An Eye-Opening Look At The Sudden Rise Of Private Armies

When you hear the name Blackwater, you think of gung-ho, well paid, trigger-happy military contractors who cause international incidents. This isn't entirely inaccurate, but it's not the full story, which is told through a new book by Sean McFate: The Modern Mercenary: Private Armies and What They Mean for World Order. » 4/01/15 4:16pm Yesterday 4:16pm

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 11:29am Yesterday 11:29am

Today's Best Media Deals: The Wire, Ghost in the Shell, and a Lot More

The Wire isn't just one of the best TV shows ever made, it's probably one of the greatest works of art produced in the last century. The whole series has been remastered in HD, and you can preorder it today (with low price guarantee) for $110. It was $160 or more until today, and we don't know if it'll shoot back… » 4/01/15 10:45am Yesterday 10:45am

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 Tuesday 4:17pm

Someone Is Blogging Late 1950s-Early 1960s Science Fiction In Real Time

What if there was a blogger tackling the history of science fiction at the end of the Golden Age, as it happened? It would look a lot like the Galactic Journey blog, over on Dreamwidth. » 3/31/15 11:30am Tuesday 11:30am

What Book Did You Change Your Mind About After Re-reading?

Revisiting a favorite, or even-not-so favorite, book is never an exact replication of the original read, but sometimes it changes what you think of the book entirely. Today, we want to know about the books that you re-read, and never saw the same way after. » 3/31/15 7:20am Tuesday 7:20am

Today's Best Media Deals: Birdman, Gone Girl, The Matrix, and More

Two of 2014's Best Picture nominees, including the ultimate winner, are only $13 on Amazon today. » 3/31/15 10:15am Tuesday 10:15am

You've Never Read A Book About Magic And Loss Like Signal To Noise

Plenty of books use magic to talk about coming-of-age stories and the secrets that people bury... but few of them are as sad, or as evocative, as Silvia Moreno-Garcia's new novel Signal to Noise. Her story of three friends in Mexico City and their musical obsessions feels true, as well as truly sad. » 3/30/15 7:00pm Monday 7:00pm

YA Fantasy Book Series The Mortal Instruments Gets Another Shot On TV

The news was announced last year, but now The Mortal Instruments TV show, based on Cassandra Clare's popular YA fantasy book series, has a title (Shadowhunters), a network (ABC Family) and a complete series order, under the guiding hand of previously-announced showrunner Ed Decter (Helix). » 3/30/15 2:30pm Monday 2:30pm

Absolutely Incredible Cosplay From Emerald City Comicon: Day 3!

The cosplay does not stop! Emerald City Comicon was just bursting with beautiful recreations of costumes from comics, movies, television and books. And to prove it, here's one last batch of the best ECCC cosplay! » 3/30/15 12:49pm Monday 12:49pm

"Magic Is Privilege": The Insidious System At The Heart Of Harry Potter

Every year, the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts (ICFA) delves into the themes and ideas of science fiction and fantasy. And this year, according to attendee Cecilia Tan, one big topic was the idea that Harry Potter's Wizarding World is "a metaphor for racism." » 3/30/15 11:18am Monday 11:18am

Today's Best Media Deals: Best Picture Winners, Interstellar, and More

Take home 20 previous Oscar Best Picture winners in one box for just $42 today. The set starts all the way back in 1929, and winds up at The Departed in 2006, which sounds like quite the cinematic journey. [ Best of Warner Bros 20 Film Collection: Best Pictures, $42] » 3/30/15 10:45am Monday 10:45am

The Most Mind-Blowing Cosplay From Emerald City Comicon.... So Far

Cosplay is our sartorial gateway to fantastical worlds and wonderful visions. We can never actually visit the places we watch and read about in science fiction and fantasy, but really great cosplay brings us closer to them. This weekend is Emerald City Comicon, and we've been blown away by some of the costumes thus… » 3/28/15 1:00pm Saturday 1:00pm

Man Plus Has The Kookiest And Therefore Greatest Plan To Colonize Mars

Between Mars One sounding fishy and Curiosity finding nitrogen, Mars is back in the news (if it ever really left). There's still an interest in colonizing "The Angry Red Planet," but that's still a long way off from happening. I can only presume that's because the folks at NASA and the other space exploration… » 3/28/15 11:15am Saturday 11:15am

Add Some Popular Novels to Your Kindle for $3-$4 Each, Today Only

Today only, Amazon's got a nice little collection of Kindle novels on sale for $3-$4. The most popular of the bunch are probably Private Down Under by James Patterson, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, but be sure to check out the full list if you need any new reading material. [Gold Box] » 3/28/15 8:45am Saturday 8:45am

Which "Lovable" Villain Is Actually Terrifying When You Think About It?

Science fiction and fantasy are full of straight-up scary villains. But then there are the lovable ones, who are too quirky and goofy to seem really threatening. They start to become part of the gang, even. But they're still horrible people. Which "lovable" villain is actually horrifying if you think about him or her? » 3/27/15 2:10pm Friday 2:10pm

Home Is The Cutest Vision Of Colonial Domination You'll Ever See 

In the new kids' animated movie Home, some unbearably cute aliens come to Earth and take our planet away from us, imprisoning the humans in, basically, reservations. And in the process, the movie manages to use cuteness to tell kind of a thoughtful story about imperialists who think of themselves as victims. Spoilers… » 3/27/15 10:16am Friday 10:16am

In the World of Fantasy Literature, David Eddings Is Truly Magic

No one would ever accuse fantasy author David Eddings of being too complicated. Although he's known for several trilogies and five-part epics, Eddings creates fantasy worlds that seem like Middle-Earth for second graders. So, then, why are they so much damn fun to visit? » 3/27/15 8:20am Friday 8:20am

Why I Revisit My Childhood Favorites All the Time

I watch a lot of television and read a lot of books. I don't think that's going to shock a lot of people. It's literally part of my job. I'm at the point where no one really questions how much I watch or read. But the secret is: I spend way more time revisiting old favorites rather than new things. » 3/27/15 3:00am Friday 3:00am