Ursula K. Le Guin, Fyodor Dovstoevsky, and the Snuggly Comfort of Evil

Ursula K. Le Guin’s most famous short story is probably “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas.” It’s a modified version of a thought experiment from Fyodor Dovstoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, and in turn it’s helped inspire a raft of similar stories. But “Omelas” isn’t just an interesting idea—it’s a provocation. »7/24/15 5:56pm7/24/15 5:56pm

10 Authors Who Wrote Gritty, Realistic Fantasy Before George R.R. Martin

When George R.R. Martin released A Game of Thrones in 1996, he helped to change the game with his grounded approach to fantasy tropes. At the same time, people sometimes talk as though Martin was the first to bring realism to epic fantasy. So here are 10 other authors who were doing "gritty" fantasy before Martin. »4/01/15 2:29pm4/01/15 2:29pm

18 Perfect Short Stories That Pack More Of A Punch Than Most Novels

People sometimes mistake short stories for trifles, wee vignettes that are over before they start. But there's a reason why many of the best movies are based on short fiction rather than novels: a short story is just the right length to blow your mind. Here are 18 science fiction and short stories that rock our world. »3/19/15 3:38pm3/19/15 3:38pm

Kazuo Ishiguro's New Novel Is A Weird Mess, But It Still Moved Me

Kazuo Ishiguro's brand new novel, The Buried Giant, is a puzzling departure. It's not just that the author of The Remains of the Day is writing an epic fantasy about ogres and a dragon. It's also that it's written in a weird, pseudo-fancy style, and it's hard to love. But I did end up kind of haunted by this book,… »3/10/15 7:33pm3/10/15 7:33pm

Why Science Fiction Is An Essential Tool For The Post-Ferguson World

Science fiction provides a unique toolkit for imagining how societies could be constructed differently — and for seeing how the structures that seem natural and inevitable to us are actually unnatural, says Walidah Imarisha, co-editor of a new anthology of radical science fiction called Octavia's Brood. »12/30/14 3:20pm12/30/14 3:20pm

The Book Of Strange New Things Will Blow You Away

Michael Faber's new novel The Book of Strange New Things pulls a neat trick. At first, you think it's going to be about a human trying to explain our culture — and specifically Christianity — to aliens on the planet Oasis. But at some point, you realize it's about the fate of humanity, instead. And that's when it gets… »12/25/14 3:29pm12/25/14 3:29pm

Does Anyone Really Think Star Wars Ruined Science Fiction?

The meme has been going around pretty much since Star Wars first came out in 1977: Star Wars wrecked science fiction. George Lucas' extravagant space opera messed up a genre that was fumbling towards grown-up sophistication. This idea made a bit of a come-back with the Force Awakens teaser, and it's time to kill it. »12/09/14 2:45pm12/09/14 2:45pm