Did This Medieval Sword Actually Belong To Ivan The Terrible?

Ever since this 12th century blade was discovered under a tree in 1975, archeologists have wondered how it got all the way from Sweden to Siberia. A controversial new theory suggests it belonged to none other than Ivan the Terrible — one of history's most notorious figures. » 11/24/14 2:20pm 11/24/14 2:20pm

10 Tropes Involving Fantasy Weapons That Should Die In A Fire

Weapons are a major part of fantasy literature of every kind. That's why there's a whole category called "Sword and Sorcery." But as fantasy stories have proliferated, some fantasy weapons tropes have taken over the genre. Here are the ten we'd like to see retired. » 10/31/14 4:08am 10/31/14 4:08am

See Neal Stephenson's Badassery As He Opens A Bottle With A Sword

Sabering, or sabrage, is a champagne-opening art popularized at the time of Napoleon's military campaigns. In this video, Neal Stephenson, the author who gave us Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon, shows that doing it properly requires not blunt force, but elegance, precision and a knowledge of physics. » 10/15/14 9:20am 10/15/14 9:20am

An 11-year-old Chinese boy has discovered a 3,000-year-old bronze sword in a river in Jiangsu Province. Archaeologists have dated the weapon to either the Shang or Zhou dynasties — the dawn of Chinese civilization. The 26 cm (10") long sword appears to be of both decorative and practical use. A major dig is now… » 9/08/14 5:30pm 9/08/14 5:30pm

Feminism. Espionage. Swordfights. Great Play...Or Greatest Play?

Did you wake up this morning and think to yourself, "What I need in my life is more swashbuckling adventure, more disguises and swordfights, more genderbending meta-storytelling about the nature of history and identity, I must," this is still you, "MUST find a play with these things in it!" » 6/21/14 12:55am 6/21/14 12:55am

What's the coolest sword in the entire universe?

Anyone can wave around a phaser or a blaster — but a sword is a truly elegant weapon, a product of a more civilized age when you had to slice someone to pieces at close quarters. But what's the coolest fictional sword of all time? » 7/02/13 2:51pm 7/02/13 2:51pm

This is a taser sword. That is all you need to know.

Now you can stab and deliver an electric shock at the same time. Plus, it's something you can make in your garage! If this weapon doesn't show up in the next installment of The Hobbit, I'm just going to get drunk and go home. » 3/04/13 9:14am 3/04/13 9:14am

Building the Library of Violence for The Mongoliad

Wildly inaccurate portrayals of sword fighting in the media are nothing new. Recently John Clements dropped by io9 to debunk modern sword fighting, and Martin Page and Guy Windsor talked to IGN about the problems with sword fighting in video games. These guys know sword fighting. Me? I'm just a writer, trying not to… » 2/26/13 7:40am 2/26/13 7:40am

Watch a blacksmith make one of Game of Thrones' incredibly functional…

Tony Swatton is a blacksmith and Hollywood's resident swordmaker; "Man-at-Arms" is a new web series that covers Swatton as recreates movie and TV weapons, from hunks of steel to intricate, beautiful, and completely usable weapons, beginning with Jaime Lannister's sword from Game of Thrones (FYI, he's not Game of… » 2/13/13 2:30pm 2/13/13 2:30pm

Watch Neal Stephenson slice up fruit with swords on high-speed video

In one of those Internet things that exists solely to delight us, science fiction author Neal Stephenson starts slicing up fruit (and other things) with swords, shot at about 2,300 frames per second. Come for the cantaloupe, stay for the amazing shot of Stephenson demolishing a plastic water bottle with his longsword. » 1/13/13 9:00am 1/13/13 9:00am

Awesome portraits of female sword swallowers in the 1800s

Swallowing swords takes a steady hand and the willingness to hazard the occasional sore throat and pierced esophagus. And fortunately for those readers who won't risk the taste of broadsword, the folks at the Sword Swallowing Hall of Fame are compiling the histories of sword swallowers past and present. » 8/15/12 4:50pm 8/15/12 4:50pm

Master Japanese craftsmen make real-life versions of Evangelion weapons

People love samurai swords, and people love Evangelion. Combining the two makes a perfect storm of coolness. A current museum exhibition hopes to capitalize on the anime's fandom by presenting weapons from the Evangelion series crafted by master Japanese sword smiths. » 7/21/12 3:00pm 7/21/12 3:00pm

Flyer advertising Evangelion &…

A brief history of the ancient science of sword making

The sword is the perennial symbol of empires, knighthood, chivalry and fantasy. But it's also one of the world's most ancient technologies, connected with breakthroughs in metallurgy that would change the world. There are even some types of ancient swords so strong that modern science still can't determine how they… » 8/17/11 9:07am 8/17/11 9:07am

How to swallow a sword

Sword swallowers are often thought of as magicians or illusionists. Although there are plenty of arcane skills they have to learn, there's no real 'trick' to their work. They don't use blades that collapse down, or insert them down the collar of their shirt or use smoke and mirrors. They just swallow a sword. » 8/17/11 7:00am 8/17/11 7:00am

Learn to make a sword — using science!

An easy experiment with a gas range and a box of paper clips can give you a good understanding of how to strengthen, and soften, steel. Should you ever be hurled into a medieval world of elves and sorcerers, you can make your living as a smithee. » 7/08/11 7:00am 7/08/11 7:00am

The New York Times Is Very Sorry For Getting Bilbo's Sword Wrong

If you were one of the many New York Times readers (understandably) frustrated with some of the inaccurate coverage in last week's sports section, fear not: The Times has apologized for writing that Orcrist the Goblin Cleaver was Bilbo's sword. » 5/08/11 5:40pm 5/08/11 5:40pm

How long can a severed head really live?

Knocking someone's head clean off their body has always seemed to be a surefire way to kill them. It kills vampires. It kills zombies. It kills Highlanders. There's nothing like a beheading to make sure that something stays dead. But how long does it take to die? » 2/07/11 6:30am 2/07/11 6:30am

Chinese Tai Chi Robots Can Wield Swords, Sever Limbs

The Beijing Institute of Technology's BHRs (Beijing Humanoid Robots) can shadow-box, do tai chi, and brandish a mean broadsword. Of course, you've got to hand the 'bot the sword first, but we're just one glitch away from wholesale decapitation. » 4/14/10 9:00am 4/14/10 9:00am