human civilization with no concept of gender distinctions and with “she” as the universal pronoun. The Best Story winner, “The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere” by John Chu, dealt with a Chinese-American man’s struggles with coming out as gay. (The “fantasy” part was a clunky plot device: a mysterious phenomenon that causes anyone telling a lie to be instantly doused in water.) Also high on the gripe list is last year’s nomination for “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” by Rachel Swirsky, a short story that even some of its fans concede is not really science fiction or fantasy. It is the internal monologue of a woman who daydreams about her comatose fiancé—the victim of a hate crime by men who apparently thought he was gay or transgendered—becoming a human-sized dinosaur.

. . . .

Perhaps the real issue isn’t the quality of any specific work, or even the prevalence of “message fiction” in the genre; it’s that, as cautiously Puppy-sympathetic nonfiction writer and data scientist Nathaniel Givens has argued on his blog, “the message has never been so dogmatically uniform.” What’s more, Givens argues, the current crop of pro-“social justice” authors who dominate the field not only use their fiction as a vehicle for ideology but seek to enforce conformity throughout the fandom, posing a genuine threat to intellectual diversity. He points out that, by contrast, the Sad Puppies “went out of their way to put some authors on the slate who are liberal rather than conservative.”

Givens’s observations are echoed by Hoyt, who has written on her blog about the “state of fear” that has existed for a while in the speculative fiction community—the fear of being blacklisted for having the wrong politics. While Hoyt says that this fear has lost much of its grip now that independent publishing has allowed writers to make a living outside the “establishment” sci-fi presses, the elites still control recognition and legitimacy within the fandom. Hence, the Hugos rebellion.

Link to the rest at Real Clear Politics and thanks to Julia and several others for the tip.

Share the Force

28 August 2015

Who Won Science Fiction’s Hugo Awards, and Why It Matters

23 August 2015

From Wired:

Since 1953, to be nominated for a Hugo Award, among the highest honors in science fiction and fantasy writing, has been a dream come true for authors who love time travel, extraterrestrials and tales of the imagined future. Past winners of the rocket-shaped trophy—nominated and voted on by fans—include people like Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Harlan Ellison, Philip K. Dick, and Robert A. Heinlein. In other words: the Gods of the genre.

But in recent years, as sci-fi has expanded to include storytellers who are women, gays and lesbians, and people of color, the Hugos have changed, too. At the presentation each August, the Gods with the rockets in their hands have been joined by Goddesses and those of other ethnicities and genders and sexual orientations, many of whom want to tell stories about more than just spaceships.

Early this year, that shift sparked a backlash: a campaign, organized by three white, male authors, that resulted in a final Hugo ballot dominated by mostly white, mostly male nominees. While the leaders of this two-pronged movement—one faction calls itself the Sad Puppies and the other the Rabid Puppies—broke no rules, many sci-fi writers and fans felt they had played dirty, taking advantage of a loophole in an arcane voting process that enables a relatively few number of voters to dominate. Motivated by Puppygate, meanwhile, a record 11,300-plus people bought memberships to the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention in Spokane, Washington, where the Hugo winners were announced Saturday night.

. . . .

Though voted upon by fans, this year’s Hugo Awards were no mere popularity contest. After the Puppies released their slates in February, recommending finalists in 15 of the Hugos’ 16 categories (plus the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer), the balloting had become a referendum on the future of the genre. Would sci-fi focus, as it has for much of its history, largely on brave white male engineers with ray guns fighting either a) hideous aliens or b) hideous governments who don’t want them to mine asteroids in space? Or would it continue its embrace of a broader sci-fi: stories about non-traditionally gendered explorers and post-singularity, post-ethnic characters who are sometimes not men and often even have feelings?

With so much at stake, more people than ever forked over membership dues (at least $40) in time to be allowed to vote for the 2015 Hugos. Before voting closed on June 31, 5,950 people cast ballots (a whopping 65 percent more than had ever voted before).

. . . .

The evening began with an appearance by a fan cosplaying as the Grim Reaper, and it turned out he was there for the Puppies. Not a single Puppy-endorsed candidate took home a rocket. In the five categories that had only Puppy-provided nominees on the ballot—Best Novella, Best Short Story, Best Related Work, and Best Editor for Short and for Long Form—voters instead preferred “No Award.”

Link to the rest at Wired and thanks to Amy for the tip.

You can see the full list of winners below:

Best Novel: The Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu (Tor)

Best Novella: NO AWARD

Best Novelette: “The Day the World Turned Upside Down”, Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Lightspeed 4/14)

Best Short Story: NO AWARD

Best Dramatic Presentation – Long: Guardians of the Galaxy

Best Dramatic Presentation – Short: Orphan Black: “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried”

Best Related Work: NO AWARD

Best Graphic Story: Ms. Marvel, Volume 1: No Normal, G. Willow Wilson; art by Adrian Alphona & Jake Wyatt (Marvel Comics)

Best Professional Editor Long Form: NO AWARD

Best Professional Editor Short Form: NO AWARD

Best Professional Artist: Julie Dillon

Best Semi-pro zine: Lightspeed

Best Fanzine: Journey Planet

Best Fancast: Galactic Suburbia Podcast

Best Fan Writer: Laura J. Mixon

Best Fan Artist: Elizabeth Leggett

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer: Wesley Chu

In Defense of Uncomfortable Subject Matter in Genre Fiction

22 August 2015

From Flavorwire:

Last week, The New Statesman ran an essay by Liz Lutgendorff, wherein she describes reading every book on NPR’s reader-selected list of the top 100 science fiction and fantasy books, and finding them to be “shockingly offensive” in their “continued and pervasive sexism.” In the course of proposing “a Bechdel test for books,” Lutgendorff launches broadsides at a variety of authors, some of whose work is indeed genuinely awful (step forward, Piers Anthony), and questions why these works remain so respected.

It’s an interesting essay, and makes some valid points about the weight of nostalgia on this particular corner of genre fiction. But it also falls into a pattern that’s worryingly prevalent these days in the world of criticism, particularly when it gets to the topic of rape and sexual assault in fantasy. It’s at this point that Lutgendorff’s argument falls into the trap of confusing a depiction of something in a work of fiction for an endorsement of that thing (at least, in any instance where there’s an absence of explicit, unequivocal condemnation of it).

There is certainly no such explicit condemnation in the work of Stephen Donaldson, for whom Lutgendorff reserves some of her harshest criticism. She describes Lord Foul’s Bane (the first book of Donaldson’s Unbeliever series, #58 on NPR’s list) as “one of the most miserable books on the list,” largely for its depiction of a rape committed by Thomas Covenant, the book’s protagonist. I’m singling this out, not because I necessarily want to defend Donaldson (although, for what it’s worth, I think Lutgendorff’s criticism isn’t entirely warranted), but because Lutgendorff’s problem doesn’t appear to be with the nature of his depiction of rape as much as it is with the presence of rape in the narrative at all.

Lutgendorff doesn’t say this, exactly — she argues that “there were also no real consequences of … [the] rape or sexual assault when it did happen,” and suggests that the book’s protagonist is “an absolutely horrible character that we’re supposed to like or want to continue reading about.” At best, this constitutes a questionable reading of the text. On the first point, the consequences do continue to manifest, in increasingly hideous fashion, throughout the course of the series (which, in fairness to Lutgendorff, she did not read, having apparently stopped after Lord Foul’s Bane, perhaps because she had 99 other books to tackle — although NPR’s ranking was for the series as a whole, not the first book alone).

The second point is more illustrative of a generally flawed argument, though, because liking a character and wanting to continue reading about them are not one and the same. We are supposed to want to continue reading about the character, certainly. That’s the entire point of the narrative. But if youlike Thomas Covenant, you probably need therapy. If this series is notable, it’s notable for neatly inverting the tradition of fantasy protagonists as silver-armored heroes. It transplants a man who’s lost all feeling — both literally, due to his leprosy, and metaphysically, due to his resultant suppression of any emotion as a sign of weakness and vulnerability — into a world where feeling is omnipresent.

. . . .

Nuance is not, admittedly, something one comes across as much in genre fiction — especially genre fiction of the vintage Lutgendorff is discussing — as one might like. But still, it’s disappointing to see the conflation of depiction with endorsement rear its head here. No one condemns, say, A Clockwork Orange for depicting rape and murder — or, perhaps more accurately, insofar as that book and its film adaptation are condemned, they’re condemned on the basis of how lurid or horrifying those scenes are to read or watch.

Lutgendorff’s argument is subtly, but importantly, different: she has a problem with Lord Foul’s Bane being not horrifying enough. “Thomas Covenant, the main character, actually rapes a young woman,” she writes, jaw audibly dropping, “and is astonishingly unrepentant for most of the book.”

Link to the rest at Flavorwire

‘Game of Thrones’-obsessed lawyer demands trial by combat amidst wire fraud trial

11 August 2015

From The Wrap:

A Staten Island lawyer has filed documents with the New York State Supreme Court demanding that he be allowed to settle a court case in a trial by combat in a story straight out of “Game of Thrones.”

Richard Luthmann, an admitted fan of the HBO series, is facing accusations that he aided a client in committing fraudulent transfer. In response, he has officially requested that he be allowed to end the dispute in a fight to the death.

“Defendant invokes the common law writ of right and demands his common law right to Trial By Combat as against plaintiffs and their counsel, whom plaintiff wishes to implead into the Trial By Combat by writ of right,” the court filing states.

. . . .

Luthmann then goes into a detailed history of the practice, going all the way back to the 11th century conquest of England by Duke William II of Normandy. He goes on to assert that no U.S. court has ever explicitly outlawed the practice.

“Since [1776], no American court in post-independence United States to the undersigned’s knowledge has addressed the issue, and thus the trial by combat remains a right reserved to the people and a valid alternative to civil action,” Luthmann writes.

Link to the rest at The Wrap

PG was going to make a comment, but decided he had nothing to add to this report.

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