17 Stories

She Blended Science Fiction With Feminism

Novelist Ursula K. Le Guin Dead at 88

(Newser) - Author Ursula K. Le Guin, known best for her "Earthsea" series of fantasy novels, has died at age 88. Le Guin died Monday, her agent confirmed to NPR . Le Guin "brought literary depth and a tough-minded feminist sensibility to science fiction and fantasy," the New York Times... More »

Their Names Are on Tolkien's Grave. Now, They're a Book

He wrote fairy tale while recovering from WWI

(Newser) - JRR Tolkien's fairy tale love story Beren and Luthien is now a book—100 years after he came up with the story as a 24-year-old WWI veteran traumatized by the horror of the trenches. The book was edited by Christopher Tolkien, the author's 92-year-old son, who includes Tolkien'... More »

North Korea Posts Video Fantasy of US in Flames

Set to Michael Jackson's 'We Are the World'

(Newser) - If you think North Korea harbors a not-so-secret desire to obliterate the US—while backed by a Michael Jackson song—you'd be sort of correct. The country's official website uploaded a truly bizarre YouTube video on Saturday in which a slumbering man dreams of a rocket blasting a... More »

Like Fantasy Novels? Prove It at Dinner

Fiction-based meals catching on; honeyed locusts anyone?

(Newser) - Fantasy novels' focus on food has spawned a mini-industry—even if the recipes aren't always so appetizing. Last year saw the release of the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, which has sold 150,000 copies; now there's a book of recipes taken from The Hunger Games and two Game ... More »

Inside the Terrifying World of Neil Gaiman

Author has cult-following, is 'nobody's bitch,' was raised Scientologist

(Newser) - Hey, have you heard of this guy Neil Gaiman? That’s basically the gist of a meandering New Yorker profile on the prolific fantasist. Gaiman, for the uninitiated, is a wildly popular writer of comics, novels, screenplays, and, lately, terrifying children’s books. Though mainstream critics sometimes neglect his work,... More »

Surrogates: Silly But Suspenseful

Bruce Willis, in weird wig, tops 'smart' sci-fi flick

(Newser) - Critics are lukewarm about Surrogates, the new sci-fi flick starring a surprisingly hirsute Bruce Willis, in which humans command tricked-out robots who do their work and play for them.
  • It's a "preposterous movie that luxuriates in its own silliness," says Stephanie Zacharek of Salon. There's a "heavy-duty
... More »

Best Sci-Fi Languages

Wired declares Klingon the king of sci-fi slang

(Newser) - Creators of true geek art follow JRR Tolkien’s example and craft fictional languages to populate their worlds. Wired lists the best examples:
  1. Klingon. The Star Trek creation is the king of all sci-fi languages, with fully realized grammar and vocabulary.
  2. City Speak. Blade Runner’s vision of earth as
... More »

Parental Angst Is Real Star of 'Evil-Kiddie' Movies

(Newser) - Murderous children have haunted movies since the 1950s—but why, Jonah Weiner wonders on Slate. “The biggest reason for this is the most obvious,” Weiner notes. “What’s creepier than a 4-foot-tall killer in Spongebob pajamas?” But the personification of evil in a child reveals deeper-seated anxieties.... More »

Reality Bites Starbucks Fantasy

(Newser) - Many Americans fantasized of tuning in, dropping out, and working at Starbucks, Mary Schmich writes in the Chicago Tribune, but that dream died with the economic slowdown. “Starbucks was the great American backup plan,” Schmich writes. “The emergency exit. The parachute,” fueled by the “promise... More »

Inkheart Better on the Page

Kids' movie about bringing books to life struggles to bring book to life

(Newser) - When it comes to the kids-lit adaptation Inkheart, fans are probably better off sticking to the book, say critics. Brendan Fraser stars as a father with the power to bring characters off the page to life, but the special-effects-driven movie fails to capture the "dark whimsy" of the... More »

Lesbian Fiction's Hot New Stars: Secret Service Agents

Security more desirable than love: Thomas

(Newser) - Secret Service agents have become popular protagonists in lesbian romance mysteries because they embody traits readers covet, June Thomas writes for Slate. "They are the ultimate strong, silent type—they fade into the background without hiding, they keep their mouths shut, and they have your back," she... More »

Narnia Still Casts a Spell

Return to fantasy kingdom is darker, crisper

(Newser) - The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian returns to the fantasyland 1,300 years after The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and all is not well in the kingdom. The "darker, more conventional, and more crisply made" follow-up features "more clashing swords than all the Robin Hood movies... More »

Dungeons & Dragons Co-Creator Dead at 69

Gary Gygax rocked the gaming world

(Newser) - Widely revered Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax, regarded as the father of role-playing games, has died at his home in Wisconsin after years of health problems, AP reports. He was 69. Together with Dave Arneson, Gygax created the massively popular medieval fantasy Dungeons & Dragons in 1974 that struck... More »

Spiderwick Delivers Thrills

It's a kids' fantasy that 'doesn't wimp out,' says Ebert

(Newser) - Critics by and large are enchanted with The Spiderwick Chronicles. It's "a well-crafted family thriller that is truly scary and doesn't wimp out," writes Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times. The fantasy, based on the best-selling books, follows twins (played by Freddie Highmore) and their sister (In America's... More »

Jumper Lands With a Thud

Dull plotting, acting undermine high-concept thriller

(Newser) - The concept for Jumper seems promising: An awkward teenage boy who discovers he has the power to instantly teleport himself to anywhere on the globe is targeted for elimination by religious fanatics. And in some respects the film delivers on that promise. "The jumping effect is faultlessly executed,"... More »

Fantasy War Game Models Global Pandemic

Virtual outbreak gave scientists chance to study spread

(Newser) - A programming error in an online fantasy game gave researchers a profound insight into how a deadly epidemic spreads and how to combat the crisis. The London Times reports a glitch occurred in World of Warcraft, which has millions of online players. A disease aimed at a handful of characters... More »

DC Madam Says She'll Name Names

Needs clients to testify that the sex was only fantasy

(Newser) - A White House economist, the head of a conservative think tank, lobbyists, military brass and a prominent CEO—they’re among pay-to-play clients DC Madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey says she'll finger, ABC and the Post report. Palfrey said at a press conference yesterday she’s “genuinely sorry" if her... More »

17 Stories