Why The Best Fantasy Stories Include Mundane Everyday Life

Anne Leonard's fantasy novel Moth and Spark comes out in paperback today. To celebrate, Leonard's written us an essay about how the "mundane" and everyday things are even more important to include in a book about dragons and heroic quests — because without them, you'll never understand the scale of magic. » 12/30/14 2:42pm 12/30/14 2:42pm

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 12:20pm 12/30/14 12:20pm

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 12:29pm 12/25/14 12:29pm

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 11:45am 12/09/14 11:45am

When Writers Remake Gender, They Create A Better Mirror On Our World

There's a fascinating interview with Ursula K. Le Guin over at Electric Literature. She talks about the former literary/genre divide, and when to ignore "the rules." And she also explains why creating radically different versions of gender is actually a way to help people see the here and now more clearly. » 8/08/14 1:40pm 8/08/14 1:40pm

10 Great Novels That Will Make You More Passionate About Science

Many of the world's greatest scientists were inspired to go into their fields by reading science fiction books. And it's easy to see why. A lot of the best science fiction features scientists who solve problems and make breakthroughs. Here are 10 great novels that will inspire you with a new love of science. » 8/07/14 10:09am 8/07/14 10:09am

12 Sequels That Completely Change How You View The Original Story

Most of the time, sequels are at best entertaining, and at worst an affront to the memory of the original. But once in a great while, a sequel comes along that makes you rethink everything you thought you knew about the original story. Here are 12 sequels that pull back and show you the bigger picture. » 7/31/14 10:00am 7/31/14 10:00am

21 Books That Changed Science Fiction And Fantasy Forever

Speculative fiction is the literature of change and discovery. But every now and then, a book comes along that changes the rules of science fiction and fantasy for everybody. Certain great books inspire scores of authors to create something new. Here are 21 of the most influential science fiction and fantasy books. » 7/25/14 10:00am 7/25/14 10:00am

How To Write About Sex Without Being Boring

Sexuality is one of our most basic drives, but it's also fundamental to our identities as people. Which means sex is the subject of a million cliches, and tons of terrible writing. Not to mention, stupid prejudice. The good news? Science fiction and fantasy writers have a special opportunity to look at sex afresh.… » 7/15/14 1:51pm 7/15/14 1:51pm

We Need A New Literary Movement With A Slightly Ludicrous Name

When I first obsessed about the idea of being a science-fiction writer, I was captivated by the Slipstream movement, which aimed to bust genre boundaries and shatter expectations. And reading about 1975's science fiction boom makes you realize how great the New Wave was. So maybe it's time for a new movement with a… » 5/08/14 1:27pm 5/08/14 1:27pm

10 Things That Every Brand New Creator of Science Fiction Should Know

Being a science fiction creator is the most amazing adventure — you get to invent whole new worlds, brand new futures, and fantastic technologies, and you get to tell the most incredible stories about them. But it's also a tough and heartbreaking career path, whether you're in books, comics, movies or television. Here… » 3/06/14 10:31am 3/06/14 10:31am