This entire nearly hour-long conversation between writing luminaries George R. R. Martin and Stephen King is well worth listening to in its entirety, but before that: skip to around 50:08 and hear Martin ask the one question he’s always wanted to put to King. It’s worth it.
Who gets the credit for a great movie? The director, obviously. It was his vision that came to life. The lead actors and the rest of the cast too. Their performances left an impact. The cinematographer even gets some love for how the movie was shot. And, of course, we have to give credit to the story. But does that…
Sorry, Han Solo and Mr. Sulu. Based on everything we know right now, you’ll never be able to punch a button and travel through “hyperspace,” or go to warp speed. Traveling faster than light is almost certainly impossible. According to scientists, the only way you could personally visit other stars is by taking a long,…
Spring is here, and so are some great beach reads! What does April have in store? Two Terry Pratchett tributes. New books from C.J. Cherryh, Harry Turtledove and M.R. Carey. Wish-granting moonshine! New space opera! And much, much more. Here are the most essential science fiction and fantasy books in April.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer rocked our world, and it remains one of the all-time greatest TV shows. The story of a fated vampire-hunter who tries to live a normal life in high school, Buffy still has few worthy successors. And it has so much to teach us about good writing.
You often hear people say things like, “no science fiction writer could have predicted the Internet,” when they’re talking about science fiction’s lack of predictive power. But actually, writer Murray Leinster did get a lot right about the Internet, in the 1946 story “A Logic Named Joe.”
When you decide to write a story set in the near future, or speculating about things that might happen, you’re running the risk of looking like a jackass. Nobody expects a science fiction story to predict the actual future—not if they know anything about science fiction, anyway. But given how slowly publishing can…
Thanks to the number of computers in my childhood (and an unnaturally short attention span), my handwriting has always hovered between awful and indecipherable. So clearly, what I need is a machine to do my writing for me.
There’s no magic bullet for being a decent writer, or making people bond with your characters or fall in love with your story. Writing is a million different skills and challenges, and each story is different. But the more I struggle to make this work, the more I think there’s one key thing that makes writing more…
I believe that science fiction’s best days are ahead of it, because I have read a lot of science fiction. And if this genre has taught me anything, it’s optimism about human ingenuity—along with a belief that the unexpected is just around the corner. I’m not alone: Many people seem to feel like science fiction is…
For years, I thought of weirdness and personal storytelling as sort of opposites. You can have surreal, cartoony, acid-trippy, logic-melting insanity, or you can tell a grounded emotional story about people. But the big epiphany I had while writing All the Birds in the Sky is, sometimes weirdness is intensely personal.
Everyone loves a story that races forward. There’s a reason we love books that are “page-turners.” But does a fast-paced story full of thrills and excitement mean you can’t also make room for character? Hell no. Here are 11 ways to create a story about characters and emotion that’s also a seat-of-your-pants ride.
We all love characters who are good at what they’re doing. Nobody wants to root for someone who screws up constantly or walks into traps we can see a mile away. But at the same time, it can be hard to love someone who’s too perfect. So how do you make us believe in, and love, a major badass?
Some of the most powerful reading experiences are the ones that refuse to fit into just one pigeonhole. They defy categorization, because they’re both life-changing and label-breaking. Don’t believe me? Here are 11 books that are so incredibly good, they can’t be constrained to just one genre.
Lisa Goldstein has an incredible track record as a fantasy writer, including the award-winning The Red Magician and the beautiful collection Travelers in Magic. Now she’s written a science fiction book about time travel, Weighing Shadows—and it’s just as mythic and strange in its own way.
There’s a killer new novel about a pharmceutical pirate and the robot that hunts her, set in the world of 2144, coming from Annalee Newitz, the founding editor of io9. Annalee just sold her first novel, Autonomous, to Tor Books. Tor is describing Autonomous as a novel of ideas about intellectual property law, set in a…
“I’m bored.” These two words are the hardest thing to admit, when you’re writing your deathless novel, or screenplay, or short story. You’re supposed to be creating a work of timeless brilliance. How can you be bored?
Email is the technology tool everyone relies on and yet perhaps also hates (it’s the cockroach of the internet!). Love it or hate it, we could probably all stand to improve our email skills, from managing our inboxes to sending more elegant email messages. Here are ten of the top mistakes we make with our email.