Why I Revisit My Childhood Favorites All the Time

I watch a lot of television and read a lot of books. I don't think that's going to shock a lot of people. It's literally part of my job. I'm at the point where no one really questions how much I watch or read. But the secret is: I spend way more time revisiting old favorites rather than new things. » 3/27/15 3:00am Friday 3:00am

Star Blazers Got Me Through The Shittiest Year Of My Childhood

I was a happy child, but I didn't have such a happy childhood. Other kids didn't get my weird vibe, especially in elementary and middle school. And one year in particular, we moved to a new city and a new school, and things got ugly. Only one thing kept me from losing my shit: Star Blazers. » 3/13/15 12:30pm 3/13/15 12:30pm

Is The "Fix-Up" The Best Kind Of Science Fiction Novel There Is?

Everybody knows that short stories are where science fiction writers really get to experiment, and the most perfect pieces of narrative often happen at shorter lengths. But we also love to explore a world at the length of a whole book. So that makes the "fix-up" the best of both worlds, right? » 3/10/15 1:30pm 3/10/15 1:30pm

Will Lost In Space Ever Get Its Props?

Star Trek's 50th anniversary in 2016 is already shaping up to be a huge event — but what about Lost in Space's 50th birthday, coming this fall? Like Trek, Lost in Space was an important part of science fiction TV history. And Lost in Space had some seriously entertaining stories. So why doesn't this show get its due? » 3/02/15 1:42pm 3/02/15 1:42pm

The Sound Effect That Saved Vampire Diaries From Being A Bland Romance

When The Vampire Diaries debuted half a dozen years ago, it looked like Twilight: The TV Series. But one thing quickly came to set TVD apart from other paranormal romances. One distinctive sound effect: the neck-snap. When someone's neck got snapped, you knew shit had just gone down. » 2/24/15 6:10pm 2/24/15 6:10pm

Why Are All The Best Spies British?

Kingsman: The Secret Service comes out this week, the latest in a long line of spy fiction featuring British secret agents. And that brings to mind the question of why so many of our most famous fictional spies are British. » 2/13/15 1:30am 2/13/15 1:30am

The Best Spy Comedy Is: Get Smart

It's spy week here at io9, and every night we'll be highlighting a particularly stellar example of spy fiction. Tonight: parody and humor. And the king of it all, Get Smart. (Don't worry, you'll get the chance to tell me how wrong I am.) » 2/10/15 1:30am 2/10/15 1:30am

Vaccine Advocates: Please Don't Discriminate Against My Autistic Son

Public opinion has turned, sharply and loudly, in favor of supporting vaccines. Yay! It took an outbreak of measles at Disneyland for it to happen. Boo! (Your grandmother might have survived her measles, but for others it can be fatal.) » 2/09/15 1:03pm 2/09/15 1:03pm

The Best Ways To Honor The 50th Anniversary Of Star Trek

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of space opera's grandest and most ambitious media series. But will Star Trek have a 50th birthday in keeping with its proud heritage? Here are a bunch of ways that we hope Star Trek's birthday gets celebrated. » 1/20/15 1:06pm 1/20/15 1:06pm

Why Star Trek: Voyager Meant The World To Me

Twenty years ago today, Star Trek: Voyager premiered. Of the five live-action Star Trek series, Voyager is not the best. If you were ranking them, Voyager and Enterprise would probably duke it out for last place. But none of that matters, because Star Trek: Voyager meant everything to me as a child. » 1/16/15 1:30am 1/16/15 1:30am

Why Ms Marvel Is One Of Comics' Most Interesting Discourses On Violence

Superheroes fight. They punch. They zap supervillains and toss them around. Sometimes they kill people and sometimes they die. But, as a recent essay points out, the current Ms. Marvel does an excellent job of asking the question: does a superhero really have to hurt other people? » 1/03/15 12:00pm 1/03/15 12:00pm

Brandon Sanderson Explains Why Superhero Books Are So Hard To Get Right

As the proud father of three boys ages seven and under, our household is a goldmine of improvised superhero costumes. Along with the quintessential blanket as a cape, I regularly encounter oven mitts as Hulk fists, boxes (sometimes with eyeholes, sometimes not) as helmets, and cardboard tubes over the hands to… » 12/31/14 7:30am 12/31/14 7:30am

Why The Best Fantasy Stories Include Mundane Everyday Life

Anne Leonard's fantasy novel Moth and Spark comes out in paperback today. To celebrate, Leonard's written us an essay about how the "mundane" and everyday things are even more important to include in a book about dragons and heroic quests — because without them, you'll never understand the scale of magic. » 12/30/14 2:42pm 12/30/14 2:42pm

Why I'm Kind Of Tired Of The "Smartest Man In The Room"

He used to be so cool and unpredictable. He would breeze into a complicated situation and make it simple through the razor-sharp power of his intellect. But lately, he's gotten dull and predictable, performing the same party trick over and over. The "smartest man in the room" is overexposed lately, and he needs a… » 12/22/14 1:09pm 12/22/14 1:09pm

Great Villains Whose Schemes Aren't Just Aimed At Destroying The Hero

Sometimes it seems like every villain is obsessed with murdering the hero of the story. (Or making the hero realize they're alike.) But it's not true — in fact, some of the best villains have their own goals, and the hero just happens to get in the way. Here are some great villains whose schemes don't revolve around… » 12/16/14 8:00am 12/16/14 8:00am

Does Anyone Really Think Star Wars Ruined Science Fiction?

The meme has been going around pretty much since Star Wars first came out in 1977: Star Wars wrecked science fiction. George Lucas' extravagant space opera messed up a genre that was fumbling towards grown-up sophistication. This idea made a bit of a come-back with the Force Awakens teaser, and it's time to kill it. » 12/09/14 11:45am 12/09/14 11:45am

Stop Hating Original Science Fiction Movies Just For Having Tropes!

It never fails lately. We actually get a movie that's a new story, instead of a rehash or continuation of a venerable tale. And people immediately start piling on, pointing out all the stuff in it that's been done before. But just because something contains story elements we've seen before doesn't mean it can't be new. » 12/08/14 12:00pm 12/08/14 12:00pm

Here's One Genre That Could Replace Post-Apocalyptic Stories

We're in the middle of a huge boom in post-apocalyptic storytelling, including some of the most acclaimed novels and some of the biggest media properties. Will the apocalypse ever stop? What could replace it? Here's one idea: Instead of the apocalypse, maybe we can start writing about colonizing other worlds,… » 12/04/14 6:00pm 12/04/14 6:00pm

Why Doesn't Robert Wise Get More Props As A Science Fiction Director?

When people talk about the great directors in science fiction, names like Kubrick and Spielberg get bandied about... but Robert Wise seldom gets enough love. The director of The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Andromeda Strain and Star Trek: The Motion Picture deserves more attention, argues Den of Geek. » 11/21/14 4:00pm 11/21/14 4:00pm

Hollywood Is Spending Billions To Turn VFX Into Art, And That's Awesome

The movie industry has been going all-out, for the past decade, to overwhelm us with incredible images of superhero battles, space action, and dragons. Movie budgets skyrocket. IMAX screens pulsate. It's all kind of overwhelming. And, you know what? That's kind of excellent. » 11/17/14 12:20pm 11/17/14 12:20pm