"He Said, She Said": Is There Any Cooler Way To Show Dialog In Fiction?

So you've written some sparkling dialogue, and even made sure your characters don't all have the same "voice." But there's still a problem with your dialogue — you feel weird writing "he said" and "she said" over and over again. Is there any way around this? What can you do to avoid this repetition? » 2/17/15 2:50pm 2/17/15 2:50pm

io9 Newsstand: Best Stories of the Week for October 6 - 11

Last month, Nebula award-winning author and editor Eugie Foster passed away at the way too early age of 42. Eugie was, and is still, one of the most impressive people I've ever known. » 10/10/14 10:46am 10/10/14 10:46am

The Best Lessons from Childhood Fables (That Still Matter as an Adult)

Fables and other moral stories made their way into our books and cartoons when we were kids, but somewhere along the way, we've probably forgotten some of the important lessons they teach. Maybe you've heard these, maybe you haven't, but here are some of the best lessons that you can learn no matter what age you are. » 7/21/14 8:00am 7/21/14 8:00am

Cast Your Vote For the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories of 2013

Every year, the science fiction and fantasy trade journal Locus asks the public to select from its editors' picks for the best science fiction and fantasy of the previous year (or write in your own nominations). The ballot for the 43rd Annual Awards is now open online – go cast your vote! » 4/13/14 2:30pm 4/13/14 2:30pm

The Universal Shapes of Stories, According to Kurt Vonnegut

The fundamental concept behind Kurt Vonnegut's master's thesis in anthropology at the University of Chicago was, in Vonnegut's words, "that stories have shapes which can be drawn on graph paper." » 2/20/14 8:00am 2/20/14 8:00am

Read some of our favorite flash science fiction -- written by you!

Six words, used carefully, can build up a world — and that's just what these pieces of flash science fiction, covering everything from a population of literature-obsessed primates to a Death who would really rather play Candyland than do his job, do. Here are just some of our favorite six word stories, written by you,… » 2/03/14 4:20pm 2/03/14 4:20pm

She's trapped in a barbaric past, and she just wants to help people

I've written a lot about what it takes to create a new adventure hero from scratch — and now you can read a story where I tried to do just that. My story "The Cartography of Sudden Death" just appeared at Tor.com story "The Cartography of Sudden Death" just appeared at Tor.com, and it introduces Jemima Brookwater, a… » 1/23/14 5:59pm 1/23/14 5:59pm

Tell Us the Story of Your Not-Too-Distant Future

A very short time from now, in a galaxy not very far away at all (this one), lived a person (you) with a future currently unfolding all around them. Today, we want to know what the not too distant future holds for you. » 11/12/13 7:40am 11/12/13 7:40am

Comment of the Day: Six Little Words Edition

Today, we clung tight to the jobs that robots could never take away from us, counted all the ways Marvel is not adhering to the strict theological conception of Thor, and wrote over 1300 (!) very, very short stories. » 11/05/13 4:30pm 11/05/13 4:30pm

How to turn a high concept idea into an actual story

Every story begins with an idea. What's amazing about science fiction stories is, they often start with a cool idea. Like a spin on space travel or robots that nobody's ever thought of before. But how do you turn an idea into a story, with memorable characters and powerful moments? That's often the hard part. » 5/14/13 10:12am 5/14/13 10:12am

"The sky swam": A wild new story by World Fantasy Award-winning author…

Margo Lanagan's beautiful, unsettling works have been finalists for the Shirley Jackson Award, and have won multiple World Fantasy Awards. Now she has a new story collection, called Cracklescape, from Twelfth Planet Press. We're thrilled to bring you an exclusive look at one of the stories, "Isles of the Sun." » 11/20/12 3:06pm 11/20/12 3:06pm

The power of armadillo penises: why more scientists should tell stories

For many scientists, narrative does not come naturally — but it can be a remarkably useful tool. Case in point: armadillo penises. Armadillo penises have the power to change the way people think about scientists and the animals they experiment with; they just need someone to tell their story. » 10/01/12 6:40am 10/01/12 6:40am

A Fantastic Conan Pastiche, and a Chance to be a Hero Yourself

Throne of the Crescent Moon author Saladin Ahmed has fallen on some rough times, and yesterday he put up a blog post asking for some help. (He says he's already gotten enough support in the 24 hours since that post went up, but it's never a bad thing to help more.) And because Ahmed's a total rockstar, he gave people… » 6/13/12 2:23pm 6/13/12 2:23pm

And Now, A Dramatic Cold Reading of John Scalzi's Hugo-Nominated "The…

Not only is John Scalzi's "The Shadow War of the Night Dragons, Book One: The Dead City" a Hugo-nominated work of fiction, it is also a major cultural phenomenon. And now, you can watch someone named Mark Orshiro, of the famed "Mark Does Stuff" series of videos, do a dramatic reading of a huge chunk of it — without… » 6/11/12 3:53pm 6/11/12 3:53pm

Trove of 500 fairytales discovered in Germany - Will Disney option the…

While Hollywood is bleeding the same three fairytales dry, a new crop of magical stories has been uncovered in Germany, recorded at the same time that the Brothers Grimm were collecting fairytales. Does this mean fresh content for fairytale films? » 4/22/12 1:30pm 4/22/12 1:30pm

Why all stories should end happily

There are a lot of cinematic crimes committed in the name of ending movies on a feel-good note. The twists range from technologically advanced spacecraft having one major weakness, to bad guys being swayed to the side of good after a brief pep-talk from a hero. These cheap ploys frustrate audiences, but they are in… » 2/25/11 2:19pm 2/25/11 2:19pm

Scarecrow monster movie Husk wants to wear your flesh as a skin suit

In Husk, a pack of teens wind up in some sort of supernatural scarecrow hunting-ground. It's a pretty standard horror film — until the characters start ramming nails and sewing needles into their skin. Also scarecrows are clown-level terrifying. » 1/21/11 7:30am 1/21/11 7:30am

Charles Yu shops with zombies at Wal-Mart

The author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe shares a surprising zombie story for Halloween. A pair of big box store employees find a zombie in their midst, but the encounter doesn't go as expected. » 10/31/10 1:00pm 10/31/10 1:00pm

Your fellow io9 readers have built a fortress of story-writing…

Check out #ThursdayTales, a new reader-generated feature at io9 that started yesterday. A group of io9 commenters, led by the formidable Gaudy Mouse Muad'Dib, started a severely cool new practice of sharing links to new short stories they'd written. After just one day of #ThursdayTales, there's already a wealth of… » 7/02/10 8:30am 7/02/10 8:30am