Cyberpunk has fallen from its peak in the 1980s and early 1990s, but the great cyberpunk authors are still writing. And many of them have turned to fantasy. Why is this?
Being a barbarian is a thankless job. You spend all day slaying your foes in a loincloth and greased up in beef tallow, and nobody remembers your exploits. The zeitgeist moves on to pirates, vampires, zombies, and what have you.
Last year, award-winning science fiction authors Tobias Buckell (Sly Mongoose) and Paolo Bacigalupi (Windup Girl) teamed up to write two fantasy novellas set in the same universe. Both novellas, Buckell's "The Executioness" and Bacigalupi's "The Alchemist" are set in the city of Khaim, where an early Renaissance…
Consequences are what give actions depth, and when magic and high intrigue are in the mix, the consequences can be huge. Have a look at the most terrible fates that fantasy characters have ever met.
There are friendly dragons who help small children, but they're not badass. Then there are tame dragons who fight for humans, but very few of them are badass either. Luckily, we've got some truly hardcore dragons here to eat your face off.
It's Badass Fantasy Day at io9! But before we kick the festivities off, what makes a fantasy tale demonstrably badass?