Which Sequel Threw Out The Best Part Of The Previous Story's Ending?

The most powerful ending is often the one that closes the story with a resounding bang. An ending that lets you know that things have changed. But those are also the hardest to continue, and some people don't even try. Which sequel completely abandoned the best part of the previous installment's ending? » 3/25/15 2:09pm Yesterday 2:09pm

A Classic Novel By The Strugatsky Brothers Is Out In English At Last

Most of us know Boris and Arkady Strugatsky from their novel Roadside Picnic — but their fantastic output was much greater than that. And now at last, there's an English-language edition of their trippy book The Dead Mountaineer's Inn, translated by Josh Billings with an introduction by Jeff VanderMeer. » 3/24/15 6:01pm Tuesday 6:01pm

Wow, Game Of Thrones Season 5 Is Even Darker Than We Expected

We kind of assumed this year on Game of Thrones was going to be as bitter and dark as graveyard-shift coffee. After all, it's based on the two ugliest books, A Feast for Crows and A Dance With Dragons. But we saw the season premiere last night, and it's even nastier. Here are our spoiler-free impressions. » 3/24/15 2:06pm Tuesday 2:06pm

The No-Stilettos Rule: My Approach As A Woman Creating Scifi Book Covers

How do you create a book cover that really sells the story to its audience? How do you package a book with a badass woman protagonist without relying on bare midriffs and spiky heels? Muddy Colors columnist Lauren Panepinto explains how she approaches cover art in her role as Orbit Books' Creative Director. » 3/20/15 11:00am 3/20/15 11:00am

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Insurgent Is Like Two Hours Of Someone Else's Terrible Therapy Session

There was always something ugly at the heart of the wish-fulfillment in the Divergent series — everybody except me is one dimensional, because I'm special! But where the first movie managed to turn this into a weirdly sweet adventure about trying fit in, the sequel just goes full-on narcissistic. And dreary. » 3/20/15 9:24am 3/20/15 9:24am

18 Perfect Short Stories That Pack More Of A Punch Than Most Novels

People sometimes mistake short stories for trifles, wee vignettes that are over before they start. But there's a reason why many of the best movies are based on short fiction rather than novels: a short story is just the right length to blow your mind. Here are 18 science fiction and short stories that rock our world. » 3/19/15 12:38pm 3/19/15 12:38pm

What's The Best Alliance That Both Sides Already Know Will End Badly?

You know things are desperate when old enemies have to team up in a last-ditch effort to save the day. And sometimes, war makes strange bedfellows. But the best alliances of convenience are the ones where both sides can tell it'll end in horrible betrayal. What's your favorite alliance that's doomed from the start? » 3/17/15 2:32pm 3/17/15 2:32pm

2 Secrets To Writing A Story That People Can't Tear Themselves Away From

When people talk about how to write a great story, you hear a lot about structure, and how to lay down the track so that the audience is swept along. But writer Frank Cottrell Boyce has some fantastic advice about the true secret of writing a story (or movie) that people can't get enough of: make it a collection of… » 3/17/15 1:41pm 3/17/15 1:41pm