Tor.com’s new website Reactor worth visiting – and not just for its stories about the Prometheus Award and Prometheus-winning fiction

Tor Published Group, one of the major sf/fantasy publishers, has redesigned and renamed its Tor.com website to reflect the online magazine’s independence and enhanced publisher neutrality.

Libertarian Futurist Society members should keep track of the new website, now named Reactor.

And not only for its broad coverage for 15 years of “SFF (science fiction and fantasy) books and pop culture.

“In addition to the daily commentary on science fiction, fantasy, and related subjects that readers have come to expect, the site will also now cover all aspects of genre, including horror, romance and and more, from a wide range of writers from all corners of the genre world, creating a true pop culture destination,” according to the TOR announcement.

Since its founding in 2008, the website (now at https://reactormag.com) has become well known not only for its reviews and commentary on novels, stories, anthologies, movies and TV series within the broad SFF realm, but also for occasionally sharing short fiction (some of which has gone on to win Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy awards) and hosting discussions of the field.

HOW THE WEBSITE COVERS THE PROMETHEUS AWARDS

LFS members may recall the website publishing in 2019 one of the most sympathetic and admiring articles in LFS history about the Prometheus Awards and its surprisingly diverse track record.

James Davis Nicoll’s article, “40 Years of the Prometheus Award,” described the award as “an interesting case … The results are as remarkable as the award’s longevity … the LFS ranges far outside the borders of conventional American libertarian thought … with equally diverse selections on the nominee lists.… Following this particular award can be rewarding for readers of all stripes.”

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So the Prometheus itself – one of the oldest continually presented awards in the sf/fantasy field after the Hugos and the Nebulas – is rightfully part of the online magazine’s overall coverage.

Some of the magazine’s thoughtful and insightful comparative-literature essays, commentaries and discussions are of further interest to LFS members when they happen to include Prometheus-winning writers and any works (whether recognized by our award yet or not) with more anti-authoritarian and libertarian themes.

Occasionally, such references inspire interesting Prometheus Blog posts or are worth mentioning here as a sign of the continuing pop-cultural relevancy of “libertarian SFF”, so please bring to our attention any you come across as soon as possible.

If the past track record of reviews and comparative-literature essays on Tor.com is any guide, Reactor will continue to be one of the websites to visit (along with online booksellers and publishers) – especially when LFS members and Prometheus judges are looking around to find potentially eligible fiction that fits our awards’ distinctive dual focus, at once literary and thematic.

WHY THEY RENAMED TOR.COM

The rebranding of Tor.com eliminates a “very confusing name” and distingushes Reactor from Tor Books, Tordotcom Publishing, and even the TOR browser, “3 things that we are not!” according to the news release.

The name reactor was chosen for several reasons. The word (which has “tor” in it as a bonus) refers to spaceship components but also reflects the goal of “reacting” to genre fiction and related pop culture with articles and essays, according to the release.

Happily, the rebrand doesn’t eliminate Stubby, the stubby rocketship (pictured above) that’s become the lovable image of the online magazine.

* Reactor can be found across social media, including Instagram (@reactorSFF), Threads (@reactorSFF), X (@reactormag), BlueSky (@reactorsff.bsky.social), and Facebook (Reactor Magazine).

P.S. Did you know that the Libertarian Futurist Society has its own Facebook page? Check it out!

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE:

* Prometheus winners: For the full list of Prometheus winners, finalists and nominees – including the annual Best Novel and Best Classic Fiction (Hall of Fame) categories and occasional Special Awards – visit the enhanced Prometheus Awards page on the LFS website, which now includes convenient links to all published essay-reviews in our Appreciation series explaining why each of more than 100 past winners since 1979 fits the awards’ distinctive dual focus.

* Read “The Libertarian History of Science Fiction,”an essay in the international magazine Quillette that favorably highlights the Prometheus Awards, the Libertarian Futurist Society and the significant element of libertarian sf/fantasy in the evolution of the modern genre.

Watch videos of past Prometheus Awards ceremonies (including the recent 2023 ceremony with inspiring and amusing speeches by Prometheus-winning authors Dave Freer and Sarah Hoyt),Libertarian Futurist Society panel discussions with noted sf authors and leading libertarian writers, and other LFS programs on the Prometheus Blog’s Video page.

 

Join us! To help sustain the Prometheus Awards and support a cultural and literary strategy to appreciate and honor freedom-loving fiction,join  the Libertarian Futurist Society, a non-profit all-volunteer association of freedom-loving sf/fantasy fans.

Published by

Michael Grossberg

Michael Grossberg, who founded the LFS in 1982 to help sustain the Prometheus Awards, has been an arts critic, speaker and award-winning journalist for five decades. Michael has won Ohio SPJ awards for Best Critic in Ohio and Best Arts Reporting (seven times). He's written for Reason, Libertarian Review and Backstage weekly; helped lead the American Theatre Critics Association for two decades; and has contributed to six books, including critical essays for the annual Best Plays Theatre Yearbook and an afterword for J. Neil Schulman's novel The Rainbow Cadenza. Among books he recommends from a libertarian-futurist perspective: Matt Ridley's The Rational Optimist & How Innovation Works, David Boaz's The Libertarian Mind and Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress.

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