The fight at the end of the world, a penny for your life, and a boat…

There I was, in the Congo. There were diamonds and apes everywhere (including humans) and eyeballs were flying hither and yon like naked grapes gone wild. Michael Crichton was shaking his head sadly as I butchered his epic story about the quest for the city of Zinj and Amy, the awesome gorilla. All was well with the… » 8/21/14 9:23pm 8/21/14 9:23pm

The Absolute Worst Trope In Science Fiction Romance Novels

There's a lot to celebrate about science fiction romance novels — apart from anything else, they're one of the fastest-growing areas of the genre, and they're getting a lot of people reading science fiction. But there's one trope in the genre that writer C.E. Kilgore finds really repulsive: "dubious consent." » 8/11/14 6:07pm 8/11/14 6:07pm

No One Knows What's Causing These Mysterious Radio Bursts From Space

Back in 2007, astronomers detected an incredibly brief, incredibly strong radio wave burst in Australia. And now, on the opposite side of the world, astronomers have detected a second blast of similar proportions. Meaning that A) the first one wasn't a fluke, and B) we have absolutely no idea what's causing them. » 8/02/14 4:22am 8/02/14 4:22am

The Hero’s Journey Is Still the Only Hope for Good Stories

Recently I read 'My Cousin is Not a Hero,' an essay by M. Molly Backes, that unassumingly, though despondently, argues that most of our lives are not epics with plots reaching Hero's Journey proportions. She discusses how her cousin's zany anecdotes do not line up into a blockbuster series of events that he's hoping… » 8/02/14 4:00am 8/02/14 4:00am