The Mechanical Is One Of The Coolest Books About Free Will Ever Written

On its surface, The Mechanical by Ian Tregillis is a fun alt-history about a world where the Dutch conquered everyone with the help of alchemy and clockwork robots. But a lot of the most mind-blowing stuff in this book is actually about the nature, and theology, of free will. Spoilers ahead... » 4/24/15 2:40pm Friday 2:40pm

Ken Liu's Grace Of Kings Is The Bold Epic Fantasy We've Been Waiting For

Ken Liu has plenty of awards for his short stories, and with his debut novel, he's likely to earn acclaim as a novelist as well. The Grace of Kings is an ambitious, astonishing, and sublime work, one that both exemplifies and diverges from what one might think of when it comes to epic fantasy. It should rank… » 4/14/15 4:00pm 4/14/15 4:00pm

George R.R. Martin Answers Our Toughest Song of Ice and Fire Questions

When we interviewed A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin at Comic-Con, we decided to drill down and ask some intense questions. Like, is this series only seven books long because some subplots took over the story? Are the Dothraki one-dimensional stereotypes? What does he think of Sliders? Here's what he… » 4/10/15 11:09am 4/10/15 11:09am

Trying to Make Game of Thrones Valyrian Steel Sword With Real Materials 

Nothing reigns consistently in HBO’s Game of Thrones (and George R.R. Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire” book series that inspired it) except Valyrian steel, a magical sword material. Valyrian steel is, of course, extremely not real. But materials scientist Ryan Consell took a look at its chemistry anyway. » 4/07/15 12:07pm 4/07/15 12:07pm

George R.R. Martin Is Developing A New HBO Show Called Captain Cosmos!

George R.R. Martin isn't writing for seasons five or six of Game of Thrones — but that doesn't mean we won't see more stuff from him on HBO. In a new interview, Martin reveals he's developing a new show called Captain Cosmos. But he also revealed that a major twist could be coming in the Song of Ice and Fire books. » 4/03/15 3:40pm 4/03/15 3:40pm

How Katherine Kurtz Changed Fantasy Books Forever

She doesn't get the same level of props as Michael Moorcock. But Katherine Kurtz, author of the Deryni novels, had a huge impact on fantasy, argues a new essay over at Strange Horizons. Starting in 1970, her books were the first of a new kind of fantasy — closer to historical fiction than epic quest narratives. » 4/03/15 10:44am 4/03/15 10:44am

Read A Delightful New Excerpt from George R.R. Martin's Winds Of Winter

Although we may not be getting Winds of Winter this year, George R. R. Martin has made up for it a little bit with a huge new excerpt: An entire chapter revolving around one of our favorite characters, being fantastic in the Vale of Arryn. Of course, Spoilers for A Dance With Dragons onwards... » 4/02/15 2:42pm 4/02/15 2:42pm

10 Authors Who Wrote Gritty, Realistic Fantasy Before George R.R. Martin


When George R.R. Martin released A Game of Thrones in 1996, he helped to change the game with his grounded approach to fantasy tropes. At the same time, people sometimes talk as though Martin was the first to bring realism to epic fantasy. So here are 10 other authors who were doing "gritty" fantasy before Martin. » 4/01/15 11:29am 4/01/15 11:29am

Wow, Game Of Thrones Season 5 Is Even Darker Than We Expected

We kind of assumed this year on Game of Thrones was going to be as bitter and dark as graveyard-shift coffee. After all, it's based on the two ugliest books, A Feast for Crows and A Dance With Dragons. But we saw the season premiere last night, and it's even nastier. Here are our spoiler-free impressions. » 3/24/15 2:06pm 3/24/15 2:06pm

Game of Thrones Season 5 Plot Probabilities

Season 5 of Game of Thrones will certainly toss some plots from the books they're adaptations of. This article attempts to guess at what happens in Season 5. Please comment with your thoughts and opinions on the probabilities. Spoiler warning: This article assumes you are caught up with the five published A Song… » 3/17/15 1:04pm 3/17/15 1:04pm