Read Roald Dahl's Powerful Pro-Vaccination Letter (From 1988)

Roald Dahl – author of such books as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and Matilda – lost his eldest daughter, Olivia, to measles in 1962. Twenty-six years later, he penned a cogent and gut-wrenching plea to parents, urging them have their children vaccinated against the disease. » 1/31/15 2:00pm 1/31/15 2:00pm

C.J. Cherryh Explains The Key To Creating Terrific Female Characters

How do you go about creating female characters that have the same charisma and depth as the male ones? People debate this endlessly, and come up with complicated arguments about one aspect or another. But Downbelow Station author C.J. Cherryh has a refreshingly simple answer to this question. » 1/21/15 8:55am 1/21/15 8:55am

Why It's Absurd To Tell Ted Chiang He's Not Writing Science Fiction

People are often keen to impose a restrictive definition on science fiction, usually to rule something out of the genre. And even some of the genre's best authors have been on the receiving end of this. Like multiple award-winning writer Ted Chiang, who's regularly told his work is "not really science fiction." » 1/05/15 9:40am 1/05/15 9:40am

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

Why "Plot" Should Not Be A Four-Letter Word Among Novelists

It's easy to find people in the book world who regard "plot" as sort of a dirty necessity at best. Lots of literary books try to avoid any overt "plot," in favor of autobiographical details. In science fiction, there's a dichotomy between "plot" and "character." But in the New Yorker, Adelle Waldman offers a stirring… » 12/03/14 4:30pm 12/03/14 4:30pm

Who Wrote Women Better, Davies Or Moffat? Neither, Says One Professor

The great debate in Doctor Who fandom these days is between fans of "original" showrunner Russell T. Davies and his replacement, Steven Moffat.* And one of the focal points of that debate comes down to the notion that Davies was better at writing female characters. Not so fast, says one college professor. » 11/07/14 3:01am 11/07/14 3:01am

Just Because Magic Has Rules, Doesn't Mean It Should Be Predictable

A lot of fantasy writers and readers will tell you that magic needs to have a clear set of rules, so you don't just have a situation where magic can do whatever the author needs it to do. A system of magic. But go too far in that direction, and you end up with something too much like technology. » 10/20/14 6:00pm 10/20/14 6:00pm

Legendary Designer Syd Mead Says We Should Stop Saying "Wearable Tech"

With his work on Blade Runner and other movies, designer Syd Mead did as much as almost anybody to shape our vision of the future. And in a new interview with Fast Co Design, he explains why the term "wearable technology" is meaningless — and what it takes for wearables to become must-wears. » 10/03/14 7:00pm 10/03/14 7:00pm