Max Brooks' Advice To New Writers: "Be Brave, Put Your Stuff Out There"

Max Brooks has had a pretty amazing career, including the acclaimed novel World War Z. But he has one regret — that he didn't start publishing way, way earlier. In a new interview, he advises writers not to let fear of judgment hold them back. » 3/31/15 4:17pm Yesterday 4:17pm

The #VeryRealisticYA Hashtag Shows The Truth About Teen Adventures

Our new favorite hashtag is #VeryRealisticYA, which in addition to pointing out all that is ridiculous about the red-hot but not always relatable YA genre, happens to be gut-bustingly hilarious. (Even better: it was created by an actual teen writer!) Here are some of our favorites. » 3/29/15 8:31am Sunday 8:31am

Concept Art Writing Prompt: Unnatural Selection

We've got some kind of evaluation happening in this week's Concept Art Writing Prompt, by artist Johannes Holm. So what's going on? And what happens to the humans who are pulled out of line? » 3/26/15 5:00pm Thursday 5:00pm

Horror-Comedy Harrison Squared Proves Daryl Gregory Is A Writer To Watch

Daryl Gregory's novels inspire reflection and conversation, but above all else they are just different and so much fun. His new book, Harrison Squared is fresh and enjoyable, and proves that he's a writer to be reckoned with. » 3/26/15 4:30pm Thursday 4:30pm

Concept Art Writing Prompt: Waking Up To The Apocalypse

There's nothing like waking up in the morning and getting a face full of monster. This week's Concept Art Writing Prompt, by David Velásquez, would make a great illustration for a story — you just have to write it first. » 3/19/15 5:00pm 3/19/15 5:00pm

The Worst Taboo In Urban Fantasy

Urban fantasy often seems more open-minded than other fantasy subgenres. You can have more sex, more swearing, loads of blasphemy, and tons of gonzo violence. So what can't you have in urban fantasy books? Apparently, an older female protagonist, as author Harry Connolly found out. » 3/19/15 2:46pm 3/19/15 2:46pm

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 12:38pm 3/19/15 12:38pm

2 Secrets To Writing A Story That People Can't Tear Themselves Away From

When people talk about how to write a great story, you hear a lot about structure, and how to lay down the track so that the audience is swept along. But writer Frank Cottrell Boyce has some fantastic advice about the true secret of writing a story (or movie) that people can't get enough of: make it a collection of… » 3/17/15 1:41pm 3/17/15 1:41pm

There's One More Terry Pratchett Book Still To Come

We're still devastated by the news of Sir Terry Pratchett's passing last week. But at least there's one last book to look forward to: Pratchett's The Shepherd's Crown, a book about his young witch, Tiffany Aching. » 3/16/15 10:42am 3/16/15 10:42am

Author Robert Repino Explains Why Writing Animal Characters Is So Tricky

Bringing any character to life on the page is a bit of a magic trick that requires some slight of hand to pull off. But how does that process change when your characters aren't human? Author Robert Repino explains, plus he shows a first look at his book's concept art. » 3/13/15 4:20pm 3/13/15 4:20pm

Concept Art Writing Prompt: Give Me Shelter

It's a snowy day in this week's Concept Art Writing Prompt, by artist Katharina Guettlein, but there is shelter ahead. Write a story inspired by this image and tell us: What will our lone figure find there? » 3/12/15 5:00pm 3/12/15 5:00pm

Emily Mandel's Station Eleven Is A Finalist For The PEN/Faulkner Award!

Emily St. John Mandel's post-apocalyptic novel Station Eleven was already a finalist for the National Book Award, but now it's racked up another encomium. It's one of the finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award. And separately, George R.R. Martin pimped it pretty hard for the Hugo. » 3/10/15 2:30pm 3/10/15 2:30pm

These Six-Word Scifi Stories Have Some Pretty Tangled Timelines

Whether taking us to a very, very ancient Martian surface, giving us the chance to play detective with some found clues dropped by future travelers, or just warning us about the worst of the future's entry-level jobs, these stories present us with some very complicated timelines. And they do it all in just six words. » 3/09/15 4:20pm 3/09/15 4:20pm

Some Of The Weirdest Pen Names Science Fiction Authors Have Used

The name Eando Binder sounds exotic and kinkily Teutonic — but it's actually a pseudonym for Earl and Otto Binder, who turned "E and O" into the science-fictional-sounding "Eando." Learn the origins of James S.A. Corey, Murray Leinster, James Tiptree Jr., and other unusual SF pen names, over at Barnes & Noble. » 3/09/15 2:59pm 3/09/15 2:59pm

Learning from Ted

Ted Sturgeon used to say, "A writer will write in the dirt with a sharp stick if there is nothing else around." That was me, especially after I discovered word processors in the late 1970s. I had previously written a couple of professional articles for Guitar Player Magazine, but hated typing... and retyping. Word… » 3/09/15 2:02am 3/09/15 2:02am

Concept Art Writing Prompt: The Legendary Moment

There is something amazing going on in this week's writing prompt, by artist Mohammad Hossein Attaran. But what is it? How on Earth did this happen in the first place? And what is our falling figure trying to accomplish? You tell us; write a story about this peculiar moment. » 3/05/15 5:00pm 3/05/15 5:00pm

Yay, This Fantasy Novel Actually Lives Up To Its Superb World-Building

As a genre, fantasy tends to live or die on its world-building. But great world-building, by itself, doesn't make a novel great. And sometimes, a fantasy book can spend so much time establishing its backstory, the story never seems to take off. That's why A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Scwhab is such a treat.… » 3/03/15 4:00pm 3/03/15 4:00pm

Concept Art Writing Prompt: The Kid Who Paints The Moon

The phases of the moon get a bit fanciful in this week's writing prompt, by artist Goro Fujita. Tell us your tale about this character and their rather unusual lunar job. » 2/26/15 5:00pm 2/26/15 5:00pm

Philip K. Dick On Fine-Tuning Your B.S.-Meter To Spot "Pseudo-Realities"

How can you tell what's real, in a world where huge industries, governments and religions are all trying to force-feed you manufactured realities? Philip K. Dick sums up the challenges of detecting reality in a world that resembles Disneyland, in this great 1978 quote. » 2/25/15 12:36pm 2/25/15 12:36pm