This New Space Colonization Novel Will Mess With Your Head In The Best Possible Way

Planetfall by Emma Newman isn’t what you’re expecting from a book about humans colonizing another planet. It’s much weirder, and in the end, a fair bit darker. This is a story about human failings—and the fact that we expect to understand alien beings, when we can’t even understand each other. »11/13/15 7:30pm11/13/15 7:30pm


11 History Books You Should Read Before Writing Your Military SF Novel

So you want to be a military science fiction author. You’ve read the classics from all the major authors, and you’ve got a great idea for a novel. Except you haven’t served in the military, and don’t know much beyond what you’ve seen on TV and in movies. Here are 11 books of military history you might want to read… »8/08/15 2:00pm8/08/15 2:00pm

7 Worldbuilding Tropes Science Fiction and Fantasy needs to Stop using

Last week our own Charlie Jane Anders gave us some excellent advice on the difference between good Worldbuilding and great Worldbuilding - but sometimes creators of some of our favourite worlds run afoul of a few tiresome Worldbuilding tropes. Here's seven clichés that need to stop cropping up in Sci-Fi and Fantasy. »11/24/14 12:56am11/24/14 12:56am

A Quick Guide to the Worldbuilding of Destiny

Destiny is out! And whilst it might be the most-preordered new property in gaming history, not everyone who'd be interested in a new scifi story is necessarily interested in playing a shooter to find out about it. So let's take a look at a little of what we know about the universe of Destiny and its inhabitants so far. »9/10/14 3:20pm9/10/14 3:20pm

Want to Write Great Science Fiction? Read Classic Literature

Worldbuilding is a major challenge for science fiction creators — building a plausible world from scratch involves thinking about lots of variables. But sometimes, to imagine the future, the best way is to look to the past. Classic literature can help you build a world more believably alien than anything you've yet… »5/14/14 3:05pm5/14/14 3:05pm

Which Mythos Do You Obsess About So Hard, You Even Dream About It?

The best science fiction and fantasy universes have rich, complex backstories, including a lot of mysteries and complicated legends. And it's easy to get sucked into obsessively wondering about the rich details, and trying to answer all the questions in your head. But which mythos do you obsess about so much, you… »5/01/14 5:00pm5/01/14 5:00pm

You can't speculate about technology without speculating about society

We're living in a time of extreme technological change. Gadgets that didn't exist a decade ago are shaping your existence. So we need science fiction, more than ever, to speculate about the future of technology. But here's the hard part: You can't speculate about technological change without also speculating about… »2/17/14 3:32pm2/17/14 3:32pm

The Secret of Creating Mindblowing Concept Art of Alien Worlds

Chances are, you've already marveled at Emmanuel Shiu's stunning concept art before. We've featured his stunning movie and game art before — he's worked on everything from Star Trek to Lost Planet 3. Above is a brand new piece of concept art, which he's premiering at io9. And below is Shiu's explanation of how to… »9/16/13 7:00pm9/16/13 7:00pm

Flesh out your fictional characters by having Redditors interview them

Need a little help adding depth to your fictional characters and the world they inhabit? Reddit's new IAmAFiction subreddit offers writers an intriguing way to explore new angles of their stories. These work much like reddit's ever-popular "Ask Me Anything" Q&As—except that in this case, the fictional characters are… »3/09/13 2:30pm3/09/13 2:30pm