Boing Boing 

5 tips for writing science fiction to engage people who don't read it

Back in 2006, I had an epiphany. Stories are empathy engines, regardless of the medium. And for humans, they always have been.

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Crazy, Frazetta-esque vintage cologne ad

Matt writes, "This is awesomeness beyond awesome. Magic swords, barbarians, crazy, nausea-inducing camera angles, pterodactyls... If 'Heavy Metal' needed a personal scent, it would be this."

Why we're still talking about Terminator and the Matrix


My July 2015 Locus column, Skynet Ascendant, suggests that the enduring popularity of images of homicidal, humanity-hating AIs has more to do with our present-day politics than computer science.

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Star Trek paperclips


$20 gets you 40 clips, half in the shape of the Starfeelt insignia, the other half shaped like the Enterprise.

Star Trek TOS Captain's gold blankie


It's 45" x 60", made of cuddly fleece, and costs $25, for when the pressures of command demand a duvet day.

'Alien' piƱata

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The Alien from Ridley Scott's 1979 horror sci fi classic.

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Brian Wood's Starve: get to your comic shop now!


Brian "DMZ" Wood's new comic from IMAGE is Starve, and issue one, which just hit shelves at your local comic shop is the strongest start since Warren Ellis's Transmetropolitan.

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Neal Stephenson on the story behind Seveneves

Rick Kleffel sends his latest Bookotron podcast: "Neal Stephenson discusses (MP3) the challenges of turning orbital dynamics into pulse-pounding fiction ... and his latest novel Seveneves." (Image: Bob Lee, CC-BY)

Winners of the 2015 Locus Awards!

The winners from last night's Locus Awards Banquet in Seattle have been announced:

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See early designs for Marty McFly's Back to the Future 2 hoverboard

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In 1986, Industrial Light and Magic artist John Bell designed what would become an icon of Hollywood futurism, Marty McFly's Hoverboard from Back To The Future 2.

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Jack Kirby's glorious, psychedelic Lord of Light black-light posters


Heavy Metal is bringing a limited-edition set of black-light posters depicting Jack Kirby's gorgeous Lord of Light concept art, whose beauty is only outstripped by its incredibly strange origin-story.

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Gardner Dozois is selling his book collection


The celebrated and decorated anthologist and editor (that's him on the right, with me and Gene Wolfe) who served at Asimov's for decades is selling off his massive collection, which he hopes to keep intact.

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Ultimate t-shirt for trolling science fiction fans


$20-26 from Offworld Designs. (via Diane Duane)

Flux Capacitor USB Car Charger


The $25 Back to the Future Flux Capacitor car-charger has two USB ports and does a fantastically bright light-show (which, thankfully, you can switch off).

Why the Healer deserves to be a Hero

We talk with author Beth Cato, author of The Clockwork Dagger, about why healers are never the hero in genre fiction and how she decided to change that. We also press her for baked brie recipes and discover how the Foo Fighters helped shape Octavia Leander.

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The Sword and Laser (S&L) is a science fiction and fantasy-themed book club podcast hosted by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt. The main goal of the club is to build a strong online community of science fiction / fantasy buffs, and to discuss and enjoy books of both genres. For show notes and previous episodes, head here. You can also help support us on Patreon!

Library at Mount Char: urban fantasy that has the magic

Scott Hawkins's debut horror novel, The Library at Mount Char, is a sprawling, epic contemporary fantasy about cruelty and the end of the world, compulsively readable, with the deep, resonant magic of a world where reality is up for grabs.Read the rest

Listen to Isaac Asimov read his favorite short story "The Last Question"

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Isaac Asimov wrote "The Last Question" in one sitting. It appeared in the November 1956 issue of Science Fiction Quarterly and Asimov said it was "by far my favorite story of all those I have written."

It's fun hearing Asimov read it in his energetic Brooklyn accent. But if you listen to Leonard Nimoy's magnificent reading (below), you'll understand why it is usually much better to have a trained actor read a story, instead of the author.

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