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 12:32pm 2/17/14 12:32pm

What would the Earth be like if it was the shape of a donut?

According to the laws of physics, a planet the shape of a donut, or toroid, could actually exist — but it's extremely unlikely to ever form naturally. But what if an advanced alien civilization decided to build one? What properties would a toroid-Earth exhibit? And what would life be like? » 2/04/14 12:00pm 2/04/14 12:00pm

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 4:00pm 9/16/13 4:00pm

Does The Phantom Menace have better worldbuilding than A New Hope?

The original Star Wars doesn't start out by explaining much. You're just thrown in the deep end with a space battle. Meanwhile, The Phantom Menace tells us about trade disputes and negotiations and taxation. So does this prequel have better worldbuilding than A New Hope? » 8/05/13 8:00am 8/05/13 8:00am

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 11:30am 3/09/13 11:30am