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The Science Fiction And Fantasy Books Everyone’s Talking About In June

Looking for some awesome beach reads? Science fiction and fantasy have you covered. There’s a new Shannara book, a brand new Laurell K. Hamilton, and an Alistair Reynolds novella. Plus Scalzi’s next Old Man’s War book, and Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter’s Long Utopia. Here are all the books you can’t miss in June! » 6/06/15 1:04pm 6/06/15 1:04pm

How To Raise The Stakes In Your Story Without Wrecking Your Characters

The best science fiction and fantasy stories are impossible to tear yourself away from — and often, that thrilling sense of momentum comes from the sense that the danger to the world keeps getting bigger and scarier. But how do you raise the stakes without sacrificing your characters? » 5/19/15 6:38pm 5/19/15 6:38pm

The Smithsonian Museum Has An Early Draft Of Arthur C. Clarke's 2001

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center recently received a treasure trove: 85 cubic feet of Arthur C. Clarke’s papers, shipped from his home in Sri Lanka. Including a high-school notebook, where the young Clarke rated the science fiction stories he read. And an early draft of Clarke’s 2001:… » 4/30/15 11:30pm 4/30/15 11:30pm

The Hugo Awards Were Always Political. But Now They're Only Political.

Last August, the Hugo Awards for science fiction and fantasy were swept by a younger group of women and people of color. At the time, we said "This was really a year that underscored that a younger generation of diverse writers are becoming central to the genre." So maybe it's not surprising that there was an… » 4/04/15 6:44pm 4/04/15 6:44pm

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 2:21pm 2/10/15 2:21pm

I'm Bill Nye, and This Is How I Work

For many of us Bill Nye is part of our childhoods, playing that crucial role as educator and illuminator of science when our impressionable minds might not have thought to ask why. With his television show he taught us why science is amazing by examining the details of how everything works, and he continues to be an… » 1/21/15 4:11pm 1/21/15 4:11pm

The magic of writing on water with a fountain pen

I love to watch someone write with a fountain pen. It tickles my neck to hear the strokes and see the trail it leaves. This video, however, shows a fountain pen writing a little differently. It's writing with water. It's like magic seeing the ink of the fountain pen instantly flow through the capillaries of the water. » 12/18/14 1:34am 12/18/14 1:34am

How to cut a goose feather into a lovely quill pen

I'm not going to lie, I don't really need to know how to cut and make a quill pen from a goose feather. No one does anymore. But! I was completely fascinated by the process of it. It's funny how he uses both vintage tools (an 1800's era quill cutting knife) with modern technology (a NYC metro card!). » 10/22/14 11:04pm 10/22/14 11:04pm

A Book of Tweets By People Claiming They're Working on Their Novels

Novels aren't going to write themselves, you know. But when they don't, their would-be authors simply turn to Twitter. A new book features tweets by people who are totally working on their novels, but had to stop working on their novels so they could post something to Twitter about working on their novels. » 7/31/14 7:31pm 7/31/14 7:31pm

In Defense of GIFs in Science Writing

University of Oxford PhD student Andrew Bissette recently published a diatribe against the Internet's favorite form of looping media, arguing that science writers should not use GIFs to explain science. He's wrong. His heart is in the right place. His argument is even halfway sound. But he's wrong. » 5/10/14 8:58pm 5/10/14 8:58pm

You can't speculate about technology without speculating about society

We're living in a time of extreme technological change. Gadgets that didn't exist a decade ago are shaping your existence. So we need science fiction, more than ever, to speculate about the future of technology. But here's the hard part: You can't speculate about technological change without also speculating about… » 2/17/14 6:19pm 2/17/14 6:19pm

How Design Observer Founder William Drenttel Changed the Conversation

Graphic designer William Drenttel died on Saturday, a multifaceted creative who played many roles: a Mad Men-era ad man, a design industry legend, an advocate for social change. But as the founder of Design Observer, the influential design blog launched 10 years ago, Bill irrevocably transformed the way we talk about… » 12/23/13 4:00pm 12/23/13 4:00pm

Can Giving Free Houses to Writers Help Revitalize Detroit?

There's no shortage of vacant real estate in Detroit, which has seen a quarter of its population flee since 2000—it's estimated that over 78,000 buildings are sitting abandoned. But there are plenty of efforts to bring a new wave of young creatives to town, like this plan to fix up homes and give them to writers for… » 12/19/13 4:00pm 12/19/13 4:00pm

This Screenwriting App Generates Wonderfully Awful Animated Movies

Have you ever walked out of a movie theater utterly convinced you could have made a far better film? Now you can put your money where your mouth is with a new screenwriting tool called Plotagon. To make it easier for the imaginationally-challenged to visualize a scene or dialogue they've just written, the software… » 11/19/13 4:40pm 11/19/13 4:40pm