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Why the Screenplay Is an Absolutely Essential Part of What Makes a Movie Great

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…

There’s Only One Way You Could Personally Visit an Exoplanet

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,…

All the Science Fiction and Fantasy Books You Can’t Afford to Miss in April

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.

When Your Cool Future Is Obsolete Before You're Even Finished Writing It

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…

The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do To Make Your Writing More Awesome

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…

What It Means To Be a Science Fiction Writer in the Early 21st Century

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…

11 Ways to Write a Character-Focused Story That Still Feels Action-Packed

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.

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A Brand New Vision of the Future From io9 Founder Annalee Newitz

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…