In the 1660s the Irish chemist Robert Boyle made a list of 24 wishes: a page or two of solutions to all the challenges of 17th century life that he hoped might come about in the not too distant future. They ranged from the explorative: ‘the art of flying’, or the practical: ‘the acceleration of the production of… »
James T. Kirk owes a lot to his space opera forebears, characters like Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon and the Lensmen: He wears a cool uniform, has a fancy ray gun strapped to his hip, flies the fastest ship in the galaxy, and has a weird alien sidekick. Yet the character of Kirk has outstripped his predecessors. »
A few months ago, Syfy made a push back into the fun space-adventure programming we used to see from the channel. Fridays saw them airing Killjoys and Dark Matter, both of which just got renewed. Both shows had a lot going for them, but do they deserve another season? And how can they improve next year? »
It’s hard to put my finger on the exact moment the idea for the Apex Book of World SF series first crystallised, but the seeds for it were sown long before. I grew up on a kibbutz in Israel, and even as a child I was drawn to fantastical works, many translated from Europe: not just Tove Jansson’s Moomins, but Janusz… »
You know that moment where you feel like a good breeze could lift your feet from the ground? You lean into it a little. You might even unbutton your coat to let the wind fill the cloth.
Metal Gear Solid is an obsession for millions of gamers, with its totally insane science-fiction storytelling. But at its heart, the series has always been about celebrating and questioning the power of technology. The story of Solid Snake, Raiden, and Snake’s evil dad Big Boss (it’s... a long story) isn’t just… »
For a good long while, Daredevil was Marvel’s ultimate dark hero, a character who experienced and dealt out tragedy in equal measure. But that changed in 2011, when a new Daredevil series gave us a man without fear who wasn’t afraid of being happy—and in the process, gave us one of comic’s most human superhumans. »
On September 12, 2000, Jon Stewart started The Daily Show’s Headlines segment with the following joke: “The GOP accused of using subliminal advertising. Bush says, ‘Why would we advertise underwater?’” After a run of jokes about then-candidate George W. Bush, Stewart chuckles, “He’s making it so easy.” »
I’ve seen two decent comedy films this summer. Melissa McCarthy’s Spy and Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck were both fun, but the movie about a magazine editor with a substance-abuse problem was much better than the one about the assistant spy who’s forced to go out into the field. Why is that? »
Pixels reminded us all just how shitty an actor Adam Sandler can be. But it’s worse than you probably realize. As a star, and also as a producer, Sandler has created a string of horrible, vapid comedies that have helped make us all dumber. His movies are “films,” in the same sense that colonoscopies produce films.
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. »
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… »
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… »
I have a confession to make. I, James Whitbrook, io9 writer and Star Trek fan, have never seen a single, entire episode of The Next Generation. Not one.
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. »
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… »
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. »
Winter hasn’t arrived yet on Game of Thrones, but there’s still a bit of “winter of our discontent” going on. Season five veered way off George R.R. Martin’s road, with shall we say mixed results. Here’s how to get Thrones back on its game. »
Everybody gets impostor syndrome, but it’s a disease that hits geeks especially hard. You know how it is: You feel like you couldn’t possibly belong, that you can’t measure up, that everyone will realize you’re a fake. Here’s how to turn impostor syndrome into your own superpower. »