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

"Strong Women Characters" Who Made Mistakes (And Learned From Them)

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You know what we really want from our "strong female characters" in pop culture? Not to be perfect human beings. Or to screw up and be sidelined. What we want is to see them do what all great characters do: make mistakes, and grow as a result. Here are a ton of female heroes whose mistakes made them great. » 9/10/14 1:46pm 9/10/14 1:46pm

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

Why JK Rowling Should Open Harry Potter Up To Other Writers

Earlier this month, Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling released a short piece of prose that offered a quick look at Harry Potter and his Hogwarts classmates as adults. The response indicated that fans are still hungry for stories of the wizarding world—and perhaps it's time for someone other than Rowling to give it to… » 7/18/14 12:14pm 7/18/14 12:14pm

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

This Summer Has Actually Restored My Faith In Pop Culture

The love of pop culture is tumutulous and unpredictable, full of sudden letdowns and unepected thrills. And sometimes, it's easy to get pessimistic. But just when you think you're burning out on TV, movies and comics, they can surprise you. And this summer has done quite a bit to restore my faith in pop culture. » 7/07/14 1:07pm 7/07/14 1:07pm

What Happens When Indie Directors Take on Big Franchises in Hollywood?

Suddenly, all the giant Hollywood franchises are being driven by alternative filmmakers. The latest news is that Rian Johnson, director of indies Looper and Brick, will direct Star Wars VIII. Can a quirky visionary really change a pop culture behemoth? Here's what happened to other indies in the franchise machine. » 7/03/14 4:17pm 7/03/14 4:17pm

Is It Time To Retire The Word "Epic"?

You'll see lots of rants on the internet claiming the word "epic" is overused. It's become a blanket synonym for "fun," and people say "I had an epic bath" with zero irony. But maybe this is just a symptom of a larger problem. Maybe the word "epic" in general has lost all meaning, including when we talk about fantasy. » 7/03/14 12:37pm 7/03/14 12:37pm