This has been a tough year. Pop culture let us down in many ways, even as our political system and our social institutions revealed a deeper seam of ugliness. But speculative fiction still offers us hope: not just optimism about human ingenuity, but actual reasons to look forward and keep our heads up.
This has been a really great year for science fiction, fantasy and horror books, taking us to fabulous worlds and opening our minds to new ideas and brilliant new characters. Here’s our list of the most amazing books we read this year.
MIT’s Technology Review has a bit of a secret: just about every year, they put together a science fiction edition titled Twelve Tomorrows. It’s one of the best collections of short science fiction out there, and you can now preorder the upcoming issue.
Science fiction and fantasy offer a rich legacy of great books—but that abundant pile of reading material can also be daunting. So sometimes, it’s easier to fake it. We asked some of our favorite writers, and they told us the 10 books that everyone pretends to have read. And why you should actually read them.
“As the 21st century unfolds, science fiction increasingly comes to seem like a realist rather than a speculative genre,” says one essay/book review in the L.A. Review of Books. It’s just one of a few great pieces up at the LARB site right now, about the choice of futures we face: Mad Max versus Star Trek.
Neal Stephenson, author of the acclaimed novels Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon, and Anathem, is here to talk about his latest, Seveneves, and chat with us about his visions of the future.
Famed scifi author Neal Stephenson’s new novel Seveneves is out today, and one of the most exciting things about it is that it’s packed with realistic representations of space megastructures where humans live. We talked to Stephenson about his ideas, and have some exclusive art from Weta showing what they look like.
The following excerpt is chapter one from Neal Stephenson’s new novel, Seveneves. Stephenson is also the author of the novels Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon, and Anathem.
We all know that economists love science fiction — especially Isaac Asimov fan Paul Krugman. But science fiction and fantasy can also help teach ordinary people about the Dismal Science. Here are 22 great science fiction and fantasy stories that can help you make sense of economics.
With so many prominent scientists warning about the dangers of rogue artificial intelligence, and so many ethical concerns coming down the pike in A.I. research and computer science generally, how can computer experts educate themselves? By reading science fiction books.
Magic Leap's mysterious augmented reality tech promises to "bring magic back into the world." And now Neal Stephenson, who imagined the virtual Metaverse in his 1992 novel Snow Crash, has joined the company. He tells io9 why this technology may "demand a new way of thinking."
Sabering, or sabrage, is a champagne-opening art popularized at the time of Napoleon's military campaigns. In this video, Neal Stephenson, the author who gave us Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon, shows that doing it properly requires not blunt force, but elegance, precision and a knowledge of physics.
Cimarronin is about silver, sword-fighting and slavery in 17th-century Mexico. The comic grew out of an all-star collaboration between scifi writers Neal Stephenson and Mark Teppo, science writer Charles C. Mann (1491), and artist Robert Sammelin. We've got a sumptuous preview.
Two years ago, beloved science-fiction writer Neal Stephenson launched a crowdfunding campaign to start making a realistic swordfighting game. The Clang Kickstarter notched more than $500,000 towards that end. But a game never materialized and, as announced today, people who backed Clang are starting to get their…
Many of the world's greatest scientists were inspired to go into their fields by reading science fiction books. And it's easy to see why. A lot of the best science fiction features scientists who solve problems and make breakthroughs. Here are 10 great novels that will inspire you with a new love of science.
New leaked documents from Edward Snowden reveal that the NSA and British intelligence have been spying on people in World of Warcraft and other online games. And Neal Stephenson's epic spy novel REAMDE predicted this whole mess back in 2011.
Take a moment away from your computer screen, and give some props to Alan Turing, the code-breaking badass who helped make all this possible. Turing has captured our imagination several times, in books and movies. Here's our potted history of the Father of Computer Science in pop culture.
Science fiction can warn us about potential disasters, and school us about the downsides of knowing too much — but a lot of the best science fiction inspires us, instead, by showing how people can solve problems and conquer ignorance. What's the most uplifting piece of optimistic science fiction you've ever seen?