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 Monday 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, which… » 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

Are You Hurting Your Brain By "Hate-Watching" Bad Television?

Everybody does it. We obsessively watch TV shows that we kind of despise, and then we mock them, and complain about them on the internet afterwards. "Hate-watching" is a thing now. What's going on — are we just masochists? Are we doing serious damage to our bodies? What's the worst thing that could happen to us? » 11/03/14 12:18pm 11/03/14 12:18pm

A Step By Step Guide To Converting Your Friends To Fandom

We always want to share the things we love with our friends, coworkers and family members — that's human nature. And it's a generous impulse, the desire to share. But how can you introduce your most beloved TV shows, movies, comics and books to people without turning them off? Here's a step-by-step guide. » 10/17/14 1:43pm 10/17/14 1:43pm

Has A New Producer Ruined Your Favorite TV Show? That's Nothing New

Once upon a time, most fans of genre television series were blissfully unaware of who was working on those shows from behind the scenes. But nowadays, fans are hyper-conscious of who produces their favorite shows, and quick to blame newcomers for any missteps. What changed? Here's the history of fan backlashes… » 10/14/14 12:43pm 10/14/14 12:43pm

Why Nobody Ever Asks If Irony Has Ruined Science Fiction

Every few years, there's another essay insisting that irony is ruining culture. Hipsters and postmodernism have created an insincere world where nothing means anything. But you never hear anybody insisting that irony has ruined science fiction. That's because irony is part of the creative life-force of the genre. » 9/29/14 2:55pm 9/29/14 2:55pm

Why Twisted Fairy Tales Are The Kind We Deserve

Fairy tales are more popular ever, inspiring hit movies, huge TV shows, and a flood of books. But aren't fairy tales also kind of… regressive? They always feature princesses in trouble, and the dashing princess who rescue them, right? Wrong. Poison author Sarah Pinborough argues that fairy tales should be subversive. » 9/26/14 3:30pm 9/26/14 3:30pm

The Inspiration For Disney's Robin Hood Wasn't Actually Robin Hood

Andrew E. Larsen is an historian who specializes in Medieval England and blogs about pop culture and history at An Historian Goes to the Movies. In "Disney's Robin Hood: A Bit More Medieval Than You Might Think," Larsen explores the film's true inspiration, which wasn't Robin Hood but a different medieval tale. » 9/20/14 12:00pm 9/20/14 12:00pm

The Paradoxes That Define Our Relationship With Science Fiction

Science fiction is the literature of change and discovery. So there are no limits to how far a science fiction story can go... except for scientific plausibility. And yet, science fiction is created by and for human beings, with all our weird limitations. So here are eight paradoxes that shape our relationship with SF. » 9/11/14 1:53pm 9/11/14 1:53pm

Why I'm Excited For DC Comics' Massive New Movie Plans

A couple weeks ago, Warner Bros. announced it was claiming release dates for nine unspecified DC Comics films, between now and 2020. This signaled that Warners is serious about building on the success of Man of Steel, and challenging Marvel's comic-book movie ascendancy. And here's why that's a good thing. » 8/19/14 8:00am 8/19/14 8:00am

Here's Why Comic Con 2014 Was Actually Great For Comics

Is San Diego Comic Con still for comics? For years, people have bemoaned the fact that SDCC is increasingly about movies and TV, and now comics retailers are giving up. Yesterday, we listed comics as one of the "losers" of Comic-Con, but veteran journalist and Image Comics staffer David Brothers disagrees. Here's why. » 7/29/14 3:50pm 7/29/14 3:50pm

Does It Matter That The TV Version Of Constantine Is Straight?

This fall is seeing a huge crop of comic-book TV shows, and one of the most promising is Constantine. The trench-coated antihero who copes with the unsavory side of magic is getting a more faithful portrayal. Except he won't smoke. And now we're hearing his sexuality will be toned down too. Does it matter? » 7/14/14 12:58pm 7/14/14 12:58pm