Illustration for article titled The Shiniest Stories On io9 Last Week

Too busy rebuilding a tiny Manhattan? Don't worry, we've compiled a list of the best stories of the week, just for you.Charlie Kaufman Will Break Your Brain in Synecdoche, New York Synecdoche, New York, the latest film from Charlie "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" Kaufman, creates its own brand of magical realism crossed with science fiction. The tale of a theater director with a grotesque disease directing a play that never ends, Synecdoche, New York is a meditation on relationships — and time travel. Making Star Wars Look Like Star Wars Is More Difficult Than It Looks What makes Star Wars look like Star Wars? That's one of the questions that The Old Republic's lead designer, Jeff Dobson has to face repeatedly in the course of working on the upcoming MMO set in George Lucas' playground and, as he told us, he still can't really come up with a comprehensive answer. He knows what's right when he sees it, but when something is wrong, he can't always put his finger on why it's wrong. So is there a Star Wars aesthetic? And if so, what is it? Secrets Of Great Characters, According To 6 Science Fiction Authors Amazing stories need great characters. And when you're writing a story set in a futuristic or fantastical world, it's more important than ever for readers to be able to relate to your characters. It's also harder than ever, because your characters' lives and experiences will be totally different than your readers'. How do you make people identify with someone who lives in the future, or on another planet? Olmos Human, Olmos Not the Man: Why I Quit BSG I’m not that smart of a guy. I can’t tell you what a categorical imperative is, or how to hot-wire a motorcycle, or what the Singularity is going to look like. But I can guarantee you one thing: If we ever face a real Robot Threat and I have anything to say about it, I will not put Edward James Olmos in charge of dealing with it. How did I reach this admittedly controversial conclusion? War and Social Upheaval Cause Spikes in Zombie Movie Production There's been a huge spike in the production of zombie movies lately, and many of them seem to be inspired by war. Everything from 28 Days Later to Zombie Strippers make explicit reference to wartime, as did seminal 1968 zombie flick Night of the Living Dead. Is there really a connection between zombie movies and social unrest? We decided to do some research and find out. The 50 Scariest Moments In Science Fiction Since it's Halloween over at the io9 offices, we couldn't help put plug our brains into our hive-mind computer and put together a list of the 50 scariest moments in science fiction movie history. These are the moments that stuck in our minds, disturbed our dreams and made us see ordinary objects as monsters waiting to strike. A Web of Footnotes — How We Will Read Books in the Future The technological development that's going to change the way we read forever isn't ebooks — it's footnotes. For the past few months, if you really wanted to understand DC Comics' big crossover series Final Crisis, you basically had to read each issue alongside Eisner-winning critic Douglas Wolk's blog "Final Annotations." Each time a new issue in the series comes out, Wolk goes through page-by-page, carefully documenting what you need to know. Warren Ellis' Albino Anti-Hero Gets His Own Movie? Good news for Warren Ellis fans — Hollywood producer David Friendly has taken a shine to Ellis' dark comic Desolation Jones, and hopes to give it the major motion picture treatment. Who doesn't want to see the powder-skinned Michael Jones undergo government testing that turns him into an albino madman who feels no remorse? Kevin Sorbo Talks Breeding With Reptiles And Assasin Work In New Illuminati Film The Mighty Hercules and Andromeda Captain, Kevin Sorbo, has a new mission: escape the evil secret society whose head hitman he used to be. In his new movie The Illuminati, Sorbo gets to kick a little ancient secret society butt, and dabble with all sorts of deadly weaponry. Why Stephanie Jacobsen Is Our Favorite Robot-Fighting Ninja The only actor who's fought killer bots in both the Battlestar Galactica and Terminator universes is Stephanie Jacobsen. She played the tough-as-nails Kendra Shaw in Battlestar Galactica: Razor, and now she's playing Jesse, the freedom fighter from the future, in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. We talked to Jacobsen about what it's like to play two such badass characters, and what's ahead for her character on T:SCC.

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