Why Doesn't CS Lewis' Silent Planet Get Compared To Dune Or Foundation?

C.S. Lewis is best known for his Narnia books, and also as one of the most powerful writers of Christian commentary of the 20th century. But he also wrote a beloved space-opera trilogy, beginning with Out of the Silent Planet. And one author argues that this book deserves to be mentioned among the great SF novels. » 2/24/15 2:40pm 2/24/15 2:40pm

Lev Grossman Goes Where Other Coming-Of-Age Books Fear To Go: Adulthood

The world is full of magical coming-of-age books... and they generally don't show much of what happens after the age has come. We only glimpse thirtysomething Harry Potter. But in The Magicians Land, Lev Grossman uses his meta-fantasy world to create a thoughtful portrait of what it's like to be a functioning adult. » 8/13/14 7:30am 8/13/14 7:30am

Which J.R.R. Tolkien Movie Will Be The Docudrama To Rule Them All?

Not one but two movies are being made about the true Lord of the Rings, author J.R.R. Tolkien. Fox Searchlight announced one last year, expansively titled Tolkien; now a smaller independent company is making Tolkien & Lewis, about his relationship with his friend and fellow author C.S. Lewis. » 7/16/14 1:40pm 7/16/14 1:40pm

What happens if you gender-swap characters when reading to your kids?

If you switch the genders of characters around while reading to your kids, do they get confused? Or do they just take it for granted that Tolkien was writing The Hobbit about a girl named Bilbo? » 1/06/14 4:34pm 1/06/14 4:34pm

10 Key Terms That Will Help You Appreciate Fantasy Literature

Fantasy novels and stories cast a spell on readers, with their vivid worlds and complex characters. But just like any other kind of spell, there are different types, and rules. You need a magical lexicon. So here are 10 commonly used terms you'll need to know, that describe the different sorts of fantasy worlds and… » 11/13/13 11:00am 11/13/13 11:00am

10 Reasons Why Le Guin's Earthsea Books Can Still Change Your Life

We live in a time of riches, as far as fantasy book series go — tons of sprawling sagas are being told, by authors with a huge diversity of styles. But if you want a life-changing visit to a fantasy world, you can't do any better than Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea. Here are ten reasons Le Guin's fantasy series still… » 11/06/13 10:00am 11/06/13 10:00am

The Most Miraculous Fictional Cure-Alls (and Where to Find Them)

Medicine is hard. You have to diagnose people's illnesses, run tests, and prescribe treatments. But what if you could just give out a one-size-fits-all treatment? There are lots of miraculous panaceas in science fiction and fantasy, which can fix any problem. Here are the five types of fictional miracle cures. » 4/11/13 1:00pm 4/11/13 1:00pm

Secret door inside this wardrobe leads to a Narnia-themed playroom

Some people's childhoods are simply more magical than others'. For example, where some kids might get an ordinary closet, this nine-year-old got a wardrobe with a secret passageway into Narnia. And there's something magical about a parent who would make that sort of thing happen. » 3/24/12 7:30am 3/24/12 7:30am

What's the famous science fiction novel you pretend to have read?

Come on, admit it. We all have at least one famous science fiction or fantasy novel that we've never actually read, but we've looked at the Cliff's Notes, or scanned the Wikipedia entry, so we can fake it. Now it's time to come clean — what's the novel you most often pretend to have read? (For me, this is a long list… » 1/19/12 11:20am 1/19/12 11:20am

Lovely Dawn Treader concept art will send you home on a dream ship

Whatever you may think of the Narnia movies, you have to bask in the loveliness of this Voyage of the Dawn Treader concept art. Eustace the Dragon! The sea people! The epic battles! The giant orange sun, which looks like something out of 1970s book cover art. This is the perfect art to end the week with, setting a… » 1/13/12 4:30pm 1/13/12 4:30pm

The Rules of Magic, According to the Greatest Fantasy Sagas of All Time

Magic is mysterious and ancient, and its workings are often beyond the understanding of mere mortals. But that doesn't mean that magic doesn't have rules. » 12/08/11 9:00am 12/08/11 9:00am

io9's Field Guide to Martians

Science fiction is overrun with Martians, from monstrous invaders to shapeshifting superheroes to Santa-kidnapping buffoons. To make sense of over a century's worth of Martians, we present this grid ranking scifi Martians on their goodness and just how alien they are (click to expand). » 11/23/11 1:05pm 11/23/11 1:05pm

Why C.S. Lewis Endures

C.S. Lewis told his attorney he needn't bother bequeathing his literary earnings in his will, because "After I've been dead five years, nobody will read anything I've written." Instead, he's become the "Elvis Presley of Christian publishing," says CNN. » 12/20/10 6:40am 12/20/10 6:40am

David Foster Wallace's margin notes on Stephen King's Carrie and C.S.…

David Foster Wallace wrote one of our favorite science fiction-tinged literary novels, Infinite Jest, so his suicide was a huge loss. Now his papers are on display, and you can read some of his scribbled notes on two genre classics. » 10/21/10 9:30am 10/21/10 9:30am

The Idea That Jews Don't Write Fantasy Is A Fantasy

A new essay claiming that Jewish authors don't write fantasy literature has caused a firestorm of criticism online, including an impressive list of Jewish fantasy authors. Is Christianity really embedded in the DNA of the fantasy epic? » 3/04/10 12:25pm 3/04/10 12:25pm

12 Unfinished SF Novels We Wish We Could Read

Of all the alternate worlds we're dying to visit, the greatest is that mythical room containing every book that was never written. Here are the dozen unfinished novels by science fiction's greatest authors, that we wish we could read. » 10/23/09 6:39pm 10/23/09 6:39pm

Back from the Dead: Eleven Scifi Resurrections

The number of times you can say "I thought you were dead!" in science fiction is probably only rivaled by characters in soap operas. In honor of Easter, here are eleven of the best resurrections.
» 4/12/09 4:00pm 4/12/09 4:00pm

Is Science Fiction Creating A New Religion?

"The culture-shaping force of science fiction storytellers may be more significant and more widespread than we imagine. That's because they trade in myth. By myth, I mean a transcendent story that helps us make sense of our place in the cosmos. This common definition makes the Christian gospel, as C. S. Lewis… » 2/06/09 1:30pm 2/06/09 1:30pm

Neil Gaiman's Dimension-Hopping Freaky Tot

There's a sneak peek of the stop-motion animated movie of Neil Gaiman's cute-goth comic Coraline out today, and it's delightfully freaky. Title character Coraline explores her new home and finds a portal that leads into another dimension, with bizarro versions of her mom and dad inside. Of course, she has to battle… » 12/24/07 8:00am 12/24/07 8:00am