I grew up watching James Bond films. My favorite part was always the same: the part where “Q” would outfit our hero with the latest in spy technology. Ralph Osterhout also grew up loving Bond — but he took it to the next level. He spent his life building real spy gadgets, for operators in the field.
Fantasy has lots of sex workers or courtesans who also work as spies — but for our money, the best is Phèdre nó Delaunay de Montrève, the hero of the first Kushiel trilogy by Jacqueline Carey. She thwarts a major conspiracy, stops an invasion, saves her country and avenges her master... with kinky sex.
Spy cameras are probably the most axiomatic gadgets when we talk about intelligence-gathering techniques. But intercepting and decoding messages is just as important as taking pictures. Here's a look at all the devices spies have used to tap into voice, mail, phone, radio, morse, electronic messages, and other…
In last year's documentary Citizenfour, Edward Snowden said, "I remember what the internet was like before it was being watched." Snowden is just 31 years old, so there's simply no way this is true. Intelligence agencies have been keeping tabs on the internet since before Snowden was even born. They were instrumental…
Kingsman: The Secret Service comes out this week, the latest in a long line of spy fiction featuring British secret agents. And that brings to mind the question of why so many of our most famous fictional spies are British.
You probably don't remember quite how skeevy David Hasselhoff could get on Knight Rider. So here's a refresher course, compiled for you by the peeps at NBC.com and premiered exclusively at io9.
This weekend Kingsman, the movie director Matthew Vaughn left the "800 million dollar gorilla" Days of Future Past to make, hits theaters. And with it come back the glory days of actually fun spy movies — something Vaughn thinks is sorely lacking in today's culture.
You don't need to be Bond to get your own spy gadgets. You've already got the ultimate spy tool in your pocket: a smartphone. And who would suspect you're spying when you're probably just texting a friend? Here are the apps and peripherals you need to take your phone on a covert mission without Q in your corner.
One of the things that make fictional spies interesting characters is the tension between who they really are and who they are pretending to be. And how many lies they are telling. So who has the best deep cover? Tell us!
If you've seen a brainwashed secret agent in fiction recently, it probably owes a lot to The Manchurian Candidate, the Academy Award-winning 1962 film based on the novel by Richard Condon. As great as the film is, the greatest character in it is Angela Lansbury as Eleanor Iselin.
The 24th James Bond film's first official behind-the-scenes footage has just been tweeted by the official account. And it looks like we'll be getting the giant snow chase scene that is required of any Bond film that visits the Alps.
As you might have expected, when Guy Ritchie takes on the iconic 1960s spy-fi series, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., the result is cool-looking, self-mocking, and full of funny action. At least, this first trailer makes the U.N.C.L.E. movie look like a total blast.
Just in time for spy week: CIA veteran Lynn Boughey and International Spy Museum executive director Peter Earnest's book Harry Potter and the Art of Spying, which analyzes the spy techniques in J.K. Rowling's fantasy novels, is free today on Kindle.
Most of us can't help it: When we think about spies, we think about James Bond. And when we think about James Bond, we think about his gadgets. But real life spies use gadgets too—and there's no more amazing category of spy gadget than the camera.
The "Men's Adventure" novel is a strange thing. At the height of its popularity, in the late 60s and 70s, it was being written by dozens of peculiar and reclusive authors. But the influence of this weird genre is still felt today. Here's the strange history of Mack Bolan and his many imitators.
As is traditional for io9 nights here during spy week, we're following up the essay on my pick for the best spy fiction within a category with a chance for you to have your say. Use the poll below or simply battle away in the comments — you're giving all of us a bunch of new recommendations, so, really, everyone's a…
Fictional spies aren't restricted to stories in more modern times, filled with gadgets and acronyms. There are also spies in traditional sword and sorcery fantasy. Of all those creations, the best one is the entire country of Drasnia in David Eddings' The Balgariad and its sequels, prequels, and side works.
We've loved the Spy vs. Spy comics in Mad Magazine forever — but for the last 17+ years, they've been the work of comics superstar Peter Kuper. And Kuper's take on the two dueling spies is anarchic, and wonderful to behold.