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 Tuesday 4:00pm

Kelly Link's New Book Is The Funniest And Darkest She's Ever Been

It's been an eternity since we had a book of Kelly Link stories for adults. And Get in Trouble is somewhat different than I was expecting. Less dreamlike and strange than I remember her work being, more snarky and comedic, with lots of pop culture humor. But it's also some of her darkest, most indelible stories. » 2/18/15 5:12pm 2/18/15 5:12pm

"He Said, She Said": Is There Any Cooler Way To Show Dialog In Fiction?

So you've written some sparkling dialogue, and even made sure your characters don't all have the same "voice." But there's still a problem with your dialogue — you feel weird writing "he said" and "she said" over and over again. Is there any way around this? What can you do to avoid this repetition? » 2/17/15 2:50pm 2/17/15 2:50pm

This Twitter Rant Might Change How You Think About Female Characters

At this point, the debate over "strong female characters" has gotten a bit stale. Movies and TV keep serving up tough women, but they mostly still don't come across as actually "strong characters" in any meaningful sense. So this Twitter mini-rant by science fiction writer Ada Hoffman is incredibly useful. » 2/17/15 10:37am 2/17/15 10:37am

The Law of Remembrance: What Octavia Butler Taught Me

As a young aspiring science-fiction writer, I've always considered Octavia Butler my spirit guide. I went to sleep and woke up with Kindred, the Parables, and Wild Seed and tried to recruit everyone in all of my English classes to her following. Turns out my teachers weren't all so interested in the rich tapestries of… » 2/12/15 12:30pm 2/12/15 12:30pm

Yes, It Matters If The Science In Your Science Fiction Story Is Accurate

There's been a lot of debate lately over whether science fiction needs accurate science — or whether it's even worth discussing the accuracy of science in science fiction. What kind of person expects a science textbook instead of just a fun romp? But as a new essay points out, this is really a matter of suspension of… » 2/10/15 12:44pm 2/10/15 12:44pm

The Best Way To Recover From A Break-Up — According To Science

A break-up can feel like the end of the world. And almost everybody goes through these jarring transitions at some point in their romantic lives, experiencing unbearable loss, confusion and despair. Luckily, a growing number of evidence-based strategies can help you cope. We talked to the experts to find out more. » 2/10/15 10:07am 2/10/15 10:07am

R.I.P. Suzette Haden Elgin: Author, Poet, Verbal Self-Defense Coach

Suzette Haden Elgin, who died last week, was a pioneer of using linguistics in science fiction, creating a whole constructed language in her novel Native Tongue. She was a giant of feminist SF. And she helped bring SF poetry to prominence, while also teaching us to defend ourselves with wit rather than bile. » 2/05/15 10:47am 2/05/15 10:47am

The Rise Of Slipstream: "The Audience Is Weirder Than It Used To Be"

Remember Slipstream? It was a huge catchphrase among science fiction authors and readers back in the 1990s, denoting strange works of fiction that blend realism and fantastical elements. And now, thanks to authors like Kelly Link and David Mitchell, it may finally be going mainstream, a new Wall Street Journal article » 2/04/15 1:43pm 2/04/15 1:43pm