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Ursula K. Le Guin, Fyodor Dovstoevsky, and the Snuggly Comfort of Evil

Ursula K. Le Guin’s most famous short story is probably “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas.” It’s a modified version of a thought experiment from Fyodor Dovstoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, and in turn it’s helped inspire a raft of similar stories. But “Omelas” isn’t just an interesting idea—it’s a provocation. » 7/24/15 2:56pm Friday 2:56pm

What I Learned From Re-Reading Stephen King's The Stand

I was twelve the first time I read Stephen King’s The Stand. My dad read it before I did. We were on vacation, and I saw him with the paperback, the edition with the silver binding and blue-black cover. There was a face on the cover—a mysterious, spooky sort of face, creepy and weirdly beautiful. I saw that face, and… » 7/02/15 9:50am 7/02/15 9:50am

How To Get Started (And Get Ahead) In Science Fiction Self-Publishing

To self-publish or not to self-publish… That is the question more and more aspiring authors are asking themselves these days. And with good reason—self-publishing has come a long way in the decade since it really hit the market and many of the blatant scams of the past have been outed by an increasingly well-informed… » 6/30/15 11:52am 6/30/15 11:52am

The 7 Stages of Falling Out of Love With Your Fandom

What happens when you stop loving a piece of entertainment that once could do no wrong? It’s one of the nastiest kinds of break-ups there is. Your love was pure and true. And then it was gone, and you were a wreck of yourself. How did it come to this? Here are the seven stages of a fandom break-up. » 6/25/15 10:07am 6/25/15 10:07am

Spider-Man Is The One Hero Who Can Tie All The Marvel Movies Together

We finally have our new, Marvel-Cinematic-Universe-approved Spider-Man. But aside from the obvious benefits of having Marvel’s most popular (and most lucrative) hero join their cinematic fold, there’s a far more crucial aspect of Spider-Man that the MCU needs right now: his ability to tie this ever-expanding universe… » 6/24/15 8:30am 6/24/15 8:30am

The Wachowskis’ Sense8 Is the Philip K. Dick Adaptation We Always Wanted

Critics seem unsure whether Sense8 is a masterpiece, a disaster, or both. But it’s still a game-changer—pushing the limits of narrative, and testing genre fiction’s patriarchal worldview for weak points. And with a concept that revolves around empathy and personhood, it’s also a great Philip K. Dick tribute. » 6/23/15 10:41am 6/23/15 10:41am

From Metropolis To Ex Machina: Why Are So Many Robots Female?

The new movie Ex Machina has been pushing people’s buttons. It features a seemingly vulnerable robot named Ava, who’s as beautiful as she is mysterious. But Ava’s just the latest in a long line of artificial seductresses, girlfriends and mothers. Why are so many thinking machines female? » 4/21/15 1:15pm 4/21/15 1:15pm

The "Heroic Translators" Who Reinvented Classic Science Fiction In China

When early science fiction novels were first translated into Chinese, the translators took a lot of liberties with the material, reinventing Jules Verne for Chinese readers. Author Ken Liu (The Grace of Kings) explains how this helped inspire him, in turn, to reinvent Chinese traditions for Western fantasy readers. » 4/10/15 8:00am 4/10/15 8:00am

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