From the cover of JG Ballard’s ‘Concrete Island’.
A number of novels provide links between risk-assessment, financial speculation, and terrorism. But simultaneously, real life terror in 2016 renders writing about it completely and utterly pointless.
A scene from the TV mini-series, ‘Mars’.
The recently broadcast TV mini-series, “Mars”, combines fiction and nonfiction in a way that places them in balance. This kind of combination is likely to feature in more television series and films.
Lionel Shriver in 2014: her keynote address at the Brisbane Writers Festival on cultural appropriation has unleashed a torrent of opinion.
Lionel Shriver's controversial speech about cultural appropriation has made headlines around the world. But the debate need not be a binary one – novelists might approach characters from other cultures as 'thoughtful tourists'.
A family photograph of the children’s author Roald Dahl, with his wife Patricia Neal, and children Olivia, Tessa, and Theo.
A war hero and a philanthropist, or a bully and a misogynist – there are many versions of the enigmatic author.
The debates surrounding the 9/11 novel have been as informative as the novels themselves.
The work of one legal thriller writer in particular shines a light on two of today's most pressing dilemmas.
Martin Quinn / Shutterstock.com
Two sociologists recommend their favourite thriller for your summer reading.
Dallas police pay their respects to fallen colleagues.
Erik S Lesser/EPA
An unfinished crime novel was a strange portent of recent events in Dallas.
Writer Thomas Wolfe is played by Jude Law in ‘Genius.’
The president of the Thomas Wolfe Society explains why Law had his work cut out for him when he agreed to portray a man who was "a hydroelectric plant of emotion."
A book about drug addiction and prostitution aimed at 'young adults' was a very daring thing 20 years ago.
Pripyat is often portrayed as a haunted ghost town.
EFREM LUKATSKY / AP/Press Association Images
Chernobyl's liquidators have come up with some intriguing ways of dealing with what they've gone through – without directly confronting painful memories.
Sarah Kanake and her brother Charlie.
Characters with Down syndrome are extremely rare in novels and rarer still are stories written from their point of view. But people with disabilities have an equal right to belong in narrative fiction.
The X-wing fighters have been criticised for doing World War II dogfights in space.
YouTube/Star Wars (screen grab)
Some people love to pick holes in science fiction movies, such as Star Wars, especially when they stray from science fact. But does it really matter?
mockingjay jennife b.
Some parents worry their teens' obsession with dark fiction means they'll grow up and overthrow the government -- like Katniss Everdeen in Hunger Games. How real is this concern?
Jonathan Coe’s sales are four times higher in France than in the UK.
Jonathan Coe is under-read and underrated – in the UK. In France, his stinging social attacks on Britain are far more popular.
The distinctions between highbrow and middlebrow fiction are as old as literature itself.
The distinctions between highbrow and middlebrow fiction are as old as literature itself. So does the current spat over such terms mean anything in the long term for works of literature? Unlikely.
Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze.
House of Retro
An inspiration for Batman and Superman has faded into obscurity. Can he experience a revival?
Fanfiction: all it takes is to imagine a story beyond the canonical work.
Fanfiction is nebulous, confusing and often mocked. It's also explosively popular. So what is it?
Elena Ferrante’s searing portraits of women have won her international acclaim, though very little is known about the author herself.
Italian novelist Elena Ferrante has been called "one of the great novelists of our time" and her Neapolitan novel cycle "an unconditional masterpiece". But the author herself remains an intangible figure.
If small publishers have the blues, it’s not surprising.
You might have thought that the world's most prestigious prize for fiction was a level playing field. In fact, rule changes have made it much easier for big publishers to dominate.