One of the major influences on The Hobbit was the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf, which was the subject of many of J.R.R. Tolkien's lectures. Now, 90 years after Tolkien translated the poem, his version of Beowulf is finally coming to print. »
When a reader sends a particularly poetic message to the Jezebel inbox, some of the writers will notice the message's linguistic symmetry and gleefully announce, "Haiku!" Truthfully, most of these messages aren't perfect haikus (or "hokkus" for all those Ezra Pound fascists lurking in the comments), but they are very… »
Sadly, it's not a novel — but it's still pretty exciting to have one last glimpse inside the mind of the legendary author. A collection of Banks' poetry, co-written by The Night Sessions author Ken MacLeod and edited by MacLeod, will be published on Feb. 16, 2015, which would have been Banks' 61st birthday. »
William Blake was regarded as insane by his contemporaries, due in no small part to the same "cryptic flights of poetic fire" and "marvellous, ineffable pictures" that would later see him labeled a genius. But brilliant though he was*, it's hard to read "Texts from William Blake" and not sympathize with those Romantic-era… »
Nina Katchadourian borrows the words she uses for her unusual poetry from the spines of books. She arranges those spines, book upon book, so that they form brief poems that are often insightful and surprising. »
Is this your first visit to the 30th century?
Those of you from a millennium past may experience disorientation.
Know that we have addressed our epoch to utopia.
Know that we looked to you when we designed the answer to the question of our future, a fiction. »
Yes, it's a great achievement of English literature. Yes, it's a deep work of spiritual belief and should be given due consideration. And yet, for some reason, Paradise Lost stumbles over the same things that bad comic books do. We're going to look at ten mistakes that serial-fiction writers make — even the famous… »
Charles Babbage was known as the guy who invented the difference engine and was one of the founders of modern computing. His passion for nerdery didn't just come out in design and technology. He also wrote to Tennyson with the best poetry critique ever. »
He's Khan Noonien Singh's favorite poet — but is Milton also the creator of science fiction? Milton met Gallileo, and worked lots of sciencey details into his work, and Paradise Lost hints at life on other planets. There's also Milton's "obsession with secret, all-powerful technologies." Check out Slate for all the… »
Filmmaker Florina Titz wrote to io9 to tell us about her strange new short film, Kurupuru, which she described enticingly as being about "glitches, systems, maps, unicorns and brothels." Here's the official synopsis: »Also, I have never seen a movie based on a poem. Here is the poem that filmmaker Florina Titz says…
Rewatching old shows can be a blast/but the recapping gets old real fast./But these two Buffy fans/have poetical plans/to make limericks of episodes past. »
J.R.R. Tolkien's constructed Elvish languages have such elegant characters — and have been the subject of so much Tolkien-influence art — that it's easy to forget that they was meant to be spoken. Tolkien was, after all, a linguist, and he wanted his Elvish languages to sound a certain way as they rolled from a… »
If this week's big particle physics discovery has you wanting to burst into verse, but you don't have a silver tongue, enjoy this sweet sonnet about the particle that might be the Higgs Boson. Vi Hart explains the news with markers and smiley faces. Memorize it for the next time someone asks you what a Higgs Boson is. »
Plenty of folks have a quote from a favorite author or a favorite artist's work tattooed on their skin. But what if you could get your favorite artists to design a tattoo especially for you? One fan asked Neil Gaiman to write a comic for his back tattoo, and Gaiman agreed. »
"All poetry is experimental poetry," Wallace Stevens once said. And the world of contemporary poetry is much like the world of fantastical and science fictional prose narratives. And if you value diversity, weirdness, and contradiction in your reading, you could do a lot worse than to develop a taste for both science… »