StarCraft was unveiled to the world twenty years ago, and in the time since it’s become a legendary fixture of the competitive gaming scene. Which makes it easy to forget that it’s also a fantastic space opera.
CD Projekt Red’s RPG masterpiece came out nearly two years ago, but damn does it still hold up. And recently, a handful of people’s favorite character animations from the game have been making the rounds.
Minnesota-based We Are All Criminals shares the anonymous stories of people who’ve committed crimes (vandalism, robbery, drugs, etc.) but were never caught, and contrasts them with similar stories of those who were. In doing so, the project “seeks to challenge society’s perception of what it means to be a criminal.”…
We finally have our new, Marvel-Cinematic-Universe-approved Spider-Man. But aside from the obvious benefits of having Marvel’s most popular (and most lucrative) hero join their cinematic fold, there’s a far more crucial aspect of Spider-Man that the MCU needs right now: his ability to tie this ever-expanding universe…
A wise tagline once said “In Space, no one can hear you scream”. And it’s no surprise that space horror is a popular genre, since space is already kind of terrifying by itself. Space madness! But you know what’s really scary? Encountering a supernatural force in space, where there’s no place to run.
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?
There’s no one secret formula for a great story, even if Pixar has its rules and other people have their own ideas. There are as many great shapes for a story to take as there are stories. But Chuck Wendig, author of the Blackbirds series, has a pretty great example of how to structure a kick-ass story.
When you hear about role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, you probably picture a dimly-lit basement filled with people in silly robes rolling dice, but there's much more to it than that. Not only are role-playing games incredibly fun, but they can actually teach you skills you'll use in the real world.
Hollywood loves an Origin story - we're constantly getting remakes and reboots so we can re-experience them, we're even mining as many characters as we can for origin tales, as per the crazy trailer for Pan we saw yesterday. It can be a tiring trend sometimes, but why do we yearn to learn where our heroes start?
Sometimes, a narrative convention is so ingrained in literature that writers reach for it even after it becomes clear that it's not so much "classic" as "offensive." What trope do you see time and time again that simply makes you cringe?
Sometimes it feels like the genre tales I love are in a storytelling arms race to constantly raise the stakes. We can't even just have the world under threat - it's the solar system, it's the galaxy, hell, throw in the whole damn universe while you're at it. What's happened to the small-scale hero in big entertainment?
You'll see lots of rants on the internet claiming the word "epic" is overused. It's become a blanket synonym for "fun," and people say "I had an epic bath" with zero irony. But maybe this is just a symptom of a larger problem. Maybe the word "epic" in general has lost all meaning, including when we talk about fantasy.
Everyone with a cool new idea or vision wants a concise and beautiful video to illustrate their story and broadcast it to the world. But oh, right—you suck at all things visual and just learned how to make something move in After Effects. Adobe's new iPad app, Voice, is there to hold your hand in the making of…
Just when did saving the world get so boring? We're living through an age of big movies with big plots, that throw the fate of the world into the mix about as regularly as most people mop their floors — and sometimes it seems just as dull.
"Yum, these grass and plants are delicious!" Mother cavy thinks as she eats her breakfast. "I will feed some to my baby cavies too!" she says. The baby cavies love to play in the grass! But they've gotten all dirty! "Time for your bath," Mother cavy says. Mother cavy and her babies like to spend the afternoon…
Writing is many things: a job, a hobby, a personal imperative, an act, an art, a gigantic pain in the ass. But is it a science? The Periodic Table of Storytelling breaks down narrative elements into a familiar form—though one that liberal artsy folks probably haven't thought about since high school.
If you ever read a story online about a haunted TV episode, you've already eaten the creepypasta. Scary viral stories, images, and vids, often very short, are creepypasta — some will scare you so much that they've been nicknamed "shitbrix." And they could be the closest thing we have to folklore in the twenty-first…
Too often, we hear that a science fiction story has "succeeded" if it predicts the future accurately. But that's the wrong measure of success. The most powerful works of SF don't describe the future — they change it.
One of the biggest worries about J.J. Abrams directing Star Wars is that he'll bring his penchant for mysteries for the sake of mysteries to the relatively straightforward universe George Lucas built. But this clip from his 2007 Ted talk, posted on Reddit yesterday, shows Abrams arguing that Star Wars was always…
Starting today, we're going to be telling a story on io9. This story will be a sweeping space epic, gorgeously illustrated with professional artwork like what you see here. And you are going to help write it. Are you up for the challenge?