Discworld Cake Is Almost Too Wonderful To Eat

Paris bakery Paint Cakes (which bills itself as a "pâtisserie geek") crafted this marvelously detailed pastry tribute to the late Sir Terry Pratchett. » 3/14/15 11:00am 3/14/15 11:00am

Read A Brand-New Short Story By Stephen King

As the big-screen adaptation of It rumbles into existence with Cary Fukunaga at the helm, Stephen King's been keeping busy. A new story by the author appears in the March 9th issue of The New Yorker. It's a Western, and it's all about justice (or injustice?), and you can read it here. » 3/02/15 10:25am 3/02/15 10:25am

A New J.K. Rowling Bibliography Unearths Harry Potter Secrets

It's not a biography, it's a bibliography, but a new book about J.K. Rowling is so detailed the author herself calls it "slavishly thorough and somewhat mind-boggling." The reference volume aims to be the definitive publishing history of the Harry Potter series. » 2/28/15 2:00pm 2/28/15 2:00pm

Want To See Where Ray Bradbury Lived For 50 Years? Too Bad.

Though Ray Bradbury's literary legacy lives on after the author's 2012 passing, the Los Angeles home where he lived for over 50 years is currently getting the teardown treatment. » 1/15/15 9:40am 1/15/15 9:40am

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Has Written A Novel About Mycroft Holmes

Most folks know him from his basketball career, but Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is also a best-selling author (an autobiography, several non-fiction tomes, and multiple books for kids), and an undercover airplane pilot (to cult-movie fans, anyway). And now, his first novel (with co-author Anna Waterhouse) stars Sherlock… » 1/09/15 6:00pm 1/09/15 6:00pm

The Earliest Illustrations Of Literature's Great Classic Monsters

We have our own idea of what modern English and American creatures like Dracula, Frankenstein's Creature, and the horrors of H.P. Lovecraft look like based on countless adaptations and re-adaptations. But what did these monsters look like when they were first introduced? » 11/21/14 1:27pm 11/21/14 1:27pm

New Translation Of Grimm's Fairytales Restores The Gore And Horror

The first edition of the Brothers Grimms' tales, in 1812, featured such stories as "How the Children Played at Slaughtering." Over the next 50 years, each new printing was edited to make it more child-friendly and include more Christian references. But now, the first edition has finally been translated into English. » 11/12/14 10:40am 11/12/14 10:40am

A Tumblr Reveals the Starbucks Orders of Your Favorite Literary Figures

There's a Starbucks that sits at a place where the walls of space, time, and parallel universes is thin. It's where authors and fictional characters go to pick up their coffee. And, of course, it's a particularly entertaining tumblr thought up by two English majors and a history major. » 10/26/14 11:00pm 10/26/14 11:00pm

Why Are Many Of Today's Hottest Authors Writing Post-Apocalyptic Books?

If there was any doubt that post-apocalyptic fiction rules the book world, it was probably erased when Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven became a National Book Award finalist. But why do today's hottest writers write stories set after the end? We talked to Mandel and four other post-apocalyptic authors, to find… » 10/21/14 12:21pm 10/21/14 12:21pm

No, Bram Stoker Did Not Model Dracula On Vlad The Impaler

It's one of those so-called facts that everyone knows: Bram Stoker's character Count Dracula was loosely based on Vlad the Impaler. But while there's no doubt that Stoker took the name from Vlad III's patronymic, it's doubtful that the Impaler was actually the basis for the famous vampire. » 10/21/14 11:00am 10/21/14 11:00am

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

Baby Poop Sausage, And Other Winners From The 2014 Ig Nobel Awards

Last night, scientists from around the world gathered at Harvard's iconic Sanders Theatre for the "24rd First Annual" Ig Nobel Awards, the wonderfully peculiar annual awards ceremony that recognizes those achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think. » 9/19/14 1:30pm 9/19/14 1:30pm

Jenner Sisters or George Orwell? Guess the Dystopian Fiction Author

If you wish to be a highly cultured and truly well-rounded individual, you've got to know your modern classics. » 6/30/14 4:47pm 6/30/14 4:47pm

Read E.B. White's poignant explanation for writing Charlotte's Web

One of the greatest children's books ever written, E.B. White's Charlotte's Web is notable not just for its lovely prose but for its masterful handling of themes on death and dying. In a letter written to his editor a few weeks before the book's publication, White explains why a peculiar truth about farms makes them… » 3/08/14 11:55am 3/08/14 11:55am

Science Fiction Authors on Black History Month

"When there were people of color in these books, they were in the background, or they died quickly, or any number of other stereotypes. For the most part, they just weren't there. And in Octavia Butler's works, they not only were there, they were prominent; they were protagonists. The world looked like the world… » 2/14/14 6:35pm 2/14/14 6:35pm

The Real Reason Why You Pass Judgment on Other People's Taste in Books

Of course, your own taste in reading material is beyond reproach — but those Twilight fans, they're just stuffing their brains with garbage. And meanwhile, those literary snobs are judging you for liking military science fiction, without even having read any. If this is you or someone you know, then you ought to read… » 2/11/14 6:00pm 2/11/14 6:00pm

The True Literature of California Is Science Fiction

Kim Stanley Robinson is the author of many works of science fiction, including The Three Californias, a trilogy of novels about southern California; the Mars Trilogy; 2312, a novel about climate change; and his most recent novel, Shaman. » 1/28/14 2:43pm 1/28/14 2:43pm

Twelve quotes from authors to remember when starting your first book

When working on your first book, you're faced with an extremely daunting task. Regardless of whatever training or practice you've had in the past, it's still your first novel. At times it will be a highly enjoyable venture, but much of it will be excruciating. There are moments where you might want to throw in the… » 1/15/14 9:00am 1/15/14 9:00am

​Is our love of character reboots killing our creativity?

Is our love of character reboots a source of creative inspiration, that lets us re-imagine and reinvigorate our favorite stories? Or is it a symptom of a progressively timid nostalgia that comforts us with the familiar (but this time, with more lens flare)? » 1/08/14 7:00am 1/08/14 7:00am

A Plea to Keep Libraries Alive

As a child I was irascible — easily bored, prone to tantrums, and always on edge. Luckily for my parents, they discovered a cure early on: books. We’d make weekly trips to the library, where I’d fill up a tote bag with as many books as it could hold. The bag was always so heavy that I’d have to schlep it over my… » 12/06/13 7:33pm 12/06/13 7:33pm