Guest Essays
Bad News

Writing in a Dictatorship: Anjan Sundaram on "Bad News"

Weeks after finishing Bad News: Last Journalists in a Dictatorship, I remain captured by the paradoxes Anjan Sundaram puts forth, whether familiar or staggering (and there are both here)...

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The Geography of Genius

The Author of "The Geography of Genius" Talks About the Importance of Place

Eric Weiner’s first book, The Geography of Bliss, found him in search of the happiest places on Earth. Now, in The Geography of Genius, he endeavors to find out why certain places and times in history produced an inordinate number of geniuses...

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Grace of Kings

New Year, New Authors: Top Sci-Fi and Fantasy Authors Recommend Talented New Writers

It's the time of year for pushing boundaries and embarking on new adventures. The Amazon Book Review asked Richard Kadrey, John Scalzi, Pierce Brown, and Kevin Hearne to suggest talented new writers who have grabbed their attention—and whose books you should try, too.

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"The Nine Lives of Authors . . . and Other Things I’ve Learned from Research" by Lisa Gardner

We asked the best-selling author about her research, and she provided us with this exclusive essay:

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Shannara Chronicles

Terry Brooks on the Shannara Chronicles: From Page to Screen Fearlessly

Terry Brooks’ Shannara series has been a pillar of the fantasy genre for decades, and many have wondered why there are no films or TV shows set in his rich world. Now there will be, with the January premier of the “Shannara Chronicles” television series. In his own words, Terry Brooks explains the twisty path traveled from page to screen—and why the show turned out far better than he ever dared imagine.

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"The Thousand Dollar Dinner": The Original Culinary Smackdown

Relive the 1851 night (and the 17-course menu) when a group of wealthy Philadelphians commissioned chef James Parkinson to outdo their New York counterparts in a contest of epic culinary proportions--an event that foreshadowed our own cook-off crazed culture.

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Bring on the Bling

Most of us have probably heard the expression “diamonds are a girl’s best friend”--but have we ever asked ourselves why? What is it REALLY that makes a diamond, an emerald, a Fabergé egg, or even glass beads so desirable? Aja Raden debunks the myths, spills some secrets, and tells us the truth in this exclusive essay...

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Autobiography of a Hellboy

With his iconic roles in Beauty and the Beast, Hellboy, and Sons of Anarchy, Ron Perlman has built an impressive and singular film and television career to match his impressively furrowed brow, a decades-spanning road-not-taken path to stardom recounted in...

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Jack McDevitt on “Thunderbird” and the Uncertain Effects of Far-Future Technology

After almost ten years, science fiction author Jack McDevitt returns to the world he created in his speculative novel Ancient Shores. Here, McDevitt talks about the potential effects of discovering an advanced technology as well as why he decided to...

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"Steady, Steady, Steady": The Triumph of The Three-Year Swim Club

Is it just me, or does The Three-Year Swim Club have The Boys in the Boat written all over it? Like that 2013 bestseller, this book chronicles the quest for Olympic glory of an underdog American team. But there’s twist: this club was made up of Japanese Americans, and the time was right before the start of WWII.

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