"Infodump," "Mary Sue" And Other Words That Authors Are Sick Of Hearing

Science fiction and fantasy readers are in a constant dialogue with their favorite stories. At conventions, workshops, and online, people geek out about their favorite books. But sometimes, authors get a little tired of the same old memes. Ten authors told io9 about the writing terms they'd like to see retired. » 11/25/14 1:00pm Tuesday 1:00pm

All The April Science Fiction and Books That Will Rock Your Universe!

April is the coolest month — at least, judging from the stacks of astonishing science fiction and fantasy books being published right about now. There's tons of space opera, alternate history, crazy apocalypses, and much more. Here are 20 novels you can't afford to miss out on in April! » 4/08/14 12:56pm 4/08/14 12:56pm

Sky-Mining is dangerous enough, but when a Deep Storm comes, it's…

One of the year's most exciting anthologies is Edge of Infinity, the new space opera collection that includes masters of the craft like Alastair Reynolds, James S.A. Corey and Gwyneth Jones. It's available now, and it's just $6.99 on the Kindle. We're proud to bring you an exclusive excerpt — a story by Elizabeth Bear… » 12/25/12 3:00pm 12/25/12 3:00pm

Philip K. Dick Award shortlist: 7 daring stories of zombies, generation…

The Philip K. Dick Award, for science fiction books originally published in paperback instead of hardcover, put out its shortlist for the year, and chances are a few books on the list haven't been on your radar. (The list does include Project Itoh's Harmony, which was one of our favorite books of 2010.) Since these… » 1/20/11 6:30am 1/20/11 6:30am

One of last year's coolest anthologies gets a sequel

Metatropolis thrilled us with its near-future shared world and its daring take on urban decay and reinvention. So we're psyched that a second volume is coming out — focusing exclusively on one of the most memorable settings in the first book, the reborn Pacific Northwest known as Cascadia. Edited by Jay Lake, whose… » 10/06/10 2:30pm 10/06/10 2:30pm

Secrets Of Great Characters, According To 6 Science Fiction Authors

Click to view » 10/31/08 1:55pm 10/31/08 1:55pmAmazing stories need great characters. And when you're writing a story set in a futuristic or fantastical world, it's more important than ever for readers to be able to relate to your characters. It's also harder than ever, because your characters' lives and experiences will be totally different than your…

Great Opening Sentences From Science Fiction

Click to viewYou can tell a lot about a science fiction book from its first sentence. Those first few words (or few dozen, in some cases) have to pull you into the story and bring you into a whole alternate world. A good first sentence "hooks" you, pulling you into the story with a quick jolt of action and mystery.… » 7/24/08 1:14pm 7/24/08 1:14pm

All Locus Awards Voters Are Not Created Equal

Remember how we called the Locus Awards "possibly the most democratic" of the science fiction awards? Well, uh, never mind. The Locus Awards changed their rules after everyone had already voted, making Locus Magazine subscriber votes count twice as much as other votes, to deny Cory Doctorow the win for best… » 7/10/08 11:00am 7/10/08 11:00am

Science Versus Magic — Is There a Difference in the World of Fiction?

One of the biggest debates among people who like scifi — aside from the Star Wars vs. Star Trek thing — is where to draw the line between science and magic. Some adhere to the idea that magic is simply science that we don't yet understand, others feel that magic represents an essential mystery that can't be… » 7/08/08 3:22pm 7/08/08 3:22pm

Environmental Fascists Fight Gun-Loving Lesbians for Alien Technology

Two spies, one trained in the art of lying and the other in the art of reading people for signs of subterfuge, have been sent to steal alien technology from Amazonia, a planet ruled by man-enslaving lesbians. Our spies are emissaries from a male-dominated, interplanetary government ruled by ruthless artificial… » 5/06/08 4:07pm 5/06/08 4:07pm

With Online Collaborative Novel "Shadow Unit," Can Fanfic Cross Over?

Elizabeth Bear, author of awesome scifi novel Carnival along with many others, writes in to tell us about an interesting new online project she's involved with. It's called Shadow Unit, and it's basically an effort to turn the tradition of group-written fanfiction into something more literary than gushing over Harry… » 2/21/08 2:00pm 2/21/08 2:00pm

War Machines and Their Children in New Elizabeth Bear Story, Free Online

Science fiction and urban fantasy author Elizabeth Bear always surprises you. She'll write hard military SF like the superlative Carnival, complete with spies and alien tech, and then she'll turn around and write a book like New Amsterdam, about a forensic sorceress in an alternate-ninteenth century New York City full… » 1/24/08 7:30am 1/24/08 7:30am